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Mark Shields: An obvious Republican front-runner

Shields-c.jpg Let me admit upfront that I have a real soft spot for people who dare to run for public office. For most of us, life is a series of quiet successes or setbacks. If you and I are the two finalists to be promoted to regional manager and you get the job, the local press -- when it announces your success -- does not add that "Shields was passed over because of his erratic behavior at the company Christmas party" or "there are unresolved questions about his expense account."

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John Kass: NFL concussion story sidelined

John-Kass.jpg NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a public relations genius. That's right, a real American genius if you will.

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Leonard Pitts Jr.: Agency's serial blundering intolerable

leonard-pitts.jpg Last year, the White House was breached twice.

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Froma Harrop: Beyond pot: Legalize all drugs

FromaHarrop2013-c.jpg Thirty years ago, a college kid in Kentucky was caught growing marijuana plants in his closet. That turned him into a convicted felon, and though he's been on the right side of the law ever since, he still can't vote. On any job application, he must check the box next to "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?"

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Connie Schultz: May a million umbrellas bloom

Connie-Schultz-c.jpg So many seemingly small moments reveal the heart of the protest unfolding in Hong Kong.

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Catherine Rampell: Jobs, marriage go together

catherine-rampell.jpg WASHINGTON -- When I wrote recently about how most millennials wanted to marry but found marriage out of economic reach, lots of skeptical readers wrote to protest that marriage licenses are cheap. That's true; licenses are quite affordable, typically running at well under $100 a pop. In exchange, recipients get a lifetime of legal and social protections related to estate planning, hospital visitation, government benefits and the right to shush judgmental relatives' insinuations about spinsterhood. This probably sounds like a bargain to most Americans.

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Michael Barone: Obama aloof to tradition

Barone-c.jpg President Obama's speech at the United Nations last week was "an important turning point in American foreign policy -- and in his presidency." That's the verdict of Brookings Institution scholar and former Clinton White House aide William Galston, a Democrat who has not been an unqualified admirer of this Democratic president's foreign policy.

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Rich Lowry: Obama's illusory victory

Rich-Lowry_C.jpg President George W. Bush's "mission accomplished" moment on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln after the initial success of the invasion of Iraq lives in infamy, still standing for presidential cluelessness and arrogance.

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Catherine Rampell: The bad rep of for-profit colleges

catherine-rampell.jpg For-profit colleges can't get no respect, at least not from employers. Which suggests that maybe they should be getting less generous taxpayer subsidies, too.

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Diane Dimond: Calling it what it is: War

Dimond-Diane-color.jpg Let's not kid ourselves. We are back in the business of war again.

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