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In his new column, “Giving Politicians A Good Name,” E.J. Dionne examines two politicians who he considers to be a credit to their profession: Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski:

WASHINGTON — Two politicians from different countries and with very different political pedigrees made news this week. Both spoke difficult truths and reminded us that we shouldn’t use the word “politician” with routine contempt.

The better-known story is the retirement of Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who was never afraid to make people angry — or to make them laugh. But more on Frank in a moment. Far too little attention has been paid on these shores to a remarkable speech in Berlin on Monday by the Polish foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski.

He offered what may be the sound bite of the year: “I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.”

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Supreme Court of the United States

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A new analysis is explaining the disturbing circumstances surrounding the overturning of Roe v. Wade and how the U.S. Supreme Court has morphed into an entity actively working toward authoritarianism.

In a new op-ed published by The Guardian, Jill Filipovic —author of the book, The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness—offered an assessment of the message being sent with the Supreme Court's rollback of the 1973 landmark ruling.

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Billionaires

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After a year of reporting on the tax machinations of the ultrawealthy, ProPublica spotlights the top tax-avoidance techniques that provide massive benefits to billionaires.

Last June, drawing on the largest trove of confidential American tax data that’s ever been obtained, ProPublica launched a series of stories documenting the key ways the ultrawealthy avoid taxes, strategies that are largely unavailable to most taxpayers. To mark the first anniversary of the launch, we decided to assemble a quick summary of the techniques — all of which can generate tax savings on a massive scale — revealed in the series.

1. The Ultra Wealth Effect

Our first story unraveled how billionaires like Elon Musk, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos were able to amass some of the largest fortunes in history while paying remarkably little tax relative to their immense wealth. They did it in part by avoiding selling off their vast holdings of stock. The U.S. system taxes income. Selling stock generates income, so they avoid income as the system defines it. Meanwhile, billionaires can tap into their wealth by borrowing against it. And borrowing isn’t taxable. (Buffett said he followed the law and preferred that his wealth go to charity; the others didn’t comment beyond a “?” from Musk.)

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