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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.

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.)

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.

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) ** FILE **

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.

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

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?

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The Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Opinions from the nation's highest court are expected today. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Preserving a rite of passage

Litigation over abortion threatens to go on forever, and it probably will. Feminists see abortion almost as a rite of female passage; others as an offense against nature, if not against God. Hence conviction versus convenience winds up over and over in the courts. The latest case before the U.S. Supreme Court should have been the rare occasion when both sides would agree on a worthy outcome, that abortion clinics should be required to observe basic requirements of sanitation and medical safety for women.

Illustration on the spirit of July 4 by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Declaration of Independence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

FILE In this Jan. 25, 2015 file photo, Chile's Navy ship Aquiles moves alongside the Hurd Peninsula, seen from Livingston Islands, part of the South Shetland Islands archipelago in Antarctica. Antarcticas ozone hole is finally starting to heal, a new study finds. In a study showing that the world can fix man-made environmental problems when it gets together, research from the U.S. and the United Kingdom show that the September-October ozone hole over Antarctica is getting smaller and forming later in the year.  And the study in the journal Science also shows other indications that the ozone layer is improving after it was being eaten away from chemicals in aerosols and refrigerants. Ozone is a combination of three oxygen atoms that high in the atmosphere shields Earth from much of the suns ultraviolet rays.  (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

Pushing back the green bullies

Sometimes bullies pick on the wrong target. The state attorneys general who thought they could walk over climate-change skeptics with impunity made that mistake. The debate that backers of President Obama's global warming schemes don't want to entertain isn't merely about facts and figures, but about the First Amendment right to free speech. Questioning authority is an American tradition, but it can be inconvenient.

In this Wednesday, June 29, 2016 photo, tomato plants in a plastic box offer a modest start for a garden at a new camp for homeless women in Eugene, Ore. The camp is the fourth Safe Spot Community opened and operated by Community Supported Shelters for homeless citizens in the Eugene and Springfield area. (Brian Davies/The Register-Guard via AP)

No blue ribbons for pot

It's difficult to hold a state fair when the District of Columbia is not even a state and is unlikely to become one, but a fair is always fun, with displays of pigs and cows and the bounty of the field, usually with a Ferris wheel and a midway offering unlikely freaks and games where the customer is never always right.

British Prime Minister David Cameron walks to get in a car as he leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, June 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The price of a European pout

George Bernard Shaw observed that England and America are a common people separated by a common language, and nothing has happened since to change what has made that friendship unique among nations.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally, Wednesday, June 29, 2016, in Bangor, Maine.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Life imitates art

Like him or not, and a lot of folks say they don't like him, but Donald Trump gets everybody's attention. Hillary Clinton gets attention, too, teaming up briefly with Elizabeth Warren for "a girls' night out." But the Donald burns barns.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the corruption case against McDonnell. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ** FILE **

A rebuke of runaway prosecutors

The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate the public-corruption conviction of Bob McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia, deserves the applause of everyone. Just as there is no Republican or Democratic way to put out a fire, there should be no Republican or Democratic way to protect the fundamental rights of everyone.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice during the daily press briefing in Washington on July 22, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Truth about the Benghazi lies

"The big lie" has been a staple of governments since a cartel of cave men organized the official denial that the bigger cavemen were taking the choicest cuts of the wild razorbacks for themselves. The elites of the cave establishment had rules for themselves and different rules for everybody else.

George Soros. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

George Soros and his crocodile tears

George Soros, like the rest of the international financial establishment, is mightily upset at the nerve of the British voter, who insists on having his say about his country and how it should be governed. Mr. Soros predicts dire economic consequences as the price of democracy, and professes to be thoroughly saddened by the prospect.

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, a student walks across the Lawn in front of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., while the Rotunda was undergoing renovation. Amid scrutiny from Congress and campus activists, colleges across the country are under growing pressure to reveal the financial investments made using their endowments. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Good news from the campus

Jonathan Swift was the first great satirist in the English language. Satire is a wicked art because to make it work the artist must get satire close to the real thing. When Swift proposed that the way to deal with poverty in Ireland was to eat Irish babies many took him seriously.

President Barack Obama pauses while speaking at a fundraiser for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee at the Washington State Convention Center, Friday, June 24, 2016, in Seattle, WA. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama's takes a licking

The week was not a good one for President Obama and his shriveling legacy. Mr. Obama, who promised to transform America into a country that he and Michele could be proud of, wanted to build the legacy by bringing in millions of illegal immigrants who, when transformed into voters, would insure a Democratic majority for as far as a patriot's eye could see.

The flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, top, and the flag of England fly above a souvenir stand on Westminster Bridge following yesterday's EU referendum result, London, Saturday, June 25, 2016. Britain voted to leave the European Union after a bitterly divisive referendum campaign. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

The world turned upside down

The elites across the world had a dreadful weekend. Britain's historic goodbye to Europe -- and it was indeed historic -- reverberated in capitals on every continent. The elites, the people who run things (or think they do and who certainly think they should) were told, in language plain and unsparing: "You stink!"

FILE - In this May 6, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Eugene, Ore. The city of Eugene plans to bill the Donald Trump campaign nearly $100,000 to pay for costs associated with last month's visit. Police Chief Pete Kerns said in an email Wednesday, June 22, 2016, that overtime compensation for police officers totaled $78,000 while firefighters and other city employees racked up another $10,000 in OT. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

There's hope for the 'unknown'

Donald Rumsfeld, the former secretary of Defense, has given the Republicans a fighting slogan to appeal to voters who can't quite cotton to Donald Trump but who sure can't vote for Hillary Clinton. Mr. Rumsfeld says he's voting for the Donald because he's more comfortable with a "known unknown" than with a "known known."

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, joined by, from left, House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn of S.C., Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2016, after House Democrats ended their sit-in protest.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sitting down on the job

Disgruntled members of Congress have rarely caught the point of what the public thinks of Congress quite like the Democratic sit-in in the House of Representatives. "Sitting on their ample rumps" is exactly what most voters think Congress usually does. The characterization is sometimes unfair, but this time the rump makes the point.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. arrives at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, to talk about new proposals to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Charting 'A Better Way'

From the horrors of terrorism in Orlando to the wave of trash talk it invited, outrage each day in the waning months of the Obama era exceeds the outrage of the previous day.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech at a Britain Stronger In Europe event during campaigning for people to vote to remain inside the EU in Birmingham, England,  Wednesday June 22, 2016.  On Thursday Britain votes in a national referendum on whether to stay inside the EU, a momentous decision with far-reaching implications for Britain and Europe. (Geoff Caddick / Pool via AP)

Decision time in Britain

These are not encouraging days for the "elites" and the political "establishments" of the world. Voters are fed up everywhere, and looking not only for ways out of the mess but for ways to punish the authors of the misery. A president's/prime minister's/premier's lot is not a happy one.

FILE - In this June 7,2016 file photo, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats get their long-sought votes on gun control a week after the massacre in Orlando, Florida, but the prospects for any election-year changes in the nations laws are dim. Cornyn is pushing a measure that would allow the government to delay a gun sale to a suspected terrorist for 72 hours, but require prosecutors to go to court to show probable cause to block the sale permanently.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Half-cocked about guns

A broken heart can be slow to heal, and the heart of a parent who has lost a child never will. The bereaved families of shooting victims deserve to assuage their grief in any way they can, and to demonstrate that their beloved did not die in vain. But it's important that sorrow not make things worse.

Syrian President Bashar Assad listens to  Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during their talks in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, June 18, 2016. Russia's defense minister visited Syria on Saturday to meet the country's leader and inspect the Russian air base there, a high-profile trip intended to underline Moscow's role in the region. (Vadim Savitsky/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service pool photo via AP)

A misplaced protest in Syria

Fifty-one career diplomats have signed a protest to the Secretary of State and President Obama condemning U.S. policy, or lack of a good one, in Syria. Their point, that the United States should do everything it can to unseat the barbarous regime of Bashar Assad, is well taken — everywhere but at the White House.

French President Francois Hollande arrives in the stands prior to the Euro 2016 Group A soccer match between France and Albania at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

A cheer, please, for France

These are not happy times for Europe. Angela Merkel has invited in more house guests than Germany can accommodate, the British are talking about leaving the European Union (though Britain has never regarded itself as part of continental Europe), and la belle France is the principal target for Muslim terrorists. Paris has suffered two bloody attacks within the past 18 months.

President Barack Obama walks off stage after speaking at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Obama's altered reality

It's not the crime, but the cover-up. This is the first rule that every administration, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, learns, and usually the hard way. Some crimes are more serious than others, but a little crime, like a little acorn, can grow into a mighty scandal or a mighty oak.