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President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One upon his arrival at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. The president will speak at Lawson State Community College, about the economy.  (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)

A late education on the left

Liberals and conservatives don’t often come together on important issues because they commute from different planets. Pundits of various stripe bemoan the lack of common values and ponder why Democrats, Republicans, conservatives and liberals seem to have lost respect not only for each other’s views, but for each other.

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will begin consideration of Lynch's nomination to be attorney general next week. Democrats have been pressing for the Senate to act on President Barack Obama's selection of Lynch, who is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The Lynch nomination

The longer the United States Senate puts off the vote on her confirmation the less likely Loretta Lynch will become the attorney general. Some Democrats, in particular Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, have played the usual race card but so far none of the groups that specialize in expressions of outrage have said much, if anything.

Former President Bill Clinton hugs his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, during the closing session of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. At right is Chelsea's husband, Marc Mezvinsky. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Cash for clunkers

Successful politicians know how to avoid a conflict of interest. Unsuccessful politicians can’t recognize one when they see one, or if they do, figure they can duck when sticks, stones and subpoenas fly. Then there are the Clintons. Bubba wrote the book on how to duck and weave. Hillary is learning, with difficulty. She doesn’t have the good ol’ boy’s wink and smile.

FILE - In this June 6, 2013 file photo, a sign stands outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. There was a break in the case of a man who fired shots on several occupied vehicles and the headquarters of the NSA when he returned to the scene of the first shooting, police said Wednesday. The 35-year-old Prince George's County man was arrested Tuesday night near Arundel Mills mall, where shots were fired Feb. 24. A man driving away from a gas station near the mall was injured by glass shot out from his car, police said.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Taming the surveillance state

The Patriot Act was fashioned with good intentions, but it has been dragooned to serve bad purposes. It was enacted during the national panic that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to protect Americans from the enemy. Now it’s employed by government busybodies to treat Americans themselves as the enemy.

**FILE** The skyline of Washington, D.C. (Associated Press)

What’s not in your wallet?

There’s nothing like a “best and worst” list at tax season to remind a taxpayer that the IRS isn’t the only government revenuer putting on the squeeze. States and cities take a bite, too.

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FILE - This Nov. 11, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Capitol Building illuminated by the setting sun on the National Mall in Washington. When the leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee meet Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, they'll be deciding on more than a city to put in the running to host the 2024 Summer Games. They'll be picking a partner that will help shape their near- and long-term future.  Leaders from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington made their presentations last month and will not be present while the 15 USOC board members debate the pros and cons of each offering at their meeting at Denver International Airport. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Treason in the U.S. Senate

Sometimes public opinion must submit to a history lesson. The famous letter to Iran, signed by 47 senators, urging the mullahs in Tehran to beware of making a deal with President Obama to restrain their pursuit of the Islamic bomb, has got some Democrats in a proper tizzy over the Logan Act. These Democrats don't appear to know any more about the Logan Act than the rest of the anvil chorus, but they want the senators prosecuted for treason. They have collected 165,000 names on a petition to Mr. Obama urging him to prosecute someone.

A Secret Service officer and Secret Service agents provide security as Marine One carries President Barack Obama off the South Lawn of the White House, on Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Washington. Obama to traveling to Los Angeles for an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and a DNC fundraiser. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

No time for ‘boys will be boys’

The days of the Secret Service agent as superhero are long gone. Instead of men like Clint Hill flying into the back seat of the Kennedy motorcade to protect the first lady after the assassination in Dallas, or of the stoic agents of a later time who surrounded Ronald Reagan with their bodies and got him to safety after John Hinckley's failed assassination attempt, the men of today's security detail appear to be rude, raucous, unfocused college frat boys.

