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DEEP STATE COUP: Lisa Page transcripts reveal details of anti-Trump ‘insurance policy,’ concerns over full-blown probe. People should go to jail over this attempt to overturn a democratic election.

JUST WHEN BOOMERS THINK MILLENNIALS ARE HOPELESS: Along comes somebody like Emily Kennedy, a remarkable young woman who with her business partner started a Pittsburgh-based firm that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help law enforcement fight human trafficking.

Yes, there are legitimate and growing worries about misapplications of AI, robotics and the Deep State, but this is one example of how digital technology can contribute in a mighty way to getting rid of an evil that is found all over the world.

DEEP STATE: IRS analyst charged with leaking financial documents on Michael Cohen.

SHARYL ATKISSON ASKS THE RIGHT QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DEEP STATE: The former CBS News reporter is suing the government to find out who ordered the intrusion of her computer and other surveillance that appears to bear some disturbing resemblances to the Russia Collusion Scandal.

Writing for The American Thinker, Atkisson asks some highly pertinent questions:

“Who is behind the move to use government surveillance tools against innocent Americans? Do some of these officials still work inside the government? Were some of them the very same officials now implicated in alleged surveillance abuses during Campaign 2016?”

Prediction: The answers to the first question will provide the answers to the second and third. Given what’s already on the record in both the Atkisson case and the Russia Collusion Scandal, one need not be “conspiracy theorist” to see where this is going.

And yes, there is an appeal for financial support in Atkisson’s post. To understand why, read her explanation for why merely printing a brief for the federal court system costs not $20, not $40, but $4,367.70. Justice is not cheap anymore, friends.

ED POSTED A LINK YESTERDAY, but Victor Davis Hanson’s Anatomy of a Dead Coup is a terrific summing up of all the Deep State machinations against Trump to date.

MICHAEL GOODWIN: Andrew McCabe is a national disgrace – and we owe him a big, fat thank you.

Andrew McCabe is a national disgrace. He was part of the most corrupt and most partisan leadership team in FBI history and was fired for being dishonest under oath.

And yet, America owes him a big thank-you.

McCabe, you see, has reminded us once again that there really is a powerful deep state, and that there has not been a full accounting of rampant FBI misconduct during the presidential campaign of 2016.

There is also still too much we don’t know about the role top aides to then-President Barack Obama and higher-ups in the Justice Department played in spying on the Trump campaign and leaks of classified information for partisan purposes.

In short, what is arguably the greatest scandal in the history of America remains mostly hidden from the public. That shroud of secrecy piles one scandal on top of another.

Fortunately, the McCabe reminder is a timely one, coming on the same day that William Barr was confirmed as the new attorney general. Barr is just the man to get to the bottom of the unprecedented plot to swing an election and later to remove a duly-elected president.

If Barr fires everyone involved, will there still be a Justice Department for him to head?

MARK ELLIS: The Russia Collusion Thud Heard ‘Round the World. “There was never any collusion. The entire debacle has been a Deep State plot to depose a president.”

TYLER O’NEIL: McCabe Revelation Confirms the Deep State Yet Again. “DOJ staff plotting to remove President Trump confirms conservatives’ worst fears.“

REMEMBER WHEN THEY TOLD US THE DEEP STATE WAS A MYTH?

This was an effort to overturn a legitimate election by undemocratic means, for selfish reasons. People should be fired, and quite possibly prosecuted, for this.

Instead:

Just a reminder that anyone who lied to the President as part of this is subject to prosecution under the False Statements Act.

UPDATE:

HOW FAR WILL THE DEEP STATE GO TO PROTECT ITS OWN? You won’t know the answer to that question until you know how congressional leaders in both parties, including now-former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, actively protected (or simply looked the other way) former House IT aide Imran Awan and his unvetted network of Pakistani family and friends serving more than 40 House Democrats, including many on the intelligence, armed services and foreign affairs committees.

It’s all detailed in “Obstruction of Justice” by Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF). Am I biased about this book? You bet I am because I was Luke’s editor when he first started covering this unbelievable but true saga and for many months thereafter. This one makes Watergate look like mere child’s play. And after you read it, you will want to call your senators and your congressman and ask them why they aren’t doing something about this national security scandal.

ERIK SVANE: The Truth About France’s Yellow Vests. “Before we go into detail about how the irritants have been growing for the past 15 years, notice how this is not une exception française, a specific Gallic exception. In it, you can recognize the deep state’s fight for control of the masses the world over.”

SEE, THIS IS WHY TED BAXTER WOULD NEVER GO ON VACATION: Senior Trump official pens anonymous essay saying ‘wasteful government agencies’ are BETTER OFF without furloughed workers who are lazy and unaccountable – and should never be allowed back. “For government employees seeking to implement the president’s policy priorities, the person claimed their time is often wasted preventing so-called deep state actors from derailing the administration’s political agenda.”

Let a government shutdown produce a net reduction in government employment and we’ll never see one again.

THE MENTAL STATE OF THE RULING CLASS: A very nice review of Todd Henderson’s novel, Mental State, which I liked. “One of the more interesting aspects of Mental State—which was authored before Donald Trump descended the elevator, but only released this year—is the exploration of an emergent human type: the careerist, left-of-center, deep state bureaucrat.”

PHIL HAMBURGER ON THE DEEP STATE: Who Are The Most Powerful People In America?

DUH. TANKING THE ECONOMY WORKED 06 TO 08, SO OF COURSE IT’S THEIR PLAN:  Is the Deep State trying to tank the China trade deal, stock market, and economy before 2020?

SPENGLER: Did the Deep State Sandbag President Trump with the Huawei Arrest? “The United States took the utterly unprecedented step of arranging the arrest of a prominent Chinese national in another country, namely Canada, over sanctions violations, which until now have been addressed with economic penalties, and attempting to extradite the Chinese national to face criminal charges in the United States. And the person in question is the daughter of the founder of Huawei, one of China’s most prominent business leaders. Nobody told the president as he sat down to negotiate with Xi Jinping? That doesn’t wash.”

CAMILLE PAGLIA: ‘HILLARY WANTS TRUMP TO WIN AGAIN.’

Paglia’s always worth reading, but note this contradiction:

Screechy Elizabeth Warren has never had a snowball’s chance in hell to appeal beyond upper-middle-class professionals of her glossy stripe. Kirsten Gillibrand is a wobbly mediocrity. Cory Booker has all the gravitas of a cork. Andrew Cuomo is a yapping puppy with a long, muddy bullyboy tail. Both Bernie Sanders (for whom I voted in the 2016 primaries) and Joe Biden (who would have won the election had Obama not cut him off at the knees) are way too old and creaky.

* * * * * * * *

Does the ‘deep state’ exist? If so, what is it?

The deep state is no myth but a sodden, intertwined mass of bloated, self-replicating bureaucracy that constitutes the real power in Washington and that stubbornly outlasts every administration. As government programs have incrementally multiplied, so has their regulatory apparatus, with its intrusive byzantine minutiae. Recently tagged as a source of anti-Trump conspiracy among embedded Democrats, the deep state is probably equally populated by Republicans and apolitical functionaries of Bartleby the Scrivener blandness. Its spreading sclerotic mass is wasteful, redundant, and ultimately tyrannical.

I have been trying for decades to get my fellow Democrats to realize how unchecked bureaucracy, in government or academe, is inherently authoritarian and illiberal. A persistent characteristic of civilizations in decline throughout history has been their self-strangling by slow, swollen, and stupid bureaucracies. The current atrocity of crippling student debt in the US is a direct product of an unholy alliance between college administrations and federal bureaucrats — a scandal that ballooned over two decades with barely a word of protest from our putative academic leftists, lost in their post-structuralist fantasies. Political correctness was not created by administrators, but it is ever-expanding campus bureaucracies that have constructed and currently enforce the oppressively rule-ridden regime of college life.

In the modern world, so wondrously but perilously interconnected, a principle of periodic reduction of bureaucracy should be built into every social organism. Freedom cannot survive otherwise.

