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Drugs fuel US-Mexico border crisis

As is now well known, the children and families flowing across the U.S.-Mexican border are arriving for two interrelated reasons. One factor is a loophole in a 2008 immigration law that gives minors a relatively better shot at remaining in the U.S. after enduring a certain amount of legal and administrative processing.

Take the cool out of Kools

To buy cigarettes in Australia, you have to pick up a dull green package plastered with photos of a shriveled infant, a blackened lung or an old man with a tracheotomy hole in his throat.

The United States’ fiscal fizzle

For much of the past five years readers of the political and economic news were left in little doubt that budget deficits and rising debt were the most important issue facing America. Serious people constantly issued dire warnings that the United States risked turning into another Greece any day now. President Barack Obama appointed a special, bipartisan commission to propose solutions to the alleged fiscal crisis, and spent much of his first term trying to negotiate a Grand Bargain on the budget with Republicans.

A heyday for pot

It’s an exciting time for potheads. New York legalized medical marijuana on July 7; pot shops in Washington State started selling legal recreational marijuana the following day, and that same day, someone publicly offered the President of the United States a joint in a Denver bar. And then there is the Berkeley City Council in California, which broke new ground by unanimously passing a law requiring marijuana shops to give free marijuana to the poor and homeless, starting next month. They even mandated that it has to be the good stuff, not dirt weed.

Widening the loopholes

Last week, two more U.S. companies moved to re-establish themselves overseas, allowing them to pursue lower corporate tax rates. They will join dozens of others who have chased lower tax bills abroad while maintaining operations in the United States, benefiting from the U.S. business climate, legal stability and research investments without helping to pay for these advantages. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew pressed Congress on Tuesday to close the avenues in U.S. law that allow companies to evade corporate taxes by moving to foreign countries. Instead, more than a week ago, the House passed a bill that would make it more difficult to keep U.S. companies in America.

The hand that rocks the ballot box

In their denouncements of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats have been accused of pandering to single women — the so-called “Beyonce voter” demographic, as one Fox News commentator sniggered.

Over the line

In somber tones, the top elected official in Virginia’s second-largest locality expresses his deep concern about the plight of thousands of undocumented minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border — some of whom are being temporarily housed in his own jurisdiction. He says he’s very worried, not least about their unknown “medical needs.”

The heavy burden of college aid

Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid.

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Obama, McCain and Al-Maliki

The debacle in Iraq isn’t President Barack Obama’s fault. It’s not the Republicans’ fault. Both bear some responsibility, but, overwhelmingly, it’s the fault of the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

Point finger at Maliki

Politics being what they are in this country, it was predictable Democrats and Republicans would point fingers at each other when Sunni insurgents began taking over territory in Shiite-controlled Iraq.

A smarter way to cut student debt

It’s an election year, and Democrats are loudly decrying the cost of higher education and demanding that the government spend more to cut student debt. The Senate on Wednesday rejected one of their less-sensible ideas. But there are better ones that lawmakers should embrace.

Reeling from Virginia

Let’s be perfectly blunt. Ever since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Virginia primary to the underfunded Dave Brat, we political pundits have been publicly embarrassing ourselves. Within hours of the polls closing, commentators and analysts, none of whom had predicted Cantor’s even being in trouble, were arrogantly telling the world exactly why long-shot Brat won — and what his victory meant for Congress, the country and the Republican Party.