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HOW’S THAT RUSSIAN RESET GOING FOR YA, HILLARY? Russians’ Test Called Breach Of Missile Pact. “The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials, a finding that was conveyed by President Obama to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in a letter on Monday.”

The Russian fear is that we’d scrap the treaty and push new weapons systems. Putin knows that Obama won’t do that, so why stick to the treaty?

A PROBLEM FOR 2016? Hillary’s Domestic Violence Record.

NOT SURE I BUY THIS DIAGNOSIS OF HILLARY’S PROBLEMS IN 2008: “They did not let Hillary be Hillary.”

KURT SCHLICHTER: Conservatism Is The New Punk Rock. Actually, that’s more libertarianism. But:

Look at ancient Hillary Clinton, that improbable Millennial heroine. She’s the Bachman Turner Overdrive of American politics, out there literally taking care of business – especially the businesses who take care of her by paying her hundreds of thousands a pop to come talk to them.

There’s no energy left in liberalism, no excitement, just more rules, more controls, everything the punks hated. You can’t say this, you can’t think that, everybody read the memo – today we’re scheduled to be angry at people don’t want to subsidize our birth control! Oh, and make sure you obtain a videotaped, notarized consent form before you kiss your cisgender hook-up.

Yeah. The Dems are looking like that crazy preacher in Footloose.

HILLARY CLINTON: Hey, you know who was a great President? George W. Bush. “George W. Bush is very popular in Sub-Saharan Africa. Why? Because of the president emergency program for AIDS relief whether you agree or disagree with a lot of what else he did — and I disagree with a lot of it — I am proud to be an American when I go to Sub-Saharan Africa and people say, ‘I want to thank President Bush and the United States for helping us fight HIV/AIDS.’”

BECOMING? Walter Russell Mead: As Libya Implodes, “Smart Diplomacy” Becoming a Punch Line.

Throw in the resulting civil war in Mali and the scattering of insurgents and weapons to the four winds, and you have a classic exhibition of reckless incompetence—of American arrogance, ignorance, carelessness and moralism combining in a toxic stew to sink a fragile country we never understood.

Luckily for America’s self-esteem, it was liberal Democrats that produced this particular shambles. If Republicans had done this, the media would be on the administration non-stop, perhaps comparing Samantha Power to Paul Wolfowitz—a well-meaning humanitarian way over her head who wrecked a country out of misguided ideology. There might also be some pointed questions for future presidential candidates who supported this fiasco. But since both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have their fingerprints all over Libya, there isn’t a lot of press hunger for a detailed, unsparing autopsy into this stinking corpse of policy flub.

If Obama were a Republican, the press and the weekly news shows would be ringing with hyperbolic, apocalyptic denunciations of the clueless incumbent who had failed to learn the most basic lessons of Iraq. Indeed, the MSM right now would be howling that Obama was stupider than Bush. Bush, our Journolist friends would now be saying ad nauseam, at least had the excuse that he didn’t know what happens when you overthrow a paranoid, genocidal, economically incompetent Arab tyrant in an artificial post-colonial state. But Obama did—or, the press would nastily say, he would have done if he’d been doing his job instead of hitting the golf course or yakking it up with his glitzy pals at late night bull sessions. The ad hominem attacks would never stop, and all the tangled threads of incompetence and failure would be endlessly and expertly picked at in long New Yorker articles, NYT thumbsuckers, and chin-strokings on all the Sabbath gasbag shows.

Why, the ever-admirable tribunes of a free and unbiased press would be asking non-stop, didn’t this poor excuse for a President learn from what happened in Iraq? When you upend an insane and murderous dictator who has crushed his people for decades under an incompetent and quirky regime, you’d better realize that there is no effective state or civil society under the hard shell of dictatorial rule. Remove the dictator and you get chaos and anarchy. Wasn’t this President paying attention during the last ten years?

Some of the criticism would be exaggerated and unfair; the Monday morning quarterbacks never really understand just how complicated and tragic this poor world really is, not to mention how hard it is to make life and death decisions in real time in the center of the non-stop political firestorm that is Washington today. And the MSM attracts more than its share of deeply inexperienced but entitled, self-regarding blowhards who love to pontificate about how stupid all those poor fools who have actual jobs and responsibilities actually are.

But luckily for Team Obama, the mainstream press would rather die than subject liberal Democrats to the critiques it reserves for the GOP.

This is why, if you want accountable government, you should always vote Republican.

DON’T BE RIDICULOUS: CLINTONS AND THEIR HANGERS-ON CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TO WOMEN. War on Women, Clinton Style: Democrats must disavow a Clinton operative’s anti-woman remark.

OOPS: Sight-Impaired Millionaire Still Not Cleared to Drive: Hillary Clinton flees baby-talking event in five-car motorcade. Nobody trolls better than Andrew Stiles.

FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION wants to regulate conservative books. Fat advances to Dems like Hillary? That’s just business.

OOPS: Michael Barone: Hillary Clinton’s job approval rating as low as Obama’s.

YOU BECOME “READY FOR HILLARY?” What Happens When An Amoeba “Eats” Your Brain?

“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Hillary: This Plane Thing Is Really Europe’s Problem.

Related: More Mush From The Wimp.

