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Illustration on the non-efficacy of "evidence-based" review of government programs by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Obama’s bogus cure for boondoggles

In the 1930s, peasants who were starving due to the Soviet regime’s brutal farm collectivization policy lamented, “If only Stalin knew.” Nowadays, American social scientists look at floundering federal programs and lament: “If only Congress knew.” The solution, they say, is the “evidence-based” reform movement, which will magically beget a new era of good governance.

The Folly of Food Labels Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Package police on the prowl

Britain and Australia both have images of Queen Elizabeth on their money, use the metric system, and add the letter “u” to words like “color.” Soon they could have another thing in common: Neither will have branding on their cigarette packages.

Illustration on Obama's veto of the Keystone pipeline by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Killing Keystone

In the days leading up to President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline, 14 oil tanker railroad cars derailed in West Virginia and exploded in a fiery environmental disaster.

Illustration on safety improvements to oil rail transport by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Tanking up on safety

Railroads share the public’s deep concern for the safe movement of crude oil by rail and, as recent incidents have shown us, freight railroads and others who share responsibility for the shipment of oil must continue to make improvements to ensure public confidence.

Peace in the Middle East Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Like-to-like ethnic migration in the Middle East

Population shifts resulting from Syria’s four-year-long civil war have profoundly changed Syria and its three Arabic-speaking neighbors: Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. (Turkey and Israel have changed too, but less so.) Ironically, amid tragedy and horror, as populations adapt to the brutal imperatives of modern nationalism, all four countries are becoming a bit more stable. That’s because the fighting has pushed peoples to move from ethnic minority status to ethnic majority status, encouraging like to live with like.

Oscar’s gem from across the ocean

Hollywood can’t help itself. The glitteries inevitably use the Academy Awards to push their personal politics, sometimes cheap and occasionally not, rewarding razzle-dazzle over real life. This year the two most important Oscars, for best picture and best director, went to “Birdman,” about razzle-dazzle, and not “Boyhood,” about real life.

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama does not intend to be silent or out of sight when Netanyahu addresses Congress in a visit that was arranged by Speaker John Boehner behind the administration’s back. The breach of protocol has grown to what seems like a grudge match between two men who dislike each other.  Vice President Biden will be out of town during Netanyahu’s speech, leaving an empty chair behind the Israeli leader’s podium and Secretary of State John Kerry may conveniently find a foreign trip to be on that day as well. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Time to be honest about Israel

Rather than a blow to a bipartisanship that simply doesn’t exist, Mr. Netanyahu’s acceptance of Mr. Boehner’s invitation offers the possibility of clarity and a way forward.

FILE - This Nov. 11, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Capitol Building illuminated by the setting sun on the National Mall in Washington. When the leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee meet Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, they'll be deciding on more than a city to put in the running to host the 2024 Summer Games. They'll be picking a partner that will help shape their near- and long-term future.  Leaders from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington made their presentations last month and will not be present while the 15 USOC board members debate the pros and cons of each offering at their meeting at Denver International Airport. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Control spending to control deficits

Congressional Republicans should remember: Control spending and you control deficits. This is important, as new Republican Senate and House majorities sharpen their pencils to write their first budget. Republicans are going to want that budget to balance. However, if instead of focusing on deficits, they focus on spending, the deficits will take care of themselves.

Illustration on the cumulative dismantling of the Fourth Amendment by the U.S. government by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

What if the government fears freedom?

What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the United States?

Host Neil Patrick Harris speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

The Hollywood orthodoxy

Today film making is regarded as a political act, a condition that has altered the viewing experience.

Related Articles

File - This undated file photo shows the statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Gov. Dennis Daugaard will talk about how South Dakota tourism, a huge industry for the state, performed in 2014 on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. He'll also unveil the state's new campaign to attract visitors to South Dakota. (AP Photo/File)

Americans say leave Mount Rushmore 'as is' - but 21% of Dems would add Obama

- The Washington Times

Leave Mount Rushmore as is, say most Americans. They are content with the monumental likenesses of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt - carved on a mountain in South Dakota. But 21 percent of Democrats - one in five- would like to see President Obama join those presidents some day. Meanwhile, 16 percent of Republicans say Ronald Reagan should be the next portrait to be added. So says a new poll from Rasmussen Reports released Monday.

FCC, FEC look to ruin the Internet

We knew this was coming. Within the last couple of weeks, both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission declared their intention to regulate the Internet. Fascists always explain their actions as efforts to either make something more efficient, "fair," or to supposedly "protect" their target. Sometimes they simply lie, like saying they're nationalizing health insurance to make it more affordable and to increase access to health care.