I’m not sure if you support Bernie Sanders, you’re in a strong position to rail against out of control bureaucracies. To paraphrase Orwell, if you want a picture of the future under Bernie or his acolyte Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, imagine a bloated, self-replicating bureaucracy expanding exponentially, forever.

WELL, WELL: Even before Mueller was appointed, FBI opened investigation to “rein in” Trump. Note that they were planning an obstruction probe even before Comey was fired. Leaked to CNN because it’s friendly media, meaning they thought it was about to come out somewhere less friendly. This is huge, and people should go to jail.

Put this together with the collusion between the press and federal prosecutors and the “Deep State” narrative looks pretty solid.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Mueller Is Finished with Flynn and Much, Much More. “Really, the objective of targeting Flynn has been met, there’s no need toss him in the clink because the deep state has severely damaged him. He’s bankrupt, he lost his house, he’s going to have a problem getting employed. I’m sure his security clearance has been permanently yanked so…what’s he going to do to earn a living and take care of his wife and family?”

DEEP STATE: Corker, Menendez Push Effort to ‘Neuter’ Trump’s Broadcasting Chief. “Outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) is teeing up another parting shot to President Trump by facilitating an effort to undermine his choice to lead the nation’s taxpayer-funded global broadcasting operation, according to several GOP sources.”

DEEP STATE UPDATE: Matthew Whitaker is loyal to Donald Trump. That’s refreshing, not disqualifying.

IN THE MAIL: Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump.

Plus, Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

WHERE HAS ALL THE TESTOSTERONE GONE?

The foundation of every hate group is to generalize against a certain demographic in a negative manner. The Democrats’ latest whipping boy is toxic masculinity (TM). Their definition of TM is white men being competitive (also called winning), acting strong (instead of sensitive and vulnerable), expressing their (offensive) love of women, and not showing enough interest in the LGBTQ community. For hyper-moralizing liberals, masculinity represents violence, oppression, gender suppression, and policing of anything not considered virile. They insist it’s better to be weak. It’s an accomplishment to do nothing.

Is this a window into the wussification of the American male? If so, I’m losing hope for the human race.

Masculinity built this world. It’s what took us from living in caves to walking on the moon. Manliness is what pushes our country forward, permits great discoveries, and solves all manner of problems, big and small. Every noteworthy pursuit by man has been the product of his macho nature: art and culture, civics and civilization, science and technology, literature and philosophy. Now it seems we are headed in a completely different direction. In the ’60s, leftist long-haired acid freaks were crying, “We don’t want war, or jobs!” The situation grew worse in the ‘80s when young men got into glam metal music and began wearing tight clothes. Present day men have morphed into beta males and soy boys who get manicures and take college classes in “The Art of Walking” (Centre College) and “How to Watch Television” (Montclair College).

In my lifetime we went from John Wayne, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson to Anderson Cooper, Stephen Colbert, and Don Lemon. Even the Brawny paper towel dude — that mustachioed, denim-shirted logger pictured against a backdrop of conifers — was not immune to TM. His image was tweaked to change the color of his shirt, remove his mustache, and get rid of that dreadful axe.

Despite what you’ve been told, masculinity is not toxic. It’s what women turn to when they need protection from invaders. Masculinity wins wars and builds civilization. A lack of masculinity is what causes Social Justice Warriors to spend their lives in a deep state of frustrated offense and outrage, students to become mindless sheep, and cops to cower behind patrol cars while school children are massacred. Society has indoctrinated young boys into believing that being masculine is bad.

Are you allowed to say this now?

ICYMI, I’M IN THE SATURDAY WALL STREET JOURNAL WRITING ABOUT TENNESSEE REGIONALISM AND THE BREDESEN/BLACKBURN RACE. Excerpt:

The three regions are enshrined in the state constitution. East Tennessee extends from North Carolina to the Cumberland Mountains. Middle Tennessee covers the Nashville Basin from the Cumberlands to the western part of the Tennessee River. West Tennessee goes from there to the Mississippi. These divisions have real consequences: The constitution provides that no more than two of the five justices on the Tennessee Supreme Court can come from the same grand division, and signs at the state line once welcomed visitors to “the 3 states of Tennessee.” More important, they also reflect significant cultural and historical differences.

East Tennessee, which never had many slaves, was pro-Union during the Civil War and would have seceded from the Confederacy like West Virginia if it could have. Its population, mostly descended from small farmers and mountain dwellers, has a distinctive political history. Before the U.S. was founded, settlers in East Tennessee operated under their own constitution, the Watauga Compact. Later, East Tennessee was briefly the aspirational state of Franklin.

Middle and West Tennessee are much more traditionally Southern. Until recently East Tennessee, with about 40% of the state’s population, was heavily Republican while the other two divisions were Southern Democratic territory. Now the whole state has gone red, apart from its core urban enclaves. Still, differences remain. Historically, most of Tennessee’s Republican politicians came from East Tennessee. And they were typically down-home, folksy deal-makers—Sens. Howard Baker Jr., Lamar Alexander and Mr. Corker.

Mrs. Blackburn is in a different mold: Less folksy, more flashy. She’s running not as a deal maker but as a disrupter. She stands for building the wall and crushing Mr. Trump’s “deep state” opposition. On substance, Tennesseans agree with these things. But on style, her fit in East Tennessee is less than perfect. Mr. Bredesen’s down-home commercials and low-key speaking style are a better fit, even if the policies he’d support aren’t.

It doesn’t help that Mrs. Blackburn hasn’t spent as much time in East Tennessee over the past several years as she might have, partly due to the demands of her congressional seat. It’s not an accident that when Donald Trump and Mike Pence came to the Volunteer State in recent weeks, they both stopped in East Tennessee to gin up enthusiasm.

Mr. Bredesen has had his share of miscues. He touted a 16-year-old “A” rating from the National Rifle Association only to have the NRA indignantly point out that his current rating is a “D.” He indulged in an extended equivocation on the Kavanaugh nomination before ultimately announcing that, were he a senator, he would vote “yes.”

The Kavanaugh confirmation may end up saving Mrs. Blackburn’s candidacy. Tennesseans have a strong sense of fairness, and—as befits the region’s Scots-Irish character—a strong regard for matters of character and reputation. The Kavanaugh circus looked like Washington politics at its worst, and that seems to be helping Mrs. Blackburn, who’s running ads tying Mr. Bredesen to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. In 2018 this may be enough to overcome her other weakness.

If Mrs. Blackburn wins, it will be a case of national issues outweighing local culture. And that will be fine with Mrs. Blackburn, and Mr. Trump.

The latest polls look good for her, and the swing since Kavanaugh is amazing.

I’M IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WRITING ABOUT TENNESSEE REGIONALISM AND THE BREDESEN/BLACKBURN RACE.. Excerpt:

The three regions are enshrined in the state constitution. East Tennessee extends from North Carolina to the Cumberland Mountains. Middle Tennessee covers the Nashville Basin from the Cumberlands to the western part of the Tennessee River. West Tennessee goes from there to the Mississippi. These divisions have real consequences: The constitution provides that no more than two of the five justices on the Tennessee Supreme Court can come from the same grand division, and signs at the state line once welcomed visitors to “the 3 states of Tennessee.” More important, they also reflect significant cultural and historical differences.

East Tennessee, which never had many slaves, was pro-Union during the Civil War and would have seceded from the Confederacy like West Virginia if it could have. Its population, mostly descended from small farmers and mountain dwellers, has a distinctive political history. Before the U.S. was founded, settlers in East Tennessee operated under their own constitution, the Watauga Compact. Later, East Tennessee was briefly the aspirational state of Franklin.

Middle and West Tennessee are much more traditionally Southern. Until recently East Tennessee, with about 40% of the state’s population, was heavily Republican while the other two divisions were Southern Democratic territory. Now the whole state has gone red, apart from its core urban enclaves. Still, differences remain. Historically, most of Tennessee’s Republican politicians came from East Tennessee. And they were typically down-home, folksy deal-makers—Sens. Howard Baker Jr., Lamar Alexander and Mr. Corker.

