Search Results

ASHE SCHOW: Mia Love discusses 2016 presidential field.

Utah Congresswoman Mia Love won’t say who she’s currently supporting for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, but she did say whoever it is should be “inspirational.”

When asked by the Washington Examiner how Republicans can combat the “war on women” narrative in 2016 against a possible Hillary Clinton candidacy, the freshman congresswoman said Republicans should be more focused on who they nominate than who they’ll be running against.

“We can’t think about — Hillary, as far as I’m concerned, is not even in the picture. I don’t even like mentioning the name,” Love told the Examiner after her Thursday panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I think that we need to focus on who is going to be inspirational, who is going to talk about upward mobility and move Americans forward.” . . .

“Who is going to be the one that says ‘You know what? I don’t know it all, I trust the American people to make decisions. Give them the reins. Let them decide what healthcare they want. Let them control their lands. Let them educate their children. Let them be able to keep a little bit of their funds to take care of their families and their communities.’”

When asked if there was anyone she was currently leaning toward supported, Love punted.

It’s early yet.

WHY DID WE GET A SECRET INTERNET REGULATION PLAN VIA AN UNELECTED FEDERAL AGENCY? 61% Oppose Federal Regulation of the Internet. “Americans really like the online service they currently have and strongly oppose so-called ‘net neutrality’ efforts that would allow the federal government to regulate the Internet. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 26% of American Adults agree the Federal Communications Commission should regulate the Internet like it does radio and television. Sixty-one percent (61%) disagree and think the Internet should remain open without regulation and censorship. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.”

Plus: “Americans remain suspicious of the motives of those who want government regulation of the Internet.” Good call.

Related: Hillary Calls for Regulating Internet: ‘It’s a Foot in the Door:’ Supports net neutrality.

SEE HOW THE OTHER HALF — BY WHICH I MEAN HILLARY’S ARAB DONORS — LIVES! Check out a VIP Boeing 747-8.

SO WHY DID HILLARY, AND SUSAN RICE, AND EVERYBODY ELSE, KEEP LYING ABOUT A VIDEO AND GET THE FILMMAKER THROWN IN JAIL? Hillary Clinton’s Top Aides Knew from First Minutes that Benghazi Was a Terrorist Attack, E-mails Disclose.

MOLLY BALL: Does Hillary Clinton Have Anything To Say? “Everywhere Hillary Clinton goes, a thousand cameras follow. Then she opens her mouth, and nothing happens.”

Why do you think her campaign revolves around having a vagina?

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Reince Priebus: How can Hillary take a 3 a.m. phone call from a country that gave her millions?

n a Q&A session Thursday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus pointed out a potential conflict raised by the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of millions in donations from foreign governments.

“I don’t know how Hillary Clinton’s going to take a 3 a.m. [call] from a leader in Yemen or Algeria or Saudi Arabia when she was willing to have her foundation take potentially millions of dollars from those governments,” said Priebus, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Priebus raises a valid point. It will be difficult for Clinton to tell the American people that she will be tough on terrorism or fight for women’s rights when her foundation took money from countries with abysmal records on those issues and others.

Related: Carly Fiorina to Hillary Clinton: ‘Name an accomplishment.’

What has Hillary Clinton actually accomplished? She’s held many titles — first lady, senator, secretary of state — but what has she actually accomplished in any of those roles?

That’s what former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, a prospective 2016 presidential candidate, wants to know.

“Mrs. Clinton, name an accomplishment,” Fiorina said while addressing attendees at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Fiorina, who is considered a long-shot for the Republican nomination, has tried to break out from pack in early speeches by projecting the image of a strong and accomplished woman who can take the fight to Hillary Clinton.

“And in the meantime, please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Global Initiative from foreign governments doesn’t represent a conflict of interest,” she added.

Fiorina was referring to the recent revelations that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions in donations from foreign governments, including while Hillary was the secretary of state.

Fiorina then turned her attention toward Clinton’s own role in the supposed war on women.

“She tweets about women’s rights in this country and takes money from governments that deny women the most basic human rights,” Fiorina said. “She tweets about equal pay for women but won’t answer basic questions about her own offices’ pay standards — and neither will our president.”

Earlier this week, a report in the Washington Free Beacon revealed that while Clinton was a senator, the median earnings for women in her office was 72 cents to the dollar for men’s median earnings.

It’s begun.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Foreign governments gave millions to Clinton foundation while Clinton was at State Dept. “The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday. . . . Foreign governments and individuals are prohibited from giving money to U.S. political candidates, to prevent outside influence over national leaders. But the foundation has given donors a way to potentially gain favor with the Clintons outside the traditional political limits.”

So when she brags about all the air miles she logged, bear in mind that most of them were probably racked up while going to ask people for money.

HILLARY’S 2016 STRATEGY REVEALED: Vote For Me: I’m A Woman.

Actually, a woman of a certain age. She’ll get a lot of support from other media women of her generation — see below — but I wonder if younger women will identify with her. She’s gotten where she is via marriage, after all, which is kind of old-fashioned. And, as the much-younger Ashe Schow notes: “Democrats have a huge problem with white male voters. If that group feels threatened by Clinton’s women focus and returns unusually large Republican margins, that will help the GOP nominee. If white male Democrats don’t think they’d be adequately represented by Clinton, they could stay home, while white male Republicans could be galvanized into voting against her.”

Meanwhile, the kind of scrutiny that Hillary is counting on:

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.25.29 PM

DID HE FLY TO EPSTEIN’S ISLAND WITH BILL CLINTON ON THE “LOLITA EXPRESS?” State Department ‘Director of Counterterrorism’ Charged with Soliciting Sex from a Minor. Hillary’s State Department seems to have had a problem.

THINGS HILLARY ISN’T ASKED ABOUT: Charge: ‘Clintons turned the State Department into a racket to line their own pockets.’

TRIFECTA: 72-cents on the Dollar: Hillary Pays Female Staffers Less.

PAY NO ATTENTION TO THOSE MONEYBAGS BEHIND THE CURTAIN: CNN: It’s those darn Republicans that are making the Clinton Foundation’s foreign donations an issue.

There those dastardly Republicans go again with their insistence that the Clinton Foundation accepting millions of dollars from foreign governments is some kind of issue for Hillary in 2016.

That’s at least according to the spin of a CNN story headlined “GOP seeks to make Clinton Foundation a 2016 headache.”

Because apparently this is a non-issue that only Republicans care about.

This kind of bias has been a complaint of conservatives for years, when major news outlets report an unfavorable story about Democrats from the lens that Republicans care about it, not that the story itself has any merit.

Perhaps CNN reporter Alexandra Jaffe didn’t come up with the title, but the article’s lead suggests that “Clinton’s allies are insisting controversial donations to her eponymous foundation won’t be an issue for her probable presidential bid” and that it’s Republicans who are trying to make the donations an issue. . . .

And several Democratic operatives around the country also expressed dismay with the donations.

Joe Trippi, a Democratic consultant, told the Wall Street Journal that if he were advising Hillary, “the advice would be that she should be the one who directs the foundation not to’’ accept donations from foreign governments — and to take that step “yesterday.”

Emily Jacobs, a Democratic county chairwoman in New Hampshire, said that Hillary needs to realize that, as a Democrat, “that is not something we stand for; that is nothing we believe in. … It’s not ethical.”

Kurt Meyer, a Democratic county chairman in Iowa said that the contributions appear to be a “curry-favor effort to get an advantageous seat on the bus with the next president of the United States,” which “scares” him.

It’s not a Clinton operation unless there’s tainted money involved, preferably from shadowy foreign sources.

WAR ON WOMEN: Analysis: As senator, Clinton paid women 72 cents for each dollar paid to men. No wonder Dems believe that number. In their world, it’s actually true!

HILLARY-TROLLING LEVEL: MASTER.

SO MUCH FOR THE MEMORY HOLE: New media won’t let MSM forget: Hillary fed the ‘Obama’s a Muslim’ rumors in 2008.

HEH:

The narrative is we have a chance to elect the first woman as president of the United States, something I think we should have done a long time ago.

I just don’t think it should be Hillary Clinton. There’s a lot of other women I can think of in the Republican Party who would be a much better alternative to that and some day will be. But if it’s a narrative like that, I think we run into trouble. If we shift the narrative, and I think, Hillary Clinton, you even saw with this story, with her book tour, the statements about her and Bill being broke when they came out of the White House. …You see the size of the fees she’s asking universities and colleges to pay, when you look at some of the other things, when she talks about not having driven a car in all those years, I get why that’s true, but it’s why I like to get on my Harley Davidson… every once in a while to drive myself and not have someone else do it for me. I just think those are all things that penetrate this out of touch persona. And to me to win I think the argument has got to be change it from a narrative of two personalities to Hillary Clinton represents Washington.

Said Scott Walker, on the important question of how the GOP candidate plans — or is willing to say he plans — to defeat the presumptive Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

REPORTED BY JAKE TAPPER, NO LESS: Hillary Clinton Says Obama Muslim Rumor Not True “As Far As I Know.”

