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PRESS ROPED IN BY AIDES AT HILLARY EVENT: I’m not sure what the usage rights are to the photos in Daniel Halper’s post at the Weekly Standard, which is also currently atop Drudge, so I don’t want to embed any of them here, but if you haven’t seen them yet, by all means click over. I’ll wait.

OK, back? That the press went along with this with such docility tells you everything you need to know about which party they support — they are, as Glenn likes to say, Democratic operatives with bylines. If they were real journalists, or if this technique was employed a GOP presidential campaign, their first thought would be: I’m cutting the rope. Even if I don’t have a knife. I’ll start sawing away with car keys — or simply duck under it, just to see what happens next.

Because what happens next is a headline. One that will quickly become what former AP man Joseph Campbell calls a classic media myth that feeds upon itself: HILLARY’S GOONS HARASS JOURNALIST. JOURNALIST HAULED AWAY BY CLINTON SECURITY.  I BROKE HILLARY’S PRESS BLOCKADE! A real journalist would dine out on the headline for months.

And if this was an opportunity to employ the same headlines but with Bush, Trump, Perry, Cruz or Rubio, the press would be chomping at the bits to write such a story. As Cruz told Glenn Beck on Thursday, “Nothing would make [a journalist] happier than to take your life and filet [a GOP candidate or his operatives] on the front pages.”

But why go out of the way to cause bad press for one of your own?

And for the furious reaction from Twitter users from the photos of the “press lapdogs herded like sheep,” Twitchy has you covered.

RACISM IN OBAMA’S AMERICA: Hillary Clinton Donor Calls Prominent African-American Legal Scholar a ‘Clown in Blackface’ — Will she condemn? I think that all Democratic candidates should be asked about this. And President Obama, too!

OBAMA VISITS WISCONSIN, SMEARS WALKER: President Obama is visiting the Badger State today, greeted at the airport by Gov. Scott Walker. Despite Walker’s hospitality, it didn’t take long for the Campaigner-in-Chief to take the lame duck presidential gloves off and attack Walker and the GOP policies he’s implemented:

He said neighboring Minnesota had raised the minimum wage, implemented all-day kindergarten and made it easier to go to college while raising taxes on the top two percent. Obama said the results are that Minnesota has a lower unemployment rate and $9,000 higher median income than its neighbor.

Obama said all of the Republicans running — he joked that he’s lost track of how many and suggested they could start their own Hunger Games (video) — all have the same governing agenda of giving breaks to the rich while everyone else is on their own. That’s the same policies, Obama said, that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

He even joked that the Republicans were like having a crazy Uncle Harry — somebody you love but “you don’t want to put in charge.”

And he said that the fight is also about values.

“Being an American is not about taking as much as you can from your neighbor before they take as much as they can from you,” he said. “We are not a bunch of individuals out here on our own. We are a community, we are family. We are all in this together.”

Ah yes, it’s always heartwarming to hear the Dear Leader President speak of communist communitarian values that are so deeply antithetical to the individualist values upon which this country is based. And of course it’s much better, for a republic such as ours, to have only one candidate for President rather than a choice. Who wants a choice anyway–that’s so Hunger Games and individualistic, to have a bunch of competitors vying for the nomination.  As for a “crazy Uncle Harry,” let’s just say that “crazy Uncle Joe,” even crazier “Uncle Bernie,” and the pathological liar-cat lady “Aunt Hillary” aren’t individuals I would want to have the metaphorical keys to the nuclear arsenal, either.

RELATED: Scott Walker’s retort: Welcome to Wisconsin, Mr. President.


She even once claimed that she was named for Sir Edmund Hillary after he became the first man to climb Mount Everest. But that didn’t happen until five years after she was born.

More recently she claimed she’d turned over all her job-related e-mails from her days as Secretary of State. But more work-related e-mails have since turned up that the State Department didn’t have. And she claimed the notorious Sidney Blumenthal was just an old friend with whom she kept in touch and who sent her unsolicited e-mails. Turns out as we’ve heard she was reaching out to him in the dark of night during the first year of the Obama administration and her e-mails make clear she welcomed and encouraged his advice. With such a record of mendacity, and there are numerous other examples, one thing is clear, it’s a good thing for Hillary Clinton that she’s not a Republican.


She even on…’ »

THIS IS THE BEST EMAIL IN THE NEW TROVE OF HILLARY CORRESPONDENCE: To be fair though, Huma and Hillary loathing Al Gore as much as the rest of us do goes far towards humanizing them.

FOUND IN HILLARY EMAILS: SID BLUMENTHAL EDITED HER SPEECH to the Council on Foreign Relations for ‘Vague and Gauzy Liberal Universalism.’

Huh — Hillary’s never lacked for that.


So Hillary can’t work a fax machine and hasn’t driven a car since 1996, but journalists are still recycling false stories about Bush #41 and barcode scanners?

On the other hand, Hillary has other transportation issues to wrestle with:


THE SADDEST THING ABOUT HILLARY’S EMAILS: Relax, you don’t have to pick just one, but emails reveal weak grasp of reality among global power players. We have the worst political class in American history, and most of the rest of the world isn’t doing so great either. And it is an embodiment of the Dunning Kruger effect.

OR FOR HILLARY’S UNPAID CAMPAIGN WORKERS, I IMAGINE: Overtime Pay Not Likely for Congressional Staff.

JESSE WALKER: Whatever Happened To Jim Webb? The populist Democrat and his barely-visible campaign. At a guess, Hillary’s got some dirt on him.

WINNER TAKE WHAT? “Ever wonder why no interesting center-left Democrats aren’t challenging an increasingly vulnerable Hillary Clinton? There aren’t any. Nobody. No one,” Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner:

For several cycles, the GOP starting gates will be filled with fresh horses, while the Democrats have, at least for the moment, a collection of aging and battle-worn nags.

Ever wonder why no interesting center-left Democrats aren’t challenging an increasingly vulnerable Hillary Clinton? There aren’t any. Nobody. No one.

As Britain and France were bled white by their World War I battles, the Democrats were drained by a series of midterm debacles in which those in swing states were punished by voters, and all but the bluest of blue were cut down. On the altar of healthcare, Democrats sacrificed the fruit of two cycles of party-expansion, the picking of people who could win in red states and red districts, to bolster the party’s breadth and appeal.

Now, these Democrats were told by liberal bloggers that it was their duty to lay down their political lives for this unpopular measure that most of their voters despised. As a result, Clinton’s most viable challengers are a 75-year-old socialist from deep-blue Vermont, and the colorless former governor of very blue Maryland, who was so weak he could not help to elect his lieutenant governor, who lost to only the second Republican governor in a very long time. The Democrats’ bench is not merely weak, it is non-existent. And that is Obamacare’s work.

As Moe Lane adds in his post linking to Emery’s column, “I suspect that we have at least one last hurrah lurking down there in the crevices of the Grand Old Party, and that the folks over on the Other Side are telling themselves the exact same damned stories to boost their morale that I was telling myself in 2007. And we all know how that ended, huh?”

Still though, to borrow from one of the Insta-Professor’s recurring leitmotifs, this is not the time for the younger members of the right to embrace an overly arrogant or smugly self-assured pose.

CRUZ REMINDS YAHOO VIDEO BLOGGER KATIE COURIC THAT HILLARY CREATED ANTI-OBAMA BIRTHER MOVEMENT:The look on Couric’s smug face when he correctly reminded her that it was the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 that birthed the anti-Obama Birther movement, is priceless.”

A COLLEGE BALKS AT HILLARY CLINTON’S FEE, BOOKS CHELSEA FOR $65,000 INSTEAD: “As with Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches at universities, Chelsea Clinton made no personal income from the appearance, her spokesman said, and directed her fee to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation,” the Washington Post reports. “Just shy of her 34th birthday, Clinton commanded a higher fee than other prominent women speakers who were considered, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem ($30,000) and journalists Cokie Roberts ($40,000), Tina Brown ($50,000) and Lesley Stahl ($50,000), the records show.”

RELATED: “Chelsea Clinton too expensive? You can hire me for a lot less!” Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner makes her case — and she’s guaranteed to be an infinitely more interesting speaker — but how does her appearance offer allow universities the opportunity to fund the Clinton family’s personal slush fund?

THIS WEEK’S NEWEST FINAL COUNTDOWN: “Robert Redford Sees ‘Last Chance’ to Fix Climate:”

Robert Redford told the United Nations on Monday that negotiations on a global deal to tackle climate change could be the world’s “last chance” to save the planet.

“This December, the world must unite behind a common goal,” said the American actor and producer.

“Because look, this is it. This is our only planet, our only life source.

“This may be our last chance.”

It’s the final countdown! Or actually, the latest final countdown, which have been arriving on a regular basis from those warning of first global cooling and then global warming since the first “Earth Day” in 1970; just add it to all of these earlier “last chances” to save the earth.

