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SHIKHA DALMIA: Obama’s Cynical Games May Doom Immigration Reform: If he loses, he’ll only have himself to blame. It’s a safe bet, though, that he’ll do his best to blame Republicans.

FIGHT IT OUT ALL THE WAY TO THE CONVENTION FLOOR, BERNIE! Is it too late for Bernie Sanders to convince superdelegates to choose him?

On Sunday during a press conference to commemorate the first anniversary of his announcement for the presidency, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders indicated once again that he would be seeking to peel away superdelegates from his rival Hillary Clinton.

Sanders currently trails Clinton by 327 pledged delegates plus 481 superdelegates. If Sanders could convince the vast majority of Clinton’s superdelegates to defect to him, he could in theory win the nomination.

The notion is not unheard of. In 2008, Clinton also won the overwhelming support of superdelegates, but they started breaking away from her and supporting then-Sen. Barack Obama around the time she barely squeaked out what was supposed to be an easy win in Indiana.

The difference in 2016 is that Clinton is also winning primaries, and convincingly so. Sanders has won 17 primaries and caucuses across the country, but even when he wins, Clinton oftentimes gets more delegates because of superdelegate support.

Also, Bernie’s not black, so superdelegates won’t be called racist for backing Hillary.

TO ASK THE QUESTION IS TO ANSWER IT: Why Aren’t We Having a National Conversation About Leftist Violence?, David Harsanyi asks at the Federalist:

The media was happy to portray the peaceful Tea Party as a movement surreptitiously driven by racism without a shred of proof outside its opposition to Barack Obama. You will remember Paul Krugman blaming peaceful assembly and free speech for an insane person’s “assassination” attempt against Kathleen Gifford, and Ezra Klein lamenting how scary things get when conservatives oppose liberal doctrine. Every shooting in America necessitates a thorough investigation into political proclivities of the perpetrator. Is he angry at the president? Did he ever register as a Republican? Is he fond of the Confederate flag? But only when the facts mesh with the helpful narrative do we hear about it.

At the American Conservative, Rod Dreher adds, “What’s the matter with California? I was shocked last week to see the Latino mob riot outside a Donald Trump rally in Orange County, destroying a police car:”

[S]eeing what happened last week at the two Trump events in California makes me wonder if there’s something particularly extreme about the state’s political culture. I am far from a fan of Donald Trump, and I fully support the right to protest him. But riots and violent protests? Imagine if white Trump supporters rioted in an attempt to shut down a Hillary Clinton rally, and tore down police barricades in an attempt to get into a hotel where she was speaking, to shut down her speech? The news media would be in crisis mode, and I wouldn’t blame them, actually: a country in which a candidate running for president has to fear for his and his supporters’ safety at a political rally is a country that is in trouble.

But hey, no big deal as far as our media are concerned. Just like the radically illiberal culture on many American campuses, where SJWs no-platform speakers they don’t like all the time, has not bothered the media overmuch. They don’t seem to mind mobs and thugs running roughshod over basic civil liberties, as long as those mobs and thugs are on the political and cultural left.

While the future is always uncertain, in his latest column at Townhall, Kurt Schlichter is back from a trip in the TARDIS to 2017 to explore one way the disparity between the DNC-MSM’s efforts at whitewashing their own and the vastly different optics the public witnessed could play themselves out in the coming months.

Hint: It’s titled, “Looking Back On How Donald Trump Beat Hillary Clinton.”

THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRAFT, HOWEVER, WERE SUPERB: Dan Mitchell: Obama’s Miserable Economic Legacy.

THIS ISN’T THE 21st CENTURY I WAS PROMISED:  ‘N16GA We Made It’ Senior T-shirts Trigger a Teachable Moment in W.Va.

Related: Obama not offended by Larry Wilmore’s N-word shout-out.

WOULD HILLARY HAVE PULLED OUT IN 2008 IF OBAMA HAD BEEN UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE FBI? Joe Trippi: Bernie has no path to the nomination. Delegate math is a heartbreaker. Clinton accepted reality in 2008 and Sanders should do the same.

OBAMA PRESSES ‘SMART GUNS,’ ANNOUNCES GUN CONTROL SUMMIT.

We’re planning a very different kind of gun control summit at the next Bullets & Bourbon on December 1 through 5 this year. The updated Website and registration system will be online later this week, but meanwhile we highly recommend this video about B&B’s newest sponsor, Ripcord Travel Protection, which provides unique travel insurance and evacuation services for hunting and other roads less travelled.

ROGER KIMBALL: Ted Cruz’s Tax Plan Can Unshackle America:

There are two basic and opposed views of economics. One, espoused by the administration in Washington DC, holds that economics is fundamentally about the redistribution of wealth. The other, espoused most powerfully by the Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, holds that economics is fundamentally about the creation of wealth.

By the time he leaves office, Barack Obama will have doubled the federal debt, bringing it up to an astonishing $20tn. And he has managed this despite taking in more tax revenue than ever before. Mr Obama has achieved another distinction: he has been the only president in history not to have presided over a single year of 3 per cent growth in gross domestic product.

Mr Cruz would change all that. How? At the centre of his economic plan are two imperatives: tax cuts and drastic simplification of the tax code.
Let us start with the cuts. His plan calls for a flat tax of 10 per cent on family income above $36,000. That is down from a top rate of 39.6 per cent today. At the same time, he would abolish the corporate tax (a variable rate that currently maxes out at 39 per cent) and institute a “business transfer tax” of 16 per cent. He would also abolish a host of other taxes, including the estate tax, payroll tax and taxes associated with “Obamacare”.

The upshot, according to the Tax Foundation, which has published a detailed review of the plan, is that the Cruz initiative would spark an explosion in economic growth. Over a decade, GDP would increase by 13.9 per cent above what is currently projected, wages would increase by 12.2 per cent and the US would see up to 5m new jobs.
But those numbers tell only a part of the story. The US tax code runs to some 70,000 pages. The Cruz plan would replace that creaking monstrosity. Instead of having an accountant produce a long and semi-intelligible document at great expense, individuals would fill out their taxes on a postcard. Mr Cruz also promises to abolish the Internal Revenue Service “as we know it”. Obviously, there would have to be a mechanism to ensure that taxes were collected. But the behemoth that is the IRS could be replaced with a vastly slimmed down operation.

But what about revenue? Could taxes be cut so drastically without creating deficits? The Tax Foundation estimates that the Cruz plan, after factoring in projected growth, would result in a $768bn revenue loss over a decade. Should we worry about that? No. This is less than 2 per cent of projected federal revenue from 2017-26, and it is a terrific investment. For every $1 of revenue loss, the Tax Foundation finds that the Cruz plan will generate $23 of new GDP, a phenomenal return on investment. This compares very favourably with Donald Trump’s plan.

The problem — and this is a feature to me, but a bug to the political class — is that it offers insufficient opportunities for graft.

SPACE: THE INVISIBLE ARMS RACE. We’ve finally admitted that the space race is on. Time for bold steps to compete.

An arms race is under way in space—insidious, invisible, and at this point probably inevitable. The Bush Administration’s dream that the United States could control access to earth orbit as the British had once controlled sea lines of communication has been, as the bureaucrats say, overtaken by events. So has the Obama Administration’s emphasis on international “cooperation” (the word appears 13 times in the first few pages of the Administration’s 2010 National Space Policy document), an approach that served chiefly to demonstrate that no international consensus on the future of space exists, and that none is likely. Even the sensible, if vague and entirely voluntary, “Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities” floated by the European Union and pushed hard by the State Department for most of a decade found only tepid support. It was easy for the Chinese and Russians to portray it all as just the latest example of Western imperialism. Earlier this year, the Code was quietly put to rest. Leading from behind on space, the United States has been outmaneuvered and left for dead.

