Politics

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
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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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Business
9:12 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Comp Time Or Cold Cash. Which Would You Pick?

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 11:19 am

Overtime or comp time? Which one suits you best?

Both you and your boss may agree it would be best for you to work a sixth day when a big project is due in March, and then take off for a long weekend in June. No big deal.

But under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, private employers must pay time and a half to workers who put in more than 40 hours on the job in any one week.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Mon May 13, 2013

IRS Targeted Additional Conservative Groups, Probe Shows

Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:14 am

"The Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of conservative groups went beyond those with 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their names — as the agency admitted Friday — to also include ones worried about government spending, debt or taxes, and even ones that lobbied to 'make America a better place to live,' " The Wall Street Journal reports.

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Politics
2:21 am
Mon May 13, 2013

SEC Focus May Lead To 2012 Stock Act Being Amended

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn now to the topic of political intelligence. This is the business of collecting highly detailed information from Congress and the regulatory agencies and then using it to make it money on Wall Street. The Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating this practice. The probe comes a year after Congress passed legislation that barred lawmakers and staffers from leaking insider information as a violation of their official duties.

Here's NPR's Peter Overby.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

GOP Call For Inquiry Of IRS Targeting Of Tea Party Groups

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 11:40 pm

Republican lawmakers on Sunday called for a full investigation of the Internal Revenue Service after it was revealed Friday that it had singled out Tea Party and other conservative groups for heightened scrutiny in applications for tax-exempt status.

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Politics
3:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Immigration Overhaul Bill Survives Daylong Revamp

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 am

NPR's congressional correspondent David Welna speaks with host Scott Simon about the flurry of last-minute amendments, most from conservative Republicans, to alter the bipartisan immigration legislation.

The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
3:29 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Sequester Has Air Force Clipping Its Wings

To save money, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina is keeping some of its pilots out of the sky.
Airman 1st Class Aubrey White U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 10:58 am

The Pentagon says the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration could leave the U.S. with a military that is simply unprepared for the most challenging combat missions. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told Congress in April that the military is eating its seed corn.

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It's All Politics
5:09 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

IRS's Tea Party Scrutiny Adds To Conservatives' Case Against Obama

An Internal Revenue Service official apologized for workers who targeted certain conservative groups. But that did little to defuse the situation.
Susan Walsh AP

Benghazi move over, make room for IRS-gate.

As if the Obama administration's conservative critics didn't have enough fodder with last year's attacks on a U.S. Consulate that killed four Americans, now comes Friday's startling revelation that Internal Revenue Service workers between 2010 and 2012 singled out groups with "Tea Party" and "Patriots" in their name for extra scrutiny of their applications for tax-exempt status.

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It's All Politics
4:28 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

On Military Sexual Assault Issue, A New Era for An Old Committee

A Pentagon survey released this week estimated that 26,000 people in the military were sexually assaulted last year. Women on the Senate and House Armed Services committees are leveraging their clout in response to the problem.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Other bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill may be collapsing around them, but a cadre of Democratic and Republican women serving on the Senate and House Armed Services committees are leveraging their historic clout to respond together to the sexual assault crisis engulfing the U.S. military.

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Governing
3:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

After Targeting Conservative Groups, IRS Apologizes

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. After more than a year of denials by the IRS, a director at the agency apologized today for its targeting of Tea Party and patriot groups. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, the apology has reignited a political controversy.

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Commentary
3:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Week In Politics: Immigration & Benghazi

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee began marking up an immigration bill. We used to speak of immigration reform, but in recent years it's become circumspect to say overhaul, which is presumably more neutral. Our Friday political commentators don't seem especially neutral about the issue. E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, good to see you here.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.

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Politics
3:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Two Years In, A Look At Obama's Syrian Civil War Record

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:25 pm

Syria's civil war is becoming the defining foreign policy challenge of President Obama's second term.

National Security
3:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Benghazi Investigator Reacts To Criticism Of His Report

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. At congressional hearings this week, three witnesses introduced as State Department whistleblowers criticized the administration's handling of last September's assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. That attack claimed the life of United States Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

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