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President Barack Obama speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The biggest ego in town

President Obama is not the incarnation of Demosthenes, or even William Jennings Bryan, as he seems to think, but he’s not bad on a good day with the right subject matter. His favorite subject matter, which is not necessarily the people’s choice, is about him.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she has no regrets in bringing charges against the six officers. (Associated Press)

Justice in Baltimore

Marilyn Mosby, no Blackstone she, has made such a mess in Baltimore that the city won’t live it down for decades. The Baltimore state’s attorney announced this week that she was dropping all charges against the remaining Baltimore police officers she charged with murder in the 2005 death of Freddie Gray.

A voter marks a ballot for the New Hampshire primary inside a voting booth on Feb. 9 in Manchester, N.H. (Associated Press)

The other battle at the ballot box

Party conventions, first of the Republicans in Cleveland and this week of the Democrats in Philadelphia, first and foremost are about whose name goes on the top of the ballot. Before any votes are cast on Nov. 8, though, questions must be settled about identification rules determining who gets to cast a ballot. Voter identification laws, popularly called ID laws, have proliferated.

California delegates hold up signs as they cheer during the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Dreaming the impossible Democratic dream

The Democrats had better pack a good lunch on their way to the post-convention campaign. It’s going to be an all-day job. They must persuade voters to avoid looking at Barack Obama’s disaster of “hope and change” while Hillary Clinton pushes the party’s platform of more of the same. The platform, as adopted in Philadelphia this week, is an exercise in the old shell game.

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the mall shooting in Munich, Germany, before addressing law enforcement officers from around the country at the Advancing 21st Century Policing Briefing in the South Court Auditorium of the White House complex in Washington, Friday, July 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The price of trusting Iran

Barack Obama may be the last man in America who actually trusts the holy men in Iran, and a secret codicil, or amendment, he made to his infamous nuclear agreement with them reveals just what happens when a president has no understanding of “the art of the deal,” or the people he makes deals with.

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President Barack Obama with Cuban President Raul Castro prepare to shake hands at their joint news conference at the Palace of the Revolution, Monday, March 21, in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Popping the Cuban balloon

There's an old Russian proverb that if you spit in the face of a weakling he will give thanks for the rain. This should be a Cuban proverb, to describe Barack Obama's not such an excellent adventure to Havana. Raul Castro, the Cuban president, did everything short of expectoration to make the American president grovel for the regime's affections.

This image provided by the Library of Congress shows Harriet Tubman, between 1860 and 1875. (H.B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP)

No whitewash for Harriet Tubman

Sometimes the government does the right thing for the wrong reasons. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's decision to put Harriet Tubman's face on the nation's currency was the right thing to do, even if it was done as a way to demote Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, to the back of the bill.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Another 'teaching moment' missed

Donald Trump's most important contribution to the presidential campaign is his brisk and bold challenge to the political correctness that is strangling the body politic, and he made the full-throated challenge when no other politician, Democrat or Republican, dared do it. A vibrant democracy depends on every citizen's respect for the right of everyone to express an opinion, particularly if the opinion is unpopular.

In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, part of the hull of the capsized USS Oklahoma is seen at right as the battleship USS West Virginia, center, begins to sink after suffering heavy damage, while the USS Maryland, left, is still afloat in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. A sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor is being buried with full military honors nearly 75 years after the bombing. Machinist's Mate 1st Class Vernon Luke of Green Bay, Wisconsin is being buried at a veterans cemetery in Honolulu on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (U.S. Navy via AP, File)

The more things change ...

The French, as usual, have a word for it, and sometimes more than one word: "The more things change, the more they are the same." After the cataclysmic destruction of World War II the optimists thought the patterns of political life were changed forever. Nothing of the old could remain.

Warming up to the Earth

There's more than one way to answer the call of nature, and it isn't necessary to await the arrival of Earth Day to demonstrate a reverence for the blue-hued orb we call home.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Stephen Decatur High School, Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in Berlin, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Waking up to reality

The Republican establishment woke up Wednesday morning to the reality it has dreaded, that the party might soon have to practice thinking positive thoughts about Donald Trump. The losers on Tuesday could start by cooling the doomsday rhetoric, understanding that they might have to eat some of the harsh words they have been saying about him.

Supporters of fair immigration reform gather in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, April 18, 2016. The Supreme Court is taking up an important dispute over immigration that could affect millions of people who are living in the country illegally. The Obama administration is asking the justices in arguments today to allow it to put in place two programs that could shield roughly 4 million people from deportation and make them eligible to work in the United States. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

When immigration law is 'upside down'

Americans can disagree over whether President Obama has fulfilled his promise of fundamental "hope and change," but it's the showdown over immigration policy that may determine whether he leaves as his legacy a fundamentally transformed America.

A demonstrator protests the Federal Reserve's failure to bail out Puerto Rico outside International House in New York on April 7, 2016. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Saving Puerto Rico

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a small island, population 3.5 million, but it's counting on Washington thinking that the commonwealth, like Wall Street banks and Detroit automobile manufacturers, is too big to fail. Decades of out-of-control management has pushed it to the brink of financial collapse.

President-elect Barack Obama, left, stands with Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., right, at a news conference in Chicago, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

What is Obama waiting for?

At 54 and soon to be unemployed (though with a nice pension and a feast of travel perks), Barack Obama may well believe that there's still something in the political world ahead for him. Congress has nothing for an ex-president -- been there and done that. But there are options.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a Women for Hillary event in New York, Monday, April 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Hillary's gender wage-gap fallacy

Most men love women. Every man owes his life to the woman who gave him birth, and many men have sisters with whom they shared their toys and DNA, and finally a wife with whom he shares his life. That's why men are rankled by the message Hillary Clinton harps on, that men have a bias against women in the workplace. Men get a bigger paycheck, and size matters.

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.