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Politics

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK

Obama calls Sox win ‘therapeutic’ for Boston

President Obama is a fan of the Chicago White Sox so he didn’t pick a favorite in the World Series.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama is a fan of the Chicago White Sox so he didn’t pick a favorite in the World Series.

WASHINGTON — President Obama called the Boston Red Sox World Series win ‘‘therapeutic medicine for the whole city.’’

The president chatted about last week’s Red Sox victory as he gathered Tuesday with business leaders in the White House Roosevelt Room to push for immigration reform.

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The Red Sox won their first championship at home in 95 years, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. The win came six months after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Obama is a fan of the Chicago White Sox so he didn’t pick a favorite in the series. But he told the business leaders, ‘‘To see it end that way is amazing.’’

Obama had placed a congratulatory call to Red Sox manager John Farrell on Monday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tours of White House resume on partial basis

WASHINGTON — Hoping to snag a glimpse of the inside of the White House, the first dog, or even first lady Michelle Obama? Now may be your chance.

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The White House resumed public tours on Tuesday, seven months after they were suspended due to government-wide spending cuts.

The Obamas surprised a group that made it in on the first day, greeting and hugging a long line of visitors in the Blue Room. Even one of Obama’s dogs, Sunny, joined in.

The self-guided tours are resuming on a limited basis of about three days a week, down from five. They’ll run through Jan. 15, when temporary funding runs out.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rand Paul defiant, contrite in addressing plagiarism

WASHINGTON — Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who in recent weeks has had to explain a series of plagiarism charges, said in an interview Tuesday that he was being held to an unfair standard but that there would be an office “restructuring” to prevent future occurrences.

Sitting in a conference room in his Senate office complex, Paul, drawn and clearly shaken by the plagiarism charges, offered a mix of contrition and defiance. He said that he was not certain whether it would affect his prospects should he decide to run for president in 2016 — he said he would happily return to his Kentucky doctor’s practice — and he asserted that was being unfairly targeted.

Acknowledging that his office had “made mistakes,” he said he was putting a new system in place to ensure that all of his materials are properly footnoted and cited.

“What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers,” he said. “We’re going to try to put out footnotes. We’re going to have them available. If people want to request the footnoted version, we’re going to have it available.”

The Republican senator also said he could not rule out that other examples of past plagiarism would come out, but he added that no staff members would be fired.

On Monday night, Paul, who previously had to explain why he used word-for-word Wikipedia entries in a speech, faced his most direct charges of plagiarism yet. In an op-ed article he wrote for The Washington Times in September on mandatory minimum prison sentences, Paul appears to have copied language from an essay that had previously run in the magazine The Week.

Paul attributed some of the sloppiness, which was first reported by BuzzFeed, to the hectic life of a senator in high demand.

NEW YORK TIMES

Report exposes excesses at US Marshals Service

WASHINGTON — Crystal statues worth $125 apiece and custom boxes with lambswool blankets at a cost of $149 per set. Those are among the examples of excessive spending on promotional items by the US Marshals Service in recent years, according to a watchdog analysis.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report Tuesday revealing that one of the agency’s divisions increased its expenditures on ‘‘swag’’ by nearly tenfold — or about 300 percent per employee — from 2005 through 2010.

All told, the investigative operations unit spent nearly $800,000 on promotional items during that period, including $37,000 on lapel pins, $57,000 on clothing, and $155,000 on ‘‘challenge coins,’’ which many federal agencies use to recognize good work or promote a sense of a team, the report said.

Federal auditors determined that the expenses were ‘‘excessive and, in some instances, in contravention of department policies and Government Accountability Office decisions and guidance.’’

The inspector general’s office said the growth in swag spending was ‘‘the result of the absence of internal controls, accountability, and good judgment.’’

Witnesses told investigators they often use swag for awards.

In 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. issued a directive to the Justice Department requiring all divisions to limit spending to only ‘‘mission-essential programs, projects, and activities.’’

The Marshals Service has since reduced its swag expenditures and implemented policies relating to the matter, the report said.

WASHINGTON POST

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