CAPITAL AND MAIN SPECIAL REPORT--Darrell Issa, like the voters in his district, was a man under pressure. He put his finger in the air to test the political winds and then realized it was the ground beneath his feet that was moving.

ALPERN AT LARGE--One year after the nation's first black President, and one year into the term of a president where racial issues remain as loud as ever, we're still divided as a nation except on one issue:  the need to come together as one nation is as desired as ever (at least by the most ardent supporters of both the past and current presidents). 

NEW GEOGRAPHY--For generations, California has offered its people an opportunity to own a home, start a business, and move up, whether someone came from Brooklyn, east Texas, Morelos or Taipei. That deal is still desired by most, but in a state that increasingly sees such activities as socially regressive and environmentally disastrous.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?--In December, I was on a panel organized around the question of whether coming out is "like it used to be." All but one panelist declared that coming out today is much easier. I was the outlier.

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