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President Obama. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Governing the Chicago way

Barack Obama is a trailblazer. Most past presidents who get an electoral rebuke like the one he got November would have looked to the examples of Democratic and Republican presidents before him, and tried to accommodate both himself and Congress to reality, and move forward.

 Rajendra K. Pachauri. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan, file)']

Faith-based science comes a cropper

The chief of the United Nations climate change panel is passionate about his global warming beliefs, and some of his passion has gotten out of hand. Passion can do that. Rajendra Pachauri, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, has been forced to resign his post at the U.N. after he was accused of sexual harassment. Every man is entitled to his beliefs, but sometimes he has to keep his beliefs — and his affections — to himself. Mr. Pachauri was appointed to be a chief, not an evangelist.

President Barack Obama closes his eyes and bows his head as Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Longwood, Fla., says the prayer during the Easter Prayer Breakfast, Monday, April 14, 2014,  in the East Room of the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama honored those killed in a weekend attack on two Jewish facilities in Kansas, saying no one should have to worry about their security while gathering with their fellow believers. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Of love and faith

The silly season arrives early. The world’s on fire, and here we are, arguing over whether Barack Obama loves America, or loves it enough, and the political correspondents are parsing Scott Walker’s answer to a question posed by the armchair theologians at The Washington Post, whether the president is a Christian.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro  (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Disaster in Venezuela

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela bears a marked resemblance to the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, right down to the mustache. With a collapsing economy that has soured his countrymen on his ruinous economic policies, Mr. Maduro is beginning to resemble Saddam in a more ominous way as well.

Republican governors are blaming President Barack Obama for a budget standoff that threatens a potential Department of Homeland Security shutdown. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The villain of the shutdown

Mitch McConnell is desperately seeking a way out of the corner he painted for himself. The Republican leader of the Senate promised the public two things last November. He said there would be “no government shutdown on my watch,” and that he would use the appropriations lever to force President Obama to “move to the center” on several crucial issues, including immigration.

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Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber kisses his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, after he is sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term as governor in Salem, Ore. Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, amid allegations Hayes used her relationship with him to enrich herself.  (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

More rain in Oregon

Times have been tough for Democratic governors. Republicans in November ousted Democrats in Maryland and Massachusetts, both blue-state strongholds, and now another Democratic governor, this one in Oregon, where the election results can't get a deeper shade of blue, is out. The influence-peddling scandal that took him down further threatens his fiancee and the reputation of a major donor whose billions are beloved by Democrats.

King Salman gestures of Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Saudi Press Agency, File)

Shaming Saudi Arabia

The example set by the early Americans who met in Philadelphia to write a Constitution for free men continues to be a beacon to "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free," in the words of the poet Emma Lazarus. We, the most fortunate of men and women, sometimes forget the debt everyone owes to the men who understood that all men are equal in the eyes of the Creator, and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by their governments. The yearning for freedom to speak their minds, write what they want and circulate their opinions, burns in the hearts of men and women everywhere.

To avoid the economic, social, environmental and human health catastrophes that would follow fossil fuel elimination, we would need affordable, reliable options on a large enough scale to replace them. Existing "renewable" technologies cannot possibly do that. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Hydrocarbon Appreciation Day

Fossil fuel antagonists have devised numerous schemes, campaigns and justifications to curb or eliminate hydrocarbon energy. Their latest gambit is Global Divestment Day, Feb. 13-14, dedicated to pressuring institutions to eliminate fossil fuel companies from their investment portfolios.

Victims of the Fort Hood shooting will soon be eligible to receive the Purple Heart, with Congress pushing ahead with a policy change that would officially recognize domestic terrorism as an issue, rather than the "workplace violence" designation the Obama administration had used. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Reality in purple

The lady with the scale of justice makes a belated appearance in Washington. The victims of the Fort Hood massacre are finally to receive their due. They're due as well an acknowledgment by the commander in chief that they were the prey of terrorists. We're not holding our breath, and neither should they. President Obama continues to hide in a game of words.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The hogs squeal

Losing is no fun, in baseball, football and particularly in politics. Maryland's Democrats, who have been in a surly mood since losing the statehouse to Larry Hogan in November, might better have followed the example of Davy Crockett to relieve their anger and frustration. When his Tennessee constituents threw him out of Congress after only one term, Davy told them: "I'm going to Texas, and you can go to hell."

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Rogues at the FCC

The 332 pages of new regulations for the Internet, revealed last week by the Federal Communications Commission, demonstrate vividly how a federal bureaucracy, if left alone without proper supervision, puts obstacles in the way of the economic sector. It's instinctive. The instinct to impose bureaucratic harm is exacerbated when an agency feels the pressure of an overzealous White House.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool)

Bibi-bashing hypocrisy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells it like it is, clear and plain with the bark on, and sometimes says things that politicians in Israel and other places know is true but won't say. Barack Obama thinks he can sleepwalk on an imaginary high road past Iran's nuclear-weapons program, and Mr. Netanyahu's plain talk makes it difficult to stay asleep.

