Mitt Romney and Barack Obama agree with one another, and disagree with the Supreme Court, that the money people will have to pay for not satisfying the requirements of the new health care law is a penalty, not a tax. Republican veep prospect Chris Christie says the court is right and it's a tax. Well, that clears things up.
- The federal government admits to spending $11 billion in an often-leaky effort to protect its secrets. That's double what it spent a decade ago, and doesn't include its super-secret costs to shield really secret secrets.
- You wish you protected your money from the government as well as Mitt Romney has protected his.
- Having been targeted by their new, socialist government, high-income French citizens are poised to enjoy a comfortable tax-exile status in neighboring Switzerland, and the Swiss quietly encourage the exodus.
- The Syrian government runs "an archipelago" of 27 torture centers as part of its fight to survive a popular uprising against authoritarian rule, says Human Rights Watch.
- The victory in Mexico's presidential election of Enrique Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party hasn't exactly thrilled the many Mexicans who fled to the U.S. to escape that party's authoritarian and corrupt policies.
- Why does France so often seem a little … soft? Because the entire country's supply of tough was channeled to Count Robert de la Rochefoucauld. The one-time parachuting secret agent who escaped execution at the hands of the Nazis, twice, then was kicked out of Indochina for being too gung-ho, has died at the age of 88 — after, rumor has it, kicking the Angel of Death in the nuts. (HT Brian Combs)
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