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Mike Pompeo. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The Democratic terror of a miracle in North Korea

- The Washington Times

Trying to spark a new romance, or even arrange a weekend tryst, is not always easy. It’s impossible with the help of spectators eager to throw things, not orange blossoms but sticks and stones with sharp edges. But that’s how Washington tries to conduct diplomacy, circa 2018.

Illustration on Taiwan's contributions to world health by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why Taiwan must be seated at the World Health Assembly

The constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” Yet WHO withheld, as last year, an invitation for Taiwan’s participation in May as an observer in the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, joined at left by Vice Chairman Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., announces the new farm bill, officially known as the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The bulk of the bill's spending goes toward funding SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Faith leaders skew Bible to oppose SNAP reform

- The Washington Times

Faith leaders are coming out in full force to oppose the Republican-sponsored Farm Bill released in the House that imposes stricter work requirements on those receiving food stamps. Do not be fooled by their so-called Christian arguments in opposition of this bill. Their arguments are neither Christian nor common sense.

The Birth of a New Economic Recovery Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The optimists may be right

In January, Wall Street investors were optimistic tax cuts would sustain economic growth and the Trump bull market. As spring arrives, the world has proven decidedly more uncertain.

Illustration on the costs of Elon Musk's Space X by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The crony capitalist in free market clothing

You might imagine that pro-capitalism, free-market folk like me would just love what Elon Musk has done in the past couple of decades but you’d be wrong. I enjoy his entrepreneurial spirit and success, founding company (zip2) after company (PayPal) after company (The Boring Co.) and turning them into properties worth billions and then moving along to the next new thing. Props and kudos to this son of South Africa and prototype for “Iron Man.” You got those parts right.

William Wachtel holds up a mock Social Security card of President-elect Donald Trump as he speaks to members of the media following a meeting with Trump at Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A fresh start for a beleaguered agency

It seemed like it would never happen. But after more than five years, a formal nomination of a Social Security commissioner will finally be considered by the U.S. Senate. This is a long overdue development. The delay of a nomination, however, pales compared to the wait a million Americans continue to endure for a hearing that will decide if they will receive the Social Security disability benefits they earned while working.

President Donald Trump gestures during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump and the attorney-client privilege

A few weeks ago, President Trump was an outwardly happy man because of the utterance of one solitary word from the lips of special counsel Robert Mueller to one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers. The word that thrilled the president and his legal team was “subject.”

The Tarmac Meeting Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The Clintons and the rule of law

Former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in a NBC interview last Monday, reopened a can of worms. In the interview, Ms. Lynch defended her private meeting with Bill Clinton back on June 27, 2016.

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announces to reporters he will not run for re-election and will retire next year at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The speaker exits

"Nice guys finish last" is part of the lore of baseball, an insight by Hall of Fame player and manager Leo Durocher, but it could be the epitaph for the Washington career of Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House who is widely praised for civility and good manners. He announced Wednesday that he's fed up and going home.

Soldiers can be atheists, too

Atheism is a non-belief in a god, while humanism is an ethical view ("Navy rejects 'non-theist' for chaplain corps; lawmakers warn against changing core mission," Web, March 27). Being a humanist chaplain would not mean, as some seem to believe, jumping at the chance to tell soldiers who believe in a deity that one does not exist.

Recognize Israel's right to Golan

As President Trump weighs a response to the latest deadly Syrian chemical-weapons attack on civilians, he should consider formally recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights ("Trump unleashes anger on 'Animal' Assad over apparent chemical attack in Syria," Web, April 8).

A president with failings of his own making

In terms of formal education and academic background, Woodrow Wilson ranks high -- perhaps at the top -- of any list of intellectual American presidents.

John Boehner's new, hypocritical marijuana money-making gig

- The Washington Times

John Boehner's got a new gig -- and it's tied to selling marijuana. How nice. Look at this headline from Quartz: "420,000 people were arrested for selling marijuana while John Boehner ran Congress. That speaks volumes, but can all be summed in a single word just the same: Hypocrite?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Mark Zuckerberg's misguided turn toward AI to define 'hate speech'

- The Washington Times

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told members of Congress -- as well as a rapt TV audience -- that "hate speech" is tough to define, but within a few years, he expects artificial intelligence to assume a greater role in sifting the nuances of social media content on the company's pages and begin red-flagging and booting posts deemed hateful and hate-filled. This is hardly comforting.

