government

Congress
11:42 am
Fri September 27, 2013

President To GOP: Don't 'Burn Down The House' Over Obamacare

House Republicans have insisted that a spending bill contain language defunding Obamacare.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:32 pm

Update At 3:50 p.m. EDT.

President Obama on Friday praised the Senate for passing a spending bill to keep the federal government operating and called House GOP efforts to tie approving the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act "political grandstanding."

He said that despite Republican hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, "That's not going to happen," accusing Republicans of threatening to "blow up the entire economy."

No one has the right to precipitate such a crisis, he said, "just because there are a couple of laws you don't like."

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Privacy
10:50 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Is The U.S. Collecting Cellphone Location Data?

Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, in June 2013.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:16 am

Is the National Security Agency collecting cellphone tracking information on millions of Americans?

After a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, we still can't be sure. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has been trying to get intelligence officials to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of such a program.

Remember, records of where your cellphone is located give a pretty good idea of where the owners are. Wyden asked NSA Director Keith Alexander about that at Thursday's hearing, and Alexander said, no — not under "the current program."

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Obamacare Calculator
12:50 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

The Affordable Care Act: How is Your Health Care Affected?

Credit Darnyi Zsóka / Creative Commons

Connecticut is launching a new online health exchange, Access Health CT, where residents can shop for and purchase health insurance. The unemployed or uninsured may be able to receive health insurance under the new federal law. To see how it affects you, and whether you can take advantage of the health exchange, try the helpful tools below.

Congress
1:45 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Takes Next Step Toward Shutdown Showdown

After a dramatic 21-plus hours in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stood to express his opposition to President Obama's health care programs, the Senate early Wednesday afternoon voted 100-0 to move ahead and take up legislation that would avert a government shutdown next Tuesday.

As expected, the move by the Democratic-led Senate sets up what promises to be another showdown with the Republican-controlled House.

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Ponzi Schemes
11:46 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Feeder Fund Investors May Get Madoff Payout

Bernard Madoff's 2009 mug shot.
Credit US Department of Justice

People who lost money in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme after investing in feeder funds could get a share in more than $2 billion recovered by the government. So far, feeder fund investors have been shut out of compensation.

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Health Care
7:17 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Would A Federal Shutdown Delay Health Care Exchanges?

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz leaves the weekly Senate Republican Policy Committee luncheon Tuesday, shortly before beginning a filibuster against Obamacare.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:27 am

Well, it's almost Oct. 1, the day of a threatened government shutdown and the day state health insurance exchanges are scheduled to begin operations.

Those are the online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act where people can compare health plans and sign up for coverage.

Would closing down the government delay the opening of the health exchanges?

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Government Shutdown
6:03 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Your Government Shutdown Questions, Answered

If Congress can't come to an agreement to fund the government, there will be a shutdown on Oct. 1.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:29 pm

There's a showdown underway in Congress.

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government running only if the Affordable Care Act is defunded, and the Democratic-controlled Senate isn't likely to go along with that plan. If the two sides can't resolve their differences by Oct. 1, the U.S. government will shut down.

We asked you what you wanted to know about the potential government shutdown, and journalists from NPR's Washington Desk tracked down the answers:

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:48 am
Tue September 24, 2013

New Agent in Charge; Mild Hurricane Season; Horses Are Vicious

Credit Saperaud / Wikimedia Commons

Whether it's the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Connecticut, the head of a nasty-looking anvil cloud, or the head of a horse you're looking to avoid: today's Wheelhouse Digest has you covered.

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Small Business
4:47 am
Tue September 24, 2013

When It Comes To Businesses, How Big Is Small?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:41 pm

First in a series about small businesses in America.

Small businesses are celebrated and exalted as the hard-working, most deserving members of the political economy. They get tax breaks, and they're touted as the engines of job creation.

But a basic question: What is a small business? It turns out there is no one definition.

Classifications Of Small

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Climate Change
4:01 am
Tue September 24, 2013

How Many Scientists Does It Take To Write A Climate Report?

