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SLOW JOE: Biden knocks Clinton: Not a ‘great’ candidate.

“I never thought she was a great candidate. I thought I was a great candidate,” he said, adding:

“No man or woman should announce for the presidency unless they genuinely believe that for that moment in the nation’s history they are the most qualified person to deal with the issues facing the country.”

Run, Joe, run!

POLITICO: Biden keeps 2020 options open.

Flashback: Biden Swims Naked, Upsetting Female Secret Service Agents:

Agents say that, whether at the vice president’s residence or at his home in Delaware, Biden has a habit of swimming in his pool nude,” Kessler writes in the book – due for release Aug. 5.

“Female Secret Service agents find that offensive,” he writes.

“Biden likes to be revered as everyday Joe,” an unnamed agent told Kessler. “But the reality is no agents want to go on his detail because Biden makes agents’ lives so tough.”

Plus: Washington Post: What Are We Going To Do About Creepy Uncle Joe Biden?

And: ‘Creepy Veep’ Joe Biden ‘nuzzles’ wife of colleague and claims he is friends with lots of Somali cab drivers.

Also: Joe Biden’s Woman-Touching Habit.

Related: Talking Points Memo: Why Does Creepy Uncle Joe Biden Get A Pass From Liberals?

Plus:

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JOE BIDEN OFFERS COLLEGE MEN ADVICE ON HOW TO TREAT WOMEN.

Flashback: Biden Swims Naked, Upsetting Female Secret Service Agents:

Agents say that, whether at the vice president’s residence or at his home in Delaware, Biden has a habit of swimming in his pool nude,” Kessler writes in the book – due for release Aug. 5.

“Female Secret Service agents find that offensive,” he writes.

“Biden likes to be revered as everyday Joe,” an unnamed agent told Kessler. “But the reality is no agents want to go on his detail because Biden makes agents’ lives so tough.”

Plus: Washington Post: What Are We Going To Do About Creepy Uncle Joe Biden?

And: ‘Creepy Veep’ Joe Biden ‘nuzzles’ wife of colleague and claims he is friends with lots of Somali cab drivers.

Also: Joe Biden’s Woman-Touching Habit.

Related: Talking Points Memo: Why Does Creepy Uncle Joe Biden Get A Pass From Liberals?

Plus:

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MICHAEL BARONE: Doesn’t anybody know how to play this game?

“Dare I suggest,” writes the economist and blogger Tyler Cowen, “that the quality of governance in this country has taken a downward turn of late?” Or as Casey Stengel, while managing the New York Mets on their way to a 40-120 season in 1962, reportedly asked, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

In successive weeks both Democrats and Republicans have shown a downward trend in the quality of governance and raised questions about whether anybody in Washington can play this game.

Start with the Democrats, and their strikeout last week in the hearings on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Their attacks on Gorsuch as a scourge of “the little guy ” were, as liberal Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman wrote, “a terrible idea.” Judges are supposed to decide cases on the law, not the net worth of litigants.

Democrats are now lining up to filibuster the nomination, on the spurious grounds that confirmation has always required 60 votes. Actually, Justices Thomas and Alito were confirmed in 1991 and 2006 with 52 and 58 votes.

Democrats are still steamed that Senate Republicans blocked Obama nominee Merrick Garland last year. But the Constitution doesn’t require the Senate to hold hearings or a vote on nominees.

Joe Biden in 1992 and Charles Schumer in 2007 argued that no nominee should be approved in a presidential election year. That makes sense in an era when Supreme Court decides partisan issues like abortion, gun control and campaign finance. Give the voters a chance to weigh in. . . .

Doesn’t anybody here know how to play this game?

House Republicans certainly don’t, judging from their debacle of their attempt to fulfill their seven-year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Nope.

JOE BIDEN: ‘Do I Regret Not Being President? Yes’

TRUMP: It’s FAKE NEWS Reporter Found My Tax Returns in His Mailbox.

So how much of a stinker is this tax thing, really? CNN is running with “Democrats urge one another not to get distracted by Trump’s taxes.” Which is probably sage advice, given that Trump paid an effective 25% rate, much higher than Barack Obama, Joe Biden, or Bernie Sanders. And we wouldn’t be talking about Democrats’ tax rates at all if it weren’t for this story, which is enough to make you wonder if the “fake news reporter” wasn’t someone on the Trump payroll.

KURDISH PRESIDENT: Independent Kurdistan is loyal response to Peshmerga sacrifices.

The fall of Mosul is likely to mark the beginning of the breakup of Iraq, as has been the case with countries who have come out of ethnic and religious conflicts, such as Czechoslovakia, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani says, adding that an independent Kurdistan would bring more stability to the Middle East, a region that otherwise has been troubled with massacres and conflict since the two world wars.

Barzani went on to say “independence and complete liberation” will be the loyal reward for the past and present sacrifices of the Kurdish nation.

President Barzani made these remarks to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, published on March 5, coinciding with the anniversary of the Kurdish uprising against the former Iraqi regime in 1991 which eventually gave birth to the present autonomous Kurdistan Region with its own parliament, government and armed forces.

“The desire to keep the united Iraq is there, but the reality is that today Iraq is already divided by unsolvable problems,” Barzani said when asked whether Iraq will come out of the war against ISIS as a united state, “Sunnis and Shiites have been fighting for 1400 years and we Kurds are the victims of this war. We have to find a new formula of coexistence.”

Joe Biden was ahead of his time.

TRAILER PARK ON THE POTOMAC: Joe Biden’s Son Accused by Ex-Wife of Bankrupting His Family With Drug and Hooker Binges.

REPORT: Barack Obama’s close confidante Valerie Jarrett has moved into his new DC home, which is now the nerve center for their plan to mastermind the insurgency against President Trump.

The former president has set up an office on the West End of the national’s capitol, where he recently hosted an open house for his White House staff – including Joe Biden, Susan Rice, Josh Earnest and Jarrett.

But the office, part of his post presidency perks, cannot be used for political purposes. The rent on his home is paid by him personally.

On Tuesday, former Attorney General Eric Holder revealed that Obama is indeed getting closer to making his public reappearance in politics.

‘It’s coming. He’s coming,’ Holder said speaking to reporters. ‘And he’s ready to roll.’

According to the family source, Obama was at first reluctant to assume the role of leader of the opposition.

‘No longer the most powerful man in the world, he was just observing Trump and not liking what he saw,’ said the source.

That last bit seems more than a little contrived.

AS STIMULUS CHIEF JOE BIDEN SAID, “CORRUPTION IS JUST ANOTHER FORM OF TYRANNY.” Obama Stimulus Funds Went to California Dam in ‘Good Shape,’ But Not Oroville.

Despite more than a decade of warnings about Oroville, there is no public record of the country’s tallest dam receiving any of the more than $34 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sent to California for infrastructure projects.

Over $22 million in stimulus funds did go toward safety improvements to the Folsom Dam, which was described as in “good shape” at the time the grant was awarded in 2009.

“The dam is in good shape but is starting to show its age,” a Bureau of Reclamation spokesperson said of the Folsom Dam at the time.

The stimulus was intended to “shore up the nation’s aging infrastructure,” said former representative Mike Thompson, a Democrat who served California’s 1st District where the Oroville dam is located before being redistricted to the 5th.

Thompson lauded numerous stimulus projects, which included $2.2 million for “more attractive” sidewalks and $2.5 million for a 205-acre “zero net energy” community on the University of California Davis campus to put a greater “emphasis on walking” and bicycling.

We have far more government than we need, but a hell of a lot less than we pay for.

DEMS IN DISARRAY: Hispanics are split in DNC race.

Latino Democrats are splitting their vote for Democratic National Committee chair, with 10 days to go until the election.

While former Labor Secretary Tom Perez is a leading contender for the race, many liberal Latinos are backing his main rival, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).

“Obviously, as a Latina I’m interested in creating greater opportunities of representation for all people of color,” said Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council speaker who is backing Ellison.

“I do promote Latino candidates, but there should never be the assumption that one automatically supports a Latino candidate,” she added.

Perez has received top-level endorsements, including from former Vice President Joe Biden — an indication of support from former President Barack Obama.

But Ellison has attracted a large swath of the progressive wing of the party. And some major players are switching sides.

If you’re Hispanic, what does Ellison’s Black-Muslim-LGBTQ alliance have to offer you?

STRIKE A POSE, THERE’S NOTHING TO IT:

Shot:

Chaser: Back to reality! The Obamas take off in Richard Branson’s private jet from their ten day island getaway—after taking a helicopter to the airport.

Related: Joe Biden and Colin Powell drag race their ’67 and 2015 Corvettes.

I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Glenn Reynolds’ carbon footprint.

KURT EICHENWALD: Neil Gorsuch Is Supremely Qualified, and Must Not Be Confirmed.

Gorsuch, unfortunately, must be sacrificed on the altar of obscene partisanship erected by the Republicans in recent years. Temper tantrums designed to undermine the Constitution for naked political purposes cannot be rewarded. Our government cannot survive the short-term games-playing that has replaced fidelity to the intent of the Founding Fathers’ work in forming this once-great nation.

This goes back to the unconscionable decision of Republicans who refused to consider any nominee put forward by President Barack Obama following the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Obama nominated Merrick Garland, another eminently qualified candidate who served as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second most important court in the nation. But in a decision that will go down as one of the greatest abuses of the Constitution in this nation’s history, the Senate’s Republican majority, under the leadership of their unprincipled majority leader, Mitch McConnell, declared they would not give Garland hearings, would not examine his qualifications and would not take a vote.

Instead, they made up a rule: A nominee for the Supreme Court can be considered for only three-quarters of any president’s term. In the fourth year, confirmations have to wait until after the election. And so the Supreme Court has been hobbled for coming up on one year—and, because the confirmation hearings will inevitably drag on, for months more to come.

