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Perry Stein

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Perry

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) on Wednesday called on James Clapper, director of national intelligence, to resign from his post immediately.

“It now appears clear that the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, lied under oath to Congress and the American people,” Amash wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday morning. “Members of Congress can’t make informed decisions on intelligence issues when the head of the intelligence community willfully makes false statements. Perjury is a serious crime. Mr. Clapper should resign immediately.”

The National Security Agency has come under fire in recent days after revelations of the agency's broad surveillance of Americans, leading to questions about whether Clapper lied before Congress in March when he was asked about the NSA's data-mining programs.

(h/t Buzzfeed)

A Federal District Court judge ruled Tuesday that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and New York minimum wage laws by not paying production interns on the film "Black Swan" -- a decision that could have broad implications for industries that have long relied on the work of unpaid interns.

The judge, according to the New York Times, said the interns should have been paid because they were essentially regular employees. The internship, Judge William H. Pauley III determined, did not foster an educational environment and the company simply reaped the benefits of the interns' work. He called for companies to follow the criteria for unpaid internships already delineated by the Department of Labor, which, in part, states that the work must not be of immediate advantage to the employer and must be similar in nature to vocational training. 

A spokesman for 20th Century Fox told the Times that the company was "disappointed" with the court's rulings and will seek to have them reversed.

This is the first in a series of cases filed by unpaid interns. A former Harper’s Bazaar intern sued Hearst Magazines in 2012. This February, an unpaid intern sued Elite Model Management for $50 million.

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) announced Tuesday that she would not be seeking the GOP nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson (D). She will instead seek a third House term, according to USA Today

"I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me and pledged support for a potential campaign for the U.S. Senate," Noem said in a statement. "Right now [my family and I] are in the best position to serve South Dakota as a member of the U.S. House."

The South Dakota seat is considered a potential GOP pick-up for the 2014 election cycle. Former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds is already running for the seat. On the Democratic side, Rick Weiland, a former aide to past Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, is seeking the nomination.

The anonymous Michigan man behind the popular Twitter account @LOLGOP said on the Politics Powered By Twitter radio show Tuesday that he would run for his state's open Senate seat in 2014 “if @RepJustinAmash enters the Michigan Senate primary."

The interview comes a day after the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling tested the Twitter handle, which often disparages Republicans, in a hypothetical match-up against Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). The results: @LOLGOP would beat Amash 23 percent to 22 percent.

Listen to the interview here: 

For the first time since 2005, more Americans view President George W. Bush positively than negatively.

A new Gallup poll released Tuesday found that 49 percent of people view the former president favorably and 46 percent unfavorably. Bush left office in January 2009 with 40 percent of Americans viewing him favorably and 59 percent viewing him unfavorably.

His highest approval rating came immediately after the September 11, 2000 terrorist attacks when 87 percent of Americans approved of the job he was doing. His lowest approval rating of 32 percent came as gas prices soared and the economy spiraled into recession in 2008.

Bush has kept a relatively low profile since leaving office as an unpopular president, but recently reemerged into the public eye with the April opening of his presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

The survey polled 1,529 adults in the United States and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

The head of the FBI's Boston division who oversaw the counterterrorism investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings announced Tuesday that he would step down from his post in July and take a private sector job as vice president of Corporate Security with Penske Corporation in Michigan.

Richard DesLauriers, 53, had a 26 year career with the FBI and has been in his current position since July 2010.

“It has been a distinct honor and privilege to serve for the past three years as SAC of the Boston Division of the FBI," DesLauriers said in a statemnet. "I thank the very hard working women and men of the FBI for their dedicated public service to our great nation, and I thank our many law enforcement and United States Attorney’s Office partners for their enduring friendship and countless contributions to enhancing public safety and security across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine.”

 

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Tuesday against the Obama administration over the National Security Agency's "dragnet" surveillance program, which "vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States."

The ACLU is a Verizon customer--the telecommunication company that received a secret court order for its domestic phone records--and says this relationship allows it to directly bring forth the case.

"This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens," said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. "It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy."

Read the suit here.

 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) predicted on the Senate floor Tuesday that the Gang of Eight's comprehensive immigration reform bill would pass the Senate, but would not make it through the House.

"This bill is going to pass the Senate, but as written, this bill will not pass the House," Cruz said. "As written, this bill will not pass into law. And if this bill did become law, it would not solve the problem. Indeed, it would make the problem of illegal immigration that we have today worse rather than better."

The U.S. Senate voted 82-15 Tuesday to advance a bill that includes a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants to floor debate.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill) said Tuesday that while he "encourages" a bipartisan bill that would declassify key federal court opinions justifying domestic surveillance of American citizens, such an effort is going to be "ill-fated," according to The Hill.

The bill, spearheaded by Oregon Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, would require the attorney general to declassify certain decisions made by courts that were operating under the secretative Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
 

Essentially, if the bill were already law the government would have been obligated to disclose its collected phone records and the PRISM Internet data-mining. Durbin, according to The Hill, said that despite bipartisan support, he thinks the White House would never sign the bill into law.

White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment when a reporter at the White House's daily press briefing Tuesday asked him if the administration would consider Edward Snowden a whistleblower.

Carney only said that he would not comment on Snowden's actions as the administration is conducting an ongoing investigation into his leak of classified National Security Agency documents to the press.

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