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    Order on the Court: Why Kagan Won't Mean Change on War Powers

    With solicitor general Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing due to start June 28, left-leaning skeptics worry that she may be more deferential to presidential war powers—at the expense of civil liberties—than retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
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    Will: Obama, Oil, and Rhetorical Excess

    Our Demosthenes seems to regard the rule of strategic reticence as irrelevant to him. The rule: Do not speak unless you can improve the silence. He did not do that with his Oval Office speech. In it, to the surprise of no one who has been paying attention the last 17 months, he discerned in the oily waters of the Gulf of Mexico a reason for a large and permanent increase in government taxation and supervision of American life on shore. The oil spill validates his passion for energy—or is it climate change?—legislation.
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    Alter: Obama, BP, and Theodore Roosevelt

    The BP spill is a failure not just of technology but ideology. That oil flows into the ocean from the deregulatory tide of the last 30 years. President Obama is right to compare the fiasco to 9/11. If he can frame the message more memorably than he did in his Oval Office address, Obama may yet use the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history to speed the transition to a green economy, just as George W. Bush used terrorism to refashion foreign policy. To do so, “deregulation”—once a Reaganite call to arms—must be transformed into an epithet. If the president can’t put the antigovernment, Tea Party types in their place now, when will he? The legacy of the American progressive tradition is on the line.
  • Fineman: Paul, Whitman, Angle, and the Press

    Do political candidates still need the press? Based on what’s going on in Kentucky, where I began my career, I’m no longer sure. After saying a few weeks ago that a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach, Rand Paul is sticking to safe, controlled venues. A public meeting of Republicans in Louisville was not one of them—two top reporters showed up.
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    Detroit's Grand Public-Private Partnership

    President Obama wants $50 billion in emergency state aid to avoid “massive layoffs of teachers, police, and firefighters.” But many states have already been forced into an uncomfortable choice: shed jobs (about 45,000 have been lost so far this year) or embrace the private sector like never before.
  • obama-oilspill-speech-ed0101-wide

    Criticism in an Age of Disproportion

    In case you missed it—which is unlikely if you are reading this—President Obama gave an Oval Office speech last Tuesday on the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Though the remarks were hardly the stuff of legend—Lincoln’s ghost need not fear that the Address to the Nation of June 15, 2010, will replace Gettysburg in the American imagination—neither were they as bad as many commentators decided they were.
  • Newsverse: Black Bayou

    I feel so bad I got a worried mind I’m all covered up in slime It’s feeling something like the End of Time In Black Bayou.
  • Was E-Voting Technology to Blame in S.C.?

    Theories of how Alvin Greene won South Carolina’s Democratic Senate primary include fraud and fortunate ballot placement. Here’s a new one: pushy technology.
  • Pentagon Spies Build New Database on Foreign and Domestic Threats

    The Pentagon’s main spy outfit, the Defense Intelligence Agency, is building a new database which will consolidate in one system “human intelligence” information on groups and individuals – potentially including Americans -- collected by DIA operatives in United States and abroad.
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    Advocates to End Human Trafficking Celebrate US Wins

    Some signs this week of a sea-change in political attitudes to sex trafficking within U.S. borders. In New York, convicted sex workers who are victims of commercial sex trafficking will soon have their criminal record wiped clean. A State Department report, meanwhile, has acknowledged the severity of human trafficking within U.S. borders.
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    The Mechanics of an Execution by Firing Squad

    Ronnie Lee Gardner, a convicted murderer who opted to be put to death by firing squad, was strapped to a chair at a prison in Draper, Utah, and shot with .30 caliber bullets just after midnight. Here's how it happened.
  • lady-thatcher-hsmall

    A Letter From Lady Thatcher

    To my brand-new chum, Sarah Palin. I would be happy to meet with you during your upcoming trip to London. And I do have some questions for you.
  • The Race Gap in the Economic Recovery

    Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve released an immense report detailing evidence of the nation’s ongoing economic recovery. The collective net worth of American households and non-profits rose $6.3 trillion since the first quarter of 2009 (generally considered the low point of the Great Recession).  And the value of household real-estate grew by well over $800 billion. But we are still billions of dollars down from where we were when the economy collapsed in late 2007.  And for many Americans, the recovery has not yet begun—least of all for poor communities of color....
  • Who Is Joe Barton?

    The past—and potentially future—chairman of the House energy committee has a love-hate relationship with the planet.
  • gal-tease-conservative-move

    What Would the Tea Party Do?

    They object to Obama. Fine—but it’s worth asking how they would handle something like the gulf oil spill.
  • palin-thatcher-wide

    Are You There, Margaret? It's Me, Sarah.

    Sarah Palin appears determined to secure an audience with former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Eager to explore how much the two have in common, we thought we’d contrast some of their most famous statements.
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    A History of Incorrect Oil-Spill Estimates

    Over the course of the last two months, the estimate for the amount of oil billowing from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico has gone from 1,000 barrels per day to 60,000 barrels. Here's a brief history of who was wrong, and when.
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    Shell's View on the Future of Oil

    Almost seven weeks after the Deepwater Horizon incident that has ravaged the Gulf and imperiled BP, other oil companies are beginning to feel the pinch of President Obama's six-month moratorium on drilling. No drilling means no revenues, but also no jobs for the thousands of rig employees drilling deepwater wells.
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    Kirk Accused of Exaggerating His Teaching Record

    Mark Kirk, the Republican contender for Barack Obama's former Illinois Senate seat, had previously misrepresented his military service in the course of campaigning. Now his oft-recalled time as a teacher is being questioned too.