Once he made his pronouncement, Redford may have retreated back to here:

As the InstaProfessor likes to say, I’ll believe global warming is a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start to act like it’s a crisis themselves. (Oh, and I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Glenn’s carbon footprint either.)

Though it’s interesting that Redford is playing weatherman after supporting Bill Ayers’ old Weathermen via his disastrously timed The Company You Keep movie, which inadvertently debuted in April of 2013, the same month as another real life terrorist bombed the Boston Marathon. Appearing at the start of that month on Good Morning America with Hillary Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos, who asked Redford if he was still sympathetic to the Weathermen, “Even when you read about bombings,” (i.e. the bombing of the Pentagon among others) the actor-director chillingly responded, “All of it. I knew that it was extreme and I guess movements have to be extreme to some degree.”

And finally, speaking of extreme, what’s up with Redford’s hair in the photo of him at the UN, which is beginning to take on unsustainable Trumpian proportions?




“LEADING ON RACE: COMMUNITIES, NOT ELITES,” Salena Zito writes at the Pittsburgh Tribune:

In a week that began with a white woman masquerading as black, the ensuing silliness of talk about being “transracial,” and the president unnecessarily invoking the mother of all racial epithets, it was the American people who showed how to lead on race.

In a show of profound unity and forgiveness, Charleston residents responded not with the lowest common denominator of social-media commentary or violent anger, but with promise.

More than 15,000 of them, of every size and color, put Southern solidarity into perspective by gathering on both sides of the city’s Ravenel Bridge. They met in the middle; they wept, smiled, laughed, hugged, turned strangers into friends. Homemade signs with messages of outreach, love and solidarity flapped in the wind, as prayers and hymns filled the air.

There wasn’t a major network or cable news channel, only local TV crews, rolling cameras to record America doing what it does best — opening its heart; the networks always seem to be on hand for looting or rioting. Yet, for the most part, Charleston’s participants didn’t care about being largely ignored, because that moment on the bridge was about them, about their community and, above all, about how to lead.

Their response, their unity, showed leadership. The president, dropping the “N-word” to an entertainment podcast, reeked of showmanship and his signature divisiveness.

What will linger in most minds, long after the history books are closed, is how a community impacted by the deaths of nine innocent people reacted — not a politician.

That sounds awfully selfish to me — if communities act calmly and humane, and refuse to self-detonate, what will CNN and MSNBC do for their nightly riot porn? How will Obama and Hillary gin up the voters?

HILLARY GUMP: “The fictional and cinema hero Forrest Gump somehow always managed to turn up at historic moments in the latter twentieth century. But whereas Forrest usually had a positive role to play at the hinges of fate, the equally ubiquitous Hillary Gump usually appeared as a bit player who made things far worse,” Victor Davis Hanson writes.

HILLARY-LERNER 2016: As many as 24,000 of Lois Lerner’s IRS emails missing.

SOCIALIST SANDERS VS. ZOMBIE HILLARY! Reading Jonathan Last’s new Weekly Standard article, the prospect of SMOD2016 as a sleeper candidate is definitely looking better all the time. (We’ll all be sleeping permanently after his campaign flyby has concluded.) Sure he’s older than both of them by a million years or so. But unlike Hillary, SMOD is quite capable of moving under his own power; no exoskeleton required. And unlike Bernie and Hillary, he’s definitely got a catchy bumper sticker slogan.

HILLARY FLASHBACK: ‘No,’ New York Should Not Recognize Same-Sex Marriages (Video).

Let’s face it, not everyone in the political sphere can be as forward thinking as Dick Cheney and the Koch Brothers.

Speaking of whom, “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward Koch.”

NEXT UP: CARLY VS. HILLARY ON PAY PER VIEW?  “Forget Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. I’d pay big money to see Carly go mano-a-mano with the Great Email Eraser,” Roger Simon writes.


In 2004 Dean got a bunch of techie people eager to make their bones – and who were convinced that you could squeeze all the moneys out of the Internet. So they convinced the Dean campaign to let them try, and proceeded to raise ridiculous amounts of cash, using techniques that every campaign has more or less adopted since.

The difference, of course, between that krew and Clinton’s is that Hillary’s people know that without their patron, they are nothing. If Hillary is not the nominee, then they will have spent the last decade making enemies in a town that never forgets a grudge. So Hillary must be the nominee. She must. Even if she loses, she will be able to be de facto party head for… a while.  Long enough.

It’s all very sad.  …Well, I assume that it’s all very sad. Objectively speaking, somebody must find this exercise in applied karma to be unfortunate.

Driving to dinner last night in San Jose’s Santana Row complex, I saw multiple Sanders supporters waving BERNIE! placards at the corner of Stevens Creek and Winchester. I assume eventually, they’ll succumb to Hillary’s advice in 2004, as quoted back then by Tina Brown in the Washington Post:

“You don’t have to fall in love,” Hillary Rodham Clinton reportedly reproved a top Democratic fundraiser who was recently moaning about Kerry’s lackluster performance as a candidate. “You just have to fall in line.”

Of course that didn’t work out very well for anyone, either.

Other than in recent months, the Iranian mullahs, that is.

ROGER SIMON: 90% of the Racism in America Comes from the Democratic Party and the Left:

I am uniquely positioned to say this because I spent most of my life on the Left and was a civil rights worker in the South in my early twenties. I was also, to my everlasting regret, a donor to the Black Panther Party in the seventies.

So I have seen this personally from both sides and my conclusion is inescapable.  The Left is far, far worse. They are obsessed with race in a manner that does not allow them to see straight.  Further, they project racism onto others continually, exacerbating situations, which in most instances weren’t even there in the first place.  From Al Sharpton to Hillary Clinton, they all do it.

Barack Obama is one of the worst offenders in this regard.  Recently, in reaction to the horrid actions of the deranged, but solitary racist Dylann Root, the president claimed racism is in our DNA.

How could he possibly utter such nonsense and who was he talking about?  The majority of Americans are from families that came to this country after slavery existed.  Many of those were escaping oppression of their own.  In my case my family was fleeing  the pogroms of Eastern Europe.  Many of the members of my family who stayed behind ended up gassed in Auschwitz or starved to death in Treblinka.

Read the whole thing.

FLASHBACK: “HILLARY WHITE POWER CLINTON:” “Congratulations, Hillary Clinton, you win the prize for the first Democratic Bigot Eruption since I’ve been keeping track of this,” notes Media Matters Senior Fellow.

THE HARD LEFT: STANDING ATHWART HILLARY, SHOUTING ‘STAND ASIDE FOR BERNIE!’ “For once, I agree with the Hard Left,” Michael Walsh writes.

‘HOW IS THIS NOT RACIST?’ WaPo gives airtime to blatant bigotry about Bobby Jindal.

“And incidentally, if you think Jindal’s having it tough from WaPo today, wait until Nikki Haley starts creeping up the VP ranks,” Allahpundit warns at Hot Air. “Jindal retains his identifiably Indian surname and his wife is Indian-American; Haley’s husband is white and she took his Anglophone surname in marriage, so she’s extra inauthentic ‘n stuff. And candidly, she’s much more of a threat to Democrats politically than Jindal is at the moment: His polling right now is pitiful whereas she’s a legit contender to balance the GOP ticket against Hillary, especially after yesterday.”


VIDEO: HUGH HEWITT VISITS HUFFPO: “According to Hewitt, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in the best position to win the Republican nomination due to a favorable election calendar and deep support on social media.”

On the other hand, Hugh giveth and he taketh away; his new book is titled The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary and the Coming of a Second “Clinton Era,” which Hugh appears to argue could be a foregone conclusion based on the Electoral College numbers. If so, Hugh tells the at times swarmy Huffington Post interviewer Josh Zepps that once elected, Hillary will nominate Kirsten Gillibrand to the Supreme Court.

What could go wrong?

THE EVITABLE MRS. CLINTON: “Hillary’s big mistake last time around was taking her ‘inevitability’ too seriously, and not taking her primary opponent seriously enough,” Stephen Green writes. “That doesn’t seem like the kind of mistake she and her team would repeat — or is it?”


To paraphrase our Insta-host the other day, maybe the MSM might ask her about this — nahh, why would they start now asking her tough questions?

THAT WAS FAST — THE ERA OF BIG PROGRESSIVISM IS OVER: In July of 2007 during a CNN/YouTube-sponsored Democrat presidential debate, Hillary Clinton was asked, “how would you define the word ‘liberal’? And would you use this word to describe yourself?” She responded, “I prefer the word ‘progressive,’ which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century.”

Flash-forward eight years, and Dana Milbank of the Washington Post now claims, “Liberal is no longer a dirty word:”

Since the 1988 presidential campaign, when George H.W. Bush and Lee Atwater turned “Massachusetts liberal” into an epithet, the label has been tainted — so much so that many liberals abandoned it for “progressive.”

