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Donald Trump doubled down on rival Ted Cruz's citizenship Monday night, again questioning whether the Canadian-born Texas senator is eligible for the presidency.

"My new battle is with a gentleman named Ted Cruz," the billionaire real-estate mogul said at a rally in Farmington, N.H. "The Canadian, the man from Canada."

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

 

Now that Seattle’s new City Council is in place, work will begin in earnest on Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, otherwise known as HALA. Many of its recommendations aim to increase affordable housing in a city that is becoming financially out of reach for many.

 

This week, NPR and some member stations will be taking the temperature of the electorate in communities around the country. You can follow those stations, via Twitter, here.

The mood of the voters is one of the most important political factors in an election year. This year voters are anxious, frightened and angry.

Candidates in both parties are trying to show they get it.

If you had to name a state where Donald Trump's political rise has caused the greatest disruption, New Hampshire would be a good pick. Trump has led every poll taken there since June — while tearing up the traditional Republican playbook for winning in New Hampshire.

Trump has avoided the retail politicking that most other campaigns view as a must-do in favor of large rallies. He has never even spent two days back to back in the state campaigning.

With less than two weeks to go until the Iowa caucus, Donald Trump remains characteristically confident about his chances. In fact, the Republican front-runner is so confident, he says his supporters would stay loyal even if he happened to commit a capital offense.

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?" Trump remarked at a campaign stop at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. "It's, like, incredible."

A divorced New York businessman billionaire with a mixed political history and knack for controversy and grabbing the spotlight might run for president. Another one.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is again weighing a possible independent bid for the White House after seeing an opening in a chaotic and unpredictable 2016 race.

When Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for president this week, it was a surprise move, but one that seemed perfectly logical.

Hillary Clinton has a vision, which some would call a fantasy, of Washington working again the way it once did.

"I'm interested in us solving problems together," said Clinton, speaking Wednesday to NPR's Ari Shapiro.

"I'm interested in finding good ideas whether they're from Republicans or Democrats, getting people around the table, and trying to make progress on behalf of our country."

Shapiro sounded properly skeptical. How can you govern in such a fashion in such divisive times?

As the Democratic race in Iowa tightens, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is stepping up his political game — with a swanky campaign bus, a newfound eagerness to recite poll numbers, and an increasing tendency to throw political punches at Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday, he crisscrossed the snow-covered roads of western Iowa in an intense four-city bus tour. Yes, Sanders now has a campaign bus — it's blue, emblazoned with his slogan, "A Future to Believe in." In smaller print, it notes that it was paid for by Bernie 2016, "not the billionaires."

President Obama says one of his biggest regrets is the growing polarization in American politics.

"I have, as president obviously, done soul-searching about what are things I could do differently to help bridge some of those divides," Obama told supporters at a town hall meeting in Baton Rouge last week. And he's not the only one worried by the deepening fault lines.

Hillary Clinton wants you to know she has a new tax proposal. She also wants you to know that Bernie Sanders does not.

Elaine Thompson / AP

 

For the first time since the year 1910, most Seattle City Council members represent the neighborhoods they live in. And while hundreds of people turned out to see this younger and more diverse council be sworn in on Monday, there is one elected official the public continues to watch with great interest: socialist, Kshama Sawant.

Many Republicans may have sided with Donald Trump's controversial proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., but his rival Jeb Bush predicts that the GOP faithful will eventually oppose the plan and see it his way.

"Trump clearly banning all Muslims would actually be so counterproductive in our efforts to destroy ISIS that it's foolhardy," the former Florida governor told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview Wednesday in Boston. "I mean, it's beyond ridiculous; it's quite dangerous."

Here's a candidate for understatement of the year: The current presidential race has not exactly followed the script that the pundits, journalists and even that know-it-all news junkie at your book club or local diner predicted. You might say it was the year that conventional wisdom got humbled ... or Trumped.

The first, big moment of the 2016 race came just over a year ago, in the form of a tweet from the handle @JebBush:

Here's what Bush told TV station WPLG back then:

When Republicans took over both chambers of Congress in January, party leaders vowed they would prove to the country that Republicans could govern. They promised to stop with the self-made crises, such as government shutdowns, and rack up legislative accomplishments. So in the first year of a GOP-controlled Congress in nearly a decade, how well did Republicans prove they can govern?

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Or A Virtual Visit From St. Marco

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, who first published his version 192 years ago today.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
Not one candidate spoke — no, not even Rand.
Not a voice could be heard at a town hall or forum,
Not even Pataki or poor Rick Santorum.

With voting in the first presidential nominating contests just weeks away, Bernie Sanders is trying to make a push before the end of the year.

His campaign announced that he has surpassed 2 million donations. The only other person to do that at this point in a presidential campaign was Barack Obama in 2011. (Clinton had 600,000 donations from 400,000 donors through the end of the third quarter — end of September.)

A day before the last Republican presidential debate of the year, two Republican candidates held rallies near the Las Vegas strip, less than a mile apart. In spite of their proximity, the events had almost nothing in common.

Marco Rubio was in a medium-size hotel ballroom, with a few hundred people in attendance. It seemed, at first, that Rubio might struggle to fill the room, as supporters came in slowly. But fill it did.

If you've given money to a political campaign, brace yourself.

You're going to be seeing a whole lot of emails in your inbox over the next couple of weeks, asking for money as the year draws to a close.

Those emails will take many different forms:

The political atmosphere has shifted considerably since the last Republican presidential debate a month ago, creating a different dynamic ahead of Tuesday evening's GOP face-off in Las Vegas.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will run for re-election in 2016. The first-term Democrat hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but said he would run in an exclusive interview on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

2015 was an unusual year in Oregon politics, to say the least. For the first time in the state's 156 year history, a governor -- John Kitzhaber -- stepped down under pressure. Oregon's new governor -- Kate Brown -- spent much of the year trying to distance herself from her predecessor.

Hillary Clinton got side-eyed after blasting Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud" at a campaign stop in San Antonio where she called herself "La Hillary" and "Tu Hillary." Jeb Bush earned eye rolls after debuting a Spanish-language ad celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

The latest pronouncement from the presidential campaign of Donald Trump calls for the U.S. to refuse to let any Muslim — from anywhere — into the United States.

It has prompted very strong criticism, including from some of his fellow Republican candidates and state party leaders.

The Philadelphia Daily News cover Tuesday morning labels Trump "The New Furor."

Trump's proposal came the day after President Obama's Sunday night televised address from the Oval Office in which the president urged Americans to reject discrimination against Muslim Americans.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is playing an increasingly important role in his state's crucial Republican primary. He's also playing an important role in his party, as the only black Republican in the Senate at a time when the GOP is struggling to win minority support.

As soon as Donald Trump announced that he'd gained the endorsement of 100 black ministers from across the country on Monday, there were skeptics.

The claim came just days after the presidential candidate said of an African-American Black Lives Matter protester who was beaten up at a Trump event, "Maybe he deserved to be roughed up."

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is stepping up his game in Iowa.

The first term Texas senator has picked up influential endorsements there and is drawing bigger crowds.

At the stage of the race when many caucus-goers are still deciding who to support in the first in the nation presidential caucus, Cruz is making a big play for Iowa evangelical voters, who helped Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012 win the Iowa Republican caucuses.

Despite what you read in some history books — such as the Biographical Dictionary of Congressional Women — Rep.

Here is the challenge for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders: He has long described himself as a Democratic socialist. A Gallup Poll earlier this year found only 47 percent of Americans said they would vote for a socialist for president. More people said they would support an atheist, a Muslim or a Mormon.

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