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FILE- In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, the U.S. Capitol at sunset in Washington. Republicans have high hopes of using the House drive toward impeaching President Donald Trump to defeat Democrats from swing districts loaded with moderate voters. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Buying everything but impeachment

Like an autumn breeze that sweeps clean the fallen leaves, good fortune is expelling the dreary effects of the incessant political strife that has tarnished the days of 2019. Even as dour faces in Washington deliver the dismal details of presidential impeachment proceedings, elsewhere the news is of a nation bursting with new-found prosperity. By most measures, this holiday season is shaping up to come wrapped in a golden bow.

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2018, file photo, former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick applauds while seated on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Republican concerns that the former NFL quarterback is too controversial to honor as a black leader doomed a resolution recognizing Black History Month in the state Assembly, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. The Legislature's black caucus had proposed a resolution honoring a number of black leaders, including Kaepernick, but Assembly Republicans refused to take it up. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Colin Kaepernick, professional ingrate

When the Minnesota Vikings take on the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, it will wrap up Week 12 of the 2019-20 NFL season. That's three-quarters of the way through the 16-game regular season, and Colin Kaepernick remains a quarterback in search of a team that will hire him.

Mike Bloomberg speaks to the media, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 in Phoenix. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, a late entrant in the already crowded race for the Democratic presidential nomination, was set Tuesday to file to run in Arizona's presidential primary. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Bloomberg out the gate

If it were happening in Russia or Ukraine, we could imagine the script the media would be reciting: "An oligarch with a media empire and deep connections to the leading party in the lower assembly is running for president. He is spending tens of millions of dollars of his own money to secure victory. He is silencing the media."

FILE - In this May 7, 2018, file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting in Dalian in northeastern China's Liaoning Province. For China, concerns about instability in North Korea, its ostensible communist ally, have long overridden worries about its nuclear arsenal. Beijing chiefly fears a collapse of the North Korean economy that could lead to armed conflict within the government and a potential flood of refugees streaming across the rivers that separate the neighbors. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP, File)

Double trouble with China and North Korea

As China goes, so goes North Korea. It's an obvious takeaway from the recent contentious behavior of the Asian giant that is imitated by its junior partner. Satirist Mark Twain once said, "Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." Based on his thorny dealings with the troublesome duo, President Trump would likely say the same about a bad example.

This image released by Focus Features shows Mark Ruffalo in a scene from "Dark Waters." (Mary Cybulski/Focus Features via AP)

Spreading fear and outrage over PFAS

Mark Ruffalo, who is probably best known for playing Dr. Bruce Banner in the movies set in the Marvel Comics Universe, testified before Congress last week about the alleged dangers posed by PFAS, a group of chemicals some have alleged are poisoning the nation's groundwater.

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2019 file photo Kanye West answers questions from Sr. pastor Joel Osteen during the 11 am service at Lakewood Church, in Houston. West has been denied a permit to build an amphitheater on his ranch in Wyoming. The Park County Planning and Zoning Commission made the decision Tuesday, Nov.19, 2019, after the rapper changed his plans for the structure near Cody. West told county officials he now wants to include residential space. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke,File)

Sharing Kanye's journey

"The darker the night, the brighter the stars." So said Dostoevsky, and as the nation gropes through the murky era of recrimination marked by presidential impeachment, Kanye West's invitation to join in his dazzling affirmation of faith is lighting up the buzzsphere. Detractors, perhaps blinded by the light, say it's all about the Benjamins. To the contrary, it's all about new beginnings.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., from left, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., greet each other before the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) ** FILE **

The Democrats' divisive debate

Just as it had been in each of the four previous 2020 Democratic presidential debates, the proposed Medicare For All takeover of the nation's health care and health insurance systems was hotly contested in their fifth face-off Wednesday night in Atlanta.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., center, gives his closing remarks as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents, as ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes of Calif., right, looks on. (Samuel Corum/Pool Photo via AP)

EDITORIAL: Playing telephone with Ukraine

A straightforward message can emerge unintelligible when whispered around a circle. Much more distorting than a children's game, apparently, is the free-flowing art of diplomacy. Destruction-minded Democrats hope to deploy disagreements over every murmur and recollection of a phone call to evict President Trump from the White House. Reasonable people may disagree over meaning, but only the senseless would angle for impeachment.

The Democrats' richness of embarrassment

What does it say about the Democratic presidential field of 18 (give or take) wannabes still vying for the party's 2020 nomination when two more are only now jumping into the race, just days ahead of the fifth candidates' debate on Wednesday night [Nov. 20] in Atlanta?

A protester sets fire to block a road leading to the Kowloon area in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Police tightened their siege of a university campus where hundreds of protesters remained trapped Monday night in the latest dramatic episode in months of protests against growing Chinese control over the semi-autonomous city. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The profound anti-Beijing Hong Kong protests

The Chinese government may have succeeded in ensuring that the protests wracking Hong Kong have not spread outwards onto the Mainland. But one thing is for certain: Many months into the anti-Beijing demonstrations that have riled the capitalist entrepot, Beijing has manifestly failed to pacify Hong Kong. Indeed, if nothing else, the protests against Communist rule appear only to be gaining in intensity, if not size.

FILE- In this June 1, 2017 file photo, protesters gather outside the White House in Washington to protest President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the Unites States from the Paris climate change accord. The Democratic-controlled House has approved legislation that would prevent President Donald Trump from following through on his pledge to withdraw the U.S. from a landmark global climate agreement. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Cartoonish times for climate change

Laughter may be the best medicine, but it likely won't heal the headaches endured by worryworts troubled over the state of nature. At a time when climate-change crusaders are struggling to maintain their hold on the public's concern for the cause, their earnest efforts are getting punked. Indignity is vexing, but at least it beats indifference.

People rally outside the Supreme Court as oral arguments are heard in the case of President Trump's decision to end the Obama-era, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, at the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Terminating DACA

In October 2010, responding to demands from the open-borders lobby that he change immigration law unilaterally, President Barack Obama declared, "I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, talks with ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., during a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, during the first public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

Impeachment prejudice

That beauty is in the eye of the beholder goes without saying. A reminder may be needed, though, that meaning is in the ear of the listener. That's because words filtered through an inner universe of preconceived notions can wind up appallingly distorted. Americans judging the words of presidential impeachment witnesses must focus on firsthand facts and discard prejudiced opinions fashioned from the biases of President Trump's detractors.