Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

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.

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.

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. 4 battle.

As if they hadn't already.

Both Abbott, 56, the state's attorney general and a former state Supreme Court judge, and Davis, 50, a state senator and former Fort Worth City Council member, have been amassing money and press since at least last fall.

George Prescott Bush.

Ring a bell?

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. Jeb Bush, who just may run for president himself in 2016.

On Tuesday, George P., referred to by some as the "Hispanic George Bush" because of his mother's Mexican heritage, will take his generation's first crack at the family business when he runs in a statewide Republican primary for Texas land commissioner.

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. was elected in 1933.

Though several news outlets reported her intentions, former Michigan state legislator Bill Ballenger of InsideMichiganPolitics.com retained a kernel of skepticism.

In a scene from the new season of the popular Netflix political drama House of Cards, the elegant Claire Underwood catches her soon-to-be vice president husband puffing an e-cigarette.

"You're cheating," she says, referring to their efforts to quit smoking.

"No, I'm not," Congressman Francis Underwood replies. "It's vapor ... addiction without the consequences."

A Washington-based drama with an implicit endorsement of "vaping" — the practice of partaking in nicotine without burning tobacco?

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."

That was 30 years ago, when Edwards, 86, was a much younger man. It was long before the Democrat served eight years in prison for racketeering, conspiracy and extortion.

And it was a lifetime – or two — before a recent cringe-inducing reality television show about life with his young wife, her teenage sons and his own grandmother-aged daughters from a previous marriage.

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.

The "climate hub" initiative 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.

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.

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.

In his new memoir, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates heaped scorn on many members of Congress for pushing their parochial interests with him.

But he saved a special dig for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"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.

It's an anecdote that drew snickers — and media attention, including here at NPR.

Reality television star Clay Aiken set the political class chattering Friday with rumors that he may run for Congress.

Frozen in time as the elfin man-child of American Idol fame, the runner-up from a decade ago is reportedly considering running as a Democrat in his home state of North Carolina.

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.

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.

Turkey is not the only thing that gets stuffed during the Thanksgiving holiday.

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.

Good morning.

Can you say lost day?

Can you say 24 hours closer to joining the pantheon of deadbeat nations?

Can you say turning on the default spigot of poison gas? (Warren Buffet can.)

Writer and photojournalist Michael Kodas has been documenting firefighting and firefighters for more than a decade. His current book project, Megafire, an examination of the new world faced by firefighters, will be released in 2014. Kodas, also the author of High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed, lives in Boulder, Colo.

Read Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion closely enough and you'll find an idea that shines like a beacon in guiding him to his destination in the Defense of Marriage Act case: dignity.

Ten years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law that criminalized some sexual acts.

Today, on the anniversary of that decision, the high court overturned a federal law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.

But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?

Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?

In a complex and heart-wrenching case, a divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the parental rights of a Native American father may be terminated if he has failed to establish a history of "continued custody" of his biological child.

The decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, however, is viewed as narrow and leaves intact the the 1978 federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act. The law was designed to stop the historically brutal and improper removal of Native American children from their families for adoption or foster care by white parents.

Even as President Obama was declaring that tornado-devastated Oklahoma would get "everything it needs right away," the state's most vociferous critic of federal emergency aid vowed that he, too, would push for assistance "without delay."

Parents in a networking group for missing children were at a strategy dinner Monday night, discussing the terrors of Internet exploitation and the need for better communication with law enforcement, when news out of Cleveland hit somebody's smartphone and reverberated through the hotel conference room.

"All of a sudden someone said, 'Oh my God,' and started reading the report," said Mika Moulton, president of the Surviving Parents Coalition.

The opportunistic political sentiment of never letting a crisis go to waste (see: Rahm Emanuel, among others) has been reframed since the Boston bombings by those seizing on the attack as certain evidence of their positions.

Updated 1:50 p.m. ET: (Correcting that brothers shared an apartment in Cambridge, not Watertown.)

The suspects in Monday's deadly Boston Marathon explosions and the Thursday night murder of a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are two brothers from a former Soviet republic who were in the United States legally for years, and lived together in a Cambridge, Mass., apartment.

As investigators combed through evidence in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, seeking both motive and perpetrator, we turned Tuesday to a security expert for guidance on how the investigation may be unfolding.

Bryan Cunningham, a former CIA officer, assistant U.S. attorney and deputy legal adviser for the National Security Council, served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He is now a senior adviser at the consulting firm the Chertoff Group, co-founded by former Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff.

Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.

What's going on?

It wasn't so long ago that a handful of Vermont legislators in a shabby Statehouse committee room struggled over what to call their proposal to give marriage-like rights to the state's gay and lesbian residents.

Democrat Howard Dean, governor at the time, had already made clear he'd veto any legislation labeled "marriage." Suggestions like "domestic partner relationship" were too clunky; "civil accord," they decided, evoked a car model.

The halting testimony of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, gravely injured in a mass shooting two years ago, may have provided the most gripping moments of the Senate's first gun control hearing this session.

But the star witness on Capitol Hill on Wednesday was Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's top lobbyist.

President Barack Hussein Obama, sobered but resolute after four years as the nation's first African-American head of state, began his second term Monday with an ardent defense of government as essential to the nation's economic and moral fiber, and a call to citizens to accept their obligation to shape the national debate.

President Obama's historic plunge Wednesday into the politics and realities of gun control in America has mobilized advocates on both sides of the issue.

But though his major proposals, from banning assault rifles to more stringent background checks and ammunition limits, are being rolled out in the shadow of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., their Capitol Hill prospects remain highly uncertain given long-standing resistance to such efforts.

You may have heard that banned-for-life pro cyclist Lance Armstrong, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, has admitted to doping.

You may have heard that he apologized (tearfully, reportedly) to employees at Livestrong, the foundation he started in 1997 after surviving testicular cancer.

You may have heard that he reached out to make nice with people in the cycling world whom just months ago he was branding as liars and worse, and that he may pay back some bike team sponsor money.

Feel manipulated yet?

Pages