National Press Club

Perez sidesteps rumors he might be Attorney General, urges 'shared prosperity'

October 20, 2014 | By Yasmine El-Sabawi |

Amid speculation that he might replace departing Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez dodged questions on the subject at a National Press Club luncheon Oct. 20.

"My singular focus is on the job of being at the Department of Labor," he told a laughing room when asked about the most pressing issues at the Department of Justice.

Perez hailed Holder's achievements, saying that he "stood up for voting rights" and "commonsense criminal justice reform," but also faced backlash.

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Voter ID laws a matter of debate as experts argue their case at NPC Newsmaker

October 16, 2014 | By Joseph Sparks |

Voter identification laws' effects on turnout, and whether these laws disenfranchise voters, were the focus of a spirited debate among two election experts at a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on Thursday, Oct. 16.

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Kennedy Center's Rutter promises push against Washington's conservative tastes

October 15, 2014 | By Wesley G. Pippert |

Deborah Rutter, the new president of the Kennedy Center, told a National Press Club luncheon Wednesday that she will try to push Washington and the Center into new areas of interest and service.

"I'm told Washington is very conservative in their tastes," Rutter said in one of her first public appearances since becoming president in September. "I'm going to push you on that.”

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Experts disagree on merits of concealed guns, favor restricted permits

October 9, 2014 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Gun experts, speaking at a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on Oct. 9, disagreed on the effects of citizens carrying concealed guns while agreeing that permits to carry them are appropriate if properly restricted.

George Lyon, one of the litigants whose suit led to the overthrow of the D.C. ban of carrying weapons, emphasized the benefits of armed citizens while Paul Helmke, former president and chief executive officer of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, focused on the risks.

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Activist urges alternative strategy to U.S.-Russia relations, and nuclear disarmament

October 8, 2014 | By Joshua Higgins |

With ongoing crises ranging from terrorism to Ebola, policymakers, the media and the public are overlooking a threat that could wipe out the entire human race, a 1985 Nobel Peace Prize nominee said at a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on Wednesday.

That issue, Helen Caldicott said, is nuclear war.

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No 'silver bullets' to solving society ills, Kristof tells Book Rap

September 30, 2014 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

There are no easy answers to solving problems like broken homes, substance abuse and marginal unemployment, said New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof at a National Press Club Book Rap, Sept. 29.

"It always seems to me that we have this yearning for the silver bullets and there aren't silver bullets out there but there is, in a sense, silver buckshot. There are a lot of little things that move the needle somewhat," said Kristof, who is promoting his new book, "A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity."

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Hoyer predicts Democrats will hold Senate, criticizes what he calls GOP obstruction

September 30, 2014 | By Bob Weiner |

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called for bipartisanship in both chambers to end "gridlock" and advance legislation on the minimum wage, equal pay for women, jobs creation and immigration at a Sept. 29 National Press Club Newsmaker.

He outlined what he called "a vision of a Congress on your side" and asserted that in the upcoming congressional elections, Democrats will keep control of the Senate.

"Today we see a Republican majority that automatically opposes anything President Obama supports – even though our country needs action," he said.

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Holder 'served honorably,' Smiley says during Club Book Rap

September 29, 2014 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

PBS Broadcaster Tavis Smiley believes Attorney General Eric Holder "served honorably" but that the Obama administration's search for leaks was unacceptable.

"I parted ways with the Obama administration digging into the lives and work of journalists," Smiley said during a National Press Club Book Rap Sept. 25. "I think that crossed the line, unacceptable, untenable, unthinkable, intolerable."

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Custom content industry needs freelancers, says Club panel

September 26, 2014 | By Tam Harbert |

It goes by many names – custom content, content marketing and brand journalism are just a few. Whatever you call it, it’s a growing and high-paying market for freelancers.

That was the theme of a Sept. 17 panel on custom content, sponsored by the National Press Club Freelance Committee. Attendees heard from two custom content editors; the head of the Content Council, the industry’s trade association; and two writers with experience in custom content.

Panelists highlighted the opportunities, including:

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Webb mulls White House run, warns against intervention in Syria

September 24, 2014 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Former Senator Jim Webb, D-Va, wasn't coy with the audience at a National Press Club Luncheon Sept. 23 -- he said he is considering a presidential campaign.

Webb and his advisers will weigh the possibilities over the fall and early winter.

"We'll take a hard look and get back to you in a few months," he said.

In the meantime, he is urging the United States to be wary of involvement in Syria, which is in the midst of a civil war that has helped foment the Islamic State movement that has taken over parts of Iraq.

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