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Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, is pictured during a "Fridays for Future" demo on the final day of the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Who appointed Greta Thunberg?

At the annual World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland, last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin put self-appointed teenage climate-doom prophet Greta Thunberg in her place. After the Swedish 17-year-old’s hectoring Jan. 21 speech in Davos demanding that world leaders wreck their countries’ economies, putatively to save the planet, Mr. Mnuchin might well have been channeling a 1967 hit song whose lyrics included the line “Come back when you grow up, girl. You’re still living in a paper-doll world.”

People gather at a memorial for Kobe Bryant near Staples Center Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Los Angeles. Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020

It’s a stark reminder that athletes burn bright and flame out fast that Kobe Bryant was only 41 years old when he died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. It seems almost unbelievable that somebody so accomplished could have been so young.

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The sad tale of Argentina continues

Cry, yet again, for Argentina. The South American nation — rich in farmland, durable institutions and an educated population — has, for nearly a century, been an economic basket case. With the results of its recent presidential election, that sad tale looks set to continue.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a town hall meeting at Grinnell College, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

EDITORIAL: Elizabeth Warren's shell game

When it comes to the shell game, the best advice is not to play. Elizabeth Warren claims her new "Medicare for All" proposal presents the nation with a winning health care system without raising middle-class taxes. It's a sleight-of-hand plan that would shuffle costs around while worsening them in the process.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden talks with audience members during a town hall meeting, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The panic of the Democratic pooh-bahs

It's being characterized variously as "anxiety" (The Washington Post), "handwringing" (The Hill), "a Maalox moment" and "alarm" (The New York Times), and "growing uncertainty" and "a pervasive feeling of unease" (the Associated Press).

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Masking injustice as impeachment

"Boo" only startles when its target is caught by surprise. Democrats chose Halloween to spring a preliminary impeachment vote on the nation, but their move was spotted a mile away. Adversaries of President Trump have been loudly proclaiming their intention to expel him from office since the day he was elected. Now that the campaign to unelect him is out in the open, partisan accusers operating in the shadows must step into the light. Judgment cuts both ways.

Hillary Clinton has been haunting the political world for nearly three years after her election loss with book tours and appearances on networks controlled by liberals. (Associated Press/File)

The 'Hilloween' routine

"Have broomstick, will travel" is not how Hillary Clinton's calling card reads, but it should. The septuagenarian professional politician is swooping over the American landscape in her billowing jackets, threatening to once again lay waste to the presidential election process. Last time around, Republicans were relieved to have survived her reign of error. As All Hallow's Eve draws near, it is her own Democrats who are faced with uncertainty over what her threatened political resurrection might unleash.

FILE- In this Aug. 27, 2018, file photo a sign stands at the construction site for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's headquarters in Washington. The Supreme Court is stepping into a years-long, politically charged fight over the federal consumer finance watchdog agency that was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The justices agreed Oct. 18, 2019, to review an appeals court decision that upheld the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The unaccountable bureaucracy

The design of the United States government is riddled with checks and balances intended to prevent any one branch from becoming so powerful it could dominate the other two. This, the Founders believed, would safeguard our liberties.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, to announce that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed during a US raid in Syria. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

It ends with a whimper

"This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper," wrote T.S. Eliot in "The Hollow Men." A dark commentary on the despair gripping the European continent following World War I, it fits as a preface to the last moments of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, almost.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, left, and Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, answer questions during a news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 Demo-1 launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, March 2, 2019.  (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The real progressives

Hope paved humanity's lengthy pathway to the 21st century, but fear threatens to take it from here. It shouldn't. Beyond the gloomy headlines, advances in human knowledge are making these supposedly dreadful years actually the most amazing ever.

Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Power of our Pride Town Hall Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The LGBTQ-focused town hall featured nine 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Beto's 15 minutes of fame are up

In the program for an exhibition of his works at a museum in Stockholm in 1968, pop artist Andy Warhol famously predicted "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." The phrase "15 minutes of fame" has since come to describe anyone or anything that's a short-lived blip on the pop culture or media radar.

Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Lies and the Kavanaugh hearing

After being acquitted in May 1987 of all 10 counts of larceny and fraud — charges that some said were politically motivated — in connection with a New York City subway project, former Reagan administration Labor Secretary Ray Donovan turned to the Bronx prosecutor and famously asked, "Which office do I go to, to get my reputation back?"

Attorney General William Barr declines an offer from President Donald Trump to speak during a ceremony to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese, in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Barr takes issue with intolerant secularists

Attorney General William Barr kicked up a storm last weekend — by stating the obvious. In a speech delivered at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday, the attorney general pointed out that a rising tide of "militant secularism" is waging war on religious communities from coast to coast. Not content to live and let live, they seek to stamp out religious practices with which they disagree. Their assault on religion and the religious is dangerous, and represents a profound departure from the principles of religious freedom on which the United States was founded.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A false sense of fair game

Politics is a mean competition, one that makes pro football look like two-hand touch by comparison. The game on the gridiron, at least, has rules meant to ensure a level playing field. Not so with the contest currently underway in Washington in which Democrats are using every trick at their disposal to knock out the opposing party's star player. Americans are witnessing the savaging of their president, and the quiet voice of conscience says it's fundamentally unfair.

The New York Times is now under scrutiny by multiple news organizations for its "botched" report about Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, which accused him of sexual misconduct. (Associated Press)

The left's selective outrage

In May 2017, the "comedian" Kathy Griffin posted a video in which she holds the bloody, severed head of President Donald Trump. The media and political establishment were aghast — at President Trump's response. "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself," the president (of course) tweeted. "My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!" Two years later, Ms. Griffin is back in the popular culture's good graces, bringing her caustic brand of stand up to theaters worldwide. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, was widely derided for taking offense at a video that showed his murder in graphic detail.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listens during a talk about lowering the cost of prescription drug prices Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

'To form a more perfect union' or transform it

Not everyone is born for greatness, but most Americans try to do their part, in the words of the Constitution, "in order to form a more perfect union." Some, though, spend their days attempting to transform it. Republicans and Democrats alike believe it is they who are laboring to build a better nation and their political adversaries who are wrecking it. It's an ominous trend, especially heading into a presidential election season where victory and defeat hang in the balance. When the Democratic presidential contenders take the debate stage Tuesday in Ohio, voters should gauge whether they intend to support the union the Framers formed, in transform it.

Christopher Columbus. (Image from Associated Press)

Renaming Columbus Day

In its latest spasm of virtue-signaling last week, the D.C. Council further burnished its far-left credentials by adopting "Indigenous Peoples' Day" as a legal holiday, replacing Columbus Day, to be observed Monday, Oct. 14.

House Republican Conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., flanked by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, left, and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., criticizes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Democrats for launching a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Ms. Cheney: Declare war!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Congress and the White House are at yet another constitutional deadlock, this time over how the United States should proceed in the ongoing civil war in Syria.