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Philip Bump

Philip Bump is a writer at The Wire.
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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 ...

Questionable Poll Suggests 29% of U.S. Sees Urgent Need for Rebellion

May 2, 2013 Fairleigh Dickinson's PublicMind Polls released a doozy of a survey on Wednesday afternoon. According to their research, Americans generally want new gun laws. Oh, and a quarter of us see a conspiracy in the Sandy Hook shootings and three-in-ten think armed rebellion is imminently necessary. PublicMind buries those second two ...

The First 100 Days of Obama's Second Term Aren't Off to a Popular Start

May 1, 2013 As President Obama begins the second hundred days of his second term, his approval ratings are hovering just below the 50 percent mark. That's not a good sign, if recent history is any guide. Looking at Gallup's tracking poll for presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton, it quickly becomes clear that ...

Six Months After Sandy, the Government Hasn't Spent Nearly as Much as It Will

April 29, 2013 Since Hurricane Sandy made landfall six months ago tonight, the government and private insurers have paid out tens of billions of dollars in an attempt to restore affected communities. Results have varied. A brief review of the government's spending after the storm indicates that where and how much support has ...

Why the FBI Didn't Catch Tamerlan Tsarnaev

April 24, 2013 Reports that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been added to the government's terror watch list seems to bolster the argument that the marathon bombing is the result of FBI error. But that revisionism fails to take into account the scale and complexity of how the government tracks terror suspects. The terror watch ...

Will the State Department Ever Listen to These EPA Concerns About Keystone?

April 23, 2013 In a letter responding to the State Department's draft environmental assessment for the Keystone XL pipeline, the EPA finds several areas it deems insufficient. Perhaps the third time's the charm on State doing something about it. The pipeline has become a focal point of the national — and, to some ...

How the Boston Bombing Suspects Became U.S. Citizens

April 19, 2013 In April 2002, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apparently arrived in the United States on a tourist visa with his sons Tamerlan, 15, and Dzhokhar, 8 — now the suspects in the ongoing Boston Marathon bombing manhunt. Over time, the family gained asylum. Tamerlan became a citizen. We spoke with David Leopold of ...

Another Ricin Letter Found in Washington, This Time Targeting Obama

April 17, 2013 The FBI is now investigating a second contaminated envelope sent to a mail processing facility in Washington, D.C. Its intended recipient appears to have been the president. According to Fox News, the FBI released the contents of the letters. The bulletin said both letters included the phrase: "To see a ...

Letter Sent to Senator Tests Positive for Ricin

April 16, 2013 In an eerie if incongruous reminder of the anthrax attacks after 9/11, a preliminary test appears to indicate that an envelope sent to a U.S. Senate office contained the poisonous protein ricin. Politico and CBS report that the recipient was Mississippi's Roger Wicker. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana suggests that ...