Hello, it's 09:17AM October 1, 2014

Kathleen Parker: Who declared this ‘war on women’?

WASHINGTON — It has long been accepted by the conventionally wise that the Republican Party is waging a “war on women.” Let’s be clear. The war on women is based on just one thing — abortion rights. While it is true that access to abortion has been restricted in several states owing to Republican efforts, it is not true that women as a whole care only or mostly about abortion. I promise, this isn’t another abortion …

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Trudy Rubin: Containing, not conquering ISIS

Last week I praised President Obama’s important speech at the United Nations that urged world leaders to reject “the cancer of violent extremism.” But, like many Americans, I voiced concern about whether his strategy — including bombing ISIS and al-Qaida targets in Syria — could achieve his objectives. I promised to examine this question in a subsequent column, so here goes. First, the president had no choice but to o …

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Battle royal in Iowa over Tom Harkin’s seat

URBANDALE, Iowa — The Machine Shed restaurant, where the waitresses wear bib overalls and suggest a cinnamon roll the size of a loaf of bread as a breakfast appetizer, sells a root beer called Dang!, bandages made to look like bacon strips, and signs that proclaim “I love you more than bacon.” For Joni Ernst, however, the apposite sign reads “No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.” She, nou …

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Holder let us down after 2008 financial crisis



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Yakima Basin plan critical to region’s economy

Water is important to the economic vitality and way of life in Central Washington and our communities envision a Yakima River Basin with abundant fish and a vibrant farm economy. This vision is at risk. Perhaps the biggest lesson we’ve learned over decades and decades of conflict between competing water needs is that it’s better to work together, make a plan, and find the best way to support our collective needs in t …

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Doyle McManus: The Clinton complication for Democrats

The 2016 presidential election is more than two years away. Heck, the 2014 midterm election is still more than a month away. But it’s never too early to speculate about presidential nominations, especially for politicians who are thinking about running. It’s no surprise that potential Republican candidates are already stumping around the country asking voters and contributors to take a look. Their field is wide open. …

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U.S. airstrikes: Obama’s Syria war is not Bush’s 2003 Iraq mistake

Generals, they say, tend to fight the last war. In the case of the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State, so do some prominent news organizations. The “last war” in this case is the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a catastrophic strategic mistake. The threats cited to make such expensive and destabilizing carnage necessary — weapons of mass destruction and an Iraqi al-Qaida presence — were false. The United States introduced …

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U.S. airstrikes: Congress should roll back Obama’s war without borders

Last week’s air strikes in Syria mark the latest step in the escalation of the U.S. war in the region. A conflict that started as a bid to provide humanitarian aid and protect U.S. personnel in Iraq has grown in just over two months into a war without borders. There are now more than 1,600 U.S. troops in Iraq, more than three times the number President Barack Obama authorized back in June at the outset of the current …

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George Will: High stakes on high plains of Kansas

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Tacked to the wall of Greg Orman’s campaign office is a print of a John Steuart Curry painting, “Tragic Prelude,” that hangs in the capitol in Topeka. It depicts John Brown of Osawatomie, 39 miles south of here, as what he was, a deranged product of “bleeding Kansas,” the Civil War’s overture. Today, Orman, who is as calm as Brown was crazed, is emblematic of fascinating Kansas. Orman wants to deny Pa …

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Esther Cepeda: Hispanic heritage too often misread

CHICAGO — It’s Hispandering Heritage Month, err, I mean Hispanic Heritage Month, once again. This is a time when — as the Democratic National Committee put it in their email introduction to daily profiles of Hispanic political candidates — “we celebrate the contributions of Hispanics to the United States and honor Hispanic leaders who have paved the way and fought for the Hispanic community.” And here I was thinking …

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Cokie and Steven Roberts: Why U.S. must fight Ebola, too

When Steve was hosting a show on NPR last week, several callers questioned whether the United States should be sending 3,000 troops and $500 million to help control the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. It’s true that Washington is 4,669 miles from Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, where the epidemic is centered. It’s also true that the resources sent to Africa could be used here at home to improve the healt …

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Doyle McManus: Closing gap between Iraq goal, means

Discordant notes from the Obama administration last week were widely interpreted as a collision between a war-weary president and a gung-ho military. And it was easy to see why. President Obama ordered airstrikes against Islamic State militants, but promised that no U.S. ground troops would enter the fray. “The American forces deployed to Iraq do not — and will not — have a combat mission,” he vowed. Then Army Gen. Ma …

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George Will: Pay voters? That’s just wrong