But new polling shows a significant increase in the number of Americans who describe themselves as liberal and the number of Americans taking liberal positions on issues. Gallup has found the percentage of Americans calling themselves social liberals has equaled the percentage of social conservatives for the first time since pollsters began asking the question in 1999 (when 39 percent identified as conservative and 21 percent as liberal). Democrats are more likely to call themselves liberal and Republicans are less likely to embrace the “conservative” description, opting instead for moderate.

As Jazz Shaw writes in response at Hot Air:

To see what a mixed bag this is in terms of definitions you need to wind the calendar back quite a ways. The emergence of a widely accepted definition of classical liberalism is found back in the 19th century and it was highlighted in the works of authors such as John Locke and Adam Smith and Thomas Hobbes. There was certainly a flavor of hey, do your own thing, baby to the movement, but it was grounded in the idea that your thing should be taking place in a well defined and suitably defended country. Beyond that, the classical liberal actually wanted government to stay out of your way as long as you weren’t hurting anyone else. (Sound familiar?) Hobbes wrote at length about the idea that one of the key functions of government was to protect us from each other. His fellow classical liberal authors believed strongly in the free market and the idea that the individual should be free to work for the highest paying employer and that competition was good. Most of these ideas are foreign concepts to modern liberals and would quickly send them to the fainting couch.

Of course “Progressivism” prior to World War II did have “a real American meaning” as Hillary said, though it’s probably one she’d much prefer forgotten: it stood for big government statism, racialism, and eugenics. As Fred Siegel of the Manhattan Institute wrote in The Revolt Against the Masses, his history of 20th century leftism, it became such a reviled word during World War I as a result of the Wilson administration’s crackdown on free speech (and to a lesser extent due to his rampant racism), self-described progressives resorted in the early 1920s to stealing the L-word away from classical liberals and appropriating for themselves. It seems a similar reaction to “Progressivism” as a result of the two terms of the Obama administration is forcing Milbank and other “Progressives” to revert back yet again to calling themselves liberals.

Rinse and repeat, apparently endlessly.

OF COURSE THEY DO:  Reports downplay key Hillary aide’s role in suppressing State Dept. investigations.

WHAT HAS SHE DONE FOR ANYONE? What did Hillary do for oppressed gays while Secretary of State?

YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST: “The Democrats may be left without a center-left candidate who can win the general. So here’s a prediction.  At some point, Joe Biden is going to get into this race and, despite all his well-known fumbling, will be the most formidable candidate they have.”

RELATED: “Bipolar NYT: Paper breaks stories on Hillary scandals but editorial board still supports her.” C’mon Joe, give Pinch & Co. another option!

TWO APs IN ONE: Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

A year since that fateful Saturday morning when Giffords was severely wounded during a shooting rampage in her home district, the Arizona congresswoman resigned on Wednesday with a plea for civility — and a hint that she’ll be back on the national stage. For now, the 41-year-old said, her movements and speech still halting, she needs to focus on her recovery.

For all the kind words showered on her, Giffords reflected in her resignation letter about a level of respect that seems like an aberration these days in a bitterly divided Washington.

In her five years in Congress, she said, “Always I fought for what I thought was right. But never did I question the character of those with whom I disagreed. Never did I let pass an opportunity to join hands with someone just because he or she held different ideals.”

Associated Press wire report, January 25, 2012.

Evidently, AP has forgotten the calls for civility from Giffords and Obama, as well as the pledges from their fellow left-leaning media mavens in early 2011 to avoid unnecessary gun metaphors — to the point of treating them like the N-word, as an MSNBC guest suggested to Chris Matthews’ approval, when they’re reduced to accepting the following photo for their wire service, composed by AP photographer Charlie Neibergall:

In response to the well-deserved firestorm last night, “the AP’s director of media relations Paul Colford released a statement explaining the photograph, but not apologizing,” as Mediaite notes today

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz was shown in a series of 14 photos taken by an Associated Press photographer at a ‘Celebrate the 2nd Amendment’ event Saturday afternoon, held at a shooting range in Johnston, Iowa. Five of the photos published by AP included images of guns seen on a wall in the background so that it appeared a pistol was pointed at Sen. Cruz’s head. The images were not intended to portray Sen. Cruz in a negative light.

Uh-huh. Of course in reality, all of that posturing from the left in 2011 really was just a modified limited hangout to browbeat the first GOP House since 2006. As Jonah Goldberg wrote in August of 2011 after the media ignored Joe Biden, Tom Friedman and others were referring to that Republican Congress as “terrorists” without a hint of media scolding, “To Hell with You People.”

UPDATE “Imagine Hillary Clinton were confronted by pro-life protesters, some of them carrying gory images of aborted babies, and one press photographer decided to frame a shot composed of nothing more than her face side by side with one of those gory posters in the near background. How do you suppose that image would go down with the left’s abortion warriors? Safe bet: We’ll never find out.”

SERIOUSLY, KARL?: Karl Rove: Violence will continue until the Second Amendment is repealed. During the Sunday airing of Fox New Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Karl Rove how America can stop violent attacks like the one the country witnessed in Charleston, South Carolina. Rove responded:

So, we have come a long way. Now, maybe there’s some magic law that will keep us from having more of these. I mean, basically, the only way to guarantee that we would dramatically reduce acts of violence involving guns is to basically remove guns from society, and until somebody gets enough oomph to repeal the Second Amendment, that’s not going to happen. I don’t think it’s an answer.

No wonder so many conservatives mistrust the GOP Establishment. Geez, Karl, get a grip; you sound like Hillary. 

FLASHBACK: As Governor, Bill Clinton Honored Confederacy On Arkansas Flag.

Will anyone in the press ask Hillary about this? Of course not. Nobody in the press asks Hillary about anything.


KEEP THIS IN MIND, REPUBLICANS, WHEN YOU GET INVITED ONTO UNIVISION: A Note From Jorge Ramos: “As journalists the most important thing we have is our credibility and integrity. We maintain that, in part, through transparency with our audience, our colleagues and our critics. That is why I am disclosing that my daughter, Paola, has accepted a position working with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

THERE’S A LOT TO SEE HERE, I SUSPECT: Federal Judge Reopens Suit to Obtain Huma Abedin’s Clinton E-Mails.

A federal judge has reopened a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that aims to obtain e-mails between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her longtime aide, Huma Abedin, saying that the discovery of Clinton’s private server warranted the revival of the case.

Abedin is essentially Hillary’s right hand, and arguably much, much more. She is the wife of disgraced NY Congressman Anthony Weiner, and has been intimately associated with Clinton for many years. Her emails are just as essential to see as Hillary’s.  Good for Judicial Watch for pursuing this.

IS THIS THE KIND OF JUDGMENT YOU WANT FROM A CHIEF EXECUTIVE? Hillary on Charleston: Inflammatory political rhetoric like Trump’s could trigger unstable people to do things like this. “Hillary’s defining characteristic is shamelessness, her willingness to cross lines that liberals with more of a conscience won’t.”

OF COURSE THEY HAVE: Sexual harassment claims at State Department soar under Clinton, Kerry.

In a disclosure that could have political implications for election campaigns, the State Department’s chief watchdog reported Thursday that worker harassment complaints have nearly tripled inside the department during the tenures of Hillary Rodham Clinton and John F. Kerry — but the department still doesn’t have mandatory training for all employees.

“A significant increase in reported harassment inquiries in the Department of State over the past few fiscal years supports the need for mandatory harassment training,” the department’s inspector general warned in an oversight report that reviewed the agency’s Office of Civil Rights.

The report states that formal harassment claims rose from 88 cases in 2011, during Mrs. Clinton’s third year as America’s top diplomat, to 248 in 2014, Mr. Kerry’s second year as secretary. Hundreds more informal complaints were lodged during the same period.

Yeah, you read that right: They don’t even have training.  One would think Hillary, in particular, would be keenly aware–given her husband’s indiscretions–of the need for such awareness and training.  But then again, Hillary has a long, sordid history indicating that she doesn’t take sexual harassment seriously, including attacking the veracity of  12 year-old rape victim, and looking the other way while her own State Department officials engaged in inappropriate behavior.

But hey, she wants to make sure women make more money, so it’s all good.

TENNESSEE: Fleischmann Prepares for Fighting Off Another Primary Challenge.

Tennessee Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann knows a thing or two — or three — about tough primaries; and he’s stockpiling money for a fourth.

Fleischmann’s primaries have never really been about ideology. His district went for Mitt Romney by 28 points in 2012, and he’s dished out plenty of red meat rhetoric to them. Earlier this month at a GOP gathering in Chattanooga, he said of his guest, conservative South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, “Whether you are Hillary Clinton or any other lefty out there, you better beware because Trey Gowdy is out there and he is going to get you.”

But Fleischmann’s string of close calls in primaries begs the question why a three-term congressman in a solidly red district who has voted with his party 97 percent of the time, according to CQ Vote Watch, consistently faces competitive primaries.


TO BE FAIR, HIS FOREIGN AFFAIRS TRACK RECORD IS BETTER THAN HILLARY’S: Andrew Malcolm: Donald Trump is laughable — and dangerous.