In this image made from video posted on a social media account affiliated with the Islamic State group on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, militants take sledgehammers to an ancient artifact in the Ninevah Museum in Mosul, Iraq. The extremist group has destroyed a number of shrines --including Muslim holy sites -- in order to eliminate what it views as heresy. The militants are also believed to have sold ancient artifacts on the black market in order to finance their bloody campaign across the region. (AP Photo via militant social media account)

Destruction in civilization’s cradle

Trashing antiquities and traces of early civilization is so easy a caveman can do it. Steeped in ruinous belief, the cavemen of the Islamic State are adding to their criminal rampage across the Middle East, smashing and looting the priceless artifacts made by their ancestors in a more constructive era.

A sign warns motorists of the presence of a red light camera in Chicago. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration on Sunday, March 8, 2015 announced 50 controversial red-light cameras will be taken down from about two dozen locations citywide. The move comes as the former White House chief of staff seeks re-election and faces questions about the cameras impact on safety. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Chicago's red-light rip-off

Rahm Emanuel is in big trouble in Chicago, having abused the residents in ways that should be a warning to politicians everywhere. The mayor, a former adviser to both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, is not everyone's cup of breakfast tea. Everyone agrees that he's arrogant, high-handed and quick to scorn anyone with whom he disagrees. He couldn't get the 50 percent of the vote in the first primary and now the mayor is in a death struggle with a man who was written off early as a candidate with no chance. The machine, built by Richard Daley and nurtured by his son, was once invincible, and Mr. Emanuel has continued to wring money from those doing business with the city.

Unidentified military personnel walk along a causeway near Navarre Beach, Fla. Wednesday, March 11, 2015 as they search for survivors of an Army Black Hawk helicopter that went down Tuesday evening with 11 service members aboard.  (AP Photo/Northwest Florida Daily News, Devon Ravine)

Black Hawk down

While the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was inquiring Wednesday into President Obama's request for authorization to use military force against the Islamic State, or ISIS, a more immediate drama about a military force was playing out over the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of northwest Florida.

Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, questioned witnesses about sex trafficking and other abuses during a recent hearing on Cuba. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The suspicious Menendez indictment

The Justice Department surprised nobody with the announcement that it will seek an indictment of Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a Democrat. A criminal investigation of the senator has been going on for many months. A jury may ultimately sort it out, and that's the way it should be. But Ted Cruz, his colleague in the U.S. Senate, put in words what a lot of people in Washington have been thinking: Does this indictment have more to do with politics than corruption or law?

admissions: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded Tuesday that she should have used a government email to conduct business while head of the Department of State, saying her decision was simply a matter of "convenience." Rep. Trey Gowdy said a neutral third party should determine which of her messages shall remain private. (Associated Press photographs)

Hillary comes not so clean

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." That bit of wisdom is often attributed to Shakespeare, but it's actually from Sir Walter Scott, and he must have been talking about Bill and Hillary Clinton.

A United Nations flag waves as Spanish U.N. peacekeepers carry out a foot patrol in the disputed Chebaa Farms area between Lebanon and Israel, in southeast Lebanon, Tuesday Feb. 24, 2015. A Spanish peacekeeper was killed in south Lebanon last month during a flare-up in hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah. The U.N. peacekeeping force known as UNIFIL has been deployed in south Lebanon since 1978 and monitors the border between Lebanon and Israel. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Unarmed peacekeeping on the Heights

The United Nations peacekeeper is a lot like the constable in a town with one stoplight. He looks sharp only when nothing is happening. This "peace" is about to end soon on the Golan Heights, the mountainous buffer between Israel and Syria. Iran is sending forces into Syria to back Damascus in its civil war, and a long period of relative quiet along the border is likely to be shattered. The U.N. is forewarned that the day is coming when there's no more peace to keep.

President Barack Obama, center, walks as he holds hands with Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was beaten during "Bloody Sunday," as they and the first family and others including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga,, left of Obama, walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday," a landmark event of the civil rights movement, Saturday, March 7, 2015. From front left are Marian Robinson, Sasha Obama. first lady Michelle Obama. Obama, Boynton and Adelaide Sanford, also in wheelchair. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The campaign rally at Selma

When President Obama marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma he had Republican company. The casual reader/viewer might not know that, because in the wake of an occasion that the president transformed into a Democratic campaign rally some of the Republicans who joined him were relegated to the margins, sometimes even cut out of the photographs.

