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IT’S MORE OF A GIFT, REALLY: Stephen Green: Obama Sells Out Israel To Iran.

UPDATE: Pentagon declassifies report, exposes details of Israel nuke program. “The Pentagon has just revealed a stunning amount of information on some of Israel’s the most closely guarded secrets, including details of its nuclear program. I haven’t the vocabulary strong enough to express what I think of the people who ordered and executed this.”

Two thoughts: (1) If the Obama Administration wants to ensure that no ally will trust the United States again, they’re doing what it takes; and (2) If I had as much to hide as the Obama Administration does, I’m not sure I’d start a leak-war.

BYRON YORK: Did you know Obama just took new executive action on immigration? “This week President Obama took unilateral executive action — again — to change the nation’s immigration laws. Almost no one noticed. Obama intends to make it easier to bring more foreign guest workers to the United States — likely at significant cost to workers already here — by loosening the rules governing something known as the L-1B visa program. Under the program, a multinational company with offices in the United States can move workers from abroad to live and work in the U.S. for as long as five years in what is known as an intra-company transfer. There are almost no rules concerning what those workers can be paid, so there is no barrier to a company firing American employees and bringing in workers from foreign facilities to replace them at much lower pay. . . . Also, under Obama’s new rules, Customs and Immigration Services adjudicators will not be able to consider whether or not there are American workers available to do the job when determining whether to grant an L-1B visa.”

As I’ve suggested, this kind of thing is a ripe target for the GOP.

INTERESTING THAT DEMOCRAT MENENDEZ HAS BEEN NEUTRALIZED: New Jersey Republicans Set Stage for Fight on U.S.-Cuba Relations.

Lawmakers are always eager to use appropriations bills to make political statements; this year, House Republicans are using the power of the purse to weigh in on President Barack Obama’s move to normalize U.S. and Cuba relations.

GOP lawmakers began to set the stage Wednesday, when New Jersey Republican Reps. Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance and Tom MacArthur officially asked senior appropriators to withhold necessary funding to fulfill the diplomatic process unless the Cuban government agrees to extradite copkiller Joanne Chesimard, an enemy of the Garden State and a longtime fixture on the FBI’s “most wanted” list.

Chesimard was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in 1977 of killing a New Jersey state trooper. Two years later, she escaped from her correctional facility and ultimately received political asylum in Cuba.

“It is unacceptable to me that President Obama would even consider normalizing relations with a regime that harbors someone convicted of murdering one of New Jersey’s finest, not to mention oppresses its own people and violates basic human rights and freedoms,” MacArthur said in a statement.

“The fact that Cuba flat-out refuses to extradite Chesimard and questions the judgment of our legal system proves they are not ready to continue discussions to normalize relations with the United States,” Garrett added in a separate quote accompanying the release of a letter the three lawmakers sent to the chairwoman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign operations, Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., respectively.

Full text at the link.

WE TRADED FIVE HIGH-RANKING JIHADISTS FOR A DESERTER: Bergdahl Charged With Desertion.

Related: Jen Psaki said Obama was “familiar” with the desertion accusations before making the deal.

DICK CHENEY: Obama to blame for Islamic State in Iraq, warns against nuclear Iran.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday night said President Obama “abandoned” Iraq despite warnings of chaos from Pentagon advisors, and the result is that “now you’ve got [the Islamic State] controlling a third or more of the country.”

In a forceful foreign policy address that was cheered at a fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Cheney also declared that America must never let Iran get a nuclear weapon.

Just a reminder: As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq that Obama and Biden were bragging. Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot of people will pay a steep price for the Obama Administration’s fecklessness.

Related: National Journal: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.

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 over the next few months.

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?

WE TRIED THAT “DON’T BE EVIL,” THING, BUT IT ADVERSELY IMPACTED SHAREHOLDER VALUE: Google Makes The Most Of Close Ties To White House.

On Nov. 6, 2012, the night of Mr. Obama’s re-election, Mr. Schmidt was personally overseeing a voter-turnout software system for Mr. Obama. A few weeks later, Ms. Shelton and a senior antitrust lawyer at Google went to the White House to meet with one of Mr. Obama’s technology advisers.

By the end of the month, the FTC had decided not to file an antitrust lawsuit against the company, according to the agency’s internal emails.

It is unusual for White House aides to talk with officials at a company or agency about law-enforcement matters involving the company or agency. Officials in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division typically don’t meet with the White House during major investigations.

Yeah, but people who help swing elections are unusual too.

OBAMACARE — THE PLAN THAT’S SO AWESOME, NO POLITICIAN WANTS IT TO TAKE EFFECT UNTIL AFTER THEY’RE RE-ELECTED! Democratic Senators Beg For Another Obamacare Delay.

WHEN “WAR ON WOMEN” RHETORIC JUMPS THE SHARK: Think Progress claims Ted Cruz is anti-woman because he supports a flat tax.

The liberal website Think Progress is out with a hit piece claiming Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas is the most anti-woman politician in America … because he supports a flat tax.

No, really.

In an article titled “Ted Cruz just laid out the most anti-woman agenda yet,” TP author Kay Steiger sought to begin the “war on women” chant against Cruz by attacking policy positions few would think of as specific to a gender.

Steiger achieved this by looking at certain polls showing women split on issues or less enthusiastic than men about certain issues, as if that makes Cruz’s stance anti-woman.

Steiger lists the repeal of Obamacare as somehow being anti-woman — not only because of the contraception mandate, but also because “Women have decidedly mixed views on Obamacare, but some recent tracking polls have shown approval of the health care law getting a slight edge among women.” (Of course, if women are that closely divided on the issue, couldn’t Obamacare itself be considered “anti-woman?”)

Steiger also claims that Cruz’s agenda is anti-woman because he’s for the flat tax and abolishing the IRS. After admitting that “There’s little polling” on these matters, Steiger found one poll from 2012 that showed the flat tax was 10 points more popular with men than with women.”

Steiger uses similar polls showing women support a path to citizenship and gun control to show that Cruz’s views are somehow harmful to the gender.

Note to Think Progress: Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean they are actively trying to hurt you.

Well, to be fair, Think Progress spends its time actively trying to hurt people who don’t agree with it, so it’s an understandable mistake.

STEVEN HAYWARD: Could Liberal Disgust With Campus Brownshirts Be Reaching Critical Mass? “Left unsaid in any of these lamentations, however, is the deliberate role of the Obama Administration in fomenting this campus climate with its extreme application of Title IX.”

OBAMA IS ENRAGED … by Netanyahu quoting Kerry at him. Well, it’s bad enough to have Kerry as Secretary of State, without people rubbing your nose in it.

Related: Advice to Israel: Beware Of Obama.

First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet.

He lies to the public, ignores the Constitution, inflames race relations and urges Latinos to punish Republican “enemies.” He abandons our ­allies, appeases tyrants, coddles ­adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast.

Now he’s coming for Israel.

Barack Obama’s promise to transform America was too modest. He is transforming the whole world before our eyes. Do you see it yet?

Against the backdrop of the tsunami of trouble he has unleashed, Obama’s pledge to “reassess” America’s relationship with Israel cannot be taken lightly.

Perhaps America should reassess its relationship with President Obama.

ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS: 60 Minutes: Lone vet returns to Iraq to fight ISIS. “I’m not here serving my country — I’m here serving Christians.”

UPDATE: More, from Power Line: “The emergence of ISIS in Iraq is attributed to the withdrawal of American forces by President Obama in 2011 by one of Logan’s eloquent Christian interlocutors at one point.” Do tell.

Plus, John Hinderaker’s thoughts: “My own view is that our government should dispatch whatever forces are necessary to Iraq and Syria and destroy ISIS, as promptly as possible. Lest there be any misunderstanding, I mean that we should ‘kill ourselves out of this war’ by annihilating every person who resists on behalf of that devilish movement.” Works for me.

