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MATTHEW CONTINETTI: America’s new, combustible four-party system.

Trump’s emphasis on social issues broadly construed—on abortion, guns, judges, crime, drugs, immigration, terrorism—and his rejection of orthodox GOP support for free trade and entitlement reform transformed the Republican makeup. What Drutman describes as a “split in the Republican Party between populists and conservatives” can also be interpreted as a division between the party of Trump and the Grand Old Party. The two parties may agree on some issues, but they differ in tone and outlook and on crucial policy questions. It is difficult for them to function as a coalition government. Trump’s health care reform is stalled in Congress, his tax reform is inchoate, and his infrastructure plan is nonexistent. The two parties are able to unite against the left, but have trouble finding common legislative ground.

Making things more complicated is the fact that there are more than these two parties. Drutman also found divisions within the Democrats. “To the extent that the Democratic Party is divided, these divisions are more about faith in the political system and general disaffection than they are about issue positions.” The Democratic Party of Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton is satisfied with the status quo, and uses identity politics as a veneer for economic policies that benefit Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and multinational corporations. What we might call the party of Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is both more radical on questions of political correctness and identity and hostile to the established order. The party of Sanders wants radical change. Beginning with Medicare for all.

Recent events have brought to light the distinction between the party of Trump and the GOP. But it would be foolish for Democrats to believe that they are out of the woods, that America has settled, for the moment, on a three-party system. What we have are four parties: The mainstream Republicans, the party of Trump, the mainstream Democrats, and the party of Sanders.

The old two-party system had failed — failed to pursue its constituents’ interests, failed at basic governance, and worst of all, failed to protect America’s institutions, both formal and informal. “Worst political class ever,” as Glenn as noted here more than once.

So the current mess might not be an improvement (at least not yet), but it was certainly inevitable. And it will likely be years before the dust settles — if then.

THE AMERICAN LEFT MORPHED INTO THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: Dear Leftists, There Are No Nazis Under Your Bed, Sarah Hoyt writes:

Over the last few days, my friends, who range from soft-left to in-your-face Libertarians have been getting in fights and otherwise losing friendships because they tell their leftist friends to keep their hair on, and also that no, there isn’t a sudden upsurge of Nazis ready to take over the country.

The truth is, dear leftists, that you’ve been scaring yourself with fables.  It started after the election of Donald Trump.  Yes, I know, mentioning that Hillary didn’t win still gives you PTSD, but I need you to focus and listen to me, okay?  You can have your coloring books and crayons after.

Read the whole thing.

WELL, IT’S MOSTLY THAT THEY’RE STILL IN THE “ANGER” STAGE OVER HILLARY’S LOSS: The Shouters Win Town Hall Battles But Lose the War: Sure, you’re raising awareness. Afterward the public will dislike you and your message.

All three of the examples I’ve offered have something in common: they are demonstrations of power over a space. To state the obvious, people like feeling powerful. They are more likely to stay involved with a movement that gives them opportunities to feel powerful. Why did white supremacists organize a demonstration in Charlottesville? To look and feel powerful. Why did the counterprotesters organize en masse in response? To look and feel more powerful.

The more transgressive an action is, the more powerful it feels. Asking a question and then politely sitting down after the representative gives you a suitably mild answer is neither noticeable nor particularly empowering. Publicly arguing with the congressman, on the other hand, feels like noble battle. Shutting down a highway is more powerful still, especially if you can get away with it without getting arrested. And setting fires or breaking windows … well, you can practically hear the war-movie soundtrack running through your head. (In our minds, we always play the good guys.)

And yet, as I’ve already noted, these tactics backfire unless you’ve already got a critical mass of support. If you still need to build support, then resorting to them loses you more than you gain. The Dairy Queen where I watched the heckling did not seem to be the right venue. And there’s really never a good venue for vandalism.

Of course, the people who choose those tactics might argue that persuasion is the wrong goal, and it’s worth the cost in public opinion to make a powerful statement. But at the end of the day you can’t get much done in any society, least of all a democratic one, unless your neighbors are somewhat willing to go along. Moreover, the protesters may not even be making that sort of semi-rational cost-benefit analysis. A recent paper suggests that protesters often choose these tactics because they actually think they help mobilize voters to their side. It’s all too easy to confuse visibility with effectiveness.

