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Hillary Rodham Clinton

The baggage of Benghazi

Politics is a rough game. There’s no rule that says you can’t rough the passer or avoid making hits to the head. There’s not even a rule that says it’s unfair to take a dispassionate look at the record of a candidate who offers himself — or herself — for president of the United States. This includes a thorough baggage search.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is traveling the country now as an evangelist for expansion, urging other governors to follow his lead. (AP Photo/James Nord)

John Kasich’s medicine show

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio was one of several Republican governors who agreed in 2013 to accept a grant of federal money under Obamacare to expand his state’s Medicaid services. The temporary grant of $2.6 billion, accepted over protests from his legislature, expires this year and Mr. Kasich now wants the legislature to approve taking more Obamacare subsidies to continue to pay for the expansion.

A pedestrian walks in the middle of Seventh Avenue in Times Square, New York, early Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Great Blizzard of ’15

Nothing is more tempting to television’s talking heads than exaggerating an approaching doomsday of blizzards, droughts, hurricanes, traffic jams, abortion rallies and other disasters, and nothing is riskier for politicians. What was hyped as the Great Blizzard of ‘15 turned out to be the Usual Snowfall of ‘15, and now the politicians are squirming under an avalanche of second-guessing.

A herd of musk ox graze in an area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, known as Area 1002, in this undated file photo. (AP Photo/Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, File)

Playing oil field politics

Americans are back in the automobile showrooms looking for big cars and SUVs, grooving on size, bells and whistles again. The falling price of gasoline has enabled customers to buy what they want, and what they want is often the Belchfire 8 they can afford to drive again (and trying with difficulty to maneuver through narrow streets in the older cities). The falling gasoline prices have put hundreds of dollars in the pockets of Americans, and that’s all to the good.

Ali Khamenei, the mullah who is the supreme leader of Iran, tells his Twitter followers that "This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of #Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated." (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader, File)

Playing the fool’s game

The clock is ticking on efforts to halt Iran’s quest for the bomb, and time is running out. When it does, the folly of allowing a rogue state to threaten the Middle East — and the world — with the bomb will be exposed in stark and horrifying relief. Neville Chamberlain was the face of appeasement in the 20th century; Barack Obama would be that face in the 21st.

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FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, vehicles line up to take advantage of low gas prices at the Fuel City gas station in Dallas. The collapse of oil prices this year has become a huge topic of worry and comfort for investors. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

American economy stronger than Obama incompetence

Barack Obama needed not one, but two autobiographies to tell the story of the first half of his life. He called the second version "The Audacity of Hope." When he writes his account of the second half of his second term he should call it "The Audacity of Hype." It will be the fanciful tale of how his economic policies were responsible for the modest recovery from six years of presidential mismanagement of the economy.

Money man: Joseph T. Hansen is departing as president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union with a warning about pensions. (Associated Press)

Unions get congressional permission to cut workers’ benefits

The role the labor unions played in persuading Congress to allow unions to cut pension plans, which cover as many as 10 million American workers, for not only those still working, but also to retired workers living on pension income, is truly startling. These are the same unions that demanded that cities and companies in financial straits not make such cuts.

Henry Becker directs trades in shares of MetLife on Thursday at the New York Stock Exchange, where investors watched stocks make substantial gains despite a surge in oil prices because of the turmoil in Libya and neighboring countries. (Associated Press)

Escaping the federal thumb

An unaccountable force created in the shade of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which was sold as something to make all economic rough places plain, has put insurance giant MetLife in the fight of its life. Insurance companies, like lawyers, rarely attract the warm and cuddly blessings of the masses, but for the sake of the free market and American business, it's a struggle that MetLife can and must win.

The annual New Year's Eve "Possum Drop" in a small North Carolina town will go on as planned without a live opossum this year following a lawsuit from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

EDITORIAL: New Year's laws to oppress, threaten and tax

The year now dying was, on the whole, a good one for liberty and limiting government. Let's raise a cheer for 2014. Republicans, running on free market, low-tax, repeal-Obamacare platforms dominated Election Day at all levels of government. Attempts to raise taxes and expand the size and scope of government were stifled in city councils and legislatures across the land.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

If there’s no crisis to exploit, White House troublemakers will manufacture one

The term "man-caused disaster" never passed the giggle test as a euphemism for terrorism, but it fits as a description of some of the tomfoolery of Washington. No longer content with not letting a crisis go to waste, President Obama and his legion busied themselves during 2014 manufacturing a certain few. Life without change would soon get monotonous, but keeping America on edge with orchestrated turmoil is an abuse of power. There should be a New Year's resolution in the White House to knock it off.

