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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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President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, to talk about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear talks. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

No more the supplicant

The United States was only yesterday a supplicant at the oil bazaar, counting on the Saudis to be merciful by keeping OPEC a reasonable merchant, but that was then, and the United States is an oil exporter now. No more supplicant. America might even make a credible argument for membership in OPEC.

On the heels of his disappointing finish in Colorado, Donald Trump last week said the Republican National Committee "should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of crap to happen." (Associated Press)

The whines heard 'round the world

This is the year of the whiner. The Republican establishment whines that if only the folks in the grass roots would listen to the wise men the party could get on with choosing a serious candidate, like Jeb Bush, or John Kasich, or Paul Ryan, or, swallowing hard, even Ted Cruz. Donald Trump whines that the elites aren't playing fair and the delegate selection is rigged.

No emancipation this year

Tax Day arrives a little late this year, giving Americans a three-day reprieve from the annual pain of sending the U.S. Treasury an arm and a leg, without gift-wrapping. The day of dread is April 18, owing to the District of Columbia's Emancipation Day, falling on April 16, a Saturday, entitling D.C.'s federal workers to take a three-day weekend. A short extension from the usual April 15 deadline hardly soothes the pain.

Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, arrives for a meeting with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 14, 2016.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The lame duck quacks

An election year is not the most promising time to expect congressional action on major legislation, regardless of which party is in charge. That especially applies this year. Senators and representatives up for re-election are always reluctant to take tough positions on important issues that could anger constituents, even in off-years, and reluctance becomes fear in presidential election years when a retiring president pushes hard for legacy-making initiatives.

President Barack Obama speaks during the 2016 White House Science Fair, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Choking the federal varmints

Everyone in politics dreams of shutting up opponents, but the wise and reasonable understand that in a free society it's not nice to do that. The First Amendment guarantees free speech to everybody.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. pauses during a news conference following a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 13, 2016.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Paul Ryan's almost 'Sherman'

Paul Ryan is getting the message. His statement to a press gaggle on the Hill on Tuesday -- "I do not want nor will I accept the nomination [from] our party" -- is only a millimeter short of the authentic Sherman that Gen. William Tecumseh, famous for playing with matches on his march from Atlanta to the sea in 1865, gave to those who wanted him to run for president two decades later.

Hillary Clinton and Mayor Bill de Blasio have come under fire over their comedy skit at the show that some people feel was racially insensitive. Many in the room where it happened, which was filled with New York politicians, power brokers and reporters, laughed at the joke. But it soon made its way around social media and drew some scornful media coverage. (David Handschuh/The Inner Circle Via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

Hillary as comedienne

One of the positives of Donald Trump's presidential campaign has been the large dent the Donald has made in the movement to render everything politically correct. A large dent but, alas, not a fatal dent. Many people clearly have not got the memo.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the Senate Judiciary Committee that her department has discussed pursuing civil charges against the "climate denial scheme," as Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, put it. (Associated Press)

Intimidation through investigation

Everyone loves a winner, especially the winner himself. Reaching the top of the heap is a full-time job and once there, the successful feel entitled to stay there. That's why political inquisitions are in full bloom across Barack Obama's Washington.

Vice and virtue, served a la carte

Hot dogs, beer and football go together like peanuts and Crackerjacks at the baseball game, an all-American combination at stadiums on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in autumn. But dope on the gridiron? Say it ain't so, Joe.

The Flint Water Plant tower is seen in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, FILE)

Drinking poison water

In the present political climate liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, don't often agree on much, but they can agree that one of the government's first obligations is keep the drinking water safe. That's why it's nothing short of shocking that one of the richest and most sophisticated states not only failed to do that, but was aware that irresponsible cost-cutting was the source of the failure.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Ryan's 'Sherman'

House Speaker Paul Ryan is attractive, smart and ambitious, which is why Republicans believe him when he says he does not want to be drafted for the presidential nomination in Cleveland. His emphatic disavowal is just short of "a Sherman," William Tecumseh Sherman's famous spike in presidential speculation in 1884: "If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at City Garage in Baltimore, Sunday, April 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

A relic of the Democratic past

Only yesterday the Democrats expected to sit back and enjoy the spectacle of the Republicans tearing each other apart as Hillary Clinton plodded slowly but surely toward her coronation. Now they're learning that the rain that falls on Republicans gets Democrats wet, too. The party is getting ugly as the crucial primary in New York approaches.