OBAMA IS THE PATRON SAINT OF THE NEW CLASS, SO WHEN YOU ATTACK HIM, YOU’RE ATTACKING THEM: Rudy Giuliani Causes Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin to Spontaneously Combust. “After watching the brain of Dana Milbank of the Washington Post similarly explode like a character in Scanners, Jazz Shaw of Hot Air writes, ‘Milbank should at least be honest enough to wear a ‘Ready for Hillary’ t-shirt when he goes to work every day if this is how the upcoming election analysis is going to be handled.’”

ASHE SCHOW: Reimagining Bill Clinton’s Accusers In Today’s Society. Would a President Clinton in 2020 get away with her 1990s victim-blaming?

In the 1990s, with her husband’s political career on the line, Hillary Clinton and other supporters engaged in one of the most famous and well-orchestrated victim-blaming campaigns in recent history.

Would she and the Clinton machine get away with it today?

In today’s society, women who make sexual assault allegations are supposed to be believed outright. Men accused are considered guilty until proven innocent. In this environment, would a Hillary Clinton presidency be able to handle a Bill Clinton allegation the way it was handled nearly two decades ago?

For powerful Dems, the old rules still obtain.

MICKEY KAUS: If there are two pro-amnesty nominees — especially if they are Jeb and Hillary — isn’t that a recipe for a third-party candidacy (which would probably threaten the GOP more than the Democrats)? Have the Republican donors backing Bush taken that into account? Plus: “As alert reader J. notes, the share of Americans who want more immigration has been holding steady — at 7%. Yet that 7% has captured the leadership of, not one party but both parties?”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Hillary Clinton’s ties to corporate donors, lobbyists while secretary of state scrutinized.

ASHE SCHOW: Joe Biden’s Woman-Touching Habit.

Plus: Flashback: Joe Biden in 2000: No man has the right to touch a woman without her consent. “Of course Biden’s comments included sex crimes like rape, but also broadened definitions of inappropriate touching that have come to be commonly applied in the workplace. Now, a number of critics are asking whether Biden himself is behaving in ways that contradict his words in the past.”

ROGER KIMBALL: None Dare Call It Islam. “Islam or perversion of Islam? At some point, as Hillary Clinton might put it, what difference does it make? Under Barack Obama, it is painfully clear that ‘We are not at war with Islam.’ The trouble is, it has become increasingly obvious to every one except Barack Hussein Obama that Islam is at war with us.”

UPDATE: Islam As Authoritatively Defined By The Prophet Obama: “Obama purports to opine on the true meaning of Islam, as if he has the authority to judge religious orthodoxy and identify heretics within Islam. . . . When and why do we doubt the sincerity of other people’s declarations of religious belief? Obama says the claims of religious beliefs and motivations are ‘a lie.’ To my ear, the statement that it’s a ‘lie’ is itself a lie, unless we interpret Obama to be saying that Al Qaeda and ISIS subscribe to an untrue version of Islam. Normally, Americans don’t accuse religious believers of lying when what we mean is that their religious beliefs deviate from what we consider to be a more orthodox or more acceptable and benevolent set of beliefs under the same name. Imagine a President saying that Roman Catholics lie about Christianity or that Reform Jews lie about Judaism.”

To be fair, the Obama presidency involves a lot of things that normally Americans don’t do or say. But I can’t imagine that Muslims pay much attention to what Obama says about Islam, or regard him as having much authority there. So who is he trying to convince then, and why?

JEB BUSH: ‘There were mistakes’ in Iraq.

Yep, but the biggest mistake was Obama’s unforced error of a complete pullout in 2011, after his own administration was bragging about how well things were going in 2010.

The war was won, Iraq was on a peaceful path, and Obama threw it away for a campaign line in 2012. If you’re going to talk about Bush’s mistakes pre-2008, you’ve got to talk about Obama’s mistakes, post-2008. And they were huge, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan, where he sent extra troops, but not as many as the military said they needed, then set a pullout timetable that signaled to the Taliban that he wasn’t serious — again, for political reasons.

Related: National Journal: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls. And someone needs to ask the 2016 Democratic candidates how they’d avoid Obama-like screwups in the future. Because between now and November of 2016, avoiding Obama-like screwups is going to become more salient than avoiding Bush-like screwups.

Related: What Kind Of Iraq Did Obama Inherit?

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

Because I expect a lot of revisionist history.

Plus: 2008 Flashback: Obama Says Preventing Genocide Not A Reason To Stay In Iraq. He was warned. He didn’t care.

And who can forget this?

Another Romney foreign policy prediction, derided by all right-thinking people at the time, that turned out to be spot-on.

HILLARY’S FAILED WAR IN LIBYA: “There is no overstating the chaos of post-Qaddafi Libya. Two competing governments claim legitimacy. Armed militias roam the streets. The electricity is frequently out of service, and most business is at a standstill; revenues from oil, the country’s greatest asset, have dwindled by more than ninety per cent. Some three thousand people have been killed by fighting in the past year, and nearly a third of the country’s population has fled across the border to Tunisia. What has followed the downfall of a tyrant—a downfall encouraged by NATO air strikes—is the tyranny of a dangerous and pervasive instability.”

It was a war of choice, against a dictator who was cooperating with the US and who, in fact, had been promised safety by the US. But, then, so was Ukraine. . . .

SOCIAL-MEDIA POLITICS: 7 highlights from the Pinterest page Rand Paul created to troll Hillary Clinton. Here’s one:

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 1.15.40 PM

But when it comes to Hillary trolling, you can’t beat Matt Drudge, master of juxtapositions:

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 1.21.34 PM

THE HILL: Five decisions Hillary can’t duck.

WELL, TO BE FAIR, HE’S ALSO THE ONLY REASON ANYBODY IS TALKING ABOUT HER FOR THE PRESIDENCY: Bill Clinton’s libido threatens to derail Hillary — again.

Just a few weeks ago, reports broke that Bill Clinton had flown at least 11 times on “The Lolita Express” — a private plane owned by the mysterious financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. According to Virginia Roberts, who claims to have been one of Epstein’s many teenaged sex slaves, Clinton also visited Epstein’s private Caribbean retreat, known as “Orgy Island.”

“I remember asking Jeffrey, ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’ ” Roberts said in 2011. The former president, she added, was accompanied by four young girls during his stay — two of whom were among Epstein’s regular sex partners. “And [Jeffrey] laughed it off and said, ‘Well, he owes me a favor.’ He never told me what favors they were.”

Clinton also spent years traveling and partying with Ron Burkle, a billionaire bachelor with a penchant for very young girls. Clinton spent so much time on Burkle’s private plane that it came to be known in Burkle’s circle as “Air F—k One.”

And what’s his relationship with Terry Bean?

WHY ISN’T ELIZABETH WARREN CHALLENGING HILLARY? Too much baggage for Hillary to exploit, including this:

Then there is the scandal-in-waiting concerning her sleazy scholarship while a law professor. She co-authored a highly-publicized study in 2005 that claimed that 54.5 percent of all bankruptcies have “a medical cause” and that 46.2 percent have a “major medical cause,” telling interviewers that those findings demonstrated the need for national health care. In fact, the proportion of bankruptcies caused by catastrophic medical losses is more like 2 percent. Her numbers were inflated by including “uncontrolled gambling,” “alcohol or drug addiction,” “death in family,” and “birth/addition of new family member” as “a medical cause.” In addition, spending as little as $1,000 in unreimbursed medical expenses over the course of two years — hardly unusual for a family — was enough to get a bankruptcy classified as “a major medical cause” even when the debtor himself or herself did not list illness or injury as a cause of the bankruptcy. A number of scholars have criticized the study as intentionally misleading.

Nor was this the only blot on Warren’s scholarship.

What’s funny is, if Hillary’s campaign raises issues like this, or the fake-Indian issue, or Warren’s asbestos-related legal work — all things that people on the right have mentioned, and the press ignored, for years — suddenly they will be Big Important Concerns.

IT’S BLOWBACK FROM “HILLARY CLINTON’S WAR IN LIBYA:” Rand Paul: ‘I blame’ Clinton for ISIS conflict.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of helping to spur unrest in the Middle East that led to the current battle against militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“One of the people I blame for a lot of this, frankly, is Hillary Clinton,” he said on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.” . . .

“I think Hillary’s war in Libya and then Hillary’s admonition, the president’s admonition, and frankly some Republicans’ admonition to get involved in the Syrian civil war has actually now created a bigger problem, which is ISIS,” he said.

I expect we’ll be hearing more about Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya — make that Hillary Clinton’s failed war in Libya — in the coming months.

