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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.

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.

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FILE - In this June 15, 2012, file photo, a group of tourists from China take in the sights of the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall National Memorial, in New York. Chinese tourists, already among the fastest-growing and highest-spending groups of international visitors to the United States, are poised to make an even bigger impact, thanks to a rule change that would allow visitors to get visas valid for 10 years. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

The Ugly Chinese

In times more innocent than these, Eugene Burdick and William J. Lederer wrote a best-seller, "The Ugly American," circa 1958, about a well-meaning American bureaucrat who set out to repeat the success of the Marshall Plan in what were accurately called, with no intention of hurting anyone's feelings, "the undeveloped countries." Good intentions were not enough. The new plan didn't work, foiled by hubris and pretension in the new class of American bureaucrats. The unattractive hero understood, but couldn't turn the tide. He was dismissed as "the Ugly American" of his book.

A plane flies over the mountains in south of the Strait of Hormuz as the trading dhows and ships are docked on the Persian Gulf waters near the town of Khasab, in Oman. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

Mullahs against the mouse

The cat and mouse game playing out in the waters of the Middle East has profound consequences, not only for the United States, but for the rest of the world. It's part of the clash of civilizations, whether the West likes it or not — the mullahs in Tehran against the Katzenjammer Kids in the White House. It's not yet clear who's the cat, and who's the mouse, but the mullahs think they know.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flies over natural gas rigs in the waters of Mobile Bay off Dauphin Island, Ala., Sunday, April 26, 2015. Coast Guard crews are searching for five people missing in the water after a powerful storm capsized several sailboats participating in a regatta near Mobile Bay. (AP Photo/G.M. Andrews)

American ingenuity hits a gusher

You wouldn't know it from all the hot air from the government, but American entrepreneurs, with little help from Washington, have ignited a worldwide energy revolution. They have done it despite of the efforts of the ideologues who prescribe an altogether different energy strategy.

President Barack Obama rides in the presidential limousines at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Wednesday, April 29, 2015, for a visit with wounded military personnel. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Saving Baltimore

Barack Obama is a symbol of black pride, and why wouldn't he be? He was elected president of the United States twice. But as a president who has not done very much for black America, he has been a disaster. The riots that have ripped through Baltimore in recent days are more an indictment of his willfully failed leadership than as a marker of the state of race relations in the United States.

Anti-GMO just anti-science

Chipotle's recent GMO-free announcement confirms a disturbing trend: the inescapable appeal of anti-scientism in executive boardrooms. It's really just business as usual — an extension of a campaign that reduces farming to laughable caricatures and elevates Chipotle's "wholesome" brand.

Yong Soo Lee, of South Korea is seen of the West Lawn of the Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Yong Soo Lee is one of dozens of surviving comfort women from Korea other Asian countries that were forced into sexual servitude by Japanese troops. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Justice for the 'comfort women'

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who speaks to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, and the Japanese government have heard many demands for apologies for atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in World War II, and among the most deserving are from the thousands of women, mostly Korean, who were pressed into sexual slavery to serve the lusts of Japanese troops during World War II.

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2006 file photo, then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks at a benefit gala for the Clinton Foundation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Clinton is tapping some of the biggest donors to her family's philanthropy for her presidential campaign, even as the charity is under scrutiny over its own fundraising practices. Starting what could be a $1 billion-plus fundraising effort, Clinton began raising money for her presidential bid Tuesday in New York, the state she represented in the Senate. The hosts’ connections with the Clinton Foundation show how intertwined the charity is with Clinton’s political career. Even her campaign finance director, Dennis Cheng, was a leading fundraiser role at the foundation before departing for the campaign. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)

Closing in on Hillary

Americans are a tolerant lot, most of the time, but suspicion of foreigners trying to intervene in things that are none of their business is a constant in the nation's history. On leaving the presidency after two terms, George Washington warned in his farewell address of the wisdom of staying clear of foreign entanglements.

GOP party of choice, freedom

There has been a lot of talk lately about Bruce Jenner coming out as a Republican and a Christian ("Bruce Jenner, Evolving Republican," Web, April 27). Some say they don't want him in our party while others welcome him. Good governance is beneficial to all groups.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wants footage from the Metropolitan Police Department's expanding body camera program to be exempt from public records requests, making the District one of an increasing number of jurisdictions trying to limit access in order to balance the technology with privacy concerns. (Associated Press)

Caution with the body cameras

Every picture tells a story, but not every story must be told. Equipping the police with body cameras could hold them more accountable for how they deal with the public. Police departments generally support the idea of such cameras, saying video can protect them from false claims of police brutality. But the unblinking eye is no cure-all and the benefits must be weighed against cost, officer retention and privacy rights. If a police camera becomes part of the uniform, one size may not fit all.

