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ANDREW MALCOLM: What’s really hidden deep within all this intel squabbling.

Here’s what really matters: During the waning days of the Obama administration U.S. intelligence was indeed monitoring the conversations of foreign persons of interest after the Nov. 8 election and before the Jan. 20 inauguration. That’s normal and actually encouraging given how many key things those agencies have missed in recent years.

In those eaves-droppings they overheard Trump aides being mentioned or talking to agencies’ foreign targets. That’s called “incidental contact” in the intel world. That means they weren’t supposed to be targeting the American, but he or she came up. That’s unavoidable in intelligence-gathering if you’re doing a thorough job.

T​o avoid “unmasking” those innocent bystanders, t​ranscripts of those overheard conversations refer to the foreign target by name and identify the other person simply as American ​No. ​1 or American ​No. 2. ​A very small number of very senior intelligence officials ​will ​know the actual identity of the American​, people like, oh, then-CIA director John Brennan or Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser.​

​Remember Trump’s first national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn? He was picked up talking with the Russian ambassador as part of his transition work. Subsequently, he was fired​, not for the conversation but for misrepresenting that conversation to Trump teammates, including Vice President Pence. Trump accurately saw that as fatally corroding the trust he needs in such a close aide.

But here’s the deal: We should never have known it was Flynn.

Yes, as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Flynn was very unpopular among Obama administration members and indeed was frozen out of contact with the commander-in-chief because he favored a much stronger response to ISIS, among other things. Talk about a president dodging opposing views.

Like Flynn or not, it is illegal — as in against the law — for anyone to reveal the name of an incidentally-overheard American. Someone in a small circle of Obama intelligence officials who knew the identity of that American No. 1 committed a felony by leaking Flynn’s name to media.

Safe to say the leak, like numerous others since Hillary Clinton was not inaugurated as president, was not intended to facilitate the smooth presidential transition that Obama so often publicly promised.

Prosecute the leaker.

CUE WORLD’S SMALLEST VIOLIN: Just like her mother, Chelsea Clinton never gets a break.

The studious interest in Chelsea’s next move is understandable coming from the right, which has always hated the Clintons and no doubt welcomes the distraction Chelsea offers from the president’s dismal approval ratings and damning intelligence hearings. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea have long been enthusiasm-boosters for the Republicans, and they’re reluctant to give them up.

But the laser-focused Chelsea vitriol is perplexing when it comes from the left. Shouldn’t such first-daughter hatred be reserved for Ivanka? Wouldn’t their attention be better spent on potential 2018 and 2020 candidates who have already declared their interest? Aren’t there bigger battles to fight — and aren’t they glad that such a prominent Democratic figure is registering her dissent with the current administration?

Tweeting pablum hardly rises to the level of “dissent.” And if the unaccomplished daughter of a President who left office almost two decades ago and of a two-time presidential loser, counts as “such a prominent Democratic figure,” then the Democrats have bigger worries than than who deserves the most “first-daughter hatred.”

I FIGURE THE ANSWER IS YES, AND THAT’S WHY DEMS ARE DOUBLING DOWN ON THE TRUMP/RUSSIA THING AS DISTRACTION: Lawsuit: Did Hillary’s secret email ‘damage national security?’

A government watchdog group Tuesday demanded that the nation’s intelligence czar and State Department determine if former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s secret email server damaged national security.

In a lawsuit against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and State, Judicial Watch demanded that they conduct an assessment of the damage and report it to the public.

“The Obama administration conspired with Hillary Clinton regarding her emails, so it is no surprise that Obama officials wouldn’t want to hold her to account for her mishandling of classified materials,” charged Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This lawsuit is an opportunity for the Trump administration to get back to basics on the Clinton email scandal and find out what damage was done to our national security as a result of her illicit email practices.”

The suit cited a 2014 rule requiring a damage assessment if there is a suspicion that classified information was compromised and damaged national security.

Judicial Watch cited FBI Director James Comey’s statement on July 5, 2016, that Clinton’s unsecure email system contained classified information.

The people have a right to know, and a charge this serious demands an investigation.

REPORT: Koch Network Is Spending Millions to Stop GOP Health Care Bill.

I’m so old I can remember when the Koch brothers were heading up a shady network of rich women-hating racists to deny Hillary Clinton the White House.

“HACKED”: Podesta Was Board Member Of Firm Linked To Russian ‘Investors’

Podesta — best known as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman and former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — first made contact with the Russian firm in 2011, when he joined the boards and executive committees of three related entities: Boston-based Joule Unlimited; Rotterdam-based Joule Global Holdings; Joule Global Stichting, the company’s controlling interest. All are high-tech renewable energy enterprises.

Three months after Podesta’s arrival, Joule Unlimited accepted a 1 billion ruble investment from Rusnano, amounting to $35 million in U.S. currency. The firm also awarded a Joule board seat in February 2012 to Anatoly Chubais, Rusnano’s CEO, who has been depicted as a corrupt figure.

Podesta has attempted to downplay his relationship with Joule and Rusnano, but it could come to haunt him.

One potential legal problem for him relates to the time he joined former President Barack Obama’s White House staff in 2014 as a senior counselor and failed to reveal his 2011 Joule stock vesting agreement in his government financial disclosure form.

Further, he failed to disclose 75,000 common shares of Joule stock he received, as disclosed in a WikiLeaks email.

After Podesta began working at the White House, his lawyer indicated in a Jan. 6, 2014 email that he had not yet finished the legal work on the private transfer of the stock to a family-owned entity called Leonido Holdings, LLC.

Read the whole thing.

DEMOCRATS IN 2017: Susan Rice, who went on all the Sunday shows peddling the Benghazi YouTube lie, now has an oped in the Washington Post titled When the White House twists the truth, we are all less safe. Pathetic of WaPo to run this.

And speaking of less safe, “The troika made up of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Hillary Clinton was perhaps the most disastrous foreign policy crew in American history.”

UPDATE: Trump’s credibility is shot, says . . . Jen Psaki? Really, CNN? That’s what you’ve got?

Of course, if legacy media banned Obama officials who lied to the public, they wouldn’t be able to have many Obama officials on. . . .

VIDEO: Sounds Like Hillary May Run Again?!?

I’m putting this one up without having played it first because I couldn’t bear to watch.

ALICE STEWART: Plug the leaks and stop blaming Russians for Clinton’s loss.

In terms of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Comey confirmed this is under investigation by the FBI. He went on to say the Russian officials meant to hurt democracy and Hillary Clinton, all the while helping Donald Trump. Comey also confirmed that FBI officials are investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

So far, there is no publicly available evidence to support the claim. In my view, Russian interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign had nothing to do with the Democrat’s defeat; Hillary Clinton lost because she had the wrong message, failed to compete in key battleground states and spiked the football in the third quarter.

Indeed. But although it harms the country, blaming the Russians and discrediting Trump helps Democrats politically — so expect it to continue.

On the other hand, I just spotted this headline: “Tillerson plans to skip NATO meeting, visit Russia in April.”

Snubbing NATO could mean nothing more than sending Berlin another signal to get serious about their defense budget. And until we see an actual policy shift in favor of Russia, that’s probably the smart take.

TAKING SIDES: Anti-Trump media: 91% coverage negative, 96% of donations to Hillary.

With the coverage of President Trump putting media bias on display as never before, an influential House chairman and longtime press critic has opened a campaign to call out the “mainstream media” for what he thinks it is.

“The media and Democrats are so close in association and so close in their philosophical views that we might as well use one word to describe both, and that’s ‘Mediacrats,'” said Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, founder of the House Media Fairness Caucus.

Smith, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, has often been on the receiving end of the media’s anti-conservative bias, but he said the attacks on Trump have led him to urge colleagues to stop referring to the “mainstream” media.

“How can the media be considered ‘mainstream’ when it doesn’t represent a majority of the American people?” he asked. “It’s more accurate to use the term ‘liberal,'” he said.

In an interview, he cited the media’s ills: 91 percent of Trump campaign coverage was negative, 96 percent of media campaign contributions went to Democrat Hillary Clinton, and 55 percent of the public is weary of the anti-Trump tone in coverage.

“It’s the most biased media I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Smith said.

Mine too.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Who Is Going To Save The Democrat Party? Chelsea!

Please, please, please make her the face of your party.

Let’s be clear – Chelsea is not an embodiment of malignant evil, as is her harpy mother. I am aware of acts of great kindness she has personally performed; she does not appear to be a morally bankrupt monster like her parents. Nor do I blame her for supporting her mother or Bill. But Chelsea is a doctrinaire limo liberal who is utterly clueless about her privilege – she is one of the rare cases where the use of that term is neither teeth-gratingly stupid or a lie designed to seize unearned moral authority. And she buys into the moral vacuum that is progressivism’s received wisdom – from going all-in on the global warming scam to seeing all the SJW –isms and –phobias behind every opponents’ views to embracing the Planned Parenthood baby-killing racket. She should be left to live her life in peace without harassment, but so should we – which means Chelsea must never hold anything like a position of power.

I dunno, Kurt. My impression is that Chelsea shares Bill’s aversion to making an honest living and Hillary’s disdain for the deplorables.

But in either case, do, yes, please make her the face of the Democrats.

MALICIOUS ENTITY? IS THAT A HILLARY CLINTON JOKE? Suspected Hack Attack Snagging Cell Phone Data Across D.C.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Federal Government’s Student-Loan Fraud. “President Obama had a great idea back in 2010: nationalize the student loan program, and its problems would soon go away. It didn’t happen. Instead, more people are refusing to pay their student loans than ever before. . . . By taking over the student loan program, Obama in essence politicized it. Last year on the campaign hustings, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders repeatedly talked about making college ‘free.’ That is, they want to socialize the costs, but privatize the benefits, of a college education. Still surprised people aren’t paying their loans?”

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE: Donna Brazile Finally Admits She Passed Debate Questions to Hillary Clinton Campaign.

FLASHBACK VIDEO: A Lot of People, Including Hillary Clinton, Said Trump Didn’t Pay His Taxes. They’ll get a pass from the Legacy Media though.

DANIEL GREENFIELD: OBAMA’S THIRD TERM.

After Trump secured the nomination, Obama’s people filed a wiretapping request. As he was on the verge of winning, they did it again. After he won, they are doing everything they can to bring him down.

It was always going to come down to this.

One is the elected President of the United States. The other is the Anti-President who commands a vast network that encompasses the organizers of OFA, the official infrastructure of the DNC and Obama Anonymous, a shadow government of loyalists embedded in key positions across the government.

A few weeks after the election, I warned that Obama was planning to run the country from outside the White House. And that the “Obama Anonymous” network of staffers embedded in the government was the real threat. Since then Obama’s Kalorama mansion has become a shadow White House. And the Obama Anonymous network is doing everything it can to bring down an elected government.

Valerie Jarrett has moved into the shadow White House to plot operations against Trump. Meanwhile Tom Perez has given him control of the corpse of the DNC after fending off a Sandernista bid from Keith Ellison. Obama had hollowed out the Democrat Party by diverting money to his own Organizing for America. Then Hillary Clinton had cannibalized it for her presidential bid through Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile. Now Obama owns the activist, OFA, and organizational, DNC, infrastructure.

But that’s just half the picture.

Obama controls the opposition. He will have a great deal of power to choose future members of Congress and the 2020 candidate. But he could have done much of that from Chicago or New York. The reason he didn’t decide to move on from D.C. is that the nation’s capital contains the infrastructure of the national government. He doesn’t just want to run the Democrats. He wants to run America.

The other half of the picture is the Obama Deep State. This network of political appointees, bureaucrats and personnel scattered across numerous government agencies is known only as Obama Anonymous.

This will end well.

