Politics

Ways to Connect

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And President Trump held a political rally in Pensacola, Fla., last night, where he boasted of his impact on the U.S. economy. And he called U.S. politics, quote, "a rigged system." And he plugged the Republican senatorial candidate next door in Alabama.

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A Republican Donor On The State Of The GOP

Dec 9, 2017

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican whose vote was pivotal in pushing the GOP tax bill forward last week, thought she had a deal to bolster health care protections in exchange for her support.

But it's now unclear whether her strategy to shore up part of the Affordable Care Act will prevail or that it would produce the results she anticipates.

This week In the Russia investigations: Downshift from strategic war to knife fight, top G-Men on his back foot as lawmakers engage in oversight, Trump Jr. clammed up in Congress.

Now, a knife fight

Not long ago, this saga was about Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller's surveying the battlefield like a general and with one swift coup — getting Michael Flynn to turn state's evidence — changing the whole strategic picture.

The allegations of sexual misconduct made against Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, may have been surprising and even shocking to those who aren't familiar with politics in Alabama. But the state's political history is littered with episodes mixing sex and power in unseemly ways.

Scores of Palestinians were injured Friday in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank by Israeli live fire and rubber bullets as thousands took to the streets in the second day of protests against President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Updated at 10:34 p.m. ET

Speaking at a campaign rally Friday night in Florida — but about 20 miles from the Alabama state line — President Trump seized upon news that one of GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore's accusers had added to a yearbook inscription which she has offered in support of her allegations that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager decades ago.

"So did you see what happened today? You know the yearbook?" Trump asked attendees in Pensacola, Fla. "There was a little mistake made."

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Following all this is NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis. And she's with us from Capitol Hill. Hey.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly.

MCEVERS: So this has been a pretty remarkable week.

DAVIS: Yeah.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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Republicans call their tax bill the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But critics say maybe it should have been named the Tax Cut and Robots Act.

That's because it doesn't create new tax incentives that specifically encourage companies to hire workers and create jobs, some employers and economists say. But it does expand incentives for companies to buy robots and machines that replace workers.

Republicans say that lowering taxes will boost the economy and spur job creation. But critics say that the tax legislation would create an imbalance favoring machines over workers.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

It has been quite a week on Capitol Hill, with three members of Congress announcing their resignations over allegations of sexual misconduct. The first came on Tuesday - Democratic Congressman John Conyers.

GOP Congresswoman On Sexual Assault

Dec 8, 2017

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Party leaders played a pivotal role in forcing the resignations of three members of Congress within three days this week, and their work might not be done yet.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, two prominent Georgians push back against President Trump: FBI Director Chris Wray defends the honor of his agency in response to Trump's Twitter attacks, and Congressman John Lewis says he won't attend the opening of a Mississippi civil rights museum if Donald Trump shows up. Plus, will Al Franken's resignation from the U.S. Senate put more pressure on Republicans to speak out against those in their own party accused of sexual harassment? Georgia's own Newt Gingrich says no way.

White House deputy national security adviser Dina Powell will resign from her position early next year, the first of what could be several departures expected around the one-year anniversary of President Trump's swearing-in.

Powell has been deeply involved in the Trump administration's Middle East policy and has accompanied him on his trips overseas, sitting in on meetings with world leaders and offering counsel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement Friday that the U.S. is no longer qualified to sponsor a peace process between Israelis and Palestinians because of President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Friday News Roundup - International

Dec 8, 2017

Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this week. The move sparked riots and protests.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Dec 8, 2017

With apologies to Sesame Street, the number of the week is … two.

One of the world's most famous — and flashy — billionaires is being detained by the Saudi government in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was swept up in early November, along with more than 200 other Saudi businessmen and princes, in a massive anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Many analysts saw it as a power grab by the young prince.

Wealthy Americans may get a new conduit for political money in the tax overhaul bill now being reconciled on Capitol Hill.

A small provision in the House version of the bill would let big donors secretly give unlimited amounts to independent political groups — and write off the contributions as charitable gifts.

The Future Of Franken's Seat

Dec 8, 2017

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's listen to just a few of Senator Al Franken's parting words yesterday. Franken resigned after several women accused him of unwanted sexual contact. And in a speech on the Senate floor, he said politics isn't easy and there are no guarantees.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We are ending a week in which three members of Congress announced their plans to resign.

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For some Alabama voters, supporting abortion rights may be a sin worse than some of the sexual misdeeds Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore has been accused of — allegations Moore has denied.

That's the conundrum facing the state's conservative, deeply religious electorate: Embrace Democrat Doug Jones despite his liberal stance on abortion and other social issues or vote for Moore anyway even if they believe there is some truth to the sexual assault allegations against him.

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's "village" — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.

Update on Dec. 8, 2017: Franks now says he will resign as of Friday, rather than at the end of January, as previously announced.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is the third member of Congress to announce his resignation this week, saying that he had discussed surrogacy with two female subordinates.

Two Democratic representatives, John Lewis and Bennie Thompson, say they will not attend the long-awaited opening on Saturday of two museums dedicated to Mississippi's history and civil rights struggle because of the planned appearance of President Trump.

Lewis is a Georgia Democrat and icon of the civil rights campaign. Thompson is Mississippi's only Democratic congressman. In a joint statement, they said they made their decision "after careful consideration and conversations with church leaders, elected officials, civil rights activists" and many others.

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