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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 President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. The plan emerging Friday satisfies demands from the most conservative lawmakers and goes further than the approach initially discussed by some House Republicans. Many of the same House conservatives who voted against Boehner for speaker earlier this week in a failed overthrow attempt led by Gohmert, were declaring victory Friday at the shape the immigration legislation was taking.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks to reporters following the House Democratic Caucus elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, for House leadership positions. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, challenged Pelosi, but lost, 134-63. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Still out of step

“I have a special spring in my step today,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi exulted on being re-elected leader of the Democratic minority, “because this opportunity is a special one, to lead the House Democrats, bring everyone together as we go forward.”

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.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney talks with reporters after eating dinner with President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges restaurant, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Romney infatuation

Every president deserves a Cabinet of his own choosing, barring extraordinary circumstances, and that includes President-elect Donald Trump. Every president, after all, is held responsible for the success or failure of his administration, and he by right is entitled to choose his team. But even the most powerful man in the world must be wary of mortally offending the people who fought hard and long to put him where he stands. He will need them to fight with him again.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The debt to Mitch McConnell

No other consideration drove conservatives to Donald Trump like the prospect of a U.S. Supreme Court dedicated to preserving the Constitution as it was written and honored for centuries. The Donald promised to appoint judges in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia to the seat vacated by Mr. Scalia's death.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, left, accompanied by her husband former President Bill Clinton, right, and her daughter Chelsea Clinton, center, speaks in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, where she conceded her defeat to Republican Donald Trump after the hard-fought presidential election.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Counting up the losers

The No. 1 loser this year was Hillary Clinton, of course, but we might shed a tear for the man who stocked his warehouse with women's pants suits in all colors and sizes, expecting millions of women to make a run on the most unflattering ladies' garment dreamed up since Eve discarded her fig leaf for a bearskin.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

'Don't drain my swamp'

The Democrats lost the 2016 elections because they weren't listening, and treated voters with legitimate concerns as racists, bigots and deplorables. Some Republicans in Congress aren't listening now.

In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

When 'news' is a baloney sandwich

Half the world is getting information, sometimes labeled "news," from the internet. At the fingertips of 3.6 billion people there's a repository of knowledge so vast that it might as well be infinite. Self-appointed gatekeepers are cutting the flow down to a manageable size, but how they trim determines its shape. It's sometimes delivered in odd shapes.

U.S. President Barack Obama leaves Air Force One at the Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, after arriving for a three-day official visit which is the second stop of his final foreign tour as president. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

President Obama's 'helpful' exit

Barack Obama yearns to be the great explainer. He opened his first term with a tour of the Middle East to explain Islam to the world, and now he's finishing his second term with a final, abbreviated world tour trying to explain Donald Trump to everybody. He got the lesson about Islam wrong, and he's spreading misinformation now about the meaning of the American election.

Law enforcement officers have clashed with protesters trying to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. An extreme faction within the protest encampment has been terrorizing the rural community. (Associated Press)

A pipeline of necessity

The untouched vistas of the Northern Great Plains are a national treasure and are sacred to American Indians. But more than memories of home on the range are encouraging activists to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at Maximos Mansion in Athens on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. Obama is opening his final foreign trip as president with reassuring words about the U.S. commitment to NATO even as he prepares to hand off to a Donald Trump administration. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, Pool)

The Obama legacy

A president's legacy is shaped by his deeds, not by his wishes, hopes and dreams. A president can always hope, but there is nothing Barack Obama can do now to change a single line of the work of the moving finger. Mr. Obama is embarked this week on his final foreign tour, and before he left he drew his own view of the Obama years, but his own view is all it is.

A marijuana joint is rolled Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in San Francisco. Prop 64 legalizing marijuana for recreational use passed in California. The number of Americans living in states with recreational marijuana more than tripled after at least three states voted to fully legalize the drug. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Reefer madness

Americans are hardly suffering a shortage of ways to get high, but many of them are always on the scout for finding something else to crave. That's the message Election Day sent with approval of expanded legal access to marijuana. You can't legislate virtue, as the wise man said, but enshrining vice in the legal code is an easy way to pass a joint.