BERNIE CLOSES THE GAP: The two most recent New Hampshire polls have Bernie Sanders within striking distance of Hillary Clinton, trailing by 10-12 percentage points. The Suffolk University poll shows a clear gender gap, with Clinton trailing Sanders among white men, with Sanders receiving 35 percent support versus Clinton’s 32 percent.

With such poor numbers against a relatively unknown socialist, Clinton’s candidacy is looking mighty shaky. It’s New Hampshire, of course, but it’s still not as left-leaning as its neighbor, Vermont, according to Gallup. And let’s not forget that, in 2008, Hillary Clinton upset Obama in the NH Democratic primary, 39 to 37 percent, despite losing independents by a significant margin. Her 2008 victory was attributed to her significant margin among women.

As recently as late April, Clinton enjoyed around a 20-40 point advantage over Sanders, so clearly something is shifting.

ELIANA JOHNSON: Does It Matter That Hillary Clinton Can’t Give A Decent Speech?

YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW, PEASANTS! Clinton Campaign Won’t Commit to Releasing Hillary Medical Records. Hey, Bill got away with it.

MAYBE SHE SHOULD HAVE ASKED JEB, OR TED, OR MARCO TO GIVE IT A QUICK READ-OVER: Hillary’s Spanish-Language Website Filled With Mistakes.

You know, after the “reset” fiasco, you’d think she’d have tightened up her foreign language operation.

SO, THIS MORNING I WAS UNFAIR TO JOHN DICKERSON. Although it’s true that Dickerson, faced with Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook’s absurd statement that no poll shows that people distrust Hillary, didn’t “rebut Mook with the poll data,” he didn’t give him a pass, either, making clear that Mook was spouting crap. You can see video and transcript here. Related: Hillary Aide Denies Mook Lied About Her Untrustworthiness. That doesn’t seem like a good outcome for Hillary. And although plenty of press people give Hillary a pass, I shouldn’t have charged Dickerson with that.

WELL, YES, SHE’S BELLIGERENT: Byron York: “Hillary Clinton: The Fightingest Fighter in the Fight.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had the Four Freedoms. Hillary Rodham Clinton has the Four Fights. . . .

Indeed, in her speech, the former secretary of state suggested that she is so much a fighter that she will fight not one, not two, not three, but four fights on behalf of the American people. “If you’ll give me the chance, I’ll wage and win Four Fights for you,” Clinton told the crowd. Those fights are: 1) the fight “to make the economy work for everyday Americans”; 2) the fight “to strengthen America’s families”; 3) the fight “to harness all of America’s power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity”; and 4) the fight for “reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy.” . . .

It’s not clear whether Clinton’s characterization of herself as a fighter will resonate with voters. The last time she ran for president, in the most intense days of her Democratic primary battle with Barack Obama, Clinton did the same “fighter” thing, and it didn’t work.

The whole “I’m a fighter” theme is exhausting. I think most people would prefer a leader. We’ve had enough fighting, and it’s time for some problem solving. That takes leadership.

EXPLOITERS OF THE LESS FORTUNATE: Hillary Clinton’s unpaid intern limbo: a grassroots campaign of ‘free help.’

Experienced, adult political operatives who want to do grassroots work for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign currently have no choice but to work as unpaid, full-time interns, raising new questions about how the White House frontrunner runs her own labor force as she prepares to double down on young people’s role in the American economy.

The Clinton campaign is currently in the midst of what multiple Democratic sources described as a “hiring freeze” for paid organizing positions in the early campaign states where the former Secretary of State is laying the foundations of a massive national staff, with few if any paying jobs available for field operations.

Clinton’s camp has made headlines about its frugality and a hard sell on its fellowship program, which allows aspiring politicos between the ages of 18 and 24 to spend this summer as full-time campaign volunteers. The result, however, is the human-resources reality of a campaign – one scheduled to hold at least 26 fundraisers this month alone – that isn’t just taking on college students with political science degrees but expecting political veterans to gamble their careers on her without pay.

Shouldn’t they at least get that $15/hour minimum wage Hillary likes?

AND THE PRESS, LIKE JOHN DICKERSON HERE, ALWAYS LETS THEM GET AWAY WITH IT: Hillary campaign manager denies poll reality.

Despite numerous polls showing that voters do not trust Hillary Clinton, her campaign manager Robby Mook repeatedly asserted on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that “no poll shows that voters don’t trust Hillary.”

A new CNN/ORC poll that found 57% of Americans do not find Clinton “honest and trustworthy” and that more people have an unfavorable view of her now than at any time since 2001.

Even Democrats and people who want Hillary to win believe “the biggest problem for her is trust,” said host John Dickerson. “The voters and the polls have shown this. Voters do not trust her. How does she overcome that?”

“First of all, no poll shows that voters don’t trust Hillary,” said Mook.

“They don’t find her honest and trustworthy,” argued Dickerson.

“Well, no poll says that,” said Mook.

Unfortunately the host did not rebut Mook with the poll data as he launched into his Hillary pitch, including a reference to the “stacked deck” and said the “central question” for voters is not trustworthiness but whether Hillary Clinton will “be a tenacious fighter for them, to go to bat for them.”

That “I’ll fight for you” line sounds like a late-night plaintiffs’ lawyer ad. When things are looking down . . . look me up!

Hey, this story sounds familiar.

UPDATE: I’m a bit unfair to Dickerson here, as I’ve noted in a later post.

MICHAEL WALSH: When Hillary Says She’s Fighting, Who Is She Fighting Against?

THERE’S SOMETHING TO THIS: Philip Klein: If Republicans can’t beat Hillary, they should disband the party.

[T]he next election will test whether demographic headwinds are too much for Republicans to overcome.

As I noted the first time Clinton announced in April, the election result will hinge on whether Clinton can maintain the coalition of voters that elected President Obama twice. He achieved margins among minorities and young voters that far exceeded the historical margins for Democrats. Is that because, as a youthful African-American candidate, he had a special bond with these groups? Or has there been a more fundamental shift?

Everything Hillary Clinton does between now and Election Day should be viewed through the prism of these two questions.

In the speech today, it was clear how she intended to win over these groups through policy and emotional appeal.

Yep. The 2016 presidential election is a battle of color-blind, America-supporting rationalism versus race-obsessed, America-hating emotionalism.

CLASSY: Hillary Clinton’s director of political engagement, Marlon Marshall, tells Clinton supporters in an email, “FU Republicans. Mafia till I die.” Not surprisingly, Marshall previously served as President Obama’s deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, a baldly political agency overseen by senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.”  That helps explain the mafia reference.

RELATED: In true Mafia style, two RNC staffers sporting “Stop Hillary” shirts were forced to turn their shirts inside out or be ejected from Clinton’s launch rally. Because, you know, Hillary isn’t really a fan of the First Amendment.

OLIVIA NUZZI REPORTS FROM HILLARY’S RE-LAUNCH SPEECH: Welcome to Hillary Island, a Pleasant Little Police State.

Saturday’s event, according according to The New York Times, was organized by a small group of Clinton insiders including Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide and the vice chair of her campaign and Jim Margolis, who helped orchestrate both inaugurations for President Obama.

The result felt borderline dystopian.

Roosevelt Island, transformed by architects in the 1930s to serve as a “living memorial,” looks like a cross between something out of Grand Theft Auto and a ghost town. It has a fake forest, and brutalist apartment complexes. Its abandoned insane asylum was turned into a luxury highrise. . . .

The park feels divorced from Manhattan, whose skyscrapers loom from across the water, not just geographically, but spiritually. With the bomb-sniffing dogs, security guards, metal detectors, police officers, Men In Black-looking security guards and campaign staff speeding around on golf-carts, Hillary Island felt like its own world with its own rule. It’s a serene summertime police state—wherein campaign staffers told reporters to stay in their designated area, away from attendees—pleasant and creepy at the same time. . . .

Some of Clinton’s notes were sour, however. In her criticism of the Republican field of candidate, Clinton alleged, “Now, there may be some new voices in the presidential Republican choir, but they’re all singing the same old song—a song called ‘Yesterday.’” She continued, “You know the one—all our troubles look as though they’re here to stay, and we need a place to hideaway. They believe in yesterday.” Clinton tried to crack a joke, “You’re lucky I didn’t try singing that, too, I’ll tell you!”

At another point, Clinton said, “I may not be the youngest candidate in this race, but I will be the youngest woman President in the History of the United States! And the first grandmother as well.” She followed it up with another joke attempt. “And one additional advantage: You won’t see my hair turn white in the White House. I’ve been coloring it for years!”

Well, okay then.


YOU KNOW, GIVEN HOW SHE OPERATES IT SHOULDN’T BE THAT HARD TO GET INSIDE HER OODA LOOP: Rubio Speeding Again – with Counter Hillary Ad Using Her Speech Today.

