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Blowing billions

Spending $17.9 trillion is hard work. Dispensing cash at a rate of $1 million per hour would require 2,040 years to rack up a sum as large as the national debt. It’s not that big-spending bureaucrats are lazy, but that their hard work has created their own special expertise at wasting money.

FILE- In this Sept. 10, 2014, file photo, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks to members of the media in Raleigh, N.C. In a letter dated Oct. 6 to French officials, McCrory said the plain packaging proposal may detract from more effective ways of curbing cigarette use. The French bill requiring neutral cigarette packs by 2016 is slated for debate in French Parliament next year. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Races for the statehouse

With little mystery about the prospects of continued Republican control of the House of Representatives, attention is focused on the Senate, where there is a lot of uncertainty. This focus gives short shrift to the important races for the statehouses, where Democrats are looking for bright spots but where the Republicans may produce several surprises.

This undated handout photo provided by Revolution shows Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.   A longtime Democratic operative, Klain was tasked Friday by President Barack Obama with running the government's response to the Ebola crisis. (AP Photo/Revolution)

Ebola crisis needs more than a bureaucrat czar

President Obama’s confused and timid response to the Ebola crisis has done nothing to calm the fear that stalks America, and choosing a well-connected Democratic lawyer, lobbyist and what the White House calls “an implementation expert” isn’t likely to make anyone feel better. Ronald A. Klain has no medical, scientific, public health or administrative experience to become the nation’s Ebola czar.

Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan speaks during his first gubernatorial debate with Democratic candidate, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, in Baltimore, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/The Baltimore Sun, Amy Davis, Pool)

EDITORIAL: Hogan for governor

Democrats stand at the edge of panic. The miserable economy, a president who retreats from challenge to lead from behind and the failure of the federal government to deal responsibly with the Ebola crisis all undermine faith in the party of more and bigger government. In a state that runs deep blue, a Republican has a shot at taking the Maryland governor’s mansion.

This undated image released by Bronner's Christmas Wonderland shows a Halloween-themed tree displayed at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, a large Christmas store in Frankenmuth, Mich. So-called holiday creep, where the traditions one special occasion are embraced by another, now extends to Halloween. (AP Photo/Bronner's Christmas Wonderland)

EDITORIAL: Decking the halls with regulation

The Christmas season brings no joy to a bureaucrat. There’s no heart for good will to appeal to. Banning things is what sets hearts afire in the Obama administration. The president most recently chased away the humble light bulb, the work of Thomas Edison a century ago, and replaced it with a pale substitute laced with deadly mercury. Only green fanatics were pleased.

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, left, and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speak during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/John Locher)

EDITORIAL: Licensing unemployment

Janet Yellen has a knack for understatement. The chairman of the Federal Reserve said Friday that the recession might have "caused persistent changes in the labor market's functioning." That's a polite way of telling the millions in the unemployment line to get used to it.

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2012 file photo, former Vice President Al Gore, Current TV Chairman and Co-Founder, participates in the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena , Calif. Former Vice President Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera America, saying the news network is withholding tens of millions of dollars that it owes for buying Current TV from him and other shareholders for $500 million last year. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

EDITORIAL: Al Gore vs. Al-Jazeera

How do you say "buyer's remorse" in Arabic? The Qatari royal family likely feels the pangs of regret for paying the princely sum of $500 million to Al Gore and friends to give Al-Jazeera America a slot on satellite-TV and cable channels.

CORRECTS DATE - President Barack Obama, right, smiles as he and former NBA basketball player Alonzo Mourning, left, prepare to ride in a golf cart while golfing at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Obama is taking a two-week summer vacation on the island. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Obama tee party

Trouble in the St. Louis suburbs has rescued President Obama's vacation. He can play all 18 holes at the country club now, safe in the knowledge that he's distracting voters from all the scandals, mismanagement and foreign and domestic policies that are the legacy of his administration.

President Barack Obama, left, points to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., center, and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., right, after signing the Dodd Frank-Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in a ceremony in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, Wednesday, July 21, 2010.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

EDITORIAL: Economic strangulation with red tape

President Obama knows nothing about making the economy grow. On his watch, America's gross domestic product has inched forward at an annual average of 1.2 percent, according to World Bank data. We're outclassed not only by Brazil, China and India, but by Mali, Guatemala, Swaziland and Vanuatu.

Georgia democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter, left, chats with his grandfather former President Jimmy Carter and grandmother  Rosalynn Carter after attending church in Plains, Ga, Sunday, June 8, 2014. The younger Carter is hoping that a large fundraising effort this weekend will help his campaign. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

EDITORIAL: A Carter gay-rights 'secret' in Georgia

Jason Carter wants to follow in his famous grandfather's footsteps. Mr. Carter, a Democrat, is running for governor of Georgia, a position Jimmy Carter held for a term before moving on to the White House. Jason Carter is willing to say pretty much whatever it takes to win.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, right, assigned Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, left, to defuse violent protests sparked by the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

The wrong way to restore peace in Ferguson

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, called out the National Guard on Monday to restore order to the streets of Ferguson. Heavily armed soldiers will take the place of even more heavily armed police officers who had been assigned to prevent looting as the mobs gathered to riot.

Travis County Special prosecutor Michael McCrum announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been indicted by a grand jury in Austin, Texas on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.  Gov. Rick Perry, 63, was charged with abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony, and coercion of a public official related to his effort last year to force District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunken driving arrest. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez)

The 'case' against Rick Perry

Prosecutors in Texas could have done the nation a service with the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. The indictment of him is so transparent as vindictive prosecution that it will surely topple by its own weight, and beyond that, it could focus needed light on the urgent need for prosecutorial reform.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak together sitting at a picnic table April 9, 2009, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

EDITORIAL: Hillary embraces Obama — at arm's length

The guests at Ann Jordan's 80th birthday party hadn't felt such exquisite anticipation, when Hillary Clinton arrived to join guests including President Obama, since the junior-high sock hop, where the boys sheepishly congregated on one side of the gym and the girls on the other, everyone waiting for someone to break the ice.