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FILE - In this June 29. 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump, left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Trump is prioritizing China trade negotiations over defending the Hong Kong protesters. This contrasts with the stance normally taken by his White House predecessors, who would use such a flashpoint as a moment to espouse an American commitment to democratic values.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Trump’s troubles with the Asian axis

President Trump assures Americans regularly that he has a “great relationship” with an array of world figures, among them Xi Jinping of China and Kim Jong-un of North Korea. It’s comforting to hear. It would be more gratifying, though, to see these relationships bear fruit. Try as he might, the president has been stymied in his efforts to seal crucial deals with his Asian counterparts. Americans may be subject to creeping doubts, but there is no substitute for persistence.

Storks stand in their nest as the sun rises in Lebus, eastern Germany,Friday, July 26, 2019.  (Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP)

Ideas worthy of the silly season

The silly season has arrived. Just as busy people are ready for a well-deserved break from midsummer’s heat and humidity, the foretellers of global warming have burst forth with warnings that without drastic action, there will be no escape. Climate is a common concern the year ‘round, but notions about preserving its natural balance track seem to rise with the temperature. The sensationalizing of heat waves and the disincentivizing of meat consumption as a cooling scheme are ideas of value for entertainment, but not for implementation.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., hoists Kassidy Durham, 7, who lives in Durham, N.C., where her mother works for McDonald's, as Democrats as House Democrats approved legislation to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade _ to $15 an hour, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 18, 2019. The bill is expected to fail in the Republican-controlled Senate. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

When the government meddles in wages

If your wallet has felt a little fatter recently, you're not alone. After a decade or so of stagnation, Americans' wages are finally starting to grow, and not a moment too soon. As of this spring, wages were growing at about 3.4 percent year over year — the highest rate in more than a decade. The grim post-Great Recession slog is finally over.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks as, from left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., listen during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. President Donald Trump on Monday intensified his incendiary comments about the four Democratic congresswomen of color, urging them to get out if they don't like things going on in America. They fired back at what they called his "xenophobic bigoted remarks" and said it was time for impeachment. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Tweets and trivia in the Squad Room

Politics is sometimes a lot like high school, with its surfeit of backbiting, goofy, mean occasionally clever nicknames, and scrambling for popularity, but the latest cannonading of tweets and trivia between President Trump and "the Squad" is taking metaphor a bridge too far. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's feud with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her ladies, and now with the president, is a serious breach of how the government is supposed to work. The exchange demonstrates just how juvenile things have become on Capitol Hill.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller prejudiced a potential jury by stating that the Kremlin ran a social media campaign that the federal government says was connected to Russian firm Concord Management and Consulting LLC, said U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich. (Associated Press/File)

EDITORIAL: Democrats may one day regret looking further into Mueller report

Democrats dissatisfied with the contents of the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election can't seem to resist the temptation to pry off the lid of Pandora's box. Craving the key to impeaching President Trump, they risk the danger of refusing to let bad enough alone. Their obstinacy could ultimately serve the greater good they don't intend, giving Republicans a stage for exposing mischief unleashed by the Obama administration.

United States' team celebrates with trophy after winning the Women's World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

How not to win friends

Professional soccer has been banging on the American consciousness for decades, trying to win recognition as the equal of baseball, football and basketball in the public eye. The media elites have tut-tutted and clucked their tongues, lamenting the reality that American sports fans have not embraced professional soccer in the way of the rest of the world.

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, file photo, British Ambassador Kim Darroch hosts a National Economists Club event at the British Embassy in Washington. Britain's ambassador to the United States resigned Wednesday, July 10, 2019, just days after diplomatic cables criticizing President Donald Trump caused embarrassment to two countries that often celebrate having a "special relationship." The resignation of Kim Darroch came a day after Trump lashed out at him on Twitter describing him as "wacky" and a "pompous fool" after leaked documents revealed the envoy's dim view of Trump's administration. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz, FIle)

An undiplomatic dust-up

Diplomacy isn't always diplomatic. Kim Darroch, late the British ambassador in Washington, had several choice things to say about what he thinks of President Trump, and now he's gone. He put his remarks in a cable (more correctly called a "cablegram") to London and a busybody in the Washington embassy or the Foreign Office in London leaked them to a London newspaper, the Mail on Sunday.