I think it’s about feeling powerful, and important, and accumulating prestige within your group. And because the reward for those things is immediate and personal, it outweighs more-general concerns like winning elections. At least, it does in people with limited self-control, which is apparently a lot of people these days.

OCEANIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH TEDDY ROOSEVELT:

● Shot: “I think that Teddy Roosevelt was a great American.”

—Hillary Clinton in a May 1, 2008 interview with Bill O’Reilly.

● Double-Shot: “It’s time to take a page from Teddy Roosevelt’s book and get our economy working for Americans again. That’s what I’ll do as president.”

—Hillary, as quoted in an October 28, 2015 Dow Jones Marketwatch.com article titled “Hillary Clinton wants to be Teddy Roosevelt.”

● Chaser: Leftist Activists Demand New York Museum Take Down Statue of ‘Racist’ Theodore Roosevelt — You give an inch, they take a mile.

—The Daily Wire, today.

As a prominent, albeit fictitious member of the news media would say:

‘BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU’RE A MAN!’ Video: Woman loses collective shiznit on cops outside Trump Tower.

Related: Republicans to Trump: American Elections Are Not Rigged, You Must Accept the Outcome.

—Hillary Clinton.com, October 20, 2016.

JUST THINK OF HIM AS A DEMOCRAT OPERATIVE WITH A MICROPHONE, AND YOU WON’T BE WRONG. The Acosta of Freedom:

Showboats are nothing new. And there are plenty of reasons to criticize President Trump and his treatment of the press. But at what point does Jim Acosta betray his audience by putting his ego ahead of reporting the facts? He’s not telling a story. He’s becoming the story: the story of Jim Acosta’s crusade against Donald Trump. It’s not terribly interesting, and one has to wonder whether Acosta would be behaving similarly had Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Perhaps a clue can be found in the “tough questions” the National Association of Hispanic Journalists says Acosta asked President Obama. Like this one, from a press conference in 2015:

And separately, sir, I wanted to ask you about what some people are calling ‘your best week ever’ last week. You had two Supreme Court decisions supportive of the Affordable Care Act and of gay rights. You also delivered a speech down in Charleston that was pretty warmly received. It seems that you’ve built up some political capital for the remaining months of your presidency. I’m curious, how you want to use it? What hard things do you want to tackle at this point?

“A voice for the people,” indeed.

Like Helen Thomas before him, Acosta is best thought of by GOP presidential spokesman as a unknowing ringer to score points off of – and that’s exactly how Stephen Miller treated him at the beginning of the month – armed with facts to Acosta’s performance art and poetry. Or as David Harsanyi quipped, “CNN’s Jim Acosta Read The Statue Of Liberty Poem, Had A Meltdown When Someone Suggested Immigrants Be Able To Read It, Too.”

Or heck, Trump himself today. Trump to CNN’s Jim Acosta: “I like real news, not fake news. You’re fake news.”

Which is why it’s come to this: #Hero: Jim Acosta Now Tweeting Out His Own Statements as Breathless Breaking News.

Nobody tell the DNC-MSM that Ron Burgundy and Ted Baxter aren’t how-to guides for brilliant journalisming.

BEFORE OBAMA AND HILLARY’S UNAUTHORIZED WAR, LIBYA WAS PEACEFUL AND COULD FEED ITSELF: Algeria, Libya, and Peace.

Algeria is, along with Tunisia and Egypt vigorously (loudly and repeatedly) supporting an unexpected peace agreement in Libya. A major reason for this July agreement was the need to avoid mass starvation in Libya. Since 2011 oil exports had shrunk and the Central Bank cash reserves are nearly gone. If peace and unity were not achieved soon no government would be able to buy and import food and other essentials. Even by Middle Eastern standards Libya was setting a new records in self-destructive behavior. By 2017 more Libyans were agreeing that the situation was indeed becoming desperate and a lot more compromise was the only solution. Even with the current national compromise the tribal (Arab, Berber and black African) and religious differences (Islamic radicals versus everyone else) plus epic levels of corruption and entitlement keep peace and prosperity out of reach. At this point most Libyans will settle for survival. The neighbors (particularly Egypt, Mali, Niger, Tunisia and Algeria) back the new peace deal as do European nations. How long it will last is another matter.