WASHINGTON — The pursuit of perfection is usually foredoomed, but the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which has a latitudinarian understanding of ethical behavior, has a perfectly awful idea. It is urging the City Council to consider ways of paying — starchier ethicists might call it bribing — people to vote. Some ideas are so loopy that they could only be conceived by governments, which are insulated from market …

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Economy is getting better, but not for all

The following editorial appeared in Friday’s Washington Post. Amid other good news about the U.S. economy — a declining unemployment rate, lower child poverty — the Federal Reserve has just reported that the net worth of U.S. households rose $1.4 trillion, to $81.5 trillion, during the second quarter of 2014. This means that families’ assets, such as homes and stocks, have risen roughly $23 trillion in value since …

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United Way helps people, communities get stronger

United Way has been an active force for community improvement in the Yakima Valley since 1955. It has collected and invested more than $70 million through local nonprofit organizations chosen as the most effective and efficient in addressing community needs. Giving to United Way is the simple and perfect choice if you are going to choose to give to one organization. Thousands of us give either through payroll deducti …

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Esther Cepeda: Admirals and generals go to war over obesity problem

CHICAGO — Four years after a group of more than 450 retired military leaders released a report called “Too Fat to Fight,” chronicling the expanding waistlines of our armed forces, the admirals, generals and others are waging this war anew. Their group, called “Mission: Readiness,” is back with a new report warning that “Retreat is Not An Option.” The latest effort follows up “Still Too Fat to Fight” from the group tw …

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Margaret Carlson: A warning to heed on Islamic State

WASHINGTON — Remember Richard Clarke, the presidential counterterrorism adviser whose hair was on fire about al-Qaida long before the Sept. 11 attacks and whose warnings of a threat from hijacked planes were ignored by the administration of President George W. Bush? Well, his hair is about to burst into flames again. This time, it’s the threat from Islamic State that has him worried. “They’re well-organized,” he says. …

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5 myths about the NFL

Over the past few weeks, Americans have been confronted by a slew of scandals besieging our most popular sport. Outrage over the off-the-field violence of star running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson has been accompanied by the revelation that the National Football League expects almost one-third of its retired players to develop long-term cognitive problems at “notably younger ages” than the rest of the population. …

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George Will: This means war — and Congress

WASHINGTON — The United States last declared war many wars ago, on June 5, 1942, when, to clarify legal ambiguities during a world conflagration, it declared war on Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. This week’s issue is not whether to declare war but only whether the president should even seek congressional authorization for the protracted use of force against the Islamic State. Promising to “destroy” this group with t …

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Esther Cepeda: Why the missing bobolink matters

CHICAGO — “Bobolink bobolink spink spank spink; call is a metallic pink.” This is how my “Birds of Illinois” guide describes the bubbly, musical “voice” of Dolichonyx oryzivorus, known to the ornithologically minded as the bobolink. I know this only because in June I spent a few weeks’ worth of Sunday strolls being driven nearly insane trying to identify the amusing trill of something unknown to me — a bird I’d come t …

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Kathleen Parker: Mark Sanford’s ongoing saga with himself

WASHINGTON — As a South Carolinian, it befalls me to examine the peculiarities afflicting our former governor and now-congressman Mark Sanford, who, contrary to decorum and taste, continues to demand attention. Yes, that Mark Sanford — the erstwhile Appalachian Trail wanderer who in 2009 found himself not out hiking, as his gubernatorial staff had reported, but befuddled and besotted in Argentina with his longtime so …

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Doyle McManus: A U.S. quest for Mideast stability

Here’s the nightmare scenario that kept Obama administration officials awake at night this summer as they watched the black-masked guerrillas of Islamic State sweep across Iraq: First, the insurgents could invade Baghdad, toppling Iraq’s government and forcing a Saigon-style evacuation of the U.S. Embassy. Then they could move into Jordan, a close U.S. ally that has maintained a peaceful border with Israel for a genera …

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George Will: Aye or nae, Scotland’s vote epic

WASHINGTON — Tucking into a dish of Scottish haggis is not a task for the fainthearted. There are various haggis recipes, but basically it is sheep’s pluck — the heart, lungs and liver — cooked together, then mixed with suet and oatmeal and boiled in a sheep’s stomach, then served, sometimes drenched with Scotch. People who pour whisky on oatmeal are not shrinking violets. Remember this on Thursday when Scotland votes …

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U.S. strategy: Rebuild, not just destroy

The following editorial appeared in Friday’s Washington Post. President Barack Obama promised Wednesday night to meet the terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria “with strength and resolve.” His commitment to “ultimately destroy” the Islamic State was bold and necessary. But it was also incomplete. A strategy built exclusively on killing terrorists will have no end. The United States must also help Iraqis and Syrians b …

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Esther Cepeda: NFL needs all female fans it can keep

