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IT TAKES A LOT TO GET ONE OF THOSE WHEN YOU’RE A DEMOCRAT: PolitiFact Gives Hillary Clinton ‘Pants on Fire’ for Voter Suppression Claim.

FLASHBACK: Politico: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire: Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton. “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.”

SHE’S LIKE A HORROR MOVIE VILLAIN, WHO JUST WON’T STAY GONE: Hillary Clinton: How to Lose 2020.   Still working indefatigably (and without realizing it) for the Donald Trump campaign, too.

SORRY, NO: Hillary Clinton: ‘Stacey Abrams Should Be Governor’ of Georgia.

SURE, THAT INDICATES RELIABILITY: Latest Kavanaugh Accuser Was Hillary’s Lawyer in Clinton Impeachment. But this is all bullshit, and further evidence that #MeToo wasn’t a moral movement, but a lame political tool.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Fascist Fangs Come Out at Dem Debate.

I didn’t watch all of Round 3, I went back to my old ways and let Twitter and my PJ Media colleagues watch it for me. Doing that gives me a good way to assess which candidates are resonating and who’s getting the most favorable buzz.

I did, however, tune in every now and then, immediately regretting the decision each time.

Each time I did, I saw a different candidate explain why the federal government needed to intervene in my life in order to make it “better.” Suffice it to say that I was not moved by the sales pitch.

It reminded me very much of PJ O’Rourke’s quip about the title of one of those books Hillary Clinton allowed herself to be named author of: “Washington is the village, and you’re the child.”

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Hillary Clinton Is Still Pretending She Won.

She’s like Teddy Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, who was convinced he was actually Teddy Roosevelt. Everybody played along because it was just easier that way. But eventually, they had him committed to a mental institution for his own good.

I hope Hillary’s loved ones don’t do that to her. I don’t want her to go away to the funny farm. I want her to keep running around in public, humiliating herself for my amusement. I want her to serve as a constant reminder that things could always be worse.

I’m With Her (Downward Spiral)!

Heh. Read the whole thing.™

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Is Joe Biden’s Eye Okay? “Everybody’s talking about it on social media, and almost nobody’s talking about it in the news. Not even CNN, which hosted the debate where it happened. Which makes sense, because Biden is a Democrat and the job of the press is to protect Democrats. This can’t be used against the Republicans, so the media will just ignore it and hope it goes away. That’s what they did when Hillary Clinton collapsed in the street and had to be tossed into a waiting van like a sack of potatoes. They just pretended it never happened, until they were forced to finally cover it. They want a Democrat in the White House, and they’ll ignore any story that interferes with that, as long as they can.”

HOW DECADES OF PARANOID ATTACKS ON THE KOCH BROTHERS TURNED INTO MAINSTREAM LEFTIST TACTICS.

Well, more like a decade of paranoid attacks. In the late 1990s, the conservative zillionare baddy du jour was Richard Mellon Scaife, but in his last years, Scaife’s cold war with Bill Clinton thawed to the point where, as this 2014 Politico article notes, after Scaife’s passing, “Bill Clinton on Saturday fondly memorialized one of the key financiers of what Hillary Clinton years ago deemed the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy.’”

Thus, new a new shadowy replacement was needed to counterbalance the right’s obsession with George Soros. That the Koch brothers were much more libertarian than conservative didn’t stop the left from picking the target, personalizing it, and polarizing it, as Hillary and Obama’s chief influence would say.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Trump — or What, Exactly? Let’s compare Trump’s policies and behavior to that of prior presidents — and to his 2020 opponents’.

Not a word comes from Trump’s critics about the need for Social Security or Medicare reform to ensure the long-term viability of each — other than the Democrats’ promises to extend such financially shaky programs to millions of new clients well beyond the current retiring Baby Boomer cohorts who are already taxing the limits of the system.

To counter every signature Trump issue, there is almost no rational alternative advanced. That void helps explain the bizarre, three-year litany of dreaming of impeachment, the emoluments clause, the Logan Act, the 25th Amendment, the Mueller special-counsel investigation, Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti, Trump’s tax returns, White Supremacy!, Recession! — and Lord knows what next. . . .

Instead of vague socialist bombast and promises, where is the actual detailed socialist version of the Contract with America, so voters can read it, digest it, and then decide whether it is superior or inferior to the status quo since 2017? Let us see two antithetical visions of America’s future, and let the voters decide.

For those who insist that “character matters” more than policy, then, let us compare the Trump behavior in the White House since 2017 with JFK’s, Lyndon Johnson’s, and Bill Clinton’s. Let’s compare his supposed efforts to “obstruct” justice with Obama’s actual record of politicizing federal justice, intelligence, tax, and investigatory agencies.

So far, all that is something that apparently no presidential candidate wishes to do.

Plus:

Trump’s crime is that, without sanitized surgical gloves, he completely ripped the scab off what we call “journalism” and exposed a festering wound of narcissistic, mostly incompetent, and utterly partisan reportage.

Indeed, we knew what was beneath but dared not touch the scab. We had smelled the fetid pus when journalists rallied around the mythographer Dan Rather, chatted in the JournoList files, and competed to toady up to Hillary Clinton in Wikileaks’ trove of Podesta emails. Dean Baquet’s latest New York Times pep talk about the next “racist!” newspeak to follow the failed Mueller hoax was thus anticlimactic — well aside from the epidemics of #MeToo accusations not usually associated with woke, progressive journalistic professionals.

We know that the New York Times, so eager to accuse Trump and the nation at large of serial racism, is itself fond of publishing anti-Semitic cartoons and hiring those with a paper trail of racism and anti-Semitism as its editors, reporters, or editorial-board members, as we see with Sarah Jeong, Jonathan Weisman, and Tom Wright-Piersanti.

Trump did not destroy CNN or the New York Times as viable news organizations. He had nothing to do the past three years with their suicidal abandonment of ethics, professionalism, and disinterested reporting.

True.

WELL: Former Overstock CEO: James Comey wanted me to sleep with Maria Butina. “‘There was political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton, Rubio, Cruz, and Donald Trump,’ Byrne tells the Bulls & Bears panel, and that it was run by Peter Strzok. Byrne then claimed that he’d been offered ‘a billion-dollar bribe’ to keep quiet, that Warren Buffett told him to go public, and that all of this has to do with Strzok, McCabe and others.”

BYRON YORK: What We Need To Know From The Horowitz Report.

There will be much to learn in Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s upcoming report on the Trump-Russia investigation, but most of it will likely boil down to just two questions. One, how much did the Obama Justice Department spy on the Trump campaign? And two, was it justified?

Many Democrats would immediately protest the word “spying.” But the public already knows the FBI secured a warrant to wiretap low-level Trump adviser Carter Page a few months after Page left the campaign. The public also knows the FBI used informant Stefan Halper to gather information on other Trump campaign figures. And the public knows the FBI sent an undercover agent who went by the alias “Azra Turk” to London to tease information out of another low-level Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos.

Was that all? Were there more? Horowitz should give definitive answers.

And what did the spying involve? In such intelligence work, wiretaps are recorded; transcripts are made. The same can be true for person-to-person conversations between FBI informants and Trump campaign figures. In May, Trey Gowdy, the former Republican congressman who read deeply into Trump-Russia materials when he was in the House, strongly implied that the FBI had transcripts of informant communications.

“If the bureau is going to send an informant in, the informant is going to be wired,” Gowdy told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “And if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that.”

“Where are the transcripts, if any exist,” Gowdy continued, “between the informants and the telephone calls to George Papadopoulos?”

The “if any exist” was Gowdy’s way of casting his statements as a hypothetical, but there was no doubt he was speaking from the knowledge he gained as a congressional investigator. . . .

Here is why Republicans are skeptical. Special counsel Robert Mueller had access to the results of the FBI’s spying, and Mueller could not establish that there was any conspiracy or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. After a two-year investigation with full law enforcement powers, Mueller never alleged that any American took part in any such conspiracy or coordination.

So Republicans know the end result of the investigation, but they don’t know how it began. Yes, they know the official story of the start of what the FBI called Crossfire Hurricane — that it began with a foreign intelligence service (Australia) telling U.S. officials that Papadopoulos appeared to have foreknowledge of a Russian plan to release damaging information about Hillary Clinton. But they don’t think it’s the whole story.

That’s where Horowitz comes in.

Stay tuned.

MARK HALPERIN AND THE ART OF THE #METOO U-TURN:

Halperin’s effort, How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take, is set to be published by Regan Arts. Founder Judith Regan is renowned for her attempt to publish another redemption story: O.J. Simpson’s If I Did It.

