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President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One upon his arrival at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. The president will speak at Lawson State Community College, about the economy.  (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)

A late education on the left

Liberals and conservatives don’t often come together on important issues because they commute from different planets. Pundits of various stripe bemoan the lack of common values and ponder why Democrats, Republicans, conservatives and liberals seem to have lost respect not only for each other’s views, but for each other.

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will begin consideration of Lynch's nomination to be attorney general next week. Democrats have been pressing for the Senate to act on President Barack Obama's selection of Lynch, who is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The Lynch nomination

The longer the United States Senate puts off the vote on her confirmation the less likely Loretta Lynch will become the attorney general. Some Democrats, in particular Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, have played the usual race card but so far none of the groups that specialize in expressions of outrage have said much, if anything.

Former President Bill Clinton hugs his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, during the closing session of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. At right is Chelsea's husband, Marc Mezvinsky. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Cash for clunkers

Successful politicians know how to avoid a conflict of interest. Unsuccessful politicians can’t recognize one when they see one, or if they do, figure they can duck when sticks, stones and subpoenas fly. Then there are the Clintons. Bubba wrote the book on how to duck and weave. Hillary is learning, with difficulty. She doesn’t have the good ol’ boy’s wink and smile.

FILE - In this June 6, 2013 file photo, a sign stands outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. There was a break in the case of a man who fired shots on several occupied vehicles and the headquarters of the NSA when he returned to the scene of the first shooting, police said Wednesday. The 35-year-old Prince George's County man was arrested Tuesday night near Arundel Mills mall, where shots were fired Feb. 24. A man driving away from a gas station near the mall was injured by glass shot out from his car, police said.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Taming the surveillance state

The Patriot Act was fashioned with good intentions, but it has been dragooned to serve bad purposes. It was enacted during the national panic that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to protect Americans from the enemy. Now it’s employed by government busybodies to treat Americans themselves as the enemy.

**FILE** The skyline of Washington, D.C. (Associated Press)

What’s not in your wallet?

There’s nothing like a “best and worst” list at tax season to remind a taxpayer that the IRS isn’t the only government revenuer putting on the squeeze. States and cities take a bite, too.

Related Articles

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.

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.)

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."

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.

Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Kazuo Hirai speaks how to use its new PlayStation Portable "NGP" at PlayStation Meeting 2011 in Tokyo in this Jan. 27, 2011, file photo. Sony's online PlayStation store was inaccessible to users for part of Monday in the latest possible cyberattack on the electronics and entertainment company. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

Hacked in Hollywood

Liberal hypocrisy in Hollywood? Malice in Tinseltown? Pettiness among the stars? "Say it ain't so, Joe." Oscar Levant, the movietown piano player with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue ("I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin") once offered a hopeful analysis of what's wrong with the town: "Hollywood is made of tinsel, but if you get beneath the tinsel you'll find the real tinsel." The hackers of Sony Pictures took the challenge, and have revealed the details of the malice, pettiness and tinsel in purloined emails, and La-La Land is beside itself with fear, loathing and mortification.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Republican establishment plots to get the candidate it wants

The Republican establishment, which gets so many things wrong, is trying to manipulate the party rules to make sure it gets the presidential candidate it wants in 2016. The party chiefs put it another way, of course: They're just trying to make sure that the party nominates a "respectable" candidate who won't be mortally wounded before it's time to fight Democrats. Some of what Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, wants to put into place makes sense, but many of the suggestions from other quarters don't.

Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois G. Lerner has been at the center of a scandal involving her erased hard drive and missing emails. (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: Obama's IRS faces scrutiny with Republican-led Congress

The corruption of the Internal Revenue Service is still under investigation, but the public has learned a lot already: The IRS targeted conservative and tea party groups for extra scrutiny and harassment, Lois G. Lerner tried to hide behind the Fifth Amendment to avoid prosecution for violating the rights of taxpayers, and the president of the United States assured one and all that there was not even a "smidgen of corruption" at the agency when he knew better.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. With the government due to shut down in a week unless the lame duck Congress agrees on funding, Pelosi has encouraged House Speaker John Boehner to work with Democrats to work together on a funding bill while she confronts internal conflicts from rank-and-file Democrats. Though conciliatory about being in the minority, Pelosi cautioned her Democratic caucus not to rush to support a Republican plan until they know exactly what’s in the bill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

EDITORIAL: Congress' budget compromise could be worse in form of 'cromnibus'

Nancy Pelosi is finished as speaker of the House — as in gone, finished, kaput. But the lady's famous assurance that Congress would have to enact Obamacare to see what was in it continues as the guiding spirit of this Congress. The congressional leaders negotiating the "cromnibus" were so determined to avoid a government shutdown that they were determined to let their colleagues be surprised by what they voted for.

University of Alabama at Birmingham President Ray Watts,left, and UAB Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration Allen Bolton, right,  address the media during a news conference to discuss the results of their athletics strategic planning process and closing of the UAB football football, rifle, and bowling programs, Tuesday, De. 2, 2014 in Birmingham. Ala. (AP Photo/Tamika Moore, AL.com) MAGS OUT

An Alabama university drops football

It takes strength, courage and resolve on the part of young men to play football. Sometimes it requires even more strength, courage and resolve on the part of college and university administrators not to play football.