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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro signals the date of a failed coup led by late President Hugo Chavez during a parade marking its anniversary in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Waiting for Obama

Reality is writing a harsh chapter in the long and tortured history of Venezuela. What happens there is not just the occasional outside intervention to keep the peace. International companies, and not just American companies, are getting clobbered by the hapless manipulation of currency by a government rapidly moving toward chaos.

In this Feb. 9, 2016, photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at her first-in-the-nation presidential primary campaign rally in Hooksett, N.H.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Unhappy days are here again

Those are birds of prey beginning to circle over Hillary Clinton and her campaign, and nervous Democrats are beginning to think the unthinkable. Maybe the party just won’t buy another Clinton.

FILE - This May 13, 2015, file photo, shows Google's new self-driving car during a demonstration at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. The federal government's highway safety agency agrees with Google: Computers that will control the cars of the future can be considered their driver. The redefinition of "driver" is an important break for Google. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

Self-driven cars are on the way

Machines with a mind of their own are the future, and self-driving automobiles will soon be sharing the road with cars and trucks with real drivers. Labor-saving devices are always welcome, and driving on roads in the congested communities where most Americans live is certainly a chore.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks to the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, inside the House chamber at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Obama’s slick oil tax

When every problem looks like a shortage of cash, every solution looks like a tax. President Obama sees a $10 surcharge on every barrel of oil the nation consumes as the key to fixing America’s transportation system. The dramatic decline in global oil prices has put money back into the pockets of Americans, and predictably, the president intends to seize what he imagines is his “fair share.”

A child jihadi armed with a rocket-propelled grenade has threatened to execute President Obama in a chilling new video released by the Islamic State terrorist group. (Screen grab of Islamic State video via The Daily Mail)

No game for children

Innocence, once lost, vanishes forever. Spoiling a child’s only opportunity to laugh and play without the cares of adulthood is a crime. Many children are swept into the violence their parents unleashed across the world, and the fortunate ones cheat death only to endure wasted childhood years and a joyless life.

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This picture released by Cubadebate on its website early Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, shows Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba, on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Castro has written an article on Sunday in state-media criticizing those who spread rumors he was on his death bed. (AP Photo/Alex Castro, Cubadebate)

Light on the opening to Cuba

Children, ex-wives and discarded mistresses can be the ruin, or at least the headaches, of dictators. Fidel Castro's son, a photographer, has confirmed the fears of the critics of Barack Obama's "opening to America" in an interview with a Chilean radio station. Alex Castro, the regime's official photographer, went to Chile to promote his photographic books at an international book fair.

This image provided by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows a close-up of the red planet Mars. (AP Photo/NASA) **FILE**

Mars is calling

If you're not moving forward, you're falling behind. Like the hare that snoozed during his race with the tortoise, America is conceding leadership in human achievement in space. American astronauts conquered space decades ago, but now its astronauts must hitch rides aloft with the Russians.

House Benghazi Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left, and the committee's ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., have a heated discussion on the dais on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, as Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testified before the committee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A failed Benghazi responsibility

The tragedy in Benghazi is a profound public issue. Four American lives were squandered. A sovereign but woefully unprotected American diplomatic station on foreign soil was attacked by terrorists. The American people were sold a false narrative (a lie, in plain English) for weeks about the true nature of the attack.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Just the facts, Ma'am

Capitol Hill often resembles a three-ring circus, but there must be no clowning around at the face-off Thursday between Hillary Clinton and the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Hillary's future as the face of the Democrats could rise or fall on the credibility of her answers to questions about her role in the events leading up to the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, gave members until Friday to decide whether they agree with his vision for the party, one that includes trumpeting big ideas, making clear policy choices and a cooperative effort to change the way the House operates. (Associated Press)

Paul Ryan, as speaker of the House

Paul Ryan looks like a lock for a job he says he never wanted. We believe him. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he values time with his family, his guns and the tax code. That sounds like the usual cliche of the pol departing Washington, but we believe him on this, too.