Ivanpah solar energy project (Sandia National Laboratories' website)

No rival for the lightning bug

Everybody likes the sun. The rays feel good and they're free for everyone. Nobody likes the sun more than the promoters of solar electricity. These so-called "green energy companies," however, are anything but free, and have collected, on average, $39 billion a year in federal subsidies in the six years and counting of the Obama administration. They haven't produced enough electricity to match the glow of a lightning bug's bottom.

Hezbollah Missiles Supplied by Iran Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Hezbollah’s threat to terrorize the world

''Our goal is to liberate the 1948 borders of Palestine [Jews] can go back to Germany, or wherever they came from." That not-so-subtle threat came from a Hezbollah spokesman a dozen years ago. Increasingly, it's looking like more than bravado.

No atheist outcry over Islamic terror

A student at Yulee High School in Florida was recently disciplined for signing off the approved morning announcement by saying "God bless America" ("Florida student sparks fireworks with 'God bless America' intercom sign-off," Web, Feb. 12). Two atheists at the school were angered at that utterance.

U.S. Government Waste Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The world’s greatest financial fraudster

The London Times headlined last week, "HSBC helped customers to hide millions from taxman." There are decades of stories about corporations, movie actors, artists and politicians hiding money from the taxman. Many economic studies have shown that once tax rates exceed 20 percent, most people will start thinking about and then acting in legal or illegal ways to avoid the tax bill.

Nerobama Illustration by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Barack Obama, America's Nero

President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Speak softly, and carry a big stick." More than a century later, President Obama speaks loudly (and incessantly) and carries a twig.

Killing industry with junk science

Back in 1995 I wrote a thesis titled "The CFC Ban: Is it Warranted?" refuting the notion that "global warming" was caused by man-made pollution. The global warming theory was based on the belief that chlorinated fluorocarbons (CFCs) would rise up into the atmosphere and reduce the level of ozone in the ozone layer, causing holes in the ozone. Well, I wasn't the only one who debunked that theory, because CFCs are three to four times heavier than air and may never make it to the ozone layer. You no longer hear scientists mention these theories.

King Salman gestures of Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Saudi Press Agency, File)

Shaming Saudi Arabia

The example set by the early Americans who met in Philadelphia to write a Constitution for free men continues to be a beacon to "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free," in the words of the poet Emma Lazarus. We, the most fortunate of men and women, sometimes forget the debt everyone owes to the men who understood that all men are equal in the eyes of the Creator, and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by their governments. The yearning for freedom to speak their minds, write what they want and circulate their opinions, burns in the hearts of men and women everywhere.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber kisses his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, after he is sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term as governor in Salem, Ore. Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, amid allegations Hayes used her relationship with him to enrich herself.  (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

More rain in Oregon

Times have been tough for Democratic governors. Republicans in November ousted Democrats in Maryland and Massachusetts, both blue-state strongholds, and now another Democratic governor, this one in Oregon, where the election results can't get a deeper shade of blue, is out. The influence-peddling scandal that took him down further threatens his fiancee and the reputation of a major donor whose billions are beloved by Democrats.

How conservatives trump the pity party

William Voegeli's "The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion" is required reading for all political animals.

Terror Stress Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Fear of ISIS attacks the heart

Fear of the Islamic State is even worse than ISIS itself. Terror breeds worry — a cruel beheading and a heroic pilot who is burned alive in a scene of public torture creates a tidal wave of public stress; many millions are horrified and worry they could be next. Video images amplify this worry, and stress hormones soar. When we are anxious we don't sleep well, which extends the cycle of worry into the following day.

Illustration on the preservation of presidential homes by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A window into a president’s soul

Having held Thomas Jefferson's seat in the House of Delegates, living for two years in a converted shed on Mount Alto-Brown's Mountain overlooking Monticello, marrying my wife, Susan, nearby at James Monroe's Ash Lawn, and now living on land that was once a part of George Washington's Mount Vernon plantation, I have seen how historic properties can be subdivided and developed, thereby altering the experience and sense of a personal understanding of important history.

Affordable care that isn’t affordable

If there were a contest for the biggest lie in Washington over the past 30 years, it would be hard to compete with President Obama's boast that he would put 30 million more Americans on Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies, and this would reduce the budget deficit. That's got to be right up there with President Clinton declaring, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."