THE PLOT THICKENS: How John Brennan and Some Brits Tried to Tip the Election to Hillary.

DEEP STATE UPDATE: How John Brennan and Some Brits Tried to Tip the Election to Hillary.

What other British spies joined Brennan and Steele in their anti-Trump crusade? This is another question for Congress to address next week if it is serious about looking at the interference of foreign countries in our elections. Why is it that many of the leaked stories about an Obama administration investigation into Trump-Russia ties originated in the British press (BBC, the Guardian, anti-Trump British journalist and pol Louise Mensch)? Did the Obama administration outsource some of its spying on Trump to the Brits, who had access to the NSA database?

Yes, says Judge Andrew Napolitano, who claimed on Monday that “three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command” and made use of British intelligence with its “24-hour access” to the NSA’s database.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Colin Powell at the State Department, is also persuaded that British intelligence was cooperating with John Brennan’s fishing expedition into candidate Trump. . . .

So it is entirely possible that both Comey and Brennan were investigating Trump simultaneously, with the FBI seeking warrants or using “traditional investigative techniques” (as Circa News put it) and Brennan using less traditional ones.

But at the very least we know that Christopher Steele and John Brennan, along with the British spies, journalists, and pols to whom they were leaking, were desperately trying to tip the election to Hillary.

Once, something like this would have been hard to believe.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why Do Corporate Leaders Became Progressive Activists? Kevin Williamson knows why:

Far from being agents of reaction, our corporate giants have for decades been giving progressives a great deal to celebrate. Disney, despite its popular reputation for hidebound wholesomeness, has long been a leader on gay rights, much to the dismay of a certain stripe of conservative. Walmart, one of the Left’s great corporate villains, has barred Confederate-flag merchandise from its stores in a sop to progressive critics, and its much-publicized sustainability agenda is more than sentiment: Among other things, it has invested $100 million in economic-mobility programs and doubled the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet over ten years. Individual members of the Walton clan engage in philanthropy of a distinctly progressive bent.

In fact, just going down the list of largest U.S. companies (by market capitalization) and considering each firm’s public political activism does a great deal to demolish the myth of the conservative corporate agenda. Top ten: 1) Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is an up-and-down-the-line progressive who has been a vociferous critic of religious-liberty laws in Indiana and elsewhere that many like-minded people consider a back door to anti-gay discrimination. 2) When protesters descended on SFO to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, one of the well-heeled gentlemen leading them was Google founder Sergey Brin, and Google employees were the second-largest corporate donor bloc to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. 3) Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a generous funder of programs dedicated to what is euphemistically known as “family planning.” 4) Berkshire Hathaway’s principal, Warren Buffett, is a close associate of Barack Obama’s and an energetic advocate of redistributive tax increases on high-income taxpayers. 5) Amazon’s Jeff Bezos put up $2.5 million of his own money for a Washington State gay-marriage initiative. 6) Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has pushed for liberal immigration-reform measures, while Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz pledged $20 million to support Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Democrats in 2016. 7) Exxon, as an oil company, may be something of a hate totem among progressives, but it has spent big — billions big — on renewables and global social programs. 8) Johnson & Johnson’s health-care policy shop is run by Liz Fowler, one of the architects of Obamacare and a former special assistant to President Obama. 9) The two largest recipients of JPMorgan cash in 2016 were Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, and the bank’s billionaire chairman, Jamie Dimon, is a high-profile supporter of Democratic politicians including Barack Obama and reportedly rejected an offer from President Trump to serve as Treasury secretary. 10) Wells Fargo employees followed JPMorgan’s example and donated $7.36 to Mrs. Clinton for every $1 they gave to Trump, and the recently troubled bank has sponsored events for the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and other gay-rights groups, as well as donated to local Planned Parenthood franchises.

Even the hated Koch brothers are pro-choice, pro-gay, and pro-amnesty.

You may see the occasional Tom Monaghan or Phil Anschutz, but, on balance, U.S. corporate activism is overwhelmingly progressive. Why?

Read the whole thing.

IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN THEY DO IT: From China With Love.

Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign received millions of dollars in illegal contributions from Chinese donor that were channeled through the Democratic National Committee, according to a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Reform.

Johnny Chung, a businessman born in Taiwan, had a partner, Liu Chaoying, a high-ranking military leader and intelligence officer in China. Liu wired hundreds of thousands of dollars, which illegally went to the DNC. The duo also sent campaign funds to U.S. Sen. John Kerry for his reelection bid to the Senate. Liu’s father was one of Mao’s fellow travelers.

Chung visited the White House nearly 50 times—most of them authorized by Hillary Clinton. In one visit, Hillary met with Chung and his visiting delegation of Chinese businessmen from state-run companies. After another visit, Chung paid the DNC $50,000. In exchange, Chung was allowed to bring some of his investoCrs to see the president deliver one of his radio addresses.

Another operative for the Clintons was John Huang, who raised millions of dollars for Dollar Bill in the Asian-American community. In 1996, Huang bundled $3.4 million for the DNC—much of which was returned after a Senate investigation found that the contributions were illegal.

Charlie Trie owned a restaurant in Little Rock that was frequented by his friend then-Governor Clinton. After Clinton won the presidency, Trie went to Washington to cash in on their friendship. He thought his association could help him develop more business contacts in Asia. One of them was Hong Kong businessman Ng Lap Seng. Seng would wire a million dollars to Trie. From 1994 to 1996, Trie directly sent $200,000 to the DNC. Trie provided the rest of the money to other people who later sent that money to the DNC. Trie also helped raised another $640,000 for Bill Clinton’s Legal Defense Fund.

According to the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, 94 people were called to testify about the illegal campaign contributions to the 1996 Clinton campaign and the DNC. Of nearly 100 people called before the committee, 57 invoked the Fifth Amendment, 18 fled the country and 19 foreign witnesses refused to testify.

But the China connection to the Clintons didn’t end there.

Read the whole thing.

The Clinton saga is largely forgotten because, hey, Clintons, and also in part because there was no way the Republicans were going to unseat a popular president presiding over a booming economy. Clinton didn’t need Chinese money to beat Bob Dole — he just reflexively took it because, hey, Clintons.

And give Bill credit where it’s due: He was an honest enough politician to stay bought.

ED MORRISSEY: Senate Dems “paralyzed” over Gorsuch confirmation.

The problem for Democrats is as obvious as Gorsuch’s qualifications, and it’s that Gorsuch’s qualifications are so obvious. That hasn’t stopped Democrats from hammering Republican nominees to the Supreme Court in the past, such as John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Robert Bork. Gorsuch’s record gives them no real hook for those kinds of attacks on substance, and his personality makes it difficult to find a way to attack him personally, too. The charm offensive on Capitol Hill has been a rousing success.

So far, the only opening Democrats have is the Chevron doctrine, which Gorsuch has questioned. In Chevron, the Supreme Court held that where the law has ambiguities, deference has to be granted to federal agencies for interpretation. If Chevron got reversed by a later court more interested in forcing textual application of the law and forcing Congress to address ambiguities, it would cut sharply into the authority of these agencies, on which progressives rely for activist governance. (The irony of this, as Steven Hayward pointed out at Power Line, is that the environmentalists lost in the Chevron decision.)

Democrats are expected to hit Gorsuch on Chevron and on the application of stare decisis, as well as the usual issues of abortion and euthanasia, because … that’s all they’ve managed to dig up in six weeks — at least publicly. That esoteric issue won’t keep Americans glued to their TV screens during the confirmation hearings. If that’s all they’ve got, small wonder they’re “paralyzed.”

Senate Democrats have another problem. They had the Republicans over a barrel, or so they thought, when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacancy. Republicans could either confirm a sort-of right-leaning judge who was squishy on the Second Amendment, or risk dealing with the next Wise Minority Statist that President Hillary Clinton would surely nominate.

Instead, the GOP accepted the risk and stood firm — and now the Democrats are the ones over a barrel. Their choices boil down to two extremes. They can step aside and allow the “Scalia seat” to be filled by a justice who is about as conservative as Scalia was. Or they can stonewall/Bork Gorsuch, and risk the Republicans employing the Reid Option. The Democrats would lose their filibuster for the entire four-to-eight years of President Trump, during which they could probably expect the vacancies of one or two liberal SCOTUS judges.

In their situation, you might feel paralyzed, too.

HOWIE CARR OFFERS REMEDIAL EDUCATION FOR TREVOR NOAH:

What is an “extreme liberal”?

That was the question posed the other night on one of those late-night talk shows nobody watches by someone named Trevor Noah, or maybe it was Noah Trevor.

“I go like, what is an extreme liberal,” he said. “Like, what is that?”

Like, you’re kidding dude, right? I don’t think he’s an American, and he doesn’t seem very funny.

“What is this thing you’re afraid of?” he went on. “Health care for everybody, free education, is that what you’re afraid of?”

Free education. Yeah right. I wonder what Noah Trevor got on his SATs.

Anyway, perhaps this foreign fop needs some free education as to what an extreme liberal is.

An extreme liberal is someone like Leonardo DiCaprio, who flies around on his private jet delivering impassioned speeches on the dangers of climate change.

He or she still has a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker on the family Tesla, right next to “COEXIST.”

They run through the streets rioting and setting fires and yelling “Smash the State!” and then when they get arrested, they write on Facebook how “terrified” they are of going to jail just before spring break.

They believe that Christian bakers who won’t provide wedding cakes to lesbians should be imprisoned, but unvetted Muslim “refugees” who believe in stoning gays, Sharia law, female-genital mutilation and honor killings should be admitted to the U.S. and put on welfare, no questions asked.

Anyone who has a different point of view from them is “Hitler.”

They still really believe Elizabeth Warren is Cherokee.

They think Obama deserved his Nobel Peace Prize.

They call anyone who disagrees with Hillary a sexist, with Obama a racist, and with Barney Frank a homophobe.

They love soccer and hate football — except for Colin Kaepernick.

I think it’s too bad that late night “comedians” have just become people who disseminate hate against The Other.

BLUE STATE BLUES: Massachusetts Dems seeking savior for ’18: Early gov candidates fail to provide spark.

Democrats like Mayor Martin J. Walsh and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch can’t seem to muster much enthusiasm for their party’s gubernatorial candidates. Those include Newton Mayor Setti Warren, state Sen. Dan Wolf and Jay Gonzalez, a budget chief under former Gov. Deval Patrick.

“I don’t think Jay ever held office. Setti’s the mayor of Newton. Certainly they have records they can run on,” was Walsh’s ho-hum answer during a recent interview about the 2018 gubernatorial race. “We’ll see what happens.”

He might as well have stifled a yawn.

And Lynch appears to be holding out for a stronger challenger.

“It’s going to be a tough row to hoe to run against Charlie Baker,” Lynch said. “I think the Democrats are still searching for a candidate.”

Funny, there are a lot of them in that state.

WHEN THEY’RE RIGHT, THEY’RE RIGHT:Even the Chinese agree: U.S. media biased for Hillary Clinton.

WASHINGTON FREE BEACON REPORTS: Fake Professor Calls Free Beacon ‘Fake News’

Fake professor, feminist, and activist Melissa “Mish” Zimdars has deemed the Washington Free Beacon “fake news” on a list that is now being distributed as a media guide by Harvard University.

Zimdars, a Donald Trump critic and Carly Rae Jepsen fan, is an assistant professor at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, whose research focus includes “social justice.” She has organized liberal protest rallies against student debt and refers to conservatives as the “DARK SIDE.”

She created her fake news list, “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical ‘News’ Sources,” shortly after Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the presidential election. The list, which Zimdars has already edited because news sites mistakenly appeared on it, features numerous conservative outlets.

