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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks question during a news conference, Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Indianapolis. Pence said that he wants legislation on his desk by the end of the week to clarify that the state's new religious-freedom law does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Bad faith in Indiana

The row over Indiana’s religious liberty law breaks new ground in the war between religious liberty and the liberal political agenda. If there’s no conflict, you have to make one up. This contretemps blew up out of nowhere, and inquiring minds want to know how and why it happened.

FILE - In this May 5, 2014, file photo, the U.S. Capitol building is seen through the columns on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington. The House is poised to act on a bill that would temporarily patch over a multibillion-dollar pothole in federal highway and transit programs while ducking the issue of how to put the programs on sound financial footing for the long term. The bill by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp cobbles together $10.8 billion in pension tax changes, customs fees and money from a fund to repair leaking underground fuel storage tanks to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent through May 2015. A similar bill is pending in the Senate.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A challenge to Congress

When Richard Nixon signed the legislation establishing the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, he was praised for his vision and commitment to conservation “going forward,” though that cliche had yet to be coined. A few critics — “outliers,” in another cliche waiting to be born — warned that the EPA could grow into a nightmare of a bureaucracy, but no one paid attention. Jeremiahs are rarely popular at the picnic.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Netanyahu said he has "deep concern" over a pending nuclear deal the West appears close to signing with Israel's arch-enemy Iran. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, Pool)

Virginia’s lawyers scratch Israel

This is the season for despising Israel and the Jews. The terrorists of Hamas dispatch agents of evil into the country bent on mayhem and sabotage. Palestinians fire rockets at Israeli children from launchers stationed at schools, hospitals and other places where they can find protection among the children, the lame, the halt and the helpless. President Obama contributes tone and tint to the campaign, determined to reward Iran with a sweetheart deal to protect its nuclear-weapons program, which it has promised to use to wipe Israel and the Jews “off the face of the earth.” Mr. Obama, bent on revenge for censure and criticism, merely wants to wipe the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, off the face of Israel.

President Barack Obama speaks at the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, Monday, March 30, 2015. The $79 million Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate dedication is a politically star-studded event attended by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and past and present senators of both parties. It sits next to the presidential library of Kennedy’s brother, John F. Kennedy. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The nuclear mirage in Iran

Many a lost traveler in the desert has spied an oasis in the sand and sun only to discover that it was only a mirage. In similar desperation, President Obama sees a good deal with Iran on the horizon, where he would put an end to the strife in the Middle East and finally earn the Nobel Peace Prize his admirers in Sweden gave him in a similar fit of euphoria as he took his first oath of office.

FILE  In this March 25, 2015 file photo, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. waits on the floor of the House Capitol Hill in Washington for the arrival of Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, who was to speak before  a joint meeting of Congress. Reid is announcing he will not seek re-election to another term. The 75-year-old Reid says in a statement issued by his office Friday that he wants to make sure Democrats regain control of the Senate next year and that it would be "inappropriate" for him to soak up campaign resources when he could be focusing on putting the Democrats back in power. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The end of a Senate era

Harry Reid still has one good eye, and it’s enough to read the handwriting on the wall. Announcing that he won’t run for a sixth term, he said Friday that he wants to “go out at the top of my game.” That’s a face-saving way of saying he doesn’t want to go out feet first.

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

If there’s no crisis to exploit, White House troublemakers will manufacture one

The term "man-caused disaster" never passed the giggle test as a euphemism for terrorism, but it fits as a description of some of the tomfoolery of Washington. No longer content with not letting a crisis go to waste, President Obama and his legion busied themselves during 2014 manufacturing a certain few. Life without change would soon get monotonous, but keeping America on edge with orchestrated turmoil is an abuse of power. There should be a New Year's resolution in the White House to knock it off.

A startling new anti-gun ad released by a San Francisco-based production company encourages children to commit a series of crimes by stealing their parents' guns and turning them over to school officials. (Sleeper 13 Productions)

A video against gun violence misses the target by a mile

Rejina Sincic is a video producer in San Francisco, where she makes short independent films and commercials, mostly to sell ladies' nether garments. She owns the production company and recently helped found another, enabling her to "branch out" to release a "public service announcement" about her campaign against "gun violence." She invited broadcast outlets to use the "public service announcement," called a PSA in the trade, and join her campaign.

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee during a press conference at the state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. The Republican governor said he will call the state Legislature into special session to take up the proposal that would make Tennessee the 28th state plus Washington, D.C., to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Tennessee Gov. Haslam undercuts the Republican promises to repeal Obamacare

Jonathan Gruber was thrust to the center stage of the Obamacare debate with his remark that only the "stupidity of the American voter" made passage of Obamacare possible. Stupid is as stupid does, as the old folk wisdom has it, and the Republican Governors Association has elevated to chairman a governor who has undercut the Republican argument that Obamacare is a bad thing. Gov. Bill Haslem of Tennessee actually likes it.

Former President George H.W. Bush has been taken to a Houston hospital after experiencing a shortness of breath. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A prayer for a hero

A man who jumps out of an airplane at 90, just for the fun of it, is a man to inspire the Walter Mitty in all of us earthbound creatures. George H.W. Bush has been an inspiration and an example since he put on his country's uniform after Pearl Harbor and went cheerfully off to war.

