Another campaign gimmick gone bad. “Today’s buzz surrounds the rollout of yet another composite character from the imagination of Barack Obama, this one named “Julia.” Julia represents the arc of a life under the beneficent care of Barack Obama’s policies. Interestingly, at every stage of Julia’s life, a government program exists to shield her from life’s woes. And just as interestingly, Julia never gets the bill for all of this government hand-holding.” Read the whole thing.

Another report contradicts the State Department’s version of events in China. “Chen Guangcheng’s friend Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, told a congressional commission Thursday that Chen only agreed to leave the U.S. Embassy in Beijing after U.S. officials conveyed a threat from the Chinese government that Chen would never see his wife again if he didn’t leave the embassy that day. Fu has been in contact with Chen directly throughout the ordeal and told the Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) today that he had spoken to Chen Wednesday night as Chen and his family remained in a Beijing hospital, unable to leave or receive visitors.”

Another effort to distract the public. “Too bad Obama can’t plausibly take a victory lap for his stewardship of the economy other than to try and argue, ‘I kept us out of a depression.’ In the year since the heroic Seal Team 6 double-tapped that terrorist thug in Pakistan, the economy has grown just 2.1 percent. With growth so miserably slow, it’s no wonder worker take-home pay, adjusted for rising prices, has been flat over the last 12 months. (And over the last two years, for that matter.)”

Ánother foreign policy debacle: Russian “reset.” The BBC reports: “Russia says it is prepared to use ‘destructive force pre-emptively’ if the US goes ahead with controversial plans for a missile defence system based in Central Europe. The warning came after the Russian defence minister said talks on missile defence were nearing a dead end.”

Another reason to hate the media: obsesssion with wives’ clothing bills. “While the political fashionistas had a field day this week with Ann Romney’s nearly $1,000 blouse, she is not the only presidential candidate’s wife with expensive taste. Despite her penchant for more affordable clothing, First Lady Michelle Obama also has a pricey wardrobe. From Balenciaga and Helmut Lang to Michael Kors and Marchesa, the first lady has been known to wear some big name, and expensive, designer fashions. Last week alone, Mrs. Obama was spotted in two different L’Wren Scott cardigans, priced between $2,000 and $3,000.” It’s a wonder anyone runs for public office.

Another writer is eye-rolling over click-mania at Politico. “Pioneering website‘s propensity for self-propelled political news hype has become something of a running joke in the media the past few years, and their coverage of David Maraniss’ upcoming biography Barack Obama: The Story is a great example of their artistry.” That’s one way of describing it.

Another pol self-destructs. “[Elizabeth] Warren’s troubles have centered around a Boston Herald report that revealed that now-famous Harvard law professor used to identify herself as a ‘minority’ in law school directories, based on a far-back (and unconfirmed) Native American ancestry. . . . To make matters worse, Warren’s response has been ridiculous.” If you can bear it there’s a video of her trying to verify her ancestry by her “high cheekbones.”

Another sign Obama’s non-policy in Syria is catastrophe. “A violent clampdown by Syrian security forces against a student demonstration at Aleppo University ended with at least four students killed, including one heaved out a fifth-floor window, and scores arrested, activists and opposition organizations said on Thursday.”