Immigrants play soccer at the U.S. governments newest holding center for migrant children in Carrizo Springs, Texas. The Department of Health and Human Services, which holds immigrant children unaccompanied by a parent under federal law, says about 225 children are currently held at a former "man camp" for oilfield workers. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Protecting the American Dream

Children may be our closest brush with heaven this side of eternity. Their innocent vulnerability reaches out to the rest of us for compassion and protection. That's why the cynical and the conniving wield them as the perfect tool to enhance political machinations. We're watching now the use of immigrant children from Central America to tug at heartstrings and break down common-sense respect for the secure borders that comprise the central pillar of national sovereignty. Compassion for the suffering of others, especially children, is a virtue. But irresponsibility posing as compassion for the plight of young illegal migrants eventually undermines the goodwill of millions of Americans.

Greece's President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, right, and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attend the swearing ceremony of the new cabinet at the Presidential palace in Athens, Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Cabinet has been sworn in, two days after conservative party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis won early elections on pledges to make the country more business-friendly, cut taxes and negotiate an easing of draconian budget conditions agreed as part of Greece's rescue program. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

A new government in Greece

Beware of Greeks bearing false promises. That's the lesson of the end of the Syriza government in Athens, whose four years in power ended over the last weekend in a definitive general election.

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he leaves an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Mars or bust

Politicking is about possibilities and promises, and President Trump used both in opening his bid for re-election. The most ambitious item in the category of "promises made, promises kept" is preparing astronauts for a trip to Mars.

In this May 29, 2018, file photo George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations, listens to the conference after his speech titled "How to save the European Union" as he attends the European Council On Foreign Relations Annual Council Meeting in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) ** FILE **

Advice from the holier than thou

"Virtue-signaling" is a favorite sport on the rich left. Baseball, boxing and football are for sissies. Virtue-signaling is the current fad word for acting "holier than thou," perfected by creative liberals to publicly express feel-good sentiments to advertise a signaler's moral correctness.

This undated product image obtained by The Associated Press shows Nike Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July shoes that have a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle on it, known as the Betsy Ross flag, on them. Nike is pulling the flag-themed tennis shoe after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick complained to the shoemaker, according to the Wall Street Journal. (AP Photo)

When a shoe pinches

The executive suites of corporate America have been the source of a lot of bonehead mistakes. Some of those mistakes are famous (perhaps infamous to stockholders): New Coke, the AOL-Time Warner merger, the Blockbuster Video (remember them?) decision to turn down a profitable acquisition offer from Netflix. But Nike's capitulation to the new forces of political correctness sets a new standard of industrial-strength dumb.

A sign shows 37 degrees Celsius at a building in the city of Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Germany and Europe is hit by a heatwave with temperatures near 40 degrees. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)

It happens every summer

Summer has arrived and the heat is on, naturally. Some like it hot, but for those who don't, recalling the ache of last winter's frigid fingers and toes may ease the discomfort. It's smart to remember the atmospheric tribulations that blow hot and cold and resist the madding crowd, certain, like Chicken Little and climate-change hysterics, that the sky is falling. To do otherwise is to succumb to the well-established disease called "Weather Amnesia."

Multiple groups, including Rose City Antifa, the Proud Boys and conservative activist Haley Adams protest in downtown Portland, Ore., Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

Vigilantes at large

The hallmarks of a functioning democracy are clear enough. Open elections, a free and unfettered media, an unbiased judiciary system. The most important is the guarantee that a citizen can write or speak his opinions, popular or not, without fear. The United States does well on open elections (despite the Russians), a free media (fake news aside), and an honest judiciary. On fearless free speech, not so much, or not as much as used to be.

