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Hillary Rodham Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, fended off the new questions about the email scandal and suspicious foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation, distracting from her effort to wrangle support from union bosses at the AFL-CIO's annual summer meeting. (Associated Press)

The Democratic dilemma

For any candidate to have an authentic chance to be the presidential nominee of either party, the voters have to envision him (or her) as sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. If they can’t do that, John Sears, who managed Ronald Reagan’s 1976 campaign, observed, the hopeful candidate will never make it. Mr. Sears called this the candidate’s first test.

Republican presidential candidate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a forum Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Questions for the debate

The debate, such as it is, over illegal immigration gets curiouser and curiouser, and more confusing. Donald Trump provided the gotcha! moment, with a statement off the top of his head damning the quality of Mexican immigrants.

In this Jan. 24, 2015, file photo, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Speak softly of evil

Political rhetoric is dangerous in the hands of careless writers and speakers. Reaching for Hitler as an analogy for contemporary villainy is particularly misleading. Hitler has been sui generis, one of a kind, since Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun, rivaled in modern times only by Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. Mullahs, evil as some of them may be, don’t count. They’re bush leaguers.

In this image taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's wildlife minister says extradition is being sought for Walter Palmer, the American dentist who killed Cecil. On Saturday, poachers killed Jericho, Cecil's brother. (Paula French via AP)

The lion in summer

Reverence for life is a good thing, but some people who revere lion life have got their priorities on crooked. Human life is important, too. The Media Research Center observes that the television networks have devoted far more time to the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe than to revelations that Planned Parenthood has been dissecting aborted human babies and auctioning the baby parts to the highest bidders here in the United States.

A man is comforted by others as he mourns over Egyptian Coptic Christians who were captured in Libya and killed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group, outside of the Virgin Mary church in the village of el-Aour, near Minya, 220 kilometers (135 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Mobilizing the Christians

The mainline Protestant churches in the United States, joined by Pope Francis, have shown great concern for many fashionable secular causes, such as eliminating poverty, promoting peace and promoting fear of global warming, but for Christians around the world under threat of persecution and annihilation, not so much.

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Hillary Clinton made an unannounced pit stop Monday at a Chipotle outside Toledo. It would have gone completely unnoticed if not for a Clinton campaign aide tipping off The New York Times, which contacted the restaurant and obtained security camera footage of Mrs. Clinton wearing sunglasses while waiting in line for a burrito bowl. (Associated Press)

A first test on the trail

If Hillary Clinton can't stage-manage ordering lunch in an Iowa diner, with aides at hand, how can she manage a presidential campaign? This is the question worried Democrats are asking each other after Mrs. Clinton's campaign ventured into the weeds in the Midwest, demonstrating that the feminists and a noisy claque of like-minded allies may be "ready for Hillary," but she does not seem to be ready to persuade skeptical voters that she's ready for them.


Volunteers pass through the first full body scanner, which uses backscatter technology, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on March 10, 2010. Those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away. The Transportation Security Administration says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June 2013 because the company that makes them can't fix the privacy issues. (Associated Press)

Hanky-panky in the security line

When the Transportation Security Administration installed full-body scanners several years ago the ACLU, privacy advocates and many passengers sounded warnings that this invited sexual harassment, voyeurism and maybe even sexual adventuring. The government routinely dismissed the complaints as "unfounded" and even "paranoid." Would your government do anything like that? "Full-body pat-downs" followed for passengers who raised an alarm going through the scanners.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, following a Senate policy luncheon. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Choking on gall and wormwood

Harry Reid is having shrinking pains, choking on a diet of gall and wormwood. He is not dealing well with the events of last November, when he lost the comfort and prominence of the Senate. The Senate's longtime Democratic leader revealed to an interviewer this week how the not-so-sweet mystery of life continues to elude him. He cannot understand why people don't like him. He thinks it's "unfortunate."

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy holds up a pen before signing new emission guidelines during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington.  In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Halting the EPA's power grab

America is the land of the free, but environmentalists are determined to rule the air. The Environmental Protection Agency persists with expensive and unnecessary schemes to regulate harmless carbon dioxide — the stuff we and the plants breathe — and several energy companies and coal-producing states are making a final appeal to the courts to halt a deliberate attempt to seize authority the EPA was never meant to have.

Austin Bryant celebrates his victory at tether ball with Hogan Conder during recess at Marlin Elementary School in Bloomington, Ind.

