Week In The News: IRS And AP, Military Sex Abuse, Angelina Jolie

IRS and AP scandals. White House damage control.  More military sex abuse.  Angelina Jolie.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Attorney General Eric Holder gestures as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, before the House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the Justice Department. (AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder gestures as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, before the House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the Justice Department. (AP)

Wall-to-wall scandal talk in Washington this week.  Fury over the IRS and Tea Party targets.  Fury over the Associated Press and its ransacked records.  And a suddenly embattled president scrambling to get on top of the uproar.

There was no help from the Pentagon, where more sex abuse issues have surfaced.  Pimping.  Not much help from the Benghazi e-mails.  A little help from the deficit, of all things.  It’s down!  We’ve got fierce Texas tornadoes.  And a bold Angelina Jolie.

This hour, On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook


Susan Davis, chief congressional correspondent for USA Today. (@davisusan)

Josh Barro, columnist for Bloomberg view. Lead writer for the Ticker blog on economics, finance, and politics. (@jbarro)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN: Obama counter-punches in effort to regain political balance — “President Barack Obama is counter-punching furiously to prevent a series of potential scandals from overwhelming his second-term agenda. With a trio of moves, the suddenly beleaguered president fought back on Wednesday against Republican attacks that his administration defied accountability for controversies involving IRS targeting of conservative groups, the secret subpoena of journalists’ phone records and erroneous talking points in the immediate aftermath of last year’s Benghazi terrorist attack.”

NBC News: Senator seeks to reform military’s ‘unacceptable’ sex abuse policies — “A New York senator introduced a bill Thursday that aims to remove sex crimes from the military’s chain of command — a bid to transform an insulated culture that tends to dampen sex-assault reporting, leaving many victims feeling helpless or hopeless. Under the Pentagon’s current justice system, less than 1 percent of accused sexual perpetrators in the military were convicted last year while during 2012 just 9.8 percent of sex-assault victims reported the incidents, according to a Department of Defense report. Many victims feel powerless because their superiors can control everything from whether a case proceeds to whether a guilty verdict is eventually overturned.”

Time: Three Lessons from the Benghazi Emails — “The 100 pages of emails about Benghazi released by the White House on Tuesday evening provide a fascinating glimpse at the machinations of national security officials working under stress. The exchanges, which hashed out a set of talking points intended for members of Congress to use a few days after the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans, tell us virtually nothing new about the now well-excavated story. But they do underscore a few important points.”

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