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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.

Phelps preached hate, but his death is no reason to celebrate

On Sunday night, the estranged son of the Rev. Fred Phelps posted on Facebook his father, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, was near death. From then until his death was formally announced Thursday, the elder Phelps became a trending topic on social media, with the discussion centered on this question: Might it be a cause for celebration?

Buds of the socialist spring

“Boys from another school pulled out the severed head of a classmate while fishing in a pond. His whole family had died. Had they eaten him first? Or had he survived the deaths of his parents only to be killed by a cannibal? No one knew; but such questions were commonplace for the children of Ukraine in 1933. … Yet cannibalism was, sometimes, a victimless crime. Some mothers and fathers killed their children and ate them. … But other parents asked their children to make use of their own bodies if they passed away. More than one Ukrainian child had to tell a brother or sister: ‘Mother says that we should eat her if she dies.’”

Posturing over the Holocaust

Last fall, the top executives of the Israeli and French national railways signed a wide-ranging accord, deepening their long-term partnership and committing the French to help the Israelis nearly double their rail passenger capacity by 2020. The partnership between Israeli Railways and SNCF, the French railway, dates back to 2000 and has not been the subject of controversy in Israel.