The Agenda

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    Illustration

    How Washington keeps America sick and fat

    Food is closely linked to health, yet federal nutrition research is underfunded, even as the costs of diet-related diseases are skyrocketing. Does Washington hold the key to solving the obesity crisis?

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    Dr. Joon Yun.

    Meet the Silicon Valley investor who wants Washington to figure out what you should eat

    When it comes to better nutrition, Joon Yun thinks government is the answer.

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    Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announces the launch of E-Verify.

    Why E-Verify is failing

    It can’t succeed — and no one wants it to anyway.

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    Why North Carolina might be the most innovative health care state in America

    The state and its largest private insurer are working together to transform how health care is delivered state-wide.

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    a scale is in this illustration with a oil rig as the balancer

    The new science fossil fuel companies fear

    Researchers can now link weather events to emissions – and to the companies responsible. A string of lawsuits is about to give “attribution science” a real-life test.

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    The Great American cannabis experiment

    Cannabis is legal in many U.S. states… or is it? The contradictions between state and federal law are intensifying.

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    “We have to take the handcuffs off states.”

    He’s a Republican from the Midwest but Rep. David Joyce has emerged as an improbable champion of cannabis legalization

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    Stop the “green rush”

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    Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

    Free college is the wrong answer

    Let’s start by asking the right question.

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    Georgetown University

    Who’s afraid of accountability?

    The conservative case for better measures of success in higher education.

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    Big brother on the U.S. border?

    Government use of facial recognition technology is already a daily reality at this Arizona border crossing.

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    Marijuana

    The cannabis banking bill isn’t just about banks

    It’s also about repairing damage from the “war on drugs.”

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    Students at Pasadena City College

    How to fix education’s racial inequities, one tweak at a time

    At Pasadena City College, small changes are adding up to big advances in achievement for minority students.

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    Protesters supporting “Medicare for All” hold a rally outside PhRMA headquarters

    The false choice over “Medicare for All”

    We can have both private health insurance and an expanded role for government.

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    There’s a reason we don’t know much about AI

    The U.S. government used to study new technologies to flag ethical or social problems. Not anymore.

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    Voting machines in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Election security isn't that hard

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    A protestor holds a sign

    A cynical way to make poor people disappear

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    Seattle's downtown skyline

    Don’t let Trump take the lead on housing

    Housing affordability is a big issue in cities like ours. Democrats should debate it more.

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    Mount Katahdin in Maine's Baxter State Park, the northern most terminus of the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail.

    A step too far for the Appalachian Trail

    The Trump administration wants to allow a pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail on federal lands. Congress should say no.

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    Everglades National Park

    I'm a conservative Republican. Climate change is real.

    It's time to stop denying a crisis that our constituents are already seeing every day.

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    Barbed-wire fence

    The ICE raids aren’t just wrong – they’re expensive

    Does it make sense to spend $50,000 locking up someone for supporting her family?

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    Activists hold signs during a Tax March D.C. event

    Democrats are having the wrong debate about taxes

    If you really want Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, you need to think differently about how to pay for them.

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    Is Big Soda winning the soft drink wars?

    Without most of the nation noticing, the beverage industry has found a way to snuff out local sugar taxes—by squashing them at the state level.

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    Travelers wait in line

    Why Trump's immigration bonds proposal won't work

    A foreign service officer says the president's right to pay attention to people overstaying their visas, but he’s pushing a stale idea.

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    Townhomes are seen in Washington, D.C.

    How a 40-year-old federal law is speeding gentrification

    Evidence is building that loans meant for poor residents are actually going to the affluent buyers pushing them out.

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    Protesters call for climate action at a press conference on Capitol Hill

    Let’s pay every American to reduce emissions

    A 'carbon dividend' could be politically popular – and save the atmosphere.

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    High school students sit in graduation regalia

    Want to reduce college costs? High schools can help.

    Credits earned before college lower costs — and can ease the 'diploma divide.'

