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  • Liz Cheney: Heir to a New Dynasty?

    When the Republican Jewish Coalition hosted its annual winter conference at Las Vegas's splashy Palazzo hotel earlier this month, party luminaries such as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham showed up to hobnob with some of the GOP's most generous donors.
  • Threat of Inflation Is Overblown

    One of the most common bits of post-recessionary wisdom is that the world is on its way to a prolonged period of high inflation. With all that public stimulus money sloshing around the world, it's only a matter of time before prices start to go up. And indeed, that's exactly what's happening in China and India, mostly because they didn't experience much of the recession. But in the rest of the world, where economies really did nosedive, inflation worries may be overblown.A recent Bank of America/Merrill Lynch report notes that in 18 of the world's 30 richest developed economies, core inflation (not including food and energy) is down from its peak in 2008, and continues to fall. High unemployment, empty offices, and shuttered factories have put extra slack in developed economies, meaning there's little pricing power for anyone, and thus little chance of inflation in the near term. "It's a myth that we're following a straight line from disaster to inflation," says BOA/ML economist...
  • Washington State Fights to Out Antigay Activists

    Is signing a petition a public act, like holding up a protest sign, or is it a private decision, like casting a vote? That question is before the Supreme Court next month, in a case that could have far-reaching implications for activism on both the left and right.The controversy began last year when 138,000 Washington state residents signed a petition to repeal benefits for same-sex domestic partners. The effort, which became Referendum 71, failed at the ballot box. But that wasn't the end of it: Washington's secretary of state, Sam Reed, tried to make the signers' names public, citing state law. Fearing harassment, some signers sued to block the release of their names—setting the stage for a lose-lose decision.If the high court makes petitioners' names public, people on the wrong side of hotly contested ballot measures nationwide could face a backlash. If the court upholds their anonymity, however, it's a blow to transparency—and the significance of "We the undersigned."
  • The Roots of the Modern-Day Militia Movement

    The resurgent militia movement is tied to anger at illegal immigration, economic malaise, and the election of an African-American president. But its growth is also a matter of old-fashioned organizing. During the Clinton era, the anti-government furor that peaked with the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 began with a meeting of radical leaders in Estes Park, Colo., in 1992. At this gathering—now called the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous—a cross section of extremist groups put aside doctrinal differences to focus on a common enemy: the federal government, which, in their minds, overtaxed, wrongfully imprisoned, even murdered its citizens.Today's militias have eerily similar roots, right down to a summit that helped midwife a shared ideology. In May 2009 about 30 self-described "freedom keepers" caucused on Georgia's Jekyll Island, where they mapped out "action plans" for a larger movement—one that would confront not only taxes but an array of issues that threaten to "collapse the Republic."...
  • Why Immigration Helps Wages in California

    As the white house revives immigration reform—an issue the president is discussing with congressional leaders—it may want to ponder the effects of curbing foreign labor. While immigrants are blamed for dragging down American wages and stealing jobs, University of California, Davis, economist Giovanni Peri comes to a different conclusion. In a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, Peri trowels through nearly five decades of immigration data and finds that foreign workers have boosted the economy, jacking up average income without crowding out American laborers. For each percentage of the workforce that is foreign-born, he found an almost 0.5 percent bump in average wages. In California, where the percentage of immigrants in the workforce has jumped more than 25 points since 1960, that means an almost 13 percent bonus—roughly $8,000. Immigrants, Peri says, push native-born workers into better-paying positions, expanding the size of the job pie so unskilled Americans aren...
  • Liz Cheney: Heir to a New Dynasty?

    Liz Cheney is truly Dick's daughter, galvanizing the Republican base with her right-wing views and blistering critiques of Obama. Did somebody say 2012?
  • Exclusive: Senators Accuse Homeland Security Spies of Cribbing From ‘Questionable’ Right-Wing Sources

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein and other prominent Senate Democrats have accused spies at the Homeland Security Department of basing official intelligence reports on dubious open-source material. Inquiries by Declassified indicate that at least some of the data that Feinstein and her colleagues deemed “questionable” came from a website set up by outspoken conservative activist David Horowitz to catalogue negative information about the political left.  In an official report accompanying an intelligence authorization bill last year, Feinstein’s committee alleged that Homeland’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis had been issuing papers that “inappropriately analyze the legitimate activities of U.S. persons” – papers that “often used certain questionable open source information as a basis of their conclusions.” And n a little noticed floor speech in February, Feinstein spoke of “numerous problems” at the intelligence office, including poor planning and budgeting...
  • Is Rhode Island the Most Corrupt State?

    Rhode Island may have slightly more than 1 million residents, but its politicians have wowed political junkies by blatantly taking bribes in office, working with the mob, and serving jail time.
  • The Swamps of Jersey

    The Garden State's real bosses—bootleggers, cross-dressers, organ traffickers—put Tony Soprano to shame.
  • Which State Government Is Most Embarrassing?

    With two consecutive New York governors in ethical imbroglios, New Yorkers may think they've got the sleaziest state political culture in the country. But plenty of other states are in the running.
  • Karl Rove as Jean Valjean: An Upside-Down Look at the Plame Affair

    In his fat and highly skewed new memoir out today, Karl Rove portrays himself as an improbable Jean Valjean—an innocent man who, like the persecuted hero of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, is relentlessly hounded by an obsessed lawman determined to put him behind bars. As the former White House senior adviser tells it in Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight, he was forced to drain his personal savings and watch his family subjected to "countless hours of abuse and fear"—all because special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was supposedly seeking any way possible to indict him for lying about the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Rove maintained a brave public face throughout. But behind the scenes, "the whole thing was scaring the hell out of me," he writes. And it turns out that he was far closer to getting indicted than most people knew. After Rove's fourth grand-jury appearance in October 2005, Fitzgerald phoned Rove'...
  • 'I Was Disgusted,' Says Former Bush Official About Liz Cheney Ad

    Nine former Bush administration officials who played major roles in shaping counterterrorism policies today released a statement condemning as “shameful” recent attacks by Liz Cheney’s advocacy group on Justice Department lawyers who had previously represented Guantánamo detainees. ...