According to Sunday’s Politico Playbook email, the book will feature interviews with Jill Alper, David Axelrod, Bob Bauer, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Tad Devine, Anita Dunn, Karen Dunn, Adrienne Elrod, Jennifer Granholm, Ben LaBolt, Jeff Link, Jim Margolis, Mike McCurry, Mark Mellman, Amanda Renteria, John Sasso, Kathleen Sebelius, Bob Shrum, Ginny Terzano, and David Wilhelm.

Cockburn has so many questions. If these strategists are so wise, did they not see how rubbing shoulders with Halperin could backfire? Is that the same Anita Dunn who’s advising the Biden campaign, the one who spends her day freaking out at what Uncle Joe’s next perceived misstep will be? What would so many Hillary Clinton backers know about how to beat Trump?

But chief among them…when exactly did they decide it was time to move on from #TimesUp?

Read the whole thing.

WELL, THAT’S JUST WHAT I THOUGHT IN 2016: Susan Sarandon: Trump Might Be Better for America Than Hillary Clinton.

THIS SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH COULD INCREASE THE ODDS THAT HILLARY CLINTON RUNS FOR PRESIDENT AGAIN: “Though difficult to conceal under a pantsuit, the Arque could provide Hillary with a less cumbersome solution to her balance issues compared to full-body exoskeleton alternatives. It is not currently known whether the tail’s development is related to Keio University professor Tomohiko Taniguchi’s 2018 visit to the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas.”

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Hillary Ruins The Plan. “Plan A was to exonerate her and get her elected. Plan B, the failsafe, was an ‘insurance policy’ meant to destroy Trump.”

BRIAN CATES: “If you’ve followed SpyGate from the beginning – and I have – then you know that it came out months ago via anonymous sources in news reports that all of Hillary Clinton’s St. Dept. emails were being automatically copied & sent to a Chinese-related email account. So what changed today? Documentation was released that verifies these anonymously sourced prior news accounts.”

EYES WIDE SHUT: “Jeffrey Epstein had a painting of Bill Clinton wearing a blue dress and red heels and lounging in the Oval Office inside his Manhattan mansion — visitor reveals bizarre image inside pedophile’s $56m lair,” the London Daily Mail reports. And yes, there’s a photo of the painting. Which Democratic Party operative with a byline will be the first to ask Bill and/or Hillary about it?

THAT SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT: Book: ‘Collusion hoax’ a Clinton-Obama payback for 2016 loss to Trump.

The book is Andrew McCarthy’s Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency.

And in fact, the campaign history Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign explains how the Russia collusion narrative was made up to explain Hillary’s loss.

COLLUSION: Former Google Engineer Says Google Will Try to Prevent Trump’s Reelection. “After the 2016 election, Google’s then-head of multicultural marketing bragged about attempting to boost Latino turnout, hoping it would help Hillary Clinton. Robert Epstein, a Ph.D. psychologist who studies search engine manipulation effects, found that Google’s bias can explain Clinton’s popular vote margin of victory. A Project Veritas video showed that Google’s ‘fairness’ project is intended to prevent another 2016. Last month, a Google engineer said the company’s search results are intentionally biased against Trump.”

JUDICIAL WATCH: FBI found leaked memos at Comey’s house just before admission to Congress. As Ed Morrissey asks, “Did the man who gave Hillary Clinton a pass for mishandling classified material commit the same misconduct?”

NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED: Donald Trump Didn’t Lie About Where He Was after the 9/11 Attacks, But Hillary Clinton Did.

AND THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT: I Played Trump in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Debate Prep. Here’s What It Takes to Beat Him.

HMM: Mueller collapse raises more questions.

The fallout from Wednesday’s disastrous performance by Robert Mueller in the Capitol includes a nearly 450-page report now in question. We don’t know who wrote it. We don’t know who really ran the investigation. We do know that several investigators on Mueller’s team were rabidly anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton.

In fact, the Justice Department’s voluminous Inspector General report featured the political musings of the investigators. The Office of Inspector General, “Discovered text messages and instant messages between some FBI employees on the investigative team, conducted using FBI mobile devices and computers, that expressed statements of hostility toward then candidate Donald Trump and statements of support for then candidate Clinton.”

Members of the team attended Clinton events, donated to her campaign and even legally represented some of her associates.

Mueller himself bragged about his disinterest concerning such matters at the hearing Wednesday. “We strove to hire those individuals that could do the job,” he declared. “I’ve been in this business for almost twenty-five years and in those twenty-five years I have not had occasion once to ask somebody about their political affiliation. It is not done. What I care about is the capability of the individual to do the job and do the job quickly and seriously and with integrity.”

Two years for a report Mueller doesn’t seem to have read (much less written), put together by people whose partisanship was glaring… that’s a triple-fail on a job that was supposed to have been done “quickly and seriously and with integrity.”

And do read the whole thing.

HMM: Once A Democratic Bastion, Minnesota Trends Red Heading Into 2020. “When it comes to elections, swing states are always crucial, but in 2020, this blue state could be turning red for Trump.”

Its 10 electoral votes alone could offset a possible Rust Belt loss. The mainstream media has barely covered Trump’s remarkable gains in Minnesota, a state that historically is the bluest of the blue.

How blue? Even during the Reagan landslide victories of 1980 and 1984, the Gopher State remained a bastion of New Deal liberalism and economic populism. In fact, the last time the GOP captured Minnesota was during Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign in 1972, nearly a half-century ago.

Yet Trump, with his own brand of populism, nearly captured the state in 2016. He carried 78 of the state’s 87 counties, double the number carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. Overall, the margin between Trump and Hillary Clinton was a mere 1.5 percent — just 44,000 votes — the weakest Democratic tilt in decades.

In fact, Trump might well have won Minnesota in 2016 had he made the state more of a priority. On the advice of the GOP mainstream, which had watched Mitt Romney make a foolhardy play for Minnesota in 2012, Trump didn’t visit the state until the waning days of the campaign, a decision he came to regret. “One more big rally, and we would have won,” he lamented later.

Trump’s taking no chances this time.

He isn’t getting cocky.

GOODWIN: Mueller’s testimony equals end of any Trump impeachment talk.

More likely, the 74-year old former FBI director was something of a figurehead for an investigation that was carried out by the team of zealots he ­assembled.

That is not an incidental issue. As Andy McCarthy at National Review has written, and as Trump has repeatedly charged, the prosecutors were ­primarily people who had donated to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats or who otherwise made known their support for her.

Perhaps Mueller’s detachment explains his failure to remedy these obvious conflicts of interest that undercut his credibility from the moment they became known.

Oddly, Mueller removed FBI agent Peter Strzok because his bias against Trump became public, but apparently had no concerns about public reports showing that chief prosecutor Andrew ­Weissman and others were in Clinton’s camp.

Mueller’s detachment may also explain the bizarre standard his team created, where Trump’s presumption of innocence was shredded because they could not find sufficient evidence to “exonerate” him. Several Republicans pointed out that prosecutors either file charges or don’t, but have never imposed the impossible standard of exoneration.

Those flaws are among many that undercut the report, including the fact that much of it reads as if it were written by Trump-hating reporters from the New York Times.

Birds of a feather.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Mueller to Bring Wet Nurse Along for Congressional Hearings. “There was a last minute surprise from Mueller, a request to have a wet nurse present and sitting next to him during the hearings. The wet nurse is one Aaron Zebley, who you might remember was the attorney for the Hillary Clinton IT guy who set up the illegal basement server and smashed up Hillary’s Blackberry phones. Why was this guy on Mueller’s team since it seems like he has some very real conflicts of interest? Nevermind.”

THE PERSONAL MEMOIRS OF ULYSSES S. GRANT: On this day in 1885, Ulysses Grant died at the age of 63, essentially penniless. Only a few days before he had completed his final task—writing his memoirs. Those memoirs would soon make his widow a wealthy woman. And that is exactly what he had been praying for.

Grant had been diagnosed with throat cancer not quite a year before his death. In order to run for President, he had forfeited his military pension, and a series of bad investments had left the Grant family in a dire financial condition. So he feverishly set about to write his memoirs so that his beloved Julia would be supported after his death. Mark Twain, an admirer of Grant, arranged for a book contract on very favorable terms to the former President.

The book was a hit, and Twain’s marketing strategy on behalf of Grant’s family was shrewd. Union army veterans flocked to buy it.

