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Oscar statue (Associated Press)

EDITORIAL: A bad night for Oscar

That's quite a hangover Oscar is still nursing, two days later. The motion picture academy tried to give him away to the wrong winners, and the academy posted a tribute to a Hollywood icon no longer with us with a photograph of someone else who is still very much with us. One of the performers was hit on the head by a prop. One thing followed another.

Tom Perez (Associated Press)

Democrats lunge left

Keep turning left and you'll always come back to the place where you started, or a dead end. Neither result seems to bother the Democrats. The party of Jefferson chose its leader over the weekend, Tom Perez, who prescribes more of what brought the party low. Striking out toward the dead end, Democrats will need more than a wing and a prayer to survive and prosper.

Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center (Associated Press)

Selling an epidemic

Some of the shills on the left lament "an epidemic of hate out there, and it's about to drown the republic." The contagion has spread like wildfire, which stretches cliche to a breaking point, and according to the usual jeremiahs on the left it all started with Donald Trump.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama (Associated Press)

Mon Dieu! President Obama of France

A month out of the White House, and Barack Obama is still looking for work. Fortunately, there may be a France in his future. A group of merry pranksters in Paris is circulating a petition to get him on the ballot as a candidate for president in the round of elections beginning in April.

Protesters hold signs during a rally in support of transgender youth, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at the Stonewall National Monument in New York. They were demonstrating against President Donald Trump's decision to roll back a federal rule saying public schools had to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender identity. The rule had already been blocked from enforcement, but transgender advocates view the Trump administration action as a step back for transgender rights. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Free-for-all at the urinal

A visitor from Mars or Pluto could reasonably conclude that Earth is a weird planet indeed. "It's a heavenly body of great beauty," he might report back to headquarters, "where everyone is trying to change his and her sex but is so squeamish about talking about sex that they must coin euphemisms, such as 'gender identity,' to describe it."

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on domestic and international human trafficking, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017,in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The comeback of coal

President Trump's boisterous press conferences sometimes cast a shadow over one of his most important achievements so far: his executive order suspending runaway Environmental Protection Agency rules that all but bankrupted the American coal industry. Three of America's largest coal companies declared Chapter 11 in recent years largely as a result of rules like the Clean Power Plant Act, a gift of Barack Obama.

Protesters of President Donald Trump's immigration policies chant across the street from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection station Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in McAllen, Texas. (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP)

Immigration Order No. 2

The fight over who controls U.S. immigration policy is about to enter Round Two. President Trump pledges to come out swinging with a reformulated restriction on prospective immigrants. He seems deadly serious about defending the nation's borders, and those who want to throw open the borders to everyone seem just as determined to stop him. The outcome will determine nothing less than who defines America.

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2017 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Financial Services Committee for the Fed's semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.  Federal Reserve officials earlier this month discussed the need to raise a key interest rate again "fairly soon," especially if the economy remains strong. Minutes of the discussions in minutes released Wednesday, Feb. 22  showed that while Fed officials decided to keep a key rate unchanged at their Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting, there was growing concern about what could happen to inflation if the economy out-performed expectations. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The regulator cometh, and maybe goeth

There's a lot to be said about government regulation -- and much of it not good. Some regulation, given that human nature is what it is, is necessary. But sometimes it seems there's little difference between the government telling you how to spend your money and the government just taking it. Regulations are a lot like taxes.

Maple tree sap drips from a tap into a bucket, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Brookline, N.H. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, led a discussion with maple syrup producers in New Hampshire about how climate change is impacting their industry. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Carbonated politics

Every problem in Washington finally finds a solution, and it's usually called a tax. A group of policy mavens, eager to do something for everybody, proposes to tax carbon, the substance found in all forms of fossil fuels. It's the fourth-most abundant element in the universe. The idea is that if there's a levy on the carbon content of oil, coal and natural gas, consumers will use less of it. Presto! No more human-caused global warming. But it still smells like a tax.