It’s called “the Biden rule,” Kurt. Named after its author, Democrat Senator Joe Biden. You might have heard of him. He was Democrat President Barack Obama’s Democrat Vice President for the last eight years. Anyway, Joe came up with the Biden Rule in 1992 when the Democrats controlled the Senate, to stop Republican President Bush from naming a conservative to the court during the last quarter of his Administration. Some might have considered that a partisan act.

And a Republican-controlled Senate seems, shall we say, somewhat unlikely to tip the ideological balance of the Senate leftward, Kurt, when they have been armed with a weapon of pure partisanship — the nuclear option — forged by Democrat Harry Reid. You might have heard of him, too. Reid once used Senate trickery to pass ObamaCare over the strenuous objections of 41 Republican Senators — including a brand-new Republican Senator sent there by the people of Massachusetts, Kurt, for the express purpose of stopping Reid’s partisan antics. But Reid was a wily devil and overturned a couple centuries of Senate rules and traditions to pass the most partisan major legislation since… ever, maybe.

So if the GOP installs Neil Gorsuch — who earned his previous position with the vote of every single Senate Democrat — without a single Democrat vote, it will be thanks to the normalization of hyperpartisanship… by Democrats.

It might not be a very tasty sandwich, Kurt, but it’s Biden and Reid’s recipe.

INCLUDING BARACK OBAMA, HILLARY CLINTON, AND JOE BIDEN: “Every single one of these Senators voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch in 2006.”

PETER BERKOWITZ: Trump Can Help Debunk Alleged College “Rape Culture.”

Due process protections for the accused in campus cases alleging sexual assault have been under attack for decades. In the guise of enforcing Title IX—a 1972 federal law prohibiting educational institutions that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex—the Obama administration intensified the attack.

Restoring due process on campuses does not seem to be a top priority for President Trump and congressional Republicans. If they wish to uphold the rule of law—for men and for women—it should be.

Yes, it should. Plus:

A “rape culture” does not pervade our campuses. Despite a determined campaign of disinformation—to which former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) prominently contributed—the incidence of sexual assault on campus dropped by more than half between 1997 and 2013, is below the off-campus rate, and affects approximately one in 40 women, according to the Department of Justice.

Nevertheless, our universities have curtailed basic civil liberties and perpetrated gross miscarriages of justice. Their attack on due process also obscures the principle source of regretted sexual experience among undergraduates: a campus hook-up culture of alcohol-fueled promiscuity that drives romance, courtship, and love from the undergraduate lexicon.

Those who doubt due process has been degraded in college disciplinary proceedings—and those inclined to believe it but who have yet to acquaint themselves with the hard facts and life-altering consequences of campus justice—should read “The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities” by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr. The authors of the indispensable “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” have once again performed an outstanding public service. In tale after harrowing tale, they expose “a system on our nation’s campuses in which accused students effectively have to prove their innocence, often under procedures that deny them any meaningful opportunity to do so.”

The authors are anything but partisans. They are not even conservatives.

Nope, but anybody should be upset about this. Well, anybody except Reynolds Online University, Where Nobody Gets Raped!

THE VOTERS SAID NO; SANITY SAYS NO; HIS MENTAL ABILITY SAYS NO; YOU’VE GOT TO LET IT GO: Still Can’t Let Go: MSNBC Host Says in Parallel Universe, Joe Biden Is Taking Oval Office. There was never a chance for Slow Joe.

JOHN LEWIS (D-GA) SAYS TRUMP IS NOT A ‘LEGITIMATE PRESIDENT:’ “Lewis questioned the validity of the previous Republican president, George W. Bush, on multiple occasions, as well. He told the Wall Street Journal ‘some of us think [Al Gore] won last time’ during an interview in 2001, and also supported the idea of impeaching Bush in 2005 over the NSA’s warrantless surveillance activity.”

Regarding that last item, “Lewis was Once Erroneously Placed on No-Fly List He Wants to Use to Deny Due Process,” PJM noted last year, when Lewis was part of the Democrats’ Congressional “sit-in.”

And as Glenn noted in 2010, “CORRECTING THE NEW YORK TIMES: Congressman John Lewis was NOT ‘Showered With Hateful Epithets Outside the Capitol’ Last March. And Andrew Breitbart has the video, and the unclaimed $100K reward, to prove it.”

Two years later, Lewis further besmirched his civil rights-era credibility by asking delegates at the Democratic National Convention “whether they want to go back to a society where blacks were beaten, presumably by voting for Mitt Romney,” Eliana Johnson wrote at NRO.

In the prior month that year, Joe Biden shouted to a group of black Democratic constituents that Republicans such as Romney are “going to put y’all back in chains.”

And Democrats wonder how Trump flourished last year.

UPDATE: Lewis skipped Bush #43 inaugural too, said he was not president.

I KNOW SOMEBODY WHO’S GOING TO ENJOY HIS RETIREMENT: Joe Biden Wants Corvette’s Chief Engineer to Help Him Pick a New Vette.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: The DNC-MSM and “The Office Of The President-Elect,” Then and Now. As Paul Mirengoff writes with alteration ascendant at Power Line, “The President-Elect Need Not Be a Potted Plant:”

Ruth Marcus, the liberal Washington Post columnist, advises Donald Trump that “there can be only one president at a time.” This slogan raises, but does not answer, the question of what the president-elect should say or do when the lame duck takes highly controversial action with which his successor-to-be strongly disagrees. More on that in a moment.

But first, let’s share a laugh over Marcus’ invocation of Richard Nixon in defense of the idea that the president-elect should be seen but not heard. Marcus writes:

President Richard Nixon, at a news conference a week after being sworn in. . .noted that, in conversations as president-elect with Johnson administration officials, he had “scrupulously followed the line that we have one president at a time, and that he must continue to be president until he leaves office on January 20.”

It was Nixon, though, who as a candidate for president (not president-elect) worked to scuttle Vietnam peace talks. Fearing that the prospect of peace talks would harm his election campaign (his opponent Hubert Humphrey was cutting into Nixon’s once-large lead), Tricky Dick let the South Vietnamese government know it could get better terms if it obstructed peace talks.

Funny, I don’t recall the Washington Post losing much sleep over those infamous “Office of the President-Elect” placards that Obama began draping over his podium immediately after he won the election – several weeks before the Electoral College made his victory official – until he took office in mid-January of 2009. They were clearly designed to bigfoot George W. Bush in his last months in power, and blur the line between the authority each man held. I don’t believe Obama has any guilt over any of decisions, no matter how poorly made. But in addition to his anger over Trump’s victory, I wouldn’t be surprised if much of Obama’s grandstanding in recent weeks was caused by flashbacks to his own playing the poseur while waiting to take office.

President-elect Barack Obama introduces Arne Duncan, left, as his Education Secretary-designate, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, during a news conference at the Dodge Renaissance Academy in Chicago. Vice President-elect Joe Biden is at right. (AP Photo)

President-elect Barack Obama introduces Arne Duncan, left, as his Education Secretary-designate, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, during a news conference at the Dodge Renaissance Academy in Chicago. Vice President-elect Joe Biden is at right. (AP Photo and caption.)

THE FIX WAS IN: White House On Defense After Being Exposed as Architect of Anti-Israel U.N. Action.

Senior Obama administration officials are scrambling to provide explanations after multiple reports, including in the Washington Free Beacon, identified the White House as being a chief architect of a recent United Nations resolution condemning the state of Israel, according to conversations with multiple former and current U.S. officials.

On the heels of the hotly contested resolution, which condemned Israel for building homes in its capital, Jerusalem, senior Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden, have been identified as leading the charge to ensure the anti-Israel measure won approval by the U.N. Security Council.

The administration’s denials of this charge broke down during the past several days as multiple reporters confirmed the Obama administration worked behind-the-scenes to help shape and forward the resolution.

Read the whole thing.

OR IS HE POSITIONING HIMSELF FOR 2020? Joe Biden Admits: Hillary Lost Because She Failed to Reach Out to the White Working Class.

THE GRAY LADY WISHES MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MR. AND MRS. TRUMP VOTER AND ALL THE REPUBLICANS AT SEA! NYT Says GOP Stole Supreme Court Seat From Obama:

The New York Times’ Christmas Day editorial tags Senate Republicans for “stealing” a seat on the Supreme Court that should have been filled by President Barack Obama.

The Times accuses Republicans of impugning the institutional integrity of the court by a hyper-partisan charade, arguing the justices derive their legitimacy from their separation from the two political branches of government.

“Mr. McConnell and his allies took a torch to that idea — an outrageous gambit that, to nearly everyone’s shock, has paid off,” the Grey Lady says. “But while Republicans may be celebrating now, the damage they have inflicted on the confirmation process, and on the court as an institution, may be irreversible.”

Actually, the real damage to the Supreme Court nomination process was committed in 1987 when Teddy Kennedy went full Harry Reid on Robert Bork. And Joe Biden – at least in his 1992 incarnation – disagrees with the Times’ premise of a “stolen” Supreme Court seat:

(Classical reference in headline.)

JOE BIDEN: NOT EVEN HILLARY CLINTON KNEW FOR SURE WHY SHE RAN FOR PRESIDENT.

Ted Kennedy could not be reached in Hell for comment and/or Nelson Muntz-style savage laughter.

SO IF PICKING THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS A “BRAND DECISION” FOR TRUMP, what does the Rex Tillerson pick say? Honestly, to me it looks like a bad pick. As CEO of Exxon, I’m sure the guy is competent, and he probably knows more about foreign relations than the average Senator, even those with Foreign Relations Committee experience. (Cough! *Joe Biden* Cough!)

But we’re talking branding here. What signal does Trump send with this pick? Some possibilities: (1) The Business Of America Is Business! (2) Remind me why Russia is our adversary? (3) We’re the #1 oil producer in the world thanks to fracking, and we’re going to increase our lead, so we want someone who understands how we can use the Oil Weapon. (4) I got nothin’.

