WASHINGTON -- Fractured and divided as we are, on one thing we can agree: 2015 was a miserable year. The only cheer was provided by Lincoln Chafee and the Pluto flyby (two separate phenomena), as well as one seminal aeronautical breakthrough.
WASHINGTON -- The Syrian refugee debate has become a national embarrassment. It begins with a president, desperate to deflect attention from the collapse of his foreign policy, retreating to his one safe zone -- ad hominem attacks on critics, this time for lack of compassion toward Syrian widows and orphans.
WASHINGTON -- Tell me: What's a suicide bomber doing with a passport? He's not going anywhere. And, though I'm not a religious scholar, I doubt that a passport is required in paradise for a martyr to access his 72 black-eyed virgins.
Guess who just popped up in the Kremlin? Bashar al-Assad, Syrian dictator and destroyer, now Vladimir Putin's newest pet. After four years holed up in Damascus, Assad was summoned to Russia to bend a knee to Putin, show the world that today Middle East questions get settled not in Washington but in Moscow, and officially bless the Russian-led four-nation takeover of Syria now underway.
Does the bewildered Obama administration finally understand what Russia is up to?
I repeat: Unless she's indicted, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination. I wrote that six weeks ago, amid fevered dreams of a Clinton collapse and a Joe Biden rescue. That those were a mirage is all the more obvious after Tuesday's debate. The reason, then as now, is simple: Clinton has no competition.
If it had the wit, the Obama administration would be not angered, but appropriately humiliated. President Obama has, once again, been totally outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin. Two days earlier at the United Nations, Obama had welcomed the return, in force, of the Russian military to the Middle East -- for the first time in decades -- in order to help fight the Islamic State.
Once again, President Obama and his foreign policy team are stumped. Why is Vladimir Putin pouring troops and weaponry into Syria? After all, as Secretary of State John Kerry has thrice told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, it is only making things worse.
Congress is finally having its say on the Iran deal. It will be an elaborate charade, however, because, having first gone to the U.N., President Obama has largely drained congressional action of relevance. At the Security Council, he pushed through a resolution ratifying the deal, thus officially committing the United States as a nation to its implementation -- in advance of any congressional action.
The resolution abolishes the entire legal framework, built over a decade, underlying the international sanctions against Iran. A few months from now, they will be gone.
Unless she's indicted, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination.
That kind of sentence is rarely written about a major presidential candidate. But I don't see a realistic third alternative (except for one long-shot, below).
On Sept. 5, 2014, Russian agents crossed into Estonia and kidnapped an Estonian security official. Last week, after a closed trial, Russia sentenced him to 15 years.