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A voter marks a ballot for the New Hampshire primary inside a voting booth on Feb. 9 in Manchester, N.H. (Associated Press)

The other battle at the ballot box

Party conventions, first of the Republicans in Cleveland and this week of the Democrats in Philadelphia, first and foremost are about whose name goes on the top of the ballot. Before any votes are cast on Nov. 8, though, questions must be settled about identification rules determining who gets to cast a ballot. Voter identification laws, popularly called ID laws, have proliferated.

California delegates hold up signs as they cheer during the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Dreaming the impossible Democratic dream

The Democrats had better pack a good lunch on their way to the post-convention campaign. It’s going to be an all-day job. They must persuade voters to avoid looking at Barack Obama’s disaster of “hope and change” while Hillary Clinton pushes the party’s platform of more of the same. The platform, as adopted in Philadelphia this week, is an exercise in the old shell game.

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the mall shooting in Munich, Germany, before addressing law enforcement officers from around the country at the Advancing 21st Century Policing Briefing in the South Court Auditorium of the White House complex in Washington, Friday, July 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The price of trusting Iran

Barack Obama may be the last man in America who actually trusts the holy men in Iran, and a secret codicil, or amendment, he made to his infamous nuclear agreement with them reveals just what happens when a president has no understanding of “the art of the deal,” or the people he makes deals with.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in Springfield, Ill., in this July 13, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The descent into depravity

Radical Islam descends to a level of barbarism beyond the imagination of civilized man. Women and children, and 87-year-old priests, become favorite targets. They can’t easily fight back, though the heroic priest slain on his knees before the altar at a Roman Catholic Church in France tried, and gave up his life defending his parishioners.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a meeting with World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan, not shown, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

The clouds on the horizon

When China spits, Asia swims. Everybody east of Suez learns that ancient tribute to the size and ambitions of the Middle Kingdom. Now Asia hears the harsh hocking noise that sounds suspiciously like China clearing its throat.

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Maggie Kiser, 2, waves a flag as she is pulled along by her grandfather, Gary White, during the Amarillo Street Neighborhood Parade in Abilene, Texas, Monday, July 4, 2016. (Tommy Metthe/The Abilene Reporter-News via AP)

Redefining patriotism

Patriots proliferate on the Fourth of July, with the red, white and blue all around. But after the fireworks fade from the night sky the Stars and Stripes are often relegated to the back of the hall closet. In 2016, so the pollsters find, many are not so proud to be Americans.

The lady who talks too much

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always had difficulty getting over herself. She has opinions on many things, and when she's not speaking ex-cathedra, as it were, she's eager to express those opinions elsewhere, as if the public were waiting breathlessly for them. Lately she has even been forgetting her place.

President Barack Obama speaks about the events in Dallas at the beginning of his news conference at PGE National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, July 9, 2016. Obama is in Warsaw attending the NATO Summit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Iran's nuclear deception

Anniversaries are usually celebrations of happy times, but not every milestone is worth celebrating. Thursday marks one year since Iran sealed its nuclear deal with the P5+1 world powers, and evidence is emerging that the Islamic republic is still working on its weapons of mass destruction.

President Barack Obama during a memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center with the families of the fallen police officers, Tuesday, July 12, 2016, in Dallas. Five police officers were killed and several injured during a shooting in downtown Dallas last Thursday night. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

President Obama's lecture in Dallas

President Obama flew to Dallas Tuesday to heal broken hearts, and did what he does best — break hearts into smaller pieces. He used the occasion of a memorial service, with the broken families and heartsick friends of the five slain Dallas police officers sitting before him, to offer only his lecture to white folks to repent of their sins.

President Barack Obama listens to Polish President Andrzej Duda offering condolences before making statements following their meeting at PGE National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, July 8, 2016. Obama is in Warsaw to attend the NATO Summit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Obama's legacy of race

Americans elected their first black president eight years ago with Great Expectations, the greatest among them that that the election of a president with a brown face would improve race relations. In fact, it was this "hope" that was the most attractive qualification of Barack Obama. But hope, as he has demonstrated, is not a strategy.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks about recent shootings, Friday, July 8, 2016, at the Justice Department Washington. Lynch called for peace and calm in the wake of the attack on police officers in Dallas, saying that violence is never the answer. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sacrificing the innocent (maybe)

Caesar's wife was just born too soon. She paid the price of someone else's hanky-panky, actually someone else's attempted hanky-panky. Had she been born a millennium or two later she would have fit right in to a time and place where everything goes.

People surround a memorial in honor of the slain Dallas police officers in front of police headquarters, in Dallas, Saturday, July 9, 2016.  A peaceful protest, over the recent shootings of black men by police, turned violent Thursday night as gunman Micah Johnson shot at officers, killing several and injuring others.  (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

The lesson of Dallas

Some events speak with such loud clarity that no one, neither president nor preacher nor poet, can say anything to add to what everyone feels. President Obama, more eloquent than most, quickly exhausted adjectives speaking from Europe in the wake of the police massacre in Dallas. "Vicious, calculated, despicable and horrible" failed to adequately describe it.

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2016, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to explain his agency's recommendation to not prosecute Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her private email setup during her time as secretary of state. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Newspeak arrives in America

George Orwell recognized the seductive drift into a totalitarian society more than six decades ago. He predicted such a society would arrive with a new language he called "Newspeak." This would disguise truth with subtle elisions from word to word, concept to concept, in a simplistic fashion that would be easily propagated. The new language was to become the lingua franca by the year 1950, leading to a new tyranny that would descend by the year 1984.

