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Their Views

High Court ruling a win for free speech

Depending on who you listen to, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 McCutcheon v. FEC decision on campaign finance laws is either a resounding victory for free speech or the end of democracy as we know it. The truth is probably somewhere in between, though we think it is much closer to the former.

Keeping the terrorists out

Factions among and within the right and left disagree about immigration, but nearly all Americans can agree that foreign terrorist shouldn’t step foot on our shores. Thanks to Rep. Doug Lamborn and Sen. Ted Cruz, Iran won’t be shipping a former hostage taker to the United States to serve as that country’s ambassador to the United Nations.

A counter for hysterics in Michigan

DETROIT — Robert Griffin, now 90, who rose to be second in the Republican U.S. Senate leadership, was defeated in 1978. Since then, only one Michigan Republican, Spencer Abraham in 1994, has been elected to the Senate and for only one term. Evidence former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land might end this GOP drought is that Democrats are attacking her for opposing “preventive health care.”

Data release welcomed

Federal officials released a huge trove of data Wednesday that shows what Medicare paid to more than 880,000 doctors and other health care providers nationwide. There were some eye-popping stats:

Health care nightmares

When it comes to health reform, Republicans suffer from delusions of disaster. They know, just know, that the Affordable Care Act is doomed to utter failure, so failure is what they see, never mind the facts on the ground.

Solution in search of a problem

Is America fundamentally hostile to women? It’s a notion that seems difficult to reconcile with the reality we see around us. In the March jobs report, for instance, women and men had exactly the same unemployment rates. Women substantially outnumber men on American college campuses. And, with 63.7 percent of women voting in the 2012 presidential election (as opposed to 59.7 percent of men), it’s not as if they’re being shut out of the political process.

Bottom dollar

The earned-income tax credit is one of the government’s most effective poverty-fighting, work-encouraging tools. The program pays low-income employees a wage supplement, in the form of a tax credit, that can be worth more than $6,000 a year to a family with three or more children. The EITC has offset higher Social Security taxes and the minimum wage’s erosion by inflation in recent years.

Jeb Bush’s challenge

WASHINGTON — The human kindling that makes up the flammable Republican base may soon burst into flames, again. Portions of that excitable cohort are looking — some with fawn-like eyes filled with hurt, others with sparks shooting from eyes narrowed like gun slits — askance at other Republicans urging Jeb Bush to seek the 2016 presidential nomination.

Mystery of the air continues to linger

Sometimes it’s easier to just cite a convenient explanation and stamp “Closed” on the case file. That happened this week, on a vastly larger scale, with the baffling disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The Malaysian government announced Monday the plane and the 239 people on board had plunged into the southern Indian Ocean — even though there wasn’t a smidgen of physical evidence that had actually happened.

General Motors, regulator should face tough scrutiny

General Motors knew about the faulty ignition switches in its small cars for more than a decade, yet only issued a recall last month. Twelve deaths have been tied to the defect — a number that likely will grow — and both the automaker and federal regulators who missed the problem need to explain what happened.

Shrinking hopes

Joseph Napolitan, who essentially created the profession of campaign consultant and who passed away this past December, was a wise man. He used to tell Democratic candidates and officeholders he counseled “to never underestimate the intelligence of the voters, nor overestimate the amount of knowledge at their disposal.” His point was that it was the candidate’s and the campaign’s responsibility to inform and educate voters and that if by election day, “the voters still do not understand what the candidate is trying to tell them, then it is the candidate’s fault — not the voters.’ ” That is as true today as it was when Napolitan wrote it more than 50 years ago.

Jobs and skills and zombies

A few months ago, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and Marlene Seltzer, the chief executive of Jobs for the Future, published an article in Politico titled “Closing the Skills Gap.” They began portentously: “Today, nearly 11 million Americans are unemployed. Yet, at the same time, 4 million jobs sit unfilled” — supposedly demonstrating “the gulf between the skills job seekers currently have and the skills employers need.”

In contraception challenge, are employees people? Or just bosses?

A year ago, for the fifth straight year, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. raised wages for its full-time hourly employees. They’re now paid $14 an hour. The hourly wage for part-time employees was increased to $9.50, but David Green, the Oklahoma City-based arts-and-crafts chain’s founder and CEO, has said the “lion’s share” of his nearly 18,000 employees work full time.