SO THE ENEMY IS USING THE INTERNET, AND OUR OWN SOCIETAL OPENNESS AND DIVERSITY, AS A WEAPON: ‘Behead them in their own homes’: ISIS publishes ‘kill list’ online of names, photos and addresses of 100 US military members. I have a solution for this, but Obama won’t pursue it.

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Decoding Obama’s Mandatory Voting Fantasy.

All of this starts to sound, dare I say, rather un-American. See, mandates are the ways of totalitarians. Americans believe in freedom. If you don’t want to vote, don’t. Some elections just aren’t worth your vote. Some elections, you might not find a single candidate to be acceptable. If you choose not to vote, you still have made a choice.

But this is a President that seems all too comfortable with mandates, rules, edicts, and all too uncomfortable with freedom. Years ago, Dorothy Rabinowitz called Obama the “alien in the White House.” She wasn’t talking about where Obama was born. She was talking about how Obama doesn’t fit into the American experience of freedom or love of country.

Obama playing with the deeply offensive idea of mandatory voting only adds to this assessment.

So why do progressives want to force everyone to vote? It’s critical to understand this, because mandatory voting isn’t the only process scheme they’ve cooked up to transform the nation.

Obama’s comments flow from how progressives view voting. They don’t view elections as individual Americans carefully assessing candidates and casting an informed ballot for the candidate for whom they believe is the most qualified.

Instead, to progressives, elections are about flexing collective political muscle.

Always the collective with these people.

JUST SIX MONTHS AGO, IT WAS AN OBAMA “SUCCESS STORY.” Losing Yemen.

The last US special forces have been withdrawn from Yemen without exciting much notice from the US press. Max Boot tweets: “All US SOF evacuating Yemen. Huge win for AQAP, huge defeat for US. How many foreign policy disasters can we handle?” Reuters reports, “the United States has evacuated its remaining personnel, including about 100 special operations forces, from Yemen because of the deteriorating security situation there, U.S. officials said on Saturday.” This means that the last vestiges of what the Obama administration only recently touted as their model counter-insurgency operation are gone. The collapse has flown largely under the media radar.

Last week Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post reported that $500 million dollars in American supplied weapons are now in the hands of “Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda”. The Islamist blitzkrieg is living off huge quantities of captured US materiel.

And, really, it was just 6 months ago that Obama was touting Yemen as a success.

STARBUCKS: Where Only The Coffee Is Black! It’s not shocking at all that this lame “conversation about race” stuff is coming from an organization that’s as white as a Netroots Nation conference, an Obama campaign HQ, a New Republic alumni get-together or a Vox editorial board meeting.

The primary purpose of race-talk in America today is to allow elite whites to silence and shame non-elite whites. Thus, it’s not surprising that the people pushing it are . . . a bunch of elite whites.

BUT IN THE UNITED STATES, EVEN OBAMA HASN’T BEEN ABLE TO KILL IT: Why Shale Fails Abroad:

There’s been a fracking party raging for years now, but apparently the United States was the only one invited. Years after the shale boom took off here in America, the rest of the world is still woefully behind in developing their own shale reserves, which naturally raises the question: why is shale failing abroad? . . .

Earlier this week Royal Dutch Shell announced it would put its shale operations in South Africa on hold after delays in the permitting process and the drop in the global price of oil soured its initial hopes. Opaque regulations and bureaucratic snarls also helped kill shale proposals in places like Poland and Lithuania.

China is estimated to have nearly twice as much shale gas as the United States (it has by far the world’s largest reserves), but its formations are in remote regions that lack important infrastructure like roads and pipelines. Moreover, China’s rocks are more “crunched” than America’s relatively even-layered “wedding cake” geology, further complicating efforts there.

Local protests have also posed a large problem in virtually every country with significant shale reserves, from the UK to Poland to China. Unlike the rest of the world, America affords property owners the rights to what’s underneath their property as well as what’s on the surface. These mineral rights have helped overcome the kind of not-in-my-backyard thinking that has stopped operations elsewhere in the world.

Well, good. A world in which the US is the biggest petroleum producer sounds good to me.

SMART DIPLOMACY: Assad crosses Obama’s imaginary red line.

TRAINING: Pentagon To Conduct “Realistic Military Training” For War On American Soil Against “Insurgents.” They’ve been doing this for a long time. And let me note, for those fearing some sort of coup, that if the Obama Administration were planning on that, they probably wouldn’t have spent so much time gratuitously pissing off the military and law enforcement communities. . . .

JUSTICE: Judge Hanen: Sanctions possible in Obama immigration action.

The Justice Department might face sanctions if a federal judge determines its attorneys misled him about whether part of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration was implemented prior to it being put on hold by the judge.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen last month halted Obama’s plan. The president’s plan would spare from deportation up to 5 million people in the U.S. illegally.

At a court hearing Thursday in Brownsville, a Justice Department attorney apologized to Hanen for any confusion after the U.S. government revealed 100,000 individuals were granted three-year reprieves before the injunction.

Hanen didn’t seem to buy the explanation, saying the three-year reprieves were part of the contested action.

Well, the DOJ certainly hasn’t given us a lot of reasons to trust it lately.

“SMART DIPLOMACY” UPDATE: Diplomatic disaster: Obama humiliated by allies’ rush to join China’s new bank.

Related: Australia Ready To Join $100B China Bank.

MARK STEYN: The James Taylor Doctrine.

Related: James Baker Advising Jeb Bush, Keynoting J Street Conference. ” Baker is of course infamous for reportedly saying in private conversation, while George HW Bush’s secretary of state, ‘F**k the Jews, they didn’t vote for us anyway.’ But his antipathy towards Israel is well documented. He wanted the US to punish Israel for destroying Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. He hated Netanyahu as early as 1990, barring him from entering the State Department’s building. And last but not least, he co-wrote the Iraq Study Group’s 2006 paper that recommended (among other things) that the US tilt its foreign policy away from Israel and towards Syria and Iran, advice that President Obama seems to have taken to heart.”

Poor Israel. All the worst people in our horrible political class hate her.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Bibi Is Back: The Consequences for U.S.-Israeli Relations.

Bibi’s win is another in a long string of Middle East failures by President Obama and will add to the belief by both our friends and our enemies in the region that the costs of being Obama’s friend can outweigh the costs of his enmity. Egypt’s President Mubarak thought he was Obama’s friend; so did his successor President Morsi. The Syrian moderate rebels expected their friend in the White House to back them. The Zionist Union thought that promising to work more closely with Obama was the ticket to an electoral win in Israel. Meanwhile, as Bibi can now testify, those who defy this White House don’t seem to pay much of a price: just ask Syria’s Assad or, for that matter, his patrons in Iran. ISIS has more visibility and power in the Middle East than al-Qaeda ever did, while the Sunni Arab tribes of Iraq who saved America’s bacon during the surge and who counted on American influence to protect their interests in postwar Iraq are being overrun by Shi’a militias. . . .

If Bibi’s election message is that the peace process as we have known it needs fundamental change and reshaping, he is right. But if his intention is to kill it, or even to proclaim a moratorium during which Israel will create so many new facts on the ground that the concept of a Palestinian state no longer looks viable, then U.S.-Israeli relations will continue to cool.

Yeah, I’m not sure anything Bibi could do would make Obama happy, except maybe die. And I don’t think the Palestinians have done anything to deserve their own state.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “I’ve been watching Obama’s growing hostility for years now. The Jewish analogy I have used for him is Pharaoh. If you recall in Exodus, the Jew-hating ruler was so bent on destroying the Jews, he ignored all of Mose’s warnings and destroyed himself and his country instead. The term for that is hubris. Self-defeating arrogance that puts yourself above Hashem. In my estimation, Obama has only experienced three plagues so far, with four lying in wait. He’s cursing the wind now and it won’t be long before he completely loses control. It should be quite a sight.”