In this March 20, 2018, file photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin pauses as he speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Will Paul Ryan challenge Trump in 2020?

- The Washington Times

Never Trump Republicans and establishments types in Washington have been pining for a White Knight to sweep in after the expected mid-term defeats this November to challenge Trump for the 2020 nomination. And Ryan appears to come right from central casting to play the part.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is mandated to submit a confidential report to the attorney general at the conclusion of his investigation, but there are major ambiguities about whether a full release of the information would be in the public interest. (Associated Press/File)

Trump almost fired Mueller over fake news report

- The Washington Times

The initial reports of the financial investigation turned out to be erroneous. They were fake. They were fake news. Bloomberg, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal all ran with the story until finally issuing a correction and update. But, as is usually the case, the damage was done as cable news stations ran with the report with non-stop breathless coverage and analysis.

U.S. Rep. Lou Correa is defending a student painting hanging in his office that depicts the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab, despite allegations that it violates the separation of church and state. (YouTube/@We The People Rising)

DC area hate crime hoax: Teen girl claimed man ripped off head scarf

- The Washington Times

The incident is yet another hoax that gained intense media attention when first reported but then disappears into the ether when the facts finally come to light. The multiple reports of so-called hate crimes against Latinos and Muslims miraculously appeared after the 2016 presidential election and the media breathlessly reported on each instance in an effort to describe a larger trend of hate in America inspired by Donald Trump.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mark Zuckerberg, Robert Mueller's right-hand man

- The Washington Times

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, told members of the joint Senate meeting of the committees of Commerce, Science and Transportation and of Judiciary that yes, he is helping Robert Mueller with his special counsel business. Does anyone else find this a bit unsettling?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican (left) and Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, South Dakota Republican, speak with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Tuesday about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (Associated Press)

Facebook's Big Dork vs. Congress' Dearth Panels

- The Washington Times

Every single one of these people in Congress expressing shock and condemnation over Facebook's sale of persuasion power to political entities already knew exactly what Facebook has been up to for years. Because each and every one of them has used those very tactics to get elected.

Illustration on Syria's role in middle-east peace by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

What's at stake in Syria

Syria is a far-away land about which we know little. But we do know this: Over the past seven years, more than a half million people have been slaughtered there, with an estimated 150 murdered by chemical weapons just last weekend in a town outside Damascus.

Illustration of Larry Kudlow by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Larry Kudlow to the rescue

The markets are on edge. Yet, then again, inflation is low, employment is high — in the case of blacks and Latinos historically high — and growth is healthy and looking to become very healthy. Dare we say it, robust? The reason for the edginess in the markets is that President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on Communist China and threatens to impose still more tariffs. There is talk of a trade war. That should worry any champion of free markets.

Illustration on the abundance of American shale oil resourses by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Energy security at home bolsters U.S. leadership abroad

With turmoil bubbling from nearly every corner of the world, our policymakers must be leaning forward. Every element of national power (diplomatic, informational, military and economic) must be synchronized to ensure U.S. global leadership on the international stage. To paraphrase President Teddy Roosevelt, a "big stick" is essential but let's try to keep it in reserve.

Illustration on balance in the Supreme Court by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Restoring common sense to the Supreme Court

President Trump can cut taxes, build the wall, rebuild the military, pull us out of disastrous agreements such as the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal, and he can make America great again in many ways. But nothing he does will transcend or outlive his impact on the U.S. Supreme Court, beginning with the service of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Facebook Freeze Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Bring on the cyber apocalypse

Many "progressives" — particularly millennials — were horrified to learn that some Facebook data might have been used to help elect Donald Trump president. Conservatives understand that social media was used to elect both Mr. Trump in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012. They can't blame me; I have been off the social media grid since early 2012. Actually, I was never truly on it. I briefly opened a Facebook account when my son was in Afghanistan so I could see pictures of his surroundings. I quickly closed it after I began getting friend invitations from people I didn't want to be friends with.

The Korean War Memorial in Washington,DC    The Washington Times photo

Remembering the 'forgotten'

As I read the obituary in the newspaper on March 29 citing the death of renowned sculptor Frank Gaylord, my thoughts drifted back to that day several years ago when I was first exposed to his work. Mr. Gaylord created the 19 statues that are depicted in what many regard as the most beautiful and haunting of all the war memorials in Washington, D.C.