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WE’RE ALL EXHAUSTED AND FURIOUS, AND WONDERING IF THEY REALLY THINK WE’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE OUR LYING EYES. ORGANIZE? LISTEN, IT’S GOING TO GET REALLY UGLY, REALLY FAST, EVEN IF THE INDIVIDUALISTS NEVER ORGANIZE:  Where things stand at this hour.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: How Toxic Leftism Killed The Vibrant Bon Appetit YouTube Channel.

With its gleaming marble countertops and massive 35th-floor view from One World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, the “Test Kitchen” set was exactly the visual tonic America needed. Bon Appetit became the fastest-growing food-related channel on YouTube, enjoying 40 million monthly views, more than 5 million subscribers, and more than 5 billion minutes watched.

Bon Appetit’s cooking channel should have been one of the bright spots during the pandemic. It should have been a common, nonpolitical intersection where we could all just laugh about yet again ruining our attempt at latkes. At first, it was just that. The Bon Appetit crew adapted almost seamlessly from the high-rise to their home kitchens across the tri-state area. Gleaming stainless cooking surfaces were replaced with cramped quarters, but the stars still shone just as bright.

But in a flash, the “Friends” vibe was dead, and so was the Bon Appetit cooking channel.

The Woke Mob Comes for All

It was murdered in June 2020 by a furious spasm of wokism aimed at Bon Appetit and its publisher, Conde Nast. Both magazine and publisher were accused of insensitivity to employees of any color but peach. There were also accusations of “cultural insensitivity,” disparities in compensation, ill-treatment in the workplace, and tokenism.

The unraveling began just after the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody. The once-lionized editor of Bon Appetit, Adam Rapoport, resigned June 8 following the release of a photo taken 16 years ago, reportedly showing him in “brownface” at a costume party. He denied he had altered his face color, but continued internal denunciation made his continued leadership impossible. Weeks after the initial controversy, eight Bon Appetit “Test Kitchen” star chefs, the heart and soul of the show’s success, announced they would no longer appear on the program.

Like many other companies, Bon Appetit felt compelled to declare “solidarity” with the rapidly emerging Black Lives Matter movement, publishing, “Here at BA, we’re often talking about recipes, cooking techniques, and emerging restaurants … but we also understand that food is inherently political.”

The 5o-year old “the personal is political” argument of the would-be totalitarian left sounds much better in the original Italian: “Tutto all’interno dello stato, niente fuori dallo stato, nulla contro lo stato.” Meanwhile, back at Bon Appetit:

The second most popular video from the new era was the first Bon Appetit pushed out: “Test Kitchen” director Chris Morocco making “weeknight meatballs.” Between the simplistic cooking instructions and complaints about his missing blender, Morocco managed to create one of the saddest cooking videos ever committed to the internet.

From his new home in Pennsylvania, he looked sadly into the camera and gave some vague pledge of having feelings for what happened at Bon Appetit — then, on to boring meatballs. That video has 792,000 views. With rare exceptions — videos featuring Leone — everything since then has been a fraction of that.

As Iowahawk tweeted when Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz had the ill-conceived (and quickly discarded) notion that his clerks could lecture their customers on whatever racism they perceived that day:

OUR HEROIC FIREFIGHTERS WHO DON’T TAKE SIDES: Trump-bashing the theme in 4 of 5 awards given by White House press corps.

Related: Trump Didn’t Ruin the Media, Obama Did. “Obama was the first indicator that the media would simply refuse to cover stories they didn’t like about a politician they did. The media covered Clinton’s Chinagate and Travelgate. But they refused to cover the IRS scandal with the same level of vim as they would have under Bush; they downplayed the Obama administration’s involvement in the botched ‘Fast and Furious’ gun operation scandal; and members of the mainstream media openly mocked the right’s anger over the administration’s manipulation of the 2012 Benghazi terror attack. Obama had to be protected at all costs, including the cost of the media’s credibility. Meanwhile, the media savaged 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.”

Flashback: New Status Anxiety Fuels Trump Derangement.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ ON THE ESTABLISHMENT’S NARCISSISTIC WOUND.

Plus, yes:

Related: Trump Didn’t Ruin the Media, Obama Did. “Obama was the first indicator that the media would simply refuse to cover stories they didn’t like about a politician they did. The media covered Clinton’s Chinagate and Travelgate. But they refused to cover the IRS scandal with the same level of vim as they would have under Bush; they downplayed the Obama administration’s involvement in the botched “Fast and Furious” gun operation scandal; and members of the mainstream media openly mocked the right’s anger over the administration’s manipulation of the 2012 Benghazi terror attack. Obama had to be protected at all costs, including the cost of the media’s credibility. Meanwhile, the media savaged 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.”

Flashback: New Status Anxiety Fuels Trump Derangement.

TRUMP SHOULD EXTRADITE ERIC HOLDER: Mexico asks U.S. for answers over historic gun-running row.

Mexico’s president on Friday urged the United States to shed light on a gun-running sting that caused bilateral friction under the Obama presidency, questioning the behavior of past U.S. administrations for the third time this week.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government would send a diplomatic note to Washington for information on the 2009-2011 operation known as ‘Fast and Furious,’ a topic that has resurfaced in recent days amid a debate over historic U.S.-Mexico cooperation on security and possible corruption under previous administrations.

Setting out to stop cross-border gun smuggling, the U.S. scheme allowed people to illegally buy arms in the United States and take them to Mexico so that the weapons could be tracked and lead law enforcement officials to drug cartel bosses. Some weapons were later blamed for gangland slayings in Mexico.

“How could this be? A government that invades in this way, that flagrantly violates sovereignty, international laws,” Lopez Obrador said at his daily news conference.

To avoid a repeat, the matter needed to be cleared up, said Lopez Obrador, who noted that President Donald Trump had last year been “respectful” to Mexico in discussions over joint co-operation following two major security incidents.

It wasn’t a scheme to stop cross-border smuggling. It was a scheme to send traceable guns to Mexico where their use in crime would be an excuse for stricter gun laws in America. It was another political abuse of law enforcement power, of the sort that was common under Obama, and the Trump Administration should help Mexico get to the bottom of it, and ensure that the wrongdoers are punished appropriately.

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: The Growing Backlash Against Female-Only School Programs.

Created to counter sexual harassment and discrimination, these programs are now being reviewed by the Trump administration’s Department of Education. The federal department’s Office for Civil Rights has opened more than 90 investigations of the programs to date, in all 12 of the office’s regional branches nationwide, and the total grows nearly every week as complaints are reviewed and accepted for investigation.

The complaints started off as a trickle, lodged mostly by men who found the programs offensive, and have come fast and furious in the past few years. Nearly 300 complaints now await resolution.

The charges of anti-male discrimination may soon balloon as advocates expand their campaign to K-12 schools that receive federal funding and are subject to federal regulatory compliance and Title IX oversight.

We either have equality or we don’t.

UPDATE: Data.

IT’S HARD TO BLAME HOLLYWOOD — THESE ALL-FEMALE REBOOTS ARE ALWAYS BIG HITS: Vin Diesel Says an All-Female Fast & Furious Spinoff Is Definitely Happening.

FAST AND FURIOUS: Trump revs up his base at Daytona 500.

Related: Awesome: Air Force One Lands At Daytona Followed By ‘The Beast’ Making Its Way Onto The Track; Updated With Trump Remarks.

Not surprisingly, Maggie Haberman of the New York Times is having a case of the vapors in response:

But then, the left have always loathed NASCAR, or as I wrote in 2011: ‘Citizens of NASCAR, We Come In Peace!’

I’LL TAKE “STATEMENTS THAT NOBODY HAS EVER UTTERED” FOR $500, ALEX: We Deserve An All-Female Fast And Furious Spin-Off.

FLASHBACK: Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations. “ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called ‘Demand Letter 3.’ That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or ‘long guns.’ Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.”

GOOD: Justice, FBI pressed on Obama hacking allegations against Benghazi reporter. “A key Republican Senate chairman is demanding answers from the Justice Department and FBI on whether Obama-era officials secretly accessed the phones and computers of a reporter probing the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal and debacle in Benghazi, Libya. In going to bat for award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Sen. Ron Johnson is reopening a case that prompted a federal judge to hit the government for stalling.”