As for #1, well, fine, but I don’t think that’s where Trump wants to go, is it? As for (2), Russia pretty clearly is our adversary. Just because you don’t want to risk nuclear war with them like Hillary did doesn’t mean that they’re our friend. Putin fooled Bush, who thought he looked into his soul, but Trump should have the benefit of that experience. (3) The oil thing kinda makes sense, but do you need an Exxon CEO for that? (4) This is pretty much my main take. I’m comforted, though, that Robert Gates and Condi Rice like Tillerson. Maybe Trump just thinks his own brand is so strong that he doesn’t need to make a branding statement with his Secretary of State pick? Or maybe it’s a literary conspiracy. “Ayn Rand was perhaps the leading literary voice in 20th century America for the notion that, in society, there are makers and takers, and that the takers are parasitic moochers who get in the way of the morally-superior innovators.” Well, if Rand didn’t convince people of that, Obama should have.

Any thoughts? Weigh in in the comments.

PARTY OF OLD, WHITE PEOPLE: PPP Poll on Democrats’ 2020 preferences: “Joe Biden leads the way for Democrats with 31% to 24% for Bernie Sanders, and 16% for Elizabeth Warren. They’re the only folks we tested with meaningful support for the nomination at this point.”

A FRESH NEW FACE FOR THE DEMOCRATS! Biden raises possibility of 2020 presidential bid.

Vice President Biden on Monday raised the possibility of a presidential bid in 2020.

“I am going to run for president in 2020,” Biden told a group of reporters in the Capitol when asked about his political future.

Asked if he was kidding, the 74-year-old Biden paused for four seconds before saying he is “not committing not to run.”

The viral videos are ready.

CHARGING THE SECRET SERVICE FOR PROTECTING YOU IS OUTRAGEOUS!  Secret Service considering renting a floor at Trump Tower to protect future first family.  OH, WAIT, NEVERMIND… Joe Biden update: He’s now charging the Secret Service rent for a cottage to protect him.

ALWAYS GOOD FOR COMIC RELIEF: Meme Joe Biden Wants to Prank Our New President – Obama Not So Sure.

A TRAIN WRECK WORSE THAN OBAMACARE? The Spectacular Institutional Failure Of The Democratic Party.

Writers and analysts, those of us at TAI very much included, have spent the last several months writing about what seemed like the spectacular institutional failure of the Republican Party, which allowed its presidential nomination to be seized by someone whom its elites considered thoroughly unqualified for the highest office in the land. Party institutions were once strong enough to influence the outcomes of their nomination processes—to serve as gatekeepers and ideological enforcers. But the Republican Party apparatus was weak, distrusted, and vulnerable to a populist takeover. The institutional Democratic Party, meanwhile, was able to capitalize on its organizational and financial reach to clear the field, control its primary, and guide voters toward the ultra-establishment choice.

But insofar as you consider the election of Donald Trump a great failure on the part of the nation’s political elite, last night’s electoral earthquake highlights the fact that the Republican Party is not the only institution that was negligent. In a well-functioning democracy, when one party offers the nation a candidate with the highest disapproval ratings in modern history, the opposition party would put forward a candidate who can defeat him. And on this front, the Democrats failed almost methodically. . . .

Donald Trump won the Republican nomination because the GOP elite’s control over their party was weak. But he won the presidency because the Democratic elite’s control over their party was strong—strong enough that Hillary Clinton could feel confident going on a Wall Street speaking tour in the run-up to her campaign, strong enough to shield her from real scrutiny in the primaries, strong enough to keep to keep Joe Biden out of the race.

The election of Donald Trump can only happen in a country where many institutions are deeply, deeply broken. This is the culmination of a cascade of failures across broad swathes of the elite. The question now is whether the Age of Trump will mark the beginning of reform and renewal, or merely an acceleration of a long decline.

Our elites aren’t elite, but they are elitist. That’s the problem.

ACE DETECTIVE JOE BIDEN SWINGS INTO ACTION! Biden: Democrats Must Figure Out ‘What’s Eating at’ Trump Supporters.

I wonder if Biden is also pondering why do they want to put black people in chains? Or was that just that neo-confederate segregationist Bull* Romney?

* I know. But I doubt Joe does.

THE ATLANTIC’S MOLLY BALL: HILLARY IS ULTIMATE VICTIM OF 2016:

What had she been through over the past year and a half—what had America been through? She had prepared for a normal campaign, prepared for something like 2012, a boring slog against a sane and decent regular Republican whom she would strain to argue was Wrong On The Issues. Instead she got a hair-on-fire carnival ride, a Russian spy thriller, a national nervous breakdown of an election.

Every day she got up and recited the same jokes and exhortations, and every day the hackers released more of her advisers’ private communications onto the internet, and every day her improbable opponent, a sort of primal scream in human form, waved his arms and called her a criminal.

She had piles and piles of proposals*—to rightsize the prisons and roll back deportations and pay for child care and on and on—and then it turned out the election wasn’t about any of that. It was about trying to be as inconspicuous as possible and waiting for the fire to burn out. It was about being slightly less of a monster. Even then, about half of America looked at her and was not convinced.

Shades of John Kerry on 2004, who knew that as the Democrats’ presidential nominee, he had the entire MSM in his pocket, and that they would keep his radical chic worldview and past under wraps. But Al Gore’s invention, which allows information to flow in a decentralized fashion, unlike the Cronkite-era MSM, is a fickle mistress, as both Kerry and Hillary discovered. In early 2007, Joe Biden referred to Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Biden’s use of the word “clean” meant that Obama was relatively free of similar historical baggage (particularly when compared with rhetorical bomb-throwing past radical chic Democrat presidential wannabes such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton). That wasn’t really true, as we’ve since discovered (QED: Ayers, Wright, Alinsky, etc.), but Obama’s success as a “storybook” candidate, a self-described “blank slate” onto which any narrative can be cut and pasted, was a reminder that the DNC much prefers presidential nominees who have little or no unfortunate backstory to be exploited by their opponents.

Hillary is the very opposite of that, but she was next in-line, the backbench was very sparsely populated (in large part thanks to the disaster of Obamacare, ironically enough), and when you’re the Democrats, you go to war against the American people with the candidate you have, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld.

* Reading Ball’s past hot-takes, you just know she views Hillary as a real-life Tracy Flick, and that she thinks Flick is a character to be admired.

IF BIDEN WAS A REPUBLICAN, LATE NIGHT COMEDIANS WOULD MOVE IN LOCKSTEP TO MAKE THIS A RECURRING, GERALD FORD OR DICK CHENEY-STYLE JOKE: Once again, Joe Biden’s motorcade has an accident. This time, vehicle in his motorcade hits three cars in Wilmington, Delaware.

Earlier (and not necessarily a complete list!):

● “Two Secret Service employees driving along the Suitland Parkway struck and killed a man early Wednesday morning in the vehicles the agency uses to transport Vice President Joe Biden.”

The Hill, November 11, 2009.

● “A Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy escorting Vice President Joe Biden’s motorcade was hit this afternoon at Gibson and Carlisle.”

Albuquerque Journal, November 16, 2009.

● “A police car assisting Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s motorcade collided with another vehicle on the West Side of Manhattan on Tuesday as Mr. Biden was on his way to…a taping of ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,’ which is recorded at a studio on 11th Avenue near West 52nd Street….Two officers and the driver of the livery cab were taken to a hospital with neck and back injuries, the police said. None of the injuries were serious.”

—The New York Times, November 17, 2009.

● “Peggy Fleming hurt in Biden motorcade crash, former Olympian Vonetta Flowers also slightly injured, VP’s office says.”

—NBC, February 14, 2010.

● “Part of a motorcade escorting Vice President Joe Biden was involved in a minor accident Thursday while traveling in Queens, N.Y., WNBC-TV reported. Two officers with the New York Police Department motorcycle unit sustained minor injuries during the incident and were undergoing treatment at a local hospital, according to the report. Biden was not delayed by the accident, who met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier Thursday.”

—The New York Post, August 5, 2010.

“Joe Biden Motorcade Van Hits San Francisco Police Motorcycle.”

SF Weekly, October 14, 2014.

● “NYPD officer injured in Vice President Joe Biden’s motorcade.

— AP, September 11, 2015.

“Detroit police officer serving on VP Joe Biden’s motorcade injured in motorcycle accident near I-94.”

—WXYZ-Detroit, September 17, 2015.

As James Joyner of Outside the Beltway wrote in November of 2010 after a Forbes columnist wrote a piece satirically asking, “Strip Joe Biden of His Motorcade?” “Do I think the vice president should be stripped of his motorcade privileges?  No.  For one thing, I’m pretty sure Joe Biden wasn’t driving any of the cars in question, so it’s unreasonable to blame him. And, despite my general distaste for VIP motorcades and the inconveniences they pose for The Little People, there are legitimate security concerns for someone in Biden’s position. But there is something odd going on here.  At very least, an investigation ought to be launched to figure out why this is happening.”

Fortunately for Biden, his boss’s administration had much more pressing scandals to cover up over the years.

THE BULLY PARTY: Scott Adams: “I’ve been trying to figure out what common trait binds Clinton supporters together. As far as I can tell, the most unifying characteristic is a willingness to bully in all its forms.”

If you have a Trump sign in your lawn, they will steal it.

If you have a Trump bumper sticker, they will deface your car.

if you speak of Trump at work you could get fired.

On social media, almost every message I get from a Clinton supporter is a bullying type of message. They insult. They try to shame. They label. And obviously they threaten my livelihood.

We know from Project Veritas that Clinton supporters tried to incite violence at Trump rallies. The media downplays it.

We also know Clinton’s side hired paid trolls to bully online. You don’t hear much about that.

