FROM Kim Barker
The Real-Life Reporter Behind 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot' Tina Fey’s character in her new film, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is based on the real-life journalist Kim Barker. She served as the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune From 2004 to 2009. During that time she covered the war in Afghanistan and also reported from Pakistan. She wrote about her experiences in her book The Taliban Shuffle , which came out in 2011. It’s a darkly comic memoir recounting life in the so-called “Kabubble,” the Kabul enclave of journalists, government officials, NGO workers, fixers and others brought together by war. Eventually, Tina Fey convinced Paramount Pictures to option the memoir.
The Obama Administration and the Shadow of Scandal Attorney General Eric Holder is being grilled by a Congressional committee today about possible scandals in two agencies with investigative powers. The Obama Administration stands accused of abusing its powers to uncover leaks to reporters and make sure that taxes are being paid. In both cases, the devil is in the details. Was a terrorist threat really bad enough to justify the FBI's massive seizure of phone records from the Associated Press? Did the IRS target right-wing groups for partisan reasons or because they were more likely than liberal groups to be looking for tax exemptions? With the White House on the defensive against Republicans — and the national press corps — we update both stories.
Nonprofits Groups and Dark Money in the Presidential Campaign In the case called Citizens United , the US Supreme Court took the limits off campaign contributions as long as the sources of money were made public. Since then, so-called Super PAC's have received a lot of attention and so have their donors. But now it turns out that the Super PAC's are being outspent by groups which don't have to reveal where their money is coming from. Kim Barker reports on campaign finance for ProPublica .
Nonprofits Groups and Dark Money in the Presidential Campaign In the case called Citizens United , the US Supreme Court took the limits off campaign contributions as long as the sources of money were made public. Since then, so-called super PAC's have received a lot of attention and so have their donors. But now it turns out that the super PAC's are being outspent by "social welfare" groups which don't have to reveal where their money is coming from. Kim Barker reports on campaign finance for ProPublica .
Gulf Coast 'Spillionaires' Cash In on BP Payments BP got most of the blame for the Gulf oil spill , the worst in US history. The federal government gave the company control over the clean-up, and BP has spent $16 billion so far to make things right. A report by ProPublica , co-published with the Washington Post, says that gusher of money has created profiteers. ProPublica's Kim Barker explains how these "spillionaires" have cashed in while others got much less.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.