HILLARY’S PROBLEM IS THAT SHE’S POLITICALLY CUNNING, BUT SHE’S NOT ACTUALLY ESPECIALLY BRIGHT: Hillary’s pollyanna foreign policy. “Each new crisis around the world, including the scab scraping problems in Ukraine following this week’s plane downing, seem to demonstrate that foreign policy will be a much bigger factor in the next presidential election than I’d once imagined. Americans will still focus on a host of domestic issues, but it’s impossible to ignore the deteriorating state of affairs around the globe and America’s place on that larger stage. This made it all the more curious to examine Hillary Clinton’s statements about American foreign policy given on, of all places, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Setting jokes aside for a moment, Stewart asked Hillary, what is our foreign policy anymore? Her answer was remarkable for its lack of depth.”

SOMEBODY WILL TOP THIS BEFORE 2016, I PREDICT: Read the Puffiest Hillary Clinton Puff Piece of All Time.

ALSO, NO GREEN M&Ms. University Contract Details Hillary Clinton Speech Demands. “On top of the $225,000 she is charging the UNLV Foundation to speak at an event in October, former first lady Hillary Clinton is requiring an additional $1,250 to pay for a stenographer to transcribe her speech and may request a teleprompter if she so chooses. . . . Clinton also agreed to a 30-minute photoline, which will take place before her remarks. But strict rules apply to it as well. It is ‘not to exceed 50 photos with up to 100 people,’ the contract reads. . . . Clinton’s press agency will also maintain strict control over the event’s optics.”

TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY: Here’s an ad slamming Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin for paying women on his staff less than men. I imagine we’ll see a lot of these, since so many Dems are vulnerable, and since they’ve fertilized the field with all this #waronwomen talk. It’ll probably reduce the intensity of female voters’ support, and complicate the war-on-women narrative for Hillary.

DESPITE THE POLITICAL PRESS’S BEST EFFORTS: GOP Candidates Avoiding Big Gaffes So Far. Hillary, on the other hand. . . .

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: All Clintoned Out. “Hillary Clinton seems to be interested in running on the elite progressive themes of equality and fairness. The problem here is obvious. Few Americans have more enriched themselves by trading on their public service than have she and her husband. A George Marshall in retirement Hillary is not. . . . The second problem with Hillary’s candidacy is Obama. In 2009, the betting was close on whether her secretary of State (she had no particular foreign affairs experience prior to her appointment) billet was a deft Obama move (keep your enemies closer than your friends) or a Clintonian wise political gambit (keep in the limelight for 2016). The problem is that her four years as secretary of State coincided with a collapse of U.S. foreign policy unseen since 1979-80.”

Plus: “We can be certain of one fact: If the Republican candidate campaigns according to the Marquess of Queensberry rules in the fashion of John McCain or Mitt Romney and politely deflects each hour the insinuation that as a rich, old white guy de facto he is culpable for some –ism or -ology, Hillary will be elected. But if such charges are either inapplicable to the Republican candidate or are answered in slash-and-burn Lee Atwater style — who was so despised by establishment Republican political operatives — then nothing is certain.”

WAR ON WOMEN: Hillary Clinton Refuses To Apologize For Laughing About 12-Year-Old Rape Victim She Maligned In Court. The thing is, all the “war on women” talk is aimed at energizing wealthy white women. The rape victim didn’t fit the demographic, so she’s disposable.

WAR ON WOMEN: Hillary Clinton Speaks About Defense of Child Rapist: “I fulfilled that obligation.” Was there an obligation to chortle gleefully? Or was that just a bonus?

Plus: “The question of why and how Clinton ended up serving as the attorney for accused child rapist Thomas Alfred Taylor in 1975 is still murky.” As are so many questions about her past.

JOSH HEDTKE: Higher Ed, Clinton Extravagance, and an American Pathology.

Hillary Clinton gave a Luskin Thought Leadership lecture at UCLA last March for which she raked in $300,000 in speaking fees. The appearance was one of at least eight lectures she gave at various universities throughout the past year. Her minimum speaking fee at said universities was reportedly $200,000.

There has been outrage among some students of these universities, who lambaste their administrators for doling out stratospheric speaking fees while students are left to grapple with tuitions that have increased by 500 percent over the last thirty years.

In defense of Clinton’s exploits, it’s been noted that the fees she was paid did not come out of the pot of money funded by tuition but rather from privately donated grants. For instance, at UCLA, the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership fund established in 2011 by benefactors Meyer and Renee Luskin paid her fee.

The nascent Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership program has thus far brought in three speakers: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Kofi Annan, all of whom are, incidentally (or not?), of the liberal bent.

It is correct to point out that, because she was paid by a private donation, it is not as if her speaking fee directly diminished the school’s ability to pay for classroom resources and the like.

But I have always thought the excuse by university administrators that building the new conference center, or the new campus restaurant, or the new LGBT center is justified because various private donors have earmarked their donations for these express purposes, is rather dubious.

In an age when students are crushed by debt, it is conceivable that administrators with any concern for their students could tell potential benefactors that they would love to accept their donation for the new Muslim Cultural Center, but that because of the dire straits their students find themselves in vis-à-vis tuition costs, they would kindly ask that donors make their donations to the university’s general fund instead.

Once when I was in Las Vegas, a guy stopped me on the street and asked to borrow a thousand bucks for his mother’s operation.

