Suzy Khimm

Outside the presidential race, where’s all the money been going in this election cycle? Well, the runner-up isn’t any of the country’s contested congressional races—not by a long shot. It’s the battle over the proposition to defeat gay marriage in California, whose supporters and opponents have raised nearly twice as much in donations as the most expensive Senate race. From U.S.

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Gop Maverick Fail

The polls for the Presidential race may be tightening once again, but that hasn’t stopped vulnerable Republicans from jumping ship—if not for the Obama camp, than at least as far away from the McCain campaign as possible. In my story in the current issue of TNR, I explain how Chris Shays, the only New England Republican in the House, has imperiled his own chances for survival by openly embracing the McCain-Palin ticket. Well, it looks like Shays himself has realized the hazards of such loyalty in a district where Obama is now leading by 59 percent.

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My colleague Chris remains skeptical that Jindal—as yet another “dark-skinned man with [a] foreign-sounding name”—would be able to overcome the backlash from the GOP’s white working-class base, at least in time for the 2012 presidential election. Chris asks some good questions—prompting responses from Ross Douthat, Daniel Larison, and others—but I’d also point out that Bobby has already proven his ability to overcome some of these exact suspicions. I’ll admit that Louisiana, as an oddball Southern state, is hardly indicative of how the Republican base would react to a Jindal candidacy.

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With the Republicans’ presidential hopes for 2008 now all but dashed, a few upstarts in the party are—surprise—positioning themselves for future runs. Last week, Chris Cillizza flagged the appearance of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in a television spot for John Kennedy, the Republican challenger to Senator Mary Landrieu. Amid a backdrop of stately white columns, the young Indian-American governor projects a cool image of steadiness and calm. Sound like anyone you know?

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As Dahlia Lithwick has shrewdly pointed out, vote fraud—that is, an illegitimate voter actually going to polls and pulling the lever—is purely a canard. The allegations being leveled against ACORN aren’t about vote fraud; they’re about voter registration fraud, and the two are hardly synonymous.

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With the recent financial upheaval and gloomy prognosis for the global economy, the price tag for alternative energy will surely get a harder look. Europe, for one, has just priced out the cost of investing in carbon capture and storage, estimating that it will take about $15 billion in public funds and subsidies to jumpstart the yet-to-be-proven technology.

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The scurrilous sex-education ad released earlier this week by the McCain campaign wasn't just about dirty politics. It was also a rejection of comprehensive sex education programs that haveproven to help protect young people's health and safety. What does McCain favor instead? Abstinence-only programs that have been thoroughly discredited--not only by the left, but also by half of America's state governments.

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Global warming, it seems, may no longer be just a convenient liberal fiction. For the first time ever, the Republican Party platform has included a plank explicitly recognizing that man-made carbon emissions might be contributing to climate change and negative environmental impacts. Here's their introduction to the plank, "Addressing Climate Change Responsibly": The same human economic activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

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The Dawn Of Big Solar

The age of Big Solar could be upon us--provided that the government continues to provide the right incentives for bringing renewable energy to scale. The New York Times reported yesterday that two large solar plants will be constructed in California, which together will put out more than 12 times the amount of electricity than the largest such plant today: The power will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric, which is under a state mandate to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010.

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So King Corn doesn't seem to be losing many friends to the biofuel backlash--at least not in Washington. Last week, the EPA declined to reduce the quota of corn ethanol in fuel, rejecting Texas Governor Perry's request for a one-year waiver. Nevertheless, the continuing pushback by ethanol-skeptics seems to have put the biofuel lobby on the defensive.

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