George Mason University

Budget sequestration was supposed to cause all sorts of disruptions, the kind that would get the attention of middle class voters. It didn’t. And for that reason most of the media stopped paying attention. But the cuts are very real, and so are the effects. Government workers are dealing with furloughs.

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Economist Tyler Cowen's blog, Marginal Revolution, offers an online course in Development Economics.

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Critics of the Affordable Care Act keep insisting that the law will increase the deficit. But the best evidence we have, from the most trusted authorities we have, suggests that those critics are wrong – and that the law, if anything, will reduce the deficit. I know that many people find that difficult to believe. But, really, it’s neither complicated nor far-fetched. The law spends a lot of money, in order to make Medicaid available to more people and to provide subsidies for lower- and middle-income Americans buying private insurance.

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Would a decision invalidating the Affordable Care Act, in part or in whole, damage the Court's legitimacy? As I wrote on Friday, I'm among those who thinks the answer is "yes," although I was thinking primarily in the moral, substantive sense of the word. In other words, such a poorly reasoned, narrowly won decision should erode the Court's authority. You have to go back almost a century, to the cases of the Lochner era, to find examples of the Supreme Court doing something as audacious as it seems to be contemplating now.

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Today, the last space flight of NASA's 30-year shuttle program takes off. The shuttle, Atlantis, is now expected to launch at 4:26 p.m eastern time, and with the program coming to the end, a “generational battle” is brewing over the future of the space program.

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David Brooks predicts what will happen after the Affordable Care Act melts down: When the crisis comes, Democrats will face an interesting choice — to patch the Obama system or try to replace it with something bigger. The administration may want a patch, but by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1, according to a CNN poll, Democratic voters would prefer a more ambitious law.

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Media Frenzied

Anyone who went to "The Media Assault on American Values"--a panel discussion hosted by the conservative Culture and Media Institute (CMI) at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington, D.C. yesterday--hoping to be shocked and horrified by the degradation of our culture might well have been disappointed. No film reels were shown and no dirty rap lyrics were repeated out loud. About the raunchiest image displayed was a cartoon image of God from "The Family Guy" in bed with a woman who's holding a condom.

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Is there a middle ground on affirmative action, an oasis between radical color-blindness on the right and racial quota-mongering on the left? As President Clinton prepares to unveil his conclusions on the subject, it's hard not to sympathize with his political predicament, but hard also not to anticipate his speech with a sense of dread. Having raised expectations so dramatically, he no longer has the luxury of embracing contradictory positions, or retreating into euphemisms. But is his task impossible?

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