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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.

FILE - In this May 15, 2017 file photo, protesters hold signs during a demonstration against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, outside a federal courthouse in Seattle. A Somali refugee living in Washington state is asking a federal judge to let his wife and young children join him in the U.S., saying the Trump administration's indefinite ban on allowing the families of refugees to enter the country violates immigration law. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Bordering on Obama-era dysfunction

Fidelity is scarce in Donald Trump’s Washington, except among the not so loyal opposition. Whether owing to compassion or incompetence, the Trump administration one year on has failed to replace holdovers, leaving in place Barack Obama’s people who are dedicated to obstruction and delay of the new era. In some federal departments, the greatest danger a bureaucrat faces is a paper cut. But about immigration, it’s whether the laws enacted to protect the American people will be enforced.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, arrives to speak to a large group of protesters rally against the Senate Republican healthcare bill on the East Front of the Capitol Building in Washington, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The season of the big slice

President Trump has something extra to be grateful for this Thanksgiving: a the long-awaited tax cut bill, passed by the House and en route to the Senate. As he marks the season with the traditional pardoning of the White House turkey, Republicans in line for similar clemency will get it only if the voters can find it in their hearts to forgive a plodding, inefficient (did someone say “incompetent”?) and lazybones Congress.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a keynote conversation at the 2017 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)

Hell on the (Canadian) border

Canada is experiencing a sharp surge of illegal aliens, and they're not just a few angry Hillary voters making good on their bluster about moving north if Donald Trump won the election.

A man is detained by Border Patrol officials after breaching border fencing separating San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in San Diego. The man, who said he was from Chiapas, Mexico, was detained by agents as they prepared for a news conference to announce that contractors have begun building eight prototypes of President Donald Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Stalling the wall

There's something that doesn't love a wall, wrote the poet Robert Frost, and that something for the moment is comprised of Democrats. President Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S. border with Mexico is slowly rising from the desert floor and his noisy political opponents are mounting a campaign to bring it down.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves to the media as he arrives to head the Cabinet session in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' former official resident in Gaza City, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Hamdallah has held the first government meeting in the Gaza Strip as part of a major reconciliation effort to end the 10-year rift between Fatah and Hamas. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

Less than meets a wary eye

The deal between Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority on the West Bank and Hamas in the old Gaza Strip is considerably less valuable than it looks. Although Mr. Abbas' West Bank authority will assume civilian responsibilities there, Hamas will remain in control of security, and will neither lay down its weapons nor dismantle its security forces and militias. Hamas has received arms from Iran in the past and now threatens the entire region.

In this Oct. 7, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington for a brief stop at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., on his way to Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Nixing the Iran nuclear deal

You have to give a little to get a little. That's the art of the deal. But when Barack Obama bargained with Iran's mullahs over their nuclear program, he gave away the store — including the cash drawer — and only got a little time in return before the advent of the Islamic bomb. Buying peril on the lay-away plan does the world no favors. President Trump calls it "the worst deal ever negotiated," and he wants to alter it. To act in the interest of the United States, after all, is his sworn duty as president and commander in chief.

Richard Cohen of the Southern Poverty Law Center. **FILE**

Making money on hate

These are not happy times for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which doesn't have a lot to do with the South, poverty or the law, and it thrives far from the center of the political spectrum. The center is mostly a cash machine, and it has raised hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly from well-meaning but gullible liberals — "progressives" in the current argot — in the name of fighting injustice and hate. Lately it has been called out as a hate group itself.

From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, sing together during a National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral, in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A mandate for religious freedom

Not so long ago, President Trump's new guidelines for the Department of Health and Human Services for protecting freedom of religious faith would have been superfluous and unnecessary. A casual observer might have read them in puzzlement, as if the government had reaffirmed its opposition to robbery or murder.

Donald Trump's new guidelines for protecting religious faith restore justice

The Washington Times

Not so long ago, President Trump's new guidelines for the Department of Health and Human Services for protecting freedom of religious faith would have been superfluous and unnecessary. A casual observer might have read them in puzzlement, as if the government had reaffirmed its opposition to robbery or murder.

