Even on his last day — working in a position that is regarded as one of the most grueling jobs in the White House — Jay Carney didn’t get a pass from the press corps.
The first question he fielded after giving his thanks moved quickly away from his departure:
“On behalf of my colleagues, congratulations on making it to your last briefing,” a White House correspondent said. “If we can get to Iraq, the president is meeting with lawmakers this afternoon. Is he going to be in a position to tell the lawmakers his decisions … “
Which underscores an obvious point: Jay Carney’s job is bigger than Jay Carney. He might leave, but the issues will remain, the press corp will remain. He’s just one replaceable cog in a fundamental American institution. But serving in the job for three years — which is longer than any of his predecessors in the past 20 years — has perhaps lent him as good a perspective on the relationship between the press and White House as anybody.
As I think most of you now understand and believe, it’s always a pleasure no matter how hard it gets here, how hot it can be, and contentious as it sometimes is. You know the president — to many of us — said of the jobs we have here in the White House, most of us will never be in a position to do more good for more people as we are in now. We should take advantage of it. And that is something that we all take to heart. I don’t ever expect to be in a position again to be a part of something that has at least the potential to do more good for more people. That’s been a special thing, indeed. I loved my years as a reporter…. Reporting sometimes can be an autonomous exercise. It’s your story, your byline. What was so different about the [White House] experience for me is it was all about a team effort and all about a goal that had nothing to do with any individual, not even the president. That’s been extraordinarily gratifying to be a part of.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”