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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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national lead

April 5th, 2013
07:44 PM ET

White House defends budget, says compromise was "necessary to break the gridlock"

The president is planning to deliver his budget next week, about two months late. And some of the numbers have some heads scratching: $1.8 trillion in savings over 10 years, $600 billion in new revenue, which Republicans will say is code for higher taxes, $400 billion in savings to Medicare, and using what's called "chained CPI" to adjust Social Security benefits

Chained CPI is basically changing the way the government accounts for cost of living adjustments to Social Security and other benefits. That means your benefit increase could be smaller, saving the government money.

This has some supporters of the president up in arms. They say it takes money away from the people who need it most.

Progressive group MoveOn put out a statement calling the Obama administration's proposed cuts to Social Security unconscionable.

The White House responded to the criticism, saying compromises were necessary to break the gridlock with Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"One of the things that Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell have said were necessary to break the gridlock, they have asked for, is this change in CPI. And the president has been willing to agree to that as part of an overall agreement that would do things like protect Medicaid, that would protect the core benefit of Medicare," said Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy.
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money lead

April 5th, 2013
07:39 PM ET

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens picks a fight with Washington over energy

The Obama administration is expected to issue its decision on whether to allow an extension to carry crude oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast sometime in the next few months. It's become a political controversy, just this week President Obama was greeted outside a California fundraiser by protesters pushing the president to reject the pipeline extension.

Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens knows what it's like to pick an energy fight in Washington, pitching what he calls 'The Pickens Plan.' Though he does not have much of a recent winning record.

"I've brought the Pickens plan up here, a simple plan, get on your own resources, get off OPEC oil. That's not hard to understand," said Pickens.
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national lead

April 5th, 2013
06:58 PM ET

Judge strikes down age limits on "morning-after" pill

For some, it's about time. For others, it's an outrage. A federal judge in New York has ruled that every woman and girl - regardless of her age - should have access to the so-called "morning-after" pill without a prescription.

And in the case of minors, without the consent of a parent.

The federal judge said it was "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable" to deny over-the-counter access to emergency contraception for girls under the age of 17. The drug, called Plan B, does not terminate pregnancy like RU-486, commonly called "the abortion pill." Instead, it is meant to prevent pregnancy by using a higher dosage of birth control taken within three days of unprotected sex.
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pop lead

April 5th, 2013
06:50 PM ET

Science challenges accuracy of Jurassic Park

In a time long, long ago, 1993 to be exact, there were dinosaurs. Twenty years ago, Steven Spielberg released the formerly-extinct from their cages, and into the memories of millions with the movie Jurassic Park. On Friday, the iconic film returns in 3D - but we've learned a lot since its original debut.

"We have a new species coming from the southern continents that rival T-Rex in size, and have banana-size teeth. And new species even from western North America, here at home, that have claws longer than their hands, that look like giant Freddy Krugers," said paleontologist Nathan Smith.
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buried lead

April 5th, 2013
06:44 PM ET

Web exclusive: Jew in a Box? Controversy over museum exhibit

Glass boxes with people inside them at museums, this seems to be a hot trend right now. First we had actress Tilda Swinton sleeping inside a glass box at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Now we have the Berlin Jewish Museum's latest exhibit "The Whole Truth: Everything you always wanted to know about Jews". That's right, in that land that so many Jews have such strong feelings about, a Jewish man or woman, sits inside a glass box and answers visitors' questions. The museum says it is perfectly fine to ask about the Holocaust, and any alleged alacrity with money.

But some are wondering if they could have just answered the questions, and left the live person sitting in a glass box out of it.

James Kirchick gave "The Lead" an insider's look, literally. Kirchick is a columnist for Tablet Magazine and sat inside the box this week.
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