Politics and Government

Politics
4:33 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Tax Cuts Fallout Put Kansas Governor On Defense

Kansas is now in a budget shortfall after a wave of dramatic tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. In response, more than 100 former GOP office holders in the state have endorsed Paul Davis, Brownback's opponent in the gubernatorial race this fall. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Steve Kraske of KCUR and the Kansas City Star.

Politics
11:08 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Kicking The Can Down The Road: A Habit That's Hard To Kick

President Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge near Wilmington, Del., on Thursday. Obama said he supports the temporary highway bill passed by the House last week — but he doesn't like it.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:55 pm

The Senate is expected to vote on a temporary transportation spending bill later this week — with an emphasis on the word temporary.

The bill would keep highway funding flowing through May of next year, and avert a looming infrastructure crisis. Without congressional action, the highway trust fund would run out of cash in August.

The short-term fix follows a familiar pattern. It goes something like this:

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Politics and Government
7:36 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Office of Juvenile Affairs Cuts Funds to Community Intervention Centetrs

Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
Credit Office of Juvenile Affairs

Community intervention centers were the hot topic during the Friday meeting of Office of Juvenile Affairs Board of Directors. A meeting was able to be held Friday, unlike in June which failed due to a lack of a quorum. Suspicions had run high that the lack of a quorum was a tactical move to keep the ample audience from voicing concern at the budget cut for community intervention centers (CICs).

Board member Richard Rice, the missing board member who audience and other board members spent an hour waiting on for last month's meeting, publicly apologized Friday saying he "simply could not get out of the courtroom."

The number of those in attendance at this meeting was drastically different than those audience members from last month's meeting, but, nonetheless, several public comments were made about the cut of appropriations to CICs. A cut of 1.75 percent was cut from Youth Services, and an additional estimate of $610,000 was cut specifically from CIC budgets.

OJA Executive Director Keith Wilson said that the cuts came after a "necessary" cost-benefit analysis. Since then, he has been in talks with the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, impressing upon them the dire budget situation. Wilson said that "the situation that the Legislature and the governor have put us in is just critical" and "something that the Legislature should look at in the upcoming year."

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Kremlin Blacklists 13 Americans In Tit-For-Tat Over U.S. Sanctions

Retiring Virginia Reps. Jim Moran (center) and Frank Wolf talk as congressmen leave the House of Representatives in April. Moran's name appears on on a Russian visa blacklist issued on Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 5:36 pm

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET.

Moscow has issued a quid pro quo for sanctions imposed on it by Washington, banning a U.S. congressman and 12 other Americans from entering Russia.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports that the Foreign Ministry in Moscow says the new blacklist is in response to U.S. visa restrictions on Russian citizens in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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Politics and Government
8:46 am
Sat July 19, 2014

ABLE Commission Discusses Vapor Regulation Prohibiting Sales To Minors

An e-cigarette.
Credit Kubice / Wikimedia Commons

Members of the Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission hear a presentation Friday on the agency’s preparation for enforcing a new law governing vapor products.

SB1602 passed by the legislature and signed into law places the products under the Youth Access to Tobacco Act for which ABLE is the lead law enforcement agency.

Under the new law, which takes effect November 1, it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase or possess vapor products, regardless of whether the product contains nicotine, explained ABLE Captain Maureen Shanta.

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Politics
7:00 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Biden: Loved By The Left, But With Limits

Vice President Biden addresses Democratic activists Thursday at Netroots Nation in Detroit.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 10:45 am

The annual progressive gathering known as Netroots Nation wraps up its annual conference in Detroit this weekend.

In the hallways and the meeting rooms, much of the buzz was about the presidential race in 2016 — and who might run on the Democratic side.

But Vice President Joe Biden, who gave the keynote address on opening day, didn't factor much into that speculation, despite being President Obama's wingman on everything from the stimulus package to the Affordable Care Act.

Biden was even ahead of the administration's position on same-sex marriage.

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Politics and Government
6:00 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Mary Fallin In A Close Contest With Joe Dorman For Reelection

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) and Gov. Mary Fallin, major party candidates for Oklahoma governor in 2014.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new poll by Rasmussen on the Oklahoma governor’s race shows within the margin of error. Likely voters support for Gov. Fallin at 45 percent and opponent State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) at 40 percent. Seven percent favor some other candidate, while eight percent are undecided.

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It's All Politics
4:31 am
Sat July 19, 2014

No Filter: Interior Tweets America The Beautiful

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Twitter account routinely produces electrifying visuals.
Tom Koerner/@USFWS U.S. Department of the Interior via Instagram

It isn't one of the largest federal agencies. Its Twitter following pales next to many other Cabinet departments.

But the Department of Interior's Twitter (@Interior) account — replete with stunning visuals, straightforward hashtags, and snappy captions — is nevertheless steadily building a devoted following.

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State Capitol Repairs
5:42 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Three Named To Oklahoma Capitol Repair Committee

Oklahoma State Capitol
Credit LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed three people to a committee that will oversee spending on repairs to Oklahoma's nearly century-old state Capitol.

Fallin said Friday she had named David Thompson, Phil Kennedy and Steve Mason to the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee. They will join a group of state lawmakers named by House Speaker Jeff Hickman and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman.

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Commentary
3:19 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Week In Politics: Sanctions On Russia, And Invasion Of Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And now to our Friday political commentators - David Brooks of the New York Times. Hi there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

CORNISH: And E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Welcome, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Greetings.

CORNISH: So as we heard President Obama - not directly calling out Vladimir Putin - but saying all evidence, so far, points to the Russian-backed separatists as being responsible for shooting down the Malaysia Airline jet.

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