Hello, it's 01:59PM November 25, 2014

Trudy Rubin: Long-term solution to ISIS lacking

If there was ever an issue that required politics to stop at the water’s edge, it’s the fight against ISIS. With its Mideast land grab, its growing army of Western volunteers, and its global aspirations, ISIS threatens U.S. security interests and must be confronted. But no one, not the White House, not GOP leaders, certainly not Congress, has come up with a coherent plan to curb the group in the long run. In a sane go …

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George Will: Rockefeller’s life illuminates today’s political parties

WASHINGTON — Seen through the prism of subsequent national experience, Nelson Rockefeller resembles a swollen post-war automobile — a land yacht with tail fins, a period piece, bemusing and embarrassing. He remains, however, instructive. Richard Norton Smith, a biographer as talented as he is industrious, could not have known, when he began his labors 14 years ago, that publication of his “On His Own Terms: A Life of …

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New war needs new resolution

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. When President Barack Obama declared in September that the United States would be part of an international effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State, he said vaguely that he welcomed congressional support but insisted that he already had the necessary legal authority to act. It soon emerged that the administration was relying for …

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Diabetes and dental issues tied together

Chances are you know someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes. But what you may not know is that good oral health can reduce the severity of the disease. Some 29 million Americans, roughly 12 percent of adults in the United States, have diabetes, according to a 2014 Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report. In our state, about 600,000 adults have diabetes and 1.8 million more are at high risk for develop …

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Congressman-elect looks back, looks ahead

I am writing this from Washington, D.C., where I have spent the past few days meeting with my new colleagues, voting on leadership and rules for the new Congress and starting work on important issues. I don’t officially take office until January, but there are a few things I would like to say before the new Congress begins. First, I would like to thank the voters of Central Washington for the honor to serve you in the …

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Esther Cepeda: Research punctures myths about Hispanics

CHICAGO — For those of you who aren’t close observers of the changing face of the U.S. Latino population, I beg you: Take a closer look. For most of the last decade, the image of Hispanics in America has followed well-worn stereotypes: impoverished and with little education and few skills other than picking fruit and butchering animal carcasses. Plus, an apathy toward learning English and bitterness toward a country t …

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How can both sides go so wrong on the immigration issue? Here’s how

Welcome to the Cable News Boxing Channel. Tonight, like every night, our main event features the same two heavyweights — Congressional Republicans versus the Obama White House. This time, they are battling over immigration reform. There’s the opening bell — and once again both fighters are immediately punching furiously, landing powerful lefts and rights to the head and body. But wait! We’ve never seen anything quite l …

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George Will: Using a bludgeon in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE — It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state’s intricacies to advance progressivism’s project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government’s saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin’s school choice program. Feigning concern about access for ha …

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Kathleen Parker: Pope calls for family resurrection

WASHINGTON — News that Pope Francis will visit the U.S. next year for the triennial World Meeting of Families brings elation to Catholics, excitement to pope watchers — and perhaps a little chagrin to some who too soon interpreted Francis’ broad compassion as a precursor to doctrinal changes related to marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth. In recent comments in a variety of forums — from the bishops’ syno …

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Byron York: Change in the air for Obamacare

There were 60 Democrats in the Senate on Christmas Eve 2009, when they voted in lockstep to pass the Affordable Care Act. Soon there will be 46 Democrats in the Senate, or perhaps 47, if Sen. Mary Landrieu manages to eke out a win in Louisiana. In plain numbers, the post-Obamacare trajectory has not been good for Senate Democrats. The 46 or 47 Democrats in the next Senate are a bit different from the group that passed …

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Doyle McManus: Hillary Clinton needs to be something different

It’s been almost two weeks since their stinging defeat in midterm elections, but Democrats are still licking their wounds and trying to figure out where they went wrong. They don’t have much time to extract the right lessons: The 2016 presidential campaign will begin in earnest any minute now. So I consulted two Democratic sages, each of whom played a central role in electing the last two Democratic presidents: David …

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George Will: A murderer’s warped idealism

WASHINGTON — Western reflection about human nature and the politics of the human condition began with the sunburst of ancient Greece 2,500 years ago, but lurched into a new phase 70 years ago with the liberation of the Nazi extermination camps. The Holocaust is the dark sun into which humanity should stare, lest troubling lessons be lost through an intellectual shrug about “the unfathomable.” Now comes an English tra …

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Shut U.S. doors to cyberthreats

The following editorial appeared in Friday’s Washington Post. Six years ago, the federal government’s classified computer networks were infiltrated by a tiny bit of malware. A massive operation known as Buckshot Yankee was carried out to clean the networks of the intruder, and the event helped spur the creation of U.S. Cyber Command, which is now growing rapidly. The government has put cyberthreats at the top of it …