Yesterday, by no coincidence, Huffington Post, Salon, and Daily Kos all published similar-sounding hit pieces on me, presumably to lower my influence. (That reason, plus jealousy, are the only reasons writers write about other writers.)

Joe Biden said he wanted to take Trump behind the bleachers and beat him up. No one on Clinton’s side disavowed that call to violence because, I assume, they consider it justified hyperbole.

Team Clinton has succeeded in perpetuating one of the greatest evils I have seen in my lifetime. Her side has branded Trump supporters (40%+ of voters) as Nazis, sexists, homophobes, racists, and a few other fighting words. Their argument is built on confirmation bias and persuasion. But facts don’t matter because facts never matter in politics. What matters is that Clinton’s framing of Trump provides moral cover for any bullying behavior online or in person. No one can be a bad person for opposing Hitler, right?

It’s who they are, it’s what they do.

IF YOU INSIST: Stop Pining for Joe Biden.

CBS NEWS EDITS OUT BILL CLINTON’S ‘FREQUENTLY’ REMARK ABOUT HILLARY’S FAINTING EPISODES.

Reminder: David Rhodes, the president of CBS News, is the brother of Obama’s now infamous Middle East advisor Ben Rhodes, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” who committed the ultimate Kinsley gaffe when he told the New York Times a few months ago his sycophantic DNC-MSM correspondents—whom he contemptuously dismissed as “the blob”—are on average “27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

And that’s just how his brother at CBS seems to like it. As John Sexton writes at Hot Air, “CBS News has a history of failing to highlight information that might tend to make a Democratic candidate look bad. Recall that in 2012 Mitt Romney was widely judged to have blown a debate with President Obama when he suggested the president had not identified the Benghazi attack as an “act of terror” in a speech given the next morning. CNN’s Candy Crowley fact-checked Romney and CNN backed her up later. Meanwhile, CBS News had video from a 60 Minutes interview with the president which was shot the same day Obama gave the speech. In the edited segment Obama agreed he had avoided labeling the attack terrorism. CBS knew it had this clip but sat on it until two days before the election when it was quietly posted online. Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson told me in 2014 she believed CBS intentionally sat on the material.”

Related: CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King: ‘What’s Wrong’ With Hillary Thinking Health Scare Is ‘No Big Deal?’

I dunno – frequent fainting episodes seem like what King’s de facto boss Joe Biden would call a “BFD.” But then, as Iowahawk would say, “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” Curiously though, the DNC-MSM’s efforts at blocking Hillary’s health episodes only seems to be powering them forward.

SO DAVID SHUSTER REPORTS DNC INTEREST IN REPLACING HILLARY WITH JOE BIDEN. But this will require a pivot from Hillary’s woman-centric male-bashing campaign.

Flashback: Joe Biden’s Woman-Touching Habit.

Related: Talking Points Memo: Why Does Creepy Uncle Joe Biden Get A Pass From Liberals?

Plus:

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AS JAMES TARANTO WOULD SAY, GREAT ORATORS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY:

  • “One man with courage makes a majority.”—attributed to Andrew Jackson
  • “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “The buck stops here.”—Harry S. Truman
  • “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”—John F. Kennedy
  • “It’s like Ghostbusters, man. When there’s a problem anywhere else, call Ghostbusters. We’re Ghostbusters; so it makes sense that we are there to help them because it helps us.”—Joe Biden, as quoted by the Atlantic on Friday.

And just like Ghostbusters*, the EPA will be the death of us all.

* We’re going to assume that this year’s remake didn’t happen. It’s best that way.

I THINK THIS IS RIGHT: Democrats Have Cried Wolf On Racism So Often That This Won’t Help Them Much.

Hillary led off her speech calling Trump a racist and a race-baiter with the same sort of hackneyed misinterpretation Americans have come to expect from Democrats. Joe Biden once said that eminently non-racist, classy Mitt Romney wanted to put people back in chains; it doesn’t go very far when Hillary calls Trump racist for telling black people that they live in poverty and without proper education and home ownership – particularly when Democrats tell black Americans the same thing routinely. Hearing Hillary talk up the “vibrancy of black-owned businesses…or the strength of the black church” is ridiculous, since we know that if Trump said the exact same thing, she’d label him – wait for it – an out-of-touch racist. Trump pointed this out before the speech, and he’s right, at least in that respect.

Plus:

Hillary doesn’t get to say this. She and her husband destroyed Bob Dole as a human being. She routinely savaged George W. Bush. Her party ripped apart John McCain. And this year, Hillary declared Republicans her enemies. The only good Republicans are the ones in her memory.

Yep. Every four years the GOP nominee is literally Hitler, only to be resurrected as one of the “good Republicans” later in contrast to the new guy who’s literally Hitler.

BIDEN TO KURDS: GO HOME. US-backed Kurds pulling back in north Syria as Turkey continues anti-ISIS operation.

A day after Turkish tanks crossed the border into northern Syria, a US-backed largely Kurdish army has moved east of the Euphrates River on Thursday, according to a U.S. military spokesman.

Turkey and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden had called on the Kurds to leave Arab lands in Syria and return east of the Euphrates to traditional Kurdish territory.

Biden threatened to cut off supplies to the Kurds if they didn’t fall back.

The Kurds really don’t want to give Turkish President Recep Erdogan any excuses.

QUESTION ASKED: Joe Biden Will Visit Turkey This Week. Does He Have the Courage to Call Out Autocrat Erdogan?

It is unwise to criticize President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey.

“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Biden’s remark on Japan Constitution raises eyebrows.

A recent remark by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that America wrote Japan’s Constitution is raising some eyebrows in Japan.

A popular front-page column in the national Asahi newspaper said this week that the comment “was unprecedented in its insensitivity” and “could even be considered arrogant.”

Biden, appearing Monday with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, attacked Republican candidate Donald Trump for saying that Japan might need to consider obtaining nuclear weapons in the future.

The vice president said, “Does he not understand we wrote Japan’s Constitution to say that they could not be a nuclear power?”

It’s no secret that U.S. forces occupying Japan after World War II drafted the constitution, though Japanese scholars were involved in reviewing and modifying it before adoption.

Nice.

UNTHINKING IS CRAZY UNCLE JOE’S SPECIALTY! Biden Does The UNTHINKABLE With Nuke Codes At Hillary Rally.

THE MILWAUKEE RIOTS ARE A LOCAL NEWS STORY TO THE MEDIA, Jazz Shaw writes at Hot Air:

Have you been following all of the breathless media coverage of the riots, arson and looting in Milwaukee this week? Me neither. It’s not that I wouldn’t find the subject interesting and pertinent to the national discussion on police shootings and racial unrest. It’s simply a matter of there being almost no coverage on the cable news networks I watch during the day while working. You’d think this would be fairly major story with people being shot, officers being injured and properties burning to the ground.

So why the dearth of coverage? Jim Geraghty has a few ideas on the subject over at National Review and one of them is that the media is simply growing tired of getting repeatedly punched in the face if the desired narrative falls apart.

Literally so – and not in the Joe Biden definition of the L-word – “Racial Violence Forces Reporters To Leave Milwaukee After Police Shooting,” BuzzFeed(!) reports.

Related: Sister of Armed Man Killed By Milwaukee Cops Tells Rioters to Burn ‘Sh*t Down’ in the Suburbs.

MY MILITARY COUPS PAPER JUST GETS MORE TIMELY: ‘Military coup’ wins poll of troops in a landslide.

A poll of active duty and recently retired members of the armed services suggests that an overwhelming majority would prefer an armed overthrow of the government rather than see the election of either major party candidate. The poll was conducted by Quinnipiac University in the days following the Democratic convention.

When asked whom they would vote for during the 2016 campaign, 78% of servicemembers picked “other.” Nearly all then chose “military coup” from a list of options that also included Joe Biden, Ted Cruz, Jill Stein and “a massive earthquake that wipes out life in North America.”

When retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was included on the list, he was the most popular write in. However most of those who selected him also called for him to lead the armed rebellion against the United States government.

Yes, it’s a parody site, but still, the zeitgeist is the zeitgeist.

DAVID MASTIO: The Election Is Over: Trump Won. “No one is listening anymore. When mild-mannered technocrat Mitt Romney was running for president, Clinton’s obscure Obama-administration colleague Joe Biden told a black audience that Republicans ‘are going to put ya’ll back in chains.’ If you listen to Democrats, every Republican who has run for anything in my lifetime has Klan robes in their closet and secret Confederate memorabilia collection.” (Bumped).

UPDATE:

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When everyone is Hitler, no one is Hitler.

Related thoughts here.

WHY NOT? THERE ARE DOUBLE STANDARDS FOR EVERYTHING ELSE. Is there a plagiarism double standard?

Melania is a potential first lady, not the actual candidate, so the criticism she’s getting seems outsized compared to the plagiarism (h/t Heavy) of past candidates Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

When Biden was running for president in 1987, he had to admit to plagiarizing a law review article when he was in law school. He claimed at the time that his plagiarism was not “malevolent” but merely a “mistake” because he “misunderstood the need to cite sources carefully.”

We’ll have to take him at his word that back in the 1960s, people who made it through high school, their undergraduate studies and into law school wouldn’t properly know how to cite sources.

Biden also stole passages from the Welsh Labor Leader Neil Kinnock during a visit to a state fair. Biden has used quotes from Kinnock before, but had always credited him.

Biden also straight up stole details from Kinnock’s life and used them as his own, like claiming he was the first in his family to go to college. Oh, and Biden also stole passages from Robert F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.

Despite the blatant, serial plagiarism, Biden has been our vice president for the past eight years. It might have kept him from the presidency (not really, he wasn’t that well known in 1988 and in 2008 he was up against Barack Obama), but it didn’t keep him from the Senate or the vice presidency.

President Obama also plagiarized a part of a speech. In 2008, he gave a speech that sounded suspiciously similar to a 2006 speech from then Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Patrick closed party ranks and defended Obama after the accusation.