Don’t underestimate these fake professors, no matter how ignorant, obtuse, or just plain wrong they might seem — one was recently a two-term President of the United States.

FASTER, PLEASE: Defunding NPR Likely Wouldn’t Go Into Effect for 2 Years.

The funding for CPB, which receives roughly $450 million a year for public television and public radio, is allotted two years in advance. Any appropriations bill that did not include new funding for the CPB would mean that it would not be defunded until fiscal year 2019.

President Donald Trump is expected to release his budget blueprint on Monday. Transition officials have signaled that the president plans dramatic cuts, including privatizing the CPB and eliminating both the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities.

The move would cut funding to National Public Radio, widely considered liberal-leaning, which recently failed to disclose during an interview with Trump-bashing former CIA analyst Ned Price that he was a Hillary Clinton donor.

NPR claims federal funding is “essential,” even though it also acknowledges that on average “less than 1 percent” of its annual operating budget comes from grants from the CPB.

Then they shouldn’t have any problem making up the difference.

ENDING SAUDI OIL DOMINANCE: We Won The Oil War. Now What?

By all accounts the Saudi economy is in decline. Low oil prices are forcing the Kingdom to live off savings, a process which can only last for so long. “The International Monetary Fund in January slashed its forecast for Saudi economic growth this year to 0.4 percent from 2 percent. … Net foreign assets, though still above $500 billion, are shrinking as the government uses savings to plug a budget deficit that reached $79 billion last year — $107 billion if delayed payments to contractors are included.” The Saudi government has a six point plan aimed at tightening its belt and minimizing economic unrest at it tries to shift away from oil but it may be too little, too late to sustain it in the same old style. . . .

One person who understood the growing strategic weakness of the Saudi position was Rex Tillerson. Speaking in October 2016 as the chairman of Exxon Mobile, when a president Hillary was still universally anticipated, “Tillerson told Saudi Arabia’s energy minister on Wednesday that fears of a new global oil supply crunch were exaggerated as the U.S. oil industry was adapting to the low price shock and was set to resume growth.” The Saudis had cut oil prices in the belief that it would bankrupt American producers. Instead innovation turned North America into the big swing producer. . . .

Just as the US won the Cold War not because federal government agencies outwitted the Reds but because American society out-competed the Soviets, the frackers may have bankrupted the Sunni Jihad. But in doing so the oil men have created a potential power vacuum even bigger than which resulted from the Arab Spring. Technology often creates new power relationships which officials only belatedly respond to. The consequences of American oil power have not yet been fully assimilated by the political system. Turmoil in the Kingdom and the Gulf might trigger a tragedy that would make events in Syria and Libya seem trivial by comparison.

The declining fortunes of the Kingdom may have led president Obama to attempt a rapprochement with its Islamic nemesis Iran. It may have tempted Erdogan to grasp at the mantle of Sunni leadership as it was up for grabs. And it may now be impelling the Trump administration to put a hand in the game before Putin sweeps up the pot. But none of these answered the basic question of how to transition whole populations from a resource-based economy into something more sustainable. If the discovery of vast oil reserves in Arabia was pivotal in giving impetus to the Sunni Jihad the present shift will incontestably create another trajectory-changing moment.

For years a reduced dependence on Middle Eastern oil has been a policy goal. The dog’s caught the car. What now?

The transition will have its bumps, but the less money and power the Middle East has, the better.

LATE-NIGHT LEGEND DAVID LETTERMAN’S UGLY PERSONALITY NO LAUGHING MATTER, FORMER COLLEAGUES SAY:

The tale of Tim Long, one of several head writers hired during the show’s run, was typical. Unable to deal with the host’s constant rejections and dark moods, Long took to chewing Coke cans — and swallowing pieces of tin.

* * * * * * * *

Comic Rich Hall, a writer for Letterman’s NBC show, was floored by the host’s new, abrasive nature when he appeared as a guest. Hall followed actress Andie MacDowell, who had just flopped in her segment. Before the cameras came on, Letterman leaned over and snarled, “How’d you like to be married to that c—?”

* * * * * * * *

The feeling of foreboding was exacerbated by the 1980 cancellation of his NBC morning show, “The David Letterman Show,” within months of its debut.

His girlfriend at the time and for years to come, Merrill Markoe, was a brilliantly inventive comedy writer and instrumental in shaping the show…[Markoe] told the author about the resulting fallout.

“If it weren’t for you and your crazy ideas,” Letterman shouted at her on the street, “I’d still have a talk show like John Davidson!”

It’s a comment funny only in retrospect.

“A veteran staffer who served under Letterman through both his late-night shows” quoted in the article “observed that getting close to the boss was perilous: ‘There comes a moment when he turns on you.’”

Shades of Letterman’s idol turned boss Johnny Carson, who, by the end of the 1980s had dispatched both Joan Rivers and longtime business advisor Henry Bushkin to the Los Angeles-equivalent of Siberia, and whose inner-circle at the time of his retirement, at least as depicted by biographer Laurence Leamer was down to his wife Alexis and Ed McMahon. Both Leamer and later Bushkin describe Carson as a miserable man when the cameras weren’t rolling. As Rob Long, who knows a thing or two about television, wrote in his 2014 review of Bushkin’s book:

We’re all primed to hear stories of movie stars and celebrities and their creepy emotional problems. But for actors—who, after all, appear only on screen, in character, or in a few carefully stage-managed publicity appearances—it’s easy to cover up the seams of a psychotic or broken-down personality.

But Johnny appeared on television every weeknight. He was playing himself—or, rather, an idealized version of himself: jovial, chummy, witty, warm. The strain of that kind of acting must have been monumental. It’s no wonder that real movie stars—Jimmy Stewart, Michael Caine, a whole bushel of A-listers—respected him so much. In one of the best stories in a book filled with great stories, when Johnny arrives late to a very exclusive industry event filled with movie stars, he lights up the room. He wasn’t just the king of late night television. He was the king of managing not to appear like the rat bastard he clearly was.

Of course, in the ‘60s, every guy in America wanted to be as cool, handsome, and outwardly charming as Carson. (My businessman dad, who never missed at least the first half-hour of every episode of the Tonight Show during its entire run also owned a couple of Carson-branded sportcoats in the early 1970s, as I recall.) I doubt few guys watching Letterman, even during Late Night’s mid-‘80s peak, wanted to be Letterman, with his famously prickly on-air persona and all of its weird tics. But the brand of irony that Letterman’s show launched is absolutely omnipresent in American culture. Or as Markoe warned Salon in a 2015 interview:

More broadly: Does the knowing, ironic style you and the others traded in in the ‘80s seem to have filtered more deeply into comedy in specific and American culture in general? Do you see or hear echoes of it now as you go through your day?

Yes. It’s frequently the language of advertising and corporate P.R. now. It is the voice of what [musician Andy Prieboy of the rock group Wall of Voodoo, her longtime companion] calls “Your buddy the corporation.” Everyone’s hip. Everyone’s ironic. Everyone who is selling you something wants you to know they have the same limitations and daily strife that you do. You definitely should be wary when you hear this voice now. It’s not to be trusted. Unless you’re in the market for an aluminum cookware set or an Apple watch.

And politics as well – to those of us who didn’t drink the Second Coming Kool-Aid in 2008, Obama’s eight years frequently seemed like a postmodern Letterman or Saturday Night Live sketch come to life, from his Ten Commands-like shtick while receiving the Democratic nomination to his interviews with YouTube “stars” who bathe in milk and Cheerios to his vicious “The 1980s are now calling” Letterman-esque putdown of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential debate, when Romney warned of the geopolitical dangers of Russia. And Obama flashed more than a hint of Jerry Seinfeld’s “it’s a show about nothing” detached wry bemusement throughout it all. (Perhaps the apocalyptic doomsday-fury of the hypersensitive SJW screaming campus garbagebabies* is in part explained as a reaction to a generation of detached leftwing irony — or nihilism with a happy face, to paraphrase Allan Bloom.)

And yet, between the earlier, funnier SNL of the 1970s, the 1980s-era Letterman, and Jerry Seinfeld in the ’90s having set the tone of the American overculture, the left seemed astonished that another veteran of NBC television could have bested the plonking Hillary Clinton. Funny, that.

* A registered trademark of Iowahawk industries.

WAIT, I THOUGHT TRUMP WAS PUTIN’S STOOGE: Michael Totten: Brace Yourself for a New Cold War.

American-Russian relations are about to take a sharp turn for the worse.

President Donald Trump, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton before him, hoped to “reset” Washington’s dismal relationship with Moscow, but that was always the longest of long shots. Vladimir Putin’s ideology and perceived national interests require the West as an enemy, and no matter how many times Trump tweets that he respects Putin’s “strength” and says it would be “a good thing” if we could get along with Russia and unite against ISIS, neither the Kremlin nor permanent Washington will allow it.

To be sure, Russians initially swooned when Trump beat Clinton in the election last November. . . .

That’s over now.

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE: Study: Hillary Clinton Ran One of the Worst Campaigns in Years.

POLITICO: How ‘A Day Without a Woman’ Could Backfire. “First off, are women really attempting to show their value in the workplace by refusing to work? This seems like a risky strategy. No worker is truly indispensable, and going on strike could invite employers to consider just how replaceable you are. Not to mention that parents thrown into the lurch due to last-minute school cancellations for petty political games will surely be tempted to consider other educational choices, too. . . . In fact,all Wednesday’s meaningless demonstration does is hand the Republican Party a wide-open opportunity to dismiss it as a hysterical hissy fit, staged by left-wing activists still mourning Hillary Clinton’s loss.”

Well, that’s because that’s all it is.

NEW YORKERS TO HILLARY CLINTON: No thanks.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t perform well in the latest poll in the New York City mayor’s race, according to a new Rasmussen poll released Tuesday.

Fifty-eight percent of likely voters in the city don’t want Clinton to run again, compared to just 23 percent of voters who wanted the former presidential candidate to run. Nineteen percent of voters hadn’t yet made up their mind.

Might America finally be done with the Clintons?

HILLARY’S TURKEY VULTURES COMING HOME TO ROOST: Why Dems will regret a probe into Russian election hacking.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: KING VS. KING:

The most singular thing about Donald Trump’s wiretap accusation against Barack Obama is how he’s refusing to play the game of extremities –losing a Flynn here and getting a Sessions paralyzed there — and getting right into lethal range. Trump’s gone right past Schumer, ignored the surrogates and gone straight for the former president himself.

The Sunday Guardian writes some believe Trump’s key mistake was believing “in mid-November … that it would be a statesmanlike gesture to (in effect) pardon Hillary Clinton”. He must have expected a reciprocal courtesy. The next thing he felt were his digits being sheared away.

“Acting through their contacts in the incoming administration, the Clinton machine … ‘dismissed National Security Advisor Michael Flynn … [and] ensured that the green light got flashed to launch an attack on another known foe of Hillary Clinton’, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose sought after resignation would energize the Clinton machine to move on to their next targets, Counsellors Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Bannon.”

Trump’s response to the finger-lopping campaign was not to respond proportionately but to attack Obama himself. . . .

This escalation represents a real threat to Obama. Suddenly everything is out of control. Nobody would have minded much if Trump had gone after one of Obama’s henchmen — which is probably what was expected — but none can foresee how an exchange of blades between principals will end. It is safe to say however that unless the combatants disengage someone will get hurt. It will be a terrible moment for American political civility when a king lies on the political floor. The whole point of a peaceful transition of power is to prevent a clash between kings. Yet the very tragedy the electoral process is intended to prevent is happening before our eyes.

In such a fight anything can happen.

