Episode #76: Standing Up for America… and Baltimore

With a federal appeals court deciding that the National Security Agency’s pattern of collecting bulk data of Americans’ phone calls is illegal, the task then fell to Congress to modify the Patriot Act — or not.  But, as Josh Gerstein of Politico points out, the real battle is in the Senate — where the issue’s …

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Episode #75: Teflon for Clinton, Velcro for Christie

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Another day, another presidential candidate. Actually, make that two days, and three candidates. The Republican field of White House hopefuls doubled to six this week, as Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard executive; Ben Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon; and Mike Huckabee, the ex-governor of Arkansas, all made their bids official. One Republican who has yet …

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Episode #74: Weak End at Bernie’s; Will SCOTUS Say ‘I Do?’

It’s become one of the most talked about issues of our time: how to define marriage. For the longest time, politicians of both parties said it was between one man and one woman. But as more and more states recognize same-sex marriage — and as more and more opponents are trying to stop it — …

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Episode #73: Wooing New Hampshire, Kidnapped By Nuns

The thought of 19 Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for president seems a bit overwhelming. Now try and imagine listening to all 19 in one weekend. That’s what New Hampshire Republicans did last weekend at a two-day event in Nashua. It was a combination of who can bash President Obama and Hillary Clinton the most, …

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Episode #72: Chafee Weighs Run, Mondale Makes History

The GOP number is now three, with the entry of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio into the presidential race. Jeff Kaufmann, the chair of the Iowa Republican Party, and Steve Duprey, the Republican national committeeman from New Hampshire, talk about their party’s announced and potential candidates, and how they’re playing in those two crucial early states. …

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Episode #71: Culture Wars, Court Failures and Corruption

The controversy in Indiana and elsewhere over so-called religious freedom laws brings us back to a conversation about the nation’s “culture wars.” In previous decades, conservatives seemed to have the upper hand on this, especially when it came to ballot measures involving same-sex marriage. But there has been a drastic sea change on the issue …

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Episode #70: Reid Leaves the Ring, Rubio & Rand Battle

After 30 years in the Senate, former boxer and Nevada native Harry Reid is calling it quits. The 75-year old Democrat, who has been minority, majority and now minority leader once more, announced he will not seek a sixth term in 2016. Jon Ralston, the Nevada political watcher and publisher of the Ralston Report, talks about his …

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Episode #69: A History of Losers, A Hopeful Winner

We’re not even exploring any longer. We’re in it for real. That was the message on Monday by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who became the first major candidate of either political party to declare for president. Abby Livingston of the Texas Tribune was in Lynchburg, Va., for the announcement, and she joins us to tell …

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Episode #68: Schock, Secret Servers & ’68 What Ifs

Watching Hillary Clinton explain her actions at the United Nations over “E-mailgate,” one had a sense of deja vu … as if we were all transported back to the 1990s when a Clinton — Bill or Hillary — would find him- or herself on the defensive. But is this a lasting scandal or a momentary …

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Episode #67: A First Time for Everything

Since it’s Ken Rudin’s first week off in a long time, we’re taking this opportunity to share our interviews about great political firsts in history. Our first “first” is one that’s been studied over and over for more than half a century: the first televised presidential debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. We …

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