Democrats do that for their own. And so does the press.

JOE BIDEN COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT: Flashback: Elizabeth Warren Plagiarized Cherokee Cookbook To Prove Ethnicity.

“PURLOINED PIFFLE:” I don’t have anything to say about the Melania Trump kerfuffle that I haven’t already said about Joe Biden’s plagiarism scandal that took place back when he was, you know, actually a candidate.

ESPN IS SIMPLY MSNBC WITH BETTER VISUALS: ESPN to Televise Obama Infomercial on Race.

And so as not to leave Joe out of the “fun,” Joe Biden Enlisted by ESPN to Give Craig Sager Award.

ROLL CALL: Clinton Forgot It’s Not the Crime, It’s the Cover-Up: FBI email findings further tarnish already flawed nominee.

Of course, it could have been worse.

FBI Director James Comey could have recommended prosecution of Hillary Clinton or her closest aides for being “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

But an FBI recommendation of an indictment over Hillary’s home-brew email systems would have provided the Democratic Party with an escape hatch. Since Democratic delegates to the Philadelphia convention are not legally bound, there would have been a groundswell of support for Joe Biden as a last-minute substitute nominee.

Instead, the Democrats are saddled with their most flawed nominee since an exhausted party nominated John W. Davis on the 103rd ballot in 1924. Hillary Clinton’s disapproval rating averaged 55 percent even before Comey read his statement Tuesday morning in a firm uninflected voice.

Fortunately for Hillary — but not the Democrats — heedless incompetence is not a federal crime. Comey’s cascade of carelessness is an indictment of a woman who is partly running for president on her ability to handle a 3 a.m. emergency phone call on a secure line.

Huma will answer.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MEDICARE PATIENT AND A LAB RAT?  Peta makes sure you treat the lab rat humanely! Hillary Clinton’s health plan would kill Joe Biden’s cancer ‘moonshot’

OUR SAD POLITICAL CLASS: Watch Joe Biden talk about naked women at Michelle Obama’s White House Women’s Summit. “No man has a right to touch her!”

Flashback: Joe Biden’s Woman-Touching Habit.

Related: Talking Points Memo: Why Does Creepy Uncle Joe Biden Get A Pass From Liberals?

Plus:

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IT’S A SPECIAL FORM OF DEMENTIA THAT AFFECTS GUILTY POLITICIANS: Elizabeth Warren & Joe Biden’s Memory Problems.

WE’RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S 1929: James Lileks discusses the Outer Limits with a liquor store clerk and finds himself in the Twilight Zone:

Traders Joe conversations are the best. They’re all friendly and smart and they all play along. Went next door to Infinite Intoxicants, and put the items up on the belt.

“Hello,” chirped the clerk.

“Greetings,” I said.

She smiled. “I saw an old TV show from the ’20s called ‘The Outer Limits’ and someone said that just like you did.”

Sometimes one sentence reveals an endless expanse of — well, I don’t want to say ignorance, because that sounds harsh. How about “scant acquaintance with history.”

The Twenties.

And now we know which TV show FDR interrupted in 1929 when he comforted the nation after the stock market crashed…

Yet another reminder that (a) Lileks’ clerk is in good company when it comes to historical ignorance and (b) Katie Couric, who failed to call Biden out on his gaffe-apalooza in the fall of 2008 has been cooking the books for her fellow Democrats for quite some time.

NOT-SO-READY FOR HILLARY AFTER ALL? Democrats’ Dumping of Torricelli Could Be Blueprint for What Happens to Hillary.

Hillary Clinton’s mounting political — and possibly legal — problems over her e-mail server led me to write a column speculating that Democrats might move to install Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee if her poll numbers tank between now and the Democratic convention in late July. Biden might be joined on the ticket by fiery progressive senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in an effort to placate furious backers of Senator Bernie Sanders.

If I were a Bernie backer, that wouldn’t placate me.

THE TORRICELLI SOLUTION TO THE COMING CLINTON IMPLOSION?

As Michael Graham warned in 2004, “Don’t assume you know who’s on the Democratic ticket until Election Day.”

HEY RUBES! Salon: “Did the New York Times just accidentally tell the truth about the Obama administration? A startling piece pulls back the curtain on how our foreign policy is created — and sold to willing media dupes.”

Willing media dupes like Salon; here’s their hagiographic fan boy article in November of 2008 on “Barack Obama’s Epic Win:”

Barack Obama earned his ticket to the Oval Office by running a technically near-flawless campaign, dominating three debates and picking a vice president, Joe Biden, worthy of the office. It was, of course, Ronald Reagan’s slogan, but as the sun comes up Wednesday on a land that has dramatically turned away from the Bush-Cheney years, it will feel for tens of millions like “morning in America.”

Suckers.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Iraq Parliament Collapses, Lawmakers Flee Baghdad. “Baghdad teetered on the edge of political chaos Sunday. The city is in a state of emergency, protesters have occupied parts of the once-secure International Zone (IZ), lawmakers have run away and the military is on high alert.”

The White House, as usual, was caught by surprise. And Joe Biden displayed his usual golden touch:

Biden’s meetings Thursday with Abadi and other senior Iraqi officials focused primarily on making sure that the political strife in Baghdad was not interfering with military preparations to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, from the Islamic State.

“We talked about the plans that are in store for Mosul and the coordination that’s going on with all of our friends here,” Biden told reporters after his meeting with the Iraqi prime minister. “And so, I’m very optimistic.”

As he spoke, the vice president was standing next to Salim al-Jubouri, the Iraqi parliament speaker. He pointed to Jubouri and noted that they last talked in Biden’s office in Washington. “This is an old friend,” Biden said.

Less than 36 hours later, the protesters were dancing and stomping on Jubouri’s desk in front of the parliament chamber. Jubouri had fled the building.

Jeez.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GREAT MOMENTS IN COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: George Lopez Endorses Bernie Sanders But ‘Can’t Pay Any More Taxes.’

That’s a rather unpatriotic thing for an Obama supporter to say, as Joe Biden once noted.

BLUE ON BLUE: How Michelle Obama refused to invite Hillary and Bill Clinton to dinner, wanted Joe Biden to run and can’t wait to leave the White House to make money on book deals and speaking fees.

And on the flipside:

A source in Hillary’s inner circle told the author that Hillary, now 68, is running again for president out of vengeance for that loss. She needs to win.

Obama is viewed by Hillary’s circle of people as not having the same work ethic as Hillary who they see as having a long record of dedicated public service.

Those Clinton acolytes also suggest that ‘Michelle has not done enough as first lady’ and has failed to prioritize funding for some programs that subsequently lost their federal support.

One such program was Save America’s Treasures, a program that Hillary started to help preserve and protect historic sites, arts and published works and was lovingly carried on by Laura Bush, the next first lady.

Michelle felt no such obligation to those treasures and let the program dissolve.

When you publicly utter that you’ve never been “proud of my country” until early 2008 when its far left began to rally around your husband, why would you feel any obligation to preserve its heritage?

AWKWARD: Bill Clinton Gets Into Heated Exchange With Black Lives Matter Protester.

“Here’s what happened,” Clinton said. “Let’s just tell the whole story.”

“I had an assault weapons ban in it [the crime bill]. I had money for inner-city kids, for out of school activities. We had 110,000 police officers so we could keep people on the street, not in these military vehicles, and the police would look like the people they were policing. We did all that. And [Joe] Biden [then senator and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee] said, you can’t pass this bill, the Republicans will kill it, if you don’t put more sentencing in it.”

“I talked to a lot of African-American groups,” Clinton continued. “They thought black lives matter. They said take this bill, because our kids are being shot in the street by gangs. We have 13-year-old kids planning their own funerals.”

Throughout the spirited defense of his policy, Clinton continued to be interrupted, and he repeatedly seemed to single out one protester.

There’s no small amount of schadenfreude in watching Bill Clinton attempt defend his relatively moderate record without sabotaging Hillary’s leftwing campaign.

JONATHAN ADLER: Again on the erroneous argument that the Senate has a ‘constitutional duty’ to consider a Supreme Court nominee. “When there was a Republican president, Senate Democrats were happy to note that there is no constitutional duty to consider judicial nominees. Speaking at the Center for American Progress in 2005, then-senator Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) defended the Senate’s prerogatives. . . . Byrd’s remarks were subsequently endorsed and placed into the Congressional Record by then-senator Joe Biden (D-Del.). At that point in time, Byrd and Biden were defending the proposition that a minority of senators should be able to prevent the confirmation of a judicial nominee. Speaking of the vice president, this week Biden gave a speech at Georgetown University in which he tried to deny that he ever suggested the Senate should refuse to consider a Supreme Court nomination once the ‘political season’ had begun in a presidential election year.”

These people live in the Eternal Now, in which all that matters is whatever is politically expedient at the moment. That’s one reason why they shouldn’t be trusted on courts.

HOW JOE BIDEN BROKE THE SUPREME COURT.

Though the man sitting next to him in the photo atop Jonathan Tobin’s Commentary article deserves plenty of blame as well.

21st CENTURY QUESTIONS: How Safe Is the Nation’s Food Supply from Terrorists?

Let’s ask candidate Joe Biden in 2008:

Biden says he’s more worried about high fructose corn syrup than terrorism, and after the last eight years of his boss’s administration, I’m more than willing to take him at his word. Sleep tight, America.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Get On Board the Trump Train? No Way! “If Trump is the Republican nominee, principled conservatives may have to leave the party.”

Related: “Former RNC Chairman Mel Martinez says he wishes Joe Biden was running so he could vote for him vs Trump in general.”

LADY GAGA PUSHES ‘ONE IN FIVE’ CAMPUS SEX ASSAULT MYTH AT THE OSCARS: “Even Vice President Joe Biden, who introduced Gaga for her performance, didn’t include the flawed statistic. People have either begun to omit that particular statistic or admit that it is at the very least controversial. Only those most dedicated to the myth still use the number,” Ashe Schow writes at the Washington Examiner.