THAT SEEMS ABOUT RIGHT: Media declare loser in Israeli election: Barack Obama.

YOU DON’T WANT TO COME TO THE ATTENTION OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OR ITS MEDIA SERVANTS: Ferguson home values are plummeting, and residents are feeling the pain: Down nearly 50 percent since Michael Brown’s death, new data show. A lot of people are seeing their life savings wiped out, but at least Obama got a base-activating issue.

WHERE HIS SYMPATHIES LIE: Obama Won’t Congratulate Bibi — But He Congratulated Erdogan, Sisi, Rouhani … and Putin!

ROGER SIMON: Why Netanyahu’s Victory Augurs Well for Republicans in 2016. “And this all happened despite Obama’s get-out-the-vote henchmen being sent over to Israel – with a yet unclear degree of administration backing – to support the Zionist Union (i. e. Labor Party) opposition to Likud with all their modern electoral techniques that were so successful in 2012. This makes their failure all the more glaring – and disturbing to the administration. Another loser in all this is Obama’s Iran deal, assuming that would ever happen anyway. It makes the 47 senators who sent an open letter to Khamenei seem more than ever the deliverers of simple truth.”

OBAMACARE: IT’S ABOUT HELPING THE POOR! OR, YOU KNOW, HELPING YOURSELF, WHATEVER: “Massachusetts Health Connector officials behind the state’s failed health care website have racked up more than $170,000 in taxpayer-funded expenses, including a Boston Harbor summertime boat cruise, luxury hotel stays, ‘appreciation’ meals for staffers and contractors — and a $285 Obamacare cake commemorating the launch of the Affordable Care Act.”

UPDATE: A reader suggests a better headline: LET THEM EAT OBAMACAKE! He’s right! It’s better.

ISRAEL: Netanyahu Declares Victory. Biggest loser? Obama, who put it on the line with money and advisers to defeat him.

WILL BAUDE: Could Obama Bypass the Supreme Court? I have to say, though, the transformation of Obama into President Orval Faubus is a delicious irony, and one in keeping with the Democratic Party’s history. . . ..

MITT ROMNEY’S POST-ELECTION LIFE IS MORE INTERESTING THAN OBAMA’S: Mitt Romney to Box Former Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield.

THE WORSE THINGS ARE FOR THE PETRO-DICTATORS, THE BETTER: Irrepressible US Shale Defies OPEC.

When OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, chose not to cut production last November, it effectively consigned its members to a prolonged period of low prices and the financial strain, palliated only by the hope that the bear market would soon squeeze American shale producers. The petrostate cartel essentially abdicated its market-fixing role on a bet that the relatively high cost of hydraulic fracturing would make American firms the world’s new swing producers, but as the FT reports, that bet is looking more and more suspect. . . .

OPEC is now saying that it expects U.S. production to possibly taper off in late 2015, certainly later than most member countries would like. Every month that American output continues in the face of cheap pricing puts tremendous strain on petrostate regimes that rely so heavily on oil sales for budgetary revenue. The Saudis have a sovereign wealth fund big enough to allow them to weather these market conditions for another 20 years, but the rest of OPEC is not so well-prepared.

The cartel is next scheduled to meet in June, but all signs point to continued inaction as the group battles for its share of an oversupplied market. Meanwhile, U.S. companies will continue to find ways to bring down their own costs. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: bet against American innovation at your own peril.

Yeah, even Obama hasn’t been able to kill it off entirely.

MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION IN HISTORY: House Democrats angry over Obama’s classified trade meeting. “House Democrats are criticizing President Obama’s administration for holding a classified briefing on trade with top administration officials, saying it’s an attempt to push a trade program in secret.”

SO I GUESS ALL THE TALK ABOUT TOM COTTON BEING A TRAITOR IS NO LONGER OPERATIVE: Democrats prepared to buck White House on Iran nuclear deal.

Related: More Democrats are going their own way, and that’s away from Obama.

SO THE WHITE HOUSE IS PLUGGING LYFT, which I guess means that Uber didn’t get its money’s worth for hiring David Plouffe.

TO BE FAIR, IF YOU SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN CLOSE QUARTERS WITH OBAMA, KNOWING IT WAS YOUR JOB TO TAKE A BULLET FOR HIM, YOU’D DRINK TOO: Hi. I’m the Secret Service. And I’m an Alcoholic.

IN LIGHT OF OBAMA’S NUCLEAR POLICIES, I think it’s time to rerun my “Duck and Cover” piece again.

WAIT, I THOUGHT THE USE OF SUCH MARTIAL METAPHORS WAS AN INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE: Dem lawmaker to colleagues: Keep your ‘powder dry’ on Iran.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday suggested members of both parties in Congress hold off criticizing the Obama administration’s push for a deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

“I think it’s appalling to interfere in a negotiation like this that the commander-in-chief is engaged in,” Schiff said on “Fox News Sunday,” referring to the open letter from 47 GOP senators addressed to Iran’s leaders saying a deal would not hold after President Obama leaves office.

“I think that Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate members ought to keep their powder dry. Let’s see whether there is a deal. Let’s see what the terms of that deal are,” Schiff said.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the fourth-ranking Senate Republican, offered no indication on the same program that he regretted signing the letter.

“I think by signing that letter, we focused the attention where it should be, on the debate about … Iran with a nuclear weapon,” he said.

Obama plans to give away the store. He doesn’t want people calling attention to that. Hence the furious pushback against critics, including this absurd effort by the Christian Science Monitor’s Howard LaFranchi to compare Cotton to “Hanoi Jane.”

INFLECTION POINT: Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the Benghazi investigating committee, concedes that there is reason for the continuing inquiry.

Plus, from the comments: “It would appear that Cummings is alluding to some very unpleasant revelations are about to come out and that somehow they will make Hillary look very bad and Obama will be portrayed as a ‘victim’ of her incompetence, mendacity or whatever.”

FUNNY HOW SINCE OBAMACARE, ALL THOSE “EARLY DETECTION” TESTS THEY USED TO PUSH HAVE BECOME BAD: CTA No Better Than Stress Test for Coronary Disease. “Patients with symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) who underwent coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) did not have better clinical outcomes than those who had functional testing. . . . Using CTA did not reduce the composite incidence of death, myocardial infarction, hospitalization for unstable angina, and procedural complications at 12 months. Event rates were low in both groups: 164 patients (3.3%) in the CTA group and 151 patients (3.0%) in the functional testing group. Overall radiation exposure was higher in the CTA group compared to the functional testing group, which included nuclear stress testing, stress echocardiography, and exercise electrocardiogram. One third of patients in the functional-testing group had no radiation exposure at all.” I’m not saying this is wrong, I’m just noticing.

NOTE THAT THIS IS HAPPENING DESPITE THE BEST EFFORTS OF THE NARRATIVE POLICE:

Events overseas are upending long-settled expectations about the 2016 presidential campaign.

In the two years after Barack Obama’s re-election, both political parties assumed that the 2016 election would hinge almost exclusively on the economy. As unemployment gradually subsided as a public issue, other economic concerns—such as stagnant wages, low labor-force-participation rates and declining social mobility—came to the fore. Potential presidential candidates in both parties jostled for field position as champions of opportunity for the middle class.

These issues will still be pivotal next year. But the Islamic State militants’ rise, the Russian threat to the peace of Europe and the Iranian challenge to stability in the Middle East have sparked increasing public worries about America’s security. Defense and foreign policy will not be as dominant in 2016 as they were in 2004, but they will be far more important than in 2008 and 2012.