When Scrooge meets his match

The Washington Times

As predictable as tinsel and toys, the Christmas season brings forth a sackful of holiday haters with their vows of folly. These modern-day Ebenezer Scrooges find endless ways to pronounce, "Bah, humbug," but like Charles Dickens' quintessential character, they are no match for the Christmas spirit. Giving has a way of warming the uncharitable.

George C. Scott, Jim Carrey, Patrick Stewart and Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge.

When Scrooge meets his match

As predictable as tinsel and toys, the Christmas season brings forth a sackful of holiday haters with their vows of folly. These modern-day Ebenezer Scrooges find endless ways to pronounce, "Bah, humbug," but like Charles Dickens' quintessential character, they are no match for the Christmas spirit. Giving has a way of warming the uncharitable.

In this Oct. 20, 2014, file photo, Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press in Baltimore. Gov.-elect Hogan says he remains committed to pursuing tax relief in his first year as governor, despite a projected budget shortfall of more than a half a billion dollars. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The new governor of Maryland inherits a financial mess

Larry Hogan, the incoming Republican governor of Maryland who understands the value of a nickel (and dollars counted in the billions) will inherit some expensive baggage when he takes the oath on Jan. 19. It's the state budget, including a $1.2 billion deficit, the price of expensive goodies from the eight years that Martin O'Malley was the governor and the CEO of the state.

The Cato Institute finds that inexpensive smartphones, like the Firefox handset that sells for $35, along with satellite technology, offer the tools to map out and stake their claim.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Property rights for all

The key to economic growth isn't culture, access to the just exploitation of natural resources or even religion. Property rights trump all. The recognition and respect for property rights, and the expansion of property rights to the poor and unprivileged, is crucial to improving the living standard in developing countries.

An exterior view of the Sony Pictures Plaza building is seen in Culver City, Calif., Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving the satirical film, "The Interview," about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. He pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The ill wind through Hollywood

Terrorists can only defeat America if Americans let themselves be terrorized. With an otherwise meaningless movie in play — wit and humor at the level of "The Three Stooges" — the terrorists have won. Well, Hollywood was built on hyperbole like that. It's important to keep in mind, however, that America was not a combatant in this war, though it took collateral damage.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sentences New York to further economic stagnation

New York just gave Vladimir Putin and the Middle Eastern energy sheikhs an early Christmas present. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after considerable dithering, finally did what everyone assumed he would. He banned fracking and gave up the bounty lying beneath his state. He sides with the radical environmentalists of the Democratic Party against the interests of his 19 million constituents, wasting an opportunity to fire up the rusty economic engine of high-tax, slow-growth New York. So much for the Empire State's boastful claim that "New York is open for business."

Michelle Kosilek, sits in Bristol County Superior Court, in New Bedford, Mass. A federal appeals court on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, overturned a 2012 ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for the inmate born as Robert Kosilek, who had been convicted of murdering his wife in 1990. (AP)

No free sex changes

In a rare triumph this week for judicial restraint, a federal appeals court in Boston overturned a lower-court ruling, telling the state of Massachusetts that it doesn't have to pay for reassigning a prisoner's sex — or "gender," as the excessively delicate insist. (Nobody ever called Marilyn Monroe a genderpot.)

Protesters outside of Cafe Versailles on Calle Ocho in Miami,  decry the exchange of convicted Cuban spies, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014,  for USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, who has been held by the Cuban government. (AP Photo/El Nuevo Herald, Roberto Koltun)  MAGS OUT

Making nice with the Castro brothers betrays their victims

Sen. Marco Rubio calls President Obama's remarkable gift to the Castro brothers, and agreement to "normalize" American relations with Cuba, the work of a "willfully ignorant" man. We hope so. Ignorance can be corrected. Perhaps, to put the most generous face on it, this deal originated in the bowels of White House incompetence that is the mark of this administration. But Mr. Obama may not be ignorant at all, willful or otherwise, but proceeding skillfully to radicalize America's place in the world to fit the wishes and dreams of the determined and radical left from which the president sprang.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 12, 2104, as the Senate considers a spending bill. The House has passed an additional stopgap spending to make certain the government doesn't shut down at midnight Saturday when current funding authority runs out. The move would give the Senate additional time to process a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill.  (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Ready, fire, aim

Ted Cruz is a brave conservative who, unlike some of his fellows, does not quail at the sound of the guns. He sets an example others could emulate. His tenacity, both at the grass roots where he has many friends and in Washington where he seems to have few, gives the conservative coalition a much-needed shot of testosterone in its flabby arm. His stand-up attitude is particularly valuable as Democrats try to figure out who they are and who they want to be in the wake of the thumping they took in November.

A giant Christmas tree and a light show decorate the Grand Place in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2014. The Christmas tree is a gift of Riga, capital city of Latvia and European cultural capital 2014. This exceptional Christmas tree measures 22 meters (72 feet), one of the highest to have adorned the Grand Place, and is one of the many attractions the Brussels' Christmas market has to offer. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Searching for Christmas in the Old World

Someone stole Christmas in Europe, and it wasn't the Grinch. There's something missing, and it isn't just the snow. Shops dependent on tourists are praying, so to speak, that the unseasonably warm weather will give way in time for a white Christmas, but the Continent's secular obsessions have put a chill on the premier Christian holy day. The Christmas spirit in much of the old country is only what you drink.