Flashback: Congressman: Dems Impeached Trump to ‘Shield’ Themselves from ‘Reckoning that Will Come.’

FORGOTTEN, MEMORYHOLED, WHATEVER: Operation Fast and Furious: The Forgotten History of the ATF’s Notorious Gunwalking Scandal. “It’s one of many scandals of the Obama Administration that was never given as much press attention as, for example, Russia buying Facebook ads about NoFap and Pizzagate. Given that the guns run by the ATF were allowed to kill hundreds and that subsequent Congressional investigations resulted in Eric Holder, President Obama’s Attorney General, becoming the first sitting cabinet member to be held in criminal contempt of Congress ever, this is shocking. At least for anyone still under the illusion that the establishment media is a fair and impartial source of information.”

BYRNE OFFERS AMENDMENT TO TRUMP IMPEACHMENT RULES: OBAMA, HOLDER ‘SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMPEACHED.’

Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL) wants to point out the double standard President Donald Trump is facing with impeachment to his Democrat congressional colleagues and the public.

On Tuesday during deliberations of how the House of Representatives should proceed with impeachment before the body’s Rules Committee, Byrne put forth an amendment stating that former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder “should have been impeached” for the Obama administration’s response to congressional into the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.

How can that be? All the best people told me Obama’s only scandal was wearing a tan gabardine suit.

 

‘FORD V. FERRARI:’ MALE BONDING, ‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ STYLE, IN THE ‘MAD MEN’ ERA. My review of the new film, which is well worth seeing on the big screen, both for its brilliant racing sequences, and to cheese off the SJW woke scolds who object to its petrol-fueled macho theme.

(Bumped.)

ANDREW KLAVAN: ‘Watergate’ Doesn’t Mean What the Press Thinks It Means.

Recently, reading Mark Levin’s Unfreedom of the Press, I was reminded that, before reporters went on their great crusade against Richard Nixon, they had overlooked a whole lot of corruption in the Democrat presidents who preceded him.

Levin tells how John F. Kennedy, with the knowledge of his brother and Attorney General Robert, nudged the IRS into auditing conservative groups. With Kennedy approval, the FBI was also employed to investigate those the administration disliked, including Martin Luther King Jr. Lyndon Baines Johnson would later increase the politically motivated auditing and spying. None of this was uncovered until later on.

Ben Bradlee — the editor of the Washington Post, where Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate story — was well aware of his pal Kennedy’s misuse of the tax and investigative agencies. Not only did he not report it, he allowed himself and his paper to be manipulated by information JFK had wrongly obtained.

This totally changes the Watergate narrative. Nixon’s dirty tricks and enemy lists may have been creepy and wrong, but the press exposure of these misdemeanors came after years of ignoring similar and worse malfeasance by Democrat administrations.

That changes what Watergate means. That transforms it from a heroic crusade into a political hit job, Democrat hackery masquerading as nobility. The press turned a blind eye to the corruption of JFK and LBJ, then raced to overturn the election of a man they despised—despised in part because he battled the Communism many of them had espoused.

What is it Karl Marx said: History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce?

Read the whole thing. While the left launched Watergate to destroy Nixon, the discovery by the American people that It Didn’t Start With Watergate, as Victor Lasky accurately titled his 1977 book did much to make the distrust of government an “unexpectedly” bipartisan affair in the 1970s. Or as David Frum puts it in his 2000 book How We Got Here: The 70s The Decade That Brought You Modern Life — For Better Or Worse: 

Some blame Watergate for this abrupt collapse of trust in institutions, but not very convincingly. For one thing, the decline in trust begins to appear in the polls as early as 1966, almost a decade before the Watergate was known as anything more than a big hole in the ground alongside the Potomac River. For another, the nation had managed unconcernedly to shrug off Watergate-style events before. Somebody bugged Barry Goldwater’s apartment during the 1964 election without it triggering a national trauma. The Johnson administration tapped the phones of Nixon supporters in 1968, and again nothing happened. John F. Kennedy regaled reporters with intimate details from the tax returns of wealthy Republican donors, and none of the reporters saw anything amiss. FDR used the Federal Bureau of Investigation to spy on opponents of intervention into World War II—and his targets howled without result. If Watergate could so transform the nation’s sense of itself, why did those previous abuses, which were equally well known to the press, not do so? Americans did not lose their faith in institutions because of the Watergate scandal; Watergate became a scandal because Americans were losing faith in their institutions.

Which brings us back to Andrew Klavan’s article above, in which he writes, “History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce…Like the Nixon takedown, the attacks on Trump come after years of turning a blind eye to the corruption of a Democrat. Obama’s IRS campaign against the Tea Party? His lies about Benghazi? His Fast and Furious fiasco? His shutdown of a massive drug investigation to appease Iran? No big deal. Obama was, as almost every mainstream outlet has declared, ‘scandal free.’”

Read the whole thing.

THESE ARE COMING FAST AND FURIOUS LATELY: Latest Attack on Obama Legacy: Dem Party Requires Dem Nominee Pledge Not To Duplicate Organizing For Action.

THANKS, BARRY! DOJ Invokes Fast And Furious With Refusal To Prosecute Willam Barr For Contempt. “The media and left are constantly surprised and outraged that the right has the gall to remember things that Democrats did and then try to do the same.”

MOST THOROUGHLY HOIST ON THEIR OWN PETARD:  DOJ Invokes Fast And Furious With Refusal To Prosecute Willam Barr For Contempt.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Clowns Vote to Hold Barr in Contempt. “Nadler announced that America now has a constitutional crisis. Notably, he did not think we were in a constitutional crisis when Eric Holder was held in contempt of congress after refusing to turn over documents on Obama’s Fast and Furious operation. Obama’s Fast and Furious operation sold weapons to Mexican narco-terrorists and one of those weapons killed border patrol agent Brian Terry.”

DEMS DEFENDED HOLDER, NOW THREATEN BARR WITH CONTEMPT, JAIL: Where were these guys when then-Attorney General Eric Holder refused to turn over subpoenaed documents in the Fast and Furious scandal and was held in contempt of Congress? The Democrats now threatening Attorney General William Barr and other Trump appointees with contempt and even jail time were defending Holder. Yes, this is my absolutely gob-smacked, completely dumb-founded, totally disbelieving face!

FROM THE NEW END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT TO PLAY “CIVILIZATION VI”: “The information we collect may include personal information such as your first and/or last name, e-mail address, phone number, photo, mailing address, geolocation, or payment information. In addition, we may collect your age, gender, date of birth, zip code, hardware configuration, console ID, software products played, survey data, purchases, IP address and the systems you have played on. We may combine the information with your personal information and across other computers or devices that you may use.”

The reviews on Steam are coming in fast and furious, with many users saying they have or will uninstall the game. I just did.

It’s a shame, too — the Civ series is one of the few computer games I’ve really enjoyed over the years.

ANDREW MALCOLM: A Journalist Reflects On His Profession’s Anti-Trump Collusion.

Had those elites of both parties paid genuine attention to flyover country’s concerns, frustrations and fears, as silly and stupid as they seem to disconnected Beltway know-it-all’s, they would not be in today’s baffling, powerless position. There would have been no need for a Trump. And by the way, isn’t it strange how a billionaire from a New York high-rise could detect the heartland’s hurt better than those elected from that region?

Trump did not invent many Americans’ visceral dislike of the media. He’s using it, exactly as these 100+ newspapers will use their readers’ visceral dislike of Trump to influence a large audience on this day. It’s all fair game in a free society, even one as bitterly splintered as ours these days.

Many silent Americans see a Washington paper, for example, chronicling in excess of 4,000 Trump exaggerations and lies. Fair enough.

Where was that passion for lie detection during Obama’s endless reign of error when he spewed serial untruths about, among others, Solyndra, Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, Benghazi’s video roots and how Americans could keep their insurance, doctor and about $2,500 in savings under Obamacare?

Now, some realities: When’s the last time you read a newspaper editorial, online or in print, and thought, “You know, that anonymous writer is right and I’ve been wrong all these years!”

