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Jamelle Bouie: How Republicans rationalize voter suppression

Since 2011, Republican lawmakers in swing states have pushed hard for new restrictions on voting, from voter identification to new rules on early voting and ballot access. “Nine states have passed measures making it harder to vote since the beginning of 2013,” noted the New York Times, and other states “are considering mandating proof of citizenship, like a birth certificate or passport, after a federal judge recently upheld such laws passed in Arizona and Kansas.”

Kate Galbraith: Fear of Russia, fear of fracking

With Russia menacing Ukraine and Europe with its natural-gas heft, the cry has gone out from British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Wall Street Journal and even (implicitly) President Obama: more fracking!

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Why is Christianity often so slow?

Eleven years ago, Richard Stearns went to Washington.

Dan Glickman: McCutcheon ruling is more bad news

I’m disappointed with last week’s ruling on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, as the U.S. Supreme Court struck yet-another blow against badly needed campaign-finance law. But I am also exceptionally disappointed with the public reaction.

Mark Peterson: Rural revival takes more than subsidies

Gov. Sam Brownback’s Rural Opportunity Zones provide tax abatements and student-debt repayment for people coming to work in one of 73 rural counties with declining populations. Our very conservative governor also asked for and got a rural-focused, state-guaranteed low-cost mortgage-financing scheme.

Dave Wilson: Compact bill puts Medicare at risk

One of the most frivolous and dangerous legislative measures has been approved by the Kansas House and Senate and is headed to Gov. Sam Brownback.

Charles Krauthammer: Arab-Israeli negotiations are a fool’s errand

When has a secretary of state been involved in so many disastrous, self-initiated negotiations? First, John Kerry convenes – against all advice and holding no cards – Geneva negotiations to resolve the Syria conflict and supposedly remove Bashar Assad from power. The talks collapse in acrimony and confusion.

Bob Ray Sanders: ACA working despite best efforts of ‘haters’

For some time I’ve wondered just how successful the Affordable Care Act would have been – how many more uninsured people it would have helped already – if certain powerful politicians loved this country more than they hated its president.

Stan Ahlerich: Kansas is on right road to economic recovery

The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors’ quarterly Indicators of the Kansas Economy report recently has been the subject of careless scrutiny. Some have taken the short-term numbers in this report out of context and misconstrued them, painting a picture of a lagging Kansas economy, when long-term trends reveal that our state’s economy is the healthiest it has been in the past decade.

Etan Thomas: Colleges should not exploit ‘student-athletes’

Talk-show host Bill Maher recently tweeted that “March Madness really is a stirring reminder of what America was founded on – making tons of money off the labor of unpaid black people.”

Yael T. Abouhalkah: Kansas trailing region, nation

A new report contains bad news for Kansans, for Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign and for all the Republicans who embrace tax cuts as the answer for everything.

John Dickerson: Why a Jeb Bush presidential run would be hard on GOP

Jeb Bush is having a moment. For two months or so, as Chris Christie’s presidential fortunes have appeared abridged, people who have supported the New Jersey governor (or at least are predisposed to support him) have started mentioning the former two-term Florida governor as a possible 2016 candidate. Should the federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures become a full-blown calamity, several have said, perhaps Bush could be lured into the race. The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Robert Costa reported that the whispers have grown into a draft-Bush movement.

Cal Thomas: Government has crossed the church-state line

“Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God” (Mark 12:17).

Dan K. Thomasson: Labor turmoil in college athletics

Bob was a dirt-poor kid from Pensacola, Fla., when he won a scholarship for football at a Division 1 school in Mississippi. He had grown up in the kind of poverty most of us can hardly imagine and the scholarship was a godsend – the only way he could imagine going to college.

Steve Paul: Oil spills should give Americans pause

Two more oil spills should give Americans pause, especially in the ongoing, fractious debate over the Keystone XL pipeline.

Chase M. Billingham: Migration trends cause for concern, not alarm

The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual population estimates last week, and local media reports highlighted the seemingly alarming trend of net domestic out-migration from the Wichita area (March 28 Eagle). Indeed, the number of people moving out of Sedgwick County to somewhere else in the U.S. was higher than the number moving in. Even so, the total local population actually rose between 2010 and 2013, as the population increase due to births exceeded the decrease due to out-migration.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Hobby Lobby case a slippery slope

Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.

Harold Meyerson: The coming job apocalypse

As a general rule, more Americans work than do the citizens of other advanced economies. Since the late 1970s, when the number of women in the workforce ballooned, the share of Americans who either had jobs or were trying to get one was greater than the share of comparable Europeans. For reasons good and bad – the higher availability of jobs, the need to bolster stagnating incomes, the linkage of jobs to health insurance – Americans worked like the dickens.

Barack Obama: Give America a raise

As Americans, we believe that honest work should be rewarded with honest wages. That certainly means that no one who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. And in coming weeks, your senators will have a chance to stand up for that principle by voting “yes” or “no” on a bill to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.

Burdett Loomis: Parties, politicians seeking advantage

“Politics ain’t beanbag,” wrote that eminent political philosopher and New York state senator George Washington Plunkitt, who wryly observed politics from his perch in the Democrats’ Tammany Hall near the turn of the 20th century. His tart statement was true then, and it’s true now.

Radley Balko: Keeping Kansas in the dark on police records

In Kansas, police agencies are not obligated to turn over documents related to search warrants, affidavits and internal investigations. In fact, such documents are pre-sumptively sealed. One has to persuade a judge to force the police to release them.

Charles Krauthammer: Obama’s sentiments are lovely but not reality

“The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.” – President Obama, March 24

Rhonda McCurry: Sedgwick County farmers, ranchers proud of heritage, work

Every year the calendar marks the anniversary of a weeklong celebration of our nation’s food supply. This takes place when spring begins, during a time when shades of green peek through winter colors of brown and gray to signal new life on the farm.

Doyle McManus: What would a GOP president do on Ukraine?

Here’s what the United States has done so far in an attempt to deter further Russian incursions into Ukraine: applied two rounds of economic sanctions and asked Congress to approve $1 billion in loan guarantees for Kiev.

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