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Dying days of financial reform?

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the most wide-sweeping financial reform since the Great Depression (known as Dodd-Frank). To avoid another 2008 would be great, but at this date and rate, astonishingly, only half the provisions have been implemented.

Rick Perry’s kid-size standoff at Texas border

WASHINGTON — Texas Gov. Rick Perry recognizes that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Tuesday, wearing his smart glasses, his hands chopping the air, he called out the National Guard to go to the border to deal with the influx of more than 50,000 children crossing into the U.S. illegally.

Malaysian Air can use crisis to root out problems

TOKYO — What a difference four months can make. In March, Malaysian leader Najib Razak was widely criticized for mishandling the search for aMalaysian Airlines jet that disappeared with 239 people on board. His government’s unsteady initial response to the Flight 370 tragedy deeply tarnished the Malaysia brand.

Finding the courage to pull the plug

Two roads diverge in front of this yellow journalist. (That’s “yellow” like Marty McFly , not William Randolph Hurst “yellow.” ) After two long years, my satellite TV contract is expiring, and I’m trying to find the courage to pull the plug.

More on entertainment

When I wrote last Sunday’s column I left out two early clubs in Denison and one of the many across Red River. John Crawford reminded me of one and I later remembered the other two.

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When Gaza fighting is over, there is a way to change for the better

Since this is the third mini-war between Israel and Hamas in less than six years, some of the consequences being predicted by pundits sound pretty familiar. Such as: Israel’s offensive in Gaza will have the effect of destroying “moderate” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Or: Hamas is actually “winning by losing,” gaining new support among Palestinians and across the Middle East by standing up to Israel. Or: The stories of civilian casualties and accusations of “disproportionate” force are devastating Israel’s standing in the West.

Why Israel and Hamas need each other

WASHINGTON — In her fascinating book “A History of God,” Karen Armstrong posits that people believe in God because God “works for them.” That is to say, God is compelling because the idea of a divine being serves a useful purpose in people’s lives. That utilitarian argument may be masked beneath a deep layer of spiritual devotion — but it’s a pragmatic decision all the same.

‘One giant leap’

The history of man is filled with stories of exploration and discovery. From Galileo Galilei looking up into the sky and finding distant planets and moons (“I’ve loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” — Galileo Galilei) to 15th century explorers stepping foot on previously unknown continents, humanity as a whole has always been curiously observing the world around us.

Putin’s missing chance to escape a losing war

President Vladimir Putin is missing a golden opportunity by not disowning the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Instead, as pro-Putin media and social network trolls invent increasingly fantastical versions of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, Russia risks becoming a pariah even to developing countries that have sympathized with its anti-American stance.