Will Mick Mulvaney be the end of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it?

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney once likened government regulations to a “slow cancer,” an attitude he shares with many in the Trump administration. So it’s hardly surprising that, in his new part-time role as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mulvaney would waste little time pulling back on the agency’s rules and its authority. It’s yet another reminder, as if any more were necessary, that elections have consequences.

Play ball, with informed intelligence

WASHINGTON — Even if, inexplicably, you occasionally think about things other than major league baseball, consider this: Why are many premier free agents, particularly sluggers and starting pitchers, unsigned even while we are hearing the loveliest four words, “Pitchers and catchers report”? The Major League Baseball Players Association angrily says some teams are more interested in economizing than in winning. The real explanation is that teams are intelligently aligning their behavior with changing information.

Fraudulence of the fiscal hawks

In 2011, House Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, issued a report full of dire warnings about the dangers of budget deficits. “The United States is facing a crushing burden of debt,” it declared, warning of a looming fiscal crisis that might soon “capsize” the economy. Citing the horrors of big deficits, Republicans refused to raise the federal debt ceiling, threatening to create financial turmoil and effectively blackmailing President Barack Obama into cutting spending on domestic programs.

Climate hot enough for you? Not for Scott Pruitt

One might be tempted to assume that having Scott Pruitt — a devout climate change denier who, as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is to public health what medieval rats were to, well, public health — admit that humans have influenced the planet’s climate would be a good thing. Not so fast.

Trump doesn’t need a parade — he needs a Roman triumph

WASHINGTON — The Washington Post’s scoop about President Trump’s plans for a grand military parade in Washington brings to mind Evelyn Waugh’s classic satire about England’s upper crust in the early days of World War II, “Put Out More Flags,” named after a Chinese proverb:

NRA should disclose any Russian connections

The National Rifle Association has long offered its expertise in politics and public relations to gun groups in Australia, Brazil, Canada and elsewhere. The question now is whether during the 2016 presidential campaign the NRA embraced a very different sort of international mission: serving as a conduit to Donald Trump’s campaign for Russian interests.

Bracing for Islamic State’s westward migration

Declarations that Islamic State is on the verge of defeat keep piling up. During his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump said he was proud to report “the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.” In Iraq, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told his country in December “we can announce the end of the war against (Islamic State).”