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Here are the most important articles on The Hill's front page tonight (June 24th), in approximately visual order:

Tax writers promise 50 years of secrecy for senators' suggestions
By Bernie Becker

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), assured lawmakers that any submission they receive will be kept under lock and key by the committee and the National Archives until the end of 2064.

Sounds like an open, democratic process to me.
House rejects effort to curb NSA surveillance powers, 205-217
By Jeremy Herb

Amash’s amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill pitted liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans opposed to the NSA’s massive surveillance activities against both parties’ leadership and the Obama administration.

Hey look, the people who care at least a little bit about governance principles and their utility to a free and representative society... versus the people who don't give a damn about that malarkey and are just in it for the power.
No love for Edward Snowden among NSA critics on Capitol Hill
By Julian Pecquet

Some say he should have raised red flags with Congress instead of going to the press.

A fat lot of good that would've done. You jackasses (at least the ones on intelligence committees and the "Gang of Eight") already knew and didn't tell us, other than a couple of Senators dropping hints. Tell me with a straight face you wouldn't have just sat on it, just like many of your predecessors did in similar situations. Edward Snowden will go down in history as a national and global hero, and kids reading history books a generation from now will know your ilk for the cowards you are.
Obama dismisses scandals as ‘phony’
By Justin Sink

Obama’s comments marked an inflection point in the way the administration has been dealing with a raft of controversies, many of which the White House has previously suggested were substantive.

Perhaps the President should have done that before letting the IRS take so much damage and before dismissing the director. Or, say, before letting Shirley Sherrod go, or Van Jones, or...
Snowden fate threatens to be long-term thorn in US-Russia relations
By Julian Pecquet

“Perhaps he likes the cold? Perhaps he couldn’t figure out how to get [to Latin America]?” said Danielle Pletka, vice-president for foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

“Perhaps he felt it was enough to see his country slapped in the face, and he wants nothing more. Who knows.”

"Foreign and defense policy studies"—that a class in the fourth grade? Because that's about the level of maturity of that little taunt.
House Democrats warn of more border deaths under Senate immigration bill
By Mike Lillis

Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), a member of the bipartisan group negotiating a comprehensive reform package in the House, is also wary of the heavy emphasis on the border fence. He warned earlier this month that anyone hoping to seal the Southern border entirely is dreaming.

“I've been down there all my life, and I'm telling you, you can have a 40-foot wall and put machine guns on it, and you can't secure the Southern border," he said. "There's too much wild country."

No argument from me on that! Plus, wild animal habitat obstruction: how arrogant and destructive of us to wall off the movement of large land animals.
Senate approves deal on student loan rates
By Ramsey Cox

Warren, along with Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) argued that they could not support the bill because it “profits off the backs of students.”

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate bill generates $184 billion in profit over 10 years for the government — roughly the same amount as if the 6.8 percent rate remained in place.

Ayup. What's the rationale for the government to take money away from students?
Republicans to boycott hearing for Obama's Homeland Security pick
By Julian Pecquet   

Republicans say they'll boycott Thursday's hearing on President Obama's pick for Number 2 at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over allegations he misused his government position to help a Chinese firm get U.S. visas.

I'm inclined to see how this one plays out—not feeling much sympathy for either side of this particular fight.
McConnell challenger criticizes GOP Senate leader’s ‘slash and burn’ style
By Alexandra Jaffe
Two points:
  • The most important thing about this is the way it influences McConnell's policy positions, for better and for worse.
  • Actually, forget that, the most important thing is to stock up on popcorn.
Pentagon delays fighter sales to Egypt
By Carlo Muñoz

Earlier this month, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation to end all military funding to Egypt.

Here's another opportunity for a left-right policy alliance.
Congress to probe lethal crash that killed SEAL Team 6 members
By Bob Cusack

Shortly before the CH-47 Chinook helicopter took off on a rescue mission (operation Extortion 17), seven Afghan commandos who were on the passenger list were replaced by other Afghan military officials.

It remains unclear why the manifest was incorrect, raising red flags among the victims’ families.

[...] “The body I saw didn’t need to be cremated,” Chaffetz said, adding that the Department of Defense’s explanation of its failure to find the helicopter’s black box seems “awfully odd.”

Watch this one. I want Congress to get to the bottom of it too.

And that's the day's news, according to the Washington, D.C. establishment. Someone over there give Julian Pecquet a raise!

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