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TRUMP: SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS IS STEPPING DOWN AS PRESS SECRETARY AT THE END OF THE MONTH.

Running for governor isn’t just something Trump stuck in his tweets to be nice. According to Kaitlin Collins, Huckabee Sanders has been talking up the idea herself. Which makes sense. Between her father having served as governor for years and her own service as the face of Trump’s White House, she must have close to universal name recognition in Arkansas. How many local pols can say the same?

All she needs is for Trump to win reelection in 2020. The governor’s seat will be occupied until 2022 by Asa Hutchinson, who’s term-limited. If Trump wins a second term, she’s formidable and maybe the favorite. If Trump gets beat, eh. Maybe she’ll look like damaged goods as the GOP’s Trump personality cult transforms into something else.

Unlike George W. Bush’s press secretaries (much to his administration’s great regret, in hindsight), Huckabee was the first spokesperson for a Republican administration since the days of Spiro Agnew who actually called out the DNC-MSM media complex’s partisan biases. Or as Steve Hayward writes at Power Line, “She always treated the press with the mien of a kindergarten teacher angry and disappointed with a bunch of unruly toddlers. But the daily press briefing has outlived its usefulness. It is now mostly a forum for TV personalities like Jim Acosta to preen and prance.”

Speaking of which: ‘What bias tho?’ Andrew McCabe’s negative comment about Sarah Sanders cracks up MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace.

BLUE ON BLUE: The Left’s War Against The New York Times.

The Times has flourished under Trump, witnessing a surge in digital subscriptions and regularly breaking major news about the administration and the Russia inquiry (not to mention #MeToo). Yet liberal criticism of the Times has also intensified, especially on social media. Not a day passes, it seems, without a prominent Twitter user complaining that the Times is biased against the left, too friendly to Trump and his supporters, or engaging in false equivalences between Democrats and Republicans.

Reporter Michael Schmidt was criticized for not asking more follow-up questions during an impromptu sit-down with Trump in December. His colleague Richard Fausset was accused of normalizing a neo-Nazi in his profile of an Ohio white nationalist the month before. Critics frequently charge that the Times is preoccupied with giving a voice to Trump supporters or even just saying something nice about the president, and the paper has openly struggled with how to cover racists. Broader criticisms go to questions of framing and context—whether news analysis of Trump is too gentle, like when Peter Baker described the president’s “reality-show accessibility,” or why the Times’ mobile phone push notifications seem strangely favorable to the White House. And then there’s the steady moan about the Times opinion section—not just stalwarts like Brooks and Ross Douthat, but Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss, both of whom joined the paper last year from The Wall Street Journal.

“I think there’s been a lot more anger from the grassroots against the Times,” Willis told me. “They’re able to be more vocal about it because of social media and Twitter specifically.” Sean McElwee, a socialist policy analyst and columnist at The Outline, said this anger sometimes “unites everyone from a deeply anti-imperialist socialist to someone who works at a center-left think tank.”

The Left turns on its own, always.

FINAL BENGHAZI REPORT RELEASED: Obama, Clinton Lied, Didn’t Take Action To Save Lives.

Gowdy’s findings questioned the administration’s dubious reasons for placing diplomatic personnel in Benghazi despite clear and consistent warnings of violence in the area.

The temporary mission in Benghazi was on the road to becoming a permanent facility in the fall of 2012, when Stevens and a skeleton security team headed to the coastal Libyan city to prepare the announcement of a lasting U.S. presence there.

According to the committee’s report, U.S. officials had reported an “increase in extremist activity” in June 2012 as other Western powers in the area withdrew their people out of concern for their safety.

Other investigations had detailed the string of attacks in Libya that preceded the Benghazi raid, but none had exposed the motivations behind Stevens’ activities in the region, laying the groundwork for an upcoming visit from Clinton, where she hoped to announce the establishment of a permanent diplomatic post in Benghazi.

