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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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Let’s sue the president

WASHINGTON — Republicans, after years of squabbling with President Obama, decided to resolve their differences with him according to a time-honored American tradition.

Smart, historic ruling

In 2012, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. told a university audience that the challenge for the Supreme Court for the next 50 years would be: “How do we adapt old, established rules to new technology?”

Get the border under control

Failure to secure the southern border, combined with careless messaging by President Barack Obama, has made the United States an attractive nuisance. The fiasco at the southern border is far more than a political dilemma and an inconvenience for Americans. It is a humanitarian crisis of our making.

Mississippi votes its appetite

WASHINGTON — Chris McDaniel, 41, the flawed paladin of the tea party persuasion who in Mississippi’s Republican Senate primary failed to wrest the nomination from the faltering hands of six-term incumbent Thad Cochran, 76, came into politics after a stint in talk radio. There practitioners do not live by the axiom that you don’t have to explain something you never said, and McDaniel had some explaining to do about some of his more colorful broadcast opinions and phrases, which may have given a number of voters pause about whether he is quite senatorial, whatever that means nowadays.

It’s no fun being Goliath

Barely 18 months before Iowa’s influential first-in-the-nation 2016 presidential contest, potential presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today holds a more commanding position for the nomination than any non-incumbent White House candidate has ever enjoyed, according to every national poll. National surveys continue to name her the first choice of basically seven out of 10 Democratic primary voters to be the party’s 2016 nominee. But more importantly, according to the respected Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, 55 percent of Americans now rate Clinton “knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency.”

Hope for the oceans

Humanity depends on the oceans, but their worsening state gets little attention. Good for Secretary of State John F. Kerry, then, for trying to elevate the issue last week in an international oceans conference in Washington.

House GOP establishment wins

WASHINGTON — If last week’s House Republican leadership elections told us anything, it’s that we should put to bed this tired meme about a civil war between the tea party and establishment Republicans.