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Looking for a speaker

Given the challenges that come with the job, John Boehner has done some things well as the speaker of the House and the leader of the Republican majority. But what he doesn’t do well is communicate with the world beyond the Beltway. Washington often forgets that “beyond the Beltway” is where everybody lives.

The coming coding conundrum

“Gray’s Anatomy” illustrated the entire human body with 1,247 engravings when it was published in 1918, but starting today doctors must employ nearly 70,000 codes to document their efforts to heal it.

Russian President President Vladimir Putin listens to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, New York, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

When big talk meets action

President Obama was full of talk this week, declaring that as the world’s greatest military power the United States will defeat the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. No argument here. The United States can defeat any enemy it seriously sets out to defeat.

United States President Barack Obama addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A climate of delusion

President Obama’s globalist rhetoric captured hearts at the United Nations but it will take more than hot air to make global warming cool with anyone but the easily fooled.

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In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, arrives at a graduation ceremony of the Revolutionary Guard's officers, while deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Hossein Salami, second right, former commanders of the Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezaei, second left, and Yahya Rahim Safavi salute him in Tehran, Iran. Iran's supreme leader vowed Wednesday he will not allow international inspection of Iran's military sites or access to Iranian scientists under any nuclear agreement with world powers. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Sliding toward the abyss

The absurdity of the negotiations with Iran grows ever more self evident. What we know of what President Obama is cooking up is very little, so carefully have the negotiations been kept in the shadows. But that little we know smells ever more rank.

Thai Foreign Minister Thanasak Patimaprakorn speaks at the "Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean" regarding the Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrant crisis at a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. In the past month, more than 3,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar and impoverished Bangladeshis hoping to find jobs have landed on the shores of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, drawing international attention to a crisis in Southeast Asia. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

The flight of the miserables

The Thai government, a military dictatorship installed by a coup notwithstanding, gave itself a pat on the back when it got the 17 countries together to talk about the refugee emergency in Southeast Asia, and what they could and should do about it. It's a big emergency that nobody wants to make sacrifices for.

President Barack Obama smiles during an event with Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative fellows, Monday, June 1, 2015, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Good news from Obama World

Slowly, slowly, America is concluding that President Obama lives in a far different world than the rest of us, in a universe far, far away where it never rains and the skies are not cloudy all day. Obama World is quite a place. It was a bleak place before he arrived in our world in 2009. Republican monsters roamed the land, devouring women and children, threatening the freedoms of those fortunate enough to survive. The monsters made war after war on innocents, working assiduously to destroy the middle class and ruin the economy for everyone.

Illustration on NSA phone surveillance by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The Patriot Act is amended to restore a bit of privacy, at what cost?

Almost nobody stands up to cheer for government agencies with "security" in their names. Security, like medicine, can be necessary but nobody likes it, and those who administer it are, like Nurse Cratchit with her spoon and medicine bottle, often severe and unfeeling. Nobody likes snoops, either, and the United States was founded on skepticism of government. Even after producing the Constitution the Founders amended it with the Bill of Rights, aimed at bureaucrats and rule-makers eager to assert government control over everyone.

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2015 file photo Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks at the State Department in Washington. The Obama administration says a new federal rule regulating small streams and wetlands will protect the drinking water of more than 117 million Americans. Republicans in Congress say the rule issued this week goes too far and could even subject puddles and ditches to regulation in what GOP lawmakers call a massive overreach of government power.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

EPA rules the waves -- and the wet spots

Barnyard critters beware, the water cops are coming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which claims jurisdiction over the air above, wants to rule not just the waves but the wet spots as well, claiming jurisdiction over water that rushes or merely trickles over the farmland of America.

A statue of the Goddess of Democracy is displayed during a pro-democracy protest near the China Liaison Offices in Hong Kong Sunday, May 31, 2015. The protest marks the 26th anniversary of China's bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square on June 4, ahead of a much larger annual candlelight vigil. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The lights flicker in Hong Kong

The newspaper is the canary in the coal mine, the first to warn of the boot of the dictatorship when the dictator feels the heat of a free press. The dismissal of four columnists on The South China Morning Post, the leading English-language daily in Hong Kong, is a sign that China intends to be "no more Mr. Nice Guy" in the former British colony.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AP Photo)

Turkey's erratic Erdogan government flirts with China and the Islamists

The course of Turkey hangs on the outcome of the elections June 7, but there's more than provincial interests at stake. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, eager to transform his nation as well as his presidency, is reaching for more power. His erratic public statements and policy feints in all directions have weakened Turkey's bonds with NATO allies in Western Europe, already wary of taking Turkey into the pact as a full-fledged member of the European Union.