Mrs. Blackburn is in a different mold: Less folksy, more flashy. She’s running not as a deal maker but as a disrupter. She stands for building the wall and crushing Mr. Trump’s “deep state” opposition. On substance, Tennesseans agree with these things. But on style, her fit in East Tennessee is less than perfect. Mr. Bredesen’s down-home commercials and low-key speaking style are a better fit, even if the policies he’d support aren’t.

It doesn’t help that Mrs. Blackburn hasn’t spent as much time in East Tennessee over the past several years as she might have, partly due to the demands of her congressional seat. It’s not an accident that when Donald Trump and Mike Pence came to the Volunteer State in recent weeks, they both stopped in East Tennessee to gin up enthusiasm.

Mr. Bredesen has had his share of miscues. He touted a 16-year-old “A” rating from the National Rifle Association only to have the NRA indignantly point out that his current rating is a “D.” He indulged in an extended equivocation on the Kavanaugh nomination before ultimately announcing that, were he a senator, he would vote “yes.”

The Kavanaugh confirmation may end up saving Mrs. Blackburn’s candidacy. Tennesseans have a strong sense of fairness, and—as befits the region’s Scots-Irish character—a strong regard for matters of character and reputation. The Kavanaugh circus looked like Washington politics at its worst, and that seems to be helping Mrs. Blackburn, who’s running ads tying Mr. Bredesen to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. In 2018 this may be enough to overcome her other weakness.

If Mrs. Blackburn wins, it will be a case of national issues outweighing local culture. And that will be fine with Mrs. Blackburn, and Mr. Trump.

The latest polls look good for her, and the swing since Kavanaugh is amazing.

IT’S BEEN TEN YEARS since the New York Sun went all-digital. Founders Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll talk about it. Excerpt:

Catton: Seth, what do you see as the future of journalism?

Lipsky: I tend to be an optimist about journalism, but I do think the current political scene has brought journalism to a new low. The Sun endorsed Donald Trump. We endorsed Ted Cruz in the New York primary. When he lost, we endorsed Trump in the general election. We did it on Republican principles. We favored the pro-growth economic platform, we opposed the Iran deal, we favored a military buildup, and we favored moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. So we supported Trump.

When at three in the morning it became clear that he had won, we had an editorial up by breakfast saying, among other things, that the press was the big loser in the campaign. You remember, the New York Times had declared it was time to end objectivity, That was in a column by its press critic on the front page. It was endorsed by its editor. Nearly every paper in the country had miscalled the election, and the other news outlets, too.

Not all of them by the way. Bob Tyrrell of the American Spectator predicted this thing some 15 months out; it was just absolutely incredible. Much of the press has joined with the campaign of resistance to the decision the American states made in electing Trump, and it’s kind of a dark moment for the press.

Our approach to it has been to try to maintain this editorial voice that focuses on principles over politics and the deep Constitution, not just the deep state, but the deep Constitution, as I like to call it, and the principles that we believe in, which are equality under the law, free markets, free people. We’ve been working that. And I think people are responding.

I like The Sun, but then I had a piece — a Byron White reminiscence — in the very first issue. And here’s their pre-election editorial on Donald Trump’s Optimism.

THESE ARE THE CRAZY YEARS:  Deep State Outed by . . . The NY Times?!?!

THE DEEP STATE STRIKES BACK: FBI, DOJ Plan Redactions Despite Trump’s Document Order.

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter.

The White House issued a statement on Monday listing material that Trump wants declassified immediately, echoing demands of Republican lawmakers who share his contention that the continuing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was tainted by anti-Trump bias well before Robert Mueller was named special counsel to run it.

Among Trump’s demands was the full public release of all text messages concerning the Russia probe by Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and by several former officials, including two who were fired — former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe. One person described the order to release text messages as unprecedented, and another said additional talks will probably be held with the White House over the matter.

What are they trying to hide and why are they trying to hide it?

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Deep State Op-Ed, KavaNOPE and Much Much More.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: NYT’s Deep State Hero and Much, Much More. “How does it feel to learn that there is a powerful self-interested bureaucracy asserting itself above and against the will of the people?”

It feels like I’ve been reading the papers since the early ’80s.

ROGER SIMON: NYT’s “Inside” Attack on Trump Unbelievably Cowardly.

On the other hand, it sure was nice of the Times to provide the evidence that the deep state actually exists.

 

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: “GREAT WORK”! Did the NYT just serve Donald Trump “his ‘Deep State’ talking point” on a silver platter?

Prediction: The author will turn out to be less “senior” than is implied. Either that or it’s Mike Pence. . .

DEEP STATE: Papadopoulos Court Docs Provide More Evidence Russiagate Was A Setup To Get Trump.

In the memo, Papadopoulos’s lawyers detailed the FBI’s January 27, 2017, questioning of their client, explaining that for two hours, Papadopoulos answered questions about professor Joseph Mifsud, Carter Page, Sergei Millian, the “Trump Dossier,” and others on the campaign. According to Papadopoulos, “[t]he agents asked George if he would be willing to actively cooperate and contact various people they had discussed.” Papadopoulos said he would be willing to try.

Yet when Mifsud—the Maltese professor who in late April 2016 told Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt on Hillary” in the form of “thousands of emails”—visited the United States just two weeks later to speak at a State Department-sponsored conference, the FBI didn’t even bother to have Papadopoulos reach out to his former colleague.

Instead, the FBI questioned Mifsud, then in the special counsel’s sentencing memorandum blamed Papadopoulos for the government’s inability “to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States.” According to Mueller’s office, Papadopoulos’ “lies also hindered the government’s ability to discover who else may have known or been told about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on Clinton,” and prevented the FBI from determining “how and where the Professor obtained the information [and] why the Professor provided information to the defendant.”

I previously explained why the special counsel’s claim that Papadopoulos’s lies impeded the FBI’s investigation doesn’t fly. Papadopoulos’s attorneys similarly argued in their memo that their client’s lies did not actually harm the FBI’s probe, adding significantly that “George was still a cooperating source in their investigation” at the time investigators questioned Mifsud.

That final point and the revelation in Papadopoulos’ sentencing memo that the FBI had asked the former Trump advisor if he would be willing to contact Mifsud—and Papadopoulos’ agreement to do so—exposes the FBI’s purported investigation into Russia as a sham.

Who does our counterintelligence agency work for, anyway?

FLASHBACK: Mueller, Comey, and the Deep State Rescue of Sandy Berger.

DEEP STATE UPDATE: Report: Top FEC Dem, staff behind anti-Trump jihad, fairness questioned.

The longest-serving Democratic member of the Federal Election Commission, expected to take over as chair in four months, and her top staffer are behind an anti-Trump and anti-GOP crusade, according to a new report from a critic.

In a series of blog posts, the Republican National Lawyers Association questioned the fairness of Commissioner Ellen Weintraub and her counsel, Tom Moore, and compared the attacks on Trump to the bias FBI officials showed to President Trump.

Weaponizing the bureaucracy against Republicans is what Democrats do. It’s not an aberration, it’s the norm.

THIS IS CNN: How to prepare for ex-President Trump.

Someday, Donald Trump will become ex-President Trump. After a guilty plea from his longtime “fixer,” Michael Cohen, alleging that Trump directed the commission of federal crimes, perhaps that day will arrive sooner rather than later. But whether it’s a week, 18 months or more than six years away, we need to start preparing now. That’s because, for all of the threat to our democracy Trump poses as president, he may pose an even bigger one as an ex-president.

No one knows how Trump will leave the Oval Office. Maybe he’ll resign. Maybe he’ll be impeached. Maybe he’ll be voted out in November 2020 — or maybe he’ll leave at the end of two terms in January 2025.

If Trump were a real danger, shouldn’t we be preparing for El Presidente for Life Trump, instead?

