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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and U. S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shake hands prior to a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. McCain met Erdogan after attiendng the Munich Security Conference 2017 in Munich, Germany. (Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool via AP)

The McCain-Trump feud

John McCain and Donald Trump have never been close, and they don’t share agreement now on a variety of foreign policy and defense questions. They have engaged in several testy exchanges in the past, but their mutual antipathy now goes beyond testiness. Mr. McCain, a senior senator and former presidential nominee of the Republican Party — and with the eminence that those credentials accord — traveled across the Atlantic the other day to deliver what one analyst calls “a calculated, planned attack on Trump’s entire system of beliefs.” This is without modern precedent, and it was out of bounds.

The resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has opened up a vicious fight over the integrity of the intelligence community. (Associated Press)

Finding the Flynn leak

Washington is aflame with speculation over who is responsible for the spy-versus-spy mischief that led to cashiering Michael Flynn, the president’s national-security adviser. The president appointed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his successor Monday, but the controversy over the Flynn episode will not go away.

President Donald Trump during a campaign rally Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in Melbourne, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The premature obituary

Sometimes blood in the water is just the residue from a bowl of strawberries. When Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration as secretary of Labor last week, following the cashiering of Mike Flynn as the president’s national security adviser, President Trump’s critics were satisfied at last that the end was near, the Trump administration is collapsing and that there must be a miracle around the corner to deliver them from their broken dreams and gossamer wishes. The water had turned pink.

A large crowd gathers for the rally outside the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton Pa., Sunday Feb. 19, 2017, to focus on protecting the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid. (Jason Farmer/The Times & Tribune via AP)

The rose by another name

The courts continue to wrestle with homosexual nuptials and the meaning of “participation.” The Washington state Supreme Court last week held that a florist in Richland, Wash., had no right in the law to refuse to provide flowers to two men for their same-sex wedding because to participate in such a rite would violate her deeply held religious beliefs.

About 50 fast food workers protest the nomination of former Hardees CEO Andrew Puzder to lead the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, outside the current headquarters of the fast food chain in downtown St. Louis. Fast food workers claim Puzder is unfit for the position because of his policies toward employees as Hardees boss. (Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Trump’s missing free market warriors

Andy Puzder’s withdrawal for consideration as Donald Trump’s secretary of Labor might have been premature but for the easy surrender of the Republicans in the Senate to a left-wing slander campaign. Mr. Puzder’s replacement, R. Alexander Acosta, is a labor lawyer without any real-life experience in hiring workers, but he looks confirmable. However, this leaves the new administration with almost no sound voices for free-market ideas.

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FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2016 file photo, a woman kneels to take a "back break" while waiting in line at a weekend early voting polling place at the North Hollywood branch library in Los Angeles. The FBI's disclosure that it was reviewing emails related to Hillary Clinton's email investigation will make no difference to tens of millions of voters who have already cast ballots.  (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Early voting and mockery of elections

Hillary Clinton wants her supporters, shell-shocked as they may be, to vote early this week. She knows what's in the new batch of emails -- if 650,000 emails can be called a mere "batch" -- and she knows that this week is not likely to be better than last week.

In this March 1, 2016 file photo, FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

The surprises of October

We've moved beyond "the October surprise." That's stuff for the 20th century. Now we have "October surprises," plural. The bombing run on the 2016 campaign comes from several sources — WikiLeaks, the FBI, Judicial Watch — and who knows what's still behind the bomb-bay doors.

An operating room is seen through a window at a sanitizing station in the soon to open University Medical Center New Orleans, during a media tour in New Orleans, Wednesday, June 17, 2015.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Challenging transgender quackery

With the right Halloween costume, anyone can be a zombie, a Kardashian or an NFL linebacker, if only for a night. It's all good fun. Modern medicine is giving those seriously dissatisfied with themselves a chance to become someone else -- for keeps (more or less).

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Geneva, Ohio. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

The return of the canard

It's "baaaaack," and just in time for Halloween, the tired canard invented by the Democrats and their allies in the media, that the Republicans want to wage war against women. Like a serial killer in a horror movie, the canard just won't die.

Gene Riley, of Brattleboro, Vt., fills out his ballot at the town clerk office in the municipal building during early voting on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, in Brattleboro, Vt. (Kristopher Radder /The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

Choosing the president

There's nothing new under the sun, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, but this presidential election campaign comes close. Rarely if ever have both parties nominated candidates who invite so much anger, frustration, indifference and even contempt.

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

Get 'em where they eat

It's always for the kids. Every time a local government wants more money from taxpayers, the taxpayers are told that it's not for lavish salaries or programs of limited value, but "for the kids." It's for schools, teachers, first-aid kits, fire extinguishers and stuff like that.

US attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch attends a conference on organised crime in Rome, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Counting up the carnage

Putting on a blue uniform has seldom been this hard. Thugs and killers have always despised the men and women who keep the peace, but now their bosses often no longer have their backs. When the badge is bent out of shape to suit the times, civility slides toward the ragged edge of barbarism.

Donald Trump gestures toward Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate Wednesday in Las Vegas. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Bursting the limits to growth

"What's in your wallet?" is more than a punchline in a TV commercial. It's the question that breadwinners ask themselves every day. How they answer determines whether they're gaining or losing ground in the race for prosperity.

JIM BUNNING-The MLB pitcher was U.S. Senator from the state of Kentucky. Hall of Famer Jim Bunning is seen during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday, July 28, 2013, in Cooperstown, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A sad note in World Series Week

This week millions of Americans, including political junkies who are sometimes more passionate about baseball than politics (particularly after a nip or two of fine old Kentucky bourbon in the shank of an evening with old friends), will interrupt their arguing over the occasional merits and manifold shortcomings of Hillary and the Donald, to retire to the sport pages and the World Series.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Regent University, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Va. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) ** FILE **

A little tease by the Donald

Donald Trump may be having a little fun, even if his friends and foes, who are worrying about what happens on Nov. 8, are not. They're not sure why he said he wouldn't accept defeat, nor what, exactly, he meant. He hardly clarified his meaning to them the next day when he said he would accept the voters' verdict "if I win."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a campaign event at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The peril in the polls

Public-opinion polls can be infuriating. They're often read as if they're telling us how to vote, rather than a speculation on how what we'll do. Indeed, some voters who want to be part of a fashionable majority will take them that way, and hitch a ride on a bandwagon.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles during a campaign rally at the Delaware County Fair, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Delaware, Ohio. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

The debt to Donald Trump

Donald Trump and his regiments marched out of Las Vegas Thursday morning in high spirits. Maybe they were just whistling past that famous graveyard where hopes go to die. Or maybe not. Some post-debate polls show the race still tied, and if that's true the debate changed very little. There's still the election, to settle the dispute once and for all, or at least until 2020. (That campaign begins Nov. 9.)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, center, accompanied by Campaign Manager Robby Mook, left, and traveling press secretary Nick Merrill, right, smiles as she speaks with members of the media aboard her campaign plane at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, following the third presidential debate. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Hillary and the buck

With so many campaign reporters in the tank with her, eager for a little warm and cuddly, Hillary Clinton's fear of talking to them is a puzzle. She can be sure of not getting very many tough questions, and her answers will be carefully presented to an unsuspecting reader/viewership. They all share the same assignment, to destroy the Donald.

A marijuana harvester examines a bud that is going through a trimming machine in a rural area near Corvallis, Ore., Sept. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

Pot on the ballot

When the topic is illicit drugs, a two-way conversation can generate three opinions (or more). A disjointed nationwide discussion is underway over the benefits and dangers of marijuana that will rattle at the ballot box on Nov. 8. Whether they vote to join the current crop of tokers or to stand firm for smoke-free sobriety, Americans in several states can't claim to be clueless about the consequences of the high life. It's already here.

Swapping the myths

The enduring American political parties have always been coalitions. The country is too big and populous, with too many strong regional and other economic demands to meet the models of European-style ideological political configurations.

Wary of how the press treats Donald Trump, Republicans have the least amount of trust in the media, a Gallup poll finds. (Associated press) **FILE**

Polls all over the place

Nobody's any longer paying serious attention to "the issues," unless the Donald's sex tape and Hillary's felonies and misdemeanors qualify as issues. Hillary naturally gets a pass, either because the media has decided that her crimes are old news or, more likely, trashy behavior is what everyone now expects from the Clintons. Besides, what's wrong with trashy behavior?

In this June 28, 2016 photo, the Sheridan Press Child care provider Nancy Weaver holds Klayton Pearce as she keeps a toddler from pulling an object from a cubby hole at the Tongue River Child's Place in Ranchester, Wyo. Staff at the facility have been working with 4Kids on training as part of a pilot program. (Justin Sheely/Sheridan Press via AP)

It doesn't take a village

Raising children has never been more challenging. Just ask the new mother who drops off her crying six-week-old infant at a child care center, drying her tears, because she can't afford to stay home with her baby.

A young boy tags along at a voting booth as early voting beings at the Hamilton County Board of Elections, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

All voters matter

The Democrats, who imagine they have the franchise on ethics in politics, have argued for years that there's no such thing as voter fraud, and anyone who says that such wickedness exists is a racist in a small closet who ventures out from time to time to keep minority voters, i.e., blacks, from voting.

Hillary, Donald and the greater good

The 2016 presidential election season has not been kind to values voters. It's hard to imagine how America can recapture its place as "a shining city on hill" when most campaign coverage is about sex, lies and videotape. Values voters may be tempted to tune out in disgust and stay home on Election Day, but they have an obligation to weigh necessity against their wishes.