The accumulating evidence from high-quality public-opinion research is hard to ignore. A Quinnipiac University survey released March 4 found that terrorism now trails only the economy as a top public priority: 67% of the American people regard Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, as a “major threat” to U.S. security. The public is not satisfied with the Obama administration’s response to this threat. Only 39% approve of the president’s handling of terrorism (down from 52% a year ago), while 54% disapprove. When it comes to ISIS, the public’s view is even more negative, with only 35% approving.

These sentiments translate into support for much more assertive policies.

People turned on Bush in 2008 not because they thought the war on terror was a failure, but because they thought he’d won.

ASHE SCHOW: Georgetown University lawyer details the burden placed on colleges by campus sexual assault policies.

At a panel Thursday discussing campus sexual assault and due process, the general counsel for Georgetown University lamented the constantly changing rules being forced on colleges and universities by Congress and the Obama administration.

“Part of what is hard, honestly, as an institution, is the playing field changes with every OCR resolution,” Lisa Brown, who is also the university’s vice president, said at a panel put together by the American Constitution Society. “You implement the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter, then you have the [Violence Against Women Act] reauthorization, then you have [Office for Civil Rights'] Q&A and then you have the White House task force report and you have all these resolution agreements.”

The onslaught of government regulations started in 2011 with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ “Dear Colleague” letter, which reinterpreted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to classify sexual misconduct as a form of discrimination.

In 2013, after a lengthy battle in Congress, President Obama signed a reauthorization of VAWA, which also added new rules for colleges and universities in regards to Title IX.

Then in April 2014, OCR issued a question-and-answer document regarding Title IX that further clarified the requirements schools must follow in adjudicating sexual assault. At the same time, the White House Task Force created a year earlier by Obama issued its first report with additional requirements.

I hope the next GOP administration will be equally considerate.

THIS SEEMS TO GO WELL WITH THE DOWD PIECE JUST BELOW: Imagining Scott Walker vs. Hillary Clinton.

Out walks Clinton and Walker. They shake hands and Walker offers his arm as they walk over to the podiums. The image of a boy scout walking a senior citizen across the street comes to mind. Throughout the debate, she calls him Scott; he calls her Mrs. Clinton. She really is old enough to be his mother. Whenever she talks about the 1990s, his team shoots out e-mails to the media reminding the press that in the 1990s, he was younger than Chelsea is now, but he didn’t get a six-figure deal from a TV network for doing nothing. It’s the opposite of 2008, when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) looked grandfatherly and harried in comparison to then-junior Sen. Barack Obama.

He talks about having to earn everything he’s gotten. Nope, he doesn’t have a famous name or rich friends or Ivy League degrees. He’s much like people all around America. He can’t believe the nerve of some politicians who act like the government belongs to them instead of the people. Three times he’s gone to the voters in four years and been honest and forthright about who he is, what he’s done and what he intends to do. He’s run a state successfully, effectively and transparently. There is no stench of corruption.

Plus: “The contrasts don’t end there. She helped create and still clings to the Obama administration’s failed foreign policy. Walker can tell the bad guys from the good guys.”

ASHE SCHOW: Georgetown University lawyer details the burden placed on colleges by campus sexual assault policies.

At a panel Thursday discussing campus sexual assault and due process, the general counsel for Georgetown University lamented the constantly changing rules being forced on colleges and universities by Congress and the Obama administration. . . .

The onslaught of government regulations started in 2011 with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ “Dear Colleague” letter, which reinterpreted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to classify sexual misconduct as a form of discrimination.

In 2013, after a lengthy battle in Congress, President Obama signed a reauthorization of VAWA, which also added new rules for colleges and universities in regards to Title IX.

Then in April 2014, OCR issued a question-and-answer document regarding Title IX that further clarified the requirements schools must follow in adjudicating sexual assault. At the same time, the White House Task Force created a year earlier by Obama issued its first report with additional requirements.

“We are trying so hard to get it right for students and you have constantly these things coming in,” Brown said.

It’s understandable that colleges and universities would have trouble providing a fair process when these documents present a bias against the accused student and require additional resources be spent on training administrators and providing services for accusers.

It also is a reminder that the system set up to adjudicate sexual assault is grossly inadequate. Without a clear, single idea out of the federal government, schools are going to continue the current process of caring more about their reputation than their students.

If you care more about your reputation than your students, both will suffer.

NEW YORK POST: Paging Eric Holder:

Remember how Eric Holder had threatened to disband the Ferguson, Mo., police department on the grounds it was racist?

And before that, how he was asking Judge Shira Scheindlin to grant his Justice Department oversight of the NYPD if the judge ruled against stop-and-frisk?

Well, maybe the Justice Department should look closer to home.

The Washington Post reports that two senior Secret Service agents — one a member of President Obama’s protective detail — last week drove right through a White House barricade into an ongoing investigation, right next to a suspected bomb.

Overruling agents at the scene, a supervisor ordered the two men sent home without even a sobriety test; they were later given lenient temporary assignments.

This comes on top of other scandals at the agency, including agents’ use of prostitutes on overseas trips and a recent breach that saw a knife-wielding man get inside the White House.

The Secret Service, of course, is not the only federal police agency that’s had its share of problems since Obama took office.

Thanks to administration stonewalling that saw Attorney General Eric Holder cited for contempt of Congress, we still don’t know the full story behind the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ “Operation Fast and Furious” — in which licensed firearms wound up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

So we’re with Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds on this one: Team Obama probably should spend more time fixing the law-enforcement agencies that are its responsibility rather than sliming ones that aren’t.

Insufficient opportunity for graft, I guess.

WELL, OBAMA SENT HIS CHICAGO CREW TO BEAT HIM, AND THEY HAVE THOUSANDS OF YEARS’ WORTH OF DEAD PEOPLE TO VOTE OVER THERE: Bibi in Serious Trouble with Only Days to Go Until Election: Making sense of why Netanyahu is performing so badly in the polls.

ED DRISCOLL: Why is America Ignoring the Centennial of First World War? “It’s that last item that’s key — Wilson’s hardline stance against free speech was so virulent, it caused his fellow ‘Progressives’ to quickly rebrand themselves, even before he had left office, as ‘liberals.’ He’s the direct predecessor to much of Mr. Obama’s anti-free speech, anti-journalistic, anti-American, pro-racialist worldview. No wonder Wilson been airbrushed out of the left’s collective memories — with much American domestic history during World War I along with it.”

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Men Who Would Be Kings. “Rumors that Vladimir Putin is sick or has been deposed, fueled by his recent absence from public events are a reminder of the very real defects of autocracy. The problem, as Shakespeare noted, is that kings however well guarded, pampered and doctored eventually die. Age, disease and mischance take their toll and often leave a country, so recently dominated by a single godlike figure, without any process of orderly succession. . . . In functioning democratic societies by contrast, the president or prime minister is merely an agent of “we the people”. If a stroke should take him, as it did Franklin Roosevelt, he would be instantly and seamlessly replaced by a designated successor, who might even be a mere former haberdasher and high school graduate. One moment nobody knew who Harry Truman was and the next he had the authority to drop the Atomic Bomb. A democratic leader does not derive power from himself; rather it derives entirely from strong institutions based on popularly mandated policies. The advantages of a democracy are so great that Ross Douthat is not a little outraged and greatly mortified by the unabashed admiration of the Obama administration staffers for ‘Caesarism.’”

The advantages of democracy for a society are only salient to the extent that you care about the welfare of that society.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Drunk Secret Service agents disrupted bomb investigation at White House.

For all the attention the Obama Administration has paid to the Ferguson Police Department, they don’t seem to be doing a very good job with the law enforcement agencies that are actually their responsibility.

THEY HAVEN’T GIVEN UP ON GUN CONTROL: The Hill: Dems Push ATF To Revive Bullet Ban:

Congressional Democrats are pressuring the Obama administration to move ahead “swiftly” with a proposal that would ban a form of armor-piercing ammunition.

