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Protesters hold signs during a rally in support of transgender youth, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at the Stonewall National Monument in New York. They were demonstrating against President Donald Trump's decision to roll back a federal rule saying public schools had to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender identity. The rule had already been blocked from enforcement, but transgender advocates view the Trump administration action as a step back for transgender rights. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Free-for-all at the urinal

A visitor from Mars or Pluto could reasonably conclude that Earth is a weird planet indeed. “It’s a heavenly body of great beauty,” he might report back to headquarters, “where everyone is trying to change his and her sex but is so squeamish about talking about sex that they must coin euphemisms, such as ‘gender identity,’ to describe it.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on domestic and international human trafficking, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017,in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The comeback of coal

President Trump’s boisterous press conferences sometimes cast a shadow over one of his most important achievements so far: his executive order suspending runaway Environmental Protection Agency rules that all but bankrupted the American coal industry. Three of America’s largest coal companies declared Chapter 11 in recent years largely as a result of rules like the Clean Power Plant Act, a gift of Barack Obama.

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2017 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Financial Services Committee for the Fed's semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.  Federal Reserve officials earlier this month discussed the need to raise a key interest rate again "fairly soon," especially if the economy remains strong. Minutes of the discussions in minutes released Wednesday, Feb. 22  showed that while Fed officials decided to keep a key rate unchanged at their Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting, there was growing concern about what could happen to inflation if the economy out-performed expectations. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The regulator cometh, and maybe goeth

There’s a lot to be said about government regulation — and much of it not good. Some regulation, given that human nature is what it is, is necessary. But sometimes it seems there’s little difference between the government telling you how to spend your money and the government just taking it. Regulations are a lot like taxes.

Protesters of President Donald Trump's immigration policies chant across the street from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection station Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in McAllen, Texas. (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP)

Immigration Order No. 2

The fight over who controls U.S. immigration policy is about to enter Round Two. President Trump pledges to come out swinging with a reformulated restriction on prospective immigrants. He seems deadly serious about defending the nation’s borders, and those who want to throw open the borders to everyone seem just as determined to stop him. The outcome will determine nothing less than who defines America.

Maple tree sap drips from a tap into a bucket, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Brookline, N.H. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, led a discussion with maple syrup producers in New Hampshire about how climate change is impacting their industry. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Carbonated politics

Every problem in Washington finally finds a solution, and it’s usually called a tax. A group of policy mavens, eager to do something for everybody, proposes to tax carbon, the substance found in all forms of fossil fuels. It’s the fourth-most abundant element in the universe. The idea is that if there’s a levy on the carbon content of oil, coal and natural gas, consumers will use less of it. Presto! No more human-caused global warming. But it still smells like a tax.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

'Don't drain my swamp'

The Democrats lost the 2016 elections because they weren't listening, and treated voters with legitimate concerns as racists, bigots and deplorables. Some Republicans in Congress aren't listening now.

In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

When 'news' is a baloney sandwich

Half the world is getting information, sometimes labeled "news," from the internet. At the fingertips of 3.6 billion people there's a repository of knowledge so vast that it might as well be infinite. Self-appointed gatekeepers are cutting the flow down to a manageable size, but how they trim determines its shape. It's sometimes delivered in odd shapes.

U.S. President Barack Obama leaves Air Force One at the Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, after arriving for a three-day official visit which is the second stop of his final foreign tour as president. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

President Obama's 'helpful' exit

Barack Obama yearns to be the great explainer. He opened his first term with a tour of the Middle East to explain Islam to the world, and now he's finishing his second term with a final, abbreviated world tour trying to explain Donald Trump to everybody. He got the lesson about Islam wrong, and he's spreading misinformation now about the meaning of the American election.

Law enforcement officers have clashed with protesters trying to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. An extreme faction within the protest encampment has been terrorizing the rural community. (Associated Press)

A pipeline of necessity

The untouched vistas of the Northern Great Plains are a national treasure and are sacred to American Indians. But more than memories of home on the range are encouraging activists to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at Maximos Mansion in Athens on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. Obama is opening his final foreign trip as president with reassuring words about the U.S. commitment to NATO even as he prepares to hand off to a Donald Trump administration. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, Pool)

The Obama legacy

A president's legacy is shaped by his deeds, not by his wishes, hopes and dreams. A president can always hope, but there is nothing Barack Obama can do now to change a single line of the work of the moving finger. Mr. Obama is embarked this week on his final foreign tour, and before he left he drew his own view of the Obama years, but his own view is all it is.

A marijuana joint is rolled Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) ** FILE **

Reefer madness

Americans are hardly suffering a shortage of ways to get high, but many of them are always on the scout for finding something else to crave. That's the message Election Day sent with approval of expanded legal access to marijuana. You can't legislate virtue, as the wise man said, but enshrining vice in the legal code is an easy way to pass a joint.

A voter, left, reads The New York Times, which features presidential candidates Donald Trump, left, and Hillary Clinton, right, as he waits to enter a polling station in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

Scared almost straight

All across the fruited plain editors and publishers have come to terms — some with more grace than others — with the plain fact that their newspapers did something wrong in its coverage of the presidential campaign mercifully just past. That much is all to the good. You can't fix something until you realize it's broken.