One of the ways American political culture prevents such a fight is to have only one king at a time. Former presidents are expected to retire and vanish. Obama, however, decided to stay in DC and try to destroy Trump’s presidency. That was a choice that showed little concern for America, but then, the lack of such concern has been a hallmark of Obama’s career.

And who was foolish enough to think that Trump would respond to attacks by playing small ball?

UPDATE: From the comments:

I’M GUESSING SCOTT ADAMS WOULD UNDERSTAND: What if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Had Swapped Genders? A restaging of the presidential debates with an actress playing Trump and an actor playing Clinton yielded surprising results.

Many were shocked to find that they couldn’t seem to find in Jonathan Gordon what they had admired in Hillary Clinton—or that Brenda King’s clever tactics seemed to shine in moments where they’d remembered Donald Trump flailing or lashing out. For those Clinton voters trying to make sense of the loss, it was by turns bewildering and instructive, raising as many questions about gender performance and effects of sexism as it answered. . . .

We heard a lot of “now I understand how this happened”—meaning how Trump won the election. People got upset. There was a guy two rows in front of me who was literally holding his head in his hands, and the person with him was rubbing his back. The simplicity of Trump’s message became easier for people to hear when it was coming from a woman—that was a theme. One person said, “I’m just so struck by how precise Trump’s technique is.” Another—a musical theater composer, actually—said that Trump created “hummable lyrics,” while Clinton talked a lot, and everything she was was true and factual, but there was no “hook” to it. Another theme was about not liking either candidate—you know, “I wouldn’t vote for either one.” Someone said that Jonathan Gordon [the male Hillary Clinton] was “really punchable” because of all the smiling. And a lot of people were just very surprised by the way it upended their expectations about what they thought they would feel or experience. There was someone who described Brenda King [the female Donald Trump] as his Jewish aunt who would take care of him, even though he might not like his aunt. Someone else described her as the middle school principal who you don’t like, but you know is doing good things for you. . . .

I remember turning to Maria at one point in the rehearsals and saying, “I kind of want to have a beer with her!” The majority of my extended family voted for Trump. In some ways, I developed empathy for people who voted for him by doing this project, which is not what I was expecting. I expected it to make me more angry at them, but it gave me an understanding of what they might have heard or experienced when he spoke.

So switching genders basically allowed Democrats to see clearly.

OH, I WAS LOOKING: Andrew McCarthy: While You Weren’t Looking, the Democrat–Media Election-Hacking Narrative Just Collapsed.

But still, the media and Democrats have always had a serious vulnerability here — one they’ve never acknowledged because they’ve been too swept away by the political success of the fantasy narrative. It is this: At a certain point, if compelling evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the election did not materialize, the much more interesting question becomes “How did the government obtain all this information that has been leaked to the media to prop up the story?”

The most plausible answer to that question: The Obama administration, through the Justice Department and the FBI, was investigating the associates of the opposition party’s presidential nominee, and perhaps even the nominee himself, during the campaign. Otherwise, what explanation can there be for all of the investigative information — much of it classified, and thus illegal to disclose — that has been funneled to the press?

In short, the media and Democrats have been playing with fire for months. The use of law-enforcement and national-security assets to investigate one’s political opponents during a heated election campaign has always been a potentially explosive story. Let’s not kid ourselves: If the roles were reversed, and a Republican administration had investigated officials tied to the campaign of the Democrats’ nominee, we would be drowning in a sea of Watergate 2.0 coverage.

Well, this weekend, the potentially explosive story detonated. It happened in the now familiar way: jaw-dropping tweets by President Trump.

Every time this happens, the reaction is “Trump’s crazy tweets will sink him this time!” And yet, somehow. . . .

Plus:

Here’s the most interesting part: Now that they’ve been called on it, the media and Democrats are gradually retreating from the investigation they’ve been touting for months as the glue for their conspiracy theory. It’s actually quite amusing to watch: How dare you suggest President Obama would ever order surveillance! Who said anything about FISA orders? What evidence do you lunatic conservatives have — uh, other than what we media professionals been reporting — that there was any investigation of the Trump campaign? . . .

But have you noticed? While all this head-spinning legal jibber-jabber goes back and forth, the foundation of the false narrative we’ve been hearing since November 8 has vanished. Now that we’re supposed to believe there was no real investigation of Trump and his campaign, what else can we conclude but that there was no real evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia . . . which makes sense, since Russia did not actually hack the election, so the purported objective of the collusion never existed. Trick or tweet?

Alternatively, the spying on Trump was real and wholly political, and the Russians-under-my-bed thing was a cover story hatched after Hillary unexpectedly lost, when it became apparent that Trump, and America, would find out sooner or later what had been done.

ROGER KIMBALL: “Remember when, during the Presidential debates, Trump said that, if elected, he might have Hillary investigated by the Department of Justice?  Cries of horrors from the locust gallery.  But it turns out that Obama had actually done what Trump only threatened to do: conduct a secret investigation against a political opponent… I suspect that the factions behind these unremitting and partisan efforts to delegitimize a democratically elected head of state are about the discover that two can play at their game. And I’d wager that they are in for a rough time. I certainly hope so.”

Read the whole thing.

CHANGE: Democratic Sen. Chris Coons backtracks on Trump campaign-Russia claim.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., on Sunday said he was not aware of any collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials to rig the election despite saying days earlier that there were “transcripts” of such activity.

“I have no hard evidence of collusion,” Coons told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “To the extent those comments that you just replayed might in some way be misinterpreted as leading to a hyperventilating attitude here in the Senate about this, I apologize for that.”

Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction. Now it’s being rowed back because the talk of “transcripts” supports the spying-on-Trump storyline.

Will we ever know? Maybe, if there’s a proper investigation into Obama Administration political spying.

Meanwhile, the rumors being floated about Trump are being retracted, and once everyone from Comey to Clapper has denied that he was ever under investigation, future “leaks” will come pre-discredited.

IS THERE’S NOTHING HE CAN’T DO? Barbra Streisand: ‘Donald Trump is Making Me Gain Weight.’

Shot:

With his Twitter account, President Donald Trump can move the media — and can also apparently tip celebrities’ scales.

Singer Barbra Streisand tweeted Saturday that Trump is making her gain weight, because after hearing the morning news, she switches from liquids to pancakes doused in maple syrup.

[Donald Trump is making me gain weight. I start the day with liquids, but after the morning news, I eat pancakes smothered in maple syrup!…Trump just accused Obama of tapping his phones. Seriously crazy times. Time for more pancakes,” Streisand tweeted.]

“Barbra Streisand: ‘Donald Trump is Making Me Gain Weight,’” Big Hollywood, today.

Chaser:

When she started out in Hollywood it was not a crime to have curves, so Barbra has never denied herself in the same way as the younger generation. Interviewers have noticed over the years that she constantly nibbles at cheese while talking.

More recently, however, she has tried her hand at a few fad diets. Celebrity nutritionist Carrie Wiatt (who also counts Jennifer Aniston among her clients) tried to introduce her to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, with plenty of vegetables and fruit and no processed foods. But failed.

Her attempt to cut back on carbohydrates faltered due to her love of pancakes, which she eats for breakfast every day when she’s not working.

Barbra and her husband, the actor James Brolin, also dabbled with the Jenny Craig diet (an American diet system which delivers healthy meals direct to wealthy clients). But within weeks  she admitted: ‘I’ve been eating like a pig.’

— “Pancakes, no exercise and £7 face cream — how Barbra stays stunning at nearly 70,” the London Daily Mail, October 27, 2011.

You go into some of these small towns in California, and like a lot of northern effete leftwing towns such as Chappaqua and Georgetown, their sanity has been going now for the past 17 years, and nothing’s come to replace it. And it fell through the Bush Administration, the Obama administration, and during each successive administration they said that somehow these artists’ creative spark is gonna regenerate and it has not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to pancakes and syrup and oikophobic antipathy to Americans who aren’t like them or anti-Trump sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

But geez, for an ideology that’s currently styling itself as “The Resistance,” French Underground-style to Trump, you’d think the left would hit the gym a bit more and lay off the pancakes, to stay in shape for their imaginary apocalyptic struggle. But at least, after eight years, now they have someone to blame for everything that goes wrong in their lives.

Earlier: ‘I’m coming if you’ll let me in’: Barbra Streisand claims she will relocate to Australia if Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton in US election.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Oscars aren’t about popular movies. It’s time for the Academy to accept that:

Perhaps, then, AMPAS should consider the Oscars to be less of an industry celebration or an effort to reward the best films of the year and more of an opportunity to highlight its appeal to niche audiences. Look: The blockbusters can market themselves and they’re clearly having no problem finding an audience. And Hollywood, frankly, shouldn’t worry too much about resentment from mass audiences that these films aren’t getting awards consideration; we’re all grownups here, even if the grownups, myself included, are mostly watching the kiddie junk these days.

This wouldn’t solve the ratings problem, but that “problem” is really only one of self-conception; there’s no real reason to try to entice tens of millions of viewers once a year to watch what amounts to a trade show. A niche broadcast aimed at niche audiences who tend to live in urban enclaves and seek out the critically acclaimed but relatively unpopular movies that have won in recent years would also be tremendously freeing: In addition to worrying less about attaining the proper mix of commerce and art in the year’s nominees, concerns about alienating audiences via overly political speeches would go out the window.

In 2010, Rush Limbaugh dubbed the MSM as closed-circuit TV for leftwing coastal elites. Outside of the aforementioned comic book/sci-fi blockbusters, Hollywood’s product has become largely the same as the MSM’s – and note the very same adversarial relationship with their potential domestic audience, which like Hillary and Obama, Hollywood and the MSM view as deplorable people, bitterly clinging to their guns, religion and Trump.

At his Website, frequent PJM contributor Christian Toto asks if conservatives will punish Trump-hating Hollywood. But as long as the comic book and sci-fi-derived franchises, and other long-running franchises such as James Bond and Mission: Impossible keep filling theaters, what difference, at this point, would it really make, to coin a phrase?

IT’S TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN: The New DNC Chair Had a Hillary Clinton-Esque Email Scandal.

TRUMP’S NOT ACTING LIKE A PUTIN STOOGE, BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT THE NARRATIVE CARES ABOUT: Trump Names Putin Hawk to NSC.

For those genuinely concerned about the Russia threat, Hill is exactly the kind of person one would want in the White House. She has immense credibility as both a Russia scholar and an experienced intelligence official, and she brings an unsentimental understanding of the Kremlin’s inner workings to bear on her role. Hill’s book Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin is easily one of the best studies of Putin’s motivations and machinations at the head of the Russian state.

Between Defense Secretary Mattis, National Security Adviser McMaster, and now Fiona Hill, Trump is stacking his security team with seasoned Russia hawks who are deeply skeptical about Moscow’s intentions. And the White House already seems to be readjusting to the reality that a major reset is not in the cards. According to Senator Bob Corker, who was an early contender to be Trump’s Secretary of State, Trump’s expectations for cooperation with Russia are “hugely diminishing,” and the prospects of a “grand bargain” with Putin seem increasingly faint.

Every new president wants a reset with the Russians. They all learn it’s a pipe dream. Trump’s learned a lot faster than Obama did. In fact, I’m not sure Obama worried about the Russians until Hillary lost.

MORE ON MIDDLEBURY: College Protestors Send Professor To The ER.

This is disgraceful. That it happens repeatedly to speakers on the right, with few if any consequences for the thugs involved, is evidence of tacit approval of the behavior. Reminder: Conspiring to stifle free speech is a crime.

Plus:

Middlebury administrators and others are trying to frame this as simply about respect for free speech and open discourse. But this is about more than the narrow issue of free speech. Academics and administrators need to take a hard look at the ideology many of them have been directly and passively incubating on campuses.

