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Volunteers pass through the first full body scanner, which uses backscatter technology, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on March 10, 2010. Those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away. The Transportation Security Administration says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June 2013 because the company that makes them can't fix the privacy issues. (Associated Press)

Hanky-panky in the security line

When the Transportation Security Administration installed full-body scanners several years ago the ACLU, privacy advocates and many passengers sounded warnings that this invited sexual harassment, voyeurism and maybe even sexual adventuring. The government routinely dismissed the complaints as “unfounded” and even “paranoid.” Would your government do anything like that? “Full-body pat-downs” followed for passengers who raised an alarm going through the scanners.

Hillary Rodham Clinton made an unannounced pit stop Monday at a Chipotle outside Toledo. It would have gone completely unnoticed if not for a Clinton campaign aide tipping off The New York Times, which contacted the restaurant and obtained security camera footage of Mrs. Clinton wearing sunglasses while waiting in line for a burrito bowl. (Associated Press)

A first test on the trail

If Hillary Clinton can’t stage-manage ordering lunch in an Iowa diner, with aides at hand, how can she manage a presidential campaign? This is the question worried Democrats are asking each other after Mrs. Clinton’s campaign ventured into the weeds in the Midwest, demonstrating that the feminists and a noisy claque of like-minded allies may be “ready for Hillary,” but she does not seem to be ready to persuade skeptical voters that she’s ready for them.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy holds up a pen before signing new emission guidelines during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington.  In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Halting the EPA’s power grab

America is the land of the free, but environmentalists are determined to rule the air. The Environmental Protection Agency persists with expensive and unnecessary schemes to regulate harmless carbon dioxide — the stuff we and the plants breathe — and several energy companies and coal-producing states are making a final appeal to the courts to halt a deliberate attempt to seize authority the EPA was never meant to have.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, following a Senate policy luncheon. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Choking on gall and wormwood

Harry Reid is having shrinking pains, choking on a diet of gall and wormwood. He is not dealing well with the events of last November, when he lost the comfort and prominence of the Senate. The Senate’s longtime Democratic leader revealed to an interviewer this week how the not-so-sweet mystery of life continues to elude him. He cannot understand why people don’t like him. He thinks it’s “unfortunate.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton takes notes during a roundtable with educators and students at the Kirkwood Community College's Jones County Regional Center, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Monticello, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Adventures in the Scooby van

The silly season begins, when nobody follows presidential politics but the men and women of press and tube who are paid to do it. Still, on her first venture out of the shadows we learned several substantial things about “the new Hillary.” She stopped at a Chipotle on the highway south of Toledo, en route to Iowa, and nobody recognized her behind a pair of dark sunglasses. She lunched on a chicken burrito bowl (with guacamole) and when she pulled into her hotel in Pittsburgh she was not hungry for further fine dining, and ordered “Scooby snacks” from the room-service menu. She’s traveling in an “upgraded” Chevrolet van, “approved” by the Secret Service, christened “the Scooby van.”

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Money man: Joseph T. Hansen is departing as president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union with a warning about pensions. (Associated Press)

Unions get congressional permission to cut workers’ benefits

The role the labor unions played in persuading Congress to allow unions to cut pension plans, which cover as many as 10 million American workers, for not only those still working, but also to retired workers living on pension income, is truly startling. These are the same unions that demanded that cities and companies in financial straits not make such cuts.

The annual New Year's Eve "Possum Drop" in a small North Carolina town will go on as planned without a live opossum this year following a lawsuit from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

EDITORIAL: New Year's laws to oppress, threaten and tax

The year now dying was, on the whole, a good one for liberty and limiting government. Let's raise a cheer for 2014. Republicans, running on free market, low-tax, repeal-Obamacare platforms dominated Election Day at all levels of government. Attempts to raise taxes and expand the size and scope of government were stifled in city councils and legislatures across the land.

Henry Becker directs trades in shares of MetLife on Thursday at the New York Stock Exchange, where investors watched stocks make substantial gains despite a surge in oil prices because of the turmoil in Libya and neighboring countries. (Associated Press)

Escaping the federal thumb

An unaccountable force created in the shade of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which was sold as something to make all economic rough places plain, has put insurance giant MetLife in the fight of its life. Insurance companies, like lawyers, rarely attract the warm and cuddly blessings of the masses, but for the sake of the free market and American business, it's a struggle that MetLife can and must win.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

If there’s no crisis to exploit, White House troublemakers will manufacture one

The term "man-caused disaster" never passed the giggle test as a euphemism for terrorism, but it fits as a description of some of the tomfoolery of Washington. No longer content with not letting a crisis go to waste, President Obama and his legion busied themselves during 2014 manufacturing a certain few. Life without change would soon get monotonous, but keeping America on edge with orchestrated turmoil is an abuse of power. There should be a New Year's resolution in the White House to knock it off.