I was skeptical. “How do I know you won’t just gamble the money away?”

His indignant response: “I’ve already got gambling money!”

I’m sure he was a college administrator of some kind. And I’ll be here all week; try the veal.

JIM TREACHER: Easy Choice: Read Hillary’s Book, Or Do ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING ELSE? Even those people who’ve bought it, apparently, are choosing option #2. “It almost makes you wonder what dark secrets are lurking inside Hillary’s book, just waiting for someone to do the unthinkable and actually read it.”


What is her salary from the foundation? How much of her expenses are covered by family foundation money? How many members of her family make salaries from that foundation? To what extent is the foundation an income tax dodge? And didn’t Hillary Clinton recently portray herself as not truly rich because she and Bill pay income tax on their money?

Taking from your foundation and putting it in my foundation… what a lovely, arrogant metaphor for a liberal’s view of government! I can spend your money better than you can. The universities have money that they might spend to improve education for their students and to advance scholarship, but it could be shifted into the Clinton Foundation which does whatever it does, some charitable things that maintain and advance the Clintons’ political fortunes.

One New Class hand washes the other. And is Hillary channeling George Costanza?


More on Hillary’s speaking fees here.

Related: Hillary Clinton is making a killing on the speaking circuit: Eight universities that have paid top dollar.

THOSE CLAIMS THAT HILLARY HAS RECOVERED FROM HER HEAD INJURY? Not helped when she thinks the two main parties in Britain are the Conservatives and the Tories.

JIM TREACHER: Caption This: Hillary Clinton Signing One Of The Many, Many Leftover Copies Of Her Book.

IT’S BASICALLY THE ACADEMIC ESTABLISHMENT LAUNDERING CONTRIBUTIONS FOR AN ALLY: WaPo: At time of austerity, eight universities spent top dollar on Hillary Clinton speeches. “In one previously undisclosed transaction, the University of Connecticut — which just raised tuition by 6.5 percent — paid $251,250 for Clinton to speak on campus in April. Other examples include $300,000 to address UCLA in March and $225,000 for a speech scheduled to occur in October at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.”

UPDATE: A reader notes that the President of the University of Miami, another Hillary-subsidizing school on the list, is none other than “Donna Shalala … Bill Clinton’s HHS secretary.”

JIM TREACHER: Has Hillary Clinton Apologized Yet To The Rape Victim She Dragged Through The Mud And Laughed About? “I realize this question doesn’t narrow things down. Specifically, I’m referring to that 12-year-old Arkansas girl in the mid-’70s, whose assailant Hillary got released with time served.” Hillary’s defenders say she was just doing her professional duty. But there was no professional duty to gloat and laugh.

NEW YORK TIMES: How Hillary Is Like John McCain.

MERE “FANTASY ROLE-PLAY.” ‘Cannibal Cop’s Conviction for Plotting to Kidnap & Cook Women is Overturned. But read this story closely, and you’ll quickly figure out that the answer is to elect Hillary President!

REGRETS: Hillary deeply disturbed that Supreme Court upheld statute signed into law by her husband. So there’s this, DOMA, and Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell. . . .

KEVIN WILLIAMSON ON BILL, HILLARY, CHELSEA AND THE NEW OLIGARCHY: “No society can long thrive by making its innovators subservient to its bureaucrats.” But in the short-run, the opportunities for graft are amazing.

BORGIAS, ANYONE? Roger Simon reviews Ed Klein’s book about the Clintons and the Obamas, Blood Feud. “What we have here is a portrait of narcissism gone berserk. And maybe that’s what most politics is.”

Related: Valerie Jarrett Won’t Rule Out Run for Office. And won’t endorse Hillary.

KYLE SMITH: Why Democrats insist on lying about how ‘poor’ they are.

Hillary Clinton claimed that, at the moment she and her husband were signing up for $18 million in book deals, that they were “dead broke.”

Harry Reid (who lives in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel) said liberals are getting bullied by Republican billionaires but the Democratic Party “doesn’t have many billionaires” behind it.

Joe Biden (family earnings: $407,000 last year plus a free house, driver, meals, etc.) claims he “I don’t own a single stock or bond. . . . I have no savings accounts . . . I’m the poorest man in Congress.” (Triple fail: Joe isn’t poor, isn’t in Congress and wouldn’t be the poorest member of it if he were.)

Right here in New York, we’ve learned that City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the daughter of a wealthy doctor who left a $6.7 million inheritance, took advantage of a no-interest loan intended for underprivileged New Yorkers to buy a Harlem townhouse. Then she forgot to declare the rental income on required city disclosure forms. The townhouse you and I helped buy her for $240,000 is today worth $1.2 million.

The more Democrats insist on their proletarian cred, the more absurd it gets. They’re no longer just holier than thou: Now they’re prolier than thou.


SO THIS ARTICLE BY OLGA KHAZAN IN THE ATLANTIC makes a big deal about women doing more household chores than men — “by 51 minutes per day, according to the 2013 Time Use Survey numbers. That’s almost an entire Game of Thrones episode” — but if you actually go to the American Time Survey and move on to the second page — the one that includes “work and work-related activities” — you find that men spend a lot more time, you know, working than women do. But that’s not the the point. The point is to spread #waronwomen resentment as battlespace prep for Hillary. A woman President will show those stupid, lazy men!