Related: GOP Benghazi report charges Obama-Clinton did nothing to save lives.

Also: How The White House Spun Benghazi.

New evidence obtained by the House Select Committee on Benghazi suggests the Obama administration forged ahead with a narrative that blamed the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi on a protest over a YouTube clip, despite clear and consistent signs that the violence was planned and executed by a terrorist group.

In a 48-page summary of the committee’s findings that was penned by a pair of Republican committee members and made public Tuesday, Reps. Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo argued the administration presented the public with an explanation that had little basis in fact because President Obama was preoccupied with declaring terrorism dead ahead of his reelection.

Although then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has attempted to attribute the misinformation in her early statements on Benghazi to the “fog of war,” Pompeo said Clinton was among the many administration officials with almost immediate access to intelligence that indicated the attack was carried out by Islamic terrorists.

“It’s largely undisputed that she had that information, and that’s the way that she articulated it privately that night,” Pompeo told the Washington Examiner in an interview.

But they still jailed a filmmaker, for political distraction purposes.

Plus: Final Benghazi report details administration failures. Note this humiliating detail for Hillary’s State Department: “The panel also found that former senior officials in the defunct Qadhafi regime helped evacuate Americans to safety, a surprising finding given that the U.S. was backing the rebels fighting against the regime. The GOP committee staffer noted that the rebel forces State had worked to befriend did not come to the Americans’ aid.”

Also: “The committee also blasts the State Department’s internal investigation of the attack, known as the Accountability Review Board, for allegedly coordinating with Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills. Such reviews are traditionally independent.” Traditions of that sort seldom survive contact with the Clintons.

Also: Politico: Weapons trafficking questions remain unanswered in Benghazi report.

UPDATE: Report: Mills’ influence tainted review board. In 2012, I attended a dinner with Condi Rice in L.A. where she told us that these reviews were meticulous and unbiased. That was no doubt true when she was Secretary of State, but her confidence that the same would obtain under the Obama Administration is, I’m afraid, sadly typical of the GOP leadership’s lack of imagination, or maybe perception.

BOARDING THE RIGHT TRAIN: “Nobody with any sense believes that the Donald is the perfect candidate for the presidency. But he is not the problem,” David Solway writes. “The problem is a culture that appears determined to sign its own death warrant, splintering into a congeries of special interest groups and reveling in a morass of identity politics, moral relativism and infantile grievances. The problem is the catastrophic legacy left by Obama on the racial, economic and foreign policy fronts, from which the nation may not recover irrespective of who the next president may be. The problem is the brace of leftist hacks and retreads vying for the Democratic nomination, one of whom will occupy the White House if fractious conservatives have their way. The problem is a Republican establishment vastly out of step with its core constituency and seemingly preoccupied chiefly with retaining its beltway perks and privileges.”

Read the whole thing.

OBAMA HAS NOW REACHED THE STAGE IN HIS PRESIDENCY where he’s consistently mocked by Maureen Dowd. For Republicans in the White House, this happens in January of their first year in office, but for Democrats it indicates a significant phase-change. This is because Dowd wants to be cool, which means that when she starts mocking a Dem President, it has become okay to do so even within the bubble occupied by Democratic pundits.

But “So how can you blame me for wanting to unwind on the course or for five hours at dinner with my former assistant chef? He’s a great organic cook, and he’s got a gluten-free backyard putting green.” Oh, my.

UPDATE: Judging from the comments, while Dowd might be regarded as a lagging indicator by people who are paying attention to politics, for the typical New York Times reader she’s actually a leading indicator. . . .

BECAUSE IT COMES FROM JIMMY CARTER, WOULD BE MY GUESS. Why Is Nobody Listening To Jimmy Carter’s Searing Critique of America?

Also, because our current President is a Democrat. “Searing critiques of America” are only in demand when the White House is occupied by a Republican.

