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Steve and Cokie Roberts

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Just worry about the kids

OPINION: Katrina slammed into New Orleans Aug. 23, 2005

Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, breaking the levees and damaging or destroying almost all of the city’s already dilapidated and disgraceful public schools. The experiment in education that followed has sparked a fierce national debate, pitting advocates of independent charter schools against supporters of the traditional, central office-run system.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Donald Trump meets the media primary

OPINION: Trump is now considered a serious candidate

After the debate in Celeveland, Donald Trump went from being a celebrity and curiosity to a serious candidate for president.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Joe Biden may find negatives of presidential race hard to overcome

OPINION: Team Biden weighing arguments for and against White House run

A decision should be reached by fall on whether Vice President Joe Biden will make a bid for the White House.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Don't help the terrorists

OPINION: The entire Muslim community should not be vilified over the acts of a few monsters

Domestic killers like Dylann Roof, the white supremacist gunman in Charleston, are far more common than foreign-inspired assailants like Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the Chattanooga shooter.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Pay farmers now, not doctors later

OPINION: Beyond politics, this is a way to improve health

Last year’s farm bill provided $100 million in seed money, and this spring, about one-third of that was dispensed to underwrite local experiments that increase value of federal nutrition benefits if the extra funding is used to buy healthy food options.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: One image, two symbols

OPINION: The reactions to the flag and weapon accused killer Dylann Roof held have been different

There has been little talk of gun control in the wake of the South Carolina church murders, but there has been a great deal of action against the Confederate battle flag.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Having to win the old-fashioned way

OPINION: The inevitability of a Jeb Bush nomination no longer looks inevitable

In national polls, Jeb Bush attracts only about 10 percent of GOP voters, putting him in a virtual tie with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. More damaging is a Monmouth University poll that finds Bush’s favorable rating dropping sharply since April, from 49 percent to 40 percent.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Answering the tough questions

OPIONION: What is Hillary Clinton afraid of?

Is Hillary so fragile, so unsteady on her feet, that she has to be shielded from anything resembling a real live reporter with a microphone in her hand? And what does that say about Clinton’s ability to handle the rigors of the campaign trail — let alone the White House?

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: The 'fear caucus' is wrong

OPINION: The politics of trade are muddled

The fascinating thing about the GOP’s Fear Caucus is that they are the first ones to proclaim the glories of “American Exceptionalism” and denounce Democrats like President Obama for insufficient pride in their country’s virtues. These scaredy-cats routinely brand liberals as part of a “Hate America First” crowd.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: The Why Not Me election

OPINION: Fence-sitters encouraged to run for office

As more candidates declare for president — three Republicans joined the fray just this week — they encourage the remaining fence-sitters to take a run more seriously.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Smart, not soft, on crime

OPINION: The emerging debate over incarceration is heartening

Serious folks across the political spectrum are taking a hard look at the facts behind “over-imprisonment.” They’re seeing what is true, not what ideology tells them should be true. And the harsh verity is inescapable: The current system of criminal justice is badly broken.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: What women won in the Civil War

OPINION: Civil War victory came at a horrible cost to the nation

The United States emerged as a more cohesive country, with a unifying railroad underway that would soon connect the east coast to the west. And it was a country where the role of women had changed for the better.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: It's still hate and bigotry

OPINION: Some conservative activists have hijacked the noble concept of religious liberty

The real story out of Indiana is not that the legislature passed, and the governor signed, a pernicious law that could sanction discrimination against gays. The real story is the furious backlash around the country that the measure provoked.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: The struggles ahead

OPINION: GOP is split between Spines and Brains

Bipartisanship flamed up briefly after Republicans took over the Senate, but is flickering now.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Grandmother knows best

OPINION: Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has new ID - grandmother

The practical implications of her new role go far beyond gauzy sentiment. There are 70 million grandparents in this country — a pretty formidable voting bloc, and one that Democrats have struggled to attract. In 2012, Barack Obama won only 44 percent of voters over 65. Grandma Hillary should have a better shot.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Welcome to the Media Primary

OPINION: Would-be presidential candidates get early taste of pressures that come with White House keys

The pressure that Gov. Chris Christie or Sen. Rand Paul or any candidate gets from the press at this stage is far milder than the constant, crushing demands of everyday life in the Oval Office. Those who cannot survive the Media Primary are clearly not qualified to serve as president.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Gen. Market vs. Mr. Putin

OPINION: Vladimir Putin seems undeterred by economic penalties

Putin is a bully, at times a dangerously deranged one, who fantasizes about restoring the Soviet Union to its former glory — dominating smaller and weaker states from the Baltics to Central Asia. And like all bullies, he has to be challenged and confronted. Otherwise he’ll never stop.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: The right to be ordinary

OPINION: Gay couples embrace traditional values

Steve received an email the other day from a colleague announcing the birth of her son Brinton. She attached a photo of a red-faced tyke in a striped stocking cap, and co-workers responded with a cascade of “wows” and “bravos.” Ordinary family. Obvious fanfare. Except for one thing: Brinton has two moms — Nikki and Shelly Layser.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Time to make a difference

OPINION: Voters showed confidence in Republicans

It’s a new year and a new Congress. New Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now has to convince fellow Republicans to follow his adage: to go from the party of “no” to the party of “yes”; from part of the problem to part of the solution; from making trouble to making progress.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: On the wrong side of history

OPINION: Sen. Marco Rubio has his views, and he's sticking to them

A recent poll of Cuban-Americans in the Miami area found that more than two-thirds support key elements of Obama’s overtures: re-establishing diplomatic relations and lifting travel restrictions. A smaller majority, 52 percent, also favors ending the trade embargo against Cuba.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Jeb Bush and Hillarey Clinton need each other in 2016

OPINION: If Bush and Clinton run, they cancel out their weaknesses

Both have similar flaws and are vulnerable to the same charges: that they are too old (Jeb would be 63 on election day 2016; Hillary, 69), too out of practice (Jeb was last elected governor of Florida in 2002; Hillary was last elected senator from New York in 2006), too tied to previous presidents (their close relatives have won five of the last seven presidential elections).

