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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.

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FILE - In this July 3, 2018 file photo President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is giving Trump a tongue-in-cheek welcome to Montana by taking out a full-page ad in 14 newspapers thanking the president for signing 16 bills that the Democrat sponsored or co-sponsored. Trump was scheduled to hold a rally Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Great Falls to campaign for Tester's Republican challenger, State Auditor Matt Rosendale. The president has made the Montana Senate race a priority after he blamed Tester for derailing the nomination of his first Veterans Affairs nominee, White House physician Ronny Jackson. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Race prejudice takes a hit

More than a decade ago Chief Justice John Roberts suggested a foolproof formula for eliminating racial discrimination, a goal that nearly everyone says he wants. "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race," he said, "is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." Mr. Justice Roberts and his opinion in the case of Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 did not actually do anything to eliminate "affirmative action," but nibbled at the edges of it, requiring anything done to ensure racial diversity be "narrowly tailored."

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2013 file photo, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle to the motorcycle museum in Milwaukee. The ceremonial groundbreaking for a massive $10 billion Foxconn factory complex in Wisconsin was supposed to be evidence that the manufacturing revival fueled by President Donald Trump's "America First" policy is well underway. But an announcement this week by Harley-Davidson that it is moving some production of motorcycles overseas to avoid tariffs is fueling unease among voters in Wisconsin, a state Trump barely won and where fellow Republican Gov. Scott Walker is on the ballot. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, File)

A bump on the open road

Close your eyes and imagine you're astride a Harley-Davidson. There's an American flag emblazoned on the gas tank between your hips, an engine eager to thunder under you, and that man astride a Harley hog at your side looks like he could be Donald Trump. No easy riders here.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, and Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., left, arrive for a news conference on pre-existing health conditions on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Do A Lot of Harm Act

The Do No Harm Act, proposed by several Democrats in the U.S. Senate ranging from the far left to the farther left, is a sneaky case of mislabeling. If there were truth in marketing, it would be called the Do A Lot of Harm Act.

FILE - In this June 27, 2018, file photo, U.S. National security adviser John Bolton listens to question as speaks to the media after his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. Bolton said Sunday, July 1, the U.S. has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in a year. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

An agenda for Helsinki

John Bolton, the president's national security adviser, has completed a meeting in Moscow to talk about an agenda for the Trump-Putin agenda later this month in Helsinki, and the talk was about "strategic stability in the world, control over nuclear weapons and, in general, a disarmament dossier."

FILE - In this Friday, July 7, 2017, file photo U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg.  The Kremlin and the White House have announced Thursday June 28, 2018, that a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump will take place in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, FILE)

Opportunity in Helsinki

There's something about Helsinki, dark and cold in winter but bright and sunny in summer, that lends itself to meetings of global importance. The usually sleepy Finnish capital hard by the Russian border made its debut on the world stage in 1975, when it was host to a 35-nation meeting that changed the course of relations between the Soviet Union and the West, and produced the Helsinki Accords. Later this month, President Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin, will finally meet face-to-face at their first summit.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before a House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services hearing to review the FY 2016 budget request of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 23, 2015.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Mr. Justice Kennedy, exit left

Justice Anthony Kennedy finally announced his long-awaited and highly anticipated exit from the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, enabling President Trump to appoint a steady conservative successor. The High Court is stuck, like a needle on an old phonograph record, with a succession of 5 to 4 decisions reflecting the deep and unbridgeable division of the nine justices.

Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their country and steering their way through busy city streets just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted on Sunday. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Saudi Arabia's 19th century moment

Women in Saudi Arabia have been driving for almost a week and, to the surprise of some of the imams, the sky is still in its customary place. By eliminating the prohibition, Saudi Arabia relieves itself of the dubious distinction as the only nation anywhere forbidding women behind the wheel of an automobile.

Caitlin Sanger, of Franklin Park, N.J., pauses to cry outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, as she speaks about her father being detained by ICE and protests immigrant families being split up. Naomi Liem, 10, of Franklin Park, N.J., cries lower right and Jocelyn Pangemanan of Highland Park, N.J., stands right. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A needed tutorial in the law

The U.S. Supreme Court had a lesson Tuesday for the good-hearted folk who would apply feelings instead of the Constitution to the interpretation of the law. By the familiar 5 to 4 vote on constitutional issues, the High Court upheld the clear language of Congress in support of President Trump's order limiting the entry of risky foreign nationals to the United States.

FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who exchanged 375 text messages with Department of Justice attorney Lisa Page that led to his removal from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin's efforts to interfere in the U.S. election last summer, photographed outside his home in Fairfax, Virginia on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Credit: Ron Sachs / CNP (RESTRICTION: NO New York or New Jersey Newspapers or newspapers within a 75 mile radius of any part of New York, New York, including without limitation the New York Daily News, The New York Times, and Newsday.) Photo by: Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Strzoking a check on bias

It may be lonely at the top, but it's even lonelier just below. That's where Peter Strzok , the rogue FBI agent, can expect to find himself this week as he submits to a congressional grilling about his role in the FBI investigations of the presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Though the testimony is likely to be behind closed doors, it's in the court of public opinion that Mr. Strzok must demonstrate that his words and acts were not part of a scheme to subvert an American presidential election.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Solve conference at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, May 18, 2018. The Solve initiative connects innovators with corporate, government and academic resources to help them tackle world problems. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

A lesson for Canada

Talking the talk is easy. Walking the walk is not so easy. Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, thought he could take an easy shot at the United States, and Donald Trump in particular, for American determination to get out-of-control immigration under something resembling control. Lesson apparently learned.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and his wife Elizabeth leave a teddy bear as a gift for immigrant children that are being held at a facility in Tornillo, Texas, near the Mexican border, Thursday, June 21, 2018.  Mayors from more than a dozen U.S. cities including New York and Los Angeles gathered near the holding facility to call for the immediate reunification of immigrant children with their families.  (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Hell on the border

It's in the DNA of the human family to hear to the cry of a helpless child. Democrats and their media partners know it, and have weaponized the migrant child in their obsession to destroy Donald Trump and his administration, and by any means necessary.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Duluth, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Trump cools the hysteria

The mamas are happy. The papas are happy. Best of all, the little children (and some big ones) are happy. Most of the rest of us are happy. Only Sen. Chuck Schumer and Democratic congressional candidates have mixed feelings about President Trump's executive order prohibiting the separation of children from their parents arrested for illegally crossing the border from points south.

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, to rally Republicans around a GOP immigration bill.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Beware of a stamp tax

Several months ago President Donald Trump "went postal" on Amazon, continuing his feud with Jeff Bezos, who is said to be the world's richest man, and owner of The Washington Post, which the president frequently denounces as a fountain of fake news.

President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of a National Space Council meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 18, 2018, as Vice President Mike Pence looks on. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The children cry for help

A crying child on the border, hugging his mother's legs and begging not to be separated from her, breaks everybody's heart (except those with a heart of stone). Such a child, in a newspaper photograph, or 30-second video on television or online, sweeps explanations, discussion and all else away.

FILE - In this June 15, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Tariff terror

Not everyone has the chops to be a leader of nations. Appealing to the better angels of human nature is a lofty approach to leadership, but the unforgiving streets of New York City have taught President Trump another way to get results. After more than a year of watching the president in action, some people still don't appreciate what a little fear can accomplish. Mr. Trump doesn't want a trade war — he just wants his trade partners to have dread of one. Dread can change behavior.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte at the G7 Leaders Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec., on Friday, June 8, 2018.  (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

European tempers flare over immigration

The Group of 7 economic summit in Quebec last week was not quite a family feud, but it didn't bore anyone. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got in a few licks on each other, Mr. Trump's "bromance" with French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to be on the rocks, and his relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May, never particularly warm, continued to be strained if not frosty. But Mr. Trump struck up a good relationship with newly installed Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. Their relations showed a little bonhomie rather than bashing.

Hillary Clinton smiles as she is introduced at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, May 25, 2018. Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute honored Clinton with the 2018 Radcliffe Medal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The other collusion

There are two sides to every coin and maybe that goes for the Russian collusion epic, too. So far we've seen only one side of that coin. The Mueller investigation goes merrily along trying to find evidence that Donald Trump conspired with Moscow malefactors to put the 2016 presidential election on ice.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participate in a signing ceremony during a meeting on Sentosa Island, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Uncertainty at the summit

No one at the White House or in Foggy Bottom envies the job at hand for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or John Bolton, the president's national-security adviser. Someone has to peel President Trump off the ceiling and bring his feet closer to earth, and they have to do it.

A man watches a TV screen showing file footage of U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, June 11, 2018.  Final preparations are underway in Singapore for Tuesday's historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim, including a plan for the leaders to kick things off by meeting with only their translators present, a U.S. official said.  The signs read: " Summit between the United States and North Korea." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The threat of peace

The happy talk coming out of Singapore will mislead the rest of the world, which hankers for something, anything, that can eliminate the nuclear sword hanging over everybody. "Jaw, jaw," in Winston Churchill's famous formulation, is better than "war, war," but happy talk, whether by Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un, can be dangerous for the unwary.