Historians, although enthusiastic about his literary talent, are sometimes surprised to find themselves praising Grant as possibly the best book-length author among the nation’s Presidents. They should not be. Those who knew Grant knew that he was a wonderful storyteller with a detailed memory for the events of the Civil War and much else. They weren’t in the least surprised at his ability to put it all down on paper.

Yes, the book is still available.

(p.s. these days former Presidents seem to do pretty well financially. There is no need to worry about penniless widows, widowers, or starving Presidential offspring.  Obama’s net worth has been estimated at $40 million. The Clintons have made $240 million since leaving the White House.  George W. Bush has been estimated to come in a little behind Obama, which may be surprising to some given that, unlike Obama and Clinton, he was born to wealth.)

FLASHBACK: Perhaps we should require reading “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in journalism schools.. “No one is listening anymore. When mild-mannered technocrat Mitt Romney was running for president, Clinton’s obscure Obama-administration colleague Joe Biden told a black audience that Republicans ‘are going to put ya’ll back in chains.’ If you listen to Democrats, every Republican who has run for anything in my lifetime has Klan robes in their closet and secret Confederate memorabilia collection.”

ANSWER: BECAUSE PHONY BETO-MANIA HAS BITTEN THE DUST: How Beto Made Himself into White-Privilege Guy.

In his almost certainly ill-fated pursuit of the 2020 Democratic nomination, O’Rourke is no longer on the warpath to oust the media-loathed incumbent like Ted Cruz. He’s now in a crowded field with other Democrats, many of whom are actual minorities (and one who tried her damnedest). The media no longer view him as the adorable, skateboard-riding, honorary Hispanic who would supplant a creepy religious senator from Texas, but instead a privileged white male standing in the way of some minority candidate poised deliver a symbolic rebuke to Donald Trump (and, by fiat, the no-good-very-bad racists who elected him.)

The Daily Beast writes of “The Unbearable White Privilege of Beto O’Rourke;” CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson said that Beto’s careerism “drips with white male privilege” and insisted that “O’Rourke, tall, handsome, white and male, has this latitude, to be and do anything. His privilege even allows him to turn a loss to the most despised candidate of the cycle into a launching pad for a White House run. Stacey Abrams, a Yale-trained lawyer, couldn’t do this.”

Beto, meet Robert Francis.

O’Rourke soon realized he must drag himself through that tired rubric of public self-flagellation and self-loathing expected of white progressive men who deign to challenge visible minorities for a chance at power. It has, as of this writing, been an abject disaster:

“As a white man who has had privileges that others could not depend on, or take for granted,” a fallen, emasculated Beto said on Meet the Press, clearly penitent for the accidents of his birth, “I’ve clearly had advantages over the course of my life.” And he is obliged to report that he, and the society that afforded him these ill-gotten gains, are irredeemable to at their very core. He told immigrants and refugees gathered at a campaign in Nashville that “this country was founded on white supremacy, and every single institution and structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression, even in our democracy.”

Nia-Malika Henderson was right — look at what happened to Stacey Abrams!

Heh. One way or another, it’s only a matter of time before Elizabeth Warren faces a similar reckoning.

ROGER KIMBALL: The white supremacy phantom: Does Donald Trump’s habit of tweaking the commentariat mean he must be impeached? “I think that ‘the Squad’ are like the jesters that monarchs of old used to have. Not in every respect. They are not, for example, intentionally funny. But they are a source of entertainment. No one takes them seriously.”

Plus:

Some of my readers may forget, but I entered this fray as a dedicated anti-Trumper. I wrote, gosh, a score of articles criticizing Trump in the most categorical terms.

But then the worst happened and the choice was Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I have rehearsed all of this before and will not repeat it now. Suffice it to say that I regarded the choice as binary. I was not going to throw my vote away on Evan McMuffin or whatever his name was. It was Hillary, who was impossible, or Trump, who was merely frightful.

I chose frightful and have been pleasantly surprised. As I have said many times over the last couple of years, Donald Trump has presided over the most astonishingly successful opening years as President in a very long time, maybe ever. I don’t worry about his “character” or his Tabasco tweets. I rather enjoy them, to tell the truth, not least because they challenge the pieties of political correctness.

My guess is that there are a lot more people who feel like Roger than who supported Trump in 2016 and have abandoned him now because of his tweets.

ED MORRISSEY: Who Should Really Be Worried About the Epstein Case? Bill Clinton.

Actually, what Giuffre said in 2015 (under her maiden name of Virginia Roberts) was that she’d seen Clinton around on the island, directly contradicting Clinton’s claims now. That’s a point that Fox skips in this parenthetical. Giuffre also said in the Enquirer interview that she didn’t witness him having sex with anyone, but that doesn’t mean it never happened, either. At any rate, his presence on the island with Epstein raises a lot of questions about what it was that Clinton saw — and why Clinton never spoke out about it.

And if Giuffre is correct about Clinton being on the island, it might turn out that Epstein has some pictures in his possession that would corroborate Giuffre. Or rather, Epstein might have had them in his possession, until Saturday night’s raid. Given that circumstance and the corroborated version of the conversation between Pecker, Nunberg, and Trump, one would think that Clinton’s potential risk here would be a bigger story than Trump’s single briefing about Epstein from Pecker.

I wondered out loud on a Right Angle segment (due out later this week) if maybe Hillary should be worried, too. If the DOJ is suddenly willing to press serious charges against someone with Epstein’s wealth and influence…

Still a longshot, but I can hope.

ROGER KIMBALL: ‘We will no longer deal with him’ was the end of Sir Kim Darroch. “In the world of Sir Kim, Donald Trump is, or should be, an impossibility. Many commentators noted that he, like the rest of the world, believed that Hillary Clinton (remember her?) was the inevitable, necessary winner of the 2016 US presidential election. The fact that that ineluctable eventuality failed to materialize was not only an intellectual stupefaction, it was a political, an existential outrage. Sir Kim was not alone in his opinions about the failures of Donald Trump and his administration. The entire confraternity of honorary Sir Humphreys — from Paul Ryan on down — thought the same. Sir Kim’s sin was not opining as he did but rather in being exposed as having done so.”

If these elites had a better track record, maybe they’d deserve the deference they demand. But they don’t, and in the Trump era they’ve been revealed as not only incompetent, but also petty and immature, even as they pretend to be the adults in the room.

Plus: “Serious people in Britain should focus their attention on discovering the person or persons who leaked the cables. Those responsible did so in part to embarrass Donald Trump, of course, but they did it also in order to interfere in the forthcoming British election.”

PEROT WAS A BIG TRUMP FAN: Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show Ross Perot contributed the maximum legal amount to President Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary and in the general election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

UPDATE: The Epoch Times has corrected its original story to say it was Perot’s son, not Perot, who made the contributions to Trump in 2016.

HAVING WEISSMANN TESTIFY MAY BE DEMS’ BIGGEST BLUNDER: Too little attention is being paid to what happens the day after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s July 17 public testimony before the House judiciary and intelligence committees, according to Margot Cleveland. Mueller’s deputy, Andrew Weissman, and other Mueller staffers will testify behind closed doors on July 18.

“But, far from damaging Trump, Weissmann’s closed-door testimony—if handled properly—will assist Republicans in unraveling the Russia-collusion-turned-obstruction witch hunt and inflict far greater damage on the Democrats,” Cleveland writes in The Federalist.

Weissmann’s prosecutorial dirty tricks in the Enron case, which resulted in the Arthur Anderson accounting firm closing down, among much else, aren’t well-known to the public now. Neither are his contributions to Democrats or his appearance at Hillary Clinton’s election night “victory” party.

That will change, beginning the afternoon of his testimony when the flood of leaks begin, along with the predictable explosion of Trump tweets. And I can’t wait to watch Sydney Powell and Joe diGenova doing their analyses.

HOW, INDEED?

Worse, the left’s response to Trump has been totally counterproductive: ‘Do you want to tell people how bad they are? Do you want them to repent because they’re bad racists? Or do you want them to pursue a left-wing project?’

‘Those people are ours to win’, says Frost. The populist moment is an opportunity, she says, but one which ‘I can totally see us pissing away’. ‘The self-identified left are very sceptical of the populist stuff. Look at their takes on the yellow vests: “They’re all fascists!” They’re probably just fucking French people – and who can tell the difference?’

Just as significant as Trump’s victory was Hillary Clinton’s loss, they tell me, in that it represented a rejection of an era of neoliberalism. ‘I’m from Indiana’, Frost tells me. ‘Bill signs NAFTA. That obliterated the towns where I’m from. People are extremely bitter about Bill Clinton for very good reasons. And she is married to that, literally and figuratively – she defends that legacy. How did we not see Trump coming?’