I think we should get 50% of federal tax revenues from each sex, and adjust the rates until that happens. Because fairness.

ADVERTISING GENIUS: This billboard of Hillary Clinton has her supporters in full-on freak out mode.

THAT’S RACISM, STRAIGHT UP: Hillary “Disrespects” Obama. To people clucking that the First Black President deserves more respect, may I suggest that you should have done a better job of picking the First Black President? I mean, Jackie Robinson was a really good ballplayer. If he’d instead, well . . . thrown a baseball like Barack Obama, it would have been different.

RUTH MARCUS on Hillary Clinton’s Money Problems. “You are truly well-off by anyone’s definition of the term. And hard work is the guys tearing up my roof right now. It’s not flying by private jet to pick up a check for $200,000 to stand at a podium for an hour. . . . Which gets me to the second set of issues: how you’re continuing to ­vacuum up the money, and the aura of greediness it exudes. Madam Secretary, enough already. This behavior borders on compulsion, like refugees who once were starved and now hoard food. You’re rich beyond your wildest imaginings! You don’t need any more!”

Well, after she had to make that dress out of drapes, Hillary swore she’d never be poor again. And if Hillary doesn’t actually plan to run, then dangling the possibility of her candidacy still helps her rake in more money now.

UNLV STUDENT GOVERNMENT: Hillary Should Return Her Outrageous Speaking Fee.

ED DRISCOLL: Hillary, Chelsea, and America’s Ruling Class.

THE HILLARY TAPES, PART TWO: Bill Clinton in the 1980s: ‘I think I’ve Been Able to Change My Bad Habits.’

Plus, Hillary’s thoughts on moving: “As long as they speak English, I could be comfortable.”

PHILIP KLEIN: The story isn’t that Hillary Clinton is rich, it’s that she’s an overrated politician.

Because the Clintons are often viewed in tandem, a lot of people have mistakenly transposed Bill’s political acumen onto Hillary. But in reality, her political career has involved winning a Senate seat in New York over a weak Republican opponent in a year that Al Gore carried the state by 25 points — and squandering a massive lead against candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic nomination battle. . . .

There’s no doubt that if Hillary doesn’t find a better way to answer it, questions surrounding her wealth could become an issue. Liberals have been arguing that it won’t be, because unlike Mitt Romney (whose wealth was damaging) she’d be supporting policies to provide more benefits to lower income Americans. But that isn’t necessarily going to save her from attacks on her hypocrisy. Just consider how much the story of John Edwards’ $400 haircuts damaged his whole “son of a mill worker” poverty-fighting persona.

Related: Millionaire Chelsea Clinton can’t bring herself to care about money. Well, not caring about money is one of the main perquisites of wealth. I remember one of my friends at Skadden saying “I don’t like this job because of the money. I like this job because I never have to think about money.”

HE REALLY SEEMS TO THINK HE’S GOT A SHOT IN 2016: Biden Hits Hillary: ‘Don’t Hold It Against Me’ I’m Not Rich.

RICH ENOUGH? Daniel Drezner: Hillary Clinton Suffers From Status-Income Disequilibrium. So does most of the press, which explains a lot. But how much status do you have to think you have to feel that a net worth exceeding $100 million isn’t enough?

ON THE UPSIDE, AT LEAST SHE HAS ONE: New book claims Hillary has a bad heart. “She has to be carefully monitored for the rest of her life.” The book is Ed Klein’s Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas. It’s currently #34 on Amazon, but I guess it’ll go higher now that Drudge has picked this up.

FATCAT CRONY INSIDERS — THEY’RE JUST LIKE US! Hillary Clinton Says She Isn’t ‘Truly Well Off.’ “Because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we’ve done it through dint of hard work.”

At one percent of the Clintons’ net worth, most Americans would consider themselves well off. But here’s how they’re struggling:

Clinton earned an $8 million advance for her 2003 book “Living History” and her publisher is rumored to have paid “significantly more” for “Hard Choices.” Additionally, Clinton reportedly earns $200,000 in speaking fees each time she makes a speech. Bill Clinton has reportedly made over $100 million in speaking fees since leaving office.

Earlier this month, Clinton caused controversy when she said she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were “dead broke” when he left the White House in 2000 and subsequently “struggled” to buy homes and pay for their daughter, Chelsea’s, education. Chelsea Clinton’s wealth also made headlines earlier this month after Politico reported she earned a $600,000 salary as a “special correspondent” for NBC News, a sum Business Insider noted seems to amount to $26,724 for each minute she was on air.

Working class all the way. She and Bill are walking, talking (for a fee) arguments for my revolving-door surtax.

Related: WaPo: Some Democrats fear Clinton’s wealth and ‘imperial image’ could be damaging in 2016. “She’s been living 30, going on 40 years with somebody bringing your coffee to you every morning. Is it more ‘Downton Abbey’ than it is America?”

OBAMA OPERATIVES DENY HILLARY’S WAR-ON-WOMEN CHARGE: Clinton Wasn’t Told to Attack Palin, Obama’s Plouffe Says.

WAPO: CNN’s Town Hall: Clinton-Friendly. “To add ‘energy’ to its show (attended by the Erik Wemple Blog), CNN deployed an enthusiastic stage director who coached the audience to applaud at various points throughout the broadcast.”