A startling new anti-gun ad released by a San Francisco-based production company encourages children to commit a series of crimes by stealing their parents' guns and turning them over to school officials. (Sleeper 13 Productions)

A video against gun violence misses the target by a mile

Rejina Sincic is a video producer in San Francisco, where she makes short independent films and commercials, mostly to sell ladies' nether garments. She owns the production company and recently helped found another, enabling her to "branch out" to release a "public service announcement" about her campaign against "gun violence." She invited broadcast outlets to use the "public service announcement," called a PSA in the trade, and join her campaign.

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee during a press conference at the state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. The Republican governor said he will call the state Legislature into special session to take up the proposal that would make Tennessee the 28th state plus Washington, D.C., to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Tennessee Gov. Haslam undercuts the Republican promises to repeal Obamacare

Jonathan Gruber was thrust to the center stage of the Obamacare debate with his remark that only the "stupidity of the American voter" made passage of Obamacare possible. Stupid is as stupid does, as the old folk wisdom has it, and the Republican Governors Association has elevated to chairman a governor who has undercut the Republican argument that Obamacare is a bad thing. Gov. Bill Haslem of Tennessee actually likes it.

Former President George H.W. Bush has been taken to a Houston hospital after experiencing a shortness of breath. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A prayer for a hero

A man who jumps out of an airplane at 90, just for the fun of it, is a man to inspire the Walter Mitty in all of us earthbound creatures. George H.W. Bush has been an inspiration and an example since he put on his country's uniform after Pearl Harbor and went cheerfully off to war.

When Scrooge meets his match

The Washington Times

As predictable as tinsel and toys, the Christmas season brings forth a sackful of holiday haters with their vows of folly. These modern-day Ebenezer Scrooges find endless ways to pronounce, "Bah, humbug," but like Charles Dickens' quintessential character, they are no match for the Christmas spirit. Giving has a way of warming the uncharitable.

George C. Scott, Jim Carrey, Patrick Stewart and Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge.

When Scrooge meets his match

As predictable as tinsel and toys, the Christmas season brings forth a sackful of holiday haters with their vows of folly. These modern-day Ebenezer Scrooges find endless ways to pronounce, "Bah, humbug," but like Charles Dickens' quintessential character, they are no match for the Christmas spirit. Giving has a way of warming the uncharitable.

In this Oct. 20, 2014, file photo, Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press in Baltimore. Gov.-elect Hogan says he remains committed to pursuing tax relief in his first year as governor, despite a projected budget shortfall of more than a half a billion dollars. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The new governor of Maryland inherits a financial mess

Larry Hogan, the incoming Republican governor of Maryland who understands the value of a nickel (and dollars counted in the billions) will inherit some expensive baggage when he takes the oath on Jan. 19. It's the state budget, including a $1.2 billion deficit, the price of expensive goodies from the eight years that Martin O'Malley was the governor and the CEO of the state.

An exterior view of the Sony Pictures Plaza building is seen in Culver City, Calif., Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving the satirical film, "The Interview," about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. He pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The ill wind through Hollywood

Terrorists can only defeat America if Americans let themselves be terrorized. With an otherwise meaningless movie in play — wit and humor at the level of "The Three Stooges" — the terrorists have won. Well, Hollywood was built on hyperbole like that. It's important to keep in mind, however, that America was not a combatant in this war, though it took collateral damage.

The Cato Institute finds that inexpensive smartphones, like the Firefox handset that sells for $35, along with satellite technology, offer the tools to map out and stake their claim.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Property rights for all

The key to economic growth isn't culture, access to the just exploitation of natural resources or even religion. Property rights trump all. The recognition and respect for property rights, and the expansion of property rights to the poor and unprivileged, is crucial to improving the living standard in developing countries.