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State parties fade in influence as politics becomes more stratified

In the old days, legendary campaign reporters were famed for their Rolodexes, crammed with the numbers of local party bosses and politicos who knew the political pulse of their states. Today, if you wanted to reach someone at the South Dakota Democratic Party, you’d have to do so online. Not all state parties have gone virtual, but all face a test of their relevance.

Under impeachment clouds, Isakson takes a last shot at stirring Congress to action

When U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson let it be known that he planned to introduce one last big bill before his retirement at the end of this year, there was some speculation he might try to break the knot around background checks. That wasn’t the legislation he introduced last week, but his square-one proposal could prove to have more knot-breaking potential than meets the eye.

Will opioid settlements become the tobacco settlement on steroids?

The idea behind business courts — the idea Georgia voters bought into last year when they approved a statewide business court — is that they provide a way for big, complicated lawsuits involving businesses to be settled in the fairest, most efficient way. That proposition is about to face a stern test, as the Gwinnett business court becomes the venue for the state’s opioid case.

Isakson's departure completes the generational change that began with the governor's race

When the history of whatever comes next in Georgia politics gets written some day, the first chapter is likely to dwell on two events: last year’s governor’s race and the fallout from Sen. Johnny Isakson’s resignation. Both are part of a generational shift which may turn out to be as meaningful as the long drift from Democratic to Republican dominance. Or even more so.

Across the rural South, chicken plants become a social and economic flashpoint

Coming only three days after the murderous attack on the El Paso Walmart, last week’s ICE raids on seven Mississippi chicken plants drew a lot of national media attention and caused a lot of disruption in the small towns that were affected. Federal officials said this was the largest single-state workplace enforcement action in history, but it wasn’t the first time a chicken plant raid has wreaked havoc in the rural South.

"Do something!" "Do something!" But Americans disagree about what

On a day when President Trump has addressed the nation to condemn “racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” it might not seem appropriate to begin with Champ Bailey’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech on Saturday. But the former Georgia Bulldog great spoke about that very subject with expertise, as he put it. It’s something, he said, which black men “have more expertise in than any aspect of our lives.”

Voluminous data shows the rich get richer, the older they get

Over the past four years, the staff of the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has produced a series of essays titled “The Demographics of Wealth.” It draws on interviews with more than 40,000 heads of households, conducted over more than a quarter century, to examine how factors like race, age and education affect a family’s financial health. You’re thinking, not exactly a summer beach read. No, but if you want a clear-eyed fix on the economy before the politicians start talking about it again, this is a great place to start.

Cracker Barrel's journey a microcosm of what Gay Pride Month celebrates

When word reached the corporate offices of Cracker Barrel last week that an anti-LGBTQ pastor and his group planned an event at one of its restaurants in Tennessee, the company released a sharply worded statement barring them. “We serve everyone who walks through our doors with genuine hospitality, not hate, and require all guests to do the same,” it said. That a sign of the changes since the restaurant chain banned gay and lesbian employees in 1991.