CHICAGO — What do pedicures and sparkly flip-flops have to do with Ray Rice’s unceremonious ouster from football? Everything. Most observers credit the latest leaked video of Rice punching out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer for his new punishment. But this theory misses the rising power of the NFL’s increasingly female — and super hard-core — fan base. The day before the now-infamous elevator video went viral, I was i …

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Islamic State: U.S. defends imaginary lines in the sand

The rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East is, to be certain, shocking to Western sensibilities and seems so sudden that it requires an equally swift and shocking response. In Washington, Congress has clamored for and President Barack Obama seems to be promising just that. On the face of it, an American political and military response to the Islamic State would entail air strikes, the likely involvement of speci …

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Trudy Rubin: Islamic State threat too big to ignore

Now that President Barack Obama has finally laid out a strategy to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State, there are only two (very big) questions that matter: Is this strategy really necessary? And can it succeed? My answer to the first question is a firm “yes,” but to the second a very shaky “maybe.” Yet I believe Obama has no option but to try. Until the Islamic State in Syria beheaded two American journalists, th …

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George Will: Extremism in defense of re-election

WASHINGTON — Since Barry Goldwater, accepting the Republicans’ 1964 presidential nomination, said “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” Democrats have been decrying Republican “extremism.” Actually, although there is abundant foolishness and unseemliness in American politics, real extremism — measures or movements that menace the Constitution’s architecture of ordered liberty — is rare. This week, however, …

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Esther Cepeda: Myth of low-fat diets debunked

CHICAGO — As a chubby and impressionable teen in the 1990s, desperate to lower my weight as Type 2 diabetes started afflicting my family, I was especially vulnerable to the Snackwell’s-ification of American food. Fat was the enemy. It would not only make you overweight but ruin your heart. And the only known savior was a low-fat diet. Enter near-vegetarian meals, fat-free cream cheese, low-cal bread, baked potato chip …

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Cokie and Steven Roberts: In Mideast, whom are we fighting for?

‘We’ve got to win and stop these guys.” That was Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, criticizing the Obama administration on CNN as Islamic State fighters (also known as ISIS) gobbled up chunks of Syria and Iraq. His sense of alarm is clearly justified. The jihadist militants pose a serious threat to a range of American interests, from the security of the homeland to the stability of critical allies lik …

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Doyle McManus: Coalition of frenemies vs. Islamic state

A month ago, it was difficult to tell whether President Barack Obama’s heart was in the fight against the Islamic State, the terrorist group that has seized a swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. His initial statements as the militants roared across the flatlands of northern Iraq focused on the limits of U.S. action. “I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war,” he said on Aug. 7. Ten …

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George Will: Messy world needs a credible NATO

WASHINGTON — Speaking on Aug. 29 — at a fundraiser, of course — Barack Obama applied to a platitude the varnish of smartphone sociology, producing this intellectual sunburst: “The truth of the matter is, is that the world has always been messy. In part, we’re just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through.” So, if 14th-century Europeans h …

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Putin puts NATO back in the hot seat

The following editorial appears on Bloomberg View: Say this for Russian President Vladimir Putin: He has ended NATO’s decades-old existential crisis. As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meets in Wales, the abstract question of the alliance’s purpose in a post-Soviet world isn’t on the agenda. Instead its leaders must devise a plan to counter the very real threat from an irredentist Russia. The only question …

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Fooled and foiled again on immigration

CHICAGO — No one likes political expediency when it doesn’t go their way. When President Obama announced his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in June 2012 — which allowed young illegal immigrants to obtain temporary legal status, driver’s licenses and work permits — his supporters weren’t complaining about it being a political ploy to secure re-election. But make no mistake about it: DACA was desi …

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Obama overshadows race for North Carolina Senate

Sen. Kay Hagan, a North Carolina Democrat whose seat is a top target of Republicans to regain control of the Senate, walked into the debate hall in Raleigh Wednesday night looking sharp in a gray suit. It only took a few minutes for her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, to make her a stand-in for President Barack Obama, whose job approval in the state is overwhelmingly negative. In his opening statement, Tillis accu …

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Battle for Congress: GOP can’t hope that Obama will bail them out

What does it mean for a candidate or party to run on an agenda — a list of priorities and policies they intend to pursue in office — and how important is it? I recently argued that Republicans are relying on the president’s unpopularity as a substitute for an agenda, and that the last time they tried that, in 1998, it ended badly. Two other writers have also recently taken up these questions, in ways that reinforce my …

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Democrats may be delusional

After having pledged to take executive action on undocumented immigrants, President Barack Obama has been signaling that he may postpone any such move until after the midterm elections. The proximate cause appears to be electoral anxiety among a handful of Democrats running for Senate across the South. Obama’s approval rating nationwide has been stuck in the low 40s — dangerous territory. In parts of the South, it’s i …

