White House press secretary Jay Carney (Jason Reed/Reuters) White House press secretary Jay Carney (Jason Reed/Reuters)

An SOS to the A-team: “A struggling President Obama is calling for help from members of his  first-term A-Team, who have left the White House for other jobs. With his poll numbers falling and his second term floundering so far, Obama has sought help from the former aides who helped catapult him to the presidency.” I guess it’s more than “style points.”

The media mayday: “Taken together, Syria and [Larry]Summers therefore represent — by history’s decree in the case of military power, and by Obama’s own grandiose vision of the Fed’s role in the economy — the most important second-term presentations of power. And Senate Democrats were Obama’s undoing in both cases.” Actually, Obama had a lot to do with it.

The president will be sending a distress signal to the mainstream media soon. Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio swatted aside the president’s demand not to negotiate over the debt limit. “You know, for decades, congresses and presidents have used the debt limit for legislation to cut spending, and even President Obama worked with us two years ago in the debt limit negotiations to put controls on spending. This year is not going to be any different.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services puts out an emergency call on rising health-care costs: “Expected growth for 2014 is 6.1 percent, with an average projected growth of 6.2 percent per year thereafter. Over the 2012 22 period, national health spending is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.8 percent. By 2022 health spending financed by federal, state, and local governments is projected to account for 49 percent of national health spending and to reach a total of $2.4 trillion.”

Ret. General Jack Keane is alarmed. “The White House is delusional to think that Assad will disarm and give up his chemical weapons and his manufacturing capability. He will not do that. He will preserve much of it. It’s also a whim and a wish to think that this would somehow lead to a political settlement. The fact is Assad will get stronger with Russian and Iranian arm shipments and supply shipments that will continue to aid him for his conventional weapons use. That’s the facts of it, and the opposition force is considerably weaker as a result of all of this.” If not delusional, deeply cynical.

Outlier or flashing red light for Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe? “Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has cut Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s lead in half, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. . . .   A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday showed McAuliffe with a narrowing 44 percent to 41 percent edge over Cuccinelli after weeks of polls gave the Democrat about a 7-point advantage.” A third-party candidate may complicate matters.

When rock-ribbed conservative Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) flips on the siren, maybe the right-wing cranks should give it up. “The intraparty Republican squabbling over the campaign to defund Obamacare has been portrayed by many in the press as a fight between ‘Republican establishment’ and the ‘conservative grassroots.’ But the rift between Flake and the Senate Conservatives Fund shows that’s not quite right. A number of conservatives with sterling credentials as fiscal conservatives, including Flake, Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn, and Pennsylvania senator (and former Club for Growth president) Pat Toomey, say the campaign to defund Obamacare is misleading and counterproductive.” You can add Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to that list.