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Guest editorial: Pretrial supervision shows promise in reducing crime

Our corrections facility is facing overcrowding, and we are housing defendants facing misdemeanors and low-level felonies with repeat offenders charged with major felony crimes. When persons are released pending trial, we do not have a program to monitor restrictions imposed while on pre-trial release. Seeing a need from the court to make the system more effective and respond to the needs for safety in the community …

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Esther J. Cepeda: What some don’t understand: Pro-female doesn’t mean anti-male

CHICAGO — And now for another episode of “As the Feminism Turns” — you know, the overwrought soap opera about who is and isn’t a feminist, what it means today and whether it has relevance to women of any age. It’s a regular series, hopping from one celebrity-driven intrigue to another. Two weeks ago it was actress Lena Dunham’s autobiography and what constitutes normal sexual exploration between siblings. Last week: …

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Guest editorial: All our students deserve equal education access

The year 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. On Wednesday we will join Humanities Washington, the state’s flagship humanities organization, for a conversation about education and invite you to join us. Since 1954, students across our state have experienced promising strides toward educational equality. Nevertheless, the dream of achieving, accessing and attaining equitable education remain …

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Kate Riley: State shows how to fix U.S. political system

Olympia Snowe is no quitter. The former Republican U.S. senator from Maine, known as much for her pragmatic grace as her stiff backbone, disappointed many when she decided in 2012 not to run for a fourth term. Her political moderation was what Congress needed more of. But Snowe, who never lost an election in 35 years running for office, wasn’t quitting. She was taking her fight to a higher authority: the people of the …

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George Will: Foreign policy gets needed rethinking

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama’s coming request for Congress to “right-size and update” the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorism will be constitutionally fastidious and will catalyze a debate that will illuminate Republican fissures. They, however, are signs of a healthy development — the reappearance of foreign policy heterodoxy in Republican ranks. Many events (U.S. military misadventures sin …

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Esther Cepeda: Teachers themselves need better education

CHICAGO — My two sons have been indoctrinated by their well-meaning public schools to believe that college is a punishingly difficult pursuit of knowledge. Around the dinner table, however, they get the skinny from their parents: “It all depends on your major.” A business degree with a concentration in a discipline such as economics or finance can be a bear to attain. Yet in the field of education, you’re likely to sp …

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How history may repeat with a presidency saved

Even before the drubbing his party suffered in last week’s congressional election, President Obama was visibly frustrated by Republicans’ tenacious opposition to his second-term agenda. Now he’s heading into the final years of his presidency facing a Congress that will be even harder to deal with. Does this mean Obama’s last lap is destined to be a hopeless, unrewarding slog? Not necessarily. Ronald Reagan and Bill Cl …

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Trudy Rubin: World is watching as America loses faith in democracy

The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is a good time to reflect on the dimming regard for democratic government — at home and abroad. Nov. 9, 1989, the day that East Berliners scaled the wall and embraced their fellow Germans from the West, marked the zenith of global faith in democracy’s promise, shortly before the communist empire collapsed. I was lucky enough to witness East Europe’s democratic uprisi …

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George Will: Democrats should rethink Hillary 2016

WASHINGTON — Now that two of the last three Democratic presidencies have been emphatically judged to have been failures, the world’s oldest political party — the primary architect of this nation’s administrative state — has some thinking to do. The accumulating evidence that the Democratic Party is an exhausted volcano includes its fixation with stale ideas, such as the supreme importance of a 23rd increase in the mini …

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Speeding up a trade deal is a good plan

The following editorial appeared in Friday’s Washington Post. Now that Republicans have gained control of Congress, no policy area is riper for bipartisan action than trade. President Obama’s trade representative, Michael Froman, is deeply engaged in trade-expansion talks with 11 Asia-Pacific nations, including Japan. A bipartisan legislative framework for speeding passage of a finished agreement has already been w …

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Election 2014 fallout: What goes around, comes around — for both parties

WASHINGTON — As one of my favorite political experts is fond of saying, “Obama acts like he’d really rather be an ex-president.” Tuesday night, he sort of got his wish. There’s no third-act rally to hope for now. The One True Hero is not going to vanquish the unexpectedly tenacious supervillain. The last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency will be spent with a solid Republican majority in both houses of Congress, o …

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Election 2014 fallout: Republicans must remember: Voters don’t like them, either

Is there a new GOP mandate? That’s a question Republicans and Democrats will be debating in coming days, as the GOP makes the case that its election victories add up not only to an electoral wave, but to a mandate — a genuine endorsement of conservative policies — while Democrats cast them as something less. Charlie Cook, dean of Washington’s election analysts, has offered a sensible test for a wave: You have to look …

