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Syndicated Columns

Opinion: Obama makes cautious foreign progress
December 21, 2014
The nadir for President Obama’s foreign policy was probably last April. His Republican critics were calling him “weak” and “indecisive” after Russia’s invasion of Crimea. A deflated Obama responded meekly that sometimes the best a president can do is to hit “singles” and “doubles.” 
Opinion: Rules of war need an update
December 21, 2014
The attack on a cafe in Sydney, Australia, by a self-described Islamic cleric with a long police record, left two hostages dead, along with the cleric, one Man Haron Monis. He was an Iranian refugee who enjoyed the hospitality and protection of the Australian government.
Opinion: States try to constrain federal power
December 20, 2014
Scott Pruitt enjoyed owning a AAA baseball team here, but he is having as much fun as Oklahoma’s attorney general, and one of the Obama administration’s most tenacious tormentors. The second existential challenge to the Affordable Care Act began here.
Opinion: Lone-wolf terrorists pose varied threat
December 20, 2014
The lone wolf is the new national nightmare, dramatized and amplified this week by the hostage-taking attack in Sydney, Australia. But there are two kinds of lone wolves — the crazy and the evil — and the distinction is important.
Opinion: Massacre should motivate Pakistan
December 19, 2014
Pakistanis, and sympathizers the world over, are mourning the Taliban’s horrific massacre of at least 132 schoolchildren and 13 staff in a crowded school in Peshawar.
Opinion: U.S.-Cuba shift may not be ‘historic’
December 19, 2014
While President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he will normalize relations with Cuba is the biggest diplomatic breakthrough with the island after six decades of hostilities, his speech may have been less “historic” than he portrayed it, according to numerous U.S. congressional sources and Cuba experts.
Opinion: Plates spur Texas-sized dispute
December 18, 2014
The Battle of Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas, on May 13, 1865, is called the last battle of the Civil War, but the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) might consider that judgment premature, given its conflict with the state’s Department of Transportation and Department of Motor Vehicles. This skirmish is of national interest because it implicates a burgeoning new entitlement — the right to pass through life without encountering any disagreeable thought.
Opinion: China, U.S. resetting relationship
December 17, 2014
This year began with some Chinese and American foreign-policy analysts looking back a century to World War I and wondering if confrontation was inevitable between a rising power and a dominant one. But now there has been progress on climate, trade and security issues and what seems a modest “reset” of the Sino-American relationship.
Opinion: Bipartisanship not always pretty
December 16, 2014
The trillion-dollar spending bill that the House of Representatives passed last week had something for everyone to hate. But it was still a step, however awkward, toward making the United States governable again.
Opinion: Iraq minorities plead for help
An Illinois couple’s record-setting gift will have a lasting impact on Kansas University students.
December 14, 2014
In August, President Obama authorized air strikes to prevent the Islamic State from carrying out a genocidal slaughter of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, tens of thousands of whom had fled their besieged city and villages into barren mountains.
Opinion: Details doom federal tax reform
December 13, 2014
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”      — Mr. Micawber in “David Copperfield”      If America’s long-term economic growth were 3.5 percent, the result would be the restoration of cheerfulness. If long-term growth is closer to 2 percent, the result will be continuing social disappointment and political crankiness.

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