Today’s media “collusion” won’t move the needle one tick, but it will be regarded as a success within the DNC-Media Complex echo chamber because it will suddenly seem so much louder in there. Everyone else will yawn.

Ego drives the media to overplay its hand, every time, for the same reason the scorpion stings the frog.

FINALLY: Man Suspected of Murdering Brian Terry Extradited From Mexico to U.S. “Suspect Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes allegedly used a gun from Operation Fast & Furious, a gun-running scheme established under former Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. He will face charges of first degree murder and have an arraignment in Tucson, Arizona.”

THE DIRECT LINE FROM OBAMA, HOLDER, RICE, LERNER & CLINTON TO FBI SCANDALS: Each of four huge scandals from the Obama era — Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS Targeting and Hillarymail — had distinguishing characteristics, all of which came together in the FBI’s combined Clinton email/Russia Collusion debasement. It’s amazing how clear the present becomes when viewed through the lenses of the recent past.

Here’s a taste:

“Just as Obama, Rice, Powers and Clinton lied about Benghazi, so did Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (appointed by Trump), former FBI Director James Comey (appointed by Obama), and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe (promoted by Comey) — when they signed the FISA applications and thereby certified the credibility of the material included in the documents.”

Check it out here.

IS CONGRESS ABOUT TO GET TOUGH (FINALLY!)? House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) sounded supremely confident last night on Fox News, declaring, according to LifeZette’s Kathryn Blackhurst, that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page “will be held in contempt” if she doesn’t show up today or Friday to answer questions from members of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Meadows’ assertion prompted a crucially important reminder from liberal Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz that a congressional finding of contempt would be forwarded to the Department of Justice for enforcement. But DOJ under President Donald Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, has all but refused to enforce congressional subpoenas related to high-profile oversight investigations (Think Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS Targeting, FBI Hillary Email and Russia Collusion).

So, Dershowitz notes, “But if the Justice Department doesn’t do it, Congress is an independent branch of government. It can hold somebody in contempt. It can literally order the person to go into the basement jail cell, and then that person would have to go to court to seek a writ of habeas corpus.” Yes, Congress could have jailed then-Attorney General Eric Holder, then-IRS executive Lois Lerner and now Lisa Page for refusing to cooperate.

In fact, as I have repeatedly reported since Fast and Furious, jailing non-cooperative individuals is part of the inherent contempt power of Congress. It’s one of five tough tools the Founders gave Congress in making it the first and most powerful branch of the federal government. And it’s long past time for those tools to be used, at least if Congress wants its subpoenas to be obeyed.

 

TRYING TO PICK UP WHERE “FAST AND FURIOUS” FAILED:   Trial Of H&K Officials Over Illegal Gun Shipments To Mexico Begins.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Was The Steele Dossier The FBI’s “Insurance Policy?” “There were layers of insulation between the Clinton campaign and Steele — the campaign and the Democratic party retained a law firm, which contracted with Fusion GPS, which in turn hired the former spy. At some point, though, perhaps early on, the FBI and DOJ learned that the dossier was actually a partisan opposition-research product. By then, they were dug in. No one, after all, would be any the wiser: Hillary would coast to victory, so Democrats would continue running the government; FISA materials are highly classified, so they’d be kept under wraps. Just as it had been with the Obama-era’s Fast and Furious and IRS scandals, any malfeasance would remain hidden. The best laid schemes . . . gang aft agley.”

GETTING? The Democratic Civil War Is Getting Nasty, Even if No One Is Paying Attention.

Clinton was guilty of “malpractice” in how she conducted her 2016 Presidential campaign, Greenberg told me. Even worse, he said, Democrats were repeating the same political mistakes a year later. “Look at Virginia right now,” Greenberg said, as soon as we sat down in his second-floor office. “We have a candidate”—Ralph Northam, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee—“running as Hillary Clinton. He is running on the same kind of issues, and has the same kind of view of the world. It’s the Republicans who talk about the economy, not the Democrats.” This was the approach that doomed Clinton against Trump. The electorate was angry in 2016 and remains angry now, Greenberg said, and Northam, a Norfolk doctor, didn’t get it. Neither did Clinton and the team of Obama veterans who staffed her Brooklyn headquarters. “If you live in the metro areas with the élites, you don’t wake up angry about what’s happening in people’s lives,” Greenberg said.

His rant was notable for a variety of reasons, not least because Greenberg was the pollster who helped Bill Clinton win the White House in 1992, and he has been a participant in every Democratic nominee’s Presidential campaign since, including Hillary Clinton’s. His criticism illuminates an urgent question for the Democratic Party, not just in next week’s governor’s race in Virginia but in the midterm elections of 2018 and beyond. Could Trump, as deeply polarizing and unpopular as he is, even be reëlected?

Greenberg and other prominent Democrats still furious about last year’s Clinton campaign think it’s entirely possible, unless the Party figures out, and fast, a way to tackle the problem that sealed Clinton’s fate in 2016: how to appeal to the disaffected white working-class voters who provided Trump’s unlikely win a year ago.

Too late. The deplorable bitter clingers have caught on.

I CAN’T IMAGINE WHY TRUMP DOESN’T TRUST THE STATE DEPARTMENT:

The basement was dominated by State Department employees, who are officially barred from political activism while living abroad but tend to support Democrats; some, anticipating a Hillary Clinton victory, were even calling the occasion a party. On the wall hung a Donald Trump piñata.

By midmorning Kabul time, however, Trump had taken a commanding lead, and the mood in the embassy basement began to shift. Ties came undone, breakfast Danishes were anxiously devoured, and under the red, white and blue bunting, a stunned silence settled in. The cover band that had been playing earlier packed up its instruments. Some of the diplomats were typing furiously on their BlackBerrys. Others stepped outside to smoke, leaving behind a more Trump-friendly crowd of uniformed soldiers and veterans who had returned to Afghanistan as private contractors.

Sheesh.

KURT SCHLICHTER:

After two years of lectures about “principles” and “the Rule of law” by the establishment-loving hacks furious that normal Americans rejected them and elected Donald Trump, their performance last week demonstrated that their high-minded dedication to conservatism is all a fraud. It’s not about “principles” or “the Rule of Law.” It’s only about holding on to power – theirs.

Let’s take the latest in a seemingly endless series of #fails from that smarmy dope Paul Ryan, King of the Fredocons. First, he rushed to help out the liberals with their ridiculous narrative about how Donald Trump is a “Nazi” (Wait, I thought the narrative memo had him being a Russian fifth columnist – damn, our president sure is versatile!). You couldn’t keep Ryan from eagerly jumping in with his usual more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger-about-Trump thing to help the left push its latest meme. Antifa though? Not so fast! Ryan, the poodle that he is, obediently waited until Nancy Pelosi led the way and offered some tepid words about these commie blackshirts and their thirst for blood before Brave Sir Ryan ran out and offered some tepid words about these commie blackshirts and their thirst for blood.

Paul Ryan is a guy who can’t even take his own side in a fight – or, more to the point, our side in a fight.

And Kurt’s just getting started.

MEGAN MCARDLE: ‘Dunkirk’ and the Great Films That Won’t Be Made.

Having recovered, I began to wonder why we can’t have more pictures like “Dunkirk.” The easy answer is, of course, that there is only one Christopher Nolan, and only so many people willing to give him $150 million to spend putting thousands of extras and some World War II-era ordnance onto a French beach. But the easy answer is incomplete.

It is getting rarer for a genius like Nolan to be given substantial sums of money to put their vision on the screen. Instead, the substantial sums go to “franchise films.” The pursuit of blockbuster movies is becoming less of an act of creation, and more an exercise in brand management. Franchises generate box office revenue, merchandising revenue and what economists call option value: “Furious 7” does not simply bring ticket revenue for the studio, but also the ability to make more revenue through Fast and Furious Episodes 8, 9, 10 and onward to “The Fast and the Furious 987.”

Comic book movies, redos, and redos of comic book movies. A vast wasteland.

YES, IT’S STILL NEWSWORTHY: Members of both parties, including Republican Trey Gowdy, said they still don’t think they have all the answers as to what was really behind ‘Fast and Furious.’

