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FILE - In this Saturday, July 8, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping arrive for a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. The United States apologized for mistakenly describing Xi as the leader of Taiwan, China said Monday, July 10, 2017. Chinese scholars said the mistake shows a lack of competence in the White House that is not conducive to healthy U.S.-China relations. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Resisting election integrity

One verity that all Americans, even in Washington, can agree on is that the integrity of elections is essential to the prosperity and survival of the republic. The point has been hammered home by an endless stream of charges that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election that put Donald Trump in the White House and sent Hillary Clinton into the wilderness.

Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame, center, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pose for a photo at the President's residence in Jerusalem, Monday, July 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

The one-state solution

For a half century, negotiating a relationship between the Jews of Israel and the Muslim and Christian Arabs of Palestine has been a major diplomatic preoccupation. But without finding the formula, reality is wiping away the concept of two states in the old British definition of Palestine.

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon arrival the White House in Washington, Saturday, July 8, 2017, from the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Trump in Europe

For all his angry tweets and occasional bluster, Donald Trump can rise to the occasion, and say important things that millions want to hear but other "leaders" are too timid, too soft, or too intimidated to say.

FOR USE MONDAY JULY 10, 2017 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this July 6, 2017 file  photo, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, gives a speech following the Illinois House voting to override Gov. Rauner's veto and pass a budget for the first time in two years at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield, Ill. Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza's staff estimates she will be able to cover expenses in August. The law allows for borrowing or taking $1.5 billion from other state funds in the interim. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

Marching to the poorhouse

Money makes the world go 'round, and the lack of it usually brings everything to a halt. Congress is grappling with long-promised tax reform and the naysayers warn against getting in the way of the tsunami of revenue to the Treasury, urging legislators to stay the course. Some might call it staying the curse. Only if there really is a free lunch is there nothing to worry about.

FILE In this Monday, June 18, 2012 file photo President Barack Obama participates in a bilateral meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the G20 Summit, in Los Cabos, Mexico. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Sounding off overseas

Squeezing out one last burst of applause is risky for any entertainer, as any old vaudevillian could have told Barack Obama. The idea is to leave the fans in the cheap seats yelling for more. But Mr. Obama, the original snowflake -- always at risk of melting and dead certain that he's unique in history — scorns the tradition of a president expected to go home after his time is done.

FILE--This June 15, 2017, file photo shows the headquarters of Oregon's Driver and Motor Vehicles Division in Salem, Ore. The Oregon Legislature on Thursday, July 6, passed a bill to allow local motor-vehicle offices to issue state driver's licenses and other forms of identification that comply with federal requirements borne out of 9/11 security concerns. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

Mysteries of sex at the DMV

Members of the D.C. Council are sometimes puzzled by why the rest of the country doesn't take seriously their schemes to make Washington the 51st state. As city-states go, the District of Columbia is neither Florence nor Venice.

The wolf at the door

The Children's Hour at the White House is over, and it's time to get serious about North Korea. The consequences that nobody wants to think about are finally at hand. The peril is great and the hour is late.

President Trump and the first lady Melania Trump wave from the Air Force One upon their arrival Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Trump arrived in Poland ahead of an outdoor address in Warsaw on Thursday and energy talks with European leaders. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Independence Day for affordable energy

Donald Trump has called the last week of June as Energy Week, but if the trend holds 2017 could be remembered as Energy Year. Americans love exploiting the gasoline abundance that emboldened Fourth of July holiday drivers to hit the road in record numbers. When the brakes are released, the great American economic machine is ready to gas up and take off.

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Living with Putin

Marcus Wolf, the East German intelligence operative who managed to put a Soviet spy in West German Chancellor Willy Brandt's bed, isn't much impressed by Vladimir Putin. Mr. Wolf scoffed at Mr. Putin's claim that he lived in Dresden for 15 years as the liaison between the Soviet KGB and Communist East Germany's spies. Mr. Putin couldn't have been that important, he said, if he had not known him.

From left, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY, Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., gather in unity to speak out against President Donald Trump's tweet about a female cable TV anchor during a news conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 29, 2017. Earlier, Pelosi called it "so beneath the dignity of the president of the United States to engage in such behavior." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The dilemma of the Democrats

Despite all she can do about it, Nancy Pelosi looks less like a bird of paradise than an albatross. The Ancient Mariner would recognize her in a San Francisco minute. Losing that special election in Georgia, which the Democrats had counted on to give them momentum heading into the midterm congressional elections next year, was the last of several bitter disappointments.

