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National media spotlight on Kansas

Maybe former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum wasn’t exaggerating when he said last week that the “future of the free world” hinges on Kansas’ gubernatorial race. National media are certainly treating Kansas’ political and economic news as major stories. Here are a few excerpts from recent commentaries:

Nicholas Kristof: Aggression in Middle East only boomerangs

In the carnage of Gaza and the Middle East, the most unlikely people have stepped forward from their grief to offer moral leadership.

Walter Pincus: Is NSA keeping too much data?

The National Security Agency does not have the time or personnel to eliminate innocent U.S. citizens’ communications collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Tom Keane: Before responding in anger, first sleep on it

In 2010, Dan Gilbert excoriated basketball player LeBron James’ decision to sign with the Miami Heat, calling it “cowardly,” “narcissistic” and a “shameful display of selfishness and betrayal.” Gilbert was not merely an aggrieved fan, however. He was the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team James was leaving.

Paul Krugman: Obamacare fails to fail

How many Americans know how health reform is going? For that matter, how many people in the news media are following the positive developments?

Dave Helling: Do tax cuts cause growth?

Of the top eight states for private-sector job growth from May 2013 to May 2014, five have universities competing in the Big Sky Athletic Conference.

Cal Thomas: Israel’s actions in Gaza more than justified

At last, an Obama administration official has come out in favor of a fence. He promises it will bring security to people on both sides of the border.

Aaron David Miller: Five myths about the Gaza crisis

Yes, Israelis and Palestinians have entered yet another violent round in their seemingly interminable conflict. How did they get into this mess? And, more important, how are they going to get out of it? As we watch the fighting escalate, here are five myths that need correcting:

Cass R. Sunstein: Boehner lawsuit fails the constitutional test

One of the most appealing features of modern conservative thought is its insistence on fidelity to the Constitution. How odd, then, that prominent conservatives have been embracing House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed lawsuit by the House of Representatives against President Obama – an idea that reflects a stunningly cavalier approach to the Constitution.

Stephen Mihm: Rewind two centuries for worst Congress

By some accounts, this Congress may be the least productive ever, passing the fewest laws on record. President Obama is threatening to circumvent congressional gridlock by making policy via executive orders, taunting Republicans to “sue me” if they dare.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Court shows supreme hypocrisy

It is a case of Supreme hypocrisy.

Christopher Flavelle: Obamacare is working, unless you’re black

A new survey shows that Obamacare has done a fantastic job of reducing the un-insurance rate – for everybody except blacks.

Burdett Loomis: Ambition a gift to Kansas voters

In the summer of an even-numbered year, you can smell political ambition in the air. And I like it. I’m a big fan of ambition, political or otherwise. Entrepreneurs have it; many of the best coaches have it, as do their athletes.

Trudy Rubin: Al-Maliki needs to go

Having ignored Iraq since 2009, the Obama team is now desperately trying to devise a way to prevent its total collapse – and to roll back the jihadi state newly established on a third of Iraqi territory.

Charles Krauthammer: Immigrant kids shouldn’t be allowed to stay

As is his wont, President Obama is treating the border crisis – more than 50,000 unaccompanied children crossing illegally – as a public relations problem. Where to photo op and where not.

Nicholas Kristof: Memoir shows broken criminal justice system

On the day after his 32nd birthday, Michael Morton returned from work to find his home in Austin surrounded by yellow police tape.

Ross Douthat: Liberals should love Hobby Lobby

For a generation now, liberals have bemoaned the disappearance of the socially conscious corporation, the boardroom devoted to the common good. Once, the story goes, America’s CEOs recognized that they shared interests with workers and customers; once wages and working hours reflected more than just a zeal for profits. But then came Reagan, deregulation, hostile takeovers, and an era of solidarity gave way to the age of Gordon Gekko, from which there’s been no subsequent escape.

Doyle McManus: The drone warfare drawbacks

The drone has become America’s counterterrorism weapon of choice. But does drone warfare really further U.S. goals abroad?

Stephen Moore: Nothing the matter with Kansas’ tax policy

Paul Krugman of the New York Times took a shot at economist Arthur Laffer and others who advise governors around the country to cut taxes to boost economic growth and jobs, calling us “charlatans and cranks” (“Kansas shows enduring power of bad ideas,” July 1 Opinion).

Cal Thomas: Immigration isn’t ‘central to our way of life’

The cab driver who took me to the Washington Nationals baseball game on July 4 is from Bangladesh. I asked him how he got here. He said his father “won the immigration lottery” some years back, was admitted under U.S. immigration law and eventually became a citizen, as did his son. He is proud to be an American and said that after he dropped me off he was going to a traditional Fourth of July party to celebrate America’s independence.

Jared Bernstein: Why the GOP really wants to defund IRS

Congressional conservatives have everyone looking the other way while they try to defund the Internal Revenue Service.

John Dickerson: Lack of trust in Obama didn’t kill immigration reform

The death of immigration reform comes at a time when House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is suing President Obama for exceeding his executive authority. The two are linked.

Kevin Baine: Hobby Lobby won’t take away anyone’s birth control

Virtually all of the criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision has assumed that women who work for Hobby Lobby and other religious businesses will lose their free contraceptives. That’s false. As Justice Samuel Alito explained in his opinion for the court, the effect of its ruling on these women’s access to contraception is “precisely zero.”

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Court ruling not a ‘narrow’ decision

Relax. This is not a slippery slope.

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