Politics

Race
10:26 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Why Redemption Is More Costly For Some Than Others

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford just won back his old congressional seat in the same week that unsavory facts about Cleveland rescuer Charles Ramsey came to light. Ramsey, of course, is the man who helped rescue three women who had been held hostage for a decade. It turns out that he had done time in prison a decade ago for beating up his former wife. And the reason he happened to be home that fateful day is that he had been suspended from his job.

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Political Junkie
9:43 am
Wed May 15, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 10:34 am

We know how the president feels about it. "We don't have time to be playing these kinds of political games in Washington," Barack Obama said on Monday, in what many took to be a full attack on ScuttleButton, America's favorite political game.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Read The Report On IRS's 'Inappropriate' Scrutiny Of Groups

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 11:58 am

The language is not dramatic, but the message is clear: A much-anticipated report from the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration is straightforward about how Internal Revenue Service personnel unfairly singled out some conservative groups for unnecessary scrutiny during the 2012 campaign cycle.

As the report's summary says:

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Holder Isn't Sure How Often Reporters' Records Are Seized

Attorney General Eric Holder during a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:10 am

As his Justice Department faces bipartisan outrage for searching phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder says he is not sure how many times such information has been seized by government investigators in the four years he's led Justice.

During an interview with NPR's Carrie Johnson on Tuesday, Holder was asked how often his department has obtained such records of journalists' work.

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Politics
4:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Senate Panel Continues Efforts To Reshape Immigration Overhaul

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:31 am

Senators on the Judiciary Committee spent their second full day slogging through proposed amendments to the bipartisan immigration overhaul. Tuesday's subject was the method of awarding visas for those wanting to come here to study and work.

Politics
4:19 am
Wed May 15, 2013

'Ineffective Management' Blamed For Tax-Exempt Scandal At IRS

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:46 am

A Treasury Department Inspector General's report criticizes the IRS for inappropriately flagging some conservative groups for additional scrutiny on their applications for tax-exempt status. President Obama says those responsible must be held accountable.

NPR Story
4:04 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Holder Called To Capitol Hill To Testify On Controversies

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Renee Montagne is in Afghanistan this week. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. When we think about the controversies swirling around Washington this week, there's a common denominator. They fall on the shoulders of Attorney General Eric Holder.

INSKEEP: First, news broke that the Justice Department secretly obtained phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors. This has ignited a First Amendment uproar.

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Politics
1:35 am
Wed May 15, 2013

IRS Inquiries Crossed The Line, Tea Party Groups Say

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:51 am

Tea Party activists are calling for a full investigation, and possibly lawsuits, following revelations that the Internal Revenue Service flagged so-called patriot groups for extra scrutiny in applications for federal tax-exempt status.

Among those claiming unjust and unconstitutional targeting by the IRS is a group called TheTeaParty.net, which bills itself as the largest grass-roots conservative Tea Party organization in the country.

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals is likely to cost President Obama his fondest dream for his presidency: the opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:33 pm

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals in his administration will have many costs for President Obama, but surely the most grievous will be the lost opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington. That aspiration was his fondest dream for his second term, much as it was for his first. Now it seems destined to be dashed once again.

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Politics
2:17 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Immigration Reform Bill Holds Together In Senate Committee

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:15 pm

The Senate Judiciary held its second round of debate on changes to the bipartisan immigration bill. Tuesday's focus was visas for workers, including visas for skilled technical work. David Welna talks to Melissa Block.

It's All Politics
1:53 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Controversies Risk Starving Obama's Agenda Of Air

The controversies facing his administration could be creating a stiff headwind for President Obama's second-term agenda.
Jack Plunkett AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 2:55 pm

This was the critical moment, the brief time between his inaugural and when the nation's collective focus turns to whom his successor will be, when President Obama had to make real progress on his second-term agenda and thus forge his legacy.

Instead, the president finds his administration, the public, Congress and the news media distracted by controversies over Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups and a leak investigation in which the Justice Department secretly obtained months of phone records of Associated Press journalists.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Justice Department To Open Probe Of IRS's Actions

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:17 am

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder has ordered the Justice Department to open an investigation into whether any laws were broken when the Internal Revenue Service singled out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny, he told reporters Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

It's True: 'Mistakes Were Made' Is The King Of Non-Apologies

President Ulysses S. Grant gets the credit — or blame? — for helping make "mistakes were made" a phrase that politicians can't seem to avoid using.
Spencer Arnold Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 1:01 pm

Make no mistake, the acting commissioner of the IRS put himself in historic company Tuesday by writing in USA Today that "mistakes were made" when his agency singled out for extra scrut

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:17 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Debate: Is The FDA's Caution Hazardous To Our Health?

Scott Gottlieb and Peter Huber argue in favor of the motion "The FDA's Caution Is Hazardous to Our Health."
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 12:34 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

When it comes to approving new medical treatments, the Food and Drug Administration is balancing the need for patient safety against the urgency of making important new treatments available as quickly as possible.

Some argue the FDA sets the bar too high, requiring a process that takes too much time and money to carry out. They say that can leave patients waiting longer than necessary for promising treatments or lead to drugs not being developed at all.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Tue May 14, 2013

IRS Chief Says 'Mistakes Were Made' But Weren't Partisan

Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. (2009 file photo)
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:51 am

"Mistakes were made, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan motivation," the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service writes in USA Today's op-ed pages.

