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Philip Bump

Philip Bump is a writer at The Wire.
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The White House May Have Done Just About All It Can on Gun Violence

June 19, 2013 Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech Tuesday celebrating the administration's push for new restrictions on gun ownership. Which could be seen as a little like an athlete stopping mid-race to say that he already considered himself a winner. While in sixth place. To be fair, the administration has done...

After an Easy Hearing, the NSA and FBI Are Ready for a Drink

June 18, 2013 If you were wondering how the National Security Agency and FBI felt about the very friendly hearing the House Intelligence Committee invited them to Tuesday, a hot mic has your answer. "Tell your boss," NSA Director Keith Alexander told the FBI deputy director, "I owe him another friggin' beer." Ben...

House Oversight Leader's Plan to Resuscitate the IRS Scandal

June 17, 2013 Over the weekend, USA Today reported on revelations that an agency executive in D.C. admitted to reviewing Tea Party applications. The admission, however, is a month old, stemming from a House Oversight interview with her in late May. It's been at least a week since the executive, Holly Paz, was...

America's Outsourced Spy Force, by the Numbers

June 10, 2013 Edward Snowden wasn't your traditional spy. He was, however, a very modern one, a guy who worked from a computer terminal in an office, similar to how a modern bomber pilot might control his drone. The weekend's big revelations about the NSA's biggest revealer prompt a natural question: How many...

Obama's Cyberwar Target List Just Made His Meeting with China Very Difficult

June 7, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Cyberwar is all-but-officially the new Cold War. In its third major scoop in three days, and just hours before President Obama was set to sit down at the Sunnylands estate in California with Chinese President Xi Jinping to talk about cyberwarfare, The Guardian reported that Obama ordered national security agents...

D.C.'s Role in the IRS Scandal Depends on What You Mean by 'D.C.'

June 7, 2013 People in Washington received information about the IRS's improper targeting of Tea Party groups in July 2010, significantly earlier than has been reported previously. That sentence is a loaded one, one that can be interpreted as damning evidence of an administration-led conspiracy. But there are a few big caveats buried...

Eric Holder Got Off Really Easy at His First Post-Verizon Hearing on the Hill

June 7, 2013 The timing for Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Capitol Hill today was perfect. On the heels of the staggering revelation that the FBI requested — and received — authorization for the National Security Agency to vacuum up phone records from Verizon, a Senate committee had the chance to inquire...

Issa's Pet Issue Brings Down an IRS Obamacare Administrator

June 6, 2013 Darrell Issa, please come collect your scalp. It's a valuable one: The guy the IRS put in charge of implementing Obamacare has been placed on leave for taking improper gifts. The Hill reports: [T]he staffers – named by one source as Fred Schindler and Donald Toda, who both work on...

No, Knives and Clubs and Bats Will Not Be Allowed on Airplanes After All

June 6, 2013 A bit of bad news for those of you hoping to play a few rounds and/or skin an animal while zipping between LGA and SFO. The Transportation Security Administration's plan to allow bats and small knives on flights -- announced three months ago -- has been scrapped. The proposal would...

First Day of Bradley Manning's Trial: Linking Him to Bin Laden

June 4, 2013 On the first day of the trial of Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of aiding enemies of the United States by transmitting classified documents to Wikileaks, attorneys did their best to shape perceptions. The judge hearing the case was offered two views of the defendant. One was of a...

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