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President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. President Obama is rejecting Russia's military campaign in Syria, saying it fails to distinguish between terrorist groups and moderate rebel forces with a legitimate interest in a negotiated end to the civil war. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The cipher in the White House

- The Washington Times

Perhaps it’s not fair to blame Barack Obama for the mess he’s making. The Middle East is where chaos was invented, after all, and perhaps not even the collection of incompetents and boobs the president has installed in the White House could make things this bad. Maybe it’s someone else’s fault. He blames the Jews.

Illustration on Putin's moves in Syria by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Fast-roping toward war in the Middle East

The Russians are rapidly reinforcing their bridgehead in Syria, adding ground troops to their air, marine and naval forces. It is a classic air, land and sea intervention by a military establishment that understands how combined arms build synergies and broaden capabilities.

Responsible Immigration Laws Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Facing the agonizing immigration duty

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that no nation can sustain open borders. Even the wealthiest, most popular “nations of immigrants” such as the United States cannot possibly accept everyone who wants to immigrate or even qualifies to do so.

Illustration on Putin's actions in Syria by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Beware Putin and his ‘anti-Hitler coalition’

Contrary to the principles of American foreign policy of the last 70 years, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry tacitly invited Russia to “help” monitor things in the Middle East. Now they are learning that there are lots of Middle East scenarios far worse than the relative quiet Iraq that the Obama administration inherited in January 2009 — and soon abandoned.

Illustration on the call for a better armed society by William Brown/Tribune Content Agency

Ban gun-free zones

Would you put a sign outside your house saying, “Doors unlocked,” or “We’re not home”?

Illustration on developing Romania's tourist industry by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Ongoing flux in East-Central Europe

For nearly a century, East-Central Europe has been a perennially unsettled region. Pragmatic deals cut after World War I, with more following World War II, have kept the area in an unending state of flux.

Illustration on Putin's Middle East intentions by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

‘Pravda’ on Russia in Syria

Pravda is the most abused word in the Russian language. Though it means “truth,” we learned it as the name of a Soviet-era, government-controlled newspaper that printed everything except the truth.

Illustration on the impact of Syrian mass migration to Europe by Schrank, The Independent on Sunday, London, England

Paralysis over Syria

There is turbulence in the eurozone and its disquieting genesis lies in the protracted Syrian civil war, some 750 miles to the east.

Illustration on the position of the D.C. Metropolitan police under Chief Lanier by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Integrity versus loyalty

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier is often portrayed by an admiring media as an almost uniquely popular and effective law enforcement leader, who has made the District safer than ever by putting together one of the most effective big city police departments in the country.

Illustration on FDIC targeting of the payday loan industry by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

When bureaucrats rule personal preference

Ours is a nation of laws, not men. Our Constitution requires the concurrence of majorities in both houses of Congress and the signature of the president in order to create those laws.

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Illustration on the dangers to Europe from the refugee wave by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why Europe is losing the refugee war

While hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern and Afghani refugees pour into the European Union's member nations, the EU seems to be treating the crisis as an academic exercise. It can be better understood as a war game that the EU is losing.

New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra waves to the fans before the baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Farewell to an all-American oddball

"It ain't over 'til it's over," the wisest of the philosophers of sport famously said, but now it really, really is. They don't make 'em like Yogi Berra any more, who disdained cliches like this one to make up his own.

Illustration on the impact of Dodd-Frank on banking by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Suppressing job and wealth creation

The Dodd-Frank Act doesn't address the principal causes of the financial crisis and Great Recession but it does suppress economic growth. If a Democrat wins the White House in 2016 it won't be repealed. If however a Republican wins, repeal may be possible, which would take Washington regulatory mandarins' boots off banks' and the economy's throats.

Illustration on Communist Chinese designs on Taiwan by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

How Obama's 'pivot to Asia' is coming apart

As China increases its presence in the South China Sea by building islands that literally expand its territory, the Obama administration's avowed and widely hailed "pivot to Asia" is degenerating into a genuflection to Beijing.

In this image released by NBC, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, left, appears during a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in New York. (Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via AP)

Carly Fiorina: Fighting for the character of our nation

Carly Fiorina has a way of shocking people with the truth. This is because it is sorely lacking in the political forum. Hence the reason why Carly, who is not a part of the political class, is rising in the polls. Carly not only speaks the truth fearlessly, she does not falter.

No more 'first' trophies for left

From where many Americans stand, it appears that the Democratic Party has degenerated into a bush-league political team obsessed with easy-win, first-place trophies (i.e., first black president, first female president). Never mind that Hillary Clinton, their current favorite, actually has less paid political experience than the highly intelligent but very foolish man currently holding the job of president.

Carson right on Muslim president

I would suspect that a few million people agreed with Republican presidential contender Ben Carson's recent comment that he would not approve of a Muslim president. And why would he? Pure and simple, Islam is not so much a religion as a form of religious government.

Secretary of State John Kerry answers a question about the ongoing crisis in Syria during a news conference with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in London. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

The sum of satire

If there's a market for black satire, Barack Obama and John Kerry have a future in the movies. They have outdone Peter Sellers and George C. Scott in the 1960s dark comedy, "Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."

Illustration on Trump's impact on the GOP by Nancy Ohanian/Tribune Content Agency

The Trump conundrum arrives

Flouting every purported rule presumed binding upon a "serious" presidential candidate, Mr. Donald Trump has consternated the political class and large swaths of the electorate by leading the polls for the Republican Party's nomination.

President Obama will need to more than double the number of Americans enrolled in Obamacare exchange plans to reach 21 million next year, the target set in budget projections, in what is shaping up as the next major test for the health care law. (Associated Press)

The painful costs of Obamacare

Just when it looked like Obamacare couldn't get worse, new statistical evidence shows that it can, and has. Healthcare insurance is getting more expensive for most workers because of an increase in deductions.

Illustration of Carly Fiorina             The Washington Times

Carly vs. Hillary

Carly Fiorina doesn't want anyone to care, and we're not supposed to notice, but it's a pleasure to see a woman with style running for president. She dresses with understated panache. She talks about moral values with the no-nonsense confidence of an old-fashioned schoolmarm, and she sounds like someone who believes what she says about the value of a human life.

Illustration on concerns over Pope Francis' ideological positions by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Is the pope a false prophet?

Rep. Thomas Massie, Kentucky Republican, has invited me to the House of Representatives to watch Pope Francis address a joint session of Congress. This generous Methodist congressman has invited your traditionalist Roman Catholic columnist and cable TV guy to this grand event.

Illustration on Chinese human rights violations by Paul Tong/Tribune Content Agency

A welcome mat for Xi is not deserved

Washington will roll out the red carpet for President Xi Jinping this week. The honor is unwarranted. While President Obama offers toasts to the Chinese leader, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo continues to languish in a dark prison.

Illustration on an enduring Thai/U.S. partnership by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Building a U.S.-Thai partnership for the 21st century

This week, as world leaders gather in New York on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the U.S.-Thai alliance, and the comprehensive partnerships it has generated, has never been more relevant. Together, the United States and Thailand can leverage the strength of this alliance to achieve a shared goal of building peace and sustainable development around the world.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Beautiful Bureaucrat'

Medical alert: if you're already, or easily, depressed, don't read this book. On the other hand, if you're a fan of fabulist fiction, read it as soon as you can.

Illustration on Islam and the presidency by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Heeding Ben Carson's warning

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:15-16)