Politics & Government

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The Internal Revenue Service is under fire for improperly singling out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny — putting them through months (or longer) of questions that delayed or derailed the organizations' requests for tax-exempt status.

Well, now the chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee have some questions and requests — actually dozens of them — for the IRS.

ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl now says he regrets that some key parts of a major story he reported on May 10 were wrong.

Decades Of History Behind IRS Flap

May 20, 2013

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, when you think about poverty in this country, you might think about certain people living in certain places. It turns out that some of those old assumptions are wrong. For example, more poor people now live in the suburbs. We'll talk about why that is in just a few minutes.

A challenge to the way a western New York State town board has had prayers read before its public meetings has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices announced Monday morning that they will hear oral arguments in the case of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway, Susan.

The legislature's Joint Finance Committee will consider changes to the state's rent-to-own laws and a proposed expansion of the state's DNA registry.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's look little more deeply at this narrative of scandal. NPR's Scott Horsley has more.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: When President Obama gets frustrated with the gridlock in Washington, he sometimes looks back wistfully to the decades after World War II. Back then, he suggests Republicans and Democrats managed to work together, despite their differences, building highways, protecting consumers, and educating generations of workers.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

The phrase "second term curse" is so familiar that it's become a cliche of American politics. Whether it's President Richard Nixon's resignation or President Bill Clinton's impeachment, presidents tend to have a tough time during the back half of an eight-year presidency.

Eric Thayer Getty Images

Gov. Scott Walker embarks on a speaking frenzy this week. He’s set to keynote huge Republican gatherings in Connecticut and New York City, then head to Iowa, to be the star of a GOP gathering. Iowa is home to the nation's first presidential caucuses.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The IRS was in the hot seat Friday, with its outgoing acting commissioner testifying before a House committee. A Senate panel is scheduled for Tuesday. Congress is prodding to find out why the agency singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny.

Tesla Motors, the American maker of luxury electric cars, has been riding a wave of good publicity.

Its Model S sedan (base priced at $62,400, after federal tax credits) was just named Motor Trend Car of the Year. Reviewers at Consumer Reports gave the lithium-ion battery powered vehicle a rave.

And the company, headed by billionaire innovator Elon Musk, 41, posted a profit for the first time in its 10-year history — powered in part by zero-emission environmental credits.

images courtesy of the authors

David Brooks and EJ Dionne disagree with each other – for a living. 

NPR's Peter Overby reports on the Congressional testimony of IRS officials in response to the scandal over special scrutiny of tea party groups. Underneath all the politics, there's a policy question that hasn't been addressed.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There are three simultaneous controversies rattling the Obama administration this week: the IRS, the phone records of the AP reporters, and Benghazi. NPR's White House correspondent Ari Shapiro joins us. Ari, thanks for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

It's been a long slog already for the bipartisan immigration overhaul proposed by the Senate's Gang of Eight.

The legislation has been the target of more than 300 amendments during days of debate and votes by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But while the bill has largely held its own so far, its prospects for getting through Congress remain uncertain.

In Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy's view, the immigration overhaul is "moving very well."

"It's moving a lot faster than people said it would," says Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

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