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Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a news conference to announce an international cybercrime enforcement action at the Department of Justice, Thursday, July 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Reforming government robbery

There’s nothing “civil” about civil asset forfeiture. It’s a law enforcement practice of seizing assets of suspects, who may or may not have broken the law, and it invites abuse. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to expand it.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gestures to employees as he takes a tour of the manufacturing floor at a New Balance athletic shoe factory Thursday, July 20, 2017, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

A resurgence of the arsenal

President Trump has taken the “Made in America” stamp on American consumer goods and put it to wider use as a slogan to inspire an economic and manufacturing renaissance. He’s not the first. Bob Hope was the face of a similar campaign four decades ago, with limited success. For consumers weary of goods with “Made in China” invariably stamped on them, this is a welcome thing.

FILE - In this June 15, 2017, file photo, newly developed robot for underwater investigation at the Fukushima's damaged reactor, moves in the water at a Toshiba Corp. test facility in Yokosuka, near Tokyo. The underwater robot on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, captured images and other data inside Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on its first day of work. The robot is on a mission to study damage and find fuel that experts say has melted and mostly fallen to the bottom of a chamber and has been submerged by highly radioactive water. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama, File)

The nuclear-free fantasy game

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. The Bible tells us so. One of the things on anybody’s wish list is a nuclear-free world. But without assurance that the hope will be redeemed such wishes are the stuff of idle delusion. That goes double for the expectation that the Trump administration’s recertification of the deal proscribing Iran’s nuclear program, and the United Nations’ nuclear weapons ban, will give wing to the dove of peace.

President Donald Trump listens during a "Made in America," roundtable event in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Supreme Court tries again

The more the U.S. Supreme Court equivocates on deciding what President Trump’s attempt to regulate the admission of refugees to the United States actually means, the more the court becomes the U.S. Court of Supreme Confusion. Lawyers are supposed to use precise language to reflect precise thinking, but often they don’t.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, joined by, from left, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. President Donald Trump blasted congressional Democrats and "a few Republicans" over the collapse of the GOP effort to rewrite the Obama health care law.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Republicans flee the health care fight

If the Republicans in the U.S. Senate were a baseball team, they would be the 1962 New York Mets. The Mets won only 40 games that summer, losing 120, the most inept performance since 1899 when a team called the Cleveland Spiders also won only 40 games. As the Mets stumbled to the end of the disastrous season, their manager, Casey Stengel, cried out in desperate frustration: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

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President Donald Trump greets Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen at the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Snubbing the White House

It's hard to be friends with someone who doesn't want to be your friend. A clenched fist is a poor return of a hand offered in friendship. Donald Trump, who knows what the Democrats in Congress think of him, nevertheless tried to reach out to the opposition with an invitation to a Senate-only reception in the East Room of the White House.

Eric as Evas Nelson, from Sandwich, Mass., and parents of a transgender child, wait for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to arrive to raise a flag supporting the transgender community at City Hall, Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Boston. The flag-raising event was organized after the "Free Speech Bus," painted with the words "boys are boys" and "girls are girls," parked outside City Hall earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Queering the numbers

The 2020 census won't ask questions about sexual orientation and gender identity, and the homosexual lobby is infuriated. The National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Task Force accuses the Trump administration of nothing short of genocide. "We've been erased!" the task force cried.

Republican leaders Rep. Tim Moore, left, and Sen. Phil Berger, hold a news conference Tuesday, March 28, 2017, in Raleigh, N.C., where they announced they thought they had reached a compromise with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on a replacement for HB2. Berger holds papers that he said were the Governor's proposal. The law limits LGBT nondiscrimination protections and requires transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate.  (Chris Seward/The News & Observer via AP)

March Madness in the restroom

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, has been overcome by a form of March Madness that has nothing to do with basketball or brackets. It has everything to do with restrooms and political correctness on steroids.

