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“ANYONE BUT OBAMA” SENTIMENT DOESN’T EXTEND TO HILLARY: YouGov poll: Most Americans, and most Democrats, do not wish Hillary had won in 2008.

“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Obama’s War Of Choice Yields Chaos In Libya.

PRESIDENT PERFUNCTORY: The Hill: Obama returns to golf course after condemning ISIS.



LIFE IN OBAMA’S POST-RACIAL AMERICA: Race-based hate crimes spike in D.C.; whites most common victims, but underreporting feared.

JOHN HINDERAKER: “In recent months, Barack Obama has crossed an important threshold. He has always shown contempt for his opponents; now he shows contempt for his supporters. He has quit pretending to be a leader, and more or less quit pretending to be a president. On the right and the center, he has become a joke.”


TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 468.

Note this from Laura Ingraham: “What do you think would have happened, guys, if tea party activists, right, came to Washington D.C. after the IRS scandal broke and decided to start smashing windows, rampaging through neighborhoods, throwing fire bombs. What do you think Eric Holder and Barack Obama would do? Would they start saying, ‘Well, we understand that people are angry, we really get your emotion here, but this isn’t acceptable. Do you really think there would have been this nuanced language, this emoting that has become the pastime of this administration?” Well, that’s not entirely off the table, these days.

LIZ PEEK: 6 Reasons Obamacare Can Win the Senate for the GOP.

BENTHIC TREATY RENEGOTIATION — TOP SECRET: The Hill: Obama Heads Back To Vacation After Unexplained DC Trip, Leaving A Puzzle Behind Him.



I HAVE MY OWN THEORY: “Why Obama won’t give the Ferguson speech his supporters want.”

UPDATE: From the comments:

Obama campaigned as a “Uniter”.

The moment he was elected, he governed as a “Divider”

He won reelection by carefully dividing.

At this point, all the unicorn dust has blown away.

Yeah, pretty much.

MEGAN MCARDLE: More Bad News For ObamaCare.

Last Monday, Jed Graham of Investor’s Business Daily reported that insurers say Affordable Care Act enrollment is shrinking, and it is expected to shrink further. Some of those who signed up for insurance on the exchanges never paid; others paid, then stopped paying. Insurers are undoubtedly picking up some new customers who lost jobs or had another “qualifying life event” since open enrollment closed. But on net, they expect enrollment to shrink from their March numbers by a substantial amount — as much as 30 percent at Aetna Inc., for example.

How much does this matter? As Charles Gaba notes, this was not unexpected: Back in January, industry expert Bob Laszewski predicted an attrition rate of 10 to 20 percent, which seems roughly in line with what IBD is reporting. However, Gaba seems to imply that this makes the IBD report old news, barely worth talking about, and I think that’s wrong, for multiple reasons.

The first is simply that we didn’t know what the attrition rate would be until we actually saw the final numbers, and it could have been lower — or higher — than Laszewski suggested. It’s always valuable to have actual data rather than guesstimates (and we should remember that we’re still getting data; we won’t know the final attrition rate until December).

The second is that while attrition was predicted, not everyone was necessarily expecting it. People are still citing enrollment figures from March as the number of people covered by Obamacare policies, even though that number didn’t tell us how many would ultimately pay. In fairness, the Barack Obama administration conveniently stopped issuing enrollment reports after that March peak, so there isn’t a better hard number to use.

It seems like wherever there’s a book, it’s being cooked.

MARK TAPSCOTT: Are Republicans Smart Enough To Become The Party Of The Millennials?

Minorities and millennials were the core of President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 election victories, and, according to conventional political wisdom, will continue to be the twin anchors of the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future.

While African-Americans appear to be the modern equivalent of “Yellow Dog Democrats,” evidence is steadily growing that millennials are a different matter entirely. . . . Chamorro-Premuzic notes that millennials are more likely to highly value freedom and independence, and to overestimate their own talents and to underestimate the difficulties inherent in entrepreneurial endeavors.

The key here is millennials hate to be told what to do. They want to do things their way and be creative about it. Getting rich isn’t their first priority.

Interestingly, Silicon Valley no longer has the appeal it did to younger workers, according to Chamorro-Premuzic It is now seen among millennials as too big and greedy.

Regardless why millennials want to be independent, that desire could make them unusually receptive to a political message that emphasizes the importance of encouraging entrepreneurial freedom.

Besides, it’s the right thing to do.

THE HILL: Poll finds sharp racial, political divide over Ferguson shooting. In 2012, Dems/Media deliberately fomented racial division over the Zimmerman case to boost black turnout. Not so clear that will help them with the Senate.

Also: Wearable camera petition tops 100K signatures on WH site.

Plus: Online petition urges Obama to ‘demilitarize.’

