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Zoe Buck, a 14-month-old child, checks out an empty voting booth as at her mother, Julie Buck, votes at left, Tuesday Nov. 4, 2014, at the Alaska Zoo polling place in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

No Election Day for dummies

- The Washington Times

When President Obama was elected president in 2008 on a promise to “transform” America, most voters didn’t have a clue to what he meant, and he has transformed as much as he could get by with. He’s harder at work than ever. One of his baddest bad ideas is mandatory voting.

Illustration on the actual nature of marriage laws by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The wrong argument against traditional marriage

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a set of cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges on Tuesday, challenging state laws and constitutions that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. One of the arguments made by those who wish to redefine marriage nationwide is that classifying same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex couples for purposes of civil marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

A warning placard on a tank car carrying crude oil near a loading terminal in Trenton, N.D. North Dakota House budget writers have stripped funding for a state-run rail safety program.  The Public Service Commission had requested $972,000 in the next two-year budget cycle to fund the program that included two rail safety inspectors and a rail safety manager.  (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

Freeing American crude

It’s rare to find a policy that combines bad economics with harmful national security overtones and, at the same time, violates U.S. obligations to the world trading system. But U.S. restrictions on crude oil exports are just that rare bird.

Illustration on Iran's acquisition of nuclear arms leading to further regional nuclear proliferation and instability by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Fallout from a bad deal with Iran

Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, whenever Americans seem especially polarized over a controversial issue, you hear pundits recall how united we’d became in the aftermath of that vicious attack. Why, they ask, can’t we be like that again?

Illustration on media effluvia's negative impact on America by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Another signpost on the road to destruction

When future historians analyze the decline of America, they need look no further than the trivialities increasingly occupying our time and concerns instead of substantive matters seriously threatening our existence.

Lessons from a happy place

What is the happiest place? Last week in its annual “World Happiness Report,” the United Nations reported that Switzerland was No. 1. The United States ranked No. 15, and the African country of Togo came in last, at number 158.

Liberals and magical thinking

We all know that children think magically, and naturally inhabit a world of fantasy and imagination. It’s the perfect place to be when you’re a kid. The problem is, adults on the left seem to have decided they deserve to live in that same magical world, where facts and logic and reason just don’t exist.

Illustration on Hillary Clinton's achievements by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Hillary’s foreign policy ‘achievements’

Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president and the Earth did not move. This wasn’t exactly a surprise since the bench in the Democratic Party isn’t deep. Her brief for doing so is based on the claim she is a woman who cares about the middle class. Of course, this is an odd construction since she had little experience as a member of this class.

Illustration on the actual state of planet Earth contradicting environmental alarmists by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

State of the planet: It’s better than ever

There is no time in the history of mankind that would be a better time to be alive than today. Nearly every objective measure of the state of the planet and the state of human progress shows vast improvement over time. You can find proof of this in about 30 seconds on your iPhone, a computing powerhouse that places the world at your fingertips.

Illustration on innovative campaigning for the GOP in 2016 by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Campaigning on the future, not the past

When the 45th president of the United States of America is sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2017, it will be a moment to rejoice and reflect upon how one person reached the highest office in the land. To get there, the newly elected president would have been forced to make difficult decisions, which led to winning his (or her) party’s nomination for president.

Jan Palmer, a biology teacher at Central High School in Aberdeen, S.D., top right, leads her Advanced Placement/Rising Scholars biology class through a practice test. (AP Photo/Aberdeen American News, Kevin Bennett, File)

The ‘fix’ is in for AP courses

When controversy erupted a year ago about the lack of balance in the College Board’s new AP U.S. History (APUSH) Framework, the College Board initially dug in its heels and stubbornly defended the new course. But the tone has changed.

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras makes his way to welcome visiting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiadis in Athens, on Friday, April 17, 2015. Anastasiadis is on a one-day official visit to Greece.   (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

Europe’s long-running struggle over Greece’s debt

After three days of Washington meetings recently, world financial officials of the International Monetary Fund dealt with Greece’s massive debt problem with stern warnings about the necessity for the nation to overhaul its near-crashed economy.

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Illustration on how past masculine behavior has backfired on men in today's culture by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

When women are as mad as the men

Sometimes a rolling stone that gathers no moss picks up a lot of dirt, sticks and debris. That happened when one particular Rolling Stone published a slanderous and sloppy attempt to tell a story about a fictitious gang rape at the University of Virginia. The magazine "officially" retracted the story only after the Columbia Journalism Review demonstrated how it failed at every level of responsible reporting and editing.

Illustration on media complicity in Obama's political deceit by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The dirty little (open) secret about the press

Rolling Stone finally admitted that its recent story about a vicious rape on the University of Virginia campus was a lie. Adding journalistic insult to injury, the magazine announced that the "reporter" who made it up will face no disciplinary action. In fact, she gets to keep her job at the magazine.

On Iran, no one to trust

President Obama appears to be on the road again, electronically speaking, hyping the yet-to-be-agreed-upon nuclear deal with Iran. He is pitching a scenario that is totally opposite from the one Iran is relating. Both cannot be right.

