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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Donald Trump continued to ratchet up his fiery rhetoric at a campaign event in Massachusetts Wednesday evening, spouting off at his GOP presidential rivals and touting his plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

With the debate raging over how to handle Syrian refugees after last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, the billionaire has raised alarm bells that their migration could be a way for ISIS to infiltrate the U.S.

Bernie Sanders laid out his brand of Democratic socialism Thursday, explaining how it informs his views on higher education, poverty, health care, the minimum wage and more.

Assad must go.

That's been the Obama administration hard line since the U.S. charged the Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad, used chemical weapons against his own people.

But Hillary Clinton, Obama's former secretary of state, might not exactly agree.

"There is no alternative to a political transition that allows Syrians to end Assad's rule," Clinton said in her national-security address before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Thursday.

Seem plain enough, right? Not exactly.

Dave Reid, flickr

There have been some major policy issues debated in Wisconsin over the past few months – from changes to the board that oversees elections, to the future of the education and the state’s role in economic development. Most, if not all, of the changes coming from Madison have been made along partisan lines, as Republicans control both houses of the legislature and the governor’s seat.

That makes for a challenging period for Democrats in the legislature, including Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, who represents La Crosse and other parts of western Wisconsin.

The House of Representatives has easily passed a GOP-authored bill to restrict the admission of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to America by requiring extra security procedures.

The bill — called the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015, or the American SAFE Act of 2015 — would require the secretary of Homeland Security, the head of the FBI and the director of national intelligence to sign off on every individual refugee from Iraq and Syria, affirming he or she is not a threat.

While a majority of the nation's governors have asked the Obama administration to stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their state, a prominent Tennessee lawmaker has gone a step further: He's suggested the National Guard round up recently arrived refugees and prevent the arrival of additional refugees.

"If I err, it will be on the side of not having another Paris, France," said state Rep. Glen Casada, the chairman of the House Republican Caucus in the state Legislature. "When we let them in, we are letting terrorists in."

At every turn, this year's presidential campaign has proved conventional wisdom wrong. The aftermath of the Paris attacks might be another example.

As soon as the attacks were over, a chorus of (establishment) Republican voices predicted that the new focus on national security and terrorism would change the dynamic of the Republican race. This was the tipping point, they declared, that would finally usher out the outsiders leading the polls — Donald Trump and Ben Carson — in favor of more serious, experienced candidates.

nrcgov, flickr

There’s talk in Wisconsin of resurrecting nuclear power. Right now, there’s only one working plant here, the Point Beach facility along Lake Michigan. 

The state imposed a ban on new nuclear plants in 1983 after a few scares elsewhere.

On Wednesday, dozens of people packed into a hearing at the State Capitol to testify on a bill that would lift Wisconsin’s moratorium. Most who weighed in say they favor the change.