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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 investor covers his eyes at a brokerage house in Fuyang in central China's Anhui province on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

A dragon by the tail

China is hurtling toward regime crisis. The Shanghai stock market roller coaster, the nervous reaction of other world markets and the frightening headlines across the world are the least of Beijing's worries. All the bad news is, however, symptomatic of deeper concerns.

A June 10, 2015, file photo shows Ashley Madison's Korean website on a computer screen in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man/ File)

Wedding vows matter

Halos slip. Every fallen angel knows that. The ordinary man has enough smarts to set it aright if he can, and promise himself to behave next time. Bein' good, as Roberta Flack sang of preachers' sons, isn't always easy.

An activist marches in the protest march called the GoTopless Day Parade Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in New York. The parade took to the streets to counter critics who are complaining about topless tip-seekers in Times Square. Appearing bare-breasted is legal in New York. But Mayor Bill de Blasio and police Commissioner Bill Bratton say the body-painted women in the square who take photos with tourists are a nuisance. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen) ** FILE **

Mammary menace in Manhattan

Nothing excites teenage boys and lascivious men quite like the sight of the female breast. In New York City, where sophistication was invented (ask any New Yorker), some see mammary menace the governor and the mayor see opportunity.

Typhoon Bopha is shown moving toward the Philippines in an Earth Observatory image from Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Jesse Allen)

A degree of uncertainty

Everybody knows July is hot, unless he lives somewhere below the equator, where the seasons are upside down. Government scientists say this past month was the hottest July ever.

This undated photo made available by Iberdrola Renewables LLC shows wind turbines on a corn and soybean farm in Trimont, Minn. The company will be building a similar commercial-scale wind energy farm near the coast community of Elizabeth City, N.C. (Iberdrola Renewables LLC via AP)

Obama's new clean energy giveaway

If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he would have turned to whoever was with him as President Obama finished his latest speech on climate change and "clean" energy and said, "Well, there he goes again."

Do Americans still agree with "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses," as engraved on the Statue of Liberty? (National park Service)

Anchor babies and an adult dilemma

There's nothing new about anchor babies. Only the nomenclature has changed. With hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens pouring across the border over the past decades, many of them are looking for an anchor to keep them in place in the new world. A 6-pound baby might do it.

FILE- In this Aug. 6, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Thursday. Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are expected to attend Vernon Jordan's 80th birthday party Saturday, Aug. 15, on the swanky Massachusetts island famous as a gathering spot for prominent Democratic figures.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The administration meets reality

The markets and American technology are turning the Obama administration's original energy policies around by 180 degrees. There's still a lot to do, particularly by Congress, so long besotted with subsidies for certain powerful lobbies. But prospects are bullish.

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, right, speaks during a news conference with consumer advocate Jamie Court, left, president of Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

An oily inconsistency

Tom Steyer, the California billionaire, can't decide whether he's a political "activist" trying to make gasoline more expensive or another overtaxed consumer abused at the pump. That may not make sense, but who said it must? All is fair in love and politics (and love died on the wayside some time ago).

Associated Press
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama - who campaigned on "change we can believe in" - spoke to supporters at a primary night rally in St. Paul, Minn.

The test of the winning candidate

Midterm congressional elections, decisive as they may be, are always about the past, usually about a president's performance. Voters get a chance to grade a president and his performance, and by this measure, voters flunked President Obama in 2010 and 2014.

'No' to closing Guantanamo

President Obama is pleased with himself for his diplomatic opening to Cuba. The rest of us wouldn't be pleased with what he wants to close. The president's long-standing goal of shuttering the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay appears to be advancing apace.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders is gaining more attention from potential voters in Iowa and New Hampshire due to his straight-shooting style and social agenda. (Associated Press)

When curiosity takes a vacation

Curiosity, not ideology, is the mark of the best reporters, but with the disappearance of tough editors reporters are allowed to be pundits, and it shows. The best reporters are on the scout for "the story." The early story of the 2016 presidential campaign is the emergence of two unlikely, unusual and off-brand candidates, and how the reporters treat them.

A helicopter makes a water drop on a wildfire in Angeles National Forest above Azusa, Calif., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. Wildfires racing through drought-stricken Southern California have burned hundreds of acres of land and multiple cabins as the region roasted under a summer heat wave. (Watchara Phomicinda/San Gabriel Valley Tribune via AP) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

Shifting blame for wildfires

Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. Persistent drought in the West has triggered wildfires that have burned over nearly 6 million acres so far this year. Blaming global warming, or capricious "climate change" -- sometimes it's hot and sometimes it's cold, and sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesn't -- is tempting for the environmental extremists.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Hillary as comedienne

Hillary Clinton dismisses her email troubles as a joke -- she was having a high old time with it in Iowa the other day -- but there's no evidence that the FBI agents assigned to her case are laughing. Joking about your transgressions while an FBI team is examining your life and times is not smart.

A worker wipes a representation of the The Great Seal of the United States at the newly opened U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

America returns to Cuba

Gulags and satrapies are required in the nether world where Marxist fantasy survives. How else to keep the peasants in line? Secretary of State John Kerry, looking for love in all the wrong places, took a handful of congressmen to Havana the other day to preside over the raising of the American flag at the reopening of the American embassy, closed in 1961 when Fidel Castro imposed the Marxist yoke upon the neck of the Cuban people. The three Marines who lowered the flag 53 years ago, old men now, were called back to run up Old Glory once more. Mr. Kerry celebrated the occasion as another achievement of Barack Obama's presidency.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. Abe has expressed "profound grief" for all who perished in World War II in a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the country's surrender. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Lessons from an apology

Apologies are never easy, and apologizing in the name of a nation is hardest of all. Barack Obama still suffers, and no doubt always will, the approbation of many of his countrymen for his apology in Egypt early in his presidency, for what is still not clear, to the Islamic countries of the Middle East. A succession of Japanese prime ministers have put their hand to apologies for World War II. So how would Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's formal speech on the 70th anniversary of the end of The Great Pacific War, as many Asians call World War II, differ from the others?