What’s more, Trump represented a repudiation of the entire establishment – Democrats and Republicans. ‘There is a severe crisis of legitimacy in our institutions’, says Frost: ‘The Republicans did not want Trump to win either… He was nobody’s first choice, except the American people’s, apparently.’

Yep. Plus: “It’s huge in Silicon Valley. They like games and rules. These are people who consider themselves leftists but probably don’t like anything about socialism except the gulags.”

WELL, IT’S ALWAYS AWKWARD TO TALK ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT WHEN BILL CLINTON IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE: UMich and Harvard prof: #MeToo wouldn’t have happened if Hillary won.

WAS IT THE LAUGHTER OR THE TEARS? Hillary Clinton Withdraws As Cybersecurity Conference Keynote, Citing ‘Unforeseen Circumstance.’

KYLE SMITH: This Fourth of July, why have we lost our patriotism?

For the haters, it’s open season on the American ideal.

Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like today’s American flag because it reminds him of police brutality and he doesn’t like Betsy Ross’ O.G. flag because it reminds him of slavery. I’m starting to think maybe Colin Kaepernick is not so fond of the flag, or of the country that made him rich.

Nike supported him by withdrawing the Betsy Ross-flagged sneaker. That’s right, the American flag, in any form, is now apparently a toxic symbol. The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, actually praised Nike.

Meanwhile, the Charlottesville City Council just voted to stop celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s birthday in the city where he died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence he wrote. American patriotism has just reached a record low entirely because of Democrats, of whom only 22% say they’re “extremely proud” of their country. To celebrate the Fourth, America’s most prominent newspaper is bidding for the trolling Hall of Fame by running a video, titled “Please stop telling me America is great,” that argues how America is “just OK.”

Remember the distant past of 2016, when leading voices of progressivism were saying, “America never stopped being great” (Hillary Clinton) and “America is already great” (Barack Obama)? All that’s over.

Which is why the left’s motto today, Stacy McCain writes, is “Happy Fourth of July, You Fascists!

The Democrats are now a party of paranoid conspiracy theorists:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in a new interview that she believes the United States is heading in a fascist direction under President Trump.
“Are we headed to fascism? Yes. I don’t think there’s a question,” Ocasio-Cortez told Yahoo News earlier this week after she visited migrant detention facilities managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“If you actually take the time to study, and to look at the steps, and to see how government transforms under authoritarian regimes, and look at the political decisions and patterns of this president, the answer is yes.”

They define fascism as “whenever Democrats lose elections,” and therefore when Ocasio-Cortez says we are “headed to fascism,” what she means is that Trump will be re-elected. After all, Democrats believe the Betsy Ross flag is a symbol of “white supremacy,” so we shouldn’t be surprised that they consider patriotism a synonym for “hate.”

In contrast, Cocaine Mitch ensures that at least today, cooler heads prevail:

Related: Of course, the DNC-MSM freaking out on the Fourth isn’t all that new a phenomenon: NewsBusters compiles nearly 30 years of choice quotes: Fourth of July Flashback: The Press Blasts Racist and Awful America.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: By Any Means Necessary: It Won’t Stop with Andy Ngo. “Perhaps the magnitude of Hillary’s 2016 loss is only now becoming apparent. Clinton didn’t just lose the White House, she also lost the Democratic center to the radical ornaments. The diminution of Brooks, Stevens, Kristof, and even Biden are the consequence of that defeat. The radicals who once served the useful purpose of putting fear into the other side are taking center stage. It’s not surprising that the French Terror began with the purge of the moderates and the urgency of virtue. As Robespierre put it, virtuous men have no choice but to employ any means necessary.”

HILLARY LAWYER CHANGES STORY ON EMAILS. IMAGINE THAT! Judicial Watch peels away another layer in the coverup. Heather Samuelson told the FBI three years ago that she first learned about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system to conduct official U.S. diplomatic business in 2014. But that’s not what she told Judicial Watch’s lawyers in a new deposition.

FLASHBACK: A President Clinton Would Be Out Of Control.

Hotel magnate Leona Helmsley famously said “only little people pay taxes.” Clinton seems to feel the same way about obeying laws.

It won’t be that way with a President Trump. This isn’t because Trump is any less arrogant than Clinton (though it would be hard to be more arrogant). It’s because more people will be willing to tell Trump no. The civil service, which leans overwhelmingly Democratic, won’t be bending over backwards to do his will. The press can’t stand him. And Congress, even if controlled by the GOP, won’t support him if he misbehaves because so many Republicans dislike him, too.

The truth is, neither one of our leading candidates for president is a paragon of virtue. But only one of them has already made a habit of flouting the law while in office, selling favors and escaping the consequences, and only one of them is likely to be able to pull it off from the White House.

Truer than I knew on October 30, 2016.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS SCOTT ADAMS HAS FORESEEN: Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Used To Hate Donald Trump. Now, He’s Kind of a Fan. “Byrne has reconsidered his views on President Trump, who he says is dismantling the administrative state and deregulating the economy in powerful ways. Byrne, who wrote his Stanford doctoral dissertation on the limited-government philosophy of Robert Nozick, even says that Trump is right to challenge China on trade and that libertarians need to be willing to confront places where the world is more complicated than our theories allow. He says that while there are still many things that bother him about the president—especially his rhetorical style—it’s time to realize Trump is not only a far better president than Hillary Clinton would have been, but has moved things forward on issues such as tax reform, criminal justice reform, and school choice.”

FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton’s Cash-For-Access Diplomacy.

HARSH BUT FAIR:

Reminder: Thanks to Obama’s policies — and Hillary Clinton’s — black people are sold as slaves in Libya. That’s what “expertise” gets you.

Related: The Suicide of Expertise.

OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB HUMA WEAVED: Huma Abedin, the former Hillary Clinton Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of State and close personal aide during the 2016 presidential campaign, said during a 2016 deposition that she first learned of her boss’ home-brew unsecured email system by “reading in some news articles about a year, a year-and-a-half ago, when it was—it was being publicly discussed.”

But now along comes another former Clinton aide, Justin Cooper, who previously worked for President Bill Clinton and for the Clinton Foundation, claiming he worked with Abedin to set up Hillary’s private email account in 2009.

Somebody appears to be indulging in a particularly blatant misrepresentation of fact, which could be viewed as perjury or obstruction or … But, as Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton points out this morning in The Epoch Times, Attorney General William Barr has to take the lead in seeing that justice is done.

TRUMP SAYS HE WOULD GET THE ‘ELECTRIC CHAIR’ IF HE DELETED EMAILS LIKE HILLARY CLINTON.

Given the anger on the left these days, he’s likely not wrong.

SALENA ZITO: What Happens When Joe Stops Being Joe?

What if he starts being no different from his 20-plus competitors?

One month after Biden rolled out a near-perfect presidential announcement, bookending his tour in his home state of Pennsylvania, Biden started to become a little less Joe. His opponents, special interest groups and his own campaign staff leaned him on the question of abortion subsidies, and so he flipped, abandoning his longtime support for the Hyde Amendment.

Keep in mind that pressure came from people who, for the most part, do not live in proximity to the very voters who will likely decide a presidential election, who instead live in the same super ZIP codes that surround Washington and New York City. Everyone they know supports federal subsidies for abortion. That taxpayer dollars for abortion would upset some Democrats or independents is unthinkable to this crowd.

This same crowd that advised Hillary Clinton persuaded Biden.

And that is when Joe stopped being Joe.

Read the whole thing.

THE TWITTER MOB COLLECTS ANOTHER SCALP: GOP congressman nixed as keynote speaker for cybersecurity conference. “Black Hat hosts high profile global events that strive to ‘bring together the best minds in the industry.’ Except, apparently, pro-life cybersecurity experts. Zack Whittaker, a security editor for Tech Crunch (and CBS alum, according to his Twitter profile) posted a tweet showing [Texas GOP Rep. Bill Hurd’s] voting record calling it ‘a terrible voting record on women’s rights.’ Whittaker did, however, acknowledge that Will Hurd is one of the few lawmakers who ‘get’ cybersecurity…Something that Whittaker failed to reference, though, is the founder of Black Hat’s support for Hillary Clinton in 2016 as she ran for president. He hosted a fundraiser for her during a hacker conference in Las Vegas. She’s the acceptable kind of politician, you see. It’s just really all too much, even by 2019 standards.”

HINT: SMOKE SIGNALS ARE GOING UP. Which 2020 Democrat Reminds You the Most of Hillary Clinton?

