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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 web site on a computer screen in Seoul, South Korea. Eight people across the U.S. who registered to use Ashley Madison are suing the cheating website after hackers released personal and detailed information on them and millions of other users, including credit card numbers and sexual preferences. (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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GOP party of choice, freedom

There has been a lot of talk lately about Bruce Jenner coming out as a Republican and a Christian ("Bruce Jenner, Evolving Republican," Web, April 27). Some say they don't want him in our party while others welcome him. Good governance is beneficial to all groups.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wants footage from the Metropolitan Police Department's expanding body camera program to be exempt from public records requests, making the District one of an increasing number of jurisdictions trying to limit access in order to balance the technology with privacy concerns. (Associated Press)

Caution with the body cameras

Every picture tells a story, but not every story must be told. Equipping the police with body cameras could hold them more accountable for how they deal with the public. Police departments generally support the idea of such cameras, saying video can protect them from false claims of police brutality. But the unblinking eye is no cure-all and the benefits must be weighed against cost, officer retention and privacy rights. If a police camera becomes part of the uniform, one size may not fit all.

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visit the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, Monday, April 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

An ambitious visitor from Japan

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will be honored Wednesday in a way that few foreign visitors are honored. He will speak to a joint session of Congress, and in an irony that will not go unremarked either here or in Japan, he will speak from the lectern used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the date that FDR said "will live in infamy."

Applaud Bruce Jenner's courage

As a Christian, Republican and transgender individual, Bruce Jenner demonstrates that the conservative umbrella is just as diverse and inclusive as its squawking liberal counterpart ("Bruce Jenner: I'm a Republican and a Christian," Web, April 25). Today gay conservative voices — most notably Washington Times columnist Tammy Bruce — champion the truth that the Republican party has evolved to a greater degree of social acceptance.

President Barack Obama laughs at a joke during the White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Washington Hilton on Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The liberation of President Obama

President Obama obviously feels liberated by the sight of his administration swiftly approaching the outer suburbs of oblivion. With no fear of red line or deadline, he has set about to use the time he has left in office to make the United States a nation that neither he nor Michelle would be ashamed to be proud of.

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 21, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to students and faculty during a campaign stop at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, N.H. The acting chief executive of the Clinton Foundation is acknowledging the global philanthropy made mistakes in how it disclosed its donors amid growing scrutiny as Hillary Rodham Clinton opens her presidential campaign, Sunday, April 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

A ’bot with a rap sheet

Sometimes the news sounds like science fiction by Ray Bradbury. We've been asked by a high government official, lately in charge of the State Department, to believe that certain of her emails reside in a black hole in cyberspace. Two scientists — computer geeks, anyway — are working on a computer program to bring a dead man back as a virtual live man for a virtual conversation.

In this Dec. 7, 2005 file photo, former South African President, Nelson Mandela, smiles at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. The former political prisoner who became the country's first black president in 1994 died in December 2013 at the age of 95. Pan Macmillan said Tuesday, March 24, 2015, that it will publish the sequel to Mandela's best-selling autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom" in Britain, South Africa, India and Australasia in 2016. U.S. and Canadian rights have not yet been sold. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

Dreams of children of angry fathers

Most Americans can't quite understand how events of previous centuries still have the power to stir anger and resentments, and make an appreciation of their common interests difficult. Well, some Americans can recall a certain anger late on a summer night after a third or even fourth bourbon and branch water, but the feeling quickly goes away. Nations, after all, do not have permanent friends, in Lord Palmerston's famous explanation to Queen Victoria, but nations do have permanent interests and memories of a civil war no longer poisons those interests on these shores.

Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, says he'll try to force the Senate to vote on a bill halting the subsidy that lawmakers and their staffs get to pay for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges, saying that's a benefit no other American receives, so Congress shouldn't either. (Associated Press)

Treats from the congressional buffet

Successful congressional candidates of both parties often -- perhaps usually -- suffer amnesia when they get to Washington, and get a glance of the vast buffet of perks Congress votes for itself. They forget a lot of the promises they made during their successful campaigns for Congress. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, a Republican, has not forgotten. He's trying to find out who certified that Congress is a "small business" so its members and their highly paid staffs could be eligible for an Obamacare subsidy for employees of businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Environmentalists say the delta smelt population has declined because state and federal water pumps suck in and kill smelt, which usually spawn in the delta's upper reaches in spring.

Solar-powered park benches and the delta smelt get their day

America celebrated the planet Wednesday with the gaudy red, white and blue charm guaranteed to turn a tree-hugger green. Earth Day was first observed 45 years ago when most baby boomers were teenagers, and now the candles are dripping all over the birthday cake. It's only natural. Repetition becomes routine, and routine hides the original idea, which is rendered meaningless. It doesn't take a campaign to care for the planet, and some of the Earth Day observances are starting to look a little silly.

