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President Obama gives his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Three cheers for gridlock

Gridlock became a dirty word in Washington after the Republicans regained the majority in the House of Representatives and stood in the path of the invader from Fantasy Island, shouting “Stop!” The president wanted a rubber stamp, and the Democrats agreed, demanding of the Republicans, “Why can’t you be like us?”

Chloe Kim competes during the women's snowboarding superpipe final at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colo.  (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Snow jobs in the mountains

Once upon a time the inquisitive and the young, the reckless and the incurably naive wore their convictions on the rear bumpers of their Volkswagen Beetles: “Question authority.” Time marches on. Now those purveyors of rebellion have become the authority, and they want no further questions. “Shut up,” they advise.

Ms. Lynch is a tough prosecutor, more lawyer and prosecutor than politician, and thus very different from the man she is to replace. (Associated Press)

Questions for Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch, the president’s nominee to replace Eric Holder as the U.S. attorney general, faces question-and-answer time next week, and this will be the first opportunity for the new Republican majority to demonstrate that there’s a new and more just world on Capitol Hill. She will not necessarily face a hostile panel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, nor should she. She is a known quantity as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, first appointed by President Clinton and reappointed by President Obama.

Many communities across America have government-owned golf courses that compete against privately owned courses. The government courses are usually inferior to private courses, and are costly to maintain besides.  (AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group, Mark Bugnaski) ALL LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION INTERNET OUT

Nothing beats the private economy

In his book, “Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity,” John Stossel of Fox News bet his readers a thousand dollars that they couldn’t name one thing the government does better than the private sector. Eight years later he hasn’t had to pay anyone a dime. The government just doesn’t have the motivation, or the spur of competition, to perform services as well as private business.

President Barack Obama waves before giving his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The state of the president

The Constitution requires presidents to provide Congress with periodic information on the “state of the union” and President George Washington delivered the required information in a speech to a joint session of Congress in 1790. That turned out to be an unfortunate precedent. Most of his successors haven’t been able to resist making it an occasion for a speech, either.

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In this Sept. 10, 2014, file photo, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks to members of the media in Raleigh, N.C. In a letter dated Oct. 6 to French officials, McCrory said the plain packaging proposal may detract from more effective ways of curbing cigarette use. The French bill requiring neutral cigarette packs by 2016 is slated for debate in French Parliament next year. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)FILE-

Races for the statehouse

With little mystery about the prospects of continued Republican control of the House of Representatives, attention is focused on the Senate, where there is a lot of uncertainty. This focus gives short shrift to the important races for the statehouses, where Democrats are looking for bright spots but where the Republicans may produce several surprises.

This undated handout photo provided by Revolution shows Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.   A longtime Democratic operative, Klain was tasked Friday by President Barack Obama with running the government's response to the Ebola crisis. (AP Photo/Revolution)

Ebola crisis needs more than a bureaucrat czar

President Obama's confused and timid response to the Ebola crisis has done nothing to calm the fear that stalks America, and choosing a well-connected Democratic lawyer, lobbyist and what the White House calls "an implementation expert" isn't likely to make anyone feel better. Ronald A. Klain has no medical, scientific, public health or administrative experience to become the nation's Ebola czar.

Blowing billions

Spending $17.9 trillion is hard work. Dispensing cash at a rate of $1 million per hour would require 2,040 years to rack up a sum as large as the national debt. It's not that big-spending bureaucrats are lazy, but that their hard work has created their own special expertise at wasting money.

This undated image released by Bronner's Christmas Wonderland shows a Halloween-themed tree displayed at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, a large Christmas store in Frankenmuth, Mich. So-called holiday creep, where the traditions one special occasion are embraced by another, now extends to Halloween. (AP Photo/Bronner's Christmas Wonderland)

EDITORIAL: Decking the halls with regulation

The Christmas season brings no joy to a bureaucrat. There's no heart for good will to appeal to. Banning things is what sets hearts afire in the Obama administration. The president most recently chased away the humble light bulb, the work of Thomas Edison a century ago, and replaced it with a pale substitute laced with deadly mercury. Only green fanatics were pleased.

Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan speaks during his first gubernatorial debate with Democratic candidate, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, in Baltimore, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/The Baltimore Sun, Amy Davis, Pool)

EDITORIAL: Hogan for governor

Democrats stand at the edge of panic. The miserable economy, a president who retreats from challenge to lead from behind and the failure of the federal government to deal responsibly with the Ebola crisis all undermine faith in the party of more and bigger government. In a state that runs deep blue, a Republican has a shot at taking the Maryland governor's mansion.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has found Democrats joining his side as he rallies for school choice, even some who helped kill a voucher bill before Hurricane Katrina. (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: Cooling the car

Years ago, there was a hole in the ozone layer that was going to kill us all. Once the government banned aerosol hairspray and Freon, the stuff that made air conditioners and refrigerators work, the frenzy subsided. Now the government-mandated replacement for Freon, a chemical that goes by the name of R-134a, will end life as we know it. The White House is about to add the chemical to the list of prohibited substances, along with asbestos, anthrax and carbon dioxide.

In this photo provided by the Houston mayor's office, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, right and her long-time partner, First Lady Kathy Hubbard, celebrate at their wedding Thursday, Jan 16, 1014 in Palm Springs, Calif. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Paul Fromberg, rear, rector of St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Houston Office of The Mayor, Richard Hartog)

EDITORIAL: Houston's chilling bid to silence the pulpits

Applying the name of "marriage" to homosexual unions is said by the lavender lobby to be an issue of equal rights. However, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last year, the left began applying pressure on those who hold to traditional values, betraying a mindless intolerance of anyone who disagrees.

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler answers a question during a debate of Colorado Republican gubernatorial hopefuls hosted by 9NEWS, in Denver, Thursday April 24, 2014. The GOP primary is in June. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

EDITORIAL: No voter fraud? Don't tell Connecticut

As frequent beneficiaries of bogus balloting, Democrats rarely acknowledge that voter fraud is real. Anyone who wants to guard against Election Day shenanigans is painted as a conspiracy nut, because voter fraud "doesn't exist." But it does, and one prominent Democrat has proved it.

** FILE ** This mouse was produced from stem cells coaxed from skin tissue of adult mice and then reprogrammed. Two teams of Chinese scientists have made a major advance in the development of a new kind of stem cell that doesn't involve destroying embryos. (AP Photo/Nature, Dr. Qi Zhou)

EDITORIAL: Good news for rats and federal bureaucrats

Well-meaning Americans who want greater federal involvement in their lives are sure the government will do what's best to protect the public. It's about trust. But a decision by the Federal Labor Relations Authority illustrates how the first mission of the government is to protect the government.

George Will (Associated Press) **FILE**

EDITORIAL: The academic mob silences free speech, again

Scripps College, an all-female school in Claremont, Calif., founded on the principle that "the paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently," last week revoked an invitation to conservative newspaper columnist George Will to speak to students because its administrators were offended by his rigorous math.