Anyway, the Deep State’s ongoing effort to delegitimize 2016’s free and fair election is a genuine concern — and Joshua A. Geltzer’s opinion piece here is yet another small example of just that.

THE DEEP STATE STRIKES BACK: Federal Court may alter NC congressional districts for 2018 election.

While the White House is thwarted on an almost hourly basis by federal district judges, the Tar Heel State languishes under the iron heel of the Fourth Circuit, a federal appellate court based in Richmond, Virginia. Once deeply conservative, the Fourth Circuit is now almost as liberal as the Ninth, and for a very simple reason: President Obama got to fill vacancies Senate Democrats kept from Bush in 2007 and 2008. (The judicial vacancy intrigue began long before Trump.)

The transformed Fourth Circuit quickly got to work striking down North Carolina’s laws on voter IDs, transgender bathroom accommodations, public prayer, and, of course, election districting, from races for lowly school boards to those for Congress. (I take no position on the wisdom of these policies, but don’t believe that federal courts should so lightly and frequently override an elected state legislature.)

And so the court strikes again.

Read the whole thing.

TYLER O’NEIL: Judge Foils ‘Deep State Bureaucrats’ in Obamacare Case, Demands IRS Return $839M to 6 States. “Busting a bureaucrat ‘money laundering scheme’.”

THE DEEP STATE WHINES BACK: Brennan, Colleagues Say Security Clearance Revocation Intended to ‘Intimidate and Suppress Any Criticism’ of Trump.

What do you suppose would have happened to dissent if the presidential candidate Brennan voted for in 1976 had actually won?

Update: Second link was wrong before. Fixed now — sorry!

HMM: How Bruce Ohr Could Implicate High-Ranking Obama Officials In Spygate.

We don’t know what Yates knew about Ohr’s role. When Yates testified before Congress in May 2017 about the Russia investigation, Ohr’s involvement was still secret, leading the Senate Judiciary Committee to focus instead on her role in instigating the firing of Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.

Once again, Ohr and Steele’s exchanges detailed by Solomon provide a hint: The day after Yate’s firing, Steele contacted Ohr, texting “doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re-SY,” a clear reference to Sally Yates. “Just wanted to check you are OK, still in situ and able to help locally as discussed, along with your Bureau colleagues,” Steele added. Then, after Ohr confirmed “I’m still here and able to help as discussed,” Steele stressed that if Ohr was out at DOJ, he needed another “(Bureau?)” contact.

This exchange suggests Yates’ removal concerned Steele and left him worried that without Yates at the helm, Ohr’s continued role as a DOJ liaison for Steele was at risk, and that without Yates or Ohr, he would need to work directly with the FBI.

Was that because Yates approved of Ohr acting as a dossier courier for Steele and the FBI? If so, the Spygate scandal reaches into even higher echelons of the Deep State than previously known.

You’ll want to read the whole thing about our previous, remarkably scandal-free Administration.

CHRISTIAN JOSI AND BRIAN DARLING: Brennan, Hayden and Clapper Deserve to Lose Security Clearances – at a Minimum. “Proceedings to revoke the security clearances of the deep state Three Musketeers is long overdue.”

ONE HOPES IT’S NEARING THE END.  ONE FEARS IT ISN’T.  EVERY TIME WE SAY THINGS CAN’T GET ANY CRAZIER THE LEFT AND THE DEEP STATE (BIRM) SAY “HOLD MY BEER AND WATCH THIS”: It’s Oakland in Muellerville.

 

MICHAEL WALSH: Donald Trump, Jabberwocky, and the Deep State’s Gordian Knot.

Read the whole thing.

THAT WORD DOESN’T MEAN WHAT HE THINKS IT MEANS:  WaPo Columnist Says It’s Ultimate Patriotism For ‘Deep State’ To Oppose Trump.

WASHINGTON POST RETURNS TO FORM:

● 2009: Newsweek, then still owned by the Post, declares, “We Are All Socialists Now.”

● 2017: WaPo introduces new emo slogan: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

● 2018: Embrace the darkness: “God bless the ‘deep state.’”

Woodward and Bernstein could not be reached for comment.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot: Trump embraces deep state conspiracy theory.

—Headline, CNN.com, November 29, 2017.

● Chaser: CNN’s Philip Mudd Calls for ‘Shadow Government’ to Rise Up, Oppose Trump.

NewsBusters, yesterday.

MARK PENN IN THE HILL: The Dishonesty Of The Deep State:

I’ve seen President Clinton deny he had a relationship with “that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” I’ve seen President Obama assure people they will get to keep their doctor under ObamaCare. And I’ve seen former press secretary Sean Spicer declare that President Trump’s inaugural crowd was larger than Obama’s.

But these falsehoods pale in comparison to the performances of a series of “deep state” witnesses who have combined chutzpah with balderdash, culminating so far in the testimony of FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Let’s review just some of the highlights.

Former FBI Director James Comey maintained he did not make any decision on the email investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton until after Hillary Clinton’s interview, even though his conclusion memo was written, edited and watered down months in advance of his announcement. We have all of the timing, the drafts of the memo, and the dates and times of the edits.

Former CIA head John Brennan denied he supplied the Steele dossier on Trump to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the face of mounting evidence that he did precisely that and, at least orally, gave the former Nevada Democrat a full account of the dossier, leading Reid to write a public letter demanding an investigation.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has flatly denied that he lied to the FBI about orchestrating a self-serving leak, even denying knowledge in several interviews with FBI investigators, including one session that Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz has on tape, if one reads the fine print of his report.

Now comes Strzok who, to the actual applause of congressional Democrats, denies he ever did anything in 26 years that contained even a hint of bias, despite the most damning evidence imaginable in the record — quote after quote indicating, at each and every phase of the Trump-Russia investigation, that he hated Trump, would create an “insurance policy” against his victory, and would “stop” him from serving as president. On a trip to Walmart, he says he can “smell” the Trump voters there. After all, he said, he expected his texts would be private communications — even as he used government devices to avoid detection of his relationship with then-FBI attorney Lisa Page, with whom he texted.

And like all the other witnesses, he does not come in contrite but with verbal guns blazing. These witnesses seem to believe they belong to a protected class. He offered no proof that he carefully acted to separate these views — which he constantly expressed to his paramour Page, who also was on the investigation — from his actions that are now under investigation. It is false, by the way, to say he was cleared of bias in the Trump-Russia investigation; the inspector general faulted Strzok’s texts and is currently investigating the origins of that investigation.

Remarkably, we learned that special counsel Robert Mueller never even made the slightest direct inquiry into Strzok’s actions and behavior, other than to remove him from the investigation. Mueller, you may recall, for five months ducked answering congressional inquiries as to why Strzok and Page were reassigned, and we only learned the reasons when the DOJ inspector general sent these text messages to Congress. Mueller, it seems, was too busy combing every single email of the transition team, and later monitoring every single call of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, to stop and review how this bias might have tainted much of the evidence of his investigation and require new interviews of witnesses or other action.

One other revelation in Thursday’s congressional hearing was really quite stunning: Strzok named fellow FBI official Bruce Ohr, whose wife was hired by the political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, as someone who handed in a version of the Steele dossier to the FBI. And Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) read from an email indicating that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), journalist David Corn of Mother Jones magazine and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson all had sent versions of the Steele dossier to the FBI. (Simpson, by the way, testified he never dealt with the FBI.) At that point, just as it was getting interesting, Strzok claimed the FBI was barring him from answering any further questions on this material.

This revelation goes to the very heart of the matter of how bias led to a ridiculous, unverified group of mostly easily disproven allegations being treated as if they were the holy grail to stop Trump from becoming president. Dossier compiler and former British spy Christopher Steele, who also lied to the FBI about his press contacts, and Simpson apparently created a massive echo chamber involving the State Department, the CIA, politicians such as Reid and McCain, and the FBI — through the undisclosed relationship with Ohr’s wife — to spread what was all the same information, from the same unverified sources, as though it was coming in from all over. And this was all paid for through undisclosed contributions from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Remember, her State Department aides denied to the FBI even knowing that she had her own email server as secretary of State, despite clearly communicating about it in emails, and those who smashed and destroyed evidence were given either immunity or a pass.

