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In this photo taken with light reflections on a pot German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Frau Merkel’s migraine

The reckoning is at hand for Angela Merkel in Germany. None of the political parties came close to winning a majority in the September voting, and trying to put together a workable coalition has given Frau Merkel — and Europe — a headache the size of a continent.

Judiciary Committee members, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, talks with racking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on nominations on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

‘Packing’ the judiciary

When what goes around comes around, only the quick and nimble escape a painful smackdown. The Democrats in California have had remarkable success over the years packing the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with judges who have small appreciation for the Constitution as it was written, and now that may be changing.

George Washington (Image: The White House) ** FILE **

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and — whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness”:

Turkeys, worms and Schadenfreude

Republicans and other conservatives who are tempted to indulge excessive Schadenfreude over the woes of Charlie Rose, Al Franken and their sordid fellows, taking delight in their pain and humiliation, should remember Iron Law of Politics No. 3, that nothing recedes like success. Giving too many hoots and hollers at turkeys over this holiday season is great fun, but the universal truth about worms is that they eventually turn.

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Immigrant rights supporters join hands as they demonstrate in favor of Congress passing a 'Clean Dream Act' that will prevent the deportation of young immigrants known as Dreamers working and studying in the U.S., Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Miami. President Trump announced plans to end a program protecting them. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Rocking the demographic

The liberal case for surging immigration as the essential element of healthy population growth needs a fresh coat of whitewash. As immigration reform advocates attempt to blaze a pathway to legal status for millions of illegals to follow, their formula is showing signs of wear. Immigrant hands, legal or illegal, are needed to turn the crank on the great American economic machine, and immigrant women are no longer having babies in the numbers they once did.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie speaks at a campaign rally at the Washington County Fairgrounds, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Abingdon, Va. (Andre Teague/The Bristol Herald-Courier via AP) ** FILE **

Stumble in the stretch

Whether for horses or political candidates, nothing evaporates quite like a double-digit lead when the favorite loses the momentum in the homestretch. Only three weeks ago Ralph Northam held a 13-point polling lead in the race for governor in Virginia, and the latest polls now show Mr. Northam in a dead heat with the Republican candidate, Ed Gillespie.

People gather in front of the Palau Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain awaiting for Catalan President Carles Puigdemont's speech Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. Spain announced an unprecedented plan Saturday to sack Catalonia's separatist leaders, install its own people in their place and call a new local election, using previously untapped constitutional powers to take control of the prosperous region that is threatening to secede. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

Honoring homage to Catalonia

Words matter, and sometimes language matters most of all, as the crisis in Spain eloquently demonstrates. The crisis is the result of a long, bitter history of the Catalan people who now seem determined to break away, establish their own nation, and enthrone their own language.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reported to have his first indictment from a federal grand jury in Washington, and the target could be taken into custody as soon as Monday. (Associated Press/File)

Collusion confusion

A good dog comes home clenching a bone in his teeth. A bad dog drags home a bloody remnant of skeleton. Bad dogs are on the loose around Washington and they're beginning to dig a little too deep into the Russian collusion scandal, so called. Sensitive noses in polite places are beginning to detect a stink worse than something from the swamp, and it's not coming from the Trump White House.

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. Khamenei on Wednesday urged Europe to do more to back the 2015 nuclear deal after President Donald Trump refused to re-certify the pact and European companies have rushed into the Iranian markets since the landmark accord. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The audacity of mendacity

Barack Obama might call it the audacity of hope. Others more skeptical might call it "the mendacity of hope." Two years ago when Barack Obama struck his nuclear deal with the mullahs in Iran he set out to achieve something more lasting than merely limiting Iran's ability to wage nuclear war.

Commonly referred to as the Peace Cross, this is a picture of the historic Bladensburg, Maryland, World War I Veterans Memorial. (Photo/Liberty Institute website)

Size matters, to these judges

The campaign to erase the nation's history continues, outrage following outrage, the goofy replacing the merely ridiculous. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sits in Richmond, in its wisdom has ruled that a 40-foot Peace Cross erected 92 years ago to honor the military dead of World War I is "unconstitutional."

Handcuffs used on men arrested for prostitution solicitation sit on a table at a hotel in Minot, N.D., on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 in this file photo. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine) **FILE**

The myth of the happy hooker

The state has tried to eliminate, regulate and exploit the oldest profession for centuries, and no one has come up with a lasting formula. But now the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has cleared the way for "prostitution activists" to proceed with a lawsuit in a lower court to overturn the California law banning the trade, and the suit may have constitutional consequences.

Participants in the annual Trick or Treat Main Street go from business to business for candy and other items during the evening Halloween celebration, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Pittston, Pa. (Dave Scherbenco/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

Ghosts on the run

Having given the back of the hand to Christopher Columbus, the snowflakes have gone to work on another suspect holiday, this one the preserve of ghosts and goblins. Just when everyone thought it was safe to be dead, pious ire of the politically correct is turned toward the Eve of All Hallows.