A voter, left, reads The New York Times, which features presidential candidates Donald Trump, left, and Hillary Clinton, right, as he waits to enter a polling station in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

Scared almost straight

All across the fruited plain editors and publishers have come to terms — some with more grace than others — with the plain fact that their newspapers did something wrong in its coverage of the presidential campaign mercifully just past. That much is all to the good. You can't fix something until you realize it's broken.

Matt Maloney, Grubhub co-founder and CEO, sent an anti-Trump email to employees after the Nov. 8, 2016, presidential election and said those who disagree with him have "no place" at the company. (CNBC screenshot)

Grubby election aftermath

This is the season for paying off election bets, and not every angry loser takes his frustration to the streets. Some satisfy their anger by making others suffer. Matt Maloney is the founder and president of an internet food-delivery service in Chicago called Grubhub, and he was more than ready for Hillary.

The republic survives

Only yesterday we were told to worry that crazed Trump voters might refuse to accept the inevitable triumph of Hillary Clinton, and take to the streets to riot, brawl and otherwise threaten law, order and the survival of the republic.

The Eiffel Tower lit up in green to mark the success of the Paris Agreement, Friday Nov.4, 2016 in Paris. The Paris Agreement on climate change enters into force Friday faster than anyone had anticipated, after a year with remarkable success in international efforts to slash man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases. Inscription reads, "Paris Agreement it's done".(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Trumping climate change

It's only a slight exaggeration that as America goes, so goes the world. As the returns rolled in from Election 2016, many delegates at the United Nations annual climate change conference, which opened Monday in Marrakech, Morocco, were on pins and needles.

President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, after a meeting. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The chattering class was wrong, as usual

The Republican Party committed suicide Tuesday night. We were told on good authority that the Grand Old Party would do just that if it elected Donald Trump. The wise heads, if not necessarily the wise guys of media big and small, said so.

Emily Benn was among the disappointed supporters of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was confident of winning the presidential election based on projections of political pundits and a sea of major media polls that turned out to be highly inaccurate. (Associated Press)

The clear lesson of Tuesday

The Democrats and their media partners, who were so sure they had all the answers only days ago, are desperately trying now to figure out what went wrong. How could anyone so smart, so educated, so pure of heart be so wrong?

Chelsea Handler arrives at the amfAR Inspiration Gala Los Angeles at Milk Studios on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Departure of the Beautiful People

The beautiful people, who never imagine that bad things can happen to them, are undone by the triumph of Donald Trump. The French ambassador to the United States thinks Tuesday was the beginning of the end of the planet itself.

Seung-Yul Noh, left, of South Korea, congratulates Xander Schauffele after completing the Sanderson Farms Championship golf tournament, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


Golf is a liar's game, as anyone who has lingered in the clubhouse at the 19th hole could tell you, but some lies are more dangerous than others. You can get in trouble in North Korea, for example, by lying about your handicap at one of the world's most exclusive golf resorts. It's exclusive because it's the only golf course in the country.

Christina Hoff Sommers (Screen grab from American Enterprise Institute)

Rudeness can be curable

It's not easy being a guy these days, if it ever was. Those concerned about men's health believe they have discovered the root of a genetic disease that threatens ruin for the descendants of Adam. It's called "toxic masculinity" and it long ago went viral. The feminists and their intimidated acolytes are eager to inoculate half of the population, but they're puzzled to discover that some men prefer to be themselves.

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2010 file photo, voters cast their ballots for Illinois' primary at an early voting polling place in Chicago. The number of Illinois residents who have voted ahead of Election Day has broken state records and is still growing. The State Board of Elections released totals Monday Nov. 7, 2016 showing the number of voters who cast in-person ballots through Sunday was approaching 1.3 million.(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green File)

'Act worthy of yourselves'

Americans stand together on this day, poised at the point of making an important choice. The decisions that millions make in the polling booth will send the nation moving dramatically in one direction or the other. The result of what happens with the decision today will be impossible to halt or reverse for a generation or two, or more. The right to vote is both privilege and responsibility.

Ryne Caldwell of the Athens-Clarke County Facilities Management sets up voting machines at Thomas N. Lay Community Center in Athens, Ga., Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. (John Roark/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

Lost in the rigging

Democrats professed to be shocked! shocked! — much like Inspector Renault was shocked to learn that gambling was going on in the backroom at Rick's in the movie "Casablanca" — when Donald Trump suggested the Nov. 8 election could be rigged. Rigged may be putting it a bit strong, but fraud on Election Day is alive and well.