Liz Halloran http://nhpr.org en Florida Election Tests Midterm Messaging http://nhpr.org/post/florida-election-tests-midterm-messaging There's a congressional election in Florida on Tuesday that's worth watching — even if you don't live in the Tampa Bay-area district where it's taking place.<p>It's not because the winner of the neck-and-neck special election between Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly will affect the GOP's stranglehold on the U.S. House this cycle. It won't.<p>Rather, the contest to succeed the late longtime Republican Rep. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 11:37:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 44852 at http://nhpr.org Florida Election Tests Midterm Messaging The 'Blue-ing' Of Texas Is Unlikely To Start At The Top http://nhpr.org/post/blue-ing-texas-unlikely-start-top The process of electing a new governor in Texas begins in earnest Tuesday, when Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis are expected to easily dispatch their primary opponents and move on to the Nov. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:20:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 44490 at http://nhpr.org The 'Blue-ing' Of Texas Is Unlikely To Start At The Top Another Bush Takes Aim At Texas Office And Family Dynasty http://nhpr.org/post/another-bush-takes-aim-texas-office-and-family-dynasty George Prescott Bush.<p>Ring a bell?<p>It should, and if it doesn't, it soon will. George P. Bush, 37, is a great-grandson of a late U.S. senator from Connecticut; a grandson and nephew of former U.S. presidents; and the eldest son of ex-Florida Gov. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 21:18:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 44353 at http://nhpr.org Another Bush Takes Aim At Texas Office And Family Dynasty Debbie Dingell Poised To Keep U.S. House Seat In The Family http://nhpr.org/post/debbie-dingell-poised-keep-us-house-seat-family Debbie Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run to succeed her husband, John Jr., for the southeast Michigan congressional seat that's been in the family since John Sr. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 23:31:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 44216 at http://nhpr.org Debbie Dingell Poised To Keep U.S. House Seat In The Family Lobbyists Amp Up Efforts To Sell Washington On E-Cigarettes http://nhpr.org/post/lobbyists-amp-efforts-sell-washington-e-cigarettes In a scene from the new season of the popular Netflix political drama <em>House of Cards,</em> the elegant Claire Underwood catches her soon-to-be vice president husband puffing an e-cigarette.<p>"You're cheating," she says, referring to their efforts to quit smoking.<p>"No, I'm not," Congressman Francis Underwood replies. "It's vapor ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:52:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 44177 at http://nhpr.org Lobbyists Amp Up Efforts To Sell Washington On E-Cigarettes Edwin Edwards: Governor, Convict, Reality TV Star — Congressman? http://nhpr.org/post/edwin-edwards-governor-convict-reality-tv-star-congressman Rascally former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was once so confident about re-election that he declared "the only way I can lose is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."<p>That was 30 years ago, when Edwards, 86, was a much younger man. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:43:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 43904 at http://nhpr.org Edwin Edwards: Governor, Convict, Reality TV Star — Congressman? White House Creates 'Climate Hubs' To Help Rural Towns, Farmers http://nhpr.org/post/white-house-creates-climate-hubs-help-rural-communities The White House on Wednesday rolled out a high-profile plan to help farmers and ranchers adjust to climate changes that have already begun to upend growing seasons and threaten livestock.<p>The <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/02/05/usda-s-climate-hubs-providing-targeted-solutions-modern-challenges-0">"climate hub" initiative</a> was praised by environmentalists, though they were quick to warn President Obama that it would not provide him cover on another environmental issue in the headlines: the Keystone XL pipeline.<p>"This is a great step, but it would be the height of irony to Wed, 05 Feb 2014 20:57:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 43055 at http://nhpr.org White House Creates 'Climate Hubs' To Help Rural Towns, Farmers Surgeon General Pick's Tweets Annoy GOP, But Not Enough To Block Him http://nhpr.org/post/surgeon-general-picks-tweets-annoy-gop-not-enough-block-him Boston physician Vivek Murthy was expected to run into political headwinds Tuesday during his Senate confirmation hearing for the post of the nation's top doc — surgeon general.<p>Murthy, 36, the founder of a national physicians group that worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, was seen by some as vulnerable to GOP attacks because of his political work, his youth and his less-than-a-lifetime of public health experience — not to mention a few impolitic tweets guaranteed to rile conservatives.<p>But Republican opposition to Murthy, the Harvard-educated son of immigrants from India, proved tepid Tue, 04 Feb 2014 20:45:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 42990 at http://nhpr.org Surgeon General Pick's Tweets Annoy GOP, But Not Enough To Block Him Doctors Say Reid's Request For Bowel Research Money Is No Joke http://nhpr.org/post/doctors-say-reid-request-bowel-research-money-no-joke In his new memoir, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates heaped scorn on many members of Congress for pushing their parochial interests with him.