Unleashing American energy

President Trump has nullified many of Barack Obama's climate change fantasies and the sky is still up there. But judging by the uproar from voices in the climate change industry, only an unexpected miracle is keeping the firmament in place. As cooler heads keep an eye on the thermometer in the months and years to come, America can balance legitimate concerns about pollution against the necessity of exploiting affordable energy.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., leaves a closed-door strategy session as he works to get past last week's failure to pass a health care overhaul bill and rebuild unity in the Republican Conference, at the Capitol, in Washington, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Collapse and replace

Congressional Republicans have tried to turn the page on the Obamacare debacle, but the next page has another dismal message. Instead of repeal and replace, Americans face collapse and replace of Barack Obama's health care system. The only uncertainty is how soon and how bad it will be. While the humbled party leaders snipe at each other over what could have been, the nation's health-care system continues to wither at the edges, and sometime soon someone had better be ready with something better.

Paul Krugman accuses reporters of being tougher on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton than her Republican rival, Donald Trump. (Associated Press/File)

A dunce cap for Paul Krugman

The men and women who pick the winners of the Nobel Prize should come in from the cold — the temperature Tuesday in Oslo was 44 degrees -- and after their brains thaw out they should ask Paul Krugman to send back his Nobel medal, awarded in 2008. Both high and low numbers continue to puzzle the man.

This Nov. 11, 2012, photo shows surfers on a broad, sandy beach near the NRG El Segundo power plant in El Segundo, Calif. A new study predicts that with limited human intervention, 31 percent to 67 percent of Southern California beaches could completely erode back to coastal infrastructure or sea cliffs by the year 2100, with sea-level rises of 3.3 feet (1 meter) to 6.5 feet (2 meters). The study released Monday, March 27, 2017, used a new computer model to predict shoreline effects caused by sea level rise and changes in storm patterns due to climate change. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

Bad news for climate change boondogglers

Predicting tomorrow's weather is often a crapshoot. Predicting the weather on a day a century from now is obviously throwing money away. Shoveling cash into schemes for regulating climate patterns generations far in the future is an investment in a fool's gold mine. President Trump vows that Americans won't be fooled again.

Pro-life activists converge in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Safe, legal and not so rare

Bill Clinton famously said he didn't like abortion, and only wanted to make it "safe, legal and rare." The abortion lobby picked it up as a nice slogan, and used it often. But that was then and this is now. The abortion lobby is proposing now in Hawaii that "pro-life counselors" be required to recruit young women for abortions.

In this Feb. 1, 2012, file photo, miles of pipe ready to become part of the Keystone Pipeline are stacked in a field near Ripley, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Keystone moves on, slowly

The Keystone pipeline is inching slowly forward. After more than a decade of back-and-forth bickering between Republicans and Democrats, between business interests and radical environmentalists, the State Department of the Trump administration has finally given its permission, as required by law, to let the oil flow. TransCanada, the company that is building Keystone, praises the new president for clearing the stones, stumps and twigs remaining in the way.

The Republicans couldn't even fire a blank

Marching the regiment up the hill, with every musket fully loaded, and then down again without firing a shot is no way to inspire an army. Paul Ryan's Republicans, who boasted for seven years that they couldn't wait to get their hands on the Democrats and Obamacare, promising to make quick work of repeal and replace, couldn't even get close enough to fire blanks.

President Donald Trump jokes as he sits in the drivers seat of an 18-wheeler as he meets with truckers and CEOs regarding healthcare on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

It's always Trump's fault

The mainstream media pile-on of the Department of Homeland Security for its directive banning laptops, tablets and other electronic devices on direct flights from cities in eight predominately Muslim countries to the United States follows a familiar pattern.

Plastic cups spell out Rockville Strong, at Rockville High School in Rockville, Maryland, on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The school has been thrust into the national immigration debate after a 14-year-old student said she was raped in a bathroom, allegedly by two classmates, including one who authorities said came to the U.S. illegally from Central America. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

Reading, writing, and raping

Rape was once a capital crime almost everywhere. But the politically correct culture, with its gift for dumbing down everything, regards rape now not as a felony, but a misdemeanor, something like shoplifting.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen speaks at a rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. President Donald Trump moved aggressively to tighten the nation's immigration controls Wednesday, signing executive actions to jumpstart construction of his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall and cut federal grants for immigrant-protecting "sanctuary cities." (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Safe space for the law-abiding

News good and bad travels quickly. Donald Trump pledged to secure the southern border, and thousands of prospective illegal immigrants began reconsidering their travel plans. Even before President Trump has had time to roll up the welcome mat put out by his predecessor, the number of illegals crossing into the United States has fallen dramatically.