BLAME IT ON BILL: CIA blamed Bill Clinton for bankrupting the Agency’s anti-terror effort prior to 9/11.

The Clinton administrationhad bankrupted the intelligence community and refused to let the CIA prioritize anti-terrorism over other major priorities in the late 1990s, leaving the agency stretched too thin in the days ahead of the 2001 terrorist attacks, former Director George J. Tenet said in a 2005 document declassified Friday.

Those pondering voting for Hillary because they want Bill Clinton back in the White House should consider that he had a horrible record on national security. Hillary wouldn’t be any better.

NICK GILLESPIE INTERVIEWS CAMILLE PAGLIA: Everything’s Awesome and Camille Paglia Is Unhappy! The author of Sexual Personae talks about feminism, rape, academia, and Hillary Clinton. “My clashes with other feminists began immediately. For example: It was 1970 or 1971, there was a feminist conference at the Yale Law School, and major feminists were there including Rita Mae Brown, who said to me, ‘The difference between you and me, Camille, is that you want to save the universities, and I want to burn them down.’ How can you have dialogue with these people? Later she became a rich lesbian novelist and has a horse farm in Virginia. And then I had a screaming fight with the New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band over the Rolling Stones, because at that time, hard rock was seen as sexist. Now this argument seems so retrograde.”

Plus: “I was told by the founding members of the Women’s Studies Department at the State University of New York at Albany that I had been brainwashed by male scientists to believe that hormones even existed, much less had any role in the shaping of our identity and character.” Hormones are socially constructed. Like race!

And: “Any authentic leftist who had a job at a university in the 1970s or ’80s or ’90s should have been opposing the entire evolution of the university-that is, toward this administrative bureaucracy that has totally robbed power from the faculty. The total speciousness and fraud of academic leftism is proven by the passivity of these people in every department of the university to that power play that happened.”

Also: “Hillary is a mess. And we’re going to award the presidency to a woman who’s enabled the depredations and exploitation of women by that cornpone husband of hers? The way feminists have spoken makes us blind to Hillary’s record of trashing [women]. They were going to try to destroy Monica Lewinsky. It’s a scandal! Anyone who believes in sexual harassment guidelines should have seen that the disparity of power between [Bill] Clinton and Monica Lewinsky was one of the most grotesque ever in the history of sex crime. He’s a sex criminal! We’re going to put that guy back in the White House? Hillary’s ridden on his coattails.”

ROGER SIMON: Hillary Clinton: America’s Most Boring Public Speaker.

CHANGE: The Birth Of The Cool Republican.

The age of Obama has passed. Many of the Millennials who enthusiastically supported Obama during his campaigns have grown disillusioned by Washington. A Harvard poll of young voters last year, for instance, found trust in major government institutions dropping dramatically. A large portion are out of work and tired of paying taxes for a ballooning entitlement state — an entitlement state from which they expect no benefits.

So, luckily for Republicans, their likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, is about as un-hip as a candidate can get. The pantsuit-wearing, 67-year-old grandmother comes off as stuffy and unapproachable. She hardly has the suave people skills of President Obama — or any president of the past few decades. A couple of weeks ago, for example, the former secretary of state seemed to brush off an eager autograph seeker coldly, telling her to “go to the back of the line.” Combine that with her contemptuous attitude toward the press and we don’t exactly have the kind of breezy, relaxed attitude of a candidate young voters could picture themselves hanging out with. Even her campaign branding so far — her logo, her website — have been a far cry from Obama’s widely praised style.

Quite a contrast with Paul, Rubio, Cruz, and Perry. Scott Walker looks good on a Harley, which he really rides, but I’m not sure he’s cool. And Carly Fiorina isn’t so much cool as she is hot — a fighter.

WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? Hillary’s Time-Tested Campaign Strategy: Smear Republicans as Haters.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT’S HACK:  His name is Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s Undersecretary for Management.

A State Department official at the center of the Benghazi controversy may also have called off a controversial inspector general probe.

Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s undersecretary for management, allegedly blocked diplomatic security investigations that may have cast the bureau in a negative light.

According to an internal memo prepared by the inspector general in October 2013 and obtained by the Washington Examiner, Kennedy personally called off an investigation into the ambassador to Belgium after allegations surfaced that the ambassador had solicited “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children.”

A former official with the State Department’s office of inspector general said the obstruction of oversight went even further, noting that Kennedy was “good friends” with the acting inspector general, Harold Geisel. The former official requested anonymity to speak candidly about Kennedy’s potential interference with inspector general probes. . . .

Kennedy has been linked to the security failures that led to the 2011 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the controversy involving Hillary Clinton’s private emails and State Department projects that involved Clinton Foundation donors. . . .

The undersecretary continues to play a role in the State Department’s stonewalling of Freedom of Information Act requests.

Is there anything this guy can’t do? A National Review story on Kennedy in 2013 highlighted his odd career at the Department:

He’s not a political appointee or a longtime Obama backer; he has worked in diplomatic and government positions his entire adult life. . . . But congressional Republicans increasingly see Kennedy as a key figure in what they characterize as the State Department’s culture of unaccountability, secrecy, and rear-covering.

Sounds like the State Department’s resident ass-coverer. I would call for his resignation but then again, there would be a thousand other career civil servants willing to take his place (paid for with our tax dollars, of course).

HE’S PROVING TO BE USEFUL: Bernie Sanders tries to shame Clinton into voicing her opinion on free trade, other key issues.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton spent Thursday ducking questions about a trade bill before Congress, as her chief rival for the nomination said it was embarrassing to see the party’s leading candidate hide from the biggest issues of the day.

The former secretary of state has avoided the trade issue for months, keeping mum rather than choosing sides in a debate that has split the Democratic Party. But the pressure on her to speak out peaked as the legislation headed to a House vote Friday.

“SecretaryClinton, if she is against this, we need her to speak out right now — right now,” declared Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernard Sanders, who has spearheaded opposition to the free trade measure.

“You can be for it or against it. But I don’t understand how on an issue of such huge consequences you don’t have an opinion,” he said Thursday at a breakfast meeting with reporters in Washington hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. . . .

He said Mrs. Clintonalso owes it to voters to answer questions about climate change, domestic spying by the National Security Agency, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the political dominance of America’s billionaire class, which also are issues where Mr. Sanders has lead the charge and areas where liberal activists mistrustMrs. Clinton.

“Those are issues. I respect the secretary. But I would like to see a civil, intelligent debate,” he said.

Yeah, “a civil, intelligent debate” isn’t exactly Clinton’s forte. But it’s fun to watch Sanders call out Clinton’s pusillanimity.

SOME WISDOM OF THE CROWD NEEDED: Earlier this week, the Daily Caller published this story about a major liberal donor who contributed $5 million to the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings women’s empowerment program even as his lawyers were in federal court trying to suppress records related to his long history of sexually abusing women.

Similarly, last July, the Washington Examiner published this story about the same major liberal donor’s former medical devices company killing three people in illegal human testing (we subsequently learned five people died). The story also noted then-Obama senior aide John Podesta’s financial links to the major liberal donor.

Neither story got traction in the national media. Now, I’ve been a journalist a long time and I know these are not nothing-burgers. I’m also pretty sure the results would have been dramatically different had the subject’s last name been spelled K-O-C-H instead of W-Y-S-S. What am I missing here???

DESTROYING IT WOULD BE BETTER: Carly Fiorina says it’s time to redefine feminism.

“A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses,”Mrs. Fiorinatold a free-market interest group dinner in Washington in speech that was billed as her first major policy address since declaring her candidacy May 5. “A woman may choose to have five children and home-school them. She may choose to become a CEO or run for president.”

Mrs. Fiorina also delved into abortion and birth control, suggesting liberals have a double-standard on women’s health issues.

“The left fights to protect late-term abortions and sues the Little Sisters of the Poor, but they oppose over-the-counter birth control,” she told the crowd.

She’s right, but to be fair to Fiorina, I don’t think she’s trying to “redefine” feminism so much as offer a healthy alternative to its dependent, whiny version of women demanding various entitlements, repeatedly articulated by progressives such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Feminism has been hijacked by progressives, and it’s no longer about equality for women as much as demeaning and punishing men–often wrapped in poorly disguised hatred of “ironic misandry.”

Fiorina’s vision is one of equality of opportunity and individual liberty–quintessential American values–rather than the one-size-fits-all progressive vision exemplified by the recent liberal anthropologist Wendy Martin’s NY Times expose on Upper East Side women, whom she demeans for choosing to be stay-at-home, involved moms. Haters gonna hate, I suppose. Fiorina’s message is a welcome contrast.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE COVERUP: Sarah Westwood: Clinton State Dept. officials stymied agency investigators.

State Department officials blocked investigations into potentially embarrassing allegations of misconduct from agency investigators and even inspector general staff during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

A former official in the State Department inspector general’s office who was involved with preparing the sanitized report said agency officials also interfered in probes originating in the Office of the Inspector General.