Not so the Chinese and Russians, who occupy the diplomatic high ground with their Treaty on Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space (PPWT), all the time working feverishly to put their own weapons in space, and anywhere else they might do some damage, including, we can safely assume, in the cyber domain. Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation describes a recent reorganization of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) structure to emphasize “information dominance,” defined as the ability to exploit battlefield information while denying the enemy that same capability. The information satellites provide is key to power projection; there can be no “pivot” to Asia without satellites; so disabling or dismantling our space infrastructure is a high priority for Beijing. Kinetic hit-to-kill weapons like the one China tested in 2007 and again in recent years are one way of doing this, but hardly the most efficient. Far better in an “informationalized” war to ensure that the data satellites gather and transmit never makes it to the end user—or that it arrives there in a form that looks reliable but isn’t. It’s the perfect way for a country like China to leap over the present imbalance and arrive as a fully fledged and dangerous adversary at the next stage of conflict in space. The key words on this new battlefield are hack, dazzle, jam, and spoof.

For their part, the Russians recently tested a small, maneuverable “Luch” satellite dangerously near a commercial communication satellite operated by Intel Corporation in geosynchronous orbit. Satellites that can maneuver freely in space have several legitimate functions; they can serve as space tugs, moving satellites from orbit to orbit, or refuel, inspect, or repair them. They might also be used to shadow national security satellites, modify their orbits, hit them with a burst of electromagnetic energy, collide with them or perhaps plant listening devices or limpet mines on them. Ten years from now, space will be filled with small, highly mobile satellites like this, many of them put into orbit by commercial operators for legitimate purposes, but many others by states for other, less benign reasons.

I had some thoughts on this a while back.

ALSO THE OBAMACARE DEBACLE, THE LIBYA DISASTER, CHINA, RUSSIA, ETC. Obama report card: Lousy economy, Syria plague legacy.

I’M NOT SURE WHAT THE CORPORATE HIERARCHY IS ON THIS, but Comcast spokesman Al Sharpton does not approve of Viacom spokesman Larry Wilmore’s use of the N-word during Sunday’s White House Correpsondents’ dinner, the L.A. Times reports:

Larry Wilmore’s use of the N-word to President Obama at end of his White House Correpsondents’ dinner performance received the stamp of disapproval from the Rev. Al Sharpton.

“Many of us are against using the N-word period,” Sharpton said at MSNBC’s after party that followed the event at the Washington Hilton. “But to say that to the President of the United States in front of the top people in media was at best in poor taste.”

Left out of the L.A. Times article? Language that Comcast spokesman Al Sharpton deems acceptable in public events; Sharpton himself called then-New York Mayor David Dinkins the N-word in 1992.

JOEL KOTKIN: Hillary As Stalin to Obama’s Lenin.

YEAH, BUT SOONER OR LATER KIDS GROW UP: Obama to College Journalists Visiting White House: ‘I’m Counting On You’.

BECAUSE THE GOP LEADERSHIP SUCKS LIKE A BILGE PUMP? Why are so many people unaware that Congress repealed Obamacare & Obama vetoed the repeal? I mean, it’s just a guess, but it seems like a pretty safe one.

VIACOM SPOKESMAN LARRY WILMORE SMEARS FOX NEWS AS RACIST, HAILS OBAMA AS ‘MY N*GGA.’

In 2010, Jon Stewart warned Wilmore that his race card was maxed out; advice he sadly never heeded.

EMINENCE FRONT — IT’S A PUT ON:  Really successful people who were caught lying on their CVs.

Curiously, one of the worst liars about his salad days (certainly at least, during his salad days) and his would-be successor aren’t even mentioned.

As Glenn likes to say, we have the worst political class in our history — but the rot extends far beyond the world of politics.

Perhaps that explains why elites hold the middle class in such contempt; as Ace of Spades noted in 2011, “Our elites are fixated on how disappointed they are with the tawdry public precisely because that allows them to avoid examining their own colossal failures.”

OBAMA TO PRESS: YOU HAVE ‘RESPONSIBILITY’ ‘TO QUESTION,’ THANKS FOR WORKING ‘SIDE-BY-SIDE’ WITH ME.

Last night’s “Nerd Prom” marks the final days of, as former CBS executive Bernie Goldberg dubbed it in 2009, A Slobbering Love Affair between the media and Obama, which had begun in earnest the previous year:

Prom season means that graduation is soon to follow, and much like the bittersweet coda of American Graffiti, a very different relationship could be in store between the next president and, as Andrew Breitbart dubbed them “the Democrat-Media Complex,” which has chosen the form of its destructor. If so, a large swatch of the public won’t be very sympathetic to their plight; Andrew Klavan explores “The Media Corruption that Helped Spawn The Donald.”

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: McClatchy: Obama’s legacy: Politics of anger, fights, division.

Fist fights at campaign rallies. A major presidential candidate called a bigot and bully by members of his own party. Gridlock in Washington. And Americans downright pessimistic.

This is America’s politics today, seven years after Barack Obama was elected president with a promise to change it all.

The political change he predicted never appeared. Instead, partisanship and dysfunction have grown worse. His legacy on policies is more mixed. He did accomplish things, notably the Affordable Care Act. But his legacy on politics is another story.

Republicans and Democrats refuse to compromise, sometimes even talk. Congress has become more unproductive with lawmakers failing to pass budgets or even consider presidential appointments. And most Americans have little to no confidence in the federal government to tackle the problems facing the nation in 2016, according to a poll released in January.

Just Thursday, about 20 people were arrested after hundreds of protesters blocked an intersection and vandalized a police car outside a rally for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump at the Orange County Fairgrounds in California. Several fights broke out.

“It’s fair to say that President Obama entered office as chief executive of a divided country, and he’s done nothing noticeable to heal those divisions in his seven years,” said William Galston, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton and now a senior fellow at the center-left Brookings Institution.

Well, yes, it’s fair to say that because it’s true. In fact, that’s actually putting it pretty mildly.

IDIOCRACY WASN’T MEANT TO BE A DOCUMENTARY: Larry Wilmore Reflects on Obama’s Legacy at White House Correspondents Dinner: ‘You Did It, My N*gga.’

WELL, THAT WON’T DO MUCH TO BOOST THAT ANEMIC GROWTH: The Coming Tax Increase. “The debt held by the public has approximately doubled since President Obama took office and is now equal to 74% of gross domestic product. It is true that with the right policy mix, economic growth—stuck at just over 2% during the Obama “recovery”—will help close federal deficits and pay down the debt. At the end of World War II, for example, the debt-to-GDP ratio was at 104% and shrank to a low of 23% by 1974. But letting growth or future belt-tightening close the gap is the exception, not the rule. More often, higher taxes are the result.”

Well, if that’s how it’s going to be, I’ve got some revenue enhancement suggestions of my own.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?

New video from Prager University hosted by Caroline Kitchens, Senior Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute.

Earlier: College more dangerous than prison for women AND men when it comes to sexual assault, says Obama admin.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Speaker Disinvited from College Event after ‘Disrespecting’ Obama:

Students at King’s College in London no-platformed Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, after he criticized Obama’s decision to remove a bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the White House. Johnson had been scheduled to participate in a debate on the merits of the European Union, according to The Telegraph. 

