Obama's EPA breaks pledge to divorce politics from science on toxic chemicals

By David Heath

To the delight of industry, the EPA is completing fewer chemical assessments than ever before.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia-Pacific":

"… and lobby group for the chemical industry. One of formaldehyde's makers, Georgia-Pacific, is owned by Koch Industries, run by billionaires Charles and David Koch, …"

IRS rarely audits nonprofits for politicking

By Julie Patel

New documents show the federal tax agency almost never audits nonprofit groups for illegal politicking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… lone compared to about $17 million during the 2006 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The lack of IRS oversight and enforcement stems from a confluence of fac …"

States continue war over Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

State lawmakers at odds over hundreds of bills to either cripple or prop up Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chicago":

"… ature. For instance, Illinois State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, a Democrat from Chicago, believes Obamacare doesn’t go far enough in covering millions of uninsu …"

Selling out for big business: business as usual on Capitol Hill

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: upcoming Obamacare bills benefit corporations, not regular folks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "health insurance":

"… . The law currently requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide health insurance to most of their full-time employees. The mandate will go into effect this …"

"… Changing it to 40 hours would mean that many folks would likely lose their health insurance. The tradeoffs are complicated, but ultimately, people needing insurance …"

"… uld increase the number of people getting coverage through Medicaid or the health insurance exchanges by between 500,000 to 1 million. And about half a million would …"

"… it, as would some smaller companies. And now that millions more of us have health insurance because of Obamacare, more of us can now afford the equipment these firms …"

Why industry is trying to tell you how to think

By Erin Quinn, Chris Young and Kimberley Porteous

How we investigated the top message peddlers influencing public policy — and why you should care.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… r member companies. They play a major role in shaping public policy in the United States.  Chris Young: But when most Americans think about the power trade g …"

Who needs lobbyists? See what big business spends to win American minds

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young

Trade groups pay top PR, advertising firms $1.2 billion over five years to influence public.

Excerpts from this story referencing "finance":

"… agency that will create more layers of regulation and bureaucracy.” The finance, insurance and real estate sector ranked third in contracts with advertisi …"

Center’s Medicare Advantage Money Grab series wins Meyer Journalism Award

By William Gray

Center’s ground-breaking Medicare Advantage investigation named first-place winner of the 2014 Philip Meyer Journalism Award.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… Public Integrity investigation detailing questionable spending by private Medicare plans has been awarded the prestigious Philip Meyer Journalism Award for s …"

"… yer Journalism Award for social science reporting.  The series, Medicare Advantage Money Grab, documented how Medicare Advantage plans, create …"

"… nbsp; The series, Medicare Advantage Money Grab, documented how Medicare Advantage plans, created more than a decade ago to control health care spe …"

"… patients and less for healthy people — but it often pays too much. Medicare Advantage plans now cover nearly 16 million seniors at an estimated cost t …"

Groups sue to force EPA's hand on oil and gas emissions

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

Nine groups sue to force the EPA to decide whether emissions from oil and gas extraction should be publicly reported.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… a key federal inventory, but not the companies that extract oil and gas. Environmental and open-government groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection …"

"… oil and gas. Environmental and open-government groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency two years ago to add the industry to its Toxics Releas …"

"… group not to report,” said the suit’s lead attorney, Adam Kron of the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonprofit group that presses for enforcement of pol …"

"… wrote the coalition’s then-president, Kathryn Z. Klaber. Last year the Environmental Integrity Project released an analysis suggesting that the larger sites, …"

One-stop science shop has become a favorite of industry—and Texas

By Rosalind Adams and Lisa Song

The EPA's sluggishness in assessing chemicals has created opportunities for a consulting firm with ties to chemical and tobacco interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Academy of Sciences":

"… and upon the findings of a 2009 report on risk assessment science from the National Academy of Sciences. Dourson said the request came from the TCEQ, which has hosted three of th …"

FEC gets modest budget boost

By Dave Levinthal

The election watchdog's 2015 funding level reverses years of cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ann Ravel":

"… ederal agencies for employee satisfaction. The FEC in 2015 will be led by Ann Ravel, a Democrat. Ravel's commission colleagues on Wednesday voted 5-0 to appoi …"

New FEC chief on 'dark money' mission

By Dave Levinthal

New Chairwoman Ann Ravel says she'll fight to out people behind secretive political cash, regardless of party.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… the public with great success by government agencies such as NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency— is comparatively pathetic: It averages one tweet about every three days …"

Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sandia":

"… n, one of the largest defense industry donors to lawmakers. Lockheed runs Sandia National Laboratories — one of the three U.S. labs that help produc …"

"… al and special assistant to President George W. Bush, also holds a seat on Sandia’s board. And former California Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, now a strat …"

"… 0 from contractors at four of the U.S. nuclear complex sites — including Sandia — after leaving office in 2009. A 2013 report by the DOE’s Inspector …"

"… federal funds to lobby for an extension of Lockheed’s contract to manage Sandia. Wilson denied working as a lobbyist, and her contract barred it, but the …"

Who's responsible for the CIA's torture policy?

