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FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Even as Obama tries to make a hard case for sentencing reform, prisoner rehabilitation and confronting racial bias in policing, he has been less clear about the death penalty. Obama has hinted that his support for capital punishment is eroding, but he has refused to discuss what he might call for. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

When danger is deliberate

Barack Obama is blowing past all signs of caution on the left lanes of the road of American politics. That’s a dog-bites-man headline that by now is common knowledge. He no longer cares what Americans think of his leadership. His “my way or the highway” handling of the Syrian refugee crisis, which could endanger the homeland, seals it.

FILE - in this Nov. 13, 2012 photo a worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Wal-Mart store in North Kingstown, R.I.  Wal-Mart reported improved customer traffic and an uptick in a key sales figure as it topped earnings expectations in the third quarter, even as a stronger dollar pressured its performance overseas. Its shares edged up more than 2 percent in premarket trading Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 after it detailed results from the quarter that ended Oct. 31. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Jeers for the greedy on Thanksgiving Day

Black Friday is traditionally the first taste of holiday cheer. Thanksgiving is unique in that it has never been commercialized like Christmas, although they’re working on it. One national advertiser thinks it should be renamed “Thanksgetting.” For union organizers, it means an opportunity to protest for higher wages. If the crowds flocking to the nation’s malls are anything like recent years, it means consumers aren’t buying the politics of envy.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he talks during a news conference at the end of the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. The leaders of the Group of 20 wrapped up their two-day summit near the Turkish Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya Monday against the backdrop of heavy French bombardment of the Islamic State's stronghold in Syria. The bombings marked a significant escalation of France's role in the fight against the extremist group. (Anadolu Agency via AP, Pool)

A new crisis in an old place

These are scary times. Miscalculations can be expensive, paid for by everyone. The shooting of a mere archduke set off World War I, and Japanese militarists thought they saw an unarmed America too proud to fight, and ordered the raid on Pearl Harbor. The Arab nations thought Israel would fold under attack, and started two wars that ended with the Arab nations folding like the accordion.

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Democratic presidential candidates from left, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee take the stage before the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

How to miss the point

Electing a president can be confusing to those who skipped seventh-grade civics classes. Keeping straight the difference between delegates and electors, or primaries and elections, is difficult. The pundits and others paid to know better often confuse the differences between the parties and the public.

A Syrian refugee carries a suitcase on his shoulders along a dusty road, after entering from Greece into Macedonia, near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. About 5,000 migrants and refugees are transiting average daily through the transit camp at Macedonia's town of Gevgelija, on their way to Serbia and more prosperous European countries. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

No pot to melt in

Germany has a troubled history of ethnic relations, to put it mildly, and Angela Merkel first rejected taking in refugees from the Syrian civil war which has taken more than a quarter of a million lives. Then, no doubt considering how that looked, she put out the welcome map. Soon she was celebrated as "Mama Merkel" in the refugee camps.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaging with the world community. He said he wants to be remembered as the man who restored his country's greatness. (Associated Press)

Mr. Putin's solution

Nobody, not even his missus, will mistake Vladimir Putin for a humanitarian. He doesn't want the not-so-huddled masses from Syria, and his deployment of the Russian army to Damascus is hardly out of concern for the human suffering from a brutal four-year civil war.

FILE - In this photo April 11, 2013 file photo, Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran. Iran's official IRNA news agency reported that the verdict against Rezaian has been issued. Rezaian, the Post's Tehran bureau chief, is accused of charges including espionage in a closed-door trial that has been widely criticized by the U.S. government and press freedom organizations. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Free Jason Rezaian

Justice in Iran is a contact sport. The regime's Revolutionary Court in Tehran has convicted Jason Rezaian, a correspondent for The Washington Post, of espionage. The Islamic republic long ago abandoned any pretense of judicial or diplomatic norms, and is keeping an innocent newspaperman behind bars as a bargaining chip in its shady power game with the West.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks at the audience before speaking during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Making up with Israel

