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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.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has a laugh in Boston in this Dec. 4, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Hillary Clinton’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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Wage raise hurts workers

Much of America, especially the black community, is being hurt by our nation's dire economic situation. This follows the very high hopes this community had during the beginning of 2009 when President Obama took office. Black wealth has declined since 2009 while the black poverty rate has risen. Overall black unemployment is tragically high and youth unemployment is an astronomical 36.8 percent. This 36.8 percent does not count the many who have given up hope and left the labor market altogether.

Let Freedom Ring is gathering signatures for two online petitions calling on Mr. Obama to reveal prior to the election his plans for the 2015 Obamacare premium figures. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

The science of the plop

The art of the spin has become a science in Washington, and just as important as the art of the spin is what we can call the science of the plop. The plop doctors drop the bad news with a resounding plop! on Friday afternoon, just as the guilty parties are on their way to Reagan National Airport or Union Station (few take the Greyhound bus) to flee for the weekend, leaving the bad news to marinate while the spin doctors cook up their mush for Monday morning. Every White House is staffed with Ph.D.s in both plop- and spinology. The Obama White House is particularly adept in both the science and the art.

President Barack Obama listens as Dr. Nancy Sullivan, Senior Investigator; Chief, Biodefense Research Section, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a NIH tour of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Ebola virus survives a turf war

Turf wars are expensive, but they're popular in Washington. Every turf warrior thinks he's saving the republic by making sure his bureaucracy has a bigger budget and is more powerful than the bureaucracy across the street. Somebody has to pay for these wars, however, in both money and in kind, and that somebody looks a lot like the rest of us.

Illustration on comparisons between Barack Obama and Woodrow Wilson by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The decline of the American century, 1914-2014

On this date in 1914, in his second annual address to Congress, President Wilson signaled to the world that the significant role that his White House predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, had carved out for the United States as a strong military power was being relinquished. No matter that TR had built up the American Navy and displayed it on a global cruise in 1907, Wilson, at the beginning of World War I, washed his hands of a strong presence abroad.

Carbon Tax Fossil Fuel Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The carbon tax canard

Last week I testified before Sen. Barbara Boxer's Committee on Environment and Public Works on the issue of energy and climate change. This was Ms. Boxer's swan song as chairwoman of the committee (thank God), so she predictably stacked the deck with a gang of climate change alarmists.

Liberal Bully of the Week: The nanny state

A week after a grand jury in Missouri decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown, a grand jury in Staten Island decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner. A second white cop avoiding indictment for the death of a second black citizen drew even more angry demonstrations.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Boston Raphael'

The first Renaissance men admired the classical world's gods and heroes, the former acting like teenagers in pursuit of mischief, deception and sex, the latter displaying genius, courage and caritas. It was a wonder to this reviewer — writing book reports in fifth grade — that the nominally divine personages (i.e., gods) wreaked havoc while profane people performed glorious beaux gestes.

The sacredness of family possessions

Like one of those poor relatives or downtrodden governesses of Victorian fiction, the short story often seems anemic or slightly depressed. It is shuffled off into a corner, while its wealthy cousin the novel sits in the spotlit warmth, luxuriating in the depth and breadth that is its birthright. Lacking the novel's richness, the short story offers a Jane Eyre-like intensity, which some readers may find uncongenial or bought at too great a literary price.

Illustration on the political damage to Democrats from Obama by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Democrats on the critical list

The Democrats, who were in serious condition after being battered, bloodied and beaten in the midterm elections, are now on the critical list.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Remembering Barry's contributions

In recalling the long and storied political career of late D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, nearly every obituary and news account has noted that he owed his political fortunes to the District's poorest constituents. The implication is that he was the beneficiary of blind loyalty from those too unsophisticated to grasp the gravity of his personal troubles.

Medicaid SGR Caduceus Screw Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

How to reform Medicare

Every year, Medicare physician payment rates spark a legislative fire drill. The complex formula for updating doctors' reimbursements, the sustainable growth rate formula, routinely threatens Medicare physicians with draconian payment cuts. Next year, the formula mandates a 21 percent pay cut.

East High School students participate in a protest against the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision, at a busy intersection in front of the state Capitol in Denver, Wednesday Dec. 3, 2014. Authorities said four Denver police officers were hit by a car while watching the high school students protest.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

More lunacy on the left

Dedicated party-line liberals — "progressives," they call themselves now that they realize they polluted the noble word "liberal" — look at the world differently than most people. They recognize the sins of their own country and see them as just as bad as the sins of other countries, however vile, and probably worse. It's this skewed vision that enables professors and their students to go from a gay rights rally exorcising the "homophobia" of Christians to a rally praising Muslim jihadis for whom homosexuality is a capital offense. For them, there's only a little difference, if any, in the values of the West and those of the patriots of the Islamic State. A crucifix or a beheading knife: What's the difference?

New government regulations just announced will require anyone who sells food to the public to count their customers' calories. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Government calorie-counting

The lot of the nannies at the Food and Drug Administration is not a happy one. They just can't get everyone to eat their spinach. The stubborn rubes out there in flyover land want to decide for themselves what to eat. But the new government regulations just announced will require anyone who sells food to the public to count their customers' calories.

FILE - In this May 21, 2014 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping before the opening ceremony at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai, China. Angry with the West's response over Ukraine, Russia is moving rapidly to bolster ties with North Korea in a diplomatic nose-thumbing that could complicate the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons program. Russia's proactive strategy in Asia- which also involves cozying up to China and had been dubbed "Putin's Pivot" - began years ago as Moscow's answer to Washington's much touted rebalancing of its military forces in the Pacific. (AP Photo/Mark Ralston, Pool, File)

Second Sino-Russian alliance shatters illusions

President Obama began his administration in 2009 believing that American restraint would encourage great-power comity and cooperation. While he may now realize that such hope was illusory, what he may not grasp is that American strategic weakness resulting from his restraint has only encouraged a gathering Second Sino-Russian alliance.

Marchers with a group called Backbonecampaign.org from Vashon, Washington, march along 6th Ave. during the People's Climate March in New York Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Climate activists offer to help out Ferguson protestors

- The Washington Times

Other activists have been watching the unfolding events in Ferguson and elsewhere. That includes the same organization behind the massive, gaudy, drum-thumping People’s Climate March that drew 400,000 protestors to the streets of New York in September, and in 150 cities overseas. The group did not disband after their big event, which included celebrities and Democratic lawmakers among its marchers. They want to repeat their performance in the near future, and perhaps offer their street theater and resources to Ferguson-inspired protestors.