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FILE - In this June 22, 2017 file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine speaks amid a crush of reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Somewhere along the way, the Republican crusade to repeal "Obamacare" also turned into an effort to limit the future growth of Medicaid. That bit of mission creep is complicating prospects for the GOP, and could lead to deadlock.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Saving Obamacare repeal, again

“Measure it twice and cut it once” is always better than “measure it once and cut it twice.” That’s Mitch McConnell’s strategy for getting the health-care repeal and replace legislation through the U.S. Senate, and if it invites sneers from the Democrats and the pundits and other dealers in calumny, so what. Stitching together smart legislation is never easy. The Fourth of July is not a deadline.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, center, talks to his staff during his visit at Tirta Empul temple in Bali island, Indonesia, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. Obama and his family arrived last week on the resort island for a vacation in the country where he lived for several years as a child. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Obama’s loyal ladies

Once the bloodhounds are unleashed, there’s no telling where the trail will lead. Sometimes the scent of scandal circles back to where it started. Democrats may regret the day they pointed a finger at Donald Trump, insisting that he must have cheated to beat Hillary Clinton. Now two staunch Obama administration loyalists, Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general, and Susan Rice, who was Barack Obama’s national-security adviser, can hear the baying of the hounds. The baying is getting louder.

President Donald Trump listens as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A limited victory for Trump

The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t quite hit a home run Monday, but the justices hit a sharp double and a couple of singles that showed that there’s life yet in the lineup. The president got a little help to protect the nation from terrorists, schoolyard safety was held to be as important for children in private schools as in public schools, and the court hinted that help might be on the way for a Colorado wedding-cake baker who doesn’t want to join the celebration of same-sex weddings.

Mocking demands from Pyongyang

Learning to read social cues that say a red line has been crossed is a valuable skill, and some despots never learn it. Like the abrasive oaf with a reputation as an equal opportunity offender, North Korea has signaled it wants to strike a deal with the United States. Having just sent home a young American visitor with fatal injuries, the regime is in no position to approach the U.S. with anything but an abject apology — and the release of the other three Americans still being held hostage.

Another day, another investigation

Gone are the days when the losers went home after an election, to nurse their wounds, catalog their mistakes, and get ready for another round. Now an election is never over, and special prosecutors and their regiments of lawyers, egged on by the media, continue the campaign by “other means.”

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President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, during a meeting with the Republican House whip team about the proposed health bill. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Closing ranks to repeal and replace

There's "a time to break down," the Bible teaches, "and a time to build up." This is the moment for both, and the moment is called "repeal and replace." The end of Obamacare and the birth of the American Health Care Act are upon us this week, now that crucial parts of the proposed replacement law have been revealed. Securing a better health care system was the promise to the American people that put Donald Trump in the White House. Enacting a viable alternative won't guarantee Mr. Trump a happy presidency, but failure to do it would guarantee a miserable presidency.

In this Sept. 21, 2016, file photo, soft drink and soda bottles are displayed in a refrigerator at El Ahorro market in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

When a sugar tax goes sour

In politics as in physics, for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction. You don't have to be Sir Isaac Newton to understand that a steep "sugary drinks tax" on soda drinks would sharply cut sales of Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Dr Pepper, Gatorade and others.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, congratulates the first woman in space, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, on her 80th birthday in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 6, 2017. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Boogermen under the bed

The Red Scare is back, only this time in another color. Beige is the new red. The frightened folks this time are not the Republicans, but the Democrats, though it's not at all clear that the Democrats are so much frightened as villains posing as opportunists.

FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2017 file photo, the Capitol is seen at sunup in Washington. House Republicans on March 6,  released their long-awaited plan for unraveling former President Barack Obama's health care law, a package that would scale back the government's role in health care and likely leave more Americans uninsured. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Mocking John F. Kennedy

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation had a momentous announcement on March 2. The foundation would honor Barack Obama, who was off on a shopping excursion with Michelle at the time, with the JFK prize for "elevating the standard of political courage in a new century."

A man passes a section of border fencing that separates Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego. (Associated Press)

Throwing rocks at the wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall, the poet Robert Frost wrote, but he never had to consider how an uncontrolled border works. Nevertheless, the Democrats, who regard the southern border as an ATM machine that dispenses prospective voters, vow to keep the funding for President Trump's Mexican border wall out of any short-term spending bill.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Associated Press)

Those nefarious Russians

The Russians are a nefarious gang. They send their ambassador to public meetings where he is likely to run into senators, other ambassadors, generals, admirals, bishops and who knows who else, and is quick to talk to them. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi recommend keeping the poor fellow locked up in the ambassadorial residence on 16th Street, lest he ruin the career of someone in official Washington with whom he inadvertently wishes a good day.

President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., Thursday, March 2, 2017 for his first visit to the Hampton Roads area since taking office in January. The purpose of his visit was to deliver a speech in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier Ford at Newport News Shipbuilding. (Bill Tiernan/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Tax reform could be at hand

President Trump, in his remarkable speech earlier this week urged Democrats and Republicans to come together to "move the nation forward." One place to co-operate — you might think all could agree — is on tax reform.

