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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.

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.

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Ms. Lynch is a tough prosecutor, more lawyer and prosecutor than politician, and thus very different from the man she is to replace. (Associated Press)

Questions for Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch, the president's nominee to replace Eric Holder as the U.S. attorney general, faces question-and-answer time next week, and this will be the first opportunity for the new Republican majority to demonstrate that there's a new and more just world on Capitol Hill. She will not necessarily face a hostile panel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, nor should she. She is a known quantity as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, first appointed by President Clinton and reappointed by President Obama.

President Barack Obama waves before giving his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The state of the president

The Constitution requires presidents to provide Congress with periodic information on the "state of the union" and President George Washington delivered the required information in a speech to a joint session of Congress in 1790. That turned out to be an unfortunate precedent. Most of his successors haven't been able to resist making it an occasion for a speech, either.

This undated image posted online and made available on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 by Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, an anti-Islamic State group organization, shows children at an Islamic State group training camp in Raqqa, Syria. The image has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting. Across the vast region in Syria and Iraq that is part of the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate, children are being inculcated with the extremist group's radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law. (AP Photo/Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently)

When children are expendable

If children are the future, the terrorists who ravish and ravage the young in pursuit of empire portend a very bleak future in the benighted lands. Evil men continue to poison the young with the venom and bile that describe the distortions of their religion. The world stands aghast and incredulous at the violence visited upon the innocent, and at the reluctance to judge another's faith that is the mark of American tolerance. The fear of reprisal restrains many Muslims from condemning acts they know are atrocities. There is no holy writ anywhere to excuse using children as fodder for cannon. No one's God is that cynical.

Chips off the block

Credit card fraud is everybody's headache. If the hackers haven't got to you yet, they will. There's a new weapon against the hackers, called "chip-and-PIN technology," but replacing a billion credit cards is expensive and some of the big banks are reluctant to put out the millions (and millions) of dollars to pay for it. The federal government is using chip-and-PIN cards but not many private users in the United States have access to it.

The president goes to war

President Obama has gone to war. But not with the Islamic State group, Iran, North Korea or any foreign threat. Mr. Obama, at the urging of environmental extremists, has declared war on America's oil and natural gas producers. His weapon of choice is a new Environmental Protection Agency regulation to cut methane emissions by up to 45 percent by 2025.

Micheal Mpubane leads a Bible study at the Progressive Primary in Johannesburg. Poor South Africans are underserved by a government that has struggled to close the gap apartheid created between white and black public schools. (Associated Press)

Learning in unexpected places

"Education for all" was set as a worldwide priority by the United Nations in 1990, to be accomplished in 25 years. The deadline is upon us and billions of dollars later, UNESCO, the cultural arm of the U.N., says there are still 175 million children in the developing world who can't read or write. This is taken as proof at the U.N. that governments must "intensify their efforts," meaning they must "intensify" the spending of more money. The facts tell a different story.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (Associated Press) **FILE**

Putting spice in marriage

The language of the New Age, like a lot of things in Li'l Abner's hometown of Dogpatch, can be "amusin' but confusin'." The word "sex" has been displaced by "gender," though no one ever called Marilyn Monroe a "genderpot," and no woman we know thinks a silky black night gown will make her feel "gendery." Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia thinks he can ride to the rescue of all by making the language of marriage more confusing, if not amusing.

Men walk by a sign in Chattanooga, Tenn., promoting it as Gig City. The city's municipal fiber optic network provides Internet speeds at more than 50 times the national average. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

The wrong way to a good idea

President Obama has set out to do for the Internet what he did for the nation's health care system. He's determined to destroy the Internet, which has changed the way the world works, as we know it.

 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Flunking Econ 101

Julia lives. Everybody is trying to forget Julia, President Obama's campaign cartoon figure from his 2012 re-election campaign. "The Life of Julia" touted the advantages of cradle-to-grave federal munificence, from universal pre-kindergarten classes for toddlers to Obamacare for everybody. "Julia" might have been called a celebration of womb-to-tomb munificence, except that a shower of contraceptives and abortions under Obamacare would mean that prospective descendants of Julia would never make it out of the womb.

