It’s hard to recollect a worse presidential campaign pre-season. “The Clintons, him and her, are revealed as money grubbers, looking for cash in all the easy places, and Hillary imagines nobody will notice the greed if she poses as the selfless philanthropist, Lady Bountiful giving away her $250,000 speaker’s fees to the Clinton family foundation. The public, however, is on to the foundation scam, which looks like a tax dodge. The Clintons control their foundation, and the public suspects that the chief beneficiaries of the foundation ‘charity’ are named Bill, Hillary and Chelsea.”

Remember how we got to the contraception mandate. “The problem that the Obama administration hoped to address with the HHS mandate wasn’t compromised access to contraceptives but the president’s reelection prospects. His political advisers knew that the 2012 campaign could be won only if, among other things, very high numbers of young, single women came out to vote and cast their ballots for Barack Obama. The issue they settled on to drive these voters to the polls was the HHS mandate. To generate the kind of political reaction they were seeking, it wouldn’t suffice to simply create another program trying to subsidize access to contraceptives for those without coverage through an employer. They needed to make an ideological point that they knew would create some opposition. Hence, the requirement that all employers covered by Obamacare’s regulations pay for contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and products that induce early-pregnancy abortions. And the requirement isn’​t only to pay part of the cost; the employers must cover all of the expenses so that these products and services will be entirely free to employees.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting with Russian ambassadors, envoys and diplomats at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, July 1, 2014.  (REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev)

It’s getting hard to recall a warning that made any difference to our foes. “Last week, John Kerry said that Russia needed to pull back in Ukraine in a matter of ‘hours, literally.’ But more than 100 hours later, Russia has done no such thing.”

It seems like yesterday that Obama was dismissing a reversion to Cold War thinking. No one told Vladimir Putin: “Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist bases in eastern regions with air and artillery strikes on Tuesday after President Petro Poroshenko announced he would not renew a ceasefire but go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of ‘parasites.’ His decision quickly drew fire from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Poroshenko had disregarded the advice of himself and German and French leaders. Putin said Poroshenko would now have to bear full responsibility for veering off the road to peace.”

The inspector general recounts the latest list of Obamacare defects. “Overall, we identified deficiencies in internal controls related to (1) verifying identity of applicants and entering application information, (2) determining applicants’ eligibility for enrollment in QHPs and eligibility for insurance affordability programs, and (3) maintaining and updating eligibility and enrollment data.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reminds us how poorly run this mammoth program is. “Specifically, the reports found that a number of the controls in place to protect taxpayers were ineffective and that HHS was unable to resolve 2.6 million of 2.9 million verification inconsistencies because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) eligibility system was not fully operational. It now appears that the Administration’s promises to protect taxpayers from wasteful and fraudulent payments will join ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it’ and lower premiums as just the latest in a string of Obamacare’s broken promises. This report is one more example of just how flawed the President’s health care law is. Whatever one’s opinion of Obamacare, the American public deserves to know that their tax dollars are allocated appropriately and that public officials take their responsibility to accurately and faithfully apply the laws enacted by Congress seriously.”

Roger Clegg recapitulates why no free pass is deserving for this unconstitutional gambit. “Senator Paul plans to use Article I, Section 4 as the basis for the congressional authority in the bill he is contemplating that would overturn state disenfranchisement of (some) felons. But this approach is at odds with the text of the Constitution in a number of ways, as reflected in the fact that the Federalist Papers, in separate discussions by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, do not interpret that provision the way Senator Paul would. It is also an interpretation at odds with a number of Supreme Court decisions.” (For a “constitutional conservative,” Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is confused on a lot of constitutional issues including drones, National Security Agency surveillance, trials for terrorists and presidential war powers.)