Say, whatever happened to “responsibility to protect,” anyway?

CHARLIE MARTIN: Breaking News: Donald Trump is President.

Donald J Trump is President. Really. Won it fair and square, he was inaugurated seven — almost eight — months ago, and very probably is going to be President for another three and a half years.

Minimum.

So, now, children, let’s calm down. All of you people over there saying Trump is unqualified and should be removed? Give it up. He’s qualified by the only qualification that matters: he is over 35, he is a native US citizen, and he won the damned election. The Constitution doesn’t have a clause in it for removal by vote of the media, or because his political opponents don’t like him. The only reason he can be removed Constitutionally is if someone finds high crimes and misdemeanors.

Now, I know that some people are fantasizing about the Democrats taking the House, and passing a Bill of Impeachment, and somehow getting the Senate to convict.

To which I say, “be careful, you’ll get chafed.”

Besides, look what we know now: the Russian collusion story is effectively dead — the famous Golden Showers Dossier is the product of a Democratic opposition research house, talking to Russians is actually not a crime, and the case has gotten much stronger that the DNC emails weren’t obtained by Russian hackers. If you’re hanging your hopes on the Emoluments Clause, remember that George Washington ran his business while President. If George Washington could do it without hitting the Emoluments Clause, it’s going to be tough passing the laugh test with Trump.

Let’s game the impeachment out, though. Say it happened. Then there are going to be approximately 43 million Americans who are convinced that the President they elected has been removed by the people they were voting against when they elected him. I don’t care what you think of Trump, that won’t be good. And should it happen, what do you think the next election will be like?

So, stop.

They can’t. And I mean that literally. It’s not just a political posture. It’s a psychological need.

He’s got some advice for Trump supporters, too. Oh, and here’s one more excerpt:

Legacy media, it’s like this: if you want to have your reporting respected, your reporting is going to have to deserve respect. If you keep reporting fake news, people are going to keep thinking you report fake news.

For everyone: stop using the word “treason” unless you’re prepared to show which recognized enemy with which we have a legally-recognized state of active hostilities. And good luck with that.

But stop bandying it about recklessly: you’re accusing someone of a capital crime. That goes for everybody: Debbie Wassermann-Schultz, Hillary Clinton, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump Sr., basement-dwelling ne’er-do-wells whether they’re carrying a Swastika or a Hammer and sickle. If you want to know why accusing these people of treason is bad, read the Federalist Paper number 43 or just look at history: “treason” is an awfully convenient way to justify killing your political opposition.

Whatever your politics, it’s time to recognize that the election is over, and and what’s going on now is hurting the country and hurting the people. It’s time to start a acting like responsible citizens of a free nation.

Or at least it’s time to decide whether you want to be citizens of a free nation.

Indeed.

I SUSPECT SHE’S THERE TO MARGINALIZE BERNIE SANDERS ON HILLARY’S BEHALF, BUT: Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Moderates and Generates Chants of ‘Warren 2020.’

THIS WASN’T “BIAS,” IT WAS COLLUSION: Reporters were ‘reluctant’ to cover the Bill Clinton/Loretta Lynch meeting even if they deny it.

Most people hear claims about media bias and greet them with the same enthusiasm they’d share if they were told the Earth is round or that cotton is white.

Only reporters still act like it’s up for debate.

That’s why when President Trump cited a report this week showing journalists uninterested in last year’s scandalous meeting between Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the pushback from the media was predictably defensive.

The report, published in the Washington Examiner, was based on newly uncovered 2016 emails from Washington Post and New York Times journalists who were contacting Department of Justice officials for information on the meeting, which took place in the heat of the presidential campaign and as Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was under federal investigation for her private email server.

“E-mails show that the AmazonWashingtonPost and the FailingNewYorkTimes were reluctant to cover the Clinton/Lynch secret meeting in plane,” Trump said Tuesday on Twitter, using his deliciously petty nicknames for the Washington Post and the New York Times.