It’s like they think the law doesn’t apply to them.

OH, THAT DEEP STATE: John McCain Staffer Told Lois Lerner To Audit Non-Exempts Till They Collapsed.

OH, THAT DEEP STATE: DOJ Employee Among Commie Mob that Hounded DHS Secretary out of Mexican Restaurant.

CHARLIE MARTIN: The Deep State is an Organism, not a Conspiracy.

I love the photo atop Charlie’s post.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Deep Stater Busted for Lying about Leaking and Much, Much More. “A former staffer on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSCI, actually pronounced “sissy”) was busted for lying to the FBI about leaking classified information to the press. He wasn’t busted for leaking, just lying, which is interesting.”

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot: MSNBC Panel: ‘Donald Trump Believes in Autocracy,’ President Trump Has ‘The Mindset of a Dictator.’

NewsBusters, yesterday.

● Chaser: Tavis Smiley of PBS [while appearing on MSNBC]: ‘We’re All Working For Barack Obama.’

NewsBusters, January 9, 2009.

● Hangover:

Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

Thomas Friedman, the New York Times, September 9, 2009.

I’m happy to see the left rediscover Constitutional checks and balances, which only seems to happen when the president has an (R) after his name. Or as Glenn wrote in 2016, “if you favor liberty then the President should be a white, male Republican. Because then the Deep State will keep him in check.”

MICHAEL WALSH: Naked is the Best Disguise: the Bipartisan Deep State.

The deep state looks after its own. And this is why—whether “Republicans” or “Democrats”—the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party hates Donald J. Trump.

Read the whole thing.

J.E. DYER: When The Obama Administration Became The Deep State.

In early January 2017, then-President Barack Obama, SHMOTUS Joe Biden, and a small sub-group of the national security team began their transition to what’s commonly called the “Deep State.” Based on the footprints they left behind we can tell that they took time from their real jobs of running the country, this proto-deep state planned, coordinated, and leaked a timed media burst of articles about Trump and Russia. Each of the stories was leaked to different outlets. Each story was published between the 10th and 12th of January. This was the turning point when the Obama Administration became the deep state.

At NRO on Tuesday, Andrew McCarthy came to an important conclusion about the Trump-Russia investigation. It has been increasingly clear that the investigation – to the extent we may call it that – started quite a while before 31 July 2016, the date long given for its formal launch. McCarthy suggests it began in the early spring, probably around the end of March.

Read the whole thing.

DON’T MINCE WORDS, TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK: James Clapper: Leaker, Liar, Sleazeball.

In Clapper and Brennan, the deep state could hardly have chosen worse defenders.

BUT THEY’LL NEVER BE CONVICTED BY A JURY OF THEIR PEERS:  More evidence of deep state collaboration with CNN on the Steele dossier.

LET THE CHIPS FALL: Did The Obama Administration Spy On Trump Using Flimsy Evidence? Let’s Find Out. “After all, if the DOJ is incorruptible, there’s nothing to worry about.”

David Harsanyi:

I don’t know if there’s a big conspiracy by the deep state. But it’s pretty obvious to me that leaders of our institutions aren’t above engaging in spying. John Brennan spied on the legislative branch and lied about it to the American people. James Clapper spied on the American people through a domestic surveillance program and lied about it to Congress. Although the Obama administration never tweeted nasty attacks on journalists, it did spy on and prosecute them. It’s completely plausible that those in the upper echelon of law enforcement saw Trump as a threat, then used wobbly evidence as the pretext to investigate his campaign. If not, it’ll be good to clear their names.

“FBI used informant to investigate Russia ties to campaign, not to spy, as Trump claims,” read a truly silly New York Times headline last week. You can call it whatever makes you happy, but in the real world the act of furtively gathering information about someone else is called “spying.”

The Washington Post reported, for instance, that the informant was surreptitiously seeking information by “seeking out and meeting three different Trump campaign officials.” The spy, according to the piece, had contacts with the CIA. This is unprecedented. Why shouldn’t we find out if the reasons that girded the investigation were sound?

Indeed.

YOU AIN’T ALONE, BROTHER:  Derek Hunter: I Used to be Skeptical of the Existence of a “Deep State.” I’m All Out of Skepticism Now.

THE DEEP STATE OTOH:  Name the Spy: The FBI Had a Source with Access to the Trump Campaign.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Trump Land Mine.

After the 2016 election, the so-called deep state was confident that it had the power easily to either stop, remove, or delegitimize the outlier Donald Trump and his presidency.

Give it credit, the Washington apparat quite imaginatively pulled out all the stops: implanting Obama holdover appointees all over the Trump executive branch; filing lawsuits and judge shopping; organizing the Resistance; pursuing impeachment writs; warping the FISA courts; weaponizing the DOJ and FBI; attempting to disrupt the Electoral College; angling for enactment of the 25th Amendment or the emoluments clause; and unleashing Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley, and many in Wall Street to suffocate the Trump presidency in its infancy.

But now the administrative state’s multifaceted efforts are starting to unwind, and perhaps even boomerang, on the perpetrators. If a federal judge should end up throwing out most of the indictments of Paul Manafort on the rationale that they have nothing much to do with the original mandate of the special counsel’s office, or if Michael Flynn’s confession to giving false statements is withdrawn successfully because the FBI politicized its investigation and FISA courts were misled in approving the surveillance of Flynn, then the Mueller investigation will implode.

Indeed, the Mueller investigation would likely lose so much public support that the Department of Justice could probably dismiss it with impunity. So, in an ironic sense, Mueller’s overreach might well end once and for all the absurdities of the special counsel/prosecutor law that for nearly half a century has plagued the nation.

Until recently, deep-state apparatchiks such as John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe seemed immune from accountability after lying either to Congress or to federal authorities. In a perverse sort of way, the more Robert Mueller plays the role of the obsessed but impotent Inspector Javert, the more he demonstrates that there is no Russian-Trump collusion. Meanwhile, he is establishing precedents that those whom he exempts from his own zeal will inevitably have to account for their own lawbreaking. One cannot justifiably hound Michael Flynn for supposedly misleading FBI agents, when agency investigators were told by Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills that they had known nothing about Hillary Clinton’s private server during her tenure as secretary of state — despite evidence that they themselves had communicated over it (as had the former president of the United States).

Let us hope.

MICHAEL WALSH: Donald Trump and the Star Chamber of Horrors:

Fifteen months into his administration, Donald Trump remains the object of a dedicated attempt by the Democratic Party, the media, NeverTrump Republicans, and rogue members of the deep state to take him down. From the night he was elected, lifelong members of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party and the embedded bureaucracy have refused to accept the results of a national election, and have instead waged a campaign of “lawfare” against a man they consider an interloper—a situation unique in the annals of American democracy.

From Hillary Clinton to James Comey to Robert Mueller to Stormy Daniels, to various minor federal judges, to CNN and MSNBC, the list of Trump’s enemies continues to grow.

Their tactics are breathtakingly simple—and amazingly brazen. As the past year-plus of Robert Mueller’s tedious investigation has proven, there is no very great crime behind Trump’s very great fortune of having been elected the 45th president of the United States. The entire notion of Russian “collusion” (not in itself actionable in the first place) was cooked up in the witches’ cauldron that was Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The resulting brew was liberally dispensed to the cadres of media operatives pretending to be dispassionate reporters in order to assuage the failed candidate’s rage over losing what she thought—what she was assured by her friends at the CIA and the FBI—was a fixed fight.

And so the Big Lie—that Trump had collaborated with Vladimir Putin to change the course of an American election—was born.

There was and is nothing to it, of course. But that hasn’t stopped the Democrats, whose sterling moral history of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition has prepared them for just this moment.

