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President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s blunt assessment that Iraqi forces lack the “will to fight” undermines a central premise of President Barack Obama’s strategy for defeating the Islamic State: that Iraq’s military can effectively handle ground operations so American forces don’t have to. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

No substitute for seriousness in Iraq

A recent weekend brought two very different dispatches from the front lines of the global war on terror. The first was a tale of tactical success; the second a narrative of strategic failure.

Positive Messages Hit the Mark Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Conservatism, the Chevy of American leadership

Imagine General Motors trying to sell you a Chevy truck by airing an ad featuring a Ford F-150 pickup truck bursting into flames, killing a family of four and ending with anguished relatives waiting for news of their loved ones in a hospital emergency room.

Illustration on adjusting Section 215 of the Patriot Act by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Amending the Patriot Act, not ending it

The Senate, which will never be known for an overly demanding work schedule, returns from its week-long recess a whole day early to deal with the mess being made of one of our most important anti-terrorist intelligence programs. That program, now encompassed by Section 215 of the unfortunately named Patriot Act, has its roots in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, or FISA.

Illistration on adjusting Export-Import bank policies by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A Reaganesque solution to the Ex-Im Bank dilemma

Opposition to the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is now at the point where the bank’s reauthorization is genuinely in doubt. Spurred by accusations of corporate welfare, crony capitalism and outright corruption, opponents believe the Ex-Im Bank’s palpable violation of free-market principles fully warrants its early demise.

This undated colorized transmission electron micrograph image made available by the CDC shows an Ebola virus virion. For the first time, Ebola has been discovered inside the eyes of a patient months after the virus was gone from his blood, according to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, May 7, 2015. (Frederick Murphy/CDC via AP)

A little good news about Ebola

- The Washington Times

The news from Africa and the Third World is seldom good, and much of the bad news is about disease born of ignorance, superstition and primitive sanitation, news dispatched by a media addicted to tales of unrelieved gloom, certain doom and inevitable disaster.

Unions Helped by Obama Appointees Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Keeping workers in the dark

Two of Sen. Harry Reid’s controversial legislative maneuvers are coming back to haunt American workers. In 2013, then-Majority Leader Reid’s threat to eviscerate the judicial filibuster cowed enough Senate Republicans to approve Big Labor’s handpicked candidates to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A few months later, Mr. Reid acted on his threat to gut the filibuster and installed three of President Obama’s nominees on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Missing world leader by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Making the JV team of world leaders

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent stunning victory for his Conservative party catapulted him to one of the three top Western world leaders, alongside Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande. Mr. Cameron wasn’t supposed to win for numerous reasons, not the least of which because of his austerity policies and vigorous opposition from Labor and Liberal parties that thought a bigger government was the key to Britain’s growth.

Illustration on missing Muldovan bank funds by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Who took Moldova’s millions — the crooks or the Kremlin?

On the eve of a national election in tiny Moldova last November, $450 million — equal to 10 percent of the Eastern European country’s entire annual gross domestic product — went missing. So far, no one knows where it went.

Export-Import Bank Providing Corporate Welfare Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The Chamber of Corporate Welfare

Here’s a half-serious question: How much do taxpayers have to pay off Boeing to make the Export-Import Bank — finally and irrevocably — go away? If the feds wrote a check to Boeing for $100 million, would they then let the Ex-Im Bank die a merciful and long overdue death?

Related Articles

Better funding for D.C. traditional schools illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

How D.C. shortchanges public charter school students

As a parent, I believe in the original rallying cry for public charter schools in the District of Columbia -- "parental choice." Charters are publicly funded, but run independently of the traditional public school system; they were intended to extend choice to every parent regardless of income because, like the school system, charters are tuition-free public schools. But despite the government's responsibility to fund the education of all its public school students fairly, the choices and voices of the 45 percent of parents who have selected charters in the District are being disrespected.

Illustration on the need to effectively broadcast American values to the world by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Rediscovering America's voice

Ideas matter. They matter so much that they cause seismic shifts in history. Extremist ideas foster revolutionary fanatics so beholden to ideology that attempting to contain them can be like placing a Band-Aid on an open wound. Sept. 11 upended previous notions of deterrence; you can't simply deter someone who intentionally dies for a cause. You also have to counter the ideology that leads him to devalue his own life and the lives of innocent others.

Illustration on the mythological impact of federal assistance on poverty by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Obama's poverty mythology

Our class warrior in chief was at it again this week complaining about our "ideological divides that have prevented us from making progress" in solving problems like poverty. Just when you thought you'd heard it all. Our most ideological president perhaps ever is arguing that there is too much ideology in Washington. Wow. Apparently, an ideology is a firmly held belief that is held by other people -- especially those on the right.

Justice is blind

I have followed China's brutal one-child policy from its inception in 1979. Living in China at the time, I saw how poor village women were being arrested, detained and tortured -- forced to undergo sterilizations and even abortions -- all in the name of controlling population growth. I left China with their cries for help ringing in my ears.

Discomfort not same as hatred

Isn't life uncanny? A report by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign looking into the topic of "microaggressions" found that the simple task of "walking into or sitting in" a room full of white people can be "problematic for minorities" ("Rooms filled with white people cause 'microaggressions' for minorities: study," Web, May 13).