STEELE HAD CLINTON LINKS BEFORE FUSION GPS: A new batch of State Department emails obtained by Judicial Watch in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation shows former British spy Christopher Steele had a key aide to Secretary of State John Kerry promoting him within the government. Kerry’s role in Spygate may be more significant than heretofore realized.

And, perhaps even more important in some respects, the emails further show that Steele was dealing with Clinton inner circle types before he was retained by Fusion GPS and paid indirectly by Hillary’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

TIC-TOC-TIC … Go here.

OUCH: Gun Seller That Bet Big on Hillary Clinton Getting Elected Goes Bankrupt.

SPIES ARE THE NEW JOURNALISTS:

Before becoming a national security analyst for CNN, former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, had previously been a news item himself after lying to Congress in 2013 when he testified that the NSA wasn’t collecting data on Americans. He later provided inconsistent testimony to Congress in 2017 when he said he had not spoken with the press about the Steele dossier while he was DNI and then admitted he’d spoken with future CNN colleague Jake Tapper about it.

Other members of CNN’s shadow intelligence organization include Josh Campbell, one-time special assistant to ex-FBI Director James Comey, and CIA official Philip Mudd. What qualifies them as journalists, as opposed to Assange? They worked in the intelligence community.

CNN rival NBC/MSNBC features an even more formidable roster of spooks. At the top is John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. During his time at the helm of the CIA, the agency spied on Congress, lied about it and finally got outed by an internal report forcing Brennan to issue apologies to the senators who had been targets of the intelligence operation. “The C.I.A. unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into the Senate Intelligence Committee computers,” Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall wrote at the time. In a statement calling on Brennan to resign, Udall wrote: “This grave misconduct not only is illegal but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers” and called the episode evidence of “a tremendous failure of leadership.”

Another NBC contributor is former CIA analyst Ned Price, who as Obama national security staff spokesman misled the U.S. press and public regarding Obama administration policy.

NBC reporter Ken Dilanian said of the WikiLeaks founder: “Many believe that if [Assange] ever was a journalist, those days ended a long time ago.” Others have said the same of Dilanian, based on a 2014 report showing that the NBC journalist was sending his articles to CIA headquarters for fact-checking.

Wait, I thought narcs were the new journalists: Vox Reporter and YouTube Censorship Advocate Carlos Maza Defended Antifa, Encouraged Political Violence.

But then, as Freddie deBoer warned a few years ago, “The woke world is a world of snitches, informants, rats. Go to any space concerned with social justice and what will you find? Endless surveillance. Everybody is to be judged. Everyone is under suspicion. Everything you say is to be scoured, picked over, analyzed for any possible offense. Everyone’s a detective in the Division of Problematics, and they walk the beat 24/7. You search and search for someone Bad doing Bad Things, finding ways to indict writers and artists and ordinary people for something, anything. That movie that got popular? Give me a few hours and 800 words. I’ll get you your indictments. That’s what liberalism is, now — the search for baddies doing bad things, like little offense archaeologists, digging deeper and deeper to find out who’s Good and who’s Bad. I wonder why people run away from establishment progressivism in droves.”

I don’t think the German filmmakers who helmed The Lives of Others in 2006 intended it to be a how-to guide for the coming woke era.

HMMMM: Joe Biden is a Trump Republican.

The president’s team is worried that Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton. They’re right to be: he’s not. In many cases, the younger Joe Biden on the tapes that are resurfacing sounds like the modern Trump Republican. Biden made a career as the consummate white, middle-class warrior, serving a constituency that’s now seen consecutive losing decades and in crucial pockets, flipped to Mr Trump in 2016. Biden’s old rhetoric on abortion, for instance, is from a time when Americans were less imperially divided on the subject.

But it’s changing rapidly — perhaps even daily: Another interview with a Biden advisor about his Hyde Amendment flip-flop doesn’t go so well.

LIEL LIEBOVITZ: Why Jews Should Pay Attention To The Recent Debate Rocking American Conservatism:

The first has to do with the self-branding of the Never Trumpers as champions of civility. From tax cuts to crushing ISIS, from supporting Israel to appointing staunchly ideological justices to the Supreme Court, there’s very little about the 45th president’s policies that ought to make any principled conservative run for the hills. What, then, separates one camp of conservatives, one that supports the president, from another, which vows it never will? Stephens himself attempted an answer in a 2017 column. “Character does count,” he wrote, “and virtue does matter, and Trump’s shortcomings prove it daily.”

To put it briefly, the Never Trump argument is that they should be greatly approved of, while Donald Trump should rightly be scorned, because—while they agree with Trump on most things, politically—they are devoted to virtue, while Trump is uniquely despicable. The proofs of Trump’s singular loathsomeness are many, but if you strip him of all the vices he shares with others who had recently held positions of power—a deeply problematic attitude towards women (see under: Clinton, William Jefferson), shady business dealings (see under: Clinton, Hillary Rodham), a problematic attitude towards the free press (see under: Obama, Barack)—you remain with one ur-narrative, the terrifying folk tale that casts Trump as a nefarious troll dispatched by his paymasters in the Kremlin to set American democracy ablaze.

Now that this story has been thoroughly investigated and discredited, it seems fair to ask: Is championing a loony and deeply corrosive conspiracy theory proof of anyone’s superior virtue? The fact that these accusations were false implies that the Never Trumpers who made them early and often were among the political pyromaniacs, and are therefore deserving of the very obloquy that they heaped on Trump. And what about people like Carter Page, a blameless ex-Navy officer who was defamed as an agent of a shadowy, ever-expanding conspiracy headquartered in Moscow?

Conspiracy-mongering doesn’t seem like much of a public virtue.

Nope.

Plus: “The Never Trumpers, of course, aren’t the first Americans to hide cold careerism behind a wall of virtue-signaling. It’s why so many in the professional punditry went the way of Never Trump: More than anything else, the decision to align oneself with a movement that, ontologically, vows to reject the president a priori, no matter what he might say or do, regardless of your own supposed political beliefs, is a way of affirming one’s professional class loyalties, thus ensuring that your progeny will still be accepted and acceptable at Yale.”

HOW ARE THE MIGHTY FALLEN: “The Clintons don’t even have enough juice to draw many protesters anymore.”

FACE, MEET PALM: Post-EmailGate Hillary Clinton to Speak at Cybersecurity Conference.

This is not, repeat not, a satire piece.

I had originally thought to lead this with a fox/henhouse reference, but “fox” seemed particularly inapt.

SHOCKINGLY, THIS IS NOT SATIRE: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Keynote FireEye Cyber Defense Summit.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Trump Has Become The Democrats’ Great White Whale.

One way of envisioning the Democratic obsessions with Donald Trump is as an addiction. We have seen the initial impeachment efforts; the attempt to get him under the emoluments clause, the Logan Act, and the 25th Amendment; the Russian collusion hoax; the Mueller investigation; the demand for his tax returns; and the psychodramas involving Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, and Stormy Daniels. Relentless progressives have needed a new Get Trump fix about every two months.

More practically, their fixation also substitutes for a collective poverty of ideas. The Democratic party has no plan to secure the borders other than to be against whatever Trump is for. They would not build a wall, deport illegal entrants, end sanctuary cities, fine employers, or do much of anything but allow almost anyone to enter the U.S.

The homeless crisis is reaching epidemic proportions in our cities, almost all of them run by progressive mayors and city councils. None have any workable plan to clean the sidewalks of needles and human excrement. None know what to do with the hundreds of thousands who have camped out in public spaces, endangering their own health and that of everyone around them due to drug addiction and inadequate sanitation and waste removal.

On abortion, the new Democratic position seems to be that the unborn can be aborted at any time the mother chooses, up to and including the moment of birth.

The Green New Deal has been endorsed by most of the current Democratic-primary candidates, even though they privately know its utopian fantasies would shut down the U.S. economy and destroy the present prosperity fueled by record energy production, deregulation, and tax reform and reduction. . . .

For now, no one has much of an idea what Democratic candidates would actually do, much less how they would do it. . . .

The Democratic establishment has become something like novelist Herman Melville’s phobic Captain Ahab, who became fatally absorbed with chasing his nemesis, the albino whale Moby Dick. The great white whale once ate part of Ahab’s leg, and he demands revenge — even if such a never-ending neurosis leads to the destruction of his ship and crew.

Democrats can never forgive Trump for unexpectedly defeating supposed sure winner Hillary Clinton in 2016 and then systematically — and loudly — undoing the eight-year agenda of Obama.