From left, House Budget Committee Chair Diane Black, R-Tenn., House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., the Budget Committee ranking member, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the ranking member of Ways and Means, and Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, gather in the House Rules Committee as the panel shapes the final version of the Republican health care bill before it goes to the floor for debate and a vote, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, sits at top center. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Feeding the garbage can

The Senate did the right thing this month when it voted to discard the Obama administration rules that would have increased federal standards for the training of teachers in elementary and secondary schools.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch talks about playing basketball with former Supreme Court Justice Byron White as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

No time to go wobbly

Washington has a bad case of whiplash. Barack Obama spent eight years pushing the nation toward the radical transformation that he couldn't openly talk about. Now President Trump is attempting to stop that train in its tracks.

President Donald Trump pauses while speaking at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner at the National Building Museum, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Trump legacy

Donald Trump's greatest legacy (it's not too soon to speculate) is likely to be the end of the dependency of the rest of the world on the United States. This peculiar relationship was itself a legacy of World War II. Europe had been decimated by an earlier world war inflicted on an earlier generation, and the moral bankruptcy that followed enabled the ascendancy of the Nazis and the destruction of the Jews in Europe.

This image released by Sesame Workshop shows Julia, a new autistic muppet character debuting on the 47th Season of "Sesame Street" on April 10, 2017, on both PBS and HBO. (Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop via AP) ** FILE **

Curing addiction to government art

Big Bird doesn't live at the Public Broadcasting System anymore, but some people have not got the word. Big Bird has moved uptown to new digs at Home Box Office, a subsidiary of Time Warner. They've even moved the street where Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch live. Sesame Street runs off Columbus Circle in Manhattan now.

Hospital workers walk by a journalist on a stakeout checking his mobile phone outside the forensic department of Kuala Lumpur Hospital, where the body of Kim Jong Nam, exiled half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Nam, has been kept, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 20, 2017. Malaysian police said Sunday that they are hunting for more North Korean suspects over the killing of Kim Jong Nam who was poisoned to death at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feb. 13. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

Taming North Korea

If demography is destiny, in North Korea the guiding force is ancestry. Like his grandfather and father before him, Kim Jong-un suffers delusions of grandeur, surrounded only by frightened sycophants, coveting a place among the world's important nations. As Pyongyang edges closer to building a working nuclear missile capable of reaching the United States, Mr. Kim must get the right response to his vow to annihilate his enemies. Tough talk from the United States and its allies is only a stopgap. The solution, short of war, lies with China.

President Donald Trump talks to the press corps inside Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Trump is returning to Washington. Standing next to Trump  is New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Trump's left hand

Some of the Democrats trying to come to terms with their new home in the wilderness have chosen Ivanka, the president's accomplished daughter, as their "lifeline" to the past. They see her as the only vestige of light in an otherwise dark, alt-right Trump administration. The London Guardian says she's a "moral compass" for her father, who "might be able to rein in some of the more extreme policies of the administration."

The Pentagon pushed back against reports that an aggressive string of recent U.S. military sorties have killed hundreds of civilians in Iraq and Syria. Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly has been weighing a loosening of restrictions on U.S. airstrikes that the Obama administration kept in place in war against the Islamic State in Iraq, current and former U.S. officials have said. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

A job for the mad dog

When James Mattis, the retired Marine general once called "Mad Dog Mattis" by his troops for his no-nonsense combat leadership, was named secretary of Defense many senior officers were encouraged to think that at last someone would put his foot down, hard, on the use of the military as a petri dish for the social experiments so beloved by Barack Obama and Ashton Carter.