The suggestions of political interference into investigations conducted at the bureau of diplomatic security first appeared in an inspector general report published in February 2013, just as Clinton was leaving the State Department. A Washington Examiner review of earlier drafts of that report suggested potentially damaging passages were removed from the final document. But the State Department official suggests the intervention went further.

The official, who requested anonymity, said the Bureau of Diplomatic Security initially prevented inspectors from reviewing open case files when they began their probe in late 2012.

High-level officials in the inspector general’s office soon informed inspectors they would not be permitted to review closed cases either, said the former Office of the Inspector General employee.

That forced inspectors to base the entirety of their report off interviews with investigators at the bureau of diplomatic security rather than a review of documents.

These people are always hiding something, and it’s never something good.

AS MUCH RESPECT FOR THE CONSTITUTION AS OBAMA: In my latest oped with David Rivkin, we explain why Hillary Clinton’s voter reform proposals–automatic voter registration at age 18, a 20-day early voting period, allowing felons to vote, etc.–are all likely to be unconstitutional:

A federal takeover of election laws—and rolling back state voter-ID laws intended to discourage election fraud—is a high priority for progressives. The billionaire financier George Soros reportedly has pledged $5 million to bankroll legal challenges to laws like those that Mrs. Clinton decries. Part of the effort is intended simply to galvanize the Democratic base by stoking a sense of grievance, but the strategy should be taken seriously—and rebutted as unconstitutional. . . .

Congress can use its Elections Clause power to pre-empt state laws, but its pre-emptive authority should be restrained by the anti-commandeering principle. Congress cannot conscript state officials to execute federal congressional-election reforms, but instead must use federal officials to do so. . . .

Republicans have been muted in their response to Mrs. Clinton and the attempt to expand federal power over elections and undermine states’ anti-fraud election laws. Such reticence is a mistake. They would have the Constitution and legal precedent on their side in rebutting her proposals—as they would if they launched a fresh legal challenge to the Motor Voter law. 

Mrs. Clinton is making it clear that, if elected, we can expect her to continue President Obama’s disdain for the Constitution. Clinton’s fury over the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision—which allowed the airing of Hillary: The Movie, as an exercise of free speech—has led her to propose scaling back the First Amendment. Her zeal to expand amnesty for illegal immigrants has caused her to declare that she will “go even further” than President Obama’s actions, which a federal judge has enjoined due to separation of powers concerns. Her eagerness to win the presidency now leads her to disregard yet another fundamental constitutional concept—federalism.

ANN ALTHOUSE: Did NPR host Diane Rehm just make an honest mistake when she said to Bernie Sanders “Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel…”?

It was only last weekend that Bernie Sanders shocked the Clinton campaign in the Wisconsin straw poll by getting 41% to Hillary’s 49%. He’s not an amusing sideline anymore. What can be done to keep Democrats from drifting his way?

An outright lie about him doesn’t work, does it? Well, yes it does! It made everyone take notice that Bernie Sanders is Jewish. He’s not an Israeli citizen. That’s cleared up, but the impression remains: He’s Jewish. That stirs up any free-floating anti-Jewishness that may be useful to his opponent. It stirs up suspicion that Sanders feels affiliated with Israel in a way that is inconsistent with the American presidency. I’m sure many people hadn’t even noticed that Sanders is Jewish, and now we all know that, and we know additional facts. From the first link above, which goes to Politico: “Sanders, who is Jewish, has visited Israel several times and spent several months working on a communal farm called a Kibbutz in the 1960s.”

That’s all powerfully useful to Hillary. Am I supposed to believe this was a mere oopsie by a nice old lady? She’s 78, give her a pass? Did you know Diane Rehm is an Arab?

Like Helen Thomas. And, of course, calling attention to Sanders’ Jewishness is particularly useful because he’s a favorite of the progressive left, and in today’s America the progressive left is increasingly anti-semitic.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Is the New York Times actually hurting Hillary with its pathetic attacks on Marco Rubio?

#WARONWOMEN: Hillary’s ‘No Ceilings’ Project Accepted $5 Million From Sexual Abuser. But you can see why Hillary would have felt at home with this guy: “When I was there, what I do know is that he would brag about screwing all the secretaries.”

CNN: Hillary Clinton’s Real Libya Problem:

She’s already grappling with the political headaches from deleted emails and from the terror attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi.

But she’ll face a broader challenge in what’s become of the North African country since, as secretary of state in 2011, she was the public face of the U.S. intervention to push out its longtime strongman, Moammar Gadhafi.

Libya’s lapse into the chaos of failed statehood has provided a breeding ground for terror and a haven for groups such as ISIS. Its plight is also creating an opening for Republican presidential candidates to question Clinton’s strategic acumen and to undermine her diplomatic credentials, which will be at the center of her pitch that only she has the global experience needed to be president in a turbulent time. Gathering questions over Libya also point to one of the central complications of Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic nomination, due to formally launch on Saturday: the fact that she must own a record at the State Department that lacks clear-cut diplomatic triumphs.

She was a disaster as Secretary of State, and was a major advocate of waging a war of choice that resulted in a failed state now taken over by terrorists. Worse yet, she was doing that while relying on advice from an advisor who was in bed with people who hoped to get rich of postwar investments. Basically, everything the Democrats said about Dick Cheney and Iraq is true about Hillary and Libya.

THE NEXT ASSAULT ON FREE SPEECH: The WSJ editors perspicaciously predict the “Return of the Speech Police” in the 2016 presidential election:

[A] behind-the-scenes effort is under way to lobby the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department to stifle free political speech the way the Internal Revenue Service did in 2012. Don’t be surprised if the subpoenas hit Republican candidates at crucial political moments.

In late May the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 asked the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Right to Rise Super PAC for violating campaign-finance law. According to the letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, “If Bush is raising and spending money as a candidate, he is a candidate under the law, whether or not he declares himself to be one.”

The theory behind this accusation is campaign “coordination,” the new favorite tool of the anti-speech political left. Earlier this year the Justice Department invited such complaints with a public statement that it would “aggressively pursue coordination offenses at every appropriate opportunity.” . . .

Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer says Mr. Bush should be considered a candidate who is illegally coordinating because if you asked “100 ordinary Americans” if he is a candidate, they will say yes. What a bracing legal standard. What would the same 100 Americans have said about Hillary Clinton in 2013, or Ted Cruz in high school? Where is the limiting principle?

There is no limiting principle–just ask conservatives in Wisconsin who supported Scott Walker’s efforts to reform public sector unions.  The point isn’t so much that liberals/progressives think they will ultimately win when these efforts are inevitably challenged in court. The point is that merely investigating conservatives on shadowy “coordination” allegations is sufficient to chill conservatives’ speech, sending supporters (and their funds) elsewhere.

DECONSTRUCTING Hillary’s Wardrobe.

FEDERALIZING VOTING: NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio says the U.S. has a “democracy problem” because States generally define the terms of voting. This is essentially an echo of Hillary Clinton’s recent proposal to pass a federal law requiring automatic voter registration upon reaching age 18, restoring felons’ voting rights, and a mandatory 20-day early voting period.

“Our elections are governed by state law and for a long time I’ve believed we need to make a fundamental series of reforms,” de Blasio told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Let’s face it, a lot of the people in the political class have tried to discourage voter involvement and a lot of incumbents prefer a very small electorate.”

The mayor referred to several Republican governors who have signed laws requiring photo identification by voters, arguing the provision is a modest step to prevent fraud. Democrats like de Blasio counter that Republicans’ interests are more partisan: They want to discourage some people from voting altogether.

Congress has some authority, under the Elections Clause, to regulate the time, place and manner of congressional (not state) elections. But presumably the present GOP-controlled Congress would not sanction federalizing election law in the way proposed by DeBlasio and Clinton. For the moment, at least, the battle will remain in the federal courts, as liberals/progressives resort to their typical lawfare tactics in an attempt to block state laws designed to stop voting fraud.

Indeed, this is shaping up to be a big theme of the Democrats in 2016: Republicans are trying to keep minorities from voting by implementing anti-fraud reforms like voter ID and periodic purging of voter rolls for dead, illegal and other ineligible individuals. Unfortunately for the Democrats, there is no evidence whatsoever that such anti-fraud laws prevent minorities from voting. Indeed, voter turnout rates for blacks exceeded that for whites in 2008 and 2012, and the turnout of other minority groups has consistently increased, despite enactment of anti-fraud laws.

But according to the liberals/progressives, restricting voting by convicted felons and requiring photo ID are little more than modern-day Jim Crow laws, secretly aimed at blacks. It’s all about ginning up minority turnout in the presidential election, which is why Hillary’s top campaign lawyer, Marc Elias, has filed lawsuits challenging these ant-fraud laws ahead of the 2016 election in key battleground States such as North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Ironically, the litigation activities in which Mr. Elias is engaging is undoubtedly being “coordinated” by his chief employer, the 2016 Clinton campaign.  And it is now clear that the Elias lawfare is being bankrolled by George Soros. One might surmise from this that Soros is trying to “buy” a Clinton presidency by funding this litigation, and that it’s all being done with the knowledge, blessing and at least implicit coordination with the Clinton campaign. Ironically, this sort of “coordination” is the deadly sin of which the political left has been trying to convict Scott Walker for several years. It’s just another case of the progressive motto: forbidden for thee, but not for me.