Justice Department destroys state sovereignty illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

An appeal on behalf of Robert F. McDonnell

The federal government should not put a person in prison for doing something that even trained lawyers do not know is illegal. Yet that is precisely what the Department of Justice is trying to do by prosecuting former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell. In order to prosecute McDonnell for his admittedly poor judgment, the Justice Department invented an unprecedented construction of the vague federal corruption laws that would -- if applied consistently -- mean that every politician who trades his time for meals, campaign contributions or complimentary travel is also a felon.

Dialogue on human rights overdue

How ironic that Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian President Putin in Sochi, Russia — but there is no discussion of Mr. Putin's alliance with or supply of weapons to Iran. Isn't this in direct opposition to U.S. safety? Doesn't it threaten our allies as well?

A rhino, one of the world's most endangered species due to illegal poaching for its horn. (World Wildlife Fund)

$60K a pound: Illegal rhino horn now declared more valuable than gold, diamonds and cocaine

- The Washington Times

Could a human hankering for exotic elixirs, curatives and aphrodesiacs turn rhino horn into a $20 billion a year industry and take out an entire species of animals at the same time? Looks like it. A UCLA study from team of international scientists says so - saying the call for substances derived from animal parts has "drastic implications" for rhinoceroses, along with elephants, hippopotamuses and even gorillas.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, leader of Allied forces in World War II,was one of the few 'political outsiders' who made it to the White House. (Associated Press)

Only four in 200 years: Political outsiders have 'very thin record of success' in White House bid

- The Washington Times

What with Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina already knee-deep in their presidential bids, some wonder what the chances are for non-politicians who pursue the presidency. History has not been kind. "In short, aside from a handful of war heroes, presidential candidates who have never previously held political office have a very thin record of success," reports Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor.

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is calling for increasing military spending and for the U.S. to aggressively confront Russia, China and others that he says threaten the nation's economic interests. (Associated Press)

Marco Rubio fires an impressive opening shot

- The Washington Times

No presidential campaign guru ever posted a sign in headquarters warning the warriors that "it's foreign policy, Stupid." Americans are so pleased to be where they are they have little interest in what's going on anywhere else. Americans had zero interest in the gathering storm in the Pacific on Dec. 6, 1941, and on Sept. 10, 2001, nobody gave the Muslims, angry or otherwise, a second (or even third) thought.

Illustration on the impact minimum wage increases will have on entry level jobs by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The importance of landing that first job

Customers at the new San Francisco McDonald's on Sutter Street are greeted not with a friendly smile but with the impersonal glare of two human-sized electronic tablets ready to take their order. Not coincidentally, San Francisco's minimum wage increased to $12.25 an hour earlier this month. The city has long had one of the highest wage floors in the country.

Congress chose Yucca Mountain as the leading candidate for nuclear waste disposal. But opponents are concerned about contamination, and the Obama administration said it would not consider the site and would look for alternatives. It won a legal battle when a federal appeals court ruled last week against three states seeking to ship spent fuel to the Nevada site. (Associated Press)

Unlocking Yucca Mountain

Harry Reid almost got away with wasting billions of the taxpayers' money on a big hole in the ground in his home state of Nevada. With the senator from Searchlight moving swiftly toward retirement, the enormous bunker beneath Yucca Mountain will soon be the needed storage bin for America's spent nuclear fuel. And not a day too soon. The radioactive waste has been accumulating for years at unsecured sites across the continent.

Hinckley must still pay

The judge who made the decision to allow would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley to enjoy periods of time away from confinement will almost certainly soon rule that Hinckley is to be a free man ("Judge considering life outside hospital for John Hinckley Jr., Ronald Reagan's shooter," Web, May 13).

Exercise doesn't control weight

Whether obesity is an economic problem depends on how you have positioned yourself to capitalize on it ("For economy, U.S. obesity proves a weighty problem," Page I, May 14). If you are part of the diet, exercise, big food, big pharma, big agra or big research industries (to name just a few), then obesity is the goose that laid the golden egg.

Illustration on questions for Democratic candidates for president by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Gotcha questions for Democrats

The 2016 presidential campaign season has begun in earnest, and so has the season of presidential gotcha journalism -- at least it has for Republicans.

Illustration on Russian and Chinese designs on the Middle East by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A Chinese-Russian alliance that complicates the Middle East

Though on a very small scale, Russian and Chinese navies have engaged in their first joint exercises in the Mediterranean. On the one hand, it shows a level of cooperation and the expanding horizons of Chinese maritime interests in the Middle East. On the other hand, Russian and Chinese interests in the region are divergent.

**FILE** A young man wears saggy pants on the Wildwood, N.J. boardwalk on June 6, 2013. (Associated Press)

The ACLU's Louisiana pursuit

At odds with anything smacking of America's religious and cultural heritage, the American Civil Liberties Union has issued a revealing series of warnings to officials about everything from the national motto to saggy pants and boys in prom dresses.

Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks at the Republican National Committee's spring meeting Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Carly Fiorina's principled campaign

Though many are surprised at Carly Fiorina's quickly building momentum, I am not. She's the kind of person who connects with people, both on the stump and in personal conversation. She has based her public policy on principle but with the compassion common to the American character.

When a sensitive contract killer goes to Oslo

A professional hit man is a challenging topic for a crime writer, especially one as steeped in gore as Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. Yet the most intriguing kind of hit man usually possesses a cold charm perhaps as a result of a way of life that involves killing on contract.