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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)

An implosion in Syria

The Obama administration’s determination to stay clear of the civil war in Syria, understandable but dangerous, is a tale of red lines drawn and then ignored as if they had never been drawn. President Obama’s brave talk followed by nothing much threatens to lead to an implosion of the region.

The American flag (AP Photo)

Honoring a symbol of sacrifice

There’s no better day to wave the American flag than on the nation’s birthday. But as the United States turns 239, the usual flotsam blowing in the wind urge fellow malcontents to burn it instead. Rather than honor the blood, sweat and tears of forebears, metaphorical if not actual, who set out to build “a more perfect union” in the wilderness, the flotsam trash the past and repudiate their debt to history.

Despite clear signs of skepticism from the Obama administration, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has come together with remarkable swiftness. (Associated Press)

The Chinese puzzle

There’s wide agreement that China is America’s No. 1 foreign concern. But there’s never been such a difference of opinion among China hands about what’s happening in China, and what if anything the United States could and should do about it.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, disputing energy industry estimates, argues that average Americans ultimately will see lower electric bills as a result of regulations under President Obama's climate change agenda. (Associated Press)

Common sense v. the EPA

Maybe common sense isn’t quite graveyard dead after all. Following a week in which it altered the clear legislative meaning of Obamacare and redefined marriage to suit the whims of the 3.8 percent, further damaging the Constitution twice, the Supreme Court showed on Monday that maybe it understands there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

 Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington in June. FILE (Associated Press)

Compromised cybersecurity

We can add cybersecurity to the list of things Washington can’t seem to handle. Given the enormous dimensions of recent data breaches suffered by keepers of federal employee records, it’s apparent that the government’s barriers to hackers are about as airtight as a screen door would be on a submarine. Americans working for the government shouldn’t have to worry that their personal information is scrutinized by their counterparts in Beijing. Trust is a two-way street, and a government that compromises the privacy of its own hardly deserves trust.

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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?)

Civilians flee their hometown of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, Monday, May 18, 2015. Islamic State militants searched door-to-door for policemen and pro-government fighters and threw bodies in the Euphrates River in a bloody purge Monday after capturing the strategic city of Ramadi, their biggest victory since overrunning much of northern and western Iraq last year. (AP Photo)

Disaster in Iraq

The Islamic State -- or ISIS, or Daesh, or whatever we're calling it this week -- has won a stunning victory with the collapse of the Iraqi army and the conquest of Ramadi and Anbar. The attempt by the Obama administration to spin it any other way is foolish. The loss is an enormous gain for the forces of radical Islamic terrorism.

The military had 2,837 active-duty chaplains as of December 2014  but recent high-profile cases of military chaplains facing punishment for private counseling sessions that reflected the teachings of their religion could cause devout Americans who are qualified for military service to think twice about joining the U.S. military. (Associated Press)

The lot of the atheist

The lot of an atheist true unbeliever is not a happy one. He is surrounded on all sides by believers, and he knows he's missing something. He must chip away at the beliefs of others to assuage his doubts and fears.

Nepalese army men search for the missing U.S. Marine helicopter in the earthquake affected Dolakha District, Nepal, Thursday, May 14, 2015. The helicopter carrying six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers disappeared Tuesday while delivering aid in the country's northeast, U.S. officials said. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

'We stand with Nepal'

In an age of celebrity worship, when the public drapes the mantle of heroism on rock stars, film goddesses and the giants of sport who haven't done anything to earn it, it's easily forgotten that true heroes are those who risk all, including their very lives, for the sake of others. American servicemen and women fit that description, stepping fearlessly into the shadow of the valley of death.

George Stephanopoulos during an ABC broadcast. (AP Photo/ABC, Heidi Gutman, File)

The Stephanopoulos example

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News illustrates the reason why so many Americans don't any longer trust what they read and hear from press and tube. In an earlier time he would have known better than to contribute money, and a substantial sum of it, to those he pretends to cover. "Fair and balanced" was more than a clever marketing slogan.

In this aerial photo taken May 13, 2015, emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train wreck in Philadelphia. Amtrak faces what probably will be a $200 million payout to crash victims _ the cap established by Congress nearly 20 years ago as part of a compromise to rescue the railroad from financial ruin. It would be the first time that the liability ceiling, considered by many to be too low to cover the costs of the eight lives lost and 200 people injured, designed for Amtrak actually would apply to the railroad.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

All aboard for more arguments

Before the wreckage of the fatal crash in Philadelphia was cleared, the politicians in Washington began to fight over the damaged carcass of Amtrak, the troubled national passenger railroad.

FILE - This Oct. 20, 2014 file photo shows George Stephanopoulos at the 24th Annual Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame Awards in New York. Stephanopoulos has apologized for not notifying his employer and viewers about two contributions totaling $50,000 that he made to the Clinton Foundation. ABC's news division said Thursday, May 15, 2015, that "we stand behind him." The donations, made in two installments in 2013 and 2014 and first reported in Politico, were made because of Stephanopoulos' interest in the foundation's work on global AIDS prevention and deforestation, he said. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

The $75,000 question

Contrary to what they sometimes think of themselves, neither journalists nor intelligence agents are 10 feet tall. They're usually intelligent, well spoken and often have sharp skills at what they do. But not always. Sometimes the best of them blunder at what they do best. Two examples are currently contributing to the buzz of the chattering class.

