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Supreme Court's Corruption Problem

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The Supreme Court decision ending aggregate limits on political donations was made possible by a dangerous, narrow definition of "corruption" the Framers themselves wouldn't recognize.

At the core of the disaster that is the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. FEC decision lies a mistake. A strategic mistake, made by the government. In this mistake, we can see all that’s wrong with modern American constitutional law.From the first moment that this case arose, it has been obvious to everyone that the decision would turn on the meaning of the word “corruption.” Congress has the power to regulate campaign contributions only if it is doing so to regulate “corruption.

New Reality Check for U.S. Kids

Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post, via Getty

They may not be as creative as we had assumed, a new study finds. Education expert Amanda Ripley on the lessons for American teachers and parents

Wherever I go, from Santiago to Seoul, I am always comforted to hear one consistently positive thing said about Americans: we may not be the wisest or the thinnest people on the planet, but we can think outside of the box! The world will give us that.Usually, this assertion is accompanied by a passing reference to Steve Jobs or Google, and no one argues the point. In fact, each year, officials in places like South Korea and Singapore leave their higher-performing education systems to come study how we Americans cultivate creativity in our schools and universities.

Afghanistan

How I’ll End Our Longest War

Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

An American military officer leaving on one of the last deployments to Afghanistan before the war ends, writes about his experiences in a new feature for The Daily Beast.

Editor’s Note:Here is an American military officer’s first hand account of war, how it’s fought and how it ends.Nick Willard is the pen name of a service member heading to Afghanistan on one of the final deployments in the closing days of America’s longest war. He will write what he sees in an ongoing feature for The Daily Beast that will appear as regularly as his schedule allows.To speak openly and freely, to tell the American people and the world of readers on the web about the truth as he finds it, he has chosen not to use his real name.

HEY BIG SPENDERS

Bishops Behaving Badly

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Atlanta’s Archbishop is the latest member of the clergy to come under fire and apologize for extravagant spending.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta is really sorry that he used money donated to his parish by the nephew of Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell to build himself a $2.2 million house.“I am disappointed that, while my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” Gregory wrote in the Georgia Bulletin, a Catholic newspaper.

March Madness

Rip the Money From the NCAA

David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated, via Getty

The indentured servitude of college sports must end. If the schools don’t want to pay their athletes, take the profits away from the schools.

We’re days away from the Final Four, the conclusion and the giddy, madness-inducing ride that is the NCAA Division I men’s championship. Even if you’re not a college basketball fan, it’s hard to deny how much fun it all is.Sixty-three televised games jam-packed into a scant two weeks. Your cubicle mates pouring over their brackets with all of the serious intent and fevered diligence of Talmudic scholars. Highly touted soon-to-be-professionals and stacked squads from perennial powers going toe-to-toe with upset-minded scrappy seniors from unheralded mid-major or off-brand schools.

INSPIRED

‘Mr. Putin, Heroes Do Not Die’

Konstantin Grishin/Reuters

New Jersey’s defiant Ukrainian population marked the death of the fallen in Maidan square with a stark warning for the Russian president.

On Sunday evening, six seminarians were up on the stage at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church cultural center in New Jersey, singing in their native tongue what has become known as the Hymn of the Maidan.  Oh bury me, then rise ye up And break your heavy chains And water with the tyrants’ blood The freedom you have gained. And in the great new family, The family of the free, With softly spoken, kindly word Remember also me.Along the walls were photos of “The Heavenly Hundred,” as the protestors killed during the protests in Ukraine in February are called.

The Next McVeigh?

Far-Right Terrorists for ‘Liberty’

Facebook

Recruiting militants via Facebook is an amateur move, but the arrest of a right-wing extremist is a reminder that most terror plots in the U.S. have nothing to do with al Qaeda.

Robert James Talbot, Jr. woke up on the morning of March 27 ready to carry out the plan he’d allegedly been concocting for months. He drove to a storage facility in Houston, Texas where he met the three other members of “Operation Liberty.” According to a criminal complaint filed against him, Talbot had recruited his teammates via a Facebook group called the American Insurgent Movement to help him rob armored cars; the first phase of his larger scheme to kill police officers and blow up mosques and government buildings.

Kim Kardashian Isn’t Aspirational

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The editor who invented high/low media says the Vogue cover is no scandal but, on the eve of the Women in the World Summit, she has a few ideas about women who really are cool.

It was fun watching the festival of media umbrage over April’s Vogue cover—you know, that Annie Leibovitz portrait of a sloe-eyed Kim Kardashian in a white ruched wedding bustier, nuzzled by her equally spiffy baby daddy, Kanye West.It’s not entirely clear why a fashion shot of the reigning queen of trash television—whose 2007 “leaked“ sex tape lifted her from the status of Paris Hilton’s B-list BFF to the star of her own little reality-TV empire—should prompt so much punditry bewailing the decline of Western civilization.

Conservatives vs Climate Change

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There’s another ‘inconvenient truth’ in the IPCC’s new climate report: Forget warnings, change has already come and it’s time for adaptation.

Reading the summary of findings from a worldwide panel of scientists about the impact of climate change and the looming threat that manmade greenhouse gases pose to the planet is pretty disturbing. Oceans rising, coral reefs dying, ice caps melting, heavy rains and Biblical floods, the world’s food supply threatened. The existential danger posed by climate change is so overwhelming that most people shake their head in dismay and then go back to what they were doing.

Fueling the Future

Make the U.S. an Energy Powerhouse

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With Europe’s dependence on Russian gas impeding diplomatic efforts, it’s time to reconsider outdated policies that are keeping the U.S. from becoming an energy exporter.

U.S. lawmakers don’t drive around in 1970s-era cars, yet they don’t seem to mind energy policies that are equally out of date. Attempts to export shale oil and gas, for example, have run smack into legal and regulatory barriers as old as a Gran Torino.Energy companies have been urging Congress to lift the lid on exports and start treating oil and gas again like any other commodity that’s freely traded in world markets. Tapping global demand for U.

Who Is Frazier Glenn Miller?

Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon dissects the story of Miller, a 'nightmare image' of 'hate groups nestled in the heartland' who went on a Kansas killing spree on Sunday.

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THE LATEST

The Pols Who Praise Slavery

The Pols Who Praise Slavery

Rogue rancher Cliven Bundy recently shared his thoughts on African Americans and whether or not they were better off as slaves. While Bundy can, and probably should, be dismissed as fringe nonsense, he is hardly alone.

JUST SAY IT IS SO

In the Obamacare Closet

Bad Match

It’s Not Racist to Oppose Gay Marriage

Big Texas Sell

Rick Perry Is Coming for Your Job

SNEAKY MOVES

Red State Obamascare Tactics