<p>But he saved a special dig for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.<p>"With two ongoing wars and all our budget and other issues, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," Gates writes, describing how the Nevada Democrat urged him to have the Defense Department invest in research into irritable bowel syndrome.<p>It's an anecdote that drew snickers — and media attention, including here at NPR.<p>But was Reid's appeal to Gates really as absurd as port Thu, 16 Jan 2014 18:28:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 41967 at http://nhpr.org Doctors Say Reid's Request For Bowel Research Money Is No Joke Clay Aiken's Political Reality: Results Mixed For Stars Like Him http://nhpr.org/post/clay-aikens-political-reality-results-mixed-stars-him Reality television star <a href="http://www.clayaiken.com/">Clay Aiken</a> set the political class chattering Friday with rumors that he may run for Congress.<p>Frozen in time as the elfin man-child of <em>American Idol</em> fame, the runner-up from a decade ago is reportedly considering running as a Democrat in his home state of North Carolina.<p>At least that's what unnamed sources, speaking with the promise of anonymity, spilled to the <a href="http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/01/02/clay-aiken-actively-considering-run-congress-sources/">Washington Blade</a>, a Washington-based gay public Fri, 03 Jan 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 41208 at http://nhpr.org Clay Aiken's Political Reality: Results Mixed For Stars Like Him 'Living Wage' Effort Eclipsed By Minimum-Pay Battles http://nhpr.org/post/living-wage-effort-eclipsed-minimum-pay-battles The close of 2013 has been marked by a vigorous national debate over income inequality, the plight of low-wage workers in America and the effect of boosting mandatory minimum wages.<p>The debate was magnified when Wal-Mart got unwanted attention for a store-based holiday food drive for its own needy workers, and when President Obama announced his support for legislation that would raise the national minimum hourly wage of $7.25 for the first time since 2007.<p>While federal efforts to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 are expected to continue to languish in 2014, the New Year will usher in new Tue, 24 Dec 2013 21:12:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 40725 at http://nhpr.org 'Living Wage' Effort Eclipsed By Minimum-Pay Battles 'Turkey Day' Stuffing: Unlikely Pitches Fill Our Inboxes http://nhpr.org/post/turkey-day-stuffing-unlikely-pitches-fill-our-inboxes Turkey is not the only thing that gets stuffed during the Thanksgiving holiday.<p>Our email inboxes, like yours, have been in Operation Overload this week, glutted with sweet potato souffle recipes, deals of the day, countdowns to Black Friday with BIG SAVINGS and FREE SHIPPING, doorbuster coupons, notices of Santa bar crawls, and more directions for the use of cream cheese than an old Paula Deen cookbook.<p>But we here at NPR are also inundated with some very special Thanksgiving pitches: those from public relations pros — and a few amateurs — looking to leverage the holiday for their own pur Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:52:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 39223 at http://nhpr.org 'Turkey Day' Stuffing: Unlikely Pitches Fill Our Inboxes Wednesday Morning Political Mix http://nhpr.org/post/wednesday-morning-political-mix-0 Good morning.<p>Can you say lost day?<p>Can you say 24 hours closer to joining the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-13/u-s-risks-joining-1933-germany-in-pantheon-of-deadbeat-defaults.html" target="_blank">pantheon of deadbeat nations</a>?<p>Can you say turning on the default spigot of poison gas? Wed, 16 Oct 2013 13:02:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 36853 at http://nhpr.org Star-Making Turn As Newark Mayor Launches Booker Toward D.C. http://nhpr.org/post/star-making-turn-newark-mayor-launches-booker-toward-dc He's subsisted <a href="http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2012/12/cory_bookers_week_on_food_stam.html" target="_blank">on food stamps</a>, lived <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/20/nyregion/20newark.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">in public housing</a>, saved <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/cory-booker-rescues-dog-cold-newark-new-jersey_n_2551587.html" target="_blank">a dog from the cold</a> and <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/13/nation/la-na-nn-cory-booker-saves-woman-20120413" target="_blank">a woman from a fire</a>, housed <a href="http://politick Tue, 13 Aug 2013 19:09:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 33102 at http://nhpr.org Star-Making Turn As Newark Mayor Launches Booker Toward D.C. The New World Of Firefighting: Politics, Climate And Humans http://nhpr.org/post/new-world-firefighting-politics-climate-and-humans Writer and photojournalist Michael Kodas has been documenting firefighting and firefighters for more than a decade. His current book project, <em>Megafire</em>, an examination of the new world faced by firefighters, will be released in 2014. Kodas, also the author of <em>High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed</em>, lives in Boulder, Colo. Sun, 07 Jul 2013 06:50:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 30812 at http://nhpr.org The New World Of Firefighting: Politics, Climate And Humans