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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Hillary’s Scandals: Who Wins, Who Loses?

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Hillary’s Scandals: Who Wins, Who Loses?

THEY SHOULD BE: Are Democratic Insiders Starting To Panic About Hillary?

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Hillary’s Scandals: Who Wins, Who Loses?

TOO GOOD TO CHECK? Hillary Furious as Thousands of Americans Send Cigars to Her Office.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, INDOCTRINATION EDITION: Rutgers University offers Hillary Clinton-centric class called ‘A Woman for President?’

OH, PLEASE. I MEAN, SURE, SHE’S PUT ON A LITTLE WEIGHT, BUT . . . ‘Hillary Thinks She Is Bigger Than God.’

JOURNALISM: NYT Refuses To Publish Pushback Letter From Cruz’s Debate Partner.

Rob Marks, the liberal who served as Sen. Ted Cruz’s college debate partner, is alleging that a recent New York Times article “greatly mischaracterizes” Mr. Cruz’s career as a Princeton debater, and “ignores the context of some of these debates.”

The Times has posted at least four articles on the subject, but has declined to publish Marks’ letter to the editor, now obtained by The Daily Caller. . . .

Cruz’s spokesman responded in the Times story, saying that “25-year-old alleged college campus recollection stories, based on anonymous hearsay and reported as ‘fact,’ shouldn’t be taken [seriously] at all. This is ridiculous.”

Hey, the Times is actually publishing bad news about Hillary. You can’t expect them to simultaneously publish things that benefit a Republican candidate.

UNRAVELING: Liberal Common Cause demands Clinton Foundation, Hillary audit.

The financial issues plaguing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign have become too much even for liberal groups, and now Common Cause is calling for an independent audit of donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Amid suggestions that foreign governments donated to the foundation in hopes of getting special treatment from President Obama’s State Department when Clinton was his top diplomat, the group on Friday said a “thorough review” is needed.

The Clintons’ spin yesterday — that this was all a dastardly “conservative” smear — is looking even weaker.

MICHAEL WALSH: Hillary Clinton: Dead Candidate Walking.

ROGER SIMON: ‘Voters for Hillary’ Calling—A True Story.

MITT ROMNEY ON HILLARY’S URANIUM DEAL: “It looks like bribery.” Well, that’s because it is.

OUCH: The Disastrous Clinton Post-Presidency. “The qualities of an effective presidency do not seem to transfer onto a post-presidency. Jimmy Carter was an ineffective president who became an exemplary post-president. Bill Clinton appears to be the reverse. All sorts of unproven worst-case-scenario questions float around the web of connections between Bill’s private work, Hillary Clinton’s public role as secretary of State, the Clintons’ quasi-public charity, and Hillary’s noncompliant email system. But the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.”

As Rick Wilson said on Twitter, when you’ve lost Jonathan Chait. . . .

FROM JON GABRIEL AT RICOCHET, A bullet-point summary of the New York Times’ 4500-word story on Hillary’s corrupt uranium deal. Key bit: “Hillary’s State Department approved the deal and Russia bought Uranium One. Putin can now sell this nuclear fuel to Iran.” Actually, they’re all key bits.

Related: NYT Reporter: Clinton Officials Lied About a Meeting Taking Place, Unaware of Photo Evidence.

UPDATE: Politico: Hillary Clinton struggles to contain media barrage on foreign cash.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Hillary’s Free Trade Meltdown May Pull Warren into Race.

FLASHBACK: Watch Hillary Defend “Heterosexual Marriage” As A Fundamental, Bedrock Principle. “It wasn’t long ago that Clinton sounded much more like a staunch social conservative than a gay rights champion on the issue, describing marriage as a ‘fundamental bedrock principle’ going back ‘into the mists of history’ that was primarily about raising children. During 2004 Senate floor debate, Clinton argued that though she opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment that would have amended the Constitution to make marriage between a man and a woman because she thought the issue should be a state matter, she wanted to make it crystal clear that this in no way suggested she wanted to change the definition of marriage.”

SHE’S INHERITED OBAMA’S MIDAS TOUCH: Thanks, Hillary: Chipotle Sales Plummet. “Less than a week after Hillary Clinton stiffed the servers at a Chipotle, the company admitted they didn’t hit their first quarter numbers. Forbes magazine is concerned that the lackluster performance might indicate a slowdown for the vibrant burrito sector of the American economy.”

WAPO: Trade War Heating Up Among Democrats. “Hillary Rodham Clinton and other top Democrats began feuding over President Obama’s trade initiative Tuesday as his bid for a major late-term win began tearing at the party’s unity and threatened to expose old divisions ahead of the 2016 presidential election.” It’s a bad deal, and we’d be better off if it died.

SO TRUE: Tim Carney: When battling Hillary, it’s the cronyism, stupid.

MORE ON HILLARY’S FAILED WAR OF CHOICE: How the fall of Qaddafi gave rise to Europe’s migrant crisis.

The migration crisis in its current iteration stems, in part, from the fall of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi. In 2010, Europe was moving quickly to normalize relations with the former dictator. Oil interests played a role, but so did the desire of many European nations to outsource migrant control to the North African country.

Libya’s coast has a long history of sending people – willing and unwilling – to Europe and the Americas. Ports like Tripoli and Benghazi were the final stops for medieval slave-trading caravans from the African interior until the 19th century. In recent decades, migrants have shoved off for Italy and Spain in rickety fishing boats, with Libyan officials looking the other way.

