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Illustration on the damage being done by Obamacare by Paul Tong/Tribune Content Agency

Obamacare’s Christmas surprise

Get ready for the largely underreported rule that will allow CMS to change Americans’ health plans without their knowledge.

In this Dec. 17, 2014, file photo, a poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Hollywood cowers at this laff riot over ‘The Interview’

- The Washington Times

Movies may not be better than ever, as a Hollywood marketing slogan in yesteryear boasted they were, but the critics take movies seriously in North Korea. The chief movie critic in Pyongyang can kill a movie with a single review. He might even kill anybody who goes to see it.

Illustration on steps needed to protect U.S. intellectual property by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Lessons from the Sony hack attack

The hacking attack of Sony Corp. and the compromising of its intellectual property should send a wake-up call to American business. If Sony can be hacked, so too can our companies that make defense technologies. This attack reveals that the very innovations that give us our competitive edge in the world, both commercially and strategically, are gravely at risk.

Illustration on continued access to Juvenile criminal records by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Allowing access to juveniles’ records hurts their chances of going straight

By incapacitating violent and dangerous offenders, incarceration can promote public safety. But a point of diminishing returns is reached as prisons sweep in more and more nonviolent, low-risk offenders. These circumstances are even more alarming when you look at the juvenile justice system and consider that 95 percent of youths in this system have committed nonviolent offenses, including some that weren’t even a crime when many of us were kids.

Illustration on Obama's normalization policy towards Cuba by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Obama adds Cuba to his list of sellouts

President Obama continues to embrace low-tier, go-it-alone executive actions to pad the last two years of his mistake-filled, empty-agenda presidency in a hopeless hunt for a legacy. His arrogant decision this week to re-establish diplomatic relations with communist Cuba is the latest example of a president desperately searching for something do without having to deal with Congress.

Illustration on the need to identify Islamic terrorism for what it is by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Suicide by political correctness

- The Washington Times

During its coverage of this week’s Islamic terrorist attack in Sydney, Australia, CNN ran a telling banner: “Motivation of suspect unknown.” Motivation unknown? Really?

A Rolling Stone article alleged a gang rape occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia. The magazine has since issued an apology for the article, saying the reporter's trust in her source was misplaced. (Associated Press)

Bogus stories abound in our pathetic press

Will Rogers, the late American humorist and cornpone philosopher, once said, “All I know is what I read in the papers.” That statement earned him a place in “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.” Were he alive today, it would most likely be inviting widespread derision. Today’s newspapers abound with bogus stories.

Illustration on Congress' continuing resolution provisions eroding Constitutional liberties by Alexandr Hunter/The Washington Times

President and Congress are heedless to the limits of their power

When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government’s left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, last week presented a textbook example of public disputes masking hidden deceptions. Here is what happened.

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Information-leaking double standard

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is sitting in prison for letting out secrets that damaged our nation's safety. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is living in self-imposed exile in Russia for letting out secrets that damaged our nation's security. Yet Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, is a hero to the liberal news media for letting out secrets that could damage our nation's security and cause harm to Americans here and abroad.

Illustration on Saudi Arabia's strategic use of its oil supply by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Saudis allow falling oil prices to squeeze archrival Iran

Conventional wisdom in Western capitals holds that Saudi Arabia has held firm in sessions with its OPEC partners against lowering production — which would restore higher prices — in order to maintain its market share in countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and to dissuade investors from pouring more money into growing North American shale and tar sands production.

Hill squabbles cost Americans — again

"Dereliction of duty" and "a pox on both their houses" are the phrases that come to mind in reviewing the most recent actions of tragic comedy in what we call Congress ("Leadership courts centrist support for $1.1T spending bill as shutdown looms," Web, Dec. 10).

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Republican establishment plots to get the candidate it wants

The Republican establishment, which gets so many things wrong, is trying to manipulate the party rules to make sure it gets the presidential candidate it wants in 2016. The party chiefs put it another way, of course: They're just trying to make sure that the party nominates a "respectable" candidate who won't be mortally wounded before it's time to fight Democrats. Some of what Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, wants to put into place makes sense, but many of the suggestions from other quarters don't.

