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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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An Egyptian armored vehicle patrols next to a military watch tower on the Egyptian side of the border, seen from the south of the Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Playing catch-up in the Sinai

The news that four American soldiers were wounded on the Egyptian-Gaza border and were evacuated, and their injuries are not life-threatening, is good news. But the bad news is that the incident demonstrates how out of alignment American policy is in the region.

Blue lives matter

A sheriff's deputy in Houston is shot 15 times as he fuels his squad car because, as investigators learned later, he "was wearing a police uniform." In Illinois, a popular police officer, 30 years on the force, is slain in rage and anger.

Henry Ford

The right to the fruits of our labor

When you get a whole country -- as did ours -- thinking that Washington is a sort of heaven and behind its clouds dwell omniscience and omnipotence, you are educating that country into a dependent state of mind, which augurs ill for the future.

A woman gazes at Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. (Andy Newman/Holland America Line via AP)

Tell it on the mountain

Barack Obama is skilled and creative in devising ways to get under the skin of his political opponents. (At negotiating deals with the nation's enemies, not so much).

Donald Trump (Associated Press)

The Donald tries out for the team

- The Washington Times

Now even Donald Trump is taking himself seriously. He's trying now to be colorful without being reckless, careful not to be rude when he doesn't have to be, and playing less the showboat and more like someone trying out for the team.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton (Associated Press) **FILE**

Hillary's felonious ignorance

Parsing the weasel words of politicians is not a job for most Americans. That's supposed to be the job of the newspapers and the rest of the media, but few reporters are willing to do that as they watch Hillary Clinton repeating again and again her claim that her email scandal isn't really a problem.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated the political scene for more than a dozen years, campaigned on behalf of his former party, the Islamist-rooted Peace and Development Party (AKP), appealing to voters to elect at least 300 parliamentarians to help push through a constitution that would expand his powers as an executive. But Sunday's stunning results make that a distant prospect. (Associated Press)

Turkey's growing instability

Once the eastern anchor of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (geography has little to do with how governments title treaties), Turkey has become a problem, and a large one, for NATO policymakers. The problem contributes to the chaos in the Middle East.

Use existing illegals law

Why does Donald Trump say 11 million illegal aliens must be deported, while others are claiming this would be an impossible task? In fact, there is a solution requiring no deportations, and it's already law: the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 8.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at an event commemorating the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Life in a fantasy

Politicians live in a fantasy world of their own invention, where it never rains and the skies are not cloudy all day. There's always an aide available to fetch and carry, to hold a trembling hand when the wind rattles a window, ready with assurances that the sun is shining at midnight, if that's what the boss wants to hear.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Ankeny, Iowa, on Aug. 26, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

The dirtiest job in town

Hercules was the original man who gets things done. Tales of his 12 labors that included the slaying of monsters are the stuff of heroic legend. Cleaning out the Augean Stables is the stuff of heroic legend. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan can sympathize with Hercules.