Read the whole thing.

TWO BIDENS IN ONE!

Biden: Denying climate change ‘almost like denying gravity.’

Biden Jam! Oscars traffic chaos as Joe Biden is set to introduce Lady Gaga’s performance.

With only 10 months remaining for this carbon-destroying administration, it’s truly remarkable that it never discovered the value of telecommuting. An administration truly committed to climate change would have shouted its benefits to world, in much the same way that FDR went on television to calm the American people after the stock market crashed in 1929.

Exit question: how “handsy” will Biden get with Gaga?

GOOSE, MEET GANDER: How Biden killed John Roberts’s nomination in 1992.

In 1992, then-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Joe Biden launched a preemptive attack on any nominee President George H.W. Bush named to the Supreme Court, warning that if Bush tapped someone, Biden’s committee “should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination . . . until after the political campaign season is over.”

While Biden did not get the chance to kill a Supreme Court nomination that year, he did kill the nomination of a future chief justice of the Supreme Court — John G. Roberts Jr.

On Jan. 27, 1992, President Bush nominated Roberts to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Roberts was immensely qualified for the job. He had served since 1989 as principal deputy solicitor general of the United States, arguing 39 cases before the Supreme Court, making him one of the country’s most experienced Supreme Court litigators.

But his nomination to the federal bench was dead on arrival at Biden’s Senate Judiciary Committee. Biden refused to even hold a hearing on Roberts’s nomination, much less a vote in committee or on the Senate floor. Roberts’s nomination died in committee and was withdrawn on Oct. 8, 1992. It was only about a decade later that he was re-nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush — and we all know the rest of the story.

Roberts was not alone in being denied a hearing or a vote by Biden. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), in 1992 Biden killed the nominations of 32 Bush appointees to the federal bench without giving them so much as a hearing.

It’s different with Obama appointments, though, because argle bargle you’re a racist.

SAY, DIDN’T HE DEFEND BILLY BOY? Joe Biden is denouncing rape to an Academy of rape-enablers.

GAME OVER: JOE BIDEN SAYS IN 1992 THAT THE PRESIDENT SHOULDN’T NAME A SCOTUS NOMINEE “ONCE THE POLITICAL SEASON IS UNDERWAY.” “If you’re keeping score, this means that the current president, current vice president, current Senate minority leader, and incoming Senate minority leader have all gone on record in the past in favor of obstructing a Supreme Court nominee.”

HOPE: Joe Biden “could live with” Clinton or Sanders.

“I could live with either one of them,” Biden said. “I could support either one of them. I just have a different political sense of how we should be talking about the issues that face us, to enhance the possibility that we [the Democrats] keep the White House.”

Politico noted Biden extended his support “without much enthusiasm.”

Run, Joe, run!

FLASHBACK: Joe Biden in 1987: President Should Weigh the Senate’s ‘Prevailing Views’ about High Court. “The U.S. Senate has confirmed only five Supreme Court justices during presidential election years since 1912 – and the last time it happened current Vice President Joe Biden defended the Senate’s constitutional right to act as ‘a forceful constitutional counterweight’ to the president’s nominee.”

Well, sure, but that’s when we have a Republican president. When we have a Democrat in the White House, being a forceful constitutional counterweight is terroristic obstruction.

EIGHT THOUGHTS ON SCALIA FROM JONAH GOLDBERG:

3. The double-standard for Republicans is not shocking but it remains galling. As Jim Geraghty notes in today’s Jolt, Chuck Schumer took exactly the same position on any further Bush appointments in 2007. I don’t seem to recall the shock and outrage we’re seeing today.

4. On that note, Ruth Marcus — an often independent-minded liberal — offers some classic concern trolling of the GOP today in her column. She writes:

Finally, a Senate work stoppage would, in fact, be bad for Republicans. In the nation’s capital these days, everything is political, every institution politicized. That may be inevitable and irreparable, yet tables here have a way of turning. One party’s obstructionism ends up hurting it down the road.

Marcus is surely right that tables can turn. What she leaves out is the simple, glaring, fact that the tables are turning on Democrats who’ve been playing outrageous games with appointment process for a quarter century. When Robert Bork was defenestrated by Joe Biden, despite having said he would have no choice but to vote for someone so well-qualified, he was setting the tables for payback. When Harry Reid pulled the trigger on the nuclear option (on lower court appointments) he was warned that this would come back to haunt him. When Democrats disgustingly blocked Miguel Estrada from the bench solely because he was a Hispanic, they set the table to be turned. When Barack Obama voted to filibuster Alito, he set the table to be turned.

Cry me no tears now that Republicans are finally putting their shoulders to the table.

And note this: “If Scalia’s interpretation of the Constitution held sway in the land, the Court and the government would have much less power over our lives. And that, more than anything else, explains why the left hated him so much.”

Read the whole thing.

DONALD TRUMP’S PIVOT ON IRAQ:

[In] his 2000 book, The America We Deserve Trump noted Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction and targeted Iraq strikes had little impact on their overall capabilities. The Donald said the best course might be against Iraq to “carry the mission to its conclusion.”

Wrote Trump:

Consider Iraq. After each pounding from U.S. warplanes, Iraq has dusted itself off and gone right back to work developing a nuclear arsenal. Six years of tough talk and U.S. fireworks in Baghdad have done little to slow Iraq’s crash program to become a nuclear power. They’ve got missiles capable of flying nine hundred kilometers—more than enough to reach Tel Aviv. They’ve got enriched uranium. All they need is the material for nuclear fission to complete the job, and, according to the Rumsfeld report, we don’t even know for sure if they’ve laid their hands on that yet. That’s what our last aerial assault on Iraq in 1999 was about. Saddam Hussein wouldn’t let UN weapons inspectors examine certain sites where that material might be stored. The result when our bombing was over? We still don’t know what Iraq is up to or whether it has the material to build nuclear weapons. I’m no warmonger. But the fact is, if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion. When we don’t, we have the worst of all worlds: Iraq remains a threat, and now has more incentive than ever to attack us.

In August 2004 Trump turned loud and vocally against the war in an interview with Esquire, more than a year after it started and it was clear after the initial successes an insurgency was developing.

Huh — Trump’s for-gainst it pivot on Iraq from 2000 to 2004 is a 180° performed very much like those of many prominent Democrats during that period:

Or as Tennessee state Senator Frank Niceley tweets: “So, the question for Mr. Trump would be: was George Bush lying about WMD or following Trump’s advice?”

Not to mention Bill Clinton’s advice, Al Gore’s advice, Joe Biden’s advice, Hillary’s advice, Howard Dean’s advice, Madeleine Albright’s advice, etc.

TOM MAGUIRE: The Next Supreme Court Nominee. “Yes, Obama was in the minority when the cloture motion to end debate failed by 72-25. Joining him on the short end were Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and John Kerry (Sanders joined the Senate in January 2007). We can expect a lot of phony posturing from these folks about how the President’s choice deserves an up or down vote.”

He also reminds us that the Kennedy nomination was seen — rightly — as a Reagan surrender. I still think Doug Ginsburg would have made a great Justice.

MICHAEL WALSH: FBI Makes It Official: Hillary Rodham Clinton Is Under Investigation.

Or as Iowahawk tweets, “Joe Biden goes to garage, takes cover off his Trans Am.”

UH OH: COLBERT KING IN THE WASHINGTON POST: Clinton email scandal: Why it might be time for Democrats to draft Joe Biden.

Kinda destroys Hillary’s claim that this is just a bunch of VRWC FUD.

Meanwhile, Joe’s tanned, rested, and ready.

TO BE FAIR, MAYBE DESPERATE WILL SUFFICE: Uber-progressive Dana Milbank confesses, “Democrats Would Be Insane to Nominate Bernie Sanders“:

I adore Bernie Sanders.

I agree with his message of fairness and I share his outrage over inequality and corporate abuses. I think his righteous populism has captured the moment perfectly. I respect the uplifting campaign he has run. I admire his authenticity.

And I am convinced Democrats would be insane to nominate him.

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, is a dreary candidate. She has, again, failed to connect with voters. Her policy positions are cautious and uninspiring. Her reflexive secrecy causes a whiff of scandal to follow her everywhere. She seems calculating and phony.

And yet if Democrats hope to hold the presidency in November, they’ll need to hold their noses and nominate Clinton. . . .

Watching Sanders at Monday night’s Democratic presidential forum in Des Moines, I imagined how Trump — or another Republican nominee — would disembowel the relatively unknown Vermonter. . . .

It doesn’t speak well of Clinton that, next to her, a 74-year-old guy who has been in politics for four decades is a bright and shiny object

Ouch. You know your party is in deep trouble when apologists like Milbank call your presumptive nominee “dreary,” “uninspiring,” “calculating,” and “phony,”– while simultaneously admitting that it would be “insane” to nominate the next most likely alternative.

If/when Hillary finally gets indicted, it will likely be too late for Uncle Joe Biden or any other “savior” of the Democrats to ride in on a white horse. The filing deadline for appearing on the presidential ballots in most states will have expired by mid-March 2016–about 6 weeks from now.

So if Hillary implodes, the Democrats will most definitely be #feelingtheBern. #NoAlternative

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BIDEN TO GOLDMAN SACHS EXECS: ‘I’M DOING A JOB INTERVIEW WITH YOU.’

Joe’s been rehearsing for that that gig since January of 2009; hasn’t he passed the audition yet?

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Related: Glenn on employing the Pigouvian tax to slow the revolving door between Big Government and Big Business: “When the post-government-employment goodies are less good, they’ll pose less of a temptation.”

Not to mention, it’s the patriotic thing to do — just ask Biden himself!

