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(Image courtesy of thestar.com).

Life’s a scream on the slippery slope

- The Washington Times

“The slippery slope” doesn’t frighten very many people in Washington because that’s where a lot of politicians live. Life can be comfortable there, and it’s usually quite profitable. But it’s a dangerous piece of real estate for the rest of us.

There’s good news about third-party candidates

The conventional wisdom is that an independent presidential bid by New York billionaire Donald Trump would harm the Republican candidate in 2016. That’s probably incorrect. Most often, significant independent general-election candidacies harm the incumbent or incumbent party more than they do the challenging party.

Illustration contrasting Reagan's dealings with the Soviets and Obama's with Iran by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

‘Barack Obama, you’re no Ronald Reagan’

In a recent interview defending the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, President Obama argued that that his approach to Iran is essentially the same as that which Ronald Reagan took toward the Soviet Union. Mr. Obama said that ” where I completely admire him was his recognition that [an agreement would be worth doing] if you were able to verify an agreement that you would negotiate with the evil empire that was hell-bent on our destruction and was a far greater existential threat to us than Iran will ever be.”

Illustration on Obama's undermining of the U.S. military by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Undermining the military

When President Obama announced that he was going to “fundamentally transform” America, not many Americans understood the full depth of that statement. Based on an assessment of his policies over the last six and half years, clearly one of Mr. Obama’s objectives has been to diminish America’s standing and leadership role throughout the world. One result has been that our allies now don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us — the worst possible combination.

President Johnson signs Medicare legislation July 30, 1965.                Associated Press photo

Medicare at age 50

Diehard defenders of President Obama’s continuing, wretched rollout of the Affordable Care Act may be quick to point out that other government programs, most notably Medicare, also had rocky starts. But the historical record doesn’t support such nonsense.

Illustration on courtesy, respect and rules in the U.S. Senate by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

When tough talk roils the decorum of the Senate

The United States Senate has a long and justly celebrated tradition of comity and respect among members. Although there have been occasional exceptions throughout history, on the whole, senators have taken great care to treat each other with courtesy and respect, both in private discussions and in public deliberations.

Peace Through Strength Bunker Bomb Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Reviving ‘peace through strength’

Ever since the Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamist storm troops took over Iran in 1979, the driving force of the country’s rulers has been (1) destroy Israel; (2) establish Iran as the hegemonist of the Middle East; and (3) drive out all Western influences from the region. Their efforts to create a nuclear arsenal has been part of their strategy to accomplish these goals.

Illustration on the controversy stirred during the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Surviving ‘a perfect storm’ of opposition

Just two months ago, the nation marked the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, and many of the stories in the media were illustrated with images of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall, which over the past three decades has become an American cultural icon — symbolizing that difficult period in our history. Yet, that memorial, as we know it today, almost didn’t happen.

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President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, in La Crosse, Wis., Thursday, July 2, 2015, about the economy and to promote a proposed Labor Department rule that would make more workers eligible for overtime. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The president's deal with Iran

The Iranians are dancing in the streets, and why not? They won. There's not enough sugar in Louisiana to coat the disaster that President Obama and John Kerry agreed to in Iran. Everyone expected something bad, and now that the details of the deal are emerging the dimensions of the disaster are larger than anyone imagined. Mr. Obama wanted a legacy, and he got one, writ large.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pauses while speaking during a media availability at City Hall, after violence occurred after a march for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The shooting crime rate

Baltimore's mayor is all wet, and not only because a woman poured water on her at a town hall. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake blames the cops for the spike in murders in her city. Uncaring cops, her argument goes, prey on the underclass, particularly young black men like Freddie Gray in Baltimore and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Iran Tablet Launcher Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The deal of the century

On Friday, large crowds in Tehran and other Iranian cities burned American flags and chanted "Death to America!" On Saturday, Iranian media outlets reported that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had instructed university students to "continue the struggle against arrogant powers" -- with the United States at the top of that list. On Tuesday, President Obama announced a historic agreement between Iran and the United States.

Illustration on breaking two party domination of presidential debates by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

How presidential debates have rigged the election

Suppose Congress passed a law that said only Democrats and Republicans can ever be president of the United States. You don't need to be a lawyer to know this would be unconstitutional -- and completely antithetical to what a democracy is supposed to be about. In our form of government, people get to choose their leaders.

ISIS Dominoes Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

ISIS dominoes

The Israeli Defense Forces have fortified the front face of the Golan Heights. If you stand on top of the heights and look to the northeast, you can see Damascus as a smudge in the distance.