Some people think Barack Obama just doesn't like the Israelis. Others say, no, it's just the native pettiness of his administration. Whatever, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel are under siege on several fronts, and they're getting no love from Washington.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waits for the arrival of European Council President Donald Tusk prior to a meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Erdogan is on a two-day visit to meet Belgian and EU officials. (Francois Lenoir, Pool photo via AP)

The 'Syriazation' of Turkey

Turkey is rapidly catching the Syrian disease, threatening to become another Middle Eastern country torn apart by internal factions with a reputation as a playground for contending international forces.

Water flows through a series of sediment retention ponds built to reduce heavy metal and chemical contaminants from the Gold King Mine wastewater accident, in the spillway about 1/4 mile downstream from the mine, outside Silverton, Colo., on Aug. 14, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

More 'help' from the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency is a hazard to living things, including women, children and little fishes. The agency commissioned to protect Americans from environmental disaster is an environmental disaster itself in Colorado again.

Democrats and Republicans alike accused Hillary Rodham Clinton of a political flip-flop of historic proportions, but she said the evidence is that the deal President Obama finalized falls short of her goals. (Associated Press)

Hillary's Benghazi sleight of hand

Sometimes the only defense is a good offense, with Hail Mary passes thrown on every down. Hillary Clinton readies for her showdown with the Benghazi congressional committee with a Hail Mary offensive to delegitimize that crucial investigation.

(AP Photo/File)

Republican mess originates from betrayed voters' belief in big talk

Donald Trump continues to be the leader of the pack, and the reason why is no mystery to anyone who has been listening to the land. Americans are frustrated, angry and many feel desperation over stagnant wages, cultural assaults on their values, declining American influence in a world ever more dangerous, and they're fed up with politicians who make promises they never intend to keep. They've heard some big talk in towns big and small, and now they're left singing the blues in the night. These feelings are reflected in the turmoil over finding a leader of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

In this July 29,2015 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. According to GOP lawmakers, Boehner to step down end of October. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

John Boehner and the earmark

John Boehner is leaving the House and the speakership with cheers ringing in his ears and maybe with a few regrets, but looking at the chaos in his wake, watching his Republican colleagues struggling to find a suitable successor, he's entitled to reflect on his own accomplishments. There have been more than a few.

China's President Xi Jinping arrives for the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Testing China's aggression

President Obama seems to have learned a lesson from his fecklessness in Syria. He has listened to the pleas of Ash Carter, the secretary of defense, to assert the freedom of the seas in Southeast Asia.

 This photo provided by AMC shows, Kim Dickens, left, as Madison and Cliff Curtis as Travis in a scene from "Fear the Walking Dead" season 1.  (Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC via AP)

A numbness to pain

The bullets fly and all eyes turn to gawk at the pain and suffering in the wake of the latest mass murder. President Obama steps in front of the cameras and scolds America and the press for becoming numb to violence. Then tragedy fades from the headlines with the rest of yesterday's news.

Sowing sexual confusion

When nature calls, who answers? The answer is important in the current national obsession with bodily function. Who's who and who's got what determines who can use which public restroom. But the factory-installed sexual equipment, which should settle the argument, is no longer the determining factor.

Despite considerable political baggage, former President Bill Clinton may convince some voters to support his wife. (Associated Press)

Echoes of a Clinton past

Hillary Clinton is taking a lot of heat for her manifold greed and transgressions over the years since she and her husband brought their long-running circus to town 22 years ago, and she just can't find a way to turn the thermostat down.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

When Democrats make a meal of Democrats

The left-wing revolutionaries who dominate the Democratic Party are beginning to devour each other. Led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a descendant of Robespierre as well as American Indians (she isn't sure which ones), the liberals are doing all they can to destroy the professional careers of all within their ranks who disagree with the prevailing ideology.