Flashback: Russians! Under My Bed!

TINO (TORIES IN NAME ONLY): Allister Heath writes in The Daily Telegraph (free registration required) about Britain’s very unconservative Conservative government:

True, the pound is recovering, unemployment is at its lowest level since 1975, and real pay is growing again, but the government cannot take much credit. It pays lip-service to entrepreneurship but appears never to have seen a company, transaction or contract it doesn’t want to regulate, tax or subsidise. It confuses book-keeping with conservatism, which is all about upsizing individuals, families and communities and shrinking officialdom’s sphere of influence. It has no interest in supply-side economics, or in the idea that cutting taxes is good for self-reliance, or that we must reform public services by learning from Singapore or Switzerland.

Part of the reason for this hopeless managerialism? A very British Deep State:

It feels as if the machinery of government is in fact controlled by an alliance of social-democrats, corporatists and bureaucrats. For every problem, there must be a state solution; in the absence of any kind of principled conservatism, the default “philosophy” is that the official in Whitehall knows best. The elites are in disarray over Brexit, but continue to hold sway over almost all else: those in charge are paid up members of the Left-wing consensus, guaranteeing that whatever nostrum is fashionable is soon translated into policy. There is thus little difference between decisions taken under the previous or current Prime Ministers.

Andrew Allison of the (excellent) Freedom Association has more thoughts here. It is  darned odd that the British polity was dominated by Thatcherism and Blairism from 1979 to 2010, and yet neither philosophy has a political home at present.

 

JACK GOLDSMITH ON THE DEEP STATE:

Jack Goldsmith, writing in the Guardian, tells us that the “deep state” is real and dangerous. His assertions carry weight for two reasons.

First, Goldsmith should know. He was a high ranking Justice Department official — head the Office of Legal Counsel — during part of the George W. Bush administration. This placed him in the middle of issues regarding national security, electronic surveillance, and the like. He also worked closely with James Comey, including during the famous incident at Attorney General Ashcroft’s hospital bed that made Comey famous (or at least a legend in his own mind).

Goldsmith is also author of Power and Constraint, a book I reviewed for the Federalist Society. Goldsmith’s research kept him very much in touch with the deep state and issues relating to its power.

Second, Goldsmith is a strong critic of President Trump. Thus I view his agreement with Trump about the “deep state” as more significant than the concurrence of Trump’s defenders, from whom we normally hear such assertions.

Says Goldsmith:

America doesn’t have coups or tanks in the street. But a deep state of sorts exists here and it includes national security bureaucrats who use secretly collected information to shape or curb the actions of elected officials. . . .

The deep state has been blamed for many things since Donald Trump became president, including by the president himself. Trump defenders have used the term promiscuously to include not just intelligence bureaucrats but a broader array of connected players in other administrative bureaucracies, in private industry, and in the media.

But even if we focus narrowly on the intelligence bureaucracies that conduct and use information collected secretly in the homeland, including the FBI, National Security Agency (NSA), and National Security Council, there is significant evidence that the deep state has used secretly collected information opportunistically and illegally to sabotage the president and his senior officials – either as part of a concerted movement or via individuals acting more or less independently. . . .

Since Trump was elected, unusually sensitive leaks of intelligence information designed to discredit him and his senior leadership have poured forth from current and former intelligence officials in the deep state. . . .

These leaks probably mark the first time ever that the content of foreign intelligence intercepts aimed at foreign agents that swept up US-person information was leaked. They clearly aimed to damage US persons – ones who happen to also be senior US government officials.

They were unlawful and, beyond that, they violated two until-now strict taboos about leaks – first on revealing the content of foreign intelligence information collected through electronic surveillance, and second on revealing the content of incidentally collected information about American citizens.

Many people, including many who are not in the Trump camp, have interpreted these leaks to violate a third taboo by marking a return to the Hoover-era FBI’s use of secretly collected information to sabotage elected officials with adverse political interests. . . .

[W]hile Hoover did many awful things in quiet, neither during his reign nor at any other time in American history have we seen such a profusion of sensitive leaks from the deep state with such an overtly political aim to bring down senior leadership.

Yes, this appears to be a coordinated bureaucratic attempt to overturn a democratic election.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Deep Staters Referred to DOJ and Much, Much More. “Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and 10 other congressman sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending a criminal investigation into such extra-constitutional, bureaucrat, actors as Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, James Comey and Andrew McCabe.”

MARK PENN IN THE HILL: Comey’s Last Stand For The Deep State.

They were among the most powerful men of the last decade. They commanded armies of armed agents, had the ability to bug and wiretap almost anyone, and had virtually unlimited budgets. They were the leadership of the FBI, the CIA and the director of national intelligence under President Obama. Each day, it becomes clearer that they are the real abusers of power in this drama.

The book by former FBI Director James Comey and the daily hyperbolic John Brennan sound bites are perhaps the final reveal of just how much hubris and vitriol they had. Comey’s book, according to reports, contains nothing new of legal consequence to Trump (while suggesting that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has something to worry about), but it unmasks the hatred that Comey had for Donald Trump from the beginning. It impeaches Comey’s fitness to have ever held high, nonpartisan office.

Whether you are a Democrat who can’t stand Trump, a Hillary Clinton supporter who feels robbed by Comey, or a Trump supporter, any use of wiretapping and vast prosecutorial machinery against our political campaigns and sitting presidents always has to be viewed skeptically and should meet the highest standards of conduct and impartiality. The post-election actions of these former officials makes suspect their actions as officials.

Yes, they’ve called into question the very legitimacy of government as it operates nowadays.

THEY TOLD ME IF TRUMP WERE ELECTED, JACKBOOTED FEDS WOULD BE INVESTIGATING THE EDITORIAL POLICIES OF NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS. And they were right! “In one instance, The Enquirer bought but did not publish a story about an alleged extramarital relationship years earlier with the presidential candidate, an unusual decision for a scandal sheet. The federal inquiry could pose serious legal implications for the president and his campaign committee. It also presents thorny questions about A.M.I.’s First Amendment protections, and whether its record in supporting Mr. Trump somehow opens the door to scrutiny usually reserved for political organizations.”

Everyone knows that “editorial decisions” aren’t protected under the First Amendment if they might help Trump. And there’s absolutely no such thing as a Deep State.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire has thoughts.

“Thorny questions”. My goodness, the Times was bailed out in 2009 by Carlos Slim, a wealthy Mexican. Does this raise “thorny questions” about their commitment to undocumented immigrants? Of course not, because they say it doesn’t.

Now obviously, Mr. Slim knew the Times was reliably progressive when he bought them, so he didn’t need them to change their views on anything. But the National Enquirer has been making money off of Clinton scandals for decades. Maybe the AMI people simply decided that, in mirror image to the Times Upper West Side readership, their readers wanted material that bashed Hillary and praised Trump. They do tell the Times it was a business decision driven by the popularity of Trump with their readership. Plausible? Sure. Legal? Say what now?

If all AMI did was pick a side in pursuit of an audience, my goodness. That is well worth investigating because we all know that the mainstream media would never trade sympathetic coverage for access that can boost prestige, circulation and ratings. Please.

As to aggressive coverage of sex scandals by the mainstream media, well, that may be ideologically contingent – back in 2007-08, John Edwards and Rielle Hunter were a tabloid-based open secret (gullible Media Matters link) for months before the “responsible” media decided to jump in. Why they might today rush to bash Trump based on mere allegations is hard to understand. No it’s not. Is the National Enquirer being investigated for spiking a story which the Times would never lower itself to touch? Too thorny!

Ouch. Plus: “Is paying for stories a ‘legitimate press function’? That is how the National Enquirer broke the case of the murderer of Bill Cosby’s son. They also paid Rush Limbaugh’s housekeeper for the scoop that got Rush busted for his oxycontin habit – I bet that looked legit to Common Cause. To paraphrase slightly, the dark night of fascism is always descending on the right yet arriving from the left.”