Mr. Qaddafi was well aware of European alarm at the rising tide of migrants in his final years in power. He used it as a powerful wedge to improve his own standing. Back to 2004, Qaddafi began making deals with individual European states to control the tide of migrants. In August 2010, he visited his friend Silvio Berlusconi, then president of Italy, in Rome and said Europe would turn “black” without his help.

To be fair, a lot of Europeans favored the Libya war, too.

TOM MAGUIRE ON HILLARY’S BIGGEST POLICY DEBACLE (THAT WE KNOW OF): Eerily Prescient On The Libyan Debacle.

For a bit of Sunday afternoon quarterbacking, let’s excerpt this from March 22 2011, by Adam Garfinkle of The American Interest:

As noted, there is a regional and tribal element to the fight in Libya. It is unlikely that the Benghazi-based rebels could by themselves establish stable control over the whole country. It is almost as unlikely that the Tripolitanian tribes could re-establish firm control over Cyrenaica. Qaddafi managed the feat through a combination of patronage, terror and cooptation. That will be a very hard act to follow in the wake of so much bloodletting. We are therefore looking into the maw of a Libya that may well be divided, in the throes of some kind of protracted, at least low-level civil war, and that could very easily produce an insurgency spilling over the Egyptian and Tunisian borders—complete with refugees, the usual dysfunctional NGO triage operations and all the rest. And in due course, if the fractious mess lasts long enough, there is a reasonable prospect that al-Qaeda will find a way to establish a foothold amid the mayhem.

Who will want to send in peacekeepers to baby-sit a Libya that looks like that? Who’ll want to go to the UN to get the job authorized? The African Union?

Now, given that this sort of problem is foreseeable, and that it was also foreseeable before the cruise missiles started flying on Saturday, it stands to reason that a responsible, serious government will have thought about all this in advance, and come up with some plan for the post-combat “Phase IV” of the Libyan War, right? Not on your life; the President and his war council almost certainly have not even begun to think about this sort of thing, because they’re still in denial that it could happen. This is, after all, just a limited, humanitarian mission as far as they’re concerned. They don’t realize it yet, but these guys are on a path to make even Donny Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks look good—and you thought that was impossible.

Well, no I didn’t.

Maguire’s conclusion: “The guy who got elected on ‘No More Iraqs’ gave us a new Iraq (and lost the original one!). With Hillary at his side encouraging our involvement.”

IT’S ALWAYS NICE to make Twitchy.

OF UNICORNS & INCOME INEQUALITY:   “Income inequality” is fast becoming the unicorn of the 2016 presidential campaign– a mythical creature that has captured the hearts and minds of the political left and a good number of independents.

Hillary Clinton has signaled it’s going to be the centerpiece of her presidential bid.  She recently complained about CEO pay being “300 times what the average worker makes.” But the more accurate figure is that the average CEO makes only about four times the wages of the average worker (not 300).  And let’s face it, folks:  The average business owner/CEO often invests personal funds, mortgages personal assets, and puts in hours far in excess of the “average” worker.

Liberals/progressives tout income inequality as “America’s biggest problem.”  Self-described socialist-democrat Rep. Bernie Sanders (who caucuses, unsurprisingly, with the Democrats) is pushing Hillary even further left, threatening to challenge her and asserting that his campaign would be built around an argument for “fundamental changes in the way we do business in the United States of America in terms of income inequality.”

The problem with all of this is that there is zero evidence that higher incomes for the top X percent of Americans causes a rise in poverty rates.  If the rich get richer, in other words, the poor don’t get poorer.  Indeed, the population of America’s poor has remained steady at 15% since the advent of the “Great Society” programs.  The “war on poverty” is an income-sucking hamster wheel, getting us nowhere.

The income inequality “problem,” is merely a Marxist cry for income redistribution– i.e., theft of the earnings of one segment of society (mostly middle income) to subsidize another segment of society that wants a slice of someone else’s pie.  But the top 20% of income earners in the U.S. already pay 84% of all income taxes.  The bottom fifth pays zero– and, in fact, gets a 2.2% income bonus, paid for by the rest of society.  So any arguments about the rich not paying their “fair share” for the costs of our swollen government are ludicrous.

What we need is re-invigoration of the belief in the American dream–that any child can, with hard work and intelligence, improve his lot and achieve greatness.  And the data supports that this is still true.  One would think that someone with President Obama’s biography would have ardently touted this optimistic truth.   Off all the current GOP presidential candidates, Marco Rubio seems, at the moment, to embrace this optimism the most.  I hope they all do, eventually.

unicorn

BRITISH POLITICIAN: We may have the monarchy, but you have the hereditary ruling class. “Here’s a clue. On the day she announced her candidacy, I had a look at Hillary Clinton’s Twitter page. What, I wondered, might it tell me about her likely priorities in government? She followed nine other accounts: Clinton Global Initiative, Clinton Foundation, Clinton School, Clinton Library, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Women in Public Service, Too Small to Fail and Beyond Differences. (To be fair, five more accounts have since been added: @HillaryforSC, @HillaryforNV, @HillaryforNH, @HillaryforIA and @HillaryforNY.) And why not? When you’ve been in and around government at the highest level for long enough, you’re bound to start taking it for granted. You forget that you are passing through institutions that are greater than you are. It becomes all about you. This was precisely the phenomenon that the United States was created to forestall.”

To be fair, it’s always been that way with Hillary.

JOHN FUND: Fiorina Has Hillary Defenders Worried. I like Carly Fiorina. She fights. Can we find out what she drinks, and send it to all the other Republicans?

LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Scooby hits the road at 92 MPH! Secret Service zooms Hillary to dinner through driving rain following secret afternoon house party. To be fair, if I were driving Hillary around I’d be in a hurry to reach the destination too.

