Kansas

Now That's Dirty

In case anyone was wondering how ugly the climate policy debate could get in the coming months and years, here's one hint. Last month, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment denied air-quality permits to two proposed coal-burning plants because of concerns about CO2 emissions. It was the first time permits had ever been denied for those reasons. Well, the coal industry didn't like that one bit, and this week, a group called Kansans for Affordable Energy—which is partly funded by Peabody Coal Company and Sunflower Electric Power Corp.

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Change of Heartland

What's not the matter with Kansas.

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Straw Man

Noam Scheiber on Mitt Romney’s flimsy 2008 campaign.

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Death Grip

In June 2004, I went door to door in a white, working- class neighborhood of Martinsburg, West Virginia, a small blue-collar town in decline. There, I found voters disillusioned with both the Iraq war and the flagging economy. But, when I returned five months later-- the Sunday before the election--I had difficulty digging up anyone who didn't plan to vote for George W. Bush.

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The Believers

Gracia Burnham needed a backpack. Months earlier, she and herhusband, Martin, had been kidnapped and dragged into the jungles ofthe Philippines by members of the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, or "Bearer of the Sword," and they had nothing in which to carry their few belongings. Until, that is, one morning when one of their kidnappers was shot and killed in the midst of a blundered rescue effort by the Filipino army.

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It was predictable. That even the faculty, or a large portion of it, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas would have qualms about having the George W. Bush Presidential Library on campus. It was obvious. Now, SMU has not actually been designated as the querulous host. Baylor University in Waco and the University of Texas, not in Austin, God forbid, but Irving are also in the running. Or maybe trying to escape. Ralph Blumenthal spins out the somewhat intricate tale in today's Times, "Faculty at S.M.U.

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Blue's Clues

  It's about time. After a series of frustrating election nights for Democrats, dating back to the Florida boondoggle in 2000, this year's election is a clear triumph. But was it, like the Watergate election of 1974, simply the result of correctible mistakes by the opposition? Or have the Republican scandals and the Bush administration's misadventure in Iraq brought to the surface trends that will lead to a new political majority? It's too early to say for certain, but it seems this election has at least provided Democrats with an opportunity to build a lasting congressional majority. Whether

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Misjudged

LAST YEAR, CONSERVATIVES responded to Lawrence v. Texas—in which the Supreme Court struck down all 13 state anti-sodomy statutes and overruled Bowers v. Hardwick, the infamous 1986 case that denied “a fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy”—with dire warnings that the decision would open the floodgates to radical social changes, including the advent of gay marriage.

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28 Pages

Since the joint congressional committee investigating September 11 issued a censored version of its report on July 24, there's been considerable speculation about the 28 pages blanked out from the section entitled "Certain Sensitive National Security Matters." The section cites "specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers," which most commentators have interpreted to mean Saudi contributions to Al Qaeda-linked charities.

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In the hushed halls of the Hart Senate Office Building last Thursday afternoon, there was a bustle of activity outside room H-219. A group of senators streamed through tinted-glass doors, leading to a soundproof steel vault in which the Senate Intelligence Committee holds its classified hearings. An academic-looking man in thin-rimmed glasses arrived with an aide in a white Navy uniform.

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