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Making a mountain into a legal molehill

What would William McKinley, who served as president from 1897 until he was assassinated in 1901, think of a chief executive who refused to obey the law of the land? Modern-day Americans can only speculate about that.

But they have first-hand knowledge of President Barack Obama’s predilection for insisting the law is what he says it is, not what Congress has written in the statute books.

Obama did it again this week, declaring that henceforth, the highest point in North America will be known as Mount Denali. For decades, the official name had been Mount McKinley.

Regardless of how you feel about how the peak is referred to – and there are good arguments in favor of Denali – the bottom line is that a law enacted in 1917 and never changed gave it the late president’s name.

That may be the law of the land, but little details such as that never stopped Obama before. In fact, he has been arrogant about it, declaring no one could prevent him from using a stroke of his pen to create, in effect, his own laws. He did it so many times with Obamacare that it is difficult to keep track of the changes he ordered in the law his administration wrote.

But now, by order of the president, another law has been trashed. One wonders what other statutes Obama will overrule during his remaining months in office

Pakistan, while proclaiming it is a U.S. ally in the war against terrorist groups, this week is proving it is just the opposite.

Authorities in Pakistan are permitting a massive gathering by the Taliban, who needed a haven to hash out their differences over a new leader to replace the late Mullah Mohammad Omar.

About 1,000 Taliban members are gathering this week in Quetta, Pakistan, with that government’s approval. It was given despite strident protests from Washington and Afghan leaders.

For several years, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan – and provided refuge and help to Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorists. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on America, a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban from power. Since then, they have been fighting to regain it.

In the process, they have killed thousands of Afghans – andmany Americans.

It should come as no surprise that Pakistan talks friendship while plotting against the United States and Afghanis who fear a return to power of the vicious Taliban regime. It was the Pakistani secret service, after all, that helped install the Taliban in power during the 1990s.

And, of course, it was the Pakistanis who allowed bin Laden himself to hide out in their country until a U.S. SEAL team killed him in 2011. Clearly, then, the only reason for U.S. officials to maintain any sort of relationship with the Pakistani regime is out of caution stemming from the old advice, “keep your friends close – and your enemies closer.”