When Maureen Dowd is blasting Chelsea Clinton, you know the Clinton clan is in trouble. “If she really wants to be altruistic, let her contribute the money to some independent charity not designed to burnish the Clinton name as her mother ramps up to return to the White House and as she herself drops a handkerchief about getting into politics. Or let her speak for free. After all, she is in effect going to candidate school. No need to get paid for it, too.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry boards a cargo plane at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman on June 24, 2014 on his way to Kurdish territories in the north of Iraq for a second day of talks with Iraqi leaders about the increasing insurgent crisis as cities continue to fall to groups like ISIS. AFP PHOTO/POOL/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman, Jordan, last month.  (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

When everyone tells you to butt out, you might reconsider your career choice. “The Israelis and the Palestinians are resisting Secretary of State John Kerry’s repeated offers to travel to the Middle East and try to help negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Experts on both sides believe he doesn’t have the credibility or ability to do any good if he shows up there. . . . Unfortunately, the U.S. relationships with Egypt and Turkey have both deteriorated since 2012. Morsi was ousted in a military coup and imprisoned, and the new Egyptian leadership has significantly less influence with Hamas. The Turkey-Israel relationship is also in shambles, hurting Ankara’s ability to be constructive player. And Clinton is gone, replaced by a Secretary in Kerry who may have already used up whatever diplomatic capital he had with the Israelis and the Palestinians.” Other than that he’s done a bang up job.

When you’re no longer surprised what President Obama doesn’t know, you can consider the second term pretty much a disaster. Gov. Rick Perry fills him in: “The president was not even aware that his border patrol was 40, 45 miles away back from the border at these checkpoints. They need to be right on the river. They need to be there as a show of force, because that’s the message that gets sent back very quickly to Central America.”

When Iran claims not even to be pursuing a nuclear weapon, you know a credible agreement is impossible. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gets it right: “What are they developing ICBMs for if not for nuclear warheads? What are they developing these — building these enormous underground nuclear facilities if not for nuclear weapons? If they wanted to have just civilian nuclear energy, they could have it without centrifuges for enrichment, without plutonium and the heavy water. These are only use for nuclear weapons. So, this is a sham. I mean, I don’t think anybody could take this seriously. I think we have to remember, this is the same Iran that is arming, financing, training Hamas and Islamic jihad.”

When the mainstream media pretends to take Sarah Palin seriously, you now it’s just to embarrass the GOP. Ana Navarro explains, “Nobody of responsibility, nobody in leadership, nobody of relevance has talked about impeachment. The lawsuit is about constitutional powers and separation of powers. So can we stick to talking about what people who actually can make something happen say, as opposed to what folks who want to make headlines say?” Apparently not.

When the best statement on Hamas comes from the Canadian prime minister, you know the United States is no longer acting like a superpower. “Failure by the international community to condemn these reprehensible actions would encourage these terrorists to continue their appalling actions. Canada calls on its allies and partners to recognize that these terrorist acts are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict.”

When more Democrats are stepping forward to criticize the president for failing to go to the border, you know the White House blew it. “‘I wish he would’ve come to the border,’ Rep. Beto O’Rouke (D., Tex.) said on CNN’s State of the Union. ‘I wish he would’ve visited McAllen, Texas, ground zero for these refugees fleeing Central America. I wish he would’ve come to my district in El Paso where we’ve seen thousands of family members. … I think it would’ve sent an important message to the rest of the country about how seriously he takes this issue, beyond the spending request that was sent to Congress last week.’ The president’s decision to not visit the border, despite being in the state for fundraisers, has led to harsh criticism from Republicans and from Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar, who called it a possible ‘Katrina moment.’ Cuellar has been the most outspoken Democratic critic of the administration’s handling of the crisis, but Sunday seemed to suggest a shift as two Democrats expressed some frustration over Obama’s failure to visit the border.”