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U.S. now faces threat of U.S.-made weapons in Iraq

Never mind that the vehicle is a boxy, lumbering, second-hand set of wheels with a top speed of just 60 mph. To some of the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. M1117, aka the Guardian Armored Security Vehicle, has become their favorite ride.... Read more»

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Koch-backed seniors group low-balling election spending?

The 60 Plus Association — a nonprofit senior citizen advocacy group funded largely by billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch’s conservative political network — appears to have vastly understated its level of election spending on federal tax filings, a Center for Public Integrity review of documents indicates.... Read more»1

‘Dr. Evil’ fuels dogfight between AKC, Humane Society

In recent weeks, riders of Washington, D.C.’s metro system have seen a parade of posters inside trains that make shocking allegations about the nation’s best-known animal rights group, the Humane Society of the United States.... Read more»

Commentary

Washington's cynical misinformation game

In most of our country’s major institutions, we have little tolerance for cheating and lying. Whether it’s the court system, schools, businesses, even our sports teams, we impose stiff sanctions against those who deceive us to gain some advantage. Yet there is one arena in which misleading the public not only is abided but is the norm: politics. In fact, much of what constitutes political discourse in this country is now built on a foundation of dishonesty.... Read more»

Medicare Advantage patients find themselves in regulatory limbo

Medicare pays the privately run health plans — an alternative to traditional Medicare — a set monthly rate for each patient. About 16 million Americans have signed up at an annual cost to taxpayers of more than $160 billion, about one third of the elderly and disabled people eligible for Medicare. A Center for Public Integrity investigation published in June found as much as $70 billion of improper payments to Medicare Advantage plans from 2008 through last year.... Read more»

Commentary

Predictions of Obamacare waits for doctors prove unfounded

Commentary: critics falsely claimed Obamacare would make matter worse.

... Read more»

Lobbying declines among top special interests

As election season spools up and an already lethargic Congress readies for recess, federal lobbying efforts among elite special interests are sputtering, too.... Read more»

MALDEF challenges Texas town's ban on housing border kids

Civil rights groups filed a federal complaint Tuesday challenging a Texas city’s ban on providing housing to “refugees” or foreigners such as the Central American children who’ve been turning themselves in at the border. League City’s ordinance cites concerns of diseases, Islamic terrorism.... Read more»1

Analysis

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

Participants in the health care marketplace would be wise to shop around.... Read more»2

Commentary

Attack ads may actually be benefiting Obamacare enrollment

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, its opponents have spent an estimated $450 million on political ads attacking the law. While those attacks likely cost some Democrats their congressional seats in 2012, a new report indicates that, crazy as it sounds, those ads may have contributed to the success of the legislation this year.... Read more»

Saving penny makes cents for zinc-backed front group

‘Broad-based’ group created to save the penny from extinction turns out to be backed by a company that supplies metal to make the coins.... Read more»

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare & legal help in rush to deport?

Child legal advocates are worried some Central American kids turning themselves in at the border could be returned to peril if Congress amends laws to speed up their repatriation to home countries.... Read more»

The politics of poison

How politics derailed EPA science on arsenic

A ban on arsenic-containing pesticides was lifted after a lawmaker disrupted a scientific assessment by the EPA.... Read more»

Leadership at Chemical Safety Board questioned amid investigation backlog

New, damning evidence of management failures within the U.S. Chemical Safety Board was presented Thursday at a congressional hearing.... Read more»

Lawmakers complain about shoddy intelligence contractor database

The U.S. intelligence community has been outsourcing much of its sensitive work to private contractors, but it’s had a hard time figuring out just how much and explaining why. That’s made it particularly difficult for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to assess whether the contracting is excessive or wasteful, as some independent groups have alleged.... Read more»

FEC struggles to appoint top lawyer

The Federal Election Commission soon marks a dubious anniversary: one year with nobody directing its legal department. That’s no trifle for an agency tasked with regulating and enforcing the nation’s campaign laws.

... Read more»

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