In a draft letter first obtained by The Hill, Democrats are urging the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to use his “existing authority” to keep “dangerous ammunition out of our communities.”

“We hope that the Bureau will swiftly review comments on the proposed framework and issue a revised proposal that will address the danger posed by handguns that fire 5.56mm and other rifle ammunition,” Democrats write in the letter.

The ATF had sought to prohibit gun companies from manufacturing or selling 5.56 mm projectiles for M855 cartridges, arguing they are a threat to law enforcement officers because they can be used in handguns.

But the proposal generated a firestorm of opposition from Republicans and gun groups, who denounced it as an attack on the Second Amendment that could open the door to sweeping restrictions on ammunition.

With the backlash growing, the ATF backed down earlier this week, shelving the proposal indefinitely to allow time for “further study.”

House Democrats in their letter say they are “very disappointed” that the ATF delayed the rule.

Eternal vigilance and all that.

JOHN HINDERAKER: How Barack Obama Undercut Bush Administration’s Nuclear Negotiations With Iran.

DAVID RIVKIN & ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY: The Federalism Fallacy in King v. Burwell: A new interpretation claims to protect the states, but would actually hurt them. “Particularly notable is this: In every single instance where the Supreme Court has invoked the clear statement rule, it has been to prevent Congress from using its enumerated powers in a manner that harms the states as states. The clear statement rule is utterly inapplicable, however, when Congress uses its power directly on citizens. And in the Affordable Care Act, when Congress exercises its taxing power to grant (or revoke) tax subsidies to individuals, that power operates directly on individuals, not on states. This is an extremely important distinction.”

MEGAN MCARDLE: Lending Bankrupt Students A Hand:

It is a great shame of the American financial system that we do not allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy. There’s no logic to it: “Well, you can’t pay all your other debts, but apparently, you can pay this one, even if it’s larger than all the others.” Its exclusion from the bankruptcy code, like the rules surrounding taxes, are a bit of special pleading from the government, an assertion that government obligations are somehow immune from the rules surrounding other sorts of debt.

As part of changes to the federal student loan program, the Barack Obama administration will be looking at relaxing the restrictions on bankrupting student loans. This is a change we should be looking at. But it has to be done the right way. . . .

At the very least, however, we could contain some of the damage by imposing a time limit on your ability to bankrupt loans — say, no bankruptcy until you’ve been out of school for 10 years. This would at least discourage the tactic that caused legislators to enact the student loan exception in the first place: that of taking out huge loans to attend professional school, then declaring bankruptcy as soon as you graduate.

Two thoughts: (1) I actually sympathize with many of these folks because, as has become increasingly clear, they were deliberately lied to by institutions of higher education in order to get the money. So bankruptcy is fair. But the institutions that lied should pay a price. Which leads to suggestion (2): The GOP should come up with a proposal that is significantly friendlier to borrowers, but that punishes the higher-ed institutions. That would neutralize the real purpose of this initiative, which is to buy votes for Democrats, while punishing the guilty. Who, conveniently enough, are overwhelmingly Democrats.

Of course, that’s probably true of the people in debt trouble, too, so it all evens out: Washington, DC has most-indebted students of any place in the nation.

I THINK BARACK OBAMA MAY HAVE MENTIONED THIS A WHILE BACK: Ashe Schow: Hillary’s Problem Is That She Just Isn’t Likable. “She rarely takes questions from reporters and it’s easy to see why. She doesn’t like being questioned. The more she’s questioned, the more unlikable she becomes.”

Related: Mollie Hemingway: A Line Edit Of Hillary Clinton’s Disastrous Email Press Conference. It’s an old-fashioned Fisking!

DAVID WEIGEL: Lindsey Graham was joking about that whole coup thing.

Well, since it was contingent upon him being elected President, it was never much of a threat, but as Allah has noted, Graham has a tendency to make “jokes” along those lines. And given Barack Obama’s “joking” about auditing his enemies, I’m not sure how big a pass politicians who joke about the abuse of power should get.

IT’S NOTHING COMPARED TO YOUR “JENJHIS KHAN” FLOOR SHOW, YOU PUTZ: Kerry: ‘Utter disbelief’ at Iran letter. Hey, Tom Cotton didn’t even pretend to throw his medals over the White House fence.

Meanwhile, a flashback to 2007:

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama led a field of Democratic presidential candidates offering their proposals to end the war in Iraq during a “virtual town hall meeting” hosted last night by liberal activist group MoveOn.org.

“All the happy talk will not change the grim situation on the ground,” Mrs. Clinton said, adding that she favors a withdrawal beginning within 90 days. “If President Bush won’t end the war in Iraq, when I’m president, I will.”

The New York Democrat also said she supports talking with Iran and Syria about Iraq.

“I applaud Speaker Pelosi,” she said, when asked about California Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Syria, despite objections from the White House.

Mrs. Clinton declined to say whether she would support a bill cutting off funding for troops in Iraq if Mr. Bush vetoes the current Senate supplemental-funding bill, which includes a timetable for withdrawal.

So, like I said, shut up, putz. Nobody respects you: Not the Iranians, not Americans (on any side), and most clearly, not President Obama, or he wouldn’t have put you in this absurd position.

MICKEY KAUS: “Looking for Hillary alternatives: Has Sheryl Sandberg ruled out running for President? I don’t think so.” Well, her latest oped, telling men to do the dishes, may not help with the coveted white male vote. And it’ll do even worse with the nonwhite male vote.

UPDATE: From the comments: “The woman the Dems will anoint is Michelle Obama.” Well, she’ll lose the hungry-schoolchild bloc.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Secret Service being investigated for drunk-driving incident, report says. “One of the officers involved in the alleged incident is a high-ranking member of President Obama’s security detail, according to the Post. . . . Officers allegedly witnessed the incident last Wednesday and wanted to arrest the agents involved. But they were told by a superior to let them go.”

A QUESTION FOR DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS EVERYWHERE: Does The Obama Administration Think It Can Bind The United States To An International Agreement Without Congressional Approval?

Plus: “What does the president think he is negotiating if he intends to keep Congress in the dark and present a fait accompli? The State Department spokeswoman was unintelligible on the point in the daily briefing.” Obama’s big problem is that nobody trusts him

And note: A couple of weeks ago, it was beyond the pale of decency to ask if Obama loves America, but today it’s fine to call 47 Republican senators traitors.

ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY & DAVID RIVKIN, JR.: When bad Obama policies collide: How the president’s immigration amnesty will undermine Obamacare.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

THERE NEED TO BE CONSEQUENCES AT THE ATF: 52 senators warn of sweeping ammo bans, say Second Amendment ‘at risk.’

A majority in both the Senate and House — 52 senators, 238 House members — have joined to oppose the Obama administration’s move to ban a popular type of ammo used in the top-selling AR-15 rifle and pistol because it pierces police body armor.

A week after the House members, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, sent a letter of opposition to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley echoed that in his own letter signed by 51 others.

In their letter, the senators said that the 5.56 M855 “green tip” cartridge was exempted in a 1986 law, along with other rifle ammo from bans on armor-piercing rounds. The reason: popular rifle ammo is not used in shootouts with police.

They also raised new concerns that the administration appears poised for a much wider ammo ban.

Maybe we should all just try ignoring Obama’s rules, the way he ignores ours.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Obama Has a $100M Plan to Fill the Tech Talent Shortage.

At its core, TechHire aims to convince local governments, businesses, and individuals that a four-year degree is no longer the only way to gain valuable tech skills.

“It turns out it doesn’t matter where you learned code, it just matters how good you are at writing code,” Obama said. “If you can do the job, you should get the job.”

That’s an idea that training startups like Codecademy and General Assembly, as well as online course companies like Coursera, have been pushing for years. Now, the White House is urging businesses and local governments to embrace that concept, as well.

