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U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks as his wife Kayla Moore looks on at the end of an election-night watch party at the RSA activity center, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Good news in Alabama for everybody

Roy Moore leaves the stage with a gift for both Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans won’t have to share the stage with him ever again, and the Democrats, who tried and failed to win even one of a succession of special elections this year, have finally got what they couldn’t get on their own.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he talks during the closing news conference following the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Muslim nations of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and appear set to counter it with a declaration of east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Turkey’s tantrum

The ability to respond smartly to controversy is a measure of responsible leadership. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan just flunked a test. The Turkish president-cum-caliph with a tart tongue has flown off the handle over the U.S. foreign policy turn toward Israel, demonstrating why he is an unreliable ally. Eliminating common ground undermines the basis for friendship.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 file photo, flames sweep up a steep canyon wall, threatening homes on a ridge line as the Skirball wildfire swept through the Bel Air district of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Fire Department said Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, that the wildfire that destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen more last week in the exclusive Bel Air section of Los Angeles was sparked by an illegal cooking fire in a homeless encampment. No one was in the camp, and no arrests have been made. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Feeling the burn in California

There’s never a dull moment in California. Almost a universe unto itself, the westernmost continental state has something for every lifestyle, American or otherwise. But its 40 million inhabitants have to contend with nature like no other state, a point driven home by the late-autumn outbreak of killer wildfires. The treasure that is California comes with considerable added peril when fire joins earthquake.

FILE - In this June 8, 2017 file photo Hungarian-American investor George Soros attends a press conference prior to the launch event for the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, Germany. Soros said oppression of the opposition by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government is greater than when Hungary was under Soviet domination. He said in a video message that if Orban expels the Soros-founded Central European University, he will keep it in exile and return after Orban's departure. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop, file)

The hard life of George Soros

Life can be almost good anywhere if you’re a billionaire. George Soros, the Hungarian-born billionaire who once shorted the British pound to bring down a conservative government in Britain, has been on a rant that the government in his native Hungary has grown so oppressive that life there is more miserable than it was during the occupation by the Soviet Union, which was the ultimate socialist experiment. Mr. Soros probably thinks life in modern Hungary, with free speech and free elections that don’t always go the Soros way, is as oppressive as Donald Trump’s America.

The Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City is seen while a Jewish orthodox man reads from a holy book in a cemetery in Jerusalem, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

President Trump’s capital idea

President Trump’s announcement that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital changes everything, and nothing. On the one hand, it is simply a recognition of reality and U.S. law. More than two decades ago Congress enacted a law requiring the State Department to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv, the Israeli commercial capital, to Jerusalem.

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FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump gestures during a Presidential Address to the Nation about a strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan, Fort Myer in Arlington Va. Behind the detail-scarce rhetoric of the new Afghanistan strategy, elements of President Donald Trump's broader approach to foreign conflicts emerge: secret military plans, no "nation-building" and a reliance on regional players to squeeze wayward nations and extremist groups. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A surge in Afghanistan

All of Arabia (and Iran, too) is not worth the life of one American soldier as the price of conquest, but securing America against the threat of radical Islamic terrorism is worth whatever it takes. Americans have no taste for colonial conquest, which is fundamental to the ideals of the republic. But neither do Americans cut and run when the wind is up.

Demonstrators with flags and signs gather to protest illegal immigration, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, in Laguna Beach, Calif. A small group of people demonstrating against illegal immigration was outnumbered by hundreds of counterprotesters who gathered to denounce racism in the coastal California city. (AP Photo/Christopher Weber)

All aboard the censor ship

The angry and occasionally violent left has drawn the battle lines and demands that America choose a side. On one side, in the view from the left, are the liberals who call themselves "progressives," pious bearers of righteousness, devoid of bad motives and without original sin. On the other side is everyone else, deplorables, yahoos, bigots, racists and other bad people whose unpardonable sin is that they voted for Donald Trump. "Deplorables" have no rights, and the mob is entitled to impose "justice."

Lessons in the dark

Crowds gathered with eager anticipation. There were runs on "eclipse sunglasses," with 7-Eleven running out early, and Amazon accused of selling sunglasses that weren't guaranteed to keep out the right rays. Amazon might deliver on the protective gear, so the street wisdom went, but you might go blind.

In this Aug. 28, 2016 file photo, visitors watch the morning sun illuminate the Grand Tetons, partially-obscured by smoke from nearby wildfires, as seen from within the Great Room at the Jackson Lake Lodge, in Grand Teton National Park, north of Jackson Hole, Wyo. Grand Teton National Park, normally in the shadow of the neighboring and world-renowned Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming, is set to get its day in the sun with next week's total solar eclipse passing directly over the park. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Striking a blow against thirst

The Obama administration decreed six years ago that the national parks could sell soda pop but not water to visitors seeking to slake their thirst on trails through the splendor of nature. Sugar water yes, plain water no.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., attends a state Democratic Party event honoring former U.S. Sen. David Pryor and his family in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, April 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) ** FILE **

A spy story for our times

Imran Awan is a Pakistani-born computer whiz who worked for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and for dozens of Democrats in Congress. He and his wife have been indicted on four criminal counts of bank fraud and lying to investigators.

