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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?



Does the Government Shutdown Reveal the Parties’ Strengths or Weaknesses?

Well, how do you define strengths and weaknesses?



The Unintended Consequences of a Government Shutdown

What happens this week won’t end this week. The reverberations of a shutdown will be felt for years to come.



Who Actually Won During the Last Government Shutdown?

It’s mostly the younger members of Congress who are pushing for a shutdown of the federal government this week. Do they need a history lesson about what happened in the winter of 1995-96?



The Recall Is the New Normal

Welcome to the age of the permanent campaign, where recalls are easy to trigger than ever before and politicians need to worry about not just tomorrow’s war chest, but also today’s.



For Want of Voter Fraud, It Had to Be Invented

Voter fraud has become a major cause for some politicians on the right, but one may have taken it too far.



When Polarization Doesn’t Happen: Lessons From Michigan and the United Auto Workers

What happens when activists and interest groups support political candidates who are not in their pocket, and give them leverage to behave more moderately.



Want to Reduce Polarization? You Need to Improve Political Journalism

Ideologically extreme members of Congress are more vulnerable to defeat when voters can learn about their in-office activities through traditional media.



How Our Political Parties Beat Campaign Finance Reform

Did the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 have any of its intended effects?



Mapping Politics

Obama’s field offices were more effective than Romney’s before the last presidential election, how the dispersion of donations is related to candidate success, and other things we’re learning by incorporating maps into new political science research.



What Is Ideology?

Why do those who support universal health care almost always also desire a ban on assault weapons? Ideology is more than just the sum total of our own individual political beliefs. An ideology is, in some ways, like a coalition of ideas.



How Anthony Weiner Isn’t Like Bill Clinton

On why the Democratic base was (eventually) able to forgive President Clinton for his infidelity, but probably won’t give the New York City mayoral hopeful the same pass.



Should Republicans Still Fear the Tea Party?

Does a grassroots political movement that is still relatively young have the power to keep someone out of the White House?



The Consequential Academic: Alan Rosenthal’s Influence on State Legislatures

The professor of public policy, who passed away last week, knew his subject in a way few of us ever will, approaching it simultaneously as a scholar, a reformer, and an advocate.



How Do We Feel About Higher Education? Look to the Movies

They’re just summer blockbusters, sure, but they present a rather dim view of the importance of the classroom.



The Cost of a Presidential Campaign

Charting the cost of presidential elections since 1860 on two different spending measures: dollars spent per thousand dollars of GDP, and dollars spent per vote cast.

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Don’t Text and Drive—Especially If You’re Old

A new study shows that texting while driving becomes even more dangerous with age.

Apparently You Can Bring Your Religion to Work

New research says offices that encourage talk of religion actually make for happier workplaces.

Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.

The Hidden Psychology of the Home Ref

That old myth of home field bias isn’t a myth at all; it’s a statistical fact.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

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