Johnson accused Obama of having an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire” because of his Kenyan heritage. The event’s organizers deemed Johnson’s remarks unacceptable.

Of course it is. As a former resident of London once said, in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

JAY-VEE SHOOTS NEW YEARBOOK PHOTOS: New ISIS Threat in French Shows All Child Jihadis, Obama Images.

AMERICANS ARE SICK OF IDEOLOGY: Peggy Noonan explains why the Trump train is gaining speed, “Simple Patriotism Trumps Ideology.”

In my continuing quest to define aspects of Mr. Trump’s rise, to my own satisfaction, I offer what was said this week in a talk with a small group of political activists, all of whom back him. One was about to begin approaching various powerful and influential Republicans who did not support him, and make the case. I told her I’d been thinking that maybe Mr. Trump’s appeal is simple: What Trump supporters believe, what they perceive as they watch him, is that he is on America’s side.

And that comes as a great relief to them, because they believe that for 16 years Presidents Bush and Obama were largely about ideologies. They seemed not so much on America’s side as on the side of abstract notions about justice and the needs of the world. Mr. Obama’s ideological notions are leftist, and indeed he is a hero of the international left. He is about international climate-change agreements, and leftist views of gender, race and income equality. Mr. Bush’s White House was driven by a different ideology—neoconservatism, democratizing, nation building, defeating evil in the world, privatizing Social Security.

But it was all ideology.

Then Mr. Trump comes and in his statements radiate the idea that he’s not at all interested in ideology, only in making America great again—through border security and tough trade policy, etc. He’s saying he’s on America’s side, period.

Exactly. The average American doesn’t give a damn about either political party. They vote for one party over another simply because one party comes closer to reflecting their views than another, or because one candidate seems more genuine, or less corrupt, than another.  They don’t place either political party above their own self-interest, or the nation’s interest.  The GOP (as well as the Democrats) has driven most of these independent-minded Americans away by elevating party and politics above country.

Trump’s appeal is grounded in an absence of a rigidly defined, party-centric ideology, and his elevation of country over party. In other words, Trump–the quintessential political outsider–is an average Joe (albeit a very wealthy one).

EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES: As GDP Flatlines, Obama Brags About His Economic Record.

DUMB: Obama makes move on ‘smart guns’

President Obama on Friday announced new efforts to speed up development of so-called smart guns, the latest step in his final-year push to reduce gun violence.

Smart guns are weapons that use technological safety features designed to prevent accidental shootings, such as fingerprint activation that allows only designated users to fire the gun.

The Obama administration is developing guidelines so that gun manufacturers understand how they can meet law enforcement agencies’ needs for smart guns.

The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security are expected to complete the guidance in October, according to a new interagency report published Friday.

The Justice Department is also offering certain federal grants to state and local governments that purchase smart guns.

This is the Administration that couldn’t even roll out a functioning website on time, despite years of effort and a budget unlike any other in the web-development business.

WELL, THAT’S BECAUSE IT’S A MISERABLE FAILURE: Pew: Obamacare Support Sags.

Obamacare has always a partisan issue, and it’s only becoming more so, with its supporters roughly making up the core of the Democratic coalition. Tepid support among independent voters must be of concern to Dem leaders, but is perhaps attenuated by solid support among minorities. (44 percent of Hipsanics identified as independents in a recent Pew poll, for example.)

If Hillary Clinton wins in November, we can expect very little appetite in the White House for any kind of thoroughgoing reforms (unless, of course, events intervene and the whole system truly starts to totter). And that could indicate that the party lines will harden even more, making the ACA a prime candidate for political football for many an election to come.

It’ll be a mess for Hillary to deal with if she’s elected, with a lot of political pressure not to make the needed changes.

YOU AND I HAVE A RENDEZVOUS WITH SCARCITY: Obama is First President Ever to Not See Single Year of 3% GDP Growth.

(Headline from my February 24th 2009 Silicon Graffiti video, which predicted just such a scenario.)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: College more dangerous than prison for women AND men when it comes to sexual assault, says Obama admin.

The Obama administration has produced new statistics on prison rape which, taken in conjunction with its widespread claims about college campuses, imply that women and even men are safer from rape in prison than they are on college campuses.

In a recent report from the White House states that 8.5 percent of female inmates and 3.7 percent of male inmates experience sexual assault while in prison. More than half of these incidents are committed by prison and jail staff, though the report acknowledges that “many abuse incidents in prisons involve other inmates as perpetrators.”

If one takes these statistics at face value and compares them to other widely reported statistics used by the White House on campus sexual assault, one could conclude that sexual assault is far more common on college campuses than in America’s prisons. After all, the Obama administration loves to tout deeply flawed self-reported surveys showing 20 percent of women and 5 to 8 percent of men are sexually assaulted on college campuses over a four-year college career.

This would mean that men are twice as likely and women nearly three times as likely to be raped on a college campus as they are in prison.

At least it’s good marketing for Reynolds Online University:

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Assad siege of Aleppo could be ‘imminent,’ experts warn.

A government encirclement of the Syrian rebel stronghold of Aleppo could be “imminent,” according to military and humanitarian observers, some of whom point to United Nations-sponsored peace talks as having given the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad maneuvering room.

If Syria’s largest city is surrounded by government troops, the strategic situation in Syria could change very rapidly for the worse, not only for Syrians, but also for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—and for the Obama Administration, which has banked heavily on the crumbling peace talks to end five years of civil war and an expanding presence for ISIS amid the chaos.

The encirclement would also be a major strategic advance for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has drawn his forces in Syria, but has also been helping the Assad regime conduct more focused military operations under a two-month “cessation of hostilities.”

Smart Diplomacy™

I HOPE GOOGLE REALIZES WHO IT’S GOTTEN INTO BED WITH, as one of these things is not like the other:

● The Android Administration — Google’s Remarkably Close Relationship With the Obama White House, in Two Charts.

Is Google Getting Ready to Put Obama on Board of Directors?

Obama Stands Silent, And Even Piles On, As Europe Attacks Google.

Whether or not Obama lands on the Google board, it’s a very safe bet that after our semi-retired president leaves office, he’s about to become the next Al Gore and Jamie Gorelick, parleying staggering incompetence as a government official into millions of dollars of additional net worth as a boardroom-hopping corporate executive. Where’s that revolving door surtax when you need it?

AND TO THINK BARACK OBAMA ACTED AS IF ART HISTORY IS USELESS: Off the Beat and Into a Museum: Art Helps Police Officers Learn to Look. “To teach people how to notice details they might otherwise miss, Amy E. Herman, an expert in visual perception, likes to take them to museums and get them to look at the art. Recently she escorted a group of New York City police officers to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and asked them to describe some of the things they saw. . . . A painting has many functions. It’s a cultural artifact, an aesthetic object, an insight into a time and a place, a piece of commerce. To Ms. Herman, it’s also an invaluable repository of visual detail that can help shed light on, say, how to approach a murder scene.”

As Virginia Postrel noted, Art History requires the mastery of a lot of visual information, and places a lot of emphasis on accurate, formal description of images. That said, Obama had a point on the undervaluing of skilled trades.

YOU KNOW, THIS SHOCKED FACE IS GETTING KIND OF WORN: Obama Admin Dodges Congressional Inquiry Into Illicit Iranian Missile Tests .

DO THEY ACTUALLY HEAR THEMSELVES???? College more dangerous than prison for women AND men when it comes to sexual assault, says Obama admin.

