Commentary

Congress and the president need to do more to regulate the home lending industry.

The bill President Bush signed into law does not go nearly far enough.

And it does not recognize that the home lending crisis is having a disproportionate impact on black and Latino families.

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In passing a resolution apologizing for slavery and Jim Crow this past week, the House stated what has always been obvious in African-American communities and anyone studying them.

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Owning a home has long been part of the American dream, but millions of people across the country are now finding it a nightmare. In this column, Miles Rapoport (left) and James Lardner, president and senior fellow at Demos, respectively, examine the causes, the magnitude, and the lessons of the mortgage crisis — for the nation and for nonprofits.

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Independent Sector
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The human mind, we like to think, is an embodiment of perfection. For those with a religious inclination, our ability to think through issues logically, to construct narratives about our surroundings, and to recall events that happened decades earlier is proof positive of a divine hand at work. For the nonreligious, the mind is a secular miracle, an indication that, left to its own devices, evolution produces something akin to a Panglossian vision of the best outcomes in the best of all possible worlds

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Demos' Public Works Senior Program Director, Michael Lipsky and Demos Fellow Nicole Kazee argue that small business interests have been hijacked by powerful interest groups that do not full represent the views or interests of small-business owners. So then, who speaks for small business?

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Fifteen years after NVRA passed Congress, many states are still ignoring their duty to low-income voters. Recent research and field and field investigations have indicated that states throughout the country are neglecting their responsibility to offer voter registration at public assistance offices.

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The debate over whether oil prices are being driven by speculators in the futures market or by the fundamentals of supply and demand for the physical product slides right on by a central point. The question Congress and regulators should be focusing on isn't who is driving prices, but how prices are being driven.

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By all accounts, Barack Obama is quite far along in his deliberations over a running mate. If he hasn't already made his choice, it's down to a tiny handful of people. The time for suggesting new names, in other words, has long since passed. But with Michigan and its pivotal role in the election on my mind, I can't help but throw out another possibility, one so seemingly ideal I'm surprised we haven't heard more about him already: Senator Carl Levin.

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After months of housing-market debris, Congress is still grappling with temporary solutions. One question they should be asking this week: How could these problems have been avoided?

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Doll inspectors squinting helplessly at hanging chads was the lasting image from the federal election of 2000. We were shocked and frustrated by the fragility and archaic infrastructure of our election system. If only we could replace those dastardly little squares of paper with something better, something modern, electronic and foolproof, then all would be well in America.

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