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GRAY: Congress needs to step up oversight in 2014

Christmas came early to the executive branch this year, thanks to Republicans in Congress. They gave the Obama administration a yearlong Christmas present: benign neglect.

Illustration: Big Government by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

MILLER: Pay cut for bureaucrats

- The Washington Times

Those with a government job are sitting pretty. A typical fed’s total compensation averages 16 percent more than that of his neighbor at an equivalent private-sector gig. In this troubled economic time of 8.5 percent unemployment, nothing beats the public dole’s 100 percent job security.

President Obama speaks on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, during the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism at National Harbor in Oxon Hill. (Associated Press)

MURRAY AND BIER: Avoiding a lost decade

- The Washington Times

Remember Japan’s “lost decade” of the 1990s? For the United States, 2011 was the “lost year.” Congress and President Obama are engaged in a standoff that will see 2012 go the same way unless they both get out of the way and let the private economy grow.

Senior Editor Emily Miller

MILLER: Emily gets her gun, Part 2

- The Washington Times

Over the past couple months, I’ve been trying to get a legal gun in the District. I always knew this would be a challenge, but I had no idea how time-consuming it would be to complete all 17 steps the city requires. I’m not even halfway done.

This artwork by M. Ryder relates to Hanukkah and Christmas.

GOLDBERG: Fussing over our happiest holiday

- The Washington Times

As a non-Christian with a deep affection for Christmastime, I’ve always felt a little left out around this time of year, but not in the way you might think. I’ve always felt a bit out of place with the venerable conservative tradition of denouncing the “war on Christmas.”

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Illustration by Mark Weber

FIELDS: Finding the elusive 'right thing'

- The Washington Times

The white-hot debate over immigration is fired by anecdote, tale and even parable. The personal is always political, and when immigration is up for debate, the personal inflames every debater with pride and prejudice.

Christopher Harper

HARPER: Journalism education

As I ponder retirement, I wonder who's going to educate the next generation, particularly as journalism professors and communications scholars, including me, arrived last week in Washington, D.C., for the annual get-together of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

A supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shouts during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Nasr City district, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Egyptian police in riot gear swept in with armored vehicles and bulldozers Wednesday to clear two sprawling encampments of supporters of the country's ousted Islamist president in Cairo, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

EDITORIAL: Chaos in Cairo

Like it or not, America is the only superpower. When there's trouble in the world and a president or prime minister calls 911, an American answers. When America is timid and fainthearted, the consequences thousands of miles away can be catastrophic.

** FILE ** New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference in San Francisco, Friday, June 14, 2013. Mayor Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced they are sponsoring a pair of technology summits to be held in each of their cities in the next year. (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: The check-box felon

Politicians scared of legal guns lost their attempt to disembowel the Second Amendment, but they're not giving up. President Obama and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City are in the gun-control game for the long haul, advocating reforms that sound like common sense until they become law.

Illustration: Voter ID by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Zombies in Maryland

Zombies, who just won't stay in the graveyard, are back with us again, and not just on the screen in "World War Z" and "The Walking Dead." It turns out that 1,100 of the dearly departed are active in Maryland politics.

Dr. Ben S. Carson (Courtesy of Dr. Carson)

CARSON: Can you trust anybody anymore?

When babies are born, they have little choice but to trust their caregivers, who are usually the parents. As they mature and are able to distinguish one person from another, they tend to show great preference for the parents with whom they have bonded.

Illustration Global Warming by John Camejo for The Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Wearing out words

Organizing for Action, President Obama's campaign machine declared Tuesday "climate change day," encouraging everyone to pepper skeptical members of Congress at town-hall meetings with questions about why they won't raise taxes to avert the doom of the planet.

President Barack Obama stands with, from second from left, former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

PRUDEN: Pigs in flight over Arabia

- The Washington Times

Every president sags at the finish line, weary, exhausted and tired of hearing himself trying to sound presidential. Barack Obama has at last discovered something he's good at: He's ahead of his predecessors, sagging early, three years out.

RAHN: Protecting the wrong people

- The Washington Times

The Obama administration has a penchant for not safeguarding agents of the U.S. government that it ought to protect, while at the same time protecting errant civil servants, some of whom belong in jail.

PRICE: U.S. Embassies — the first line of defense

Earlier this month, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty Embassy Security, Threat Mitigation, and Personnel Protection Act of 2013, named after the four Americans killed by Islamists at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

GAFFNEY: Farewell to 'the Judge'

- The Washington Times

On Saturday, we lost a truly great American. The man Ronald Reagan rightly thought of as his top hand, William P. Clark, finally - to use his old friend and boss' oft-quoted phrase - "slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

FEULNER: 'The Trial,' American-style

- The Washington Times

At one time in history, there was a general belief in the Divine Right of Kings. Whatever the king or ruler decided at that moment was the law. Thus, standards were constantly changing.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

EDITORIAL: Hot air in Las Vegas

What happens in Las Vegas, despite what they say, does not always stay in Las Vegas. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, has invited Democratic politicians and liberal activists to gather there Tuesday to sit still for sermons about global warming and to think big thoughts about clean energy.

** FILE ** Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: Recovering lost prosperity

President Obama says he has a "Better Bargain for America" to rescue the feeble housing market. He offers the usual clever turns of phrase, but it's just repackaging of the same government intervention that created the subprime-mortgage crisis in the first place.