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at Lake Area Technical Institute, Friday, May 8, 2015 in Watertown, S.D. Obama visited South Dakota to promote his proposal to offer two years for free community college to qualified students. (AP Photo/{photo})

New flash point in Gaza

The spotlight on the sordid in the Middle East may be shifting from Syria, which is verging on the final implosion of the Assad government, to Gaza.

Congress chose Yucca Mountain as the leading candidate for nuclear waste disposal. But opponents are concerned about contamination, and the Obama administration said it would not consider the site and would look for alternatives. It won a legal battle when a federal appeals court ruled last week against three states seeking to ship spent fuel to the Nevada site. (Associated Press)

Unlocking Yucca Mountain

Harry Reid almost got away with wasting billions of the taxpayers' money on a big hole in the ground in his home state of Nevada. With the senator from Searchlight moving swiftly toward retirement, the enormous bunker beneath Yucca Mountain will soon be the needed storage bin for America's spent nuclear fuel. And not a day too soon. The radioactive waste has been accumulating for years at unsecured sites across the continent.

In this photo taken April 27, 2015, in Mountain Home, Ark., dog owner Sonny Brassfield holds nine of the 23 live .308 caliber rifle rounds his Belgian Malinois “Benno” chewed and swallowed. The dog is expected to fully recover from the two-hour surgery to remove the rounds.  (Josh Dooley/The Baxter Bulletin via AP) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

Guns in the land of grits and gravy

Mike Huckabee knows Arkansas, even if he did once call it a banana republic, which infuriated some of the locals at the Rotary Club. The former governor gave his latest memoir the provocative title, "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy," which gets it just about right in the land of good times and the magic huckleberry. He left out only frog-gigging, a favorite natural sport.

President Barack Obama pauses during a meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. The president said the derailment of Amtrak Train 188 "is a tragedy that touches us all." In a statement, Obama said he is offering prayers to the families who lost loved ones and the passengers beginning to recover.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Democrats put Obama in a stew

A filibuster led by Democrats derailed President Obama's request for the fast-track authority that would require the U.S. Senate to vote up-or-down on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The negotiations, the filibuster and the fix the president has put himself in says everything about the differing Republican and Democratic positions on trade. It says a lot, too, about Mr. Obama's ineptitude in dealing his own congressional partisans.

What GOP must do in 2016

One of President George W. Bush's primary reasons for authorizing the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was to eliminate the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Bush's rush to war, known as Operation Iraqi Freedom, was criticized because no WMD ever were uncovered. Still, U.S. forces remained there (and then in Afghanistan) for years.

Whose embassy is this?

Barack Obama's romance with the Castro brothers is rapidly turning into a sour shack-up. That's what happens sometimes to romances under a tropic moon and the rustle of the coconut palms. Cuba wants to redefine the sanctity of embassies, and how they function. The public still doesn't know what concessions the president is making to keep a flame under the romance, but it doesn't sound good for our side.

In this photo taken April 28, 2015, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in San Juan, Puerto Rico. When Hillary Rodham Clinton takes the stage at fundraisers thrown by a group that wants to elect her president, she’s not a White House candidate. She’s a “special guest.” When Jeb Bush fundraises for a group preparing to run major parts of his all-but-certain presidential campaign, he doesn’t personally ask for money. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

Jeb Bush doubles down

Jeb Bush has grave differences with the Republicans who will nominate a candidate for president next summer in Cleveland -- differences on immigration, Common Core, and now on his brother's conduct of the war in Iraq. Mr. Bush winces at the notion that he's the "moderate" Republican that so many in his party think he is.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took issues with key points on the framework of a nuclear deal including sanction relief and inspector access. (Associated Press)

The hangmen of Iran

Hanging is a particularly gruesome method of dispatching the wicked and the addicted, largely abandoned by the civilized world, though it's true that electric chairs, gas chambers, poisoned hypodermic needles and even firing squads are hardly more civilized.

A drone carrying the flag of South Vietnam flies above during a commemoration for the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, at Sid Goldstein Freedom Park in Westminster, Calif., on Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Matt Masin/The Orange County Register via AP)   MAGS OUT; LOS ANGELES TIMES OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

A story of the Vietnam War

The Pentagon is out to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam, which invites new recriminations and the false story of what happened in Vietnam. There's already a bitter struggle over what to "celebrate" and how to do it.

In this Jan. 23, 2013, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony could break her presidential aspirations

"The Clintons" is the longest-running soap opera in American politics. Bill and Hillary have seemed to be immune from the accountability demanded of others. Perhaps they're protected by scandal because scandal is what everyone expects from them. This defense will be put to the test when a judgment day, such as it may be, arrives the week of May 18 and she will be asked to answer questions from Congress about what happened at Benghazi, and her part in organizing the American response.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London, Friday, May 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) ** FILE **

David Cameron's majority in Britain gives him an edge to manage

Nothing is more fun for voters than confounding pollsters, and not just here in America. Britain, too, and they gave Prime Minister David Cameron the majority he needs to preside over the government as he thinks fit. While they were at it, they told the pollsters to beat it, and take their computer models, intrusive questions and smug self-confidence with them.