Before Murray’s lecture, over 500 alumni signed a letter which claimed that Murray’s visit sends “a message to every woman, every person of color, every first-generation student, every poor and working-class person, every disabled person, and every queer person that not only their acceptance to and presence at Middlebury, but also their safety, their agency, their humanity, and even their very right to exist are all up for ‘debate.’” The letter closes by asserting that Murray’s presence on campus “directly endangers members of the community.”

If Murray genuinely were directly endangering the Middlebury community and threatening the “existence” of its members, he probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the State of Vermont. But, of course, Murray isn’t actually the kind of threat these students imagine. As their letter makes clear, and echoing what Middlebury Sociology Professor Michael Sheridan freely admitted to a reporter the other day, few if any of the protestors have ever read Murray’s books. If they had, they would know that he’s been grossly mischaracterized. . . .

Meanwhile, the idea that Murray is anti-queer is especially odd: Murray was publicly pushing Republicans to support marriage equality before Hillary Clinton had flip-flopped on the issue.

If students (and especially professors, who really ought to know better) want to criticize an author, they should read what he’s written first. That so many clearly did not speaks to the deteriorating academic rigor of colleges today. If college students are not internalizing the need to engage primary sources, what exactly are they learning in their undergraduate years?

The ideology that has taken hold of academia is intellectually lazy and thus leads to sloppy, emotion-driven conclusions.

Well, to the promoters of this sort of thing, that’s not a bug but a feature.

WHAT GOES ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: Hillary Clinton speaks at Wellesley College in a private, closed-to-the-press program.

The event was closed to the media, and a previously scheduled livestream was canceled “to ensure this remains a private Wellesley event,” according to the student newspaper, The Wellesley News.

According to the newspaper’s posts on Twitter, Clinton told the audience that as a woman running for office, “You know you’re going to be subject to unfair and beside-the-point criticism.”

She also answered questions from the audience, the newspaper reported. When a student asked, “What would you change about your campaign?” Clinton replied, “I’d win.”

Slow learner.

LET’S ALL PANIC: Everyone Met With The Russian Ambassador. “So the Russians were up to no good, something leading Democrats scoffed at just a few years ago. Also, still distinct from that, people on the Trump team were having ‘normal’ and ‘not unusual’ meetings with the Russian ambassador. What is lacking still is any evidence of quid pro quo. That’s the story Democrats are desperately hoping is behind all this, but the evidence just isn’t there, at least not so far.”

Well, it’s shifted the news from Trump’s successful speech, so there’s that.

Related: No One Mentions That The Russian Trail Leads To Democratic Lobbyists.

The media’s focus on Trump’s Russian connections ignores the much more extensive and lucrative business relationships of top Democrats with Kremlin-associated oligarchs and companies. Thanks to the Panama Papers, we know that the Podesta Group (founded by John Podesta’s brother, Tony) lobbied for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank. “Sberbank is the Kremlin, they don’t do anything major without Putin’s go-ahead, and they don’t tell him ‘no’ either,” explained a retired senior U.S. intelligence official. According to a Reuters report, Tony Podesta was “among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.” Among these was the European Center, which paid Podesta $900,000 for his lobbying.

That’s not all: The busy Podesta Group also represented Uranium One, a uranium company acquired by the Russian government which received approval from Hillary Clinton’s State Department to mine for uranium in the U.S. and gave Russia twenty percent control of US uranium. The New York Times reported Uranium One’s chairman, Frank Guistra, made significant donations to the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for one speech from a Russian investment bank that has “links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.” Notably, Frank Giustra, the Clinton Foundation’s largest and most controversial donor, does not appear anywhere in Clinton’s “non-private” emails. It is possible that the emails of such key donors were automatically scrubbed to protect the Clinton Foundation.

Let’s not leave out fugitive Ukrainian oligarch, Dymtro Firtash. He is represented by Democratic heavyweight lawyer, Lanny Davis, who accused Trump of “inviting Putin to commit espionage” (Trump’s quip: If Putin has Hillary’s emails, release them) but denies all wrongdoing by Hillary.

It’s a good rule of thumb that lefties are guilty of whatever they’re loudly decrying.

RICHARD POLLOCK: Exclusive: The American Left’s Love Affair With Putin’s TV Network.

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned that a host of liberal American political activists and journalists have much more than occasional meetings with RT. Many of them in fact draw regular paychecks from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s flagship TV network.

It’s rarely reported in the U.S. news media, but many of the liberal activists and journalists who participate in RT programming openly bash the United States and defend Russia.

The American “star” at the Dec. 10, 2015, RT celebration was Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Speaking on a panel titled “Frenemies,” which challenged the view that Russia was an “enemy state,” Stein condemned “this very simplistic defense of who is our friend and who is our enemy is counterproductive.”

RT also was the sole television sponsor of the Green Party event that chose Stein as the party’s 2016 standard-bearer.

Besides Stein, other American participants included Max Blumenthal — son of Sid Blumenthal, who worked with 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Read the whole thing.

NOAH ROTHMAN: The contrived campaign to make Chelsea Clinton a thing.

You might be surprised to learn that Clinton “takes down Trump” on Twitter on a regular basis, as Mashable helpfully informed its readership. In fact, Clinton is occupying a role that cannot be performed by either Hillary Clinton or even Michelle Obama: “a woman who doesn’t hold office but possesses both political power and the ability to speak forcefully about threats to American democracy.” The “political power” Clinton enjoys seems to have been conferred upon her exclusively by the reporters glowingly praising her snarky tweets.

Those tweets, by the way, are written entirely in her own voice. At least, that is the revelation provided to CNN by Clinton’s spokesperson. And it’s a “distinctive, sometimes sassy, voice America hasn’t heard before.”

Politico agreed. Chelsea Clinton’s tweets reveal “a spicy, sarcastic online personality” that contrasts mightily with “the uber-careful, wonky-like-her-mother” personality she cultivated on the 2016 campaign trail. Politico noted that Clinton has not “ruled out” a political career for herself, which is hardly a shock. Surely this barely concealed hagiographical coverage of what are a string of anodyne tweets softens up the beachhead.

If she runs, it won’t be Clinton’s connected handlers and the stories they place in influential news outlets that provide the next generation of Clintons with a national platform. It will be Clinton’s vaunted wit; the “spicy,” “sassy,” Casandra-like truth-teller the left needs so desperately in the age of Trump.

And it’s all about as genuine as her mother’s laugh.

QUESTION ASKED: Why did Keith Ellison lose the DNC race?

As this year’s “establishment” candidate, Perez posed almost no ideological challenge to Ellison or Sanders voters, or the party platform they had helped to write. (Ellison served on the 2016 platform committee.) He broke with them on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which, as a member of the Obama administration, he supported. But when he did so, he always posited TPP as an improvement on deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he’d opposed.

But on most of the left’s other causes, Perez was simpatico. Inside the Obama administration, he supported raising the minimum wage and endorsed the Fight for $15 campaign; he pushed through regulations that hiked overtime pay; he sued states that implemented voter ID laws. In the summer of 2016, when he was floated as a running mate for Hillary Clinton, conservatives labeled him radical, and progressive groups said he’d be preferable to the eventual choice, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.).

Ellison would have struggled to run to Perez’s left, and he largely did not try.

In other words, Perez won because he’s just as “progressive” as Ellison, but carries less baggage.

For the 2017-18 DNC, it’s still about marketing, not about moderation.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: CNN’S Brian Stelter: We Don’t See CNN or New York Times ‘Rooting for Any President.’

Flashback: How the Wright-Free Zone was Built.

Flashback: CNN Uses Singing Children to Campaign for ObamaCare.

Flashback: DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile feeds debate questions to Hillary, reportedly passed to her by former CNN anchor and Rev. Wright acolyte Roland Martin.

AMERICANS LIKED OBAMA BUT DIDN’T LIKE HIS POLICIES; WITH TRUMP IT SEEMS TO BE THE REVERSE: Many Americans Disapprove of Trump but Are Open to His Agenda, Poll Finds: WSJ/NBC News poll shows negative views at a historically high level for a new president but support from a ‘critical middle.’

President Donald Trump remains a historically divisive figure after one month on the job, despite growing optimism about the economy and support from a cross-section of Americans who either opposed his candidacy or backed it reluctantly, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

The poll found that 44% of Americans approve of Mr. Trump’s job performance, while 48% disapprove, making him the first president of the post-World War II era with a net negative approval rating in his first gauge of public opinion.

New presidents traditionally have enjoyed a postelection honeymoon with Americans. It took Barack Obama 32 months in office before his approval fell enough to match Mr. Trump’s current net rating of negative four. It was 41 months before George W. Bush’s dropped that far.

Mr. Trump’s approval rating may have been worse were it not for support from a surprising corner of the electorate. His job performance won positive reviews from 55% of respondents who had voted for a third-party candidate in November, who didn’t vote at all or said they supported Mr. Trump mostly to oppose Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The Journal/NBC News pollsters called this group “the critical middle” in the nation’s partisan warfare and said it accounted for just over one-third of all respondents.

All the media hate for Trump — and hate it is, in distinct contrast to the fawning over Obama — drives his favorables down, though with people who hate the press, a nontrivial demographic, it probably has the opposite effect.

Plus: “Asked about the course of the country, 40% said the nation is headed in the right direction. That is up from 33% in December, and 18% in July.”

MAUREEN CALLAHAN: God Help Us If Chelsea Clinton Runs For Office. “In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s devastating electoral loss, it seems Chelsea Clinton, historically boring and opinion-free, is mulling a run for high office.” She’s still boring, and I don’t see that changing.

JORGE RAMOS: U.S. IS ‘OUR COUNTRY, NOT THEIRS.’

I’m so old, I remember when the left pretended that they rejected the concept of us versus them.

Flashback: Megyn Kelly Grills Jorge Ramos on ‘Neutrality’ Claims: Do You Disclose Your Daughter Works For Hillary?

Just think of Jorge as a Democrat operative as well, and it all makes sense.

WAPO: PARTY OUT OF POWER’S DILEMMA: TO SHAKE OR NOT TO SHAKE PRESIDENT’S HAND.

From 2009 until early last month, the Washington Post would have dubbed such a gesture a racist hate crime. But didn’t Hillary urge cooperation from the losing party’s representatives back in September and October?

NONSENSE. FEELING SUPERIOR TO THE DEPLORABLES IS THE MAIN REASON TO BE A DEMOCRAT. Nicholas Kristof: Trump Voters Aren’t The Enemy.

There are three reasons I think it’s shortsighted to direct liberal fury at the entire mass of Trump voters, a complicated (and, yes, diverse) group of 63 million people.

First, stereotyping a huge slice of America as misogynist bigots is unfair and impairs understanding. Hundreds of thousands of those Trump supporters had voted for Barack Obama. Many are themselves black, Latino or Muslim. Are they all bigots?

Second, demonizing Trump voters feeds the dysfunction of our political system. One can be passionate about one’s cause, and fight for it, without contributing to political paralysis that risks making our country ungovernable.

Tolerance is a liberal value; name-calling isn’t. . . .

Well, I dunno about that. Plus:

The third reason is tactical: It’s hard to win over voters whom you’re insulting.

Many liberals argue that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and that the focus should be on rallying the base and fighting voter suppression efforts. Yes, but Democrats flopped in Congress, governor races and state legislatures. Republicans now control 68 percent of partisan legislative chambers in the U.S.

If Democrats want to battle voter suppression, it’s crucial to win local races — including in white working-class districts in Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Yes, a majority of Trump voters are probably unattainable for Democrats, but millions may be winnable. So don’t blithely give up on 63 million people; instead, make arguments directed at them. Fight for their votes not with race-baiting but with economic pitches for the working and middle classes.