When the Washington Post thinks you’re too much in-the-tank for Hillary. . . .

MODERN FEMINISM: Apparently, it’s about men bashing other men for being men, in pieces edited by men. “Solution: Female Power. Hillary Clinton stands ready to restructure the old stratifications. This woman has amazing experience, including that time she sent a rape victim ‘through hell.’”

From the comments: “In Hillary Clinton’s America, child rapists are entitled to a vigorous defense and straight white men in college are subject to guilty without a trial.”

THE FRENEMY OF MY FRENEMY IS, ER, . . . Inside the jealous feud between the Obamas and ‘Hildebeest’ Clintons.

I love this: “And so Bill continued to talk about Hillary’s qualifications . . . and the coming campaign in 2016. But Barack didn’t bite. He changed the subject several times. Then suddenly, Barack said something that took Bill by complete surprise. He said, ‘You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.’”

WAR ON WOMEN: Rape Victim of Clinton Client Speaks Out: Hillary ‘Took Me Through Hell.’ You know, I think it would have been better for the GOP if Hillary had waited until 2016 to implode.

TRANSPARENCY: Washington Free Beacon reporter barred from University of Arkansas archives after two damaging stories based on archival research.

UPDATE: The Free Beacon responds. A pretty major slap-down from the folks at Covington & Burling.

STEPHEN MILLER: Why The Democrats Own Iraq Now.

“If you were one of the architects of this mess you don’t get to tell the rest of us how to fix it! Meah!”

Fair enough.

Progressive media is certainly welcome to go this path but they do so at their own peril. The right will be perfectly content to let the press automatically discredit anyone tied to the old Iraq policy who attempts to speak about the current Iraq policy.

This includes Hillary Clinton, who voted for it. This includes Joe Biden, who voted for it. This includes John Kerry, who voted for it but then voted against it. All willingly gave President Bush authorization for military action in Iraq.

And all three are possible Presidential candidates in 2016.

None of the suspected 2016 GOP contenders will be tied legislatively to the past mess or the current mess in Iraq. Not Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Rick Perry or Bobby Jindal. Not even Jeb Bush, which has got to sting the left just a little.


HOW BUSHIAN: Obama tells Congressional leaders he needs no authorization to act in Iraq. Oh, wait, I forgot — Congress, including Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, did vote to authorize Bush’s action before he did anything.

JAMES TARANTO: New and Improved? Mrs. Clinton’s not-yet-a-campaign runs into some difficulties.

A participant in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll provides this amusing quote, which appears in today’s Journal story about the results: “Anita Windley, 30, who voted for [Barack] Obama in 2008 and again in 2012, doesn’t think he’s doing enough to help people in her New York City neighborhood. She complains that jobs are still hard to find and the local schools are subpar. ‘It’s time for somebody new,’ she said, ‘like Hillary.’ ”

That would be Hillary Clinton, who if she wins the presidential nomination in 2016 will be the oldest Democrat ever to do so. Lewis Cass, 66 when he lost the presidency to Whig Zachary Taylor, has held the record since 1848, 99 years before Mrs. Clinton’s birth.

Although she hasn’t even declared whether she’s a candidate, there’s a common view that Mrs. Clinton’s nomination and election are inevitable. If you’re convinced that is true, you can put money on it: According to, London bookmakers are offering slightly better than even odds on her victory in November 2016. Before risking your life savings, consider that you’re betting on three contingencies. For the bet to pay off, she has to run and win the nomination and win the election. . . . She seems to be acknowledging that she privately changed her mind about Iraq long ago and dishonestly concealed her new view. Her defense is that it was a white lie and did not benefit her politically. Now, at long last, she is prepared to reveal her real position–which happens to be, even more clearly than it was in 2008, the only politically expedient position for a Democratic presidential candidate to take.

If only the Dems could find a clean and articulate newcomer — preferably a minority — who voted against the Iraq invasion. Less baggage that way. Of course that would rule out all of these folks:

ROGER SIMON: Why People Zone Out On Hillary. “Hillary is a nowhere woman, trying to replace a nowhere man, which is saying something given Obama’s recent poll numbers. And no one wants to pay attention to a nowhere woman who has been a serial liar. It’s stupefying. The natural reaction of most people, even many who will support her anyway, is to tune out — and they have.”

BYRON YORK: What should Iraq war advocates say about the current crisis? How about “Boy, Barack, you’ve really screwed this one up!” Or is that too mean?

Anyway, I’m just going to keep running this video of what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:

Plus, here’s Joe Biden in 2010 on what a great achievement the Obama/Biden Administration has in the stable, democratic nation that Iraq has become.

ROLL CALL: Obama’s Democrats Wary of Military Action in Iraq.

Less than five months from midterm elections and more than 11 years after Congress first authorized the war, lawmakers are wary of getting sucked back into the conflict. But Congress’ opinion may not even matter, because President Barack Obama already has the authority to act if he chooses.

The commander in chief will detail his thinking for the four top congressional leaders Wednesday, in a White House meeting which might help to get more information through the halls of the Capitol.

Until then, members are all over the place on what to do, whom to blame and whether the president is deploying the right strategy.