A HILLARY ADMINISTRATION WILL DO FOR GENDER WHAT OBAMA HAS DONE FOR RACE RELATIONS: Elizabeth Warren Wants Men to ‘Share the Pain.’

AFTER HAVING MADE OBAMA IN 2008, THE POLITICO HAS CHOSEN THE FORM OF THEIR DESTRUCTOR.

Shot:

There was a telling confrontation on Obama’s third day in office, when he visited the West Wing pressroom to say hi, then bristled when a Politico reporter asked why he had nominated a Raytheon lobbyist to a Pentagon job despite having recently banned lobbyists from top posts in his administration. “I can’t end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I’m going to get grilled every time I come down here,” Obama complained. When the reporter tried again, Obama told him to save his questions for a news conference. Politico’s headline: “Obama Flashes Irritation in the Press Room.” To the president, it was an example of no good deed going unpunished—not just that he was grilled when he was trying to be polite, but that he was grilled over an exception to his rule against hiring lobbyists instead of credited for the groundbreaking rule. To the reporters, it was an early example of Obama feeling entitled to avoid probing questions about matters of public importance. They wouldn’t see much more of him in the press room.

“The Selling of Obama — The inside story of how a great communicator lost the narrative,” Michael Grunwald, the Politico, today.

Chaser:

Still, the baseline hostility between campaign and press corps was dictated by the candidate himself, and from the start Trump, often through his alter ego Lewandowski, sought to dominate and demean us. And besides, it quickly became clear that the campaign didn’t need more conventional tools of media management, given that its messaging operation primarily consisted of Trump’s mouth—and he often said outrageous and provocative things that guaranteed negative coverage.

* * * * * * *

For all its brass, though, the New York tabloid environment is insular, small and transactional, with an established set of protocols and a relatively limited cast of characters. Trump has a great instinct for what will hit, and has always served as his own publicist, cultivating relationships with reporters who play ball, planting tips, navigating negative stories through sheer bombast, ditching anyone who causes too much trouble—often by feeding scoops to competitors at their own organizations.

But the national press is much, much bigger and much harder to control. And it probably doesn’t help that, at 69, Trump faces a press pack chock full of millennials he’s never dealt with before. Ali Vitali at NBC, Sopan Deb at CBS, Jeremy Diamond and Noah Gray at CNN, and Kevin Cirilli at Bloomberg are all around my age—a few years out of college. It makes for a volatile mix, and might help explain Trump’s zigzag path between flattering and threatening, avoiding and bulldozing reporters as he searched out the elusive route to controlling our message.

Which is why if there’s one consistent theme to what I’ve experienced covering Trump, it’s the unpredictability. The handshakes sometimes come after the hardest slaps, and the doghouse is a short elevator ride away from the penthouse.

“Inside Trump’s Press Pen — A reporter’s first campaign job blows up into the biggest story in America,” 26 year old Ben Schreckinger, in way too deep at the Politico and apparently forgetting Saul Alinsky’s Rule #5, Rule 12, and a few other Rules for Radicals as well.

(Classical reference in headline.)

cruz_kasich_ghostbusters_article_banner_4-18-16-1

TED CRUZ PICKS UP BEST ENDORSEMENT YET: John Boehner Calls Cruz ‘Lucifer in the Flesh,’ Praises Obama:

Former House Speaker John Boehner reminded conservatives why they hate him at a speech at Stanford University Wednesday night. He vilified Ted Cruz while praising Barack Obama, accepted Donald Trump as the “presumptive nominee,” and had some of the kindest words for self-described socialist Bernie Sanders.

Unbelievably, Boehner compared Cruz to Satan himself. Granted, the former House speaker set a “joking, yet blunt” attitude, but he reserved no such vitriol for prominent Democrats like Obama, Sanders, and presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.

“Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said when asked his opinions on the Texas senator.

To be fair, Cruz certainly knows how to make Rules for Radicals, the political how-to guide Obama/Hillary guru Saul Alinsky dedicated to Lucifer work for him as well…

THE EX-SPEAKER SPEAKS: Boehner Uncorks on ‘Lucifer’ Cruz, Says He Wouldn’t Back Him in Fall.

“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner called Cruz on Wednesday during a talk at Stanford University, the student newspaper reported. “I have never worked with a more miserable son of a b—h in my life.”

This isn’t the first time Boehner has unleashed on Cruz: He’s previously called him a “jackass” and a “false prophet,” and his loathing of Cruz is legendary inside the Capitol.

Boehner always worked better alongside Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

EDIT: Ed Driscoll is apparently reading my mind…

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: House Committee Vote Could Set Women Up For Draft. This is one area where I agree with President Obama.

I agree with Stephen Green (below) that it would be better to end registration for men, but the current system is unsustainable. I don’t approve of the draft, but if we have one it should be nondiscriminatory. See this piece.

LAME DUCK WATCH: WAPO COOS OVER ‘SLY’ AND ‘SELF-AWARE’ OBAMA, ‘OUR FIRST COMEDIAN-IN-CHIEF:’

One obvious sign liberal journalists are already missing Obama? Celebrating him as a comedian. Washington Post gossip Emily Heil is a big fan of his comedic stylings, as the headlines proved:

  • For presidential humor, Obama will be a hard act to follow” (Style section)
  • HE’S A REAL STAND-UP GUY: As he prepares for his final White House correspondents dinner, Obama has already demonstrated his knack for edgy, self-aware humor.” (Cover of the Express, the free Post commuter tabloid)
  • Our first comedian-in-chief: Sly and self-aware, Obama raises the bar for presidential humor.” (Express story inside)
  • “Barack Obama, the first alt-comedy president” (online headline)

So thanks to his joke writers, as Heil eventually admits, Obama is the presidential equivalent of Jon Stewart, the nation’s Troll In Chief. The Post can’t say it wasn’t warned; back in June of 2008, Karl Rove was quoted as saying, “Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

Naturally, during the summer of the Styrofoam columns, the Huffington Post blew its dog whistle at Rove’s comment.

And yet once again, as Mark Steyn wrote in March of 2009 after Christopher Buckley, David Brooks and the Economist all were forced to admit how badly they misread Obama (read: mislead potential voters), “The nuancey boys were wrong on Obama, and the knuckledragging morons were right.”

So right that Obama went from being “standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God” as then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas orgiastically described him and “the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar,” as Rocco Landesman, Obama’s then-NEA president gushed, to being reduced to “Our first comedian-in-chief” – which apparently is meant to be a compliment.

I THINK HE SHOULD RUN THIRD-PARTY MYSELF: DNC chief: No pressure on Sanders to quit the race.

The Democrats’ election chief said Wednesday that party leaders fully expect Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to remain in the White House race through the entire primary season.

“We have 14 primaries remaining and, you know, our expectation is that this primary will run through its normal … process,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), told reporters in the Capitol.

Sanders is trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a wide margin in the delegate race, a gap that increased considerably on Tuesday after Clinton’s lopsided wins in a handful of Atlantic Coast primaries. While Sanders took Rhode Island, Clinton won Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Those dynamics have led some Democrats to call on Sanders to step aside so party leaders can focus their attacks on Republicans and the general election in November. But Wasserman Schultz applied no such pressure on Wednesday, saying the DNC is fully capable of overseeing the long primary contest while preparing for the eventual showdown with Republicans.

“June 7 is our last day for primaries, and … the decision of the candidates at that point will be theirs,” she said. “So we’re at the same time managing the primary nominating contest, making sure that … it’s handled in a neutral way. Alongside that we’re preparing for the general election.”