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    The college students who live in homeless shelters

    Politicians love to talk about college costs. But there’s a big one that they’ve barely started to address.

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    The top of a fire hydrant sticks out of floodwaters after Hurricane Harvey

    What we learned in Texas after Hurricane Harvey

    Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has two fixes Washington should make before the next superstorm.

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    Physical therapist Joan Collins pushes Fred Lear in a wheelchair

    A new fix for long-term care

    After decades of stalemate in the nation's capital, the other Washington might have an answer.

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    White House

    How states can step in when Trump doesn’t enforce laws

    All it takes is a bit of creativity — and political will.

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    The new moon race

    A new moon race is on. Is China already ahead?

    The Trump administration wants to get back to the moon—but Beijing's single-minded focus could outpace a NASA with competing priorities.

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    Rendering of the Lunar Gateway

    Is America’s next big leap off earth just a ‘moondoggle’?

    Space experts and the industry are divided over the Lunar Gateway, NASA’s planned space station for the moon.

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    The new moon race, in one chart

    So who’s going, and when? An interactive guide.

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    Jerome Powell

    The Fed's dangerous 'new normal'

    Is the Fed becoming the president’s piggy bank of choice?

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    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

    Will we survive the next financial crisis?

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    Activists participate in a rally

    Stop pretending the transgender ban isn’t a ban

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    A nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania

    How nuclear plants are gaming climate-change rules

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    Corn is grown on a farm in Iowa

    Will corn, chicken and champagne scuttle a U.S.-EU trade deal?

    A key farm state senator says the U.S. Congress will reject any deal that excludes agriculture.

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    Two men test out a self-driving, big-rig truck.

    How to keep the robots from taking jobs

    Governments have the clout to influence the evolution of automation.

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    Federal Reserve building

    Is the Fed in retreat?

    On an important 'too big to fail' reform, the central bank seems to be unilaterally disarming.

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    People rally to protest funding cuts to the SNAP program

    How real families use food stamps

    Our research shows why it's counterproductive to increase work rules.

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    Green New Deal activisits

    Why the Green New Deal needs a carbon tax

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    The Houston skyline is seen from a railroad yard

    Three reasons to think twice about an infrastructure bill

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    Maria Guerrero, an HIV Prevention Specialist with Community Healthcare Network, solicits people on the street to take a free HIV test in a mobile clinic in New York City.

    The wrong way to eradicate HIV

    President Trump wants to end the epidemic. So why is he cutting funds to front-line clinics?

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    Maxine Waters

    A free-market agenda Maxine Waters can support

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    Health care advocates promote the Affordable Care Act

    Three Obamacare tweaks that both parties can love

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    Trump’s plan to bypass Congress on trade with Japan

    Negotiators are putting political gains on agriculture ahead of a comprehensive deal.

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    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Actually, it was Democrats who killed the 70 percent tax

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    Capitol Hill

    OK, so the House wants to reform itself? Here’s what it should really do.

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    Donald Trump

    Will Trump’s deregulation agenda survive?

    The administration needs to get smarter if they want to succeed in court.

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    Students

    Free college, Republican-style

    How deep-red Tennessee fell in love with a progressive idea.

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    Washington’s bet on boot camps

    Coding bootcamps are the latest thing in skill-building. But should the government help pay tuition?

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    Time for a new path upward?

    A POLITICO working group report on education and skills in America.

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    THE FUTURE OF PROSPERITY

    The Gap in the GOP’s Economic Plan

    Will ‘Opportunity Zones’ work? We may never know. Here’s why.

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    Edmund D. Fountain for POLITICO

    A desire named streetcar

    What went wrong with New Orleans transit?

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    A better way to share the wealth

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    Tim Scott

    The $100 billion question

    A Q&A with Sen. Tim Scott

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    The Geography of Opportunity

    A POLITICO working group report

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    Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau

    Why Canada’s leaders should wait out Trump’s NAFTA deal

    (And why Americans should hope they do.)

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    5G

    The real threat to our 5G future

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    U.S. Capitol building

    How to fix Congress in one step

    The boring House Rules Committee holds the key.