A storm cloud on the horizon

What looked like the cloud no bigger than a man's hand only weeks ago has become a dark and threatening cloudbank on the horizon. Nobody any longer says that Donald Trump can't win the Republican nomination. Some pundits are even saying maybe he could even be elected president.

Farewell to a friend

Americans were reminded this week of what a tried and true friend it has in its Canadian neighbor, a relationship all but unique in the world. That reminder, Ken Taylor, Canada's ambassador to Iran who hid six Americans in the ambassador's residence during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, died last week at 81.

Democratic presidential candidates from left, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee take the stage before the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

How to miss the point

Electing a president can be confusing to those who skipped seventh-grade civics classes. Keeping straight the difference between delegates and electors, or primaries and elections, is difficult. The pundits and others paid to know better often confuse the differences between the parties and the public.

A Syrian refugee carries a suitcase on his shoulders along a dusty road, after entering from Greece into Macedonia, near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. About 5,000 migrants and refugees are transiting average daily through the transit camp at Macedonia's town of Gevgelija, on their way to Serbia and more prosperous European countries. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

No pot to melt in

Germany has a troubled history of ethnic relations, to put it mildly, and Angela Merkel first rejected taking in refugees from the Syrian civil war which has taken more than a quarter of a million lives. Then, no doubt considering how that looked, she put out the welcome map. Soon she was celebrated as "Mama Merkel" in the refugee camps.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaging with the world community. He said he wants to be remembered as the man who restored his country's greatness. (Associated Press)

Mr. Putin's solution

Nobody, not even his missus, will mistake Vladimir Putin for a humanitarian. He doesn't want the not-so-huddled masses from Syria, and his deployment of the Russian army to Damascus is hardly out of concern for the human suffering from a brutal four-year civil war.

FILE - In this photo April 11, 2013 file photo, Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran. Iran's official IRNA news agency reported that the verdict against Rezaian has been issued. Rezaian, the Post's Tehran bureau chief, is accused of charges including espionage in a closed-door trial that has been widely criticized by the U.S. government and press freedom organizations. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Free Jason Rezaian

Justice in Iran is a contact sport. The regime's Revolutionary Court in Tehran has convicted Jason Rezaian, a correspondent for The Washington Post, of espionage. The Islamic republic long ago abandoned any pretense of judicial or diplomatic norms, and is keeping an innocent newspaperman behind bars as a bargaining chip in its shady power game with the West.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks at the audience before speaking during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Making up with Israel

Some people think Barack Obama just doesn't like the Israelis. Others say, no, it's just the native pettiness of his administration. Whatever, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel are under siege on several fronts, and they're getting no love from Washington.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waits for the arrival of European Council President Donald Tusk prior to a meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Erdogan is on a two-day visit to meet Belgian and EU officials. (Francois Lenoir, Pool photo via AP)

The 'Syriazation' of Turkey

Turkey is rapidly catching the Syrian disease, threatening to become another Middle Eastern country torn apart by internal factions with a reputation as a playground for contending international forces.

Water flows through a series of sediment retention ponds built to reduce heavy metal and chemical contaminants from the Gold King Mine wastewater accident, in the spillway about 1/4 mile downstream from the mine, outside Silverton, Colo., on Aug. 14, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

More 'help' from the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency is a hazard to living things, including women, children and little fishes. The agency commissioned to protect Americans from environmental disaster is an environmental disaster itself in Colorado again.

Democrats and Republicans alike accused Hillary Rodham Clinton of a political flip-flop of historic proportions, but she said the evidence is that the deal President Obama finalized falls short of her goals. (Associated Press)

Hillary's Benghazi sleight of hand

Sometimes the only defense is a good offense, with Hail Mary passes thrown on every down. Hillary Clinton readies for her showdown with the Benghazi congressional committee with a Hail Mary offensive to delegitimize that crucial investigation.