This week's column was intended to focus on a primer for tomorrow's (Nov. 7) off-year elections. The election preview is below. But I wanted to get something out of the way first.
There still seems to be an idea out there that somehow Vice President Joe Biden is going to leave the 2012 Democratic ticket — by his own choice or otherwise — and be replaced by Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state who has long said she will depart the Cabinet after President Obama's first term.
The system Congress set up 21 years ago to clean up toxic air pollution still leaves many communities exposed to risky concentrations of benzene, formaldehyde, mercury and many other hazardous chemicals.
Karen Howe couldn't believe her luck. As a single mom working a minimum-wage job and living with two kids in a crowded one-bedroom apartment in Ponca City, Okla., she was desperate for a three-bedroom house and a lawn.
Howe, a member of the Ponca tribe, was offered tribal housing in a small, tree-lined subdivision of 11 homes on the southern, rural edge of the city.
In less than two months, the first caucuses and primaries of the 2012 presidential election season will be held. And in just under two weeks, a congressional Supercommittee is due to deliver one-point-two trillion dollars in cuts and revenue to reduce the deficit.