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"Earth" is a movie composed of re-edited clips from the 11-part BBC/Discovery Channel miniseries "Planet Earth." (Associated Press) ** FILE **

A day to hug a bug

This isn’t your father’s Earth Day. The celebration of all things “green” turns 49 on Monday, and it’s starting to show the inevitable signs of age. That might be a good thing. With the passage of the years comes a preference for results over rhetoric. A good way to celebrate the planet’s magnificent fauna and flora is simply to keep it clean.

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In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a military award ceremony at the Presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday, April 1, 2019. Taiwan said Monday its planes warned off Chinese military aircraft that crossed the center line in the Taiwan Strait, and called China's move a provocation that seeks to alter the status quo in the waterway dividing the island from mainland China. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

Taiwan marks an anniversary

China, the ancient "Middle Kingdom," continues to be one of the greater ironies of our fiercely shattered times, when the unexpected is often the barely believable. For decades, the United States recognized the Republic of China, sited on an island off the coast of China, and threatened by the vastly larger government in Beijing, as the actual ruling government of the world's most populous country.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in walks to board a flight leaving for the United States at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, South Korea, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Moon will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Korean roller coaster ride

The histrionics over the fate of the Korean Peninsula are about a roller coaster ride with no brakes. A new round begins Thursday with the arrival in Washington of President Moon Jae-in of South Korea. Despite the drama, a rekindling of attention toward the on-again, off-again dialogue between the United States and North Korea over denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is more than welcome. Without the efforts of the central players, the nuclear threat posed by the North will keep the sword borrowed from Damocles hanging over the entire Pacific Rim.

An ad supporting Proposition 6 plays on a screen on a pump at a gas station Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Santa Clarita, Calif. The ads are part of an advertising blitz by Proposition 6 supporters trying to drive home a message to voters to overcome what they see as a misleading title and summary on the ballot. The feud over messaging comes just weeks before an election where Californians will vote in a series of contentious races for Congress and state offices and ballot measures including the proposal to repeal an increase in gasolines taxes and vehicle fees slated to fund $5 billion in transportation projects a year. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Gasoline-tax folly

Surprises by definition are sudden, but the stuff of surprises can creep up slowly from behind. That's what has happened with the gradual escalation of gasoline prices, which are once more pinching wallets and making them cry. Washington officialdom in its genius has chosen this time to start working up support for an increase in the federal gasoline tax. With Americans already paying more to keep their cars on the road, if there is ever a good time to raise that tax, it's not now.

President Donald Trump walks after stepping off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to California and Nevada. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Angling for a rematch

Politics is a lot like fishing. Getting the best catch requires the right bait. Democratic candidates for the 2020 election have been trolling for popular support with easy promises of some version of socialized medicine. Observing their enthusiasm success, President Trump baited his hook with the health care promises he couldn't deliver in 2017.

Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Atlantic Council's "NATO Engages The Alliance at 70" conference, in Washington, Wednesday, April 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Challenging the easy riders

The president gave his cable-TV hosts and the Twitterati a chuckle this week when he said, in a sort of Pocahontas moment, that his father, Fred Trump, was born in Germany. Mr. Trump the elder was, in fact, born in the Bronx. But there was actually more consequential news about Germany this week.

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain.  More than a dozen global news organizations including The Associated Press have formed a coalition to spotlight the worlds most threatened journalists. Member editors and publishers of the One Free Press Coalition will publish across platforms each month a 10 Most Urgent list of journalists whose press freedoms are being abused. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

The Saudi connection

Six months have elapsed since Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi newspaper columnist and blogger, went missing. He is widely believed to have been murdered by agents working for someone high inside the Saudi government who found his criticism of the Riyadh regime and the royal family intolerable. Without a body — his body is thought to have been dismembered and the body parts scattered around Istanbul — it's hard to say.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) ** FILE **

Grandma Grundy's takeover of the Democrats

Joe Biden has led the polls of Democratic primary voters for a while now. But like all leaders in these early polls, he's a bit of a paper tiger, benefiting from name recognition, and even the fact that he is not running for anything. At least not yet; there are, or were, rumors of a late April announcement.

In this March 30, 2019 photo, a tourists take photos of the razor-wire-covered border wall that separates Nogalas, Ariz. at left, and Nogales, Mexico on the right. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Emergency on the border

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong," observed H.L. Mencken, the sage of Baltimore who was the most popular social critic of the previous century. Sadly, Mencken isn't around to address the scourge of the 21st century, the obstinate refusal of Democrats to admit that there is an obvious problem, complex or otherwise. The liberals who call themselves "progressives" pretend not to notice the relentless stream of humanity trying to force their way across America's southern border.

Deploying military forces overseas

The U.S. Army is increasing the deployment of active forces overseas, with up to 10,000 troops, many of them National Guard units together comprising the equivalent of a division headquarters and several brigades. They will be moved abroad soon.

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, waves to the crowd after speaking at Women's Unity Rally organized by Women's March NYC at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan in New York. Most voters in New York think it was bad for the state when Amazon dropped plans to put a second headquarters in Queens and many think U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bears blame for the deal falling through, according to a new poll released Monday. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

With friends like these

It wasn't supposed to go down this way. When Democrats who said they wanted a congressional resolution calling for a global fight against global warming, were forced to declare their allegiance to the cause, they ran for the tall grass.

Sen. Edward Markey, D- Mass., speaks at a rally for Green New Deal, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, outside the Capitol in Washington.  The Green New Deal calls for the U.S. to shift away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar power.  (AP Photo/Matthew Daly)

A vote for the Green New Deal

The "Green New Deal" is a nutty scheme to completely "decarbonize" the U.S. economy over a decade to rebuild or replace every single building in the United States to make them energy efficient, to declare war on U.S. agriculture (cows belch too much), and, for good measure "provide all people of the United States with high-quality health care; affordable, safe, and adequate housing; economic security and access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, guarantee a "job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States."

The letter from Attorney General William Barr to Congress on the conclusions reached by special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia probe photographed on Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

'An illegal takedown that failed'

The Russian collusion powder keg burned through its extra-long fuse, and exploded with the sound and fury of a pop gun. President Trump's political and media enemies who have anticipated a republic-shaking blast, with fingers in their ears, are left blinking in disbelief.

President Donald Trump arrives on Air Force One, Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md., as he returns from Mar-a Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump wins

Let the quibbling begin, but 675 days after Robert Mueller's 19 lawyers began issuing 2,800 subpoenas and posing questions to 500 witnesses, Mr. Mueller has concluded that there was no Trump collusion with the Russians to cook the 2016 presidential election.