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  • What Thurgood Marshall Tells Us About Elena Kagan

    When Senate Republicans decided to turn the first day of Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing into a referendum on her mentor, Justice Thurgood Marshall, they made two mistakes.
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    Woman On the Verge

    Last Tuesday, the upper crust of South Carolina’s Republican establishment gathered at the tony Spartanburg home of Karen Floyd, the state party chair. They’d come for a $1,000-per-couple GOP fundraiser, headlined by visiting Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. Among the luminaries were Roger Milliken, a billionaire textile magnate who has donated millions to the party, and Robert Chapman, a retired federal appellate judge appointed by Ronald Reagan.
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    The Palin Effect: Why We Sexualize GOP Women

    Something pretty creepy has been happening to conservative women lately. There seems to be an insistent, increasingly excitable focus on the supposed hotness of Republican women in the public eye, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, and Nikki Haley—not to mention veterans like Ann Coulter. The sexual references are pervasive: they come from left, right, and center, and range from gushing to highly offensive.
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    A Timetable for Withdrawal in Afghanistan

    Last veterans day, Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus had a polite but pointed exchange in the White House Situation Room. The president wanted to know why the Pentagon needed 21 months to send 40,000 troops to Afghanistan when it had taken only six months to send a similar number to Iraq in 2007.
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    Why the Great Plains Are Great Once Again

    Throughout the good times and, more important, the bad of this new millennium, the cities of the plains—from Dallas in the south through Omaha, Des Moines, and north to Fargo—have enjoyed strong job growth and in-migration from the rest of the country.
  • Health-Care Reform and the Boom in Nurses' Strikes

    A major goal of health-care reform is affordable treatment. To achieve it, however, the Obama administration may temporarily upset another aim: effective care. The trouble extends from the president’s pledge to make the new reforms “deficit-neutral.” That will require billions of dollars in funding cuts, primarily at hospitals, which stand to lose $155 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cash during the next few years.
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    Bromwich: How to Regulate Offshore Drilling

    My 30-year legal career has been defined by law enforcement. So I was surprised when the White House and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asked if I’d like to run the Minerals Management Service, the regulatory body in charge of offshore oil and gas drilling. I also wasn’t sure I wanted the job.
  • Depressing Unemployment Numbers Forecast Long, Slow Recovery

    The private sector added a meek 83,000 jobs to the economy during the month of June, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—a figure that fell short of economists’ predictions and that’s far below the 150,000 to 200,000 jobs that must be created each month to bolster the economy....
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    A Country for All: An Immigrant Manifesto

    It’s not called a “manifesto” for nothing. In six short chapters, Ramos humanizes undocumented immigrants, argues why you should care, and explains why reform is needed now. Above all, it’s an inspiring book that, if passionate to a fault, is soundly reasoned.
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    Obama’s Apogee in His Rearview Mirror

    For reasons related to normal rhythms of American politics and to Barack Obama’s abnormal lurch to the left, his presidency probably has passed its apogee. If Obama has a second term, it probably will be, as most are, more difficult than the first, during which his party’s brand has been badly damaged in just 17 months.
  • Yikes! A 50-Foot Nancy Pelosi

    As the November election inches closer, conservatives are offering a preview of a major strategy with an ad portraying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a 50-foot monster hell-bent on destroying small-town America in a taxpayer-money-devouring rage. The anti-Pelosi campaign is heating up.
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    Does Anyone Care About Unemployment Anymore?

    The Federal Reserve doesn’t seem to care much about high unemployment. Apparently, very few other people in Washington do, either. The corporate sector has returned to rude health, with improved balance sheets and tons of cash. It has helped lead the recovery. But without paychecks for the mighty American consumer, the recovery will seem anemic.
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    Do Rural Prisons Benefit Locals?

    States like New York send prisoners from the city to the countryside. To these smaller communities, the incarcerated bring government dollars, political power, and potential problems.
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    How Not to Muck Everything Up

    Now that health-care reform and financial-regulation change is inevitable, the question facing reformers is, how do you make sure your reforms survive construction and implementation, and then resist the relentless and inevitable efforts at erosion?
  • Will Obama Back Down on Carbon-Regulation Deadline?

    Two Republican senators present at a recent presidential Cabinet Room meeting on energy say that Obama appeared to be willing to postpone the deadline when the EPA will begin regulating greenhouse-gas emissions.
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    Making History by Running Away From It

    South Carolina state Rep. Tim Scott is poised to be the first black Republican elected to Congress from the South in more than 100 years. But he says there's nothing too special about that.
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    Kagan Hearings Are All About the Midterms

    With little doubt that Elena Kagan will be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, senators have turned her hearings into a preview of the fall elections. Wednesday's topics: abortion, gays in the military, and campaign finance.
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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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    Gulf Oil Spill by the Numbers

    The massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is already making history. The well has been hemorrhaging oil for more than two months and is without a doubt the largest offshore spill the U.S. has ever faced. Here's a numerical look at the magnitude of the disaster and the enormous response that has been staged.
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    John Boehner's Serious Suggestion on Retirement Ages and the Deficit

    House Minority Leader John Boehner is getting some attention today for an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review—but much of the coverage is missing the point. While his statements on civil unrest and financial reform are splashier, his argument that the retirement age should be increased is a serious and important one.
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    Who Can You Trust, Oil Spill Edition: Volume 14

    An ongoing look at some of the main players in the gulf oil-spill disaster. Who and what can you count on, and who's hiding behind spin? This week: will the steel wedding drums be silenced? Plus: BP does good.