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Rebecca Hagelin

The ‘holiday’ is Christmas

Just as the Jewish people and so many gentiles missed the true Jesus at the time of his life on earth, America as a “Christian nation” misses Jesus today.

Cutting Through Obama Red Tape Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Trump’s year in review

On Thanksgiving Day, President Trump took to Twitter to remind Americans how much they had to be thankful for during his first year in office, citing a soaring stock market, a “record” cut in regulations, and the “lowest unemployment in 17 years.” Was the president’s self-issued report card accurate?

Illustration of the Mississippi Gopher Frog by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

‘The Case of the Missing Frog’

Sherlock Holmes it isn’t. But Weyerhaeuser v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a case seeking review by the Supreme Court, could be called, “The Case of the Missing Frog.” In this amphibian equivalent of an Arthur Conan Doyle mystery, the government seeks to seize control of land it does not own, to protect an endangered species of frog that does not live there, force private landowners to tear down a healthy native forest, and install at landowner expense a new forest the landowner does not want.

Mirror Tax Cut Plans Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

What John F. Kennedy and Donald Trump have in common

Last week during an address at the White House President Trump likened his tax plan to “the tax cut that John F. Kennedy proposed 55 years ago.” This elicited some howls of protest from Mr. Trump’s liberal critics who say it’s historically inaccurate to compare the Trump plan to JFK’s.

Illustration on the hopes generated by Christmas by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Always winter but never Christmas

In C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” there is a scene where we find the children standing fearful and confused in a land that is frozen and nearly lifeless. A lamppost stands somberly in a windless forest that is blanketed with snow and the few creatures the children do encounter are frightened and paranoid.

Illustration on the end of Net Neutrality regulations by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Network neutrality comes to an end

They finally did it. After six months of debate, during which it received over 23 million public comments (of which half may have been fraudulent), the Federal Communications Commission voted on Dec. 14 to eliminate the network neutrality rules it imposed on broadband network operators during the Obama era.

Illustration on Hanukkah by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Hanukkah, the first battle against transnationalism

Many think of Hanukkah as a fight for religious freedom. While religious freedom was at stake, it was part of a broader battle in behalf of the concept of national identity. The Maccabees, local Judeans who spearheaded the revolt against the overpowering northern Syrian Greeks, and who inspired the grass-roots, did so for the overarching cause of retaining Judea’s identity and Jewish character, which was under assault by those trying to denude Judea of its distinctiveness.

Illustration on global harmony by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

People, planet and climate working together

Another year of weather is coming to a close. Even with some record-breaking snowfall from this past weekend’s storm in the eastern U.S., in many ways weather this year was not much different from any other year since the regular recording of temperature, precipitation and wind began across much of the globe 150 years ago.

Trump Administration Record on School Choice Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Keeping his promise about school choice

During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump spoke passionately and often about school choice. Some school choice advocates, however, are beginning to rumble about the lack of progress on this key domestic policy promise. This grumbling has been building for some time among “talking heads” in the think-tank world.

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore walks off the stage with wife Kayla Moore after he spoke to supporters after an election-night watch party at the RSA activity center, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. Moore didn't concede the election to Democrat Doug Jones. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

What Roy Moore’s defeat portends

There were plenty of reasons why Republican Roy Moore’s defeat in the scandal-plagued Alabama election was a blessing for the GOP, despite losing a seat in a closely divided Senate.

Illustration on the GOP and the death penalty by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Republicans reconsidering the death penalty

The mere idea of Republicans sponsoring death penalty repeal bills in great numbers was once considered an unlikely notion. However, Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty recently released a report revealing how Republicans are championing measures to end capital punishment at never-before-seen rates.

Doug Jones is greeted by a supporter before speaking during an election-night watch party Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. Jones has defeated Republican Roy Moore, a one-time GOP pariah who was embraced by the Republican Party and the president even after facing allegations of sexual impropriety. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Doug Jones — and Trump’s life just got a lot harder

- The Washington Times

President Donald Trump has been beating a dead horse in Congress for almost a year now, trying to pass his agendas legislatively through a Senate that’s dominated by Republicans yet consistently falls to Democratic Party will because of an ever-looming threat of filibuster. It’s only going to get tougher for Trump. Prepare for the stalled and even dropped legislation.

Illustration on Iranian influence in the Persian Gulf region by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Iran’s indirect strategy for regional influence

Last month, Yemen’s Houthis, the Iranian-supported rebel faction that now dominates the southern Persian Gulf’s most volatile state, fired a ballistic missile that came close to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, before being intercepted by the country’s military. The incident was a clear sign of the deepening sectarian conflict between Tehran and Riyadh now taking place throughout the Middle East. But it was also an accurate reflection of the sort of asymmetric tactics being prioritized by Iran in its strategy for regional dominance.

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Pope Francis is hugged by a woman during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis, of all people, moans move to Jerusalem

- The Washington Times

You'd think the pope at least might be in President Donald Trump's court on the whole Tel Aviv-versus-Jerusalem thing -- the announced move of the U.S. Embassy from the former to the latter and the ensuing recognition of the latter as Israel's true capital. After all, the guy's the voice of the Catholic Church. If anyone might rise above lowly human politics to side with the spiritual on this matter, it'd be Pope Francis, yes?

Illustration of Elizabeth Warren by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Pow Wow politics at Harvard Yard

Donald Trump thinks of himself as the comedian-in-chief reprising Elizabeth Warren as the butt of his pointed political satire. To her consternation, he draws chuckles if not guffaws calling the Massachusetts senator "Pocahontas," the celebrated squaw of early American history, needling her for inventing Cherokee ancestors just to claim a diversification slot on the Harvard faculty. "Fake ancestry," he might call it.