In this photo taken Feb. 9, 2015, President Barack Obama listens in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The president is setting a goal of raising $2 billion from the private sector for investments in clean energy. The White House says it's launching a Clean Energy Investment Initiative as part of the Obama administration's effort to address climate change.The Energy Department will solicit investments from philanthropists and investors concerned about climate change. The aim is to spur development of technologies and energy sources that are low in carbon dioxide pollution, such as solar panels, wind power, fuel cells and advanced batteries. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Barack Obama’s happy planet

From George Washington on, presidents have blamed "them lyin' newspapers" for their problems, and often for the problems they create. And not just presidents; governors, mayors and even aldermen play the national political sport. The villains now include television and the Internet.

The University of Michigan. (Wikipedia)

Nice speech on campus

The unwary, which includes most of us, should step lively if stumbling onto the campus of the University of Michigan. You might offend by saying "good morning" to someone who is having an awful morning. Your obliviousness to the pain of others would be unforgivable, if not yet illegal.

Waiting for Pearl Harbor

Denial is an effective way for dreamers and incompetents to deal with reality. Left to themselves to dream, incompetents are harmless enough, but they become instruments of debacle and disaster when they're put in charge of anything more complicated than making the coffee or taking out the trash.

A sample of medical marijuana is displayed at a dispensary in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Going to pot in America

Certain Americans have a love-hate relationship with marijuana, and with the pleasure comes the pain. In Colorado, where residents have legalized the euphoria of pot, the unhealthy consequences of it are beginning to emerge. There's a warning for other states in the Rocky Mountain high.

President Obama (Associated Press)

The art of the whopper

Telling lies with statistics is so easy even a politician can do it. An economist named Darrell Huff once wrote a best-seller about it, "How to Lie With Statistics." Harry S. Truman identified three kinds of lies, "lies, damned lies, and statistics." That was more than a half-century ago, and the art and science of prevarication have only been improved through frequent use.

An image provided by Australia's Minister for Health and Aging shows cigarette packaging stripped of all logos and replaced with graphic images that tobacco companies in Australia will be forced to use. (AP Photo/Australian Minister for Health and Aging)

Strike of the soup Nazis

The right of a company to sell a can of beans or a bottle of soda pop — or a pack of cigarettes — with trademarks ablaze is a no-brainer in a land of the free. But such freedom invariably makes a nanny's teeth itch. The Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron in Britain can't resist the urge to scratch that familiar itch.

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

When the gene escapes the bottle

The future arrives with such speed as purveyors of science fiction envy. Hence the baby with three parents. Heather can, in fact, have two mommies. Medical science is poised to take a bold step toward a human free of genetic disease, and with it a host of ethical questions about the collateral consequences of the brave new world aborning.

Former President Ronald Reagan. (The Washington Times) ** FILE **

Remembering Ronald Reagan

We once celebrated the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in February, until several national holidays were moved to Mondays so federal workers could get more three-day weekends. Then President Richard Nixon ordered that Washington's birthday still be observed on his birthday. Fervor always cools and now most of the states observe something called "President's Day" on the third Monday of the month, presumably even including Chester Alan Arthur and Rutherford B. Hayes.

The Coastal Plain of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)

Drill baby, maybe

When the president announced his ban on oil drilling last month in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, he deprived the nation of access to 30 billion barrels of oil now and took 10 billion barrels of oil from future generations. The trade he offered was meant to help current American energy production efforts. Or so it seemed.

Disney reported another quarter of strong growth on Tuesday, Feb. 3, helped by higher revenue from its parks and resorts despite an outbreak of measles at its California park in December. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The measles outbreak

Measles is supposed to be dead and gone from the United States, having been declared "eliminated" by the Centers for Disease Control in 2000. But 15 years later, the disease appears to be back, not yet strongly and so far not with a vengeance. But it's back.

Brothers Ray, left, and Tom Magliozzi, co-hosts of National Public Radio's Car Talk show, pose for a photo in Cambridge, Mass.  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The unbearable whiteness of being NPR

The folks at National Public Radio are atwitter, and not just on Twitter, about something big and new for everyone to worry about. Some of the executives, producers, on-air "talent" and even some listeners are worried that "the NPR sound" is "too white." Navels all over the building erupted last week with the broadcast of a commentary by one Chenjerai Kumanyika, "Challenging the Whiteness of Public Radio."

This still image made from video released by Islamic State group militants and posted on the website of the SITE Intelligence Group on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, purportedly shows Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh standing in a cage just before being burned to death by his captors. The death of the 26-year-old pilot, who fell into the hands of the militants in December when his Jordanian F-16 crashed near Raqqa, Syria, followed a weeklong drama over a possible prisoner exchange. (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group)

More news from the dark side

When Japanese journalist Kenji Goto was beheaded by ISIS last week, there was wide speculation that Jordanian intervention might spare the life of a second hostage, Moaz al-Kassasbeh, a Jordan Air Force pilot. ISIS militants had captured the pilot when his F-16 crashed in Syria in December during U.S.-led coalition strikes near Raqqa.

The Capitol Christmas tree in 2009. (Peter Lockley / The Washington Times)

Ebenezer Scrooge lives

Americans ought to live forever, with thousands of federal bureaucrats hard at work protecting the health and safety of all God's creatures. The various federal agencies have more than 3,000 rules and regulations now pending, most of them aimed at harassment and health, and the lights stay on late in the imaginations of the folks at the Environmental Protecting Agency, in particular, and at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), where no doofus idea goes unconsidered.