The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza said the emails actually “show reporters trying to get info from DOJ, checking facts. Pieces were tough & forced Lynch’s semi-recusal.”

Coverage of the meeting was “tough” the way a mother is “tough” on her toddler when she catches him eating a bag of sugar: She’ll send him to his room, but only after she takes a photo of how cute he is.

News of the meeting was first reported by a Phoenix TV station and the New York Times didn’t publish anything about it for more than 24 hours.

That might be loosely related to the paper’s reporter, Mark Landler, emailing a DOJ contact to say he had “been pressed into service to write about the questions being raised” about the meeting.

Reporters today see their mission as government watchdogs clearer than ever — but before Trump’s election, Landler had to be “pressed into service” to even bother.

And when Landler’s report finally made it to daylight, it framed the episode as a “political furor” caused by Republicans who wouldn’t buy Lynch’s excuse that the meeting was, in her words, “primarily social.”

As usual.

DEEP STATE UPDATE: The real story of that Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting gets even stranger.

Two obvious questions leap to mind immediately. The first is a no-brainer which somebody at Justice should be addressing for us. Lynch had, by that point, already essentially recused herself from the question of possible prosecution of Hillary Clinton, saying she would leave the decision entirely up to the FBI, so why was her staff sending a blizzard of information and press talking points to the FBI after the secret meeting was revealed?

The second question is even more puzzling and deserves a thorough scrubbing if anyone in the MSM can be bothered to ask. There are generally accepted rules for when the government can or should redact information being released to the public. These can include privacy considerations if the personal information of individuals (such as their Social Security number) are included. Also, the government can withhold sensitive information which might endanger national security. But this was a document which contained a list of talking points to be used if they had to answer questions for the press. In what version of reality would a set of press talking points qualify for redaction?

The more we learn about this the worse the general odor coming from the story becomes. And as the old saying goes, the fish rots from the head down.

Indeed.

FLASHBACK: WaPo: This e-mail story just keeps getting worse for Hillary Clinton.

DEEP STATE UPDATE: How the Postal Service tried to swing the election for Hillary Clinton.

With the media fawning over allegations of Russian influence and hacking of the presidential election, it seems there is no limit to the appetite for tales of intrigue. But this tale is not about foreign agents or a rogue government.

Instead, the culprits are much closer to home: the U.S. Postal Service.

The Washington Post recently reported that the “Postal Service broke law in pushing time off for workers to campaign for Clinton.” The law in question is the Hatch Act, which limits federal employee participation in certain types of political activities.

An internal investigation was launched after several USPS employees approached their union representatives to complain.

But the broader scandal isn’t just that government employees were in the tank for the Democratic candidate or even that employees possibly violated the Hatch Act (or that the USPS lost $2.1 billion in one quarter). It’s that government unions have for years been incentivizing their workers to spend time pushing their political agenda rather than serving their customers. Campaigning for a candidate who wants to grow government is just a more egregious form of that all-too-common practice.

Unions such as the the American Federation of Government Employees, the AFSCME, and the American Federation of Teachers contribute millions to liberal groups, which then turn around and advocate higher taxes and spending that directly benefit those unions.

The potential for corruption in such a system is obvious.

It’s more than just potential.

HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN DIED FOR SOMEBODY’S SINS, BUT NOT MINE: Hillary Clinton’s pastor compared her election loss to Jesus’ death and resurrection.

GOOD LUCK: Federal judge orders State Department to search for more Clinton Benghazi emails.

State will have to want to find them.

OF COURSE IT DOES: The Real Story Of That Lynch-Clinton Tarmac Meeting Gets Even Stranger.

Jazz Shaw:

Two obvious questions leap to mind immediately. The first is a no-brainer which somebody at Justice should be addressing for us. Lynch had, by that point, already essentially recused herself from the question of possible prosecution of Hillary Clinton, saying she would leave the decision entirely up to the FBI, so why was her staff sending a blizzard of information and press talking points to the FBI after the secret meeting was revealed?