NUCLEAR SURVIVAL: Get Indoors And Stay There:

The advice is based on recent scientific analyses showing that a nuclear attack is much more survivable if you immediately shield yourself from the lethal radiation that follows a blast, a simple tactic seen as saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Even staying in a car, the studies show, would reduce casualties by more than 50 percent; hunkering down in a basement would be better by far.

But a problem for the Obama administration is how to spread the word without seeming alarmist about a subject that few politicians care to consider, let alone discuss. So officials are proceeding gingerly in a campaign to educate the public.

“We have to get past the mental block that says it’s too terrible to think about,” W. Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview. “We have to be ready to deal with it” and help people learn how to “best protect themselves.”

Officials say they are moving aggressively to conduct drills, prepare communication guides and raise awareness among emergency planners of how to educate the public.

They told me if I voted Republican, we’d be plunged deep into a scary 1950s-style pre-nuclear-war “duck and cover” posture. And they were right!

This is old news, though. Even back in the 1960s there were Civil Defense debates on whether to give warning in case of an attack, based on studies that showed more people would be sheltered by where they happened to be than would benefit from a warning, since many people would immediately either try to flee, or to return to their homes, winding up in more exposed positions when the bomb went off. And although heavily mocked by antinuclear activists in the 1980s, the duck-and-cover advice from the 1950s was pretty good, considering, and would have saved many lives if it had been followed in the event of a nuclear attack.

But I love this:

Administration officials argue that the cold war created an unrealistic sense of fatalism about a terrorist nuclear attack. “It’s more survivable than most people think,” said an official deeply involved in the planning, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The key is avoiding nuclear fallout.” . . . White House officials say they are aware of the issue’s political delicacy but are nonetheless moving ahead briskly.

Entirely true, and I applaud them for pursuing this policy. I find that my law students — effectively post-Cold War generation — know next to nothing about nuclear weapons, fallout, and basic civil-defense stuff that most people knew back when I was a kid. So education is warranted. But is this the kind of change that Obama voters were expecting?

I doubt it, but once again InstaPundit was ahead of the curve. And so was Stanley Kurtz, who wrote back in 2006 that “We’ll be back to duck and cover if we don’t stop Iran first…” And here we are!

UPDATE: Rushing anti-radiation drugs to market? “Judging by the timeline for the anti-radiation drug program, U.S. officials see a rapidly escalating CBRN threat against the homeland over the next five years.” You’ll also want some iodine pills. And there’s some evidence that very large doses of Vitamin E have a protective effect, as I recall.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader C.J. Burch emails: “We’ve elected LBJ.” That’s silly. For that analogy to hold, we’d have to be involved in a foreign war that we’re not willing to win, but not willing to give up in, while dumping huge amounts of money into social programs that will wind up costing vastly more than predicted. And there’d have to be some sort of daisy-girl ad raising the nuclear threat but blaming some poor innocent small-government Republican.

MORE: A cogent objection from Rand Simberg: “Nonsense. LBJ knew how to wrangle Congress. He wasn’t led around by the nose by the Speaker and Majority Leader.”

And Jim Bennett writes:

Mocking duck and cover drills was always a display of ignorance. Duck and cover was taken from a straightforward analysis of casualties at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the big conventional explosions like the Halifax harbor explosions. Of course if you’re at ground zero they are useless, but a great many people on the periphery were killed or blinded by glass shards or other splinters driven by the blast waves. Many of them would have been avoided by simple duck-and-cover procedures.

Well, yes. But the Venn diagram for “antinuclear activist” and “deep ignorance” always featured near-100% overlap. . . .

MORE STILL: “Did Obama and his people get a burst of Lileksian nostalgia? . . . It’s all of a piece with ‘we could absorb a terrorist attack’. What they’re telling you is that you’re going to get nuked, there’s nothing they can do about it, they have no intention of trying to do anything substantive about it, and the best thing for you to do is to learn to be a contortionist — it’s hard to bend over far enough to kiss your ass goodbye. . . . A strong America might well absorb a terrorist hit with little damage, even a nuclear one. A weak America, especially an America with weaklings in its highest offices, might very well feel it had something to prove, and that could be very dangerous to miscalculators — and more so to their innocent bystanders.”

