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Despite losses suffered in the last national elections, Republicans aren't backing away from opposing abortion. It's a potent issue in many states, and the GOP is finding new ways to frame it. We hear how it's likely to play in this year's mid-term campaigns for the Senate and Congress. Also, another watchdog group says NSA phone record program is illegal. On today's Talking Point, Edward Snowden wasn't the only intelligence agent whose security clearance was flawed. The Justice Department says there were 660,000 such cases in four-years.

Banner image: 2013 March for Life. Photo: sjakofclifeline

Making News Watchdog Group Says NSA Phone Record Program Is Illegal 7 MIN, 36 SEC

Yet another analysis has concluded that the National Security Agency's collection of bulk phone-call records has had "minimal" benefits in counter-terrorism. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board also says it's illegal and ought to be stopped. Josh Meyer covered terrorism for the Los Angeles Times. He's now a journalism professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in Washington, DC.

Josh Meyer, Politico (@JoshMeyerDC)

The Hunt for KSM

Terry McDermott

Main Topic Abortion Makes a Comeback in This Year's Midterm Elections 36 MIN, 14 SEC

In 2012, Democrats beat anti-abortion Republicans by invoking what they called a "war against women." But, instead of backing away from the issue, the GOP has re-framed it, still advocating the right to life while denying the right to a tax-payer subsidy. During yesterday's 41st anniversary protest against Roe versus Wade, the Republican National Committee ran shuttles back and forth between its annual meeting and the Washington Mall. Republican state legislatures have recently passed more than 200 anti-abortion laws, and many supporters of the right to choose also approve some restrictions. Polls show it's one social issue that really divides Americans right down the middle. Will it help determine who controls the US Senate and Congress? 

Linda Feldmann, Christian Science Monitor (@linda_feldmann)
Olga Khazan, The Atlantic (@olgakhazan)
Scott Clement, Washington Post (@sfcpoll)
Joshua Wilson, University of Denver (@jcwilson98)

Today's Talking Point Justice Department Accuses Background Check Firm of Fraud 7 MIN, 1 SEC

It was no surprise that the fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden's original security clearance was flawed. But a new lawsuit by the Justice Department makes an astonishing claim: more than 660,000 background investigations by an outside firm were fraudulent. The Clinton Administration started out-sourcing security background checks in 1996. Since then, US Investigations Services, or USIS, has done 45% of the work.  Now the Justice Department is accusing the company of massive fraud. Dion Nissenbaum covers national security for the Wall Street Journal

Dion Nissenbaum, Wall Street Journal (@DionNissenbaum)

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