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EDITORIAL: Ensign's scarlet letter

An office affair and a blizzard of rule-bending are not the reason Sen. John Ensign, Nevada Republican, stands amid the irreparable wreckage of his personal reputation and political future. Such sleaze is all too typical in the nation's capital, where power, money and sex stand out as a warped political trinity. Mix power and a sense of entitlement with the Washington social scene, and you get a bipartisan recipe for scandal. Right now, there are Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill on the same path, secure in the delusion that they won't be caught. Published October 7, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama bows again

The last time the Dalai Lama visited Washington, President George W. Bush presented the exiled Tibetan leader with the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony on Capitol Hill. Now the Dalai Lama cannot even get a private meeting with President Obama. The only winner in this rebuff is communist China. Published October 6, 2009

EDITORIAL: Jobless rate hits 17 percent

America's jobless crisis is much worse than the 9.8 percent unemployment rate reported Friday. To understand how there are many more unemployed than the government reports, it's necessary to look at the numbers used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the unemployment rate. The Household Survey numbers paint a bleak picture that no one is discussing. Published October 6, 2009

EDITORIAL: POMS de terror

Freedom won a big round Sept. 29 when Judge Rosemary M. Collyer slapped down federal commissars who are pushing a senseless and dangerous Medicare requirement. Published October 6, 2009

EDITORIAL: Canada's black-market clinics

The health care debate has been awash in worst-case scenarios - death panels, taxpayer-financed abortion and generous benefits for illegal immigrants among them. There's another potential nightmare. Imagine having to go to court for the right to choose your insurance or resorting to illegal clinics to have surgery. Published October 5, 2009

EDITORIAL: The haunting of Medicare clawbacks

Senate Democrats on the Finance Committee ratified death panels by proxy on Wednesday night. Approval was granted even though one of their leaders worried that the provision in question might well haunt them later. Haunt them it should. The committee's vote in favor of this deadly article was unconscionable. Published October 5, 2009

EDITORIAL: The health care taxman cometh

Campaign promises are like fruit flies - they never live very long. The latest to go legs-up is President Obama's campaign pledge that not "one single dime" of new taxes will hit families making less than $250,000 annually. Published October 5, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama's lewd schools czar

The Obama administration isn't adequately vetting important presidential appointees. When it was exposed that former "green jobs czar" Van Jones believed in crazy conspiracies about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it was questionable whether anyone had even bothered to Google individuals before they received presidential appointments. In that case, the White House strategy was to refuse to answer questions and hope interest faded away. That approach worked for most of the media, which carried water for President Obama's scandal-plagued pick. Stonewalling scandal is not what Americans were expecting from an administration that promised to usher in an "unprecedented level of openness in government." Instead, a pattern of presidential obfuscation is developing. Published October 4, 2009

EDITORIAL: Don't squeeze the telecoms

Certain Democratic senators are doing their Pavlov's dog routine again, responding to the bell of the trial lawyers who finance their campaigns. In this instance, they are reopening a fight to make telecommunications companies liable for trillions of dollars for complying with a presidential directive to assist in a "warrantless surveillance" program against suspected terrorists. This has negative consequences for public safety, for the already staggering economy and for the cause of basic fairness and justice. Published October 4, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama appointee ignored illicit sex

Five years ago, Kevin Jennings - who now is President Obama's "safe schools czar" - threatened to sue another teacher who called him "unethical" in a Washington Times news article for ignoring a legal requirement to report a student's homosexual relations with an "older man." Mr. Jennings' lawyer wrote a letter stating that there was "no factual basis whatsoever for [the] claim" and that he was not "aware of any sexual victimization of any student, or that he declined to report any sexual victimization at any time." Published October 2, 2009

EDITORIAL: Fighting terrorists with pond scum and choo-choos

When speaking before a veterans group last month, President Obama's words sounded simple and direct. "If Congress sends me a defense bill loaded with a bunch of pork, I will veto it," he promised. The Democratic Congress is betting the president had his fingers crossed. Published October 2, 2009

EDITORIAL: Hillary Clinton vs. Afghan reality

In a PBS interview on Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton dismissed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's detailed assessment of the situation in Afghanistan. "I respect that because clearly he is the commander on the ground," she said, "but I can only tell you there are other assessments from very expert military analysts who have worked in counterinsurgencies that are the exact opposite." She said the administration's goal "is to take all of this incoming data and sort it out." Published October 2, 2009

EDITORIAL: Panther injustice continues

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission is not backing off its showdown with the Justice Department about mishandling the voter-intimidation case involving agents of the New Black Panther Party. Nor should it. Published October 1, 2009

EDITORIAL: Renew the Patriot Act

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to debate the key aspects of the Patriot Act today. The debate comes in the wake of the takedown of three terror plots: Najibullah Zazi from Afghanistan was arrested in connection to a plot to bomb the New York subway system; Hosam Maher Husein Smadi from Jordan was apprehended while planting a bomb at a Dallas skyscraper; and American "jihadist fighter" Michael Finton was arrested after attempting to detonate a car bomb outside a federal courthouse in Springfield, Ill. These arrests demonstrate that the threat from domestic and international terrorism is ongoing. Published October 1, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obamacare -- faster inflation, worse care

President Obama's promise that a government health care takeover is the key to almost every ill echoes 19th century charlatans selling elixirs that would cure everything from constipation to baldness. From controlling the growth of government to reining in private business expenditures, Mr. Obama's health reform potion is promised as a cure-all. It's hardly that. Published October 1, 2009

EDITORIAL: Dirty Deeds

It is a rare politician who unites newspaper editorial boards across the political spectrum and across the state of Virginia. Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds has done just that: Throughout the state, observers agree that he is running a flatly dishonest advertising campaign that discredits his own claim to be worthy of the office. Published September 30, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama's Iran talks will fail

Talks set to open Thursday between Iran and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (the G5+1) are bound to fail. All the earnest good faith in the world won't change the character of the Iranian regime. Published September 30, 2009

EDITORIAL: Loophole creates toothless tobacco ban

Until last week, all cigarette flavors were equal, then new Food and Drug Administration regulations made one flavor more equal than all the others. Because of a loophole written into the law, the FDA banned all flavored cigarettes except menthol. The only flavor sold by Philip Morris, the FDA's industry ally in passing legislation to allow the ban, just happens to be menthol. Published September 30, 2009

EDITORIAL: Sex scandal double standard

When Republican Rep. Mark Foley was caught chasing congressional pages, he got exactly what was coming to him. In a blizzard of coverage (1,400 stories, according to Google news), Mr. Foley's creepy behavior was examined from every possible angle. Nobody wanted to hear that the congressman's stupid and objectionable behavior was confined to e-mails and text messages. His immediate resignation didn't quiet the furor. When two years of investigations found no crime, the results got barely a peep. Published September 29, 2009

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless tax undermines reform

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, made it clear last week that he has no plans to tax Q-tips, Band-Aids and toothbrushes. Such an announcement is a Washington cliche - literally true but functionally false. A $4 billion annual "fee" that Mr. Baucus has proposed on manufacturers of "medical devices" is still a $4 billion fee, and its costs still will be passed on to consumers. Even if those same consumers won't see a direct price increase on their basic store-bought thermometers, their temperatures should rise when they realize that innovative technology is being strangled in the crib by punitive fees the industry can't afford. Published September 29, 2009