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Mr. Wehner’s commentary is the latest in a Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity series entitled “Poverty and Society: A New Inquiry into an Old Question.“   In thinking through the best way to help truly disadvantaged Americans regain access to the American Dream, it’s helpful to disaggregate the issue and identify its shifting nature. There

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The duties and responsibilities of commander-in-chief have never come easily to Barack Obama. We saw it in 2009, when the president struggled for months, seemingly unable to make a decision on the surge of troops in Afghanistan. Eventually he (mostly) agreed to the requests of his military commanders, but in the process Obama put in

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Can you champion human rights while at the same time denying natural rights? This is a core question of political philosophy. It was raised anew for me while re-reading Conversations with Isaiah Berlin, a dialogue with one of the 20th century’s leading political theorists and historian of ideas. Professor Berlin, a man deeply committed to

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The 2012 election will be another nasty affair, with the media lamenting incivility and trivial debates even as they do all they can to elevate them. But as the political debate intensifies, we need to keep things in the proper frame. One of the more extravagant claims we hear is that politics has never been

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Since the founding of the republic, most Americans have believed there is an important connection between personal character and political leadership. Many qualities define character. But thanks to male politicians on both sides of the aisle—including Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Eliot Spitzer, John Ensign and John Edwards—the issue of character often

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Let’s all take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? Readers will recall that Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy was built on his opposition to the Iraq war, and when he was in the U.S. Senate, he demanded that America end its involvement there, even though doing so would have led to an epic American defeat.

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One of the world’s leading New Testament scholars, N. T. Wright is a man from whom a great deal can be learned about church history and Christian theology. When he ventures from his specialty into areas he does not know very well—international affairs, for example—Bishop Wright is unfortunately prone to silly statements motivated by a

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The policy differences among the likely candidates for the GOP presidential nomination will be, I think, relatively narrow (the exceptions are among the marginal candidates like Ron Paul). There will be differences in emphasis, of course, but the philosophical differences will mostly be marginal. Which means that there may be more emphasis than usual on

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Barack Obama’s budget address last week ranks among the most dishonest and dishonorable presidential speeches in generations. It contained an avalanche of false and misleading statements. It was shallow and bitterly partisan. Yet the speech served a useful purpose: It provided the American people in general, and Republicans in particular, with the basic line of

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Thanks to Donald Trump—real-estate mogul, reality-TV star, and possible candidate for the Republican presidential nomination—a fringe conspiracy theory is now front and center in American politics: the claim that President Barack Obama might not be a natural-born American citizen. By focusing on Mr. Obama’s birth certificate, Mr. Trump has garnered a lot of attention and

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