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Esther Cepeda: No cure for health care malaise

CHICAGO — These days, you won’t often hear reporters exclaim, “Wow, I am sure glad I’m in journalism.” But I found myself saying this over and over as I made my way through Sandeep Jauhar’s gloomy book “Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician.” It convinced me I made the right career choice to write columns rather than prescriptions. Jauhar, also the author of “Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation,” about the …

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Gridlock may ease with GOP Senate

NEW YORK — Since Barack Obama took office, the congressional wing of the Republican Party has had impressive success with a simple strategy: oppose everything the president supports, blame him for every problem and make him the central issue in each election. In 2010, this approach returned the House of Representatives to Republican control with a gain of 63 seats. In 2014, it delivered the Senate, which the GOP will …

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Esther J. Cepeda: A different kind of bigotry

CHICAGO — Class, not race, may be the defining discrimination issue of my children’s lifetime. If Charles A. Murray’s thesis in “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010” — that people of similar socioeconomic backgrounds cluster together, leaving the less affluent on their own without a community-wide stabilizing influence — comes to pass, my sons’ futures may be determined by whom they wed. As depressin …

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A forecast of further confrontation

At some point during the last two weeks, Democrats in Washington began privately acknowledging that they will almost certainly lose their majority in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Rather than discussing strategies for winning, they have shifted to excuses and explanations for the probable loss: an unpopular president, an economic recovery hardly anybody feels, a map dominated by conservative states, voters unsettled by t …

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George Will: Vote takes nation’s tepid civic pulse

WASHINGTON — Mix a pitcher of martinis Tuesday evening to fortify yourself against the torrent of election returns painting a pointillist portrait of the nation’s mind. Before you become too mellow to care, consider some indexes of our civic tendencies. Voting began, and “persuasion campaigning” receded, weeks ago. Mobilization measures became more important than ads. Saturation spending on ads makes for a steep decl …

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Immigration reform foes stoke false fear



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Esther Cepeda: How Google is helping to dumb down our students

CHICAGO — A decade ago, when I was a graduate student in teacher training, a frightening thing came from an accomplished and generally excellent professor. She said that in “the future,” teachers would no longer have to toil with the difficult and repetitive work of instilling boring facts into students’ heads. With the advent of the “everywhere-Internet,” “smart classrooms” and the spread of smartphones, dry piece …

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Cokie and Steven Roberts: GOP likely will win U.S. Senate; what then?

If Republicans gain control of the Senate, what will that mean for the last two years of the Obama administration? As young people often say about their relationships on Facebook: It’s complicated. On the legislation front, gridlock is likely to persist, and could get worse. Obama, whose agenda is already stymied, would be playing defense most of the time instead of offense. Since Republicans would need 60 votes in th …

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Even with trends pointing their way, Republicans shouldn’t celebrate yet

What if the Democrats win? The prevailing assumption is that Republicans will take the Senate in Tuesday’s midterm elections. It would be a surprise if they didn’t. But not a huge surprise. In the poll averages at RealClearPolitics, Republican Senate candidates have leads smaller than 2.3 percentage points in Alaska, Georgia and Iowa. If all three of them lost — because of better-than-expected Democratic turnout, last …

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Assad’s chlorine bombs fading Obama’s red line

The following editorial appeared in Friday’s Washington Post. One grim indication that the regime of Bashar Assad has been emboldened by the U.S. air campaign in Syria is the fresh reports of chemical weapons attacks on civilian areas. The Institute for the Study of War has compiled 18 allegations by Syrian sources of chlorine gas attacks by the regime since U.S. strikes against the Islamic State began in August. T …

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Yakama Nation fears irreparable harm from coal shipments

In the Yakama language, we have no word for “mitigation”— no word to describe repairing lands and waters that have been degraded or destroyed. Recently, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead offered me an all-expenses-paid tour of what he calls “environmentally friendly” coal operations in northeastern Wyoming. The answer is no. No amount of wining and dining will make up for the irreparable harm that would be caused by shipping coa …

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Doyle McManus: U.S. now fighting Islamic State to a stalemate

The United States and its allies are no longer losing the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and in the Middle East, that counts as progress. In Syria, the besieged Kurdish town of Kobani, nearly given up for lost two weeks ago, has held off Islamic State’s guerrillas thanks to dozens of foreign airstrikes and an emergency U.S. airlift of guns and ammunition last weekend. Next door, the Iraqi army is no …

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Kathleen Parker: Giving a voice to bears and wolves

