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Al Gore speaks to people before a meeting on climate change during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Dueling disaster thrillers

Ill winds are supposed to bring somebody good, so Al Gore, the circuit-riding global-warming preacher with manuscripts of novels and sequels in his saddle bags, is entitled to his snit. He can blame literary misfortune on Harvey, Irma and Jose.

A vintage coal-fired steam engine pushes a passenger car up the Cog Railway on a 3.8-mile journey to the summit of 6,288-foot Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Tourists visiting the northeast's highest peak were rewarded with summer-like weather on the first weekend of autumn. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Warmed again by coal

Gentlemen, start your thermostats. Ladies, too. The Obama war on coal, which cost Hillary Clinton the vote in once-reliably Democratic West Virginia, is over. Maybe the war on nuclear energy, too. Americans might soon heat their homes without choosing between the warmth and food and medicine.

U.S. First lady Melania Trump greets First lady Brigitte Macron, left, wife of President Emmanuel Macron of France, after she addressed a luncheon at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.  (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The right stuff from a first lady

First ladies are usually, but not always, eager to establish themselves as separate but equal personalities. Some of them are content to be the “wife of,” but nearly all of them leave their mark on a presidency, even if only their husbands know the details of how and when the mark was applied.

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of metro Phoenix, at a campaign event in Marshalltown, Iowa. Prosecutors in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's now-pardoned criminal case face a deadline Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, for explaining why they now believe the case should be dismissed and all rulings should be thrown out. Judge Susan Bolton set the deadline after she found that prosecutors hadn't offered any legal authority to back up their argument. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Showtime in the Senate

Now is the time for all good Republicans to put up or shut up. There’s no more time for big talk about repealing and replacing Obamacare. The hot air sent spiraling into the cosmos over the eight years of the Obama administration, by big talkers safe in the expectation that whatever they did would get only a veto, was enough to raise the temperature of this planet and maybe Saturn and Pluto as well.

President Donald Trump walks to his seat after speaking during a luncheon with African leaders at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Premature applause for the Trump trio

The point of political affiliation, like fan loyalty, is to join a team to win. Donald Trump promised voters weary of being beaten like a drum that if he were elected they would soon “get sick of winning.” That hasn’t happened. Yet. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that most Americans are cheering the president for linking up with the Democrats to post some victories. They might restrain the high-fives, though. Those triumphs come with a hefty price tag.

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"Why aren't the same standards placed on the Democrats. Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!" President Trump tweeted Wednesday. (Associated Press/File)

18 reasons why Hillary lost

Hillary Clinton continues to discover how she failed twice to become "the inevitable president," the second time by blowing the election that all the politicians, pundits, pollsters and consultants said she couldn't lose. Hillary has developed a special gift at this.

President Donald Trump speaks about the shooting and explosion in Manila, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Getting to the bottom of Covfefe

Everyone wants to know what Donald Trump's "covfefe" tweet was about, and a few codebreakers think they have figured it out. White House sources, for the record, concede that it is indeed code, and the people the president wanted to reach know the code.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits an exhibition about Russian emperor Peter the Great at the Grand Trianon after a working meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Versailles Palace near Paris, France, Monday, May 29, 2017. (Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP)

Mr. Putin takes up punditry

Vladimir Putin is not your ordinary commentator on American politics, though it's true that punditry is not what it was before the internet gave every blowhard with a laptop or a smartphone a platform on which to display his ignorance. Besides, the devil can quote Scripture, as the wise man said.

In this May 4, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump talks to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington after the House pushed through a health care bill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The promise to keep

President Trump usually prefers to blaze his own path through the thicket of global diplomacy — "globaloney" a wit once called it -- much to the dismay of the scented-handkerchief crowd. He softened his skepticism of NATO, and that's a good thing, and postponed a final decision on whether to keep his promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris treaty on global warming. He wanted to keep the good feelings intact at the G-7 summit.

U.S. Sen. John McCain has a discussion after delivering a speech at the invitation of the United States Studies Centre in Sydney, Tuesday, May 30, 2017. In February, the Republican senator leaped to Australia's defense after President Donald Trump got into a heated discussion with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over an Obama-era agreement on the resettlement of refugees. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

A hero stumbles

John McCain has become a sad case. He was an authentic hero of the Vietnam War, entitled to the praise and gratitude of every American, including the gratitude of Donald Trump. The president was not only wrong, but scandalously wrong when he called the senator a "loser" for "allowing" himself to be captured when his fighter plane crashed into a lake in Hanoi.

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington on May 18, 2017. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Mustering NATO

Perception can be reality, but sometimes perception is only perception. In the case of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the growing menace of radical Islamic terror has focused attention on whether the alliance has the ability to defend its members, or whether when push comes to shove it can be shoved to the margin. NATO's response to President Trump's challenge will determine whether it can be depended on to defeat an enemy.

President Donald Trump applauds as he pauses during his speech at a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In pursuit of the Great White Whale

The Democrats are pinning a lot on the pursuit of the great white whale, the proof that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election. It's the pursuit, born of Trump Derangement Syndrome, on which all hope of winning elections next year and in the year 2020 thrives.

Supporters watch as Republican candidate Greg Gianforte won the special election for the open Montana House of Representatives seat left vacant by Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman, Mont., Thursday night, May 15, 2017. Gianforte, a technology entrepreneur, defeated Democrat Rob Quist to continue the GOP's two-decade stronghold on the congressional seat.  (Rachel Leathe/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP)

In pursuit of the cigar

Close, but no cigar. Or, close only counts in horseshoes, and the Democrats are still looking for something better than a moral victory in special congressional elections. The Republicans keep winning the real thing, the latest last week in Montana.

