Politics and Government

Politics
4:24 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

President Obama Proposes Reforms To NSA Surveillance

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:20 pm

After months of debate about the National Security Agency, President Obama delivered statements on Friday about how the agency collects intelligence. He declared that advances in technology had made it harder "to both defend our nation and uphold our civil liberties." He also announced changes to surveillance policies.

Elections
3:48 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Fallin Sets Election To Fill Coburn's Senate Seat

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
Credit Tom Coburn / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin says the special election to fill U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn's seat in the Senate will be held on the same dates as Oklahoma's primary and general elections in 2014.

Fallin said Friday the election dates will include a June 24 primary, a potential runoff election on Aug. 26, and a general election on Nov. 4.

Coburn already had said he wouldn't run after his term expired in 2016, but announced late Thursday that he planned to finish the current year in office and then step down.

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U.S. Senate
2:58 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Coburn Earns Praise From Obama, Oklahoma Colleagues

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) announced his retirement Thursday night after 9 years in the Senate. Coburn was also elected to the U.S. House in 1994.
Credit Medill DC / Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama called U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) a personal friend who was willing to work in a bipartisan manner to fight wasteful spending and cut down on earmarks.

In a statement released by the White House on Friday, Obama noted that he and Coburn were both elected to the Senate in 2004 and quickly became friends after their wives struck up a conversation. Obama said the people of Oklahoma have been "well-served by this 'country doctor from Muskogee' over the past nine years."

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Tom Coburn, GOP Budget Hawk And Obama Friend, To Leave Senate

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., outlines his annual "Wastebook," which points a critical finger at billions of dollars in questionable government spending, on Dec. 17 on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Tom Coburn will leave the Senate with a reputation as "Dr. No," but not necessarily as doctrinaire.

The Oklahoma Republican, who at age 65 is undergoing his fifth bout of cancer, announced that he will resign in December, two years before his second term expires.

"This decision isn't about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires," Coburn, a physician, said in a statement. "As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere."

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It's All Politics
2:22 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Transcript Of President Obama's Speech On NSA Reforms

President Obama delivered the following speech on reforms to National Security Agency Programs Jan. 17 at the Justice Department in Washington.

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you so much, please have a seat.

At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee, born out of the Sons of Liberty, was established in Boston. And the group's members included Paul Revere. At night, they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America's early patriots.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Gen. Dempsey: Better To Get Others To Solve Their Own Problems

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talking to U.S. military personnel in Tokyo last April.
Kyodo/Landov
  • Gen. Martin Dempsey on the situation in Iraq
  • Gen. Martin Dempsey on the looming budget crisis
  • Gen. Martin Dempsey on his 'sacred obligation' to the troops

On Morning Edition, NPR's Tom Bowman profiled Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dempsey, as Tom reported, says the U.S. public, and even its leaders, know little about how military power can be used. The disconnect is most glaring when comes to this: What can the U.S. military achieve in places like Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria?

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Barbershop
11:09 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Is Obama's Jobs 'Crusade' Focused?

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:56 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Obama Calls For Limits On NSA's Collection Of Phone Data

President Obama speaks about the National Security Agency and intelligence agencies surveillance techniques during a speech Friday at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:20 pm

  • LISTEN: President Obama's national security address

(This post was most recently updated at 1:30 p.m. ET.)

Saying that "critics are right to point out that without proper safeguards, this type of program could be used to yield more information about our private lives," President Obama said Friday that he wants the National Security Agency to stop holding on to massive amounts of "metadata" about the phone calls and electronic communications of millions of people around the world.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down

Before the voter ID law was put on hold, this Penndot Drivers License Center in Butler, Pa., displayed signs promoting the requirement for voters to show an acceptable photo ID at the polls.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:17 pm

Ruling that "voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election" and that Pennsylvania's "Voter ID Law does not further this goal," a state judge on Friday struck down that controversial statute.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley's ruling is posted here.

The Associated Press writes that:

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The Salt
7:20 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S.

Americans may recoil at the thought of eating horse meat, but other countries feel quite differently, as the sign above this butcher shop in Paris attests.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 8:07 am

When a federal ban on slaughtering horses to produce horse meat was lifted several years back, ranchers including Rick De Los Santos, a New Mexico rancher and owner of Valley Meat Co., stepped up to start operations with an aim to export the meat.

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