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2017 file photo Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam pauses during an interview in Richmond, Va. Northam said he favors stricter controls on gun ownership. He's backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group as well as by former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was grievously wounded in a 2011 shooting. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A costly Democratic error

The public-opinion polls in the Virginia gubernatorial race are tightening. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democrat who had opened a comfortable lead over Ed Gillespie, the Republican, over the summer, has only a tiny lead in most polls now, and a new Monmouth survey puts Mr. Gillespie up by a point.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., walk to a news conference on the Republican tax and budget proposals, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

'Divided we fall'

"United we stand, divided we fall" was a warning of the consequences of political fissures in the age of Lincoln, and it's no less on point now. The United States is splitting in two along political lines, and the ominous trend could spell disaster one day soon enough. Unless Americans can set aside their differences and make common cause about something, the nation could fall into the widening gulf. America is the exceptional nation, but not a nation immune to all risks.

The decline of sanctuaries

Defiance can be noble, and it can be merely subversive. In the case of sanctuary cities, counties and states, there's nothing noble about trashing the laws of an orderly society to shield uninvited intruders from justice. Jurisdictions that do so risk more than the loss of money. They walk a narrow path to anarchy.

7. Michael Bloomberg - CEO, Bloomberg. Ranked number 10 in the world with a net worth of  $50.5 billion

Thirst prevails again in Chicago

Michael Bloomberg, the super-rich purveyor of business news, fancies himself the Terminator. The food police took a knockdown last week in Chicago, when the Cook County board of commissioners repealed a tax on soda pop, but the former mayor of New York City promised defiantly, "I'll be back."

Radio host and National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch appears on Fox New Channel's Tucker Carlson on July, 6, 2017. (YouTube, Fox News Channel) ** FILE **

Traffic on a one-way street

Returning to "civility," another word for "good manners," is a great idea, and we recommend it to one and all, with a reminder to our liberal friends that civility is not a one-way street reached only by a sharp left turn.

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2017, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) kneels in front of teammates during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday. Reid was an early protester during the national anthem, joining former San Francisco teammate Colin Kaepernick last season.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Uniformed, but uninformed

Retaliation isn't always out of bounds. With their pre-game kneeling ritual, National Football League players have put a big hurt on their teams — and the fans — who pay their enormous salaries. Fans from coast to coast have responded with a forearm to the league's all-important TV ratings, leaving the muscled men flat on their backs, looking at the sky and wondering what hit them. The NFL is the king of sports entertainment, for now, but it's reassuring that when their favorite stars sneer at their country, Americans will still show where their hearts are.

In this Sept. 29, 2017, file photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown gestures while speaking in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)

Cracking down on pronouns

There's something about the Left Coast. Maybe there's something in the salt water besides the makings of taffy. California was once derided as "the land of fruit and nuts," and the nuttiness has spread northward along the coast. Just when Gov. Jerry Brown of California had outgrown his reputation as Gov. Moonbeam, he does something to reclaim it.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, former President Barack Obama speaks during the Goalkeepers Conference in New York. Obama is set to return to the campaign trail for the first time since he left office with a rally to help Democrat Ralph Northam in Virginia's closely watched race for governor. The Northam campaign announced Wednesday, Oct. 11, that the lieutenant governor and Obama will appear together at an event in Richmond on Oct. 19. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

The Iran nuclear agreement finally gets a skeptical eye

Maximum hot air, minimum bottom line. That's the prospect for the world over the next few weeks in the wake of President Trump's Friday declaration that he won't certify that the Islamic mullahs in Iran are living up to their end of the deal they made with Barack Obama. This was the one-sided agreement by which the mullahs would give up their quest for nuclear weapons.

In this Nov. 14, 2013, file photo, producer Harvey Weinstein attends the New York premiere of "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" in New York. Weinstein faces multiple allegations of sexual abuse and harassment from some of the biggest names in Hollywood. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

Democratic politicians look for ways to express high dudgeon on the cheap

Nearly a week went by before Hillary Clinton pulled together a statement about Harvey Weinstein's abuse of women. Hillary's against abusing women and it turns out that she took so long to say so because she was trying to find the words to describe how deep her outrage runs. Abuse of women, and even credible accusations of forcible rape, are not unknown in Hillaryworld. Perhaps she hoped to draft Bubba's help to describe her outrage. Bubba's good with words. Or perhaps she was so busy tabulating good ol' Harvey's contributions to various Clinton "charities" that she just didn't get around to it sooner.

Efrain Diaz Figueroa talks to volunteers from "Caritas" at the remains of the house of his sister destroyed by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. Figueroa, who was visiting for a month at her sister Eneida's house when the Hurricane Maria hit the area, also lost her home in the Arroyo community. He waits for a relative to come from Boston and take him to Boston. He says that he is 70 years old and all his life working can't continue in these conditions in Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Exploiting aid to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a mess. But it was a mess before Hurricane Maria swept through with new misery three weeks ago. Electricity is still at a premium. By one estimate, electric power has been restored to only 10 percent of the island's customers.

Gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam is part of the new trend for Virginia Democrats, who have found that their path to victory runs through the growing suburbs of Washington and Richmond, and the Tidewater area. (Associated Press/File)

The Democratic dilemma in Virginia

The race for governor of Virginia looked like a slam dunk for the Democrats only a fortnight or so ago, and now it doesn't. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democrat, is still the betting favorite (for people who do that sort of thing), but his double-digit lead in the public-opinion polls has been cut in half.