That was so many allegedly “phony” scandals ago, it’s hard to keep track.

I’LL TAKE ERIC HOLDER FOR $500, ALEX: “Who Holds the DEA Accountable When Its Missions Cost Lives?

Soros-funded ProPublica reports that the DEA (like the ATF) may be responsible for dozens of deaths in the Mexican drug wars:

Against the wishes of the lead agent on the case — whose informant specifically warned of the potential for bloodshed — the DEA told a Mexican federal police unit with a long history of leaking to traffickers that it had the [sensitive] information.

Of course, all this happened in 2011. And like “Fast and Furious” the mainstream press was suspiciously incurious about anything that might embarrass Attorney General Holder or then-President Obama. Sharyl Attkisson was pushed out of CBS News for even daring to report it. But now that there’s a new sheriff to “hold accountable”, well, that’s just different. 

BONUS FUN FACT: President Obama asserted Executive Privilege in June 2012 to avoid answering questions about the failed project, and that was rejected by a federal judge.

TRUE: Trump Didn’t Ruin the Media, Obama Did. “Obama was the first indicator that the media would simply refuse to cover stories they didn’t like about a politician they did. The media covered Clinton’s Chinagate and Travelgate. But they refused to cover the IRS scandal with the same level of vim as they would have under Bush; they downplayed the Obama administration’s involvement in the botched “Fast and Furious” gun operation scandal; and members of the mainstream media openly mocked the right’s anger over the administration’s manipulation of the 2012 Benghazi terror attack. Obama had to be protected at all costs, including the cost of the media’s credibility. Meanwhile, the media savaged 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.”

Think of them as Democratic Party operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong. The thing is, nobody much cares what party operatives have to say.

OLD NEWS, WE’VE BEEN ALL OVER THIS, THERE’S NOTHING TO SEE HERE: Nets Ignore Oversight Report Showing Holder Impeded Fast and Furious Investigation.

While the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) spent Wednesday focusing on a Senate hearing they were hoping would implicate President Trump in obstruction of justice, they ignored a House Oversight Committee report that showed President Obama’s administration did just that. “An absolutely blistering report tonight out saying the Obama administration in general and former Attorney General Eric Holder in particular repeatedly lied to the family of a slain Border Patrol officer about the weapons used in his death, and stonewalled efforts to get at the truth,” announced Fox News’ Bret Baier on Special Report.

Baier handed the segment off to Correspondent William LaJeunesse, who reported that “Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died in December 2010, killed by guns tied to an Obama administration plan that armed Mexicans. A scandal officials tried to hide by wrongly claiming executive privilege.”

“The [Justice] Department’s belated admission that those 64,000 pages were not privileged, puts the gold seal of authenticity on the House’s bipartisan vote to hold the attorney general in contempt,” testified Senator Chuck Grassley at a hearing of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

That seems like a big story.

MAYBE: Elon Musk’s Production Plan For New Tesla: Too Fast, Too Furious?

Model 3 production risks run high. Tesla plans to bypass the usual manufacturing-prototype stage and go straight to full car production. Most automakers also test their production-line process for a new model by building vehicles with relatively inexpensive prototype tools. Tesla is skipping that step as well.

By omitting steps, Tesla hopes to save time and money. The risk is that manufacturing problems could be costly to fix, slow production and damage its reputation.

As Tesla moves to ramp up production another huge project is playing out, in partnership with Panasonic. Together they are building the massive battery-production plant in Nevada that’s crucial to reaching Model 3 pricing goals.

At the corporate level, Tesla also is working to integrate SolarCity into its business operations.

In the earnings conference call that followed Tesla’s first-quarter results, Musk was asked if any critical outstanding items could slow the Model 3 launch or deliveries.

“There’s plenty of things with uncertainty, but I don’t know anything that would prevent us from starting production in July, and exceeding 5,000 units a week by the end of the year,” said Musk. “It’s been pretty close to the bull’s-eye.”

Prototyping exists to help discover the unknown-unknowns Musk seems so confident don’t exist.

FASTER & FURIOUSER PLEASE: Suspected Triggerman in Border Agent Brian Terry’s Murder Arrested.

YOU CAN BE SURE THE INVESTIGATION WILL PROCEED FAST & FURIOUSLY: Facing sexism charges, Uber says Eric Holder will investigate.

Full background here.

FAST AND FURIOUS: Trump signs three more executive actions.

President Trump signed three executive actions on Saturday afternoon focusing on lobbying, a reorganization of the National Security Council and a plan to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The executive action caps off a busy first week as Trump issued a flurry of orders on ObamaCare repeal, withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and a ban on many refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

(Sorry, took off embedded video because it just wouldn’t play for some reason.)

PARTLY BECAUSE YOU SPENT EIGHT YEARS KICKING SAND IN OUR FACES, THAT’S WHY: Why we won’t “help” you?  We won’t help you because of Obamacare passed on a procedural trick; we won’t help because of Fast and Furious; we won’t help you because of Benghazi; we won’t help you because of the IRS harassing conservatives; we won’t help you because of Hillary’s unsecured server; we won’t help you because of a gazillion (give or take) executive orders; we won’t help you because of your side’s blatant dislike of anyone who loves America.

But most of all we won’t help you because the great enterprise you wish us to help you with is making idiots of yourselves by shrieking at the top of your lungs at things Trump is doing which you admired when Obama did them; or shrieking at the top of your lungs because you didn’t get the candidate you wanted in; or shrieking at the top of your lungs because that great progressive future you were so sure was around the corner took an inexplicable detour.

In other words, what you want help with is beclowning yourselves.  And we think you’re doing a fine job of it all on your own.  Besides, we need both hands for this big a popcorn bowl.

JOHN FUND AND HANS VAN SPAKOVSKY: Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free Administration’ Is a Myth.

In reality, Mr. Obama has presided over some of the worst scandals of any president in recent decades. Here’s a partial list:

• State Department email. In an effort to evade federal open-records laws, Mr. Obama’s first secretary of state set up a private server, which she used exclusively to conduct official business, including communications with the president and the transmission of classified material. A federal criminal investigation produced no charges, but FBI Director James Comey reported that the secretary and her colleagues “were extremely careless” in handling national secrets.

• Operation Fast and Furious. The Obama Justice Department lost track of thousands of guns it had allowed to pass into the hands of suspected smugglers, in the hope of tracing them to Mexican drug cartels. One of the guns was used in the fatal 2010 shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Congress held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt when he refused to turn over documents about the operation.

• IRS abuses. Mr. Obama’s Internal Revenue Service did something Richard Nixon only dreamed of doing: It successfully targeted political opponents. The Justice Department then refused to enforce Congress’s contempt citation against the IRS’s Lois Lerner, who refused to answer questions about her agency’s misconduct.

• Benghazi. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in the attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya. With less than two months to go before the 2012 election, the State Department falsely claimed the attack was not a terrorist attack but a reaction to an anti-Muslim film. Emails from the secretary later showed that she knew the attack was terrorism. Justice Department prosecutors even convinced a magistrate judge to jail the filmmaker.

• Hacking. Mr. Obama presided over the biggest data breach in the federal government’s history, at the Office of Personnel Management. The hack exposed the personnel files of millions of federal employees and may end up being used for everything from identity theft to blackmail and espionage. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta, the president’s former political director, had been warned repeatedly about security deficiencies but took no steps to fix them.

• Veterans Affairs. At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at a Phoenix VA facility, many of whom had been on a secret waiting list—part of an effort to conceal that between 1,400 and 1,600 veterans were forced to wait months for appointments. A 2014 internal VA audit found “57,436 newly enrolled veterans facing a minimum 90-day wait for medical care; 63,869 veterans who enrolled over the past decade requesting an appointment that never happened.” Even Mr. Obama admitted, in a November 2016 press conference, that “it was scandalous what happened”—though minutes earlier he boasted that “we will—knock on wood—leave this administration without significant scandal.”

All of these scandals were accompanied by a lack of transparency so severe that 47 of Mr. Obama’s 73 inspectors general signed an open letter in 2014 decrying the administration’s stonewalling of their investigations.

