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Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated the political scene for more than a dozen years, campaigned on behalf of his former party, the Islamist-rooted Peace and Development Party (AKP), appealing to voters to elect at least 300 parliamentarians to help push through a constitution that would expand his powers as an executive. But Sunday's stunning results make that a distant prospect. (Associated Press)

Turkey’s growing instability

Once the eastern anchor of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (geography has little to do with how governments title treaties), Turkey has become a problem, and a large one, for NATO policymakers. The problem contributes to the chaos in the Middle East.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at an event commemorating the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Life in a fantasy

Politicians live in a fantasy world of their own invention, where it never rains and the skies are not cloudy all day. There’s always an aide available to fetch and carry, to hold a trembling hand when the wind rattles a window, ready with assurances that the sun is shining at midnight, if that’s what the boss wants to hear.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Ankeny, Iowa, on Aug. 26, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

The dirtiest job in town

Hercules was the original man who gets things done. Tales of his 12 labors that included the slaying of monsters are the stuff of heroic legend. Cleaning out the Augean Stables is the stuff of heroic legend. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan can sympathize with Hercules.

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'No' to closing Guantanamo

President Obama is pleased with himself for his diplomatic opening to Cuba. The rest of us wouldn't be pleased with what he wants to close. The president's long-standing goal of shuttering the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay appears to be advancing apace.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders is gaining more attention from potential voters in Iowa and New Hampshire due to his straight-shooting style and social agenda. (Associated Press)

When curiosity takes a vacation

Curiosity, not ideology, is the mark of the best reporters, but with the disappearance of tough editors reporters are allowed to be pundits, and it shows. The best reporters are on the scout for "the story." The early story of the 2016 presidential campaign is the emergence of two unlikely, unusual and off-brand candidates, and how the reporters treat them.

A helicopter makes a water drop on a wildfire in Angeles National Forest above Azusa, Calif., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. Wildfires racing through drought-stricken Southern California have burned hundreds of acres of land and multiple cabins as the region roasted under a summer heat wave. (Watchara Phomicinda/San Gabriel Valley Tribune via AP) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

Shifting blame for wildfires

Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. Persistent drought in the West has triggered wildfires that have burned over nearly 6 million acres so far this year. Blaming global warming, or capricious "climate change" -- sometimes it's hot and sometimes it's cold, and sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesn't -- is tempting for the environmental extremists.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Hillary as comedienne

Hillary Clinton dismisses her email troubles as a joke -- she was having a high old time with it in Iowa the other day -- but there's no evidence that the FBI agents assigned to her case are laughing. Joking about your transgressions while an FBI team is examining your life and times is not smart.

A worker wipes a representation of the The Great Seal of the United States at the newly opened U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

America returns to Cuba

Gulags and satrapies are required in the nether world where Marxist fantasy survives. How else to keep the peasants in line? Secretary of State John Kerry, looking for love in all the wrong places, took a handful of congressmen to Havana the other day to preside over the raising of the American flag at the reopening of the American embassy, closed in 1961 when Fidel Castro imposed the Marxist yoke upon the neck of the Cuban people. The three Marines who lowered the flag 53 years ago, old men now, were called back to run up Old Glory once more. Mr. Kerry celebrated the occasion as another achievement of Barack Obama's presidency.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. Abe has expressed "profound grief" for all who perished in World War II in a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the country's surrender. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Lessons from an apology

Apologies are never easy, and apologizing in the name of a nation is hardest of all. Barack Obama still suffers, and no doubt always will, the approbation of many of his countrymen for his apology in Egypt early in his presidency, for what is still not clear, to the Islamic countries of the Middle East. A succession of Japanese prime ministers have put their hand to apologies for World War II. So how would Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's formal speech on the 70th anniversary of the end of The Great Pacific War, as many Asians call World War II, differ from the others?

CORRECTS YEAR - A sign points to the polling place at the San Juan County Clerk's office in Aztec, N.M. on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. If a majority of those voting in Tuesday's election chose to incorporate, Kirltand would become the fourth municipality in the county, and its more than 400 residents could elect a mayor and board of trustees. (AP Photo/Jon Austria, The Daily Times)

Democrats want voter punishment for absent ballots on Election Day

President Obama has endorsed the idea that the United States, like Australia, should require citizens to vote, under pain of punishment if they don't. Hillary Clinton supports various schemes to eliminate voter-identification laws and other "impediments" to voting, Bernie Sanders wants election day to be declared a national holiday (maybe on Saturday). Eric Holder leads a crusade to grant felons the vote, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia wants to drop voter registration, and prospective voters could just say that they're citizens and they're entitled to vote. Trust, not verify.

Crowds chant in the street along West Florissant Avenue, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, in Ferguson, Mo. Ferguson was a community on edge again Monday, a day after a protest marking the anniversary of Michael Brown's death was punctuated with gunshots. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Loretta Lynch's police praise counters 'Ferguson effect'

Ferguson is still a tinderbox, but there's hope and change this time. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has distanced herself from her predecessor, Eric Holder. She praises cops for taking responsibility as peacemakers, and she isn't looking for opportunities to incite turmoil. She might start a process of healing the rift between minority communities and the men and women in blue who protect them.