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visit the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, Monday, April 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

An ambitious visitor from Japan

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will be honored Wednesday in a way that few foreign visitors are honored. He will speak to a joint session of Congress, and in an irony that will not go unremarked either here or in Japan, he will speak from the lectern used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the date that FDR said "will live in infamy."

Applaud Bruce Jenner's courage

As a Christian, Republican and transgender individual, Bruce Jenner demonstrates that the conservative umbrella is just as diverse and inclusive as its squawking liberal counterpart ("Bruce Jenner: I'm a Republican and a Christian," Web, April 25). Today gay conservative voices — most notably Washington Times columnist Tammy Bruce — champion the truth that the Republican party has evolved to a greater degree of social acceptance.

President Barack Obama laughs at a joke during the White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Washington Hilton on Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The liberation of President Obama

President Obama obviously feels liberated by the sight of his administration swiftly approaching the outer suburbs of oblivion. With no fear of red line or deadline, he has set about to use the time he has left in office to make the United States a nation that neither he nor Michelle would be ashamed to be proud of.

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 21, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to students and faculty during a campaign stop at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, N.H. The acting chief executive of the Clinton Foundation is acknowledging the global philanthropy made mistakes in how it disclosed its donors amid growing scrutiny as Hillary Rodham Clinton opens her presidential campaign, Sunday, April 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

A ’bot with a rap sheet

Sometimes the news sounds like science fiction by Ray Bradbury. We've been asked by a high government official, lately in charge of the State Department, to believe that certain of her emails reside in a black hole in cyberspace. Two scientists — computer geeks, anyway — are working on a computer program to bring a dead man back as a virtual live man for a virtual conversation.

In this Dec. 7, 2005 file photo, former South African President, Nelson Mandela, smiles at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. The former political prisoner who became the country's first black president in 1994 died in December 2013 at the age of 95. Pan Macmillan said Tuesday, March 24, 2015, that it will publish the sequel to Mandela's best-selling autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom" in Britain, South Africa, India and Australasia in 2016. U.S. and Canadian rights have not yet been sold. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

Dreams of children of angry fathers

Most Americans can't quite understand how events of previous centuries still have the power to stir anger and resentments, and make an appreciation of their common interests difficult. Well, some Americans can recall a certain anger late on a summer night after a third or even fourth bourbon and branch water, but the feeling quickly goes away. Nations, after all, do not have permanent friends, in Lord Palmerston's famous explanation to Queen Victoria, but nations do have permanent interests and memories of a civil war no longer poisons those interests on these shores.

Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, says he'll try to force the Senate to vote on a bill halting the subsidy that lawmakers and their staffs get to pay for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges, saying that's a benefit no other American receives, so Congress shouldn't either. (Associated Press)

Treats from the congressional buffet

Successful congressional candidates of both parties often -- perhaps usually -- suffer amnesia when they get to Washington, and get a glance of the vast buffet of perks Congress votes for itself. They forget a lot of the promises they made during their successful campaigns for Congress. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, a Republican, has not forgotten. He's trying to find out who certified that Congress is a "small business" so its members and their highly paid staffs could be eligible for an Obamacare subsidy for employees of businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Environmentalists say the delta smelt population has declined because state and federal water pumps suck in and kill smelt, which usually spawn in the delta's upper reaches in spring.

Solar-powered park benches and the delta smelt get their day

America celebrated the planet Wednesday with the gaudy red, white and blue charm guaranteed to turn a tree-hugger green. Earth Day was first observed 45 years ago when most baby boomers were teenagers, and now the candles are dripping all over the birthday cake. It's only natural. Repetition becomes routine, and routine hides the original idea, which is rendered meaningless. It doesn't take a campaign to care for the planet, and some of the Earth Day observances are starting to look a little silly.

FILE - In this April 12, 2013 file photo, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Obama administration official says the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to resign soon. Leonhart is a career drug agent who has led the agency since 2007 and is the second woman to hold the job.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Smoke in her eyes

The government announced Tuesday that Michele Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, will soon be leaving, and only the potheads of America have reason to grieve. She has had an uncomfortable ride, bucking the Obama administration by relaxing enforcement of federal narcotics law in states where marijuana has become legal in state law. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington no longer prohibit marijuana under certain circumstances. Neither does the District of Columbia.

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to potential supporters at the Londonderry Fish and Game club in Litchfield, N.H., Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Gunning for fun in ’16

It's the conceit of every generation to think in terms of hyperbole, that nobody has seen the trouble it sees. But the 2016 campaign for the White House promises to be as personal and divisive as any in a long time. The politics of threats, fireworks and innuendo have begun. The Democratic and Republican front-runners have been around for a long time, and have the help of longtime loyalists with a history of using every weapon in their arsenal to cripple and destroy.