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: The decline of the dealmakers

OPINION: Deep South U.S. Senate representative will be all Republican in January

In the Deep South today, the Republicans are essentially the white majority party and the Democrats are the black minority party.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Thinking about hunger, not school lessons

OPINION: In a land of plenty, no child should have to go hungry

The Christmas season seems to start earlier every year. Last month, a neighbor put up twinkling silver lights, and the day after Thanksgiving, we saw cars carrying trees on their roofs. So it’s not too early to make our annual appeal: This holiday season, give the gift of food. And health.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Spin wins over facts

OPINION: House Intelligence Committee report dispels Benghazi conspiracies

Findings of a bipartisn House panel is ignored by those who want to perpetuate the myth of a conspiracy behind the deaths of the ambassador and three other Americans at Benghazi.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Taxes and trade are the test

OPINION: Economic news from Japan and Europe is not good

The U.S. corporate rate, 35 percent, encourages businesses to move overseas and protect their profits from U.S. tax collectors; more than $2 trillion is stashed abroad, according to independent research firm Capital Economics.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Getting things done in Washington

OPINION: Which GOP will show up on Capitol Hill in January?

Here’s the problem for the GOP: McConnell, Cornyn and Co. might well understand what the public wants from their party. But they don’t “control” the conservative ideologues led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who equate any whiff of compromise with heresy.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Even less fun than usual

OPINION: If the GOP takes the Senate, political life in D.C. could get more complicated

Elections always have consequences and legislation is not the only way to measure their impact. If Republicans seize the Senate, they would set the floor schedule and run the committees. Republican staffs would grow while Democratic ranks shrink.

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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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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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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: A better ground game is the secret weapon for Democrats

OPINION: Democrats best hopes lie in motivating their own voters to go to the polls

If Democrats pull off any upsets in races favored for their Republican opponents, it will be because they motivated their supporters to get out and vote.

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Mutations with a malign mission

OPINION: President made right call to send troops, money to Liberia

Ebola is killing people every day. It threatens our well-being and demands a rapid response.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Bill and George Show is refreshing

OPINION: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush show political rivals can cooperate with each other

Washington resembles a World War I battlefield, with both sides dug deeply into their own trenches. The frontline barely moves, but the casualty rate keeps climbing.

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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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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Failing the test on basic economics

OPINION: Legislators missing the boat on basic principles

This legislative paralysis mirrors what happened on immigration reform, which passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support but was then buried in the House without a vote.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: The booming Benghazi biz

Search the word “Benghazi,” and up pops a paid link to a website that advertises: “Benghazi — T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Mugs and More.”

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STEVE & COKIE ROBERTS: Make the Russian bully sweat

OPINION: So far leaders in Washington and Europe, the one in Moscow, are making the mistakes

So far, the so-called sanctions imposed on Russia for its incursion into Ukraine have been weak and give Russian President Vladimir Putin little concern.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: The guys just do not get it

OPINION: CIA response to Sen. Feinstein latest case of men behaving badly

A man in Sen. feinstein’s position would never be accused of having a “deep emotionalfeeling” about an issue.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: An outbreak of sanity

Reports by presidential commissions are often like those statues that dominate public squares in Washington: massive in size, but opaque in origin and quickly obscured by a thick layer of grime.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Cowards are in charge of Capitol Hill

OPINION: Americans deserve better than the congressional leadership they are getting

Both Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are letting hardliners in their respective parties bully them into burying legislation.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: This is why the Media Primary matters

OPINION: Flaws of politicians are magnified and judged because of reporting

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has benefited from being near New York and its media. Now that proximity is his political nemesis.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Hunger hurts all Americans

OPINION: Cuts to food stamps will hurt those struggling to put food on the table

Most food stamp recipients are hard-working Americans, not the “welfare queens” that conservatives rail against.

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STEVE AND COKIE ROBERTS: Reversing the Republican death spiral

OPINION COLUMN: The declining white U.S. population is a challenge for the future of the Republican Party

Instead of trying to appeal to a broader base, many Republicans are trying to prevent minorities from voting.

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ROBERTSES: Turn off the blowhards

At a recent news conference, President Obama reflected on what caused the 16-day government shutdown, and how another crisis can be avoided in the futur

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ROBERTS: The women are taking over

The headline in the Washington Post read, “Moderates flex muscle.”

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ROBERTSES: Filling the fertility gap

Opinion column

It was a lovely summer evening. Large families filled the terrace at La Pieve Vecchio, a restaurant occupying an old convent on the outskirts of this hilltop village in Tuscany. Some groups even included small children, perched in high chairs or wandering the dining area with an anxious parent trailing close behind.


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