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Kasich and Bush should send Christie roses

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, now in the single digits in New Hampshire, had nothing to lose on Saturday night by going into attack mode against Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. But in overdoing it, and more important, overlooking his real objective, he may have only helped Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who had strong nights without making themselves seem overbearing. Sure, Bush had been baiting Rubio all week with slurs on his readiness and preparation, but in the face-to-face moment Bush barely touched Rubio and instead fired at Donald Trump, especially on eminent domain. Kasich did not have to lay a finger on anyone; he simply nailed down his message as an upbeat, competent governor.

The ‘experience’ Republicans smash Rubio

Pickett’s charge. Waterloo. The Charge of the Light Brigade. Take your pick of historical analogies, the “experience” wing of the Republican Party launched a desperate, and very possibly doomed, assault at Saturday’s GOP debate, during a climatic moment for a GOP race that has been dominated by men who have significantly less real-world policymaking credibility. The polls say that the forces of experience will probably leave New Hampshire in defeat, and even if they pulled something out, racking up victories in future primaries would be hard. But at the very least they have made the rising Marco Rubio look like an empty suit.

I can’t hate the Islamic State’s teen soldiers

SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq — As a journalist based in northern Iraq for the past six years, I’ve seen the war with the Islamic State closer than I’d like. In the summer of 2014, my best friend, a man I’d come to love and respect during my time reporting here, was taken prisoner by the militants. We were more like brothers than friends, and I haven’t heard from him since.

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HAROON MOGHUL: President Obama’s visit to a mosque: long overdue — and vital

It’s not like American Presidents haven’t been to mosques before. George W. Bush not only went to one shortly after the September 11 attacks, but he used his platform to tell America that Islam was “a religion of peace.” But while Barack Obama has been to mosques, and of course spent part of his childhood in a Muslim-majority country, he’s never visited to an American mosque.

An inequality in well-being matters more than an income gap

The hot topic in economic policy discussions is inequality. Lots of kinds of inequality have been increasing in the U.S. — income, wealth, housing, longevity and almost everything else. New data has caused economists and the public to become more alarmed about the extent of the rise, and has allowed people to start having a productive discussion about causes and solutions.

Cruz’s win also exposes 2 weak spots

Journalists have an unfortunate tendency, when it comes to big political stories, to prove their savvy by going counterintuitive. A lot of them are saying that the “real winner” of the Iowa caucuses is Sen. Marco Rubio, even though he came in third. And Rubio did have a good night. But it’s worth dwelling on the possibility that the real winner might instead be the guy who won, Sen. Ted Cruz.