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President Donald Trump applauds as he pauses during his speech at a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In pursuit of the Great White Whale

The Democrats are pinning a lot on the pursuit of the great white whale, the proof that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election. It's the pursuit, born of Trump Derangement Syndrome, on which all hope of winning elections next year and in the year 2020 thrives.

Supporters watch as Republican candidate Greg Gianforte won the special election for the open Montana House of Representatives seat left vacant by Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman, Mont., Thursday night, May 15, 2017. Gianforte, a technology entrepreneur, defeated Democrat Rob Quist to continue the GOP's two-decade stronghold on the congressional seat.  (Rachel Leathe/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP)

In pursuit of the cigar

Close, but no cigar. Or, close only counts in horseshoes, and the Democrats are still looking for something better than a moral victory in special congressional elections. The Republicans keep winning the real thing, the latest last week in Montana.

FILE - In this March 15, 1973 file photo, President Nixon tells a White House news conference that he will not allow his legal counsel, John Dean to testify on Capitol Hill in the Watergate investigation and challenged the Senate to test him in the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File)

'Peace is the right memorial'

Memorial Day in America has traditionally been a time when we pay our respects to those who gave their lives, over a century ago, in a tragic civil war. In a broader sense, it has come to stand not only for the sacrifice of those who served in the War Between the States, but for all of those who have given their lives in arms since the birth of our nation.

First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump arrive to greet French President Emmanuel Macron at the U.S. Embassy, Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Brussels. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

How to strangle a government

The Trump administration is coming together slowly, with many important positions still without bodies after almost six months gone by since the inauguration, and the pace is not likely to quicken soon. The Democrats have no interest in helping, since the bureaucracy is mostly staffed with Democrats. Without strong Republican leadership in place at the top the mice can play and wreak partisan mischief.

A Christian high school in Maryland is defending its decision to ban pregnant 18-year-old Maddi Runkles from her graduation ceremony next month, claiming she behaved immorally. (FOX5)

Give Maddi Runkles her due

This is the season of pride, hope and ambition. Thousands of young men and women will walk across a stage in stadiums, arenas and auditoriums to get a coveted reward for 12 years of pain, strain and hard work. The graduates, with their parents and teachers, can rightly take a bow for genuine accomplishment.

Women cry after placing flowers in a square in central Manchester, Britain, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left more than 20 people dead and many more injured, as it ended on Monday night at the Manchester Arena. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

The shame of empty outrage

Once more, we're running out of adjectives in the war against terrorism. The "leaders" in the West, from aldermen to senators to heads of state across the globe, line up as usual to denounce the savage who demonstrated his faith and his manhood by murdering little girls in the name of Allah. (Surely Allah deserves better.)

FILE - In this May 20, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit an art exhibit with Saudi King Salam at the Royal Court Palace in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Thinking twice about 'reform' in Iran

The arc of history may bend toward justice, as Barack Obama often argued, but sometimes it bends in another direction. Iran has just re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, and this, the West is told, is good news because it's bad news for radical Islamic terrorism. Skepticism advances the cause of moderation.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, before the House Budget Committee hearing on President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 federal budget. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A pro-work, pro-jobs, pro-growth budget

Mick Mulvaney is new to the job but he's on a pace to be the best presidential budget director in modern times. The budget and tax blueprint he stitched together makes all the right moves. It stresses the need for economic growth and advocates the tax and regulatory policies that would get us there.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, leave the White House as they embark on Mr. Trump's first overseas tour to the Middle East. (Associated Press)

A budget to encourage growth

Donald Trump is a different kind of president and his spending plan for the nation is a different kind of budget. With U.S. debt at $20 trillion (that's with a T, not a mere B), it's a budget that offers a way off the path to insolvency. With Democrats determined to thwart his presidency, to tear every proposal to shreds, he will get a test of his leadership to win over spendthrift Republicans.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves Paris-Yates Chapel at the University of Mississippi after speaking at a memorial service for Carolyn Ellis Staton, on Monday, May 22, 2017, in Oxford, Miss. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

No sauce for the gander

"Do As I Say (Not As I Do)" carries the strength of religious doctrine in Washington, where the U.S. government and all its minions are dedicated to instructing everyone in flyover country in how to live their lives — or else. Someone could write a book. In fact, Peter Schweizer has. His book became a bestseller and even a movie.

President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump's no-apology tour

Donald Trump is the un-Obama. His predecessor set the tone for his presidency by making stops in the Middle East with head bowed in contrition for any and all offenses the United States had made, might have made, or could have made. The enemies of America were invited to fill in the blank. Barack Obama, mistaking humiliation for humility, promised to "lead from behind."

