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Within hours of his speech, Sen. Ted Cruz was fundraising off it, vowing that his own political movement will continue. He still has two years left before he needs to seek re-election to the Senate. (Associated Press)

Ted Cruz and an act of betrayal

Ted Cruz might have thought he was opening his 2020 campaign for president with his remarkable snub of the party and its nominee for president, but he was more likely making a deal with the undertaker.

FILE - This April 28, 2010 file photo shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. The Colstrip plant, a coal plant serving utility customers across the Pacific Northwest, has agreed to shut down two of its four units by 2022 under a settlement announced Tuesday, July 12, 2016, with environmentalists who sued over alleged air pollution violations. (AP Photo/Matt Brown, file)

Foolishness over fossil fuels

The masterminds who put their heads together to “improve” the planet sometimes only bump those heads together. Environmentalists have confidently — and arrogantly — declared that their “green” policies are based on “settled science,” but evidence continues to trickle in to dispute that. On paper, saving the world is as elementary as ridding it of fossil fuels. Experience, however, teaches that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Melania Trump stands at the podium during the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Melania Trump’s home run

Stealing the published words of others is never a good idea, particularly in Washington, but whether it’s a felony or a misdemeanor usually depends on who the sinner may be. Democrats often get by with plagiarism, Republicans usually don’t.

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Hillary Clinton (Associated Press)

A bad season for the experts

A year ago the chattering class was in unanimous agreement that Donald Trump's candidacy was a joke, and a bad one, ameliorated by the "fact" that there was no way he could win the Republican nomination. The smart guys were just as convinced that Hillary Clinton would dispatch her challengers early to get ready for her coronation in Philadelphia.

The Supreme Court in Washington is seen Tuesday, May 31, 2016 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The impossible green dream

It's great to have a cause, and almost any will do so long as it's neither caustic nor quixotic. Environmental extremists have a cause that has been, at one time or another, both. Enlisting the power of the federal government to impose a "green" agenda and rob property owners of the use of their land has threatened the well-being of law-abiding Americans.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Ky. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

A panicked rush to the life boats

Hysteria is rarely pretty and never reassuring, and the hysterics never achieve what they think losing their heads will accomplish. No one wants a surgeon to throw up his hands in disgust if he drops his scalpel, or an airline pilot who runs screaming from the cockpit when the plane encounters severe turbulence.

Ethic cleansing delayed

Some of the Justice Department's ethically challenged lawyers got a reprieve Monday from having to go back to school for a refresher course in ethics. U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen apparently wants them to repeat Truth-telling 101, which is useful but only an elective in most law schools. But there's a risk in telling deliberate fibs, stretchers, and lies to certain judges.

Donald Trump said the press had treated him unfairly, treating his attack on the judge as an attack on all Mexicans and Hispanics. (Associated Press)

The point Trump should have made

Donald Trump paints with a broad brush that soils the target of his invective, others in the general proximity — and himself. His comment that a judge cannot fairly adjudicate a lawsuit against him because he's of Mexican heritage is evidence of a tongue out of control.

"Earth" is a movie composed of re-edited clips from the 11-part BBC/Discovery Channel miniseries "Planet Earth." (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The inevitability of human ingenuity

A cursory scan of the news suggests that the breadth and depth of troubles that bedevil humanity worsens with the passage of time. It's hard not to be discouraged by the "wars and rumors of wars" that the Bible says will be with us always. But gloomy headlines don't tell the whole story. The human condition has improved over time, even if it doesn't attract much attention. It's cause for celebration, or at least an occasional attitude of gratitude.

A United Nations flag (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Hypocrisy blacklist

The word "Orwellian" was coined by George Orwell in his masterwork "1984" to describe the propaganda society, where up is down and down is up, and anyone who notices the absurdity is politically incorrect. Some people have noticed, however, that the present day resembles 1984. The Orwellians are the masters of deceit, often enforced by violence that cowers those it does not kill.

President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on June 3, 2016, before boarding the Marine One helicopter for the short ride to nearby Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Obama is traveling to Miami for a pair of Democratic fundraisers. (Associated Press)

Looking for answers

Politicians of left and right usually talk in the hazy language of abstract ideology and theory. Most Americans like plain talk about what works and what doesn't, and when something is clearly not working they want to get rid of it and try something better. That's the appeal of Donald Trump. Whether he's the something better everyone is looking for is another matter.

President Barack Obama pauses while speaking at Concord Community High School Wednesday, June 1, 2016, in Elkhart, Ind. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Working in America

Barack Obama traveled to Indiana last week to hold a pep rally about an economy that doesn't have much pep. He raised a few halfhearted cheers but it wasn't clear, exactly, what country he was talking about.

