Archive

Date

June 26th, 2014

Turned off by legal pot

    From her perch as head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow watches anxiously as the country embarks on what she sees as a risky social experiment in legalizing marijuana.

    For those who argue that marijuana is no more dangerous than tobacco and alcohol, Volkow has two main answers: We don't entirely know, and, simultaneously, that is precisely the point.

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When Public Servants Demonize the Poor

    For years I’d wondered about the identity of a gaggle of anonymous commenters on Blog for Arizona, the website to which I frequently contribute. These guys weighed in a lot and were very eager to burnish the reputation of Arizona School Superintendent, John Huppenthal.

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Thad Cochran's Democratic Campaign

    "There is something a bit strange, there is something a bit unusual about a Republican primary that's decided by liberal Democrats."

    The words of Chris McDaniel, the tea party candidate vanquished in Mississippi's runoff on Tuesday by Sen. Thad Cochran and the state's GOP establishment, were not the most gracious. But they contained an important truth about why Cochran prevailed after finishing second in the first round of voting on June 3.

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The Right's Mistake Was Waking the Others

    The tea partyers made a serious blunder in Mississippi, costing them a runoff win: They carelessly slipped their magic passion potion to the opposition.

    The hard right's strength comes from the nearly religious fervor that propels its small numbers to the polls at times when the larger numbers are snoozing. In Mississippi, the right woke up the larger numbers.

    Hold that thought, will you?

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June 23rd

The New Eric Cantor

    How's this for a punch line? You stage a rebellion to get rid of Eric Cantor, who is on his worst day (to critics on the right) a very conservative guy who relishes hardball tactics, and he gets replaced by a pragmatic moderate from California. You call this victory?

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Maliki seen as losing bet for U.S.

    For years, U.S. officials have debated in meetings and in classified cables whether Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a uniter or a divider.

    Now, events may have provided the answer.

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Clinton's challenges are far bigger than book tour

    Hillary Clinton had a rough rollout for her new book and likely presidential quest; there were gaffes, awkward answers and a relatively slow response to criticism.

    No other would-be presidential contender approaches her stature or public appeal. None, for now, will face the same scrutiny.

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Tea party hangs on to seat at the kids' table

    The tea party, joined by right-wing populists who just don't want to take it anymore, took out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last week, and they didn't even get a lousy T-shirt for their trouble.

    Before you could say "Beltway," the third-ranking House Republican, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who supports giving legal status to undocumented immigrants and is a generally bluer version of the pro-business Cantor, was lined up to take over the No. 2 House leadership post.

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How politics risks undermining U.S. security

    As Iraq unravels, a painful truth about U.S. politics and foreign policy is becoming more evident: The United States is very good in all-or-nothing situations, but all-or-nothing situations don't often arise.

    The "war on terror" is the paradigm example of this syndrome. In Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, nothing is simple. The goals are complex, the trade-offs excruciating.

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The crime of being poor

    Last April, Melissa Ortiz, a low-income mother of four, gave testimony to a committee of the California Assembly detailing her life on the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids program, or CALWorks, the state's welfare program.

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