One reason for Mr. Obama’s penchant for secrecy is his habit of breaking rules—from not informing Congress of the dubious prisoner swap involving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the Taliban, to violating restrictions on cash transfers to Iran as part of a hostage-release deal.

The president’s journalistic allies are happily echoing the “scandal-free” myth.

Well, they figure if they don’t talk about it, it’s not really a scandal.

AS ALWAYS, LIFE IN THE 21st CENTURY IMITATES ARTHUR C. CLARKE:

One aspect of the movies that won’t change in the next century is subject matter. There is no reason to believe that the traditional film genres won’t be as popular forty years from now as they were in the 1930s and 1940s. Love stories, science fiction, teenage comedies, war films, sweeping adventures, and rugged Westerns will be among the most successful movies of 2019. [On this, Clarke was slightly off; if only today’s Hollywood proffered that much variety. — Ed]

However, new technologies will make possible a different approach to the traditional themes. Computer-graphic techniques will enable producers to re-create electronically the voices and physical appearances of great movie stars from the past A new movie featuring a cast of Hollywood hall-of-famers — Jimmy Stewart, Greta Garbo, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe — isn’t just possible, it is probable once computer synthesis techniques are perfected.

Computer graphics hold myriad implications for the movies of the twenty-first century It will be more practical and cost effective to design sets and synthesize almost any location on Earth or off using computers. Special effects that now require models and miniatures can be replaced by digital picture-making. Animation, once the most visually exciting area of film, today has, except for an occasional Disney film, almost vanished. Computer graphics will cut the cost of animation in the next century, and cartoons featuring solid-looking, three-dimensional characters will breathe new life into this art form.

—An excerpt from the chapter in Clarke’s 1986 book Arthur C. Clarke’s July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century titled “A Night at the Movies,” quoted at Ed Driscoll.com in 2015, when the makers of Fast & Furious 7 digitally recreated franchise co-star Paul Walker, who had died (grimly enough) in a car crash midway through that film’s production.

We’re told that we can judge a society by how it treats its animals, and its prisoners, but what if we can judge it, too, by how it treats its celebrities (who are, in some respects, a hybrid of both)? The modern famous are, paradoxically, rare and ubiquitous. There has only been and ever will be one Sinatra, one Marilyn—and yet there they are, too, over on that shower curtain, and this cookie jar, revered banalities.

To staunch this eventuality, some celebrities have wisely arranged their estates to prevent posthumous commodification and “cyberslavery”; Robin Williams thought to block “anyone from digitally inserting him into a movie or TV scene or using a hologram, as was done with rapper Tupac Shakur at Southern California’s Coachella music festival in 2012—16 years after his murder.”

Would that others had done likewise. (I’m looking at you, Joe Strummer—but note: A mere 10 years ago, this sick campaign cost Saatchi its Doc Martens account, and they weren’t even legally in the wrong. Would the same happen today?)

But it’s disconcerting that human beings have to undertake such rearguard measures at all.

—“No Peace in the Uncanny Valley”, Kathy Shaidle, Taki’s Magazine, January 10th, 2017.

This ABC News clip – really an infomercial for Disney’s latest product, as the newsreader explains at the end of the segment – explains how the Rogue One producers digitally recreated the late Peter Cushing, and created the visage of Carrie Fisher in 1977:

As Clarke predicted three decades ago, expect much more of this technique in the years to come.

And presumably, in the music business as well.

FAKE NEWS: “President Obama will be remembered as a thoughtful and dignified president who led a scrupulously honest administration that achieved major changes.”

“Was Barack Obama Bad for Democrats?”, Stanley B. Greenberg and Anna Greenberg, the New York Times, today.

The victims of Fast & Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandals, and those who liked their plans but couldn’t keep their plans – plus the potential victims of helping Iran acquire the bomb could not be reached for comment.

CONGRESS: ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH ‘PLEADS FIFTH’ ON SECRET IRAN ‘RANSOM’ PAYMENTS.

Lynch replaced Eric Holder, who was held in contempt of Congress over Obama’s Fast & Furious scandal. If the Obama administration wasn’t ending in January, Lynch might well have risked being next.

FAST AND FURIOUS IS NOT DONE AND OVER WITH: The scandal in Washington no one is talking about.  Apparently scandal is what we now call facilitating the murder of hundreds to make people give up their second amendment rights.  How … civilized we’ve become.

BIAS BY OMISSION: ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision Censor El Chapo Weapon Being Linked to Fast and Furious.

SHORTER DAVID BROOKS: Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life. And his pants creases are perfect.

Oh, and did you know, “The first and most important of these is basic integrity. The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free. Think of the way Iran-contra or the Lewinsky scandals swallowed years from Reagan and Clinton. We’ve had very little of that from Obama. He and his staff have generally behaved with basic rectitude.”

Oh the fun we’re all going to have when Brooks discovers Fast & Furious, the IRS Scandal, “Richard Windsor,” and the ramifications of the deal with Iran sometime in February of 2017.

Plus it’s fun watching Brooks contradict himself in his conclusion:

No, Obama has not been temperamentally perfect. Too often he’s been disdainful, aloof, resentful and insular. But there is a tone of ugliness creeping across the world, as democracies retreat, as tribalism mounts, as suspiciousness and authoritarianism take center stage.

Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him.

Geez, David — Maureen Dowd already warned you what could happen when you break into her stash box.

Related: Joe Wilson vindicated.

More: Five Huge Problems with David Brooks’ ‘I Miss Obama’ Puff Piece.

BARACK OBAMA, ARMING OUR ENEMIES AND DISARMING OUR CITIZENS SINCE 2009: ‘Fast & Furious’ rifle capable of taking down helicopter found in ‘El Chapo’ cache. “A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News. . . . When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives checked serial numbers of the eight weapons found in his possession, they found one of the two .50-caliber weapons traced back to the ATF program, sources said.”

Remember, the purpose of this program was to put weapons in Mexican gangsters’ hands that could be traced back to American sales, as a pretext for stricter gun regulations here. They were willing to accept increased deaths as collateral damage.

BREAKING: Federal Judge Obama Appointed Strikes Down His Fast and Furious Executive Privilege Claim.

JAMES BOVARD: First Lady’s box should be empty at State of the Union speech: Saving seats for the dead would require a lot more room for victims of Obama’s policies.

While trumpeting the private death toll from guns, Obama on Tuesday night will likely ignore the 986 people killed by police in the United States last year according to The Washington Post’s database. Many police departments are aggressive — if not reckless — in part because the Justice Department always provides cover for them at the Supreme Court. Obama’s “Justice Department has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way” to a Supreme Court hearing, The New York Times noted last year. Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently said that federally-funded police agencies should not even be required to report the number of civilians they kill.

To add a Euro flair to the evening, Obama could drape tri-color flags on a few empty seats to commemorate the 30 French medical staff, patients, and others slain last Oct. 3 when an American AC-130 gunship blasted their well-known hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The U.S. military revised its story several times but admitted in November that the carnage was the result of “avoidable … human error.” Regrettably, that bureaucratic phrase lacks the power to resurrect victims.

No plans have been announced to designate a seat for Brian Terry, the U.S. Border Patrol agent killed in 2010. Guns found at the scene of Terry’s killing were linked to the Fast and Furious gunwalking operation masterminded by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agency. At least 150 Mexicans were also killed by guns illegally sent south of the border with ATF approval. The House of Representatives voted to hold then-attorney general Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to disclose Fast and Furious details, but Obama is not expected to dwell on this topic in his State of the Union address. . . .

Four seats could be left vacant for the Americans killed in the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya — U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. But any such recognition would rankle the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, who has worked tirelessly to sweep those corpses under the rug. It would also be appropriate to include a hat tip to the hundreds, likely thousands, of Libyans who have been killed in the civil war unleashed after the Obama administration bombed Libya to topple its ruler, Moammar Gadhafi.

Perhaps the GOP should invite a member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee as their guest. . . .

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GUN USED IN GARLAND, TX, TERROR ATTACK MAY BE LINKED TO FAST AND FURIOUS.

