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It's All Politics
2:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Hastert: Primary Challenges Making Congress 'Kind Of Neurotic'

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois is congratulated by members of Congress during the unveiling of his portrait at the Capitol in 2009.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:25 am

When it comes to political deal-making, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert speaks from experience.

"I always had a feeling whenever I had to negotiate ... you really needed to make sure that you knew where the hole in the box was, so if you got in there, you could get out of it again," says the Illinois Republican, who was speaker from 1999 until 2007.

Hastert tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he can't say whether House Republicans now have themselves in a box in the government shutdown fight because "we don't know what the end of this thing is yet."

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Afghanistan
2:03 am
Tue October 8, 2013

As Afghan Presidential Race Begins, Warlords Are Prominent

Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, an influential lawmaker and religious scholar, waves at his supporters on Oct. 3, after registering his candidacy in next year's presidential election.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:26 am

As the war in Afghanistan enters its 13th year, the political and security situation there remains precarious. But the country is hoping to reach a milestone next spring: the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history.

And there's no shortage of candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai — who is barred from running for a third term.

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Politics
2:02 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Supreme Court Hears Another Challenge To Campaign Finance Law

Shaun McCutcheon is challenging the aggregate limits on contributions to political candidates and parties.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court returns to the campaign finance fray on Tuesday, hearing arguments in a case that could undercut most of the remaining rules that limit big money in politics.

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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Calif. Gov. Brown Vetoes Bill Giving Non-Citizens Jury Duty

California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 7:17 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill today that would have made California the first state in the country to allow non-citizens to serve on juries.

"Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship," Brown wrote in a veto message. "This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don't think that's right."

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The Government Shutdown
5:41 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Even Antarctica Feels Effects Of The Government Shutdown

A helicopter is unloaded from an LC-130 in Antarctica last December. Researchers on this mission were studying the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-receding glaciers on the continent.
August Allen National Science Foundation

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.

That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.

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