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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. . . .

AT AMAZON, up to 61% off Fast and Furious movies 1-6.

Plus, deals on Bestselling Cancy & Chocolate.

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.

BENGHAZI: “Fast And Furious” On Steroids? They certainly don’t want to talk about it.

REPORT: Obama ATF Nominee Todd Jones Has Record of Retaliating Against Whistleblowers.

MAJOR MEDIA MALFUNCTION: Michael Silence: The media’s Te’ogate.

Old journalism: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” Today’s journalism: “Hey, it made a nice story.”

UPDATE: Reader Jeffrey Lindemann writes: “You can’t get away from the Te’o story this morning. Now that they’ve gotten the taste of what it’s like to try to get to the bottom of something, maybe some of those sports reporters who are trying to track down whether Te’o was a participant in, or victim of, the hoax can inspire some of their colleagues in the msm to do the same thing with respect to Fast & Furious and/or Benghazi.” Not holding my breath. But, as with gun control, it gives them something to talk about besides the debt/deficit debacle.

MAYBE “RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP” SHOULD START WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: ATF’s Personal Weapon Found At Mexican Beauty Queen Murder Scene. The agent also appears to have falsified several Form 4473s, the form used for background checks when purchasing guns. “‘Lying on a Form 4473 is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison,’ Grassley’s letter states. The Senator also points out that’s the same alleged violation that suspects in ATF’s Fast and Furious operation were arrested for.”

WHILE OBAMA LECTURES US ON RESPONSIBILITY REGARDING GUNS: Brian Terry family sues ATF officials in Fast and Furious.

The family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is suing seven government employees and a gun shop and its owner for negligence and wrongful death.

The 72-page lawsuit filed last week claims the defendants “created, organized, implemented and/or participated in a plan – code named ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ – to facilitate the distribution of

dangerous firearms to violent criminals” and that they “knew or should have known that their actions would cause substantial injuries, significant harm, and even death to Mexican and American civilians and law enforcement, but were recklessly indifferent to the consequence of their actions.”

How about we start this “responsible gun ownership” stuff at the top?

SO IF WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A “NATIONAL CONVERSATION ON GUNS,” HERE ARE SOME OPENERS:

Why do people who favor gun-control call people who disagree with them murderers or accomplices to murder? Is that constructive?

Would any of the various proposals have actually prevented the tragedy that is the supposed reason for them?

When you say you hope that this event will finally change the debate, do you really mean that you hope you can use emotionalism and blood-libel-bullying to get your way on political issues that were losers in the past?

If you’re a media member or politician, do you have armed security? Do you have a permit for a gun yourself? (I’m asking you Dianne Feinstein!) If so, what makes your life more valuable than other people’s?

Do you know the difference between an automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon? Do your public statements reflect that difference?

If guns cause murder, why have murder rates fallen as gun sales have skyrocketed?

Have you talked about “Fast and Furious?” Do you even know what it is? Do you care less when brown people die?

When you say that “we” need to change, how are you planning to change? Does your change involve any actual sacrifice on your part?

Let me know when you’re ready to talk about these things. We’ll have a conversation.

UPDATE: John Lucas emails:

Joe Scarborough, who claims to be a “proud NRA member” just said there is no reason to allow someone to have an “assault weapon” that shoots “30 rounds a second.”

The ignorance is appalling.

Well, yes. It’s MSNBC. But it is interesting that Scarborough — like Mark Shields and Rupert Murdoch — seems entirely ignorant of actual gun law. But to be fair, the National Firearms Act has only been around since 1934.

IT’S KINDA LIKE A MIDEAST VERSION OF “FAST AND FURIOUS:” Arms, Allies, and the Horror in Syria.

FAST AND FURIOUS: Post-Election, Golden Parachutes Deployed. “You wouldn’t know it by perusing mainstream media coverage, but now that the 2012 election is out of the way, the Department of Justice is discarding some of the troublesome ATF and DOJ employees responsible for Operation Fast and Furious, the gunrunning operation that put more than 2,000 firearms into the hands of the Sinaloa narco-terrorist cartel. Eric Holder’s chief of staff, Gary Grindler, was the highest-ranking figure to go.”

POST-ELECTION: Report: Security Clearances Revoked, Criminal Charges Pending For ATF Fast and Furious Officials.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Team Obama’s Secret Emails: Regulators Hiding Their Correspondence.

President Barack Obama nobly promised that his would be an unprecedentedly transparent presidency. But from the shrouded Fast and Furious debacle to the administration’s apparent reluctance to be candid from Day 1 about the deadly events in Benghazi, Libya, the president has failed to live up to his promise of transparency. The unavoidable question is, “Why the hesitancy to disclose, promptly and fully?”

Now the Obama administration is suspected of withholding thousands of emails from public scrutiny, including many allegedly sent through private, rather than government, accounts, expressly to keep them secret.

