The Heritage

Turns out everyone was wrong, and no one bothered to ask.

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Good riddance to Senator Tea Party Jim DeMint.

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Since Lanhee Chen joined the Romney campaign in March last year, his public pronouncements have been liberally seasoned with snark. Tweeting about Newt Gingrich during the first Florida debate, he wrote, “Thanks for explaining why you were forced to resign in disgrace, Mr. Speaker.” In April, he tweeted: “[David Axelrod] says Obama to be judged on his record.

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Nobody knows what the Supreme Court will say about the Affordable Care Act, or exactly what a decision striking down part of the law would mean for the health care system. But one thing is clear already: Just by getting this case to the high court, which resumes hearings on Tuesday, the far right wing has already won something. As recently as three years ago, the idea of an individual mandate (the requirement that most people get insurance or pay a penalty) was largely uncontroversial, not only within the Democratic Party but within the Republican Party as well.

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With Mitt Romney re-establishing himself, after the unpleasantness in South Carolina, as the Republicans' de facto nominee, I thought it would be fun to offer some sort of prize--say, a bronze replica of the 1939 Molotov-Von Ribbentrop pact--to the first Fox News personality to endorse Romney's absurd claim that Romneycare (good) was entirely different from Obamacare (bad). I never dreamed that Ann Coulter would beat me to the punch. She's never been much good at playing with the other children.

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The Mandate Miscalculation

Democrats didn’t see it coming: Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, neither congressional leaders nor the White House anticipated that one specific provision—the mandate requiring individuals to maintain a minimum level of health insurance—would spark such a ferocious political and legal backlash. Yet, nearly two years later, controversy surrounding the mandate dominates the national conversation about health care reform.

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Tonight’s GOP debate, co-sponsored by my own institution, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, will be focused on foreign policy, and, as is the nature of such events, the journalists moderating it will likely pose a lot of softball questions, with almost no follow-up and nothing that really cuts to the core. Here’s a list of questions that I would love to hear answers to (and I imagine many primary voters would, too), but that almost certainly won’t get asked in the dozen primary debates scheduled in the weeks ahead.

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In the midst of nationwide protests over inequality, Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank, released a study arguing that most poor people in the United States shouldn’t actually be considered poor. Without offering a formal definition of poverty, they claim that Americans view poverty as deprivation in three things--food, clothing, and shelter--and by that standard, current poverty statistics grossly exaggerate the severity of living conditions.

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The Heritage Heresy

Overshadowed by the immigration rumble between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in the Las Vegas debate was a string of statements that sounded awfully heretical -- a sign, perhaps, that economic anxiety and even the Occupy Wall Street protests are poking ever the tiniest holes in the bubble of GOP orthodoxy. First, there was Rick Santorum noting for the second straight debate that western Europe now has higher rates of upward mobility than the land of Horatio Alger -- and this time he didn't even blame this on Barack Obama.

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THE BALLOON COUNCIL: “to educate consumers and regulators about the wonders of metallic and latex balloons and the proper handling of them” and “affirming America’s ongoing love affair with balloons.” MEN'S DEFENSE ASSOCIATION: “In defense of fathers, family, and manhood, since 1971.” THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ROCKETRY: “advances the hobby of sport rocketry” and seeks “to ensure that rocketry continues to be safe, educational, and fun.” NATIONAL BISON ASSOCIATION: “a non-profit association of producers, processors, marketers and bison enthusiasts” that aims “to bring together stakeholders t

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