See, Obama won’t want to do that because then he’d be agreeing with Mark Steyn.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Agony of Obama’s Middle East Policy.

As Nouri al-Maliki agreed to step aside earlier this week, and even though the U.S. doesn’t have a lot of confidence (“muted enthusiasm”) in his replacement, President Obama’s reluctant re-engagement with Iraq continued. It has been agonizingly painful for the man who made opposition to the war in Iraq the cornerstone of his national political appeal and who trumpeted his withdrawal from Iraq as a mission accomplished to recommit U.S. forces to the country, but President Obama has had little choice.

With Maliki is gone, his choices get harder. The biggest problem is going to involve the fight against ISIS. So far, the administration’s strategy seems to have three main components: bomb ISIS when it goes on the offensive beyond its current holdings, arm the Kurds, and use the carrot of more aid to persuade the Baghdad government to do a somewhat less awful job of running the country—less discrimination against Sunnis, less politicization of the army.

The trouble is that all these strategies so far are half hearted—and hedged about with the typical hesitations, restrictions and cautionary measures that are the hallmark of this president’s foreign policy style. Bomb ISIS—but not too much. Help the Kurds—a little. Those policies are more likely to produce a stalemate than anything else, and at this point, a stalemate is a huge ISIS win. Every day ISIS controls huge chunks of territory is another day that hundreds and thousands of radicalized militants will see the ‘caliph’ as their leader. It is another day of collecting taxes, training fighters, teaching bearers of Western passports to carry the fight back into their home countries and otherwise building the legend of ISIS. It is also another day in which ISIS can go on slaughtering moderate Sunni opponents in Syria.

The core problem with President Obama’s strategy isn’t, in this case, the ‘split the difference’ approach that undermined his administration’s effectiveness in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It’s about substance. The only way to beat ISIS and bring about some kind of stability in the Middle East is to reach out to conservative Sunni forces who favor stability. In Iraq, this would be the tribal leaders and military figures responsible for the Anbar Awakening. In Syria and Lebanon it is a combination of the remnants of the sane wing of the Syrian opposition with the forces who support people like Hariri in Lebanon. Ultimately, it is about working with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to stabilize the Sunni world.

This is probably the safest and the most practical course for American policy, but it’s likely that a solid U.S. commitment to this strategy would alienate Iran.

Valerie Jarrett wouldn’t like that, so it won’t happen.

SALENA ZITO: The Democrats’ White-Voter Dilemma:

White male voters haven’t felt that the Democratic Party has their best interests at heart since Lyndon Johnson, the last Democrat to win a majority of their presidential votes. The further left the party pulls, the more each successive candidate or president loses white male support.

That is particularly true in the industrial Midwest, South and West. The only white males whom Democrats tend to attract are elites in urban areas — and, of course, in Hollywood.

Republicans have a minority problem and a woman problem. Yet, in midterm elections, minorities and women do not vote as much as white men, and they voted more Republican in 1994 and 2010. (They slipped back to Democrats in 2006.) Both former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and former President Bill Clinton recently expressed frustration over the lack of organized Democrats trying to win back the white working-class vote.

Dean is particularly dismayed that state legislative chambers have swung Republican in historical numbers. Gone are the majorities he helped to build as the Democrats’ national chairman, when he targeted values voters through ads on farm radio programs; Democrats hold majorities in only 40 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers, and they hold both legislative houses and governorships in only 13 states.

A well-regarded Democrat strategist privately acknowledges that the party probably will lose legislative control in Arkansas and Iowa in November.

Part of the problem for Democrats is that they used divisional politics and class warfare so well to suppress Republicans that it backfired and suppressed white males from turning out for them, too.

Remember when they said Obama was going to bring us together in a post-racial America? That he’d be kind of the Tiger Woods of Presidents? But, then, Tiger didn’t exactly live up to the hype either. . . .

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Our ‘Face in the Crowd.’ “Elia Kazan’s classic A Face in the Crowd is a good primer on Barack Obama’s rise and fall.”

MAYBE I DO NEED TO PUT IN THAT GENERATOR: Video: Is the post-EPA regs power grid ready for a truly hard winter? “In order to comply with the new Obama era EPA regs, American Electric Power, which supplies a major portion of the electricity used on the east coast, will be closing almost one quarter of their coal fired plants between now and next June. This is because they were economically unable to come into compliance with the new regulations in the impossibly short window of opportunity offered by the EPA. This is going to reduce the total surge capacity available for some of our most densely populated areas just when we may get hit with weather related demand spikes beyond anyone’s control.”

“Under My Plan … Electricity Rates Would Necessarily Skyrocket.”