JAY NORDLINGER:

I say that I look forward to having a normal president again — or rather, a president whom people treat normally. A president whom the press criticizes, and gangs up on. A president whom comedians joke about. And a president who doesn’t treat all criticism, and all opposition, as illegitimate. (I’m talking about criticism of, and opposition to, himself, of course.)

Yeah, well, don’t expect that from Hillary.

LIBYA’S MELTDOWN: Awkward Questions For Hillary.

ROGER SIMON: Whatever You Think About Hillary, It’s Worse!

WELL, NOW WE KNOW WHY SHE WAS SO EAGER TO SCRUB THOSE EMAILS, EVEN AT THE COST OF CONSIDERABLE POLITICAL DAMAGE: New Book, ‘Clinton Cash,’ Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation.

The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes.

His examples include a free-trade agreement in Colombia that benefited a major foundation donor’s natural resource investments in the South American nation, development projects in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, and more than $1 million in payments to Mr. Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State Department.

That sort of behavior is, of course, a carryover from Bill’s time in office. But here’s why Hillary should worry: “Major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book.”

HUNTING THE WHITE MALE VOTER:  Democrats are beginning to reap the electoral effects of the hatred and divisiveness they’ve sown.  White, male voters are increasingly abandoning the Democrat party, which has shown disinterest in their concerns about economic opportunity and national security, preferring instead to focus on balkanizing Americans with the “war on women,” paranoia about/hostility toward police, and global warming climate change.

Good luck, Democrats.  With op-eds like this one from Charles Blow at the New York Times, I think you’ve got a lot of introspection and attitude readjustment to undertake before you will convince any Americans who define themselves as just “American” rather than “hyphen-American” to vote Democrat.  Blow’s attitude is typical:  Shut up and take it, white men.  You’re increasingly irrelevant, we think you are “privileged,” angry closet racists (talk about projection) and we don’t care about you.  Message received.

RELATED:  Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has suggested he may challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination because he thinks her campaign isn’t capable of wooing white male voters.  His perspective is almost quaint.  The post-Obama Democrat party is incapable, at present, of realizing the damage it has done and reforming its “divide and conquer” strategy.

FIRST JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S PEDO/RAPE ISLAND, NOW THIS: Menendez co-‘conspirator’ hosted Bill and Hillary at vacation getaway.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: With Hillary, Appearances Are Everything.

Every Mystery Machine must have its Velma. You’ll remember Velma Dinkley, the grim-faced young fogey of the Scooby-Doo gang: turtleneck and knee socks, orange; pleated skirt and pumps, red; spectacle lenses a very groovy shade of aqua; hair in a severe, LPGA-ready bob. She was the thick and bookish counterpoint to the comely Daphne Blake. But the id moves in mysterious ways, and Velma has enjoyed a strange post-1970s career as a minor object of erotic fixation, being portrayed on film by the knockout Linda Cardellini and, in a dramatic illustration of Rule 34, by the pornographic actress Bobbi Starr. . . .

Sharon Stone, the Clintons, Scooby-Doo, the man-feminists of the New York art scene, the just-one-name-like-Sting-or-Cher thing: That Hillary Show has a distinctly retro feel to it already. We have seen this movie before: Last Vegas, The Bucket List, About Schmidt, John Podesta and Paul Begala starring in Grumpy Old Men. Once more unto the breach. The Lion in Winter, with all the domestic friction and succession drama but no lion.

Herself, who speaks in clichés and who gives some indication that she thinks in them, too, says that she is in the van — “Road trip!” she tweeted — because she is “hitting the road to earn your vote.” The Clintons — not too long ago “dead broke,” as Herself put it — have earned well more than $100 million since the president left office, the Washington Post reports, with his speech income alone amounting to some $105 million.

That’s armored-car money, and an armored car is of course what Herself is riding around in, as she did during her first Senate campaign. There is something ineffably Clintonesque in that: She declined the use of the customary limousine because she wanted to appear to share the lives and troubles of the ordinary people, so she rides around in a customized armored van, having spent a great deal of money — starting prices for such vehicles are comparable to those of Porsches — to avoid the appearance that she has a great deal of money. . . .

Appearances apparently do matter. That van is the cosmetic surgery of populism, the tummy tuck of a 1 percenter auditioning for a role somewhere between Evita and Auntie Mame. But the Clintons have always had a strange knack for getting people to admire them for their phoniness, not in spite of it. Their admirers — and there are many of them — are like those odd ducks who prefer breast implants to the genuine articles, the more obviously artificial the better.

That’s the strange thing about the career of Herself: Because she is a feminist, or at least a woman who plays one on television, to bring up the subject of her appearance is taken as prima facie chauvinism, boorish boobishness of the sort that illustrates exactly why we need a woman as president. (Maybe. But this woman?) At the same time, appearance is 83 percent of every presidential campaign, and 97 percent — at least — of a Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign. In some cases, the appeal is literally skin deep: When Team Herself unveiled its campaign icon — an uppercase “H” with a vector pointing to the right — the daft young actress Lena Dunham remarked that she wanted to get a “tramp stamp” tattoo of the logo.

Read the whole thing.

CLICK AT YOUR PERIL: The Hillary Laugh Button.

HUH. I WONDER WHAT HE’S TRYING TO SAY WITH THAT? NY Times Frank Bruni: Huma “Clings” To Hillary “So Tightly, Their Relationship Could Be Called Marsupial.”

GARY HART: Dare We Call It Oligarchy?

If the presidency were to pass back and forth between two or three families in any Latin American nation we would call it an oligarchy.

