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Older women need not apply

An aging population, coupled with low employment rates among Americans older than 62, poses severe challenges to the long-term sustainability of Social Security. Numerous reforms have been proposed to extend their working lives, including raising the retirement age. Such reforms may be unlikely to gain traction — not because people are so eager to retire, but because age discrimination sharply limits job opportunities.

Why influence isn’t corruption

Despite Bernie Sanders’ repeated accusations, there’s no real evidence that Hillary Clinton has been corrupted by large campaign contributions. But that’s not to say donors haven’t influenced her thinking and priorities. Lodged in the gap between Sanders’ attacks and Clinton’s rejoinders lies the truth about big money in politics.

Lack of political will strains space program

Last week, China announced that it plans to land a rover on Mars by 2020. The Russian Federal Space Agency is working with the European Space Agency. Every major power in the world has some form of interest in Mars. Like 1961, when Russia first rocketed Yuri Gagarin into orbit and the U.S. was afraid that Russians would beat us with the first actual man on the Moon, the race is on.

Andrew Gumbel — Voter ID hurdles

Molly McGrath is laser-focused on a job no advanced democratic society ought to require: Making sure properly registered voters do not lose their right to cast a ballot on election day because of new, stringent ID requirements they may not even know exist.

Doyle McManus: Trump learning how to be strategic candidate

Donald Trump’s victory in his native New York on Tuesday was huge, as the candidate would say. Next week’s primaries in five other East Coast states will probably be good for Trump, too. From Connecticut to Pennsylvania and Maryland, “New York values” aren’t an epithet; it’s Trump’s main rival, Ted Cruz, who stands out as something of an alien being.

Terrorism by the book

The Islamic State’s Islamist utopia has taken hold of the imagination of small Sunni communities almost everywhere, including in Brussels, where suicide bombers killed 32 people last month.
 

The role of poverty in the black community

Recently, I had a conversation with a leading pastor about what is necessary to shift the trends and transform the urban centers of America. He shocked me by saying that he believes poverty is not the root cause of gang violence, substance abuse and lethargy among some in the black community today — lack of faith is. He began to highlight our own individual upbringings in abject poverty and argued that he and I obviously were able to choose positive paths of productivity. For him, the difference between the success of previous and present generations is an introduction to faith in the home at an early age and an intrinsic value system.

Bill Press — Looks like wild time in Cleveland

They’ve tried everything to stop him. They’ve run ads calling him a closet Democrat. They’ve attacked his brands of vodka, neckties and magazines. They’ve accused him of hiring foreign nationals. They’ve exposed the massive fraud he allegedly wrought on students of his online university. They rolled out Mitt Romney and Carly Fiorina to denounce him.

The hard-money problem

Campaign finance is arguably the breakout issue of this election year. Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both rail constantly against Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that opened up election spending to corporations and super PACs. On the GOP side, candidates’ super PACs have garnered as much news media scrutiny as the candidates themselves.

Christian Schneider — Republicans aren’t picking the GOP candidate

It’s the most puzzling question of the election season: Why are Republicans on the brink of nominating a presidential candidate who stands for virtually nothing Republicans hold dear? Isn’t this the party that the media has been telling us has been lurching to the far right for a decade? Wasn’t the tea party movement an attempt to purge moderates from the GOP?

Leonid Bershidsky — Politics and honesty don’t mix

In his speech about the U.S. presidential campaign on Thursday, Mitt Romney described both parties’ front-runners, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as dishonest. Voters seem to agree. Is it all-important, though, for a successful candidate to be perceived as honest, or more honest than his or her chief rival? Previous election results appear to indicate the opposite.