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The letter from Attorney General William Barr to Congress on the conclusions reached by special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia probe photographed on Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

A prequel to the Mueller story

A fully told story begins with a conflict and ends with a resolution. When Robert Mueller's redacted report is made public this week, Americans will have a chance to read for themselves the final word on suspected collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. That should be the end of the story, but given that many Democrats still think that a coup is the only way they can get rid of the president, it probably won't be. Still untold is an accurate account of how a charge of collusion got started in the first place. The last chapter of this sordid story must be the prequel.

FILE - In this March 6, 2019, file photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., sits with fellow Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee during a bill markup, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump is weighing in on the most recent controversy involving Omar, retweeting video edited to suggest that the Minnesota congresswoman was dismissive of the significance of the Sept. 11 attacks. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

A lesson in free speech

It was not, to put it mildly, elegantly stated. In a speech in California to the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) not long ago, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Democrat, dismissed the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City as merely "some people did something."

Opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido speaks to supporters during a rally to protest outages that left most of the country scrambling for days in the dark in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, April 6, 2019. Rival political factions are taking the streets across Venezuela in a mounting struggle for control of the crisis-wracked nation recently hit by crippling blackouts. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

A Russian plot thickens

The rogue regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela has raised the ante against the United States and the majority of Latin American states which have recognized Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela. The Venezuelan constitution stipulates that the president of the National Assembly can take up presidential powers on an interim basis when there is a question of the legitimacy of the president.

In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a military award ceremony at the Presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday, April 1, 2019. Taiwan said Monday its planes warned off Chinese military aircraft that crossed the center line in the Taiwan Strait, and called China's move a provocation that seeks to alter the status quo in the waterway dividing the island from mainland China. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

Taiwan marks an anniversary

China, the ancient "Middle Kingdom," continues to be one of the greater ironies of our fiercely shattered times, when the unexpected is often the barely believable. For decades, the United States recognized the Republic of China, sited on an island off the coast of China, and threatened by the vastly larger government in Beijing, as the actual ruling government of the world's most populous country.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in walks to board a flight leaving for the United States at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, South Korea, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Moon will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Korean roller coaster ride

The histrionics over the fate of the Korean Peninsula are about a roller coaster ride with no brakes. A new round begins Thursday with the arrival in Washington of President Moon Jae-in of South Korea. Despite the drama, a rekindling of attention toward the on-again, off-again dialogue between the United States and North Korea over denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is more than welcome. Without the efforts of the central players, the nuclear threat posed by the North will keep the sword borrowed from Damocles hanging over the entire Pacific Rim.

An ad supporting Proposition 6 plays on a screen on a pump at a gas station Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Santa Clarita, Calif. The ads are part of an advertising blitz by Proposition 6 supporters trying to drive home a message to voters to overcome what they see as a misleading title and summary on the ballot. The feud over messaging comes just weeks before an election where Californians will vote in a series of contentious races for Congress and state offices and ballot measures including the proposal to repeal an increase in gasolines taxes and vehicle fees slated to fund $5 billion in transportation projects a year. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Gasoline-tax folly

Surprises by definition are sudden, but the stuff of surprises can creep up slowly from behind. That's what has happened with the gradual escalation of gasoline prices, which are once more pinching wallets and making them cry. Washington officialdom in its genius has chosen this time to start working up support for an increase in the federal gasoline tax. With Americans already paying more to keep their cars on the road, if there is ever a good time to raise that tax, it's not now.

President Donald Trump walks after stepping off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to California and Nevada. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Angling for a rematch

Politics is a lot like fishing. Getting the best catch requires the right bait. Democratic candidates for the 2020 election have been trolling for popular support with easy promises of some version of socialized medicine. Observing their enthusiasm success, President Trump baited his hook with the health care promises he couldn't deliver in 2017.

Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Atlantic Council's "NATO Engages The Alliance at 70" conference, in Washington, Wednesday, April 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Challenging the easy riders

The president gave his cable-TV hosts and the Twitterati a chuckle this week when he said, in a sort of Pocahontas moment, that his father, Fred Trump, was born in Germany. Mr. Trump the elder was, in fact, born in the Bronx. But there was actually more consequential news about Germany this week.

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain.  More than a dozen global news organizations including The Associated Press have formed a coalition to spotlight the worlds most threatened journalists. Member editors and publishers of the One Free Press Coalition will publish across platforms each month a 10 Most Urgent list of journalists whose press freedoms are being abused. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

The Saudi connection

Six months have elapsed since Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi newspaper columnist and blogger, went missing. He is widely believed to have been murdered by agents working for someone high inside the Saudi government who found his criticism of the Riyadh regime and the royal family intolerable. Without a body — his body is thought to have been dismembered and the body parts scattered around Istanbul — it's hard to say.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) ** FILE **

Grandma Grundy's takeover of the Democrats

Joe Biden has led the polls of Democratic primary voters for a while now. But like all leaders in these early polls, he's a bit of a paper tiger, benefiting from name recognition, and even the fact that he is not running for anything. At least not yet; there are, or were, rumors of a late April announcement.

In this March 30, 2019 photo, a tourists take photos of the razor-wire-covered border wall that separates Nogalas, Ariz. at left, and Nogales, Mexico on the right. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Emergency on the border

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong," observed H.L. Mencken, the sage of Baltimore who was the most popular social critic of the previous century. Sadly, Mencken isn't around to address the scourge of the 21st century, the obstinate refusal of Democrats to admit that there is an obvious problem, complex or otherwise. The liberals who call themselves "progressives" pretend not to notice the relentless stream of humanity trying to force their way across America's southern border.

Deploying military forces overseas

The U.S. Army is increasing the deployment of active forces overseas, with up to 10,000 troops, many of them National Guard units together comprising the equivalent of a division headquarters and several brigades. They will be moved abroad soon.

In this Jan. 19, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, waves to the crowd after speaking at Women's Unity Rally organized by Women's March NYC at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

With friends like these

It wasn't supposed to go down this way. When Democrats who said they wanted a congressional resolution calling for a global fight against global warming, were forced to declare their allegiance to the cause, they ran for the tall grass.

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