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    THE FUTURE OF MEDICARE

    What we don’t know about Bernie’s favorite healthcare idea

    ‘Medicare-for-all’ is galvanizing Dems, but raises more questions than it answers.

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    Jason Grow/for POLITICO

    Should Medicare pay for toothpaste and shoes?

    Why an experiment in Massachusetts is using federal health money to pay for some very non-medical things.

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    A health care policy that puts the ending first

    The best way to keep Medicare alive may be to improve how patients die.

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    Surprise! Costs are going down

    Believe it or not, Medicare spending per patient is falling. What lessons can the rest of the health care system learn?

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    Connecting your medical data could be the next big payoff

    The silos that hold medical records are beginning to crumble. Medicare could speed it up.

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    A video monitor shows the threat level to the nation's infrastructure in the Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.

    The Case for a National Cybersecurity Agency

    Our grab-bag approach isn’t working. Gen. David Petraeus says it’s time to go big.

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    Cybersecurity

    How America could lose the quantum-computing race

    It could be the most powerful codebreaking tool ever developed. So where’s our defense?

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    The TV mega-merger loophole

    Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says it’s time to stop offering a backdoor way for Sinclair to dominate local news.

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    The one big winner of the Obamacare wars

    The Affordable Care Act was a bonanza for health consultants. So is Trump’s attempt to take it down.

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    Millennials and retirement: How bad is it?

    Today’s young adults are falling behind but there’s a way they can catch up.

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    How movie stars conquered the ‘gig economy’

    Decades ago Hollywood faced down a very modern problem — with an assist from an actor named Ronald Reagan.

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    Why filing taxes isn’t easy

    Trump says he wants tax filing to be as simple as sending a postcard. Congress is working hard to make sure it’s not.

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    Is the Supreme Court going too easy on overseas corporations?

    There’s a reason to export some American values. How all three branches could help it happen.

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    Are electric cars worse for the environment?

    Crunch the numbers, and it looks like all those subsidies might be counterproductive.

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    Time for Silicon Valley to get behind a national privacy law

    My fellow tech CEOs might worry about data regulation, but it’s the right thing for consumers — and the industry.

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    Congress: The most family-unfriendly workplace in America

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    If Trump really wants to save American steel, he'd nationalize it

    He's right that the industry deserves support. But tariffs aren't the solution.

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    Trump’s strange plan to issue a rule that he already repealed

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    America's dangerous submarine shortage

    While China and Russia modernize their submarine fleet, ours is degrading. Here's how to fix it.

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    Is your software racist?

    There's a fly in the ointment of 'smart government': The emerging problem of biased algorithms. Politicians are struggling to catch up.

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    The least connected people in America

    Nowhere is the 'digital divide' more extreme than on tribal lands. Will Washington's solution fix the problem?

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    Is tech dividing America?

    How an engine of prosperity split the haves from the have-nots — and how we can fix it.

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    ‘The cherries we want are really sick people’

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    Health care’s ‘upstream’ conundrum

    When it comes to the long-term health of the country, findings now show the big problem might not be health care at all—it might be everything else. Can researchers get politicians to pay attention?

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    A prescription for ... resiliency?

    If you could inoculate kids against stress, it might just change their futures. Inside the effort to find out if it works.

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    ‘I can shut my door and I ain’t worried about nothing’

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    The missing Alzheimer's pill

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    Why a drug for aging would challenge Washington

    It sounds like a dream, until you try to navigate the regulations—and the cost.

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    Is Washington bungling the Census?

    Washington is supposed to tell us what we need to know about America—a wonky but crucial mission that's suddenly in trouble.

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    What our cyberwall knows

    Was that hacker Russian? As the government learns from constant attacks, companies want to know why it doesn't share more of what it's finding out.

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    When big data went to war — and lost

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    Is your bank data yours?