Securing the border first is a sound idea: This fence marks the U.S.-Mexico border at El Calaboz, Texas. (Associated press)

Stopping jihad in America

The terrorist attacks on France are a reminder that the broken U.S. immigration system isn't just about saving American jobs, but keeping out terrorists who are itching to make similar attacks in America. In the wake of the Paris attacks that killed 17 men and women last week, security officials have warned that the United States is a target for mayhem, too. President Obama's relentless determination to open the nation's borders to just about everyone makes it considerably easier for the Islamic jihadis to prepare a strike. We shouldn't need a violent episode here to remind everyone that a nation that won't control its border is no nation at all.

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)

Taking a vow of poverty

Cursing the darkness may be more satisfying than lighting a candle, but it ultimately keeps everyone in the dark. President Obama vows to veto construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which the House approved by a wide margin on Friday. His steadfast opposition to the energy conduit from Canada places him squarely in league with those who measure human progress only with a thermometer.

FILE - This Aug. 13, 2014 photo shows an array of mirrors at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating site in Primm, Nev. The largest solar power plant of its type in the world, promoted as a turning point in green energy, isn’t producing the expected energy and one of the reasons is as basic as it gets: The sun isn’t shining as often as expected. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Where the sun doesn’t shine

Solar panels are one of the favorite hopes on the left for clean and renewable, energy. The evangelists for the sun claim that solar power capacity will double this year, and point out to the credulous that government programs offer tax breaks and incentives to encourage Americans to put up solar panels, and government-funded solar farms, like California's Ivanpah facility, are popping up like mushrooms (which actually prefer dark places) across the country.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska, view from Dead Dog Hill. Credit: National Park Service

Paying for the national parks

America's national parks are national treasures, unique in their natural beauty, geological features and recreational opportunities. The parks rescued millions of acres from waste and often thoughtless abuse. Since President Ulysses Grant set aside a federal preservation in 1872, the national park system has evolved to become the envy of other nations.

Associated Press Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Obama's snub of Paris

If Barack Obama has demonstrated one talent in his six years at the White House it's a unique "gift" for shutting his ears to the music of America. The man who says the Muslim call to evening prayer is the sweetest sound in his ears is deaf to the sounds that warm the hearts and stir the souls of the rest of us.

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been fired for authoring a Christian book in 2013 that described homosexuality as a "sexual perversion." (atlantaga.gov)

Stifling diversity in Atlanta

Liberals claim to be champions of "diversity" in all things, particularly in matters of race, ethnicity and gender (they mean "sex") and gender-bending. "Our diversity is our greatest strength," Bill Clinton, who demonstrated his embrace of diversity with the pursuit of a diversity of women in the White House, told a diversity forum last year in Phoenix.

Illustration on the dangers of proposed net neutrality action by the government by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Blunting a radical agenda at the FCC

When bureaucrats in the government think Congress isn't doing enough to push along an agenda, federal agencies still have the responsibility to regulate fairly and judiciously. But that's sometimes no fun. On President Obama's watch, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for two examples, continue to merrily scoot around Congress to impose their own agendas.

Jaime Rodas and his daughter, Aria Rodas 3 enjoy an afternoon of sledding on Tuesday Jan. 6, 2015 on a hill in Jim Barnett Park in Winchester, Vvaa. (AP Photo/The Winchester Star, Ginger Perry)

Rough sledding

Winter, with its ice, snow and slush, doesn't offer many rewards — unless you're a kid with a sled, or an old inner tube or a big piece of cardboard. Then you can slide toward heaven, where, if you're lucky, a big pot of hot chocolate awaits in Mom's toasty kitchen.

Federal regulations are intended to make everyone safer and healthier. But rules imposed without regard to cost can and often do inflict more pain than pleasure. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Regulating the regulators

Americans hear a welcome jingle of coins in their pockets when they pull away from the gasoline pumps, and that music might get a little louder in coming weeks. With the price at the pump now little more than $2 a gallon in most places, drivers can look forward to saving $75 billion in annual fuel costs. The open road never looked more inviting.

People gather outside the French Consulate in Toronto on Wednesday Jan. 7, 2015 in response to the shootings earlier in the day at Charlie Hebdo Magazine in Paris. The writing on the signs reads "I am Charlie." (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Massacre in Paris

The boldness and the brutality of the Islamist terrorists know no bounds, and neither, until now, has the reluctance of the West to confront evil in whatever guise it presents itself.