In 2009, as President Obama was trying to convince Congress to pass his health care legislation, he stridently refused to characterize as a "tax" the penalty that would be imposed for not obtaining insurance under the law's individual mandate.
On Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts begged to differ — while using the tax classification to save Obama's signature domestic accomplishment by a single Supreme Court vote.
Artist and filmmaker Zhang Bingjian sits in his Beijing studio in front of his Hall of Fame — portraits of corrupt Chinese officials. He has commissioned portraits of 1,600 officials convicted of corruption.
Corruption is usually thought to be a bad thing. But in China, the answer is no longer crystal clear.
For decades, the country's Communist Party has declared that corruption threatens its very survival. But there are signs that this is changing. Recently, the state-run media have begun arguing that corruption can't be stamped out, so it should be contained to acceptable levels. And some corruption appears to be tacitly condoned.
Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 11:19 am
By a vote of 373-52, the House passed a massive bill that among other things keeps the interest rate on student loans from doubling on July 1.
"The U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive bill on Friday combining funding for transportation programs, low-interest student loans, and the National Flood Insurance Program," the Reuters reports.
Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy hit the big screen again next week. The new movie "The Amazing Spider-Man" opens on July 3rd. And once you accept the premise that a man can get super spidey skills from a radioactive - sorry to laugh - spider bite, well, you know, just like Johnny Carson used to say, you buy the premise, you buy the bit.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Imagine walking through Times Square, and every step you take it converted into a tiny electric current by the special pavement underfoot. Now multiply by the third of a million people who walk through Times Square on any given day. Wow, it could be a pretty awesome source of renewable energy, right, perhaps enough to power all those neon lights and flashing billboards.