The second question is even more puzzling and deserves a thorough scrubbing if anyone in the MSM can be bothered to ask. There are generally accepted rules for when the government can or should redact information being released to the public. These can include privacy considerations if the personal information of individuals (such as their Social Security number) are included. Also, the government can withhold sensitive information which might endanger national security. But this was a document which contained a list of talking points to be used if they had to answer questions for the press. In what version of reality would a set of press talking points qualify for redaction?

The more we learn about this the worse the general odor coming from the story becomes.

It doesn’t stink at all, provided you’re also willing to believe that Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000 emails about wedding cakes and yoga routines.

INSIDERS’ GAME: Attorney for Loretta Lynch at Justice Department now at committee investigating Lynch.

An attorney in the Justice Department who helped edit press statements about the tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch is now a top attorney for Democrats in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is currently investigating Lynch over concerns she may have tried to influence the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton.

The connection, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, comes after hundreds of pages of emails about the infamous “tarmac” meeting were released by two conservative watchdog groups who had filed Freedom of Information Act requests for documents about the meeting from the Justice Department.

Paige Herwig was a counselor to the then-Attorney General Lynch in 2016 when the airplane meeting between Clinton and Lynch took place. According to her LinkedIn profile and other sources, she now serves as the deputy general counsel for the minority in the Senate Judiciary.

Because both the majority and minority parties each have their own staff, Herwig is one of several lawyers who will have access to and knowledge of how the Senate Judiciary’s investigation of Lynch is proceeding, with many of those other attorneys being Republicans who serve Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and the other GOP members on the committee.

Sounds like a conflict of interest to me, but as we know, those only matter with Republicans.

FROM THE DAILY CALLER: Like her predecessor, Eric Holder, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch used an email alias to conduct government business, The Daily Caller has confirmed.

Using the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle,” Lynch corresponded with DOJ press officials to hammer out talking points in response to media requests about the meeting. The tarmac encounter drew criticism from conservatives because Lynch was overseeing the federal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email system.

Honestly, can anyone give me a straight-faced, non-gymnastic answer why the Attorney General would use an alias in government business emails? This was not yoga tips or cookie recipes.

HOW DEMOCRATS KEEP GUNS IN THE HANDS OF THE RICH:

When it comes to voting rights, any obstacles outrage liberals; even free government-issued IDs are viewed as disenfranchising poor and disproportionately black people. But when it comes to the right to own a gun for self-defense, liberals don’t hesitate to pile on fees, ID requirements, expensive training and onerous background checks.

That’s too bad, because many law-abiding citizens in crime-ridden neighborhoods really do need a gun for self-defense. Since poor, urban blacks are the most likely victims of violent crime, there is little doubt that they stand to benefit the most from owning guns. Research, including my own, has demonstrated this.

A new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that the average fee for a concealed handgun permit is $67, but it is much higher in the most Democratic states. Each 10-percentage-point increase in a state’s presidential vote for Hillary Clinton was associated with an additional $30 in the concealed handgun permit fee. In California, where Clinton won by about 30 points, fees can be as high as $385 for just two years. In New York City, where she won by 60 points, a three-year permit costs $430.

In addition to prohibitive fees, some blue states — California, Illinois — require four times as many training hours as the national average, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of obtaining a concealed-carry license. In California counties, the mandated cost of training can run from $250 to more than $1,000. Compare heavily Democratic Illinois, where the cost of permit and training runs over $450, with neighboring Republican Indiana where the total cost for everything is $50.

Why do Democrats hate and fear poor people and deliberately deprive them of their civil rights?

HARRY REID’S LEGACY: The Senate must end the tyranny of the minority and abolish the filibuster.

Congressman Trent Franks:

Mr. Trump is extremely astute to recognize the ‘senseless 60,’ Senate rule to be the primary culprit responsible for turning the U.S. Senate into the fundamentally dysfunctional institution it has become.

Perhaps the president was paying attention in the last election cycle when then Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said (when he was assuming Hillary Clinton would become president and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would become majority leader): “The country can’t be run this way, where nothing gets done.” … “Unless after this election there is a dramatic change to go back to the way it used to be” (before the “no-debate stealth filibuster”) “the Senate will have to evolve as it has in the past” … “But it will evolve with a majority vote determining stuff. It is going to happen” (emphasis mine), meaning that the majority, not 60 votes, would rule.