I’m ready. Hillary, by the way, tried to suppress this parody. Because nothing says “not an oligarchy” like trying to shut up your critics.

And as proof that the editors of Time have a sense of humor, here’s what’s at the bottom of Hart’s piece: Read next: Chelsea Clinton Gets Ready to Take the Stage.

EXPLOSIVE VIDEO: Marco Rubio orders at Chipotle.

TOM MAGUIRE: Armenians Died, Obama Lied. “Interesting – so many more questions for the press to not ask Obama or especially Hillary. For the record, Candidate Hillary in 2008 matched Barack in the empty promises area, then backed her boss as Secretary of State.”

POLITICO: Hillary Clinton’s Real Opponent: Barack Obama. “No retiring president below 50 percent job approval nationally has passed the White House to his party’s nominee in the 75 years of the polling era. Obama’s approval rating, as of this writing, is around 45 percent (give or take), and his disapproval is about 50 percent.”

STEPHEN GREEN: Does the GOP Need a Republican Obama to Beat Hillary?

BECAUSE IT’S THE PARTY OF OLD WHITE PEOPLE AND THEIR LOYAL RETAINERS. Byron York: Why is the 2016 Democratic field so old?

Why are the Democrats running for president so old? Blame the Clintons.

There are five Democrats who have either declared or are thinking about running for president. Three — Joe Biden, Bernard Sanders, and Jim Webb — will be over 70 years old on Inauguration Day 2017. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton will be nine months short of 70. Only Martin O’Malley, who will turn 54 a couple of days before the 2017 swearing-in, has not reached retirement age already.

In 2008, Democrats had a 47 year-old candidate who mesmerized the party and ran away with the votes of Americans aged 18 to 29. Republicans, meanwhile, ran a 72 year-old man whose reputation was based on heroism in a war 40 years earlier. Youth won.

This time the situation is reversed. The average age of the Republican field is far below the Democrats, with every candidate younger than Clinton. The most senior is Jeb Bush, who will be 64 on Inauguration Day. Scott Walker will be 49; Marco Rubio will be 45; Ted Cruz, 46; Rand Paul, 54; Chris Christie, 54; Mike Huckabee, 61; Bobby Jindal, 45. Although Bush is in the older range, they’re all in the career sweet spot to win the White House.

What accounts for the Democrats’ dramatic change from the party of youth to the party of age?

“It’s the snuffing out of young talent by the strength and size and sheer velocity of the inevitable nominee,” says a well-connected Democratic strategist. “The Clintons took all the air out of the collective Democratic room. There are a lot of people who would be running who are much younger, but they’ve got their future in front of them, and they don’t want the Clintons to ruin it, in this campaign or after this campaign. So they’re waiting for a moment when there is enough oxygen to run.”

“If Hillary Clinton weren’t running, we’d have a field that looks like the Republican field — young and vibrant and diverse.”

Hillary is none of those things.

JOHNNY ONE-NOTE: Charles Blow: If you oppose Hillary, it’s because you’re sexist. And probably also racist. To be fair, he actually mentions that the Republican field is more diverse, which must have hurt.

WELL, SHE DID SUFFER A HEAD INJURY A WHILE BACK: Hillary Parks in Handicap Spot.

FINALLY, A CHAMPION FOR ORDINARY FOLK AND A CRUSADER AGAINST POLITICAL CORRUPTION!:   . . . which is (more than ironically) what Hillary Clinton is billing herself as.  In her recent Iowa appearance, Clinton revealed these two themes as the basis upon which she’s shaping 2016 presidential bid.

She complained that chief executives make too much money, and of the horror that has befallen politics after the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United–which stands for the unremarkable position that groups of people organized in a business (e.g., corporations)  or association (e.g., unions or neighborhood associations) form still have a First Amendment right to free speech.

All of this is coming from a woman whose persona is defined by whose massive political fundraising, multiple ethical lapses, and laughable claims of poverty.  I would call Clinton a hypocrite, but somehow this word fails to capture fully the Orwellian nature of her behavior.  How do Democrat voters let her get away with such obvious doublethink? In the Words of Orwell, in the novel 1984:

In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.

Ignorance is strength, I guess.

RELATED:  Liberal/progressive groups are urging President Obama to issue an executive order to require government contractors to disclose their donor lists, in direct contravention to the Supreme Court’s decision in NAACP v. Alabama (1958), which held that compelled disclosure of the NAACP’s membership lists was unconstitutional because it created a chilling effect on the First Amendment right to free association.  And we know what liberals/progressives like to do when they find out the names of conservative donors, and it ain’t pretty.

This is all part of the liberal/progressive campaign against so-called “dark money,” which is an incredibly misleading phrase (there’s Orwell again) that refers to political spending by outside groups (i.e., not the political parties or candidates themselves).  An FEC rule requiring broader disclosure was tossed out of court in November, with the federal judge calling the FEC’s attempt “arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law.”

So much for liberals/progressives belief in “privacy” or “free speech”– that stuff doesn’t apply to other people.

HILLARY CLINTON: The Sarah Palin Of The Left?

THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER IS ON THE STORY: EXCLUSIVE: HILLARY CLINTON LESBIAN LOVERS NAMED IN SECRET EMAILS. “The ENQUIRER learned the list of Hillary’s lesbian lovers includes a beauty in her early 30s who has often traveled with Hillary; a popular TV and movie star; the daughter of a top government official; and a stunning model who got a career boost after allegedly sleeping with Hillary. Hillary made the huge mistake of mixing public and private messages while using her personalized email server – before risking a massive scandal by refusing to make the documents public.”