WASHINGTON — If politicians preying upon your attentions this season fail to inspire, you might seek common cause with the beasts — the four-legged variety rather than those running for office. Ballot initiatives aimed at protecting bears and wolves from hounding, trapping and other inhumane hunting practices are up for a vote in two states — Maine and Michigan. Oh, be still thy twitching trigger finger. This isn’t …

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Cokie and Steven Roberts: Why Romney may — or may not — run again

‘Run, Mitt, run.” That was the chant as Mitt Romney appeared at a rally for Joni Ernst, the Republican Senate candidate in Iowa. The 2012 GOP standard-bearer hears those words a lot as he campaigns around the country this fall, and they trigger two questions. Will be run? Can he win? “I’m not running for office,” Romney insisted in Iowa. And his wife, Ann, reiterated this week that the family was “done, done, done” wi …

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As oil prices fall, raise the gas tax

Whenever the price of oil spikes, it’s a sure bet that some U.S. politicians will propose another gas tax holiday. So now that oil has fallen below $85 a barrel, and with America’s highways and mass-transit systems starved for funding, is anyone in Washington sensibly calling for a gas tax increase? Of course not. Raising the gas tax is bad politics — and will remain so even after the November elections. But the econo …

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Esther J. Cepeda: Exposing our darkest thoughts

CHICAGO — Raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase “heart of darkness” about a hundred times lately. It has been used to reference the African continent, the Ebola outbreak, the newly discovered origination point of the HIV virus, as well as beheadings by the Islamic State and Syria’s terrorist tactics, among other calamities. Often it’s an entertainment-related reference to the film “Apocalypse Now” by Francis For …

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Doyle McManus: Why GOP has congressional edge in 2014

National polling on the Nov. 4 midterm elections confirms a doleful trend that’s been firming up all year: Voters aren’t enthusiastic about their choices — on either side. A Gallup Poll last week found that only 32 percent of voters said they felt “extremely motivated” to go to the polls this year, down sharply from the 50 percent who were fired up for the 2010 congressional election. Democrats are less enthusiastic t …

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Kathleen Parker: A modest proposal for stopping Ebola

WASHINGTON — Now, now, let’s not panic. Yes, we have a second Ebola patient infected after treating the Liberian man who apparently concealed his exposure to this often-fatal disease, but this is no reason to panic. “It’s bad news that another person is sick,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Wednesday to MSNBC anchor Jose Diaz-Balart. Indeed. It’s actually terrible news to the other 75 health care workers who …

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Disclosure lost in sea of big money

The following editorial appeared in Monday’s Washington Post. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, permitting unlimited corporate and union donations for independent political activity, stated explicitly the meaning of independent. “By definition,” the court declared, “an independent expenditure is political speech presented to the electorate that is not coordinated w …

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Trudy Rubin: Nobel committee makes perfect choice

The Nobel committee finally got the Peace Prize right in 2014. After blowing the chance to choose Malala Yousafzai last year — as a brave and inspiring champion of girls’ education worldwide — the committee finally tapped her, along with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian campaigner against child labor. These choices couldn’t have come at a better time. At a moment when the global news is nonstop negative and ugly, these he …

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George Will: An opportunity for liberty before Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Come Tuesday, the national pastime will be the subject of oral arguments in a portentous Supreme Court case. This pastime is not baseball but rent seeking — the unseemly yet uninhibited scramble of private interests to bend government power for their benefit. If the court directs a judicial scowl at North Carolina’s State Board of Dental Examiners, the court will thereby advance a basic liberty — the right …

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China, protesters should find common ground

The following editorial appears on Bloomberg View. With Hong Kong protest leaders calling their supporters out onto the streets again, there’s good reason to doubt whether talks with the government that were expected Friday will ever take place, let alone whether they could accomplish anything. Protesters’ demands for full democracy remain irreconcilable with Beijing’s decree that only China loyalists be allowed to …

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Cepeda: The season to celebrate our darkest thoughts

CHICAGO — Death is all around me. The bleached bones of a desiccated human skeleton are scattered across my neighbor’s front yard. Rotting skulls, eviscerated rib cages and decomposing corpses twist in the wind during my neighborhood strolls. It’s driving my dog crazy — but I love it! With all the real horrors going on, it’s liberating to indulge in zombie/super virus apocalypse fantasies instead of pondering the hear …

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Cokie and Steven Roberts: Dems’ hopes hinge on ‘secret weapon’

Bill Clinton campaigned in Arkansas last week, focusing on college campuses and urging students to support candidates like Mark Pryor, one of the most endangered Democrats in the Senate. At each stop, staffers scurried through the crowds, gathering email addresses and cellphone numbers that could be used to mobilize voters on Election Day. “You don’t have the luxury of staying home,” the former president intoned at Ar …

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