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An ethanol plant stands next to a cornfield near Nevada, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) **FILE**

Corn grows all too well in the swamp

Corn has taken root in the swamp that surrounds Congress. It has meant big bucks for Big Corn, but most everyone else is paying the price.

Conflict Between Oil Producers in Middle East Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The perils of Saudi reform

In a dizzying sequence of events, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took a series of moves that will strengthen his status as heir to the throne and the face of his country’s future. These included a roundup of prominent royals, businessmen, and officials and the arrest of a major international Saudi businessman. At the same time, Saudi defense systems intercepted a missile fired at Riyadh from Yemen, the Lebanese prime minister resigned his post during a visit to Saudi Arabia, and another powerful Saudi prince died in a helicopter crash.

Illustration on new GOP wisdom on taxes by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The Stupid Party gets smart

Republicans have long been known as “the stupid party.” They do stupid things, like waiting until mid-November to pass a must-pass tax cut that should have been done by April.

In this July 12, 2017 photo, Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington. The normally sleepy Senate Ethics Committee hasn't had a major case since 2011, but it could be deciding next year on the fate of three senators _ including two facing allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A nation of moral geldings

Question: If the woman in the photo of Al Franken (where he’s groping her while she sleeps) would have given “consent,” then would this be right and good? If morality is really nothing more than mutual “consent” and Sen. Franken could prove that she said this was okay to do while she lay sleeping, he would have nothing — absolutely nothing — to be “ashamed” of. Right?

Illustration on U.S./Azerbaijan cooperation by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Azerbaijan, an American partner

Azerbaijan has long been a partner of the United States. In the 26 years since we gained our independence, Azerbaijan has sought friendly relations with the United States. Formal bilateral relations were established with the sagacious efforts and diligence of the late president of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and his American counterparts: U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Al Franken and Leeanne Tweeden

Gropergate! The halls of Congress under siege!

- The Washington Times

When I was a young reporter on a certain newspaper in the South, fresh on a new job, I took a fancy to a sweet and pretty young woman (that’s how we talked in those days) working on what newspapers quaintly called “the Society pages.”

Why Trump should arm Ukraine

President Trump has often expressed his desire to build a better, more positive relationship with Russia. However, as Secretary of State Tillerson has said, improved bilateral relations will not be possible without ending Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Illustration on the restoration of the Alamo by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Restoring, reinforcing and remembering the Alamo

As a native Texan, as a veteran, and as Texas land commissioner, it is my solemn duty and my great honor to be the caretaker of the Alamo. Who we are as Texans started there and who we can be as Texans and Americans still lives there.

Illustration of George Papadopoulos by Nancy Ohanian/Tribune Content Agency

The Russian shadow

Thank goodness we live in a country where the people who represent us in Congress have the power to investigate and grill federal officials to root out wrongdoing in our government.

Illustration on Brett McGurk by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Following Obama’s footsteps toward Kurdistan’s destruction

Brett McGurk, an Obama appointee serving under President Trump, is working in order to ensure that the United States continues to follow Barack Obama’s failed Iraq policy even though the U.S. now has a Republican president.

United Nations U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, right, listens as Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almargo speaks during a U.N. meeting on human rights concerns in Venezuela, Monday Nov. 13, 2017, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Nikki Haley quite rightly rocks U.N. boat on Venezuela

- The Washington Times

Human rights matter — that’s the message a resolute U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley just sent the Security Council’s way, reminding that Venezuela, land of the socialists, shouldn’t be allowed to skate on civil abuses. This is why Haley rocks. She’s unafraid to take the high ground on behalf of America, even when world players disapprove.

Illustration on the sexual vulgarization of the American culture by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

When the cheap and dirty loses its punch

In the high-tech world of social media, where fake news thrives with the real, we’ve become a nation of voyeurs and eavesdroppers. Consuming the salacious is the guilty pleasure. We see and overhear a broad range of sordid comings and goings, what we used to describe quaintly as “dirty,” in the vocabularies that were once reserved for private conversations between close friends, too embarrassing for general discussion.

Illustration on CFPB by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The ‘Equifax’ threat to small-dollar loan customers

There are many flaws in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) small-dollar loan rule, which will deny millions of Americans access to a vital form of credit. One of the biggest problems, which has become an acute problem lately, is the security of consumers’ personal financial information.

When Republicans promise but don’t deliver

Voters in New Jersey and elsewhere just sent a message to President Trump and congressional Republicans: Deliver or expect to get replaced, and planned tax cuts will hardly be enough.