IT’S POTEMKIN VILLAGES ALL THE WAY DOWN (CONT’D): BuzzFeed: Hillary Invented “Immigrant” Grandparents. Well, to be fair, maybe she just uses the same genealogist as Elizabeth Warren.

NO SURPRISE HERE: Chipotle Manager: Hillary Clinton Didn’t Leave Anything in Tip Jar.

PROBABLY NOT WITH HILLARY AND OBAMA IN CHARGE: The U.S./Russian Diplomatic Debacle: Could It Have Been Otherwise?

Did the West bungle its relations with Russia after the Cold War? Was there a better way? This debate, now a quarter of a century old, will doubtless be with us for decades. The sides don’t seem to change much, nor do their arguments. Those who opposed the enlargement of NATO in the 1990s treat the war in Ukraine as proof that they were right all along. It was madness, they say, to challenge a core Russian security interest. Enlargement’s supporters, of course, claim vindication just as vehemently. For them, Putin’s aggression shows the wisdom of bringing new members into the alliance. Including Ukraine, they suggest, might have avoided the current crisis altogether.

While they differ in their policy prescriptions, these two sides converge on one point: their view of Russia. Great powers don’t change much, they tell us. Habits of domination are not easily unlearned. So expect a future full of potential trouble, and think carefully in advance about how to avoid it.

Centuries of conflict confirm such maxims.

Well, that was before we had Smart DiplomacyTM so naturally there’s nothing to learn from history.

SHE’S AS INEVITABLE AS SHE WAS IN 2008: Hillary Clinton Isn’t Inevitable.

POLITICS: DNC uses celebrity women with collective net worth of $331 million to attack GOP on #EqualPay.

Should’ve used female staffers from the Obama White House. And Hillary’s office . . .

OF COURSE SHE DOES: Hillary Clinton says she would support a constitutional amendment on campaign finance reform. Proof beyond a doubt that “reform” isn’t about making things more honest or transparent. . . .

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANTS! When Hillary Goes to College to See ‘Everyday Iowans,’ Students Get Locked In Their Classrooms.

CATHY YOUNG ON HILLARY AND THE SEXISM CARD: “Even the notion that female pols are subjected to sexist scrutiny for their looks and dress turns out to be shaky. A recent study by political scientists Danny Hayes of George Washington University and Jennifer Lawless of American University showed that male politicians are no less likely to have their appearance mentioned in newspaper articles — and that voters don’t judge women in politics more harshly over personal appearance.”

Women just complain more when it happens.

BUT SHE WOULDN’T ANSWER, AND NEITHER WOULD THE STATE DEPARTMENT: Hillary Clinton Was Asked About Using Private Email Server 2 Years Ago.

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANTS! Hillary Visits College To See ‘Everyday Iowans,’ Students Get Locked Down In Classrooms.

HILLARY’S BIG IRON HOSTILITY:   And no, I’m not talking about her, um, relationship with Bill.  Jacob Sullum at Reason documents Hillary’s steady history of anti-gun comments.

Maybe she just needs someone to buy her a nice pink .45 revolver, like this cutie pie?

JOURNALISM: New York Times: Hillary Clinton’s Chipotle Order: Above Average.

Perhaps Kevin Quealy of the Times can tell me how my lunch stacks up.

chipotlelunch

MICKEY KAUS IS WORKING ON A MIX TAPE for Hillary’s road trip. Add your suggestions in the comments. . . .

Here’s mine. Not as clever, but descriptive. Or maybe this one. Sneak the chorus in at a Hillary appearance if you can. . .

FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE KATHLEEN WILLEY: Hillary’s a joke, a ‘serial liar’: Expect ‘scandal a day.’

ASHE SCHOW: Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz backing away from the ‘war on women’ narrative?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was one of the biggest boosters of the “war on women” narrative that worked so well in 2012 but failed so hard in 2014. Now it seems the Democratic National Committee chairwoman is backing away from the favored talking point.

Wasserman Schultz is now saying that issues like abortion won’t be as important to voters as the economy — a stark change from just last year, when abortion and birth control seemed to be the only issues Democrats thought were important to women. . . .

Wasserman Schultz’s comments came as a response to presidential hopeful Rand Paul, who asked last week if the DNC chairwoman would be okay “with killing a seven-pound baby that is not born yet.” It was a play on typical mainstream media attempts to paint Republicans as anti-abortion extremists without asking Democrats whether they believe in any restrictions for abortions. (The vast majority of Americans believe late-term abortions should be illegal.)

Wasserman Schultz responded at the time by saying she supports “letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved — period,” suggesting she is okay with late-term and even partial-birth abortions. She later doubled-down on her position and accused Paul of not answering for his own beliefs on the issue.

Wasserman Schultz added: “If that’s what [Rand] thinks is the central issue and priority for the American voters and will drive the ultimate choice they make, then he’s more out of touch than I thought.”

Funny, because that was the entire premise of Democrats’ “war on women” campaign from the start. Apparently Wasserman Schultz is admitting she has been out of touch for the past three years?

I think Rand Paul single-handedly torpedoed that narrative with one question. Funny the rest of the GOP didn’t think of that sooner.

Related: Hillary Clinton: The Candidate Of Meh.

WELL, THAT SEEMS ABOUT RIGHT: Iowa students preparing for Hillary’s first ‘listening’ session think she’s a ‘control freak’ who will be ‘talking s**t’ and only wants immigration reform because the Democratic party needs voters.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Just wait until the Governor of Wisconsin gets the GOP nomination and Hillary is yet again engaged in a struggle with a Walker.”

