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June 20, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
SAN JOSE -- Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said Wednesday that President Obama needs to justify his administration's surveillance policies to the American people. “I think the American people are willing to give up some privacy in exchange for safety, but I think the president has to essentially ask our permission,” he said in an interview at a gathering here of liberal bloggers and activists. “The reason this country works is because we are governed with the consent of the governed.
June 11, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Over the weekend, as Americans were still absorbing double-barreled revelations about the extent of the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance, the source of that information outed himself. Edward J. Snowden, a 29-year-old former employee of a government contracting firm, acknowledged with no apparent regrets that he was responsible for providing journalists at the Guardian and the Washington Post with evidence of what he called an "architecture of oppression. " Snowden's emergence from the shadows puts him at risk of prosecution by the U.S. government.
May 17, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday morning for the agency's "foolish mistakes" in its handling of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status and attributed the IRS' actions to a misguided pursuit of efficiency instead of partisan targeting. Steven Miller, the IRS acting commissioner, appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee, the first congressional showdown on the issue since revelations the agency inappropriately singled out tea party and other conservative groups for additional scrutiny.
March 14, 2013 | By David Keene and David Cole
In the divided world of American politics, it's not easy to find an issue on which the legal affairs correspondent for the Nation and the former chairman of the American Conservative Union agree. But we've found one: the crucial importance of transparency in government, especially when the president claims the power to kill us without charges or trial, by directing the launching of a remote-control drone. As this is Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open government, what better time for the president to make good on his promise to lead the most transparent administration ever and tell us what's up with the drone policy?
February 5, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Who says congressional Democrats aren't trying to cut spending? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) seems determined to chop discretionary budgets by more than $100 billion this year, regardless of what economists (and the unemployment rate) may suggest about the fragility of the recovery. Granted, it's not that Reid is calling for the cuts to go into effect on March 1, as currently scheduled. In fact, he says the opposite. But the alternatives that Reid and House Democrats are floating are such political nonstarters, it's hard to imagine anything else happening.
January 25, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE -- While the debate over guns -- who can buy them, who can carry them -- is playing out on a grand scale across the national stage, its most emotional skirmishes are often fought in smaller venues, those most people never hear about,  in communities across the country. Witness the town of Oak Harbor, Wash., where a city council member recently walked out of a council meeting when he learned a spectator -- a disabled veteran who served five years in Afghanistan -- was carrying a concealed weapon.
January 21, 2013
Here is a transcript of President Obama's second inaugural address, as provided by the White House in advance of his speech: Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:  Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.  We affirm the promise of our democracy.  We recall that what binds this nation together...
November 15, 2012 | By James Rainey
Turns out, Mitt Romney didn't really mean it when he apologized and said he had been “just completely wrong” about “the 47%.” Those who didn't buy Romney's October mea culpa for his biggest campaign stumble got confirmation Wednesday that the Republican presidential candidate really did, and does, believe that half of Americans are waiting for a handout. The first time Romney held forth on America's moocher class, video captured the moment. This time, on Wednesday, it was the L.A. Times's Maeve Reston and a New York Times reporter listening in as the Republican presidential nominee again delivered his version of the truth.
November 14, 2012 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- Nancy Pelosi, the liberal San Francisco congresswoman who became the first woman speaker of the House, will seek to remain the Democratic leader in the next Congress. Pelosi made the announcement Wednesday to a packed meeting of her caucus. "They say a picture is worth a million words. Well this picture is worth millions of aspirations of the American people," Pelosi told the gathering, according to a Democratic leadership aide in attendance at the closed meeting.
November 7, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey
CHICAGO -- Hours after winning a second term, President Obama reached out to leaders on Capitol Hill for what will likely be the first of many private conversations about the daunting fiscal mess awaiting them all. The so-called fiscal cliff was the topic of the calls to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Obama placed the calls Tuesday night and Wednesday morning from Chicago, where he celebrated his win. In a statement, the White House said the president called to discuss the “legislative agenda for the remainder of the year.” But it's very clear there's only one major item on that agenda: dealing with a morass of expiring tax cuts, scheduled budget cuts and a rising debt.
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