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Let me put it in terms that Washington understands: The party that begins to treat the unemployment crisis with the hair-on-fire urgency that it deserves is the party that will do well in November.

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The good news? Nobody has to pretend anymore that Gen. Stanley McChrystal knew how to fix Afghanistan within a year. The bad news? Now we're supposed to pretend that Gen. David Petraeus does.

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Joe Barton is not alone. The Texas congressman's lavish sympathy for BP -- which he sees not as perpetrator of a preventable disaster but as victim of a White House "shakedown" -- is actually what passes for mainstream opinion among conservative Republicans today.

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When he ordered his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, President Obama pledged that U.S. troops "will begin to come home" in the summer of 2011. Discouraging reports from the war zone should make him more determined to keep his promise -- and Americans more insistent on holding him to it.Discouraging reports from the war zone should make President Obama more determined to keep his promise -- and Americans more insistent on holding him to it.

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Adm. Thad Allen is an expert on thankless jobs. After the initial response to Hurricane Katrina had been botched, President Bush assigned him to clean up the mess. Now President Obama has put him in charge of handling the worst oil spill in the nation's history.

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Not so fast, everybody. Rand Paul can't abruptly disavow the extremist views on civil rights that he's been espousing for years and expect us all to just move along.

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Rand Paul's stunning victory in Kentucky demonstrates that the tea party movement does not intend to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.

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