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American Scene

An Ohio 16-year-old charged with murder in a deadly Craigslist robbery scheme says in a letter to his father that he believes God will keep him from a long incarceration. Published December 11, 2011

Economy Briefs

The Harrisburg City Council has appealed a judge's decision to throw out the bankruptcy petition of Pennsylvania's debt-choked capital city, its attorney said. Published December 11, 2011

** FILE ** President Obama pauses in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Monday, May 2, 2011, while speaking about the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden before awarding the Medal of Honor posthumously to U.S. Army Pvt. 1st Class Anthony T. Kaholohanohano and U.S. Army Pvt. 1st Class Henry Svehla for conspicuous gallantry during the Korean War. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

EDITORIAL: Obama's imperiled America

At a press conference the next day, Mr. Obama responded tartly, “Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever’s left out there. Ask them about that.” This is the image the White House wants to convey of Mr. Obama as a tough, uncompromising and effective commander in chief. Published December 9, 2011

Illustration: Sexual politics

EDITORIAL: Sex change is afoot

Harvard University has announced that next year its campus insurance plan will cover the cost of "bottom surgery" for people undergoing "gender reassignment." Bottom surgery - the swapping out of the private parts - is often the last step taken by girls trying to become boys, and vice versa. Transgender activists hail this new coverage as a breakthrough for those purported to have "gender-identity disorder" (GID). They consider sex-change operations medically necessary treatment rather than an elective procedure as most insurance companies do. Published December 9, 2011

Inside Politics

Under fire for planning a 17-day vacation in Hawaii over the holidays while the economy continues to sputter, President Obama pledged Thursday to stay in Washington until Congress passes a payroll-tax cut and unemployment insurance extensions. Published December 8, 2011

**FILE** D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

EDITORIAL: D.C. may budge on gun ban

The spotlight on the District's effort to dissuade law-abiding residents from purchasing handguns is making some on the D.C. Council uncomfortable. Council member Phil Mendelson on Tuesday introduced legislation easing some of the most absurd hoops one must jump through in order to exercise the right to keep arms in the nation's capital. Published December 8, 2011

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow bows his head on the sidelines after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the Broncos' 17-13 home victory on Nov. 17, 2011. (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: The Tebow effect

The Bible reminds us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. It makes no mention of football. But on Sundays, Americans are more likely to occupy the couch watching their favorite team than the church pew. Then along comes Tim Tebow, and we can have our faith and football, too. Published December 8, 2011

Ryan Seacrest arrives at the premiere of "New Year's Eve" in Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Tuning into TV

Ryan Seacrest's name has resurfaced as a potential successor to "Today" anchor Matt Lauer. Published December 8, 2011

Ray Mabus


The responsibility for naming U.S. warships has traditionally been left to the secretary of the Navy. That needs to change. President Obama's Navy secretary, Ray Mabus, has politicized the christening process to the point where some form of oversight is needed. Published December 7, 2011

'UNBREAKABLE BOND': Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama both said reports about more distant relations in the past year were "wrong." Mr. Netanyahu visited Mr. Obama in the Oval Office and talked with a group of reporters. (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: Obama's Israel problem

The Obama White House claims to have done more for Israel's security than any in history. If that were the case, President Obama would not have to continually defend his shaky record. Published December 7, 2011

Inside Politics

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry — with nowhere to go but up — is making an aggressive play to rise in Iowa by courting Christian evangelicals who could help revive his campaign. Published December 7, 2011

Harry Morgan's long acting career was highlighted by his role as Col. Potter on "M*A*S*H," for which he won an Emmy. He died Wednesday at 96.

Tuning in to TV

Emmy-winning character actor Harry Morgan, whose portrayal of the fatherly Col. Sherman Potter on television's "M*A*S*H" highlighted a show business career that included nine other TV series, 50 films and the Broadway stage, died Wednesday. He was 96. Published December 7, 2011

American Scene

Alabama's attorney general has become the highest-ranking Republican official to suggest throwing out parts of his state's tough new immigration law, as he recommended that lawmakers repeal some portions of the statute that have been put on hold by federal courts and clarify some others. Published December 6, 2011

School buses.

EDITORIAL: The school bus shakedown

Montgomery County hopes to be among the first to convert its familiar yellow school buses into rolling speed traps. As each bus picks up and drops off schoolchildren during the day, it also would mail out $250 tickets to passing drivers - all in the name of safety, of course. Published December 6, 2011

Illustration by William Brown

EDITORIAL: Canada cools to global warming

Canada has flat-out rejected the proposals pushed at the United Nations' annual global-warming summit in South Africa. This could be the start of a trend of countries dumping environmentalist fashion statements and returning to rational energy policies. If only the United States would do the same. Published December 6, 2011

Veterans Committee votes Santo into Hall

Ron Santo always kept rooting for the causes dearest to him for his Chicago Cubs to win the World Series, for doctors to find a cure for diabetes and for him to reach the Hall of Fame. Published December 5, 2011

Texans' Johnson has 'mild' hamstring injury

Andre Johnson has a "mild" left hamstring injury, though Houston coach Gary Kubiak couldn't say if his star receiver would play at Cincinnati this weekend. Published December 5, 2011

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during a United Russia party congress in Moscow on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, at which he formally was nominated as the party's candidate for president in next March's election. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

EDITORIAL: The czar who bleeds

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suffered a setback last weekend on his march to resume the Russian presidency. The weak showing for his United Russia party in Sunday's parliamentary elections raised questions whether his return to high executive office will be as smooth as expected. Published December 5, 2011

Illustration: Jobs by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

EDITORIAL: The 8.6 percent illusion

The Obama administration received a welcome gift from the Bureau of Labor of Statistics (BLS) on Friday. The government's official unemployment figure dipped to 8.6 percent in November, a rather surprising turn given that the economy added a paltry 120,000 new jobs that month. That's the first tip-off that the scenario isn't rosy. President Obama shouldn't break out the Cristal champagne quite yet. Published December 5, 2011