The peril in the fix

American medicine is the best in the world, so an ancient bit of wisdom goes, "just don't get sick." American medical innovations are unmatched anywhere in the world, and when the rich get really, really sick the United States is where they come. The politicians who keep trying to "fix" the system's shortcomings — and they're real — haven't yet managed to destroy the system. But they're coming close.

In this undated file photo provided on Sunday, June 23, 2019, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reads a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, said North Korean and U.S. officials are holding "behind-the-scenes talks" to set up a third summit between the countries' leaders. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

Missing in North Korea

Alek Sigley is that oddest of ducks, a fan of the misery of life in North Korea. Mr. Sigley, a 29-year-old Australian from Perth, is one of the few Westerners who makes his home in the totalitarian state. He is a graduate student at Kim Il-sung University. Mr. Sigley says he has long felt a fascination with socialism. He may be the only Australian resident of North Korea.

President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Washington. Trump is en route to Japan for the G-20 summit. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trumping the G-20

The G-20 summit opens Friday to address issues important to the global economy, but for President Trump the world is not enough. He has special business on the side that could be more pivotal than the gathering's broad agenda. From China to Russia to Iran to the Koreas, the president's dealmaker checklist could boost or break his momentum as he prepares to meet the field of Democratic presidential contenders head-on.

FILE - In this April 12, 2019 file photo, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker answers questions after a bill signing in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield, Ill. Gov. Pritzker has compiled a $41.5 billion state capital-construction plan to rebuild and maintain roads, schools and affordable housing, make environmental improvements and more. The Democrat briefed key lawmakers Friday. He did not release the plan but news organizations including The Associated Press obtained copies of it. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, File)

Sad times for shrinking Illinois

For much of the 19th and early-20th centuries, the state of Illinois was a powerful magnet. Between 1850 and 1900, the state's population grew five-fold, from 850,000 to more than 4.8 million. Some of that growth was attributable to natural population increase — big families were the rule then — but population growth was supercharged by both domestic and international migration.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks briefly with reporters at a bipartisan bill signing ceremony but delayed taking questions on Iran until later, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, June 21, 2019. President Donald Trump said Friday the U.S. was "cocked and loaded" to retaliate against Iran for downing an unmanned American surveillance drone, but he canceled the strikes 10 minutes before they were to be launched. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Deporting the illegals

Tough words softened by gentle deeds are preferable to gentle words trampled by rough and reckless action. President Trump vows to begin deporting illegal immigrants by the millions, a campaign promise that helped elect him and may well do so again. He didn't invent the chaos on the border, but he is the first president to try to do something about it. The nation yearns for an equitable immigration system that enables the orderly entry of foreign nationals without infringing the rights of law-abiding Americans. There's nothing in the president's words or deeds that dash that wish.

In this May 7, 2014, file photo, the World War I memorial cross is pictured in Bladensburg, Md. (Algerina Perna /The Baltimore Sun via AP, File)

Lest we forget

Forty-nine soldiers from "the Great War," as World War I was once known, can now "requiescat in pace." The people of Prince George's County, Maryland, can rest in peace, too. The U.S. Supreme Court liberated the Peace Cross in Bladensburg this week from the anger of vandals who wanted to evict the 40-foot-tall cross from its place of honor on a traffic roundabout, where it has commemorated the "valor, endurance, courage and devotion" of the heroic dead for nearly a century.

FILE - In this Friday, April 5, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington. A federal appeals court said Thursday, June 20, 2019 that new Trump administration rules imposing additional hurdles for women seeking abortions can take effect while the government appeals decisions that blocked them.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

EDITORIAL: Trump well-armed for 2020

President Trump is accused by his critics, enemies and assorted soreheads of being the most divisive president since, well, maybe Chester Alan Arthur, or somebody. Perhaps he is, but much of the record of his first three years suggests that sometimes divisiveness works. He puts on a good show, too. His opening rally this week in Orlando, Florida, was a raucous whopper.