STILL MORE: Reader D.K. Kittel writes:

Regarding your post on government recommendations for nuclear survival:

I am quite impressed to see anyone on the left actually studying and contemplating how best to handle a disaster and how best to release this valuable information.

It wasn’t too many years ago the newly formed Department of Homeland Security under then Secretary Ridge released a memo that stated how best to handle a disaster. That memo had numerous items listed included important things like keeping water and food supplies sufficient for at least 72 hours since that was the earliest you should expect help from the Federal Government.

Unfortunately that memo also included the, very accurate and potentially life saving I might add, information about keeping duct tape and plastic on hand (which online also referenced nuclear fallout I think)

It was pilloried by those on the left and it became the joke of the year. Everyone from Senator Reid to most liberal Congressmen and The Daily Show on down to Letterman and Leno ripped into this recommendation for days if not weeks. Oh they had some fun.

Unfortunately instead of helping to improve and support public safety and responsibility they chose to make political points.

A year and a half later Katrina hit. Hardly anyone in the primarily liberal districts hardest hit had ever heard the first 10 or so items on that list (if I recall it was 15 or so). They certainly didn’t have food or water stocks and how were they to know help would take at least 72 hours! If only the Government had let them know!!! Wait, they did but the left chose politics rather then reinforce the factual information in that memo. Lives could have been saved.

So to see Democrats putting public safety over scoring political points is quite a pleasant (if not a little tardy and a bit hypocritical) surprise.

Indeed. Meanwhile, Joe Hultquist writes:

I was in Switzerland in October, and we stayed in a downstairs apartment in a very nice Swiss couple’s home. We had access to their basement and laundry room, and to get there required walking by a room that had two doors for one opening. The inner door was pretty standard, but the outer door was approximately six inches thick, and made of solid concrete and steel. The same type of closure was mounted as an inside shutter for the only window, and there was a hand-cranked blower with a high-efficiency air filter in line. The room had reinforced concrete walls and ceiling. The owner told me that, in that canton, all new homes were required to have such a room until around 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union. Some cantons still require them, and even inspect them on an annual basis. We encountered an example of that while visiting some friends in Uster.

One only needs to spend a little time in Switzerland to realize just how well prepared they are for invasion, military threats and even nuclear attack. No wonder they haven’t been successfully invaded since the Romans occupied their land. And that, of course, predated the Confederation Helvetica. The message is clear: don’t mess with the Swiss.

Yes, the Swiss are off their game a bit these days, but they’re still way ahead of us. And another reader writes about fire dangers:

Incredibly, the word “fire” does not appear a single time in the NYT article. Color me skeptical of the “survivability” of a nuclear attack, at least in Southern California. . . . My guess is that if even a single “small” nuclear bomb went off just about anywhere in coastal Southern California, there’s a decent chance that *every* forest, city, town, and man made structure from Ensenada to Santa Barbara would burn to the ground in the following days, weeks, and months. Hundreds of thousands dead *by fire*, not blast or fallout, with many millions more displaced. Our “plan” for survival = GTFO.

Well, a terrorist bomb will likely be a surface-burst (or in a port, a water-burst if it’s smuggled on a ship, a plausible scenario) which will reduce the fire-setting role of the flash. But, yeah, if you read the report (and I skimmed it last night) they seem to be thinking mostly about NY or DC. Note, too, that sheltering for even a few hours can make a big difference. Following the old “rule of 7” the radiation is 1/10 its peak 7 hours later. (And 1/10 again — that is 1/100 at 7 x 7 hours — two days, basically). Also, of course, sometimes you’re just screwed, which is why nuclear attacks on one’s town are to be avoided if at all possible.

Here, by the way, are the shelter-in-place FAQs from Ready.gov.