Obama faces splits in his own party — with anti-war Democrats such as Rep. Barbara Lee of California hoping to repeal the authorizations to use military force in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere — and more hawkish members, such as House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, willing to consider air strikes to avoid Iraq becoming a new safe haven for terrorists.

While he has ruled out ground combat, Obama hasn’t ruled out air strikes against the forces of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to stem their march toward Baghdad, while pressuring Nouri al-Maliki to open his government to Sunni and Kurdish leadership.

Meanwhile, since Harry Reid was spewing a lot of revisionism yesterday, here’s a flashback to what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:

RON FOURNIER: How Hillary Clinton Is Trying to Have It Both Ways on the IRS Scandal.

READY FOR HILLARY? Ready for blatant censorship attempts. Which, happily, failed.

FROM AUSTIN BAY, a crackling column on Iraq.

Meanwhile, since Harry Reid was spewing a lot of revisionism today, here’s a flashback to what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:

FASCIST IMPULSES: Hillary Clinton cannot let you hold a viewpoint about guns that is terrorizing the vast majority of Americans. “Not only did Hillary completely turn her back on ‘balanc[ing] competing values’ and ‘more thoughtful conversation,’ she doesn’t want to allow the people on one side of the conversation even to believe what they believe. Those who care about gun rights and reject new gun regulations should be stopped from holding their viewpoint. Now, it isn’t possible to forcibly prevent people from holding a viewpoint. Our beliefs reside inside our head. And in our system of free speech rights, the government cannot censor the expression of a viewpoint. But the question is Hillary Clinton’s fitness for the highest office, and her statement reveals a grandiose and profoundly repressive mindset.”

You can see why her supporters wanted to ban the word “bossy.”

FALLING BELOW THE BUSH TRAJECTORY: New NBC News/WSJ Poll: A Disaster For Obama (Not Much Better for Hillary). Well, to be fair, he’s falling below the Bush performance.


The Clintons have a problem getting tripped up by their own sanctimony. The great feminist, we know from a recording of her talking about her victory in a case representing a child rapist, cackled over pulling a fast one on the prosecution. The Post’s Melinda Henneberger observes, “Even rapists deserve adequate legal representation, of course; that’s how our justice system works, no matter how reprehensible the crime. . . . In an interview in the mid-1980s for an Esquire magazine piece that never ran, Clinton’s glee is audible about the prosecution’s big mistake in the case, when it accidentally discarded key evidence. Some are writing off the remarks, as one fellow journalist put it on social media, as ‘typical gonzo defense lawyer talk.’ It is not, however, typical talk for a lifelong defender of women and children.” Nor is it “typical” (decent? acceptable?) for the feminist icon to make the claim that the 12-year-old was the sexually promiscuous.

And that in turn brings back another problem for the feminist heroine: Henneberger reminds us: “The ‘little bit nutty, little bit slutty’ defense has a long, ugly history. It’s jarring to see it trotted out against a kid by a future feminist icon. The argument also bears an uncomfortable similarity to Clinton White House descriptions of Monica Lewinsky, who without that semen stain on her little blue dress would have been dismissed as a stalker who had fantasized that she had a relationship with President Bill Clinton.”

To sum up, it’s not the trust or the legal representation of a rapist that matters; it is that her greed and ambition consistently get the better of her, to the detriment of those women and girls she claims to be helping.

That’s because she’s helping herself.

OF COURSE THEY DO: Bloomberg: Wealthy Clintons Use Trusts to Limit Estate Tax They Back.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have long supported an estate tax to prevent the U.S. from being dominated by inherited wealth. That doesn’t mean they want to pay it.

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.

Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.

Is anyone surprised?

SECRET SERVICE SPEAKS: Hillary told secret service agent who refused to carry her bag to ‘get the f*** away from me’, and treated her detail like hired help but Bill was a softie . . . says former agent in bombshell book.

Bill is an extremely good politician. Hillary is the wife of an extremely good politician.

HOW TO beat Hillary.

STICK IT TO THE MAN: Man who beat NSA in T-shirt parody case wins against Ready for Hillary.

I like the Ready For Oligarchy takeoff.

HILLARY CLINTON’S GAY-MARRIAGE PROBLEM. She’s always having some kind of a marriage problem. . . .

BECKET ADAMS: A brief and painful reminder that Washington is filled with flippant and incompetent halfwits.

As the situation in Iraq grow increasingly volatile, and the Obama administration’s response increasingly vague, critics have voiced frustration at what they perceive to be a lack of leadership in the White House.

Yes, Iraq is imploding, threatened by a well-armed and highly motivated terrorist organization, and the White House’s critics are upset.

And this is on top of the president’s terribly unpopular decision to trade five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (who may or may not have deserted his post in 2009 to join the Taliban), the growing scandal involving the Department of Veterans Affairs and, of course, the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Each of these events involves several dead Americans, some in the line of duty, some waiting for medical attention and some waiting for reinforcements that would never come. Very little has been done to find and punish those responsible for these events.

So along comes Tommy Vietor, he of the “dude, that was two years ago” fame, to inform the unwashed masses on Friday that their anger is very much misplaced and that they’re croaking on about nothing.

It’s hard to imagine that this White House could be unserious about things.


METAPHOR ALERT: Ready For Hillary? Her Tour Bus Isn’t.