Clinton’s calling half of Trump voters “deplorables” achieved nothing and probably cost her critical votes. Why would Democrats repeat that mistake?

Because feeling superior to the deplorables is one of the main reasons to be a Democrat?

OUR HAWKISH ‘WORLD WAR T’ ELITES: On transgender bathroom access in schools, ruling class waging war on common sense.

To mash-up Donald Rumsfeld, Thomas Sowell, and Hillary Clinton,  when you’re the anointed, you go to war against the deplorables you have.

ALTERNATE HISTORY:

It’s a little funny and a lot sad.

(Hat tip, Paul Barbehenn.)

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST:

Shot: California Braces for Unending Drought.

—The New York Times, May 10, 2016.

Chaser: S.F. rainfall has now exceeded normal for a full season: Here are the numbers.

—The San Francisco Chronicle, today.

As the Wattsupwiththat.com eco-blog noted last week:

Remember all those predictions of a “permanent drought” in California? Those were examples of why three decades of climate alarmism has not convinced the American people to take severe measures to fight anthropogenic climate change: alarmists exaggerate the science, and are proven wrong — repeatedly. When will the Left learn that doomster lies do not work?

We’re only a month into her administration, but I’m sure President Hillary will help her fellow leftists dial the doomsday talk back a bit.

(Classical reference in headline.)

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THE OBAMA BOYS CLUB WHITE HOUSE, but I’m supposed to be outraged at this: Men outnumber women more than 2-1 among top White House aides.

I guess it’ll be a hotbed of woman-grabbing misogyny like this scene, involving Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau:

“Fraternities have been closed for less.”

Related: In Early Obama White House Female Staffers Felt Frozen Out.

KAROL MARKOWICZ: Lefties keep showing off their civic ignorance.

Last week, cable news personality Sally Kohn tweeted what she called a “straightforward” plan that would eject Donald Trump and install Hillary Clinton into the presidency: “1. Impeach Trump Pence; 2. Constitutional crisis; 3. Call special election; 4. Ryan v Clinton; 5. President Clinton.”

Anyone with middle-school knowledge of the presidential chain of command should know that impeaching both Trump and his vice president would not, actually, lead to a “constitutional crisis” or a “special election.” It would lead directly, do not pass go, do not collect $200, to President Paul Ryan. Whom Clinton would be welcome to challenge in the next election.

Kohn is far from alone in broadcasting her ignorance of the political process. Our so-called “elite” seems to be in desperate need of a remedial civics class.

Call it willful ignorance of the legal impediment standing between the elites and absolute power.

EVEN THOUGH I WROTE IT, until my brother reminded me I had forgotten that this 2000 Nebraska Guitar Militia song anticipated the Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump election. “All you politicians won’t know which way to jump! Watch out, Hillary Clinton! Watch out, Donald Trump!” Right about 1:40. And note the pre-Tech-Bubble-bursting preach at the end: “No condition is permanent.”

However, while I’m strolling through memory lane, I think these lyrics are the best I ever wrote. Which may not be setting the bar all that high, but it’s what I’ve got.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Der Spiegel: Merkel Might Lose After All. “The refugee crisis, though, changed everything. Since the summer of 2015, Merkel has become extremely polarizing, not unlike Hillary Clinton was in the recent U.S. campaign. ‘There are now people who would rather chop off their hands than vote for Merkel,’ says one Merkel confidant. When the chancellor was campaigning in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania last summer ahead of elections in the state, she occasionally appeared only in front of hand-picked audiences because her speeches would otherwise have been drowned out by boos and whistles.”

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING. WASHINGTON POST: WE AREN’T BIASED! “Marty Baron, editor of the Washington Post, denies that his paper is out to get President Trump,” John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, quoting Baron’s hilarous claim that “I just look at it as a new administration that we should be covering as aggressively, as energetically as possibleIf Hillary Clinton were in the White House, we would be doing the very same thing.”

George Allen and Bob McDonnell could not be reached for comment and/or howls of rueful laughter.

WELL, THAT’S PRETTY OBVIOUS BULLSHIT, ISN’T IT? WaPo editor: Would have covered Clinton the ‘same’ way as Trump.

The editor of the Washington Post, which staffed up its White House team to cover the new administration, said the paper would have covered a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency with the same intensity as it has President Trump.

Cheered by journalists at a media roundtable in California late Tuesday, Marty Baron also said that despite some criticism, the Post is doing its job, not acting as the opposition.

Well, even an NPR CEO thinks you’re so biased against Trump that you’re like a reverse-Breitbart. So, no.

OCEANIA HAS NEVER BEEN AT WAR WITH HILLARY CLINTON: “See Hillary Clinton Get A Standing Ovation Before ‘Sunset Boulevard’ On Broadway, the Huffington Post breathlessly reports:

At a showing of Broadway’s “Sunset Boulevard” Wednesday night, the former Democratic presidential candidate prompted applause and cheers from audience members as she took her seat among them.

Several Twitter users and reporters in the theater took note of the enthusiastic response.

She’s finally ready for her close-up. You young citizens of Oceania may not believe me, but honest, I swear, I can remember vague flashbacks to that hazy year called 2008, when the Huffington Post trashed Hillary’s Democrat supporters (concurrent with Obama’s infamous Bitter Clingers slur against them) and Obama-supporting video makers created Hillary as Norma Desmond parodies. Like Norma herself, all down the Memory Hole:

Click to watch.

HMM: With Michael Flynn Gone, Russia Sees a Different Trump. “Now, there is a sense that the Kremlin might be unsettled by the president of a far more powerful country deploying Mr. Putin’s favorite tactic: unpredictability.” As I noted earlier, Hillary boosted Trump for the GOP nomination thinking he’d be easy to beat. How’d that work out?

Conspiracy theory of the day: The leaks about Flynn actually came from Trump as a way of cutting the Russians loose now that he doesn’t need them. The truth is out there!

DANIEL HANNAN: The Left Is Collapsing Everywhere.

Here’s a startling fact: There have been eight leaders of the British Labour Party in the past 40 years. Seven of them failed to win a single general election. The exception, Tony Blair, was a Labour politician only in the most technical sense. Leftists saw him as a disguised conservative, a cuckoo in the nest. To this day, Labour activists use “Blairite” as the worst of insults, viler even than “Tory.”

Let’s widen the camera shot a little. All over Europe, traditional parties of the Center-Left have been losing badly. As I write, opinion polls show the French Socialists in fourth place, the Dutch Labour Party in seventh. Greece’s PASOK, the leading party since the early 1980s, is now polling at 7 percent. Spain’s PSOE, which had a comfortable majority as recently as 10 years ago, has been displaced by the more radical Podemos. Social Democrats in former communist countries, such as Poland and Hungary, have, if anything, fared even worse. . . .

It is in this context, perhaps, that we should consider American politics. The rest of the world has spent three months asking itself why Donald Trump won. But the more useful question is surely why the Democrats lost. Trump underperformed Republican congressional candidates and secured fewer votes than either John McCain or Mitt Romney. But Hillary Clinton performed execrably – as Democrats have been doing in legislative, gubernatorial and state elections since the 1990s.

Hmm.

BYRON YORK: Time for Trump to hit campaign trail.

At the moment Trump is in what might be called the executive-action phase of his presidency. Beyond fighting for his Cabinet appointments on Capitol Hill, everything Trump has done has relied solely on his executive power as president. At some point he’ll have to move into a legislative phase, with the introduction of bills dealing with health care, taxes, immigration, and more.

But for now, Trump has a number of executive actions to point to: orders to 1) reduce the regulatory burdens of Obamacare; 2) freeze federal hiring; 3) pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; 4) approve the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines; 5) strengthen enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws; 6) authorize planning for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; 7) tighten White House ethics rules; 8) reduce the number of federal regulations; 9) weaken Dodd-Frank financial regulations; and 10) temporarily suspend immigration from some terrorism-plagued nations.

It’s a pretty solid list. The last, called a “Muslim ban” by detractors, has attracted the most attention — and litigation. But each item on Trump’s list would be worth a White House rollout and promotion campaign.

Instead, Trump threw them out in a firehose of appearances, tweets, and controversy. And Trump regularly distracted from his own message by doing something to set off what might be called the Daily Agitation — the frenzy of media and opposition politicians reacting to whatever the president has said most recently.

The “frenzy” had the advantage of keeping his opponents one step behind, at least initially. But opposition has been solidifying, particularly the town hall protests against ObamaCare repeal. Yes, they’re largely astroturf, but Congress does appear to be going all wobbly.

A counter-“resistance” will be most effective if it includes a grassroots, Tea Party-type element to stand in contrast to Soros-funded street thugs. But the counter-resistance can’t be effective at all without Trump making good use of the bully pulpit, too. That’s going to require the White House to run more smoothly than we’ve seen so far, and for Trump to adopt more consistent messaging, but it’s also the fun part of being president — and would take good advantage of Trump’s campaign-trail flair.

Trump won in large part because he was the fun candidate, opposed to Hillary Clinton’s dour sense of entitlement. He can still use the Fun Element to his advantage now that he’s the President.

THIS TOO IS DESPICABLE: Here’s how NOT to treat a customer.

Has anyone seen such a big dummy-spit fit just because we denied them their corruptocrat of choice, Hillary What Emails Clinton?

HILLARY WANTED TRUMP TO GET THE NOMINATION, AND EVEN HELPED HIM DO SO, BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT HE’D BE EASY TO BEAT. NOW: The Kremlin Is Starting To Worry About Trump: Vladimir Putin’s entourage cheered the outcome of the U.S. election – until they saw exactly what they were dealing with.

POLITICO: Hillary Clinton Is Running Again. Here’s Proof.

A REMINDER FROM MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Nobody Knows Anything.

The other night Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell rebuked her for impugning colleague Jeff Sessions. Exercising a little-known rule, the Senate revoked Warren’s floor privileges for 24 hours. Now, says the Times, “Ms. Warren is considered a very early frontrunner for 2020, should she run.”

I’m sorry. I just can’t. We are three weeks into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the most unusual and unconventional man to inhabit the White House in a century, possibly ever, and the New York Times is already naming the frontrunner to replace him? The same media and consultant class that assumed Hillary Clinton would win the presidency in 2008 and again in 2016 presumes to declare how a Senate kerfuffle in February 2017 will affect Iowa caucus-goers in 2020? Who are these people? Where did they come from? What makes them so obtuse, so beholden to gossip, so given to wish-casting, so certain that their momentary impressions of trivial matters carry cosmic weight? Was it college that inflated their sense of self-worth? Is that what $50k a year buys you—a degree in smug? We may never know.

Let me make a confession. I have no idea who the Democratic nominee will be in 2020. Nor am I completely sure, since we are being honest, who the Republican nominee will be. (Trump, I guess?) McConnell’s decision to cut off Warren may have been a disaster of epic proportions for the GOP. Or it could have been a brilliant strategic move, elevating an unlikable Massachusetts liberal to the top of her party. McConnell himself is probably ambivalent.

I do suspect, however, that if Harry Reid had cut off Ted Cruz’s microphone in 2013 the Nevada Democrat would have been hailed as a hero and genius. Even so: The shoe-on-the-other-foot argument may not count for much any more. Nothing may count for much any more. If the last year and a half has taught us anything, it is that what we think is supposed to happen does not. Brexit was not supposed to happen. Trump was not supposed to happen. The Patriots’ comeback was not supposed to happen. Yet here we are.

And no one seems to be drawing lessons from any of this.

One of the great things about being a pundit is that they don’t dock your pay for being wrong.

