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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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Richard Durbin (Associated Press)

PRUDEN: Trust but verify, and hunker down

- The Washington Times

The big scare seems real enough, but only the terminally unobservant would not notice that the timing of it is awfully convenient for the White House and the fans of the security state.

Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

GAFFNEY: Willful blindness, mortal peril

- The Washington Times

Diana West's splendid new book, "American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character," is an expose of a practice that she persuasively argues has cost us dearly in the past and endangers our future.

Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Republican, (right) played the role of host,  welcoming his counterparts from across the country. Some of the governors thought to have potential presidential ambitions were a study in contrasts at the Milwaukee meeting.
(Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: The Wisconsin model

The nation's governors met in Milwaukee over the weekend to share tips about what to do to make their states better. Some of the governors had more to tell than others, but few more than Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin.

Illustration: Hollow recovery by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times.

EDITORIAL: The paper recovery

This sounds like good news. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the unemployment rate dropped from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent in July as the economy expanded with 162,000 jobs.

Ho Chi Minh

KUHNER: Obama hails Ho Chi Minh

- The Washington Times

President Obama has insulted the memory of the nearly 60,000 Americans who died in Vietnam. Last week, Mr. Obama met with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.

** FILE ** Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, addresses the 114th annual national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Monday, July 22, 2013, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

PAUL: A coup is a coup is a coup — in Egypt, too

- The Washington Times

This week, the Senate voted to continue sending taxpayer dollars to Egypt, illegally. I offered an amendment that would take this $1.5 billion that is being sent abroad and reallocate it to nation-building here in America.

Illustration: Big Brother's Eye (Greg Groesch/The Washington Times)

EDITORIAL: Recovering lost freedom

The government's ability to track 316 million Americans without a warrant rests on a flimsy premise upheld Tuesday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges, intentionally or not, move us into the shadow of the total surveillance society.

Illustration by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

EDITORIAL: A pipeline to prosperity

Too bad that "Keystone" isn't a solar field or a wind farm in the Mojave Desert. If it were, the White House could boast of the wealth and jobs such a project would create. But Keystone XL Pipeline is more than a fantasy.