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  • Federal Judge Rules the Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional. Will it Stick?

    Yesterday, Massachusetts federal district Judge Joseph Tauro declared that gay men and women recognized as married by their individual states should have access to the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples. In doing so, he declared Article III of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, unconstitutional. The controversial decision posits the question for both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage of how best to support their cases and what the rulings, now under review by the Obama administration, will bring in the long term.
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    Did Oil Kill the Animals Washing Up in the Gulf?

    Determining an oil spill’s toll on wildlife is never an easy feat—and the challenging conditions of the current gulf spill make it all the more complicated. While most of the animals collected alive have been visibly covered in oil, the majority of those that have been found dead have had no oil visible on their bodies, making the cause of death difficult to ascertain.
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    A Modest Proposal: the Pelosi-Boehner Speaker Debates

    With the 2010 congressional midterm elections looming, analysts say the House of Representatives could change hands. If so, Ohio Republican John Boehner would replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California as speaker of the House. The two lawmakers should face each other in a series of debates to discuss their positions on core issues. Because each is despised by the other party, these debates would be major partisan moments in the best sense—a chance to test their contrasting ideas for governing unfiltered.
  • Why Obama Is in a Hurry to Make History

    "Hardball" host Chris Matthews has a theory about Barack Obama: he is running his presidency as though there is no tomorrow—that is, no second term. So far in his presidency Obama has been tackling, even seeking out, sweeping, controversial challenges: the stimulus, the auto bailout, health-care reform, a new arms-control treaty with Russia. So, is he in a hurry because he figures there may be no second term?
  • 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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    Obama Needs His Own Dick Cheney

    The Obama administration has consistently disguised victory as defeat—because it is as terrible at politics as it is effective at policy. Maybe the president needs some steel in his cabinet.
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    Nevada Senate Race Heats Up

    In the lead-up to the Nevada Senate race, Harry Reid is making sure voters don't forget his opponent's more eccentric views.
  • Kagan's Path to the Bench

    The White House was eager to proclaim this morning that Elena Kagan had passed her test. Late last week and over the weekend, at least 17 editorial boards around the country wrote glowingly of her credentials—excerpts of which administration officials sent around to reporters to drive the narrative in their favor.
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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.
  • Obama's CEO Problem

    The American economy is sputtering, and we are running out of options. Interest rates can’t go any lower. Another burst of government spending—whether a good or bad idea—looks politically impossible. Is there anything that could protect us from the dangers of stagnation or a double dip?
  • Financial 'Reform' or Revenge?

    It is a myth to think that the new financial-"reform" legislation, assuming it passes the Senate, will insulate us for all time against financial panic and crisis. Great crises of the sort that occurred in 2008 and 2009 are usually separated by many decades, and so it will be hard to determine how much real protection the law provides. But the underlying ingredients of financial panics are always the same—uncertainty, ignorance, and fear—and no law can permanently abolish these.
  • heroin-addication-chicago

    'Good Samaritan' Laws and Drug-Overdose Victims

    Experts say witnesses of drug overdoses, often users themselves, are afraid to call for help for fear of being prosecuted. Two states now offer immunity for persons who summon emergency assistance, and more are considering it.
  • Former Gore Aide Among Alleged Spy Ring's Targets

    A onetime national-security aide to former vice president Al Gore was among the U.S. foreign-policy specialists targeted by the alleged Russian spies who were rounded up by the FBI last week, according to eyewitness accounts and published reports.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Announces Torture Inquiry

    British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday announced a formal inquiry into allegations that British intelligence personnel were complicit in alleged "torture" and rendition of terrorism suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.
  • intro-page-franken-not-serious-100702

    Al Franken's Not-So-Serious Moments

    Minnesota voters took comedian Al Franken seriously when he ran for the state's U.S. Senate seat in 2008. After 238 days of recounts and contested ballots, Franken was sworn in last July. As Franken wraps up his first year as a senator, we bring you some less-than-serious moments featuring the political satirist turned politician.
  • gal-tease-franken-list

    Al Franken Gets Serious

    The funnyman turned freshman senator has quietly made himself a force to be reckoned with in Washington.
  • new-revolutionaries

    The New Revolutionaries

    It's not just the 4th of July holiday that's raising memories of revolution. The idea of active anti-government resistance, once the province of the fringe or a mere historical parable, is now a common component of the national discourse.
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    The Real Leanings of Lindsey Graham

    Only a few senators could have pulled off what Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, did last week: snagging major airtime at two high-profile confirmation hearings, seemingly at the same time.
  • Meacham: The Right Kind of American Populism

    The American economy is sputtering, and we are running out of options. Interest rates can’t go any lower. Another burst of government spending—whether a good or bad idea—looks politically impossible. Is there anything that could protect us from the dangers of stagnation or a double dip?