10 dynamics that will shape the next two years of American politics

What's past isn't necessarily prologue, but the outcomes of some recent political battles – and a look at who will be coming and going when Congress reconvenes in January – give us a pretty good sense of the dynamics that will shape the next two years of American politics.

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Smart Chart: The black-white wealth gap widened during the Great Recession

The average African-American household takes home around 40 percent less income than a similar white family. The gap between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics (who can belong to any race) is just over 30% (Excel file).

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How the GOP plans to rig Congress to embrace trickle-down 'voodoo economics'

Republicans are signaling that when they take control of the Senate in January, they'll try to change the way a key government watchdog does math. If they get their way, it will effectively put a thumb on the scale of all future legislation.

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Watch Elizabeth Warren tear into the New York Fed chief over agency’s ‘regulatory capture’

The Federal Reserve has been under fire of late -- accused of coddling the Wall Street bankers it's tasked with regulating.

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How a century of racist policies made Ferguson into a pocket of concentrated despair

Ferguson, Missouri, was a powder-keg waiting for a match long before August 9 and Michael Brown’s fateful encounter with Police Officer Darren Wilson. It is one of many predominantly black communities across the United States plagued by highly concentrated poverty, and all of the social problems that accompany it.

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Rising income inequality makes us want to bomb the crap out of everyone: study

War has long been seen as an endeavor urged on by the elites who stood the most to gain from conflict – whether to protect overseas assets, create more favorable conditions for international trade or by selling materiel for the conflict – and paid for with the blood of the poor, the cannon fodder who serve their country but have little direct stake in the outcome.

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Everything you need to know about the GOP's war on voting

Less than four weeks away from a crucial election that may see control of the Senate shift to the GOP, there’s a bitter fight underway. Activists are battling a wave of restrictive new voting laws passed over the past few years by Republican-controlled legislatures. In recent weeks, the courts have handed down a flurry of decisions, changing or upholding the new rules just ahead of November’s vote.

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Why have a record number of Westerners joined ISIS?

American intelligence agencies say there is no evidence that the Islamic State – which has yet to attack targets outside the Middle East – is plotting to hit the US, yet 71 percent of those polled by CNN last month said they believed the militant group had active terror cells within our borders. That disconnect results from the threat inflation that’s so deeply embedded in our discourse about terrorism.

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10 key races that may hinge on the 'war on women'

As a coherent and consistent political narrative, “the war on women” is relatively new. But the underlying tension between conservative religious beliefs and women’s access to reproductive health care — including legal abortion without overly burdensome regulation and insurance coverage for contraceptives — is not.

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