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Don Gonyea

On its final day in session of its 2017-2018 term, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that will hurt public sector unions in the pocketbook, and deal a blow to labor's clout in the political arena.

In the case of Janus v. AFSCME, the court ruled, in a 5-4 vote with conservatives winning out, that government employee unions cannot require represented workers to pay a cent in union dues or fees.

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Certain rituals have grown up around the use of the presidential pardon.

The most common is a lengthy review by the Justice Department on the merits of any such petition for a pardon.

But for President Trump, the pardon seems to have become the ultimate symbol of presidential power — the ability to use this exclusive authority as an act of benevolent largess and as the ultimate political perk.

It's unlikely that David Kennerly's most famous photographs could be recaptured today.

That's because 50 years ago, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and his colleagues covered the Robert F. Kennedy campaign under far more relaxed circumstances.

Photography has always been inseparable from politics, with the image of presidential candidates inextricably tied to their message. But over the years, as security around U.S. politicians has tightened, photographers are no longer allowed the intimate access they once had.

Ry Cooder has been described as a singer-songwriter, slide guitar hero, session musician to so many other artists, producer, musicologist and historian, a man beholden to no single style, a champion of Cuban and international roots music, and a composer of film soundtracks.

Yet, now a half-century into his prolific career, Cooder continues to carve out new trades for himself.

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Don Blankenship is an unlikely hero to the working class.

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"The Dude abides."

OK. As iconic movie lines go, maybe it's not as iconic as "Here's looking at you, kid" or "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

But for fans of the film The Big Lebowski, there are few things better than hearing Jeff Bridges say those words with such nonchalant slacker indifference.

Add Planned Parenthood to the list of organizations looking to take advantage of President Trump's low approval ratings in the 2018 midterm elections.

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When President Trump visited Ohio this week, he had a message for the GOP Senate candidate Rep. Jim Renacci.

"Jim, get in there and fight — we need you, we need you," Trump told the crowd.

A few weeks ago, White House staff personally intervened to persuade Renacci, who had been running for governor, to switch over to the Senate race to take on Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. That is because GOP front-runner Josh Mandel dropped out last month, saying his wife is dealing with health problems. The move set off a scramble since the filing deadline was this past Wednesday.

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