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Illustration on the end of al Jazeera by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Does Al Jazeera deserve to die?

The Gulf Cooperation Council comprises six nations, all of them Arab, Sunni Muslim, ruled by royals, and fabulously wealthy thanks to vast reserves of petroleum. With so much in common, you might expect they’d be best friends forever. In recent weeks, however, the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has been the odd monarch out.

Rob Goldstone About to Get Busted Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Who is colluding with whom?

In the Russia-Trump imbroglio let us be clear. We are now months into it. A dozen or so culprits have been fingered, some being actually quite amusing. You will be seeing more of the fat British music promoter, Rob Goldstone, who has been photographed wearing a baseball hat emblazoned with a word denoting a type of female anatomy on it.

FILE - In this July 17, 2016 file photo, then-Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The Senate Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort seeking his testimony at a public hearing on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Mueller’s mad dogs

- The Washington Times

President Trump’s advisers and defenders in trying to undermine former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged pre-election “collusion” with Vladimir Putin’s Russia are pointing out that Mr. Mueller and another former FBI director, James Comey, are longtime buddies.

Obama Plan to Usurp the Senate's Legislative Power Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Obama’s Paris climate scheme revelation

The New York Times on Aug. 24, 2014, broke a major news story: “Obama pushing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty.” It’s a clumsy headline — no one dared claim the Kyoto Protocol was anything other than a treaty requiring Senate ratification, and even the Grey Lady calls it the “Kyoto Accord.”

Illustration on the dangerous precedent of the Charlie Gard case by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The lesson from poor little Charlie Gard

The sad news broke Monday that Charlie Gard’s parents have given up the fight to save their 11-month-old baby’s life. “The window of opportunity has been lost,” due to time wasted in the parents’ legal battles to save the child’s life. “It’s too late for Charlie,” family attorney Grant Armstrong said. “The damage has been done.”

Russian Insecurity Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

How the “Long Telegram” explains Putin’s Russia

Russian experts, politicians and television’s talking heads are constantly wondering whether Vladimir Putin’s Russia is trying to reconstruct the old Soviet Union with its extended empire and aspirations, asking why else the country that gave up communism would invade Ukraine, threaten the Baltic states, interfere in Syria and even try to sabotage an American election.

Illustration on the carelessness of the IRS by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A culture of carelessness and secrecy at the IRS

The IRS systematically loses and destroys important federal records. Even if you request a file from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the Freedom of Information Act, there’s no guarantee the agency will make a serious attempt to find your documents.

Illustration on crony capitalism by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Crony capitalism against the real thing

For the past decade, a strange migration of a couple of thousand people from all over the world to Las Vegas takes place — in the middle of July. They come — at least most — not to gamble and certainly not for the weather where the normal daytime temperature is a 100-plus degrees, but to participate in an event called FreedomFest.

President Donald Trump pauses during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump’s right: It’s a sewer, not a swamp

- The Washington Times

President Donald Trump tweeted in the lead-up to Jared Kushner’s widely waited for Senate-Russia testimony that it’s not a swamp he’s trying to drain. It’s a sewer. And yes indeed, that description is much more apt.

Righting the Ship of Security Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A plan to save Social Security

It is no secret that what the major media seem to care most about is radically different from what concerns average Americans. While the inside-the-Beltway crowd continues to focus on alleged collusion between President Trump and Russia, real concerns like the future of Social Security are ignored.

Sudan Corruption Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A necessary delay for easing of Sudan sanctions

The announcement last week by the Trump administration that it is delaying the Obama administration’s order to ease sanctions on Sudan was a welcome decision. The three-month delay is not long enough to give the Sudanese the impression that we are not serious about this matter, but will be long enough to complete the needed and ongoing review of that government’s adherence to the requirements of sanctions-easing.

Kurdistan Partnership Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A strategic U.S. partner in Kurdistan

This year is the 25th anniversary of the election of the first Parliament and government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Thanks to the safe haven that the United States and its European allies created in 1991 to protect the displaced Kurdish population from Baghdad’s brutal attacks, the Kurds turned a crisis into an opportunity to build a forward-looking nation with democratic aspirations.

Illustration on government run Health Care by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The fake ‘health care’ debate

Confucius, who lived so long ago that famine, not obesity, menaced public health, supposedly observed that “the first step to wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” If so, then angry congressional town hall meetings and serial legislative impasses are not really about health care, let alone reform.

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FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the opening session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Lima, Peru. When U.S. and Russian presidents meet, the rest of the world stops to watch. For decades, summits between leaders of the world powers have been heavily anticipated affairs in which every word, handshake and facial expression is scrutinized. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Arsonists to put out the fire

Barack Obama is back at last from his new career of hanging out with the 1-percenters, eager to headline a big-dollar fundraiser for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee at a private home in Washington. The Democratic Party has all but disappeared in many state capitols, but where's there's a pulse, there's wan hope.