I LIKE HIM A LOT BETTER THAN I LIKE HILLARY: Marco Rubio Declares Candidacy, Saying “Yesterday Is Over.”

UPDATE: Ouch.

SALON IS NOT IMPRESSED WITH THE ROLLOUT: Hillary Clinton Just Doesn’t Get It: She’s Already Running A Losing Campaign. “Clinton personifies the meritocracy that to an angry middle class looks increasingly like just another privileged caste. It’s the anger captured best by the old ‘Die Yuppie Scum’ posters and in case you haven’t noticed, it’s on the rise. Republicans love to paint Democrats as elitists. It’s how the first two Bushes took out Dukakis, Gore and Kerry — and how Jeb plans to take out Hillary. When she says she and Bill were broke when they left the White House; when she sets her own email rules and says it was only for her own convenience; when she hangs out with the Davos, Wall Street or Hollywood crowds, she makes herself a more inviting target. . . . Clinton seems as disconnected from the public mood now as she did in 2008. I think it’s a crisis. If she doesn’t right the ship it will be a disaster. In politics it’s always later than you think. Advisors who told her voters would forget the email scandals probably say this too will pass. If so, she should fire them.”

Related: Mickey Kaus on Chelsea’s toxic pretentiousness.

Plus: “Another way for rich to curry favor w/ Clintons: Invest in son-in-law’s hedge fund?”

ROGER SIMON: No Questions, Please: Hillary Announces on Twitter.

My question for Hillary, shamelessly stolen from a tweet I can’t find now: Do the underage girls held as sex slaves on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island that Bill visited feel “empowered” by Hillary’s candidacy?

UPDATE: Ah, here’s the tweet.

BYRON YORK: The road to ELLE: ClintonWorld’s plutographic presidential rollout.

As part of the rollout of her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton chose the Huffington Post to publish a new “epilogue” to her tepidly-received 2014 memoir, Hard Choices. A significant part of the chapter is about Clinton’s happiness at becoming a grandmother, now that daughter Chelsea Clinton has had a daughter of her own, Charlotte. But the epilogue’s broader point is Clinton’s intention to make much of her 2016 campaign about fighting inequality.

“I have always believed that every child should have the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential,” Clinton wrote. “I’m more convinced than ever that our future in the 21st century depends on our ability to ensure that a child born in the hills of Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or the Rio Grande Valley grows up with the same shot at success that Charlotte will.”

With those carefully-chosen regions and the voting groups they represent — Appalachia for working-class whites, the Delta for blacks, Rio Grande for Hispanics — Clinton took care to associate herself with opportunity for those parts of the American electorate struggling the most to get ahead, or just to maintain their place, in today’s economy.

All of which made another part of the Clinton rollout — a new photo spread in the trendy fashion magazine ELLE featuring Chelsea Clinton modeling high-priced clothing, jewelry and shoes while discussing equal opportunity — all of that made for a discordant note in ClintonWorld’s big week.

One photo in the ELLE article featured this caption:

Chelsea Clinton in a Gucci dress, Mateo New York bracelet, Cartier bracelet, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring.

Another photo featured this caption:

Derek Lam blouse, Stella McCartney trousers, Bulgari necklace, Tiffany & Co. bracelets, Trollbeads bangle, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring, Brian Atwood pumps.

Cartier, Gucci, Bulgari — they are some of the most expensive names in the fashion business, and in this case they are the background to Chelsea Clinton’s thoughts on equality of opportunity, especially for women.

Just marry well, or choose a good father, and you too can fight women’s inequality!

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Why Is Hillary Clinton Even Running? “That is not as stupid a question as it first sounds.”

FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton Equates Gun Control Opponents With Terrorists.

STREET ART: Anti-Clinton Posters Hit New York, Las Vegas.

Hundreds of posters criticizing Hillary Clinton have begun cropping up in areas around New York City and Las Vegas, according to numerous photographs obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The ads depict Clinton’s face in black and white and are accompanied by numerous phrases critical of the presidential contender’s high-profile efforts to ban reporters and others from using certain words such as “secretive” and “ambitious” to describe Clinton.

Heh.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Here’s a breakdown of every scandal swirling around Hillary.

I CERTAINLY HOPE SO: Reince Priebus: We deserve better than Hillary Clinton.

POST-HILLARY: Gotta love this cover.

posthillary

NO, BUT APPARENTLY SHE CAN GET AWAY WITH DESTROYING THE EVIDENCE: Krauthammer’s Take: Hillary Clinton Cannot Escape Her Past.

ASHE SCHOW: Hillary is not a feminist’s ideal first female president.

If gender is the only thing that matters when hoping for the first female president, then Hillary Clinton can check that box.

But if a role model is actually what’s desired, then Clinton is not that candidate. The message a Hillary presidency sends is that women can achieve anything they want — as long as they marry the right man.

I suppose some might try to make a similar case against Rand Paul this cycle — we all know it was a rallying point against George W. Bush — but there’s one key difference: Paul isn’t running to be the historic first of anything. The first Paul in the White House doesn’t count.

But Clinton is running as someone who can shatter glass ceilings, yet she only shattered those ceilings with the help of her husband Bill. I’ve written previously about how Hillary was made partner at a prestigious law firm only after Bill became the governor of Arkansas. Her election to the U.S. Senate, her 2008 run for president and appointment to secretary of state were only made possible by Bill’s election as president.

Well, marrying well enough to advance one’s station is a traditional female ambition.

