KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Juana Summers

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This is Capitol Hill's version of the The Hunger Games.

The freshman office lottery is part spectacle, part luck and a ruthless, fast-moving process where incoming members try all sorts of tricks hoping to get exactly what they want.

The lottery determines whether rookie lawmakers get a working space with a nice view or one jammed on a high floor that's more like a glorified broom closet.

For a politician, it's one of the few times when measuring the drapes is OK.

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Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is one of the most powerful politicians in America. She's the top-ranking woman in the House GOP, and her political ambitions and trajectory have been debated everywhere from Capitol Hill to the pages of Glamour magazine. But when she walks into locally owned businesses like Maid Naturally in Spokane, Wash., she's just Cathy.

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First there was ISIS. Now there's Ebola.

The Ebola health crisis is the latest global issue to become a fixture this campaign season, spilling into debates, campaign rhetoric — and even a few ads.

Political arguments about Ebola can roughly be divided into three groups.

Democrats argue that budget-cutting Republicans have deprived the government of the resources it needs to keep Americans safe from the threat of Ebola. That's the argument Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado made at a recent debate.

Virginia congressional candidates Barbara Comstock, a Republican, and John Foust, a Democrat, are hitting the campaign trail with the usual issues like jobs, health care and immigration. But they're also going a step further to close the deal in a district where Asian Americans are a fast growing ethnic group.

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The NFL just kicked off its 2014 season, and the $9 billion league is currently facing two powerful opponents: its own image and Congress.

Lawmakers have seized on controversies over domestic violence, child abuse and a team name to attack the NFL's tax exemption. While the individual teams generate billions in profits and pay taxes, the league office is considered a nonprofit and does not pay federal income taxes.

Congressional leaders met with President Obama on Tuesday, ahead of his speech on the Islamic State terrorist group. Obama has indicated he wants congressional support for his policy, but what that will mean is still unclear.

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Celebrities are becoming a prominent fixture in the debate over K-12 education.

This week Whoopi Goldberg used her platform on ABC's The View to speak out against teacher tenure.

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

When we talk about playing and learning, we naturally think of children's museums. Most major cities offer some experience like this, where kids are able to get their hands dirty, and — shocking! — learn something at the same time.

The museums — at least the good ones — are always both engaging and interactive in a way that's fun for kids, but they're also fun for grown-ups too. As we've been reporting for our series on play next month, it got me wondering: What goes into creating great museum experiences, and how do designers go about them?

For principals and administrators, spring means a welcome end to snow days and delayed start times. But as the flowers and trees emerge from their winter slumber, so too do short pants, T-shirts, flip-flops and the inevitable battles over what kids can and can't wear to school.

It might as well be called "dress code" season.

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