Health reform about money, power

Through the years, various iterations of Congress and numerous presidents have developed a power grab through the two-party adversarial system, which provides a lifestyle of comfort for the political class. America has gone from a representative republic to a government of self-proclaimed, all-knowing, tin gods whose only interest is the self-preservation of their power and lifestyle.

In this Thursday, July 6, 2017, file photo, security officer John Christiansen, right, stands on duty as nursing assistant Jared McCullough, left, and clinical nurse leader Nicole McWhorter, center, discuss a patient in the psychiatric hall of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center emergency department in Lebanon, N.H. The emergency department has one security officer assigned to the waiting area, and another assigned to the psychiatric hall with its three patient rooms and a fourth "quiet room." (James M. Patterson/The Valley News via AP)

Mental health sick days a sign of America's wussification

- The Washington Times

There's this story that's been going around the media for a few days now that paints a picture of a sympathetic boss gently cheering on his absent employee for letting him know she's missing work due to "focus" on her "mental health." Let's just nip this crazy in the bud. This is a mark of America's wussification -- nothing to cheer.

Plebiscite Vote Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

An internet plebiscite

Politicization of policy by plebiscite may be a nice bit of alliteration. But the plebiscite presently taking place at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could undermine the idea that the commission's actions should be based on its presumed expertise, not on counting noses, or in this instance, counting computer-generated form comments.

Spiro Agnew in 1969    Associated Press photo

Removing the media manhole cover

- The Washington Times

On Nov. 13, 1969, Spiro T. Agnew walked to the podium in Des Moines, Iowa, to deliver perhaps the most famous speech ever by a U.S. vice president. It was, of course, the famous "Des Moines Speech" in which Mr. Agnew for the first time took on broadcast media commentators in a way that must make President Trump green with envy.

Reaper Care Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

When 'single payer' won't pay

Medicaid used to be the program providing health care and medical services to the poor. Before Obamacare, Medicaid covered primarily poor retirees, children in poor families, and the disabled living in poverty -- the "truly needy."

Illustration on demographic changes by Alexander Hunter/the Washington Times

Tectonic shifts in demographics and geopolitics

Like tectonic plates, demographic trends move quietly for a long time before their effects are fully felt. By mid-century, demographic trends at work today will trigger momentous shifts in the economic and geopolitical balance.

The "Gift" from North Korea Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

North Korea's 'gift'

Kim Jong-un considered his July Fourth intercontinental ballistic missile test just one of many promised "big and small 'gift packages' to the Yankees," words that ring beyond the "handsome" Hwasong-14 missile.

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact agreed to under the Obama administration in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Members of a Pacific Rim trade initiative rejected by Trump are to hold working-level talks Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in the Japanese mountain resort town of Hakone, west of Tokyo. The three-day meeting among envoys from the 11 remaining members of the TPP follows a breakthrough last week on a Japan-European Union trade deal seen as a repudiation of the U.S. moves to pull back from such arrangements. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Invoking the roots of Western civilization

There has been much analysis made of President Trump's July 6 speech in Warsaw. Left-wing commentators have expressed sentiments indicating that the speech was "without substance," "bland" and "lacking" in a laundry list of policy priorities.

Illustration on the new "Resistance" by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The American left's downward spiral

I have returned. From Europe, that is, and I hope I met with no Russian undercover agents while there. The soi-disant liberals are in a snit about the Russians. Supposedly, Donald Trump Jr. and the mysterious Jared Kushner met with an undercover agent of the Kremlin in June of last year, and they did not report their meeting to The Powers That Be.

Pictures of thriving communities in the Holy Land

The State of Israel and its capital Jerusalem are perennially in the news. Recently, Israel joyously celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, which after nearly two decades when Jews could not visit their holiest site The Western Wall, opened the holy places of all three Abrahamic religions to all their worshipers.

Consider new kind of budget

While members of the Republican majority are competing to see who can make the deepest cuts, there is a budget proposal before Congress that would boost the economy for all of us while cutting the number of people in poverty by half. It's the People's Budget, proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The People's Budget invests in safe and productive infrastructure, education, affordable housing, health care and nutrition, child-care and working-family tax credits. It also calls for increasing the minimum wage.

FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2013, file photo, Missouri Sen. Eric Schmit, leads a meeting at the Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. Schmitt, now the Missouri State Treasurer, offered strong criticism of the state budget of Illinois on Tuesday, June 11, 2017, in St. Louis. The first-term Republican spoke at a news conference along the Mississippi River in St. Louis, urging Missouri lawmakers to avoid the pitfalls that have befallen neighboring Illinois. (Kile Brewer/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP, File

When the wolf is at the door

In a normal, minimally competently run state, the adoption of the state's budget is news among the ads for toenail fungus cures on Page 12, along with the usual items about dog biting man. Setting budgets, after all, is a routine responsibility of the state, like building roads and keeping the public schools open. Alas, that's more than residents of Illinois can expect.