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NBC's Megyn Kelly interviews Juli Briskman, a former government contractor who was fired after she was photographed giving President Trump's motorcade the middle finger. (Image: "Megyn Kelly Today" screenshot)

The 100-grand salute

Salutes to the president can be monetized, and a middle-finger salute to a passing presidential motorcade can sometimes be worth more than a hundred grand. Is this a great country, or what?

Homeward-bound jihadis

War is hell, especially for the losers. Rather than winding up in a World War II-type concentration camp, defeated terrorists of ISIS are merely gathering up their wounded egos and bloody heads and heading home. Mom might be overjoyed to welcome the return of little Jihadi Joey, but the neighbors, not so much. When reauthorizing the nation's surveillance code, Congress must make sure that in protecting the privacy of the law-abiding they don't overlook the dangers posed by returning fighters who have lost the battle abroad but intend to continue the fight at home.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore leaves after he speaks at a church revival, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Jackson, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The dilemma in Alabama

"You can't beat Somebody with Nobody" is one of the first rules of politics, but occasionally Somebody is exposed as a wolf in borrowed clothes and Nobody wins by default. Nobody in Alabama is a man named Doug Jones, and a fortnight ago his chances of defeating Roy Moore were somewhere between Slim and None. And then Slim unexpectedly left town.

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington, at sunset. The Supreme Court is making new legal filings available online starting Monday, years behind the rest of the federal court system. Its a big step forward for an institution that has sometimes had just a glancing familiarity with technology. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

California and the Constitution

There's a lot about the law and the Constitution that California does not understand, particularly the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps willing to offer the needed tutorial in the law, has agreed to hear a legal challenge to a California law requiring private pro-life pregnancy counseling centers to tell their clients that the state will provide an abortion instead.

President Trump has undermined the judiciary by using his pardon powers on former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and has hurt the First Amendment by berating news outlets or calling them "fake," according to some of the Democrats' articles of impeachment. (Associated Press/File)

Home, with a side of bacon

President Trump is home from the hill, and Thanksgiving isn't far away, but the only words of gratitude from the liberals and the harder left is, "Thanks for nothing." That's all the president gets from his sore-loser critics following a whirlwind diplomatic and deal-making excursion through Asia. When they lock their partisan opposition in concrete and vow never to say an encouraging word, Americans are reminded why they voted to "Put America first."

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at the Vestavia Hills Public library, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. According to a Washington Post story Nov. 9, an Alabama woman said Moore made inappropriate advances and had sexual contact with her when she was 14. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The unraveling culture

The times are not just "a'changing," as Bob Dylan sang of them — but they're unraveling. Dismembering of the culture is at hand, and only the blind and foolish cannot see it. History is trashed and anyone who objects is a bigot, or worse. Pale-skinned Americans are vilified for living innocent lives, exploiting "white privilege." Bulls-eyes are painted on the backs of conservatives and Republicans because, well, they're conservatives and Republicans. Every man is a sexual predator, or will be soon. Throwing brickbats at unpopular targets can be great fun, but what goes around comes around.

Activists with Planned Parenthood demonstrated in Washington on Oct. 20, 2017, in support of a pregnant 17-year-old being held in a Texas facility for unaccompanied immigrant children to obtain an abortion. (Associated Press) **FILE**

The inconvenience of a conscience

Abortion is the issue that will divide America forever because it's fundamentally an issue of conscience vs. convenience, with no victory for either side in prospect. A conscience is difficult to silence and everybody likes convenience. There's no better snapshot of the chasm between red America and blue America.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore waits to speak the Vestavia Hills Public library, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. According to a Thursday, Nov. 9 Washington Post story an Alabama woman said Moore made inappropriate advances and had sexual contact with her when she was 14. Moore has denied the allegations. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Roy Moore's day in court

Sometimes a lynch mob gets a guilty man, but it's nevertheless an unspeakable evil. The accusations against Roy Moore in Alabama are sordid and serious, but so far they're accusations, not charges, and he is entitled to his day in court. That day will be Dec. 12, and the jurors, in a special election to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate, will be the voters of Alabama.

Eating, drinking and merriment in Maine

The voters of Maine gave themselves a Christmas present last week, voting to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, and doing it by referendum to prevent Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, from taking it away from them. The legislature had tried five times to give such a fine present to Maine voters, and five times Mr. LePage vetoed the present because he said Maine couldn't afford it.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR REDFIN - A Redfin real estate yard sign is pictured in front of a house in Seattle on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. (Stephen Brashear/AP Images for Redfin)

Searching for loopholes

Home is where the heart it is, but home is where there's a big hole in tax receipts. The home mortgage interest deduction, which enables mortgage holders to write off the interest payments on their properties, will subtract $1.3 trillion from the federal government's balance sheet over the course of the next decade.

National Space Council will meet Thursday. Government officials and entrepreneurs will be in attendance. The event will be livestreamed.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, in the middle of a Christmas Eve space walk, outside the International Space Station in 2013. (NASA)

High times and matrimony at NASA

Some marriages are said to be made in heaven, and now certain Democratic senators want to make sure that some marriages be recognized in space. Heaven can wait. These senators object to President Trump's nominee to be the administrator of NASA because he, like most Americans, thinks the ladies make the most appropriate brides.

Uranium none

Sensations that explode with a flash and a bang seize public attention, but the echo doesn't last forever. Charges of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election that lit up the night sky in the spring are fading now with the colors of autumn. But details emerging from cracks and crevices of the Obama administration demand attention.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 photo, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., addresses the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Democratic candidate Ralph Northam won Virginia's race for governor. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The real pain coming

The Republicans can't say they didn't deserve the spanking they got Tuesday night. The results in Virginia in particular were a wake-up call, and the Republicans have a talent for sleeping through the noise of an alarm clock. The Grumpy Old Party was cruising for a bruising, and it got one. Did the elephant learn anything?

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