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Warren G. Harding (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Donald Trump, the unstoppable force of nature — maybe

- The Washington Times

The dogs bark, the flies scatter, the gasbags at the conventions send enormous clouds of toxic waste to hover over Cleveland and Philadelphia that won’t dissipate until Labor Day, and the caravan moves on. Election Day approaches, and rarely have so many been so disappointed with the choice before us.

Fathers Absent from "Black Lives Matter" Movement Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Black Lives Matter’s real agenda

Unless you have been “off the grid” for a while, you have heard a lot in the news about Black Lives Matter. This “movement” has gotten a lot of press and some notable praise from celebrities and politicians, including positive mentions from President Obama. But I suspect that most people, including many who have tweeted #blacklivesmatter, have not visited its website.

Illustration on Hillary Clinton's position in support of the Democratic base by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Hillary Clinton’s mixed messages

- The Washington Times

Black Lives Matter, Black Panthers, Occupy Wall Street, Socialists, Communists, those who want to strip God from their party platform, LGBTQ activists, Planned Parenthood, Hispanics, white-working class union workers, Wall Street, and climate-change mongers, all have a place in the Democratic Party.

Illustration on the relationship between Pakistani government corruption and the rise of Islamist violence by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

How religious extremists thrive

As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spar over security and foreign aid, those of us living in Pakistan wonder how we ended up in the rearview mirror of the debate. American taxpayers spend billions of dollars per year in Pakistan — a nuclear state with religious extremists baying at the door — and next door in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are ensconced.

Church and State Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Defending religious liberty

I write with a deep and growing concern about the future of religious liberty in the United States.

Mike Pence, Conservative Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Why Pence makes sense

Whenever I talk to conservatives across the country about the presidential election, a common refrain is that they find Donald Trump refreshing in many ways. They like that he eschews political correctness and promises to stand up for ordinary Americans against the elites.

SM-3 Missile Defense Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Defending against the growing missile threat

Both Iran and North Korea are rogue nations developing and testing new missile technologies at an alarming rate. Iran threatens U.S. forces and has missile technology to carry out those threats. North Korea has successfully tested missiles that can be fired from submarines and is threatening to use them.

Illustration on expanding health care choices for veterans by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Remodeling veterans’ health care for the 21st century

From 2007 to 2009, I served as undersecretary for health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Overseeing the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), I often saw the best of what our nation offers veterans recovering from the wounds of war in a system staffed by committed health professionals devoted to providing quality care.

Fethullah Gulen     The Washington Times

A Gulen factor in Turkey’s turmoil?

As the dust settles in Turkey following the bloodiest coup in recent history, questions continue to surface about who was behind the recent uprising. In the midst of the unfolding drama, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused rival Fethullah Gulen of being behind the putsch.

Clinton Scandals Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A vivid symbol of scandal

Democrats gathered for their convention in Philadelphia know Hillary Clinton did not escape her latest bout with scandal unscathed. While Hillary once more remained one step ahead of the law, she is several steps behind the public. She could not have picked a worse time for her latest foray into the ethical morass.

North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho talks to a reporter after a break during the 23rd Asean Regional meeting in Vientiane, Laos, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Disappointment with China

China’s reaction to the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that there was no evidence that China had exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources historically in the South China Sea was disappointing but expected.

Illustration on the Democratic National Convention by Tim Brinton

Chaos at the Democratic National Convention

Cleveland versus Philadelphia. So many predicted a cataclysmic disaster for the Republicans during their convention. Yet, it ended up being an organized, well-run event showcasing the reformation of the Republican Party and propelling Donald Trump to the biggest post-convention bounce for either party since 2000.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, July 28, 2016, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

If Trump flips Pennsylvania, all bets are off

- The Washington Times

No state is more important to Donald Trump's chances of winning the White House than Pennsylvania, and -- unlike any Republican presidential in the past 20 years -- he actually has a chance to win it.

President Barack Obama speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The biggest ego in town

President Obama is not the incarnation of Demosthenes, or even William Jennings Bryan, as he seems to think, but he's not bad on a good day with the right subject matter. His favorite subject matter, which is not necessarily the people's choice, is about him.

Clinton, Trump equally bad for U.S.

During this election cycle, Donald Trump made an issue of Sen. Ted Cruz's "natural-born" status, but few even considered the reason our Founders put those words into the Constitution. Our Founding Fathers feared that an agent of a foreign government could be elected president and not have the interests of the United States as their first and only priority.

Vote Libertarian in 2016

In the last two weeks of July, non-stop cable TV gave us insight into the presidential nominees selected by the Republican and Democratic parties. Afterward we wondered, "Is this the best they have to offer?" Both parties presented candidates who are demonstratively dishonest and temperamentally unfit for the office of president.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Noise of Time'

In his remarkable new novel, Julian Barnes tells the story of the Russian composer, Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich, and how the "noise of time" surrounding his life, be it the adulation, humiliation, prestige and dishonor heaped upon him, or the pressure of "Power" to write music "for the people," affected him.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she has no regrets in bringing charges against the six officers. (Associated Press)

Justice in Baltimore

Marilyn Mosby, no Blackstone she, has made such a mess in Baltimore that the city won't live it down for decades. The Baltimore state's attorney announced this week that she was dropping all charges against the remaining Baltimore police officers she charged with murder in the 2005 death of Freddie Gray.

Delegates cheer during the third day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

An unconventional abridgment of free speech

This summer, we have all witnessed the heavy hand of government intervening in the freedom of speech, as the behavior of the Secret Service at both the Republican convention in Cleveland and the Democratic convention in Philadelphia has been troubling and unconstitutional.

Illustration on the changing weapons used in the war between the sexes by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Changing at the speed of light

Sexual politics continues to change at the speed of light. Some men get it, others don't. Among those who don't is Roger Ailes, who thought he could continue to star in an episode of "Mad Men" long after the sitcom and the era it represented passed its sell-by date.

A voter marks a ballot for the New Hampshire primary inside a voting booth on Feb. 9 in Manchester, N.H. (Associated Press)

The other battle at the ballot box

Party conventions, first of the Republicans in Cleveland and this week of the Democrats in Philadelphia, first and foremost are about whose name goes on the top of the ballot. Before any votes are cast on Nov. 8, though, questions must be settled about identification rules determining who gets to cast a ballot. Voter identification laws, popularly called ID laws, have proliferated.