In this Aug. 14, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump walks across the tarmac from Marine One to board Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, N.J. Bombarded by the sharpest attacks yet from fellow Republicans, President Donald Trump on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, dug into his defense of racist groups by attacking members of own party and renouncing the rising movement to pull down monuments to Confederate icons. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Illusion in a slogan

Putting "America first" is what Americans expect of every president, and despite its isolationist history in the months leading up to World War II, the words "America first" can put a lump in many an American throat. "America first" was one of the slogans Donald Trump rode into the White House.

In this Oct. 28, 2016, file photo, a woman stands on the black beach in Vik, Iceland, near the Volcano Katla. The AP reported that stories claiming the Icelandic government will pay immigrants $5,000 a month to marry Icelandic women are hoaxes. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

Iceland finds a deadly 'cure'

It's not an exaggeration to think that Margaret Sanger, the 20th century eugenicist, or advocate of improving the human population by controlled breeding, would feel at home in Iceland.

In this Sept. 30, 2016, file photo, a marijuana bud is seen before harvesting at a rural area near Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

A pot hole in the culture

What's good for American children is good for America's future. A growing number of states are forgetting that -- if not in word, then in deed. The trend toward increasing legalization of marijuana is resulting in rising numbers of kids requiring medical treatment or hospitalization for narcotic intoxication.

"He doesn't deserve to be treated this way," said President Trump of former Arizona County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Mr. Arpaio was convicted in federal court earlier this year. (Associated Press)

A pardon for Sheriff Joe

President Trump is "seriously considering" pardoning Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff who was convicted July 31 of misdemeanor contempt of court for ignoring a judge's order to quit detaining those he suspected of being illegal immigrants.

The sides of conflict

Nothing President Trump can say will satisfy the mob. Scheming since the morning after the November election to reverse the result, the mob is on a holy crusade to destroy Trump the interloper, and the president himself keeps assisting the project.

An economy back on track

The American economy has been in a funk for a decade. Donald Trump was elected largely on his promise to see the economy regain traction and resume speed on the road to prosperity. There are encouraging signs that his strategy of releasing the regulatory brakes is working. Combined with changes in immigration policy, the years in the doldrums may soon be at an end.

A wise word from the past

The Washington Times

"Experience is the teacher of all things," said Julius Caesar. The mighty ruler of Rome would know, but considering the ancient emperor's pointed encounter with sharp knives some things can be better learned through observation at a safe distance.

Mr. Trump's LGBT tweets

The Washington Times

Lawyers are always looking for clients, but — until now — they have to find a client who has actually suffered harm before filing a lawsuit seeking damages for harm. But lawyers for five newly reconstructed women, each identified only as Jane Doe to preserve anonymity, have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington arguing that President Trump's tweet that he would bar transsexuals from serving in the military services violates both the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

People watch a TV screen showing a local news program reporting about North Korean military's plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam, with an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. North Korea said Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un was briefed on his military's plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam as part of an effort to create "enveloping fire" near the U.S. military hub in the Pacific. The letters read "Kim Jong Un, would watch a little more U.S.'s behavior." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A wise word from the past

"Experience is the teacher of all things," said Julius Caesar. The mighty ruler of Rome would know, but considering the ancient emperor's pointed encounter with sharp knives some things can be better learned through observation at a safe distance.

Mr. Trump's LGBT tweets

Lawyers are always looking for clients, but -- until now --they have to find a client who has actually suffered harm before filing a lawsuit seeking damages for harm. But lawyers for five newly reconstructed women, each identified only as Jane Doe to preserve anonymity, have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington arguing that President Trump's tweet that he would bar transsexuals from serving in the military services violates both the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

In this July 10, 2017 photo, Moina Shaiq speaks to a man after a Meet a Muslim event at Bronco Billy's Pizza Palace in Fremont, Calif. Shaiq discussed the importance of the hijab, the head scarf, and the niqab, the face covering, as well as the differences between Sunnis and Shias. She also spoke about the rights of women in Islam, and what it's like to be an American-Muslim today in her one-hour talks. (AP Photo/Kristin J. Bender)

The demographic threat to the West

Acombination of falling birthrates among the native-born and the influx of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from the Middle East threatens to swamp the indigenous European culture from which America sprang. Preserving the best of the culture will be the responsibility of the emerging generations, and the size of that responsibility is only now coming clear.

A rainbow appears over Tumon Bay, Guam Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. Residents of the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam face a missile threat from North Korea. (AP Photo/Tassanee Vejpongsa)

Waiting for China

Everybody talks a good game of peace, goodwill and other good stuff from the sidelines of the noisy war of words between the United States and North Korea, but none of those sideline warriors wants to be seen doing any of the heavy lifting.

Fans wave flags of Puerto Rico as compatriot Ivan Rodriguez speaks during his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., Sunday, July 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Cleaning up Puerto Rico's mess

Puerto Rico continues to struggle with the consequences of irresponsibly running up debt. It owes debtors about $70 billion, and a default on debt which was due to be fully repaid by last month has made things worse. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, enacted last year after President Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan applied pressure on Congress, was supposed to prevent things like that. Instead it threatens to accelerate the rate of collapse.

In this April 6, 2017, file photo, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Deeper into the swamp

Sending a defeated rival to the penitentiary is not the American way (except, maybe, in New Jersey, Illinois or Louisiana). But in a swamp there's always an alligator eager to bite off any fingers searching in the murk for the drain plug.