When Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2017, Sen. Dianne Feinstein was taken aback by the Notre Dame law professor's Catholic convictions about the right to life.

"Professor," said Feinstein, "when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern."

Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, got a second chance to quiz Barrett during the Supreme Court nomination hearings conducted by Chairman Lindsey Graham.

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"Apres moi, la deluge," predicted Louis XV after his army's stunning defeat by Prussia's Frederick the Great at the Battle of Rossbach in 1757.

"La deluge," the Revolution, came, three decades later, to wash the Bourbon monarchy away in blood and to send Louis XV's grandson, Louis XVI, and his queen, Marie Antoinette, to the guillotine.

Donald Trump is issuing similar warnings for the republic if Joe Biden wins the presidency and Democrats capture the Senate. And the stakes, given the magnitude of the chasm that divides us, are indeed high.

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"The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border," Secretary of State Michael Pompeo ominously warned on Friday.

He spelled out what he meant to commentator Larry O'Connor:

"The Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north. ... They absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight."

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Before the first Trump-Biden debate, moderator Chris Wallace listed the six subjects that would be covered:

The Trump and Biden records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in our cities, and the integrity of the election.

According to a recent Gallup survey, Wallace's topics tracked the public's concerns -- the top seven of which were the coronavirus, government leadership, race relations, the economy, crime and violence, the judicial system, morality and family decline.

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What a difference a week can make.

Saturday, Sept. 26, was among the best days of the Trump presidency, or so some of us thought watching the president introduce in the Rose Garden his sterling candidate for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court.

The academic and professional credentials of Amy Coney Barrett, 48, a U.S. appeals court judge, were superb. Moreover, she was a devout Catholic and mother of seven, two of whom were adoptees from Haiti.

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