National Press Club

Gun control expert advocates federal background checks

March 15, 2013 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Daniel Webster, professor and director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, told a March 15 National Press Club Newsmaker audience that federal universal background checks for gun purchasers would reduce deaths from firearms.

He asserted that the political climate may be right to push forward background-check legislation.

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TV role leads to real-life advocacy for Mariska Hargitay

March 13, 2013 | By Richard Lee |

For Mariska Hargitay, playing a detective on TV investigating sex crimes and acts of domestic violence led to something she couldn’t have predicted when she took on the role — becoming an advocate for addressing the repercussions of real-life crimes, the actress told a sold-out National Press Club luncheon audience on March 13.

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State approaches to implementing Obamacare vary, officials say

March 8, 2013 | By Stephenie Overman |

Individual states are taking divergent paths to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – i.e. Obamacare – a panel of state officials and outside experts reported at a National Press Club Newsmaker press conference March 8.

To comply with the act’s call for exchanges to serve as online marketplaces allowing people to easily compare insurance costs and benefits, 17 states have chosen to set up their own exchanges, the officials said.

In 26 other states, the federal government will run the exchanges, they said. States and the federal government will partner in seven more.

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Ex-ambassador urges broad review of State Dept. in wake of Benghazi attack

March 5, 2013 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Retired Ambassador Prudence Bushnell, in the wake of last year's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, advocated extensive review of the State Department's mission and operation at a March 5 National Press Club Newsmaker.

Bushnell was chief of mission of the U.S. embassy in Kenya when it was bombed by Al Qaeda in 1998, wounding her and killing both Americans and Kenyans.

She urged adoption of the recommendations of the accountability board that reviewed the Benghazi bombing, which killed the U.S. ambassador, as a "turning point."

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1913-era signs, hors’ d’oeuvres, commentary abound as Club celebrates suffrage march centennial

March 3, 2013 | By Cary Pollak |

It was 1913 again in the National Press Club Ballroom Feb. 28.

At a gala Club reception commemorating the 1913 march in Washington that led to voting rights for women, arriving guests were greeted at the door by female “suffragists” dressed in period costumes, sporting banners and carrying signs with messages such as “Democracy Should Begin At Home.”

The women did not smile when posing for photos, clearly paying homage to their forebears, for whom the quest for the vote was a solemn pursuit.

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U.S. GDP will grow If trade deficit drops, says economist Dean Baker

February 28, 2013 | By Andrew Kreig |]

Washington economist Dean Baker told a National Press Club Newsmaker press conference audience Feb. 28 that U.S. trade deficit reductions deserve far more attention as a strategy for domestic economic growth.

Baker, co-director and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said the U.S. economy has lost $8 trillion in wealth from the economic downturn beginning at the end of the Bush administration.

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Bill Moyers and family describe how drug addiction ravaged their lives

February 28, 2013 | By Joseph Luchok |

“Stunning shock,” “exhausted” and “no more.”

Those were some of the words noted broadcast journalist Bill Moyers and his wife Judith used to describe the ravaging effects of drug addiction on a family In an informative and emotional discussion before a large National Press Club audience in the Club Ballroom Feb. 27.

Also speaking was their formerly addicted son, William C. Moyers, author of a new book on his addiction, “Now What?” He that his addiction to cocaine “filled a hole in his soul,” and was an escape from living with the fact he was not perfect.

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Two former Israeli, Palestinian enemies tell how they became 'brothers' for peace

February 25, 2013 | By Robert Webb |

Two men who fought on opposite sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict described at a Feb. 25 National Press Club Newsmaker press conference how, after each lost a daughter in the fighting, they decided to put down their arms and work for peace.

Bassam Aramin, the former Palestinian combatant, and Rami Elhanan, a former Israeli soldier, criticized what they said is the failure by the American press to cover Israeli-Palestinian news -- particularly positive news such as their transformation from warriors to peacemakers.

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Former AIG CEO sues U.S. for 'nationalizing' company

February 22, 2013 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Maurice R. Greenberg, chief executive officer of American International Group (AIG) from 1967 to 2005, told a Feb. 21 National Press Club Newsmaker audience that the company had been nationalized three times -- by Iran, Pakistan and the United States -- but only compensated by Iran and Pakistan.

"That's the reason we're suing," Greenberg said, referring to the terms of the AIG bailout during the 2008 financial crisis and his suit of the U.S. government for damages. He now leads C.V. Starr & Co., the largest shareholder of AIG stock.

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Motion Picture executive stops short of endorsing regulating violence at NPC Luncheon

February 15, 2013 | By Audrey Hoffer |

Regulating content is not the response to violence in films, said Christopher Dodd, chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America in a Feb. 15 National Press Club Luncheon speech.

Dodd stopped short of agreeing to limit gun violence in movies even as he recalled driving through Newtown, Conn., the night before the shooting tragedy. “I care deeply about the subject and will be working with the [Obama] administration to provide assistance,” he said. But “when you try to regulate content it’s a very slippery choice.”

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