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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Ankeny, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

The dirtiest job in town

Hercules was the original man who gets things done. Tales of his 12 labors that included the slaying of monsters are the stuff of heroic legend. Cleaning out the Augean Stables is the stuff of heroic legend. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan can sympathize with Hercules.

A June 10, 2015, file photo shows Ashley Madison's Korean website on a computer screen in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man/ File)

Wedding vows matter

Halos slip. Every fallen angel knows that. The ordinary man has enough smarts to set it aright if he can, and promise himself to behave next time. Bein’ good, as Roberta Flack sang of preachers’ sons, isn’t always easy.

An investor covers his eyes at a brokerage house in Fuyang in central China's Anhui province on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

A dragon by the tail

China is hurtling toward regime crisis. The Shanghai stock market roller coaster, the nervous reaction of other world markets and the frightening headlines across the world are the least of Beijing’s worries. All the bad news is, however, symptomatic of deeper concerns.

An activist marches in the protest march called the GoTopless Day Parade Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in New York. The parade took to the streets to counter critics who are complaining about topless tip-seekers in Times Square. Appearing bare-breasted is legal in New York. But Mayor Bill de Blasio and police Commissioner Bill Bratton say the body-painted women in the square who take photos with tourists are a nuisance. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

Mammary menace in Manhattan

Nothing excites teenage boys and lascivious men quite like the sight of the female breast. In New York City, where sophistication was invented (ask any New Yorker), some see mammary menace the governor and the mayor see opportunity.

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Do Americans still agree with "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses," as engraved on the Statue of Liberty? (National park Service)

Anchor babies and an adult dilemma

There's nothing new about anchor babies. Only the nomenclature has changed. With hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens pouring across the border over the past decades, many of them are looking for an anchor to keep them in place in the new world. A 6-pound baby might do it.

FILE- In this Aug. 6, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Thursday. Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are expected to attend Vernon Jordan's 80th birthday party Saturday, Aug. 15, on the swanky Massachusetts island famous as a gathering spot for prominent Democratic figures.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The administration meets reality

The markets and American technology are turning the Obama administration's original energy policies around by 180 degrees. There's still a lot to do, particularly by Congress, so long besotted with subsidies for certain powerful lobbies. But prospects are bullish.

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, right, speaks during a news conference with consumer advocate Jamie Court, left, president of Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

An oily inconsistency

Tom Steyer, the California billionaire, can't decide whether he's a political "activist" trying to make gasoline more expensive or another overtaxed consumer abused at the pump. That may not make sense, but who said it must? All is fair in love and politics (and love died on the wayside some time ago).

Associated Press
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama - who campaigned on "change we can believe in" - spoke to supporters at a primary night rally in St. Paul, Minn.

The test of the winning candidate

Midterm congressional elections, decisive as they may be, are always about the past, usually about a president's performance. Voters get a chance to grade a president and his performance, and by this measure, voters flunked President Obama in 2010 and 2014.

'No' to closing Guantanamo

President Obama is pleased with himself for his diplomatic opening to Cuba. The rest of us wouldn't be pleased with what he wants to close. The president's long-standing goal of shuttering the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay appears to be advancing apace.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders is gaining more attention from potential voters in Iowa and New Hampshire due to his straight-shooting style and social agenda. (Associated Press)

When curiosity takes a vacation

Curiosity, not ideology, is the mark of the best reporters, but with the disappearance of tough editors reporters are allowed to be pundits, and it shows. The best reporters are on the scout for "the story." The early story of the 2016 presidential campaign is the emergence of two unlikely, unusual and off-brand candidates, and how the reporters treat them.

A helicopter makes a water drop on a wildfire in Angeles National Forest above Azusa, Calif., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. Wildfires racing through drought-stricken Southern California have burned hundreds of acres of land and multiple cabins as the region roasted under a summer heat wave. (Watchara Phomicinda/San Gabriel Valley Tribune via AP) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

Shifting blame for wildfires

Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. Persistent drought in the West has triggered wildfires that have burned over nearly 6 million acres so far this year. Blaming global warming, or capricious "climate change" -- sometimes it's hot and sometimes it's cold, and sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesn't -- is tempting for the environmental extremists.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Hillary as comedienne

Hillary Clinton dismisses her email troubles as a joke -- she was having a high old time with it in Iowa the other day -- but there's no evidence that the FBI agents assigned to her case are laughing. Joking about your transgressions while an FBI team is examining your life and times is not smart.

A worker wipes a representation of the The Great Seal of the United States at the newly opened U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

America returns to Cuba

Gulags and satrapies are required in the nether world where Marxist fantasy survives. How else to keep the peasants in line? Secretary of State John Kerry, looking for love in all the wrong places, took a handful of congressmen to Havana the other day to preside over the raising of the American flag at the reopening of the American embassy, closed in 1961 when Fidel Castro imposed the Marxist yoke upon the neck of the Cuban people. The three Marines who lowered the flag 53 years ago, old men now, were called back to run up Old Glory once more. Mr. Kerry celebrated the occasion as another achievement of Barack Obama's presidency.