Now we turn to a scathing report on expensive conferences held by the IRS. The report by the agency's own inspector general noted the IRS spent about $50 million on employee meetings between 2010 and 2012.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Some of the most egregious examples of questionable spending occurred at a 2010 gathering in Southern California. The IRS paid dearly for some lavish hotel rooms, and spent $34,000 for lodging and related expenses for employees who lived nearby.
The comedian in question is Marc Maron. He does a popular podcast, called WTF, out of his garage in California. It's an interview show, with other comedians and artists. Maron recently found an extraordinary letter in his mailbox. This letter said, basically, that by doing his podcast, out of his garage, he was violating a technology patent. His podcast was, according to the letter, illegal.
"They sent a copy of the patent with this letter," Maron says, "which looks like a large bunch of legal gibberish."
With Spain's economy in shreds, the country is doing a lot of finger-pointing about who was at fault and where all the money has gone. The latest suspects: the Spanish royal family.
The reputation of the current Spanish king, Juan Carlos, was seemingly cemented one day 32 years ago when armed civil guard officers stormed the Spanish Parliament, holding lawmakers hostage in an attempted coup.
The king went on live TV, denouncing the officers.
"The crown cannot tolerate any action that interrupts the strength of the democratic process," he said.
NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.
When my old pal the Sports Curmudgeon had some mildly churlish things to say about golf a few weeks ago, both he and I were upbraided by loyal linksters. As one snapped at me, "You don't know anything about golf."