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Former Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)

California discovers states' rights

The Democratic liberals have treated the Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution with the respect given to discarded Kleenex over the eight years of the Obama presidency. But California, the bluest of the blue states, has just discovered, of all things, states' rights. The ghost of Strom Thurmond and his States' Rights Democrats is apparently alive and well in Sacramento.

This image from a video that was broadcast live on Facebook and later posted on Vidme shows a frame in which a man, right, is assaulted in Chicago. The video shows the man with his mouth taped shut as a woman and other people cut off his shirt and hair with a knife, and someone pushes his head with his or her foot. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, that the victim has mental health challenges, and he called the video "sickening." (Vidme via AP)

Pure evil in Chicago

Evil is more than something in the eye of the beholder, and someone who can't recognize evil when he sees it reveals a lot about who he is and where he comes from.

A survey finds that 91 percent of the incoming 115th Congress identify as Christian, compared to 95 percent of the 1961-62 legislative body. (Associated Press)

Giving Congress a good shake

Congress, like a proper martini, should be shaken, not stirred. Democrats and Republicans alike are getting an early demonstration of the effects of a good shaking. Shaking can move mountains, and even timid congressmen.

Hot on the cyber trail

Condemnation of Russia's presumed cyberhacking, aimed at high-level figures suspected of abusing the latest presidential election campaign, has sprouted from every corner of Washington. There's little mischief to anger Americans more than the idea that foreigners are manipulating the transferral of governing from one president to another.

A student walks the University of Maryland campus. (Facebook, University of Maryland) **FILE**

News from the College Park cuckoo's nest

A sequel of sorts to the 1975 film, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," is playing out at the University of Maryland at College Park, where the inmates are threatening to take over the asylum. The cuckoo's nest, which the movie set in Oregon, has been moved to College Park.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 29, 2016. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Delay of game

What goes around comes around, and never more often than in the partisan games politicians play. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, the new leader of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, is determined to put a quick finish to whatever honeymoon Donald Trump may get when he becomes the president two weeks hence.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell speaks during a session about opioids at the National Governors Association meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 15, 2016. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Striking a blow for good sense

When the urge to be edgy leads to fad, the unique, the uncommon and sometimes the weird and goofy is suddenly high fashion. In 2016, "transgenderism," the urge to be what you're not, became a fad. A visitor from Mars might think that every Earthling is determined only to change his sex and find an inappropriate place to pee.

A capital chance for change

Congressmen love recess almost as much as the kids do, and no one knows for sure what either Congress or the kids will do when the bell finally rings and they return to their seats. With the opening of the 115th Congress, there's high anticipation that Congress will settle down to conduct the nation's business like adults.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Tom Perez announces a civil rights unit to be based in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday. The unit will be responsible for prosecutions and lawsuits. (Associated Press)

A race to the bottom

Once they get over their post-election pout (and even if they can't, and don't), the Democrats must choose a new chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The two top contenders, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, represent that great distinction without a difference.

In this photo released by the Kremlin Press service via Sputnik agency, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during an undated recording of his annual televised New Year's message in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin Press Service, Sputnik, via AP) ** FILE **

A lesson in score-settling

Settling scores is always petty, whether by pouty teenagers, embittered ex-spouses or soon-to-be former presidents. Barack Obama is making himself look small and insignificant when he could be looking like a big man making a graceful exit.

A new sticker designates a gender neutral bathroom at Nathan Hale high school Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Seattle. President Obama’s directive ordering schools to accommodate transgender students has been controversial in some places but since 2012 Seattle has mandated that transgender students be able to use of the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. Nearly half of the district’s 15 high schools already have gender neutral bathrooms and one high school has had a transgender bathroom for 20 years. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

North Carolina stands its ground

There once was a time, and not so long ago, when men and women who violated the well-understood ways that society is organized would refrain from challenging the normal behavior standards, or do as they like and be treated accordingly, as social outcasts.

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the State Department, in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016.  Stepping into a raging diplomatic argument, Kerry staunchly defended the Obama administration's decision to allow the U.N. Security Council to declare Israeli settlements illegal and warned that Israel's very future as a democracy is at stake. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Obama's one-two punch

That's quite a one-two punch President Obama has organized at the White House. Barack Obama applied the knife to the back of Israel, and then John Kerry, the secretary of State, arrives to give the blade a lingering, painful twist — just in case the Jews didn't get the point.

FILE- This June 30, 1999 file photo shows the sun setting behind mountains as the Hollywood sign overlooks Los Angeles. For a century and a half California has been a destination for every conceivable sort of adventurer. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

The day the music didn't die

Media gossips report that Donald Trump is having trouble recruiting Hollywood celebrities to entertain guests at the inauguration. The likes of Elton John, KISS, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks and Justin Timberlake have been more or less reliably reported to be still nursing snits and pouts, unable to come to terms with the election results, and will be missing in Washington on Jan. 20.

When asked in an interview that aired Sunday on "60 Minutes" about the "crooked" and "corrupt" claims by Donald Trump and numerous other Republicans, Hillary Clinton said she is being held to higher standards of ethics than other people. (Associated Press)

Where was the bias?

President Obama, still on the scout for meaning in what happened to the Democrats in November, suggests now that Hillary Clinton lost because of media bias. If the president actually believes that, he's surely the only man in America who does.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, an Uber driverless car is displayed in a garage in San Francisco. Uber has pulled its self-driving cars from California roads. The ride-sharing company said Wednesday, Dec. 21, California transportation regulators revoke registrations for the vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

A lesson from the horses

A century ago dealers in horses and manufacturers of buggies and buggy whips took a sad story to the politicians: The newfangled manufacturers of horseless carriages are driving them out of business. Somebody has to do something.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the African Methodist Episcopal church national convention in Philadelphia in this July 8, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Life inside the bubble

The weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth on the inconsolable left continues seven weeks after Hillary Clinton blew her inevitable presidency, and the mourning now is mostly about the inevitability of a Donald Trump presidency and whether the correct-thinking can survive in the dirty, rotten world where cruel fate has cast them.

President Obama's parting shots

President Obama is making sure that Americans won't forget him soon. From shutting down promising sources of domestic energy production to throwing open the nation's prisons and borders, the lame duck in the White House employs a little quackery to make good on his promise to fundamentally transform America.

President Barack Obama greets people waiting for him outside Island Snow Hawaii in Kailua, Hawaii, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, after the president, joined by family and friends, had shave ice during the first family's annual vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

When a president runs a tab

Only the fiercest partisan churl begrudges the president, any president, a few days out of the Oval Office. Everybody looks forward to a summer vacation, and presidents have the same wants and wishes their constituents do.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. (Dan Balilty/Pool photo via AP)

A final insult to Israel

President Obama continues his long march to the rear, where he imagines leadership should reside, and last week enabled the worst elements of the United Nations to condemn Israel once more for its settlements on the West Bank.

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