TOP MEN. AND WOMEN. “Obama’s top-ranking adviser [in] Martha’s Vineyard is a former Illinois political operative who drove him around the state during his Senate campaign a decade ago and then was his personal secretary outside the Oval Office.” Plus: “This should remind readers that the boyish and immature Tommy ‘Hey Dude, that was like two years ago’ Vietor also went from driver/flunky to a top post at the National Security Council. No military, geopolitical, diplomatic, intelligence experience required.”


SHORT ANSWER: THERE’S NOTHING HE WANTS FROM YOU RIGHT NOW. House Democrats can’t figure out why Obama won’t talk to them.

WELL, THAT SEEMS FAIR: The Presidency is Breaking Obama Even As Obama Has Broken the Nation.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Mia Farrow: Rick Perry indictment ‘doesn’t identify a law he violated. Looks like politics not felony.’

Related: Dershowitz ‘Outraged’ by Perry Indictment.

Plus, an extensive analysis from prosecutor Patrick Frey. “Words truly fail to describe what an outrageous and unsupportable abuse of prosecutorial power this is. The special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, has no business being given prosecutorial authority — and the fact that Obama considered him for a U.S. Attorney position should deeply frighten anyone who cares about the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

FOREIGN POLICY: The Pinprick President: Barack Obama needs to go to war with the Islamic State, or it will go to war with America. I generally favor a nip-it-in-the-bud strategy — just think how much better off we’d be if Bill Clinton had seized any of his several opportunities to kill or seize Osama bin Laden — but I have to say my confidence in Obama’s ability to carry out anything much bigger than pinpricks is severely limited.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Looking For The Attractor.

There’s a crisis in punditry. Disasters have become altogether too predictable. . . .

Nobody really believes that the leaders of the nation or the West in general can find their way out of the mess they’ve created. Not after all that huffing and puffing about climate change, transgender initiatives, Obamaphones, “getting engaged with your disease” and other varieties of trivial pursuit.

The Big Ticket problems they’ve pooh-poohed for so long are here. Food, energy, security and demography. In a short, the world of things. Boo. Your design margin has been canceled. Politicians are running for cover. . . .

That the current system is in flux is no longer in doubt. What everyone wants to know is where the attractor is. “In dynamical systems, an attractor is a set of physical properties toward which a system tends to evolve.” Where is the world going? Who is going to lead it? The conventional wisdom is that it was Barack or Hillary who would do the leading. But it looks more like no mas!

What punditry needs now is not someone who can interpret the past — that’s easy — but someone who can glimpse the further future. But even the greatest minds have no crystal ball. The mists of uncertainty shroud all. One can only repeat what Winston Churchill said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Like the folks in Europe 100 years ago, I think we’re going to miss the Gay 90s.

“CHOKE POINT” ROWBACK: Federal Agency Blames ‘Confusion’ for Choking Business Owners’ Access to Banks.

Federal regulators have backed away from pressuring banks to stop doing business with legal enterprises that the Obama administration labeled “high risk” — including selling guns, making payday loans, and trading in rare coins.

Late last month, the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation told banks that it had removed a list of 30 examples of “high risk” activities from the agency’s website, stating its list had “led to misunderstandings.”

By “misunderstandings,” FDIC apparently meant that its guidance led to sudden decisions by banks across America to close accounts with customers that fell under any of the listed categories.

If they didn’t close the accounts, bank officers thought, they could be subject to federal audits or other investigations.

Yeah, I don’t think there was confusion at all. I think they just got caught.

DELETE THIS EMAIL: Republicans question HHS official’s instruction to ‘delete’ internal ObamaCare email.

A key official overseeing the ObamaCare launch last fall asked a subordinate to “delete” an email exchange on the matter, according to newly released records, fueling Republican concerns that the administration may be hiding internal discussions from Congress.

“Time and again, the self-proclaimed ‘most transparent administration’ has been anything but,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said in a statement. “And now we know that when was crashing, those in charge were hitting the delete button behind the scenes.”

Upton and other GOP committee leaders on Friday released an email exchange from Oct. 5, 2013, shortly after launched to widespread problems. It showed Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, telling an employee in the public affairs office to “please delete this email.”

But somehow, this time the hard drive didn’t crash. Go figure. What are the chances?

SHADES OF TOM DELAY: Travis County’s Politicized DA Gets Perry Indicted (Updates: Perry Responds) – Obama’s Henchman Cackles. Even many of the Dems on my Twitter feed think this indictment is a reach. But, as with Scott Walker, the Democratic Deep State is trying a spoiling attack aimed at clearing the 2016 field.

But if threatening a veto is indictable, well, how many vetoes has Obama threatened?

Meanwhile, some Travis County DA Drunk-Driving Video.

JOE SCARBOROUGH ON HUGH HEWITT: Obama is either politically tone deaf or he just doesn’t give a damn.

TIM CARNEY: How ObamaCare Makes My Family Less Secure.

