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Only themselves to blame

With the 2016 presidential election now more than 40 days in our rearview mirror, the Democratic Party continues to play its version of political whack-a-mole with excuses of how and why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. When a good football coach talks to the press after a loss, he doesn't blame his offensive coordinator, special teams coach, list of injured players, or the referees. He takes the heat himself. Published December 25, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. (Dan Balilty/Pool photo via AP)

A final insult to Israel

President Obama continues his long march to the rear, where he imagines leadership should reside, and last week enabled the worst elements of the United Nations to condemn Israel once more for its settlements on the West Bank. Published December 25, 2016

This September 2012 photo shows The Great Sand Sea, 28,000 square miles of rolling dunes along the northern edge of the Sahara, one of the main attractions of a visit to the Egyptian oasis of Siwa, a Berber town of some 27,000 people roughly 450 miles (about 725 kilometers) southwest of Cairo. The palm tree-lined area is known for its quiet charm, ancient ruins, abundant natural springs, a vast salt lake and rolling sand dunes in the surrounding desert. (AP Photo/Kim Gamel)

Hope in the Sahara

As struggles against the established order go, conflict in the Western Sahara is small potatoes. The people there have been struggling for self-determination and nationhood for 46 years, since Morocco imposed its rule over the territory. Lately the warriors are lawyers armed with writs and torts instead of revolutionaries armed with knives, guns and bombs. Published December 25, 2016

**FILE** The Washington Times' building on New York Avenue in Washington, D.C. (The Washington Times)

Longtime Times critic Cynthia Baker Grenier dies at 89

Cynthia Baker Grenier, a longtime journalist and a former features writer and editor for The Washington Times, died peacefully at her home in Northwest Washington on Nov. 12. She was 89. Published December 22, 2016

 Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Attorney General, gestures as he speaks during an interview in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Capitol is at rear. Pruitt is President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Doing the right thing at EPA

Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma and Donald Trump's nominee for director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, calls himself "a national leader in the cause to restore the proper balance of power between the states and the federal government." Published December 21, 2016

Democrats just sore losers

There is no evidence that the leaked Hillary Clinton campaign emails are of Russian origin ("WikiLeaks figure says 'disgusted' Democrat leaked Clinton campaign emails," Web, Dec. 14). Wikileaks said the emails came to them from an inside leak, not from an outside hack, and former top National Security Agency official William Binney has stated that if Russia was the source, the NSA would have conclusive proof. Published December 21, 2016

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2016 file photo, members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions carry an effigy of South Korean President Park Geun-hye as they march during a rally calling for Park to step down in Seoul, South Korea. The jailed confidante of the disgraced president begins a trial Monday, Dec. 19 that will explore a scandal that led to Park's impeachment after millions took to the streets in protest. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

Keeping South Korea on balance

Donald Trump won't become president until Jan. 20, but the globe will demand his attention before the echo of his oath of office fades across the National Mall. Political turmoil in South Korea could well provoke mischief among U.S. adversaries in Asia during the intervening six weeks. Published December 21, 2016

Pakistan still persecutes Ahmadis

Human Right's Day was established by the United Nations to commemorate the day the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human rights. Sadly, as we all know, human rights are not universal in the world. One place in which they are not recognized is Pakistan. Published December 21, 2016

Repeal Obamacare now

On Dec. 19 President-elect Donald Trump officially received the required minimum (and then some) electoral college votes to win the presidency. Repealing Obamacare should be a top priority in the first 100 days of the Trump/Pence administration. Published December 20, 2016

Trump, stand up to China

President-elect Donald Trump's suggestion to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip with China made it clear that Mr. Trump is willing to buck tradition as a negotiating tactic. But at what price? As history can attest, before they took office several U.S. presidents loudly criticized Beijing, leaving Taipei with high expectations. Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush all did this. But when push came to shove, the presidents who had the worst impact on Taiwan were often the ones who criticized China the most loudly. Is Mr. Trump really going to be the lone exception? Published December 20, 2016