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2017 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced Thursday, March 2, 2017, that former President Obama will receive the 2017 Centennial John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century. The award will be given in a ceremony on May 7 at the library in Boston. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

A Democrat's sad lot

Despite the noise he or she can make, a Democrat's lot is not a happy one. If you're a Democrat you have a choice of joining either the Hysteria Chorus or the Denial Chorale. Either way, you won't accomplish much except a painfully sore throat.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with House and Senate leadership, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump's second chance

The Democrats finally got a cup of strong black coffee Tuesday night, something to help them finally come down from their epic post-election hangover. Donald Trump's remarkable speech to Congress was notable for its tone, the public reaction it engendered and the way it left so may critical listeners speechless.

A painting of former President Teddy Roosevelt is displayed above Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, left, and first lady Melania Trump, right, as President Donald Trump speaks before signing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) executive order in the Roosevelt Room in the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Washington, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which expands the number of waterways that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Rolling up red tape

The chains are coming off. Bound tightly by the regulatory state, U.S. industry has been hobbled for what seems like forever. President Trump has wasted no time demonstrating his desire to unleash the economy and enable it to roar to life again. It's the way to make America great again.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, center, before signing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) executive order, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room in the White House in Washington, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which expands the number of waterways that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Thuggery at Town Hall

Rep. Dave Brat represents the 7th Congressional District of Virginia, but the real "brats" in his district are the liberal activists who disrupted his town hall the other day, spoiling it for constituents left and right, Democrats and Republicans, who were to have a rational discussion of issues important to them.

President Donald Trump speaks as he signs the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) executive order, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room in the White House in Washington, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which expands the number of waterways that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Behind is no place for a leader

Killing people and breaking things is what war is all about, and all indications are that Donald Trump understands that. He was elected in large part to execute a war-fighting mission that Barack Obama stubbornly refused to pursue. It's no less than necessary to guard the nation against radical Islamic terrorism.

Oscar statue (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: A bad night for Oscar

That's quite a hangover Oscar is still nursing, two days later. The motion picture academy tried to give him away to the wrong winners, and the academy posted a tribute to a Hollywood icon no longer with us with a photograph of someone else who is still very much with us. One of the performers was hit on the head by a prop. One thing followed another.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas E. Perez made clear that candidates running under the Democratic banner must support abortion rights. (Associated Press/File)

Democrats lunge left

Keep turning left and you'll always come back to the place where you started, or a dead end. Neither result seems to bother the Democrats. The party of Jefferson chose its leader over the weekend, Tom Perez, who prescribes more of what brought the party low. Striking out toward the dead end, Democrats will need more than a wing and a prayer to survive and prosper.

Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center (Associated Press)

Selling an epidemic

Some of the shills on the left lament "an epidemic of hate out there, and it's about to drown the republic." The contagion has spread like wildfire, which stretches cliche to a breaking point, and according to the usual jeremiahs on the left it all started with Donald Trump.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama (Associated Press)

Mon Dieu! President Obama of France

A month out of the White House, and Barack Obama is still looking for work. Fortunately, there may be a France in his future. A group of merry pranksters in Paris is circulating a petition to get him on the ballot as a candidate for president in the round of elections beginning in April.

Protesters hold signs during a rally in support of transgender youth, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at the Stonewall National Monument in New York. They were demonstrating against President Donald Trump's decision to roll back a federal rule saying public schools had to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender identity. The rule had already been blocked from enforcement, but transgender advocates view the Trump administration action as a step back for transgender rights. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Free-for-all at the urinal

A visitor from Mars or Pluto could reasonably conclude that Earth is a weird planet indeed. "It's a heavenly body of great beauty," he might report back to headquarters, "where everyone is trying to change his and her sex but is so squeamish about talking about sex that they must coin euphemisms, such as 'gender identity,' to describe it."

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on domestic and international human trafficking, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017,in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The comeback of coal

President Trump's boisterous press conferences sometimes cast a shadow over one of his most important achievements so far: his executive order suspending runaway Environmental Protection Agency rules that all but bankrupted the American coal industry. Three of America's largest coal companies declared Chapter 11 in recent years largely as a result of rules like the Clean Power Plant Act, a gift of Barack Obama.

Protesters of President Donald Trump's immigration policies chant across the street from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection station Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in McAllen, Texas. (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP)

Immigration Order No. 2

The fight over who controls U.S. immigration policy is about to enter Round Two. President Trump pledges to come out swinging with a reformulated restriction on prospective immigrants. He seems deadly serious about defending the nation's borders, and those who want to throw open the borders to everyone seem just as determined to stop him. The outcome will determine nothing less than who defines America.

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2017 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Financial Services Committee for the Fed's semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.  Federal Reserve officials earlier this month discussed the need to raise a key interest rate again "fairly soon," especially if the economy remains strong. Minutes of the discussions in minutes released Wednesday, Feb. 22  showed that while Fed officials decided to keep a key rate unchanged at their Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting, there was growing concern about what could happen to inflation if the economy out-performed expectations. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The regulator cometh, and maybe goeth

There's a lot to be said about government regulation -- and much of it not good. Some regulation, given that human nature is what it is, is necessary. But sometimes it seems there's little difference between the government telling you how to spend your money and the government just taking it. Regulations are a lot like taxes.