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The Straight Dope on Straight Dope

Creating a legal marijuana industry in Colorado from scratch.


No, Obamacare Is Not President Obama’s Vietnam

But will the botched rollout of damage people’s beliefs in the power of government to solve problems?


The Little-Known but Highly Valuable Vacancy Committee

Politicians in five states have a tricky way of getting around certain kinds of pressure from voters. We saw this at work last week when Colorado Senator Evie Hudak resigned her seat.


You Don’t Need to Worry About the Senate Becoming a Second House of Representatives

Even if the filibuster is eliminated.


What to Do About Campaign Finance

Unlimited political contributions are the new reality. Once we accept that maybe we can start to figure out the complicated relationship between money and politics.


The Radical Political Center That Somehow Never Rises

Is it even possible for our country to support a moderate political party?


What Would the State of North Colorado Look Like?

And how would its roughly 350,000 residents vote?


You Probably Rely on the Federal Government a Lot More Than You Think You Do

The American political system has developed an unusual way of meeting citizens’ needs while attempting to hide the fact that it is doing so.


Don’t Blame Voters for the Tea Party or the Government Shutdown

Constituents in Tea Party districts demanded conservative stances from their elected officials, but that didn’t need to include destructive or potentially catastrophic tactics.


Will Republicans Pay a Price for the Government Shutdown?

Or will the majority of voters have moved on to other issues by the time we reach the mid-term elections?


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Quick Studies

To Make Friends, Autistic Kids Need Advice—and Space

Kids with autism need help when it comes to making friends—but they also need their independence.

Gaming the Wedding Gift Registry System

Registering for your wedding? Keep your must-have items away from the average price of your registry—they’re unlikely to be purchased.

Smokey Can’t Save Us: Wildfires Are Out of Control

New research shows how rapidly fire dangers are rising in the American West. The results could help governments plan ahead for the flames.

Banning Chocolate Milk Was a Bad Choice

The costs of banning America's favorite kids drink from schools may outweigh the benefits, a new study suggests.

In Battle Against Climate Change, Cities Are Left All Alone

Cities must play a critical role in shifting the world to a fossil fuel-free future. So why won't anybody help them?

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014