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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wears cufflinks depicting the Maryland state flag as he signs a bill during a bill signing ceremony following the state's legislative session at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Confusion in the marketplace

The Maryland legislature has just sent a bill to Gov. Larry Hogan that will, if he signs it, sow confusion in the state’s generic drug marketplace and subject consumers to considerable harm. It’s bad economics laced with a large dose of politics that begs him to pull out his veto pen and limber up his writing hand.

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala (henryford.com)

Genital mutilation takes a hit

A Michigan physician was charged this week with the ritual mutilation of the genitals of two sisters, one 6 and the other 7 years old, revealing a sordid — and illegal — practice in certain Muslim communities that has put up to 500,000 young American girls at risk of this barbaric mutilation.

Eddis Marie Loving, of East Chicago, Ind., holds a sign as supporters and residents of East Chicago, Ind., rally near a public-housing complex Wednesday, April 19, 2017, ahead of a visit by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Pruitt was scheduled to to tour the complex where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

It’s Earth Day, not Doomsday

Saturday marks the annual celebration of nature called Earth Day, now in its 47th year. It’s further the day set aside for a new event, the March for Science. Which to support? Well, both. The environmentally conscious in the nation’s capital can kill two birds with one stone (speaking figuratively, of course) and do both. By showing up on the National Mall, they can refresh their love for humanity’s habitat and cheer as well for the scientific programs that guard against abusing the globe. But showing up in a “Make America Great Again” hat won’t be wise. Someone burdened with an excess of tolerance might deck such a foolish celebrant with a picket sign. Saturday is not about making America great, but making America green.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledges the crowd following his speech at the Louisville Palace, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. Sanders told a boisterous crowd Tuesday night in Louisville that Trump has reneged on his promises to working-class voters. He said Democrats should reach out to disillusioned Trump supporters as the out-of-power party tries to recover from last year's election losses. (Sam Upshaw Jr./The Courier-Journal via AP)

Another ‘moral victory’ for the Democrats

Our earthquakes and landslides just ain’t what they used to be. The Democrats, like all political parties on the outs with voters, are entitled to look for hope and solace where they can find it, but the pickings in special congressional elections are so far pretty skimpy.

Supporters of the 'no' vote, chant slogans during a protest against the referendum outcome, on the Aegean Sea city of Izmir, Turkey, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking Sunday's referendum to be annulled because of voting irregularities. (AP Photo/Emre Tazegul)

Cooking Turkey’s goose

Turkey has been bumping along on the ragged margins of democracy for years. With this week’s slim approval of a governmental reform referendum, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has proclaimed that the nation can “change gears and continue along our course more quickly.”

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This Friday, Aug. 26, 2016 photos shows a look down Highway Terrace in Leavenworth, Kan., at the main gate of the Leavenworth Detention Center of Corrections Corporation of America. Defense attorneys who represent inmates at a privately run federal prison in Kansas were livid after learning that their meetings with clients had been recorded on video.(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Reforming prison reform

Criminal justice reform is a good idea, but every idea of how to make the reform is not a good idea. The system we have now is dangerously dysfunctional, but the Obama administration, and many of its friends on the left seem to think there's no good reason to imprison anyone, except for the occasional businessman in trouble with regulators.

In this photo provided by New York City Hall, pedestrians photograph a street sign renaming West 33rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, "Muhammad Ali Way,"  Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in New York. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the length of street next to New York's Madison Square Garden will be temporarily renamed to honor the boxing legend who had fought in the famed arena, and died last week. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office via AP)

It's culture, not complexion

White America is dying off. Does it matter? It obviously matters to those who are doing the dying. In the long run, however, what is important to the future of the nation is not the endurance of a particular color, but the endurance of the nation's culture.

FILE - In this May 9, 2015, file photo, workers unload pipes for the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline that would stretch from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois. The discovery of a possible American Indian burial site in northwest Iowa may require relocation of a crude oil pipeline route which would further delay the beginning of construction in Iowa, the only one of four states where work hasn't yet begun. The Dakota Access pipeline passes through the Big Sioux Wildlife Management area in Lyon County where an American Indian tribe said it has a burial site. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Complete the Dakota Access Pipeline

Anyone surprised by Barack Obama's last-minute decision to pass on the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline hasn't been paying attention. Going to war, even with foes of fossil fuels, has rarely appealed to the man who prefers to lead from behind.

Rex Tillerson has encountered the stiffest opposition yet, including from several Republican senators who said they share Democrats' concerns about his close business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Associated Press)

The Tillerson nomination

Short of serious reservations about the credibility, character and competence of his nominees, every president is entitled to choose his Cabinet. The president, after all, is the man who will be held responsible for everything.

Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein. **FILE (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron, File)

Jill Stein gets the hook

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, got a reminder Monday that her 15 minutes of fame are up. If politics were just a little bit more like vaudeville, she would have got the hook weeks ago.

President Barack Obama arrives at Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington, NH, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Obama's Hail Mary pass

Few Americans know much about the Arms Trade Treaty negotiated by the Obama administration, proposed for adoption by the United Nations three years ago, and still waiting for ratification by the U.S. Senate. President Obama, who would have pushed it along even earlier but didn't want anyone to hear about it before the 2012 election, when it was new, is trying for ratification one last time. The Democrats, as the chastened president said at the time, "took a licking" in those midterm elections, and the licking might have been worse. He persuaded the U.N. to postpone its passage until the elections were done, and then he urged them to go ahead.

