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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.

Illustration on a peace initiative in the form of an international research vessel for the South China Sea               The Washington Times

Using science diplomacy in the South China Sea

Despite White House efforts to deny well-established climate change reports and U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, most might question the wisdom of laying down a science — led peace-building plan in the contested South China Sea disputes. Yet science may prove to be the linchpin for bringing about cooperation rather than competition not only among the claimant nations in the region but also between Washington and Beijing. While President Trump’s recent offer to Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang to mediate the complex and challenging disputes over access to fish stocks, conservation of biodiversity and sovereignty claims caught many observers by surprise, it should not have.

Investigation into the Investigation Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

More Chronicles of Hillary

The Department of Justice will soon commence an investigation to determine whether there should be an investigation (you read that nonsense correctly) of a scandal involving the Clinton Foundation and a company called Uranium One. It appears that FBI decisions made during the time that Hillary Clinton was being investigated for espionage will also be investigated to see whether there should be an investigation to determine whether she was properly investigated. (Again, you read that nonsense correctly.)

In this Oct. 17, 2017, file photo, Army soldiers hone their long-distance marksmanship skills as they train at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Filling military quotas with the mentally ill

The Army very quietly announced in August that it will lift a ban on waivers allowing people with a history of mental health issues, as well as alcohol and drug abuse, to join their ranks. Even in normal times this should concern you greatly, let alone when the world appears to be preparing for war.

Illustration on the campaign against glyphosphate by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Forcing taxpayers to fund anti-chemical activism

It’s bad enough when tax-exempt foundations and activist groups use junk science and scare campaigns to promote excessive regulations and set the stage for class action lawsuits against perfectly good products. It’s intolerable when our tax dollars directly finance U.S. and European Union government agencies that do likewise.

Illustration on the criminalization of government agencies by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The criminalization of America’s government agencies

The criminalization of government agencies by the Obama administration was far more extensive than previously realized. The Uranium One deal is a prime example of how key government agencies have been criminalized.

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Tremors in the Saudi Arabian Kingdom Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The destabilization of Saudi Arabia

A wide variety of threats, ranging from intensifying proxy wars and hostile neighbors to the purge of prominent individuals, seems to be destabilizing the House of Saud.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, right, leaves the Fort Bragg courtroom facility as the judge deliberates in a sentencing hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Bergdahl, who walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held by the Taliban for five years, pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The Bergdahl liberals

I thought later about the women's admiration of Mr. Obama while reading about Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl's light, dishonorable discharge without incarceration for leaving his post in 2009 and causing severe injuries and possibly related deaths of several fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Sgt. Bergdahl's return was procured by Mr. Obama in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban commanders who have gone back to plotting the destruction of the United States and our allies.

Illustration on child tax credits by Linas Garsys/ The Washington Times

Investing in long-term prosperity

Though we don't agree on the overall tax package being debated in Washington, we do agree that Congress should act to increase the value of and access to the child tax credit and the child and dependent care tax credit for families with children ages 0-5 as key steps in helping low- and middle-income working families and investing in our country's long-term prosperity.

Illustration on William Carey    The Washington Times

When Reformers traveled to India, China and Korea

In the U.S. and Europe, churches dedicated entire services and sermon series to the subject, tracing their theological history back to Oct. 31, 1517, Reformation Day. In Germany, where the date was declared a national holiday, more than 2 million people from across the world pilgrimaged to Wittenberg, the birthplace of the Reformation, to breathe the air of the historic occasion.

Illustration on failed effort to cut taxes by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The flawed House tax plan

The House Republican tax bill faces a tough climb to passage because it simply won't deliver the kind of growth the administration claims and it distributes benefits unfairly.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore waits to speak the Vestavia Hills Public library, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. According to a Thursday, Nov. 9 Washington Post story an Alabama woman said Moore made inappropriate advances and had sexual contact with her when she was 14. Moore has denied the allegations. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Roy Moore's day in court

Sometimes a lynch mob gets a guilty man, but it's nevertheless an unspeakable evil. The accusations against Roy Moore in Alabama are sordid and serious, but so far they're accusations, not charges, and he is entitled to his day in court. That day will be Dec. 12, and the jurors, in a special election to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate, will be the voters of Alabama.

