Texas

Located halfway between the state capital of Columbia and the port city of Charleston, Orangeburg County, South Carolina is among the more geographically blessed areas of the country. It’s also one of its poorest. Over a quarter of its population lives below the poverty line, with a per capita income of $17,579. And this is poverty of a particularly stubborn sort.

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Tax Day 2009 was a very steamy affair. As you may recall, tempers got so hot at several anti-tax Tea Party protests in Texas that the Lone Star governor who was riling up the crowds, one Rick Perry, declared that he might just be open to his great state seceding from the union. Just three years later, Tax Day 2012 has now passed in decidedly quieter fashion.

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Last month came word that Apple, which has $100 billion cash in hand and last year gave its CEO a stock award worth $634 million, received a $35.5 million incentive package to expand its operations in Austin. Of that sum, $21 million was being provided by the Texas Enterprise Fund, which was created by Gov. Rick Perry back in 2003 using money from the state’s rainy fund, and which has doled out more than $440 million to companies that promise to set up shop in Texas.

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Cleanup is underway after a series of fierce tornadoes ripped through Dallas. As many as thirteen twisters touched down in the northern part of the state, but so far, no fatalities have been reported. Why weren’t the storms more deadly? According to one 2007 study, Texas’s good fortune this week was uncommon. Surveying tornado fatalities in the U.S.

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If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, must it throw out the entire health care law? Or is there a way to perform a salvage operation, rather than a wrecking operation, as Justice Ruth Bader Gisburg suggested at oral arguments? On Tuesday, I suggested that the Court could preserve the rest of the statute, including regulations prohibiting insurers from discriminating against the sick. Far fewer people would get insurance coverage and the government would have to spend more, per person, on subsidies. The whole system would be less stable.

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The good news for Mitt Romney is that he comes out of Tuesday night with a boatload of delegates and a symbolically important win in Wisconsin, where it was once tempting to imagine Rick Santorum pulling off an upset.

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Civil rights movements have often sought out figureheads with unblemished pasts. The Montgomery bus boycott would have started nine months earlier if Claudette Colvin, who refused to yield her seat to a white person, just as Rosa Parks was to do, had not turned out to be pregnant out of wedlock. Forty-two years later, similar sentiments led legal strategists for gay rights to downplay the fact that John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, of the Lawrence v.

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On February 17, three members of Congress sent a concerned letter to Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. They were spurred by a report in The Wall Street Journal detailing how Google had deceptively tracked users of Apple’s Safari web browser “without their consent or knowledge”—and in violation of a Safari setting designed to protect against such tracking.

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Republicans and their allies reject the suggestion that they are waging a war on women. Fine. How about we call it a war on women's health? During a local television interview in Missouri on Tuesday, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney said “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.” As Steve Benen notes, Romney was reiterating a previous promise to “Eliminate Title X family planning programs benefiting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.” Romney isn't alone: His presidential rivals have pledged to the same thing.

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Political observers know that Republicans tend to perform poorly with Latino voters, but even they might have been surprised by a recent poll showing that, among Latinos, Barack Obama would beat Mitt Romney 70-14. Numbers like that are making Democrats more and more optimistic that they’ll be able to consolidate recent gains in Colorado and maybe even turn Arizona blue. But while flipping Arizona would certainly be a major coup for Democrats, it’s not the biggest prize: That honor belongs to solidly-red Texas, with its huge Latino population and its 38 electoral votes.

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