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address to the Air Force Class of 2016, at the U.S. Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, June 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

News from the latrine orderly

President Obama is suddenly tired of being the nation's permanent latrine orderly. He insists, against all the evidence, that he didn't ask for the job and he doesn't understand why everyone thinks he wants to monitor the soap and toilet paper in the nation's toilets.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speaks to a crowd of supporters at Modesto Centre Plaza in Modesto, Calif., on Thursday, June, 2, 2016. (Andy Alfaro/The Modesto Bee via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

The Democratic dilemma

Hillary Clinton, suddenly on the run for her life in California, suffers a problem that won't go away even if Bernie Sanders finally concedes and goes home to New England. To beat Donald Trump in November she must unite the quarreling factions of a party that makes the Republican coalition look like a resigned if not entirely happy family.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a side event entitled: "Mayor’s Focus Session: Cities’ Response to Migration" at the the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. World leaders and representatives of humanitarian organisations from across the globe gathered in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016 for the first World Humanitarian Summit, focused on how to reform a system many judge broken. (Isa Terli/Pool Photo via AP)

Human rights and wrongs

The United Nations convened the first World Humanitarian Summit last month in Turkey, drawing 55 heads of state and 9,000 participants from 173 nations, and the delegates sounded a righteous alarm over a world aflame. There was much yah-yah and considerable argle-bargle. Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the U.N., set the uplifting tone.

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking at Concord Community High School in Elkhart, Ind. Wednesday, June 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The president's perfumed language

Almost anything this White House says is what Tom Sawyer called "a stretcher," unless it's a fib, or sometimes a lie. Perhaps it's not willful. Barack Obama seems to think that if he says something, it must be true.

ADVANCE FOR THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016, AND THEREAFTER - In this May 17, 2016, photo, a plane takes off from San Francisco International Airport from behind fencing at the Millbrae Gate, in San Francisco. An Associated Press investigation has documented perimeter breaches at many of the busiest airports in the U.S. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Insecurity by the Bay

The wheels of justice turn slowly in some places, and in San Francisco, fortunately, they're grinding in reverse if only for the moment. Baghdad by the Bay, as a favorite columnist once called the city celebrated for gaiety and frivolity, is proud to be "a sanctuary city" to harbor selected criminal suspects. Now even in "Baghdad" some of the citizens are finally fed up with politicians who defy federal immigration law to enable the lawless and the hunted to hide.

A June 20, 2015 photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden shows Harambe, a western lowland gorilla, who was fatally shot Saturday, May 28, 2016, to protect a 4-year-old boy who had entered its exhibit. (Jeff McCurry/Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden via The Cincinatti Enquirer via AP)

Satire by the nuts

Satire overtakes reality, and sometimes does it with ease. Some people forget the species they belong to. When zookeepers in Cincinnati reluctantly shot a 425-pound gorilla to save a 4-year-old boy, some animal-rights nuts arose as one to denounce the zoo, and carried placards at a candlelight vigil asserting that "gorilla lives matter."

Insecurity by the Bay

The Washington Times

The wheels of justice turn slowly in some places, and in San Francisco, fortunately, they're grinding in reverse if only for the moment. Baghdad by the Bay, as a favorite columnist once called the city celebrated for gaiety and frivolity, is proud to be "a sanctuary city" to harbor selected criminal suspects. Now even in "Baghdad" some of the citizens are finally fed up with politicians who defy federal immigration law to enable the lawless and the hunted to hide.

Journalist Katie Couric poses for a portrait to promote the film, "Under the Gun", at the Toyota Mirai Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

A Bronx cheer for Katie

Katie Couric is, as she says, a renowned television reporter and anchorperson. She has worked for CBS, NBC and ABC, and now she's something called a "global news anchor" at Yahoo. She has been a host of NBC's "Today Show," presided over the CBS Evening News and, no surprise, she made it to the Television Hall of Fame.

Culture warriors can save U.S.

As President Obama's corrosive legacy continues to bulldoze the best interests of the American people, we are painfully reminded of just how insidious overwhelming government can be. It is not so different from the tyrannical government that inspired the American Revolution.

FILE - In this May 24, 2016, file photo, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Forty-one Secret Service employees have been disciplined for reviewing private agency records, including a failed job application of Chaffetz who was leading a congressional probe of the agency. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The price of liberty

Privacy and the security of letters and papers were once regarded as the inviolate rights of free men, even sometimes guarded to foolish lengths. On the eve of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Cordell Hull, the secretary of State, rebuked the interception of communications between Japan and its embassy on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington. "Gentlemen," he said, "don't read the mail of other gentlemen."

Richard Nixon           Portrait by Norman Rockwell/Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

'Peace is the right memorial'

Memorial Day in America has traditionally been a time when we pay our respects to those who gave their lives, over a century ago, in a tragic civil war. In a broader sense, it has come to stand not only for the sacrifice of those who served in the War Between the States, but for all of those who have given their lives in arms since the birth of our nation.