• BOTTOM LINE

    Controversy has been the word this week Washington as the White House has grappled with the fallout from Benghazi, the IRS scandal and the Justice Department seizing phone records of journalists at the Associated Press. On Wednesday President Obama announced that the head of the IRS had been fired, and the administration released a series of emails about the Benghazi situation, all while Attorney General Eric Holder was taking questions on that AP leak investigation up on Capitol Hill. The abundance of activity in Washington has prompted a lot questions.

    Daniel Bonomini wanted to know: Can the IRS act on its own w/o directive from the executive branch?

    Carol Livingston tweeted: Firing the IRS commissioner does not end it… need to hear from him what or who gave his agency the idea to target the groups.

    And Patrick wrote in on Yahoo answers: As far as the Benghazi stuff, and IRS stuff go, that's not really anything new. I'm more concerned about the phone taps. When did that

    Read More »from Sorting through the scandals: What’s at stake for the IRS, DOJ and the White House
  • Chairman leading Friday showdown on Hill: There’s a ‘culture of rot’ at IRS

    The Fine Print

    One of the lawmakers leading the search for answers in the IRS investigation into how Tea Party groups were treated is Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee.

    He tells The Fine Print “there's a culture of rot going on at the IRS” and that “heads will roll” as his subcommittee prepares for the first Congressional hearing on the matter Friday.

    Boustany characterizes the new Inspector General’s report, which reveals that the IRS began targeting these conservative political groups as early as 2010, as “very disturbing.”

    “At the very least it's ineffective management,” Boustany says. “We know some egregious abuses occurred at the IRS and whether it's ineffective management, negligence, or deliberate political egregious violations of First Amendment rights for political purposes, we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

    Boustany started investigating possible targeting of conservative groups by the IRS two years ago after he

    Read More »from Chairman leading Friday showdown on Hill: There’s a ‘culture of rot’ at IRS
  • Iran hostages locked in struggle for compensation, tell their story of “colossal injustice”

    Politics Confidential

    Hollywood portrays the Iran hostage crisis as a thriller story with a triumphant ending in the film “Argo.” But the real story of the 52 hostages who were held in captivity for 444 days, 39 of whom are still alive today, didn’t end with their homecoming to the U.S.

    Thirty-two years after their release, two former hostages tell Politics Confidential about their harrowing tales of captivity and their subsequent legal battle to receive compensation for the ordeal they endured.

    One of the hostages, Rick Kupke, describes their 17-year-long legal struggle, saying “it’s almost as if our noses have been rubbed in the dirt.”

    “It's a colossal injustice, what happened to us,” says Kupke, who is now retired from the State Department and was repeatedly tortured at the hands of the Iranian captors. “People ask me, do you have nightmares, did you come out of this normal...my nightmare is the Algiers Accord.”

    The Algiers Accord is the agreement that led to the hostages’ release,

    Read More »from Iran hostages locked in struggle for compensation, tell their story of “colossal injustice”

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