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By: George Will | Posted: April 17, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is "basically about" one word -- "democracy" -- that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America's way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to "secure the blessings of" that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government -- natural liberty.

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By: George Will | Posted: April 10, 2014 3:55 AM
 

PHOENIX -- From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement's brain, comes an innovative idea that is gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates may bring it to at least 35 other states' legislatures. It would use the Constitution's Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution's framers thought their document guaranteed.

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By: George Will | Posted: April 3, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The human kindling that makes up the flammable Republican base may soon burst into flames, again. Portions of that excitable cohort are looking -- some with fawn-like eyes filled with hurt, others with sparks shooting from eyes narrowed like gun slits -- askance at other Republicans urging Jeb Bush to seek the 2016 presidential nomination.

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By: George Will | Posted: March 27, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, said of Poland, perilously positioned between Russia and Germany: "If you pitch your tent in the middle of Fifth Avenue, it is quite likely you will be run over by a bus." Poland has been run over hard and often; indeed, between 1795 and 1918 it disappeared from the map of Europe.

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By: George Will | Posted: March 24, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Critics of Rep. Paul Ryan's remarks about cultural factors in the persistence of poverty are simultaneously shrill and boring. Their predictable minuet of synthetic indignation demonstrates how little liberals have learned about poverty or changed their rhetorical repertoire in the last 49 years.

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By: George Will | Posted: March 13, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- In September 1958, a future columnist, then 17, was unpacking as a college freshman when upperclassmen hired by tobacco companies knocked on his dormitory door, distributing free mini-packs of cigarettes. He and many other aspiring sophisticates became smokers. Six years later -- 50 years ago: Jan. 11, 1964 -- when the Surgeon General published the report declaring tobacco carcinogenic, more than 40 percent of American adults smoked. Today, when smoking is considered declassee rather than sophisticated, fewer than one-fifth do.

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By: George Will | Posted: March 10, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- What's been said of confession -- that it is good for one's soul but bad for one's reputation -- can also be true of testifying to Congress, so Lois Lerner has chosen to stay silent. Hers, however, is an eloquent silence.

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By: George Will | Posted: February 27, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The many jaundiced assessments of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on the fifth anniversary of its enactment were understandable, given that the sluggish recovery, now drowsing through the second half of its fifth year, is historically anemic. Still, bleak judgments about the stimulus spending miss the main point of it, which was to funnel a substantial share of its money to unionized, dues-paying, Democratic-voting government employees. Hence the stimulus succeeded. So there.

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By: George Will | Posted: February 19, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- This year's most important election will not occur in November, when more than 90 million votes will be cast for governors and national legislators. The most important election, crucial to an entire region's economic well-being and to the balance of the nation's political competition, has already occurred.

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By: George Will | Posted: February 13, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Many "Downton Abbey" watchers are nostalgia gluttons who grieved when Lord Grantham lost his fortune in Canadian railroad shares. There are, however, a discerning few whose admirable American sensibilities caused them to rejoice about Grantham's loss: "Now perhaps this amiable but dilettantish toff will get off his duff and get a job."

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By: George Will | Posted: February 10, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama, the first president shaped by the celebratory culture in which every child who plays soccer gets a trophy, and the first whose campaign speeches were his qualification for the office, perhaps should not be blamed for thinking that saying things is tantamount to accomplishing things, and that good intentions are good deeds. So, his presidency is useful after all, because it illustrates the perils of government run by believers in magic words and numbers.

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By: George Will | Posted: February 6, 2014 3:55 AM
 

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Because it is this year's first federal election, attention must be paid to the March 11 voting to fill the congressional seat vacated by the death in October of Florida Republican C.W. "Bill" Young, who served in Congress 43 years. If Democrat Alex Sink wins, the significance will be minimal because she enjoys multiple advantages. Hence if Republican David Jolly prevails, Republicans will construe this as evidence that Barack Obama has become an anvil in the saddle of every Democratic candidate.

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By: George Will | Posted: February 3, 2014 3:55 AM
 

"There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place."
-- Washington Irving

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By: George Will | Posted: January 30, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Someone you probably are not familiar with has filed a suit you probably have not heard about concerning a four-word phrase you should know about. The suit could blow to smithereens something everyone has heard altogether too much about, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereafter, ACA).

