Politics and Government

The Two-Way
9:50 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Obama: Japan's Administration Of Disputed Islands Shouldn't Change

President Obama speaks at a joint news conference with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Thursday. Obama reinforced the U.S.-Japan security commitment.
Junko Kimura-Matsumoto AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 2:27 pm

President Obama said Thursday that the U.S. believes Japan's administration of a contested island chain should not change "unilaterally," as he assured Tokyo that a U.S. security treaty "covers all territories administered by Japan."

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Politics
2:50 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Bob Dole Returns To Kansas For Gratitude Tour

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole (center) takes questions during a visit to the Johnson County Republican headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., on Monday. With him are Gov. Sam Brownback (left) and Rep. Kevin Yoder.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:46 pm

In Kansas this week, a political icon returned home. Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole has been traveling the state, meeting with friends and supporters who embraced his long political career.

Dole is not running for office, but the 90-year-old has a tour schedule that could tire a politician half his age. He's made 10 public appearances over three days, including a stop at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

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Oklahoma Has High Rates of Incarceration
5:13 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Oklahoma Senate Votes Down Bill To Parole Aging Prisoners

Credit Michael Coghlan / Flickr.com

A bill to allow some aging prisoners to be released from prison early has been shot down in the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted 29-14 on Wednesday against the Parole of Aging Prisoners Act. The bill would have allowed the state Pardon and Parole Board to parole prisoners who are 65-years-old or older if they have served 10 years in prison or at least one-third of their sentence.

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Goes All In For Obamacare

Rep. Allyson Schwartz is flanked by Katie McGinty, former state environmental protection secretary, and Tom Wolf, a businessman, at a forum for Pennsylvania Democratic candidates for governor.
Jacqueline Larma AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 4:01 pm

Now that Allyson Schwartz has become perhaps the first Democratic candidate to warmly embrace the Affordable Care Act in a 2014 campaign ad, will other Democrats in statewide races follow suit?

Unlikely.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Georgia Law OKs Guns In Schools, Churches

Andrea Teichner protests Georgia's new gun law at a rally at Atlanta's Central Presbyterian Church, on Wednesday.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 4:23 pm

Georgians will now be able to carry firearms in such places as schools, bars, churches and government buildings under a sweeping new law signed by the governor on Wednesday.

The Safe Carry Protection Act, also known to critics as the "guns everywhere bill," was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, who said it will allow "people who follow the rules [to] protect themselves and their families from people who don't follow the rules.

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State Capitol
1:27 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

State Income Tax Cuts Headed To Governor Fallin's Desk

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislation that would trim Oklahoma's personal income tax rate when state revenue increases has been approved by the state House.

House members voted 54-40 for the Senate-passed measure that is one of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's top goals for the 2014 Legislature. It now goes to Fallin to be signed into law.

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Oklahoma Watch
12:48 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Fallin, Dorman Claims On Minimum Wage Workers: Who's Right?

Gov. Mary Fallin
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

The minimum wage has become a campaign issue in Oklahoma and nationally as Republicans and Democrats debate whether the wage should be raised and what effects that would have.

In Oklahoma City, a labor union and a lawyer launched a petition effort in February to increase the city’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, which is the state and federal minimum, to $10.10 an hour. That prompted a GOP-supported legislative bill to prohibit municipalities from setting their own minimum wage and vacation and sick days for private businesses.

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Politics and Government
11:53 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder's Oklahoma City Police Cadet Graduation Speech Canceled

U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5) and Attorney General Eric Holder after a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing - Feb. 2, 2012
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Flickr Creative Commons

Updated April 24, 2014 at 9:23 a.m.

The Oklahoma City Police Department says a planned appearance and speech by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at graduation ceremony for cadets has been canceled.

"Federal Judge Vickie Miles LaGrange will assume the honor in his absence," police spokesman Capt. Dexter Nelson said in a statement. "Several security measures will remain in place for the event due to a number of planned protests."

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Assures Japan Of U.S. Security Commitment

President Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe depart Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant in Tokyo, on Wednesday. Obama met with Abe on the first stop of a four-nation visit to Asia.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama, at the start of a four-stop trip to Asia, sought to reassure Japan that the U.S. is on its side in a dispute with China over the tiny Senkaku islands chain, which has led to bluster and naval jockeying between the two countries in recent years.

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It's All Politics
11:19 am
Wed April 23, 2014

A Path Out Of Prison For Low-Level, Nonviolent Drug Offenders

The new guidelines are part of the Obama administration's effort to address long mandatory minimum sentences. Antwain Black (left) was released early after sentencing laws were first eased in 2010.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:44 pm

Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

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