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Blowing billions

Spending $17.9 trillion is hard work. Dispensing cash at a rate of $1 million per hour would require 2,040 years to rack up a sum as large as the national debt. It’s not that big-spending bureaucrats are lazy, but that their hard work has created their own special expertise at wasting money.

FILE- In this Sept. 10, 2014, file photo, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks to members of the media in Raleigh, N.C. In a letter dated Oct. 6 to French officials, McCrory said the plain packaging proposal may detract from more effective ways of curbing cigarette use. The French bill requiring neutral cigarette packs by 2016 is slated for debate in French Parliament next year. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Races for the statehouse

With little mystery about the prospects of continued Republican control of the House of Representatives, attention is focused on the Senate, where there is a lot of uncertainty. This focus gives short shrift to the important races for the statehouses, where Democrats are looking for bright spots but where the Republicans may produce several surprises.

This undated handout photo provided by Revolution shows Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.   A longtime Democratic operative, Klain was tasked Friday by President Barack Obama with running the government's response to the Ebola crisis. (AP Photo/Revolution)

Ebola crisis needs more than a bureaucrat czar

President Obama’s confused and timid response to the Ebola crisis has done nothing to calm the fear that stalks America, and choosing a well-connected Democratic lawyer, lobbyist and what the White House calls “an implementation expert” isn’t likely to make anyone feel better. Ronald A. Klain has no medical, scientific, public health or administrative experience to become the nation’s Ebola czar.

Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan speaks during his first gubernatorial debate with Democratic candidate, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, in Baltimore, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/The Baltimore Sun, Amy Davis, Pool)

EDITORIAL: Hogan for governor

Democrats stand at the edge of panic. The miserable economy, a president who retreats from challenge to lead from behind and the failure of the federal government to deal responsibly with the Ebola crisis all undermine faith in the party of more and bigger government. In a state that runs deep blue, a Republican has a shot at taking the Maryland governor’s mansion.

This undated image released by Bronner's Christmas Wonderland shows a Halloween-themed tree displayed at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, a large Christmas store in Frankenmuth, Mich. So-called holiday creep, where the traditions one special occasion are embraced by another, now extends to Halloween. (AP Photo/Bronner's Christmas Wonderland)

EDITORIAL: Decking the halls with regulation

The Christmas season brings no joy to a bureaucrat. There’s no heart for good will to appeal to. Banning things is what sets hearts afire in the Obama administration. The president most recently chased away the humble light bulb, the work of Thomas Edison a century ago, and replaced it with a pale substitute laced with deadly mercury. Only green fanatics were pleased.

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** FILE ** U.S. Senate candidate and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, D-Ky., rallies a group of supporters during a campaign stop in Brandenburg, Ky., on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

EDITORIAL: The tax man's politics

The Internal Revenue Service continues to keep Congress, or least the House half of it, busy with investigations into the harassment of the Tea Party and how email evidence of IRS abuse mysteriously disappears.

Indian Prime Minster Manmohan Singh addresses a press conference, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014.  India's Prime Minister Singh said Friday he would step aside after 10 years in office, paving the way for Rahul Gandhi to take the reins of the world's biggest democracy if his party stays in power in this year's elections. (AP Photo/Harish Tyagi, Pool)

EDITORIAL: An Indian success story

A city without government-provided electricity, water, sewerage, police or public transportation sounds like a nightmare. For many residents of Gurgaon, a bustling city just outside New Delhi, the Indian capital, it's a dream come true.

Republican Ed Gillespie, left, and Sen. Mark Warner, right, laugh after a debate at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Saturday, July 26, 2014.  (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown)

EDITORIAL: The two faces of Mark Warner

"Governor Warner wouldn't recognize Senator Warner today." That was the memorable line from the weekend debate between Virginia's Sen. Mark R. Warner, the Democratic senior senator, and his challenger in November, Ed Gillespie.