VOTE FRAUD: Rosa Maria Ortega was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday after being convicted Thursday of two counts of illegal voting. “She was arrested in 2015, just as the state of Texas was winding up to fight for its voter identification law in the federal courts, before going on trial just weeks after President Donald Trump claimed that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 general election, potentially handing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.”

HOW YOU GOT TRUMP: Flashback: Corrupt journalism doesn’t pay. Nor does abetting it. “Former Atlantic contributing editor Marc Ambinder is showing appropriate contrition for having participated in some dubious journalistic practices back in July 2009. As exposed by some Freedom Of Information Act documents secured by J.K. Trotter of Gawker, Ambinder was pursuing a copy of the speech that then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to make at the Council on Foreign Relations. So he emailed renowned Clinton advocate and spokesperson Philippe Reines. The back-and-forth confirms anyone’s worst suspicions about access journalism.”

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Why Did The Dems Go To The Mattresses Over DeVos, Rather Than Sessions or Tillerson? It’s About The Money.

During the 2008 Democratic primary, Obama gave an off-the-record speech to a group of Wall Street financial executives in which he shared his frustration with the sclerotic and bureaucratic state of American education, and declared that he was close to publicly endorsing a nationwide school-choice program. (This is according to one of those in attendance.) The moneymen were enthused by this, but nothing ever came of it. In fact, Obama went hard in the opposite direction, working to gut the school-choice program in Washington, D.C., a popular program, which benefited urban black families almost exclusively. You don’t have to be a hard-boiled cynic to suspect that this has to do with the manpower and money-power of the teachers’ unions, who could have done a great deal more than they did to elevate Hillary Rodham Clinton over Barack Obama that year.

Think about that: If you are the candidate of the Left running in the party of the Left, you could, in 2008, run against equal rights for gay people — but you could not, if you had any sense of self-preservation, run in favor of school choice.

Justice is one thing, but getting paid is the real issue. That probably explains why Betsy DeVos is getting the business and Jeff Sessions really isn’t.

And the hell with poor kids. Related: The Democratic party has lost its mind — and its soul. “Democrats claim to stand for the poor, immigrants and nonwhites. Yet given a chance to actually support someone who is dedicated to improving education for all America’s children, especially those trapped in urban failing schools, the Dems’ said no, hell no. . . . Trump has made rookie errors, but his resolve in picking DeVos and sticking with her proves he is deadly serious about fixing what’s broken in American education. What, pray tell, are Democrats serious about?”

Money and power.

ANNALS OF FAKE NEWS: Former CNN host: Some there were “determined” to elect Hillary.

“They weren’t even pretending,” Morgan says about the media in general, “to be anything but in the tank for Hillary Clinton.”

As for what happens now, Morgan says that both sides need to calm down and reflect. “I think there is fault on both sides here” for the current “dangerous and toxic” relationship between the Trump administration and the media. “I think that the media have got to start showing President Trump a bit more respect, and he in turn and his White House operation have got to show the media more respect — and they’ve all got to move on.”

Morgan makes an excellent point about the root of the problem in American media. In the UK, Morgan notes, media outlets make very little pretense of having no point of view, so readers and viewers can put their reporting in context. “It’s pretty balanced down the middle,” Morgan explains, with “as many left-wing papers in Britain as there are right-wing. In America, what I don’t like is this pretense from papers like the New York Times that somehow they are completely beyond any reproach when it comes to their coverage, that they are completely neutral. They’re not neutral,” Morgan declares, and then goes on to point out examples of editorial bias.

By the way, Morgan points out, the temper tantrums in the US over Trump’s win are also taking place in the UK over the Brexit vote. In both cases, the media seems to be cheerleading them to some extent, too. “It’s one of the great hissy fits of modern political times.”

Indeed it is.

HILLARY IS SEXIST AND ANDROPHOBIC: ‘The Future Is Female’: Watch Hillary Clinton’s First Public Remarks Since Donald Trump’s Inauguration.

BRENDAN O’NEILL: The Political Class’s Anti-Trump Hysteria Is Actually A Means Of Self-Whitewashing.

Let’s leave to one side how implicitly anti-democratic is this haughty refusal to confer legitimacy on Trump. How it demeans, not only Trump (which is fine — demean away), but also the 62 million people who voted for him. After all, what is their desire to have Trump run their republic in comparison with the insistence of the more switched-on that he isn’t fit for that job? More importantly is what this de-normalisation drive does for other politicians. It absolves them. It flatters them. It tells them that what they have done — the destabilisation of nations, the destruction of lives — was normal, at least in comparison to this. The left’s arrogant, aristocratic withholding of legitimacy from Trump by extension legitimises his predecessors, including those who did far worse things than Trump has even countenanced.

This is why some pretty unpleasant politicians have been able to rehabilitate themselves via the anti-Trump hysteria. Consider Madeleine Albright. She won heaps of Twitter praise last week when she said she might register as a Muslim in protest against Trump’s travel order. This is the same Madeleine Albright who in 1996, as Bill Clinton’s ambassador to the UN, was asked if the surplus deaths of Iraqi children following America’s imposition of sanctions was a price worth paying for weakening Saddam’s rule. Her reply? ‘I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.’

Just think about this. Let it sink into your head. A woman who apologised for, and who was in an administration that was responsible for, great suffering among Muslims can now get brownie points for saying she will register as a Muslim. In what sort of moral universe is it considered worse to restrict the freedom of movement of the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries than it is to participate in the near-destruction of a Muslim country? In the warped moral universe of anti-Trump hysteria. In the historically illiterate world that has been fashioned by the protesters against him, who tell us he is abnormal and therefore the rest of them are normal; that Trump is evil and therefore others, Albright, were good, or at least better.

Then there’s Hillary Clinton, who was retweeted tens of thousands of times for saying of Trump’s order: ‘This is not who we are.’ But it is who she is. This is the woman who spearheaded the bombing of Libya, helping to plunge that nation into mayhem and creating hundreds of thousands of refugees in the process.

Indeed.

GENDER INEQUALITY: Hillary Clinton makes a rallying cry for women to rise up against the Trump administration as she speaks on video for the first time since the inauguration to say ‘the future is female’

As the father of two young boys, it’s heartening that I don’t have to explain to them why their President says they have no future.

JOHN FUND: Trump Derangement Syndrome May Help Trump. “As soon as the election was over, state recounts were mounted, with the approval of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, angry demands were made that members of the Electoral College go against the results of their state votes and dump Trump, and wild charges were hurled that Russian hacking swung the election. FBI chief James Comey, an Obama appointee, was accused of tilting the election against Clinton, and blue-collar voters in the Midwest were smeared as ‘racists’ who were easily manipulated by Trump.”

Hey, vote for us you stupid racists!

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Chelsea Clinton Is the Last Thing the Democratic Party Needs.

Instead of moving on—and being better off for it—another Clinton in public office would broaden the party’s disconnect with working and middle class voters. Electing Chelsea to a major role among Democrats would do little to convey a message of change and progression.

The Washington Post recently reported Chelsea Clinton has begun to show an interest in politics. “In recent days, we’ve noticed a different Chelsea Clinton—one more than willing to speak out, often a bit bluntly. And she’s speaking out specifically against President Trump, using his preferred medium: Twitter.”

Business Insider further dramatized Chelsea Clinton’s recent activity on Twitter by hyperbolically dubbing it a “crusade against Trump.” “Very grateful no one seriously hurt in the Louvre attack …or the (completely fake) Bowling Green Massacre. Please don’t make up attacks,” Chelsea tweeted on February 3 in regards to Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway’s “Bowling Green” gaffe. Conway responded to Chelsea by citing Hillary Clinton’s infamous “Bosnia Sniper Fire” lie and noted Clinton lost the election, to which Chelsea Clinton didn’t bother to retort back.

She’s not very good even at Twitter, and if you saw her during her brief career as a highly-paid “reporter” for NBC, you know she has very little camera presence. Nevertheless, if she wants to run, the Democrats will probably make room for yet another Clinton.

I WAS BOYCOTTING THE SUPER BOWL, BUT I TURNED IT ON WITH 8 MINUTES TO GO IN THE FOURTH QUARTER, and, well, that was pretty exciting.

UPDATE: Seen on Facebook: “Right now, Atlanta fans have got to be feeling like Hillary supporters on election night.”

UPDATE (From Ed): This is making the rounds on Twitter tonight:

DIDN’T HILLARY HAVE ONE OF THESE? Schumer vows ‘Democratic firewall’ to protect banking regulations.

THE VERY DEFINITION OF POLITICS MAKES STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: Julian Assange, former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson an Item?

Related: Pamela Anderson: Hillary’s ‘Truthful Words’ Influenced Election, Not WikiLeaks.

OUR EFFORTS TO DATE HAVE FAILED. WE MUST REDOUBLE OUR EFFORTS! “How protesters plan to get under Trump’s skin wherever he goes.”

Plus:

By the way, wasn’t that Hillary Clinton’s plan for the debates — “get under Trump’s skin”? Wasn’t there an old idea way back then that Trump was “thin-skinned”* and could be defeated by getting under his skin? He’d self-destruct? That’s how I’ve packaged my memories of how everybody who tried/failed to keep Trump from winning.

Yeah, that worked out. Lesson: Trump’s thin-skinned when he wants to be, not when you want him to be.

KELLYANNE TWISTS THE KNIFE: Conway to Chelsea Clinton: ‘I Misspoke; You Lost the Election:’

[Chelsea] Clinton was referencing an interview the prior day in which Conway told MSNBC that two Iraqi refugees carried out an attack at Bowling Green, Ky. No such incident occurred, however.

Conway struck back on Twitter, reminding Clinton that President Trump won the general election and that her mother has been embroiled in a fake attack scandal of her own.

“Bosnia lie a Great reminder,” Conway wrote at the beginning of her tweet, referencing Hillary Clinton’s false claim that she landed under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996.

Flashback to when Hillary was living on Tuzla time — and to 2008, when, because they wanted Obama to win, CBS called Hillary on her lies:

AUDI’S MESSAGE TO AMERICA: “Money and breeding always beat poor white trash. Those other kids in the race, from the overweight boys to the hick who actually had an American flag helmet to the stripper-glitter girl? They never had a chance. They’re losers and they always will be, just like their loser parents. Audi is the choice of the winners in today’s economy, the smooth talkers who say all the right things in all the right meetings and are promoted up the chain because they are tall (yes, that makes a difference) and handsome without being overly masculine or threatening-looking.”

Plus: “In the words of the infamous rap song, the fat boys are back. Look at this kid. Look at the vacant expression of malice. If you want to know how the upper-middle class sees their inferiors, this is a good snapshot of it. Let’s get another shot of the kid so you can see just how chunky he is. Chunky means poor.”

And: “Ah, here’s Dad, the ‘Mary Sue’ of Audi customers. The tallest person in the crowd — tall means rich — and effortlessly handsome, dressed in the exercise mufti of the NorCal leisure set. Note that he’s surrounded by black people, who are shorter and smaller than him. As we’ll see, there are no black kids in this race. The African-Americans are just here to play a supporting role. It’s fabulously, hilariously racist, but it’s only visible for a moment, just enough to reconfirm your subliminal perceptions.”

UPDATE: Explained: “When Audi committed to this ad Hillary was going to be president.” They chose . . . poorly.

ANOTHER UPDATE: From the comments: “Audi just draped a gigantic boy-hating ‘girls rule boys drool’ banner over every Audi dealership, every Audi car and every Audi driver. Not just disgusting, but corporate suicide I predict. Hey Audi: take your rotten Merkel-mobiles back to your land of ass-in-the-air submission to Islam. We don’t want you morons here.” (Bumped).

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Thank God for Harry Reid.