SO IT’S AS EASY AS THAT, HUH? “To absorb newcomers peacefully, Europe must insist they respect values such as tolerance and sexual equality,” The Economist deadpans.

I’m sure Joe Biden could swing into action to implement this plan, just as soon as he’s done curing cancer. Then the EU can tap on the handy Continental-sized economy version of Staple’s “That Was Easy” button and get on with their more pressing issues, such as banning vacuum cleaners, mandating the shape of bananas, and other matters that truly vex the sharpest minds of the Euro-left.

Related! Anti-Pedophilia Bill Rejected In Pakistan As ‘Anti-Islamic.’

 

ROGER SIMON: The Missing Man in the Big GOP Debate.

You’re going to be running against Bernie (or Joe Biden or Jerry Brown or Fauxcahontas, but most probably Bernie, because he’s done all the spade work and his supporters are going to be mighty angry if the Democratic Party fat cats cut him out).

And here’s the bad news — Bernie is a much more dangerous opponent. Most of the GOP candidates have been thinking — oh, well, he’ll be much easier to beat than Hillary. He’s a socialist, for crissakes. Didn’t Margaret Thatcher put an end to that silliness decades ago?

Well, no. What do you think ninety percent of the college professors in America have been teaching for the last twenty-five years?

It’s not the moral superiority of free markets, and the inevitable corruption of socialism.

MARK STEYN ON ‘THE HUMILIATION:’

Joe Biden and John Kerry could not resist bragging that the swift resolution of this situation was testament to the new hunky-dory Washington-Teheran relationship. Vice-President Biden:

They released them, like ordinary nations would do. That’s the way nations should deal with one another. That’s why it’s important to have channels open.

Secretary Kerry:

I’m appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the Iranian authorities… and I think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago.

We don’t have to imagine how a similar situation might have played out, you botoxicated buffoon, because it’s played out before, with mind-numbing regularity. This time round they seized ten US sailors. Nine years ago they seized 15 Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines. One of the Brits was of the female persuasion. Here’s what I wrote in 2007:

The token gal was dressed up as an Islamic woman…

Does that sound familiar? Why, golly, here we are in 2016, and this time round the token US gal was also made to wear a hijab.

Read the whole thing.

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MOONSHOT — DRINK!

Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources they’ve had in over a decade. Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.

“All you need to know about the SotU speech: Barack Obama intends to put Joe Biden in charge of curing cancer.”

Earlier: “‘Moonshot’ Medicine Will Let Us Down,” says…The New York Times?

A doubly-interesting source, considering that Thomas Friedman was the origin of Obama’s other favorite outer space State of the Union cliche, “The Sputnik Moment.”

UPDATE: Steve Green concludes his SOTU drunkblogging with a quick one (appropriately enough):

This was Obama’s Al Bundy speech, the lowly shoes salesman desperately trying to get everyone to remember that time he scored four touchdowns in the one game.

Er, that is President Obama wanted us to forget most of the last seven years he’s actually been President, and instead remember that time Candidate Obama gave those big speeches everybody loved.

I’d say even by that modest measure, tonight’s speech was worth of an Al Bundy nap.

But like Al Bundy, Obama will be perpetually on cable TV starting next year, when he’s finally free to be what he’s always dreamed of being, a host on MSNBC.

Exit Quote: “I’m really touched by a soliloquy on cynicism by a guy who doesn’t acknowledge 10 US sailors in Iranian custody.”

JOE BIDEN HARDEST HIT: Hugs, neck rubs could be ‘sexual battery,’ says university.

Are you a hugger? Do you sometimes give neck rubs to friends or acquaintances just out of friendliness? Well now you could be accused for sexual battery and expelled at East Carolina University.

All it takes is for one person who is scared from the sexual assault portion of orientation or who has friends with certain ideologies to ruin one’s life at ECU, thanks to a new policy recently adopted for the new semester going forward. . . .

Any contact, “however slight,” is considered sexual battery. Of course, it’s the accuser who decides whether it is sexual battery, and with the current pressure on colleges and universities to capitulate to accusers in the name of political correctness, any friendly contact is subject to an investigation.

Today’s university administrations — like the Victorians, but without their positive attributes.

Meanwhile, on Biden: Ouch.

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I mean, even Talking Points Memo is asking: Why Does Creepy Uncle Joe Biden Get A Pass From Liberals?

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Ukrainian officials feel betrayed by President Barack Obama’s support for a key anti-corruption prosecutor in their government who is closely tied to Russian corporate interests in Ukraine. “Ukrainian officials are also disillusioned that Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, is on the board of one of those interests, Ukraine’s biggest privately owned gas company, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.”

DOES THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SCREW THIS STUFF UP ON PURPOSE? Vice-President Joe Biden was in the Ukraine recently touting that country’s anti-corruption prosecutor, Vitaliy Kasko. Also praising Kasko was U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. Sounds good, right? But wait, there’s a catch (isn’t there always?) Key leaders in the Ukrainian parliament say Kasko can’t be trusted because he is beholden to Russian corporate interests via his law firm, which represents those interests.

And there’s another wrinkle (Ukrainian politics are never simple): Biden’s son, Hunter, sits on the four-member board of directors of a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, Ltd. “Also on the board is Devon Archer, who is a close family friend of Secretary of State John Kerry. Biden and Archer are partners in the D.C.-based investment and policy advisory firm Rosemont Seneca Partners,” according to the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group’s Richard Pollock. It’s complicated, but worth following as Pollock peels the onion and sorts it all out.

 

UNEXPECTEDLY: Colbert Drops to 3rd Place Behind Kimmel as New Poll Shows CBS Host Alienating Audiences:

Most importantly for Colbert, he’s found a niche in offering what the Jimmys can’t really offer (particularly Fallon): consistent political satire and more substantive interviews with big political guests (his interview with Joe Biden as the vice president openly displayed his inner conflict on running for for president was widely-praised in this space and pretty much everywhere else). But therein lies the rub: most sit-downs with politicians don’t exactly result in riveting television (outliers like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to a lesser extent notwithstanding). And Colbert has shown almost no willingness to hit both sides of the aisle even close to equally… it’s simply not in his DNA.

Consequently, according to a Hollywood Reporter poll just released, Colbert has successfully alienated self-described Republicans who see what’s being offered on a nightly basis and exploring or staying with other options. And with the country as polarized as it is, the host is thereby saying goodbye to half his potential audience, which can’t be a sound business model.

Per The Hollywood Reporter‘s survey of 1000 late-night viewers aged 18-65, only 17 percent of those identified themselves as Republican watch Colbert, while attracting 47 percent of those who identify as Democrats, a 30-point gap. But more liberals watch late-night TV than stuffy, old conservatives, right? Guess again. In Kimmel’s case, the split is 34 percent Democrats, 33 percent Republicans. In Fallon’s case, it’s 36-31 Democrats.

Why so even-keeled? Because Kimmel and Fallon go through great lengths to be apolitical. To equally mock or simply find other props and topics to use for comedy outside of political humor and (oftentimes in Colbert’s case) commentary on how stupid/awful/inept Republicans are. It’s a smart approach if the goal is to reach as broad as audience as possible, something Colbert never cared to achieve going back to his Comedy Central days and The Colbert Report. In character, out of character… Colbert is Colbert. And that’s fine on Comedy Central, even downright expected. But network TV? Not so much…

The ratings result of said approach is now beginning to come to fruition as the bloom comes off the rose ten weeks since his debut.

Who could have seen this coming? Err, lots of people — including me. As I wrote a year and half ago when Colbert was first announced as Letterman’s successor, CBS forgot the lessons of the 1996 HBO movie The Late Shift, based on the best-selling book by the New York Times’ Bill Carter on how NBC forced Johnny Carson’s hand and pushed the increasingly isolated and emotionally brittle king of late night TV into retirement, and chose Jay Leno, rather than Carson’s hand-picked successor David Letterman to replace him:

What particularly makes The Late Shift such an interesting film is that when it was originally shot, it looked like CBS got the better of the deal, with Letterman dominating the ratings. As it turns out, according to the Internet Database:

Subsequent airings after the initial release have added an additional epilogue on how the Hugh Grant interview boosted Jay Leno’s ratings past David Letterman’s.

Thus Littlefield and Agoglia [the NBC executives who chose cheerful lovable Jay Leno over the cranky neurotic David Letterman to replace Carson], despite being portrayed as Machiavellian manipulators on massive scale, end up looking like rather smart guys, in spite of themselves.

* * * * * * * *

Letterman’s retirement would be the perfect time for CBS to find a host to replace who connects with Middle America, the massive audience that Letterman and CBS’s late night division chose to abandon. Instead, by going with Colbert, CBS chose to continue to alienate this large group of viewers. Or worse, “CBS Declares War on Heartland of America,” as Rush Limbaugh said yesterday. “Why would CBS hire such a divisive host who is already failing in Late Night?”, John Nolte pondered yesterday. “All about the left holding on to the culture.”

As I wrote last year, “The early-1990s CBS executives portrayed in The Late Shift left the former ‘Tiffany’ network shortly after hiring Letterman. Too bad their successors seemed determined to live out their predecessor’s mistakes, in a seemingly unending ideological loop.”

HOW ISIS RELIES ON EDWARD SNOWDEN’S LEAKS TO OUTSMART WESTERN INTELLIGENCE: Terrorists “now use encrypted channels and couriers to avoid detection.”

And concurrently, as Glenn noted last week, summing up Richard Fernandez’s recent article, “Western Pacifism Has Driven Warfare Underground, At Some Cost.

Richard wrote, “The infrastructure to support the secret wars has been growing over the years. The rise of foreign and domestic surveillance deserves an essay all to itself. But today, a network of secret bases, landing strips, agents in place, spotters and communications networks has been laid over the length and breadth of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Fleets of unmarked planes, swarms low visibility drones and secret warriors make up a ghostly army that is endlessly engaged.”

