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President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One upon his arrival at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. The president will speak at Lawson State Community College, about the economy.  (AP Photo/ Hal Yeager)

A late education on the left

Liberals and conservatives don’t often come together on important issues because they commute from different planets. Pundits of various stripe bemoan the lack of common values and ponder why Democrats, Republicans, conservatives and liberals seem to have lost respect not only for each other’s views, but for each other.

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will begin consideration of Lynch's nomination to be attorney general next week. Democrats have been pressing for the Senate to act on President Barack Obama's selection of Lynch, who is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The Lynch nomination

The longer the United States Senate puts off the vote on her confirmation the less likely Loretta Lynch will become the attorney general. Some Democrats, in particular Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, have played the usual race card but so far none of the groups that specialize in expressions of outrage have said much, if anything.

Former President Bill Clinton hugs his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, during the closing session of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. At right is Chelsea's husband, Marc Mezvinsky. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Cash for clunkers

Successful politicians know how to avoid a conflict of interest. Unsuccessful politicians can’t recognize one when they see one, or if they do, figure they can duck when sticks, stones and subpoenas fly. Then there are the Clintons. Bubba wrote the book on how to duck and weave. Hillary is learning, with difficulty. She doesn’t have the good ol’ boy’s wink and smile.

FILE - In this June 6, 2013 file photo, a sign stands outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. There was a break in the case of a man who fired shots on several occupied vehicles and the headquarters of the NSA when he returned to the scene of the first shooting, police said Wednesday. The 35-year-old Prince George's County man was arrested Tuesday night near Arundel Mills mall, where shots were fired Feb. 24. A man driving away from a gas station near the mall was injured by glass shot out from his car, police said.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Taming the surveillance state

The Patriot Act was fashioned with good intentions, but it has been dragooned to serve bad purposes. It was enacted during the national panic that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to protect Americans from the enemy. Now it’s employed by government busybodies to treat Americans themselves as the enemy.

**FILE** The skyline of Washington, D.C. (Associated Press)

What’s not in your wallet?

There’s nothing like a “best and worst” list at tax season to remind a taxpayer that the IRS isn’t the only government revenuer putting on the squeeze. States and cities take a bite, too.

Related Articles

This handout artist conception provided by NASA depicts multiple-transiting planet systems. (AP)

New respect for Pluto

These are definitely not the glory days of the American space program, but we should be thankful that, as Daniel Webster said of Dartmouth College, "there are those who love it." While many were busy protesting and rioting this week, mourning young black men shot by policemen by lying down in front of passenger trains, scientists at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory turned their attention to a quieter and saner world.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, as she leaves the Senate chamber after releasing a report on the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques at secret overseas facilities after the 9/11 terror attacks. Feinstein  branded the findings a "stain on the nation's history." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

EDITORIAL: The politics of torture

The Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday released the results of the long anticipated investigation into the CIA's detentions and interrogation techniques in the prosecution of the "war" on Islamic terrorism, and there's something in it for nearly everyone.

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2013 file photo, white roses with the faces of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are attached to a telephone pole near the school on the one-month anniversary of the shooting that left 26 dead in Newtown, Conn. Newtown is taking its time to decide what a permanent memorial should look like. A commission has been hearing proposals for concepts including murals, groves and memorial parks, while looking for lessons from paths chosen by other tragedy-stricken communities. Public forums are planned for 2015, the next step in a process that is expected to last several more years. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

EDITORIAL: That something good may come

Two years ago this month, a young man who killed his mother and took her guns walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and began firing. When the smoke cleared, Adam Lanza, 20, had shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, in the five minutes between the time he shot his way into the school and the time police arrived. He then shot himself dead.

The dilemma that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, faces is that conservatives in the House want to include measures to thwart President Obama's immigration amnesty. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

EDITORIAL: The angry House conservatives

Conservatives in Congress are steaming, and with good reason. If the 113th Congress, now on its deathbed but still twitching and making dying sounds, doesn't appropriate the money needed to keep the government operating until the deadline at the end of the week, the government will have to shut down. This is something the Republican leaders in both the House and Senate vow they will avoid by whatever means necessary.

Even though the Army told Congress that it would prefer to buy no more of the outdated Abrams tanks, the Defense Authorization Act includes a $120 million earmark for more Abrams tanks. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told Congress emphatically that there's no need to buy more such tanks. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

EDITORIAL: Authorization for wasting money

The House has passed the $585 billion Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Clearing that obstacle is good. Unfortunately, the legislation is larded with billions of dollars in waste and fat, and now the Senate must muster the determination to do what the House wouldn't.

President Barack Obama listens as Dr. Nancy Sullivan, Senior Investigator; Chief, Biodefense Research Section, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a NIH tour of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Ebola virus survives a turf war

Turf wars are expensive, but they're popular in Washington. Every turf warrior thinks he's saving the republic by making sure his bureaucracy has a bigger budget and is more powerful than the bureaucracy across the street. Somebody has to pay for these wars, however, in both money and in kind, and that somebody looks a lot like the rest of us.