A startling new anti-gun ad released by a San Francisco-based production company encourages children to commit a series of crimes by stealing their parents' guns and turning them over to school officials. (Sleeper 13 Productions)

A video against gun violence misses the target by a mile

Rejina Sincic is a video producer in San Francisco, where she makes short independent films and commercials, mostly to sell ladies' nether garments. She owns the production company and recently helped found another, enabling her to "branch out" to release a "public service announcement" about her campaign against "gun violence." She invited broadcast outlets to use the "public service announcement," called a PSA in the trade, and join her campaign.

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee during a press conference at the state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. The Republican governor said he will call the state Legislature into special session to take up the proposal that would make Tennessee the 28th state plus Washington, D.C., to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Tennessee Gov. Haslam undercuts the Republican promises to repeal Obamacare

Jonathan Gruber was thrust to the center stage of the Obamacare debate with his remark that only the "stupidity of the American voter" made passage of Obamacare possible. Stupid is as stupid does, as the old folk wisdom has it, and the Republican Governors Association has elevated to chairman a governor who has undercut the Republican argument that Obamacare is a bad thing. Gov. Bill Haslem of Tennessee actually likes it.

Former President George H.W. Bush has been taken to a Houston hospital after experiencing a shortness of breath. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A prayer for a hero

A man who jumps out of an airplane at 90, just for the fun of it, is a man to inspire the Walter Mitty in all of us earthbound creatures. George H.W. Bush has been an inspiration and an example since he put on his country's uniform after Pearl Harbor and went cheerfully off to war.

When Scrooge meets his match

The Washington Times

As predictable as tinsel and toys, the Christmas season brings forth a sackful of holiday haters with their vows of folly. These modern-day Ebenezer Scrooges find endless ways to pronounce, "Bah, humbug," but like Charles Dickens' quintessential character, they are no match for the Christmas spirit. Giving has a way of warming the uncharitable.

George C. Scott, Jim Carrey, Patrick Stewart and Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge.

When Scrooge meets his match

As predictable as tinsel and toys, the Christmas season brings forth a sackful of holiday haters with their vows of folly. These modern-day Ebenezer Scrooges find endless ways to pronounce, "Bah, humbug," but like Charles Dickens' quintessential character, they are no match for the Christmas spirit. Giving has a way of warming the uncharitable.

In this Oct. 20, 2014, file photo, Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press in Baltimore. Gov.-elect Hogan says he remains committed to pursuing tax relief in his first year as governor, despite a projected budget shortfall of more than a half a billion dollars. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The new governor of Maryland inherits a financial mess

Larry Hogan, the incoming Republican governor of Maryland who understands the value of a nickel (and dollars counted in the billions) will inherit some expensive baggage when he takes the oath on Jan. 19. It's the state budget, including a $1.2 billion deficit, the price of expensive goodies from the eight years that Martin O'Malley was the governor and the CEO of the state.

The Cato Institute finds that inexpensive smartphones, like the Firefox handset that sells for $35, along with satellite technology, offer the tools to map out and stake their claim.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Property rights for all

The key to economic growth isn't culture, access to the just exploitation of natural resources or even religion. Property rights trump all. The recognition and respect for property rights, and the expansion of property rights to the poor and unprivileged, is crucial to improving the living standard in developing countries.

An exterior view of the Sony Pictures Plaza building is seen in Culver City, Calif., Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving the satirical film, "The Interview," about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. He pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The ill wind through Hollywood

Terrorists can only defeat America if Americans let themselves be terrorized. With an otherwise meaningless movie in play — wit and humor at the level of "The Three Stooges" — the terrorists have won. Well, Hollywood was built on hyperbole like that. It's important to keep in mind, however, that America was not a combatant in this war, though it took collateral damage.

Michelle Kosilek, sits in Bristol County Superior Court, in New Bedford, Mass. A federal appeals court on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, overturned a 2012 ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for the inmate born as Robert Kosilek, who had been convicted of murdering his wife in 1990. (AP)

No free sex changes

In a rare triumph this week for judicial restraint, a federal appeals court in Boston overturned a lower-court ruling, telling the state of Massachusetts that it doesn't have to pay for reassigning a prisoner's sex — or "gender," as the excessively delicate insist. (Nobody ever called Marilyn Monroe a genderpot.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sentences New York to further economic stagnation

New York just gave Vladimir Putin and the Middle Eastern energy sheikhs an early Christmas present. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after considerable dithering, finally did what everyone assumed he would. He banned fracking and gave up the bounty lying beneath his state. He sides with the radical environmentalists of the Democratic Party against the interests of his 19 million constituents, wasting an opportunity to fire up the rusty economic engine of high-tax, slow-growth New York. So much for the Empire State's boastful claim that "New York is open for business."