COMPARED TO HILLARY? ALL OF THEM. The Hill: Which GOP governor can make best economic case in ’16?

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Clinton Labor secretary: Bill Clinton should stop paid speeches.

Former President Bill Clinton’s former Labor secretary is recommending that his old boss stop giving paid speeches and disclose everything for the sake of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“She has got to, and her husband as well, got to just put everything out. I mean more disclosure than any other candidate,” said Robert Reich on ABC News’s “This Week.”

Bill Clinton, he added, “has to stop the paid speeches.” . . . The Clintons have come under fire in recent months, since Hillary launched her second White House bid, for not being upfront about various issues, such as the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising.

Among many.

RALPH NADER: Hillary Tried to ‘Overcompensate’ for Gender with ‘Shocking’ Militarism.

So does that mean she might be the most uncompromising wartime President in American history?

RYAN LOVELACE: Did Hillary Clinton’s lawyer inadvertently expose her electoral nightmares?

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has filed lawsuits in Wisconsin and Ohio to fight voting rights laws passed by Republicans, and some say those lawsuits could be read as a sign that Clinton is worried about winning those states in 2016.

In 2012, both Wisconsin and Ohio went blue for President Obama. But they’re considered swing states now, and with Midwestern GOP contenders such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker poised to enter the presidential race, Clinton may have turned to her superstar lawyer to help eliminate her GOP competition.

Marc Elias serves as general counsel of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He has filed lawsuits in Wisconsin and Ohio, and more may be coming.

The Clinton campaign has insisted it had nothing to do with the liberal legal warfare, but Elias typically intervenes on behalf of Democrats in desperate need of assistance. He “emerged as the star” of the 2008 recount battle that resulted in Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a “Saturday Night Live” alum, upsetting a Republican incumbent by just 312 votes.

And when Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., suddenly appeared vulnerable in last year’s midterm elections, Democrats called on Elias to ensure that Roberts would square off solely against one liberal opponent, independent Greg Orman, by removing the Democratic candidate from the ballot. A favorite of the outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Elias reportedly helped Democrats sneak a provision into a spending bill late last year that raised the maximum amount of money that donors can provide to Democrats and Republicans.

As 2016 approaches, Elias joined the Clinton campaign and appears to have begun waging a full-bore attack against the GOP. His lawsuit in Wisconsin alleges that several state laws — including the controversial voter ID law that has already survived judicial scrutiny — needlessly restrict citizens’ right to vote.

The GOP is way behind on the lawfare front. They need to raise their game, pronto.

BECAUSE “SOCIAL” SCIENCE IS OXYMORONIC:  Scientific Fraud and Politics:

Last year UCLA political science grad student and maybe soon-to-be Princeton professorMichael LaCour released stunning findings from a field trial on gay marriage called “When Contact Changes Minds.” He found that a 20-minute conservation with a house-to-house canvasser could convert huge numbers of opponents into supporters, at least if the canvassers explained they were gay and told personal stories.

The study quickly became a media sensation, the most talked-about poli-sci paper in years, and it led gay-rights activists including some working on the Ireland referendum to retool their voter outreach.

The problem is that Mr. LaCour stands accused of faking everything from start to finish. Ph.D. candidates at Berkeley David Broockman andJosh Kalla tried but failed to replicate Mr. LaCour’s results. They then noticed unusual statistical irregularities in Mr. LaCour’s survey panel. He now says he pulled a Hillary Clintonand deleted his raw data. But the canvassing firm he claimed to have employed has never heard of the project—and there is no proof anyone was ever contacted, much less changed their minds. . . .

The larger question is why anyone invested Mr. LaCour’s paper with the authority of “science.” Experience and common sense suggest that persuading people to reconsider their opinions is difficult. An uninvited nag carrying on about politics on the front porch sounds like one of the less successful approaches.

Then again, the study flattered the ideological sensibilities of liberals, who tend to believe that resistance to gay marriage can only be the artifact of ignorance or prejudice, not moral or religious conviction. Mr. LaCour’s purported findings let them claim that science had proved them right.

Similar bias contaminates inquiries across the social sciences, which often seem to exist so liberals can claim that “studies show” some political assertion to be empirical. Thus they can recast stubborn political debates about philosophy and values as disputes over facts that can be resolved by science. President Obama is a particular aficionado of this bait and switch.

Calling social science a “science” is, frankly, laughable. And these days, even the “hard” sciences have become so politicized that one often cannot trust the “peer review” process to weed out errors, as is so often the case with global warming climate change data.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Clinton Support Has Nowhere To Go But Down.

By allowing Clinton to take the lion’s share of the fundraising dollars and the media attention, the party has left itself without a plausible alternative candidate. That seemed dandy as long as she was easily trouncing Republicans in polls. But those polls were always going to narrow, because the early polls were basically measuring whether people recognized the candidate’s name, not whether they were going to vote for her more than a year hence. As the GOP race sorts out, and the front-runners achieve more public awareness, you’re going to see our highly partisan electorate lock into much narrower margins.

Moreover, Clinton will have less room to improve her margins than whoever the Republican is. The Clintons have been around for a long time, which is a help in many ways — great name recognition, a beloved politician who can campaign for her, the ability to promise that the boom times under her husband will come back if only we give her our vote. But it also means that the public’s ideas about Clinton are pretty well fixed. A scandal can drive them down, but they are not going to suddenly soar as the public finds her surprisingly more likable than they expected.

When Democratic voters and pundits start to suspect that this race is not, in fact, going to be the easy walk they were expecting, they will probably start to look harder at alternatives. Realistically, so far what they’ve got is … Martin O’Malley, whose signature achievement as governor was hashing his state’s Obamacare exchange so thoroughly that it had to be scrapped and replaced — along with his hand-chosen successor, who lost to a Republican in a very blue state.

So, more competent than Hillary, then.

ASHE SCHOW: Mrs. Rubio’s lead foot vs. Mrs. Clinton’s corruption.

The New York Times published an article Friday morning showing that Marco Rubio and his wife have – gasp – incurred 17 traffic citations over the past 18 years.

Let’s be specific: Marco received four of those 17 citations (which include speeding and driving through red lights), and his wife received 13. Is the Times blaming Marco for the actions of his spouse? I thought that was not allowed in politics.

The negative reaction from conservatives is deserved – does a speeding ticket a year disqualify someone from the presidency? Of course not, and it was a stupid hit piece to run in the first place.

But let’s remember what the Times has been uncovering about another well-known presidential candidate: Hillary Clinton. It was the Times that broke the story of Clinton using a personal email account while she was secretary of state. It was the Times who broke the story that Clinton may have greased the wheels for a Clinton Foundation donor while at State. And it is the Times that has kept up with these scandals since.

By pointing out a trivial factoid about Rubio and his wife, the Times is reminding everyone that the “scandals” that other candidates face pale in comparison to Clinton’s. They also remind everyone that Clinton hasn’t even driven a car since 1996. Which candidate is more like us?


AUTOMATIC VOTER FRAUD: Hillary Clinton calls for automatic voter registration. I’m sure this wouldn’t lead to any problems.

“Today Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of citizens from voting,” she said during a speech at Texas Southern University in Houston.

“I call on Republicans at all levels of government, with all manner of ambition to stop fear-mongering about a phantom epidemic of election fraud and start explaining why they are so scared of letting citizens have their say.”

Clinton went after former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by name, accusing the Republican presidential hopefuls of taking part in “a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise” minorities, young people and the poor.

Automatic voter registration is just another ploy by Democrats to swell their base’s turnout at the polls, including those who lack legal ability to vote, including illegal aliens and convicted felons.  This shouldn’t be surprising, as a recent poll revealed that 60% of Democrats agreed that illegal immigrants should be able to vote, and another revealed that illegal Hispanic immigrants favor Democrats by 54 to 19 percent over Republicans. Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation to restore voting rights for convicted felons.

Keep talking, Hillary. A recent Rasmussen poll showed 76% of likely voters support voter ID, including 58% of Democrats. In recently upholding Indiana’s voter ID law in 2008, liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (now retired and replaced by Elena Kagan) observed in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board:

[F]lagrant examples of such fraud in other parts of the country have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists,that occasional examples have surfaced in recent years,and that Indiana’s own experience with fraudulent voting in the 2003 Democratic primary for East Chicago Mayor—though perpetrated using absentee ballots and not in-person fraud—demonstrate that not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.

There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of the State’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters. Moreover, the interest in orderly administration and accurate recordkeeping provides a sufficient justification for carefully identifying all voters participating in the election process. While the most effective method of preventing election fraud may well be debatable, the propriety of doing so is perfectly clear.

