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CNN's Jim Acosta walks into federal court in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, to attend a hearing on legal challenge against President Donald Trump's administration. Trump's administration contends it has "broad discretion" to regulate press access to the White House as it fends off a legal challenge from CNN and other outlets over the revocation of Acosta's "hard pass." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Restoring trust in the press

Reporting the news is difficult and expensive. Grandstanding is more fun and everyone has an opinion. That’s why reporters were once taught, often by a stern taskmaster, to leave opining to the columnists and the editorial page, and save their opinions for after work in the bar across the street. This particular affliction — grandstanding rather than reporting, advocacy rather than observing and distilling those observations before passing them on to press and tube, is the affliction of the modern media. And why not? Talking is cheaper than reporting.

The Capitol is seen in Washington, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, before Congress returns to work Tuesday for the first time following the midterm elections. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Managing change, preserving what’s important

It’s difficult to deny the ring of truth in certain platitudes. Heads nod in agreement with the wisdom of “change is the only constant in life,” often attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. But 23 centuries later, French journalist and critic Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr similarly nailed it again with his observation that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Common sense is a convenient tool for sorting out life’s inconsistencies and forming a suitable resolution. Some things change, but not everything, nor should it.

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Trader Sal Suarino, left. works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, March 16, 2018. Global stock markets were mixed Friday amid caution about U.S. plans to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum and uncertainty over White House politics. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

When good news is 'bad'

Bad news is bad, and sometimes good news is bad, too. This is the view of certain economists who are suddenly frightened by record low unemployment and bigger paychecks. As a famous make-believe king of Siam was fond of saying to Anna about something he didn't understand, "It is a puzzlement."

FILE- In this April 1, 2017, file photo, a service dog named Orlando rests on the foot of its trainer, John Reddan, of Warwick, N.Y., while sitting inside a United Airlines plane at Newark Liberty International Airport during a training exercise in Newark, N.J. Trainers took dogs through security check and onto a plane as part of the exercise put on by the Seeing Eye puppy program. If your pet must travel, experts say that the cabin is safer than the cargo hold. Pets too large to fit in an under-seat carrier must go cargo unless it's a service or emotional-support animal. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Peril in the friendly skies

Nearly everyone has an airline horror story: Delayed flights, missed connections, inedible meals, lost luggage. But flying has never been safer or more affordable, unless you're a dog. Nevertheless grumpy and grousing flyers should count their blessings.

President Donald Trump reviews border wall prototypes, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Something there is that likes a wall

"What you have to understand about Donald Trump, a perceptive observer of the American scene once told a visitor from abroad, "is that the press here takes him literally, but not seriously, and his millions of supporters take him seriously, but not literally."

A good choice for the economy

President Trump asked a conservative gathering the other day whether, "after my first year in office, can anyone doubt that I am a conservative?" It was a plaintive cry from a wounded ego (if not a wounded heart).

Republican Rick Saccone thanks supporters at the party watching the returns for a special election being held for the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District vacated by Republican Tim Murphy, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in McKeesport, Pa. A razor's edge separated Democrat Conor Lamb and Saccone Tuesday night in their closely watched special election in Pennsylvania, where a surprisingly strong bid by first-time candidate Lamb was testing Donald Trump's sway in a GOP stronghold.  (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Surprise in Pennsylvania

The Democrats have proved twice that they can win congressional seats with a Republican playbook. The Grand Old Party campaigned for years with the mantra, "vote Republican, we're not as bad as you think." The plea often failed. Republicans just didn't know how bad a lot of voters thought they were.

Thousands of employees of the U.N agency for Palestinian refugees demonstrate in support of their organization following U.S. funding cuts in Gaza City, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. Earlier this month, the Trump administration slashed $60 million of a planned $125 million funding installment for 2018. Washington wants the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiating table with Israel in exchange for aid resumption. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

The blood libel revived

The Palestinians, perhaps in the spirit of the approaching Passover season, have revived the ancient "blood libel" accusing the Jews of using the blood of Christian babies in their recipe for matzos.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a rally in support of Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate for the March 13 special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, at the Carpenter's Training Center in Collier, Pa., Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Looking for clues in Pennsylvania

The Democrats have been looking for a way to make the 2016 presidential election go away, as if it never happened. They imagined that they could do that, first, by denying that Donald Trump ever happened.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Atlantic Aviation in Moon Township, Pa., Saturday, March 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A big week for the Donald

Donald Trump had a splendid, terrific, very good week by any president's standards. The economic news was stunning, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that 313,000 new jobs were created in February, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, with inflation still at bay, and unemployment sank to record lows among blacks and Hispanics who needed such a week most.

Five-Star movement's candidate premier Luigi Di Maio holds his ballot at a polling station in Pomigliano d'Arco, near Naples, Italy, Sunday, March 4, 2018.  More than 46 million Italians were voting Sunday in a general election that is being closely watched to determine if Italy would succumb to the populist, anti-establishment and far-right sentiment that has swept through much of Europe in recent years. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)

Election mischief in Italy

The Decline and Fall of Rome? Not quite. But the parliamentary elections in Italy bespeak interesting times ahead for the nation where a day without a government crisis is like a day without wine. Or sunshine or rain. Or something.

Associated Press

New frontiers of gun control

Cops in Bonita Beach, Florida, are in hot pursuit of a bold and innovative robber who tried to hold up a 7-11 convenience store the other day with his finger. He made his getaway on a bicycle and the cops haven't yet found his hide-out.

FILE - In this April 14, 2016 file photo Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lipinski will face Democratic candidate Marie Newman for the 3rd congressional district seat in the March 20, 2018 primary. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais File)

Blue dogs and mad dogs

There's an old story about the man who posted a classified ad in the newspaper about his missing dog: "LOST: Male dog, has one eye, mangled left ear, paralyzed hind leg, has been neutered. Answers to the name Lucky."

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The unmentionable possibility

Donald Trump has won his war with the traditional media, the Hollywood luminaries, and it leaves the Democrats gasping for breath with no idea of where to go next. Historians will need a little time to figure out what happened. Meanwhile, new wars beckon, as they always will.

President Donald Trump smiles during the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A trade warrior is no Man of Steel

Donald Trump's pro-growth economic policies have been impressive and successful early in his presidency, and there's even a little grudging applause on the left. It's hard for Stupid to argue with a rebounding economy. That's what makes the president's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs stand out like an ugly duckling. His announcement last week that he would impose 20 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum has been felt already by consumers and manufacturers.

In this March 7, 2012, file photo, Illinois gun owners and supporters file out National Rifle Association applications while participating in an Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day convention before marching to the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

The damaging futility of boycotts

Boycotts are nearly always ugly business. They usually punish the innocent, rarely slay the guilty and accomplish only cheap publicity for the grandstanding self-righteous. This time the boycotters are taking aim at the National Rifle Association, the designated villain in the St. Valentine's Day massacre at a Florida high school.