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Don Gonyea

A loud and longtime complaint of civil rights activists and police reform advocates is that police unions are part of the problem of police brutality. Unions are designed to protect their members, and when it comes to officers charged with wrongdoing or excessive force, that means police unions are too often protecting bad cops and saving their jobs.

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET

As President Trump attempts to project an image of America rising out of quarantine and beginning to reopen, he traveled on Tuesday to an Arizona factory that's expanded into production of N95 face masks to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

And while the trip was in part meant to tell a positive story about the Trump administration's response, it also highlights the challenges of the moment.

Linda Tripp, the government employee who secretly recorded conversations with Monica Lewinsky in the late 1990s about Lewinsky's affair with President Clinton, has died at age 70.

Tripp's death Wednesday was confirmed by Joseph Murtha, her former attorney. No cause of death was given, but news reports indicated she endured a brief case of pancreatic cancer.

Tripp started working at the White House in the Republican administration of George H.W. Bush and stayed for the early part of the Clinton administration.

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Seven events, three states, two days.

Mike Bloomberg has wrapped up a barnstorming trip to capitalize on an unsettled Democratic presidential race.

Polls show the billionaire former New York City mayor gaining traction, as onetime front-runner Joe Biden has struggled after very disappointing finishes in the first two contests.

Bernie Sanders won in New Hampshire, with Pete Buttigieg in second. The two essentially tied in Iowa.

A top national labor leader is touting a new multilateral trade deal, and says his union side much improved the Trump administration's initial proposal.

The comments from Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, came Wednesday, just before the House overwhelmingly approved the pact called the USMCA.

The new deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, which now heads to the Senate, would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

The current tally of 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls is enough to set a record in any previous primary season. But even with the giant number of candidates, the reality is that the winnowing has already begun.

The field is shrinking — slowly — but what's different this time compared to past campaigns is what's driving candidates to pack it in.

Here's what it's not — voters.

Trump campaign donors are under pressure.

Two high-profile episodes this week could signal a year in which the glare of the campaign usually reserved for candidates pivots to put those who make personal donations to political campaigns in the spotlight.

The first comes courtesy of Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, of San Antonio, who is also the co-chairman of his twin brother Julian Castro's campaign for the Democratic nomination for president.

January 2016. The New Hampshire primary was just weeks away. Donald Trump slid into a booth at the Red Arrow Diner in downtown Manchester and ordered a deep-fried concoction featuring a cheeseburger topped with mac 'n' cheese and smothered with cheesy sauce.

Former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential candidacy is barely a day old, but it is already ensnared in questions about how the Democratic candidate handled the 1991 sexual harassment accusations by law professor Anita Hill against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Biden appeared on ABC's The View Friday morning and told the show's five female co-hosts: "I'm sorry for the way she got treated." But then he added that people should go back and look at what he said during those hearings, asserting, "I don't think I treated her badly."

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It was a frigid 15 degrees on the picket line along the railroad tracks in Wilmerding, Pa. More than 100 union members and activists chanted slogans of solidarity and in favor of a fair contract with Wabtec Corporation — a company that builds freight train locomotives. It turned out to be the final hours of a nine-day walkout by 1,700 workers.

It wasn't the biggest city in the mix. Or the most diverse. Or the flashiest. But in the end, the winner is — Milwaukee!

Democrats have chosen the city on Lake Michigan as the site of their nominating convention to be held in the summer of 2020. It beats out two other finalists — Houston and Miami. Each of those towns had much to entice the DNC: plenty of hotel rooms, major arenas, event space, experience with major conventions. Each also has a large Latino population — voters Democrats need as a major element of any winning coalition in the next presidential election.

Here's something Democrats thought they knew during the last presidential campaign: Wisconsin was safe. It was a lock for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But when the votes were counted, it was a stunning upset for Republican Donald Trump.

In 2020, Democrats apparently aren't taking the state for granted.

Even though the first nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire are some 11 months away, and with Wisconsin's primary not until April 7 of next year, the campaign stops have already begun.

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

The man who served in the U.S. Congress longer than anyone else in history has died.

John Dingell, a Democrat who represented Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives starting in 1955 until January 2015, died Thursday at the age of 92, his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, confirmed. John Dingell served for 59 years in Congress and cast more than 21,000 roll call votes. He was undefeated in 30 elections.

It took three full weeks — 21 days — for President Bill Clinton and the Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to settle an impasse that partially shut down the government in 1995-96.

That particular moment is a landmark in U.S. political history, birthing a new era of American gridlock that arguably led to the sharp partisanship that has gripped the nation — and delivered a new record for a partial government shutdown, marking Day 22 on Saturday.

Music was an integral part of life in the home of country music stars Johnny Cash and June Carter — as was Southern cooking.

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Now, as we said, there is no doubt that all of the ladies we just heard from will be voting. But, as we also mentioned, historically, most people do not vote in the midterms, like the people we met at a Pennsylvania factory recently.

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John McCain, a titan in the U.S. Senate, was a consistent conservative, though unafraid to buck Republican Party leadership on issues ranging from campaign finance reform to the GOP-led effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

He died Saturday at age 81.

While the Arizona senator and two-time presidential candidate will be remembered for his self-proclaimed "maverick" persona, it was his military bloodlines and 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam that shaped much of McCain's legacy.

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Certain rituals have grown up around the use of the presidential pardon.

The most common is a lengthy review by the Justice Department on the merits of any such petition for a pardon.

But for President Trump, the pardon seems to have become the ultimate symbol of presidential power — the ability to use this exclusive authority as an act of benevolent largess and as the ultimate political perk.

It's unlikely that David Kennerly's most famous photographs could be recaptured today.

That's because 50 years ago, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and his colleagues covered the Robert F. Kennedy campaign under far more relaxed circumstances.

Photography has always been inseparable from politics, with the image of presidential candidates inextricably tied to their message. But over the years, as security around U.S. politicians has tightened, photographers are no longer allowed the intimate access they once had.

Ry Cooder has been described as a singer-songwriter, slide guitar hero, session musician to so many other artists, producer, musicologist and historian, a man beholden to no single style, a champion of Cuban and international roots music, and a composer of film soundtracks.

Yet, now a half-century into his prolific career, Cooder continues to carve out new trades for himself.

Don Blankenship is an unlikely hero to the working class.

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"The Dude abides."

OK. As iconic movie lines go, maybe it's not as iconic as "Here's looking at you, kid" or "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

But for fans of the film The Big Lebowski, there are few things better than hearing Jeff Bridges say those words with such nonchalant slacker indifference.

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