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Bailout won't help newspapers; an antitrust exemption could manicure the law on behalf of our national pastime; now it needs to do the same for our democracy's lifeblood. Tim Rutten is a Times columnist and can be contacted at
McCain puts Palin front and center

...these three factors, consider this: Since Palin was chosen, the number of McCain supporters who tell pollsters they are "enthusiastic" about the ticket has risen from 24 percent to 48 percent. Tim Rutten is a Los Angeles Times columnist.
The politics of conscience

The California Supreme Court today will hand down its ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage, and on the legality of the 18,000 or more such unions sanctioned under state law before the measure's passage.
News about the news

...Americans for what's traditionally been called "straight news." The question now is whether, once the recession recedes, U.S. papers will be in a position to satisfy it. E-mail Tim Rutten at timothy.rutten(at)
The lesson of Massachusetts

You can bet that political strategists in both parties will be parsing the meaning of the Massachusetts senatorial struggle for some time to come. If there was a slam dunk left in American politics, it should've been the Democrats' ability to easily retain a Senate seat they'd held for 57 years in what has become essentially a sea-blue state. Instead, they lost.
Catholic scholars vs. John Boehner

At the nation's Roman Catholic universities, controversy over the choice of commencement speakers has become almost as regular an annual ritual as graduation itself.
The infamous kind of fame

The culture of celebrity giveth and the culture of celebrity taketh away. If you don't believe it, just look at Sarah Palin and Michael Jackson.
Monday's must-see TV

There are ample reasons to be skeptical about the desirability of cameras in the courtroom, most of them turning on broadcasters' propensity to train their glassy gaze only on the most lurid or sensational trials.
A crash course in coarseness

...As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan liked to say, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts." Tim Rutten is a Los Angeles Times columnist. E-mail him at
In Libya, 'mission creep' sets in

In the think-tank argot popular in foreign policy circles, "mission creep" is an idiom for one of the garden-variety mistakes most people were warned against at their mother's knee. Think "don't throw good money after bad" and you've pretty well got the essence of the thing.


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