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Esther Cepeda: Reversing demographic roles in pop culture

CHICAGO — In my fantasy world, public relations professionals send me pitches extolling the virtues of the “white Robert Rodriguez.” But no, I get come-ons about (shudder) “the next Latina Mark Cuban.” Leaving aside the fact that aspiring to be a spoiled, trash-talking millionaire is dubious at best, a pitch I recently received from an investment group for women is illustrative of the odious shortcut of relating an un …

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Byron York: No impeachment — or shutdown, either

A few weeks ago Washington was buzzing with predictions that Republicans will impeach President Obama. More recently, Washington has been buzzing with predictions that Republicans will shut down the government. Both have come mostly from Democrats facing long odds in November’s midterms, hoping the GOP might do something suicidal before voters go to the polls. For them, sheer ecstasy would be Republicans shutting down …

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Margaret Carlson: Rick Perry’s comeback headed off at pass

It was all going so well for Texas Gov. Rick Perry — until the indictment. His efforts to move past a disastrous 2012 presidential run that had become a reliable punch line for a senior moment seemed to be working. He’s dropped a few pounds and added hip glasses. He isn’t wasting a minute of the border crisis, calling up the National Guard, testifying before Congress and visiting the troops at Camp Swift, where he rol …

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A market approach to global warming



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George F. Will: Paul Ryan finds the right way to admit wrong

WASHINGTON — To take the measure of this uncommonly interesting public man, begin with two related facts about him. Paul Ryan has at least 67 cousins in his Wisconsin hometown of Janesville, where there are six Ryan households within eight blocks of his home. And in his new book, “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea,” he says something few politicians say, which is why so many are neither trusted nor respected. …

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Tolls on interstates? Sure, and get federal government out of roads altogether

OAKLAND, Calif. — There are good reasons for financing roads through tolls instead of federal fuel taxes, but there is no case for the federal government to collect such tolls. This just adds to the overall cost and places planning and management decisions — regarding expansion, maintenance and replacement — in the hands of remote federal bureaucrats with little or no first-hand knowledge of — or interest in — local n …

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Tolls on interstates? More fair than gas tax, and truckers pay full share

WASHINGTON — The United States faces a transportation infrastructure dilemma. According to recent estimates from the Reason Foundation, reconstruction and needed capacity enhancements to the Interstate Highway System will cost approximately $1 trillion over the next two decades. If no new lanes are added, reconstruction will still cost nearly $600 billion. The Obama Administration, to its credit, has proposed partiall …

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Esther Cepeda: Here’s one sleeper of an issue

CHICAGO — Many adults tend to dismiss scientific research about the adolescent mind. Perhaps they came of age during a time when children, especially teens, were expected to behave as little adults. For years the scientific community has made clear that brains of children and young adults into their 20s undergo physical and chemical changes that can result in high-risk behaviors, vulnerability to addiction and mental …

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Congress must do more to help fight wildfires

Entering the final month of an intense wildfire season that has set the American West ablaze, with more than 17,000 wildfires across 2.3 million acres, Congress must recognize that its model for wildfire suppression is broken. By failing to provide an emergency funding source for federal firefighting efforts, Congress has forced the U.S. Forest Service to pay for its firefighting efforts by cannibalizing programs that …

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George Will: Navy with a mission in mind

WASHINGTON — Russia’s ongoing dismemberment of Ukraine and the Islamic State’s erasing of Middle Eastern borders have distracted attention from the harassment of U.S. Navy aircraft by Chinese fighter jets over the South China Sea. Beijing calls this sea, and the Yellow and East China seas, the “near seas,” meaning China’s seas. The episodes involving aircraft are relevant to one of Adm. Jonathan Greenert’s multiplying …

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Esther J. Cepeda: Food grown for travel, not taste

CHICAGO — After back-to-back readings of three books chronicling the state of food production in the United States, I’ve realized that except for a few childhood trips to South America during which I drank warm goat’s milk and ate freshly picked corn, beans, potatoes, rice and fruits, I’m not truly familiar with what real food tastes like. I’ve done a lot of carbohydrate, fat and fiber monitoring over the past 15 year …

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Trudy Rubin: Confront Islamic State sooner, not later

How do you deal with a hideous terrorist group that has morphed into a Mideast state with a huge war chest and an aggressive army — and beheads an American journalist? Since the gruesome slaughter of James Foley, U.S. officials are debating whether the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria can be contained or must be rolled back in the near term. President Barack Obama appears wedded to a strategy of containment — so far. B …

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