WASHINGTON — It has taken a long time, but finally the Justice Department is training its guns on what heretofore was unthinkable, unless you're a career civil libertarian. For years, the civil libertarians have been warning us that the Intelligence Community posed a threat to democracy as we know it in the United States.



WASHINGTON — What a weekend it was! The soft gentle air of early autumn was upon us. Sweater weather. Straw hat weather. Perfect weather to be on campus with a convivial crowd of like-minded friends taking in a Saturday afternoon football game — and for me, something more. It was another episode in my long-standing reconnoitering of college life, always done incognito with a smile on my face and a pen and pad nearby to record the continued decline of a once-great American institution, the American university.



WASHINGTON — How is the Democrats' impeachment inquiry going to turn out? Well, we've already been through the impeachment inquiry, though it was called by another name. It was called the collusion inquiry, and it turned out as most conservatives said it was going to turn out. They said there was no evidence, and Robert Mueller, who conducted the official inquiry, found no evidence. By the way, I insist that Mueller is an honorable man. His service to the country was notable. In my opinion, he is a hero in this epic battle between President Donald Trump and the Democrats.



WASHINGTON — Climate change is one of those issues that the bien-pensants around the world all agree upon. We must act! If we do not act, people will lose their beach houses. Plants will wither and die. Birds will fall from the sky. Just last week, whole communities in the Caribbean were swept away. There are, however, problems with eliminating or ameliorating climate change. For one thing, modern technology cannot seem to keep up with people's ability to dream.



WASHINGTON -- Recently, in Hanover, New Hampshire, former Vice President Joe Biden — the gaffable Joe Biden — stitched together a stupendous concatenation of gaffes that ought to put him out of the race for the Democratic nomination. But apparently, it will not. This is good news for those of us who like a good laugh or a whole string of good laughs. 



WASHINGTON — David Koch, one of the two celebrated Koch brothers known to millions of Americans who follow the news, passed away last Friday. He was 79. Now there is only one Koch brother to appear in the news. Yet the name Koch will be around for years. One sees the name frequently when business is being discussed, in discussions of the arts, in discussions of politics, particularly libertarian politics.



WASHINGTON — Well, all the palaver about the 50th anniversary of Woodstock has finally shut down. The reminiscences, the brave statements, the claptrap about how beautiful we all were — it is over. Now the Woodstockians can get back to their retirement communities, their gerontologists, their rehab centers yet again.



On Thursday, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and more than 20 conservative leaders released a statement rejecting Facebook’s “insulting” response to specific examples of bias. They declared, “No conservative leader or organization should accept this as a legitimate response to the undeniable issues we have raised.” The Media Research Center (MRC) also leads a group called the Free Speech Alliance of almost 60 organizations dedicated to combating the censorship of conservatives online. 



LONDON — There is the musty smell of a police state here in old London, or should I say an inchoate police state? The present mayor, Sadiq Khan, is of the left, and he shares the left's lust for power. Everything he does indicates his hankering for power. To me, a foreigner in these parts, I sense this lust in his treatment of the automobile. The mayor envisages London as a city abundant with bicycle riders and pedestrians. In his London of the future, the only automobiles will be the patrol cars of the police.



LAS VENTAS, MADRID — I am supposedly on holiday in Madrid. I take a break from politics, from public policy, from culture, and take in life in the country. In Spain that means the bullfight. Las Ventas is the major league in Spanish bullfighting, and I am not disappointed in what I see. These are fine bullfighters and ferocious bulls, though I wish Spaniards would give more consideration to the safety of the bulls. This evening, I saw six bulls slain and two bulls pull up lame. At least those lame bulls did not taste the sword.



WASHINGTON -- Over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal, Brian Lamb, the founder of C-Span, tendered a Solomonic statement in his valedictory interview after some 40 years before the television cameras. Said Lamb, “Lying is the word that I would use to describe this town.” And he went on, “I don't know if it will ever stop. It's gotten worse rather then getting better, and both sides do it.



WASHINGTON — Have you heard the good news? Large numbers of students worldwide are going to be skipping school on Fridays until they educate us on the perils of global warming. Moreover, they “are declaring the era of American climate change denialism over.” Those are the words of Alexandria Villasenor, who is 13 years old. She was addressing a crowd in front of the United Nations building in New York City.