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  • tim-scott-south-carolina

    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.
  • fema-trailer-oil-workers-wide

    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.
  • stern-boehner-retirement-hsmall

    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.
  • GOP Skirmishes Over Future Direction

    When your party no longer occupies the White House and represents the minority in Congress, it’s probably a good thing to embrace new voices and ideas. Let a thousand flowers bloom and all that. But with most of the Capitol focused on Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, it's been a scrappy few days for Republicans nonetheless.
  • lindsey-graham-kagan-hearing-hsmall

    Graham, the Gentleman, at Kagan Hearings

    Sen. Lindsey Graham injected a distinctive and salutary element Tuesday afternoon into a dreary confirmation process drenched in partisanship, yet devoid of real drama. It was a lesson about the need to tamp down the bitter liberal–conservative battles poisoning Washington.
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    Are Kagan Hearings a Waste of Time?

    Like many similar proceedings that came before, the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings have offered little in substance or excitement. Why some think Congress should scrap testimony from reviews of judicial nominees.
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    Sessions Pounds Kagan on Military

    The Supreme Court nominee defends her decision as Harvard Law dean to restrict U.S. armed-services recruiters from using the school’s career-services office. Will the attacks resonate with patriotic Americans?
  • kagan-roberts-marshall-wide

    Roberts vs. Marshall at the Kagan Hearings

    Elena Kagan's confirmation process has become a trial in absentia for competing views on how the Supreme Court should work, personified by two very different justices, John Roberts and Thurgood Marshall.
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    Kagan Hearing Is the Charade She Detests

    The nominee once criticized Supreme Court confirmation hearings as "vapid and hollow." Hers is shaping up to be exactly that. And that's a good thing for the White House.
  • byrd-replacements-wide

    Who Will Succeed Senator Byrd?

    The death of Sen. Robert Byrd signals the end of an era in Washington, where Byrd had served since 1953. But it will have even more serious effects in West Virginia, where he has dominated politics for decades. Although Democrats have a good chance at holding the seat, any new senator will lack Byrd's clout in Washington and lifetime job security at home.
  • Dems Use Kagan Hearing to Go After Roberts

    Democrats in the Senate used the first day of Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings to launch attacks on the Supreme Court under John Roberts, which Sen. Patrick Leahy derided as driven by "conservative judicial activism." Meanwhile, Kagan may have found an supporter among Republicans: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
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    Gun-Rights Decision May Have Limited Impact

    The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the right “to keep and bear arms” in the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment applies to state and local governments. But this new-found right may not restrict gun control laws very much.
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    Who Can You Trust? Oil Spill Edition

    An ongoing look and who and what you can rely on as the oil spill continues. Today: Lisa Jackson's defense of dispersant and Tropical Storm Alex's disruptive path
  • robert-byrd-dies-wide

    Sen. Robert Byrd Dies at 92

    The senator was a looming figure in both the Senate--where his knowledge of parliamentary procedure is well-known, and where he served as president pro tempore of the Senate--and in West Virginia, where his prowess in procuring federal funds for his home state is legendary.
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    Byrd’s Way

    The late senator from West Virginia was a stickler for following the rules. It made him one of the most powerful legislators of the last century.
  • kagan-advice-for-hearings-tease

    Kagan's Best Strategy Is Silence

    Republican Sen. Charles Grassley says he will press Elena Kagan at her confirmation hearing to be “as forthcoming” about her views of specific issues as she once argued other Supreme Court nominees should be. Many commentators have also called on her to disclose her specific views. But Kagan will not do that. And she should not.
  • gal-tease-obama-promises

    Will Obama Turn Around Jobs Outlook?

    Obama, stymied by the GOP, seems at a loss when it comes to creating jobs. The administration can turn around the bleak job numbers in time for his reelection, but not in time for Democrats this fall.
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    Who Can You Trust? Oil-Spill Edition

    An ongoing look at the most and least reliable people, players, and forces at work in the gulf oil spill. Today: can we trust the new face of BP?
  • holbrooke-petraeus-karzai-hsmall

    Why Obama Won’t Fire Richard Holbrooke

    Now that Stanley McChrystal is out, pundits and politicians—including eminent Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kit Bond—are clamoring for Richard Holbrooke’s head. But with Gen. David Petraeus in, the special envoy is probably stronger than before. Holbrooke and Petraeus seem to have a warm relationship that bodes well for both the diplomat and the whole Afghanistan team.
  • obama-eikenberry-mcchrystal-wide

    Even With McChrystal, Obama Maintains No-Drama Stance

    President Obama moved Thursday to end the squawking among reporters and members of Congress about a wider shakeup of his AfPak team. In doing so, he was choosing between the lesser of undesirable outcomes for a president who disdains unnecessary drama.