FILE - In this May 8, 2015 file photo, gas station attendant Carlos Macar pumps gas in Andover, Mass. The economy is thought to have shrunk in the January-March quarter and may barely grow for the first half of 2015 _ thanks in part to sharp cuts in energy drilling. And despite their savings at the gas pump, consumers have slowed rather than increased their spending. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Gas prices low thanks to American oil industry ingenuity

The good news is that it's been a year since the price of gasoline hit the skids. The even better news is that the price could stay down there for a long time. The oil "freight train," as it's called, is on a roll, and OPEC is on the ropes. American industrial ingenuity is taking consumers past the obstacles to affordable fossil fuels, including the obstacles President Obama throws down. In an era in when economic struggle seems to be the new normal, cheap gasoline is the one bright spot.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, whose home base of New York has a large Jewish population, is the most prominent Democratic opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, and polls show many of his constituents agree with him. (Associated Press)

Schumer braves Obama loyalists to reject Iran nuclear deal

Sen. Chuck Schumer's opposition to President Obama's Iran deal took considerable courage. The senator from New York knew that Mr. Obama brooks no dissent among his supporters and that his enforcers go after anyone who breaks ranks. Within hours, Obama loyalists were on the streets warning that the senator's "foolishness" would be an obstacle in his path to succeed Harry Reid as the party's leader in the Senate. The Obama loyalists suggested that Mr. Schumer's break wouldn't surprise anyone familiar with his record. He supported the invasion of Iraq, after all, and seems willing to put Israeli interests above those of his own country.

In this March 11, 2013 file photo is a sign reading "Stop the Transcanada Pipeline" placed in a field near Bradshaw, Neb. Even if the Republican-led Congress approves the Keystone XL pipeline, not a drop of oil will flow through the system until Nebraska signs off on its route. The routing process is still before the state Supreme Court, and depending on how justices rule, it could be months or longer before any construction in Nebraska begins. (Associated Press)

Obama abuses Canada with Keystone pipeline politics

Poor Mexico, as the Mexicans used to say of their country: "So far from God, so close to the United States." Now all the Mexicans are up here, no closer to God but pouring across the border, anyway. Now the aphorism could apply to Canada, often ignored by American newspapers and television networks. The Canadians just had the first debate of their national election, and it went almost unnoticed.

Australian Defense ship Ocean Shield (AP Photo/File)

Australia picks up slack as the U.S. Navy shrinks to 1917 levels

There's a little good news from Down Under, and it comes when the West needs good news. Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia is moving up by three years the work on building a fleet of advanced frigates, at a cost of nearly $12 billion, expressed in American currency. It's part of his plan to raise defense spending to 2 percent of Australia's gross domestic product, up from 1.8 percent. This adds $2.6 billion a year to the current $23 billion military budget.

Voters are ready for 2016 combat: Republicans would most like to see a debate between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Carly Fiorina. (Associated Press photographs)

Hillary couldn't watch what the Republicans have waiting for her

Hillary Clinton says she wasn't interested in the Republican debate last Thursday night. She had something more important to do. She got together with her Hollywood pals to collect money -- the Clintons are never too busy to pick the pockets of their friends -- and trade weighty thoughts with the intellectual heavyweights of Hollywood.

President Barack Obama speaks about the nuclear deal with Iran, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, at American University in Washington. The president said the nuclear deal with Iran builds on the tradition of strong diplomacy that won the Cold War without firing any shots. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Obama's fine discrimination

Finally, someone on the left did the right thing, and spoke up against the killing of humans and harvesting their organs and sending them to market. Troubles arise, President Obama said, when "you are not able to see someone else as a human being." Indeed. This surely mortified the folks at Planned Parenthood.

President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney participate Oct. 3, 2012, in the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Denver. (Associated Press)

When debates first flowered

The modern political debates, which aren't really debates at all but questions posed by media celebrities, have nevertheless pushed presidential candidates to the head of the class or consigned some of them to the sidelines, to be discarded flavors of the week.

Ahmed Abu Khattala, an alleged leader of the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/File)

Terrorism approaches the courtroom

More than Hillary Clinton's missing emails is bedeviling the legal system in the aftermath of the outrage at Benghazi. A Libyan terrorist, accused in the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound, asked a federal judge Monday in Washington to dismiss the charges and send him home to Libya. Ahmed Abu Khattala says his capture and jailing in the United States, pending a trial, is a "government conspiracy."

President Barack Obama waves as he leaves after speaking about the nuclear deal with Iran, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, at American University in Washington. The president said the nuclear deal with Iran builds on the tradition of strong diplomacy that won the Cold War without firing any shots. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Running scared

President Obama is beginning to sound like a president running scared. He used "a major speech" Wednesday in Washington to defend his indefensible "deal" with Iran, and compared Republican critics of the deal to the hard-liners in Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry used a cleaned-up barnyard vulgarism in a magazine interview to describe what these Republican critics are trying to do to the poor ayatollahs in Tehran.