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Their Views

Understanding our divisions

WASHINGTON — In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.

At HHS, Sebelius wasn’t the problem

Last week brought the news that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is leaving the Obama administration, to be replaced by Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Though we’ve consistently opposed HHS policy during Secretary Sebelius’ tenure, we can’t help but feel some measure of pity for the former Kansas governor, who served as the public face of one of the most spectacular public policy failures in American history. While our sentiments might not quite reach the level of sympathy, we can certainly understand why she wanted out.

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:

President Obama’s youth problem

WASHINGTON — The day before the Iowa caucuses in 2008, I wrote about the massive crowds of young people at Barack Obama rallies, noting that his candidacy would collapse “if they don’t show up.”

How does an airliner vanish in this age?

In a world where rental car companies can track the location of their cars at any given moment, where we can turn a home alarm on or off from the seat of an airliner cruising at an altitude of 35,000 feet, the infuriating part of the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is our technological powerlessness.

Midterms reality check

WASHINGTON — At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, the man in charge of House Republicans’ 2014 campaign, told a roomful of reporters at the National Press Club they shouldn’t read much into that day’s special election in Florida to fill the seat of the late GOP Congressman Bill Young.

Dems should better support charter schools

One of America’s most promising educational experiments is under attack in the country’s largest school districts. In New York and Los Angeles, opponents of charter schools are engaging in tactical strikes designed to halt and ultimately reverse the movement’s progress.