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Cynthia M. Allen: Absent foreign policy exacerbated crisis in Iraq

As we consider the fall of Mosul, Iraq, to terrorists and the threat they pose to Baghdad, we must concede: We had been warned.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Heed warning on climate change

The signs were all there.

H. Edward Flentje: Tax shift harms rural Kansas

Property taxes are on track to increase by more than $400 million statewide during Gov. Sam Brownback’s term in office.

Doyle McManus: Uniting against ISIS

Just how terrifying is the Sunni Muslim extremist group that has taken over a huge swath of territory in northern Iraq? Here are some clues:

Two views: Whose fault is the violence in Iraq?

President Obama said al-Qaida was on the path to defeat. Osama bin Laden may have been dead, but the president’s words were empty. The war certainly wasn’t over for the people actually fighting it – the Sunnis and the Shia slaughtering each other, as they have done off and on for centuries.

Charles Krauthammer: Obama left vacuum being filled by jihadists

Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaida in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.

Alison Griswold: Consumers yawn as GM recalls soar

In case you thought there couldn’t possibly be another General Motors recall so soon, you’re just not thinking big enough. This week, GM said it was recalling 3.36 million more cars. The cause: an ignition switch defect that could result in keys carrying extra weight (read: a key chain) to slip out of position and shut the vehicle off abruptly during “some jarring event.”

Doyle McManus: Cantor revolt a sign of the polarized times

Voters’ revolts are always instructive. But first you have to figure out what the voters were trying to say. And in the days since Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who was the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, lost his GOP primary election, there’s been plenty of disagreement about that.

Megan McArdle: The troubling tale of IRS’ disappearing e-mail

Last Friday afternoon brought a disturbing news dump from the Internal Revenue Service: A big chunk of Lois Lerner’s e-mail has disappeared. A hard drive crash, the agency says, permanently destroyed much of Lerner’s e-mail in 2011, wiping out records from the previous two years.

Thomas L. Friedman: Staying out of Iraq and Syria is least bad option

There is much talk about America teaming up with Iran to push back the coalition of Sunni militias that has taken over Sunni towns in western Iraq and Syria. For now, I’d say stay out of this fight – not because it’s the best option but because it’s the least bad.

Christopher Flavelle: Reduce polarization with mandatory voting

Data showing Americans’ increased political polarization breathes new life into an old cause: mandatory voting. If the connection between the two isn’t clear, then bear with me.

Cal Thomas: Iraq crisis is part of war for future of planet

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain....” (Gettysburg Address)

Fred Hiatt: Disengagement in Middle East isn’t working

As the Middle East has seemed to unravel in recent days, much of the blame-game debate has centered on whether President Obama could and should have stationed a residual force of U.S. troops in Iraq after 2011.

Tom Bell: Help vets by expanding Medicaid

The troubles within the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system are disturbing to all Americans. And though the U.S. House and Senate are working on legislation that would authorize veterans to seek health care in non-VA facilities in certain circumstances, the failure of the VA to provide timely, effective medical services to our nation’s veterans is unconscionable.

Dan K. Thomasson: Congress is past point of harmless inaction

It was said that Calvin Coolidge “didn’t do anything, but that is exactly what we wanted done.” In 1948, Harry Truman won his own term by railing against the do-nothingness of the Republican Congress.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Aging means a lot of forgetting

I am standing at the front door, locked out of my own house. If this were a movie, it’d be raining. Thankfully, this isn’t so it isn’t. But the reality is embarrassing enough without any Hollywood embellishments.

Albert R. Hunt: The Obama administration’s destructive war on media

Few presidential candidates enjoyed better press than Barack Obama in 2008. He reciprocated by promising unprecedented “openness in government” and a new era of transparency.

Trudy Rubin: Support Syrian rebels

Here’s the bad news: As many as 70 Americans and 3,000 Europeans are among more than 7,000 foreigners from 50 countries fighting with Syrian rebel groups linked to al-Qaida. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says these groups are already training people “to go back to their (home) countries.”

David Rundle: Promoter of rights a suspended voter

Michael Nucci chairs the governmental affairs committee at Timbers, an apartment community for people with disabilities where he and I live. The committee tracks proposed laws affecting the disabled and programs such as KanCare. Though never endorsing any party or candidate, the committee encourages residents of Timbers to vote.

Mark Peterson: Women voters could be key

2014 could become the year of the woman voter in Kansas. First, some data provided to “frame” the issue:

Charles Krauthammer: American-style revenge is best served on playing field

Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. And although retribution shall surely come in the fullness of time, a ballplayer can only wait so long.

Kathleen Parker: Armed citizens may not be the best defense

So much for the argument that having more people armed in public places will result in fewer gun deaths.

Ben Barber: Does Pakistan want peace?

Pakistan continues to baffle the outside world. Does it want war or peace? Afghanistan in ruins or rebuilt? Does it despise or worship America?

Tom Kiernan: Wind power can help reduce carbon pollution

Power plants are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and with the Environmental Protection Agency unveiling new rules regulating the amount of carbon pollution released by existing power plants, many Americans should know what can be done to meet these standards – including ways we can do so without significantly raising electricity rates or hurting the economy.

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