Stories by Ben Adler

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    Health-Care Ruling: All Eyes on Justice Kennedy

    With a Florida judge’s ruling against the administration Monday, Obama’s health-care plan seems destined for a Supreme Court showdown, where Justice Anthony Kennedy will be the swing vote.
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    GOP’s Choice for State of the Union Response Is Good for Democrats

    On Friday afternoon, when congressional Republicans chose Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to give their official response to the State of the Union address, Democrats must have been thrilled. By most traditional measures Ryan is a good choice for Republicans; he is young, handsome, articulate, and affable. But that is secondary to the reason he was tapped. Rather, it is because Ryan has become the Republicans’ ideological leader on fiscal issues, which are expected to play an important role in President Obama’s address. House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement, "Paul Ryan is uniquely qualified to address the state of our economy and the fiscal challenges that face our country.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Ryan's "unique understanding of the fiscal problems we face.”...
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    Human Rights Campaign Rates New Congress Antigay

    The country's leading gay-rights group examines the record of all the members of the 112th Congress, and finds that it has lost its sympathetic majority in both chambers. What does that mean for its legislative priorities?
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    Obama’s Choice of Daley Fits Mold for Embattled Presidents

    Bill Daley, whom President Obama has just named to be his new chief of staff, is a banker, former Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, and the brother and son of Chicago mayors. This may sound like a fairly typical Obama appointment, but it is actually a significant shift.
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    Why Journalists Aren't Defending Julian Assange

    The possibility that Julian Assange will be prosecuted by the U.S. for his role in the WikiLeaks document releases could trample the First Amend-ment and threaten journalists. So why are they reluctant to object to it?
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    Looking Beyond ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

    Now that gays can serve in the military, their advocates will turn to partnership rights and protection from workplace discrimination. And the existence of openly gay service members may help them win those battles.
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    Haley Barbour’s Historical Amnesia

    With his rose-colored recollection of the Citizens' Council, the Mississippi governor belittled the pain of segregation and the struggle to overcome it. Will it sink his presidential ambitions? Probably not in the short term.
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    Is It Fair to Sue Madoff Victims Who Made a Profit?

    Bernie Madoff’s victims who made a profit are being sued by a government-appointed trustee. The purpose is to reclaim profits withdrawn in the last six years to pay back people who withdrew less than they put in. Is that fair?
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    No One Really Cares About Deficits

    President Obama and congressional Republicans made a deal to temporarily extend the Bush tax cuts. Now we know how they really feel about budget deficits.
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    Education Does Not Explain Growth in Inequality

    Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told CBS's "60 Minutes" that rising inequality is due to gaps in educational achievement. But there are other important phenomena at work.
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    Five Reasons the Tea Party Is Not Lobbying for End of Ethanol Subsidies

    Republican Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma were Tea Partiers before the term existed. Staunch fiscal and social conservatives who are unafraid to alienate colleagues with principled but unpopular crusades, DeMint and Coburn have long been scourges of wasteful government spending, no matter how small. Recently, with the help of Tea Party activists applying pressure to the Republican leadership they got most of the Republican Senate caucus to embrace a ban on pork barrel spending. Nonetheless, the proposal failed, with most Democrats and a handful of Republicans opposing it.
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    Republicans Hold Senate Ransom for Rich Tax Cut

    Senate Republicans are refusing to do anything, even ratify the START treaty with Russia to prevent nuclear proliferation, unless they first get their way on tax cuts for the rich.
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    Tea Party's First Legislative Victory

    Round one in the Republican establishment vs. the Tea Party goes to the Tea Party. It persuaded Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to back a ban on pork-barrel spending.

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