In Silicon Valley, the idea of non-traditional training as a viable alternative to college is a familiar concept. In the rest of corporate America, not so much.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen. And this is terrible news for four-year institutions if it takes off. Kind of ungrateful of Obama, since higher ed was his biggest source of donations and manpower, but hey, expiration dates. . . .

RICHARD EPSTEIN: ObamaCare’s Tangled Web. “The hard question is whether it is the job of a court to ratify the sins of a government agency, given the dreadful precedent it would create for all future cases. The better choice, on balance, seems for the Court to strike down the IRS regulation and for Congress to work out some fix.”

SOCIALISM ALWAYS STARTS WITH THE SAME PROMISES, AND ENDS WITH THE SAME EXCUSES AND ACCUSATIONS: Kevin Williamson: The Left’s Mess In Venezuela:

Venezuela had a good run of it for about five minutes there, at least in public-relations terms. When petroleum prices were booming, all it took was a few gallons of heating oil from Hugo Chávez to buy the extravagant praise of House members, with Representative Chaka Fattah (D., Philadelphia) issuing statements praising Venezuela’s state-run oil company “and the Venezuelan people for their benevolence.”

Lest anybody feel creeped out by running political errands for a brutal and repressive caudillo, Joseph Kennedy — son of Senator Robert Kennedy — proclaimed that refusing the strongman’s patronage would be “a crime against humanity.” Kennedy was at the time the director of Citizens Energy, which had a contract to help distribute that Venezuelan heating oil — Boss Hugo was a brute, but he understood American politics.

Celebrities came to sit at his feet, with Sean Penn calling him a “champion” of the world’s poor, Oliver Stone celebrating him as “a great hero,” Antonio Banderas citing his seizure of private businesses as a model to be emulated in the rest of the world, Michael Moore praising his use of oil for political purposes, Danny Glover celebrating him as a “champion of democracy.” His successor, Nicolás Maduro, continued in the Chávez vein, and even as basics such as food and toilet paper disappeared the American Left hailed him as a hero, with Jesse Myerson, Rolling Stone’s fashionable uptown communist, calling his economic program “basically terrific.”

Some of the more old-fashioned liberals at The New Republic voiced concern about Venezuela’s sham democracy, its unlimited executive authority, political repression, the hunting down of government critics, the stacking of elections and the government’s perpetrating violence inside polling places — but Myerson insisted that Venezuela’s “electoral system’s integrity puts the U.S.’s to abject shame.” Never mind that opposition leaders there are hauled off to military prison after midnight raids. Vice President Biden, who can always be counted on to cut straight to the heart of any political question, ran into Maduro in Brazil and, noting the potentate’s thick mane, commented: “If I had your hair, I’d be president of the United States.” Tragically for the Sage of Delaware, hair transplants don’t work that way.

That is all going down the memory hole. The Obama administration has announced economic sanctions on Venezuela’s rulers and its intelligence agents, citing the “erosion of human-rights guarantees” – erosion, as though this were something new, as though Hugo Chávez hadn’t been a tyrant back when President Obama’s ally Representative Fattah was carrying his political water all over the eastern seaboard. In the New York Times’ account of Venezuela’s woes and Maduro’s misrule, there is no mention at all of the critical role the American Left played in lending legitimacy to Chavismo, of the so-called liberals and progressives who denounced legitimate protests against Maduro’s brutality as nefarious U.S.-backed coup attempts, who remained — and remain — silent on the regime’s censorship, political repression, torture, and economic incompetence.

Memory holes go with leftism, too.

HE’S WHERE BUSH WAS IN 2007, BASICALLY: Even a plurality of Democrats want to move on from Obama. By 2023, will the New York Times be cropping Obama out of front-page photos? “Democrats ages 18 to 29, surprisingly, tend to disagree that the next Democratic nominee must pledge to continue down the course set by Obama. Those ages 30 to 44 strongly disagree with this assertion. Only 33 percent of Democratic voters in their 30s and early 40s think the next Democratic nominee must be an Obama Democrat. Similarly, voters who make less than $50,000 are not thrilled about a third term for Obama.”

BYRON YORK: Does Hillary email flap mean trouble ahead for White House? “So: Obama didn’t know, even though White House officials exchanged emails with Clinton. Is that possible?”

IT’S POTEMKIN BIOS ALL THE WAY DOWN: Flashback: Obama claims 1965 Selma march led to his birth . . . in 1961. My dad was there marching at Selma in 1965. Mitt Romney’s dad was there too, marching alongside MLK. Where was Barack’s dad in 1965?

And for that matter, why were Bill and Hillary Clinton no-shows at Selma this weekend, choosing instead to party with Pussy Riot in Miami?

FOLLOWING OBAMA’S LEAD BY IGNORING LAWS THEY DON’T LIKE: Sledding as a Revolutionary Act: The children who defied the rules to play in the snow on Capitol Hill stand in a grand American tradition. Actually, of course, it’s different when people entrusted with political power break the laws.

STEALTH GUN CONTROL: LaPierre: ‘Next 700 days are the most dangerous’ for 2nd Amendment.

Maybe we should all just do like Obama — ignore laws we don’t like, and then viciously attack anyone who tries to enforce them.

HOLMAN JENKINS: How the Oil Export Ban Chokes the Fracking Boom: The energy renaissance was fun while it lasted, but age-old Washington laws and lobbyists may finally prove its undoing.

Oil is overflowing U.S. storage facilities partly because of the 40-year-old export ban. The wave of bankruptcies and layoffs that many have predicted for the U.S. energy sector may finally be coming, but less because of the distressed price of oil than because producers will have to stop producing if they have nowhere to send their output. Today’s oil export ban was part of a spasm of nonsensical responses to the 1970s, all of them producing disasters on their own different schedules. Price controls on gasoline, the first stooge, quickly failed amid long lines at gas stations. Fuel-economy rules for auto makers, the second stooge, persist to this day, and played an unsung role in driving the auto industry into bankruptcy by forcing it to lose billions trying to compete in the small-car market with the Japanese.

The third stooge of 1970s energy policy, the ban on U.S. oil exports, is now getting ready to produce its own unique pratfall. Thanks to the fracking boom in Texas and North Dakota, America is producing more light sweet crude than domestic refineries can handle. Oil producers were already being denied a premium of $12 a barrel by not being allowed to export this oil. Soon the only option may be to shut down production altogether.

Oil has been one of the few boom industries in Obama’s America, creating a disproportionate share of new jobs. Among many stupidities, very light petroleum known as a condensate can be exported if it happens to come out of a gas well. If the same material comes out of an oil well, it can’t be exported without special permission. Ultra-light crudes account for a high proportion of booming Eagle Ford Shale production in Texas. Such crudes are especially coveted by Asian refiners, which means domestic producers are leaving a large premium on the table.

Who wins? Domestic refiners get artificially cheap oil to run their plants. An industry mythology claims consumers also benefit thanks to cheaper gasoline. Don’t buy it. Gasoline flows freely in and out of the country, so its price is set by the world market.

Clearly, comrades, rather than opening up crude oil exports, we must close the Gasoline Export Loophole!

EXPIRATION DATE, REACHED: 20 Times Obama Administration Officials Said No Iran Deal Is Better Than a Bad Deal.

THE EMILY LITELLA PRESIDENCY: Obama: DOJ right not to charge Ferguson cop.

President Obama on Friday defended the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to bring civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot dead Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014.

Obama said during a town hall in South Carolina that he had “complete confidence and [stood] fully behind” the DOJ’s decision regarding Wilson, whom said he killed Brown in self defense.

“We may never know exactly what happened, but Officer Wilson — like anyone else who is charged with a crime — benefits from due process and a reasonable-doubt standard,” Obama said, fielding a question about why the DOJ didn’t charge Wilson.