THE DIPLOMAD ON Brian Williams And Lying Journalists In General. “There is something in the progressive mind-set that promotes, nay, requires compulsive lying. We see it in John Kerry and his fake stories of secret missions in Cambodia and his flying dog; Hillary Clinton, and her Bosnian snipers; Susan Rice and her video explanation for Benghazi; Eric Holder with Fast and Furious; and even FDR. . . . Your standard progressive activist has really done nothing very interesting, so he or she needs to get proper credentials, to show that he or she knows what’s what, and that progressivism is what the world needs to deal with “problems”–after all, isn’t life just a series of problems calling for progressive intervention? They want to see what they believe. We, hence, have progressives making up the sort of stuff that puts them, the elite, in the center of the battle, on the ramparts, in the muddy trenches and downed helicopters with the common schlubs–the sort of worldly experience that allows progressives to tell us how to live our lives. Telling lies is essential to progressivism.”

WELL, EXCEPT THAT SHE’D PROBABLY HAVE THEM KILLED OR SOMETHING: Byron York: 11 Democrats who could help themselves by challenging Hillary.

SEE, I ALWAYS SAID HIS MAIN PURPOSE WAS TO MAKE HILLARY LOOK BETTER IN RETROSPECT: Survey: Kerry Worst SecState in 50 Years:

Foreign Policy magazine this week announced the results of its 2014 Ivory Tower survey of 1,615 international relations scholars from 1,375 U.S. colleges.

One question they were asked was: “Who was the most effective U.S. secretary of state of the past 50 years?

[…] Then, dead last, is John Kerry. He got a total of two votes of the 660 scholars who responded.

Conclusion: “Since academics track well to the left of of most people, this is a sign that the second term Obama foreign policy is bombing with liberals.”

Just remember, the Democrats were willing to put Kerry in the White House — with the disgraced John Edwards a heartbeat away — in 2004.

JESSE WALKER: Will Brian Williams Get Away With ‘Misremembering’ a War Story? Well, Hillary Clinton Did.

JOURNALISM: Brian Williams Apologizes For False Iraq Story Casting Himself In A Heroic Light. “NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams apologized on Wednesday for falsely claiming that he had been aboard a helicopter that was shot down during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Stars and Stripes reports.”

To be fair, lots of journalists have lied about Iraq, so what’s one more?

UPDATE: “Brian Williams went Full Neil Tyson. You never go Full Neil Tyson.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Shades of Hillary’s Phony Sniper Story. (Bumped).

MORE: Brian Williams talks about his experience in Iraq, and about how much more macho he is than his critics.

WAPO: Vaccine debate presents a political minefield — as Hillary Clinton can attest. The article is written with as much of a pro-Hillary slant as they can manage, but it nonetheless illustrates her shifting positions, and doesn’t make her look especially good. And that the Post thought they had to do this at all says a lot.

Plus, one reason why it’s awkward for Hillary: Trial Lawyers and Dem Donors Support Anti-Vaccination Movement: Top left-wing financiers found and finance leading ‘anti-vax’ groups.

Throughout its anti-vaccination campaign, NVIC has received support from organizations and individuals associated with mainstream liberal and Democratic politics.

The Tides Foundation, a left-wing group that funnels money from high-dollar donors to like-minded activist groups, has donated to NVIC. Tides’ managing director sits on the board of the Network for Good, which has also contributed to NVIC.

One of its most prolific donors is the Dwoskin Family Foundation, run by Albert Dwoskin—a high-dollar Democratic donor, former chairman of the Democratic data firm Catalist, Democracy Alliance director, and adviser to the pro-Palestinian group J Street—and his wife, Claire, a former finance vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee.

The foundation’s most recent contributions came in 2012, when it donated nearly $30,000 to NVIC. It also gave $25,000 that year to Media Matters for America, a left-wing research outfit that has hammered conservatives who have expressed sentiments similar to NVIC’s.

Claire Dwoskin sits on NVIC’s board, according to documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service. She also founded the anti-vaccination Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute and helps organize the Vaccine Safety Conference, a gathering of like-minded activists.

The latest conference, held in 2011, was underwritten by Paul Soros, the late brother of the billionaire Democratic financier George Soros.

These events and organizations routinely promote findings that the bulk of the scientific establishment considers dangerous.

People should start questioning politicians about their connections to these groups and donors. For the children.

REMINDER: Hillary Clinton showed more sympathy for anti-vaccination views than Christie did.

She’s flipflopped now, but that just makes it worse.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Measles: Misinformation Gone Viral. “The resurgence of measles is largely attributable to the confluence of two separate factors. On the one side there is a strong, if unacknowledged, effort on the part of some people to free ride off the vaccination of others. . . . They receive the protection afforded by herd immunity, without subjecting their loved ones to the risks, however small, that vaccinations always present. The second factor that reduces vaccination levels is the spread, sometimes deliberate, of misinformation that overstates vaccination risks. This sentiment is often fueled by powerful suspicions that drug companies are greedy and governments corrupt. This entire episode was fueled by fraudulent studies published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in 1998 in Lancet magazine, which twelve years later the journal eventually retracted, but only after much of the damage was done.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times, in a story by Jeremy W. Peters & Richard Perez-Pena, tries to spin this Whole Foods/Prius/Hipster issue into, of course, an attack on the GOP. Note that they quote Hillary as pro-vaccine today, but fail to note that it’s a flipflop from prior campaigns.

UPDATE: “Why don’t you trust the media?” they asked, as a story about fringe liberal anti-vaxxers is spun to attack Republicans. Heh.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I’m pretty sure that Hillary’s poor record on this issue is why the press is working in unison to try to spin it as a “conservative” issue. Here’s a hint, though: Compare the vaccination rates in, say, West Virginia, with those in tony neighborhoods of California.

MORE: Michael Walsh on the political project underway: The Democrat/Media Complex Attacks: Vaccinations Are the New Birth Control. And the Evil Republicans want your kids to dieeeeee!

Jenny McCarthy and RFK Jr. are not Tea Partiers, whatever the Times’ Democratic-Operatives-With-Bylines want people to believe. But if the GOP doesn’t counterattack on this, it will become established truth by November of 2016.

Counterattacks should include demanding immunizations for all illegal immigrants, and a check on vaccination status for welfare recipients. And liability for tony private schools that don’t require vaccination. . . .

STILL MORE: Flashback: Hillary’s 1993 Attack On Vaccine Manufacturers.

EVEN MORE: Hollywood Reporter: Vaccination rates are plummeting at top Hollywood schools, from Malibu to Beverly Hills, from John Thomas Dye to Turning Point, where affluent, educated parents are opting out in shocking numbers. With an interactive map.

FINALLY: Well, well. Obama’s budget cuts $50 million from a vaccine program for the underinsured.

WELL, AS IT SHOULD BE: Hillary Clinton’s Late Start Won’t Stop the Punches.

The advantage of being the front-runner is that she has all the money locked up, and she won’t need to run to her left in the primaries in order to placate the base. The disadvantage is that she has no idea who she is running against, while everyone else knows exactly what they will be fighting. They’ll have over a year to lock in their message — no, better than that, they’ll be able to start their campaigns against her during the primaries, while she can’t mount an effective response until she knows who her opponent will be. Any rejoinder she makes before then will only serve to raise the profile of the people making the most effective criticisms.

Meanwhile, she’ll need to spread her opposition research across multiple candidates, while all of theirs is laser-focused on her. To be sure, she’ll also benefit from the research they do on each other. But of course, the winning candidate will also have the benefit of everyone else’s anti-Hillary research operations — and they’re more likely to pool their research for the general campaign, while they probably won’t be sharing any unused tidbits with the Democrats.

A late start is helpful, though, if you aren’t really sure that your’re running — or if you’re really sure that you aren’t running, but want to maximize political leverage and money. Then there are possible health issues.

CHANGE: Walker Surging in Iowa Poll as Bush Struggles. Hillary Clinton is running away from the potential Democratic field.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is surging, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is an also-ran and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is dominating in a new poll of Iowans likely to vote in the nation’s first presidential nominating contest.

The Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, taken Monday through Thursday, shows Walker leading a wide-open Republican race with 15 percent, up from just 4 percent in the same poll in October. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was at 14 percent and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, stood at 10 percent.

Bush trailed with 8 percent and increasingly is viewed negatively by likely Republican caucus-goers. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is in even worse shape, with support from just 4 percent. More troubling for Christie: He’s viewed unfavorably by 54 percent, among the highest negative ratings in the potential field. At 9 percent, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson pulls more support than either Bush or Christie.

Not that big a surprise.

WHILE I WAS OUT RUNNING ERRANDS AND AT THE GYM, Mitt Romney Announced He Won’t Run. I hope, however, that he’ll keep taking shots at Obama, Hillary, et al. Meanwhile, does this mean that my prediction about a “head fake” toward the presidency was right? Stay tuned.

POLITICO: Exclusive: Hillary Clinton may delay campaign: Top Democrats give a new date for the campaign’s likely start. Love the photo. A cynic would say that Hillary isn’t running — perhaps her health isn’t up to even a fake campaign — but that they want to keep the possibility alive as long as possible to maximize speaking revenues and political leverage. Or they may have just found out that she polls best when she’s out of the public eye. . . .

