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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The bad moon rising over Hillary

- The Washington Times

Hillary Clinton won’t be able to say she didn’t see the bad moon rising. Donald Trump gave her a blistering introduction this week to Presidential Politics 102, which differs in a remarkable way from Politics 101, which she encountered in her first attempt in 2008 and before that as the managing partner in Bubba’s two campaigns.

Illustration on the Obama administration's plans for the fossil fuel industry by Greg groesch/The Washington Times

Why Exxon is not the problem

For more than 200 years, the American birthright has provided protection against the threat that one’s head might hang on London Bridge — or the Key Bridge, if you prefer — for disagreeing with the government.

Illustration on the struggle for Kurdish independence by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Why Kurdish independence matters

If the next U.S. president wants “to put America first” he might look toward the Kurdish north of Iraq. There the long-standing question of Kurdish independence scares Washington into a tired reflex that quashes important U.S. interests beneath an unwavering policy to promote the fiction of a unified Iraq.

Illustration on the Republican alternative to Obamacare by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Ryan’s Obamacare liberation

Paul Ryan’s House Republican Task Force on health policy reform released on Wednesday the Republican majority’s unified plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Republicans should not be shy about making this reform the centerpiece of this year’s election.

Illustration on the dangers of Obama, the ideologue by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Ideologues make for dangerous politicians

Hillary Clinton is a seasoned liberal politician, but one with few core beliefs. Her positions on subjects such as gay marriage, free-trade agreements, the Keystone XL pipeline, the Iraq War, the Assad regime in Syria and the use of the term “radical Islam” all seem to hinge on what she perceives 51 percent of the public to believe on any given day.

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, a student walks across the Lawn in front of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., while the Rotunda was undergoing renovation. Amid scrutiny from Congress and campus activists, colleges across the country are under growing pressure to reveal the financial investments made using their endowments. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Why we need charter public colleges

In 2014 state community colleges and four-year colleges taught more than 13 million students, or about 76 percent of all college students in the nation. But these public institutions are in serious trouble.

Strong Families Make a Strong America Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The father factor

Father’s Day has come and gone. The grills are turned off and the gift ties have been put away. The leisurely family time is over and we are all back to the daily grind. But there is much work to do to strengthen America’s families.

Illustration on ineffectual Obama administration strategies against ISIS by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Obama’s disintegrating strategy

Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama has maintained his willful ignorance of the fact that weakness against terrorists abroad, coupled with weakness against them at home, add up to more than the sum of their parts. To defeat terrorists, we need to have policies at home and strategies abroad that are integrated and support each other.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about the economy at Fort Hayes Vocational School Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Factors that elected Bill could now defeat Hillary

Hillary Clinton knows better than anyone the economy’s weakness and its political danger. The reason George H.W. Bush lost a close race to a political outsider with glaring liabilities 24 years ago was public perception that the economy was weak.

Gosnell in Prison Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Kermit Gosnell and the suffering abortion industry

Abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell calls himself an “impractical man.” Speaking from his prison cell, where he sits for killing a patient and three born-alive babies, he told one of the documentary filmmakers of “3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy”: “Practical man changes to live within his society.

Illustration on the need for Syrian safe zones by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Reconsidering safe zones in Syria

The situation in Syria remains bleak, with no end in sight to its five-year civil war. President Bashar Assad’s forces and their Russian and Iranian backers continue to lay waste to rebel-held territory, leaving the rebels with shrinking leverage to pressure the regime into a lasting political settlement.

Commanders Worth More Than Lawyers Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Commanders hold the key to military justice

Some lawmakers seek to remove senior commanders from decisions to refer cases for prosecution. They would place that power with a senior military attorney in another organization, separate from the victim or the accused. Before making such a change, proponents should consider not only recent changes, but also how the proposed changes would affect the combat readiness of our armed forces.

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures as she "sighs" talking about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, June 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Character no longer counts

Ranking right up there with the line, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" is this recent headline in The Washington Times: "Honesty issues aside, voters still back Hillary Clinton, poll shows."

Ensemble cast in a scene from the Broadway musical "Hamilton"

Hip-hop civics, as taught by Donald Trump and 'Hamilton'

Race matters, but it's not all that matters. That's the lesson of "Hamilton," the Broadway musical that "everyone" is pulling strings to see. (My 17-year-old grandson and I lucked out.) "Hamilton" teaches a little history, using rap and music as the sugar to make the history go down.

FILE - In this June 7,2016 file photo, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats get their long-sought votes on gun control a week after the massacre in Orlando, Florida, but the prospects for any election-year changes in the nations laws are dim. Cornyn is pushing a measure that would allow the government to delay a gun sale to a suspected terrorist for 72 hours, but require prosecutors to go to court to show probable cause to block the sale permanently.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Half-cocked about guns

A broken heart can be slow to heal, and the heart of a parent who has lost a child never will. The bereaved families of shooting victims deserve to assuage their grief in any way they can, and to demonstrate that their beloved did not die in vain. But it's important that sorrow not make things worse.

Much change, no hope

In 2008 I contributed $5,002 to 55 different charities. In 2015 I contributed $1,775 to 25 different charities. In seven years even my contributions to my local parish were cut almost in half. That's a 64.5-percent reduction in overall charitable giving.

GOP, not Trump, real problem

It's easy to say that Donald Trump is an obnoxious, egomaniacal buffoon, but the real story might be a little subtler and a little more complex (not that it makes him any more desirable as president).

Syrian President Bashar Assad listens to  Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during their talks in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, June 18, 2016. Russia's defense minister visited Syria on Saturday to meet the country's leader and inspect the Russian air base there, a high-profile trip intended to underline Moscow's role in the region. (Vadim Savitsky/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service pool photo via AP)

A misplaced protest in Syria

Fifty-one career diplomats have signed a protest to the Secretary of State and President Obama condemning U.S. policy, or lack of a good one, in Syria. Their point, that the United States should do everything it can to unseat the barbarous regime of Bashar Assad, is well taken — everywhere but at the White House.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Castaway's War: One Man's Battle Against Imperial Japan'

Of all the combat veterans I have encountered in almost half a century of writing, not a single person has claimed the accolade "hero," regardless of the number of ribbons he wears. I recall vividly the reaction of a much-decorated veteran of the Korean War when I suggested his actions earned him such a designation.

Illustration on Clinton money by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

What Donald Trump has learned

It has now been a year since Donald Trump formally became a politician and declared his candidacy for the nation's highest office. Actually, it has been a little over a year, because he was considering it for months before he declared from Trump Tower on June 16, 2015. What has he learned?