The entrance of the regional head office of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the world's biggest creators of shell companies, in Hong Kong,  America's openness to foreign tax evaders is coming under new scrutiny after the leak this week of 11.5 million confidential documents from the Panamanian law firm. The Panama Papers show how some of the world's richest people hide assets in shell companies to avoid paying taxes. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Something smelly in Panama

The dribs and drabs of facts and figures leaking from the so called "Panama Papers, detailing the corruption of a Panamanian law firm and its clients, have so far dispensed more questions than answers. More of both are surely coming.

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2013 file photo, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. George Mason University is tweaking its plan to rename its law school the Antonin Scalia School of Law to avoid an unfortunate acronym, but a group of state legislators wants to scrap the idea entirely. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)

A good name for a law school

Naming rights are usually big business. Corporations pay millions of dollars for the right to put their names on stadiums, arenas, and almost anything made of brick and mortar. It's all about marketing. Apart from the stadium or arena, universities have usually been more circumspect, preferring to name buildings and schools for benefactors or distinguished public figures.

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, center, talks with reporters while surrounded by a group of African-American religious leaders in New York, following a meeting with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. Hometown candidates Hillary Clinton and Trump have long eyed New York as a bulwark against their opposition. Now both need the state, that votes in the presidential primary on April 19, 2016, to provide a bounce-back victory after some disheartening defeats. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The brokered convention

Only a fortnight ago the only authentic excitement the delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland could look forward to were the funny hats and a visit to the Rock and Roll Museum. But the results of the Wisconsin primary this week put the cat among the pigeons. That's always fun to watch as long as you're not a pigeon.

The United States Supreme Court is seen Saturday, March 24, 2012, in Washington, two days before the court will begin hearing arguments Monday on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, derisively labeled "Obamacare" by its opponents. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Redistricting the Constitution

Illegal immigrants can't vote, but they still count. The U.S. Supreme Court says so, ruling this week that illegals and other noncitizens can be included in the population when states apportion their state legislative districts. This dilutes the electoral weight of legal residents and encourages partisans to bring in illegals to swell their ranks.

In this Feb. 14, 2015, file photo, Edward Snowden appears on a live video feed broadcast from Moscow at an event sponsored by ACLU Hawaii in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)

Tax secrets and tax reform

Hiding data -- what used to be called "facts and figures" -- on the Internet, combined with the inability of most of us to distinguish computer hackers from whistleblowers, keeps dealing blow after blow to the concept of personal privacy, business and legitimate government secrets.

Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump."

A nation worse for the wear

Forrest Gump was a man ahead of his time. The hero of Winston Groom's novel recalled that "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." A growing number of Americans are telling pollsters that, like Forrest Gump, they're not sure what life will bring, but they're sure that it's not as good as it was in Mama's day.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, flanked by his wife Emine Erdogan, waves as he arrives to inaugurate the Diyanet Islamic Cultural Center in Lanham, Maryland, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Erdogan has vowed to back Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. During his visit to the United States, Erdogan told an Azerbaijani reporter that "we will support Azerbaijan to the end." The remarks were quoted by the presidency on Sunday.(Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service, Pool via AP)

More work ahead for President Obama

The descent of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's administration into a brutish tyranny must not be something else for Barack Obama's "don't-do list." Mr. Erdogan even takes his thugs with him when he leaves Ankara. The Brookings Institution was tempted to cancel Mr. Erdogan's speech last week after his security detail roughed up American and Turkish reporters, giving Washington a taste of what's happening in Turkey.