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The bug bites early

The Democrats did moderately well in the midterm elections, but not as well as they expected, and they lost the three big races they really wanted to win, the governorships in Florida and Georgia and the U.S. Senate seat in Texas. Winning any one of them would have been impressive, particularly given the generally conservative voting record of those states. Such a result would have cheered the Democratic base, and given momentum to the party for 2020. The Democratic media would have put that winner in the winners bracket in the presidential sweepstakes.

The missing collusion investigation

Friends don't let friends go to the clink. The conclusion that the nation is currently running on a dual justice system — a gentler, privileged system for Hillary Clinton and her cronies, and a harsh and unforgiving system for everyone else — is coming evident to everyone.

A sign on a building at the Google campus in Kirkland, Wash. is shown Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Google employees in Kirkland and around the world briefly walked off the job Thursday in a protest against what they said is the tech company's mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Google deposes God (it thinks)

Omniscience has always been regarded as the sole province of God, but now Google thinks it's big enough to depose Him. Aping the Almighty is the hubris that inevitably carries a price. The technology giant that bestrides the world of information is under assault on numerous fronts for getting a little too abusive of free speech. But if Google and the other giants of Silicon Valley are going to be true to their vow to "do the right thing," they will need help.

Ameer Hassan of New York stops to sign the condolence book as the official portrait of former President George H.W. Bush is draped in black cloth at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, to mark his passing. Bush will lay in state at the Capitol building this week before being buried in Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

George Herbert Walker Bush

They clearly don't make 'em like George H.W. Bush any more. There's no longer much of a market for presidents dedicated to decency, dignity, and unabashed service to God and country.

An Investor walks in front of stock trading boards at a private stock market gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Share prices were mixed Friday in Asia ahead of the planned meeting by Presidents Donald Trump of the U.S. and Xi Jinping of China at the Group of 20 summit this weekend. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

Misery in the midst of plenty

Donald Trump's economic optimism bemused the economists (and irritated Democrats) when he remarked during the 2016 presidential campaign that America would soon produce too much abundance. "We'll have so much prosperity you'll say it's too much."

In this photo taken in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., smiles as as new members of the House and veteran representatives gather behind closed doors to discuss their agenda when they become the majority in the 116th Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Good news from the depths of darkness

Who knew a freshperson congressperson could so shake the foundations of the republic, and rattle the world beyond. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won a seat in the Bronx last month, sees her victory as "a watershed moment in world history akin to landing on the moon."

A new president in Mexico

It's not a good sign when a president's approval rating slips under water before he assumes the office. But that's the lot of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who will be sworn in Saturday as the new president of Mexico.

The G-20 pathway to plenty

The United States and China could someday be the ham and eggs, the peanut butter and jelly, of international commerce. Instead of complementing each other's innovative and industrial acumen, however, the two superpowers have fallen into a trade relationship that, like oil and water, is a recipe for economic indigestion. Only if China swallows its pride and endorses the U.S. appeal for fair trade at the Group of 20 summit beginning Friday in Buenos Aires can both nations come away from the table with success.

French President Emmanuel Macron leaves after delivering a speech on 'The presentation of the strategy for ecology transition', at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 27 2018. Macron said the government will find a way to delay tax increases on fuel during periods when world oil prices are rising. The move aims to reproduce the situation that has led to protests in recent days, some of which have become violent and even marred the famed Champs-Elysees avenue in central Paris. Behind reads: Change together. (Ian Langsdon, Pool via AP)

France's fuel-tax follies

The Earth travels its appointed course through the heavens without effort, but not much moves across its surface without oil. That fact is now painfully apparent in France, where the result of confiscatory environmental taxes has sparked a riotous citizen fury.

A migrant child playfully sticks out his tongue as others stand in line to receive food outside the Benito Juarez Sports Center serving as a temporary shelter for Central American migrants who traveled north in a caravan, in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Chaos on the border

A funny thing about caravans. They move. In the weeks before the midterm congressional elections, the Democrats and the media chastised President Trump for the attention he paid to the caravan of thousands of migrants moving steadily from Central America, through Mexico, toward the American border.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a signing ceremony for the Papua New Guinea Electrification Partnership at APEC Haus in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Changing Japan

Japan is about to take its most culture-altering step since Gen. Douglas MacArthur restructured Japanese society in the wake of World War II. With no apparent alternative to sustain the highly-skilled workforce that is the key to a successful economy, the Japanese are moving ahead with a scheme to import foreign workers, some of them to stay permanently.

In this Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, photo, visitors walk past a fort at Plymouth Plantation living history museum village, in Plymouth, Mass., where visitors can get a glimpse into the world of the 1627 Pilgrim village. Plymouth, where the Pilgrims came ashore in 1620, is gearing up for a 400th birthday, and everyone's invited, especially the native people whose ancestors wound up losing their land and their lives. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

No program for Thanksgiving

It's not easy for moderns to wrap their minds around the challenges of the first settlers when they sat down to the first Thanksgiving table, folded their hands and asked the Lord's blessings. The spirit of serving divine providence, of braving frightening forces of nature, of laboring with unwavering perseverance, is actually as rare as summer snow in any generation. If the sojourners of yore had been afforded the advantages of today's artificial intelligence in crunching the possibilities of success, odds are they would have stayed home. Smart machines may be, but an algorithm can't account for the invisible spark of human ambition.

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