National Journal Online

Perry Uses Public Benefits While Championing Private-Sector Solutions

As a Texas governor and presidential candidate, Rick Perry has repeatedly turned to the marketplace for policy solutions to health care and retirement security.

But as a private citizen, Perry has generally relied on the government.

Under its provisions, Perry, 61, could have retired at age 50 with lifetime health care paid for by the state. To the annoyance of his opponents, he is still in office —and every year he stays will benefit him in the long run.

Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 11:40am

Hotline Sort: DeMint, Keeping His Distance

Welcome back to Hotline Sort. Cain and Gingrich play nice at a weekend debate, DeMint says he's unlikely to endorse in the presidential race, the Kentucky attorney general's race is attracting some national names, and Romney sits atop The Hotline's latest Presidential Power Rankings. Here's today's rundown:

10) Don't miss our preview of the five things to watch on Election Day.

Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 10:40am

Parsing the Nation's Report Card

It was hard to find the silver lining in the tepid results from the Nation's Report Card issued last week by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Math proficiency for fourth graders and eighth graders ticked up one percentage point to 40 percent and 35 percent, respectively. That's the highest level yet, but it would be a failing grade in any school. Reading proficiency was flat for fourth graders at 34 percent, although it moved up about two points for eighth graders to 34 percent. Not so awesome.

Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 10:40am

Let's Not Forget About Safety

With so much attention focused on the sorry state of the nation's roads and bridges and lawmakers' attempts to pass a long-term highway bill, the impact of traffic collisions can get lost. AAA tried to rectify that problem last week when it released a new report finding that traffic crashes cost $299.5 billion in a single year. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among people ages 5-34 in the United States, according to the report.

Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 9:40am

WaPo: Iran May Be Near Nuclear Capability With Foreign Help

Intelligence from the International Atomic Energy Agency provided to United Nations nuclear officials shows that Iran is on the brink of nuclear capability thanks to assistance from foreign scientists, The Washington Post reports.

Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 9:40am

Ambiens, Beer and Herman Cain: Rick Perry's Animated Speech Explained on SNL -- VIDEO

"Rick Perry" made an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" where Seth Meyers grilled the Republican presidential candidate to find the truth behind his curious campaign appearance in New Hampshire late last month.

When Meyers asked if he was drunk, "Perry" offered another explanation. "Before the speech, Herman Cain shows up with a Godfather's pizza," he said. "It wasn't until after I ate it that I realized the pepperonis were Ambiens and the tomato sauce was beer."

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Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 9:40am

Rep. Van Hollen: Super Committee Not Seeking an Extension

Despite speculation otherwise, the deficit-reduction super committee will not seek an extension on its Nov. 23 deadline, committee member Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said on Monday.

“More time won’t get us there,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, adding, “No, we're not talking about an extension.”

“This is the moment to get it done, if we’re going to get it done,” he said.

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Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 9:40am

Becoming a Debate Moderator

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Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 8:40am

Pew Research: Older Americans' Net Worth Up; Younger Americans' Net Worth Down

A new Pew Research Center analysis shows that a yawning gap exists between Americans of different age groups.

Pew, in a report analyzing government information, said that in 2009 households headed by adults 65 and older had 42 percent more median net worth than their counterparts in 1984. At the same time, American households headed by adults 35 and younger had 68 percent less wealth than their counterparts in 1984.

The 2009 households headed by those 65 and older had a median net worth of $170,494. Their 1984 counterparts had a net worth of $120,457.

Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 8:40am

Five Things to Watch on Election Day

Election Day 2012 is less than a year away, but in 2011, it's just a day away.

For clues on what to expect in 2012, look to this year's elections, in which labor and the Republican party face off once again, important ballot issues go to voters and two more states will elect governors. Here are the five key things to watch once the polls close on Tuesday night:

Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 7:40am