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Michelle Kosilek, sits in Bristol County Superior Court, in New Bedford, Mass. A federal appeals court on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, overturned a 2012 ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for the inmate born as Robert Kosilek, who had been convicted of murdering his wife in 1990. (AP)

No free sex changes

In a rare triumph this week for judicial restraint, a federal appeals court in Boston overturned a lower-court ruling, telling the state of Massachusetts that it doesn’t have to pay for reassigning a prisoner’s sex — or “gender,” as the excessively delicate insist. (Nobody ever called Marilyn Monroe a genderpot.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sentences New York to further economic stagnation

New York just gave Vladimir Putin and the Middle Eastern energy sheikhs an early Christmas present. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after considerable dithering, finally did what everyone assumed he would. He banned fracking and gave up the bounty lying beneath his state. He sides with the radical environmentalists of the Democratic Party against the interests of his 19 million constituents, wasting an opportunity to fire up the rusty economic engine of high-tax, slow-growth New York. So much for the Empire State’s boastful claim that “New York is open for business.”

Protesters outside of Cafe Versailles on Calle Ocho in Miami,  decry the exchange of convicted Cuban spies, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014,  for USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, who has been held by the Cuban government. (AP Photo/El Nuevo Herald, Roberto Koltun)  MAGS OUT

Making nice with the Castro brothers betrays their victims

Sen. Marco Rubio calls President Obama’s remarkable gift to the Castro brothers, and agreement to “normalize” American relations with Cuba, the work of a “willfully ignorant” man. We hope so. Ignorance can be corrected. Perhaps, to put the most generous face on it, this deal originated in the bowels of White House incompetence that is the mark of this administration. But Mr. Obama may not be ignorant at all, willful or otherwise, but proceeding skillfully to radicalize America’s place in the world to fit the wishes and dreams of the determined and radical left from which the president sprang.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 12, 2104, as the Senate considers a spending bill. The House has passed an additional stopgap spending to make certain the government doesn't shut down at midnight Saturday when current funding authority runs out. The move would give the Senate additional time to process a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill.  (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Ready, fire, aim

Ted Cruz is a brave conservative who, unlike some of his fellows, does not quail at the sound of the guns. He sets an example others could emulate. His tenacity, both at the grass roots where he has many friends and in Washington where he seems to have few, gives the conservative coalition a much-needed shot of testosterone in its flabby arm. His stand-up attitude is particularly valuable as Democrats try to figure out who they are and who they want to be in the wake of the thumping they took in November.

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Mark Petrik and Dennis Smith dig out their south Buffalo driveway on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Buffalo, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped by this week by lake-effect snowstorms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

EDITORIAL: The snows of global warming

Pity the plight of upstate New Yorkers, buried under six feet of snow. The folks who dwell in the lee of the Great Lakes are accustomed to deep drifts of white magic in winter, but a winter wonderland doesn't look so magical when the solstice is still a month away. November is not supposed to behave like January. Some of the global warming "experts" attribute the cause of the early snow to "global warming."

EDITORIAL: Republicans uphold NSA snooping

Invoking the Constitution is the common rhetoric of many politicians who swore to follow and defend it, but a lot of them have obviously never read it, or if they have, didn't understand it. The Founding Fathers wrote it in plain English, simple enough for even a lawyer to understand, but some politicians nevertheless have trouble with it.

Earlier this week, President Obama made it clear that he will soon offer some form of limited amnesty to about five million foreign nationals. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

EDITORIAL: Preparing for Obama’s amnesty

The struggle over the future of the nation begins tonight. The Republican Party, finally getting what it wished for, to be the effective counterbalance to the president's statist agenda, must be ready. Mr. Obama is expected to announce in a nationally televised speech that he will issue an executive order to prevent the deportation of 5 million illegal immigrants and to reward their law-breaking with work permits. The next morning he will use a high school in Las Vegas, teeming with illegal schoolchildren, as the backdrop to argue that "no papers" is no problem as long as he is in the White House.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, to introduce the Democratic leadership team for the 114th Congress. Democrats re-elected Pelosi to another two-year term as House minority leader on Tuesday, two weeks after elections in which the party lost at least a dozen seats in the chamber. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

EDITORIAL: It's the message, Stupid

Nancy Pelosi continues to live in her own cozy world. The House Minority Leader faces her Democratic caucus in the 114th Congress with depleted ranks and depleted confidence, but she hasn't learned much. She tells Politico, the Capitol Hill daily, that the blowout on Nov. 4 was "no wave of approval for the Republicans," and there was no rejection of her party.

Zoe Buck, a 14-month-old child, checks out an empty voting booth as at her mother, Julie Buck, votes at left, Tuesday Nov. 4, 2014, at the Alaska Zoo polling place in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

EDITORIAL: A sneak attack on taxpayers

Election Day should have taught legislators everywhere the lesson that they must be more respectful to the men and women who pay the taxes, and to show a little respect for the dollars those men and women send to municipal, state and federal treasuries. The message seems to have got lost on the way to Ohio.

Citizens hold signs at the Westminster Board of Health meeting on the proposed tobacco ban, at the Westminster Elementary School, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in Westminster, Ma. A public meeting on a central Massachusetts town's proposed first-in-the-nation ban on tobacco and nicotine sales ended early Wednesday because officials say the crowd was getting too unruly to continue. (AP Photo/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Steve Lanava)

EDITORIAL: Anti-smoking fanaticism

Prohibition is back in Westminster, a rural town of about 8,000 near the New Hampshire border in north-central Massachusetts. The town's three-member board of health said it would prohibit the sale of all tobacco products within the town's borders.

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his re-election while taking with reporters at his Capitol office in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

EDITORIAL: Tarnish on the Golden State

Jerry Brown is stepping up for an unprecedented fourth term as governor of California, but nobody would call his economic performance particularly distinguished. The Cato Institute ranks him as the nation's most fiscally inept governor on its Governors Report Card for 2014.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell talks during a news conference as Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman listens on Thursday, Nov.13, 2014 at the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Columbus, Ohio.  Burwell says enrolling in health insurance should be faster and easier for consumers during the second sign-up period for the federal health care law. Officials are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's website meltdown. Open enrollment under Obama's health overhaul starts Saturday.  (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Fred Squillante)

EDITORIAL: The last Obamacare open enrollment

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, is headed to Tampa, Fla., on Monday to celebrate open enrollment for Obamacare, which began Saturday. Obamacare has made it to its first birthday, but it has no guarantee to see its second.

Obamacare Chain Logo Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Jonathan Gruber's payday

The MIT economist who is the brains behind Obamacare says he was willing to say and do whatever it took to advance the scheme, and now it's clear why. Obamacare made Mr. Gruber a multimillionaire, and at the expense of the taxpayers.

Democratic candidate for Texas Governor Sen. Wendy Davis poses with members of Planned Parenthood as she rallies campaign workers and supporters at the party's west side office in San Antonio, Texas, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. Davis is running against Republican candidate Greg Abbott. (AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News, Jerry Lara)

EDITORIAL: With her epic fail, Wendy Davis painted Texas redder

The Democratic dream of "turning Texas blue" dissolved on Nov. 4. The left had elevated Wendy Davis, an obscure state senator, to superstar status after she delivered an 11-hour panegyric to abortion. She was expected to ride her celebrity status into the executive mansion in Austin. It didn't quite work out that way.