But with seemingly very little show for it. As James Delingpole quipped last night, “Candle-lit vigils; hashtags; tricolor Facebook profiles: the West strikes back.”

France’s attack on ISIS in Raqqa, Syria yesterday doesn’t sound like that much more, in the scope of things: 20 bombs were dropped from a dozen aircraft, ten of which were fighters.*

After 9/11, George Bush famously contrasted his approach to removing Saddam Hussein with his predecessor’s preferred style. “When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.”

That action worked, as Joe Biden and Barack Obama grudgingly admitted in 2010 and 2011, until, as the New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins documented, Obama chose to remove the American military from Iraq. When, in an interview with Filkins last year, Hugh Hewitt said, “America leaving [Iraq] in 2011 may have been the worst strategic decision of many bad strategic decisions over the last ten years.” the Iraq War critic replied, “It’s hard to conclude otherwise.”

Once he leaves office, perhaps the American military can finally take Mr. Obama’s motto to heart: “Punch back twice as hard,” rather than the current minimal footprint approach.

* Give them credit for the right idea, though. As one person joked on Twitter, “Weird how Jordan & France go bomb the shit out of ISIS Terrorists after attacks & Obama arrests a YouTube director.”

MICHAEL GOODWIN: It’s time for Obama to make a choice: Lead us or resign. Flaw in that plan: Joe Biden.

WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST, FACE THE NATION HOST STRICKEN WITH MYSTERIOUS CASE OF COLLECTIVE AMNESIA:

Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius blasted the GOP presidential candidates for daring to complain about the biased questions asked during last month’s CNBC debate.

Moderator John Dickerson teed up Ignatius by playing a clip of President Obama who mocked the Republicans’ debate complaints which prompted the Post columnist to declare the American public want someone who does more than “whines about media coverage.”

Really? Because for the last six years, we’ve seen constant headlines such as these:

Oh, and as a casual aside, John Dickerson, the host of Face the Nation, wrote a column at the start of 2013 for Slate, when it was still owned by the Washington Post, advising Mr. Obama to “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.” It carries the alternative headline, “Why Obama Should Seek To Destroy the Republican Party.”

ASHE SCHOW: Video highlights lack of understanding of ‘yes means yes’ laws.

In a new video, New York college students demonstrate the difficulty of living under a “yes means yes” or “affirmative consent” policy. Shelby Emmett of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education asked students what they thought of the policy, and their responses were telling.

College students in New York have to live by the government-mandated consent policy known as “yes means yes,” or “affirmative consent.” The policy states that students must get ongoing consent before and throughout each stage of sexual activity. Under these policies, sex basically becomes a question-and-answer session rather than a passionate activity, because participants must verbally ask each other (nonverbal cues are considered too ambiguous, even though the law doesn’t explicitly forbid them) for permission at every step.

So a sexual encounter would begin with one person asking, “May I kiss you now?” with the other person saying “yes” and then asking if they may touch the other person in a particular place. Advocates insist it doesn’t have to be this way, but with false accusations being regarded as acceptable, college students need to protect themselves.

Upon reading portions of the law, the students seemed to question what constitutes a sexual act, with some saying kissing counted and others insisting it didn’t. Some students said they used nonverbal cues (body language) to show their consent and suggested the new policies discouraged that.

Students were most confused by a question about how one would prove that he had obtained affirmative consent. It’s one thing to say that if one or both parties don’t obtain such consent (even though, as we’ve seen from cases that the only person required to obtain consent is the person being accused, putting a retroactive burden on them), it’s another to prove it.

“Oh my gosh,” said one student when asked how she would prove she obtained affirmative consent. “Well, I think that’s really difficult because it ends up being your word against the other person’s.”

“I don’t know, actually,” said another student.

Yet another student said he would have anyone he sleeps with sign a contract just to be safe (that wouldn’t help him with an accusation, however, since the law states that consent can be revoked at any time). . . . The students who have to live by them don’t understand them (when sober, mind you) and the administrators who design classes on how to teach them don’t understand them. Even Vice President Joe Biden, who has been advocating for them, doesn’t understand them.

Yet colleges are forcing students (especially drunk students) to know the intricacies of a law its own advocates don’t understand.

It’s as if the whole thing is designed to create a hostile environment for male students.

CHANGE: “There was a time when Democrats were horrified at the idea of a president having an ‘enemies’ list.’ Now their probably presidential nominee brags about it during a debate. And no one seems to care except Republicans and Joe Biden.”

IN THE FUTURE, EVERYONE WILL BE BARACK OBAMA FOR 15 MINUTES: Michael Walsh writes that “Marco Rubio [is] the GOP’s Very Own Barack Obama:”

This story in today’s Washington Post ought to give even the most ardent Rubio supporters pause:

Marco Rubio is a U.S. senator. And he just can’t stand it anymore. “I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Rubio said in an interview. “I’m frustrated.”

This year, as Rubio runs for president, he has cast the Senate — the very place that cemented him as a national politician — as a place he’s given up on, after less than one term. It’s too slow. Too rule-bound. So Rubio, 44, has decided not to run for his seat again. It’s the White House or bust.

“That’s why I’m missing votes. Because I am leaving the Senate. I am not running for reelection,” Rubio said in the last Republican debate, after Donald Trump had mocked him for his unusual number of absences during Senate votes.

Meanwhile, Jeff Jacoby writes, “Of all the candidates running for president, the one who most resembles the incumbent is not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley. To be sure, the Democrats’ policy views largely overlap with Obama’s. But when it comes to attitude and self-image, it’s Obama and Trump who are birds of a feather:”

Everyone knows about Donald Trump’s bottomless narcissism; this is a man who has affixed the name “Trump” to everything from hotels to golf courses to cologne. Asked the other day which world leaders he would reach out to upon being elected, Trump replied that he wouldn’t need to call anyone: “I think I’d probably have them call me.”

But Obama’s march to the White House also involved startling displays of self-glorification, from Greek-style columns to a triumphal foreign tour to his own official seal (complete with Latin motto). From the earliest days of his presidency, it was clear that Obama was deeply enamored of himself, and had no doubt that the rest of the planet was just as smitten. “I am well aware,” he told the UN General Assembly, “of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world.” He gifted the queen of England with an iPod that included his own speeches. Obama’s addiction to the first-person singular pronoun — “I,” “me,” “my” — has been remarked on by many; he has even referred to “my military” and the troops “fighting on my behalf.”

Anyone who finds such vanity attractive should relish the prospect of a Trump presidency. Trump, after all, never doubts his own brilliance. He’s always the smartest person in the room; just ask him. Sound familiar?

Why yes, yes it does.

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And of course earlier this month, Hillary locked on to all of Obama’s far left positions advocating gun confiscation, blocking the Keystone Pipeline, etc., in an effort to freeze out Bernie Sanders and keep Joe Biden out of the race. It’s certainly boob bait for the bobos, but unless her GOP opponent truly believes the press releases put out by her operatives with bylines, it will — hopefully — backfire later.

NARRATIVE CONTROL: NY Times implies people are advocating for nonconsensual sex.

“Students advocate for consensual sex,” reads the current subhead of a New York Times article. The article’s URL indicates this was originally the main title, but was changed to “Making consent cool.”

The implication from the original title is that there are those out there advocating – or at the very least, tolerating – nonconsensual sex.

This is simply not true. No one is advocating for nonconsensual sex. The fact that that even needs to be said shows just how extreme and dishonest activists have become.

There are those out there, however, who are advocating against a narrow definition of consent that defines nearly all sex as rape by default unless a specific and unworkable set of rules are followed.

High school students can’t figure out those rules. The person teaching those high school students can’t figure out those rules. Vice President Joe Biden can’t figure out those rules.

And yet, those rules will be used to brand as rapists those students who fail to adhere to them perfectly. The Times article even addresses the difficulty students are having in parsing the new rules.

But if you don’t support an approach to consent that has no parallel in American history, it means YOU’RE IN FAVOR OF RAPE!!!!

HOW HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN “BOXED OUT” JOE BIDEN:

On the debate stage, Clinton embraced Obama, a move that made it more difficult for Biden to pitch himself as the Obama legacy candidate. And she moved leftward on a number of issues, such as the Keystone XL pipeline, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and attempted to use rhetoric to distance herself from Wall Street, leaving no room for Biden to maneuver between her and the Democratic socialist to her left, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Riding Obama’s coattails so closely could backfire dramatically though once Hillary lurches back towards wooing the center — note how well these two posts from Wednesday dovetail:

Does Hillary Clinton Want Your Guns? — The Democratic presidential candidate thinks Australia’s mass confiscation of firearms “is a good example.”

Video Proof: CNN Caught Lying About Trump – Obama Does Back Gun Confiscation.  “At the 1:45  mark, below is video proof of Obama openly expressing his desire to impose Australian-style gun control laws here in America. And it is a fact that the Australian law began with a massive campaign involving the confiscation (through a mandatory government buyback program) of legally purchased firearms.”

All presidential administrations begin to dissipate dramatically as they enter their last year, but Hillary has yoked herself to Obama at a moment when he’s flailing particularly wildly, alternately in search of a legacy and in exhausted YOLO mode. (Iran sums up both halves of that equation, of course.)

Being associated with a train wreck presidency that unpredictable is partially why Roger Simon writes that “Biden’s Departure Gives Republicans Early Xmas Gift,” but then given that this is the Stupid Party after all, they’re just as likely to squander it.

JOE BIDEN WON’T RUN: “Biden announced his decision not to run from the White House, after several weeks in which groups supporting his run pour millions of dollars into the effort to lure him into the race.”

As with Mario Cuomo before him, Biden allows himself to maintain the narrative of all that could have been had he run — without actually having to endure another round on the campaign trail.

And with Bernie taking one of the team on the debate stage, only the FBI can prevent Hillary from locking up the nomination now.