Stranded vehicles stand loaded with goods after the Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed, at Jammu, India, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for vehicular traffic for the second day Tuesday following landslides triggered by rains, officials said. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Unhappy motoring ahead

After years of slow but steady decline, traffic fatalities on the nation's highways and byways are increasing again. If the death and injury toll continues to rise in the years ahead, it's likely the fault of government supervision gone awry.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and U. S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shake hands prior to a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. McCain met Erdogan after attiendng the Munich Security Conference 2017 in Munich, Germany. (Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool via AP)

The McCain-Trump feud

John McCain and Donald Trump have never been close, and they don't share agreement now on a variety of foreign policy and defense questions. They have engaged in several testy exchanges in the past, but their mutual antipathy now goes beyond testiness. Mr. McCain, a senior senator and former presidential nominee of the Republican Party -- and with the eminence that those credentials accord -- traveled across the Atlantic the other day to deliver what one analyst calls "a calculated, planned attack on Trump's entire system of beliefs." This is without modern precedent, and it was out of bounds.

The resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has opened up a vicious fight over the integrity of the intelligence community. (Associated Press)

Finding the Flynn leak

Washington is aflame with speculation over who is responsible for the spy-versus-spy mischief that led to cashiering Michael Flynn, the president's national-security adviser. The president appointed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his successor Monday, but the controversy over the Flynn episode will not go away.

President Donald Trump during a campaign rally Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in Melbourne, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The premature obituary

Sometimes blood in the water is just the residue from a bowl of strawberries. When Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration as secretary of Labor last week, following the cashiering of Mike Flynn as the president's national security adviser, President Trump's critics were satisfied at last that the end was near, the Trump administration is collapsing and that there must be a miracle around the corner to deliver them from their broken dreams and gossamer wishes. The water had turned pink.

A large crowd gathers for the rally outside the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton Pa., Sunday Feb. 19, 2017, to focus on protecting the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid. (Jason Farmer/The Times & Tribune via AP)

The rose by another name

The courts continue to wrestle with homosexual nuptials and the meaning of "participation." The Washington state Supreme Court last week held that a florist in Richland, Wash., had no right in the law to refuse to provide flowers to two men for their same-sex wedding because to participate in such a rite would violate her deeply held religious beliefs.

About 50 fast food workers protest the nomination of former Hardees CEO Andrew Puzder to lead the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, outside the current headquarters of the fast food chain in downtown St. Louis. Fast food workers claim Puzder is unfit for the position because of his policies toward employees as Hardees boss. (Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Trump's missing free market warriors

Andy Puzder's withdrawal for consideration as Donald Trump's secretary of Labor might have been premature but for the easy surrender of the Republicans in the Senate to a left-wing slander campaign. Mr. Puzder's replacement, R. Alexander Acosta, is a labor lawyer without any real-life experience in hiring workers, but he looks confirmable. However, this leaves the new administration with almost no sound voices for free-market ideas.

"I think it's very, very unfair what's happened to Gen. Flynn, the way he was treated, and documents and papers that were illegally, I stress that, illegally leaked," President Trump told reporters on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

The swamp strikes back

Hercules cleaned the Augean Stables by diverting the course of two rivers through the gates to carry off the grunge and dreck. Donald Trump will need more than a river to collect the dreck as he drains the swamp that is Washington.

Then-President-elect Donald Trump walks Labor Secretary-designate Andy Puzder from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., in this Nov. 19, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Democrats finally get a scalp

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And then try some more. The Democrats finally got a Cabinet scalp Wednesday, when Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration as secretary of Labor. Democrats had earlier unsuccessfully targeted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for honorary termination with extreme prejudice, and missed.

Before the missiles whistle

The rogues are restless. The mischief of the bullies doesn't flag from one administration to the next. Projectiles light up the sky from remote launch pads in far-off places, and where there are missiles, there must be a reliable, extensive shield against them.

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, arrives for the President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joint new conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ** FILE **

Flynn's out, but the moles are not

Michael Flynn is gone as the president's official national security adviser, and now the important back story moves to the front. What is this curious episode really all about? Nothing is ever as it seems in Washington.

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