U.S. must defend Ukraine

Some conservatives have questioned Ukraine's importance to America, as if it were a small, remote country of no strategic value. But in fact Ukraine is Russia's broad gateway to Europe. And Europe is the first target of Russian President Vladimir Putin's coalition of rogue states.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a university conference sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative at the University of Miami, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas)

Not ready for Hillary Clinton

Dissecting Republicans and their chances for regaining the White House next year is good, clean fun for most pundits and analysts, Democrats nearly all, because it distracts attention from what's wrong in their own party. The conventional wisdom has been that the Democratic superstar would bury anyone unfortunate enough to be nominated by the Republicans. The only concern in Democratic ranks has been that Hillary Clinton would need a practice sprint in the primaries to tone and flex muscle in anticipation of November. If Hillary were a baseball team, her acolytes concede, she could still use a little spring training.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., right, accompanied by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, outline their ideas for a new tax plan during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 4, 2015.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Getting started on tax reform

Everybody talks about tax reform but nobody ever gets around to doing something about it. Now two Republican senators, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, have introduced a proposal that embraces both pro-growth and pro-family concerns and simplifies the mess that is the current federal tax code. It's a start.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Red Room at the Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, in Albany, N.Y. Cuomo says he has not been subpoenaed or contacted by federal investigators probing Albany corruption, but he won't say if the same is true for his aides. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Saying no to prosperity

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or leave 'em, depending. Several struggling towns in upstate New York look across the state line at Pennsylvania and are thinking about secession, not from the union but from New York. After years of timid waffling, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said no to fracking, the method of drilling for oil and gas that is making Pennsylvania prosperous. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, could be the key to putting a jingle into the pockets of New Yorkers, and improving the state's dreary and desolate business climate.

In this Jan. 23, 2013, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Something to hide

There's a new chapter in the familiar Clinton dodge, this one written by Hillary. On Monday The New York Times reported that Mrs. Clinton stubbornly refused to use a government email account during her tenure as secretary of state, choosing instead a private account to better hide her emails. This likely violates the U.S. Records Act, and we've seen this kind of Clinton subterfuge before.

A rendition of a now-scrapped Arlington streetcar line.

No desire for a streetcar

Nearly everybody likes a streetcar, but most of them live only in the memories of old folks. Once upon a time streetcars ran nearly everywhere in nearly every big city in America, and in a lot of not-so-big cities. Two hundred miles of track, for example, tied Washington to its suburbs in Virginia and Maryland.

Addressing a joint meeting of Congress in Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said an emerging U.S.-Iran deal would "all but guarantee" Tehran will get nuclear weapons. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Netanyahu speech

Benjamin Netanyahu knocked one out of the park Tuesday, and once it cleared the fence the ball beaned a man lurking in the shadows, and bounced into the tall grass. That man in the shadows looked a lot like President Obama.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Unhappy days in Chicago

Rahm Emanuel was born in Chicago and has been a very favorite son. The Daley machine sent him to Congress, where he was a faithful liege of Bill Clinton, was President Obama's first chief of staff, got rich working his connections to Wall Street, joined the looting of the federal housing program and returned to his hometown to be elected mayor in 2012. Mr. Emanuel once described his job as mayor as the culmination of a lifelong dream, and said, "I'm loving doing this."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the winter meeting of the free market Club for Growth winter economic conference at the Breakers Hotel Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper) ** FILE **

A smear evaporates

Scott Walker had a very good week. He was the star of the beauty contest at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and the price and proof of his good fortune was the flak he took from the activists and operatives of the left and the magpies of the media. The Wisconsin governor, so the story went, is oblivious of "gender assaults" on campus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while speaking at the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The world in peril

Protocol is a valuable tool of diplomacy, but protocol must defer to harsh reality when a nation's survival is at stake. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped on protocol and President Obama's toes when he accepted the invitation of Speaker John A. Boehner to speak to the House of Representatives without the customary endorsement of the White House. We say, good for him.