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By: George Will | Posted: January 27, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- As undignified as it is unedifying and unnecessary, the vulgar State of the Union circus is again at our throats. The document that the Constitutional Convention sent forth from Philadelphia for ratification in 1787 was just 4,543 words long, but this was 17 too many. America would be a sweeter place if the Framers had not included this laconic provision pertaining to the president: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union."

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By: George Will | Posted: January 23, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Disabusing the Republican Party of a cherished dogma, thereby requiring it to forgo a favorite rhetorical trope, will not win Clark M. Neily III the gratitude of conservatives who relish denouncing "judicial activism." He, however, and his colleagues at the libertarian Institute for Justice believe America would be more just if judges were less deferential to legislatures.

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By: George Will | Posted: January 16, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Viewed from Washington, which often is the last to learn about important developments, opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative still seems as small as the biblical cloud that ariseth out of the sea, no larger than a man's hand. Soon, however, this education policy will fill a significant portion of the political sky.

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By: George Will | Posted: January 13, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Constitutional arguments that seem as dry as dust can have momentous consequences. On Monday, the Supreme Court's nine fine minds will hear oral arguments about the meaning of "the" and "happen." What they decide could advance the urgent project of reining in rampant executive power.

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By: George Will | Posted: January 9, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The era of Gesture Liberalism is at hand. It may be more amusing than consequential.

Americans who exercise consumer sovereignty wherever Barack Obama still tolerates it are constantly disappointing him. For generations they persisted in buying what he calls "substandard" policies from what he calls "bad apple" health insurers. They stopped only when he forced them to stop -- when he rescued them from their ignorance by banning their benighted preferences.

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By: George Will | Posted: January 6, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Two years from today, Iowa -- dark, brooding, enigmatic Iowa -- will be enjoying its quadrennial moment as the epicenter of the universe. And in 10 months, voters will vent their spleens -- if they still are as splenetic as they now claim to be -- in congressional elections. Some numbers define the political landscape.

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By: George Will | Posted: January 2, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that "the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Nevertheless, many voters' paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public opinion, electoral mandates and officials' accountability.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 30, 2013 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- This report on the State of Conservatism comes at the end of an annus mirabilis for conservatives. In 2013, they learned that they may have been wasting much time and effort.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 26, 2013 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Federal Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York says documents called "statements of reasons" are an optional way for a judge to express "views that might be of interest." The one he issued two months ago is still reverberating.

It expresses his dismay that although his vocation is the administration of justice, his function frequently is the infliction of injustice. The policy of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses has empowered the government to effectively nullify the constitutional right to a trial. As Lulzim Kupa learned.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 23, 2013 3:55 AM
 

PRINCETON, N.J. -- In a scientific complex on 88 bucolic acres near here, some astonishingly talented people are advancing a decades-long project to create a sun on Earth. When -- not if; when -- decades hence they and collaborators around the world succeed, their achievement will be more transformative of human life than any prior scientific achievement.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 20, 2013 3:55 AM
 


WASHINGTON -- Congressional Republicans' long-simmering dismay about Barack Obama's offenses against the separation of powers became acute when events compelled him to agree with them that the Affordable Care Act could not be implemented as written.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 16, 2013 3:55 AM
 

"It's not true that life is one damn thing after another -- it's one damn thing over and over."
-- Edna St. Vincent Millay

WASHINGTON -- Liberals' love of recycling extends to their ideas, one of which illustrates the miniaturization of Barack Obama's presidency. He fervently favors a minor measure that would have mostly small, mostly injurious effects on a small number of people.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 12, 2013 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The education of Barack Obama is a protracted process as he repeatedly alights upon the obvious with a sense of original discovery. In a recent MSNBC interview, he restocked his pantry of excuses for his disappointing results, announcing that "we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly":

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By: George Will | Posted: December 9, 2013 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- In his disproportionate praise of the six-month agreement with Iran, Barack Obama said: "For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program." But if the program, now several decades old, had really been "halted" shortly after U.S. forces invaded neighboring Iraq, we would not be desperately pursuing agreements to stop it now, as about 10,000 centrifuges spin to enrich uranium.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 5, 2013 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Critics of the agreement with Iran concerning its nuclear program are right about most things but wrong about the most important things. They understand the agreement's manifest and manifold defects and its probable futility. Crucial components of Iran's nuclear infrastructure remain.

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By: George Will | Posted: November 28, 2013 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- We are tomorrow's past, so this Thanksgiving give thanks for 2013, a year the future might study more for amusement than for edification.

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