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Doyle McManus — Old echoes in America’s new Middle East policy

Here’s the nightmare scenario that kept Obama administration officials awake at night this summer as they watched the black-masked guerrillas of Islamic State sweep across Iraq: First, the insurgents could invade Baghdad, toppling Iraq’s government and forcing a Saigon-style evacuation of the U.S. Embassy. Then they could move into Jordan, a close U.S. ally that has maintained a peaceful border with Israel for a generation. From there, they could even threaten Saudi Arabia, the linchpin of the world’s oil markets.

Jay Ambrose — Amendment threatens free speech

By recently voicing full-hearted approval of a bill eviscerating the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, Senate Democrats showed themselves to be among the most extreme, irresponsible, self-serving and historically ignorant establishment politicians of this era. If they should actually get their way — and they conceivably could short of voter outrage — we could someday see a once strapping American spirit hopelessly hobbled when imperiousness comes its way.

Christine Flowers — Ray Rice episode being irresponsibly simplified by ratings-hungry media

I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence, but I’ve loved people who have been. I say “people” because some of the victims have been men, despite the general “Burning Bed” stereotype of the muscled brute beating the living daylights out of the 100-pound female. Violence is violence, victims are victims and abusers are abusers regardless of gender, color, religion, and affluence. This is an equal opportunity horror.

Rekha Basu — U.S. grants Guatemalan woman sanctuary … from abusive husband

Five years ago, a federal immigration judge refused to grant political asylum to a Guatemalan woman who had fled to America after years of severe battery by her husband. The judge didn’t doubt her story, but said she couldn’t claim membership in a particular social group that had a well-founded fear of persecution in her homeland, as asylum claims require. The judge deemed the ongoing abuse of Aminta Cifuentes to be arbitrary criminal acts by her husband.

Christine Flowers — Journalists’ deaths serve reminder of freedoms enjoyed back home

Often, when I write something that is in the vaguest of terms controversial (as in, we shouldn’t change the names of our local train stations) I’ll get at least a few emails telling me to consider another “career.” There is the presumption that I’m a journalist, and not a very good one at that. One recent reader took umbrage at a column I wrote on immigration and sent me a not-so-veiled threat. Others have used every four letter word in their rich vocabularies to tell me how much I’m appreciated.

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U.S. can do more to spur job growth

On Thursday we learned that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, concluding the largest first-half-year for job growth since the late 1990s. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has fallen by nearly 4 percentage points from its peak of 10 percent in October 2009, with the pace of decline doubling in the past year to the fastest drop in nearly three decades.

House members offer economic incentive for ocean research

Working on the water in our corner of Washington state is a way of life. Every year, shellfish farmers along the coastlines we represent collect and harvest the seafood that ends up on dinner plates and store shelves across America and around the world. There are also the commercial and recreational fishermen who have sustained jobs for generations. Fishermen and shellfish growers are woven into the fabric of our economy. It’s safe to say that Washington state is the nation’s seafood breadbasket.

Supreme Court balances clean air against clean law

In a decision that was a legal defeat for the Obama administration but may well be a practical victory, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices voted 5-4 to block the Environmental Protection Agency from a creative-yet-practical interpretation of the Clean Air Act that would have let the EPA significantly increase its regulation of greenhouse gases.