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In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. Khamenei on Wednesday urged Europe to do more to back the 2015 nuclear deal after President Donald Trump refused to re-certify the pact and European companies have rushed into the Iranian markets since the landmark accord. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The audacity of mendacity

Barack Obama might call it the audacity of hope. Others more skeptical might call it “the mendacity of hope.” Two years ago when Barack Obama struck his nuclear deal with the mullahs in Iran he set out to achieve something more lasting than merely limiting Iran’s ability to wage nuclear war.

Commonly referred to as the Peace Cross, this is a picture of the historic Bladensburg, Maryland, World War I Veterans Memorial. (Photo/Liberty Institute website)

Size matters, to these judges

The campaign to erase the nation’s history continues, outrage following outrage, the goofy replacing the merely ridiculous. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sits in Philadelphia, in its wisdom has ruled that a 40-foot Peace Cross erected 92 years ago to honor the military dead of World War I is “unconstitutional.”

Handcuffs used on men arrested for prostitution solicitation sit on a table at a hotel in Minot, N.D., on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 in this file photo. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine) **FILE**

The myth of the happy hooker

The state has tried to eliminate, regulate and exploit the oldest profession for centuries, and no one has come up with a lasting formula. But now the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has cleared the way for “prostitution activists” to proceed with a lawsuit in a lower court to overturn the California law banning the trade, and the suit may have constitutional consequences.

Participants in the annual Trick or Treat Main Street go from business to business for candy and other items during the evening Halloween celebration, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Pittston, Pa. (Dave Scherbenco/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

Ghosts on the run

Having given the back of the hand to Christopher Columbus, the snowflakes have gone to work on another suspect holiday, this one the preserve of ghosts and goblins. Just when everyone thought it was safe to be dead, pious ire of the politically correct is turned toward the Eve of All Hallows.

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2017 file photo Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam pauses during an interview in Richmond, Va. Northam said he favors stricter controls on gun ownership. He's backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group as well as by former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was grievously wounded in a 2011 shooting. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A costly Democratic error

The public-opinion polls in the Virginia gubernatorial race are tightening. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democrat who had opened a comfortable lead over Ed Gillespie, the Republican, over the summer, has only a tiny lead in most polls now, and a new Monmouth survey puts Mr. Gillespie up by a point.

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A copy of the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during the Celebrate Freedom event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Saturday, July 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A crazy capital summer

Another day, another breach of civility and manners. Donald Trump lashes out at a television tag team for throwing spitballs at him. Yawn. The president's press agent trades insults, or at least schoolyard yahs-yahs, with a reporter at the White House. Maxine Waters, having given up on impeachment, now wants to send the president into exile, where she does not say, but either Upper or Lower Slobbovia would do.

In this Sept. 1, 2015, file photo, from left, Brad Steinle, Liz Sullivan and Jim Steinle, the brother, mother and father of Kate Steinle who was shot to death on a pier, listen to their attorneys speak during a news conference on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Sanctuary for the law-abiding

Anniversaries can be an occasion for remembrance and celebration, but some recall only pain and regrets. Saturday marked two years since Kate Steinle was slain on a stroll with her father on the San Francisco waterfront by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times. This is an anniversary marked by the passage, in the U.S. House of Representatives, of legislation called Kate's Law, to prevent such tragedies. No one gets a guarantee that life won't include a raw deal, but no one should be a victim to an uninvited and lawless "guest."

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump watch the limousine carrying South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook arrive on the South Portico of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 29, 2017. Trump and the first lady is hosting Moon and his wife for dinner. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Getting ready for the Donald

Angela Merkel, the good German who is determined make Europeans do what's good for them, wants to take Donald Trump to her woodshed at the economic summit of 20 right-thinking nations next week in Hamburg. The Donald must be taught the error of his ways and who but Europe's sternest nanny to do it. There should be lots of noise from the woodshed.

President Donald Trump meets with what the White House identifies as "immigration crime victims" to urge passage of House legislation to save American lives, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Upholding wrong-headed precedent

A judge doesn't have to be waiting for an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court to set an example for what a conscientious president is looking for. With vacancies in 106 federal district courts and 19 in appeals courts, President Trump might look to Pensacola, Fla., for a living example of the kind of judges he's looking for.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with President Trump to discuss a controversial U.S. missile defense system and nuclear issues with North Korea. (Associated Press)

A porcupine makes a difficult pet

If North Korea were a zoo and not a prison camp, appropriate signage would read: "Please don't pet the porcupine." When South Korea's new president arrives at the White House on Thursday, Donald Trump should remind his guest that predecessors who ignored the need for due diligence learned a lesson more painful than a mere porcupine prick. The smart approach to Pyongyang is to keep a healthy distance.

