Friday's HOT MIC
I remember reading from time to time throughout Obama's eight years in office that he only cared about his own campaigns and was neglecting the Democratic Party. According to Donna Brazile in her new book, it was worse than anyone thought.
Obama’s use of party funds for private pollsters and focus groups drained the party, and Wasserman Schultz’s leadership as party chairman failed to address the problem. Clinton then bailed out the party in order to gain control of it, according to Brazile.
“This was not working to strengthen the party. He left it in debt. Hillary bailed it out so that she could control it, and Debbie went along with all of this because she liked the power and perks of being a chair but not the responsibilities,” Brazile said.Obama, who swept the 2008 Democratic presidential primary away from then-senator Clinton, didn’t have the same connection to the DNC that other party leaders had.
“Barack never had seen himself as connected to the party. He had not come up through it the way Joe Biden and Hillary had, but had sprung up almost on his own and never had any trouble raising money for his campaigns,” Brazile wrote.
Obama “used the party to provide for political expenses like gifts to donors, and political travel.” Because he “also cared deeply about his image,” he used DNC funds for “his pollster and focus groups” late into his second term, even though he couldn’t run for president, Brazile said.
The DNC and Obama really and truly deserve each other.
Must-read from Kim Strassel in the Wall Street Journal. Drop whatever you're doing and feast on this:
The Steele dossier has already become a thing of John le Carré-like intrigue—British spies, Kremlin agents, legal cutouts, hidden bank accounts. What all this obscures is the more immediate point: The dossier amounts to one of the dirtiest tricks in U.S. political history. It was perpetrated by Team Clinton and yielded a vast payoff for Hillary’s campaign.
The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign hired the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion in turn hired former U.K. spook Christopher Steele to assemble the (now largely discredited) dossier. That full dossier of allegations wasn’t made public until after the election, in January 2017. And the media and Democrats continue to peddle the line that it played no role during the election itself.
... it is fair to ask if the entire Trump-Russia narrative—which has played a central role in our political discourse for a year, and is now resulting in a special counsel issuing unrelated indictments—is based on nothing more than a political smear document. Is there any reason to believe the FBI was probing a Trump-Russia angle before the dossier? Is there any collusion allegation that doesn’t come in some form from the dossier?
The idea that the federal government and a special counsel were mobilized—that American citizens were monitored and continue to be investigated—based on a campaign-funded hit document is extraordinary. Especially given that to this day no one has publicly produced a single piece of evidence to support any of the dossier’s substantive allegations about Trump team members.
So yes, Mrs. Clinton, the dossier—which you paid for—was used in the election. And we are only beginning to understand in how many ways.
Lock her up!
It isn't just the allegations of pawing a teenage girl that should disqualify Roy Moore from holding elective office anywhere in the United States. Jonah Goldberg reminds us of a list of stupidities, shocking ignorance, and towering hypocrisy that makes Moore about as "unconservative" as a candidate can get.
Still, it’s good to know where the line is. You can set up shady charities for profit. You can call for religious tests and champion theocracy. You can cutely flirt with the idea that homosexuals have no rights — I don’t mean gay marriage, but the right to life — you can be removed from the bench, twice, you can demonstrate a thumbless grasp of the issues central to the Trump agenda: This is all acceptable for many conservatives. But, molest a little girl? That at least is too much.
Yesterday, Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, was a sacrificial lamb. Today, he's the next Senator from the great state of Alabama. And if any Moore partisan believes otherwise, I've got a ticket to Mars I'd like to sell you.
Moore is toxic waste. People don't vote for toxic waste. He can deny the accusations all he likes but the slime is sticking. And even in the most Republican state in the union, the damage to Moore's candidacy is beyond repair.
The faceless, colorless Mr. Jones doesn't even have to open his mouth between now and the December special election to be elected. That's how bad it is for Moore, who should withdraw and go hide in a hole somewhere.
File under "Yeah, Don't Do That":
Authorities say a man who was in a Colorado court for violating his bond on a drug charge is in even more trouble after a wad of cocaine fell from his hat while he was in front of the judge.
The Vail Daily reported Wednesday that 43-year-old Juan Jose Vidrio Bibriesca was standing next to two other defendants at an Eagle County District Court podium when he took his hat off and a square of folded paper fell out. A police officer watched the paper filled with cocaine fall to the floor, and after reviewing surveillance footage, authorities determined it fell from Bibriesca’s hat.
I know, who carries cocaine in a hat, right?
Anyway, I feel better about my day already.
Louis C.K. responds to the allegations (click image of statement to enlarge):
This is a bit more straightforward than a lot of the responses we've heard from the various men who have recently been accused of sexual misconduct. Louis isn't looking for an out here. He says he was wrong and then he explains that he knows why it was wrong. This doesn't seem to be the kind of approach that is hoping a quick trip to a European sex rehab clinic will make it all go away. Obviously, no one can know what is in another person's heart, but this statement at least feels a bit more honest and not the work of a team of PR people (although I'm sure they had input).