There are many people to thank for the coming accession of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump for winning the election. Hillary Clinton for losing it. Mitch McConnell for holding open the high court seat through 2016, resolute and immovable against furious (and hypocritical) opposition from Democrats and media. And, of course, Harry Reid.

God bless Harry Reid. It’s because of him that Gorsuch is guaranteed elevation to the court. In 2013, as Senate majority leader, Reid blew up the joint. He abolished the filibuster for federal appointments both executive (such as Cabinet) and judicial, for all district and circuit court judgeships (excluding only the Supreme Court). Thus unencumbered, the Democratic-controlled Senate packed the lower courts with Obama nominees.

Reid was warned that the day would come when Republicans would be in the majority and would exploit the new rules to equal and opposite effect. That day is here.

I swear, they acted like they thought they’d never lose another election.

Related: Liberal UC Berkeley law professor Dan Farber on Neil Gorsuch. “He is a thoughtful, principled judge, albeit one who is more conservative than I would like.”

SALENA ZITO: Grassroots rage and the Democrats’ crackup.

The base’s tack — arguing that Trump is akin to Hitler, when he takes actions that many of his voters find at least arguably appropriate, even if they have questions — cuts off debate. It’s a mistake Hillary Clinton made in trying to scare voters away from Trump rather than articulating why she was the right choice.

And now the angry left, thinking it’s learning from Clinton’s mistakes, is actually repeating one of her biggest. Essentially, the Clinton faction won the party’s nomination, but the Bernie Sanders faction won the day. Instead of offering independents, moderate Democrats or reluctant Republicans an alternative, those non-liberals see protests after protest, outrage after outrage — and they’re tuning the anger out and going on with the business of life.

It appears that the Trump team grasps that with a strategy zeroed on making the Democrats constantly play defense.

Says Sracic, “Trump issues an executive order beginning the process of dismantling the ACA, and Democrats respond by saying he is trying to ‘Make America Sick Again. People think, however, that the ACA needs to be improved. Where is the Democratic alternative?

“You can argue the same thing about immigration, taxes and regulations, all subjects of Trump executive orders.”

I’m not overly fond of rule-by-EO, but there’s a big difference between EOs used to circumvent Congress (“I have a pen and a phone”) and orders written in harmony with Congressional action (ObamaCare repeal).

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Our Sore Loser Elites Are Losing Their Minds.

People are literally losing their minds over the mere thought of him sitting in the Oval Office.

A mental faculty failure that is driven, I fear, by sore loser syndrome.

The protestors wanted, and expected, Hillary Clinton to sweep this ghastly man to crushing defeat in the election two months ago and become the first female president.

When it didn’t happen, mainly because Hillary was a terrible candidate who fought a terrible campaign, they were collectively struck down by Post Trump Success Disorder.

This is an awful affliction that causes victims to lose the power of calm, rational thought and instead resort to uncontrollable, unrelenting outbursts of shrieking, screaming, wailing and teeth-gnashing.

Every single thing President Trump now does, says or tweets or is greeted by instant paralysis of perspective.

He is, and must remain, a ‘MONSTER!’

The author of this piece is Piers Morgan.

“IT LOOKED UGLY”: Firm Tied to Clintons Lands First Day On Open Market, Tanks Immediately.

Laureate Education, Inc., which has close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, tanked on its first day in the stock market.

The for-profit firm’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) of stock to potential investors was put on the market Wednesday by KKR and other leveraged buyout owners in the hope of reducing a crushing $4 billion debt.

But even before the company was to go public as a NASDAQ traded firm, it was clear the stock price would not command the owner’s projected $17 to $20 price target. Late Tuesday before Wednesday’s opening, the market priced the Laureate IPO at $14, about 15% below Laureate’s estimates.

The Laureate IPO went nowhere during the day, went as low at $12.46 and closed at $13.25.

“There was no appetite for this stock. It looked ugly today,” Lon Juricic told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group (TheDCNF). Juricic is founder and president of StreetInsider.

“There’s just a lot of questions about the company. The private owners, they’re liquidating it. Investors don’t like it’s big debt. They weren’t biting,” Juricic said. But “people don’t like these deals.”

The Clintons just don’t have the juice they once did.

TIM ALLEN: ‘The Left Wants to Tell Everybody’ What to Do.

“I’m more of an anarchist because I’m a stand-up comic. I don’t like anybody telling me what to do and, lately, the left wants to tell everybody – it’s the ‘we all know this, you should, you should.’ Stop telling me what to do, you go do it. You want to support stuff that the government should stay out of? You go do it. No one is stopping you from paying more taxes. Then, that’s the attitude I get,” he told PJM after he left the Creative Coalition’s Inaugural Gala.

“You see my act on the road or in concert – I don’t do political stuff. I do anarchist stuff. I like making everybody laugh. Jokes should be – President Trump should laugh at it, so should Hillary – that’s the balance I like; the personal stuff is different,” he added.

There’s a lot less fun to be had, doing all that work of getting elected just to leave people alone — which is the sad reason Libertarians usually do so poorly.

AT SOME POINT, I THINK YOU’VE MADE ENOUGH MONEY: Desperate for Cash, Hillary Clinton to Write Another Memoir, Paid Speaking Tour.

TO PUNISH TRUMP, MAKE LIFE HARD ON PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR HILLARY: NYC bodegas to shut down to protest Trump immigration ban. Between that and Democratic women doing their best to look ugly, and depriving their husbands of sex, lefties are really putting Trump in his place.

DEMS GIRD FOR SUPREME COURT BATTLE: A central question is whether Senate Democrats, under pressure from the party’s base, will try to block Judge Gorsuch.

It likely will take days before the intensity of the Democratic opposition becomes apparent. A number of Democratic senators quickly said they opposed the nomination, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Mr. Merkley announced his stance even before Mr. Trump disclosed the selection.

But other Democrats were more restrained. “I still believe we must evaluate Judge Gorsuch’s record, legal qualifications and judicial philosophy,” said Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a centrist Democrat hailing from a state won by Mr. Trump last year. “I urge my colleagues to put partisan politics aside and allow the vetting process to proceed.”

Warren and Merkley are both from deep blue states, and although Brown is from Ohio, he isn’t up for reelection until 2020. Manchin seems the most reasonable — and he ought to be, coming from a state Donald Trump won by a whopping 42 points.

Claire McCaskill, another Red State/Blue Senator, tweeted that she favors “a full confirmation process” hours before Gorsuch’s name was revealed.

Mitch McConnell will presumably keep the Nuclear Option in his back pocket. It would make a potent threat: Vote honestly on Gorsuch, or pave the way for a majority vote on Trump’s next SCOTUS nominee, who might be even more conservative.

That’s roughly equivalent to the game former President Obama played by nominating Merrick Garland last year. Obama dared the GOP to consent to someone somewhat conservative, but hostile to the 2nd Amendment — or risk an even worse selection made by President Hillary Clinton.

CORRECTION: Brown is up for reelection in 2018, not 2020. Of course I regret the error, and will try in the future to refrain from doing simple addition before a second cup of coffee.

INCLUDING BARACK OBAMA, HILLARY CLINTON, AND JOE BIDEN: “Every single one of these Senators voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch in 2006.”

WHY IS THE HILLARY WING OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUCH A CESSPIT OF SEXUAL PREDATION? Prosecutors Weigh Child-Pornography Charges Against Anthony Weiner. “Federal prosecutors are weighing bringing child-pornography charges against former Rep. Anthony Weiner over sexually explicit exchanges he allegedly had with a 15-year-old girl, according to people familiar with the matter. . . . In recent weeks, according to some of the people familiar with the matter, attorneys for Mr. Weiner have had discussions with federal prosecutors in Manhattan in hopes of dissuading them from bringing charges, or at least from bringing the most serious one: production of child pornography, which carries a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence upon conviction. . . . It isn’t known what images prosecutors have found in the course of the investigation. Federal child pornography laws are broadly written, and lawyers who have defended people charged with child pornography say certain types of images could receive lighter treatment under the law, such as photos of nude minors who aren’t engaging in sexually explicit activity.”

NEARLY THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD OR VICTIM – PICK ONE: Could Hillary seriously be blaming Obama for her loss?

First of all, saying Obama didn’t do enough seems patently insane. From the time the Democratic National Convention was over (which Obama and his wife headlined, as you’ll recall) he was out on the campaign trail constantly. Clinton got rides on Air Force One to lend her candidacy more gravitas and Obama appeared at so many rallies he barely had time left over on his schedule for golf or approving more business crushing regulations in the final months. He beseeched Democratic voters – particularly minorities – to get out there and safeguard his legacy by voting for Hillary. He said that if they didn’t show up, they would doing be a disservice to him, not to her. What else could the guy do?

To be fair, the Obama campaign and their DNC-MSM surrogates with bylines pounding Hillary and her husband with racism charges in 2008 had to have some negative impact on her performance in 2016. And speaking of 2008, perhaps it’s time for the left to update the metaphors in their leather helmet era playbook. In 2008, we were told by the left that Hillary must be defeated in her bid for the White House, or the totalitarian future depicted in George Orwell’s 1984 would finally arrive:

In 2016, Hillary was defeated in her bid for the White House – and we’re told by the left that the totalitarian future depicted in George Orwell’s 1984 has finally arrived!

BRENDAN O’NEILL ON FACEBOOK: “This is the surreal and painful truth: if Hillary had won there’s a very good chance she’d be bombing Syrians and Yemenis, rather than simply denying them visas, and no one would have protested.”

MASSACHUSETTS ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY SET UP A “HATE CRIME HOTLINE” AFTER TRUMP WAS ELECTED, but it turns out an awful lot of the victims of hate were Trump supporters. “State Rep. Geoff Diehl, co-chairman of Trump’s Massachusetts campaign, said the data only represents a fraction of local Trump supporters who felt harassed, marginalized or muffled throughout the election.”

EVEN TED RALL THINKS THE WOMEN’S MARCH WAS STUPID:

A good indication that the Women’s March got coopted into a Democratic boo-hoo Hillary/Cory Booker-in-2020 pep rally was that the speakers were limited to celebrity millionaire liberal Democrats like Michael Moore, Ashley Judd and Gloria. Had this been a militant action (i.e., one that might frighten Trump and the GOP), or a coalition of liberals who welcomed and respected their leftist allies rather than merely wanting to vampirize their righteous anger and energy into midterm votes, the roster of speakers would have included people calling for revolutionary change and action outside of the existing system. There would also have been some radical activists you’d never [heard] of who do important work.

Celebrity liberalism and pleas to vote Democratic are where the Left goes to die….

Well, they managed to make it too obnoxious to appeal to the mainstream, and too vapid to appeal to the hard-left. Nice work!

UPDATE: From the comments: “When you’ve lost Ted Rall, you’ve lost anti-America.”

Plus: “Video of the march is probably a much greater recruitment tool for ISIS than any travel ban.” True.

REMEMBERING ROOSEVELT’S VICTIM,FRED KOREMATSU:

Hillary had the kind of nuanced position that allowed you to think — if you liked her — that she’d have a big heart toward the suffering and simultaneously protect us from terrorists or — if you didn’t like her — that she had no plan and no nerve to stop the influx of masses people, some of whom hate the American system and want to kill us.

Not enough people liked her, the system we love made Donald Trump our President, and now he is shocking the people who didn’t like him by doing what he said in plain language he was going to do.

But many years ago, a President who is revered by the kind of people who like Hillary Clinton issued an Executive Order excluding all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. . . .

The Democratic Party’s all-time favorite President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, decided to take action against all persons of Japanese descent because “the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage.”

Fred Korematsu stayed where he was, in Oakland, California, where he was born. Soon enough, he got arrested.

Well, the Japanese Internment is now regarded as an awful episode in American history. But, you know, not in Democratic Party history.