Let Freedom Ring is gathering signatures for two online petitions calling on Mr. Obama to reveal prior to the election his plans for the 2015 Obamacare premium figures. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

The science of the plop

The art of the spin has become a science in Washington, and just as important as the art of the spin is what we can call the science of the plop. The plop doctors drop the bad news with a resounding plop! on Friday afternoon, just as the guilty parties are on their way to Reagan National Airport or Union Station (few take the Greyhound bus) to flee for the weekend, leaving the bad news to marinate while the spin doctors cook up their mush for Monday morning. Every White House is staffed with Ph.D.s in both plop- and spinology. The Obama White House is particularly adept in both the science and the art.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Remembering Barry's contributions

In recalling the long and storied political career of late D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, nearly every obituary and news account has noted that he owed his political fortunes to the District's poorest constituents. The implication is that he was the beneficiary of blind loyalty from those too unsophisticated to grasp the gravity of his personal troubles.

New government regulations just announced will require anyone who sells food to the public to count their customers' calories. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Government calorie-counting

The lot of the nannies at the Food and Drug Administration is not a happy one. They just can't get everyone to eat their spinach. The stubborn rubes out there in flyover land want to decide for themselves what to eat. But the new government regulations just announced will require anyone who sells food to the public to count their customers' calories.

East High School students participate in a protest against the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision, at a busy intersection in front of the state Capitol in Denver, Wednesday Dec. 3, 2014. Authorities said four Denver police officers were hit by a car while watching the high school students protest.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

More lunacy on the left

Dedicated party-line liberals — "progressives," they call themselves now that they realize they polluted the noble word "liberal" — look at the world differently than most people. They recognize the sins of their own country and see them as just as bad as the sins of other countries, however vile, and probably worse. It's this skewed vision that enables professors and their students to go from a gay rights rally exorcising the "homophobia" of Christians to a rally praising Muslim jihadis for whom homosexuality is a capital offense. For them, there's only a little difference, if any, in the values of the West and those of the patriots of the Islamic State. A crucifix or a beheading knife: What's the difference?

Illustration on the negative impact of Obama's immigration action on black Americans by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Another Obama promise broken

When President Obama promised six years ago that his administration would be the most transparent in history, Americans, weary of being misled and misinformed by their government, were eager to put aside their skepticism and believe him. Those innocent Americans have learned since to fear that Mr. Obama is trying to give away their future.

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)

A bad tax law puts the government in the preaching business

Flawed and cumbersome tax laws afflict taxpayers everywhere, but few are as irksome, as silly and as constitutionally dangerous as Maryland's "stormwater remediation fee," also known as "the rain tax," including whatever penumbras and emanations that followed. Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, a Republican, vowed during his campaign to free taxpayers from the overreaching state law that claims to protect the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways from polluted runoff, flooding and erosion. Together with others, he argues persuasively that it amounts to little more than a weather levy, with accompanying clouds.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks with reporters following a closed-door policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Obama’s petulance spoils a deal for the quacks on the Hill

The noisy quacking of the lame ducks out to despoil the grass on Capitol Hill had convinced most Washington insiders that Congress would dutifully pass what are called "tax extenders" and then go home. "Tax extenders" are legislative provisions providing more than four dozen tax breaks and special treatment to a variety of groups and industries, whose clever lobbyists have always persuaded Congress that the very future of the republic and everyone who lives in it depends on their clients getting special breaks at the expense of everyone else. The wonder is that the republic has lasted so long.

A lame-duck Congress, Will Rogers once observed, "is like where some fellows worked for you and their work wasn't satisfactory and you let 'em out, but after you fired 'em, you let 'em stay long enough to burn your house down." (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

EDITORAL: Congress, go home

Congress returned from the Thanksgiving holiday stuffed with more than turkey to begin the lame-duck session of the 113th Congress. A lame-duck session is popular only with members who have been retired or fired, eager to inflict one last bruise on the body politic. They have only until next Friday, Dec. 12 — the likely final day of the 113th Congress — to put their marks there. It's the last opportunity for the lame ducks, many more turkey than duck, to help their friends, hurt their enemies and pay back their supporters.

National Guard trucks haul residents through floodwaters to the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina hit  in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 30,  2005. Officials called for a mandatory evacuation of the city, but many residents remained in the city. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

FEMA flunks out

In the days and weeks after Hurricane Katrina blew a path of destruction through New Orleans in 2005, Americans took notice of the bungling of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its dysfunctional performance. Many began to question why the agency exists.

Skilled computer hackers love Cyber Monday, and sneaky business spikes on this day. (Denver Post via Associated Press)

Mischief in cyberspace

With the arrival of Cyber Monday, a substantial part of holiday Internet sales — and the hopes of legions of retailers — ride on the seamless function of the complex network crucial for online commerce.

Bargain-hunting motorists willing to drive to another state can save up to 10 percent on Black Friday shopping.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

When black turns to blue

Black Friday bargain hunters are scouring circulars and combing through websites in search of ways to save on Christmas shopping, and many of them are missing a bargain they could get by driving to shops and stores in states with low — or no — sales taxes.

Renting government workers

Union membership has fallen, but the impact of public-sector unions on federal politics still seems as strong as ever. How could this be? It sounds like a mystery, but it isn't.