May 2013

May 23, 2013

Obama, in a Shift, to Limit Targets of Drone Strikes

By Peter Baker and Charlie Savage, The New York Times

President Obama plans to open a new phase in the nation’s long struggle with terrorism on Thursday by restricting the use of unmanned drone strikes that have been at the heart of his national security strategy and shifting control of them away from the C.I.A. to the military.

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May 22, 2013

The White House To-Do List

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

When White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told his colleagues last week to spend no more than 10 percent of their time responding to scandals, he didn’t know a tornado would devastate entire stretches of Oklahoma. He knew something like it would happen though. A chief of staff knows that White House plans are always being upset, so he reminds his staff: Don’t get too distracted, bigger distractions are always on the horizon.

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White House Says Journalists Should Not Be Subject to Criminal Action in Leak Cases

By Peter Baker, The New York Times

The White House said on Tuesday that it did not think the Justice Department should threaten criminal action against journalists who report on sensitive national security matters, distancing itself from a recent case in which a television correspondent was targeted as a possible “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation.

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First Hurdle Cleared in Immigration, but Bigger Ones Remain

By Fawn Johnson, National Journal

The first step in passing major immigration legislation went pretty smoothly, all things considered. The Senate Judiciary Committee late Tuesday approved a bill that would give 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship and require employers to electronically verify all new hires.

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IRS Scandal Focus of Senate Hearing

By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

The Bush administration appointee who led the Internal Revenue Service during President Obama’s first term told Congress on Tuesday that he was saddened by some of the agency’s actions regarding applications for tax-exempt status during his tenure.

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Storm Renews Debate About How to Pay for Disaster Aid

By Susan Davis, USA Today

Lawmakers publicly assured Oklahoma tornado victims on Tuesday that the federal government stands ready to assist in the recovery effort, but a potential financial aid package renewed debate Tuesday over how to pay for disaster relief.

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Republican Divisions May Hinder Party's Momentum

By Charles Babington, Associated Press

A string of unrelated events is highlighting divisions among Republicans just when they'd like to show a united front and take full advantage of President Barack Obama's latest political problems.

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May 21, 2013

What Services Should Immigrants Get?

By Fawn Johnson, National Journal

What are immigrants in the United States entitled to? Tax breaks? Health care? Disability insurance? Food stamps? As the Senate Judiciary Committee wades through a major immigration bill, it is clear that there is no consensus, even among the bill’s sponsors, about how to treat the immigrants who would become legal residents under the legislation.

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As Rich Gain Optimism, Lawmakers Lose Economic Urgency

By Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post

Washington has all but abandoned efforts to help the economy recover faster — and lawmakers don’t seem worried that voters will punish them for it.

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Obama’s Rating Steady in Face of Controversies, Likely Buoyed By Rising Economic Hopes

By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post

Majorities of Americans believe that the Internal Revenue Service deliberately harassed conservative groups by targeting them for special scrutiny and say that the Obama administration is trying to cover up important details about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans last year.

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Letter to a Young Scandalmonger

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

My Dear Protégé:

I note in your most recent correspondence that you have used the term “Watergate” in connection with the recent troubles facing The Administration. You take a view popular among our kind that raising the specter of this famous scandal will convince your prey to turn against The One. I would like to counsel you against walking this path.

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Congress Expands Inquiry into IRS Handling of Conservative Groups

By Christi Parsons and Matea Gold, Los Angeles Times

Congressional investigators are broadening their inquiry into the Internal Revenue Service's mishandling of groups seeking tax-exempt status, indicating that they plan to examine how the agency dealt with a wide swath of nonprofit applications during the last three years.

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