A copy of the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during the Celebrate Freedom event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Saturday, July 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A crazy capital summer

Another day, another breach of civility and manners. Donald Trump lashes out at a television tag team for throwing spitballs at him. Yawn. The president's press agent trades insults, or at least schoolyard yahs-yahs, with a reporter at the White House. Maxine Waters, having given up on impeachment, now wants to send the president into exile, where she does not say, but either Upper or Lower Slobbovia would do.

In this Sept. 1, 2015, file photo, from left, Brad Steinle, Liz Sullivan and Jim Steinle, the brother, mother and father of Kate Steinle who was shot to death on a pier, listen to their attorneys speak during a news conference on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Sanctuary for the law-abiding

Anniversaries can be an occasion for remembrance and celebration, but some recall only pain and regrets. Saturday marked two years since Kate Steinle was slain on a stroll with her father on the San Francisco waterfront by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times. This is an anniversary marked by the passage, in the U.S. House of Representatives, of legislation called Kate's Law, to prevent such tragedies. No one gets a guarantee that life won't include a raw deal, but no one should be a victim to an uninvited and lawless "guest."

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump watch the limousine carrying South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook arrive on the South Portico of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 29, 2017. Trump and the first lady is hosting Moon and his wife for dinner. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Getting ready for the Donald

Angela Merkel, the good German who is determined make Europeans do what's good for them, wants to take Donald Trump to her woodshed at the economic summit of 20 right-thinking nations next week in Hamburg. The Donald must be taught the error of his ways and who but Europe's sternest nanny to do it. There should be lots of noise from the woodshed.

President Donald Trump meets with what the White House identifies as "immigration crime victims" to urge passage of House legislation to save American lives, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Upholding wrong-headed precedent

A judge doesn't have to be waiting for an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court to set an example for what a conscientious president is looking for. With vacancies in 106 federal district courts and 19 in appeals courts, President Trump might look to Pensacola, Fla., for a living example of the kind of judges he's looking for.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with President Trump to discuss a controversial U.S. missile defense system and nuclear issues with North Korea. (Associated Press)

A porcupine makes a difficult pet

If North Korea were a zoo and not a prison camp, appropriate signage would read: "Please don't pet the porcupine." When South Korea's new president arrives at the White House on Thursday, Donald Trump should remind his guest that predecessors who ignored the need for due diligence learned a lesson more painful than a mere porcupine prick. The smart approach to Pyongyang is to keep a healthy distance.

FILE - In this June 22, 2017 file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine speaks amid a crush of reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Somewhere along the way, the Republican crusade to repeal "Obamacare" also turned into an effort to limit the future growth of Medicaid. That bit of mission creep is complicating prospects for the GOP, and could lead to deadlock.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Saving Obamacare repeal, again

"Measure it twice and cut it once" is always better than "measure it once and cut it twice." That's Mitch McConnell's strategy for getting the health-care repeal and replace legislation through the U.S. Senate, and if it invites sneers from the Democrats and the pundits and other dealers in calumny, so what. Stitching together smart legislation is never easy. The Fourth of July is not a deadline.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, center, talks to his staff during his visit at Tirta Empul temple in Bali island, Indonesia, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. Obama and his family arrived last week on the resort island for a vacation in the country where he lived for several years as a child. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Obama's loyal ladies

Once the bloodhounds are unleashed, there's no telling where the trail will lead. Sometimes the scent of scandal circles back to where it started. Democrats may regret the day they pointed a finger at Donald Trump, insisting that he must have cheated to beat Hillary Clinton. Now two staunch Obama administration loyalists, Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general, and Susan Rice, who was Barack Obama's national-security adviser, can hear the baying of the hounds. The baying is getting louder.

Mocking demands from Pyongyang

Learning to read social cues that say a red line has been crossed is a valuable skill, and some despots never learn it. Like the abrasive oaf with a reputation as an equal opportunity offender, North Korea has signaled it wants to strike a deal with the United States. Having just sent home a young American visitor with fatal injuries, the regime is in no position to approach the U.S. with anything but an abject apology — and the release of the other three Americans still being held hostage.

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