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Politics
2:49 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Lawmakers Call For Hearings On IRS Scandal

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This IRS scandal has given Republicans an unexpected opportunity to chide the Obama administration. And it comes as the GOP was resurrecting questions about how top Washington officials, including the president, handled the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya last year.

NPR's David Welna has more on the latest political firestorm.

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Politics
2:49 am
Tue May 14, 2013

IRS Controversy Revives Questions About Tax-Exempt Issues

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

We're going to spend some time this morning, examining tax examiners at the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service is under fire for paying extra attention to conservative groups that were seeking tax exempt status. The groups had names suggesting they were linked with the Tea Party.

GREENE: Now, social welfare organizations can claim tax exemptions, political groups are treated differently.

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It's All Politics
4:55 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Clinton White House Crisis Manager Dings Obama's Message Team

President Obama listens as British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during their joint news conference Monday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:07 am

Lanny J. Davis, a former special counsel for President Clinton, is a man who knows something about managing a White House crisis. And he isn't exactly impressed by how President Obama's aides have handled the fallout from numerous crises, from Solyndra to Benghazi and now with the Internal Revenue Service controversy.

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It's All Politics
4:43 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Exactly What Did The IRS Want To Know?

Eric Wilson, head of the Kentucky 9/12 Project, portrays a representative of the tyrannical kingdom as he talks to children on the first night of Vacation Liberty School at a church in Georgetown, Ky., in 2010.
Ed Reinke AP

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:47 pm

What would you do if the IRS wanted to see your interactions on social media?

At least one Tea Party group in Ohio received just such a request. As part of a broad inquiry for information about the group's activities after it had applied for tax-exempt status, the IRS wanted details about how the Ohio Liberty Coalition promotes or publicizes itself on social media such as Facebook.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Poll: Americans Split Over Benghazi Issue

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 5:17 pm

Americans appear to be split over the Obama administration's handling of the aftermath from the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Card-Carrying Cajuns? Louisiana Lawmakers Weigh ID Change

Louisiana drivers would be able to add the message "I'm a Cajun" on their licenses, under a bill making its way through the statehouse. Here, shrimp fisherman Merlin Boudreaux holds up part of his catch in Morgan City, St. Mary Parish, La.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

A bill making its way through the Louisiana Legislature would let Cajun citizens celebrate their ancestry by customizing their driver's license, adding the phrase "I'm a Cajun" below their photograph.

It would cost $5 to add the message; the money would go toward "scholarships distributed by the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, a program promoting French language and culture in the state," reports NOLA.com.

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Politics
2:24 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

White House On Defense Over IRS Audits, Benghazi

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The Obama administration is playing defense on multiple fronts. One topic, the IRS; officials there have admitted they targeted conservative groups that were applying for tax-exempt status. The other issue is Benghazi. Republicans are once again hammering the White House for editing talking points about last September's deadly attack in Libya.

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Politics
2:24 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Does Obama Administration Have The Second Term Curse?

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As we just heard, it's been a rocky few weeks for the Obama administration. And joining us now for some analysis of the politics of the moment is NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Hey there, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

CORNISH: So what's going on here? Is the White House, you know, in the grip of that second term curse?

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Around the Nation
2:24 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

IRS Under Fire For Targeting Conservative Groups

Tea Party activists gather on Capitol Hill in 2011. A surge in applications for 501(c)(4) status in recent years has revealed sometimes murky and contradictory rules governing the political activities of tax-exempt groups.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:42 pm

President Obama expressed outrage Monday over the Internal Revenue Service's admission that it targeted certain conservative groups for extra scrutiny. By the time the president weighed in, members of both parties in Congress had already begun preparing hearings to grill IRS officials on the issue.

The controversy is rooted in a question neither the IRS nor Congress has answered clearly: Exactly what kind of political activity is allowed for tax-exempt groups — particularly those with secret donors?

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World
12:33 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Drawing Security Lessons From Benghazi Mission Attack

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

The disclosure White House emails is the latest twist in the controversy of how the Obama administration handled the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi last September. Much of the debate here in Washington is over what happened afterwards and the roles of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

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U.S.
12:14 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Understanding Tax-Exempt Status

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 1:26 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Benghazi Talking Points Debate Is A 'Sideshow,' Obama Says

Republican questions about how and when changes were made to his administration's "talking points" about last September's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, are a "sideshow," President Obama told reporters at the White House on Monday.

"There's no there, there," the president declared.

"What we have been clear about throughout," Obama insisted, is that "we were not clear who exactly had carried this out."

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Obama On IRS Actions: 'Outrageous' If True

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Oval Office of the White House on Monday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 11:13 am

It's "outrageous and there's no place for it" if the Internal Revenue Service did, as it has admitted, single out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny in recent years, President Obama said Monday morning during a news conference at the White House.

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Around the Nation
9:57 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Should Food Stamps Pay To Indulge A Sweet Tooth?

Millions of Americans rely on food stamps to keep from going hungry. They can also use them to buy sugary drinks. Some groups, including the National Center for Public Policy Research, say that's not right. Host Michel Martin discusses this with the Center's Justin Danhof, and University of Illinois Professor Craig Gundersen.

Politics
9:57 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Is GOP Overtime Bill Family Friendly?

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 11:17 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're switching gears now. If you're like most people out there, at some point, you've probably found yourself pulling extra hours or extra shifts and you might have looked forward to getting a little extra something in your paycheck at the end of the week or month.

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