Politics and Government

It's All Politics
5:36 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

A Speech To A Nation Weary Of War, And Wary Of The World

President Obama enters before speaking at the West Point graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
John Angelillo UPI/Landov

President Obama's speech this week to the West Point grads was for them, their families, the Army they will help lead and the nation they serve. But through much of the hourlong presentation the president seemed to be addressing another large and varied crowd: his critics.

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Fallin signed into law
4:39 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Quality Of Jobs Program Act Allows State Subsidies To Tinker AFB

Credit DVIDSHUB / Flickr.com

About 1,300 jobs at a planned new aircraft maintenance facility at Tinker Air Force Base would qualify for state subsidies under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin signed a bill this week to amend the state's Quality Jobs Program Act so that direct cash payments from the state can be made to a public trust. State commerce officials say the bill was specifically tailored for the new jobs being added in conjunction with the facility for the new KC-46A refueling tanker at Tinker.

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The Salt
4:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.

But the numbers have started to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Old Senate Tradition Lies Behind Controversial Judge's Nomination

There's an idea in the Senate that it's still a chamber operating on mutual respect and goodwill between colleagues. That's why venerable traditions like "blue slips" ā€” slips of paper senators can use to block any White House choice for judgeships in their home state ā€” carry over today.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 9:56 am

As President Obama continues to take heat for nominating to the federal bench a judge who once wanted to keep the Confederate emblem on the Georgia state flag, the White House says what's partly to blame for the choice is an old Senate tradition.

It turns out that tradition ā€” which gives virtual veto power over judicial nominations to home state senators ā€” helps explain why almost all the judicial vacancies without nominees are now in states with Republican senators.

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Economy
3:58 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back

Auto sales rebounded in March and consumer spending remains strong, signs that the economy won't stay down for long, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The Commerce Department on Thursday said the U.S. economy shriveled during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.

So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?

How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

'Morning Edition' Friday: An Obama Critic On The West Point Speech

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

President Obama mapped out his vision for foreign policy yesterday in a commencement speech at West Point. Obama was taking on criticism that his approach to global affairs has been too cautious. But Republicans weren't any more satisfied after that speech. Tomorrow morning we'll hear from one of his biggest critics.

SENATOR BOB CORKER: I would suggest that he takes a speech that he did yesterday, throw it in the circular file, start again with something much more decisive and clear.

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Environment
3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Conservatives, Environmentalists Found Common Ground In Cap And Trade

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now more about the history of cap and trade and how conservatives and environmentalists came together to establish that approach to reducing emissions. To tell us that story, joining us is C. Boyden Gray who assist in the formulation of the policy during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. He was later U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Ambassador Gray, welcome to the program.

C. BOYDEN GRAY: Thank you very much.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Pope Invites Israeli, Palestinian Leaders For Joint Prayer Session

Pope Francis prays during a visit to the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City, earlier this week. While in the Holy Land, the pontiff extended an invitation to the presidents of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to join a prayer meeting at the Vatican.
Debbie Hill UPI/Landov

Pope Francis is hoping to demonstrate the power of prayer next week when Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas join the pontiff at the Vatican for an exercise in peace building.

Reuters describes his invitation to the two leaders to join him at the Vatican for a joint prayer meeting as one of the "boldest political gestures" for Francis since he became pope in March 2013.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Texas Takes A Hard Right Turn

Texas Republican Dan Patrick, who defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, faces the media at a polling place Tuesday in Houston.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 4:39 pm

The headline in the Dallas Morning News summed it up nicely: "Tea For Texas."

While the political news around the country has generally been how the Republican establishment has triumphantly held off Tea Party challengers, in Texas Tuesday it was the opposite.

David Dewhurst is a prime example of what happened. For more than a decade, all Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has done is faithfully serve the legislative agenda of one of the most conservative Republican governors in the country, Rick Perry.

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State Capitol
2:02 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Fallin Signs $120 Million Oklahoma Capitol Repair Measure

Barricades around the south side of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Meghan Blessing KGOU

Oklahoma'sĀ 100-year-old state Capitol will be getting a major face lift under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin signed the bill Thursday authorizing a 10-year, $120 million bond issue to pay for renovations to the building that was constructed between 1914 and 1917.

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