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Date

July 20th, 2014

Helping children is better way to fight inequality

    Malefactors of great wealth get a lot of press these days. The poor, not so much. There might be a connection. Concentrating on the super-rich seems to divert attention from the more serious social injustice at the other end of the income scale. If you're born into a poor family in the United States, you'll find moving up is harder than it would be in many other rich countries. That's a deeply troubling fact, or it would be if more Americans could bring themselves to believe it.

You might belong in the Middle Ages

    Recently, the Pew Research Center reported that people tend to live closer to people who agree with them. We are all moving into enclaves of shared ideology, it turns out.

    Right now, our only option for making certain that our neighbors are on the same wavelength is to hightail it to the outskirts of, say, Cincinnati.

    But once they legalize time travel, that won't be the only question.

Capitalism that works: Lessons from spying on Germany

    As long as U.S. intelligence agencies are hell-bent on spying on Germany, why can't they turn up some truly useful secrets? For instance, how to have an economy that bolsters a nation's power and fosters a vibrant middle class.

Removing Confederate flags is a small but welcome start

    Something extraordinary happened last week at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The president of the private college, where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee served as president after the Civil War and whose body now lies beneath the Lee Chapel, apologized for the school's past ownership of about 80 slaves and promised to remove Confederate flags on prominent display in the chapel's main chamber.

Virginia free clinic addresses misery that shouldn't exist

    A gravel parking lot deep in the green hills of Virginia coal country was packed to capacity by 4 a.m. Friday. More than 1,500 people with canes, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, bleeding gums, black lungs and other ills had come to the Wise County Fairgrounds, camping in tents, sleeping in pickup truck beds or scrunched up in their cars, hoping to see a doctor.

    At midnight before the clinic opened, there were 1,204 people in line. And over the weekend, thousands more will come.

Republican first round pits Paul against Perry

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky are the first would-be contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination to go mano-a-mano.

Obama finally lashes out on downed plane

    On the day that saw the double whammy of the downing of a Malaysian Airlines over Ukraine and the Israeli invasion of Gaza, President Obama seemed at first conspicuously unengaged for a man customarily regarded as the leader of the "free world."

    He had started the day in Delaware making a pitch for more bridge and other infrastructure repair, and then went blithely on to New York for more political fund-raising.

Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality

    Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.

Why doesn't Dick Cheney just shut up?

    Among former presidents, there's an unwritten rule: Once you leave the game, you don't stand on the sidelines and criticize the man who took your place. You never heard George H.W. Bush attack Bill Clinton. Never heard Clinton slamming George W. Bush. And, to his credit, you haven't heard a peep from George W. Bush ever since he went back to Dallas.

Addicted to Inflation

    The first step toward recovery is admitting that you have a problem. That goes for political movements as well as individuals. So I have some advice for so-called reform conservatives trying to rebuild the intellectual vitality of the right: You need to start by facing up to the fact that your movement is in the grip of some uncontrollable urges. In particular, it's addicted to inflation - not the thing itself, but the claim that runaway inflation is either happening or about to happen.