Illustration on Donald Trump's obvious observation on illegal immigration by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Trumping the media

I cannot recall another time when the American media has given so much aid and encouragement to a fledgling candidate as they have given to Donald Trump, and he is a billionaire. He does not need their help.

In this Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 photo provided by NBC, from left, Tamron Hall, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, and Al Roker appear on the "Today" show, in New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Bryan Bedder)

How much do TV anchors really make? (Hint: Not all that much...)

- The Washington Times

In past years, the public has heard tell of news anchors like NBC's Matt Lauer who earns $20 million a year, and Katie Couric, now pulling in $10 million from Yahoo News. The multi-million salaries of big name anchors is not the norm, according to an annual survey of current salaries released by the Radio Television Digital News Association, an industry group. The average salary for a news anchor is $83,300, though this can range from a minimum of $14,000 to a maximum of $875,000, depending on market size and other circumstances.

A new book by American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks explains the route to a 'fairer, happier more prosperous America.' (Broadside Books)

New advice for conservatives: 'Build a fairer, happier, and more prosperous America'

- The Washington Times

The title says all: "The Conservative Heart: How to build a fairer, happier, and more prosperous America" by American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks arrives Tuesday, with a clear mission and much acclaim. George Will, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Mike Lee are among those praising the new book. It's establishing some new turf for conservatives -- and some pushback against the persistent progressive monopoly as "champions" of the needy and vulnerable.

Clinton's compromised emails

The news about the hacking of the Office of Personnel Management computer systems reminds me of Hillary Clinton's email server 'problems.' More than one cybersecurity expert has mentioned that it is 99.99-percent certain that Mrs. Clinton's email server was hacked.

Don't use 'Nazi' lightly

"Hungary's Viktor Orban antagonizes European Union with border fence, Russia embrace" (Web, July 2) unfortunately presents a narrative of Hungary that is as compact and simple as it is false. Everyone has a right to his or her own opinion, however misinformed, but the article contains a very grave statement from Princeton Prof. Kim Lane Scheppele, who is quoted as saying, "Orban is always in danger of losing support to the Nazi Party, so he is out-Nazi-ing the Nazis."

President Barack Obama talks with the Joint Chiefs of Staff following a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama and his generals

Secretary of State John Kerry is exactly the mandarin that George Wallace was talking about when he warned about bureaucrats "who can't park a bicycle straight." Mr. Kerry can't ride one, either, and has the bruises to prove it. He's in Lausanne now, polishing the last concessions President Obama is determined to make to enable the Iranians to protect their path to the Islamic bomb. Mr. Obama wants the deal to be the foreign-policy legacy of his eight years in the White House. He need not fear.

Hillary's practiced deceptions

The idea that telling a lie in Washington is somehow shameful was probably born with the fabricated tale of little George, his hatchet and his father's favorite cherry tree at Mount Vernon. Lies are to Washington what cars once were to Detroit. In our own time Bonnie and Clod have made deceivers fashionable, demonstrating that speaking in fable is no dishonor.

A redesigned American flag. (The Washington Times)

The summer the nation went mad

- The Washington Times

We'll remember this as the summer the nation went mad. Lynch mobs are usually brought to the boil by a heinous event, encouraged by heat, humidity and harangue. There was a heinous event, now all but forgotten, but this is hardly a long, hot summer. There's a drought in Southern California but June and July have been moderate and pleasant, with considerable rain, nearly everywhere else. Nevertheless, a lynch mob with tar, feathers, rails and ropes has been on the scout for somebody to harass, hurt or hang.

Former President Ronald Reagan. (Associated Press)

Reagan's tax-cutting legacy

President Reagan had a gift for proving his critics wrong. Almost none of the leading economists of the late 1970s thought that his supply-side, tax-cutting agenda, along with stable monetary policy and deregulation, could revive the U.S. economy.

Sanchez Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

No sanctuary from the law

According to The Wall Street Journal, the last serious attempt to count the number of federal criminal laws appears to have been made in 1982 by a retired Justice Department official named Ronald Gainer. He failed, but the estimate then was "50 titles and 23,000 pages of federal law." Many more laws have been added since then.

Changing Course with Russia Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Team Reagan versus Obama and Congress

The current White House and U.S. media narrative on the conflict in Ukraine differ significantly from what one hears in Moscow, as one might expect. President Obama and others in the United States point to Moscow as the sole culprit and it goes something like this: Vladimir Putin annexed the Crimea, invaded Ukraine and is now threatening the Baltics, Poland and perhaps other countries "in pursuit of a wrongheaded desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire."