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Up Front

Melted Steele

Republicans had the highest of hopes for the candidate they recruited to seek retiring Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes' seat: Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele. But since entering the race in October 2005, Steele has trailed the leading Democratic candidate, Representative Ben Cardin, in almost every public opinion poll, often by double digits.

Up Front

Liberals weren't enthusiastic when the powers that be in Pennsylvania Democratic circles began pushing heavily for Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. to be the party's nominee to run against Rick Santorum.

That Casey is pro-life is one thing. More troubling was the news that Casey opposes embryonic stem-cell research. But then, Casey said in late January that he favored the confirmation of Samuel Alito as Supreme Court justice.

Up Front

The code of omertà has been shattered. Big Jack Abramoff has cracked; the feds will make him tell all. And up on Capitol Hill, on the Republican side of the aisle, it soon will be the season of the rat.

Up Front

Alito's Excuses

With the discovery of an entire arsenal of smoking guns documenting Judge Samuel Alito's fervent opposition to abortion rights, the media haven't really looked into the Supreme Court nominee's other questionable attributes. Which means we may need to wait until his confirmation hearings in January to learn what Alito was thinking when he failed to recuse himself from a 2002 case involving three companies owned by the Vanguard Investment Funds -- in which he had more than $500,000 invested.

Dossier: The New New Orleans

New Orleans' population before Hurricane Katrina was 462,269 … Today, 138,026 households, or two-thirds of the 2000 census population, are still forwarding their mail to new addresses … The city's budget for 2004 was roughly $16.8 billion … It operated a deficit that year of approximately $600 million … According to the 2004 Current Population Survey, the average per capita income in New Orleans was $4,309 less than the U.S.