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Hillary can't be trusted

Political strategist Donna Brazile said recently she was shocked when she learned Hillary Clinton had co-opted the entire Democratic National Committee and rigged the primaries against Sen. Bernard Sanders.

Known for his 'opinions of uncommon clarity and inimitable style'

Viewed by both admirers and detractors as the most transformative jurist of our era, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had a towering intellect. Yet he was humble. He was wise. And he was very funny. And he never forgot the lesson his Italian immigrant father impressed upon him: "Brains can be hired by the hour, just like muscles. Only character is not for sale at any price."

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty, left, waves to a guest during a state banquet at the Akasaka Palace, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Tokyo. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Donald Trump's Christian friends in Canada

- The Washington Times

Just a few days ago, I had the honor of serving as the keynote speaker at the Christian Heritage Party of Canada's 2017 Convention in Gatineau, Quebec. And one big takeaway from our neighbors to the north: They absolutely love President Donald Trump.

Christ Church looks down on George Washington, Robert E. Lee

- The Washington Times

CORRECTION: In a column dated Oct. 29, 2017, I incorrectly noted: "The vestry of Christ Church in Alexandria, however, is not capable of grappling with such complexities. Truly, pearls before swine. After all, it is so much easier just to obliterate painful history than to understand it and learn from it."

Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), general of the Confederate Army in the Civil War. CORBIS

Honor and compromise

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has spent a lifetime fighting America's wars. But nothing he did in his many assignments as a professional soldier ever triggered the uproar that followed his comments on Laura Ingraham's new Fox News "Ingraham Angle" last Monday night about a war Mr. Kelly missed by a century -- the Civil War.

Time Magazine Primal Scream Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Staying blind to the economic boom

Time Magazine's cover this week is a classic. It blares: "The Wrecking Crew: How Trump's Cabinet Is Dismantling Government." Also last week The New York Times ran a lead editorial complaining that team Trump is shrinking at an "unprecedented" pace the regulatory state that was erected to new heights under President Obama. These and other media reports have had all the subtlety of a primal scream.

Dealing with the China Economy Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Confronting China to get 4 percent growth

So far, the Trump economy is a resounding success. Unemployment is down, wage gains are stronger and stocks are setting new records, but a lot more than tax and regulatory reform will be needed to deliver the economic growth Americans should expect and deserve.

Illustration on the social media echo chamber by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Misinformation and echo chambers

Facebook, Google and Twitter are talking to the Congress about how they helped Russia spread fake news and create divisions within our country during the 2016 Presidential election. They were at least complicit, and arguably enabled, what may be the biggest, and most effective anti-U.S. propaganda and destabilization operation in history.

Judicial activism can be dangerous

U.S. District Court Judge Collen Kollar-Kottelly has engaged in judicial activism ("US court bars Trump from reversing transgender troops policy," Web, Oct. 30). The president has broad discretion in the area of national security. President Trump issued an executive order placing a moratorium on transgender military service based on his determinations regarding national security. Judge Kollar-Kottelly overturned major portions of it.

Misplaced liberal sympathies

Liberal talking heads Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews recently vented their righteous indignation about President Trump's "death penalty" tweets regarding the Islamic State terrorist murders in New York City.

FILE- In this Feb. 9, 2015 file photo Harvey Weinstein speaks during a press conference for the film "Woman in Gold" at the 2015 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin. New York City police said Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, that an actress' rape allegations against Weinstein are credible, and if the movie mogul was in the state and the accusation more recent, they would move to arrest him immediately. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said investigators have interviewed actress Paz de la Huerta. She has publicly accused Weinstein of raping her twice in her apartment in 2010 and called police about it on Oct. 26.  (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

When harassment was in flower

The Frenchman has had the reputation since forever, earned or not, of being the sexiest dude on the planet. Ooo la la, and all that. Who knew the Americans, traditionally regarded as unschooled in the arts of seduction, would challenge Gallic supremacy in these arts?

An anti Trump protester, left, confronts a counter protester and Trump supporter during "This Nightmare Must End: the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!" protest in downtown Los Angeles, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. The group Refuse Fascism called for protests against President Donald Trump's administration in several major cities on Saturday, including Los Angeles. (Ed Crisostomo/Los Angeles Daily News via AP)

The conceit of our times

If we were to believe the mainstream pundits, that the slander and calumny that passes for debate about politics and the slovenly popular culture is something new, we might think that nothing like this ever happened before.

The 'drunk' who preserved the Union

At hand is a masterpiece of biography, the best of the genre that I have encountered in almost seven decades of reading. Ron Chernow's book should vault Ulysses S. Grant into a deserved but long-denied position in the front rank of great American presidents.