JOURNALISM: Bloomberg Fell For Bull Because It Wanted To Believe. “Bloomberg ran a story that Nancy Reagan was endorsing Hillary Clinton. It was a fake story that Bloomberg picked up without hesitate and ran. It had to yank the story and apologize. Who the hell would even believe a story like that? The Media. Just like liberal reporters immediately believed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) stormed out of an interview and turned out the lights — another story that was not true in any way, shape, or form — the press believed this because they want to believe.”

And they want you to believe.

HARRY REID AND HILLARY CLINTON WERE UNAVAILABLE FOR COMMENT: For Older Adults, a Rising Risk of Subdural Hematoma. Heavy drinking is a risk factor, unsurprisingly.

DAVID DRUCKER: “Round one in the battle of anti-Establishment Republican presidential candidates goes to Sen. Ted Cruz.”

Related: Hillary Slipping Against . . . Entire Republican Field. “In head-to-head matchups, every Republican candidate effectively ties her in Colorado and almost all Republicans effectively tie her in Iowa.”

Plus: “Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating from the American public currently stands at 48%, which is similar to her 50% reading last month, but is down from 55% last summer and from 59% a year ago… Not only is this Clinton’s weakest favorable rating of the past year, but it is the lowest since 2008 when she was competing in that year’s Democratic primary elections.”

Don’t get cocky, kids.

Also: Journalistic white-knighting and Rand Paul interviews: “Cillizza appears to see his female colleagues as the weaker sex in desperate need of his macho mansplanatory wonkery.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Report: Hillary changed stance on trade deal after donations to Clinton Foundation.

OUCH: Investor’s Business Daily: Hillary Clinton’s Private Server A Foreign Spy Magnet. Yes, you can be pretty sure that foreign governments know all her secrets, and will use them at the appropriate time.

BYRON YORK: Scott Walker: The GOP’s Great Unknown.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the leader in some national polls for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He’s also the least-known candidate in some surveys. There could be a relationship between those two factors.

Start with the new Fox News poll, done the last few days of March. Pollsters gave respondents, all registered voters, a list of seven Republican candidates — Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Walker and Ben Carson. “Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each one,” the pollsters asked. And then they added, “If you’ve never heard of one, please just say so.”

Forty-three percent of respondents said they have never heard of Walker — the highest of any GOP candidate except Carson, with 54 percent. In addition, ten percent said they “can’t say” their opinion of Walker. (Bush’s never-heard-of number was eight percent, with ten percent “can’t say.”) Walker’s total was 27 percent favorable, 21 percent unfavorable, with a combined 53 percent never-heard-of or can’t-say. . . .

For a candidate who starts out with little national recognition, a campaign is a long process of telling voters who he is. With the general public — and all three polls cited above were of the public, not just Republicans — Walker is still a mystery for a large number of people. Even some Republicans who know of Walker and like him base their opinion on what they know about Walker’s stand against public-sector unions in Wisconsin, and little beyond that. Despite all the attention the media has paid to the campaign so far, Walker is still starting out when it comes to explaining to voters who he is and why he’s running.

Well, the politically-aware know a lot. The low-info types probably don’t know anyone beyond Jeb and Hillary.

WELL, YES: Open Government Experts: Hillary’s Use of Personal Email ‘Brazen Decision’ to Flout Law.

Even more disturbing is the fact that Clinton said she deleted the remaining e-mails — about 30,000, supposedly personal, messages — and wiped her personal server clean, meaning it’s unlikely anyone at the State Department or other agencies will be able to double-check whether any of those messages should have been preserved.

“This amounts to a flouting, if not a violation, of the Federal Records Act, which says all federal agency employees have an obligation to take some steps to preserve things for posterity,” Metcalfe said.

Critics are also suspicious of the 30,000 figure. It would be highly unusual, Metcalfe says, to find fully half of the e-mails a secretary of State sent during his or her tenure were personal in nature.

She’s a criminal who was covering up crimes. Her supporters realize this, they just applaud it.

HILLARY CLINTON HARDEST HIT: Simple Facial Scans Reveal How Fast a Person Is Aging. “Researchers have found that simple 3-D image scans of people’s faces can determine a person’s “biological age” more reliably than blood samples can. This technology could help doctors assess patients’ risk of age-related diseases and evaluate the efficacy of treatments. . . . Using facial photos researchers mapped each face’s biological landmarks like the eyes, nose and mouth as reference points. By measuring the distances between facial landmarks in young and old people, reliable patterns of aging emerged. As people get older, researchers found, the mouth elongates and the nose becomes wider, the corners of eyes droop, and the face starts to sag as fat accumulates in the cheeks. Four measurements — mouth width, nose width, mouth-nose distance and eye droop — were key indicators, shared by both sexes, of the aging process at work.”

HE HAS MORE TO SAY, TOO: It’s cheaper to get Matthew McConaughey to speak at your college than Hillary Clinton.

FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton defended husband Bill’s religious freedom law. “Hillary has been accused of being a hypocrite because of the law her husband signed, but last year, during an interview with Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the former secretary of state explained how Bill’s law was fine, but everyone else is discriminating.” Well, okay then.

“BAD LUCK:” Politico: Cloudy economy rains on Barack Obama’s parade. As the president touts improvement, jobs growth suddenly turns sluggish. “The disappointing March jobs report, which also showed the size of the labor force shrinking, suggests that Obama’s fears of a stalling economy may already be coming true. And that’s an issue not just for a lame duck incumbent looking to juice weak approval numbers. It could also seriously complicate matters for Obama’s would-be successor, Hillary Clinton, who could wind up squaring off against a GOP opponent promising — fairly or not —an end to the desultory growth rates of the Obama years.”

In truth, job growth has been lousy since he took office, and that’s been largely because of lousy policies. So it would hardly be “unfair” to promise change with different policies.