UPDATE: Related thoughts on Romney: “As for bulling through the GOP field and still having what it takes to fight the well-rested and untested wife of the ex-President who only ever won an election in New York state and served a rather lackluster term as Secretary of State, I think he’s up for that fight.”

Related: Hillary’s Poll Numbers Are Collapsing. They’re already warming Elizabeth Warren up in the bullpen.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Hillary Clinton Faces Scrutiny for Use of Private Jets. “Hillary Clinton took more than 200 privately chartered flights at taxpayer expense during her eight years in the U.S. Senate, sometimes using the jets of corporations and major campaign donors as she racked up $225,756 in flight costs.”

THIS IS SMART: So I’m watching Rand Paul, DVR’ed from last night on Kennedy’s new show on Fox Business, talking about the debacle of “Hillary’s war in Libya,” which he calls “a huge disaster.” We talked Qaddafi into giving up his nuclear program, he notes, and then we invaded his country and killed him, which doesn’t help negotiations with Iran.

I think we’ll be hearing more about Hillary’s failed war in Libya. It was a war of choice, we were promised a quick and easy victory, and it left a country in shambles that’s now full of Islamists and a growing terrorist threat.

WELL, LOOK AT HOW THEY TREAT THE TEA PARTY, WHICH IS A VERY MIDDLE-CLASS MOVEMENT: Why are Republicans so weirdly hesitant to talk about America’s middle class?

The paucity of “middle” mentions is bizarre. The story of this anemic economic recovery — and really of the entire 2000s — is how poorly America’s broad middle has done. Countless news stories and research reports have highlighted the middle class’ financial struggles. Clearly, Democrats have gone long on “middle class” for 2016. In his recent State of the Union speech, President Obama coined a new term for his policy agenda: “middle-class economics.” And the Center for American Progress, the “ready for Hillary” think tank, recently produced a lengthy report devoted to solutions for middle-class woes.

But weirdly, much of the GOP is reluctant to explicitly target the middle, either with rhetoric or ideas. It’s not necessarily that Republicans don’t care about the 99 percent. They just think their way is better than the Democrats’ way, even if it’s less obviously and directly helpful to the middle class. This is the party that believes “a rising tide lifts all boats,” that faster economic growth is the best path to shared prosperity. To concede otherwise is to challenge one of the modern party’s first principles. Moreover, many think mentioning the “middle class” by name — much less pushing policies to directly help it — smacks of “class warfare” and uses the language of Karl Marx. As Rick Santorum, one GOPer who has actually focused on the middle, has put it, “since when in America do we have classes? Since when in America are people stuck in areas or defined places called a class? That’s Marxism talk.”

Neither party in this country really wants the middle class to wake up and seize control. Dems can talk about it because they know they won’t rouse it. Republicans can’t talk about it for fear that they will.

ANDREW STILES: Hillary Is George Costanza: Every decision she’s ever made in her entire life has been wrong.

FLYING COVER: Major media mostly ignoring four potential Democratic Hillary 2016 rivals.

A search of U.S. publications in Lexis Nexis for “Jim Webb” since Nov. 20, 2014 — the day the former Democratic senator and Reagan administration official announced he was considering a run for president — produces only 93 results.

Results for potential Republican 2016 candidate Mike Huckabee (“Huckabee”) since just three weeks ago, when he gave up his Fox News program and signaled a probable run: 227.

Though there are presently at least five Democrats who say they’re seriously considering bids for the White House — a sizable number — major media news coverage has disproportionately focused on the GOP side, which has at least nine potential candidates, and on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Many of the potential 2016 candidates are barely known to the public, but lack of visibility two years out isn’t the handicap it once was. Clinton has a commanding lead in the 2016 contest, but a Jan. 6, 2007, poll found that 61 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know enough about then-Sen. Barack Obama to have an opinion of him. He went on to defeat Clinton in the Democratic primary and win the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Hillary’s inevitable, just like she was last time.

DON SURBER: Advice on men’s issues for 2016 Democratic presidential hopefuls.

If Republicans have female problems, Democrats have a problem with men. In the last presidential election, Democrats got 47% of the male vote, Republicans 53%. Then came the 2014 disaster in which Democrats had their biggest butt whupping since 1928. 2016 is less than two years away, and Hillary or Fauxcahontas represent the feminist sense of entitlement that most men dislike. . . .

The presumption of guilt when a woman accuses a man of rape causes resentment among men, and their wives, mothers and sisters. Hostility toward men — particularly young men — brings out the Mama Bear in most women.

Another stat that needs to go to rest is that 77 cents on the dollar that women make. No one believes it except the Democratic core. We know it does not take into account child raising and taking lighter jobs. Men dominate the dangerous jobs — lumberjacking and commercial fishing — and deserve more due to their risks.

Here is a statistic that needs a political home: men are 9 times as likely to go to prison. The same crime often gets women a lighter sentence. Female privilege anyone?

Read the whole thing.

REMEMBER WHEN MONEY IN POLITICS WAS BAD? ME NEITHER: The Hill: Hillary Clinton plans to astound, intimidate with fundraising ‘like nothing you’ve seen.’

Major donors are ready to announce huge financial commitments to Hillary Clinton as soon as she announces a second run for the White House, according to Clinton allies and Democratic fundraisers.

The Clinton team wants to build excitement about her campaign launch, which is expected in March or April. The money blitz would be a show of Clinton’s strength meant to scare away potential primary rivals.

“The floodgates are going to open immediately, and there’s going to be a rush to get on the team,” said Don Peebles, the real estate mogul who served on President Obama’s national finance committee. “There’s nobody in the Democratic Party who can match her. Not even close.”

“It’s going to be like nothing you’ve seen,” added one top Democratic donor, who supported both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and plans to throw big support behind Clinton. “The numbers will be astounding.”

Clinton is also busy considering who to have run the finances of her would-be campaign.

Well, I guess Terry Bean is out of the question.

Related: The Hill: Hillary Does Best Putin Imitation. “We have a process, yes.”

WELL, THANKFULLY HE HASN’T POSED NUDE YET: “Jeb Bush is the GOP’s Lena Dunham.”

HILLARY CLINTON’S Charlie Hebdo Problem.

Hillary was one of numerous Obama operatives who blamed Benghazi on a hapless YouTube video maker, whom the administration promptly had jailed. Concurrently, Hillary pushed the “video did it” theme at Dover Air Force Base, as the remains of the Americans killed by al-Qeada were returned to US soil on September 14th of 2012. . . .

But in addition to her role in the Benghazi cover-up, Hillary Clinton’s highlight reel is filled with anti-free speech moments, not the least of which was her show-stopping “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” soundbite in 1998.

In the free-speech war, she’s on the other side.

THE HILL: Democrat condemns ‘shocking’ comments about Muslim lawmaker.

A top House Democrat on Thursday condemned suggestions from conservative websites that Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), a Muslim, should not have been appointed to the House Intelligence Committee.

It has “come to my attention that there have been a shocking amount of comments made in conservative publications and on social media to the effect that Rep. Carson’s integrity is somehow in question as a result of his religion,” Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), vice chairman of the Democratic caucus, said in a letter to members.

“These comments deeply offend me, as I’m sure they offend all of you, which is why I hope all of us will take every opportunity to renounce these kinds of comments and discourage this kind of harmful talk,” he added.

On Wednesday House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named Carson, along with a handful of other Democrats, to serve on the Intelligence panel, which is privy to some of the nation’s most closely guarded secrets. . . .

Carson is the first-ever Muslim lawmaker to sit on the panel.

Conservative publications online have suggested that Carson, who sat on the House Armed Services Committee in the 113th Congress, should not have been chosen for the committee because he has ties to Islamist groups that have been investigated for supporting terrorism.

Some commentators also noted a speech in 2012 where Carson said American schools should emulate Madrasses and make the Koran the “foundation” of education. After the speech, Carson issued a statement saying he does not believe public schools should be based on any particular faith.

Crowley compared the criticism to questions about President Obama’s citizenship and said “far too many” of such comments “go without response.”

Wasn’t it Hillary who first brought up the birther stuff?

JAY LENO: Hillary Clinton ‘seems very slow.’

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Jim Webb And The Democrats’ White-Man Problem.

Rather than run as a liberal (which he is not, in a whole host of ways), Webb could run as a kind of anti-Hillary. He would be an explicit counter to the sort of progressive, feminist narrative that would inherently undergird a Clinton run. He would also be the anti-Obama, a break from the sort of identity politics around race, gender and ethnicity that have, in Webb’s telling, excluded working-class white men. . . .

This group has been something of the topic du jour lately, with a decades-long decrease in manufacturing jobs and an identification with the Republican Party so apparent in the midterms that it has left Democrats looking for answers (again).

President Obama weighed in on the plight of the working-class whites in an NPR interview, saying: “There’s a legitimate sense of loss, particularly among men, who have seen manufacturing diminish; construction has been in the tank.”

Well, when you run your campaigns on sexual and racial hatred, don’t be surprised if the targets of that hatred vote for the other party.

