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In this Feb. 11, 2014, file photo, then-Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

When the spooks get it wrong

Washington is awash in intelligence agencies, some of civilians and others of the military services, 17 by one count, and a lot of what they produce is gobbledygook. Like all bureaucracies, the intelligence agencies want to protect their turf first, and writing in words (many coined on the spot) that only a small audience can understand is a way of protecting the turf.

U.S. President Barack Obama attends the 10th East Asia Summit at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

President Obama's overseas offensive

When a president goes abroad to defend his strategy for defeating an enemy — and the right word here is "enemy," not "rival" or "adversary" — it's a concession that whether he says it explicitly or not, his strategy has failed. Even members of his own party have at last put partisan loyalty aside and openly challenged the president's failed "leadership from behind."

In this Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 photo, opposition presidential candidate Mauricio Macri waves to supporters during the closing campaign rally in Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina. Macri will face the ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli in a Nov. 22 runoff. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Hope for change in Argentina

There's something hopeful to sing about in the Argentine. The election of Mauricio Macri, 56, the center-right mayor of Buenos Aires, as the new president is an attempt — the latest — to write permanent finis to the Peronista epoch in the nation's history.

President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Waiting for the repo man

President Obama and his liberal friends insist they should be judged not on performance but on good intentions. This conceit enables them to condemn critics of federal programs as mean-spirited when the evidence clearly demonstrates that the problem with the program is that it just doesn't work. They want to be graded on "commitment" to alleviating things like poverty, social injustice and regulating the weather and the high seas.

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2015, file photo, people wait in line to enter the migrant and refugee registration camp in Moria, on the island of Lesbos, Greece. Some Republicans are pushing back against aggressive opposition in their party to Syrian refugees resettling in the U.S., fresh evidence of a rift within the GOP that threatens to complicate the party’s outreach to minorities heading into the 2016 presidential contest.  (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic, File)

A clear and present danger

President Obama is angry because his constituents are angry about his scheme to resettle thousands of largely "unvetted" refugees in places across the 50 states. He thinks the anger is not legitimate, but manufactured by Republican partisanship, bigotry against Muslims and an overreaction to that business in Paris.

The price of indifference

Barack Obama's heart is just not in the fight against the enemies of the West. Why fight when you can make a speech, deliver a few remarks of empty rhetoric at photo-ops, and hope everything turns out all right. Fighting is so fatiguing. Bashing Republicans, George W. Bush and the Confederate flag is more fun.

Scott Smith, a supporter of open carry gun laws, wears a pistol as he prepares for a rally at the Capitol on Jan. 26, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (Associated Press)

The senselessness of defenselessness

Gun-free zones are zones where you're more likely to be gunned down by demented murderers who can dispatch a large number of victims in a short time, and the killers know it. A "gun-free nation," like France, is even more inviting. The radical Islamic terrorists kept up their grim attack in Paris for more than three hours, and then all but one of them took his own life without help from the police.

FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 file photo, with the White House in the background and the National Christmas Tree at right, people stand for a song at the end of the lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah, during an event sponsored by the American Friends of Lubavitch, on The Ellipse in Washington marking the second night of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. Starbucks' late 2015 cups, holiday drinks and merchandise put it in the legion of companies that have seized on the sales potential of the Christmas season, while preferring to glaze over religiosity in a country that is increasingly pluralistic, said Leigh Schmidt, author of "Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of the American Holidays." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A surprise for the holidays

The warning by the FBI that the radical Islamic terrorists are plotting a holiday surprise for the nation's capital has to be taken as a grim and serious alarm. The Islamic State, or ISIS, is working to reprise Paris in the United States, and no occasion would suit the terrorists better than the season of thanksgiving and the festive celebration of the Prince of Peace.

Steam and smoke rises from the smokestack of a coal-fired power plant near Ordos in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Tilting at the elusive windmills

France mourns its dead, and President Obama is getting ready to lead the heads of 196 nations into the city of light in pursuit of his climate change agenda. Every man to his own idea of what's important. Despite the manufactured hysteria over the weather, the production of energy is not the most dangerous work of humankind. The most dangerous barbarians are those who are busy beating their plowshares into swords.

U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media upon arrival Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines, as he arrives for the APEC summit. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Obama stands down

Surprise is a crucial element in successful warfare, as Stonewall Jackson demonstrated in the early months of the Civil War, as the Japanese demonstrated at Pearl Harbor and as the Islamic terrorists of the Islamic State, or ISIS, demonstrated in the streets of Paris. Barack Obama, a legend of leadership only in his own mind, announces with fanfare that under no circumstances will he commit significant ground forces to "degrade and destroy" the radical Islamic terrorists.

President Barack Obama leaves after posing for a family photo at the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged Sunday to redouble U.S. efforts to eliminate the Islamic State group and end the Syrian civil war that has fueled its rise, denouncing the extremist group's horrifying terror spree in Paris as "an attack on the civilized world." (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The threat to America

Neither bombs nor bullets can awaken Barack Obama and the Democrats from their Utopian reverie. Hillary Clinton's inability to figure out who that enemy is at the gate betrays her as an unserious candidate for president. Neither of them seem to understand that the first responsibility of any president is to know the nation's enemies.

Confusion in Hollywood

Here comes another defense of the Hollywood conscience. The Hollywood conscience is different from the conscience of others. Where but in Hollywood would it be fashionable to justify the betrayal of friend and country as conscience abused.

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