Wasserman Schultz also dismissed the notion that the long primary will harm the party in November.

“We walk and chew gum at the same time at the DNC,” she said.

Hmm, that’s not what Gen. Mattis says about Obama. But if I were a GOP strategist I’d have operatives all over social media enouraging Bernie to go third party, and encouraging his supporters to follow him out of the Democratic Party.

PRESIDENT OBAMA, VP JOE BIDEN, AND FORMER CLINTON ADVISOR PAUL BEGALA DEEM SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY UNPATRIOTIC.

Shot: “See, I think we should look at people who are trying to avoid U.S. taxes…Isn’t that unpatriotic?”

—Paul Begala, then-co-host, CNN’s Crossfire, August 1, 2002, segment titled, “Corporations Establishing Off-shore Tax Havens Called Unpatriotic; Will Hillary Run for President in 2004?”

Double-shot: “President Obama suggested it’s ‘patriotic’ for well-off Americans to pay more in taxes, bringing back an argument then-Sen. Joe Biden first made before the 2008 election.”

“Obama brings back Biden pitch, suggests tax-paying ‘patriotic,’” Fox News, August 4th, 2012.

Chaser: “EXCLUSIVE: Kerry, Heinz Family Have Millions Invested In Offshore Tax Havens.”

—Headline atop article by Richard Pollock, the Daily Caller, yesterday.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Donald Trump Is Not Your Father, Jim Geraghty writes:

There was a time when Republicans laughed at those who saw presidents as messiah figures destined to deliver instant relief from all of life’s problems. Obama supporter Peggy Joseph may be obscure nationally, but many conservatives remember her words from a 2008 rally, which perfectly encapsulated the ludicrous expectations for Obama’s presidency: “I never thought this day would ever happen! I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car! I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage! If I help him, he’s going to help me!”

To her credit, by the time she appeared in a 2014 documentary, Joseph had shed any naïve beliefs she once held about a president’s ability to relieve her of her problems. She now compares Obama to the Wizard of Oz — a man behind the curtain, “not who we thought or expected him to be.”

“What I learned was, never trust the wizard. It’s within ourselves,” she said. If Trump supporters somehow get their way, how long will it take them to learn the same lesson?

Read the whole thing.

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TIME TO UPDATE YOUR NEWSPEAK DICTIONARIES: “I’m not sure, but I suspect that once upon a time ‘juvenile delinquent’ was a liberal euphemism for ‘young criminal.’ As often happens, however, eventually even the euphemism is thought to be too harsh, and so a better one has to be found. And so one has: This Obama-administration press release yesterday talked a lot about ‘justice-involved youth.’”

Read the whole thing.

While nobody outside of the Ministry of Truth is better at euphemisms “created or saved” than this Orwellian administration, even for the Team Obama, that’s one “man-caused disaster” of a “workplace violence” euphemism, which really needs to be dispatched on its own “overseas contingency operation” stat!

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SHOCKED, SHOCKED: Obama Admin Accused of Misleading Congress on Cash Release to Iran.

ANDREW McCARTHY: State Department Still Covering for Clinton and Obama’s Benghazi Lies:

In March, the State Department quietly released records relevant to the Obama administration’s response to the September 11, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attack. Included are transcripts of the telephone call then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had on September 12, only hours after the attack ended, with then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil. As explained by Judicial Watch, whose Freedom of Information Act  lawsuit against the “most transparent administration in history” forced the belated disclosure, Mrs. Clinton flatly told Mr. Kandil, “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack – not a protest.

Kandil responded, “You’re not kidding. Based on the information we saw today, we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this is affiliated with al-Qaeda.”

Of course, “the film” Clinton was referring to was “Innocence of Muslims,” an obscure anti-Islamic video trailer that she, President Obama, and the administration tirelessly blamed for the attacks despite – let’s quote Clinton again – “know[ing] the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film.”

Read the whole thing.

WELCOME TO FANTASY ISLAND:

“Obama Takes Credit For ‘Saving the World Economy From a Great Depression,’” Tom Blumer wrote yesterday at NewsBusters. “At a townhall in London, Obama was asked: ‘After eight years, what would you say you want your legacy to be?’ Here was his response, as it related to the ‘world economy,’” Blumer writes, quoting the semi-retired president telling his London audience:

There are things I’m proud of. The basic principle that in a country as wealthy as the United States, every person should have access to high-quality health care that they can afford — that’s something I’m proud of, I believe in. (Applause.) Saving the world economy from a Great Depression — that was pretty good. (Laughter and applause.)

The first time I came to London was April of 2009, and the world economy was in a free fall, in part because of the reckless behavior of folks on Wall Street, but in part because of reckless behavior of a lot of financial institutions around the globe. For us to be able to mobilize the world community to take rapid action to stabilize the financial markets, and then in the United States to pass Wall Street reforms that make it much less likely that a crisis like that can happen again, I’m proud of that.

Ahem:

Listen to the president and one would think that he was in office during the financial crisis that began on September 15, 2008. For the nth time, Obama reminded the nation on 60 Minutes of the financial meltdown he inherited. That is his usual way of suggesting to the American people that they could hardly hope for normal times after six years of his own governance. In truth, Obama entered office on January 20, 2009 — over four months after the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that precipitated a general financial meltdown.

One would not expect Obama to fault past liberal congressional intervention in the financial sector that in large part forced the issuance of subprime risky mortgages, much less the earlier deregulation of the financial industry under Bill Clinton that helped fueled the rampant speculation. The videos of the sad congressional banter about supposedly insensitive questioning of the duplicitous and corrupt Fannie head Franklin Raines, or the self-important bluster of former Rep. Barney Frank, make a good 10-minute tutorial on the meltdown — namely how Wall Street sharks, hand-in-glove with liberal congressional operatives and Clinton appointees, offered federally “guaranteed” mortgages to those who had no ability to pay them back, fueling a phony real estate boom and overvalued stock market.

Obama might at least admit that when he entered office the panic had largely passed. The tools needed to deal with it that he embraced had months earlier been implemented by someone else. Indeed, Obama was president for just a few months before the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009 — well before the effect of any of the policies, good or bad, could have taken effect.

Our current economic mess — the worst post-recession recovery since World War II, more people out of work than when Obama took office, a steady decline in real family income, massive new debt — is largely a result of his own policies of five consecutive $1 trillion deficits, the Obamacare catastrophe, new burdensome and capricious regulations, near-zero interest rates, and the anti-business psychological climate brought on by constant hectoring of the “you did not build that” and “at a certain point you’ve made enough money” sort.

“Welcome to Fantasy Island,” Victor Davis Hanson October 5, 2014.

As Blumer concluded his article yesterday:

After setting up the conditions in February 2009 for an extended recession and historically weak recovery in the U.S., the idea Obama went to Europe two months later in April and then began “saving the world” is a sick joke only gullible, economics-ignorant reporters and leftists could possibly believe. Sadly, they’re the ones who still primarily control the news and other key institutions, so we’ll probably be hearing this crap for years on end — just like we’ve had to put up with the fiction that Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved the country from the Great Depression in the 1930s. The truth is that he lengthened it by seven years.

It took decades to overcome the all-encompassing myth created by leftist historians that FDR magically “saved” the economy in the 1930s. At least FDR’s rep was salvaged by winning World War II; in contrast, the scrotal-torque level of spin from Obama’s palace guard media and historians in the coming years will be staggering to watch – and push back against.

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YES, NEXT QUESTION: While Obama plays, the Defense Sec holds sway … Is Ash Carter picking up slack for the President?

