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Obama’s futile overtures to Cuba

President Obama’s argument for unilaterally reversing U.S.-Cuba policy rests on the false premise that engagement with dictators and terrorists will somehow get them to change their ways.

Illustration on Hillary Clinton's "empathy' for the enemy by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Hillary’s jaded sense of justice

The Benghazi massacre most certainly deserves to be a subject Hillary Rodham Clinton should be held accountable for and never allowed to forget. Yet there is another, even more recklessly dangerous thing that will affect Mrs. Clinton’s designs on the White House: her attitude in general toward America’s enemies.

Illustration on Obama's new policy toward Cuba by Donna Grethen/Tribune Content Agency

Koch brothers bad, Castro brothers Boy Scouts

Liberals were in a near euphoric state on Wednesday after President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba are on a path to normalizing relations between the two nations, a move that will pave the way for a U.S. Embassy in Havana, and may eventually lead to lifting a 50-year-old American trade embargo.

In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, photo, American flags fly in front of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) ** FILE **

Recalling what is right about America

Everywhere, we suddenly hear words of division, difference, recrimination. Suddenly, America is Ferguson, Missouri writ large. But are we? Are we not still Americans, first?

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?

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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.

Destroying the myth of Queen Victoria

Neither the formal portrait of the aging, reflective mournful figure that takes up most of the front cover of the book nor the richly adorned matron in her prime on its back cover has much to do with the woman so vividly brought to life in these pages. In fact, they might be said to reflect the very images A.N. Wilson wants to correct.

Illustration on the failings of Common Core by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Common Core doesn’t make the grade

It's one thing to experience "buyer's remorse" when the product is something you can return easily, from new clothes to a set of high-end speakers. It's another when you're talking about your state's educational standards. Yet more and more states are finding that there's simply no living with Common Core. Parents, teachers, students and lawmakers have become increasingly vocal in their criticism of the federally backed standards — and more and more of them are taking action.

Socialist policies undoing success of South America's strongest economy

Why do very successful nations often adopt policies that lead to their undoing? After a revolution or major reform, some countries allow a high degree of economic freedom, establish the rule of law, protect private property rights and establish low tax rates with strict limits on government spending and regulation. The economy takes off, the citizens become far richer and then the government mucks it up, usually by attempting to redistribute income and expand state control.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.