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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, are joined by furloughed federal workers at an event to discuss the impact on families from the partial government shutdown amid President Donald Trump's demands for funding a U.S.-Mexico border wall, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The deadly game the Democrats play

President Trump’s extended hand to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, in the form of concessions meant to reopen the government, has come back a bloody stub. If it wasn’t clear already, there is little doubt now that the primary concern of “the loyal opposition” is neither ending the government shutdown nor solving the crisis at the nation’s border. The Democrats want only to undermine the Trump presidency with an open-borders drive to take up a globalist weapon, a universal right to migrate.

President Donald Trump speak to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Trump at two years on

Two years down and two to go. Like him or loathe him, Donald Trump is the force of nature his supporters hoped he would be and his detractors feared he would be. There’s no reason to think he will change his ways of getting things done leading up to the 2020 presidential election. If the voters could get his solid results without the nonstop drama, Donald Trump would be a shoo-in for a second term.

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People walk near the Washington Monument, with the U.S. Capitol in the background, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, as the partial government shutdown continues in Washington. A shutdown affecting parts of the federal government appeared no closer to resolution Wednesday, with President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats locked in a hardening standoff over border wall funding that threatens to carry over into January. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The unnecessary partial government shutdown

Poor Donald Trump. At least that's how the president was feeling on Christmas Eve, according to his own Twitter account. "I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security," he proclaimed. "At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!"

This May 3, 2018, photo shows boxes on a conveyor belt during a tour of the Amazon fulfillment center in Aurora, Colo. The explosion in online shopping has led to porch pirates and stoop surfers swiping holiday packages from unsuspecting residents. The cops in one New Jersey city are trying to catch the thieves with some trickery of their own. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A false shot at prosperity

Amazon, the world's biggest retailer, founded and helmed by the world's richest man, recently subjected scores of American municipalities to a humiliating dog and pony show. The Seattle-based tech behemoth announced it was planning to build a second headquarters somewhere in North America, promising some 50,000 new jobs to wherever it landed. It then, in a slow-motion imitation of a reality television show, invited localities to submit bids.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., speaks, during a news conference Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, at the Capitol in Phoenix, after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, rear, announced his decision to replace U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. with McSally in the U.S. Senate seat that belonged to Sen. John McCain. McSally will take over after Kyl's resignation becomes effective Dec. 31. (AP Photo/Matt York)

A new senator for Arizona

Republican Rep. Martha McSally is nobody's idea of a sore loser. The Tucson area congresswoman recently lost a close race for Senate to her fellow Arizona representative, a Democrat named Kyrsten Sinema, who represents Phoenix. Even though Ms. McSally appeared to be in the lead on election night itself, late counts pushed Ms. Sinema across the finish line a few days later.

President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives at federal court in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Squaring Rubik's Cube

If only unraveling the maddening complexity of the Russian collusion investigation were no more complicated than solving Rubik's Cube with all of its innumerable permutations. Tuesday's sentencing of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was supposed to set a piece of the 2016 presidential election puzzle in place but instead, it led to new twists and turns that included an unexpected sentencing postponement. While witnessing the political spectacle the probe has engendered, it's helpful for Americans to remember one thing: There has yet to be found any collusion on the part of Team Trump.

Turning over a new green leaf

Abody doesn't need an advanced academic degree to practice common sense. That's why working folks who carry the nation on their backs have grasped the limits of the renewable energy revolution more quickly than those enthralled with the promise of a fossil-fuel-free future.

In this April 12, 2018 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea. China has announced live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions over increased American support for Taiwan. The announcement by authorities in the coastal province of Fujian on Thursday was accompanied by a statement that the navy was ending a three-day exercise in the South China one day early. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

Trouble in the Taiwan Strait

The unwritten law is often a myth, romantic as the idea may be. If it's not written there's no one to enforce such a "law." Such romantic legislation is usually thought to apply to the defense of marriage and the home, but it's sometimes applied to other things, such as the freedom of the seas. It's only useful when there's a nation big enough and determined enough to enforce the principle of such a law.

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., argue during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Time to finish the Wall

If President Trump sends a wish list to the North Pole, it might say something like this (and he had better hurry): "All I want for Christmas is a big, beautiful wall." If congressional Democrats send a letter, it would be addressed to the Grinch, Santa's sometime helper, and demand, "Stall the wall."

Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez poses in the parliament after a motion of no confidence vote at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Friday, June 1, 2018. Opposition Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez has won the vote to replace Mariano Rajoy as prime minister, in the first ouster of a serving Spanish leader by parliament in four decades of democracy. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

A little rain in Spain

Europe seems to be in turmoil because it seems to be reverting to form. The continent that produced two catastrophic world wars in a single century looks to be rebelling against the political, cultural and economic status quo. Ruling elites just aren't popular anywhere.

French President Emmanuel Macron poses before a special address to the nation, his first public comments after four weeks of nationwide 'yellow vest' protests, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. Facing exceptional protests, French President Emmanuel Macron is promising to speed up tax relief for struggling workers and to scrap a tax hike for retirees. (Ludovic Marin/Pool Photo via AP)

Hard times at the palace

Burning cars and breaking shop windows is some people's idea of a good time, and sometimes the rioters can make a case for a legitimate cause. The French can riot about as well as anyone this side of the Middle East, and they're angry about how they're expected to pay what they regard as more than their share of sacrifice.

20-month-old Christopher Yuhas is mesmerized by the lights on the Christmas tree in Central Park in Johnstown, PA., while visiting with his grandmother Roseanne Menjvar, Friday, Dec.7, 2018. (John Rucosky/The Tribune-Democrat via AP)

Christmas is for giving

That "it is more blessed to give than receive" sums up the spirit of Christmas. Fortunately, there is no shortage of objects of delight to stoke the dynamics of both giving and receiving during the holidays. The humbuggery of the Scrooge contingent notwithstanding, there has never been such a season of abundance, and that's a reason for good cheer.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, right, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walk onstage for a conference in Montreal on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Hillary's vaudeville tour flops

Every promoter knows the formula for a sell-out. Book a hall or an arena too small for the crowd you expect. Customers fighting for a seat is a great advertisement for whatever you're selling, and when you call it a sell-out no one can argue.

The bug bites early

The Democrats did moderately well in the midterm elections, but not as well as they expected, and they lost the three big races they really wanted to win, the governorships in Florida and Georgia and the U.S. Senate seat in Texas. Winning any one of them would have been impressive, particularly given the generally conservative voting record of those states. Such a result would have cheered the Democratic base, and given momentum to the party for 2020. The Democratic media would have put that winner in the winners bracket in the presidential sweepstakes.

The missing collusion investigation

Friends don't let friends go to the clink. The conclusion that the nation is currently running on a dual justice system — a gentler, privileged system for Hillary Clinton and her cronies, and a harsh and unforgiving system for everyone else — is coming evident to everyone.

A sign on a building at the Google campus in Kirkland, Wash. is shown Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Google employees in Kirkland and around the world briefly walked off the job Thursday in a protest against what they said is the tech company's mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Google deposes God (it thinks)

Omniscience has always been regarded as the sole province of God, but now Google thinks it's big enough to depose Him. Aping the Almighty is the hubris that inevitably carries a price. The technology giant that bestrides the world of information is under assault on numerous fronts for getting a little too abusive of free speech. But if Google and the other giants of Silicon Valley are going to be true to their vow to "do the right thing," they will need help.

Ameer Hassan of New York stops to sign the condolence book as the official portrait of former President George H.W. Bush is draped in black cloth at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, to mark his passing. Bush will lay in state at the Capitol building this week before being buried in Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

George Herbert Walker Bush

They clearly don't make 'em like George H.W. Bush any more. There's no longer much of a market for presidents dedicated to decency, dignity, and unabashed service to God and country.

An Investor walks in front of stock trading boards at a private stock market gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Share prices were mixed Friday in Asia ahead of the planned meeting by Presidents Donald Trump of the U.S. and Xi Jinping of China at the Group of 20 summit this weekend. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

Misery in the midst of plenty

Donald Trump's economic optimism bemused the economists (and irritated Democrats) when he remarked during the 2016 presidential campaign that America would soon produce too much abundance. "We'll have so much prosperity you'll say it's too much."

In this photo taken in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., smiles as as new members of the House and veteran representatives gather behind closed doors to discuss their agenda when they become the majority in the 116th Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Good news from the depths of darkness

Who knew a freshperson congressperson could so shake the foundations of the republic, and rattle the world beyond. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won a seat in the Bronx last month, sees her victory as "a watershed moment in world history akin to landing on the moon."

A new president in Mexico

It's not a good sign when a president's approval rating slips under water before he assumes the office. But that's the lot of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who will be sworn in Saturday as the new president of Mexico.