Quite a damning series of juxtapositions at the new Heat Street Website, where Stephen Miller is credited for coining the “President Ash Carter” riff while our semi-retired president goofs it up during the last months as “Preezy of the United Steezy,” as NBC’s Jimmy Fallon dubbed him.

THIS HAS BEEN OBVIOUS FOR A WHILE, BUT IT’S NICE TO SEE IT IN THE WASHINGTON POST: Obamacare disaster will be Obama’s enduring domestic legacy.

JOHN KERRY APPARENTLY MISSED OBAMA’S MEMO ON THOSE EVIL OFF-SHORE TAX HAVENS: Seems the Secretary of State and his wife, heiress Teresa Heinz, have millions of dollars invested in at least 11 off-shore tax havens, mostly registered in the Cayman Islands, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group’s Richard Pollock. President Obama calls such actions “gaming the system” when Republicans like Mitt Romney do it.

“Well, I say it doesn’t look good by any means,” Susan Harley, deputy director of Congress Watch, the progressive watchdog group founded by Ralph Nader, told Pollock. “There’s always a question of whether it’s tax avoidance or tax evasion. We would expect our government servants to uphold the law. Those folks need to be held to the same standards as everyone else.”

Either Kerry missed the memo or laws are for, you know, the little people. Like you and me. Now, if we were among “the world’s richest and most powerful people have used offshore bank accounts to conceal their wealth and avoid taxes,” as Pollock describes them, perhaps we would have a different view of these financial tools.

PERHAPS THE VERY FIRST PERSON IN HIS LIFE TO ACTUALLY SAY “NO” TO HIM: Queen: You Can Bring Only 3 Choppers, Obama.

How many Walkmans did he bring?

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: How Smart Is Justin Trudeau?

Oh sure, Mackenzie King was Canada’s prime minister during World War II when his nation fought the Nazis in Europe, but could the stuffy old man do cool yoga poses like this one?
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David Solway analyzes the Canadian’s press’s Beatlemania-esque (or in the case of the DNC-MSM), Obamamania-esque reaction to the above image.

IT SMELLS LIKE HOPE: The smell of Obamacare’s Death Spiral in the Morning.

VLAD’S RENFIELD:  Obama dismisses Putin, but Czar is getting better of us again and again.  Hey, at least Obama attracts vermin, so all those small lives should be easy…

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Russia and China rush to fill Mideast void left by Obama.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: I WANT MY MONEY BACK:

After more than seven years of “hope and change” not just the US but the world seems to have arrived at a strange and unexpected destination.  Peggy Noonan, who endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, asks her readers if they’ve looked around lately and noticed how strange the scenery is.

Have you had your 2016 Moment? I think you probably have, or will. … My Moment came a month ago. I’d recently told a friend my emotions felt too close to the surface—for months history had been going through me and I felt like a vibrating fork. …

Because my country is in trouble. Because I felt anguish at all the estrangements. Because some things that shouldn’t have changed have changed. Because too much is being lost. Because the great choice in a nation of 320 million may come down to Crazy Man versus Criminal. And yes, I know this is all personal, and not column-ish.

But that was my Moment.

You’ll feel better the next day, I promise, but you won’t be able to tell yourself that this is history as usual anymore. This is big, what we’re living through.

As Richard writes, “The significance of Peggy Noonan’s 2016 moment is not only that it so perfectly coincides with the end point of seven years of progress towards Hope and Change, but it marks the moment when the penny finally dropped for the American upper middle class.”

But even at this late date, Noonan still can’t see that already chose the Crazy Man once, back in the fall of 2008.

Despite being a speechwriter in the 1980s for a man who spent decades doing his homework to transition from Hollywood studio system actor to president, Noonan didn’t recognize in 2008 that the DNC-MSM myth machine had created a fictitious construct as thoroughly fake as an movie character. Given a choice between someone whose narrative was as entirely contrived as a cartoon superhero posing in front of Styrofoam Roman columns, versus an earnest war hero and then-Alaska governor, Noonan, like many elites, went with the cartoon superhero. She apparently forgot to heed David Mamet’s warning that “If you’re in the con game and you don’t know who the mark is … you’re the mark.”

And apparently having that moment, experiencing that epiphany, is still too painful for her.

LEAVE IT TO THE GRAY LADY TO DESCRIBE JOHNNY MANZIEL AS A VICTIM: “In Johnny Manziel, a Human Cost to the N.F.L. Draft Machine,” someone at the New York Times actually wrote as a headline.

As the sports-oriented Deadspin blog notes in response:

It’s an irresponsible stretch to even suggest that Manziel’s precipitous draft-day fall had anything to do with his subsequent downward spiral. This is a person who had substance abuse problems before he left college, spent his entire life before entering the NFL with a shaky support system, and is and was, by all accounts, not a good person. The public eye post-draft wasn’t new to him—Manziel was one of the biggest college stars in decades, playing in Texas—and going to Cleveland might actually have lowered his local fame and reduced his circle of enablers.

When millionaire rock superstar Billy Joel inducted fellow millionaire rock superstar John Cougar Mellencamp into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, Joel said actually said in his speech: “Don’t let this club membership change you, John. Stay ornery, stay mean….You’re right, John, this is still our country and we’ll always be victims of powerful people.”

On today’s college campuses, as Jonah Goldberg noted last year after Columbia’s “Mattress Girl,” the fake Rolling Stone rape article, and the general tendency of college campuses to be hotbeds of false accusations of rape, racism, and other fever swamp delusions, the will to power derives from victimhood. Today’s Times headline is confirmation that contagion has spread from college campuses to the rest of the left as well.

Update: Obama stenographer Jeffrey Goldberg is also eager to play the victimhood game with Manziel:

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QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED. Nigel Farage: Why Does Barack Obama’s White House Hate The United Kingdom?

Flashback: “Many observers seem puzzled.  I’m not and neither is the UK press.  It’s about Kenya,” the blogger Baldilocks noted in March of 2009 when the Churchill bust was drop-shipped to Downing Street and Obama stiffed then-PM Gordon Brown.

Related: “Mr Obama’s catchphrase is ‘Yes, you can!’ — so why is he telling us Brits ‘No, you can’t'?”

Because the semi-retired president needs a nice change of pace from saying “No you can’t” to us Americans for the past seven and a half years.

QUESTION ASKED: “What would Andrew Jackson think of Barack Obama? Wow. I don’t think we can print Jackson’s reaction in a family web site. Therein lies the long, sad history of the Democratic Party. Harriet Tubman is far from ideal as the face of our $20 bill, but she beats the heck out of Barack Obama,” John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, along with Michael Ramirez’s cartoon picturing Obama “on the $20–no, wait, that’s $20 trillion–bill.”

Heh; click over for Ramirez’s cartoon.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Obama to send more U.S. troops to Syria.

EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES. . . Obama’s push to hire veterans is causing confusion and resentment, officials say.

BARACK BUTTERFIELD OBAMA: Our criminal justice system imprisons too many criminals.

Related: “Irony alert: President wants to make it easier for criminals to find federal employment.”

Not least of which, on January 20th of 2017.

I’LL TAKE DOOR NUMBER TWO, MONTY: Washington Post’s virtual Obama museum: ‘Cool,’ or ‘cult worship’?

The WaPo “answers the question, ‘What can we do to discredit ourselves as irrationally in the tank for Obama-ism?””, but then they’re far from alone in that department. The reckoning for the MSM near-monolithically selling out to BHO in 2008 and 2012 will certainly be fun to watch.

