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Philip Bump

Philip Bump is a writer at The Wire.
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Nidal Hasan Has Earned $278,000 in Salary Since the Fort Hood Shooting

May 21, 2013 To date, preparations for the trial of accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan have cost the government at least $278,000 — and that's just in the salary that Hasan received since the 2009 massacre. NBC's Dallas affiliate, KXAS, reports that Hasan, who at the time of the shooting was working ...

Analysis: EPA May Lose Power to Fight Climate Change Before Using It

May 20, 2013 Advocates of forceful action on climate change have long held a trump card. The primary source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is coal plants, and — since the Supreme Court has determined that those emissions are a pollutant — the EPA is mandated to regulate them. At some ...

The Justice Department Did Not Wiretap the House Cloakroom

May 16, 2013 In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Rep. Devin Nunes of California dropped a bit of a bombshell: the Department of Justice had tapped the House cloakroom as part of its AP investigation. It's an explosive allegation — and almost certainly an incorrect one. Nunes and Hewitt were ...

Report Details IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups, Calls for Reforms

May 14, 2013 Somewhat after the fact, the Department of the Treasury's Inspector General for Tax Administration released its report detailing the "inappropriate criteria" used by the IRS to filter applications for non-profit status. Or, in English: here's why the IRS apologized to the Tea Party last Friday. But it owes an apology ...

White House Email Raises Questions on Benghazi Leak Motives

May 14, 2013 A revelation from CNN's Jake Tapper raises significant questions about the motivations of the source for ABC's story last Friday revealing draft talking points in response to the attack in Benghazi. Tapper got a complete copy of an email cited by ABC which shows that the latter's excerpt misrepresents the ...

Analysis: How Defense Distributed Already Upended the World

May 13, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Defense Distributed's goal is to evaporate the container described by the Second Amendment, making obtaining a firearm trivial enough that even trying to place restrictions on gun manufacturing becomes useless. It may get there. But first — and not necessarily intentionally — it's leadership is in tossing 3D-printed objects into ...

Tea Party Gets an Apology From the IRS

May 10, 2013 A representative of the Internal Revenue Service has issued a verbal apology to a number of Tea Party groups that were asked an unusually complex set of questions to justify their non-profit status. In early 2012, a number of groups affiliated with the Tea Party complained that the IRS was ...

State Department Asks Defense Distributed to Take Down Its 3D-Printed Gun Plans

May 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As reported by Betabeat.com, the State Department has asked Defense Distributed to remove its plans for the 'Liberator," the group's first fully 3D-printable gun. BetaBeat's Jessica Roy spoke with Defense Distributed's Cody Wilson. “We got an official letter from the Secretary of State, telling me who they were, what their ...

It's Not So Easy to 3D Print a Gun

May 7, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow I spent the day yesterday desperately trying to get my hands on a gun. Specifically, the "Liberator," the 3D-printable firearm offered by Defense Distributed. I was unsuccessful, which vis probably for the best. The idea of download-and-print firearm plays an out-sized role in the current debate over guns — something ...

The White House Convenes Scientists to Discuss the World's New Ocean

May 3, 2013 Despite its straight-from-science-fiction premise, it's real: A group of scientists meeting at the White House to discuss a brand-new ocean. Impending Arctic ice melt makes this just another day in the geopolitics of climate change. There's a bit of mystery shrouding the meeting, which apparently came to light after an ...