Matt Maloney, Grubhub co-founder and CEO, sent an anti-Trump email to employees after the Nov. 8, 2016, presidential election and said those who disagree with him have "no place" at the company. (CNBC screenshot)

Grubby election aftermath

This is the season for paying off election bets, and not every angry loser takes his frustration to the streets. Some satisfy their anger by making others suffer. Matt Maloney is the founder and president of an internet food-delivery service in Chicago called Grubhub, and he was more than ready for Hillary.

The republic survives

Only yesterday we were told to worry that crazed Trump voters might refuse to accept the inevitable triumph of Hillary Clinton, and take to the streets to riot, brawl and otherwise threaten law, order and the survival of the republic.

The Eiffel Tower lit up in green to mark the success of the Paris Agreement, Friday Nov.4, 2016 in Paris. The Paris Agreement on climate change enters into force Friday faster than anyone had anticipated, after a year with remarkable success in international efforts to slash man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases. Inscription reads, "Paris Agreement it's done".(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Trumping climate change

It's only a slight exaggeration that as America goes, so goes the world. As the returns rolled in from Election 2016, many delegates at the United Nations annual climate change conference, which opened Monday in Marrakech, Morocco, were on pins and needles.

President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, after a meeting. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The chattering class was wrong, as usual

The Republican Party committed suicide Tuesday night. We were told on good authority that the Grand Old Party would do just that if it elected Donald Trump. The wise heads, if not necessarily the wise guys of media big and small, said so.

Emily Benn was among the disappointed supporters of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was confident of winning the presidential election based on projections of political pundits and a sea of major media polls that turned out to be highly inaccurate. (Associated Press)

The clear lesson of Tuesday

The Democrats and their media partners, who were so sure they had all the answers only days ago, are desperately trying now to figure out what went wrong. How could anyone so smart, so educated, so pure of heart be so wrong?

Chelsea Handler arrives at the amfAR Inspiration Gala Los Angeles at Milk Studios on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Departure of the Beautiful People

The beautiful people, who never imagine that bad things can happen to them, are undone by the triumph of Donald Trump. The French ambassador to the United States thinks Tuesday was the beginning of the end of the planet itself.

Seung-Yul Noh, left, of South Korea, congratulates Xander Schauffele after completing the Sanderson Farms Championship golf tournament, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Fore!

Golf is a liar's game, as anyone who has lingered in the clubhouse at the 19th hole could tell you, but some lies are more dangerous than others. You can get in trouble in North Korea, for example, by lying about your handicap at one of the world's most exclusive golf resorts. It's exclusive because it's the only golf course in the country.

Christina Hoff Sommers (Screen grab from American Enterprise Institute)

Rudeness can be curable

It's not easy being a guy these days, if it ever was. Those concerned about men's health believe they have discovered the root of a genetic disease that threatens ruin for the descendants of Adam. It's called "toxic masculinity" and it long ago went viral. The feminists and their intimidated acolytes are eager to inoculate half of the population, but they're puzzled to discover that some men prefer to be themselves.

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2010 file photo, voters cast their ballots for Illinois' primary at an early voting polling place in Chicago. The number of Illinois residents who have voted ahead of Election Day has broken state records and is still growing. The State Board of Elections released totals Monday Nov. 7, 2016 showing the number of voters who cast in-person ballots through Sunday was approaching 1.3 million.(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green File)

'Act worthy of yourselves'

Americans stand together on this day, poised at the point of making an important choice. The decisions that millions make in the polling booth will send the nation moving dramatically in one direction or the other. The result of what happens with the decision today will be impossible to halt or reverse for a generation or two, or more. The right to vote is both privilege and responsibility.

Ryne Caldwell of the Athens-Clarke County Facilities Management sets up voting machines at Thomas N. Lay Community Center in Athens, Ga., Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. (John Roark/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

Lost in the rigging

Democrats professed to be shocked! shocked! — much like Inspector Renault was shocked to learn that gambling was going on in the backroom at Rick's in the movie "Casablanca" — when Donald Trump suggested the Nov. 8 election could be rigged. Rigged may be putting it a bit strong, but fraud on Election Day is alive and well.

George Washington

Loyalty to party above country

George Washington was first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen, a soldier remembered as uniquely inspiring to the men who went through hell with him at Valley Forge. Washington is not particularly remembered as a political scientist, but early on he recognized what may yet be the fatal flaw in the American political system.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump poses with children on stage at a campaign rally in Sterling Heights, Mich., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The campaign of 2016, R.I.P.

It's OK now to turn off the television, toss yesterday's newspaper into the trash, stop obsessing over the changes in the polls from the battleground states and give your blood pressure a rest.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at The Royal Institute of International Affairs, at Chatham House, in London, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.  (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

John Kerry's rich fantasy life

There's an old theory that extensive air travel inflicts physical injury and distorts cognitive thinking. Airline stewardesses of a previous time said the introduction of the jetliner for the old propellers-and-internal engines disrupted their menstrual cycles. Life is dangerous in the clouds.