We have a high-deductible health plan and we pay our medical expenses through a health savings account. This year, even before our baby was born, we reached our deductible — for in-network care. After the deductible, the insurer pays 90 percent of costs. Plus my out-of-pocket max is $5,000, which includes my deductible. So once I hit the deductible (and thus got halfway to my out-of-pocket max), I Iooked in our HSA, saw there was more than $2,500 and thought, “Good, we can afford any health care expenses that might come with a new baby.”

But then my wife reminded me that some of the doctors or specialists who see us at the hospital might not be in network. And we have a totally separate (and higher) deductible for out-of-network care. We’d pay every penny for doctor out-of-network.

My wife called the hospital. The hospital said that some specialists are in network, some are out. Can we request an in-network anesthesiologist? Nope. We get whoever is on duty at the moment the contractions get too painful.

Obamacare has contributed to the narrowing of networks.

And not by accident.

ROLL CALL: Rand Paul Wants Obama to Seek Approval for Extended Iraq Effort.

WHEN THE FRENCH ARE TELLING YOU TO MAN UP: ‘When people are dying, you must come back from vacation’: French foreign minister seems to slam Obama for golfing while Iraq burns.

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Impeach Obama? He’s The Best Asset The GOP Has. “Obama is Republicans’ greatest political asset and Democrats’ greatest political liability. And for Republicans, he promises to be an asset that continues to pay dividends.”

Related: Hillary gauges how far is far enough from Obama’s mounting stigma.

THE HILL: Obama prepares schools for enrollment of migrant children. “The Obama administration is preparing the nation’s schools to accept thousands of new students who illegally crossed the southwest border and are now awaiting trials on their possible deportations. A fact sheet from the Department of Education sent to states and schools on Monday highlights the children’s right to attend public school. . . . The prospect of tens of thousands of children mostly from Central American countries attending school as they wait for their immigration status to be decided has the potential to be explosive after this summer’s emotional public debate about the border.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: Vox: Obama can’t govern, so let’s repeal the 22nd Amendment. Jeff Bezos is a very smart man.

YOU KNOW, THEY DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE ANY LEGAL AUTHORITY TO DO THAT: Golfers frisked as Obama arrives at Martha’s Vineyard club. How come nobody ever tells them to buzz off, and that if the President wants to play golf he can damn well respect the rights of others? The response to the ominous “So, you’re not cooperating?” should be “No, are you assaulting me?”

If the President wants to go out in public, fine. If he can’t do it without assaulting the rights of citizens, then he should stay home. But hey, most of these folks probably voted for him. So: Enjoy!

UPDATE: From the comments:

Think of it this way…

There are probably two Republicans on MV and they are incognito.

Obama is pissing off all the right people.

Well, that part is fun.

REMEMBER, IN THE MEDIA THEY’RE PRETTY MUCH ALL VOLUNTEER OPERATIVES FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Report: Simon & Schuster imprint rejected book about Bergdahl because it might hurt Obama.

JIM TREACHER ON OBAMA’S “HORSESHIT” MOMENT: “Comity and civility are very important in politics. Except, of course, when people make you angry by disagreeing with you.”

SPECIAL GUEST EDITORIAL: Obama’s Foreign Policy Failures, By Hillary Rodham Clinton.

WASHINGTON EXAMINER EDITORIAL: Obamacrats are strangling due process rights on campus.

Under the Education Department’s rules, college administrators are being pressured to pursue cases with little evidence of guilt other than an accusation. To make matters worse, the threat of a potential federal investigation of the school increases the pressure for guilty verdicts, unless defendants can marshall overwhelming exculpatory evidence.

In other words, in practice, this amounts to a federally required presumption of guilt in college disciplinary proceedings. To be sure, college campuses are not courts, and the Bill of Rights may not strictly apply to their disciplinary procedures, but the government is still requiring academic officials to do something it cannot do to defendants tried before federal judges.

It’s a disgrace, and should be reversed by federal legislation, and by hordes of expensive, lawyer-enriching lawsuits.

THE HILL: Obama orders more than 100 advisers to Iraq.

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney we’d . . . Oh, Hell, what difference, at this point, does it make?

DEMOCRAT SEN. TIM KAINE: Obama Needs Congressional Approval For Iraq Air Strikes. I believe that’s still covered by the AUMF, which Obama wanted Congress to repeal, but which, fortunately for him, it never did.

OBAMA FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER IN 2011: All this “Caliphate” talk is a delusion. That was John Brennan, now the embattled head of the CIA.

I DUNNO, THERE’S A LOT OF COMPETITION FOR THAT ONE: Did White House press secretary Josh Earnest just tell the biggest whopper of the Obama era?

DOES PUTIN KNOW ABOUT SHRINKAGE? At Martha’s Vineyard, Obama Complains About Cold Ocean.

