Politics and Government

It's All Politics
4:16 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Why Are We Hauling Pennsylvania Coal All The Way To Germany?

Several tons of anthracite coal fill a basement space in Pottsville, Pa.
Bradley C. Bower AP

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:25 am

There are budget earmarks from powerful congressmen, earmarks from not-so-powerful congressmen and, as it turns out for an old mining town in Pennsylvania's Appalachians, there's even an earmark from a long-dead congressman.

In the 1960s and 70s, powerful Democrat Daniel Flood worked to find a federal government buyer for the anthracite coal mined in his district. He succeeded: Some five decades later, the heat coming off the radiators at the U.S. military's installation at Kaiserslautern, Germany, is still generated by burning Pennsylvania anthracite.

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Originally built for Terry Nichols trial
4:26 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Basement Courtroom Back In Business After 15 Years

Judge Donald Easter
Credit Oklahoma County

Court is back in session in the basement of the Oklahoma County Detention Center in a courtroom that hasn't been used in nearly 15 years.

The courtroom was originally built in 1999 for the trial of Oklahoma City Bombing conspirator Terry Nichols. It's now being used by Oklahoma County District Judge Donald Easter. Easter hears cases of inmates who cannot be released until they pay what is owed to the court, or agree to a payment plan.

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Politics
3:16 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Obama Meets Internet CEOs To Discuss Privacy Issues

Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his Feb. 24 keynote address at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:22 pm

Leaders of high-tech companies, including Google and Facebook, descended on the White House Friday for a meeting with President Obama on the subject of privacy. The meeting itself was private. But aides say Obama wanted to hear from the CEOs about their concerns with the government's high-tech surveillance.

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Commentary
3:16 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Week In Politics: Ukraine, Poverty And The Health Care Deadline

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:22 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to talk more about the week's political news with our Friday regulars, David Brooks of The New York Times. Hey there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

CORNISH: And E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institutions. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

CORNISH: All right. We're going to go back in time for a moment to Tuesday.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Speaking foreign language)

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Politics
3:16 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

With Clock Ticking Down, Obama Polishes Judicial Legacy

President Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in November 2013, shortly after the Senate voted 52-48 to weaken the power of the filibuster.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:22 pm

Republicans have a decent shot at taking control of the Senate in November, so President Obama could have as little as nine months left to shape the judiciary he will leave behind.

Senate Democrats positioned themselves to help with that endeavor when they eliminated the filibuster for most judicial nominees last November. But Republicans are still finding ways to slow things down.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Former White House Official: Putin Wants 'New Russian Empire'

On Friday in Moscow Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a bill making Crimea and the city of Sevastopol part of Russia.
Sergei Chirikov/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:10 pm

The United States and Europe need to stand together against Moscow in the wake of its incursion in Crimea, keeping the door open for Ukraine and other countries to join NATO, former U.S. officials tell NPR.

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11:54 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Records Show Oklahoma Officials Wanted Perks For Helping Texas In Search For Scarce Lethal Injections

Lead in text: 
In emails, Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Seth Branham quipped to a colleague that Oklahoma might cooperate with Texas in exchange for much sought-after 50-yard-line tickets to the Red River Rivalry.
Public documents also show Oklahoma injected leftover lethal drugs into dead convicts' bodies for what officials call "disposal purposes" Oklahoma's inability to find regulated forms of lethal injection drugs has prompted postponements of two executions that had been planned for this week and next.
Corrections
8:47 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Media Restrictions Continue At Oklahoma Prisons

Credit Jelle Vancoppenolle / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has added new restrictions for members of the media visiting prisons, two weeks after the agency announced a ban on cameras for news media.

The department posted an addendum this week to its media access policies on the agency's website. The new policy requires the department to grant specific authorization in advance for video or audio recording.

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Politics
4:39 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Romney's Job In Idaho: Prevent GOP Voters From Veering 'Wild Right'

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. We've talked on this program about something resembling a civil war in the Republican Party this year. More establishment Republicans are in primary battles against Tea Party candidates, and money is pouring in on both sides.

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It's All Politics
6:44 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

With New Inquiry, Harry Reid Raises Stakes In Senate-CIA Clash

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 11, following a caucus lunch.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:47 pm

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared "I support Senator Feinstein unequivocally" the same day she thrashed the CIA on the Senate floor, the question of whether the pugilistic top congressional Democrat from Nevada would leap into that fight seemed less a matter of if than when.

A little more than a week later, Reid made his move.

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