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.

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.

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.

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."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, June 23, 2017. European Union leaders met in Brussels on the final day of their two-day summit to focus on ways to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean and how to uphold free trade while preventing dumping on Europe's markets. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

Angela Merkel's welcome mat

Only the hard-hearted would slam the door against a refugee. Their stories are heart-breaking and their courage in seeking a better life in a new home is remarkable. Nevertheless, refugees in uncontrolled number are a headache for everyone. Germany, held up as a nation with a big heart, is learning the cost of Angela Merkel's big heart. More than a million refugees have arrived since 2015.

In this image from video provided by C-SPAN, Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon is interview on the C-SPAN program Washington Journal on Sept. 23, 2014 in Washington. The Wall Street Journal on June 21, 2017, fired Solomon after evidence emerged about his involvement in prospective business deals, including one involving arms sales to foreign governments, with an international businessman who was one of his key sources. Solomon was offered a 10 percent stake in a fledgling company, Denx LLC, by Farhad Azima, an Iranian-born aviation magnate who ferried weapons for the CIA. It was not clear whether Solomon ever received money or formally accepted a stake in the company. Solomon did not immediately comment. (C-SPAN via AP)

Upholding a media standard

Newspaper reporters aren't expected to be purer than Caesar's wife (not even the wife of a Julius Caesar passing as Donald Trump), but a reporter who doesn't measure up to his newspaper's established ethical standards can expect to pay for it.

Sunshine on the wall

Congressional Democrats love to spend money on solar power and infrastructure projects, and President Trump has given them something to think about -- using the sun to power and pay for his border wall.

Democratic candidate for 6th Congressional District Jon Ossoff, left, concedes to Republican Karen Handel while joined by his fiancee Alisha Kramer at his election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The bad day for the Democrats

The morning after an election is always a time for poring over the entrails of the campaign, and Wednesday the Democrats spent the whole day trying to figure out how they could spend $25 million on a special election in Georgia, and still lose.

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2017 file photo, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown delivers her inaugural speech to Oregon legislators in the Capitol House chambers in Salem, Ore. A $670 million health care tax package has passed the Oregon Legislature and now heads to Gov. Kate Brown, providing enough funds over the next two years to prevent Medicaid recipients from losing health care and avoid closing a newly-built psychiatric hospital with hundreds of patients. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)

Getting to the heart of health care

It's still there. Like chewing gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe, Obamacare refuses to let go. No other Republican promise made over the past eight years, repeated endlessly during 2016 presidential election campaign, was more popular than the assurance that Barack Obama's namesake legislation would expire with his term of office. Six months into Donald Trump's presidency, the promise remains unredeemed. That may soon change. With the hammer of repeal and replacement about to drop, two words of advice: Don't miss.

FILE - In this June 13, 2013 file photo, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trumps closest allies are attacking the integrity of those involved in the widening probe of Russian interference in the U.S. election, accusing special counsel Mueller of driving a biased investigation. And Trump himself took aim at the senior Justice Department official responsible for appointing Mueller, accusing him on Twitter of leading a Witch Hunt.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

No stacking the deck

Robert Mueller III has always got high marks for probity, integrity and honesty, but as a Washington lawyer of considerable talent he should know that sometimes it's the perception that counts most. Mr. Mueller is asking a skeptical capital to take too much on faith.

FILE - In this June 13, 2017 file photo, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. speaks at Republican National Committee Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Liberal groups resistant to Republican policies say they have no plans to change their tactics or approach after a gunman apparently driven by his hatred of President Donald Trump opened fire at a GOP baseball practice, grievously injuring a top Republican congressman and several others. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sitting ducks in Congress

Sitting members of Congress should not be sitting ducks. Last week's shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and several Republican staff members at a baseball field in suburban Washington revealed them to be exactly that. They can thank the District of Columbia's excessive and spiteful firearms restrictions. Laws hindering their ability to carry a concealed weapon should be relaxed to enable members of Congress and other law-abiding Washingtonians to protect themselves.

In this March 24, 2017, file photo, vials filled with samples of marijuana are arranged at the Blum medical marijuana dispensary, in Reno, Nev. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)

Disappointment in Potlandia

Curing cancer and eliminating heart disease would be nice, but what the government -- federal, state and local -- would like most of all is a new source of revenue, i.e., something new to tax.