ROGER SIMON: Hillary Out? Democrats Should Beware ‘The National Enquirer.’

AUGUSTA CHRONICLE: Assault On The Truth: Fictionalized rape reports fueling hysteria on college campuses.

It’s a journalistic travesty that Rolling Stone’s discredited and disgraceful University of Virginia rape story ever made it into print.

What’s more shameful is how so many people actually hoped the gory – and phony – tale of the fraternity gang-rape was true.

It’s as if many activists and politicians wanted a freshman named Jackie to have been brutally assaulted in September 2012 by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi frat house. It’s as if they hoped she had gone through a three-hour ordeal that ended in her fleeing the house party in a blood-stained dress.

Because as horrific as all that would have been, it would have helped their agenda.

It would be convenient fodder for liberals crowing about the rape “epidemic” sweeping American universities, where, according to an oft-cited but thoroughly debunked academic study, “1-in-5” college women are sexually assaulted.

It would have bolstered their canard that colleges can’t properly deal with campus rapes, and are in need of “fixing” through expansive new federal legislation.

And it would have dovetailed nicely with the overall “war on women” theme Democrats will trot out between now and 2016, when Hillary Clinton, or possibly Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., runs for president.

But instead, the implosion of the ginned-up UVA rape tale – much like the yarn Hollywood it-girl Lena Dunham spun about being raped by a “moustached campus Republican” named Barry – only erodes public trust in the veracity of bona fide incidents of rape.

Indeed.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Barack Obama Had a Really Terrible Year: ISIS, Ferguson, the Senate, Ukraine, Ebola, border kids. Really, this was a pretty awful sixth year for the president. Not that he’s acting like it.

You can make a compelling case that 2014 was the worst year for President Obama since, well, the year before. And, in fact, the president spent much of this year trying to recover from some body blows he took in the final months of 2013, when, in short order, Congress rebuffed him on Syria and the federal health care exchange imploded.

Those setbacks ate away at Obama’s public support. According to Gallup, the president began 2014 with a 41 percent approval rating, and he’s ending it a tick or two higher. He’s also ending the year as a certified lame duck, facing two final years with a hostile Congress and the political conversation centering around the likes of Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul.

Losing the Senate punctuated a year when Obama again saw more bad moments than good, and largely garnered more criticism than praise, especially from fellow Democrats, who were quick to blame him as the party’s political fortunes declined. More that that, though, it was a year of stomach-churning uncertainty, with one airliner disappearing over the Pacific and another being shot down over Europe, a savage terrorist threat on the march in Iraq, continued civil war in Syria, and Ebola raging through Africa and touching the U.S.

Paradoxically, the midterm walloping seemed to liberate Obama. As if now resigned to the reality that he has fewer partners to work with than ever, he is freer to pursue his own agenda.

You can’t really say whether it was a terrible year for Obama unless you can say what his agenda is. But it certainly wasn’t a good year for America. But I predict that it will turn out to be average: Worse than 2013, better than 2015.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Nine Questions For Hillary Clinton In 2015. Actually, they left out the big one: How do you reconcile your history of attacking Bill’s female accusers with your “war on women” rhetoric?

MILO YIANNOPOULOS ON THE LATEST FEMINIST OUTCRY: What is ‘Manspreading’ and Why are People Angry about It?

After the numerous and well-publicised feminist fiascoes of 2014, it has become clear to all but the most ideologically determined observers that the intersectional third-wave harpies who so dominate in the American and British media and to whom obeisance has been paid for many years have nothing left to fight for and no arguments left to win.

Witness the absurd, offensive, ludicrous spectacle of inanity and stupidity currently surrounding the New York subway: a campaign to stop men sitting comfortably on public transport. We “manspread,” apparently, which observers have interpreted as “sit in such a way as not to painfully crush the testicles or penis” but which feminists insist is an expression of patriarchal authority. You could not, as British newspaper columnists like to say, make this shit up. . . .

The manspreading complaint is couched as a response to “rudeness” by men, but it is no such thing: it is pathetic feminist pipsqueakery, the last dying gasp of a movement with nothing to win and nothing to say, determined to abuse and antagonise the male sex at all costs and for whatever perceived or outright imaginary infraction it can conjure from the vicissitudes of everyday life. It is offensively trivial, and those associated with it ought to be ashamed.

Such people include the author of a New York Times story on this otiose playground jihad against men, and the subway officials who endorsed a poster campaign warning men of the social anxiety caused by their choice of sitting position. Not a word about those shopping bags, or–the real irritant for me, on the rare occasion I take the Tube–stilettoes digging into the back of my heels and capacious handbags clogging the gangways.

Is it any wonder women these days complain of being alone? They mistake their own, self-induced isolation as the inevitable consequence of patriarchy, not realising that their generation has spent a decade doing everything possible to isolate and alienate men.

Yep. You could write a whole book on that phenomenon.

Plus: “Feminism is a poisoned term. It is tainted; stained by the petty misandrist misdeeds of a thousand spoilt brats on the pages of the Guardian; an army of Jessica Valentis whinging about wrapping Christmas presents instead of objecting to the acid thrown in Indian women’s faces.”

Feminism died in 1998, and it was so obvious that even Maureen Dowd noticed. “Feminism died in 1998 when Hillary allowed henchlings and Democrats to demonize Monica as an unbalanced stalker, and when Gloria Steinem defended Mr. Clinton against Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones.” Now the corpse is just twitching.

JIM TREACHER: Reminder: Hillary Clinton Has Directly Contributed To Rape Culture. “Many of the same people who make such a convincing ‘rape culture’ argument will also argue that you should vote for Hillary. Many of the same people who assumed the UVA Phi Psi house was guilty of gang rape, who say things like ‘I believe women’ when presented with evidence that a rape accusation is false, will defend Hillary because she was just doing her job.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Ecuador Family Wins Favors After Donations to Democrats. “The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.”

READY FOR HILLARY TO GO AWAY: People Magazine’s worst selling issue this year? The one with Hillary Clinton on the cover.

GENE LYONS: No Defense For The Mistakes In the Rolling Stone Rape Story.

Preppy WASPs, of course, are America’s last acceptable criminal class. A journalist can “profile” them all she wants with no fear of chastisement. On a recent Slate podcast, Erdeley explained she’d decided to write about UVA’s heavy-drinking “elitist fraternity culture” even before she’d met “Jackie,” the alleged victim.

“Southern” was a big part of it, too. . . .

If Rolling Stone’s story reads like a Stephen King novel, that may be because it’s largely imaginary.

UVA pledge events take place during spring semester, not September; there was no fraternity party. The side door Jackie escaped from doesn’t exist. Her three friends say they encountered her about a mile from Phi Kappa Psi that night, telling a lurid, but very different story involving forced oral sex. Jackie had no visible wounds. It was she who insisted on keeping quiet.

They also say Erdeley never interviewed them.

Jackie’s alleged seducer “Drew” never belonged to the fraternity and denies ever dating Jackie — an easy alibi to break, unless true.

The scales having fallen from my eyes, I keep returning to the scene where guys outside an off-campus bar supposedly called Jackie a “feminazi bitch.”

“One flung a bottle at Jackie that broke on the side of her face,” we’re told, “leaving a blood-red bruise around her eye.”

Maybe an NFL quarterback could throw a beer bottle hard enough to break on somebody’s face, but I doubt it. The victim, however, would be more than bruised. She’d be lucky to survive.

And there would definitely be a police report.

Indeed. Interesting to see this coming from a Dem columnist generally regarded as part of the Hillary orbit.

SHUTDOWN FLASHBACK: Elizabeth Warren slams House GOP’s “anarchy gang” — The Massachusetts senator delivers a rousing defense of government against “anarchists.”

UPDATE: You know, it’s cynical but I wonder if part of Warren’s trouble with Cromnibus is the campaign-finance provision that would give the party apparat a lot more power. That would be of great advantage to Hillary . . . .

ROGER SIMON: Explaining Hillary’s Sympathy For The Devil.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Will The GOP Lose To Hillary In 2016 By Nominating A Loser Like Jeb?

GOOD: Baghdad and Kurds reach ‘win-win’ accord over Iraq’s oil revenue.

You know, I still think that if we’d gone ahead with the Oil Trust idea back in 2003, Iraqis would have had a much better reason to hang together. But despite backing not only from me, but from Hillary Clinton, Milton Friedman, and Michael Barone, it never happened. Too bad.

MORE ON THE WAR BETWEEN THE DEMOCRATS’ GENTRY-LIBERAL AND URBAN-BLACK FACTIONS: Obama Shafts Hillary With Amnesty and Ferguson.

Obama can remain a player with a 35% constituency, but Hillary needs 50% + 1 to win. The Obama coalition/Democrat base has the Chablis-swilling limo libs from Marin County, the AFSCME-dues paying DMV diversity consultants, and the big screen-watching EBT cardholder vote nailed down. Everyone else, not so much anymore. And Obama is clearly fine with that.

