Politics

9:34am

Wed June 19, 2013
It's All Politics

IRS Staffer: 'What I Did Was Not Targeting'

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 11:18 am

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (right) speaks with the committee's ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, earlier this month, during a hearing on IRS conference spending.
Charles Dharapak AP

Another interview with a key IRS employee, another oblique connection to Washington, D.C., and yet still no explosive revelations in the scandal surrounding the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups.

That, it seems, was precisely the point of Rep. Elijah Cummings' decision to release 205 pages of redacted interview transcripts Tuesday (here and here).

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5:27am

Wed June 19, 2013
Politics

Liberal Groups Say They Received IRS Scrutiny Too

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:46 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news: We have a more complicated view, this morning, of the scandal at the IRS. An inspector general critiqued the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups, many of them linked with the Tea Party movement. We knew that much.

And now, it's become apparent that more liberal or progressive groups were also targeted. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

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5:27am

Wed June 19, 2013
National Security

Secret Surveillance Credited With Preventing Terror Acts

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The president's administration has plenty to occupy it here at home. The director of the National Security Agency was on Capitol Hill yesterday, defending the surveillance program that's received so much attention in recent in recent days. General Keith Alexander told the House Intelligence Committee that the NSA programs in question have stopped dozens of terrorist attacks, here and abroad. Here's NPR's Ailsa Chang.

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3:19am

Wed June 19, 2013
Politics

How A Merger Could Affect Congress' Favorite Airport

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am

A jet takes off from Reagan National Airport, near the Capitol.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

If the US Airways-American Airlines merger announced earlier this year is approved, the combined airline would control two-thirds of the takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National Airport, outside Washington, D.C.

The government could force the airline to give up some of those slots as a condition of the merger. But lawmakers warn that could have consequences for some small- and medium-sized cities. And, not coincidentally, it could affect flight plans for lawmakers themselves.

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6:50pm

Tue June 18, 2013
It's All Politics

Boehner Seeks To Reassure House GOP On Immigration

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 10:29 pm

House Speaker John Boehner is getting flak from fellow Republicans over immigration legislation.
Susan Walsh AP

Faced with the threat of mutiny for what seems like the umpteenth time during his speakership, John Boehner moved to mollify fellow Republicans on Tuesday, saying immigration legislation would need the support of a majority of the House GOP before it could be brought to a floor vote.

After emerging from a meeting with House Republicans, following days of warnings by conservatives that the Ohio Republican had better not try to pass an immigration bill with mostly Democratic votes, Boehner sought to calm the roiling Republican waters.

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4:26pm

Tue June 18, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama's Unplanned NSA Discussion

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 4:58 pm

President Obama listens to French President Francois Hollande during the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

You have to wonder if President Obama ever thought, when he first ran for the White House, that he would need to defend himself from accusations his presidency would be a mere extension of his Republican predecessor.

But there he was with journalist Charlie Rose having to explain why his approach to national security wasn't really like that of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

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1:34pm

Tue June 18, 2013
National Security

Obama's Former Legal Adviser Urges U.S. To 'Disciple Drones'

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 2:03 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

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12:15pm

Tue June 18, 2013
It's All Politics

6 Surprising Things About The IRS Scandal

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:24 pm

Lois Lerner, head of the IRS unit that decides whether to grant tax-exempt status to groups, leaves a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in May.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Hundreds of pages of transcribed interviews reveal that IRS employees in Washington were involved at an early stage in the improper targeting of Tea Party groups — but at least so far the trail stops well short of the White House.

Based on interviews with two longtime IRS employees working in the Cincinnati field office, there's no smoking gun, no direct connection to the Obama administration or even any indication that those involved in the flagging of conservative groups had political motives.

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11:58am

Tue June 18, 2013
Politics

President Obama, 'Honest And Trustworthy?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, data mining and privacy issues are in the news. But we want to talk about some data that could affect your life in ways you might not have considered. We're talking about your credit reports and we'll talk about how errors can appear and cost you plenty, and what to do about that. That's coming up later in the program.

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3:07am

Tue June 18, 2013
Law

Why The FISA Court Is Not What It Used To Be

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:52 pm

A copy of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon to give the National Security Agency information about calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries.
AP

The furor over recently exposed government surveillance programs has posed an abundance of political challenges for both President Obama and Congress. Relatively unmentioned in all of this, however, is the role of the courts — specifically, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, and how its role has changed since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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