FILE - In this April 12, 2013 file photo, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Obama administration official says the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to resign soon. Leonhart is a career drug agent who has led the agency since 2007 and is the second woman to hold the job.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Smoke in her eyes

The government announced Tuesday that Michele Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, will soon be leaving, and only the potheads of America have reason to grieve. She has had an uncomfortable ride, bucking the Obama administration by relaxing enforcement of federal narcotics law in states where marijuana has become legal in state law. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington no longer prohibit marijuana under certain circumstances. Neither does the District of Columbia.

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to potential supporters at the Londonderry Fish and Game club in Litchfield, N.H., Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Gunning for fun in ’16

It's the conceit of every generation to think in terms of hyperbole, that nobody has seen the trouble it sees. But the 2016 campaign for the White House promises to be as personal and divisive as any in a long time. The politics of threats, fireworks and innuendo have begun. The Democratic and Republican front-runners have been around for a long time, and have the help of longtime loyalists with a history of using every weapon in their arsenal to cripple and destroy.

FILE - In this April 4, 2015, file photo, from video provided by Attorney L. Chris Stewart representing the family of Walter Lamer Scott, Scott appears to be running away from City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, right, in North Charleston, S.C. Slager was charged with murder on Tuesday, April 7, hours after law enforcement officials viewed the dramatic video that appears to show him shooting a fleeing Scott several times in the back. (AP Photo/Courtesy of L. Chris Stewart, File)

Race and police brutality

Police brutality is real, and there are bad cops among the good. Police brutality and police misbehavior must be swiftly and firmly punished when and where it occurs. A star on a policeman's breast confers responsibility along with authority.

Retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has long opposed a nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain, said it is "not something I will ever accept."

Bury the death tax

The House of Representatives approved legislation last week to abolish the death tax, and the vote was not close -- 240 to 179. Democrats joined Republicans for the first vote on the death tax in nearly a decade. This is an issue that must come up every year until the tax is killed permanently and decisively until it is graveyard dead.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at a Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H., April 17, 2015. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Waffling toward the starting gate

Only yesterday Jeb Bush was the Republican flavor of the week, the favorite of the Republican establishment, those wonderful folks who yearn for a nice man who oozes political propriety and respectability. Establishment Republicans — Rockefeller Republicans, they were once called — live in dread of frightening the horses.

A human embryo generated by SCNT at Advanced Cell Technology in 2003 (Courtesy of Advanced Cell Technology)

When time slows down

Many women delay the births of their children, some to get a firmer footing in a career or to take more time to find the right someone with whom to share a blessed adventure. Some women wait until their late 30s or even the early 40s. But Mother Nature did not give women the option of bearing children and enjoying them forever. That's why God invented grandparents.

Hillary Clinton made an unannounced pit stop Monday at a Chipotle outside Toledo. It would have gone completely unnoticed if not for a Clinton campaign aide tipping off The New York Times, which contacted the restaurant and obtained security camera footage of Mrs. Clinton wearing sunglasses while waiting in line for a burrito bowl. (Associated Press)

A first test on the trail

If Hillary Clinton can't stage-manage ordering lunch in an Iowa diner, with aides at hand, how can she manage a presidential campaign? This is the question worried Democrats are asking each other after Mrs. Clinton's campaign ventured into the weeds in the Midwest, demonstrating that the feminists and a noisy claque of like-minded allies may be "ready for Hillary," but she does not seem to be ready to persuade skeptical voters that she's ready for them.


Volunteers pass through the first full body scanner, which uses backscatter technology, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on March 10, 2010. Those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away. The Transportation Security Administration says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June 2013 because the company that makes them can't fix the privacy issues. (Associated Press)

Hanky-panky in the security line

When the Transportation Security Administration installed full-body scanners several years ago the ACLU, privacy advocates and many passengers sounded warnings that this invited sexual harassment, voyeurism and maybe even sexual adventuring. The government routinely dismissed the complaints as "unfounded" and even "paranoid." Would your government do anything like that? "Full-body pat-downs" followed for passengers who raised an alarm going through the scanners.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, following a Senate policy luncheon. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Choking on gall and wormwood

Harry Reid is having shrinking pains, choking on a diet of gall and wormwood. He is not dealing well with the events of last November, when he lost the comfort and prominence of the Senate. The Senate's longtime Democratic leader revealed to an interviewer this week how the not-so-sweet mystery of life continues to elude him. He cannot understand why people don't like him. He thinks it's "unfortunate."