Hillary was supposed to do what Bill did and bring back those blue collar Dems – the people who make things with their hands, the people who didn’t go to Wellesley, and the government employees like Officer Darren Wilson who actual perform a useful service. But Obama doesn’t need or even want them, and he’s happily driving them away to strengthen his own coalition. He’s refused to stand up against the race hustlers and rioters. And he’s hung the executive amnesty around Hillary’s neck, ensuring that she’ll spend the next two years promising not to undo it – in contrast the GOP nominee who will be talking about little else.

Hillary faces two problems that have potentially mutually exclusive solutions. One is keeping the Obama coalition behind her, and it’s already making noises about fleeing to Big Chief Warren. The other is expanding the coalition to once again include normal people. An executive amnesty she could undo with a pen stroke is not going to be any help with that. Nor are media images of businesses burning because some hardworking cop refused to allow himself to be murdered to please the likes of Al Sharpton.

With another Democrat in the White House, Obama’s a has-been. With a Republican and an angry 35% constituency, he’ll matter — basically, Al Sharpton writ large.

I COULD LIVE WITH THAT: A 2016 ballot without Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush? You heard it here.

Charlie Cook, one of the most respected political experts in the country, believes Hillary Clinton has only a 25-30 percent chance of running for president, and in any case he thinks she is either “rusty” or “she has lost her fastball.” He bases that on her disastrous book tour, in which she said some very inappropriate things and also did not sell many books.

The author of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report newsletter for almost 30 years also disappointed a local audience when he did not give Jeb Bush much of a chance of gaining the Republican nomination.

“Bush has two issues working against him to win the Republican primary for the 2016 presidential election,” Cook said. “One is immigration reform, which he favors; and two, is his advocacy of education reform.”

Neither of those causes would sit well with Republican primary voters, Cook said.

I’d be very happy to avoid a Bush/Clinton campaign.

SO LAST WEEK I TALKED ABOUT THE STRUGGLE FOR POSITION in the Democratic Party, between it’s urban-black wing and its gentry liberal wing. Now we see another blow struck: Deval Patrick warns Hillary Clinton: Inevitability is “off-putting.”

“I don’t mean that as a criticism of her; I just think people read inevitably as entitlement,” he added. “And the American people want, and ought to want, their candidates to sweat for the job, you know, to actually make the case for why they’re the right person for the right time.”

Translation: If you want me on board, you have to make it worth my while. . . .

Meanwhile, the Gentry Liberals are fighting back: Democrats assail Wall Street ties in Obama administration.

President Obama’s nomination of Antonio Weiss to serve as the Treasury Department’s top domestic finance official is drawing fire from an unusual sector: his fellow Democrats.

Liberal lawmakers like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have been quick to oppose Weiss, a major investment banker with Lazard.

Among their grievances is the fact that Lazard’s work is primarily in international finance and he is nominated for a domestic position. They’re also critical of his role in structuring several tax inversion deals, which have drawn criticism from the president himself.

But an underlying thread to the Democratic opposition is a fatigue with filling top-ranking administration spots with officials that have spent significant time working for or on behalf of Wall Street titans. Warren penned an op-ed in The Huffington Post criticizing the administration’s approach under the headline “Enough is Enough.”

It’s amusing to watch this infighting, but it’s not serious — it’s just positioning for a piece of the 2016 pie.

SO WHY ALL THE FERGUSON HOOPLA? Last time the Dems and Sharpton made a big deal of a shooting, it was the Trayvon Martin case, hyped to keep up black turnout for 2012. But now there’s not an election. So why Ferguson, and why now? Polling indicates that most people aren’t all that sympathetic, and protests that tie up Interstates, etc. aren’t going to attract swing voters.

But it’s not about swing voters. It’s about the base. And it’s not about the Democratic Party’s base, but about certain leaders’ base within the Democratic Party. This may be best understood as an intra-party struggle. Obama is the champion of the urban-black wing of the party, and because of him that wing has been on top. But his star is fading, black voters are beginning to realize that they haven’t benefited economically, and the next Dem nominee — whether it’s Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, or Elizabeth Warren — will be from the white gentry-liberal wing of the Democratic Party. The riots, the marches, the traffic-blocking are a way of telling them that the Sharpton wing is still a force to be reckoned with, and to improve its bargaining power between now and 2016. At least, that’s the only way this — not at all spontaneous — street theater makes sense.

POLITICO: Revival Of Long-Buried Cosby Accusations Could Pose Problems For Bill & Hillary Clinton.

ED DRISCOLL: Season’s Greetings From Ferguson.

Note that The ACLU’s statement doesn’t criticize the Grand Jury’s decision.

Related: Ferguson Witness Told Investigators That Michael Brown Charged Cop “Like a Football Player. Head Down.” “The witness’s account of the unarmed Brown charging Wilson–even after he had been shot in the hand during a struggle at the cop’s patrol car–supports the officer’s contention that he fired a series of shots as Brown bore down on him.”

UPDATE: So, Hillary’s been awfully quiet. This, via Facebook, may explain why. I’d guess that Today Show viewers are her core demographic.

10402968_10203206361695147_5394958091270693787_n

Yeah, the margin seems huge, but it’s an online survey of Today viewers, not a poll. I suspect it would be a lot narrower if people hadn’t awakened to images of burning and looting, too.

Meanwhile, I went to the Today site to see if the number has updated, and now I can’t find the survey at all. I found a clip encouraging people to come to the site and vote, but either I’m just missing it or it’s been taken down.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Well, that’s not too far from this online poll at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. My guess is that this means the media coverage will drop off sharply.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.59.41 AM

MORE: And here’s a poll at NJ.com:

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 12.30.09 PM

JOSH BLACKMAN: The Constitutional Limits Of Prosecutorial Discretion. Also, Prosecutorial Discretion With Rubber Stamps.

Josh’s discussion also reminds me of MCI V. AT&T, 512 U.S. 218 (1994), in which the Supreme Court held that the FCC couldn’t stretch a statutory provision allowing it to “modify” tariff requirements into a general rule eliminating the need for most of the industry to file tariffs at all. That seems fairly analogous to what Obama is doing with immigration, and possibly a better fit than Heckler v. Chaney.

On the contra side, though, there’s the case I always bring up when people suggest that executive power has exploded in recent years, U.S. v. Spawr Optical. (Also discussed here.) Spawr is a Court of Appeals case, not a Supreme Court case, and turned on some particularly sweeping statutory delegations, but still. . . .

Meanwhile, some thoughts from Ilya Somin.

I also think that if the Supreme Court wants to hear this in a hurry, it can. If it takes it in the ordinary course of business, we’ll probably see a decision in June of 2016. Could Obama — already seen as passively aggressively undermining Hillary in other ways — have put a long-range torpedo into the water that will explode around the time of the Democratic Convention?

WELL, WITH HILLARY IT’S MORE LIKE BEN-GAY AND GIN: Can any 2016 Democrat have that ‘new car smell’?

REPORTS THAT HE’LL BE REPLACED BY JONATHAN GRUBER ARE UNCONFIRMED: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel To Resign. I’m no Hagel fan, but he’s been one of the less-incompetent members of the team. There have been signs that he was being marginalized for quite a while.

Perhaps as a favor to Hillary, Obama will offer the job to Jim Webb. Or maybe it would be a favor to Elizabeth Warren. . . .

MY MONEY’S ON JIM WEBB, AT LEAST IF HE GETS A BETTER HAIRCUT: Democrats Need a Hillary Backup.

The Democratic presidential bench is looking a little thin these days, isn’t it? After Hillary Clinton, we have … um … Jim Webb, who I bet you can’t even remember what office he held, and outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who couldn’t even get his own lieutenant governor elected as his handpicked successor in a blue state. If anything happens to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee will effectively be taking out LeBron James to send in Pee-wee Herman.

But how big a problem is this? You don’t need a dozen good people on the bench, just one or two who could make a plausible run for the presidency. And those people tend not to emerge when there’s not much of a realistic shot at winning — for example, when you’ve got a high-profile candidate with great name recognition, primary experience and most of your party’s donor base sitting in their back pocket. Once Hillary wins or loses, other people will presumably start grooming themselves for a serious run, rather than make an idealistic attempt to pull the party leftward in the primaries or a long audition for the VP slot.

I’ve seen this argument made by smart people who know more about politics than I do, and part of me is convinced. But the other part of me wonders where those candidates are going to come from if Democrats remain confined to the deep-blue parts of the map. Those places are more populous, but less numerous, than the red states — which means fewer governors and congressmen to choose from. Especially because a few blue states have shown a penchant for electing Republican moderates to rein in their liberal legislatures.

Barack Obama aside, political talent has to be nurtured.

I think Barack could have done with a bit more nurturing himself.

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS DURING LAST NIGHT’S AMNESTY TALK EXPLOSION: Top Obama bundler accused of child rape.

On Wednesday, Portland, Ore. police arrested Terrence Patrick Bean, who has been charged with two felony counts of having sex with a minor last year. This man is not just any old guy accused of having sex with a 15-year-old – he’s a big-money Democratic donor and liberal political activist with connections inside the Obama White House. Bean raised more than a half-million dollars for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. . . .