SO, BASICALLY, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ARMED THE GUNMAN WHO TRIED TO KILL PAM GELLER: Assailant in Garland, Texas, attack bought gun in 2010 under Fast and Furious operation. More and more, I’m doubting that this federal gun-smuggling operation was “botched,” or a “fiasco,” except to the extent that people found out what was going on.

IN THE MAIL: From Dan Hoyt, Ninth Euclid’s Prince.

Plus, today only at Amazon: 63% Off Fast & Furious: 6-Film Collection on Blu-ray.

And, also today only: Up to 40% Off Select Bikes.

“DOES FRANCE FEAR INNOVATION?” asks Imran Amed, the Canadian-British founder of Business of Fashion, an influential website that started as a blog. Turns out that anti-Uber strike coincides with the week for men’s fashion shows.

Only in Paris would it be acceptable (or logical) for taxi drivers to go on strike and block train stations and airports and think it would create support for them amongst the public. Harassing Uber drivers who are just trying to do their jobs and haranguing customers who should have the right to choose how they get around only does their cause a disservice. Instead of inconveniencing a whole city, they should offer a better service, use technology and get with the times.

When I recounted my situation on Instagram, the response from the BoF community came fast and furious.

“Think about the people that have to live with that nonsense everyday,” commented Le Monde’s Carine Bizet.

“Absolutely typical of the French Government who do not acknowledge the fashion industry as something REAL,” added Lady Amanda Harlech, muse to Karl Lagerfeld.

Indeed, not only was it a terrible start to Fashion Week, it also made me wonder about what is happening generally in France — one of the most important nodes in the global fashion industry — and the country’s archaic and self-defeating approach to innovation and change.

Worth a quick read.

WHAT DOES JURASSIC WORLD’S BOX OFFICE DOMINATION MEAN?  Lots and lots more sequels and event blockbusters, that’s what.  That’s not necessarily bad news though.  I loved Fast and Furious 7. I saw the movie on opening night at a multiplex in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  One of my proudest moments as an American was when they dropped multiple cars out of a plane and then opened their parachutes.  The entire crowd gasped and then applauded and laughed.  Same deal when they jumped a sports car through  three different skyscrapers.  America baby!  This is what we do.

NEW YORK POST: Paging Eric Holder:

Remember how Eric Holder had threatened to disband the Ferguson, Mo., police department on the grounds it was racist?

And before that, how he was asking Judge Shira Scheindlin to grant his Justice Department oversight of the NYPD if the judge ruled against stop-and-frisk?

Well, maybe the Justice Department should look closer to home.

The Washington Post reports that two senior Secret Service agents — one a member of President Obama’s protective detail — last week drove right through a White House barricade into an ongoing investigation, right next to a suspected bomb.

Overruling agents at the scene, a supervisor ordered the two men sent home without even a sobriety test; they were later given lenient temporary assignments.

This comes on top of other scandals at the agency, including agents’ use of prostitutes on overseas trips and a recent breach that saw a knife-wielding man get inside the White House.

The Secret Service, of course, is not the only federal police agency that’s had its share of problems since Obama took office.

Thanks to administration stonewalling that saw Attorney General Eric Holder cited for contempt of Congress, we still don’t know the full story behind the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ “Operation Fast and Furious” — in which licensed firearms wound up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

So we’re with Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds on this one: Team Obama probably should spend more time fixing the law-enforcement agencies that are its responsibility rather than sliming ones that aren’t.

Insufficient opportunity for graft, I guess.

THE DIPLOMAD ON Brian Williams And Lying Journalists In General. “There is something in the progressive mind-set that promotes, nay, requires compulsive lying. We see it in John Kerry and his fake stories of secret missions in Cambodia and his flying dog; Hillary Clinton, and her Bosnian snipers; Susan Rice and her video explanation for Benghazi; Eric Holder with Fast and Furious; and even FDR. . . . Your standard progressive activist has really done nothing very interesting, so he or she needs to get proper credentials, to show that he or she knows what’s what, and that progressivism is what the world needs to deal with “problems”–after all, isn’t life just a series of problems calling for progressive intervention? They want to see what they believe. We, hence, have progressives making up the sort of stuff that puts them, the elite, in the center of the battle, on the ramparts, in the muddy trenches and downed helicopters with the common schlubs–the sort of worldly experience that allows progressives to tell us how to live our lives. Telling lies is essential to progressivism.”

BOMBSHELL: Email Proves that White House, DOJ Targeted Reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

Judicial Watch reports that the Obama administration has turned over about 42,000 pages of documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal. The administration was forced to turn the documents over to Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Judicial Watch is posting them on its web site. The administration turned them over on November 18, 2014.

One of the documents provides smoking gun proof that the Obama White House and the Eric Holder Justice Department colluded to get CBS News to block reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson was one of the few mainstream media reporters who paid any attention to the deadly gun-running scandal.

In an email dated October 4, 2011, Attorney General Holder’s top press aide, Tracy Schmaler, called Attkisson “out of control.” Schmaler told White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz that he intended to call CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer to get the network to stop Attkisson.

Schultz replied, “Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG.”

Schultz also told Schmaler that he was working with reporter Susan Davis, then at the National Journal, to target Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA). Issa led the House investigation into Fast and Furious. Davis now works at USA Today. In the email chain, Schultz tells Schmaler that he would provide Davis with “leaks.”

Davis wrote a critical piece on Issa a few weeks later.

Attkisson was later subjected to hacking of her computer by people who remain unknown, but who likely belong to a government agency. She and CBS parted ways earlier in 2014, and Attkisson has since said that the network blocked her reports from airing.

As Michael Barone says, gangster government.

JOHN HINDERAKER: OBAMA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE, LORETTA LYNCH.

Her confirmation hearing represents an opportunity for Republicans, so the first question is, when will it be held? Obama says he wants her confirmed “promptly.” No doubt! Pat Leahy–speaking of hyper-partisans–will run the Judiciary Committee until January, when the Republicans, led by Charles Grassley, will take over. Mitch McConnell said today that he thinks confirmation should be addressed by the new congress, following “regular order.” I don’t see how he can bring that about, however. Maybe I am missing some procedural wrinkle, but I would think the Democrats will be able to expedite her hearing and get her confirmed during the lame duck session.

But Republicans will still be able to ask questions, and there are many important ones to be posed. Eric Holder politicized the Department of Justice to a degree that has not been seen in our modern history, if ever. Holder appointed Lynch to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee in 2010, and she has served as Chairman of that committee since 2013. Maybe the Advisory Committee is merely an honorary appointment. But Republicans should ask what input she has had over the last four years. Has she given advice to Holder on policy matters? Has the Advisory Committee been involved in any of Holder’s many controversies? Did Lynch ever try to dissuade Holder from his partisan misuse of DOJ? This seems like an important avenue of investigation.

Beyond that, Republicans should be able to wring some assurances from Ms. Lynch. Holder has disgracefully stonewalled Congressional investigators trying to get to the bottom of the Fast and Furious scandal for years. Will Lynch promise to stop the stonewalling and give Congressional investigators the materials–the remarkably limited materials–they are asking for?

Eric Holder has also been notorious for racial favoritism. He has addressed voting rights issues, for example, only where blacks have ostensibly been aggrieved. His dismissal of charges against the New Black Panthers–after they had already defaulted in DOJ’s action against them!–is the most famous, but by no means the only such instance. Republicans should extract a promise from Lynch to enforce the laws equally as to all races, and not favor her own race as Holder did.

Eric Holder also carried on a vicious campaign in favor of voter fraud. He aggressively persecuted states that took even the most modest measures to protect ballot integrity. Will Lynch do the same, or will she declare herself opposed to voter fraud?

Then of course there is immigration.

So, basically, she needs to be the anti-Holder. She might give ground on some of this stuff, but I guarantee she’ll play scandal-goalie to the end.

DON’T MISS THIS IN ALL THE ELECTION NEWS: DOJ Belatedly Releases Fast & Furious Documents.

ROBERT MCMANUS ON EBOLA: The Trust Deficit: Why the Public Is Twitchy.

Govs. Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey responded as might be expected — politically if not thoughtfully, but for the short run understandably and correctly.

