Stump of the Union: The State of the Union speech this year, to air Tuesday night, will serve the secondary function of, you know, illustrating the state of the union. But primarily, it's a campaign speech, according to administration insiders. Specifically scheduled one day after the results of the Iowa caucuses, the strategy is to distract from the Democrats' news in Iowa: "What you achieve by doing it quickly is to get people to focus on the president's positive agenda after two weeks of people beating his brains in and criticizing every aspect of his policies," an unnamed Republican said in the NY Times.

Big Box Lockdown: Wal-Mart's 15-year-old policy of locking in its overnight workers has a plausible enough rationale: keeping burglars out and employee theft down. But what happens when an employee breaks an ankle, goes into labor, or has a heart attack and can't get out?

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