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By: George Will | Posted: August 18, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama, presiding over an unusually dismal post-recession economy, might make matters worse with a distracting crusade against the minor and sensible business practice called "inversion," more about which anon. So, consider his credentials as an economic thinker.

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By: George Will | Posted: August 14, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- This far into the human story, only the historically uninstructed are startled by what they think are new permutations of evil. So, when Russia sliced Crimea off Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry was nonplussed: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext." If, however, Vladimir Putin is out of step with the march of progress, where exactly on history's inevitably ascending path (as progressives like Kerry evidently think) does Kerry, our innocent abroad, locate the Islamic State?

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By: George Will | Posted: August 11, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Although the Ebola virus might remain mostly confined to West Africa, it has infected the Western imagination. This eruption of uncontrolled nature into what developed nations consider serene modernity is more disturbing to the emotional serenity of multitudes than it is threatening to their physical health.

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By: George Will | Posted: August 7, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- At about 5:15 p.m. on June 17, 1971, in the Oval Office, the president ordered a crime: "I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it."

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By: George Will | Posted: July 31, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- With metronomic regularity, there is a choreographed minuet of carnage. Israel is attacked. Israel defends itself. Perfunctory affirmations of Israel's right of self-defense are quickly followed by accusations that Israel's military measures are disproportionate. Then come demands for a cease-fire, and the attackers replenish their arsenals.

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By: George Will | Posted: July 28, 2014 3:55 AM
 

PORTLAND, Ore. -- "Are you kidding?" This is Monica Wehby's amiable response to people who wonder whether she will be able to bear the pressures of office if she wins her race as a Republican Senate candidate. For 17 of her 52 years she has been a pediatric neurosurgeon, holding in steady hands sharp steel and the fate of children's brains. She probably can cope with the strains of legislative life.

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

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Fifty Julys ago, up the road near San Francisco, in the unfortunately named Cow Palace, the Republican National Convention gave its presidential nomination to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who knew he would lose: Americans were not going to have a third president in 14 months. Besides, his don't-fence-me-in libertarian conservatism was ahead of its time. His agenda, however, was to change his party's national brand.

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By: George Will | Posted: July 7, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Two 5-4 decisions last week on the final decision day of the Supreme Court's term dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today's progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism's achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures social strife, and can do so in ways politically useful to progressives. The other case arose from government coercion used to conscript unwilling citizens into funding the progressives' party.

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

WASHINGTON -- Even when Supreme Court decisions are unanimous, the justices can be fiercely divided about fundamental matters, as was demonstrated by two 9-0 rulings last week.

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

WASHINGTON -- Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team's name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not.

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

WASHINGTON -- What philosopher Harvey Mansfield calls "taming the prince" -- making executive power compatible with democracy's abhorrence of arbitrary power -- has been a perennial problem of modern politics. It is now more urgent in America than at any time since the founders, having rebelled against George III's unfettered exercise of "royal prerogative," stipulated that presidents "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

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By: George Will | Posted: June 12, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The morning after, at breakfast at the Republicans' Capitol Hill Club, Virginia Rep. Robert Goodlatte was, as befits one of Washington's grown-ups, measured in his reaction to what 36,120 Virginia voters did the day before. It would, he says, be wise "to take a step back and a deep breath until we find out how everyone" -- meaning, especially, House Republicans -- "reacts to this." By "this" he indicates, with a wave of a hand, the one-word headline on Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Congress: "Stunner."

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By: George Will | Posted: June 5, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- What Winston Churchill said of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles -- that he was a bull who carried his own china shop around with him -- is true of Susan Rice, who is, to be polite, accident prone. When in September 2012 she was deputed to sell to the public the fable that the Benghazi attack was just an unfortunately vigorous movie review -- a response to an Internet video -- it could have been that she, rather than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was given this degrading duty because Rice was merely U.N. ambassador, an ornamental position at an inconsequential institution. Today, however, Rice is Barack Obama's national security adviser, so two conclusions must be drawn.

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By: George Will | Posted: May 29, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- It is said that the problem with the younger generation -- any younger generation -- is that it has not read the minutes of the last meeting. Barack Obama, forever young, has convenient memory loss: It serves his ideology.

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By: George Will | Posted: May 22, 2014 3:55 AM
 

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota says it has 10,000 lakes. The state also has, according to Anthony Sanders, "10,000 campaign finance laws." He exaggerates, but understandably. As an attorney for Minnesota's chapter of the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, Sanders represents several Minnesotans whose First Amendment rights of free speech and association are burdened by an obviously arbitrary, notably complex and certainly unconstitutional restriction.

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

WASHINGTON -- Standing on his presidential limousine, Lyndon Johnson, campaigning in Providence, R.I., in September 1964, bellowed through a bullhorn: "We're in favor of a lot of things and we're against mighty few." This was a synopsis of what he had said four months earlier.

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By: George Will | Posted: May 15, 2014 3:55 AM
 

CHICAGO -- Democracy can be cruel because elections deprive the demos of the delight of alibis and the comfort of complaining. Illinois voters have used many elections to make theirs the worst-governed state, with about $100 billion in unfunded public pension promises, and $6.7 billion in unpaid bills. The state is a stark illustration of prolonged one-party rule conducted by politicians subservient to government employees unions.

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By: George Will | Posted: May 12, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa, revolted by the police-state arrogance of some elected prosecutors, has stopped a partisan abuse of law enforcement that was masquerading as political hygiene. Last Tuesday, Randa halted the corruption being committed by persons pretending to administer campaign regulations -- regulations ostensibly enacted to prevent corruption or the appearance thereof. The prosecutors' cynical manipulation of Wisconsin's campaign laws is more than the mere appearance of corruption.

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By: George Will | Posted: May 8, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- After the marshal on Monday spoke the traditional "God save the United States and this honorable court," the Supreme Court ruled that the upstate New York town of Greece does not violate the First Amendment's prohibition of "establishment of religion" by opening its board of supervisors' meetings with a prayer. This ruling would not scandalize James Madison and other members of the First Congress, which drafted and sent to the states for ratification the First Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights. The Congress did this after hiring a chaplain.

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By: George Will | Posted: May 1, 2014 3:55 AM
 

FLINT, Mich. -- Earnest moralists lament Americans' distrust of government. What really is regrettable is that government does much to earn distrust, as Terry Dehko, 70, and his daughter Sandy Thomas, 41, understand.

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

WASHINGTON -- Recently, Barack Obama -- a Demosthenes determined to elevate our politics from coarseness to elegance; a Pericles sent to ameliorate our rhetorical impoverishment -- spoke at the University of Michigan. He came to that very friendly venue -- in 2012, he received 67 percent of the vote in Ann Arbor's county -- after visiting a local sandwich shop, where a muse must have whispered in the presidential ear. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., had recently released his budget, so Obama expressed his disapproval by calling it, for the benefit of his academic audience, a "meanwich" and a "stinkburger."

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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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