Eating, drinking and merriment in Maine

The voters of Maine gave themselves a Christmas present last week, voting to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, and doing it by referendum to prevent Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, from taking it away from them. The legislature had tried five times to give such a fine present to Maine voters, and five times Mr. LePage vetoed the present because he said Maine couldn't afford it.

Decades of useless climate parties

The climate warriors are holding yet another global warming jamboree, this time at the COP 23 Fiji UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany ("US at climate talks may be like unhappy dinner guest," Web, Nov. 9). We can expect an orchestrated flood of frightening forecasts to support their alarmist agenda.

Pharma not in the health business

The first thing you have to get your head around is that health care is not about health ("Doctors fear obesity diagnosis will embarrass patients," Web, Nov. 7). Health insurance is in fact "disease" insurance, and only rarely does it have anything to do with your health. Doctors have not been trained to promote health, do not have a clue as to how to do so and basically are where they are because of the ability to perform well on exams and ultimately to learn to diagnose disease and then match that disease to a menu of drugs. This is what a patient pays for. If you raise your expectations, you are going to be disappointed in a big way.

Deconstructing the myths of the Arab-Israeli conflict

There are few countries in the world that produce an emotional response quite like Israel. From its birth as a modern nation in 1948, this country has faced everything from preserving ancient history to threats of annihilation by its worst enemies.

In this Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 photo, good samaritans of the town of Isabela make a circle of prayer with the residents of Rio Abajo in Utuado as recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria continue in Puerto Rico. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP)

The power of charity over government

- The Washington Times

TJX Companies, Inc., the corporate owners of Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods, announced just recently that even though its shops' doors have been closed for more than six weeks in hurricane-plagued Puerto Rico, all its employees will still be paid. This is how America rolls.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, file photo, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney talks with reporters in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Mitt Romney blasts Roy Moore as 'unfit for office'

- The Washington Times

Former Massachusetts governor and failed president candidate Mitt Romney took opportunity to weigh in on the whole Roy Moore matter -- the one that finds him ensnarled in a web of allegations of sexual improprieties with underage and young girls -- and call for the former Alabama judge to immediately "step aside" and abandon his Senate aspirations. Maybe. But what's Romney's angle on weighing in?

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR REDFIN - A Redfin real estate yard sign is pictured in front of a house in Seattle on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. (Stephen Brashear/AP Images for Redfin)

Searching for loopholes

Home is where the heart it is, but home is where there's a big hole in tax receipts. The home mortgage interest deduction, which enables mortgage holders to write off the interest payments on their properties, will subtract $1.3 trillion from the federal government's balance sheet over the course of the next decade.

National Space Council will meet Thursday. Government officials and entrepreneurs will be in attendance. The event will be livestreamed.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, in the middle of a Christmas Eve space walk, outside the International Space Station in 2013. (NASA)

High times and matrimony at NASA

Some marriages are said to be made in heaven, and now certain Democratic senators want to make sure that some marriages be recognized in space. Heaven can wait. These senators object to President Trump's nominee to be the administrator of NASA because he, like most Americans, thinks the ladies make the most appropriate brides.

China bigger threat than Cuba

The Trump administration has issued new restrictions on Americans visiting communist Cuba. Americans will not be allowed to do business with certain hotels, stores or other establishments that have ties to the Cuban military or security services. But why doesn't the Trump administration place the same types of sanctions on communist China? A lot of hotels, stores and other businesses are owned by the Chinese military and Communist Party there. Why the hypocrisy?

Building a mystery around law school debt

At the end of the author's note in this, his 39th novel, he tells readers that "The question all writers hate is: 'Where do you get your ideas?' But then he answers it -- "I read an article in the September 2014 edition of the Atlantic titled 'The Law School Scam.' It's a fine investigative piece by Paul Campos. By the end of it I was inspired and knew I had my next novel. Thank you, Mr. Campos."