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Monday, May 20, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Watch Saturday Night Live weigh in on IRS scandal


Republicans concede they lack evidence President Obama directed IRS abuses -President Barack Obama's team emerged on Sunday to defend his handling of revelations that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for scrutiny, as senior Republicans conceded they lacked evidence — so far — that the president directed the abuses. 

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said the IRS controversy amounted to evidence of a "culture of intimidation" by the administration. But he and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., admitted they lacked evidence that the targeting of conservatives was ordered by the White House.

"We don't have anything to say that the president knew about this," said Camp, who chairs the House committee looking into the IRS controversy, on NBC's "Meet the Press."

But the White House has begun to push back. A top White House adviser, Dan Pfeiffer, emerged on Sunday to assert that the administration had handled the IRS fiasco properly.

"There is no question that Republicans are trying to make political hay here," Pfeiffer said on "Meet the Press" of the IRS controversy.

Pfeiffer sought to undercut Republicans' criticism by asserting that Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a top GOP critic of the administration who is in charge of White House oversight, was actually aware of an inspector general's investigation into the IRS abuses as early as last fall. To that end, Pfeiffer argued that even if the president were aware of the investigation of the IRS at an earlier point, it would have been inappropriate to become involved with or interfere with the inquiry.  NBC News has more here.


Obama deleivers commencement address at Morehouse College - “It is one of the great honors of my life to be able to address this gathering here today,” President Obama told the graduates. He spoke about Morehouse’s history, and “ the unique sense of purpose that this place has always infused -- the conviction that this is a training ground not only for individual success, but for leadership that can change the world.”

“Your generation is uniquely poised for success unlike any generation of African Americans that came before it,” President Obama said.  The White House has more here.


Democrats aim to defeat Bachmann in 2014 - Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) leads her 2014 Democratic challenger Jim Graves by two percentage points, according to a new poll conducted for Graves' campaign.

Bachmann takes 47 percent support and Graves takes 45 percent, according to an early survey of the race conducted by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for Graves.

The two-percentage-point lead is within the poll's plus or minus 4-point margin of error, indicating the race is statistically tied.

Perhaps more troublesome for Bachmann are her favorables: She's seen unfavorably by 51 percent of respondents, while 46 percent view her positively. Graves is seen favorably by 39 percent and unfavorably by 33 percent of respondents, but a full 28 percent are still unsure of how they feel about him.
Graves also posts stronger crossover appeal, taking 17 percent of Republicans, while Bachmann takes only eight percent of Democrats. has more here.


N. Korea fires sixth missile in 3 days - North Korea fired two short-range missiles on Monday, making six launches in three days, and it condemned South Korea for criticizing what it said were its legitimate military drills.

"We are conducting intense military exercises to strengthen our defense capacity," North Korea's KCNA news agency quoted the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, the body that handles inter-Korean issues, as saying on Monday.

"Our military is conducting these exercises in order to cope with the mounting war measures from the U.S. and South Korea, which is the legitimate right of any sovereign country." has more here.


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