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John Newton          Detail from a portrait by John Russell

The amazing grace of Christmas morn

- The Washington Times

In the clutter of Christmas morn, the Christ born in a manger 2,000 years ago lives, liberating the hearts of sinners and transforming the lives of the wicked. The redeeming power of the Christmas message is nowhere more vividly illustrated than in the incredible life of an English slaver named John Newton.

Illustration on the value of the Christmas story by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in embracing the Christmas story

Suppose what some call the “Christmas story” is true — all of it, from the angels, to the shepherds, to the virgin birth, to God taking on human flesh. By this, I don’t mean to suggest it is true only for those who believe it to be true, but what if it is objectively true, no matter what the deniers say? What difference would it make? Should it make any difference?

Illustration on the order of the universe and the existence of a Creator by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Making sense of the Christmas mystery

The Christmas story of God, Creator of the universe, putting on a fleshly baby outfit and coming down to earth to be born in a dirty stable disguised as an infant, then eventually giving his life to save humanity, doesn’t make any sense to unbelievers. This frankly boggling account sometimes doesn’t even make sense to devoted Christians who pray, attend church and search the Bible to discover how and why God does what He does.

Power Plant Getting Taxed More by the EPA Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Obama’s green economic policies hit blacks hardest

The sad truth is President Obama’s agenda includes policies that preferentially harm blacks. In particular, Mr. Obama’s climate change policy, in effect, serves as a 21st-century version of Jim Crow laws owing to its economic impact on black households.

Thomas Jefferson     Portrait by Rembrandt Peale

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio debate in spirit of Founding Fathers

- The Washington Times

It’s still a long, long way to 2016 as the mud flies, but sniping has started early in both parties, and that’s good. The system is working exactly the way it’s designed to work. Some people, forever fretting about spilling tea on their crumpets, are looking for the ladies’ fainting couch. But here’s a toast and a cheer for contentious politicians.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to supporters during a rally for Kentucky senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 369 meeting hall in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) ** FILE **

Democrats vie with Republicans to capture the working-class vote

Some people think Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts could pose a threat to the presidential ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton. She could. But she also could pose a threat to the next Republican presidential nominee. Her attacks on America’s big banks could get her more than just media buzz. They could generate lots of votes. Republicans would do well to take her seriously.

Academia Censorship Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Too many universities deal with unpopular speech by banning it

Omar Mahmood, a junior at the University of Michigan, writes for both the mainstream campus newspaper, The Michigan Daily, and university’s alternative conservative publication, the Michigan Review. At least he used to, until he became academia’s latest victim of political correctness.

There is no law against the presence of Christmas

There are at least two things you can count on when it comes to Americans and Christmastime. One is that they like to put up Nativity scenes. The other is that they don’t like being told what to do, especially by outsiders.

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This Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, photo shows the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. On Friday, Rolling Stone magazine cast doubt on its story of a young woman who said she was gang-raped at a party by the fraternity at the University of Virginia, saying it has since learned of "discrepancies" in her account. (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Ryan M. Kelly) **FILE**

Feminists wrong on UVa rape story

- The Washington Times

Some of our most dedicated feminists are trying to make a good thing of rape, heretofore regarded as one of the more horrific crimes. Once upon a time rape was even a capital crime, like murder. Many men went to the gallows or the electric chair for it.

2014 Pro-life Mid-Term Ballots Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Pro-life wave washes over midterms

Democratic candidates trotted out the cliched "war on women" theme in the midterms. Advocates of abortion-on-demand worked to convince voters they had women's interests at heart. It hasn't worked in the past and, in 2014, it really didn't work.

The ‘renaissance admiral’ takes command

A 1976 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Adm. James Stavridis served for 35 years on active duty in the Navy, commanding destroyers and a carrier strike groups in combat, and for seven years as a four-star admiral, the last four years of which (2009 to 20013) were spent as the first Naval officer chosen as Supreme Allied Commander for Global Operations at NATO.

Illustration on political economic corruption in Ukraine by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Is it ‘game over’ for Ukraine?

Ukraine will likely go bankrupt within the next few months. This past Friday, it was reported that the country has less than $10 billion in foreign-currency reserves. My sources (who have been spot on the Russian/Ukrainian situation over the last couple of years) tell me the situation is actually worse than the official reports in that Ukraine is now losing foreign reserves at a rate of $3 billion a month and that rate is accelerating. Even worse, some of the reserves may be "illiquid" — which likely means they have already been spent or even stolen.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ferguson destroyed itself

I am not sure about the rest of America, but I have had enough of Ferguson, Missouri. You can blame the recent riots across our country and the continued sensationalism of the Ferguson riot on the news media, be it TV, print or Internet, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan and their ilk. Rev. Sharpton and Mr. Farrakhan should be arrested and charged for inciting this riot; they, along with Attorney Gen. Eric Holder and a racially divisive president, continue to incite violence. We have laws on the books, but our 'community organizer' turned his head until the rioting was over, then convened a summit at the White House to discuss how it could have taken place.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin says Republicans need to show up in minority neighborhoods and ask what has voting for Democrats gotten them? It's a good question..  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Rep. Paul Ryan's hope for a Congress that works

Like two predatory animals circling each other, Republicans and Democrats are trying to sort out the meaning of last month's election and plan strategies for the remaining days of the current Congress and the new one in which Republicans will hold majorities in both houses.

Illustration on the coming presidential race by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The race for the 2016 presidency

- The Washington Times

Republican and Democratic presidential wannabes are beginning to focus on 2016, evaluating their chances and building on the contacts and chits they've accumulated over the last few years. Some have been at it for some time, some are still thinking about running. While many candidates are being discussed or having their supporters see about getting them discussed, this long list will shorten in the months ahead.

Even though the Army told Congress that it would prefer to buy no more of the outdated Abrams tanks, the Defense Authorization Act includes a $120 million earmark for more Abrams tanks. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told Congress emphatically that there's no need to buy more such tanks. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

EDITORIAL: Authorization for wasting money

The House has passed the $585 billion Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Clearing that obstacle is good. Unfortunately, the legislation is larded with billions of dollars in waste and fat, and now the Senate must muster the determination to do what the House wouldn't.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.