Illustration on impending EPA regulatory takeover of U.S. "waterways" by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A vast land grab to ‘protect’ water

In November, comments closed on a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to redefine "waters of the United States," as set forth in the Clean Water Act of 1977. While Sen. Edmund Muskie, Maine Democrat, author of the 1977 law, required 88 pages for his entire statute, this spring's Federal Register notice ran 370 pages, not counting appendixes, one of which hit 300 pages alone. Little wonder the new "wetland" rules have generated controversy and a likely Supreme Court case.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Mao's Revolution and America's Fateful Choice'

Who was to rule China after Japan's surrender? The ruling Nationalists were led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, but their writ did not run to many parts of the country. The Communists had controlled China's northern provinces for most of the war, and the alliance between the Communists and the Nationalists had been fragile.

Fanning racial flames

Are various political and religious radicals in the United States deliberately increasing racial tensions and mistrust in order to convince the poorly informed that they need these radical leaders for protection? I believe so, and I think those willing to remove their politically correct blinders will see the evidence, too.

Jumping the Tax Code Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Special interest pleading via the tax code is government at its worst

The latest disgrace out of Capitol Hill in this lame-duck session is the "tax extenders" bill. This has become an annual Washington ritual with Congress waiting until the very last minute to approve dozens of expiring tax credits, deductions and loopholes. It is a microcosm of everything wrong with the way Congress operates.

Liberal Bully of the Week: Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Remember how Democrats and their media pals told you Benghazi was "old news" five minutes after it happened, and only right-wing Fox News fans still cared about what actually happened? Well, now they're saying the hottest story in town is a report by Senate Democrats on CIA interrogations that happened over 10 years ago. Some old news is a lot fresher than other old news.

Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Kazuo Hirai speaks how to use its new PlayStation Portable "NGP" at PlayStation Meeting 2011 in Tokyo in this Jan. 27, 2011, file photo. Sony's online PlayStation store was inaccessible to users for part of Monday in the latest possible cyberattack on the electronics and entertainment company. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

Hacked in Hollywood

Liberal hypocrisy in Hollywood? Malice in Tinseltown? Pettiness among the stars? "Say it ain't so, Joe." Oscar Levant, the movietown piano player with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue ("I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin") once offered a hopeful analysis of what's wrong with the town: "Hollywood is made of tinsel, but if you get beneath the tinsel you'll find the real tinsel." The hackers of Sony Pictures took the challenge, and have revealed the details of the malice, pettiness and tinsel in purloined emails, and La-La Land is beside itself with fear, loathing and mortification.

ACLU's Gift of Starvation Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The ACLU’s Christmas gift to orphans

When a local charity teamed up with a middle school in San Marcos, California, to raise money to feed orphans in Africa, they didn't expect to take any heat. But the ACLU caught wind of the project and blew it to kingdom come. In a threatening letter Nov. 20, the ACLU warned the school to stop aiding the group or face legal trouble. It's all because the charity is infected secondhand with the virus known as Christianity.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. With the government due to shut down in a week unless the lame duck Congress agrees on funding, Pelosi has encouraged House Speaker John Boehner to work with Democrats to work together on a funding bill while she confronts internal conflicts from rank-and-file Democrats. Though conciliatory about being in the minority, Pelosi cautioned her Democratic caucus not to rush to support a Republican plan until they know exactly what’s in the bill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

EDITORIAL: Congress' budget compromise could be worse in form of 'cromnibus'

Nancy Pelosi is finished as speaker of the House — as in gone, finished, kaput. But the lady's famous assurance that Congress would have to enact Obamacare to see what was in it continues as the guiding spirit of this Congress. The congressional leaders negotiating the "cromnibus" were so determined to avoid a government shutdown that they were determined to let their colleagues be surprised by what they voted for.

Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois G. Lerner has been at the center of a scandal involving her erased hard drive and missing emails. (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: Obama's IRS faces scrutiny with Republican-led Congress

The corruption of the Internal Revenue Service is still under investigation, but the public has learned a lot already: The IRS targeted conservative and tea party groups for extra scrutiny and harassment, Lois G. Lerner tried to hide behind the Fifth Amendment to avoid prosecution for violating the rights of taxpayers, and the president of the United States assured one and all that there was not even a "smidgen of corruption" at the agency when he knew better.

CIA Director John Brennan pauses during a news conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Brennan defending his agency from accusations in a Senate report that it used inhumane interrogation techniques against terrorist suspect with no security benefits to the nation. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The CIA and the lack of political morality

- The Washington Times

Efficiency was once a precious American virtue. America is great because America is good, in the words once credited to Alexis de Tocqueville, and when America is no longer good it will no longer be great. Whether he actually said them or not, the words are true.