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FILE - In this May 14, 2012 file photo, King Salman, left, speaks with his son, now Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, (MBS), as they wait for Gulf Arab leaders ahead of the opening of Gulf Cooperation Council, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The surprise dismissal and arrest of dozens of ministers, royals, officials and senior military officers by MBS late Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, is unprecedented in the secretive, 85-year-old kingdom. But so is the by-now virtually certain rise to the throne of a 30-something royal who, in another first, is succeeding his father. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Interesting times in Arabia

If hard times can make a monkey eat red pepper, as the ancient saying goes, tough times might require Arab and Jew to join forces to bring home the bacon. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.) The reformation of Islam, which stalled in Spain in the 16th century, might be struggling for renewed purchase in Saudi Arabia.

In this April 4, 2012 photo made available by the University of Goteborg in Sweden, the Swedish research team practices before the operations to transplant wombs at the Sahlgrenska Hospital in Goteborg, Sweden. Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant, the doctor in charge of the pioneering project has revealed. “This is a new kind of surgery,” Dr. Mats Brannstrom told The Associated Press. Brannstrom is leading the initiative at the University of Goteborg and will run workshops for other doctors on how to perform womb transplants later this year. “We have no textbook to look at,” he said.  (AP Photo/University of Goteborg, Johan Wingborg)

When two heads are better than one

China is thinking big. The Middle Kingdom has already built a small chain of islands in the South China Sea, fortifying them and bids to make them armed fortresses astride the sea lanes connecting Asia to the world. Leaders have to think big, and China obviously wants to replace the United States as the world’s superpower.

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks to the Associated Press after giving a press conference at his home in Harare, Zimbabwe, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.  Tsvangirai said President Robert Mugabe must resign and called for a negotiated, inclusive transitional mechanism as well as comprehensive reforms before elections. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Coup in Zimbabwe

“Every great cause begins as a movement,” the television philosopher Eric Hoffer once observed (maybe), “becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” There’s some dispute about whether Mr. Hoffer ever actually said it, but there’s no dispute that it’s an accurate description of what happened to the Zimbabwe of Robert Mugabe.

NBC's Megyn Kelly interviews Juli Briskman, a former government contractor who was fired after she was photographed giving President Trump's motorcade the middle finger. (Image: "Megyn Kelly Today" screenshot)

The 100-grand salute

Salutes to the president can be monetized, and a middle-finger salute to a passing presidential motorcade can sometimes be worth more than a hundred grand. Is this a great country, or what?

Homeward-bound jihadis

War is hell, especially for the losers. Rather than winding up in a World War II-type concentration camp, defeated terrorists of ISIS are merely gathering up their wounded egos and bloody heads and heading home. Mom might be overjoyed to welcome the return of little Jihadi Joey, but the neighbors, not so much. When reauthorizing the nation’s surveillance code, Congress must make sure that in protecting the privacy of the law-abiding they don’t overlook the dangers posed by returning fighters who have lost the battle abroad but intend to continue the fight at home.

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Dave Matthews delivers a speech at the start of the show after performing a solo song Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va. Thousands of people have packed a stadium for a concert intended to raise money for charity and promote unity in the aftermath of this summer's white nationalist rallies. Matthews, whose band got its start in the Virginia college town, hosted the Sunday show. (Zack Wajsgras/The Daily Progress/The Daily Progress via AP)

The threat to free speech

Readin', writin' and 'rithmetic have been the traditional elements of a fundamental education. Recently, if the front pages of the newspapers are an accurate reflection of the menu on many campuses, rant and rage have been added to the three r's to make five. It's clear that elemental civics should be added as well.

A vintage coal-fired steam engine pushes a passenger car up the Cog Railway on a 3.8-mile journey to the summit of 6,288-foot Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Tourists visiting the northeast's highest peak were rewarded with summer-like weather on the first weekend of autumn. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Warmed again by coal

Gentlemen, start your thermostats. Ladies, too. The Obama war on coal, which cost Hillary Clinton the vote in once-reliably Democratic West Virginia, is over. Maybe the war on nuclear energy, too. Americans might soon heat their homes without choosing between the warmth and food and medicine.

Al Gore speaks to people before a meeting on climate change during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Dueling disaster thrillers

Ill winds are supposed to bring somebody good, so Al Gore, the circuit-riding global-warming preacher with manuscripts of novels and sequels in his saddle bags, is entitled to his snit. He can blame literary misfortune on Harvey, Irma and Jose.

U.S. First lady Melania Trump greets First lady Brigitte Macron, left, wife of President Emmanuel Macron of France, after she addressed a luncheon at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.  (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The right stuff from a first lady

First ladies are usually, but not always, eager to establish themselves as separate but equal personalities. Some of them are content to be the "wife of," but nearly all of them leave their mark on a presidency, even if only their husbands know the details of how and when the mark was applied.

In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of metro Phoenix, at a campaign event in Marshalltown, Iowa. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Showtime in the Senate

Now is the time for all good Republicans to put up or shut up. There's no more time for big talk about repealing and replacing Obamacare. The hot air sent spiraling into the cosmos over the eight years of the Obama administration, by big talkers safe in the expectation that whatever they did would get only a veto, was enough to raise the temperature of this planet and maybe Saturn and Pluto as well.

President Donald Trump walks to his seat after speaking during a luncheon with African leaders at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Premature applause for the Trump trio

The point of political affiliation, like fan loyalty, is to join a team to win. Donald Trump promised voters weary of being beaten like a drum that if he were elected they would soon "get sick of winning." That hasn't happened. Yet. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that most Americans are cheering the president for linking up with the Democrats to post some victories. They might restrain the high-fives, though. Those triumphs come with a hefty price tag.