When nanny runs amok

In the beginning there were good parents and bad parents. Then came "deadbeat dads," who didn't support their children. "Soccer moms" were (mostly suburban) mothers who spent a good part of their day getting their children to the playing fields on time. Then "helicopter parents" arrived, hovering over everything their kids did.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton takes notes during a roundtable with educators and students at the Kirkwood Community College's Jones County Regional Center, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Monticello, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Adventures in the Scooby van

The silly season begins, when nobody follows presidential politics but the men and women of press and tube who are paid to do it. Still, on her first venture out of the shadows we learned several substantial things about "the new Hillary." She stopped at a Chipotle on the highway south of Toledo, en route to Iowa, and nobody recognized her behind a pair of dark sunglasses. She lunched on a chicken burrito bowl (with guacamole) and when she pulled into her hotel in Pittsburgh she was not hungry for further fine dining, and ordered "Scooby snacks" from the room-service menu. She's traveling in an "upgraded" Chevrolet van, "approved" by the Secret Service, christened "the Scooby van."

Hillary Rodham Clinton has attempted to allay the furor over her exclusive use of a private email account hosted on a private server in her home for conducting official business as secretary of state, a practice that may have violated federal open records laws. (Associated Press)

Hillary to the rescue

Hillary Rodham Clinton is not the inevitable president, but she was clearly the inevitable candidate. For the party, she's what's available, and she's a meal ticket for the clutch of retreads, has-beens and hangers-on from a checkered past, and now she wants to be the 67-year-old leader of a youth movement in a Democratic Party reeling and disillusioned in the wake of suffering blowouts in consecutive congressional elections. Her appeal, such as it is, is an unusual one: "I ain't much, but I'm all you've got."

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took issues with key points on the framework of a nuclear deal including sanction relief and inspector access. (Associated Press)

Devilish nuclear details

The devil is often in the details of a deal, but the devil lies in the West's negotiators themselves as they attempt to make a deal with Iran. We have the word of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran, on that. He launched such a fusillade of verbal rockets against the Obama administration that the newly signed "framework" for a deal is scorched and blackened. If there was doubt that Iran would act in good faith in talks to shut down its nuclear weapons program, there is none now.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his news conference at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Congress must do what Obama won't

Americans reasonably expect their president to treat himself to an occasional session of introspection, to give himself a grade on whether he's living up to his oath to protect and defend the nation — to ask himself whether he has done anything wrong and if so, how to correct it. Alas, does anyone think it occurs to Barack Obama that he has ever done anything wrong?

This March 13, 2012 photo shows older and newly constructed 250,000 barrel capacity oil storage tanks at the SemCrude tank farm north of Cushing, Okla. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Michael Wyke) KOTV OUT; KJRH OUT; KTUL OUT; KOKI OUT; KQCW OUT; KDOR OUT; TULSA OUT; TULSA ONLINE OUT

An oily blast from the past

Predictions of gloom and doom have been with us since before steam replaced sail on the high seas, putting thousands of galley slaves out of work. Panic has driven modern man, even in our own times, to extreme and unworkable solutions to problems manufactured in the heat of fright and alarm.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Iowa Agriculture Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 7, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Critiquing the president

President Obama, still the college professor at heart, doesn't easily listen to criticism or argument. Only he knows what's what, and he grades on a steep curve. When Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin critiqued the deal the president is about to strike with Iran, the president retorted that the governor didn't know what he was talking about. He should "bone up" before he says anything, the president said.

FILE- In this Nov. 10, 2009 file photo, soldiers salute as they honor victims of the Fort Hood shooting at a memorial service at Fort Hood, Texas. The Army said in a letter addressed to Congress on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 that the victims of the 2009 shooting that left 13 dead and more than 30 wounded will receive the Purple Hearts many have said they deserve. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam, File)

Honor at Fort Hood

There's a difference, you might say, between a hero and a zero, and President Obama has blurred that difference in Washington. But the Bard was right, truth will out, and so was Abraham Lincoln, you can't fool all the people all the time, not even at the White House. Several heroes are about to get their just rewards.

Palestinian residents of the besieged refugee camp of Yarmouk wait at the gate of the camp to receive aid supplies from the United Nations on the southern edge of the Syrian capital, Damascus. The deteriorating situation brought on by Syria's civil war prompted the U.N. Security Council to call an emergency meeting Monday, April 6, 2015, to discuss Yarmouk, calling for safe evacuation for the Palestinians, protection for the refugees, and humanitarian access to the camp. (AP Photo/SANA, File)

Muslims killing Muslims

The barbarians of ISIS no longer have the ability to surprise anyone. They have beheaded innocents, set a captive afire in a cage, taught children how to shoot to kill at point-blank range, and murdered Christians only because they worship the Christ. The West is outraged, both for the brutality and by its frustration for not doing much about it.

Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks, Wednesday, April 8, 2015, in Milford, N.H. Paul, a newly declared Republican presidential candidate, is dodging a central question about abortion: What exceptions, if any, should be made if the procedure were to be banned? In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Paul would not say where, in his view, a pregnant woman’s rights begin and those of the fetus end.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Rand Paul to the starting line

If diversity is the secret of winning politics, the Republicans are running the most ambitious cafeteria in town, featuring the favorite dishes of several freshman senators fired by both conviction and ambition. If a hungry customer doesn't see what he wants, there's probably something else coming from the kitchen.

FILE - In this May 24, 2011 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks with House Speaker  John Boehner of Ohio, to make a statement on Capitol Hill in Washington.  American politicians like to pick and choose when they’ll abide by the storied notion that politics should stop at the water's edge, and when to give that idea a kick in the pants.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

When the thrill of a romance is gone

That pop and crackle in the air is the sound of strains on a romance, like the noise of a cooling wood stove. The Jewish love affair with the Democratic Party has not gone bust by any means but it's beginning to frazzle at the edges, as unrequited love inevitably does. The Democratic left, which now dominates the party, does not like Israel very much.

In this Aug. 17, 2010 file photo, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald talks to reporters after a jury found former Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty on one count of the 24 counts against him in his federal corruption trial. in Chicago. Robert Blagojevich the brother of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich offers fresh details in a new book to back his contention prosecutors used him as a pawn to get his younger sibling on charges he sought to hock President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. While charges were eventually dropped against him, the Tennessee businessman, says his refusal to turn on his brother made him "collateral damage" of an overzealous prosecution that cost his reputation, $1 million in legal bills and a still-unrepaired family split. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

The crimes of the prosecutors

Prosecutors, like cops, usually deal with people who aren't very nice. Prosecutors at every level rarely see the occasional bursts of human kindness that lead the rest of us to see the good among the bad. Unfortunately, some prosecutors, blind to the good among the bad, conclude that evildoers don't deserve a break, that the important thing is to get evildoers behind bars, so anything goes. If no actual evildoers are available, make one up.

Homes with swimming pools border the desert of this neighborhood Friday, April 3, 2015, in Cathedral City, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered officials Wednesday to impose statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history as surveyors found the lowest snow level in the Sierra Nevada snowpack in 65 years of record-keeping. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Dry days in California

California excess is the stuff of the tabloids, often entertainment for all, but the drought is not funny. Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered mandatory water restrictions for the first time, extending them far beyond the manicured lawns of Brentwood, the vineyards of Sonoma and the Napa Valley and the scenic coastline of picture postcards. When the going gets tough, the tough will have to turn off the taps. It's going to hurt.

Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles during a meeting on Internet startups in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on March 27, 2015. (Associated Press/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)  **FILE**

President Obama’s dreamy dreams

Words enough to fill an unabridged dictionary went into the tentative "framework" that President Obama and the Western powers reached with Iran to address Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. All those words could be distilled in John Lennon's naive refrain: "All we are saying is give peace a chance." While Barack Obama was preoccupied with erecting his "framework," Vladimir Putin was busy, too, reminding his European neighbors that Mao Zedong's favorite and not-so-nave refrain still applies: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Opponents of Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, march past the Indiana Statehouse en route to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, April 4, 2015 to push for a state law that specifically bars discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

A tale of two governors: There was dithering in Indiana, quick and effective action in Arkansas

The great religious liberty debate has been put to bed if not to sleep, if only for now. We can be sure the devout and aggressive secularists of the left are picking through the debris of controversy to find something more to quarrel with. Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana marched up the hill to defend his state's law and then wobbled down again as if to surrender. Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, on the other hand, saw a prospective problem of perception with similar legislation in his state, asked the legislature to fix it, and be quick about it, and within 24 hours had a slightly revised bill on his desk, and he signed it.

Republicans seem intent on using Harry Reid's own "nuclear option" against him.  (Associated Press)

A day to celebrate Harry Reid

Harry Reid's decision to retire after 32 years in the House and Senate, 10 of them as the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, is good news not only for Republicans, but also for everyone else saddened by the deterioration of political rhetoric.