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stand with new Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz they arrive on Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Ignoring President Donald Trump's past admonition, U.S. first lady Melania Trump did not cover her head Saturday when they arrived in Saudi Arabia on the opening leg of his first international tour since taking office. Two years ago, then-citizen Trump criticized then-first lady Michelle Obama's decision to go bare-headed on a January 2015 visit with her husband. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Clockwork justice

Racial and religious discrimination is easy to allege and difficult to prove, but taking offense has become the nation's fastest growing industry. Tort lawyers tend the industry with great care and concern.

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 1967, file photo, the five Rockefeller Brothers pose for photos in New York as they gather to receive gold medals from the National Institute of social sciences. From left are: David Rockefeller, President of the Chase Manhattan Bank; Winthrop Rockefeller, Governor of Arkansas; Frank Pace, President of the NISS; John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation; Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of New York; and Laurence Rockefeller, a conservation adviser to President Johnson. David Rockefeller, the billionaire philanthropist who was the last of his generation in the famously philanthropic Rockefeller family died. David Rockefeller was 101 years old. (AP Photo/File)

Tax lessons from our richest state

Soaking the rich is fun, but the rich aren't always as rich as the masses think they are. John D. Rockefeller might have used hundred-dollar bills to light his cigars, as in the popular imagination of his day, but Connecticut is learning that the supply of millionaires and hundred-dollar bills is finite.

State Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, reads a story to Head Start children at Community Action of Southern Kentucky, Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Bowling Green, Ky. (Bac Totrong/Daily News via AP)

Good First Amendment news

Sometimes there's a nugget of something good in the daily ration of bad news. A T-shirt printer in Lexington, Ky., one Blaine Adamson, won a state court ruling early this month that he was within his First Amendment rights to refuse to print an offensive message on T-shirts ordered by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization for a "gay pride" parade.

President Donald Trump listens to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, left, speak during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A promise not kept

During the late, lamented campaign of 2016, when brave talk was in season, Donald Trump promised faithfully that once he was president he would take the United States out of the infamous Paris climate accord, an international agreement signed and promoted by Barack Obama that locks the United States into all kinds of anti-competitive things "to combat global climate change."

President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, following his short trip on Marine One from nearby Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump was returning to Washington after speaking at today's U.S. Coast Guard Academy Commencement Ceremony. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The anonymous 'heroes' of the Resistance

Anonymous sources may not always be reliable, but they're always convenient. More than that, anonymous accounts are usually made of putty, soft and easily shaped. Not only that, an anonymous source never claims he was misquoted. He never demands a correction or a retraction. The Washington Post, which deals in anonymous sources for many of its blockbuster disclosures, is particularly skilled at working with anonymous sources, and gets more out of them than almost any other newspaper.

Demonstrators hold candles during a vigil for the victims of the clashes with the government's security forces, during protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Several humanitarian organizations and the opposition have accused the security forces of using too much violence during demonstrations against the government, which have left dozens dead.(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

The deadly peril in Venezuela

If Venezuela burns, the United States will feel the heat. Like a nearby brush fire, the Venezuelan civil war threatens to erupt in a conflagration that will disrupt life throughout the hemisphere. Americans are accustomed to watching tinderboxes from half a world away, but this one is too close for comfort.

Cadet Drew Borinstein, right, the valedictorian of the VMI Class of 2017, is congratulated after taking the oath of office as a Marine on Monday, May 15, 2017 in Lexington, Va.  In August, Borinstein's mother, brother and sister were killed in an airplane crash near Fredericksburg while on the way to watch him graduate from an officer training program. The tragedy followed the unexpected death of his father 16 months earlier. Borinstein soldiered on at VMI, completing his academic work with honors while preparing for the military.   (Stephanie Klein-Davis /The Roanoke Times via AP)  /The Roanoke Times via AP)

Sexual confusion in the colors

Patriotism is the old-fashioned path to celebrity. These days just acting out can punch the ticket to fame, if not fortune. Just ask Bradley Manning, aka Chelsea Manning, the American soldier who sold out his country, then his manhood -- not necessarily in that order — to WikiLeaks. He/she emerges from prison Wednesday through the intercession of Barack Obama, but the United States will pay the price for the treachery he/she flaunted if the military risks a repeat.

President Donald Trump watches Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan depart the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. The White House defended Trump's disclosure of classified information to senior Russian officials as "wholly appropriate," as Trump tried to beat back criticism from fellow Republicans and calm international allies increasingly wary about sharing their secrets with the new president. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Settling the voter-fraud debate

President Trump made good last week on a promise to create a Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, and surely this was a promise kept that everyone could applaud. Who but cheats and frauds doesn't like clean elections? Who doesn't want his vote to count, and his vote not be canceled by someone ineligible to cast a ballot? This was something that would surely warm hearts at the Brennan Center for Justice and at the League of Women Voters.

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