Below are the top stories from the past week.

Papantonio: The Death of the Tea Party

Conservative IRS Manager Chose to Scrutinize Tea Party Filings

An IRS manager, describing himself as a conservative Republican, told congressional investigators that he and a colleague made the decision to give the Tea Party extra scrutiny, according to Reuters. An official interview transcript was released yesterday by Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, which cited the conservative manager saying he and “an underling set aside ‘Tea Party’ and ‘patriot’ groups that had applied for tax-exempt status.” … Read more.

Republicans Block Student Loan Rate Freeze

Last Thursday, Senate Republicans filibustered the Democrats’ bill that would prevent a spike in student loan rates. The student loan rate is set to double, to 6.8 percent, on July 1 of this year if Congress does not take action. The Democrats’ bill would freeze need-based student loan interest rates for two years, giving Congress time to find a long-term solution to the ever-increasing student loan debt, according to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. … Read more.

Papantonio: Medical Journals Selling Fraudulent Medicine

Despite Customer Outrage NSA Surveillance of Verizon Wireless Phone Records Continues

Mega-corporation Verizon Wireless has been disclosing its customers’ phone records to the government, and it seems the backlash being seen from the wireless company’s angry customers is doing very little to thwart the government’ssurveillance program anytime soon. The wireless company continues to release daily customer phone records to the National Security Agency (NSA) for review.The Obama Administration defends its stance for the collection of the phone records, saying that the surveillance program is a “critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats.” … Read more.

Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.