HMM: Alberto Gonzales backing Obama on executive power to impose amnesty?

RICHARD EPSTEIN: The Pax Americana Is Dead. “A record as dismal as Obama’s does not happen by accident.”

MEGAN MCARDLE: When Obama Beat Hillary, We All Lost.

I think that Hillary Clinton would have been more cautious when dealing with Republicans, and therefore ultimately more successful in some ways. At the very least, she would not be facing the same level of vehement opposition in Congress.

I think liberals really do not understand emotionally the extent to which the Tea Party was created by the Affordable Care Act and the feeling that its government was simply steamrolling it. From the Tea Party’s perspective, you had an unpopular program that should have died in the same way, and for the same reasons, that Social Security privatization did: because sensible politicians saw that, no matter how ardently they and their base might desire it, this was out of step with what the majority of the country wanted (and no, you cannot rescue the polls by claiming that the only problem with the law was that it wasn’t liberal enough; when you dig down into what people mean when they say that, the idea that there was ever a majority or a plurality that was secretly in favor of Obamacare collapses). . . .

I think that Hillary Clinton would have pulled back when Rahm Emanuel (or his counterfactual Clinton administration counterpart) told her that this was a political loser and she should drop it. I’ve written before about how my Twitter feed filled up with comparisons to 1932 the night that Obama took the presidency, and it’s quite clear to me that the Obama administration shared what you might call delusions of FDR. It thought that it was in a transformative, historical moment where the normal rules of political caution didn’t apply. The administration was wrong, and the country paid for that.

They’ve been wrong about a lot of things, and we’ve paid — and will pay — for that. But the sheer “I won” in-your-face immaturity of the Obamaites — remember the “Hey, Hey, Goodbye” chant to Bush at the inauguration — ensured that people would be angrier than normal. And they did that on purpose because a sharply divided nation suited them politically. Now Ron Fournier wonders if Americans would rally behind Obama after another 9/11 the way we rallied behind Bush, and I think the answer is no — because Obama has spent his entire time in office flicking boogers at half the country.

As I’ve said before, the reason why presidents traditionally act “presidential” isn’t because they’re stiffly formal, it’s because acting presidential, rather than purely political, lets you appeal to the whole country in ways that a pure partisan can’t. Obama doesn’t care, and we may very well pay for that, too. But elections have consequences, and when you elect a guy like Obama, the consequences are bad ones.

REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FIRST GUY WHO CROSSED THE RUBICON: Jonathan Chait: Obama’s Immigration Plan Should Scare Liberals, Too. “To think that the cycle will end here, and that a future president won’t claim more expansive and disturbing powers to selectively enforce the law, requires an optimism not borne out by history.”

UPDATE: Obama’s standing among voters is hurting Democrats, poll finds. “By 42-32 percent, voters say their opinions of Obama make them more likely to vote this fall for a Republican than for a Democrat. And for the first time this election cycle, more people said they’d vote for a Republican than a Democrat for Congress, by 43 percent to 38 percent.”

Weak horse.

OBAMA: Don’t Blame Me For Missing The Rise Of ISIS: I Had Bad Intelligence. You certainly did. . . .

RON FOURNIER: Would We Rally Behind Obama After the Next 9/11?

Ladd Ehlinger replies: Would he rally around us?

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

NOT SO HAPPY WITH HILLARY: Exclusive: Obama Told Lawmakers Criticism of His Syria Policy is ‘Horsesh*t.’

ANDREA PEYSER: ‘Rape culture’ leads to manhunts on campus.

Cellphone records showed that the gals, who claimed to be passed out on the night in question, sent text messages to Peloe and later joked about the case. Members of a grand jury declined to indict him for a crime. The case should have ended there.

It was just getting started.

Moms and dads, be afraid for your sons. All across America, men are getting snared in what feminist activists and leftists call a “rape culture’’ that supposedly exists on college campuses.

In April, the Obama administration released a report concluding that nearly 1 in 5 women attending institutions of higher education become victims of unwanted sex acts. Legislation has been proposed in the Senate to tackle this “epidemic.”

Never mind that one of the sources of the 1-in-5 statistic was a 2007 online survey in which some respondents, who were rewarded with $10 gift certificates, equated drunken hookups and men’s attempts at stealing kisses as examples of sexual assault, according to Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. She spoke out against the nonsensical notion that huge numbers of women are being sexually assaulted on campuses at a June panel conducted in Washington by the Independent Women’s Forum, a conservative think tank.

“I think this is a war on men that started a long time ago in gender studies classes and in women’s advocacy groups eager to believe that men are toxic,’’ Hoff Sommers told me. She believes that a more reliable statistic was contained in a 2003 report by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, which found that 1 in 40 college and university students are sexually assaulted. Still too many? Yes. But that does not excuse what happened to Ethan Peloe.