Protesters march in New York's Times Square Thursday, July 7, 2016, in the wake of the shooting deaths of Philando Castile Wednesday night in Falcon Heights, Minn., after a traffic stop by St. Anthony police, and the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot by Baton Rouge police in Baton Rouge, La., while being detained earlier this week. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Tragedy in Baton Rouge

Ferguson. Baltimore. Minneapolis. Baton Rouge. What these cities, separated by thousands of miles of the American landscape, have in common is that they have become shorthand for police brutality, persuading many Americans that the nation's police are out of control.

President Barack Obama waves to media as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, to board Marine One, Thursday, July 7, 2016, for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and to Warsaw, Poland to attend the 2016 NATO Summit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama's Keystone contradiction

President Obama is all about free trade. He waxes eloquent about the rewards in the global marketplace and warns against protectionist notions that have sometimes dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.

A group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas, on June 25, 2014. (Associated Press)

Failing America again

Justice delayed is once more justice denied. The powerful elites in Washington have been satisfied to coddle illegal immigrants rather than make the safety of American citizens their first priority. With everyone watching on Wednesday, the U.S. Senate had two chances to redeem itself. The senators blew both of them.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks on the Boardwalk  in Atlantic City, N.J.,Wednesday, July 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

A sad day for Mr. Comey and the FBI

James B. Comey obviously had little taste for a head-on collision with Hillary Clinton, despite the remarkable bill of particulars he presented with his announcement that there will be no prosecution of the lady who is expected to be the Democratic nominee for president. Even more remarkable, he acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton may be too big to jail.

President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave following a campaign event at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Obama is spending the afternoon campaigning for Clinton. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

'Indicting' Hillary

It's probably true, as a courthouse wisecrack first put it many years ago, that even a mediocre prosecutor can persuade a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Loretta Lynch, the nation's top prosecutor, now has the whole ham in front of her, and by one imaginative reading the FBI has all but dared her to proceed against Hillary Clinton.

FILE - In this Sunday, June 12, 2016 file photo, law enforcement officials work at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., following the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. More police departments are exploring technology that would allow 911 emergency dispatchers to receive text messages from people who need help. When gunshots rang out at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June, patrons hid from the gunman and frantically texted relatives to call 911 because Orlando doesn't have 911 texting. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

Moving against gun violence

Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, the only licensed psychologist in the House of Representatives, has worked for three years to win bipartisan votes for his "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act." He was asked by the House Republican leadership to examine the nation's mental-health system and recommend reforms that could prevent or make less likely mass shootings by the dangerously mentally ill.

FILE - In this June 13, 2016 file photo, flags fly at half-staff around the Washington Monument at daybreak in Washington, by order of President Obama, the day after more than four dozen people were killed  in the Orlando, Fla., nightclub shootings. As the nation marks Independence Day on Monday, lowering the flag remains a visible, immediate way to pay tribute in hours of tragedy, but flag buffs have noted that the honor has been extended more widely over time, and they and other Americans have questioned whether the country has lowered the bar on the lowering the flag.  (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

The blame game on steroids

It's getting ever more difficult to live a right-side-up life in a world turned upside down. Despite trying to do the right thing, offering their prayers and comfort to the friends and families of the dead at Orlando, Christians are now being told to take back their prayers because they're the people responsible for the massacre.

The Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Opinions from the nation's highest court are expected today. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Preserving a rite of passage

Litigation over abortion threatens to go on forever, and it probably will. Feminists see abortion almost as a rite of female passage; others as an offense against nature, if not against God. Hence conviction versus convenience winds up over and over in the courts. The latest case before the U.S. Supreme Court should have been the rare occasion when both sides would agree on a worthy outcome, that abortion clinics should be required to observe basic requirements of sanitation and medical safety for women.

Illustration on the spirit of July 4 by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Declaration of Independence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

FILE In this Jan. 25, 2015 file photo, Chile's Navy ship Aquiles moves alongside the Hurd Peninsula, seen from Livingston Islands, part of the South Shetland Islands archipelago in Antarctica. Antarcticas ozone hole is finally starting to heal, a new study finds. In a study showing that the world can fix man-made environmental problems when it gets together, research from the U.S. and the United Kingdom show that the September-October ozone hole over Antarctica is getting smaller and forming later in the year.  And the study in the journal Science also shows other indications that the ozone layer is improving after it was being eaten away from chemicals in aerosols and refrigerants. Ozone is a combination of three oxygen atoms that high in the atmosphere shields Earth from much of the suns ultraviolet rays.  (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

Pushing back the green bullies

Sometimes bullies pick on the wrong target. The state attorneys general who thought they could walk over climate-change skeptics with impunity made that mistake. The debate that backers of President Obama's global warming schemes don't want to entertain isn't merely about facts and figures, but about the First Amendment right to free speech. Questioning authority is an American tradition, but it can be inconvenient.

In this Wednesday, June 29, 2016 photo, tomato plants in a plastic box offer a modest start for a garden at a new camp for homeless women in Eugene, Ore. The camp is the fourth Safe Spot Community opened and operated by Community Supported Shelters for homeless citizens in the Eugene and Springfield area. (Brian Davies/The Register-Guard via AP)

No blue ribbons for pot

It's difficult to hold a state fair when the District of Columbia is not even a state and is unlikely to become one, but a fair is always fun, with displays of pigs and cows and the bounty of the field, usually with a Ferris wheel and a midway offering unlikely freaks and games where the customer is never always right.

British Prime Minister David Cameron walks to get in a car as he leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, June 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The price of a European pout

George Bernard Shaw observed that England and America are a common people separated by a common language, and nothing has happened since to change what has made that friendship unique among nations.