After such unequivocal statements, to predicate America’s future on the hope that Democrats will suddenly be seized with an epiphany of fair play toward Republicans and not follow through with Mr. Reid’s plan when given the chance, is to risk the survival of this republic on a hope that has never manifest in the past.

Read the whole thing.

TRUE: Hillary Wants To Preach.

I wrote something about this for the Guardian back in 2004. Excerpt:

And, actually, the roots of this do-goodism are ultimately in New England Puritanism, which had many characteristics associated with today’s left. Among them were a hostility to wealth – illustrated by sumptuary laws – a belief that the welfare of the community trumped the rights of individuals (Hillary combined both these aspects in her famous recent statement: “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good”). Puritans favoured dense settlement in towns over spread-out farmers – they were, in a sense, the first opponents of “sprawl”.

Even the most stereotypical aspect of the Puritans is not as out of place as you might think. Puritans were, of course, notoriously hostile to sex, but the modern left has threads of those sentiments, too – witness the anti-sex screeds of Catharine MacKinnon or Andrea Dworkin. In fact, Puritans, who were actually quite enthusiastic about marital sex, may actually have been less Puritanical in this regard than some modern feminists.

Not all leftwingers in the US are as frankly religious as Hillary Clinton, and many don’t even realise that the ideas that they champion have deep religious roots. But even for these people, being leftwing has itself become a sort of religion, with those who disagree viewed as sinister, almost demonic forces, rather than simply as individuals holding different views.

The language of righteousness and sin, if not that of redemption and grace, remains a hallmark of the purportedly secular left, though I find it no more attractive than the language of the religious right.

In fact, it’s worse.

RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA: The MSM Really Didn’t Want To Talk About That Clinton – Loretta Lynch Meeting.

Jazz Shaw:

According to the Daily Caller, there were some other folks who didn’t seem terribly interested in airing that sort of dirty laundry when it first came to light. They included reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post. Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request indicate that some of our stalwart defenders of the Freedom of the Press in the Fourth Estate may have been interested in getting that story off the front pages as quickly as possible.

A series of emails from reporters at The Washington Post and The New York Times published Friday reveal they weren’t eager to cover the 2016 tarmac meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The American Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit organization, released a series of emails that show the reporters at the outlets didn’t seem to want to cover the secret meeting between the former president and Lynch, as the Department of Justice was investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Matt Zapotosky, a WaPo reporter, reached out to a Department of Justice spokesperson in the hopes of “putting the story to rest.”

Framing your request for details as an effort to “put the story to rest” doesn’t exactly speak to a dogged reporter digging for the truth. But Zapotosky wasn’t the only one to turn up in this investigation. Mark Landler, White House correspondent for the New York Times, described his assignment to cover the story as him being, “pressed into service.” Again, given the players involved and the timing, one might think that a dutiful reporter would be excited at the prospect of chasing down such a juicy lead. But apparently not.

EVERGREEN:

DON SURBER: Further proof Hillary would be a disaster. “If the Antifa Fascists did not make it clear how bad a Hillary presidency would be, consider the Rolling Stone story on how her supporters still struggle to cope with losing an election nine months later.”

UH OH: The Congressional Map Has A Record-Setting Bias Against Democrats: And it’s not just 2018. “Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.” (Bumped).

NEO-NEOCON ON THE CONTENT OF THOSE LEAKED TRUMP PHONE CALLS (INCLUDING NEW HAMPSHIRE, THAT “DRUG-INFESTED DEN”):

[Trump] also told Pena-Nieto regarding illegal drugs coming into the U.S. from Mexico, “I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.” Whether that description is accurate or not, he, er, did not win New Hampshire last year…

No, Trump didn’t win the general election in that state—Hillary won by a very small margin (.3%)—but he won the NH primary by a huge margin. That was a big big deal at the time, and gave him his very first primary win after a defeat in Iowa. New Hampshire made him legit, as it were, and if he’s bragging about his primary win there, it would make a lot more sense than talking about winning (or losing) New Hampshire in the general, where its paltry four electoral votes hardly matter.