Vice president Mike Pence takes the stage to deliver remarks before assisting volunteers working on the relief effort for the Puerto Rico victims of Hurricane Maria, at the Iglesia de Dios church in Kissimmee, Fla., Thursday, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Joe Burbank /Orlando Sentinel via AP)

No snakes in the grass

Sexual harassment is tacky and vile, ranging from a wink and a nod (usually a misdemeanor) to brute force (always a felony), and such misbehavior has been with us since Adam and Eve ruined paradise when Eve had an affair with a snake -- a real one, not the snake in the grass that can bedevil mere friendships.

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The humiliation of the snobs

One rare nugget of good news from the roiling, boiling cauldron of controversy about everything is that there's a new recognition of the Constitution. Many Americans, ignorant of the how and why of the founding document, have learned, sometimes to their frustration, that it's relevant, after all.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands at the conclusion of their joint press conference at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. With Turkey's president by his side, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pledged Wednesday that they would ensure borders in the region remain unchanged after the recent Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

The romantic lure of secession

Break-ups break hearts, but sometimes the thirst for freedom cannot be denied. When the desire to end a bad relationship involves the peoples of a nation, the process can become a bloody one. Americans don't have far to look to understand that. A century and a half after Appomattox the wounds of a civil war have not yet fully healed.

Former President Barack Obama waves to spectators before the first round of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Abuse by the administrative state

The spirit of the Obama administration lives -- only Barack Obama is gone -- in the bureaucracies that imagine they were established to harass taxpayers. One of these is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, one of the toxic vegetables in Washington's alphabet soup. Protecting the bureau, as the bureau sees it, is Job 1.

Beep, beep

Islam, it now turns out, is more flexible than everyone thought it was. King Salman of Saudi Arabia signed a royal decree last week stipulating that allowing women to drive an automobile won't offend Allah, after all. The mutaween, the religious police assigned to promote virtue where they find it and eradicate vice anywhere, will soon inherit an easier work day.

Investigators work at a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the casino and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at the music festival on Sunday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Exploiting murder at Mandalay Bay

Exploiting a tragedy doesn't take long. It never does. Before the blood was cleaned from the pavement at Mandalay Bay Hotel predictable demands for more gun control lit up the media. Shooters who take the lives of the innocent are clearly deranged, and pols and pundits who immediately seize upon shootings to polish their attacks on the Second Amendment reveal their own cold inclinations. The rest of us are twice victimized.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand with vice president Mike Pence and his wife Karen during a moment of silence to remember the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A nation grieves again

We live in a monstrous time, with evil lying in wait to pounce upon the innocent and the unwary. The size and scope of the expressions of such evil, as at the massacre of dozens of men and women at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas on Sunday night, overwhelms the ability of the language to describe it.

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)

The clock pursues Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller is nothing if not relentless. Impatient with a fishing expedition that relies on slippery prey to swim into his net, the special counsel now dreams of besieging anyone at the White House who has so much as watched an episode of a television drama about Soviet spies in Washington. Scalps have to be taken because that's what special counsels, i.e., special prosecutors, do.

The freshman vanishes

Good news is beginning to seep from the campus, not much but some, a heartening prospect for those with the patience to look for it. Shame may be coming back from exile.

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)

Ralph Northam meets Willie Horton

The ghost of Willie Horton, who is not even dead, continues to haunt Democratic dreams. Many Democrats continue to contest the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election, and others, like Ralph Northam, the lieutenant governor of Virginia, are stuck in 1988, when Horton became a central figure in the campaign that put George H.W. Bush in the White House.

President Donald Trump points as he boards Air Force One, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Playing the Trump card

Promise them anything, but give them a tax cut. Republicans have a fleeting chance to clear the air of the odor of defeat by making good on a pledge that voters from towns big and small who have heard enough big talk won't easily forget. If Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan can't deliver this time, these voters are likely to say, "forget you." Who needs someone who can screw up a slam dunk?

President Donald Trump pauses as he talks to the media after arriving on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, as he returns from Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sovereignty at the United Nations

The abiding theme in the criticism of Donald Trump by his thoughtful critics is that the president has no gift for the subtle. That's fair criticism. This president does not do subtle. They cite his speech earlier this month to the United Nations General Assembly, where he told the world's freeloaders and troublemakers where to get off. The speech was vintage Trump of the kind that the world has to get used to.