Stories by Ryan Tracy

  • Obama's PR Offensive on Immigration

    Armed with evidence that federal authorities are deporting more illegal immigrants than ever under its watch, the Obama administration is stepping up its messaging on the immigration issue.
  • Rand Paul's College Days in a Secret Group

    During two and a half years at Baylor, Paul was a member of a secret society whose goal was to offend the university's powers-that-be. One member said the group "aspired to blasphemy," according to a report.
  • Fewer States Granting Illegal Immigrants Licenses

    As recently as 2006, 10 states allowed immigrants to apply for a driver’s license without proving their legal residence. As border control has become a bigger political issue, however, that right has evaporated in all but three states: Utah, New Mexico, and Washington—which may soon be the last place where all drivers can get a regular license.
  • Why America's Bridges Are Still Bad

    It’s been three years since a busy bridge collapsed in Minnesota, killing 13 people and sparking widespread calls to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. But so far little has improved.
  • House Votes to Lift Drilling Ban

    The lower chamber passed a bill that would lift the ban, but deepwater drilling rigs will remain idle unless the Senate passes it and the president signs it into law.
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    Louise Mushikiwabo Defends 'Genocide Ideology' Law

    Sixteen years after genocide, Rwanda is a relatively peaceful place. But recent events have raised doubts as to whether stability is coming at the expense of basic freedoms. Earlier this year, Rwanda suspended two newspapers critical of President Paul Kagame and arrested a presidential candidate, all in the name of a law preventing “genocide ideology.”
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    Now What?

    Even with the oil gusher plugged, BP still has to worry about tropical depressions, months of cleanup, billions in claims, and a federal investigation. Five issues to watch.
  • Georgia Primary Results Boost Both Palin and the GOP

    Karen Handel, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin, is now a frontrunner for Georgia governor, while a strong Republican turnout in the state suggests the GOP could hang onto the office it had finally won after more than a century.
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    What It Will Take to Keep the Well Capped

    BP has capped the leak, but troubling evidence has emerged that the cap might actually make the situation worse. The oil giant will have to keep a close eye on developments.
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    W. Va. Senator May Boost Jobless Benefits

    Once sworn in as West Virginia's new senator, Carte Goodwin could provide a pivotal vote for Democrats on such issues as extending unemployment benefits. But his appointment does not resolve the permanent makeup of the state's Senate delegation.
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    Who’s Making Money From the Oil Spill?

    In any catastrophe, there’s money to be made. How entrepreneurs, niche companies, and even potential scam artists are trying to profit from the oil disaster.
  • Two Key GOP Senators Give Dems a Boost on Financial Reform

    Changes to financial regulations got a shot in the arm Tuesday with news that two Republican senators will (gasp!) vote with Democrats in favor of the latest version of the legislation. Democrats made several key alterations to win the votes of Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, giving Democrats the 60 votes they need to break a GOP filibuster and move the bill to the president’s desk.
  • 2010 Campaign Spending Could Set New Records

    If the big numbers pledged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups indicate anything, it’s that we’re in for a year of unprecedented political spending.
  • Campaign Ads So Good, They're Bad

    In campaign ads, there's a thin line between awesome and awful. The latest viral ad from a Florida state rep is catchy, but does it fall on the wrong side of the line?
  • The Politics of Obama's Arizona Lawsuit

    Whether the White House wins or loses its lawsuit against Arizona, the court action is a win for the Obama administration in at least one respect: it undermines criticism that the president has done nothing when it comes to immigration reform.
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    Florida, Bureaucracy, and the Oil-Spill Cleanup

    BP and federal officials have conjured parts of their oil-spill response plan from scratch and changed them by the day, often failing to act with the speed and decisiveness an emergency demands. The shortfalls have left responders in the Florida Panhandle longing for a post-hurricane chain of command.
  • Are Investors Turning the Page on Barnes & Noble?

    Stiff competition from Amazon and Apple is one reason for the gloomy income statement the company released this week: Barnes & Noble lost $32 million in the quarter ending May 1, compared with a $2 million loss during the same period last year.
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    Katrina vs. the Spill: Useful Comparison?

    Those awful FEMA trailers are back, this time as temporary housing for workers responding to BP’s disaster in the gulf. And in bad news for Obama, the public rates his handling of the mess similar to how Bush bungled the hurricane response.
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    The Environmental Legacy of the Gulf Oil Spill

    In 1974, the Chilean government decided not to clean up an oil spill along its southern coast. The result: a natural laboratory for testing oil’s environmental impact, and valuable lessons for the fate of the gulf.