They imposed mandatory quarantines — driving the usual suspects into a dead swoon.

Number the president among the suspects. The White House has been wagging a bony finger at restrictive responses to Ebola in general — and now at Cuomo and Christie, too. They’re not above criticism, to be sure, but for the president to be dishing it out is a little rich.

For the battle against Ebola in America is all about trust.

That is, can New Yorkers worried about dying a loathsome death from a disease now largely confined to three countries 4,500 miles away really trust presidential reassurances?

After President Obama said ISIS is the JV, and then all of a sudden told us it was an existential threat? After “you can keep your doctor” and then, oops, you can’t? After the IRS scandal and Fast & Furious and Benghazi?

With two weeks to go before midterm elections, the president hires a Washington uber-fixer, lobbyist Ron Klain, to manage his Ebola response and people are supposed to assume that health policy is driving the operation?

Alas, neither does Cuomo inspire confidence.

Yes, nothing says our policy is science-driven like putting a political fixer in charge.

THE DOJ’S VAUGHN INDEX provides a detailed road map to the Fast & Furious coverup.

TRANSPARENCY: Justice Dept. List of Withheld Fast & Furious Docs is 1,323 Pages Long.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Eric Holder’s Top Deputy Resigns Amid Revelation Fast and Furious Guns Used in Phoenix Crime.

TAMARA TABO: When The Confirmation Of The Next Attorney General Gets Political, Thank Eric Holder.

So, how did Holder generate so much bad blood?

Well, few signs indicate contempt for — and on the part of — Congress like being held in contempt of Congress. Unwilling to fully account for the Obama administration’s participation in the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal, Eric Holder became the first sitting member of a U.S. President’s Cabinet to be held in contempt. The confrontation and the issues surrounding it guarantee that the next AG nominee will face a tough crowd during Senate confirmation hearings.

In the background, there’s Operation Fast and Furious, the now-infamous Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation in which the President’s administration intentionally allowed guns to wind up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The operation aimed for the guns to be later found at crime scenes, a consequence that might help ATF to better target future gun-control policies. Guns from the Fast and Furious operation were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and others, drawing attention to the Fast and Furious scheme. While the initial investigation into the operation sparked controversy, the administration’s response ignited more.

Appearing before the House of Representatives, Holder refused to turn over documents about why the administration has been stonewalling — and possibly lying to — Congressional investigators. Judicial Watch attempted to get hold of important Fast and Furious documents by filing a Freedom of Information Act request, which the DOJ denied. The DOJ continues to fight the subsequent FOIA suit. This week, a federal court ordered the administration to produce what is known as a “Vaughn index.” The Vaughn index must identify each document that the administration has withheld, the statutory exemption from FOIA the administration has claimed, and an explanation of how disclosure would be damaging. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the DOJ must submit the Vaughn index by October 22.

No wonder Holder resigned when he did. If he remained in office, he would face bitter fights with both the judical and legislative branches. Even once Holder himself no longer occupies the AG’s office, his successor is likely to adopt a similar attitude toward members of Congress and the courts. After all, Holder was not simply acting on his own behalf when getting snippy with Congress. He was representing President Obama’s administration. Why think the next person representing the president will do differently?

Of course, nastiness with congressional investigators is not the only way that Holder ensured that finding his replacement will be especially political. Many members of Congress want to be sure that the next AG is considerably less comfortable with the term “selective enforcement” than Holder has been.

Worst Attorney General ever, which is saying something.

LIKE THE US LEGAL SYSTEM, THE UK LEGAL SYSTEM OPERATES AS A TORPEDO FOR BIG COPYRIGHT: Crime And Punishment? 33 Months In Jail For Filming And Uploading Fast & Furious 6.

ROLL CALL: Congress Takes Hands-Off Approach to Miriam Carey Shooting.

Release of the final autopsy report for Miriam Carey, the 34-year-old dental hygienist who was shot outside the Capitol on Oct. 3 after a fast and furious car chase from the White House, has renewed calls for action from an attorney for her family.

Six months after the shooting, with a wrongful death claim filed against the Capitol Police and Secret Service seeking $75 million in compensation, New York-based attorney Eric Sanders is calling on Congress to “use its legislative powers” to investigate the confusing series of events.

But spokespeople for the committees with jurisdiction over the Capitol Police and for law enforcement declined to comment, aside from saying there are no plans to investigate because the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia is still looking into the shooting. Members charged with oversight have expressed no interest in launching their own investigation.

Something about this story just seems wrong.

RICK MORAN: Sharyl Attkisson, ‘Fast and Furious’ Investigative Reporter, Resigns from CBS.

UPDATE: Flashback: CBS News President Is Brother of Obama National Security Official. “CBS News president David Rhoades is not only the brother of President Obama’s national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, but ABC News reports that Ben Rhodes was very much involved in the editing of the now-infamous CIA talking points.”

PROBABLY BECAUSE IT’S TRUE: ObamaCare Lawlessness Charge Sticks. “Illegitimate moves by the executive shouldn’t have to reek of politics to get the media’s or the Congress’s attention. And, come to think of it, Obama’s machinations have reeked for a good long time. The president, of course, previously made unilateral changes to Obamacare (including an earlier delay on the employer mandate), attempting to change the law by press conference and/or administrative edict from the Department of Health and Human Services. There was also the president’s unilateral revision of immigration laws to provide a stop gap to so-called Dreamers. Republicans also cried foul when the imperial president invoked bogus privileges to avoid investigation of Operation Fast & Furious and even of a White House party crasher. . . . It would be wise for Democrats, while they still have the Senate, to clear away the president’s lawless fiats. They really don’t want to leave it to a GOP-controlled Senate and/or a GOP president to either mimic the behavior or enact far more sweeping fixes.”

ARMS-SMUGGLING COURTESY OF OBAMA AND HOLDER: Fast and Furious gun turns up after Mexican resort shootout.

CHUTZPAH: After “Fast & Furious,” Feds Plan Regulations On People Who Lose Guns. “It is unclear precisely what the draft regulations, drawn up by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and under review at the White House’s regulations office, would do.”

MOVIE DEAL OF THE WEEK: 65% off the Fast and Furious 1-5 Bundle, on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Also check out the Amazon Thanksgiving Store for deals and bargains galore.

Plus, deals in TV, Audio & Video.

And, you can buy your wine from Amazon, though, alas, not in my state, where you can’t even buy wine in grocery stores, or on Sunday.

THEY CAN’T EVEN KEEP UP WITH THE FAST AND FURIOUS GUNS OF THE PAST. Peter Huber: Our Backwards Government Can’t Keep Up With the Fast and Furious Germs of the Future.

MORE “FAST AND FURIOUS” NEWS FROM SHARYL ATTKISSON AT CBS: Deadly drug cartel shootout with Mexico police linked to “grenade-walking” scandal. “The gun battle took place last week in Guadalajara. Authorities say five members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel used at least nine firearms and ten hand grenades against Mexican police. If one of the grenades was supplied with the help of Kingery, as believed, it adds to the toll of lives taken with weapons trafficked by suspects U.S. officials watched but did not stop.”

TOM BEVAN: Why Does Kathleen Sebelius Still Have A Job?

Unlike the real world, where managers and employees are judged on results and held accountable for their performance, in Washington, D.C., loyalty and partisanship almost always come first. Accountability comes later, if it comes at all.

This happens in every administration, and President Obama’s is no different, as we’ve seen with the fatal mistakes made regarding the Fast & Furious gun program and in the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Democrats, claiming to see these as partisan witch hunts designed to hurt the administration politically, circled the wagons. Obama stood loyally by Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton.

Loyalty is generally a good thing, in politics, as in life. But Kathleen Sebelius and her agency’s rollout of Obamacare is different.

Sebelius’ department had 3½ years to prepare to implement the Affordable Care Act. No one ever suggested that commandeering one-sixth of the American economy would be an easy task. (Many Republicans suggested the opposite and were dismissed as killjoys for their efforts.) But after the debacle of the last two weeks, liberals and Democrats—not conservatives or Republicans—should be calling for Sebelius’s head.

But they won’t.