Speaking of which, as Investor’s Business Daily — which didn’t drink the Obama Kool-Aid — correctly notes, “Only 6% Trust Media, But It Should Be Less.”

CHELSEA CLINTON ON THURSDAY: MOM WILL CHANGE THE SUPREME COURT TO ALLOW MORE GUN CONTROL.

Hillary today: “I know how important gun ownership & particularly hunting is here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”

I know which Clinton I believe.

In late October of 2004, attempting to perform triage on his sputtering campaign, John Kerry walked into an Ohio grocery store with his campaign entourage and reporters and infamously inquired in a pandering tone, “Can I get me a hunting license here?”

In 2008, Obama filmed a campaign video in which he told voters in “I believe in the Second Amendment. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away… But I am not going to take your guns away. So if you want to find an excuse not to vote for me, don’t use that one because it just ain’t true. It ain’t true.”

Sort of a dry run for the 36 times or more he told Americans, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” I guess.

I don’t believe many sentences that emerge from the family who completed their stay in the White House in the 1990s by debating what the meaning of “is” is, but I’m certainly willing to take Chelsea at her word that mom wants to ban guns.

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Once We Had Some Muslim Friends — Leave it to Obama to alienate the proverbial Arab Street.

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HEH:

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SUIT CLAIMS FORMER FDA CHIEF HELPED HUBBY’S HEDGE FUND MAKE MILLIONS: Katie Watson of the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group reports that former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg is accused in a suit filed in federal court of using her office to clear the way to approval for Levaquin, a controversial antibiotic in which her husband’s hedge fund just happened to be highly invested.

“Once confirmed as FDA commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg acted as the instrumentality that all defendants used to perpetrate their conspiracy and racketeering enterprise by having her act illegally and outside the scope of her authority as FDA commissioner to suppress material information to plaintiffs and the public that Levaquin was inherently dangerous and in fact, deadly,” the complaint alleges, according to Watson.

Alexandra Walsh, an attorney for Hamburg, strongly disputed the suit’s claims, saying “Mr. Klayman’s allegations against Dr. Hamburg are patently false. There is no factual or legal basis for the lawsuit he has filed, and we are confident the court will dismiss his claims in their entirety.” Walsh was referring to Larry Klayman, attorney for the six plaintiffs in the case.

Hamburg was appointed by President Obama in 2009 and served until March 2015.

BUT WHEN WILL SHE SLEEP, WRECK OTHER ASPECTS OF THE ECONOMY, AND BURN ADDITIONAL AMERICAN EMBASSIES TO THE GROUND? Hillary Vows to Spend ‘Every Single Minute’ as President to ‘Change Gun Culture.

If we’re lucky, she’ll bring the same dedication and focus that Obama brings to his “every waking hour” serving as president.

TRUMP: PUT AMERICA FIRST. OBAMA: AMERICAN SOVEREIGNTY IS OUTDATED. “I’m sorry, but what the hell would you expect an obviously Marxist collectivist to say?”

REWRITING IS NOT THE WORD I’D USE: Texas Gov.: SCOTUS Will Be ‘Completely Rewriting’ Constitution by Favoring Obama in Immigration Lawsuit.

THE QUESTION IS, DOES HE KNOW HOW RIDICULOUS HE SOUNDS: Or is he so deeply indoctrinated he thinks this makes sense? Obama in Riyadh: Iran nuclear deal sign of ‘strength, not weakness’.

WITH “EARTH DAY” HOURS AWAY, THE OBAMAS PROVE HOW SERIOUS THEY ARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE.

STOP AND IMAGINE WHAT A HYPERSENSITIVE MAN LIKE TRUMP MIGHT DO WITH THE POWER OF THE PRESIDENCY.

Just imagine it: a hypersensitive man in the White House might start off his administration by flipping off the opposition with the words “I won.” He could tell intransigent fellow party members, “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother.” He could “joke” about auditing his enemies, and then look away when the IRS does just that. He could singlehandedly abandon a war his predecessor had won, purely out of partisan spite. He could rearrange the Middle East and then set it alight, to better match his socialist Ivy League faculty break room worldview. He could shaft Israel and hand Iran — Iran! — the Bomb. He could let Vladimir Putin overrun much of his neighboring countries and wide swatches of the Middle East. He could ignore a terrorist attack to go play golf. He could gin-up race riots in America.

Yeah, I know that all sounds like science fiction, but just stop and imagine with a hypersensitive man could do with the power of the presidency.

CAMILLE PAGLIA: Enough with the Hillary cult: Her admirers ignore reality, dream of worshipping a queen.

As a lifelong Democrat who will be enthusiastically voting for Bernie Sanders in next week’s Pennsylvania primary, I have trouble understanding the fuzzy rosy filter through which Hillary fans see their champion. So much must be overlooked or discounted—from Hillary’s compulsive money-lust and her brazen indifference to normal rules to her conspiratorial use of shadowy surrogates and her sociopathic shape-shifting in policy positions for momentary expedience.

Hillary’s breathtaking lack of concrete achievements or even minimal initiatives over her long public career doesn’t faze her admirers a whit. They have a religious conviction of her essential goodness and blame her blank track record on diabolical sexist obstructionists. When at last week’s debate Hillary crassly blamed President Obama for the disastrous Libyan incursion that she had pushed him into, her acolytes hardly noticed. They don’t give a damn about international affairs—all that matters is transgender bathrooms and instant access to abortion.

As always with Paglia, read the whole thing.

CHOOSE YOUR HISTORICAL TRUMP METAPHOR:

Donald Trump is the next Wendell Willkie! — says Scott Johnson of Power Line. 

Donald Trump is the next Oswald Mosley! — says Terry Teachout of Commentary.

Donald Trump is the next Roderick Spode! — says Roger Kimball at PJ Media.

Donald Trump is the next Barack Obama! — says Angelo Codevilla at the Federalist. 

A a wise community organizer seeking an employment promotion once told his media supporters, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” Why should his potential successor be any different?

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SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD BANK BRANCH: “As technology transforms banking, like it has so many other sectors, the consequence could be a dramatic decline in the industry’s outposts over the next decade, experts say…Former Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins laid it out in particularly stark terms in a speech last fall: The global industry, under pressure to meet customer demands for automation and cheaper services, will slash employment and branches by 20 percent to 50 percent over the next decade, he estimated.”

But without low-wage local tellers, who will be there for the successors to Occupy Wall Street to harass?

SEATTLE MAN OF TOLERANCE AND DIVERSITY CONFESSES TO VANDALIZING CARS  WITH TRUMP BUMPER STICKERS: “KING 5 News in Seattle reports today that a man has admitted to vandalizing a car because of the ‘hate symbol’ displayed on it — a Donald Trump bumper sticker. However, Riley Siva pleaded not guilty this morning to a charge of malicious mischief, despite confessing to police at the scene of the crime.” The ponytailed Siva ‘told police he considered the Trump sticker on the bumper of a Ford Focus in Gig Harbor a hate symbol, and he was ‘improving the community’ by slashing the car’s tires and pouring yogurt into the sunroof, causing an estimated $5,000 in damage.”

Some things never change; in 2012, there were multiple reports of cars with Romney bumper stickers being keyed. In 2004, Glenn reported from the bullet-riddled Bush-Cheney headquarters, amidst reports of Bush-Cheney-adorned cars being keyed and causing road rage in leftists who espouse an ideology that preaches tolerance and diversity. Speaking of which, back then, a T-shirt manufacturer sold a Shirt with the image of a scratched-out Bush-Cheney 2004 bumper sticker and the words “A person of tolerance and diversity keyed my car.” Someone with a Café Press account should update the design for 2016.