Allahpundit questions whether that description of New Hampshire as “a drug-infested den” is accurate or is hyperbole. But although “den” is perhaps a bit colorful, it is accurate in terms of the seriousness of the drug problem that has come to plague the state.

Read the whole thing.

And right next door to that drug-infested den is another drug-infested den. As Slate noted in 2013, “The state with the biggest drug problem: It’s Vermont.”

HEH: The funny thing is, I can almost see Trump doing this, and it would be devastating.

NO. NEXT QUESTION? Could Donald Trump Do Anything to Win the NeverTrumpers? “Having once been an active and paid-up member of the anti-Trump brigade, I understand that there are many things to criticize about Donald Trump. I have on several occasions explained why I changed my mind. It boils down to two things: Hillary Clinton, on the negative side of the equation, and Trump’s agenda on the positive side.”

DOING THE JOB JOURNALISTS, AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, WON’T DO: Judicial Watch uncovers more classified materials in Huma Abedin’s emails. “It’s always important to remember that despite whatever the U.S. government decides to do about Hillary Clinton’s (mis)handling of classified materials while she was secretary of state, Judicial Watch has been pursuing its own investigation, filing FOIA requests and, when those go unanswered, filing lawsuits demanding the release of documents.”

EGADS!

It’s almost as though it’s difficult to find strong support for Hillary Clinton outside of a few coastal and urban enclaves.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Trump Dossier Firm Worked With Media Outlets Now Giving The Firm A Pass.

The opposition research firm behind the infamous Trump dossier, Fusion GPS, worked with several prominent media outlets to spread dirt on President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. Those same media outlets, which have enthusiastically pounced on every new detail regarding the Russia investigation, have been oddly disinterested in probing into the crucial role of Fusion GPS.

The British spy Fusion GPS hired to craft the dossier, Christopher Steele, leaned on anonymous Russian sources in crafting the dossier for Fusion GPS. Steele’s lawyers revealed in court filings that, in September 2016, Steele briefed reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News, The New Yorker and CNN on behalf of Fusion GPS. Steele later held another meeting with reporters from the NYT, WaPo and Yahoo. The lawyers said that Fusion GPS attended these meetings with reporters and Steele, as TheDC’s Chuck Ross pointed out.

Fusion GPS, which is headed up by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, was working for a Democratic ally of Hillary Clinton at that time, although that ally’s name is not publicly known.

Those same media outlets that worked with Fusion GPS to receive information on the Republican nominee now appear to be helping Fusion GPS stay out of the public spotlight.

One hand washes the other.

SCOTT ADAMS ON THE KELLY APPOINTMENT: The Turn to “Effective, but we don’t like it.”

Prior to President Trump’s inauguration, I predicted a coming story arc in three acts. Act one involved mass protests in the streets because Hillary Clinton’s campaign had successfully branded Trump as the next Hitler. Sure enough, we saw mass protests by anti-Trumpers who legitimately and honestly believed the country had just elected the next Hitler. I predicted that the Hitler phase would evaporate by summer for lack of supporting evidence. That happened.

I also predicted the anti-Trumpers would modify their attack from “Hitler” to “incompetent,” and that phase would last the summer. That happened too. The president’s critics called him incompetent and said the White House was in “chaos.” There were plenty of leaks, fake news, and even true stories to support that narrative, as I expected. Every anti-Trump news outlet, and even some that supported him started using “chaos” to describe the situation.

Now comes the fun part.

I predicted that the end of this three-part story would involve President Trump’s critics complaining that indeed he was “effective, but we don’t like it.” Or words to that effect. I based that prediction on the assumption he would get some big wins by the end of the year and it would no longer make sense to question his effectiveness, only his policy choices.

How does the anti-Trump media gracefully pivot from “chaos and incompetence” to a story of “effective, but we don’t like it”? They need an external event to justify the turn. They need a visible sign of the White House moving from rookie status to professional status.

They need General John Kelly to replace Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff.