So far, Trump seems to have escaped all of their efforts to spear and remove him before the 2020 election. Trump, like Moby Dick, seems a weird force of nature whose wounds from constant attacks only seem to make him more indestructible and his attackers even more obsessed with their prey.

So true.

DON’T DO ANYTHING I’VE DONE?  Cyber Security Expert Hillary Clinton To Keynote Summit.

COMMENT: “The thing that makes Trump ‘seem’ so spectacular is that he has balls in an environment that has been nutless for decades.”

Plus: “Trump is known as a builder, but if there’s anything really Trump likes to do, it’s breaking things. Trump broke Kathy Griffin. He broke her really badly. He broke Michael Moore. He reduced Hillary Clinton to a bitter old drunk. He broke both Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels. He broke Rosie O’Donnell. He broke his former aide Omarosa. He’s in the process of breaking the anti-Trump propaganda network CNN completely. Everyone who goes up against Trump loses. It’s uncanny how some celebrity or athlete goes off on an anti-Trump rant and then fails professionally in some fashion, sometimes in unrelated ways. Just look at this schadenfreudelicious list. And now I hear that there are supposedly a whole bunch of anti-Trump movie scripts that have lately been floating around Hollywood. It reminds me of the height of the Iraq war when Hollywood released a bunch of anti-Iraq war movies. They were abysmal failures at the box office. They must’ve thought that most Americans were against the Iraq War. But at that time, most Americans supported the war. What a bubble they must live in. They must think that most Americans hate Trump. But that’s the way to get more Trump. And they’re going to get more Trump. Good and hard.”

OUT ON A LIMB: Mueller Investigation Concludes Hillary Clinton Was Actually Just A Terrible Candidate.

“I mean, she lost to Donald Trump, for Pete’s sake,” he added, shaking his head.

Investigators showed that Clinton’s extreme lack of charisma or likability, her awful public policy record, her constant disparagement of millions of Americans she disagreed with, and her terrible campaign strategies resulted in her defeat.

“The only collusion we found was between Hillary Clinton and her campaign to be really unlikable,” Mueller continued. “And while she really is repulsive to so many Americans, that’s unfortunately not a crime, so I can’t charge her with anything. Ugh.”

Note to Snopes: It’s the Babylon Bee, so it’s satire — or is it?

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Colluders, Obstructionists, Leakers, and Other Projectionists.

How ironic that Russian “collusion” was used as a preemptive charge from those who actually had colluded with Russians for all sorts for financial and careerist advantages.

* * * * * * * *

Imagine the cries of outrage from Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) had Trump inadvertently blurted out to the world that he was willing to warp U.S. security interests to fit his own reelection agenda. (Remember: “This is my last election . . . After my election, I have more flexibility.”) Such a stealthy quid pro quo certainly would have been the crown jewel of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The locus classicus of Russian collusion, however, is Hillary Clinton’s effort in 2016. The facts are not in dispute. Using the three firewalls of the Democratic National Committee, the Perkins Coie law firm, and Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign paid a foreign national, British subject Christopher Steele, to compile a smear dossier against Clinton’s then-opponent, Donald J. Trump.

Read the whole thing.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Colluders, Obstructionists, Leakers, and Other Projectionists.

Before the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the idea that the Russians or anyone else could warp or tamper with our elections in any serious manner was laughed off by President Obama. “There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America’s elections,” Obama said in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

Obama was anxious that the sure-to-be-sore-loser Trump would not blame his defeat on voting impropriety in a fashion that might call into question Clinton’s victory. After Clinton’s stunning defeat, Russian “collusion”—thanks initially to efforts by Obama holdover Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to go after Michael Flynn and the successful attempts of the CIA and FBI to seed the bogus Steele dossier among the government elite—became a club to destroy the incoming Trump Administration.

How ironic that Russian “collusion” was used as a preemptive charge from those who actually had colluded with Russians for all sorts for financial and careerist advantages.

As a general rule, the left accuses its opponents of doing what the Left is already doing.

ROGER KIMBALL: Let’s Call the Russian Collusion ‘Hoax’ What it Really Is.

Perhaps the best way of summarizing my disagreement is by suggesting an alternative to the word “hoax.” It’s not a novel suggestion.

On the contrary, it’s often been used in concert with or as a synonym for “hoax.” But I think it is a better word in this context because it expresses the malign intention behind the multifarious activities directed against candidate Trump and then President Trump. The word I have in mind is “coup.”

Again, I know that that is a dramatic, maybe a melodramatic, word. But I think it accurately expresses the deliberate effort by actors in the Obama Administration, including by President Obama himself, to assure Hillary Clinton’s victory by destroying the reputation of Donald Trump. “Most Presidents leave office,” the commentator L. J. Keith recently wrote, “and essentially step back from public life. Not Barack Obama. Shellshocked by Hillary Clinton’s loss, Obama, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and Clinton set in motion a series of events that will forever tar his presidency, and decimate the concept of a peaceful transition of power.”

Read the whole thing.

ANN ALTHOUSE busts the hypocrites.

First, I’m tired — and was tired long ago — of the Hillary Clinton theory that every attack on a woman is “sexist.” Women in high positions need to be attackable or I don’t want them in high positions. So that theory will perversely push me into the sexist position that women should not hold high positions.

Second, the video Trump tweeted is not the video of Pelosi that was determined to have been “doctored.”

Much, much more at the link.

HMM: China’s Tariff List Advertises Its Trade War Weakness.

What’s even more revealing about China’s choices are the U.S.-made products that haven’t made any tariff list. They include civilian aircraft and their engines and parts, which had a 2018 export total of $17.73 billion. They include semiconductors and their components, which last year had China shipments that totaled several billion additional dollars. They include the equipment needed to manufacture and inspect semiconductors and their parts, which racked up at least $850 million in 2018 exports to China; devices for conducting chemical and physical analyses (with $912 million in China exports last year); laser equipment ($304 million), motor vehicles, auto parts, and plastics resins and polymers (which each produced billions in exports to China); and billions of dollars’ worth of other products that the Chinese either can’t (yet) make or can’t make in the amounts that they need—or that consist of goods preferred by Chinese consumers over their Made in China counterparts.

America’s tariff lists for Chinese goods have contained any number of obscure, exotic products as well. But from the start, they’ve been dominated by products valued highly by China’s leaders for their industrial and technological importance—especially those covered by the Made in China 2025 program aimed at achieving Chinese global dominance throughout advanced manufacturing and information technology sectors. Subsequently, the Trump administration has added the kinds of consumer products on which the PRC relies heavily for both export earnings and its own domestic employment.

Xi made China’s bid for hegemon status too soon, probably having assumed continued American acquiescence or a President Hillary Clinton — which amounts to the same thing.

MY FACE, SO SHOCKED. BEHOLD! IT IS FILLED WITH SHOCK:  Hillary’s Resistance Group Has Pocketed Millions From The DCCC.  It’s almost like it’s associated with Hilary Clinton!

BYRON YORK: Republicans seek release of secret Papadopoulos transcripts.

The reason Papadopoulos’ experience is so important is because the FBI has cited it as the reason the bureau officially began the Trump-Russia investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, on July 31, 2016. The FBI said that Australian diplomats, who talked with Papadopoulos in London, told U.S. government officials that Papadopoulos said Russia had damaging information about Hillary Clinton. After that, the FBI reportedly sent “Azra Turk” to London and also used other resources to find out what was going on with Papadopoulos. They created a record of their work, according to Gowdy.

“If the bureau is going to send an informant in, the informant is going to be wired,” Gowdy said. “And if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that.”

Gowdy cast his statement as a hypothetical, but it did not veil much of anything. “Some of us have been fortunate to know whether or not those transcripts exist, but they haven’t been made public,” he said.

Gowdy strongly suggested at least one of the transcripts has information that would be exculpatory for Papadopoulos.

“Very little in this Russia probe, I’m afraid, is going to persuade people who hate Trump or who love Trump,” he said. “But there is some information in these transcripts that I think has the potential to be a game-changer, if it’s ever made public.”

“You say there’s exculpatory evidence,” replied Bartiromo, “and when people see that, they’re going to say, wait, why wasn’t this presented to the court earlier?”

As a guess, precisely because it was exculpatory.

FEAR AND JUSTICE: Firewall with Bill Whittle. “After a decade of justice denied — under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, John Brennan, James Comey, and others — Bill Whittle thinks he now detects a whiff of fear among those in that cabal.”

Must-see TV.

OPEN THREAD: The election of Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton is support for the notion that God looks after fools, drunkards, and the United States of America. Discuss.