A House committee investigation recently opened concerning whether EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used an email alias to hide correspondence from open-government requests and from her agency’s own internal watchdog, something Republicans say may run afoul of the law, reported the Washington Times.

The EPA emails also are sought by the conservative think tank, Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has sued to force the release of the communications made in the “secondary,” private accounts “set up so they can conduct discussions” beyond the reach of FOIA disclosures.

And on Wednesday Sen. David Vitter, R-La., sent a letter to Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner demanding the administration release 7,300 emails from a “new quasiagency” that appears to have been established in anticipation of regulating carbon dioxide either through a new carbon cap-and-trade program or a new carbon tax, both highly controversial proposals the administration has yet to officially advance publicly.

Well, they are transparent. You can see right through them!

MICHAEL WALSH ON PETRAEUS: David and Bathsheba. “He needs to be called before the Intelligence Committee and to testify about the truth of what happened in Benghazi, including the real reason that ambassador Stevens was there — which, if the rumors of a gun-running operation to Syria are true (shades of both Fast and Furious and Iran-Contra) could be highly deleterious to the administration, and which might have had an effect on the election had they been publicly known. Petraeus should welcome the opportunity, and in fact insist on it. It would be his final act of patriotism — and should he be prevented by the administration and its Democratic allies in Congress from testifying, then his forced silence will speak almost as loudly and even more eloquently.”

UPDATE: Ralph Peters: “Timing is just too perfect.” “Just as the administration claimed it was purely coincidence that our Benghazi consulate was attacked on the anniversary of September 11th. Now it’s purely coincidence that this affair — extra-marital affair — surfaces right after the election, not before, but right after, but before the intelligence chiefs go to Capitol Hill to get grilled. As an old intelligence analyst, Neil, the way I read this — I could be totally wrong, this is my interpretation — is that the administration was unhappy with Petraeus not playing ball 100% on their party-line story. I think it’s getting cold feet about testifying under oath on their party-line story. And I suspect that these tough Chicago guys knew about this affair for a while, held it in their back pocket until they needed to play the card.”

UNDER THE RADAR: The Hill: US helps advance UN arms treaty. “The U.S. Mission to the United Nations helped move a controversial arms trade treaty on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after President Obama won reelection.” After the election, he has more flexibility.

UPDATE: Reader Daniel Wachs writes:

Thank you for all the work you do on your site. I wanted to make a point regarding the UN Arms treaty that Obama is now pursuing again.

Remember, in the parlance of the UN, Human Rights means “anti-Israel”. Is this the start of Obama’s method to stop arms support to the Jewish State?

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE8A627J20121107?irpc=932

“Brian Wood of Amnesty International said: “After today’s resounding vote, if the larger arms trading countries show real political will in the negotiations, we’re only months away from securing a new global deal that has the potential to stop weapons reaching those who seriously abuse human rights.”

The treaty would require states to make respecting human rights a criterion for allowing arms exports.”

It seems that as a Jewish person, all of my fears for the future have a way of coming true lately. FLEXIBILITY? How about betrayal? But then I take a step back and remember that my liberal friends and family have reminded me that he’s Israel’s greatest friend. I guess there’s nothing to worry about.

If you mention this, feel free to use my name.

My question is, can we get a UN investigation of Fast & Furious?

JUST NBC THE BIAS BY OMISSION: After Promising ‘We’ll Get to Libya a Little Bit Later’ in His Show, NBC’S David Gregory Does…168 Hours Later.

So, Fast and Furiously, in other words.

#BENGHAZI A BLIP ON MEDIA’S RADAR: Less Than Two Minutes of Coverage on ABC, CBS; NBC Punts.

To be fair to NBC, the network simply couldn’t make room to squeeze Benghazi in, given their wall-to-wall coverage of Obama’s Fast and Furious scandal.

OBAMA URGES DISMISSAL OF FAST & FURIOUS LAWSUIT:  The Department of Justice is asking a federal trial court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, seeking turnover of documents relating to the Fast & Furious gun running program.  The White House has asserted executive privilege for the materials, and urges the court to throw out the lawsuit based on the “political question” doctrine.

DIRTY TRICKS: The Democratic National Committee puts up a site designed to trick you into thinking it’s Romney’s.

UPDATE: From the comments:

It’s astonishing to me that the main theme of the Obama campaign in recent months has been to call Romney a liar. I mean, really?

This is coming from the guy that broke a promise to cut deficit in half by the end of his first term. This is coming from the guy
who broke promise to broadcast the health care negotiations on C-SPAN. This is coming from a guy who broke promise to reduce earmarks to 1994 levels. The guy who broke promise to allow five days of public comment before signing bills… repeatedly. This is the guy who is still saying that he wasn’t aware of the situation on the ground and the embassy on September 11. This is the guy that insists that nobody high up in his administration was at fault over the whole Fast and Furious debacle. This is the guy who broke a promise he made to close Guantánamo Bay.

Indeed.