Illustration on the redundancy of the Indiana RFRA law by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Shooting themselves in the feet

The turmoil over the efforts by the state of Indiana to make lawful the decisions by operators of public accommodations to decline their services based on their stated religious views has died down. The legislature amended the offending parts of its legislation so that the new law prohibits denying services based on sexual orientation, yet its affirmations of religious liberty are meaningless.

Responding to the attack on Pearl Harbor

Unless you are now 80 or more years old, you could hardly be expected to have memories of those dark days after the attacks by Japanese forces on Pearl Harbor, the Philippines and the British, French and Dutch colonies in the Western Pacific.

Republicans and Democrats join to fight public sector unions illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Finding common cause in fighting public sector unions

"If we don't win this fight, there's no other fight left." That's what New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie said soon after taking office in 2010, when he faced off with the unions representing some 400,000 state employees. Mr. Christie knew what was at stake when he pushed through reforms that included changes in future pensions and greater employee contributions for health care.

FILE - In this May 24, 2011 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks with House Speaker  John Boehner of Ohio, to make a statement on Capitol Hill in Washington.  American politicians like to pick and choose when they’ll abide by the storied notion that politics should stop at the water's edge, and when to give that idea a kick in the pants.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

When the thrill of a romance is gone

That pop and crackle in the air is the sound of strains on a romance, like the noise of a cooling wood stove. The Jewish love affair with the Democratic Party has not gone bust by any means but it's beginning to frazzle at the edges, as unrequited love inevitably does. The Democratic left, which now dominates the party, does not like Israel very much.

In this Aug. 17, 2010 file photo, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald talks to reporters after a jury found former Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty on one count of the 24 counts against him in his federal corruption trial. in Chicago. Robert Blagojevich the brother of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich offers fresh details in a new book to back his contention prosecutors used him as a pawn to get his younger sibling on charges he sought to hock President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. While charges were eventually dropped against him, the Tennessee businessman, says his refusal to turn on his brother made him "collateral damage" of an overzealous prosecution that cost his reputation, $1 million in legal bills and a still-unrepaired family split. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

The crimes of the prosecutors

Prosecutors, like cops, usually deal with people who aren't very nice. Prosecutors at every level rarely see the occasional bursts of human kindness that lead the rest of us to see the good among the bad. Unfortunately, some prosecutors, blind to the good among the bad, conclude that evildoers don't deserve a break, that the important thing is to get evildoers behind bars, so anything goes. If no actual evildoers are available, make one up.

No water, no oil illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The browning of California’s green movement

Two big stories in recent days are President Obama's veto of the Keystone XL pipeline project, no matter the State Department's study that concludes that the effort would have little effect on climate change, and California's decision, as a result of severe drought, to impose mandatory water restrictions. But Gov. Jerry Brown's executive order to cut water use by 25 percent reflects the slow pace of California dreaming, with regulations probably not implemented for another 45 days or so.

Illustration on the untrustworthy Iranian leadership by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The win-win delusion

"The West Capitulates." That was the headline on an article by Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the Lebanese daily al-Akbar. He elaborated: "Victors and vanquished. This is the truth of conflicts in the world since ancient times. Only those who live with their eyes closed believe conflicts end with compromises."

Illustration on Martin O'Malley's legacy as governor of Maryland by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Surviving Martin O’Malley

Maryland has been called "the Land of Pleasant Living," but after eight years of the policies of Gov. Martin O'Malley, a lot of Marylanders found it not so pleasant. In a Gallup poll taken in 2014, shortly before the conclusion of Mr. O'Malley's second term, 47 percent of voters stated that they would move out of Maryland if they could — the third-highest state in the nation from which people wanted to flee.

Reducing the size of government illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The GOP budget tug-of-war

The Republican majority's budget plan — enacted in a blitz of votes before lawmakers rushed home for spring break — tells us which Republican presidential hopefuls are serious about halting the nation's soaring debt. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky voted against the GOP plan because it spends too much, while Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida led the ranks of big spenders.

A veiled critique of the one-child policy

In outline, Mo Yan's new novel, "Frog," sounds subversive enough: A jilted Chinese midwife turns agent of the state. She is relentless in her pursuit of women who have conceived "illegal" second children. She is pitiless in coercing them one and all into terminations.

Illustration on gay activist agitation by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

To be gay and angry in America

Some of my most cherished lines from President Clinton's presidency had nothing to do with women with whom he did or did not have sexual relations. Rather, they were inspired by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that he signed on the White House South Lawn on Nov. 16, 1993. At the time there was not much controversy about what he then said, but they are admirable lines nonetheless. Today they might be deemed heroic lines.

Obama strategy clear failure

Iran sanctions work, and if necessary they and a show worldwide of U.S. military and economic strength must be increased. The liberal-left, anti-war withdrawal strategy of President Barack Obama and the Democrats has not and will not stop the Iran ballistic-missile and nuclear-warhead program. It does not stop Iran from taking over the Middle East, gobbling up Iraq and Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. It does not stop Iran from endangering Israel or the Arab states, nor does it halt Russian expansion.