More pain and suffering on campus

History is complicated, and rarely is anything settled about the facts of what happened, and why, in wars, revolutions and crusades past. Historians are the first to say that those who think they know it all usually don't. But it's usually the ignorant who yell the loudest.

Screwy Wedding Cake Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Cakewalk to the Constitution

The U.S. Supreme Court takes up a free-speech case in the October term, and making the right decision should be a piece of cake. The justices will be asked to decide whether the government can require someone to say something he doesn't want to say.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Fair warning at the U.N.

No more globaloney. That was the enduring message President Trump had Tuesday for the United Nations. He gave it to the delegates with the bark on, but tempered with just enough of the butter they're accustomed to hearing from their indulgent betters.

President Donald Trump speaks during a dinner with Latin American leaders at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The worth of a president

"The chief business of the American people," Calvin Coolidge said, "is business." The 30th president didn't say much, but he often said memorable things. But we never had a businessman president until Donald Trump.

ESPN's Jemele Hill attends "ESPN: The Party 2017" in Houston, Texas. Hill tweeted recently that the president is "a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself (with) other white supremacists." The White House spokeswoman called that comment "a fireable offense." (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP) ** FILE **

Apology, apology, who's got an apology?

The art of the apology has become junk science, particularly in the entertainment business. Calibrating an apology is hard work, figuring out to whom the apology is aimed, and how much of it is sincere. A rule of thumb is that apologies are spoken to the wind, and none of them are sincere.

FILE- In this Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump, center, gestures as he greets the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah as he arrives at the White House in Washington. Kuwait says it will expel North Korea's ambassador and four other diplomats from its embassy in Kuwait City. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The art of no deal

Someone should lend Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, a copy of President Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal." The president rightly rebuked his predecessor's negotiators and promised better ones in his own administration, but Mr. Short could use some tips. His suggestion last week that funding for the Mexican border wall doesn't necessarily have to be included in a compromise with Democrats over DACA is giving away the president's store.

Religious bigotry in the Senate

Dianne Feinstein is one of the few independent Democratic voices left in the U.S. Senate. She's a former mayor of San Francisco, and knows a nut when she sees one, and as the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee she has learned things there that would sober anyone but the most dedicated peacenik.

New Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, center, gets up after signing paperwork moments after taking the oath of office for mayor Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, in Seattle. Harrell, who was City Council president, assumed the temporary position following the resignation of Mayor Ed Murray. Murray resigned after it was reported that a fifth man, one of his cousins, had accused Murray of molesting him decades ago. Murray has vehemently denied all of the accusations against him and had already decided not to seek re-election. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

EDITORIAL: Racial injustice in Seattle

We can't ever be too sensitive about racial insensitivity, and kudos today to Larry Gossett, a member of the city council of Seattle, which is one of the most sensitive cities anywhere. Mr. Gossett is not necessarily a fan of the stinky stuff you collect on the bottom of your shoe when you step in something a dog has left on the sidewalk, but he urges caution -- and sensitivity -- about how it's cleaned up.

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, file photo, demonstrators clash during a free speech rally, in Berkeley, Calif. Police in the city of Berkeley can use pepper spray on violent demonstrators after the City Council voted Tuesday, Sept. 12, to allow police to use pepper spray to repel attacks on officers and others during the kind of violent protests that have rocked the city this year. (AP Photo/Josh Edelson)

The inconvenience of free speech

Free speech can be so inconvenient. A growing number of Democrats like the First Amendment's guarantee of the right to free speech and assembly, but only for themselves and for those who agree with them. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the First Amendment, which does not guarantee pleasing, nice, or even responsible speech, but free speech -- even odious speech.

Visitors walk by the map of two Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. South Korea said Wednesday it conducted its first live-fire drill for an advanced air-launched cruise missile it says will strengthen its pre-emptive strike capability against North Korea in the event of crisis. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Kicking the carrot down the road

Somewhere over the rainbow, the United Nations has squeezed out another resolution ordering North Korea to be nice, to abandon its nuclear weapons, or else. Off in the great somewhere, where colors meet the clouds, there's faith that sanctions resolution No. 8 will succeed where the previous seven didn't. On the ground where reality unfolds, it's clear that only stronger medicine can cure the rogue regime of its practiced evil.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a key member of the group, walk through Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. With President Donald Trump wanting a legislative solution to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Meadows has said he will put together a working group to craft a conservative immigration plan. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Why the debt ceiling is important

When Jack Kent Cooke fired George Allen the elder as the coach of the Washington Redskins, he remarked that "I gave George an unlimited budget and he exceeded it." George should have been a congressman.

Destroyed trailers are seen at the Seabreeze trailer park along the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Florida is cleaning up and embarking on rebuilding from Hurricane Irma, one of the most destructive hurricanes in its history. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

Lessons from the storm

The lasting effect of two hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, may be settling the fundamental argument about climate change, although neither side in that bitter and costly dispute recognizes it just yet.

Addy Valdez, 12, holds her cousin, Jasmine, while her family starts to clean up the damage from Hurricane Irma in Everglades City, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (Katie Klann/Naples Daily News via AP)

Disasters and dopes

Disaster comes in a variety of heartbreaking shapes and sizes, all of them unwelcome. Some, like global warming, are the work of nature; others are man-made. A little bit of rationality is all it takes to figure out which is which. But recent events suggest that the day they were handing out common sense some people stepped up to the nonsense window instead.