Commentary

This month, the New York City Bar Association took up the cause of inmate Anthony Bottom, making an argument to the court that a state law banning felons from voting should be overturned because it violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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John Kerry let slip a few gaffes in his run for president, and the one that may have hurt him most is barely remembered. In July, at a Bush-bashing fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall, Kerry told a group of Hollywood entertainers that they "conveyed the heart and soul of the country." The tribute was meant as warm thanks to celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Paul Newman who had just raised $7.5 million in a star-studded evening. But Kerry's words turned out to be a priceless gift to the Republicans, right up there with his windsurfing outing on Martha's Vineyard.

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Senior Fellow Nomi Prins reveals that it is not just individuals who would suffer economic uncertainty if social security were partially privatized — it's the entire U.S. budget.

The reality is that the fees alone involved in churning millions of tiny accounts would be individually higher than anything the government could capture more efficiently in bulk.

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With college costs running as high as $40,000 a year, House and Senate education committees have tuition control on their to-do lists.
 
"There are long-term financial implications for people starting out their lives with high debt levels," explained Tamara Draut, director of economic opportunity research at the Demos consultancy in New York.
 
Student loan obligations "limit career choices as well as people's ability to plan for retirement," said

Senior Fellow Jennifer Wheary writes that, as we come to the end of what will surely be known as a banner year for "moral values," it seems only appropriate to reflect on the place of religion in American politics and daily practice.

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NEW YORK -- We take great pleasure in answering the communication below from Miss Virginia O'Hanlon, a third-grade student from lower Manhattan.

I am eight years old.
Some of my friends say there is no Santa.
Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

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Democracy Program Director Steve Carbo discusses the truth about vote suppression and system failures in communities of color.

The tactics are more subtle than in the old days, but suppression of votes in minority neighborhoods is very much alive and well.

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President Miles Rapoport highlights how the 2004 election confounded those who have blamed the flaws in our democracy on apathetic voters, apolitical young people, and a generalized culture of disengagement.

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Senior Fellow Rich Benjamin says that Bernard Kerik's 'nanny problem' highlights the issues of underpaid childcare providers and exploited immigrant labor.

Since one-third of American families with young children earn less than $25,000, it does not take a Nobel Laureate in mathematics to figure out that child care has become prohibitively expensive for many working families. The cost of child care has been rising at about 3 percent to 8 percent annually for several years, outpacing overall inflation.

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Senior Fellow David Callahan suggests that the steroid scandal in sports points to such deeper problems in American society as economic inequality and Social Darwinism.

One big reason for more cheating today is that we live in an age of vast income gaps, where the carrots for winners are bigger than ever.

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