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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks question during a news conference, Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Indianapolis. Pence said that he wants legislation on his desk by the end of the week to clarify that the state's new religious-freedom law does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Bad faith in Indiana

The row over Indiana’s religious liberty law breaks new ground in the war between religious liberty and the liberal political agenda. If there’s no conflict, you have to make one up. This contretemps blew up out of nowhere, and inquiring minds want to know how and why it happened.

FILE - In this May 5, 2014, file photo, the U.S. Capitol building is seen through the columns on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington. The House is poised to act on a bill that would temporarily patch over a multibillion-dollar pothole in federal highway and transit programs while ducking the issue of how to put the programs on sound financial footing for the long term. The bill by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp cobbles together $10.8 billion in pension tax changes, customs fees and money from a fund to repair leaking underground fuel storage tanks to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent through May 2015. A similar bill is pending in the Senate.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A challenge to Congress

When Richard Nixon signed the legislation establishing the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, he was praised for his vision and commitment to conservation “going forward,” though that cliche had yet to be coined. A few critics — “outliers,” in another cliche waiting to be born — warned that the EPA could grow into a nightmare of a bureaucracy, but no one paid attention. Jeremiahs are rarely popular at the picnic.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Netanyahu said he has "deep concern" over a pending nuclear deal the West appears close to signing with Israel's arch-enemy Iran. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, Pool)

Virginia’s lawyers scratch Israel

This is the season for despising Israel and the Jews. The terrorists of Hamas dispatch agents of evil into the country bent on mayhem and sabotage. Palestinians fire rockets at Israeli children from launchers stationed at schools, hospitals and other places where they can find protection among the children, the lame, the halt and the helpless. President Obama contributes tone and tint to the campaign, determined to reward Iran with a sweetheart deal to protect its nuclear-weapons program, which it has promised to use to wipe Israel and the Jews “off the face of the earth.” Mr. Obama, bent on revenge for censure and criticism, merely wants to wipe the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, off the face of Israel.

President Barack Obama speaks at the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, Monday, March 30, 2015. The $79 million Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate dedication is a politically star-studded event attended by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and past and present senators of both parties. It sits next to the presidential library of Kennedy’s brother, John F. Kennedy. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The nuclear mirage in Iran

Many a lost traveler in the desert has spied an oasis in the sand and sun only to discover that it was only a mirage. In similar desperation, President Obama sees a good deal with Iran on the horizon, where he would put an end to the strife in the Middle East and finally earn the Nobel Peace Prize his admirers in Sweden gave him in a similar fit of euphoria as he took his first oath of office.

FILE  In this March 25, 2015 file photo, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. waits on the floor of the House Capitol Hill in Washington for the arrival of Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, who was to speak before  a joint meeting of Congress. Reid is announcing he will not seek re-election to another term. The 75-year-old Reid says in a statement issued by his office Friday that he wants to make sure Democrats regain control of the Senate next year and that it would be "inappropriate" for him to soak up campaign resources when he could be focusing on putting the Democrats back in power. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The end of a Senate era

Harry Reid still has one good eye, and it’s enough to read the handwriting on the wall. Announcing that he won’t run for a sixth term, he said Friday that he wants to “go out at the top of my game.” That’s a face-saving way of saying he doesn’t want to go out feet first.

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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.

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.

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.

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)

Worker freedom grows in Wisconsin

Wisconsin may soon become the 25th state to adopt a right-to-work law, to guarantee that no worker can be compelled to join a union or to pay dues to a union. The state senate narrowly approved the legislation last week (by a vote of 17 to 15) and the bill is moving through the lower house. Gov. Scott Walker, who co-sponsored right-to-work legislation when he was a member of the legislature, says he will sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.

Staff Sgt. Christian Fuentes motivates recruits with Company F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, as he moves down the rows during the senior drill instructor inspection at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Aug. 23, 2013.  The purpose of the inspection is to provide drill instructors an opportunity to test recruits in multiple areas, to include their uniforms.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Benjamin E. Woodle)

American soldiers in the Gelded Age

The left loathes the military and all it represents — honor, manliness, patriotism, selflessness and tradition. The ban on open homosexuality in the ranks, for example, was lifted in the lame-duck session of Congress in 2010 after the Democrats lost control of the House, and eight good little Republicans joined every Democrat in the Senate to repeal "Don't ask, don't tell."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Associated Press)

Obama’s signature gift for Iran

President Obama yearns for a "signature" accomplishment overseas to match his signature domestic achievement as the presidential legacy he leaves on Jan. 20, 2017. He's racing toward a nuclear deal with Iran that would give him a foreign disaster to match the domestic disaster called Obamacare.

A woman wearing a mask to protect herself from pollutants walks on a pedestrian bridge as buildings at Beijing's Central Business District (Associated Press)

The clean air force

Air is essential — a couple of minutes without it is proof enough — and clean air is the best kind. While we're breathing, most of us prefer that the air we inhale is clean. The air in much of China, for example, is so foul there's a growing business for taking tourists to Taipei or Manila on what are called "breathing tours."

A bill by Rep. Matt Salmon, Arizona Republican, would amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require a member or representative of a household that receives such benefits to show photographic identification at grocery stores when using a food stamp electronic benefits transfer card, or debit card. (Associated Press)

Charity by fraud

Food stamp fraud is a scandal that should give every taxpayer, Democrat, Republican or rogue of no particular partisan persuasion, a severe case of indigestion. Rep. Matt Salmon, Arizona Republican, wants to take a bite out of it.

President Obama . (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Wary of 'comprehensive' patent reform

Compromise and a willingness to put partisan and ideological interests aside in the name of the common good nearly always sounds good. But it's wise to be wary. "The common good" is often good mostly for the clever, the selfish and those with the best lawyers and brightest lobbyists.