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Judge’s decision does not protect the public

We have judges and the justice system to protect the public. We need protection both from people who steal property valued at $495,000, as well as from judges who cannot fulfill their responsibilities to protect the public from such theft. If judges cannot properly serve the public, then they are part of our problem by encouraging such criminal behavior.

Portman-Shaheen legislation could be a jump-start in the Senate

When a carefully built, bipartisan energy bill failed in the Senate in May, it was one of the worst instances of unwarranted Washington gridlock. By the same token, precisely because it is so sensible and enjoyed such bipartisan support, it offers one of the most obvious ways for Congress’ new leaders to break Washington’s holding pattern on policy and to help the country.

Using a bludgeon in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE — It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state’s intricacies to advance progressivism’s project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government’s saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin’s school choice program. Feigning concern about access for handicapped children, DOJ’s aim is to handicap all disadvantaged children by denying their parents access to school choices of the sort enjoyed by affluent DOJ lawyers.

Obama and the other electorate

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner has said President Barack Obama would “poison the well” for legislative action on immigration reform by unilaterally issuing executive orders. But how can you poison a well that has already been filled with partisan cyanide?

Our gathering storm

WASHINGTON — When Abraham Lincoln first presented a version of the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet, Secretary of State William Seward warned that issuing it after a defeat would look desperate. Better to wait “until the eagle of victory takes his flight” and then “hang your proclamation about his neck.” Lincoln postponed action until after the Union victory (such as it was) at Antietam.

A job for Congress

Even with 3 percent growth last quarter and unemployment at 5.8 percent, the lowest rate since the summer of 2008, Americans still worry about the economy and with good reason.

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Beyond gridlock: Delivering the Postal Service

Of all the tasks confronting the newly elected Congress, none is more basic, in terms of plain old democratic governance, than reforming the U.S. Postal Service. This workhorse agency, which epitomizes the federal government in the daily lives of ordinary citizens, is reeling from a double whammy: technological obsolescence and accumulated inefficiencies. Years of downsizing enabled the USPS to break even on its operations in fiscal 2013 (if you don’t count losses due to $5.6 billion in legally required retiree health care prepayments). Yet its bread-and-butter business, first-class mail, remains in long-term decline; the Postal Service’s only chance at a solvent future is to undertake further, more fundamental structural reform.

Rethinking U.S. foreign policy

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama’s coming request for Congress to “right-size and update” the Authorization for Use of Military Force against terrorism will be constitutionally fastidious and will catalyze a debate that will illuminate Republican fissures. They, however, are signs of a healthy development — the reappearance of foreign policy heterodoxy in Republican ranks.

A test of bipartisanship

President Barack Obama on Saturday nominated Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, to be the next attorney general. In so doing he set up an early test of whether Republicans are serious about governing in a spirit of cooperation.

Kasich in the spotlight

WASHINGTON — A week after the midterm elections, Republicans are still browsing through the jewelry store of their victories, admiring this bauble and that. Most of their Senate wins were predicted by the electoral map. The victories of many Republican governors, however, were impressive for extending the map, holding hard-earned territory or crossing demographic barriers.

Obama’s big immigration mistake

WASHINGTON — Back in July, when President Barack Obama was deciding whether to take executive action on immigration before the midterm elections, I got into one of those cable news debates that offer the president unsolicited advice from the unqualified.