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CHANGE: ‘Deep And Disturbing’ Decline Found In World Media Freedom.

The United States was ranked 41st, up from 49th last year, while Russia’s placement rose from 152nd in 2015 to 148th this year.

Incidents of governments physically impeding access to media outlets increased by 16 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to the group’s “infrastructure” indicator. That includes governments blocking Internet access and destroying broadcast equipment and printing presses.

Other tools increasingly being used by governments to impede independent reporting include laws forbidding, for example, “insulting the president” or “supporting terrorism,” the group said.

“Growing self-censorship is the knock-on effect of this alarming situation,” it said.

How does a country with “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” baked into its Constitution end up ranked down in the 40s?

Or maybe the question is old news, even to members of our White House Press Corps.

THAT MEANS IT’S WORKING: UnitedHealth Group to exit Obamacare exchanges in all but a ‘handful’ of states.

“We will be down to a handful of states that we will be actively participating in the exchanges,” Stephen J. Hemsley, chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group said in an earnings call, noting that the small market size and greater expense of patients insured through the marketplaces led the insurer to make the decision.

UnitedHealth plans to withdraw from health insurance marketplaces in Arkansas, Michigan, Connecticut and parts of Georgia. The decision is a sequel to an announcement by executives late last year that the insurer had suffered financial losses and might leave the health exchanges altogether in 2017. UnitedHealth reported that it expects to lose $650 million in the exchanges in 2016.

UnitedHealth is only a minor player on the exchanges, yet the company still expects to lose most of a billion dollars just this year.

But UnitedHealth is hardly alone. Even the pro-ObamaCare Kaiser Family Foundation said that “Something has to give” on the exchanges, and that “Either insurers will drop out or insurers will raise premiums.”

BARACK OBAMA IS THE ONLY SANE MAN IN THE WORLD’S ROOM. SOURCE: BARACK OBAMA.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: About Obama’s Receding Tide of War… from Claudia Rosett.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BLOWS OFF ANOTHER CONGRESSIONAL SUBPOENA FOR OBAMACARE DOCUMENTS: But it’s for our own good, you see, because we don’t need to know why all but a handful of the Obamacare co-ops have or soon will fail.

DOES SHE HAVE INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION FOR THIS CLAIM? Michelle Obama: I’ve Been Victimized By Sexism – Men Used To Whistle At Me!  (For extra frosting on the idiocy cake note she said this in ARGENTINA.  The lack of understanding of Latin cultures this betrays might actually form a black hole* that sucks our entire universe into it.  You have been warned.)

*Added for the benefit of those even less informed than Michelle Obama: Black hole is not actually a racist term.  Here’s an explanation of Black Hole for students k-4.  Ask someone to explain the hard words.

ANOTHER REASON WHY I DRINK: THIS is our political class. Obama Admin Unsure If Iran Spent $3 Billion in New Cash on Terrorism.

I DUNNO, THERE’S A LOT OF COMPETITION FOR THAT SLOT: The Ugliest Piece Of Barack Obama’s Legacy.

FRACKERS ARE DOING MORE FOR AMERICA THAN OBAMA’S ENTIRE FOREIGN POLICY AND ENERGY TEAMS: US Energy Consumption Nearly Eclipsed by Surging Production.

A COLD-EYED VIEW OF ALLIES HAS LEFT OBAMA WITH FEW OVERSEAS FRIENDS:

For someone who preaches the importance of diplomacy and outreach, even to longtime enemies, President Obama can be awfully tough on his friends.

In recent months, he has offended most of the United States’ Persian Gulf allies. “All I need in the Middle East is a few smart autocrats,” he joked privately, according to a recent profile in the Atlantic magazine. Publicly, he has said he “weeps” for Saudi and Kuwaiti children.

The United States’ European allies, he complains, have grown too dependent on American firepower to keep them safe.

Even the United Kingdom, a U.S. “special” partner, has received criticism. Obama seemed to blame the postwar chaos in Libya on British Prime Minister David Cameron, who he said “became distracted by other things” and didn’t do enough to bring order to the fractious country.

* * * * * * * *

Still, when Obama is standing with the Saudi king, the British prime minister or the German chancellor, talking about their countries’ enduring alliance, it’s possible that some may be thinking back to an interview the president did late last year with comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

“How many world leaders do you think are just completely out of their mind?” Seinfeld asked Obama.

“A sizable percentage,” the president replied without missing a beat. “Some of these people, you meet them, you’ll just be chatting and you look in the eyes and go, ‘Oh, this guy’s gone.’”

And just imagine what the Washington Post would be writing about the guy if they weren’t completely in the tank for him.

Related: As Austin Bay noted last month, Obama Needs to Get Over His Self-Serving Guilt Trip.

PRESIDENT PEACE PRIZE TO SEND MORE TROOPS AND APACHE HELICOPTERS TO IRAQ.

UPDATE [From Glenn]: Remember this?

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WHY OBAMA IS UNTEACHABLE: “Mr. Obama’s distrust of America’s motives throughout history was learned from [radical Palestinian activist Edward Said]. Couple that with the anti-American vitriol of Mr. Obama’s longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and you produce inevitably Mr. Obama’s personal ideology,” Jed Babbin writes. “It is only by this analysis can we account for Mr. Obama’s actions since he became president.”

Read the whole thing, which helps place headlines such as “Congressman blasts Obama admin for not designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist org” into context.

Related: As Austin Bay noted last month, Obama Needs to Get Over His Self-Serving Guilt Trip.

NOW OBAMA IS USING REGULATORY “DARK MATTER” – THINK BLOG POSTS – TO RUN OUR LIVES: New report out today from the Competitive Enterprise Institute documents yet another disturbing way President Obama and the federal bureaucracy are doing end-runs around democracy.

“Agencies are increasingly using these informal documents to create official regulations with consequences, like recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidance claiming landlords and home sellers who don’t rent or sell to convicted criminals are violating the Fair Housing Act,” reports Katie Watson of the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.

“These guidance documents are “purportedly not legally binding,” but they still “cajole and intimidate” people and businesses into complying with the agency, CEI said. Most new rules never reach the attention of the media or Congress,” Watson said. Go here for more.

21ST CENTURY DILEMMAS: Was your favorite rapper invited to the president’s criminal justice reform meeting or dissed?

Shot:

obama_meets_with_rappers_tweet_4-19-16

Chaser: Rapper Rick Ross’s Ankle Monitor Goes Off During Minorty Youth Empowerment Program at White House. “According to TMZ, Ross’s ankle monitor, which he must wear as a condition of his release on kidnapping and assault charges last summer, beeped loudly shortly after the president concluded a speech. Ross was arrested in June 2015 on kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated battery charges after allegedly pistol-whipping a man who had been doing repair work on his house. The kidnapping charge was added after it was alleged that the man was physically prevented from leaving Ross’ house.”

DO THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY HEAR THE WORDS COMING OUT OF THEIR OWN MOUTHS?  And how do they manage not to die laughing? Obama’s Security Advisor: ‘Promoting Sustainable Development’ Will Help ‘Defeat ISIL’s Ideology’.

A WEAK PRESIDENT MAKES A STRONG PEOPLE PREY: (And now he’s running to the Russians for help.  This will end well.) Obama Asks Putin to Help Halt Assad Offensive in Syria.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: The Obama Crime Wave Comes to Minnesota.