Illustration on Middle East peace by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Memo to Jared Kushner

President Trump's son-in-law and designated Middle East peace envoy, Jared Kushner, told the Brookings Institution's Saban Forum last weekend that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is key to solving larger goals, such as stopping Iranian aggression and Islamic extremism.

Illustration on Dennis Rodman and diplomacy with North Korea by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The Dennis Rodman defense

On this, the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, I am accompanying former basketball star and accidental diplomat Dennis Rodman on a visit to Guam. Like Hawaii was in 1941, Guam is an American territory with strategic military importance, home to around 7,000 brave American military personnel. And like Hawaii in 1941, Guam has been threatened by a foreign adversary. Instead of Gen. Tojo, Guam has been targeted by Marshal Kim Jong-un of North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as a target for their potentially nuclear-armed missile strikes.

Education Savings Accounts for Californians Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A golden opportunity for California students

Whether Congress enacts a federal elementary and secondary education savings account (ESA) program as part of its tax reform package is anybody's guess. Yet one thing's for certain: The states shouldn't wait for Congress to expand educational options — especially California.

Affordable Pharmaceuticals Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Making drugs more affordable with the Creates Act

The politicians who set out to fix America's health care system ended up making many things worse. This is no surprise. It's the Washington way. Costs are still rising, even for those of us who've reached the age where Medicare has stepped in and become our primary insurance.

Two people prepare to ride the world's longest urban zip line, with a speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour on a one kilometer run from 170 meter to ground level, in the Marina district of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

How the Dubai miracle was realized

The Great Recession of 2008-09 convinced me, like many other observers, that the city-state of Dubai's razzmatazz — Go skiing in the boiling heat! Gawk at the world's tallest building! — was but a desert mirage. I lambasted Dubai in a 2009 article for "hucksterism and fast talk," running a "trompe l'oeil economy," and suckering outsiders with Ponzi-scheme real estate deals. It appeared to be only a matter of time until the whole edifice collapsed.

Advertisement from the Archdiocese of Washington rejected by the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Rejecting 'the perfect gift'

The rate at which Christmas is being leached of spiritual meaning and replaced with frenzied online shopping isn't increasing fast enough for some.

In this undated photo provided by General Motors Holden, cars are assembled on the production line in Adelaide, Australia.  The Australian auto manufacturing era ends after more than 90 years on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 when General Motors Co.'s last Holden sedan rolls off the production line in the industrial city of Adelaide. The nation has already begun mourning the demise of a home-grown industry in an increasing crowded and changing global car market. (General Motors Holden via AP)

No requiem for the internal-combustion engine

Standing on principle is admirable, but sitting on a Plan B just in case is smart. Automakers are doing both to navigate the obstacles they face in building vehicles both powerful and clean. It's only wise strategy — the future of the fuel is fuzzy.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This year, in Jerusalem

For once, Donald Trump's taste for all-capital letters makes the right point with blunt precision: "Jerusalem IS Israel's capital: I will move our embassy there AND make peace with the Palestinians." Making peace with people who don't want peace is always difficult, when it's not impossible, but the president promises to soldier on.

Court should rule for gay couple

If the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of the baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple's wedding, it would risk spurring copycat claims ("The Latest: Baker and gay couple at court for cake arguments," Web, Dec. 5). Public-accommodations laws require businesses not to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion and (in almost half the states, including Colorado) sexual orientation. The First Amendment rights regarding free speech and the exercise of religion, though fundamental to our constitutional republic, do not abrogate these laws, the baker's sincere religious faith notwithstanding.

Up gas tax to fund transit work

Late Illinois Republican congressman and 1980 National Unity Party presidential candidate John Anderson was ahead of his time. In 1980 he called for a gasoline tax up to 50 cents per gallon to pay for highway- and transit-infrastructure projects.

Out of this world, but not as fine as its predecessor

You can count on an Andy Weir novel to be out of this world. He took us to the Red Planet in his phenomenally successful, mind-blowing debut novel, "The Martian." Now, in his second one, "Artemis," he sends us to the moon.

Russia and U.S. shaking hands

Deplorables and Useful Idiots for Peace

According to the current political vocabulary the "deplorables" are people who are rooting for Trump, while the "useful idiots" are those who believe that for the United States it is much better to have Russia as a friend rather than a foe.

Shutdown Schumer T-shirt Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Snookering the dealmaker

- The Washington Times

The coming government shutdown that at least some congressional leaders are working hard to avoid was predicted by many when President Trump sidestepped congressional Republicans to cut a deal with Democratic leaders last fall. The deal was celebrated in the media and elated a president desperate for good press, but left Republicans worrying about what the White House gave up for a few headlines.

Illustration on the troubles started by Hillary Clinton's claims of Russian interference by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Russia's influence spreads

Last week we discovered that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied to the FBI about the import of what he told them regarding his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Yet Mr. Flynn once served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the presidency of Barack Obama. Why would he lie to the FBI about what passed between him and Mr. Kislyak? Had he forgotten that, for a certitude, the conversation of a Russian ambassador was being recorded secretly by American intelligence agencies? Moreover, when he was being interviewed by the FBI, why did he not bring with him a lawyer? When I was being interviewed by the FBI about my perfidious Arkansas Project, I most certainly brought a lawyer with me, and it helped that my lawyer looked like he once worked for Don Corleone. Thinking back on it, I should have brought two lawyers.