If I were in charge of recruiting at pretty much any college in America, I’d be getting worried. It’s already hard to get enough men to attend.

WHY CONTROL OF THE SENATE MATTERS IN 2014: Obama: ‘We’re Going to Have Supreme Court Appointments.’

UNEXPECTEDLY! ObamaCare Enrollment Is Shrinking, Top Insurers Say.

VIDEO: Obama Repeatedly Takes Credit For Pulling All Troops Out Of Iraq. . . And yet now he says it “wasn’t his decision.”

Related: Politico: Barack Obama’s Mixed Messages. I think they’re a little bit worse than “mixed.”


BARACK OBAMA ON PRESIDENTIAL VACATIONS IN 2008: “You have to understand that if you seek that office, then you have to be prepared to give your life to it. Essentially, the bargain that I think every President strikes with the American people is, ‘you give me this office, then in turn my fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure, is gone. I am giving myself to you.’”

Is there anything he said in that campaign that wasn’t a lie?

THE HILL: Feinstein squares off with Obama.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is squaring off with President Obama again, this time over a long-awaited Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s harsh interrogation practices.

Feinstein, the senior senator from California and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has repeatedly battled the administration on a string of different issues.

An institutionalist who has repeatedly sought to defend congressional power, Feinstein takes her oversight role seriously. And while she is from a left-leaning state, the five-term senator frequently pushes Obama from a centrist point of view.

“She represents discontent form the center which doesn’t get as much coverage as the concern on the left,” said Bruce Cain, a professor of political science at Stanford University.

I wonder why that is?

TIM CARNEY: In Iraq, Obama launches another drive-by war. Halfhearted, on the cheap, by committee. What could go wrong?

Related: Byron York: Obama’s ‘lid’ theory of conflict in Iraq.

STONEWALLER IN CHIEF: We’re transparent, but don’t ask for any documents, says the Obama White House.

ROGER KIMBALL: Obama In Oz. “Crippling successors, of course, is precisely what Obama is trying to do. It’s all part of his strategy of fundamentally transforming the Untied States of America.”

ROLL CALL: Feinstein Warns of Risk of ISIL Attack on America, Says Must Be Confronted.

“It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries, training them to fight its battles in the Middle East and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard,” the California Democrat said in a statement backing military action authorized by President Barack Obama. “We simply cannot allow this to happen.”

Feinstein called for a broader military campaign against ISIL, not just the targeted missions authorized by the president.

“It takes an army to defeat an army, and I believe that we either confront ISIL now or we will be forced to deal with an even stronger enemy in the future. Inaction is no longer an option. I support actions by the administration to coordinate efforts with Iraq and other allies to use our military strength and targeting expertise to the fullest extent possible,” Feinstein said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., warned of a similar possibility in an opinion piece for

So there’s a bipartisan consensus, then.

LEFTISTS TO OBAMA: Bring Your Spies Under Control. “Activists on the left are demanding President Obama flex his muscle over the country’s spy agencies. The CIA’s admission that a handful of officials spied on Senate staffers is proof that the White House has lost control of the intelligence agencies, critics say. They are also discomforted by the continued support Obama has offered for agency Director John Brennan.”

Perhaps the spies are under control.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Fore! As Obama Golfs, Tanks Roll in Baghdad and A Country Unravels. “The fact that President Obama thought that the day of an Iraqi coup was a good time to hang on the Vineyard and get on the links is bad news. Either the President blew off warnings from his advisors, or the intel community got blindsided again. Both possibilities reflect badly on the management of the nation’s affairs.”


GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Inspectors general say Obama aides obstruct investigations. “Billions of tax dollars are being lost every day to waste, fraud and corruption in the federal government, but President Obama’s administration is blocking inspectors general — the officials who are most likely to find and expose such wrongdoing — from doing their jobs. That’s the disturbing message given to Congress and the American people this week from a majority of the federal government’s 78 IGs.”

HOW’S THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Obama’s plan to stop ISIS panned by both sides of aisle. Hillary’s first to plunge in the knife:

“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” said Clinton, who served as Obama’s first secretary of state.

She made the comment to The Atlantic in response to a question about one of the administration’s blunt mantras to observe caution – an approach critics say has led to disengagement as events exploded in the Middle East.

Clinton, in a new interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in the magazine, blasted the administration’s failure to arm Syrian rebels in the early phase of their uprising against President Bashar al Assad – a policy she tried to change.

“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.

Her strategy appears to be to run against Obama the way Obama ran against Bush. Maybe a bit awkward that she was in charge of his foreign policy for most of the time.

