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House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Health and Human Services Secretary, delivers the keynote address at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution entitled "A Reform Agenda for the Federal Budget Process," Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This Price is right

With their vow to repeal and replace Obamacare, President-elect Donald Trump and the Republicans have ventured onto thin ice. The dismal fate of the Democrats who preceded them onto the ice, and breaking through it, is a cautionary tale about the consequences of not keeping promises. Come Inauguration Day, the nation's new leadership had best hustle past the health care hazards lest they take an icy bath, too.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, following a closed-door meeting with House Republicans to counter President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. The plan emerging Friday satisfies demands from the most conservative lawmakers and goes further than the approach initially discussed by some House Republicans. Many of the same House conservatives who voted against Boehner for speaker earlier this week in a failed overthrow attempt led by Gohmert, were declaring victory Friday at the shape the immigration legislation was taking.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Blowing smoke, preferable hickory

Congress last week finally turned to something genuinely important, when Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas blistered the Architect of the Capitol, the caretaker of the government's buildings on Capitol Hill, for interfering with the preparation of his barbecued ribs.

In this Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, photo, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents pass a section of border wall in Hidalgo, Texas. The idea of a concrete wall spanning the entire 1,954-mile southwest frontier collides head-on with multiple realities, like a looping Rio Grande, fierce local resistance, and cost. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Hell on the border

Barack Obama's legacy, intended or not, is the hell on the border that he invited and nurtures. The crisis is darker than ever, and the Obama administration seems only to know how to make it worse.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks to reporters following the House Democratic Caucus elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, for House leadership positions. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, challenged Pelosi, but lost, 134-63. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Still out of step

"I have a special spring in my step today," Rep. Nancy Pelosi exulted on being re-elected leader of the Democratic minority, "because this opportunity is a special one, to lead the House Democrats, bring everyone together as we go forward."

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney talks with reporters after eating dinner with President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges restaurant, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Romney infatuation

Every president deserves a Cabinet of his own choosing, barring extraordinary circumstances, and that includes President-elect Donald Trump. Every president, after all, is held responsible for the success or failure of his administration, and he by right is entitled to choose his team. But even the most powerful man in the world must be wary of mortally offending the people who fought hard and long to put him where he stands. He will need them to fight with him again.

A loaded missile launcher used by an armed group of men, not specified which group of rebels, at Syria's Quneitra border crossing between Syria and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, seen from the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. The Israeli military says it has carried out an air strike in Syria on a building used by Islamic State militants to attack Israeli forces. The overnight air strike Monday targeted an abandoned United Nations building that Israel says was used as a base by the militants. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israel in the fire

Only fools play with matches. There's no scarcity of fools in the Middle East, and many of them are obsessed with playing with matches. Some may have warmed to the game with "arson intifada" in Israel. President Obama threatens to ignite a larger flame by endorsing a Palestinian state. Any number can play the arson intifada game.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick speaks during a post-game news conference at the end of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the 49ers 31-24. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The education of Colin Kaepernick

There's no shame in being ignorant, only in staying that way. San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick is in danger of ruining his occasionally brilliant career with a foolish, radical cause off the field. He has thrown in with those who hate cops as oppressors while eulogizing a genuine tyrant.

Image of Trump graffiti discovered at the University of New Mexico the morning after the election on Nov. 9, 2016. Via the Albuquerque Journal [https://www.abqjournal.com/885573/anti-trump-graffiti-defaces-unm-sculpture-elsewhere-on-campus.html]

Moving through grief

Whatever the election of 2016 lacked in dignity and gravitas, it had passion in abundance. Few campaigns have brought out both the best and the worst of the fanatics of both right and left. Even the churches were not spared from partisan vandalism.

A woman walks past a photo of the late Fidel Castro at a memorial to honor him in Guanabacoa on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Tribute sites are set up in hundreds of places across the country to bid farewell Castro, who died on Nov. 25 at age 90. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The death of a tyrant

Speaking ill of the dead is not nice, as most of us learn at mother's knee, but there are exceptions. Fidel Castro deserves no nice thoughts simply because he's dead. He was a despot and a tyrant, an unrepentant rogue with the conscience of a hangman, and we can be glad that he's dead.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. **File  (Lou Foglia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)  MANDATORY CREDIT, MAGS OUT, NO SALES; CHICAGO TRIBUNE OUT

The Hole in the Wall Gang

Plain citizens probably shouldn't try this at home. Mayors of American cities large and small are obstructing the nation's immigration laws by harboring illegal aliens and boasting that they will defy anything President-elect Donald Trump can do about it.

Rep. Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat vying to become the new Democratic National Committee chairman, says his party lost the 2016 presidential election by failing to connect with working-class voters. He says the party must refocus for the future. (Associated Press)

Democratic death wish

You can always tell a liberal, but you apparently can't tell him much. The biggest names of the Democratic Party, who now call themselves progressives, have endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota to be the new chairman of the party, to lead it as it attempts to regain the confidence of the nation. Sens. Bernard Sanders of New Hampshire, Chuck Schumer of New York, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are telling their constituents to join Mr. Ellison in a rush to oblivion.

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