A search of the Federal Election Commission’s campaign-finance database turns up thousands in donations every cycle by Bean to the Democratic Party’s most powerful leaders, including Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Dick Durbin, and Rep. Barney Frank, among others. Photos of Bean posted online show him flying on Air Force One with Obama.

Although this report is in USA Today, I assume the major TV networks — which haven’t even covered Jonathan Gruber — will give this story a pass. Remember: Making sure you know what they want you to know is job #2 for them; making sure you don’t know what they don’t want you to know is job #1.

TEACH OBAMA SUPPORTERS NOT TO RAPE: USA Today: Top Obama bundler accused of child rape.

Conservatives complain that President Obama gets a free pass from the media, which acts as a de-facto public-relations shop for the Democrat in the White House. Never has that charge seemed truer than now as an ugly rape scandal unfolds on the west coast.

On Wednesday, Portland police arrested Terrence Patrick Bean, who has been charged with two felony counts of having sex with a minor last year. This man is not just any old guy accused of having sex with a 15-year-old – he’s a big-money Democratic donor and liberal political activist with connections inside the Obama White House. Bean raised more than a half-million dollars for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.

“Bean has been one of the state’s biggest Democratic donors and an influential figure in gay rights circles in the state,” reports oregonlive.com. “He helped found two major national political groups, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and has been a major contributor for several Democratic presidential candidates, including Barack Obama.”

A search of the Federal Election Commission’s campaign-finance database turns up thousands in donations every cycle by Bean to the Democratic Party’s most powerful leaders, including Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Dick Durbin, and Rep. Barney Frank, among others. Photos of Bean posted online show him flying on Air Force One with Obama.

The scandal is escalating. Earlier today, according to local media Kiah Loy Lawson, allegedly 66-year-old Bean’s 25-year-old former boyfriend, was arrested by the Portland Sex Crimes Unit for sexually abusing the same boy. After the relationship between the two men ended, Lawson went public with claims that Bean had a practice of secretly videotaping himself having sex with others.

​This story was first reported by the local press, and there have been vague references to sexual trouble for Bean and Lawson since June, but the national media has not picked it up. That oversight is politically convenient for President Obama as he tries to pull off one of his riskiest political moves ever with his amnesty executive order.

Telling you what they want you to know is job #2; not telling you what they don’t want you to know is job #1.

SHIRTGATE ROUNDUP: Jonah Goldberg: The feminist freakout over the scientist’s ‘girly’ shirt. “In short, feminists want a monopoly on when everyone must be outraged or offended. A few weeks ago, feminist idiots rolled out a video of little girls dressed as princesses, cursing like foul-mouthed comedian Andrew Dice Clay. Unlike Taylor, they set out to offend. But that was in support of feminism, so it was OK. (I’d like to see the parents of those kids tearfully apologizing for exploiting their kids as cheap propaganda props.)”

Related: The Era Of Male Guilt.

This is not about women being able to have careers, or stopping guys who beat their wives, or some other topic where you might expect equal rights for women to naturally arise as a direct issue. Now it’s about every minute little part of every area of your life. . . .

Which is to say that this is a power play. It reminds me of what Shelby Steele has written about the phenomenon of “white guilt”: the presumption that all white people are complicit in the crimes of slavery and segregation and are therefore guilty until they prove themselves innocent. And they can prove their innocence by embracing whatever political agenda the guardians of racial grievance choose to decree.

So call this new system “male guilt.” Every man is presumed sexist until proven otherwise, and his only hope is appease the self-appointed arbiters of offensiveness.

This will all acquire a laser-like focus very quickly, because accusation of sexism will soon have an urgent, concrete purpose: destroying all opposition to Hillary Clinton’s presumed presidential campaign. As Stephen Miller observes: “If you want to know what #ReadyForHillary will look like for 4 years… This is it.”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that approach will make the Democrats’ gender-gap problems worse.

Also: London’s mayor launches stellar defense of scientist’s heavenly bodies shirt. What I love about the interviewer in that photo is that she’s looking at his eyes, not his chest, unlike, say Rose Eveleth. Quoth Johnson:

Those politically-correct Earthlings who ensured Taylor was “bombarded across the Internet with a hurtling dustcloud of hate” should be ashamed of themselves, Johnson wrote. After all, Taylor may study heavenly bodies, but he is not a priest.

London Mayor Boris Johnson came to Taylor’s defense after Internet sniping reduced the scientist to tears. (Reuters)

“He is a space scientist with a fine collection of tattoos, and if you are an extrovert space scientist, that is the kind of shirt that you are allowed to wear,” Johnson wrote.

The nimble-minded mayor went on to point out that the treatment of Taylor represented a double-standard when juxtaposed to that afforded Kim Kardashian; the shirt showed no exposed nipples or buttocks; and more nudity can be seen at the National Gallery than hanging in Taylor’s closet.

“What are we all – a bunch of Islamist maniacs who think any representation of the human form is an offence against God?” Johnson thundered. “This is the 21st century, for goodness’ sake.”

Yeah, it’s not turning out quite as I’d hoped. But, then, plenty of women are unhappy, too: “The femisogynists talk constantly about how women are so interested in science, technology, and engineering, but when there is a major, groundbreaking story involving those exact subjects, the only thing they can do is whine about how a shirt hurt their feelings.”

UPDATE: From the comments:

More attention should be paid to how this entire episode played out with boys. This should have been an opportunity to interest the next generation of young men in becoming scientists and space researchers. Especially the very smart, socially awkward boys who are most suited to the field.

You know, the kind of boys who are the constant target of bullies in school.

What these boys saw was that space science is no place to escape from bullies and that space scientists are not respected by women. They watched a man at the top of the space science profession humiliated and not protected by his employers and peers.

The young men — the next generation of space scientists — might not overtly think about it, but in the back of their mind how can they not feel that this is not the profession for them. They don’t want to end up like him.

That’s the message these “feminists” are sending.

Spot on.

IS THE END OF MANDATORY RETIREMENT BAD FOR ACADEMIA? Seems as if it’s proceeding just as Richard Epstein predicted twenty years ago, which is to say, badly. Ending mandatory retirement — which happened elsewhere years before the law applied to academia — is just another part of the ongoing process of transferring wealth from younger people to older people.

I’m amused, though, to imagine the author of this piece extending her reasoning to, say, Hillary Clinton. . . .

UPDATE: Roger Simon emails: “Hey, what’s all this aging bullshit from the mega-tedious Chronicle of Higher Ed? Sophocles wrote Oedipus at Colonus near his death at age 90. No one has done anything of that level since Shakespeare. (Well,maybe Tolstoy, but he was no spring chicken.)”

RON FOURNIER: The Extraordinary Smallness of Washington: Institutional shrinkage marks the politics and governing of the Bush-Obama era. Hmm. My first thought is that the term “Bush-Obama era” would be convenient for Hillary — and maybe other Democrats — who want to distance themselves from Obama’s presidency. . . .

BUT HILLARY SAYS SHE FEELS FINE NOW, “READY TO BE PRESIDENT:” Woman Wakes Up in Morgue After 11 Hours.

DON SURBER: The first 2016 Electoral College Map looks bad for Democrats.

I am not saying that the 31 states where Republicans control the legislature will definitely go Republican in the 2016 presidential race. But if they do, that’s 314 Electoral College votes. You need only 270 to win. . . . The carnage this year should demoralize Democrats, particularly Hillary Clinton, who has the misfortune of being the Democratic front runner for 2016. George McGovern and Fritz Mondale feel her pain.

Hillary Clinton was about as effective as Pat Nixon on the campaign trail. Her candidates lost 12 of the 13 tight Senate races she campaigned in. Even the Jacksonville Jaguars have a better winning record this year. She’s old and it shows. Her ideas have atrophied. She has been a fixture in Washington for 22, always causing some controversy, always blaming others, always cackling. One reason Democratic Party bosses backed her opponent in the 2008 nomination process was that he was No Drama Obama.

She’s 67 and has had only one executive position in her live. And she blew that gig in Benghazi.

Of course, she heads a bench of balsa wood. Behind her is “young Hillary” — Elizabeth Warren, 65. Then there is the “conservative Democrat,” Martin O’Malley, 51, governor of Maryland. He doesn’t want the government’s boot on your throat; he wants to put its ballet slipper there. He pushed for cheap college tuition for illegal aliens. Democrats are about to learn that “immigration reform” is as big a loser as gun control and global warming.

Andrew Cuomo, 56, may be the most intriguing in the Democratic bunch. He cut a deal with Republicans to get re-elected in exchange for Republicans taking control of the state Senate. After Obama, Democrats may go for a guy who cuts deals, no matter how far below the table they go. Oh and you political virgins out there need to understand, Republicans got the better end of the deal.

But like his father before him, Cuomo doesn’t need the presidency. He has all he needs in Albany.

Besides, who needs the noise?