HISTORY: 6 Times Obama Was Against Military Action in Iraq. “MSNBC, which is today wondering if Obama doing enough to take on ISIS, applauded the president in 2011 for ‘keeping a major campaign promise’ by getting America out of Iraq. . . . To be fair, in 2013 the president was bogged down by Syria – which some were saying would be his Iraq. He insisted it wouldn’t, because all he wanted to do was some tactical airstrikes on Syria… which is totally different than him announcing tactical airstrikes on Iraq.”

DESPITE? Hawaii Governor Loses Democratic Primary Despite Obama Endorsement. “President Barack Obama endorsed him, but incumbent Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie lost his Democratic primary to a challenger Saturday. Abercrombie, a longtime Democratic officeholder in the state, was ousted by state Sen. David Ige. That makes Abercrombie the first incumbent governor in Hawaii history to lose his primary. Ige handily defeated the sitting governor, winning 67 percent to Abercrombie’s 32 percent of the vote.”

SCANDAL UPDATE: Sharyl Attkisson: Six Serious Questions Regarding Elusive Federal Documents. “When it comes to accountability questions, one owes the benefit of the doubt to the U.S. government, whoever may be in charge. Managing the massive federal bureaucracy isn’t easy. Responding to the demands from the public, the press and Congress for public information can be time consuming. However, it becomes increasingly difficult to suspend disbelief in the multiple instances in which the Obama administration is obstructing the release of, or losing, documents in major investigations.”

DO TELL: Inspectors general say Obama aides obstruct investigations.

WHERE COMPETENCE IS INSUFFICIENT, FEAR MUST SUFFICE: Fear of ‘Another Benghazi’ Drove White House to Airstrikes in Iraq. I disagree, however, that Obama has had a “longstanding reluctance to use military force.” He was quick to use it in Libya, and he was eager to use it in Syria until Putin outsmarted him. He is, perhaps, reluctant to use military force when it’s obviously in America’s interest, but that’s a different thing.

KURDISH INDEPENDENCE: ONE DAY, BUT NOT NOW. “This is not the right moment for independence. There are two main reasons. First, as the IS onslaught demonstrates, the threat from this insurgency is real and encompasses not just Iraq but also Syria. IS has proven itself to be cunning and quite adept at tactics, if not strategy. Defeating it will take time, resources and a commitment to fighting. For a population that has not known much else but violence and uncertainty, this is a tough choice. The Kurdish peshmerga forces may have experience, but they are woefully underfunded and underequipped. Most importantly, they over-extended, having sent their forces to areas abandoned by the Iraqi army. It is telling that some of the accounts of the fighting between IS and the Kurds mention that the Kurdish forces ran out of ammunition.”

Maybe if they’d convinced Obama that they were Syrian “moderates,” or maybe Mexican drug lords, they’d be better armed.

SO IS OBAMA’S NEW POLICY JUST FOR SHOW? Islamic militants advance despite 2 rounds of US airstrikes.

As someone — oh, wait, it was me! — said about Obama in Libya: “Waging war halfheartedly, on the cheap, and by committee is not a formula for success.”

Related: Obama: “Today, America Is Helping.”

MARK TAPSCOTT: Is it time to view the Obama administration as a criminal enterprise?

See a tree with 20 apples hanging on it and reasonable people conclude it’s an apple tree. So is it a criminal conspiracy when 20 government employees illegally destroy important official emails?

If that seems like an extreme question, consider the steadily accumulating evidence about the Obama administration’s modus operandi with potentially incriminating documents subpoenaed by Congress: A scandal erupts. Congressional hearings are held. Documents are requested and withheld. Subpoenas are issued. Contempt charges threatened. A few documents dribble out.

Then come the admissions that, oh by the way, emails required by multiple federal laws to be preserved have either been destroyed or “lost.”

Yeah, heads should be rolling for this.

FLASHBACK: Obama Says ‘We’re Leaving Behind A Sovereign, Stable And Self-Reliant Iraq.’

FIGHT THEM OVER THERE, OR FIGHT THEM OVER HERE? Roll Call: Feinstein Warns of Risk of ISIL Attack on America, Says Must Be Confronted.

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein warned Friday of the risk that the insurgent group ISIL could be preparing fighters to attack American and European targets.

“It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries, training them to fight its battles in the Middle East and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard,” the California Democrat said in a statement backing military action authorized by President Barack Obama. “We simply cannot allow this to happen.”

Feinstein called for a broader military campaign against ISIL, not just the targeted missions authorized by the president.



The president’s expansion of the U.S. military mission in Iraq is conjuring up two dirty little words for anti-war Democrats: Mission creep.

Just two months ago, when Obama announced he was going to send up to 300 American troops to Iraq, he emphasized that they would only have an advisory, non-combat role.

