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TOM PURCELL: Trick-or-treating, '70s style

OPINION: Halloween was, above all, a candy quest

A well formulated plan and taking a casual attitude toward the deadline for wrapping up trick-or-treating contributed to the haul of goodies each year.

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JOE GANDELMAN: When 'Springtime for Hitler' became serious opera

OPINION: John Adams 'opera is a critical hit' and a monster controversy

“The Death of Klinghoffer” tries to explain the point of view of PLF members who hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985, shot elderly American Jewish businessman Leon Klinghoffer, and threw him overboard in his wheelchair.

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MICHAEL GERSON: Still in denial about Ebola

OPINION: The Ebola virus has multiplied in a medium of denial

The White House believes it has a management and communications challenge. But the problem is far larger — the inability (so far) to get ahead of the crisis in West Africa with decisive action.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Sometimes government is essential

OPINION: To some extent the Obama administration is suffering from self-inflicted wounds

The role of government has turned from an asset to a liability for President Obama. His favorable rating in the latest ABC/Washington Post poll has sunk to 40 percent, the lowest mark of his presidency.

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BYRON YORK: The audacity of Greg Orman

OPINION: Republicans are suspicious that the Orman campaign is a ruse by Democrats

Calling Greg Orman a cipher suggests he has no positions, or nothing to say. But on some important topics, Orman outlined policies in more detail than incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, who he is challenging Nov. 4.. Some of Orman’s views, although certainly not all, would fit comfortably within the range of Republican orthodoxy.

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MICHAEL GERSON: For GOP, no victory lap

OPINION: Republicans controlling both houses of Congress has some downsides

The electoral map is favorable to GOP candidates, with battlegrounds located mainly in states Mitt Romney carried in 2012. Democrats can win only by running well ahead of President Obama’s approval ratings, which range from the 30s to mid-40s.

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EUGENE ROBINSON: Stepping into the morass?

OPINION: If degrade and destroy are the purposes, deeper U.S. involvement will be necessary

Few would describe Obama’s use of military force against the Islamic State as rash, given the time he took in deciding to act. But the more we learn about this intervention, the more it appears to violate the “dumb” half of the president’s dictum.

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CATHERINE RAMPELL: Sex and the poor

OPINION: America has decided sex, especially non-procreative, is for rich people

The belief that we can get entire classes of Americans to practice abstinence until they’re financially ready for marriage and children is a right-wing delusion on par with the left-wing delusions that go into socialism: Both rely on a fundamental miscalculation about human nature.

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TOM PURCELL: More private contractors needed

OPINION: The self-employed are humble and motivated to do good work

Being self-employed makes people intimately aware of the negative impact of government regulations and policies.

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BYRON YORK: President Obama plays big role in Arknasas Senate race

OPINION: Bill Clinton called on to cool the heat on Sen. Mark Pryor

Challenger Rep. Tom Cotton ties Pryor to President Obama, noting Pryor supports the president 93 percent of the time.

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CYNTHIA TUCKER: Despite polls, GOP opposes gay marriage

OPINION: Public opinion on same-sex marriage has changed in the past decade

Michelle Nunn clearly believes that backing gay unions is a winning strategy — even in a Deep South state where the religious right still holds considerable political sway.

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MICHAEL REAGAN: Government malpractice continues

OPINION: The CDC chief admits his agency was not aggressive enough regarding Ebola

This latest failure of the federal government, Ebola, is really incredible. Just how incompetent can it get?

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JOE GANDELMAN: Meet the Comedy Central press

OPINION: NBC was seriously wooing Jon Stewart

How unthinkable would it once have been to seriously consider hiring a talented comedian to take over what has long been a solid news franchise?

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MICHAEL GERSON: Ebola has been a brutal teacher

OPINION: For those treated very ill Ebola patients, danger of infection is dramatically increased

The federal response to Ebola has had serious weaknesses under stress. CDC officials wrongly assumed any large hospital would know what it was doing in isolating an Ebola patient, then allowed a nurse with an elevated temperature who had been heavily involved with a patient’s treatment to board a plane.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Revival under way for Mitt Romney

OPINION: Romney is hearing encouragement to make another White House run

Despite declaring that he is not a presidential candidate in 2016, Republicans appear to be pushing Romney to mount another campaign for the White House.

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