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    Overpasses: A love story

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    A million little pieces

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    America’s secret arsenal

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    America’s government is getting old

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    Innovation vs. the ants

    When cutting-edge research labs get old, they face a new kind of challenge: Upkeep is expensive, and it's not sexy.

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    The little-noticed bombshell in Trump's immigration order

    The travel ban got all the headlines, but experts are realizing another provision could clamp down on normal tourism and even diplomats.

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    That time Obama negotiated his own Carrier-style deal

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    Why Paul Ryan won't accept — or dismiss — Donald Trump

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    Is Washington creating more Flints?

    The untold story behind this year’s water scandal is that D.C. has been turning its back on America’s crucial water systems, leaving cities and states with the bill.

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    Arne Duncan’s Wars

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    Obama’s effort to ‘nudge’ America

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    The Debrief

    FEMA head Craig Fugate explains what keeps him up at night

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    Uber vs. Laws

    Will the “sharing economy” help kill off government regulation?

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    Leaked: What’s in Obama’s trade deal

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    I became a wired wonk

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    The U.S. government’s predatory-lending program

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    Billions over budget. Two years after deadline. What’s gone wrong for the ‘clean coal’ project that’s supposed to save an industry?

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    Inside the new battle against Google

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    The anti-innovation presidency

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    The teeth in Trump’s new immigration rules

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    The charter war

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    Why the GOP is trying to stop the Pentagon's climate plan

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    Inside the war on coal

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    The fight over fixing Puerto Rico

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    Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson leans in to talk to retired veteran Paul Chevalier during an event in Manchester, N.H.

    How to kill an agency

    Ben Carson wants to end the VA? Good luck. Here’s why it’s nearly impossible.

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    Trump at the border
    Wrongometer

    Donald Trump's imaginary immigration haul

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    Inside the fight against Obama's climate plan

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    The Capitol is not connected to the Internet

    It’s true. Here’s why.

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    Jason Furman has been an Obama aide since the hope-and-change campaign of 2008.

    The Obamanomics legacy

    A Q&A with Jason Furman.

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    The strange story of the first Cuban import in half a century

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    Congress tries to hide a submarine

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    How Trump's attack on Mexico could hurt border security

    Mexico has stepped up its cooperation—a lot. What happens when the president says it's shirking?

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    Can Washington control high-tech lending?

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    The wrong state to have an accident

    Obamacare was supposed to improve health care equality. But for some people, state politics has made the problem much worse.

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    The holes in the overtime rule

    Despite Obama's sweeping new regulation, America's 1930s-era labor law is still leaving a strange assortment of workers in the cold.

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    Who’s watching the chickens?

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    Trump's Wall plan could actually increase crime

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    Cats, weed, and outer space

    A field guide to the 2016 scorecards you probably didn’t know about (until now)

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    Al Gore: Optimist?

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    A $60 million pork kickback?

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    The new Obama rule that’s making stockbrokers swear

    Whose interest is a retirement adviser supposed to serve?

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    Trade with Cuba? We already do $300 million worth

    A look inside our little-known export pipeline suggests who might benefit when the embargo lifts.

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    Round 1 goes to the lobbyists

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    The government program with a 116% default rate

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    What happened to Trump's war on data?

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    Under Trump, regulation slows to a crawl

    The president promised a less active government. Data show something starker: It has almost ceased issuing significant rules entirely.

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    Trump's $440 billion weapon

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    Trump's big mistake on diplomacy

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    The Flint of California

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    The Panama Papers: Where are the Americans?

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    Our best frenemy

    China's hackers aren't delicate cat burglars. They're smash-and-grab artists helping build an economy, and that makes the Chinese hacking problem harder to fix than you think.

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    Meet your unauthorized federal government

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    Congress just outlawed changes to the $1 bill

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    The Katrina disaster that hasn’t ended

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    The 7-year-old government loan program that has never made a loan

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    The Internet of Things: An oral history

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    The Big Idea

    Tax Harvard!

    President Barack Obama wants to make college more affordable. Here's how.

    President Barack Obama wants to make college more affordable. Here's a way to do it.