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Sen. Doug Jones, Alabama Democrat, won the special Senate election in 2017. Critics say he's painted himself into a corner because Mr. Jones said he'll support whoever the Democratic presidential pick is. (Associated Press)

A high wire act in Alabama

American Public Television announced this month that it was resurrecting (literally and figuratively) “The McLaughlin Group,” but you don’t need to be a political pundit — or even play one on TV — to understand why Sen. Doug Jones has been designated the most-endangered of the 34 Senate incumbents up for election in 2020.

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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.

An American flag is planted on Omaha beach, Normandy, , Wednesday June 5, 2019. Extensive commemorations are being held in the U.K. and France to honor the nearly 160,000 troops from Britain, the United States, Canada and other nations who landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944 in history's biggest amphibious invasion. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

A bad idea exiled again

There are eternal debates about issues that, while seeming adjudicated and settled, nonetheless bubble up every few years: Should Pete Rose be in the baseball Hall of Fame? Who killed John F. Kennedy? Should there be a constitutional amendment proscribing the burning of the American flag?

The USS John S. McCain under repair at a dry dock is seen after a rededication ceremony for at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, Thursday, July 12, 2018. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer dedicated one of two destroyers involved in fatal accidents in the Pacific last year to Sen. John McCain. He added McCain's name to a Japan-based warship that was already named for the Arizona senator's father and grandfather. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Protecting the world's oil

A threat to the global oil supply imperils the global economy. Iran's menacing behavior toward oil shipments moving past its shores is just such a threat. The community of nations cringes at the notion of the United States acting as the world's policeman. The American people do, too. But when conflict erupts on the high seas, as on land, who but the Americans are expected to do something about it.

A Bangladeshi reads a news report that makes mention of Facebook along with other social networking service, on his mobile phone in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. Facebook is shutting down a series of fake news sites spreading false information about the Bangladesh opposition days before national elections, a top security official with the global social media platform said Thursday. The sites _ nine Facebook pages designed to mimic legitimate news outlets, as well as six fake personal accounts spreading anti-opposition propaganda _ were created by Bangladeshis associated with the government, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, told the AP in an exclusive interview. (AP Photo)

No safety in cyberspace

Americans are more security-conscious than ever. Whether it's the triggered response of a generation jolted from well-being by the terrorist attacks of September 11, or a natural result of urbanization that is characterized by living cheek to jowl, the yearning for what the college kids call "safe space" is growing.

FILE - In this July 17, 2016 file photo, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., check out the stage during preparation for the Republican National Convention inside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. President-elect Donald Trump has picked Elaine Chao to become transportation secretary, according to a Trump source.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Squeals at the trough

Elaine Chao, the secretary of Transportation, is one of the most accomplished members of President Trump's administration. She has led two Cabinet agencies, been a sub-cabinet official, a leader of an influential think tank, and a vital force for the cheerful conservatism grounded in the hard work and traditional values that made Ronald Reagan so popular with so many Americans.

Protestors gather near the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Thousands of protesters blocked entry to Hong Kong's government headquarters Wednesday, delaying a legislative session on a proposed extradition bill that has heightened fears over greater Chinese control and erosion of civil liberties in the semiautonomous territory. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Resistance in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the pebble in China's shoe. The Beijing government didn't try to swallow Hong Kong whole when the British gave up the ghost, and the colony, in 1997. The Beijing government, which seems to have a low opinion of its constituents, promotes the line that Chinese people are incapable of democratic government and they are not capable of the rule of law and consequently are not due the liberties and freedoms common in the West.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a town hall meeting, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Ottumwa, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

The flip-flopper in chief

Joe Biden has held a consistent, if consistently incoherent, position on abortion for decades. Singing from the same hymnal as many other Roman Catholic Democrats, the onetime U.S. senator for Delaware and vice president of the United States, professes that for religious reasons he is "personally" opposed to abortion. Yet — and here's the twist — he does not want to prohibit the procedure. "My position is that I am personally opposed to abortion, but I don't think I have a right to impose my view on the rest of society," he put it in his memoir, "Promises to Keep," in 2007.

Former White House counsel John Dean looks around the hearing room upon arrival for a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller Report, Monday, June 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A ghost with nothing to say

Some memories, especially painful ones, have the power to bring the past back to life with the clarity of a pointed dagger. That's why House Democrats dusted off the figure of John Dean, the Watergate whistle-blower, and set him before the American public. In their relentless campaign to destroy Donald Trump and his presidency, they reckoned that Mr. Dean would demonstrate a link between the Donald and Tricky Dick. In the event it was a bridge to nowhere. The novelist Thomas Wolfe said it best: "You can't go home again."

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, speaks during a plenary session in the Congress Hall at the 49th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. T(Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Navigating a dangerous gulf

Dealing with misleading truisms is part of life, but so is refusing to accept what fate has supposedly decreed. It's a sad fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been crossways with the United States and the West for 40 years. But we're entitled to hope that the past is not a prologue to the future this time.

U.S. infantrymen wade through the surf as they land at Normandy in the days following the Allies' June 1944, D-Day invasion of occupied France. An allied ship loaded with supplies and reinforcements waits on the horizon.  (AP Photo/Bert Brandt)

The 6th of June, 1944

Not everyone gets to save the world. Before the colors of the Sixth of June 1944 fade into the mists of time, we remember after the passage of 75 years the uncommon sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers of America, of Britain and Canada.

A destroyed commercial greenhouse is seen during an aerial tour by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Thursday, May 30, 2019, after a tornado tore through the countryside near Linwood, Kan., Tuesday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Winning the human race

Summer approaches, and a gloomy pall, some of it manufactured and some of it real, casts a shadow over the land of the free.

EDITORIAL: Angst in Alabama over Roy Moore

The Republicans really, really don't want Roy Moore to run again for the U.S. Senate. He might be the only politician in Alabama more unpopular than Doug Jones, the Democratic incumbent, but he could scramble a primary and might open a way for Mr. Jones to win another term. Republicans know they have to be careful in dealing with Roy Moore. Voters don't like it when outsiders meddle, even if they're friendly outsiders.

FILE - In this Friday, April 5, 2019, file photo, a protester gathers containers that look like OxyContin bottles at an anti-opioid demonstration in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services headquarters in Washington, D.C. The U.S. has backed away from recommending opioids for long-term treatment of chronic pain. Nevertheless, companies continue pushing the drugs in other countries, and consumption is growing. Researchers in Brazil report, for example, that prescription opioid sales have increased 465 percent in six years. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Dealing with a scourge

Every decade produces a new drug to terrorize the mean streets, the family hearth and especially threatens the young. Heroin was the scourge of the '70s. Cocaine scourged the '80s and crack was the nightmare of the '90s, hitting hardest those trying to survive on the margins and who would mortgage the future for a brief escape from misery. To be sure, these drugs have been with man for centuries, but they have returned to modern times with a vengeance.