THE POLITICAL CLIMATE WAS NOT AS PREDICTED: It Was Supposed to Be Australia’s Climate Change Election. What Happened?

In some ways it was a clash of cultures as well as political views.

“I feel like there’s quite a lot of scorn about the way Queenslanders feel about environmental issues, and that doesn’t help,” said Susan Harris-Rimmer, a law professor at Griffith University in Queensland. “The predominant Queensland characteristic is pride and you can’t pour scorn on them.”

She said doing so was a strategic mistake for politicians comparable to Hillary Clinton’s description of some Donald Trump supporters as “deplorables” during the 2016 United States presidential election.

“You can’t trigger the pride response,” Ms. Harris-Rimmer said.

But looking down on the deplorables is one of the chief rewards of being among the woke elite.

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Spy vs. Spy Euphemism at the FBI. “While Washington pols and pundits angrily debate who and what counts as a spy, and whether any such exotic creatures have ever been employed by the FBI, new evidence is emerging that the FBI not only uses spies, but has done so extensively, including in the Trump-Russia investigation.”

Related: Victor Davis Hanson on how Brennan and Clapper are turning on each other.

Note well: none of the leveraged targets of Robert Mueller turned state’s evidence to accuse Donald Trump of “collusion,” the object of the special counsel’s investigation, although to have done so would have mightily helped their cause and given them John Dean iconic status among leftists. In contrast, we have scarcely begun to investigate wrongdoing at the intelligence and justice departments and already the suspects are fingering each other.

James Clapper, John Brennan, and James Comey are now all accusing one another of being culpable for inserting the unverified dossier, the font of the effort to destroy Trump, into a presidential intelligence assessment—as if suddenly and mysteriously the prior seeding of the Steele dossier is now seen as a bad thing. And how did the dossier transmogrify from being passed around the Obama Administration as a supposedly top-secret and devastating condemnation of candidate and then president-elect Trump to a rank embarrassment of ridiculous stories and fibs?

Given the narratives of the last three years, and the protestations that the dossier was accurate or at least was not proven to be unproven, why are these former officials arguing at all? Did not implanting the dossier into the presidential briefing give it the necessary imprimatur that allowed the serial leaks to the press at least to be passed on to the public and thereby apprise the people of the existential danger that they faced?

Why would not they still be vying to take credit for warning President Obama that Donald J. Trump was a likely sexual pervert, with a pathological hatred of Obama, as manifested in Trump’s alleged Moscow debauchery—a reprobate who used his subordinates to steal the election from Hillary Clinton and who still must somehow be stopped at all costs?

That entire bought fantasy was the subtext of why Mueller was appointed in the first place. It was the basis for the persistent support to this day among the media and progressives for the now discredited notion of “collusion.”

If our noble public servants really believed all that to be true, would not Comey and Brennan instead now be arguing that each, not the other, was bold and smart enough to have included the seminal dossier into a presidential briefing? Comey in public still insists that the dossier is not discredited, though in all his sanctimonious televised sermons, he never has provided any details that support the supposed veracity of Steele’s charges. Why then is Comey not demanding that the FBI take credit for bringing this key piece of intelligence to Obama’s attention rather than fobbing off such an important feat to the rival CIA?

Why, for that matter, are Andrew McCabe and James Comey at odds?

Because they know what’s coming.

ALL RUSSIA-HOAX ROADS LEAD BACK TO HILLARY: Maybe instead of the Steele Dossier, it should be called Sydney’s Dossier?

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Kirsten Gillibrand Takes a Page Out of Hillary Clinton’s Book, Blames Sexism for Failing 2020 Campaign.

As with Obama calling Hillary-supporting moderate Pennsylvania Democrats bitter clingers (and his media enablers far worse), does Gillibrand know it’s still only the Democratic Party primary?

DISPATCHES FROM A REMARKABLY SCANDAL-FREE ADMINISTRATION: Obama White House Tracked FOIA Request For Hillary Emails That Was Improperly Denied.

The emails, which were provided to Judicial Watch, show for the first time that the Obama White House was aware of the Clinton-related FOIA request, which the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) submitted to the State Department in December 2012.

The State Department denied the request in May 2013, claiming that no responsive records existed. That despite officials at the State Department, the White House and even President Obama himself knowing that Clinton used a personal email account for government business.

The State Department’s inspector general determined in a report released on Jan. 7, 2016 that the State Department’s denial of the CREW request was “inaccurate and incomplete.”

It is not clear from the emails why the White House was interested in the request. But Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton has a theory.

“These documents suggest the Obama White House knew about the Clinton email lies being told to the public at least as early as December 2012,” he said in a statement.

Of course they did.

OHIO: The Midwest state where Democrats should give up already.

Republicans have come a long way since 2012, when I ran Mitt Romney’s campaign in Ohio. President Barack Obama took an op-ed Romney had written with the headline “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” four years earlier and used it to slam the GOP. Romney never had an answer to Obama’s attack depicting Romney as a heartless corporate raider who cared more about profits than people.

“When some wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt, we made a bet on American workers, on the ingenuity of American companies,” Obama said in a Columbus speech in May of 2012. He was still at it in October: “[We] refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt. We bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and three years later, that bet is paying off in a big way.” I had nightmares about that “bankrupt” headline; I couldn’t turn on a TV or pick up a newspaper without seeing Obama’s team relentlessly hammering that nail.

The gambit worked perfectly: Obama bested Romney by three points in Ohio, en route to winning a second term.

But four years later, Ohioans, like many other Midwestern voters, had soured on Democrats, with Trump owning Hillary Clinton by eight points. In fact, Trump’s margin of victory in Ohio was bigger than Georgia (5) and Arizona (3.5), states that pundits routinely think of as being redder than Ohio. And Trump’s work in the state will make it more likely than not that Trump will outperform any earlier poll that predicts a Democratic edge.

Flashback: Democrats Can Kiss Ohio Goodbye.

OUT ON A LIMB: The More People See of Hillary Clinton, the Less They Like Her.

IT WAS A SCAM FROM THE VERY BEGINNING: Steele’s stunning pre-FISA confession: Informant needed to air Trump dirt before election. “Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline. And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia.”

KYLE SMITH: Bill de Blasio for President? “De Blasio is not just a snoozy, groundhog-murdering buffoon who causes the city embarrassment on a par with the New York Knicks or JFK Airport. He’s also a skeezy money grubber who borrows tricks from his former boss Hillary Clinton (for whom he served as campaign manager in 2000). He has a tendency to set up noble-sounding activist groups that by miraculous coincidence attract dollars from entities wishing to grease the wheels with City Hall.”

WHAT MUELLER’S BIGGEST OMISSION MEANS: It’s not news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller included nothing about the Steele Dossier’s Russian sources or its indirect funding by Hillary Clinton. But there remains much to be grasped fully regarding the significance of Mueller’s omission, according to Margot Cleveland in The Federalist.

“Even though Mueller was authorized, as he put it in the special counsel report, to investigate ‘the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,’ the report is silent of efforts to investigate Russia’s role in feeding Steele misinformation,” Cleveland writes.

But then she raises a deeply interesting possibility: “Or did Mueller investigate this question? It’s possible, maybe even likely, given this acknowledgement in the special counsel report: ‘From its inception, the Office recognized that its investigation could identify foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information relevant to the FBI’s broader national security mission.’”

One suspects that Mueller’s reputation — and those of a host of other worthies — will be irretrievably damaged before Attorney General William Barr and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham are finished.

ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY: Hillary Clinton Claims 2016 Election Was ‘Stolen’ From Her.

Every time she speaks in public, she damages this country’s institutions.

WHAT THEY SAY WHEN THEY THINK NOBODY IS WATCHING: Training sessions for campaign workers and political activists are excellent advance indicators of where their leaders hope to take the rest of us. So a recent poll by the National Democratic Training Academy run by AFSCME and others deserves attention.

Among the multiple candidates included in the poll? Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, Patrick Howley of Big League Politics reports. And a separate poll by the same group says “we’re polling Top Democrats from your area to determine possible support for a Hillary Clinton 2020 Presidential Ticket.”

 

MARKET DISCOUNTS CLINTON FUTURE: Ticket prices plunge for Bill and Hillary Clinton’s speaking tour.

THE DEMOLITION DERBY:

What do you know but the infraction that cost Maximum Security the Roses at Churchill Downs was “obstruction.” It took the Internet about a nanosecond to start metaphoring it to the 2016 election and related controversies. “Country Horse won the popular vote,” is the way Josh Baro put it in a tweet. If America ran its elections the way the Derby is run, Hillary Clinton would be declared president. Another reason we’re sticking with Maximum Security.

