Perry

As it turns out, the scariest part of Thursday’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act was the issue that got the least attention. Yes, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate and its associated reforms of private insurance. But it also ruled that the law’s expansion of Medicaid was unconstitutional. Does that mean the Medicaid expansion might not go forward? Does it mean that a significant number of low-income Americans will remain uninsured because they can't get into the program? In the long run, probably not.

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Republicans and their allies reject the suggestion that they are waging a war on women. Fine. How about we call it a war on women's health? During a local television interview in Missouri on Tuesday, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney said “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.” As Steve Benen notes, Romney was reiterating a previous promise to “Eliminate Title X family planning programs benefiting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.” Romney isn't alone: His presidential rivals have pledged to the same thing.

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RED OAK, IOWA -- Outside a candidate's event in Council Bluffs, as the wind was blowing in bitter cold from Nebraska, I witnessed my first ugly moment of the Iowa caucuses. A 19-year-old local man, Steve Bertelson, was standing outside on the sidewalk, shivering visibly, silently holding a sign with a scrawled slogan about the 1 percent. As people left the event, several turned on him, shouting angrily just steps away from him as he absorbed the abuse without saying anything. Why didn't he go across the river to Omaha and bother Warren Buffett instead, shouted one man.

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Much has been made of how brazenly the Washington Post's conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin, has been favoring Mitt Romney and disparaging his GOP rivals, to the point where she compromised her exceedingly staunch pro-Israel stance to chide Newt Gingrich for being excessively anti-Palestinian in his recent remarks on the Middle East.

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Lost amid the Cain campaign death watch today was this item, reported by Politico: Dave Carney is out as the top strategist for Rick Perry's campaign, replaced by former George W.

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Inappropriate Touching

 I saw some inappropriate touching at last night's GOP debate. Lets go to the tape: "Attractive people aren't afraid to make physical contact," Elizabeth Kuhnke writes in Body Language For Dummies."They know the powerful effect an appropriate touch can have. Touching can be used to encourage, to express affection or compassion, and to show support." Hmm, that doesn't sound like what was going on here. Elsewhere Kuhnke writes, "When another person touches you, that person is implying that a bond exists between the two of you.

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The magazine's current cover story on Rick Perry takes a close look at the cronyism and funny math involved in his two job creation funds, which have doled out more than $800 million in taxpayer money, including to many enterprises backed by his top campaign contributors, in return for the "creation" of jobs that prove hard to find on the ground.

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To: Editor From: TN Re: Republican debate I've got a social engagement tonight and I know the copy desk doesn't like to work late. So here's my post-debate analysis. The debate will air on Fox News from 9 to 11 p.m., so please do not post before 11 p.m. Repeat: do not post before 11 p.m. We don't want to give readers the idea that the press knows what to say even before the candidates take the stage.

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CNN’s over-produced, odd-couple alliance with the Tea Party produced an unexpected result—the first “Not So Fast, Governor Perry” debate. Direct from Tampa, the site of the 2012 GOP Convention, the debate illustrated Perry’s vulnerabilities as the poll-propelled Republican front-runner. Nothing that happened in Tampa Monday night was so dramatic that it likely will be remembered when the Republicans drench their nominee in confetti and balloons nearly a year from now.

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Last week I argued that Texas really has had a pretty impressive economic performance under Rick Perry, but there's just no evidence that his story of why that happened is true: Perry's right-wing policy cocktail closely resembles conservative governance in other Republican-run states. And yet we don't see a general trend of extraordinary job growth in states with low taxes, pro-business regulation, and so on. Ross Douthat's column today makes essentially the same argument: When Perry became governor, taxes were already low, regulations were light, and test scores were on their way up.

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