“If there is uncertainty about what happened then you can’t just charge him anyway, just because what happened was tragic,” Obama added, noting that it was “an objective, thorough, independent federal investigation.”

The case, which sparked national protests, fueled concerns over use of force by police and raised debates about racially charged policing tactics.

The whole “hands up, don’t shoot” thing was a lie.

SAY WASN’T HE JUST CRITICIZING OBAMA’S IRAN POLICY? Feds prepare criminal corruption charges against Senator Bob Menendez. This stuff goes back before the 2012 election, but it’s coming to a head now? I question the timing.

WELL, IF THE THREAT OF SOCIAL UPHEAVAL IS ALL IT TAKES TO SWING THE SUPREME COURT, THEN I’M PREPARED TO DO SOME UPHEAVIN’: Unintentional self-parody alert: Dana Milbank predicts “social upheaval” if the USSC rules against Obamacare.

Didn’t lynch mobs once make similar threats when it looked like black defendants might get acquitted?

THIS IS THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD GOVERNMENTAL OVERREACH: Sled On! Residents Defy Ban and Sled Down Capitol Hill.

District of Columbia residents who took a stand against a ban on sledding on Capitol Hill drew dozens of reporters to the West Lawn Thursday afternoon as snow blanketed the Capitol grounds. But for the kids and parents, this wasn’t exactly major news. They just wanted to enjoy the rare inches of snow in the nation’s capital.

“I think it’s crazy, there’s so much going on in the world,” Capitol Hill resident Lyndsey Medsker told CQ Roll Call. “But I think sledding is something that people can rally behind and there’s no reason for people to oppose it. … I think all around the country when kids have snow days, they like to go out in the snow and play and sled. And we live in an urban area where people don’t have backyards and their own spaces to do so, so this is our space.”

Medsker organized the “sled-in” starting at 1 p.m. Thursday after news broke Wednesday night that the Capitol Police Board denied a request from Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., to temporarily waive the ban on sledding ahead of the major winter storm.

“That’s when I decided that we were going to come anyway,” Medsker said. She also started a Change.org petition asking that the policy be scrapped, and that has garnered more than 800 signatures so far.

Medsker also tried to sled on the Hill two weeks ago, but was told by Capitol Police that she and her two young boys had to leave. She said they weren’t given a reason, but were told those were the rules.

How about we all start ignoring laws we don’t like? You know, like President Obama does!

WELL, THAT’S NICER THAN “LYING,” BUT LESS TRUE: Texas AG accuses feds of misleading on immigrant work permits.

The Texas Attorney General is accusing the Obama administration of misleading a federal court by renewing about 100,000 work permits for illegal immigrants, under new rules that many did not know had gone into effect.

“In an apparent attempt to quickly execute President Obama’s unlawful, unconstitutional amnesty plan, the Obama Administration appears to have already been issuing expanded work permits, in direct contradiction to what they told a federal judge previously in this litigation,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

“The circumstances behind this must be investigated, and the motion we seek would help us determine to what extent the Administration might have misrepresented the facts in this case.”

Paxton’s motion presses the government to explain whether it misled the court by renewing work permit applications for three years — instead of two — under new changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He cites government filings that show the Justice Department told the court the agency wouldn’t be processing any applications until mid-February.

A group of 26 states, including Texas, are suing the administration over President Obama’s immigration executive actions, which would defer deportations for millions of immigrants living in the U.S. and expand their access to work permits.

The Department of Homeland Security had been gearing up to implement those executive actions until a federal judge halted the implementation of those policies in February. Since that ruling took place before the start date of the most contentious parts of the immigration plan, many assumed that none of the changes had taken effect.

The Justice Department admitted in a court document filed Wednesday that there may have been “confusion” surrounding the administration’s decision to extend renewals to three years.

Until some people pay an individual price for misconduct, there will be no real accountability.

WELL, THEY LIE ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE: Did the Obama Administration Lie to the Federal Court About Implementation of Executive Amnesty?

YOUNG AMERICANS FOR LIBERTY SUE WITH HELP FROM F.I.R.E.: Students Sue Dixie State U. Over ‘Free Speech Zone,’ Censorship of Bush, Obama, Che Flyers.

GIVEN OBAMA’S IRAN PLANS, THIS IS WORTH A RE-MENTION: The Unexpected Return Of Duck And Cover. And here’s the accompanying video.

SHOCKER: New Poll: Obama Aids Rich, Not Middle Class. “A new Pew Research Center survey shows most Americans believe President Barack Obama’s two terms in office have favored the rich, and have not benefited the middle class or the poor. Those negative attitudes are justified by much negative economic data, and could help GOP candidates in 2015 and 2016 who offer a populist criticism of ‘crony capitalism.’”

Ya think?

WELL-OILED MACHINE: Revelation About Hillary Clinton Emails Catches Democrats Off Guard.

The revelation that Hillary Rodham Clinton conducted government business entirely on a private email account as secretary of state has blindsided the Democratic establishment.

It was a bracing reminder of the risks entailed in the party’s all-but-all-in bet on Mrs. Clinton so early in the presidential nominating process. And it left Democrats contemplating the prospect of yet another long cycle of dramatic Clinton flare-ups — the type that President Obama obliquely campaigned against in 2008.

The report on Mrs. Clinton’s emails, published by The New York Times late Monday night, left many Democrats privately expressing wonder as late as Wednesday morning that Mrs. Clinton and her aides had not anticipated the political problems that this could create.

Huh. A lot of Dems have told me that Hillary is “as oiled as a Diesel train,” so I expected things to be slicker.

THAT’S WHO THEY ARE, THAT’S WHAT THEY DO: Did the administration lie about Obama’s immigration action?

OBAMA’S KEYSTONE VETO NOT OVERRIDDEN.

ONCE WHEN I REFERRED TO PRO PUBLICA AS A LEFTY OUTLET THEY GOT MAD, BUT DUMB CONSPIRACIST STUFF LIKE THIS PROVES THE CASE: Behind Supreme Court’s Obamacare Case, A Secretive Society’s Hidden Hand. The “Secretive Society” is the Federalist Society, which isn’t at all secretive, and which isn’t behind the ObamaCare case. This is all just part of the lefty Court-bullying press, and for Pro Publica to take part in it makes clear just what team they’re on, despite any protestations.

FORMER OBAMA MIDDLE EAST ADVISER DENNIS ROSS throws Obama under the bus. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a strong case to the Congress about why he thinks the potential agreement with Iran on its nuclear program is a ‘very bad deal.’”

COMPARED TO THE TRAINWRECK WE’VE GOT, IT WOULD HAVE TO BE AN IMPROVEMENT: Cruz unveils ObamaCare alternative.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday offered the latest in a series of Republican ObamaCare alternatives ahead of a Supreme Court ruling that could gut the law.

Cruz’s bill, called the Health Care Choices Act, would allow people to buy health insurance across state lines, long a Republican health policy goal. It would also repeal Title I of ObamaCare, which would undo much of the law, including the mandate to buy insurance, the insurance marketplaces and subsidies to help people afford coverage.

Republicans are looking to show that they have a plan ready if the Court strikes down subsidies for around 7.5 million people in the roughly three dozen states using federally-run marketplaces. The Court will hear arguments in the case, King v. Burwell, on Wednesday.

The Obama administration insists that it does not have a contingency plan and that it will prevail in Court.

“The administration has done absolutely nothing to prepare for an upcoming Supreme Court decision that could leave millions of Americans unable to afford insurance thanks to this failed law,” Cruz said in a statement. “Republicans must offer the American people alternatives that lower costs and break the status quo that favors big government and big health care business over hardworking Americans.”

Everybody’s working the ref here, but I say: Fiat Iustitia, Ruat Caelum.

