WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's distinctive rhetorical style -- think of a drunk with a bullhorn reading aloud James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" under water -- poses an almost insuperable challenge to people whose painful duty is to try to extract clarity from his effusions.
WASHINGTON -- Antonin Scalia, who combined a zest for intellectual combat with a vast talent for friendship, was a Roman candle of sparkling jurisprudential theories leavened by acerbic witticisms.
WASHINGTON -- China produces an astonishing number of astonishing numbers, including this: In the 20th century, America made automobiles mass-consumption items, requiring prodigious road building. China, however, poured more concrete for roads and other construction between 2011 and 2013 than America did in the 20th century. This fact is emblematic of China's remarkable success. And is related to its current difficulties, including its 2015 growth rate (6.9 percent), its slowest in 25 years.
WASHINGTON -- During Watergate, Henry Kissinger's mordant wit leavened the unpleasantness: "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." President Obama often does both simultaneously, using executive authoritarianism to evade the Constitution's separation of powers and rewrite existing laws.
WASHINGTON -- If you look beyond Donald Trump's comprehensive unpleasantness -- is there a disagreeable human trait he does not have? -- you might see this: He is a fundamentally sad figure.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Although he is just 22, Andrew Zeller is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at Purdue University. He is one reason the school is a rare exception to the rule of unreason on American campuses, where freedom of speech is under siege.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Sen. Tim Scott, who evidently has not received the memo explaining that politics is a grim and bitter business, laughs easily and often, as when, during lunch in this city's humming downtown, he explains that South Carolina's Lowcountry is benefiting from what are called "halfbacks."
WASHINGTON -- Give thanks this day for some indirect blessings of liberty, including the behavior-beyond-satire of what are generously called institutions of higher education. People who are imprecisely called educators have taught, by their negative examples, what intelligence is not.
WASHINGTON -- Yale's president, Peter Salovey, dealt with the Crisis of the Distressing Email about Hypothetical Halloween Costumes about as you would expect from someone who has risen to eminence in today's academia. He seems to be the kind of adult who has helped produce the kind of students who are such delicate snowflakes that they melt at the mere mention of even a potential abrasion of their sensibilities.
The IRS scandal -- the denial of essential tax-exempt status to conservative advocacy groups, thereby effectively suppressing the groups' activities -- demonstrates this: When government is empowered to regulate advocacy, it will be tempted to suppress some of it. And sometimes government will think like Oscar Wilde: "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it."