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Editorials

A man passes a facebook screen at the Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Reclaiming the rights to one’s digital persona

Most individuals keep a pretty firm grip on their possessions — the cars, the house and the stuff inside it. They’ve got a fairly accurate grasp of their money, too, by taking a quick scan of their financial assets online. Personal data, though, is another story. The complexion of the information that tech giants glean from surveilling users’ Internet activities is as murky for most Americans as a trek in the woods after dark. Americans urgently need a more effective means of ensuring that their cyber-persona is not being stalked from the digital shadows by buck-raking marketers.

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President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at the Capitol in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi look on. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

No more Mr. Mean Guy

President Trump's State of the Union speech was perhaps the best speech of his presidency and one of the best State of the Union speeches of any president of the modern era.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, speaks during a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, unseen, at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing, China, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool)

China's slowing economy

The growth of the Chinese economy has slowed to the lowest in three decades, suggesting peril to world security by the second-largest economy and principal trader. When China spits, as the proverb goes, Asia swims. The rest of the world gets wet feet, too.

President Donald Trump speaks during an event on human trafficking in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

A State of the Union for a surprise

The Constitution requires that the president "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." For Donald Trump, that "time to time" will fall Tuesday evening.

In this Nov. 5, 2018, file photo, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, speaks during a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas. Southern politics was a one-party affair for a long time. But now its a mixed bag with battlegrounds emerging in states with growing metro areas where white voters are more willing to back Democrats. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Losers who won't go home

It used to be, when you lose an election, you had a trio of options: You could slink off into obscurity. Nothing wrong with that. Many honorable losers leave town with a discreet slink. You could run for a lesser office. Or, you can try again for the office you were booted from. (Richard Nixon, the patron saint of losers, did a version of all three.) There's a fourth option, too, but it's usually regarded as the fate worse than death. You could go home and get a job.

A man steps out of a voting booth Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at Town of Hamilton Town Hall in West Salem, Wis., in this file photo. (Peter Thomson/La Crosse Tribune via AP) **FILE**

Keeping it real on Election Day

The Democrats have tried to sell the notion that there's no such thing as voter fraud in America — that it's only an urban legend that thousands of people who have no business in a polling place have cast illicit ballots and altered outcomes of elections.

FILE - In this June 12, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump reaches to shake hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Peril in a second summit

The status quo on the Korean peninsula, which had been frozen in place for decades — binding northeast Asia, including Japan and China, in an icy embrace — has begun to show signs of cracking.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., talks with reporters after a meeting with President Donald Trump on border security in the Situation Room of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Washington. From left, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Md., Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Ill., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of Calif.(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Democrats without clothes

It's not true that the government shutdown, concluded over the weekend after 35 days of shutdown, accomplished "nothing." President Trump did not score a policy victory on the issue that led to the shutdown. The continuing resolution that is to run for three weeks, as signed by the president, does not include a dime of funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. The Mexican standoff over the Mexican border wall did, however, accomplish something important. It revealed just how radical the Democrats have become on the issue of immigration. In the run-up to the 2020 election elections, they have been smoked out. That's not nothing.

Venezuela's self-declared interim leader Juan Guaido speaks to supporters in a public plaza in Las Mercedes neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2019. Venezuela's political showdown moves to the United Nations where a Security Council meeting called by the United States will pit backers of President Nicolas Maduro against the Trump administration and supporters of Guaido. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

A ray of hope for Venezuela

Once upon a time and not so long ago Venezuela was the most prosperous nation in South America. When the late Hugo Chavez took over as maximum leader, he put it on the road to socialist hell. Under his successor, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela got there.

In this Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, file image made from video provided by the Survival Media Agency, Nick Sandmann, wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, center left, stands in front of Native American elder Nathan Phillips. (Survival Media Agency via AP) ** FILE **

The mindless work of the mob

Justine Sacco was a public relations executive about to embark on a trip to South Africa back in the day of 2013. Before boarding her plane, Miss Sacco put up a lame joke to her 170 Twitter followers: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" The joke was a clumsy attempt to lampoon the racial inequities of post-apartheid South Africa. She apparently confused AIDS, which has afflicted millions of whites, with Ebola epidemics, which have afflicted mostly blacks Africans.

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.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., center, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., second from right, and others walk down the House steps to take a group photograph of the House Democratic women members of the 116th Congress on the East Front Capitol Plaza on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, as the 116th Congress begins. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Dealing with expensive ignorance

Ours is the era of the Twitter celebrity. Gun control activist David Hogg, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and of course President Trump owe their celebrity to Twitter, giving most of them (the president excepted) celebrity and fame just for being famous. None would have ascended to such fame but for the social networking platform. Twitter is said to be losing money — gobs of it, in fact — but it's a kingmaker. Or at least a prince-and princess-maker.

William Barr, President Donald Trump's pick to be the next attorney general, answers questions at his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Putting William Barr to the test

The balance of political power in Washington requires a nimble gait afoot for those who come to town to do good and stay to do well. William Barr, the president's nominee for U.S. attorney general, has navigated skillfully the avenues that lead to the top at the Department of Justice. If confirmed as the nation's 85th attorney general, Mr. Barr must remember where to tiptoe within the endless ranks of Washington lawyers and where to come down hard with both feet.

In this Jan. 23, 2014, file photo, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, of Iowa speaks in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

The House rebukes a member

The House of Representatives has voted, nearly unanimously, to condemn remarks made by Iowa congressman Steve King. The long-time Republican congressman, in an interview with The New York Times, asked a rhetorical question: "White nationalist, white supremacist when did that become offensive?" The correct answer is "a long time ago." Rep. King's remarks set off a firestorm, including calls to resign from powerful members of his own party.

In this Dec. 1, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, second right, and China's President Xi Jinping, second left, attend their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A U.S.-Chinese cease-fire on tariffs gives jittery companies a respite but does little to resolve a war over Beijing's technology ambitions that threaten to chill global economic growth. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Suiting up for a trade war

The United States and China are drifting into a trade war, and it's worrying almost everybody. It's a peculiar war, compared to such struggles of previous centuries. Its importance is sometimes minimized in importance because of the blind spots both countries have for one another. Neither country seems to have an adequate appreciation of the other's very different environment.

Former San Antonio Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, center right, is embraced by his twin brother U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), center left, during an event where Julian Castro announced his decision to seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

On to field of dreams

Most of the government is idle and the nation's capital is shrouded in nearly a foot of snow with more on the way, but politics, the capital's only industry, grinds on at a quickening pace. Over the past few days, two more Democrats have entered the race for president, joining Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. John Delaney of Maryland. These four, gathering press notices while they may, won't be the last.

A new poll reveals the gender divide on President Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico: Men favor the barrier, women don't. (Associated Press)

The aspiring new moralists

A congressperson as the arbiter of national morality, the judge of what's right and wrong, the earnest scholar of government theology? Who knew? Yet Nancy Pelosi says building a wall on the border is "immoral." Ours is an age that mocks the values that created America.

Is the country worth defending?

It's a Mexican standoff over a Mexican wall. More than a fortnight into the partial government shutdown, neither side was willing to budge. The longest government shutdown in history isn't likely to be surpassed for a long time. One good thing that may come of this game is a recognition by everybody that shutting down the government for partisan advantage is the kind of game that only small children should play.