the University of Chicago

Harold Pollack explains why cuts to Medicaid and the safety net are a personal story for him.

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In a new book, a former Senate insider and lobbying kingpin spills the beans on how Wall Street throws its weight around Washington.

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One of the puzzles facing the film historian (amateur or professional) occurs when a child climbs upon the parental knee and asks, “Well, Dad, what was the black list?” The parent struggles to explain that, once upon a nervous time, the Hollywood movie was said to be rife with un-American suggestions and the energetic insinuation of socialist alternatives. The child blinks, and says, “Father, isn’t that preposterous?

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A new internet video from the Romney campaign focuses on Ann Romney’s diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis and how it affected the rest of the family. The ad’s apparent purpose is to humanize Romney—to portray him as a sympathetic, loving husband. That's just fine. MS is a serious, life-altering diagnosis and Romney is, by all accounts, a devoted family man. If telling people about this part of Romney's life makes him seem less aloof or more sensitive, I have no problem with that.

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The justices of the Supreme Court may have reached a final decision on the Affordable Care Act. And they may not have. On Tuesday, as Dahlia Lithwick noted, Justice Anthony Kennedy told an audience of Nevada judges and lawyers that “cautious decision-making is not indecisiveness” and expressed deep concern over the deterioration of political discourse in America. Was that a sign he’s still deliberating over the case and struggling with the arguments, as he’s been known to do? Or was that a sign of nothing at all?

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The Big Split

In May 2007, when Barack Obama was but an upstart challenger of Hillary Clinton, he attended a gathering of several dozen hedge fund managers hosted by Goldman Sachs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was not a fund-raiser, just a chance for Obama to introduce himself to the investment wizards who had helped turn the hedge fund sector into the most lucrative and alluring corner of the financial universe. And the first question for Obama was as blunt as one would expect from this crowd.

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Take a look at the following statement:  "Permanently raising the federal tax rate by one percentage point for those in the top income tax bracket would increase federal tax revenue over the next 10 years." This is a bit like saying if you jump into a swimming pool you'll get wet. When researchers at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management presented this statement to a "panel of distinguished economists," 100 percent of them agreed with it.

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Eva Zeisel, who designed some of the most beautiful ceramics of the twentieth century, died on December 30. She was 105, working on new designs almost to the end. I met her nearly forty years ago, when I responded to an advertisement for a part-time job on a bulletin board at Columbia. I was in my early twenties, recently graduated from the college.

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When Newt Gingrich proposed that poor children should be put to work—for a “three- or four-hour-a-day job,” he clarified this week—he was rightly accused of threatening national child-labor laws. But he was also displaying a curious lack of familiarity with his own political accomplishments. Gingrich suggests that his proposal is meant to resolve an acute crisis: That kids from the projects don’t see anyone around them working for a living. “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works,” Gingrich said.

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