DEEP STATE BLUES: Nunes Demands FBI and DOJ Turn Over Un-Redacted Documents. “Committee will pursue ‘all appropriate legal remedies, including seeking civil enforcement’ for noncompliance.”

JONATHAN TURLEY: The curious case of Andrew McCabe’s legal defense fund.

The Justice Department recently indicted four “fraudsters” in New York who raised more than $125,000 through a bogus “wounded warrior” charity to benefit themselves rather than to help veterans. It is a recurring problem for people who watch those constant commercials showing trembling dogs in wire cages or heartbreaking kids with cleft lips. Most charities fund legitimate, desperately needed programs but often are harmed by an unscrupulous few.

One recent campaign has attracted huge donations based on dubious claims – and it comes from within the Justice Department itself. The cause is Andrew McCabe, and both the timing and the pitch are strikingly premature. Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe’s GoFundMe page for a “legal defense fund” appeared after he was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Originally asking for only $150,000, the campaign continued to adjust its goal upward and, in a matter of a few days, surpassed half a million dollars. That is equivalent to more than a decade of McCabe’s expected pension. . . .

It was curious to many that McCabe would so quickly embrace a GoFundMe site before he was “referred” for criminal investigation, let alone charged with any crime. (The inspector general could refer his case for possible criminal charges but, historically, Justice Department officials have avoided such referrals.) However, McCabe clearly did not want to wait for the release of the inspector general report on his conduct before soliciting donations.

In fact, a member of Congress has indicated that McCabe was accused of lying not once but four times about leaking information to the media on the Clinton investigation: lying to FBI Director James Comey, lying to the office of professional responsibility, and lying twice under oath to the inspector general. That is hardly the stuff for a late-night pitch for just a $19.95 monthly donation to support a self-wounded FBI man.

What also is striking is that McCabe has used the same defense as Michael Flynn, who took a plea for a single false statement to investigators. Flynn, however, was given the choice between a plea and prison. There was no pension involved.

The Deep State takes care of its own. And I’d like to see who’s donated to that GoFundMe.

SHOE, MEET OTHER FOOT: ‘Extremely dangerous to our democracy’: MSNBC’s Joe and Mika shame Sinclair anchors for reciting pro-Trump propaganda.

The “Morning Joe” hosts played a video montage showing anchors warning viewers about a “deep state” conspiracy they claimed was out to destroy President Donald Trump, and one after another told viewers this was “extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

Scarborough and Brzezinski agreed this was indeed “extremely dangerous to our democracy,” and bashed the right-wing broadcast company for “shoving propaganda down local anchor’s throats.”

“The president has no problem calling the media enemies of the state, has no problem constantly lying about them,” Scarborough said. “He has no problem being angry when they call him out on his own lies. What’s so interesting is, as those news anchors from around the country were saying that this weekend, you know, and they were instructed to recite words that legitimize the president’s agenda, it was Donald Trump who was lying.”

The Journolist — or whatever they’re calling it now — keeps the Left marching in near-perfect lockstep, every day, over the complete spectrum of major news outlets, entertainment, and social media. But they totally lose their cool over a clumsy, one-time effort at messaging by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Distortions of Our Unelected Officials.

On March 17, ex-CIA Director John Brennan tweeted about the current president of the United States: “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. . . . America will triumph over you.”

That outburst from the former head of the world’s premier spy agency seemed a near threat to a sitting president, and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power tweeted that it probably was: “Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”

If there is such a thing as a dangerous “deep state” of elite but unelected federal officials who feel that they are untouchable and unaccountable, then John Brennan is the poster boy. . . .

Brennan is typical of the careerist deep state.

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice lied about the Benghazi tragedy, the nature of the Bowe Bergdahl/Guantanamo detainee exchange, the presence of chemical weapons in Syria, and her role in unmasking the identities of surveilled Americans.

Andrew McCabe, recently fired from his job as FBI deputy director, openly admitted to lying to investigators, claiming he was “confused and distracted.” McCabe had said that he was not a source for background leaks about the investigation of the Clinton Foundation. He wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post that “some of my answers were not fully accurate . . .”

Former FBI Director James Comey likely lied about not drafting a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in her email scandal before interviewing her.

Comey misled a FISA court by not providing the entire truth about the Steele dossier. He falsely assured the president that he was not under investigation while likely leaking to others that Trump was, in fact, under investigation.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee when he said that the National Security Agency did not collect data on American citizens. When caught in the lie, Clapper claimed that he had given the “least untruthful” answer to the committee that he could publicly provide.

In the past, Clapper had also misled the country about the “secular” nature of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the threat posed by the Islamic State.

Note that Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, and Rice so far have not been held to account for their distortions.

Not yet, anyway.

DEEP STATE: Minneapolis FBI agent charged with leaking classified information to reporter.

Terry James Albury, who was assigned as Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport liaison working on counterterrorism matters, was charged this week by the Justice Department’s National Security Division with one count of “knowingly and willfully” transmitting documents and information relating to national defense to a reporter for a national news organization. Albury was also charged with a second count of refusing to hand over documents to the government.

Albury is the second person charged for leaking secret documents to Intercept. In June 2017, an intelligence contractor was charged with leaking a classified report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to The Intercept, the first criminal leak under President Trump.

The Justice Department has vowed to crack down on leaks that it contends undermine national security.

A search warrant filed in Minneapolis federal court against Albury did not identify the news outlet, but a review by MPR News found the documents described in the search warrant that Albury leaked exactly match the trove of FBI documents posted by The Intercept.

More at the link.

TIMELY:  Jack Carr’s ‘Terminal List’ Taps Into Our Deep State Fears.

JONATHAN TURLEY: “Confused and Distracted”: McCabe Uses Flynn Defense Against False Statement Allegation.

Two officials are accused of misleading statements in interviews. One is bled financially to the point that he must sell his house and then forced into a criminal plea. The other gets a delay in his pension. Both were very very busy people, but only one is looking at prison.

It’s almost like the Deep State protects its friends and punishes its enemies or something.

ROGER L. SIMON: The Deep State Is in Deep Trouble.

DEEP STATE: “The Washington Post is trying to delegitimatize diGenova by pinning a term on him that people might not understand, but that, if they did come to understand, would probably cause then to support diGenova. So not only does WaPo not hurt diGenova (and Trump), as intended, it gives higher profile to a relatively unknown term that has the power to sharpen awareness and concern about the very problem that diGenova is trying to warn us about, and we can see from the Monmouth poll that people are very receptive to that warning.”

LOVERS OF BIG GOVERNMENT SURPRISED AMERICANS KNOW ABOUT BIG GOVERNMENT: ‘Morning Joe’ Frantic Over Poll Showing Americans Believe In A ‘Deep State.’

BIPARTISANSHIP: Public Troubled by ‘Deep State.’

A majority of the American public believe that the U.S. government engages in widespread monitoring of its own citizens and worry that the U.S. government could be invading their own privacy. The Monmouth University Poll also finds a large bipartisan majority who feel that national policy is being manipulated or directed by a “Deep State” of unelected government officials. Americans of color on the center and left and NRA members on the right are among those most worried about the reach of government prying into average citizens’ lives.

Just over half of the public is either very worried (23%) or somewhat worried (30%) about the U.S. government monitoring their activities and invading their privacy. There are no significant partisan differences – 57% of independents, 51% of Republicans, and 50% of Democrats are at least somewhat worried the federal government is monitoring their activities. Another 24% of the American public are not too worried and 22% are not at all worried.

Fully 8-in-10 believe that the U.S. government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens, including a majority (53%) who say this activity is widespread and another 29% who say such monitoring happens but is not widespread. Just 14% say this monitoring does not happen at all. There are no substantial partisan differences in these results.

This breakdown in trust is what happens when power is held by people unworthy of it.

DAVID STEINBERG: Own Goal: Politico, House Democrats Unintentionally Launch the Dismantling of the ‘Deep State.’

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: McMaster Whiplash, Bridge Collapse and Much, Much More.

