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(Image courtesy of thestar.com).

Life’s a scream on the slippery slope

- The Washington Times

“The slippery slope” doesn’t frighten very many people in Washington because that’s where a lot of politicians live. Life can be comfortable there, and it’s usually quite profitable. But it’s a dangerous piece of real estate for the rest of us.

There’s good news about third-party candidates

The conventional wisdom is that an independent presidential bid by New York billionaire Donald Trump would harm the Republican candidate in 2016. That’s probably incorrect. Most often, significant independent general-election candidacies harm the incumbent or incumbent party more than they do the challenging party.

Illustration contrasting Reagan's dealings with the Soviets and Obama's with Iran by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

‘Barack Obama, you’re no Ronald Reagan’

In a recent interview defending the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, President Obama argued that that his approach to Iran is essentially the same as that which Ronald Reagan took toward the Soviet Union. Mr. Obama said that ” where I completely admire him was his recognition that [an agreement would be worth doing] if you were able to verify an agreement that you would negotiate with the evil empire that was hell-bent on our destruction and was a far greater existential threat to us than Iran will ever be.”

Illustration on Obama's undermining of the U.S. military by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Undermining the military

When President Obama announced that he was going to “fundamentally transform” America, not many Americans understood the full depth of that statement. Based on an assessment of his policies over the last six and half years, clearly one of Mr. Obama’s objectives has been to diminish America’s standing and leadership role throughout the world. One result has been that our allies now don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us — the worst possible combination.

President Johnson signs Medicare legislation July 30, 1965.                Associated Press photo

Medicare at age 50

Diehard defenders of President Obama’s continuing, wretched rollout of the Affordable Care Act may be quick to point out that other government programs, most notably Medicare, also had rocky starts. But the historical record doesn’t support such nonsense.

Illustration on courtesy, respect and rules in the U.S. Senate by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

When tough talk roils the decorum of the Senate

The United States Senate has a long and justly celebrated tradition of comity and respect among members. Although there have been occasional exceptions throughout history, on the whole, senators have taken great care to treat each other with courtesy and respect, both in private discussions and in public deliberations.

Peace Through Strength Bunker Bomb Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Reviving ‘peace through strength’

Ever since the Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamist storm troops took over Iran in 1979, the driving force of the country’s rulers has been (1) destroy Israel; (2) establish Iran as the hegemonist of the Middle East; and (3) drive out all Western influences from the region. Their efforts to create a nuclear arsenal has been part of their strategy to accomplish these goals.

Illustration on the controversy stirred during the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Surviving ‘a perfect storm’ of opposition

Just two months ago, the nation marked the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, and many of the stories in the media were illustrated with images of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall, which over the past three decades has become an American cultural icon — symbolizing that difficult period in our history. Yet, that memorial, as we know it today, almost didn’t happen.

Pinocchio (Associated Press)

When the Big Lie becomes the legacy

- The Washington Times

Maybe the Christian thing to do is to cut John Kerry a little slack. He hit his head harder than the doctor thought when he fell off his bicycle in Switzerland.

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BOOK REVIEW: 'Killer, Come Hither'

Louis Begley is no Mickey Spillane, nor is his hero, Jack Dana, a Mike Hammer, that is, until Jack meets and kills his foe with all the finesse of the most hard-boiled detective.

Riveting review

Joseph C. Goulden's review of David Hoffman's "The Billion Dollar Spy" (BOOK REVIEW: 'The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal,'' Web, July 5) gives a riveting account of how the CIA recruited a Soviet agent named Adolf Tolkachev.

Democrats, doing what they do best

After reading the front-page article "GOP calls on Obama to fire IRS chief" (July 28), I was amused by the response of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, to the suggestion that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen be sacked for obstructing the investigation into politically motivated targeting of conservative groups.

A man is comforted by others as he mourns over Egyptian Coptic Christians who were captured in Libya and killed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group, outside of the Virgin Mary church in the village of el-Aour, near Minya, 220 kilometers (135 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Mobilizing the Christians

The mainline Protestant churches in the United States, joined by Pope Francis, have shown great concern for many fashionable secular causes, such as eliminating poverty, promoting peace and promoting fear of global warming, but for Christians around the world under threat of persecution and annihilation, not so much.

FILE - This Nov. 24, 2014, file photo, shows the Phi Kappa Psi house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Three University of Virginia graduates and members of the fraternity profiled in a debunked account of a gang rape in a retracted Rolling Stone magazine story filed a lawsuit against the publication and the article's author Wednesday,July 29, 2015, court records show. . (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Trash on a Rolling Stone

Making up a story, if it's about a designated villain, is hip in certain quarters but it's never cool, as Rolling Stone magazine is learning in the sordid wake of its account of a gang rape at a fraternity house at the University of Virginia. It was a gang rape that by all recent accounts never happened.

Name-calling long overdue

Sen. Orrin Hatch is upset about colleagues' manners concerning "name calling" ("When tough talk roils the decorum of the Senate," Web, July 28). Mr. Hatch has been a senator for 38 years.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks to the media during a news conference following a Senate policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ** FILE **

Mr. McConnell's machinations

Congress is itching to get out of town, and Washington is itching to see them leave. The heat sometimes does strange things to congressional brains. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, spent most of a week persuading/forcing his colleagues to pass a six-year transportation bill that he knows will die in the House of Representatives.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (Associated Press)

Drifting toward crisis on Taiwan

Xi Jinping, the president of the People's Republic of China and the chairman of the ruling Communist Party, now says the delicate relationship between China and the Republic of China on Taiwan cannot continue, but refuses to meet President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan to talk about it. Therein lies a looming crisis for Washington.

Hillary Must Be Lying Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Hillary lies again

In a column I wrote in early July, based on research by my colleagues and my own analysis of government documents and eyewitness statements, I argued that in 2011 and 2012 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waged a secret war on the governments of Libya and Syria, with the approval of President Obama and the consent of congressional leadership from both parties and in both houses of Congress.

On the presidential campaign trail, Republicans are intensifying the pressure on Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has yet to comment on the videos despite being a pro-choice advocate who last year received Planned Parenthood's top honor, the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award. (Associated Press)

Hillary's past returns, with sharper teeth this time

"Those who cannot remember the past," the philosopher George Santayana reminded us, "are condemned to repeat it." The young, particularly the young voters of 2016, have no memory of Bill Clinton, and along with the rest of us they're about to get a reprise of the Hillary story.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Hokusai'

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, ukiyo-e was one of the most influential artistic styles in Japan. Composed of woodblock prints and traditional painting, typical scenes included historical events, folk stories, beautiful women and the rigors of daily life.