Politics and Government

The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Obama Lays Out His Plan To Have Telecoms Store Call Data

Following up on his acknowledgement in January that it's problematic to have the National Security Agency collecting and storing massive amounts of information about individuals' phone calls, President Obama announced Thursday that he has decided "the data should remain at the telephone companies."

NPR's Tamara Keith tells our Newscast Desk that:

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Taxes
9:54 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Oklahoma Franchise Tax Could Continue Despite Chamber Objections

Credit 201(k) 2013 / Flickr.com

A bill that would have eliminated the franchise tax on Oklahoma businesses has been gutted and replaced with new language dealing with reporting dates for corporate tax returns.

The new version of the bill was approved on Wednesday by the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

House author Rep. Earl Sears told members he had no plans to resurrect the plan to abolish the state's franchise tax, a $1.25 levy on every $1,000 a corporation invests in Oklahoma.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Thu March 27, 2014

'I'm A Great Admirer,' Obama Tells Pope Francis

Pope Francis and President Obama at the Vatican on Thursday. It was their first meeting.
Gabriel Bouys AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:50 am

One leader whose popularity around the world has been eclipsed by the other met for the first time Thursday when President Obama visited Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Obama, who has seen his approval numbers decline since he took office in 2009, met for about 50 minutes with the pope, who has become one of the world's most popular leaders since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church a year ago.

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It's All Politics
7:14 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

For Senate Candidates, It's Gaffe Season

U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley talks to supporters Karen and Dennis Swallow during a barbecue lunch in October 2013 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.
Scott Morgan AP

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Politics
4:38 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Showing Signs Of Age, Capitol Dome Gets A Face-Lift

The Capitol dome in Washington will undergo renovation this spring, a project that is estimated to take two years and cost nearly $60 million.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:24 pm

When you think of Washington, D.C., what's the first image to pop up?

For many, it's likely the U.S. Capitol — or more specifically, the iconic white dome that crowns the Capitol.

"It is one of the most, if not the most, recognizable symbols across the globe," said Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, whole job entails maintaining the Capitol dome.

As could be said of the Congress that meets below it, the century-and-a-half old dome has seen better days. It is literally cracking up — and Ayers is leading a project to restore it.

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Africa
10:48 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Polygamy May Seem Like A Man's Dream, But Kenyan Women Are Not Happy

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:41 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Death Penalty
10:42 am
Wed March 26, 2014

UPDATE: Judge Finds Execution Drug Secrecy Unconstitutional

Oklahoma's death row is housed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla.
Credit duggar11 / Flickr Creative Commons

An Oklahoma judge has ruled that the state's execution law is unconstitutional because it doesn't allow inmates access to the court system.

Under Oklahoma law, no one may disclose the source of drugs used in executions — even if an inmate sues and wants the information as part of the discovery process. 

Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said Wednesday that provision violates due process rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

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It's All Politics
5:56 am
Wed March 26, 2014

In Ohio, Gov. Kasich Rises From Forsaken to Favorite

Ohio Gov. John Kasich delivers his State of the State address Feb. 24 at the Performing Arts Center in Medina, Ohio.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:37 pm

Early in his term, Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich was considered the most unpopular governor in the country. Between that and a sputtering state economy, a second term looked like a dicey proposition.

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Politics
2:30 am
Wed March 26, 2014

How To Meet Your Congressman

The Capitol Dome is visible through the skylights of the new Capitol Visitor Center.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 2:21 pm

For all the campaigning and schmoozing members of Congress have to do, the truth is that the vast majority of Americans will never actually meet their lawmakers.

To be fair, not everyone wants to. But among those who do, there's serious competition for a lawmaker's time. So, how does an average citizen get access on Capitol Hill? The quick answer: It's not easy.

First, do the math. When it comes to face time with a member of Congress, there are 535 of them, and 314 million of you.

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Politics
2:15 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention

Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.

The public financing program has had its ups and downs. But now President Obama is prepared to sign legislation that, for the first time, takes taxpayer money out of the fund.

First of all, let's pause to reflect on some of the great moments of American political conventions brought to you by presidential matching funds.

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