President Obama will ask Congress for $2 billion to deal with the crisis that has seen thousands of unaccompanied children, mostly from Central America, illegally surge across the U.S.-Mexico border.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool)

Disorder on the border

Texas is flooded, and it's not just the water. The state has been inundated with illegal immigrants surging across its border, egged on by President Obama's unprecedented grant of amnesty to millions who have no right to be here. Though powerless to stop the rain, a federal court has reinforced a legal barrier meant to stem the flow of humanity that threatens chaos in Texas and other border states. The tide of lawlessness may be turning.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan supports an independent panel to redraw the state's congressional districts.  (AP Photo/File)

Policing for profit

Reform of civil-forfeiture laws is an idea whose time has come. This is an issue that unites conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats. FreedomWorks, on the right, and the Center for American Progress, on the left, invited writers, bloggers and think-tank analysts to a daylong conference the other day to talk about abuses of civil-forfeiture, which the Heritage Foundation rightly calls "a legal tool that allows law enforcement officials to seize property that they assert has been involved in certain criminal activity."

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2013 file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the State Department in Washington. On Friday, the State Department posted 296 Benghazi-related emails from Hillary Clinton's private server.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Let's see the server

There's a media consensus that there's no "smoking gun" in the emails that Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of State and presidential candidate, has "persuaded" the department she presided over for so long to release to the public.

In this May 24, 2015 photo, police pick up a pair of shoes after a double shooting in Baltimore. Baltimore city police said dozens of people have been shot and at least eight killed in a series of separate weekend shootings. The Baltimore Sun reported that 35 people have been killed so far in May, making it the deadliest month in Baltimore since December 1999. (Colin Campbell/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Collateral damage in the ghetto

The morgue in Baltimore is getting crowded. The riots that convulsed the city last month have subsided, and the fusillade of rocks and bricks and the burning of cars and shops has been replaced by a more frightening violence -- murder in wholesale lot.

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2014 file photo, the website, where people can buy health insurance, on a laptop screen, is seen in Portland, Ore. If the latest health overhaul case before the Supreme Court gets decided the way most Republicans want, it could have a politically painful unintended consequence for GOP lawmakers.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Paying the devil in the details

Obamacare seems about to implode, and the implosion could be a great contribution to those who would reform America's health system in a systematic way. The nation will have to get it right the second time around.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City, on Thursday, May 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Setting up the presidential debates

Out of work politicians with time on their hands once occupied themselves by fishing, collecting stamps or learning full-hitch macrame. But that was so 20th century. Now they run for president, some of them more than once, sometimes with no more experience at dealing with problems than talking about them. Is this a great country, or what? But running for president finally threatens to overwhelm the presidential debates.

Visitors touch the names at the wall of Vietnam Veterans Memorial during a Memorial Day candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC., Friday, May 22, 2015.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

'Peace is the right memorial'

Memorial Day in America has traditionally been a time when we pay our respects to those who gave their lives, over a century ago, in a tragic civil war. In a broader sense, it has come to stand not only for the sacrifice of those who served in the War Between the States, but for all of those who have given their lives in arms since the birth of our nation.

The Internet at risk

The Obama administration is determined to give away America's last remaining control of the Internet, an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, by the end of this year. ICANN assigns the Internet addresses that makes the web work, and the Internet structure is not prepared to receive it.

George Stephanopoulos, chief Washington correspondent for ABC News and anchor of the Sunday-morning political- affairs program "This Week With George Stephanopoulos"

The consequences of betraying trust

Many Americans have moved beyond trusting anyone. They don't trust businessmen and they don't trust businesswomen. They think their bankers are out to cheat them, mistakes at the supermarket are always in the merchant's favor, and the men and women they elect to represent them in Congress turn out to be spineless panderers more interested in their perks of office than in protecting the interests of those who send them to Washington. The democratic government passed down by the nation's Founders has, in the eyes of the frustrated many, morphed into a bloated and incompetent bureaucracy.

President Barack Obama waves as he departs Westchester County Airport in Harrison, N.Y., Wednesday, May 20, 2015, following a trip to New York and Connecticut where he delivered the commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Questions for Mr. Obama

Washington's chattering class is still buzzing over the question posed to Jeb Bush — would he, knowing what he knows now about his brother's shock-and-awe campaign against Saddam Hussein and Iraq, do it again? (Having been burned once by sitting on a red-hot wood stove, would he sit there again?)