JIM TREACHER ON Hillary Clinton v. Terry Gross. “Every day, I get happier and happier about the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president. I hope she does, and I hope she gets the nomination.”

SHE’S HAVING A BAD WEEK: Hillary Clinton Attacks Radio Host In Defensive, Testy Gay Marriage Interview.

Plus, how inconsiderate of those ISIS terrorists in Iraq to upstage her roll-out.

WELL, TO BE FAIR, NEITHER CAN ANYONE ELSE: Hillary Can’t Name Top Accomplishment As Secretary of State.

JAMES TARANTO: Poor Mrs. Clinton: Why she and her husband are an expensive pair of speakers.

Hillary Clinton is making the rounds promoting her new book, or, as our colleague Bret Stephens describes it, her “artifact containing printed words.” In an interview that aired last night, ABC’s Diane Sawyer “wondered if Americans would understand why [Mrs.] Clinton needs a speaking fee of $200,000, ‘five times the median income in this country for one speech,’ ” as the Washington Free Beacon reports.

Mrs. Clinton’s reply: “I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do.”

The former first lady pleaded poverty: “We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt. . . . We struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education, you know, it was not easy. . . . We had to make double the money, because of, obviously, taxes, and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.”

There is some truth to this: According to the Associated Press: “[Mrs.] Clinton’s Senate financial disclosure forms, filed for 2000, show assets between $781,000 and almost $1.8 million. . . . The same form, however, showed that the Clintons owed between $2.3 million and $10.6 million in legal bills.”

In response, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus tells the AP: “Whether she was flat broke or not is not the issue. It’s tone deaf to average people.”

Yet there are some factual problems with Mrs. Clinton’s assertions. National Review’s Andrew Johnson notes a New York Times report from December 2000, more than a month before the end of Mr. Clinton’s term, that Mrs. Clinton had just inked a book contract with an $8 million advance.

Don’t diss her, man. She’s down with the working class.

HILLARY REVEALS THAT THE “WAR ON WOMEN” WAS ACTUALLY A DEMOCRATIC OP: Hillary: I refused Obama Campaign request to attack Sarah Palin “for being a woman.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: WaPo: ABC News’s Diane Sawyer destroys Hillary Rodham Clinton on Benghazi.

SHOCKINGLY, THIS STORY ISN’T ABOUT HILLARY’S SPEAKING FEES: Reactionary Journalist Defends Wealthiest One Percent.

I THINK HE JUST MIGHT BE CORRECT: Marco Rubio: Whoever runs against Hillary has ample space to criticize her on foreign policy.

UPDATE: In Benghazi Chapter, Clinton Book Says Marines Were In Tripoli. The truth: “there was no Marine security detachment in Tripoli.”

SOUNDS TOTALLY QUALIFIED TO BE IN CHARGE OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET: Hillary Clinton: We Were Dead Broke; ‘We Gave Speeches to Pay Off Debt, Numerous Homes.’

WELL, IT WORKED FOR OBAMA: Hillary Wants To Be President Without Media Vetting.

WELL, WOODROW WILSON HAD THAT PLUSH PENGUIN: New York Magazine: “Is Hillary Clinton Too Dependent on Stuffed Animals to Be President?”

From the comments: “The delusional behavior grows stronger day by day. First she turns to a teddy bear for advice, then, in a later, more bizarre manifestation of dementia, she turns to Susan Rice for counsel.”

“SMART DIPLOMACY” UPDATE: Former Obama Ambassador Blasts Syria Policy Failures.

President Obama’s former Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, publicly lambasted the Administration yesterday, stating that its Syria policy was a failure, and that he resigned because he could no longer support it. He further argued that timely intervention could have empowered moderates and prevented violent jihadists from gaining the upper hand in the Syrian resistance. Instead, new terrorist threats are now emerging, not just in Syria but in the U.S. and Europe. . . .

Obama personally selected Ford as his Ambassador to Syria, going so far as to give him a recess appointment in the teeth of Republican resistance. Ford now joins the ranks of former Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates and Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in criticizing their old boss’s Syria strategy. Ford made it crystal clear that “it’s on record now that the State Department, for a long time, has advocated doing much more to help the moderates in the Syrian opposition.” Such blunt comments from an ex-official make it clear that America’s inaction was a personal decision of the President, made against the counsel of his advisers.

As an example of his security concerns, Ford cited Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, an American citizen and Florida native who drove a truck full of explosives into a Syrian Army outpost in a suicide attack on behalf of Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate. Abu-Salha’s case exemplifies a much wider failure. Not only have we renounced control of the Syria situation; the U.S. can’t even gather enough intelligence to keep track of what’s going on there.

Deploy the hashtags!

NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU DO, IT’S NEVER ENOUGH: Hillary To New York Times: Your Coverage Is Not Favorable Enough.

JACLYN CASHMAN: Hillary’s secret ‘lunch’ with prez raises questions. “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl officially became an issue in the 2016 presidential race this week when Hillary Clinton backed the president’s reckless swap for the soldier with the Taliban.”

Related: Mediaite: Fmr. Soldier: Military Told Unit to ‘Not Tell the Truth’ About Bergdahl.