FILE - In this March 15, 1973 file photo, President Nixon tells a White House news conference that he will not allow his legal counsel, John Dean to testify on Capitol Hill in the Watergate investigation and challenged the Senate to test him in the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File)

'Peace is the right memorial'

Memorial Day in America has traditionally been a time when we pay our respects to those who gave their lives, over a century ago, in a tragic civil war. In a broader sense, it has come to stand not only for the sacrifice of those who served in the War Between the States, but for all of those who have given their lives in arms since the birth of our nation.

First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump arrive to greet French President Emmanuel Macron at the U.S. Embassy, Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Brussels. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

How to strangle a government

The Trump administration is coming together slowly, with many important positions still without bodies after almost six months gone by since the inauguration, and the pace is not likely to quicken soon. The Democrats have no interest in helping, since the bureaucracy is mostly staffed with Democrats. Without strong Republican leadership in place at the top the mice can play and wreak partisan mischief.

A Christian high school in Maryland is defending its decision to ban pregnant 18-year-old Maddi Runkles from her graduation ceremony next month, claiming she behaved immorally. (FOX5)

Give Maddi Runkles her due

This is the season of pride, hope and ambition. Thousands of young men and women will walk across a stage in stadiums, arenas and auditoriums to get a coveted reward for 12 years of pain, strain and hard work. The graduates, with their parents and teachers, can rightly take a bow for genuine accomplishment.

Women cry after placing flowers in a square in central Manchester, Britain, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left more than 20 people dead and many more injured, as it ended on Monday night at the Manchester Arena. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

The shame of empty outrage

Once more, we're running out of adjectives in the war against terrorism. The "leaders" in the West, from aldermen to senators to heads of state across the globe, line up as usual to denounce the savage who demonstrated his faith and his manhood by murdering little girls in the name of Allah. (Surely Allah deserves better.)

FILE - In this May 20, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit an art exhibit with Saudi King Salam at the Royal Court Palace in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Thinking twice about 'reform' in Iran

The arc of history may bend toward justice, as Barack Obama often argued, but sometimes it bends in another direction. Iran has just re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, and this, the West is told, is good news because it's bad news for radical Islamic terrorism. Skepticism advances the cause of moderation.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, before the House Budget Committee hearing on President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 federal budget. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A pro-work, pro-jobs, pro-growth budget

Mick Mulvaney is new to the job but he's on a pace to be the best presidential budget director in modern times. The budget and tax blueprint he stitched together makes all the right moves. It stresses the need for economic growth and advocates the tax and regulatory policies that would get us there.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, leave the White House as they embark on Mr. Trump's first overseas tour to the Middle East. (Associated Press)

A budget to encourage growth

Donald Trump is a different kind of president and his spending plan for the nation is a different kind of budget. With U.S. debt at $20 trillion (that's with a T, not a mere B), it's a budget that offers a way off the path to insolvency. With Democrats determined to thwart his presidency, to tear every proposal to shreds, he will get a test of his leadership to win over spendthrift Republicans.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves Paris-Yates Chapel at the University of Mississippi after speaking at a memorial service for Carolyn Ellis Staton, on Monday, May 22, 2017, in Oxford, Miss. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

No sauce for the gander

"Do As I Say (Not As I Do)" carries the strength of religious doctrine in Washington, where the U.S. government and all its minions are dedicated to instructing everyone in flyover country in how to live their lives — or else. Someone could write a book. In fact, Peter Schweizer has. His book became a bestseller and even a movie.

President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump's no-apology tour

Donald Trump is the un-Obama. His predecessor set the tone for his presidency by making stops in the Middle East with head bowed in contrition for any and all offenses the United States had made, might have made, or could have made. The enemies of America were invited to fill in the blank. Barack Obama, mistaking humiliation for humility, promised to "lead from behind."

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stand with new Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz they arrive on Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Ignoring President Donald Trump's past admonition, U.S. first lady Melania Trump did not cover her head Saturday when they arrived in Saudi Arabia on the opening leg of his first international tour since taking office. Two years ago, then-citizen Trump criticized then-first lady Michelle Obama's decision to go bare-headed on a January 2015 visit with her husband. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Clockwork justice

Racial and religious discrimination is easy to allege and difficult to prove, but taking offense has become the nation's fastest growing industry. Tort lawyers tend the industry with great care and concern.

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 1967, file photo, the five Rockefeller Brothers pose for photos in New York as they gather to receive gold medals from the National Institute of social sciences. From left are: David Rockefeller, President of the Chase Manhattan Bank; Winthrop Rockefeller, Governor of Arkansas; Frank Pace, President of the NISS; John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation; Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of New York; and Laurence Rockefeller, a conservation adviser to President Johnson. David Rockefeller, the billionaire philanthropist who was the last of his generation in the famously philanthropic Rockefeller family died. David Rockefeller was 101 years old. (AP Photo/File)

Tax lessons from our richest state

Soaking the rich is fun, but the rich aren't always as rich as the masses think they are. John D. Rockefeller might have used hundred-dollar bills to light his cigars, as in the popular imagination of his day, but Connecticut is learning that the supply of millionaires and hundred-dollar bills is finite.