The bottom line is no matter who the Democrats nominate, he or she faces an Electoral College map that is stacked against Democrats. The Solid South now stretches to Wisconsin.

Read the whole thing. But don’t get cocky, kid.

ROLL CALL: How Elise Stefanik Became The Youngest Woman Ever Elected To Congress.

Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik’s path to victory in New York reflected the trajectory of the midterms nationally, as Republicans invaded Democratic territory to make double-digit gains in the House.

But in so many other ways, Stefanik’s dominant win was one of her own making.

Stefanik defeated a wealthy Democrat, Aaron Woolf, by more than 20 points in a district the president carried just a couple years ago. At 30 years old, she’s the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and New York Republicans now tout her as the future of their party.

But that’s nowhere close to where Stefanik started the cycle in the upstate wilderness.

In late summer 2013, she drove an F-150 truck to methodically meet local Republican leaders in the vast district represented by a popular Democrat, Bill Owens.

“I had this 29-year-old political unknown who was introducing herself as willing to challenge an entrenched political incumbent,” recalled Ray Scollin, Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party, who found Stefanik on Twitter before meeting her in a Saranac Lake coffee shop last year. “I know a lot of people who thought of it as laughable.”

The GOP had been burned before when factions failed to coalesce behind the same candidate in the North Country. The Empire State’s 21st District is one of the largest on the East Coast, extending from the Canadian border to north of Albany. From there, it’s faster to drive round-trip to Manhattan than traverse the district filled with scenic lakes, forests and struggling manufacturing plants.

Stefanik spent her days working for her family’s plywood company, checking her gmail in between stops and carrying a handful of palm cards to the smallest of GOP functions.

“She put well over 100,000 miles on that truck,” recalled Stefanik’s ad-maker, Russ Schriefer. “She’d drive five hours to meet with a half-a-dozen people.”

Retail politics. Hard to imagine, say, Hillary — even a 29-year-old Hillary — doing anything like that.

SO NOW THE NEW REPUBLIC IS WRITING THINGS THAT WE ONLY USED TO HEAR FROM THE “CRAZED FEVER SWAMPS OF THE RIGHT.” The Obama Whisperer: No one has understood Valerie Jarrett’s role, until now.

Even at this late date in the Obama presidency, there is no surer way to elicit paranoid whispers or armchair psychoanalysis from Democrats than to mention the name Valerie Jarrett. Party operatives, administration officials—they are shocked by her sheer longevity and marvel at her influence. When I asked a longtime source who left the Obama White House years ago for his impressions of Jarrett, he confessed that he was too fearful to speak with me, even off the record. . . .

Jarrett holds a key vote on Cabinet picks (she opposed Larry Summers at Treasury and was among the first Obama aides to come around on Hillary Clinton at State) and has an outsize say on ambassadorships and judgeships. She helps determine who gets invited to the First Lady’s Box for the State of the Union, who attends state dinners and bill-signing ceremonies, and who sits where at any of the above. She has placed friends and former employees in important positions across the administration—“you can be my person over there,” is a common refrain.

And Jarrett has been known to enjoy the perks of high office herself. When administration aides plan “bilats,” the term of art for meetings of two countries’ top officials, they realize that whatever size meeting they negotiate—nine by nine, eight by eight, etc.—our side will typically include one less foreign policy hand, because Jarrett has a standing seat at any table that includes the president. . . . According to a former high-level aide, there is no longer a daily meeting between the president and his top advisers. Under the old system, if the president waved off one adviser’s objection to his preferred plan of action, another could step in to vouch for the objection’s merit. The advice Obama gets now, though, comes more regularly through one-off interactions with the likes of Jarrett and Denis McDonough, who don’t have anyone else to back them up. In the second term, observes the former aide, “Maybe the president says, more often than in the past, ‘We’re doing it.’”

The result is that Obama has become even more persuaded of his righteousness as the years have gone on.

In the end, though — this is the Chris Hughes New Republic, after all — we learn that America has let Obama down, not the other way around.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, this bit of psychoanalysis: “She is Yoko to Obama’s John Lennon. The mother who won’t abandon him.”

Plus: “With so many Czars around there’s bound to be a Rasputin.”

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Tuesday’s Biggest Loser? Hillary Clinton.

ED DRISCOLL: The Rise Of The John Birch Left.

The modern left is built around a trio of laudable principles: protecting the environment is good, racism is bad, and so is demonizing a person over his or her sexual preferences. (In the chapter of his book Intellectuals titled “The Flight from Reason,” Paul Johnson wrote that “At the end of the Second World War, there was a significant change in the predominant aim of secular intellectuals, a shift of emphasis from utopianism to hedonism.” ) But just as the Bircher right began to see communists everywhere, the new Bircher left sees racism, sexism, homophobia, and Koch Brothers everywhere.

They’re lurking around more corners than Gen. Ripper imagined there were commies lurking inside Burpelson Air Force Base. They’re inside your video games! They own NFL teams! They’ll steal your condoms! Disagree with President Obama? Racist! (That goes for you too, Bill, Hillary, and your Democratic supporters.) Not onboard for gender-neutral bathrooms? Not too thrilled with abortion-obsessed candidates like Wendy Davis and “Mark Uterus”? Sexist! Disagree with using global warming as a cudgel to usher in the brave new world of bankrupt coal companies and $10 a gallon gasoline? Climate denier!

And as with the original Birchers, don’t get ‘em started on fluoride.

The original Birchers weren’t bad people, but their Cold War paranoia got the better of them. Similarly, as Charles Krauthammer famously said, “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” which illustrates how a John Birch-style worldview can cause the modern leftists to take an equally cracked view of his fellow countrymen, to the point of writing off entire states and genders.

Indeed.

OBAMA’S PRESS CONFERENCE A REMINDER: Oh, This Is Why Republicans Won.

President Obama is a singularly ungracious and non-self-reflective person. In his press conference today he refused yet again to acknowledge reality. . . .

If ever there was a display justifying more robust congressional stewardship of national security, this was it.

In Hillaryland, you wonder what they make of this. Will they be forced to defend a clueless president still unmoved by voters’ resounding anti-Obama message? The more antagonistic he becomes toward the majorities in both houses, the more dangerous it will become for Hillary Clinton to remain aligned with him and his policies. She cannot run and win offering a third Obama term.

All in all it did not bode well for the next two years, but it does provide an attractive target for Republicans to run against in 2016. (We can’t take this anymore!) It also suggests that the voters were right to hamstring him and send minders to keep things from getting far worse internationally and more lawless at home. It was, most of all, a reminder of why he is unpopular.

Yeah, he’s kind of a self-centered jerk when you get right down to it.

UPDATE: More:

Before the election, Obama said his policies were on the ballot. Which policies? And why won’t he acknowledge that those policies were rejected? Because he was bullshitting when he said the polities were on the ballot? If his people had won, he’d have claimed we endorsed those policies, that he had a mandate. So when the reverse happens, how can he evade the reverse meaning?

Well, he’s expecting the press to cover for him, but they seem to be starting to lose patience.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader emails:

Obama is the political equivalent of Captain Queeg in the film “The Caine Mutiny” … and we all know how that turned out. Soon he will be looking for strawberries stolen from the WH Kitchen and fidgeting with marbles in the Oval Office.

Yeah, I’m a little worried about how his emotional state will turn out.

PANTSUITS HAVE NO COATTAILS: Jaclyn Cashman: Midterms are microcosm of Hillary Clinton’s clout. The pic of Hillary behind a Martha Coakley sign is a cruel touch.

HARD TO SEE THIS AS GOOD NEWS FOR HILLARY: Republicans now have every congressional seat for Arkansas for the first time in 141 years.

YEAH, HER CAMPAIGNING DIDN’T BEAR A LOT OF FRUIT: Rand Paul Says McConnell Victory A Defeat For Hillary Clinton. And look at how things went in Arkansas.

WELL, WE’VE FOUND OUR #HILLARY2016 CAMPAIGN SLOGAN! Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation.

HEH: Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama hit by hecklers at separate speeches. “First Hillary Clinton, then Michelle Obama. Both of the Democratic Party’s leading ladies were heckled while giving speeches at separate campaign events this week — not a good sign in the lead-up to an Election Day that’s already expected to go Republican.”

“MANY EMPTY SEATS” AT Hillary Clinton rally in Maryland.

HILLARY CLARIFIES, BUT ANN ALTHOUSE IS UNAMUSED: “Like it’s our fault we don’t know what she meant. How many times does she have to tell us? She’s been talking so long — for a couple of decades — that we ought to know everything she has to say. We should be completing sentences for her… like a doting, faithful old husband.” Well, she certainly doesn’t have anyone to fill that role at home.

IT’S NOT HER FAULT, IT’S THE CONCUSSION TALKING: Hillary Clinton: Business Don’t Create Jobs!

IT’S NOT CLEAR TO ME THAT THE WHITE HOUSE IS SUFFERING FROM A VAGINA SHORTAGE AT THE MOMENT: “What is the case for Hillary…? It boils down… She has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn.”