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Who's who in authorizing the CIA's brutal treatment of detainees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… News Bruce Jessen screengrab from ABC News …"

"… ton believed they were withholding information about future attacks on the United States. As it turned out, some of those who were harshly treated had no such info …"

A long-term blank check for 'war' spending

By Julia Harte

In the federal budget, emergency spending for combat operations is the new normal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… ary constraints, officials and independent experts say. Although President Barack Obama promised as a candidate in 2008 to “end the abuse” of wartime emergenc …"

Senate report says CIA repeatedly misled policymakers about interrogation program

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Senate report says CIA repeatedly tried to mislead policymakers about interrogation program to escape scrutiny and criticism

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bush":

"… ories of violence and abusive treatment of others,” it states. President Bush himself expressed discomfort when shown a picture of a detainee in diapers …"

Scientist with deep industry ties being considered for key EPA job

By David Heath

Michael Dourson is one of two candidates to lead the EPA office that determines which chemicals make people sick, and in what doses.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… e chemical industry is one of two finalists to lead the office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that determines which chemicals can make people sick, and in what doses. …"

Don't wait 'til last minute to enroll in Obamacare

By Wendell Potter

Not all health insurance plans are created equal. Shoppers should get to work now on finding the right policy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Governors and oil industry work hand in hand in offshore drilling group

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Lobbying firm, advocacy organization did much of the work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wyoming":

"… g, alongside a Republican Governors Association gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and RSVPs weren’t coming in as hoped, Holt fired off a message&nbs …"

PR firm busts disclosure deadline while representing Burkina Faso

By Carrie Levine

CD Global Strategies took months — instead of 10 days — to inform the Justice Department of its work for Burkina Faso.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… West African nation, traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and other U.S. officials. Helping arrange the meetings: CD Global Strateg …"

Congress' never-ending political money chase

By Dave Levinthal

Congressional lawmakers are hard at work raising campaign cash in D.C. as lame duck session begins.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… eady back on the fundraising trail, according to documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity: Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., will hold court Wednesday evening at Rosa Me …"

Obama administration let opponents define the Affordable Care Act

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obama administration let foes define Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… ch Massachusetts lawmakers enacted in 2006. During remarks he made at the Health Economists Conference at the University of Pennsylvania last year, Gruber …"

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Nuclear weapons lab used taxpayer funds to obtain more taxpayer funds

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A government auditor uncovers a textbook case of lobbying by a contractor at federal expense.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sandia":

"… orporation in 2009 sought to extend their lucrative contract work managing Sandia National Laboratories for the Energy Department, and expected that their p …"

"… ing new report that the firm, and top officials that helped it operate the Sandia nuclear weapons labs in Albuquerque, appear to have violated federal laws …"

"… ing regulations, but also “impermissible” under the precise wording of Sandia’s longstanding, multi-billion dollar contract with DOE. Friedman’s sl …"

"… year contract extension worth $7.7 billion in March of this year to manage Sandia, rather than the 12-year extension it had sought. But a Sandia official, w …"

Poorly rated nursing homes got HUD-guaranteed mortgages anyway

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Hundreds of poorly rated facilities received mortgage guarantees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… am — from the Government Accountability Office and HUD’s Office of the Inspector General — don’t seem to have made much difference. HUD spokesman Brian Sulliv …"

Hate political ads? Skip morning shows

By Dave Levinthal

'Today,' 'Good Morning America' were top draws for U.S. Senate message machines ahead of the 2014 midterms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… Republicans Senatorial Committee, ran more than 420 ads on "Ellen." Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meanwhile, who's poised to become Senate majority leader, strongly …"

Analysis shows widespread discrepancies in staffing levels reported by nursing homes

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Analysis shows staffing levels lower than what's reported on public website.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… taffing levels may be artificially inflated. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency responsible for overseeing nursing home …"

"… n 2005 the agency said the cost reports made annually to the state-federal Medicaid program are a more accurate source of information than Nursing Home Compar …"

"… each year to determine whether its nursing homes meet minimum Medicare and Medicaid quality and performance standards. Opinion is divided about the extent to …"

Health insurers win midterm election!

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: midterm results create a friendlier Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "health insurance":

"… icans weren’t the only big winners in last Tuesday’s election. So were health insurance companies, many of which spent heavily to influence the outcome.  Th …"

"… lace Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader, investors were active buyers of health insurance stock. In fact, the share prices of five of the six largest for-profit hea …"

GOP rides cavalry to U.S. Senate majority

By Michael Beckel, Dave Levinthal and Carrie Levine

Super PACs, 'dark money' nonprofits help make Election Day difference as Republicans seize a U.S. Senate majority

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kay Hagan":

"… nal $14 million.) Similarly, in North Carolina, incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and state House Speaker Thom Tillis, her Republican rival, collectively ra …"

FEC hunts political ghosts on Halloween

By Carrie Levine

On Halloween, the elections agency sent disclosure demands to hundreds of candidates — including those no longer alive.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Halloween":

"… d to the FEC itself. …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… ng under the Affordable Care Act. The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse, said it …"

"… es with an eye toward curbing overcharges. Results are due next year. The Inspector General also announced from five to ten new audits into Obamacare, ranging from th …"

"… ayments for new enrollees to controls to prevent fraudulent sign ups. The Inspector General’s office did not say if individual Medicare Advantage plans would be aud …"

"… n does not always support the diagnoses” (used to bill Medicare),” the Inspector General said. “Efforts for FY 2015 and beyond may include additional work examin …"

'Banking Caucus' member aims for Senate

By Alison Fitzgerald

Republican candidate for Senate U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito defends little banks but big banks benefit too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… cal action committees of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Bank of New York Mellon are among the top 20 donors to Capito’s Senate run, according to …"

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