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In this photo released by official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks at Mehrabad airport, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, on arrival from New York after attending the United Nations General Assembly. Rouhani said Thursday that the U.N. Security Council meeting chaired by President Donald Trump the previous day reflected America's increasing isolation among the international community. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Iran's oil for terror

Crude oil, the lifeblood of the global economy, is returning to its expensive past. While President Trump's economic revival has put more money into the pockets of U.S. consumers, efforts to restrain the nuclear ambitions of Iran is pinching the supply of oil. Americans are likely to relive the pain of a decade past, but ending the Islamic regime's menacing behavior will be worth the price.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool) ** FILE **

Where fair play vanishes

Compromise can be a great idea, the averaging of demands and agreeing in good faith to make a half-measure work. Like many theories, it doesn't always work in practice. The man with one foot in a fire and the other in a bucket of ice water is, on average, warm. But he's usually not very comfortable.

In this Sept. 4, 2018, photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, listens to Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speak during a Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Courting confusion

The Democratic charge against Brett Kavanaugh will trigger shudders far beyond the long arm of the U.S. law. The clashing narratives of Brett the choir boy versus Brett the serial molester will only widen the dark gulf of suspicion between men and women. Following the new FBI investigation of lurid sexual misconduct tales, the U.S. Senate will render a verdict on this chapter of he said-she said chronicles. The cultural struggles over sexual ethics will surely continue.

FILE - In this July 11, 2018, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow. Netanyahu is one of the few world leaders to enjoy warm ties with both the Russian and American presidents. Netanyahu has made frequent visits to Moscow in recent years to meet with Putin and coordinate Israeli operations in neighboring Syria with those of Russian forces. (Yuri Kadobnov/ Pool Photo via AP, File)

The fragile Putin-Netanyahu friendship

Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu have had a strong personal relationship for years. And why not? The Russian president and the Israeli prime minister share certain similarities, though the comparison can't be taken very far.

White House counsel Don McGahn listens as Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

Disgrace in the U.S. Senate

The circus continues, without the elephants but with an abundance of monkeys. The U.S. Senate, which long ago surrendered its reputation as "the world's greatest deliberative body," settles now for producing the greatest noise, flash and spectacle in town.

President Donald Trump participates in a United Nations Security Council briefing on counterproliferation at the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, at U.N. Headquarters. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The majesty of the individual

The prophet Daniel entered a den of lions — it wasn't his idea — and left them purring like kittens. President Trump is nobody's idea of a Bible hero, but he, too, stepped into a skeptical crowd of "world leaders" and transformed their derisive laughter into warm applause, thus demonstrating once more that there's more than one way to skin a cat, though sometimes the cat won't stay skinned.

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh waits to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the third day of his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The #MeToo movement faces a dramatic test of its impact and staying power as U.S. senators assess sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

A new standard for the law

We're in new territory now. The old rules no longer apply. All the things we learned in a more innocent time have been declared "inoperative," to invoke the genius term from the Watergate era. These changes in the rules are not likely to turn out well for anyone.

A protester with a sign that reads "KAVANO! I Believe Christine Blasey Ford" calls out in front of the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. A second allegation of sexual misconduct has emerged against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a development that has further imperiled his nomination to the Supreme Court, forced the White House and Senate Republicans onto the defensive and fueled calls from Democrats to postpone further action on his confirmation. President Donald Trump is so far standing by his nominee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Justice on trial

There's more at stake in Washington this week than the philosophical composition of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is fighting for his name and reputation against the inquisition engineered by the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate, and what is struggling to survive is nothing less than hundreds of years of law, precedent and guarantees of justice inherited from Anglo-Saxon legal tradition. If destroying a reputation without evidence wins the day, the cornerstone of the American judicial system — the presumption of "innocent until proved guilty" — will crumble.

President Donald Trump, left, listens as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, foreground, speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Washington. Also pictured is Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, right. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The president and his attorney general

President Trump has made several less than stellar Cabinet appointments. Scott Pruitt was an expert deregulator who did good work at the Environmental Protection Agency, but he splurged government money on travel and other expenses, and was eventually compelled to resign. Tom Price seemed a smart choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services — he is, after all, a doctor, and presumed to be familiar with health care policy — but he too had expensive tastes, and indulged them at government expense. He too was forced to resign.

Double, double, toil and trouble

A piece of land in Louisiana has been designated by the federal government as a critical habitat for a rare frog, although the dusky gopher frog does not live there, and never has. Nevertheless, frog trouble might be ahead for human people who do.

The dam and roadway at Alton Lennon Drive in Boiling Spring Lakes, N.C. is washed away Wednesday Sept. 19, 2018 after water from Hurricane Florence overran it earlier this week. (Ken Blevins/The Star-News via AP)

Looking for high ground

Hurricane Florence hurled furious wind and drenching rain on the Carolinas, but it was the water that fell on saturated ground that caused epic destruction. As the overflowing rivers, streams and estuaries recede homeowners are deluging insurance agents with pleas for a check large enough to cover clean-up and repairs.

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh reacts as testifies after questioning by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, for the third day of his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The plot against Kavanaugh thickens

Christine Blasey Ford apparently thought all she was signing up for was her 15 minutes of fame. Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer didn't say anything about having to take questions and corroborate her account of a teenage date night gone horribly wrong.

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with the media after attending the Mideast peace conference in Paris. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unloaded Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 on his Obama-era predecessor John Kerry for "actively undermining" U.S. policy on Iran by meeting several times recently with the Iranian foreign minister, who was his main interlocutor in the Iran nuclear deal negotiations. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool, File)

Colluding with Iran

Defiance and dirty dealing from an enemy is expected, collusion with an enemy to reinforce its effrontery is not. Thanks to John Kerry, President Trump will face an extra formidable Iran when patience meets effrontery next week at the United Nations. The former U.S. secretary of State is conducting shadow diplomacy designed to foil the president's aims in dialing back Iran's nuclear ambitions. Mr. Kerry had his chance to quell the Islamic republic's threats, and blew it. He only delayed dealing effectively with them. His continued attempts in overtime only weaken America.

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