LIZ PEEK: Netanyahu Shows Obama’s Deal with Iran Is Lose-Lose.

GEORGE WILL: Stopping The IRS:

n 2013, Roskam, in a televised committee hearing, told the story of Al Salvi, who in 1996 was the Republican’s Senate candidate against then congressman, now senator, Dick Durbin. Democrats filed charges with the Federal Election Commission against Salvi’s campaign, charges that threatened to dominate the campaign’s final weeks. Salvi telephoned the head of the FEC’s Enforcement Division, who he says told him: “Promise me you will never run for office again, and we’ll drop this case.” So said Lois Lerner. After Salvi lost, FBI agents visited his elderly mother, demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son’s campaign, where she got “that kind of money.” When a federal court held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the FEC’s losing lawyer was Lois Lerner.

Roskam’s telling of Salvi’s story elicited no denial from Lerner. Neither did the retelling of it in this column (June 13, 2013). No wonder: The story had not been deemed newsworthy by the three broadcast networks’ evening news programs, by The New York Times or The Washington Post. With most of the media uninterested in the use of government institutions to handicap conservatives, stonewalling would work.

It still is working through dilatory and incomplete responses to subpoenas, and unresponsive answers to congressional questions. Lerner’s name now has an indelible Nixonian stain, but there probably will be no prosecution. If the administration’s stonewalling continues as the statute of limitations’ clock ticks, Roskam says, “She will get away with it.”

Now in his fifth House term, Roskam, 53, says, “The advantage in this town is always with the entity that doesn’t want to do anything.” Many thousands of Lerner’s emails that supposedly were irretrievably lost have been found, but not released. The Justice Department’s investigation, which was entrusted to a political appointee who was a generous contributor to Barack Obama’s campaign, is a stone in the stone wall.

It’s a culture of corruption. Remember this, and act accordingly in all things. But wait, it gets worse:

Roskam says the task now is “to see that Lois Lerner 2.0 is impossible.” One place to begin is with the evidence — anecdotal but, in the context of proven IRS corruption, convincing — of other possibly punitive IRS behavior toward Republican contributors and other conservative activists. This justifies examining the IRS’ audit selection process. This would produce interesting hearings for most of the media to ignore.

Next, there should be hearings into the illegal disclosure of taxpayer information about conservative individuals and groups to the media and to liberal officials and groups. Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer for some groups abused by the IRS (and for this columnist on different matters), also suggests prohibiting IRS employees from joining a union.

“The National Treasury Employees Union,” she says, “provides no protection to IRS employees that federal statutes and the civil service system do not already provide. It already takes an act of God to hold an IRS employee accountable for his or her actions. But it is worse than merely redundant for IRS employees to belong to the NTEU. Because it adds nothing to its members’ protections, it is a purely political organization. In 2014, fully 95 percent of its contributions went to Democrats, including 11 Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. So, the IRS employees’ union dues finance the election of people who are supposed to scrutinize IRS’ behavior.”

The nice thing is, if Obama has to veto an IRS reform bill, it would be unpopular and would bring all this back up.

THE HILL: Netanyahu speech divides Dems.

The fiery takedown of one of Obama’s top foreign policy priorities split leading Democrats, with some hailing the speech as a thoughtful warning from America’s closest ally in the Middle East and others condemning it as an underhanded attack on the White House.

More than 50 Democrats boycotted the speech to protest both Netanyahu’s censure of Obama’s policies and Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) decision to invite the prime minister without first consulting the White House or Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who attended the speech, issued a scathing statement afterward.

“I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the [negotiating] nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation,” Pelosi said.

That view wasn’t shared by other top Democrats, who praised Netanyahu’s message as both powerful and necessary amid a time of rising terrorist threats in the Middle East.

Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said it was “a very strong speech” in defense of Israel’s position.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, called it a “powerful, strong, factual, inspiring” address that “sent a very strong message to the entire world.”

And Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, said it was “a brilliant speech” that did “a very effective job” warning Congress of the risks surrounding Obama’s Iran negotiations.

“I was skeptical about the deal going in, I’m just as skeptical after the speech, and I think a significant number of my colleagues are where I am,” Rep. Israel said. “He changed minds. The question is: How many minds did he change?”

I’m not sure it’s just about changed minds. It’s also about stiffened spines.

IT’S COME TO THIS: ObamaCare Opponents Face Death Threats In The New York Times.

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, FRANCIS SEJERSTED? Nobel Peace committee demotes controversial head.

Norway’s Nobel Peace Prize committee on Tuesday demoted its controversial chairman Thorbjoern Jagland in a move unprecedented in the long history of the award.

The organisation, which said the former Norwegian prime minister would remain as a committee member, gave no reason for its decision.

However the renowned diplomat had drawn sharp criticism shortly after becoming chairman in 2009 for awarding the prestigious Nobel to newly elected US President Barack Obama.

Yeah, that’s worked out badly. And it’ll be worse yet for peace before it’s all over. But forget what I said about Sejersted, as he chaired the committee the year they awarded the Prize to Yasser Arafat, instead of my nomination that year, Arthur C. Clarke.

UPDATE: From the comments:

For failing to stand for freedom and prematurely withdrawing from Iraq (though declaring the U.S. operation a ‘success’), Obama invited the Syrian Civil War that’s killed about as many people as the Iraq war. That withdrawal also invited bloodthirsty ISIS to fill the void in Syria and Iraq, and left Israel alone in the neighborhood as Iran finishes building its bomb.

How many old wars did the Nobel Peace laureate reignite and how many new wars did he set the stage for? He’s even brought back a war that six years ago seemed impossible to re-create: the Cold War with Moscow.

And let’s not pretend east Asia is any more peaceful since Obama sent up the white flag. North Korea is re-invigorated and threatening war. And an enormously wealthy totalitarian China is preparing to steal islands it never owned, from Taiwan to Hawaii.

What did you celebrate with that 2009 prize, Thorbjoern Jagland? You celebrated war.

Si vis pacem, para bellum. This saying can be read two ways. The traditional reading is that if you want peace, you’re more likely to get it by being prepared for war. But it may have a second meaning — that wanting peace too much makes war more likely. Experience certainly supports that.

ROGER SIMON: Bibi’s Speech: The Real Fallout.

Related: Obama Has The Problem, Not Netanyahu. “The administration would desperately like to talk about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech. . . . It is bizarre for the administration to concede the point that the concessions described are dangerous and in fact being offered. It is even more bizarre to suggest after saying sanctions worked to bring them to the table and then say sanctions would chase Iran away and that we have no option other than war. Bizarre but not unexpected. Either by design or ineptitude, the president has put himself and the world in a tight spot.”

MORE BIBI FALLOUT: Chappaqua, We Have A Problem. “Clinton refuses to say whether she agrees with President Obama’s notion that Iran should keep thousands of centrifuges and after 10 years be free from inspections and sanctions, even though last night he essentially conceded (and his national security adviser Susan Rice confirmed at an AIPAC conference) that he has given up trying to dismantle Iran’s illicit nuclear program and instead will let Iran keep what it wants and be free of sanctions and inspections in as little as 10 years.”

RIGHT AGAIN: Flashback: Mitt Romney says Iran ‘will have a nuclear weapon’ if Obama reelected.

BOB ZUBRIN: How Obama Is Giving Iran a Nuclear Arsenal.

TWO THINGS PEOPLE ARE MISSING ABOUT NETANYAHU’S SPEECH: (1) He didn’t just make a case for why the U.S. should be harder on Iran. He made the case for unilateral Israeli military intervention too, sub silentio. (2) The most damaging thing to Obama here isn’t even the substance, but the contrast in style. Netanyahu, as someone said on Twitter, was better in his second language than Obama is in his first. And he presented himself as a leader who cares about his country, rather than one, like Obama, who makes excuses for its enemies.