An iceberg floats through the water in Ilulissat, Greenland, in July. Researchers are studying how climate change and melting glaciers will affect the rest of the world.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 10:53 am

Scientists and government representatives are meeting in Stockholm this week to produce the latest high-level review of climate change. It's thousands of pages of material, and if it's done right, it should harbor very few surprises.

That's because it's supposed to compile what scientists know — and what they don't — about climate change. And that's left some scientists to wonder whether these intensive reviews are still the best way to go.

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Technology
5:54 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Booting Up: New NSA Data Farm Takes Root In Utah

The National Security Agency says its massive new data center near Salt Lake City will enhance the agency's ability to analyze the email, text message, cellphone and landline metadata it collects.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 8:38 pm

The National Security Agency won't say exactly when it will fully rev up its newest and biggest data farm in the Salt Lake City suburb of Bluffdale, Utah. There will be no "grand opening" or celebratory barbecue outside the sprawling facility, which is five times the size of the Ikea down the road.

But, according to NSA spokeswoman Vanee' Vines, "We turn each machine on as it is installed, and the facility is ready for that installation to begin."

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Iran
1:54 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

High-Level Meeting Set Between Kerry, Iranian Counterpart

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference earlier this month.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 11:26 am

Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet his Iranian counterpart this week for the highest-level face-to-face between Washington and Tehran in six years.

The meeting with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and representatives of five other world powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — would come as newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the United Nations in New York. The talks would center on Iran's nuclear program.

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Health Care
11:51 am
Fri September 20, 2013

House GOP Votes To Fund Government, Kill Obamacare

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) talks to reporters Thursday about the deadline to fund the government while simultaneously eliminating President Obama's health care law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 5:37 pm

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government funded but its "continuing resolution" comes with a poison pill to defund the Affordable Care Act that Democrats have vowed is dead on arrival in the Senate.

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Food Stamps
6:47 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Fight Over Food Stamps Reveals Sharp Differences in Congress

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro opposes shrinking the federal food stamp program.
Credit Ana Radelat / The Connecticut Mirror

Congress is heading into a major fight over food stamps. The battle highlights sharp ideological differences over a program that helps to feed about 220,000 people in Connecticut.

Conservative House Republicans, especially members of the Tea Party, say the food stamp program has become bloated and discourages people from finding jobs. They propose cutting $40 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the official name for food stamps.

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Economy
6:12 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The Fed's Surprising Decision: Should You Cheer Or Boo?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives to speak at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The Fed cut its economic growth forecasts and said it would keep buying bonds in a bid to keep interest rates down.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

If you are trying to buy a home, you just got good news: The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is not going to try to drive up long-term interest rates just yet.

Stock investors are happy for you. They like cheap mortgages too because a robust housing market creates jobs. To celebrate, they bought more shares, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 147.21 to an all-time high of 15,676.94.

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Diplomacy
2:29 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Brazilian Leader Postpones State Visit Over Spying Concerns

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the first working meeting of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:16 pm

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday that she would not travel to the United States for a state visit on Oct. 23.

It is the first concrete diplomatic consequence of the revelations made by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed widespread spying by the U.S. government on foreigners.

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Immigration Policy
3:41 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Connecticut Leads the Way on Immigration TRUST Act as California Considers It

The Islas family in New Haven
Unidad Latina En Acción

Immigrant advocates are waiting to see whether California Governor Jerry Brown will sign the TRUST Act into law. The bill would prevent police from holding undocumented residents for immigration officials if they haven't committed serious crimes.

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Politics
6:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Congress Searches For A Shutdown-Free Future

House Speaker John Boehner tried to sound optimistic Thursday that his Republican conference would find a way to avoid a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

There's a lot of searching on Capitol Hill but no discovery yet of a way to avoid a federal government shutdown at the start of next month.

Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are searching for enough House GOP votes for a spending bill that could pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and keep the government open past Sept. 30.

Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are searching for a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the help of the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama.

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Syria
12:25 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

A Viewer's Guide To Obama's Syria Speech

President Obama walks toward the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:14 pm

If ever a speech seemed to be President Obama's last, best chance to win public and congressional support for his plan to launch military strikes against Syria, it's his prime-time talk to the nation Tuesday.

