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Rejecting Term Limits for the Supreme Court

Political scientists studying the U.S. Supreme Court say the problem isn’t how long justices serve overall but that there’s no short-termers in the mix.

 

Can We Make College Cheaper?

The authors of “Why Does College Cost So Much?” take a look at the root causes and determine that we can reduce the price of higher education, but not dramatically.

 

Not Twitter Revolutions, But Twitter-Assisted Revolutions

Despite the fervent hopes of its boosters, the Internet by its lonesome doesn’t drive democratic change, but it can reinforce existing impulses.

 

Is It Worth Paying People to Be Healthy?

Researchers are crafting studies to see whether cash incentives might be a better way to spend money to ensure people lead healthy lives.

 

‘Stand Your Ground’ Stats Point to High Costs

An Urban Institute examination of U.S. homicides where self-defense was claimed suggests that the possible costs of “Stand Your Ground” laws exceed their benefits.

 

WikiLeaks Has Not Ushered in New Era of Transparency

Legal scholar Alasdair Roberts argues that any changes in government transparency wrought by the hordes of data revealed by WikiLeaks is more evolutionary than revolutionary.

 

Talmud, Internet Unlock James Madison

Combing elements of Talmudic debate and modern possibilities of crowdsourcing, scholars are taking a new look at one of the ignored building blocks of the U.S. Constitution.

 

Accepting Climate Change an Economic Luxury

Shifts in opinion on climate change have had more to do with the state of the economy than the weather outside, partisan politics, or the media’s influence, according to new research.

 

Spotting Election Fraud Gets Smarter, Cheaper

A push from USAID to cut costs and develop better solutions to international problems produces a more effective way to monitor elections.

 

Great Debate: Will Politicians Answer the Question?

American political campaigners are primed to deliver talking points regardless of the question they’ve actually been asked. Two professors offer tips for more on-target debates going forward.

 

In ‘Open Government Data,’ What’s Really Open?

In parsing the meaning of “open government,” citizens weigh the availability of information against the transparency of creating it. It’s a rare grammar debate that affects the course of democracy.

 

How Incumbents in Washington Hurt the Economy

Researchers looking at federal government spending on states discover that having a powerful, long-tenured legislator in D.C. actually hurts the local economy.

 

Housing Crisis Hits Poor Renters Hard

As the middle class sidles out of the houses it can no longer pay for, the migration is making it harder for the poorest renters to find a place.

 

How the Military Can Change Personalities, Slightly

Military training seems to permanently make a grunt less agreeable, which both surprises and reassures traditionally minded psychologists.

 

Public Schools Good for People Without Kids, Too

What makes communities strong and vibrant? Researchers say local schools bring a raft of positives to town — even for the childless — beyond creating an educated populace.

 

Think Tanks Are Nonpartisan? Think Again

Once seen as non-ideological “universities without students,” the American think tank has, in many cases, become a partisan stalking horse that devalues the sector’s scholarship.

 

Surplus Government Property: Homeless Help vs. Revenue

Turning unloved federal property into homeless services centers has been federal law for a quarter century, but tough times have bureaucrats hoping to shove that tradition into the cold.

 

Gender Wage Gap Skewed By Survey Flaws

The wage gap between the sexes in America has been closing much faster than anyone realized, but that’s tempered by learning it’s been much wider than measurements had shown.

 

House Puts Transportation in Partisan Crossfire

Transportation used to be one of the few guaranteed areas of agreement when pragmatism trumped ideology in D.C. But that’s no longer the case.

 

Better Super Bowl Makes for Better Ads

A lot of people say they watch the Super Bowl mostly for the ads. But it turns out a good game surrounding those ads makes them seem better.

 

Overseas Troops Finally Get Fair Shot at Voting

After decades of obstacles hindering the voting process, new laws will allow overseas and military voters to submit their votes in time for the 2012 election.

 

Traffic Solution: Make Drivers Less Lonely

Rather than moaning about too many cars on the road, the Ridesharing Institute says the real key to battling traffic congestion and pollution is filling empty passenger seats.

 

Conservatives’ Politics of Fear a Biological Response

Researchers looking at how we fixate on threats uncover more evidence of a biological component to the red-blue divide.

 

Private Prisons Can’t Lock In Savings

A report from The Sentencing Project argues that a primary driver for privatizing corrections isn’t really paying off.

 

Who Owns Government-Funded Research Papers?

The Research Works Act would prevent publicly funded research from automatically being available to the public for free. Private publishers back the bill, while open-access partisans are appalled.

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My Politicians Are Better Looking Than Yours

A new study finds we judge the cover by the book—or at least the party.

That Cigarette Would Make a Great Water Filter

Clean out the ashtray, add some aluminum oxide, and you've (almost) got yourself a low-cost way to remove arsenic from drinking water.

Love and Hate in Israel and Palestine

Psychologists find that parties to a conflict think they're motivated by love while their enemies are motivated by hate.

How to Water a Farm in Sandy Ground

Physicists investigate how to grow food more efficiently in fine-grained soil.

Unlocking Consciousness

A study of vegetative patients closes in on the nature of consciousness.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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