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News that Republican outsider and libertarian Texas Rep. Ron Paul is picking up steam in Iowa and breaking out of his base of hardcore backers is surprising, if only because Paul is up against an obstacle that even Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann don’t face: the political press doesn’t take him seriously and dismisses his candidacy at every turn.

If Paul does pull off an upset or even a strong second place showing in the caucuses in January, as looks plausible, it will be interesting to see whether the press corps finally starts talking about his candidacy with something other than scornful laughter.

Because even though voters choose the candidates they like best in American electoral politics, the oxygen in our media space is determined by editors and writers at a few hundred media outlets — and if they’ve decided three-time candidate Paul is not “serious,” then he isn’t, if only because he can’t amplify his message except via paid media and events sponsored by activists who already back his campaign.

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US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants her Democrats to push through trillions of dollars worth of investments in infrastructure and social service programs before a self-imposed deadline of September 30, 2021

Washington (AFP) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence a massive infrastructure bill will pass this week but acknowledged it would not get a Monday vote as planned, with fellow Democrats warning critical work remains to meet the party's deadlines.

Democrats have been scrambling to hammer out a landmark plan to upgrade the nation's roads and bridges, but are also under immense pressure to finalize a $3.5 trillion public investment package and fund the government to avert a looming shutdown -- all by September 30.

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