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TOM PURCELL: When telecommuniting doesn't actually 'work'

OPINION: Once there's a new federal program, it's only a matter of time before it's abused

The Commerce Department’s inspector general issued a report that found 19 paralegals within the Patent and Trademark Office were given so little government work to do that they “watched television, surfed the Internet, used Facebook, performed volunteer work for a charity, washed laundry, exercised at home, read books and magazines, shopped online or cleaned dishes.”

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Consensus forming on criminals

OPINION: The criminal justice system costs too much and accomplishes too little

The United States has 5 percent of the global population but a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

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TINA DUPUY: Children seeking asylum find apathy

OPINION: In America, you are not tainted by the sins of your parents

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, gives protections to children here alone and not from Mexico or Canada. One protection is not sending them back to their country of origin immediately — instead giving them access to an immigration hearing with an advocate and counsel.

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CYNTHIA TUCKER: Excessive police violence must stop

OPINION: The criminal justice system reeks of institutional racism and a plethora of human prejudices

The troubling racial disparities do not absolve the looters, the rioters, the thugs who have attacked police and damaged property since protests began. There is no excuse for criminal conduct; moreover, it detracts from legitimate gripes with the police.

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BYRON YORK: The better Obamacare is known, the less it is liked

OPINION: More than half of those surveyed have an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act

Obamacare is dropping in popularity, even with Democrats, after more people have personal experiences with health care under the law.

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CAL THOMAS: Robin Williams -- Comedy and tragedy

OPINION: Full of joy on the outside, Robin Williams apparently was tormented inside

Many people misunderstand clinical depression. They think because someone has wealth and fame, or circumstances better than others, they should be happy, or at least content.

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MICHAEL GERSON: The paradox of American diversity

OPINION: When an unarmed person is killed by police, the police have the burden of proving it was justified

The killing of Michael Brown is not primarily a symbol, an example or a wake-up call. It is a specific human tragedy, on a specific street, involving a serious factual dispute. It is the reality that matters most: the deadly struggle over a gun or the murder of a man with his hands in the air.

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MICHAEL GERSON: Smacked by reality in the Middle East

OPINION: Experiment ends with foreign policy collapse

In the absence of stabilizing American leadership, the Middle East has become a regional Sunni-Shiite proxy war in which the most radical and ruthless thrive.

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TOM PURCELL: Lower expectations, live happier

OPINION: Low expectations may be the key to happiness

Research indicates that when your expectations are low, you are much more likely to exceed them, which will make you happy. Likewise, when your expectations are too high, they are less likely to be met, which will make you unhappy.

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E.J. DIONNE: Neighborhoods becoming less neighborly

OPINION: Neighborliness has evolved into leaving people alone

Individual choice certainly has big advantages over a rigid collectivism. But solidarity sure beats impulsiveness, self-involvement and fragmentation.

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CYNTHIA TUCKER: The income gap is tearing fabric of society

OPINION: The divide between haves and have-nots is growing

The United States is not held together by a common religion or language or ethnicity, but by its promise of equal opportunity for all.

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BYRON YORK: The economy is still the top issue in the United States

OPINION: While the economy has had some recent bright spots, indications are the future will be troubled

The damage that has been done to Americans’ net worth is not anything that can be fixed in a year or two.

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CAL THOMAS: The Nixon resignation, 40 years later

OPINION: Nixon was not brought down; he committed political suicide

President Richard Nixon thought he could get away with what other politicians had done, but forgot the rules were different for Republicans.

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E.J. DIONNE: U.S. needs plain vanilla bipartisanship

OPINION: Most Americans now disapprove of their own U.S. representative

The GOP talks a great deal about family values, but what, pray, is it willing to do to ease life for parents trying to make a living and do right by their kids at the same time?

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E.J. DIONNE: Can voters effect change in the GOP?

OPINION: Republicans appear to be halfway there in gaining control of the U.S. Senate

Solving the country’s problems requires, above all, turning the Republican Party back into a political enterprise willing to share the burdens of governing, even when a Democrat is in the White House.

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