The incentive to commit voter fraud for political gain is indisputable. Hillary’s policy proposal would only amplify such incentives. Moreover, President Obama’s unilateral lawmaking executive action on immigration has made it easier for illegal immigrants to register to vote (and vote) by granting them drivers’ licenses and Social Security numbers.

Clinton’s remarks indicated that the automatic registration should occur when an individual turns 18, but it’s unclear how such automatic registration would be executed. It is clear, however, that under New York v. United States and its progeny, the federal government cannot commandeer States to carry out federal law, so the federal government would have to implement such automatic voter registration itself somehow, perhaps via Social Security’s database.

States already have the capability of requiring automatic voter registration if they wish.  So this is truly another attempt by Democrats to impose a one-size-fits-all “solution” to a non-problem.

EVEN CHUCK TODD is complaining about Hillary’s stilted, inaccessible, phony campaign.

A NATION OF MEN, AND NOT LAW: To be precise, a nation of one man/person, the President. A Hillary Clinton presidency would be more of the same. Daniel Henninger nails it in his latest column:

To the list of questions Hillary Clinton will never answer, add one more: Would a second Clinton presidency continue and expand Barack Obama’s revision of the American system of government that existed from 1789 until 2009?

The central feature of Mr. Obama’s rewrite of what one might call the Founding Fathers’ original vision has been to abolish Congress. Yes, the 535 men and women elected to Congress still show up at the old Capitol building, as they have since November 1800. But once past passage of ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, the 44th president effectively retired Congress from its historic function. If you put the president behind the wheel of a car in front of the White House to visit Congress, he’d probably get lost. . . .

Barack Obama, channeling decades of theory, says constantly that the traditional system has failed. He said it in his 2011 Osawatomie, Kan., speech: “It doesn’t work. It has never worked.” He has attacked Congress repeatedly as a failed institution, teeing it up for mass revulsion just as he did the 1%.

With Congress rendered moribund, the new branch of the American political system is the federal enforcement bureaucracy. The Department of Health and Human Services’ auto-revisions of the Affordable Care Act are the most famous expressions of the new governing philosophy. But historians of the new system will cite the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights’ 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter on sexual harassment as the watershed event.

This letter—not even a formal regulation—forced creation of quasi-judicial systems of sexual-abuse surveillance on every campus in America. The universities complied for fear of lawsuits from enforcers at the Departments of Education and Justice.

Yep. It’s not just about a “power grab” from a “do nothing” Congress. It’s about a fundamental transformation of a constitutional republic into a progressive’s wet dream of government-by-bureaucracy.

AS WHITE AS A HILLARY CLINTON FUNDRAISER? A BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT? THE VOX EDITORIAL BOARD? Human Rights Campaign Is Overwhelmingly Made Up Of White Men. But, I’m sure, much better dressed than any of those.

WASHINGTON POST: Clinton rivals pounce as her ratings fall.

A once-sleepy Democratic presidential primary contest is fast coming alive as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s poll numbers fall and a diverse array of long-shot opponents step forward to challenge her.

The recent developments mark a dramatic evolution in the 2016 sweepstakes, which until now has been shaped by the large assortment of hopefuls on the Republican side, where there is no front-runner.

The latest Democrat to enter the race is Lincoln Chafee, a onetime Republican and former Rhode Island governor and senator, who launched his campaign Wednesday in Northern Virginia. Though his candidacy is quixotic, Chafee’s sharp attacks on Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy record — and in particular her 2002 vote to authorize the war in Iraq — could nonetheless complicate her march to the nomination.

Chafee joins an underfunded and jumbled field of Clinton rivals who see the favorite’s coziness with Wall Street and political longevity as weaknesses and who think she is vulnerable to a grass-roots contender who better captures the party’s liberal soul.

It’s a diverse array of old, white, Marxists.

TO BE FAIR, WHILE SHE’S THE ONLY 2016 CANDIDATE WHO VOTED FOR THE IRAQ WAR, HER VOTE WAS ENTIRELY A MATTER OF POLITICAL CALCULATION: Tim Cavanaugh: Hillary is more vulnerable on Iraq than any Republican candidate.

ASHE SCHOW: Hillary Clinton needed men to rescue her ‘women-only’ event.

Hillary Clinton tried to hold a “just for women” fundraiser on Monday, but few women signed up, so she had to open up the event to men in order to fill seats.

The $2,700-per-person event was supposed to attract 125 women, but only 50 bought tickets by the Sunday morning deadline, so the deadline was extended and opened to men, according to Page Six.

Clinton took photos with guests and spoke for 30 minutes about topics such as America’s drug problem and “mental healthcare for college kids,” according to Page Six.

If that wasn’t embarrassing enough for Clinton, CNN released a new poll showing Clinton’s favorability rating plummeting since November. Back then, she was only hinting at a presidential campaign, and her approval rating was at 60 percent. But since she announced (and has been in the news for scandal after scandal), her approval has dropped 14 points to 46 percent. . . .

As I wrote back in March, Clinton’s biggest problem comes from being in the spotlight. She’s much more popular when the focus is not on her. Once the focus is on her, people see that she’s just not a likeable person. And coverage of her scandals is far outweighing any positives she may have (the “first woman president” cheer only goes so far).

Yes, the “Vote Vagina” approach appears to have its limits.


House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a spending bill that would withhold some funding for the State Department until officials cooperate with their investigation into the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

The House Appropriations Committee’s State and Foreign Operations bill for fiscal 2016 “withholds 15 percent of State Department’s operational funds until requirements related to proper management of Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] and electronic communications are met,” Republicans said in a statement.

The bill makes good on a threat the House GOP had been considering earlier this month to use funding as leverage to obtain documents related to Hillary Clinton’s time as the nation’s top diplomat.

“The Hillary emails would be wholly contained within the net that they are casting,” said an Appropriations Committee source. . . .

Alec Gerlach, a spokesman for the State Department, warned a 15 percent cut would be “counterproductive” by making it harder to keep up with requests for documents from the public and members of Congress.

See, that’s why you go after the booze and junkets.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Bill Clinton’s foundation cashed in as Sweden lobbied Hillary on sanctions.

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANTS! Clinton rally in N.Y. forces out children’s event, jeopardizes blood drive: ‘It’s just tone-deaf.’

Well, you know, the ears go with age.

AT LEAST THEY HAVE A BRAIN, WHICH IS MORE THAN I CAN SAY FOR HER: New York Magazine’s Annie Lowrey tells MSNBC’s Alex Wagner that she wants GOP presidential candidates to “unleash their lizard brains” during the debates. Her full comment is even worse:

“Even in terms of getting a better bread and circus type ludicrous production, which as a journalist is all that I care about, I just want chaos, anarchy, racist comments, sexist comments, I want, I want the worst of these people, I want them to, like, unleash their lizard brains.”

Yeah, that seems like reasonable, objective journalistic analysis. I’m sure Ms. Lowrey wants Hillary Clinton and the other Democratic presidential candidates to also make racist, sexist comments that unleash their lizard brains, too.

HILLARY: Great moments in retail politicking: “Go to the end of the line”?

Related: Women-Only “Conversation With Hillary Clinton” Event Sells Only 50 Tickets, So Men Are Invited. Maybe this whole “vagina politics” thing is overrated?

ROGER SIMON: Keep Hillary-Slayer Carly Fiorina in this Thing.

ERIK WEMPLE: Hillary Clinton’s team takes another hit on media briefings.

Media organizations are at the wrong end of a power dynamic vis-a-vis the Clinton campaign: They number in the hundreds — thousands, perhaps — and they’re all vying for whatever meal scraps they can scrounge up. There aren’t too many levers that reporters can pull to change that imbalance. Publicly chiding the campaign’s briefings is one of them, however.

Just start covering her like you’d cover a Republican.

A SMALL DONATION TO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION MIGHT HELP: On the trail of Hillary Clinton, not everyone is allowed to jump into the press pool.

IT’S HARD TO PICK A “FAVORITE,” SINCE THERE ARE SO MANY: Jonah Goldberg on “The Clintons’ favorite way to lie.”

There are no “new” Hillarys. There are, on occasion, new strategies to dupe people into thinking there is a new Hillary. But these Potemkin do-overs are usually as pale, thin, and see-through as the skin of an agoraphobic Goth computer programmer. The simple fact is: This is her. There is no other her. There is no other Bill, either, by the way. They are Clintons and they are eternal, Aesopian, unchanging. The tackiness and the lying, the parsing and corner-cutting, the entitlement and fakery: This is what they do. Scandals swirl around the Clintons like the cloud of dirt surrounding Pigpen not because the Clintons are the victims of their enemies, but because the Clintons are their own worst enemies. They do this to themselves. They create these problems. They are the authors of their own torment because this is who they are.

Yep–the Clintons are Potemkin villages all the way down.  Hard to believe anyone falls for their populist facades.