Plus: Anatomy of a deep state hit job.

DERP STATE: Politico, House Democrats Unintentionally Launch the Dismantling of the ‘Deep State.’

The Democratic Party and Politico just went to bat for a rubber-roomed “whistleblower.”

They really did just try to make hay with: “Trump Demotes — But Can’t Fire — Employee Who Calls Him ‘Dangerous'”.

If the Republican Party has a smidge of the media instincts of Schachtel and Ceren, then this coming Monday should open with a House Oversight Committee hearing on civil service employment law reform.

They don’t, of course.

But Trump does. And winning over America with Civil Service Reform is a six-inch putt for him.

Faster, please.

TACKLING THE DEEP STATE: I was honored to speak at a panel at CPAC last week entitled, “New Sheriff in Town: How Trump is Taking Down Lawless Government Agencies.” There’s a nice write-up of the panel at LifeZette.

PARKLAND SHOOTING: Exposing The Rot In The Deep State. Well, and the not-so-deep state.

MICHAEL BARONE: Don’t take the Onion’s pessimism too seriously.

“Study: 90 percent of Americans Strongly Opposed To Each Other.” That’s the headline on a story in what on some days seems America’s most reliable news outlet, the Onion.

We laugh (or at least I did) because it strikes a chord. Americans of many different political outlooks today seem united in believing that we are experiencing the worst times in the nation’s history. Trump detractors talk about a neurotic Nazi establishing a dictatorship. Trump fans talk about a “Deep State” using secret protocols to undermine the voters’ choice.

Both sides have some cause for complaint. But their claims are overheated. Anyone familiar with the long course of American history — perhaps a smaller category than in times past — knows that, whatever our problems, things have been far worse before.

Many of us look back to a time when Americans shared a consensus on cultural values, and when we were told that high school graduates or even dropouts could easily snag well-paying blue collar jobs. That’s a reasonably accurate description of America in the 1950s on cultural values and of parts of America—the unionized industrial North—on those jobs.

President Trump’s unspecific slogan “Make America Great Again” probably strikes most listeners as a promise to restore the seemingly culturally unified America of the two post-World War II decades. Democrats’ calls for strengthening labor unions and job protections likewise evoke the 1950s, the time of peak union membership.

But this was a short period — I call it the Midcentury Moment — and the exception rather than the rule in American history. That tends to get overlooked by those lamenting polls showing low confidence in institutions. The benchmarks against which they are measured are inevitably when pollsters first asked those questions in the 1950s.

But that was a time when big institutions — big government, big corporations, big unions — had just finished leading Americans to victory in a world war and to unanticipated prosperity in the years that followed. They had arguably earned the confidence they enjoyed.

If you had been able to ask Americans those questions in the years before Gallup conducted his first poll in 1935, it’s likely that they would often have expressed low confidence, as they did starting in the late 1960s.

And those institutions haven’t exactly covered themselves with glory since. One problem is that the people running them care more for the high regard of their peer group than for the fortunes of the institutions they are entrusted with.

ADVICE FOR THE MIDTERMS: Make the Deep State Pay — It’s the Only Way.

DEEP STATE STASI: When School-Voucher Foes Called in the Feds … and Called the Shots. “It was a prolonged mystery that struck Wisconsin education reformers as more akin to a Kafka novel than American due process: Who was behind cryptic demand letters sent under the aegis of the Obama Justice Department, intimating without specific evidence that Milwaukee’s school-choice program was illegally discriminating against disabled kids? Now, after a six-year bureaucratic and legal tangle in which school voucher advocates said they were stonewalled by Washington, the mystery has been solved. And the answer, they say, is alarming: The federal operation was sparked and practically run behind the scenes by liberal opponents of the program.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: DOJ Official Bruce Ohr Hid Wife’s Fusion GPS Payments From Ethics Officials. “Bruce Ohr, the Department of Justice official who brought opposition research on President Donald Trump to the FBI, did not disclose that Fusion GPS, which performed that research at the Democratic National Committee’s behest, was paying his wife, and did not obtain a conflict of interest waiver from his superiors at the Justice Department, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show. The omission may explain why Ohr was demoted from his post as associate deputy attorney general after the relationship between Fusion GPS and his wife emerged and Fusion founder Glenn Simpson acknowledged meeting with Ohr. Willfully falsifying government ethics forms can carry a penalty of jail time, if convicted.”

(Bumped).

Related: Monica Showalter: Bruce and Nellie Ohr: The other Trump-hating lovebirds. “The Daily Caller speculates that from Fusion GPS’s point of view, it was the perfect Bonnie and Clyde scenario for getting its research out there – not just for the incurious press, but before the eyes of the FBI, using the FBI as a means to take down Trump. All of this would have benefited its client, Hillary Clinton, whose campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, was paying for the whole thing. Two heads are better than one, it seems. Lovebirds united in their loathing of Trump repeatedly get into mischief. This shows the incestuousness of the Deep State, of course: first FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and his wife, then FBI counterintelligence big Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page, and now Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Not a one of them was afraid of the consequences that ordinarily come of blatant conflicts of interest, and some, apparently such as Bruce Ohr, felt they could get away easily with lying. It goes to show it’s about time to clean house harder among the Deep State tag-teams.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The Ruling Class Hates You.

I thought love trumps hate. That’s what I’ve been led to believe by an effusion of t-shirts, bumper stickers, and social media postings from the self-styled anti-Trump Resistance™. As my friend Roger Kimball likes to say, there really is nothing like the intoxication of moral superiority.

The syrupy slogans promulgated by the ruling class, ruling class wannabes, and fellow travelers on the Left aren’t fooling anyone, not even, I would guess, the people who say, wear, and post them. Truth is, they really don’t like the rest of us. No problem, we have our own lives and families. But it’s only not a problem until such disdain is combined with a sense of political entitlement and the coercive power of government.

Which brings us to the political and cultural union of the Democratic Party and the permanent political class called the deep state, that forms the unelected, unaccountable fourth branch of government that wields so much power up to and including the police power of the FBI.

In private texts recently made public, FBI “super-agent” Peter Strozk and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, were quite candid. Their open disdain for a wide variety for groups including Italians, Russians, Romanians, gypsies, Virginians, Texans, and pro-lifers should surprise no one. The leaders of their party have been saying the same thing in public for years.

Deplorable-Americans are too ornery. They’d like to replace them with populations they expect to be more tractable.

MICHAEL WALSH: Tear Down That Wall . . . Of Silence.

As the Obama wall of silence begins to crumble, the FBI’s reputation is befouled by its own rash actions, a politicized Justice Department stands revealed as, well, politicized, and the Democrats furiously spin the facts outlined in the Nunes Memo and subsequent revelations, there’s only one overarching question left to ask: what made them think they could get away with it?

And by “them,” I mean the lot of them—the corrupt, partisan officials, the political operatives masquerading as selfless public servants, the intelligence community pooh-bahs who betrayed their trusts, the preening “straight arrows,” the talking heads, the Washington bureau chiefs, the White House correspondents, every man jack of whom did his level best to create, run, and disseminate a disinformation operation designed to do one thing: destroy the unwanted and unwelcome presidency of Donald J. Trump.

From the moment it dawned on Hillary Clinton, late on election night, that she had managed to blow a fixed fight, and that there would, therefore, be hell to pay, the Democrat-Deep State-Media Complex suddenly had to conceal their own malfeasance by doing what the Left does best—projecting its own sins onto others.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: Tear Down That Wall . . . of Silence. “From the moment it dawned on Hillary Clinton, late on election night, that she had managed to blow a fixed fight, and that there would, therefore, be hell to pay, the Democrat-Deep State-Media Complex suddenly had to conceal their own malfeasance by doing what the Left does best — projecting its own sins onto others.”

Read the whole thing.

THE DEEP STATE PROTECTS ITS OWN: FBI ‘Failed To Preserve’ Five Months Of Text Messages Between Anti-Trump FBI Agents.