CENSORSHIP: ACLU: Administration Blocking Book By Fast & Furious Whistleblower. Well, of course. This is who they are; this is what they do.

SHOSHANA BRYEN: ATF: Lost Guns, Cigarettes, and Credibility. “We learn ATF employed the same crime-facilitating strategy behind Fast and Furious with illegal smokes.”

I FAVOR THIS POLICY. NOT SURE ABOUT IMPLEMENTING IT VIA EXECUTIVE FIAT: Justice Dept. Seeks to Curtail Stiff Drug Sentences. “In a major shift in criminal justice policy, the Obama administration will move on Monday to ease overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors to omit listing quantities of illegal substances in indictments for low-level drug cases, sidestepping federal laws that impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses.” On the other hand, prosecutors have a lot of discretion. But can you validly indict somebody for possessing an illegal substance without saying how much? I guess so. . . .

The other question: What took them so long to address this problem, which I’ve been blogging about for years? Here’s a hint: “The policy changes appear to be part of Mr. Holder’s effort, before he eventually steps down, to bolster his image and legacy. Turmoil over the Congressional investigation into the botched Operation Fast and Furious gun trafficking case ensnared him in the Obama administration’s first term, and more recently, controversy has flared over the department’s aggressive tactics in leak investigations.”

By the way, Fast and Furious wasn’t “botched,” except to the extent that they got caught.

UPDATE: Related: Obama DOJ Also to Back Mandatory Minimum Reform Bill “Similar” to Rand Paul’s.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Well, there’s a change: Holder’s Mandatory Minimum Announcement Finally Uses Executive Power To Expand Liberty. If I were President, I could think of a lot more places to do that. . . .

MORE: Congress, Not DOJ, Should Address Minimum Sentences.

FAILING UPWARD: Leader of ATF During ‘Fast and Furious’ Fallout Confirmed as New Director. Sen. John Cornyn: “What could have been an opportunity for the President to bring competent leadership to a department wrought with mismanagement is instead a signal from the top that reckless behavior is not only permissible in his administration, but rewarded.” Yeah, pretty much.

WELL, GOOD: Zimmerman lawyer to move ‘asap’ against NBC News. “Last night’s not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial will enable the neighborhood-watch volunteer to resume his case against NBC News for the mis-editing of his widely distributed call to police. Back in December, Zimmerman sued NBC Universal Media for defamation over the botched editing, which depicted him as a hardened racial profiler.”

I don’t think it was “botched” editing, anymore than Fast & Furious was a “botched” gun-tracking operation.

BILL STRAUB: What Happened to Congress’ ‘Fast and Furious’ Fury? Scandal resurfaces as a Mexican police chief and his bodyguard fall victim to a gun from the ATF operation.

There are so many scandals at once. Maybe Obama’s “dense pack” strategy is working. . . .

FAST AND FURIOUS: Police Chief Killed With Gun “Lost” In ATF Tracking Program. “A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF’s Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico.” I don’t think it was a “failed gun-tracking operation” at all.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: ATF leader who oversaw botched sting will run Phoenix office: Move puts him in charge of office known for infamous ‘Operation Fast and Furious.’

The ATF leader who oversaw a botched undercover operation in Milwaukee will now be in charge of the agency’s embattled Phoenix office, where agents allowed more than 2,000 guns to walk into the hands of suspected criminals through the infamous “Operation Fast and Furious.”

Bernard “B.J.” Zapor will be reunited in Phoenix with Fred Milanowski, another key figure in Milwaukee’s “Operation Fearless,” where a Journal Sentinel investigation found agents lost government guns, had their storefront ripped off and arrested at least four of the wrong people.

Zapor was in charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ St. Paul Field Division, which covers Wisconsin and three other states. In November, shortly after the Milwaukee sting was abruptly shut down, he was promoted to a position in Washington, D.C., supervising eight field divisions.

Officials from the ATF and the U.S. Department of Justice told congressional staffers in April that disciplinary action was under way against Zapor because of the Milwaukee operation. They won’t say if Zapor’s assignment to Phoenix is punishment.

At the ATF, apparently, failure is the swiftest route to promotion.

MORE THOUGHTS ON WHY THE MEDIA GETS THINGS WRONG: “Unfortunately, Friedersdorf is so convinced the media’s groupthink accurately represents facts that he can’t see how utterly apt Unz’s title is. . . . Compare and contrast the coverage of the Valerie Plame scandal (body count, zero, for those keeping score), with the coverage of Benghazi. Alternatively, consider l’affaire Plame (body count zero), with the protracted somnolence – it never rose to the level of reporting – produced by the DOJ’s Fast ‘n’ Furious embarrassment. At last count, over two hundred people lost their lives as a result of Fast ‘n’ Furious, one of them being United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Ho-hum. Got something snarky about the Tea Party?”

UPDATE: Big Media Failed To Break Even One of Obama Scandals.

ANOTHER UPDATE: “Obama media minions now know what it felt like when Jim Jones brought out the Kool-Aid: Disillusioned but still obedient.”

AT AMAZON, it’s the Father’s Day Shop.

Also, available for preorder: Fast and Furious 6 combo pack: DVD + Blu-Ray + Digital + Ultra Violet for $20.99. Send one to Eric Holder!

HMM. BY WHOM, I WONDER? CBS News’ Sharyl Atkisson: My Computer Has Been Compromised. “Attkisson believes the possible infiltration of her computer began in Feb. 2011 during her reporting on Fast and Furious.”

I may have to upgrade my encryption.

FAST AND FURIOUS UPDATE: Watchdog report says DOJ official retaliated against ‘Furious’ whistle-blower, lied about it. “The former U.S. Attorney for Arizona could be disbarred, after an investigation found he lied to the Justice Department about his role in trying to discredit the federal whistle-blower who exposed the botched gun-running scheme known as Fast and Furious. An Office of Inspector General report showed that Dennis Burke — the former chief of staff for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano appointed as U.S. Attorney for Arizona by President Obama in September 2009 — lied when asked if he leaked sensitive documents to the press meant to undermine the credibility of ATF whistle-blower John Dodson.”

Background: Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico.

IT’S ALL OF A PIECE: Breaking – Report: DOJ Leaked Docs to Smear Fast & Furious Whistleblower, Says Inspector General.

FAST AND FURIOUS STONEWALLING: White House resists Congressional bid to see gun smuggling operation documents.

AT AMAZON, it’s the Cinco de Mayo Sale.

Also, today only: Up to 62% Off “Fast and Furious” 1-5 Bundle on Blu-ray or DVD. The movies, not the scandal.

FIRST FAST-AND-FURIOUS, NOW THIS: 20,000 U.S. M-16s stolen from unguarded warehouse in Kuwait.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “They likely weren’t stolen, they were backdoor transferred to a local ally in exchange for transferring Soviet made guns to Libya or Syria rebels.” Given the Administration’s general approach, this wouldn’t surprise me.

THE HILL: Top House lawmakers slam ICE division on ‘Fast and Furious.’

Top House lawmakers criticized a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Friday for its role in the failed gun tracking operation ‘Fast and Furious,’ after a new report detailed the agency’s involvement.

At the urging of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), officials with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit did not pursue leads on potential weapons smugglers, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inspector general report released on Friday.

The 84-page report also found that senior leaders in ICE’s investigative Arizona division failed to read the reports from agents in the field that identified the “flawed methodology” in the “Fast and Furious” operation, according to the report.

The country’s in the very best of hands.

THE HILL: New special ops command in Mexico politically motivated, analysts claim.

The new U.S. special operations command created to help Mexico combat drug traffickers was allegedly conceived, in part, to bolster President Obama’s reelection campaign, according to defense analysts reportedly involved in the effort.

I wonder if there’s a “Fast And Furious” tie-in.

Plus, a Nobel Peace Prize Update:

U.S. special operations forces and counterinsurgency specialists returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are poised to ramp up operations across the globe, focusing on countries like Mexico, as well as partner nations in Africa and South America.

These small bands of special forces experts will lean upon “innovative methods” learned in Southwest Asia to support local counterterrorism forces and expand American influence in those regions, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the time.

I’m sure if this were the Bush Administration this would be getting more play.