BYRON YORK: In emerging Dem race, O’Malley new target of Clinton machine.

Recently, a representative from the Hillary Clinton camp delivered a message to Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor preparing to challenge Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

I have some good news and some bad news, the messenger said.

What’s the good news? asked O’Malley.

The good news is we’re taking you seriously, the messenger answered. And the bad news is … we’re taking you seriously.

The undertone of threat was unmistakable, but anyone who takes on Clintonworld has to expect that. And indeed, pro-O’Malley Democrats — there are some — are not at all surprised by the tone. “They are the most petty, vengeful people out there,” says one Democrat of the Clinton organization. “They hold a grudge for decades. I don’t think he [O'Malley] expected them to welcome him with a fruit basket.”

And Clintonworld has reason to be concerned. Yes, Hillary’s lead is huge, and yes, she is at this point the presumptive Democratic nominee. But there are already emerging signs that the coronation might not go as planned.

It’s early yet, but O’Malley’s declaration last Sunday — “The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families” — is probably the best line of the campaign so far. If you took a poll to gauge public opinion on that turn of phrase, approval would likely be very, very high.

Yeah, a lot of Republicans feel that way about Jeb, too.

POLLS: Democrats Turn Against Religious Freedom Laws. Voters Don’t Agree With Them.

Webb aside, it’s now expected for Democrats to denounce RFRAs, just as large corporations are denouncing them. In doing so, all of the critics are on the wrong side of public polling. According to a March edition of the Marist poll, 54 percent of Americans agreed with “allowing First Amendment religious liberty protection or exemptions for faith based organizations and individuals even when it conflicts with government laws.” By a two-point margin, 47-45, even a plurality of Democratic voters agreed with that.

The margins were even larger in opposition to laws that proposed “penalties or fines for individuals who refuse to provide wedding-related services to same sex couples even if their refusal is based on their religious beliefs.” No Democrat is seriously proposing this; the nearest cultural analogue may be the story of Memories Pizza, the Indiana shop whose owner said that he would decline to provide pies to gay weddings, and saw its Yelp! page firebombed with angry comments. (The popularity of delivery pizza at gay wedding ceremonials is well known.) Still, according to Marist, Americans oppose penalties on businesses like Memories by a 65-31 margin. The margin among Democrats: 62-34 against.

Republican presidential candidates may have gotten over their skis, and backed the current version of the Indiana law before Pence (and Hutchinson) started scrambling to change it. Democrats are endorsing something more radical than voters are comfortable with.

Well, perhaps they expect voters’ views to change. Or maybe they’d just rather talk about this than about ObamaCare, Iran, Hillary’s emails, the IRS Scandal, Benghazi, etc. . . .

JOURNALISM: Story About First Business to ‘Publicly Vow to Reject Gay Weddings’ Was Fabricated Out of Nothing.

See, the attack on this poor small-town pizza place is what bothers me here. I’m at best lukewarm on RFRAs at both the federal and state level, and I have increasingly been of the opinion that Scalia was right in Smith, but I understand why a lot of religious folks fear that otherwise the state will reach right into their churches and ceremonies. And what’s really troubling here is the sheer meanness of the gay rights community, as shown in the aftermath to Proposition 8, the Brendan Eich affair, and now this. I was in favor of gay marriage long before those Johnny-come-latelies Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I may even have been in favor of gay marriage before Dick Cheney. And nothing from the opponents of gay marriage has shaken my belief. The supporters, on the other hand. . . .

UPDATE: Matt Welch: Burn Her! She Would Act Like a Witch in a Situation That Will Never Come Up! The anti-pizzeria mob loses its mind. “There is no to-be-sure paragraph about what happened yesterday. A virtual mob, acting at least partly on bogus information, gleefully trashed a business that hasn’t (to my knowledge) discriminated against a flea. After which a local pol stood up and yelled ‘Encore!’”

Mobs enjoy mobbing. It’s fun for them. And politicians cash in.

MARK HEMINGWAY: Meet the Men Behind Hillary Clinton’s Private ‘Spy Network.’

BUT THEY COVER FOR HILLARY INSTEAD: Mark Tapscott: Feds should have told national archivist of Clinton’s private email abuse. “State Department officials who briefed Secretary Hillary Clinton on administrative policies and procedures soon after she took office were obligated to inform her of federal laws and regulations requiring her to use an official email account for government business and to inform the national archivist if they believed she was not doing so thereafter. . . . Patrick F. Kennedy was under secretary for management under Clinton but it is not known whether he conducted the briefing of Clinton or was present during the discussion. He did not respond to a Washington Examiner request for comment.”

WELL, TO BE FAIR, SHE HAD HAD THAT HEAD INJURY: Hillary Replied To Drone Email With Decorating Question.

HER INITIAL CLAIM, UNSURPRISINGLY, TURNS OUT TO BE A LIE: How many devices did Hillary Clinton actually have?

BYRON YORK: Hillary Clinton Withheld Information From Congress. Now What Does Congress Do?

MOE LANE:

There are two things that we know about the next election, more or less: first, the Democrats [are] tanking among white voters. Second, black voters aren’t going to come out for a non-black Presidential candidate with the same intensity that they did for Barack Obama. Add those two together, and the end result looks very bad for the Democratic party.

And that’s why Hillary Clinton is still being propped up by the Democratic establishment: she’s the most prominent female politician that they have right now. I personally don’t think that she’s going to be able to recreate Barack Obama’s 2012 performance when it comes to white women voters, but former Secretary Clinton has a better shot at it than pretty much anybody else. …And that is, as they say, pretty much it.

Martin O’Malley.