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Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (Associated Press) **FILE**

Martin O’Malley goes low

In the era of social media — where videos gone “viral” are the currency of the realm — hyper-partisanship, and, dare we say, symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome everywhere, political harassment is in vogue. Trump administration officials are routinely heckled and harassed in public places, like restaurants. This obnoxious behavior is corrosive of our democratic society. Political differences here are supposed to be debated, discussed and ultimately voted on. Public harassment has no place in an open society.

In this Jan. 26, 2015, file photo, a supporter of open carry gun laws, wears a pistol as he prepares for a rally in support of open carry gun laws at the Capitol, in Austin, Texas. Texas is still sorting out where firearms are allowed, and where they're not, more than a year after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a suite of laws that vastly expanded gun rights. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Second Amendment sanctuaries

Some on the left are angry, if not apoplectic, that conservatives are turning the tables on them and co-opting one of their own tactics against liberal policies. But turnabout, as they say, is fair play: Self-styled “progressives,” it seems, aren’t the only ones who can unilaterally decide which laws they will or will not enforce and/or comply with.

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FILE - In this May 7, 2018, file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting in Dalian in northeastern China's Liaoning Province. For China, concerns about instability in North Korea, its ostensible communist ally, have long overridden worries about its nuclear arsenal. Beijing chiefly fears a collapse of the North Korean economy that could lead to armed conflict within the government and a potential flood of refugees streaming across the rivers that separate the neighbors. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP, File)

Double trouble with China and North Korea

As China goes, so goes North Korea. It's an obvious takeaway from the recent contentious behavior of the Asian giant that is imitated by its junior partner. Satirist Mark Twain once said, "Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." Based on his thorny dealings with the troublesome duo, President Trump would likely say the same about a bad example.

This image released by Focus Features shows Mark Ruffalo in a scene from "Dark Waters." (Mary Cybulski/Focus Features via AP)

Spreading fear and outrage over PFAS

Mark Ruffalo, who is probably best known for playing Dr. Bruce Banner in the movies set in the Marvel Comics Universe, testified before Congress last week about the alleged dangers posed by PFAS, a group of chemicals some have alleged are poisoning the nation's groundwater.

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2019 file photo Kanye West answers questions from Sr. pastor Joel Osteen during the 11 am service at Lakewood Church, in Houston. West has been denied a permit to build an amphitheater on his ranch in Wyoming. The Park County Planning and Zoning Commission made the decision Tuesday, Nov.19, 2019, after the rapper changed his plans for the structure near Cody. West told county officials he now wants to include residential space. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke,File)

Sharing Kanye's journey

"The darker the night, the brighter the stars." So said Dostoevsky, and as the nation gropes through the murky era of recrimination marked by presidential impeachment, Kanye West's invitation to join in his dazzling affirmation of faith is lighting up the buzzsphere. Detractors, perhaps blinded by the light, say it's all about the Benjamins. To the contrary, it's all about new beginnings.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., from left, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., greet each other before the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) ** FILE **

The Democrats' divisive debate

Just as it had been in each of the four previous 2020 Democratic presidential debates, the proposed Medicare For All takeover of the nation's health care and health insurance systems was hotly contested in their fifth face-off Wednesday night in Atlanta.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., center, gives his closing remarks as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents, as ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes of Calif., right, looks on. (Samuel Corum/Pool Photo via AP)

EDITORIAL: Playing telephone with Ukraine

A straightforward message can emerge unintelligible when whispered around a circle. Much more distorting than a children's game, apparently, is the free-flowing art of diplomacy. Destruction-minded Democrats hope to deploy disagreements over every murmur and recollection of a phone call to evict President Trump from the White House. Reasonable people may disagree over meaning, but only the senseless would angle for impeachment.

The Democrats' richness of embarrassment

What does it say about the Democratic presidential field of 18 (give or take) wannabes still vying for the party's 2020 nomination when two more are only now jumping into the race, just days ahead of the fifth candidates' debate on Wednesday night [Nov. 20] in Atlanta?

A protester sets fire to block a road leading to the Kowloon area in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Police tightened their siege of a university campus where hundreds of protesters remained trapped Monday night in the latest dramatic episode in months of protests against growing Chinese control over the semi-autonomous city. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The profound anti-Beijing Hong Kong protests

The Chinese government may have succeeded in ensuring that the protests wracking Hong Kong have not spread outwards onto the Mainland. But one thing is for certain: Many months into the anti-Beijing demonstrations that have riled the capitalist entrepot, Beijing has manifestly failed to pacify Hong Kong. Indeed, if nothing else, the protests against Communist rule appear only to be gaining in intensity, if not size.

FILE- In this June 1, 2017 file photo, protesters gather outside the White House in Washington to protest President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the Unites States from the Paris climate change accord. The Democratic-controlled House has approved legislation that would prevent President Donald Trump from following through on his pledge to withdraw the U.S. from a landmark global climate agreement. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Cartoonish times for climate change

Laughter may be the best medicine, but it likely won't heal the headaches endured by worryworts troubled over the state of nature. At a time when climate-change crusaders are struggling to maintain their hold on the public's concern for the cause, their earnest efforts are getting punked. Indignity is vexing, but at least it beats indifference.

People rally outside the Supreme Court as oral arguments are heard in the case of President Trump's decision to end the Obama-era, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, at the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Terminating DACA

In October 2010, responding to demands from the open-borders lobby that he change immigration law unilaterally, President Barack Obama declared, "I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, talks with ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., during a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, during the first public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

Impeachment prejudice

That beauty is in the eye of the beholder goes without saying. A reminder may be needed, though, that meaning is in the ear of the listener. That's because words filtered through an inner universe of preconceived notions can wind up appallingly distorted. Americans judging the words of presidential impeachment witnesses must focus on firsthand facts and discard prejudiced opinions fashioned from the biases of President Trump's detractors.

A bust of Bolivia's former President Evo Morales stands in Congress in La Paz, Bolivia, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Morales, who transformed Bolivia as its first indigenous president, was flying to exile in Mexico on Tuesday after weeks of violent protests, leaving behind a confused power vacuum in the Andean nation. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Bolivia's return to a democratic state

Evo Morales had a problem. It was 2016, and the three-term Bolivian president, an ardent leftist and the first indigenous president the South American nation ever had, wanted badly to run for a fourth term in 2019. But Bolivia's constitution had term limits, and Mr. Morales was barred from running for and serving another term.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin speaks during a news conference at the Governors' Mansion in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Bevin asked for a recanvass of Kentucky election results that showed him more than 5,000 votes behind Democrat Andy Beshear, who discounted the challenge and began preparing to take office. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

No need for hand-wringing in the GOP

Largely overlooked amid Virginia Democrats' (understandable) gloating about capturing control of the Virginia General Assembly for the first time in 20 years and narrowly winning the Kentucky governorship, there were election results — from Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Arizona and Mississippi and back to Kentucky — that should help take Republicans off suicide watch.