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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.

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Doing something about ocean acidification

A 2010 Yale University poll found that 1 percent of Americans knew a lot about ocean acidification (OA), 6 percent knew something and the rest of us knew little or nothing at all. Had that poll focused exclusively on Washingtonians, I believe we would have scored much higher. We were the first state to understand that it was the arrival of acidic, or low-pH, seawater along our coast that devastated our shellfish industry starting in 2005. We were the first state to take action against OA. And importantly, this threat to our state’s economy, culture and way of life has generated strong reporting and statewide media coverage.

George Will — Jeb Bush’s challenge

The human kindling that makes up the flammable Republican base may soon burst into flames, again. Portions of that excitable cohort are looking — some with fawn-like eyes filled with hurt, others with sparks shooting from eyes narrowed like gun slits — askance at other Republicans urging Jeb Bush to seek the 2016 presidential nomination.

E.J. Dionne — Who cares about the value of work?

Finding a way out of our current political impasse requires some agreement on what problems we need to solve. If anything should unite left, center and right, it is the value of work and the idea, in Bill Clinton’s signature phrase, that those who “work hard and play by the rules” ought to be rewarded for their efforts.

E.J. Dionne — The pope isn’t a party boss

President Obama’s first salary as a community organizer was paid by a Catholic group and his earliest social justice work was rooted in Catholic social doctrine. He identified with Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, then Chicago’s archbishop, whose consistent ethic of life encompassed a dedication to the poor, a concern over the human costs of war, and opposition to the death penalty.