President Barack Obama arrives at Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington, NH, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) ** FILE **

Rumors and reckoning

Allegations of foreign meddling in an American election is serious, indeed. If it happened, it's a grave threat to how Americans choose their presidents and members of Congress. Russia has been accused of interfering in the recent balloting, casting a taint on whether Donald Trump won fair and square. President Obama's order to the U.S. intelligence community to conduct a thorough review of cyber-attacks on the campaign is welcome, presuming the intelligence agencies can be trusted to investigate without fear or favor. Official Washington can resemble a hall of mirrors where nothing is as it seems, and discovering where hope and fantasy ends and reality begins would be all to the good.

This Feb. 19, 2016 file photo shows the front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Blinded by color

Be careful what you wish for, so the folk wisdom goes, because you might get it. Democrats, having learned this lesson the hard way, have set out in Virginia to repeal themselves. Not so long ago, Democrats in Virginia demanded the creation of so-called majority-minority congressional and state legislative districts, where the majority of the voters are members of racial minorities.

The White House South Portico is adorned with Christmas lights Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A college under siege

All that most Americans know about the Electoral College is that it's probably the only college in the country that might beat Alabama. But it has no student body in the stands chanting, "We're No. 1!" and it celebrates homecoming only every four years, and nobody ever shows up.

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2016 file photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent drives near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Sunland Park, N.M. U.S. immigration authorities caught barely half the people who illegally entered the country from Mexico last year, according to an internal Department of Homeland Security report that offers one of the most detailed assessments of U.S. border security ever compiled. The report found far fewer people are attempting to get into the U.S. than a decade ago and that 54 percent of those who tried were caught in the year ending Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

The wall first, then the rest

Every new president comes to Washington with two lists. The first is a list of things he would like to do. That's his wish list. He knows he won't get to some of the items. Those are the things that are possible but not probable in his first four years. This is the list he keeps to himself. The second list is much shorter, the things he must get done to make everything else possible. That's his "must-do list."

Various dishes of General Tso's chicken are depicted her in this screen capture from a Google search. The inventor of the iconic Chinese dish, Peng Chang-kuei, died on Nov. 30 at the age of 98 from pneumonia.

The day of the generals

The day of the generals has dawned bright and clear upon us, at least in Washington. Donald Trump, who was educated early at a junior military academy, obviously appreciates officers with lots of gold braid on their chests and sleeves. He has put several generals in his Cabinet and in his inner circle, including even an attorney general.

President-elect Donald Trump speaks to members of the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Words to the wise

Among the mainstream media's manifest faults is the high regard in which it holds itself. The average "journalist," as uptown newspapermen want to be called in a culture where titles get ever more extravagant, is a forgiving fellow, and never more forgiving than when he confronts his own errors (if any). Being a journalist in Washington means never having to say you're sorry.

A congressional aide said the legislation is aimed to thwart U.S. spy agencies from giving secrets to an investigation of NSA activities by a German parliamentary committee. The panel was formed after spying disclosures from renegade NSA contractor Edward Snowden. (Associated Press)

Pardon me, please

Politeness is always welcome, but it's not owing to an outbreak of good manners that President Obama is hearing a barrage of "pardon me." Rather, it's a sign that a president is soon to leave the White House, taking with him his power and authority to grant clemency to those on the nation's naughty list.

This Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015 photo shows a street sign in front of a corn field at an uncontrolled rural intersection where a driver was killed in an August crash near Maxwell, Iowa. Corn grows up to 12 feet tall and this time of year can be a serious hazard for motorists in rural areas of the Midwest. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Draining the ethanol tank

Red may be the color of Donald Trump's America, but yellow is the color of the nation's most favored cash crop. Corn is good, especially sweet corn swathed in butter for supper on a gentle summer's night. Mules like field corn, and so they should.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis stands backstage as he waits to be announced by President-elect Donald Trump as his Defense Secretary at a rally at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A job for a mad dog

Like nearly all government agencies, the Defense Department wastes money faster than the taxpayers can earn it, and a study by the Pentagon proves it. The study reveals that nearly one in every four dollars the Pentagon gets is wasted while generals, admirals and their friends in Congress cry for more, lest the nation be left defenseless in a hostile world.

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Health and Human Services Secretary, delivers the keynote address at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution entitled "A Reform Agenda for the Federal Budget Process," Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This Price is right

With their vow to repeal and replace Obamacare, President-elect Donald Trump and the Republicans have ventured onto thin ice. The dismal fate of the Democrats who preceded them onto the ice, and breaking through it, is a cautionary tale about the consequences of not keeping promises. Come Inauguration Day, the nation's new leadership had best hustle past the health care hazards lest they take an icy bath, too.

President Barack Obama speaks to media as he meets with United Nations Secretary-General-designate, Antonio Guterres, in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Elves at work

The bowels of the federal bureaucracy aren't exactly Santa's workshop, but legions of Barack Obama's elves are working 24/7 to leave behind large lumps of coal in the Christmas stocking of Donald Trump. Which is odd, because the president's loathing of all things anthracite and bituminous is well known.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, following a closed-door meeting with House Republicans to counter then-President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Blowing smoke, preferable hickory

Congress last week finally turned to something genuinely important, when Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas blistered the Architect of the Capitol, the caretaker of the government's buildings on Capitol Hill, for interfering with the preparation of his barbecued ribs.

In this Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, photo, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents pass a section of border wall in Hidalgo, Texas. The idea of a concrete wall spanning the entire 1,954-mile southwest frontier collides head-on with multiple realities, like a looping Rio Grande, fierce local resistance, and cost. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Hell on the border

Barack Obama's legacy, intended or not, is the hell on the border that he invited and nurtures. The crisis is darker than ever, and the Obama administration seems only to know how to make it worse.