FILE - In a July 14, 1955 file photo, Zsa Zsa Gabor arrives at London Airport from Paris, in a Crimson dress and a straw hat. Gabor died Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, of a heart attack at her Bel-Air home, her husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, said. She was 99. (AP Photo)

Farewell to Zsa Zsa

Some celebrities are famous just for being famous. You can find them all over the internet. Other celebrities are famous for being infamous. There are even a rare few, like Zsa Zsa, who died this week age 99, who are famous just for being who they are. Published December 20, 2016

FILE - In this June 25, 2012 file photo, a crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa. Hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas poses a risk to drinking water in some circumstances, but a lack of information precludes a definitive statement on how severe the risk is, the Environmental Protection Agency says in a new report that raises more questions than answers.  (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Fracking and clean water

Gauging the effects of hydraulic fracturing on the nation's drinking water is much like considering whether the glass of the precious stuff is half-full or half-empty. When energy companies employ hydraulic fracturing in search of oil and natural gas they should take care, and most of them do, to avoid contamination of nearby reservoirs of drinking water. But the incoming Trump administration must determine again whether there's an unacceptable risk to supplies of fresh water. Published December 20, 2016

Compromise on election process

The debate about whether the Constitution should be amended to change the presidential election process is on again. Some advocate eliminating the electoral college in favor of a direct popular vote for president, while others believe the system should remain unchanged. Just as compromise solved the initial problems of the Framers, so it is that compromise can solve this problem. Published December 19, 2016

More dangerous than Putin

Hillary Clinton asserts that she lost the election due to Russian hacking, for which she blames Vladimir Putin. According to her, it was a part of Mr. Putin's strategy to discredit the tenets of our government and undermine our democracy. The truth, however, is much more frightening. Published December 19, 2016

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2016 file photo, Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin talks to reporters as he arrives at Trump Tower in New York.  There's growing concern among Republicans about the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings Mnuchin, the Wall Street financier Donald Trump has chosen to head the Treasury Department (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Where are Trump's free market voices?

Donald Trump's Cabinet selections so far have been good -- principled conservatives like Dr. Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Rep. Tom Price, a physician, who will head the Department of Health and Human Services. Published December 19, 2016

In this Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. Obama said one of his missions after leaving office will be to develop a new generation of leaders on issues such as climate change, criminal justice reform and expanding health insurance coverage. Obama said in the interview with NPR airing Monday, Dec. 19, that the issues he cares most about will be well served when that new generation moves into positions of authority. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The polarizing president

Tooting your own horn is one way to make sure your tune gets heard. Barack Obama wants to finish his presidency on a high note, so he's arguing his own case for a good grade. However, he will learn, as presidents before him, that his legacy is not his to define, but for the people to decide whether he deserves to be immortalized on Mount Rushmore or merely to have his name on a presidential library on the south side of Chicago. Published December 19, 2016

Blame Congress for immigration woes

As a legal immigrant proudly working for the U.S. government, I was disappointed to read David Keene's Dec. 1 op-ed, "Hell on the border." It incorrectly faults President Obama for the current immigration crisis. The president is not the problem. For years, members of Congress are the ones who have neglected to make progress on the issue of immigration because they're more concerned with their own reelection. Published December 18, 2016

U.S.  President Harry S. Truman. *File photo (AP Photo/File)

Counsel from an earlier president

Harry S. Truman has become one of our most popular presidents, admired by conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, for his character, his integrity and his unpretentious, down-to-earth good sense that was the hallmark of his time and place. Published December 18, 2016

Democrats party of the passe

Writing as a life-long registered Democrat (current age 77), I can tell you that the reason Democrats are losing elections at all levels is really quite simple ("Labor Secretary Tom Perez joins mix of candidates to head DNC," Web, Dec. 15). The Democrats are a party of the old — old leaders and irrelevant old ideas that no longer fit with the problems and issues facing the citizens of our nation. Published December 18, 2016

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

A victory for fair elections

Virginia and the cause of free and fair elections had a good day last week when a panel of three federal judges unanimously upheld the state's common-sense voting law requiring voters to present photographic proof of identification to cast their ballots. Published December 18, 2016