With polls indicating that 60 percent of Americans oppose action against Syria for using sarin gas and congressional approval looking ever more like a long shot, Obama's speech is a high-stakes endeavor.

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1:57 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Former Chairman of Connecticut's College System Was Asked to Step Aside

Former chairman of the state's Board of Regents Lewis Robinson was asked to step resign by Governor Malloy's chief of staff, Mark Ojakian. The Connecticut Mirror's Jacqueline Rabe Thomas reports on the resignation of the third chairman of a public college system during Malloy's three years in office.
The chairman of the state's largest public college system's governing board resigned earlier this month after being asked to do so by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's chief of staff.
Where We Live
10:54 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Governor Malloy Discusses Jobs Numbers, Politics and the Newtown Report

Chion Wolf

Since Governor Dannel Malloy narrowly won the race for governor in 2010, Republicans have set their sights on 2014. We’re still more than 14 months away from the next election, but Republican candidates are already getting in line.

Today, Governor  Malloy joins us in studio and we ask him about his re-election plans and those vying for his job. One of the big issues, if not the biggest issue, will be the state’s economy and unemployment rate. The latest numbers show 11,500 jobs were added in the state, BUT the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.1 percent.

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News
6:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Government Shutdown? Odds Are Uncomfortably High

Protesters urging a government shutdown and spending cuts demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol in 2011.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

It's going to be another ugly fall in Washington.

The federal government runs out of money on Oct. 1, unless spending authority is granted to agencies for the new fiscal year. If Congress can't pass its spending bills by then, most of the government will shut down.

It's no empty threat. Many who watch the budget process closely think there's a very good chance that's exactly what's going to happen.

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Here & Now
11:56 am
Tue July 23, 2013

What Detroit Can Learn From Other Cities

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, right, and state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr leave a news conference in Detroit after addressing the city's bankruptcy, July 19, 2013. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 6:40 pm

As officials in Detroit move forward with the city’s bankruptcy filing, what can they learn from other cities across the country that have gone down this path?

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, filed for bankruptcy in October of 2011. There’s also San Bernadino, California; Jefferson County, Alabama; and Central Falls, Rhode Island, among others.

David Shepardson, Washington bureau chief for The Detroit News, joins us to explain how other cities have handled tough issues such as whether pensions will be paid.

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Where We Live
12:12 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

New DSS Phone System Shows Improvement After Rocky Launch

Rod Bremby, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, gave a mixed review of the department's first week with a new call center on WNPR's Where We Live.  

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News
4:32 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Stamford residents protest Bridgewater project

Dru Nadler

Governor Dannel Malloy is going forward with plans to move Bridgewater Associates to Stamford. But some local residents have been working hard to delay that project. They expressed their opposition in a public hearing in Stamford this week.

Governor Malloy’s plan is to give the hedge fund Bridgewater more than $100 million in tax breaks to move from its current location in Westport to Stamford.

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Politics
1:27 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Advocates for Trafficked Kids: They're Victims, Not Criminals

DCF Commissioner Joette Katz
Credit Hartford Courant

Sex trafficking isn't a problem in foreign lands.

Child advocates say up to 200,000 kids are trafficked into the sex trade each year.  That number prompted federal lawmakers to look into the problem this week.  Surprisingly, it's the Senate Finance Committee  that has jurisdiction over child welfare programs 

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History
3:22 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

The Free Consent of the People

“The foundation of authority is laid firstly in the free consent of people.” That principle lies at the heart of the representative system by which the United States has governed itself for more than two centuries.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:45 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Connecticut's Political Corruption Abides, But Does Anyone Care?

Flickr Creative Commons, Tax Credits

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Sandy Recovery
1:23 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Connecticut Lags in Use of Sandy Relief Dollars

More than six months have passed since Superstorm Sandy devastated the tri-state region and many people are still struggling. Money from the congressional Sandy relief bill is already helping those in New York and New Jersey. But Connecticut lags behind.

In Fairfield Beach, you can hear the constant whir of construction. Some recently raised homes look like they’re standing on long stilts 12 or 14 feet above ground. Many others are marked for demolition or are already empty lots.

On some streets, things look normal, until --

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