Also: Afghanistan: Obama’s War. “Last week, when President Obama made his trip to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, he claimed that ‘America’s war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.’ This turned out to be the greatest applause line of his speech. With his assertion, Obama, in effect, declared himself the hero of the Afghan war – the one who put an end to that nightmare. But what Obama failed to mention was that it was his war, and that nothing but unattractive scenarios lie ahead for that war-torn state. . . . Why is Afghanistan, as Bob Woodward correctly termed it, Obama’s war? Del Castillo’s sharp pencil work shows that during the period 2002-2013, $650 billion have been appropriated for the Afghan war effort, and a whopping $487.5 billion of that (or 75%) took place after President Obama took office.” Most of the casualties, too. Including some who were looking for Bergdahl.

UPDATE: More members of Bergdahl’s platoon speak out: Bergdahl Was ‘That One Guy That Wanted To Disappear.’

Also: Chuck Todd: W.H. Caught ‘Flat-Footed’ by Bergdahl Response. Don’t they even read Rolling Stone? Oh, who am I kidding? Nobody reads Rolling Stone. But if they had, Michael Hastings could have filled them in. You know, before he died.

Related: “Wonder how long it is before oppo on outspoken members of Bergdahl’s platoon starts popping up.” How long does it take for Valerie Jarrett to call the NSA? Then launder through Journolisters. . . .

WASHINGTON POST: Republicans have a mandate for their Benghazi probe.

Democrats in recent weeks weighed whether to abstain from involvement in House Republicans’ new Benghazi investigative committee, labeling it an unnecessary probe into questions that have already been answered.

The American people disagree.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows a majority of Americans — 51 percent — approve of the new panel, while 42 percent disapprove. Those supporting the new investigation include 72 percent of Republicans (not surprisingly), but they also include 31 percent of Democrats and a majority — 52 percent — of political independents. The reason Americans want an investigation? Because they don’t believe Democrats when they say that all the questions have been answered.

The obviously politicized ineptitude of the Bergdahl deal isn’t helping the Dems here, either. Plus: “They also don’t think former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton is anywhere close to blame-free. The poll shows 50 percent of Americans disapprove of Clinton’s handling of the situation, with just 37 percent approving.”

Related: Hillary distances herself from Bergdahl transfer.

UPDATE: More in WaPo: Prisoner Swaps Are Always A Terrible Idea. Well, wartime exchanges, on a basis of equality, with civilized nations are fine. That’s not what we’ve got here.

YOU MEAN LIKE WHEN SHE VOTED FOR THE IRAQ WAR? Byron York: Hillary Clinton’s Senate Years Curiously Missing From Her Memoirs.

JAKE TAPPER: Hillary ‘Definitely’ Should Be Questioned on Bergdahl.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD ON SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY: “If Burma was a success of the Clinton approach, Egypt and Libya were sobering failures. Except in Tunisia, U.S. efforts to promote democracy after the Arab Spring were largely unsuccessful, with Egypt a particularly dramatic case. But the greatest problem for Clinton’s legacy is likely to be the miserable aftermath of the U.S.-backed overthrow of Gaddafi. Here, advocates of the Libya mission failed to take seriously one of the most important lessons of Iraq: When you overthrow a dictator in the Arab world, expect chaos and violence to follow. The mess in Libya — besides leading to the Benghazi attack that has entangled Clinton in congressional investigations and conspiracy theories — strengthened the voices in the administration opposing the more activist Syria policy Clinton promoted. It also deepened public resistance to more use of American military power abroad. This is not the legacy Clinton hoped to leave behind.”

SHE’S HIDING BEHIND THEM INSTEAD: Hillary self-refutes: “I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans.”

UPDATE: Charles Hoskinson: Blaming the video for Benghazi highlights Hillary Clinton’s weak defense of American values.

By repeating — and defending — the now-debunked claim that the video was to blame for the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Clinton risks a renewed focus on the shameful manner in which she and President Obama handled the Benghazi disaster.

The war against Islamist extremism is as much a war of ideas as it is one of special operations raids and drone strikes, and in this case the administration surrendered unconditionally.

After the attacks, Clinton and Obama fiercely condemned the video multiple times, and even spent $70,000 on television ads in Pakistan condemning it.

The maker of the video, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was arrested on a probation violation and jailed for a year. A pastor of a small church in rural Florida got a phone call from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff urging him to withdraw his support for the film.

But what they didn’t do was make clear why the First Amendment protections of religious freedom — including freedom from religion — and free speech are so important to Americans.

Their vague lip service to the values on which those freedoms are based never even came close to explaining why Americans are willing to tolerate harsh, offensive, even deliberately deceptive criticism of ideas — and why people in the Islamic world should do the same.

That’s because they don’t believe it themselves.

HILLARY CLINTON goes on offense on Benghazi.

THE HILL: Clinton to talk Benghazi, ‘Hard Choices.’

GOOD QUESTION: Say, Where’s Hillary On The VA Scandal? “The debate in the 2008 presidential cycle over long wait times and access to care at the VA wasn’t just limited to Barack Obama and John McCain. Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski adroitly used his Wayback Machine to find this clip of once and future candidate Hillary Clinton scoring points off of the Bush administration for the VA’s woes. Kaczynski notes too that the presumed Democratic frontrunner for 2016 has been curiously quiet about the explosion of fraud, deceit, and death at the VA.”