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Jonathan Alter explains how Newt Gingrich has talked his way to the cusp of the GOP nomination in his new column, “Gingrich Uses Fog Of Words To Cloud Our Memory:”

Newt Gingrich is back in contention for the Republican presidential nomination partly because he understands the power of words, the pervasiveness of amnesia, and the dark art of making them work together.

It’s still hard to imagine Gingrich as president. He’s likely to blow himself up before next November. But the scary thing for Democrats is that Gingrich grasps these subtextual forces better than they do. It makes him a less predictable and possibly more dangerous opponent than Mitt Romney in the general election.

Gingrich helped Republicans seize control of the House of Representatives in 1994 with the help of “key words” tested by pollster Frank Luntz, who designed the “Contract with America.”

In 1990, Gingrich’s political action committee, GOPAC, put out an audio cassette with advice for Republican candidates. Gingrich followed up with a famous memo to Republicans called “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control”:

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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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