On Friday, however, U.S. fighters bombed terrorist targets in northern Iraq. Hours before, the president has announced he was authorizing such strikes as well as the airdropping of aid to Iraqi refugees stranded on a mountaintop.

The White House has stressed that the two missions — the airstrikes and the airdrop — are narrow and discrete. But neither has an end-date, prompting concern from some Democrats and liberal anti-war groups.

“I oppose open-ended military commitments, which the president’s actions in Iraq could become,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“I am deeply concerned that these actions could lead to prolonged direct military involvement, which I would strongly oppose,” he added.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), another senior Democrat on the committee, said he supported the president’s actions, but “as one of only 23 senators who opposed the war in Iraq, I do not believe this should be an extended campaign involving US ground troops.”

Reed is running for reelection this fall.

And Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the House’s most strident anti-war voice, said, “I support strictly humanitarian efforts to prevent genocide in Iraq.”

But, she added, “while the president has existing authority to protect American diplomatic personnel, I remain concerned about U.S. mission creep in Iraq and escalation into a larger conflict, which I oppose.”

Although administration officials are insisting that the missions would be limited, and there would be no boots on the ground, one senior administration official acknowledged Friday that strikes could extend outside of northern Iraq.

Related: Feinstein: ‘It takes an army to defeat an army.’ You know, we used to have an army in Iraq. And if we still did, it would still be stable.

INCONSIDERATE AND DISORGANIZED: WaPo: In 2014, Obama has been late by more than 35 hours.

PHILIP KLEIN: A high-speed train wreck for Obama and liberalism.

ADMINISTRATION AS CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY: Key ObamaCare official likely deleted emails now sought in House probe.

UH HUH: “He would do better to find his inner George Bush right now. Bush would make what he believed was the right decision and allow the media to beat him up all they wanted. That’s what I want Obama to do.”

OBAMA’S ENERGY GURU is enthusiastic about small, modular nuclear reactors.

THANKS, RUSSIA — but we’ll mock Obama without your help.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.

Well, yes. It was stable and relatively peaceful — so much that Obama and Biden were bragging about it — and then he blew the Status Of Forces Agreement negotiations because, fundamentally, he didn’t want troops to stay.

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?

ME TOO: “I picture the enemy watching this video and laughing.”

Related: Obama takes half-steps to prevent Iraq’s collapse. “This is all a bitter pill for him, of course. . . . Virtually every action or refusal to act has now come back to haunt Obama.” Yeah. Why do bad things always happen to him?

WHEN OBAMA SAID HIS ADMINISTRATION EMBRACED “THE SPIRIT OF STONEWALL,” I THOUGHT IT MEANT HE WAS GAY-FRIENDLY: Obama CMS head deleted Obamacare emails sought by Congress. “The administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deleted some of her emails and may not be able to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the flawed Obamacare rollout, CMS has warned Congress. Marilyn Tavenner, who was appointed by President Obama to take over CMS within the Department of Health and human Services in 2013 — prior to the Obamacare rollout — deleted some of her emails and did not save hard copies as the Federal Records Act requires her to do, MSNBC reported Thursday.”

How convenient.


MICHAEL LEDEEN: Who Are These ISIS Guys and Why is Obama Willing to Bomb Them? “So the Iranians are now fighting ISIS, but they’re overcommitted in Syria and all over Iraq. Ergo, when you ponder President Obama’s decision to (maybe) intervene against ISIS in Iraq, keep in mind that such a move would please Tehran. At least for the moment.”

REMINDER: Hillary Clinton Pushed Obama to Keep Troops in Iraq.


However: Obama authorizes limited airstrikes in Iraq: ‘We cannot turn a blind eye.’ A day late and a MOAB short, but better than nothing.

I’D SAY RATHER THE LIBERTARIAN “DO OR DIE” MOMENT APPROACHES: New York Times: Has The Libertarian Moment Finally Arrived? Don’t think the grunge-band comparison works, though.

I have to say, though, that “The Independents” is now my favorite show to do. I was on it last night talking about my USA Today column this week, and also this unfortunate incident.


ED MORRISSEY: Watergate and the Abuse of Power: A Lesson Unlearned.

The familiarity of these events, coupled with the increasing impulse of Obama to abandon constitutional limits, shows that America largely ignored the lessons of Watergate. It’s not enough to be wary of executive power when the opposition party controls the White House, as Republicans belatedly learned in 1974; to defend and protect constitutional government and the rule of law, that vigilance has to exist at all times.

Some of the same voices that shrieked with horror at the threat of the “unitary executive” under George W. Bush seem perfectly comfortable now with Obama ruling by executive fiat rather than governing under the rule of law, as long as it’s only their bêtes noires that get targeted.

Perhaps it’s fitting that the anniversaries of Watergate and the Great World War are so close together, as we seem to have difficulty learning from either.

Apparently so.