Read the whole thing.

NOW HILLARY CLINTON’S LOSS IS BEING BLAMED ON JON STEWART:

Hillary Clinton’s defenders will never stop making excuses for why she lost in 2016: It was Matt Lauer! It was James Comey! It was men being sexist! It was women being sexist! It was voter suppression! It was Citizens United! It was fake news! It was WikiLeaks! It was Facebook! It was the Russians!

Today, a new excuse: It was Jon Stewart!

In the middle of last week, Huma Abedin must have bustled over to Hillary’s place with a lovingly bound copy of the latest in cutting-edge academic research, a report that says Jon Stewart’s retirement is ACKSHULLY the reason Donald Trump won. We’ll all be able to hear more about this in Frau Pantsuit’s next memoir, “7,573 Other Reasons I Lost That Totally Were Not My Fault, You Ungrateful Pissants.”

The latest in cutting-edge political science/flat-earth theory is that after Stewart quit hosting a comedy show for liberals, the advantage swung to Trump because Democrats forgot there was an election or something.

Joliet Jake has nothing on Park Ridge Hillary.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Did Bill Clinton Use That Tarmac Meeting with Loretta Lynch to Sabotage Hillary?

WELL, MAYBE THIS WON’T HURT JOE THAT BADLY. AFTER ALL, DICK CHENEY WAS IN FAVOR OF GAY RIGHTS LONG BEFORE BARACK OBAMA OR HILLARY CLINTON. Joe Biden faces backlash over resurfaced 2015 video of him praising Dick Cheney: ‘He is a decent man.’

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Clinton Projection Syndrome. 

For much of her professional life, Hillary Clinton had acted above and beyond the law on the assumption that as the wife of a governor, as first lady of the United States, as a senator from New York, as secretary of state and as a two-time candidate for the presidency, she could ignore the law without worry over the consequences.

For Clinton now to project that the president should be indicted suggests she is worried about her own potential indictment. And she is rightly concerned that for the first time in 40 years, neither she nor her husband is serving in government or running for some office, and therefore could be held accountable.

Read the whole thing.

WSJ EDITORIAL: A Real Attorney General: Bill Barr gets smeared for refusing to duck and cover like Loretta Lynch.

Washington pile-ons are never pretty, but this week’s political setup of Attorney General William Barr is disreputable even by Beltway standards. Democrats and the media are turning the AG into a villain for doing his duty and making the hard decisions that special counsel Robert Mueller abdicated.

Mr. Barr’s Wednesday testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was preceded late Tuesday by the leak of a letter Mr. Mueller had sent the AG on March 27. Mr. Mueller griped in the letter that Mr. Barr’s four-page explanation to Congress of the principal conclusions of the Mueller report on March 24 “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the Mueller team’s “work and conclusions.” Only in Washington could this exercise in posterior covering be puffed into a mini-outrage.

Democrats leapt on the letter as proof that Mr. Barr was somehow covering for Donald Trump when he has covered up nothing. Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, the Democratic answer to Rep. Louie Gohmert, accused Mr. Barr of abusing his office and lying to Congress, and demanded that he resign. The only thing she lacked was evidence.

Well, that’s been their main weakness all along. Plus:

Contrast that to the abdication of Loretta Lynch, who failed as Barack Obama’s last Attorney General to make a prosecutorial judgment about Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified information. Ms. Lynch cowered before the bullying of then FBI director James Comey, who absolved Mrs. Clinton of wrongdoing while publicly scolding her. That egregious break with Justice policy eventually led Mr. Comey to re-open the Clinton probe in late October 2016, which helped to elect Mr. Trump.

All of this shows again the risks of appointing special counsels. They lack the political accountability that the Founders built into the separation of powers. Mr. Mueller, in his March 27 letter, revealed again that like Mr. Comey at the FBI he viewed himself as accountable only to himself.

This trashing of Bill Barr shows how frustrated and angry Democrats continue to be that the special counsel came up empty in his Russia collusion probe. He was supposed to be their fast-track to impeachment. Now they’re left trying to gin up an obstruction tale, but the probe wasn’t obstructed and there was no underlying crime. So they’re shouting and pounding the table against Bill Barr for acting like a real Attorney General.

It’s as if all of this was just a hastily-concocted sham designed to distract attention from Obama Administration wrongdoing.

SUCKING IN THE ‘70s:

● “Joe Biden Viewed Gays in Government as ‘Security Risks.’ 1973 comment came as gay rights activists pushed to reverse ban against holding gov’t jobs.”

Joe Biden embraced segregation in 1975, claiming it was a matter of ‘black pride.’

● “In 1975 the Senate, which included freshman Democratic Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, unanimously approved the reinstatement of General Robert E. Lee’s citizenship to the U.S.”

Jim Geraghty asks, “Is Joe Biden the Next Jeb Bush? Or the Next Hillary Clinton?,” adding, “Like Hillary, Biden has a habit of ignoring or hand-waving away his past stances when they’re inconvenient.”

IF IT’S NOT WRITTEN FROM JAIL I’M NOT INTERESTED:  New Hillary Clinton Op-Ed On Trump Impeachment.

RAYMOND LOEWY WEEPS: ‘Is it just me or … ‘? Iowahawk thinks Joe Biden’s campaign logo is a little too on-the-nose:

Elsewhere in Kinsley-style graphic design gaffes: ‘You have to see it to believe it’: People are seeing things in Justin Fairfax’s campaign logo:

Considering it reportedly took “three people two months to create Hillary Clinton’s campaign logo,” I wonder how many man-hours went into these two great moments in graphic design?

THE INVESTIGATION SHOE IS ON THE OTHER FOOT: Democrats Get A Taste Of Their Own Medicine.

In the circumstances, it need hardly be emphasized that the entire Trump–Russia collusion gambit, based on the infamous Steele dossier’s pastiche of lies and defamations, was the dirtiest political trick in American history and is in the process of transmogrification into one of the greatest fiascos in the history of American political skullduggery. (One of the most rabid Trump-hating Democratic congressmen, Eric Swalwell, still professes to believe all of the Steele dossier, as if it were a catechism.) Though there is an elaborate psychopolitical effort underway to pretend otherwise, investigations already taking place by the inspector general of the Justice Department, a special counsel, and the attorney general of the United States, about to be joined by the Senate Judiciary Committee, will call upon the chief intelligence and law officers of the Obama administration, along with Hillary Clinton and members of her campaign staff, to account for their conduct. These include lies under oath to congressional committees, lies to federal officials, and misleading the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court. This is a series of dishonest statements and illegal acts that can only, at least provisionally, be seen as a coordinated campaign to influence the results of the presidential election and then to compromise the unwished-for outcome of that election. It will not be long before we hear the still familiar words, in reference to President Obama: “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

Flashback, March 2017: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK: Hillary Clinton dishes on her ‘weird personal history’ with impeachment.

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, however, was referring to her time as a staff attorney serving on the impeachment inquiry for former President Richard Nixon two decades earlier in 1974.

“I was one of the young lawyers who actually drafted the memo about what is a high crime and misdemeanor, and it was truly meant by our founders to describe actions that undermine the integrity of our government that placed the personal or political interest in a president over the interest of the nation,” she said. “So, I know what it looks like, and I know what is required to do it in a way that wins the trust and confidence, not only of the Congress but of the American people. But I certainly think that the roadmap, as some call it, of the Mueller report raises so many serious questions in part one about what the Russians did, which is beyond debate, and in part two about all of the evidence about obstruction.”

Clinton somehow neglected to mention the part Democrat Jerry Zeifman, counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee back then, wrote that she “engaged in a variety of self-serving unethical practices in violation of House rules.”

DISCOVERY: Former FBI Official Admits Hillary Clinton Emails Were Found in Obama White House. “A former top FBI official has admitted under oath that a repository of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email records was obtained by the Obama White House and housed in the Executive Office of the President. Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch recently coaxed the admission out of the former assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, Bill Priestap, as part of a court-ordered discovery regarding Clinton’s unauthorized email server. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled earlier this year that discovery could commence examining Clinton’s use of the server and ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court said that the Clinton email system was ‘one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.'”

Flashback: What Top Democrats Really Thought About Hillary’s Private Server: “F*****g Insane.” I find these emails slightly comforting, as they suggest that people around Hillary aren’t all crazy. But then I remember that their concerns didn’t actually stop her.

Related: Hillary Discovers That She’s Not As Smart As Henry Kissinger.