Well, stay tuned. I had a similar observation:

INDEPENDENT-COUNSEL-ORAMA: John Hinderaker: Let’s Investigate All The Scandals. “The House Republicans identify no fewer than 14 additional scandals or potential scandals that they want investigated by a second special counsel, Robert Mueller having shown himself to be a tool of the Democratic Party (my characterization, not theirs). . . . Roger Simon more modestly suggests five scandals that need to be investigated, along with Russian activities in connection with the 2016 election: the unmasking scandal, Fusion GPS, Imran Awan, Loretta Lynch’s cover-up of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, and Uranium One. . . . The House Republicans addressed their letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Sessions may or may not have been correct in recusing himself with regard to the investigation into the Trump campaign, but he certainly has no need to defer with regard to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the fourteen additional subjects raised by the House Judiciary Committee members.”

SALENA ZITO: THE DEMOCRATS CAN RETAKE THE HOUSE. IT BEGINS WITH THE QUESTION, ARE THEY WILLING TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE?

Well, they can pose as being more inclusive. But after the 2006 midterms, in which those who pretended to be moderate “Blue Dogs” went full-on socialist, passed Obamacare and became “Nancy Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies,” after Obama’s bitter clinger remarks about Hillary-supporting moderate Pennsylvania Democrats, after Hillary’s “Deplorables” sneer, and after all of the ongoing attacks on Trump and his core supporters, why would voters believe them?

More from Zito: The fate of the Democrats’ future may lie in Georgia. Eventually, they have to start winning elections in Georgia for Georgia to be a true battleground.

LIVE BY THE WOMAN CARD, DIE BY THE WOMAN CARD, EXPLAIN YOUR DEFEAT WITH THE WOMAN CARD: Hillary Clinton’s Memoir Will Be an Unapologetic Roast of Patriarchal Politics.

The irony is, if she’d listened to her experienced white male husband, she’d be President now. “What’s funny is, Hillary’s probably the only Democrat who would have ignored pointed election advice from Bill.”

WELL IF THEIR GOAL WAS SOWING CHAOS, THEY’VE CERTAINLY HAD A LOT OF HELP FROM THE MEDIA AND THE “RESISTANCE.” BUT I REPEAT MYSELF. Were The Russians Playing Both Sides?

It is now widely known that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election to weaken Hillary Clinton, both by hacking and releasing emails and by spreading disinformation on social media and state-funded news outlets.

But yesterday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearings suggest that this may not be the whole story.

In the clip below, Senator Lindsay Graham asks Bill Browder—American businessman who has successfully lobbied for sanctions against Russia after his attorney was abused and likely murdered in a Moscow jail—about Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Browder notes that Fusion GPS—the opposition research behind the infamous “pee tape” dossier about Donald Trump—was at the time being paid by Russians to produce opposition research about him and undermine support for the Magnitsky Act, the bill Browder backed that froze the assets of a few dozen Russian oligarchs.

Fusion GPS is relevant to the Russia investigation for two reasons. First, as Browder says above, it was under contract by Russian oligarchs at the same time that it produced “dirt” on Trump. Second, Christopher Steele—the British former spy who produced the dossier on Fusion’s behalf—gathered much of his information from Russians.

The web of connections involved in this whole affair can get convoluted (if you want to be more confused, recall that the Russian firm that hired Fusion GPS, Prevezon Holdings, also retained Natalia Veselnitskaya—the lawyer who met with Don Jr. in Trump Tower last July). But the information we have now at least raises the possibility that powerful Russians were involved—as sources of information or money or both—in the creation of the Steele Dossier, perhaps the most influential piece of opposition research in history. . . .

As Graham says, it’s quite possible that the Russians were collecting dirt on both sides in a bid to sow chaos above all else. We are likely to learn more as the Congressional investigations proceed.

Oh, I hope so.

Related: Kimberley Strassel: Who Paid for the ‘Trump Dossier’? Democrats don’t want you to find out—and that ought to be a scandal of its own.

It has been 10 days since Democrats received the glorious news that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley would require Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to explain their meeting with Russian operators at Trump Tower last year. The left was salivating at the prospect of watching two Trump insiders being grilled about Russian “collusion” under the klieg lights.

Yet Democrats now have meekly and noiselessly retreated, agreeing to let both men speak to the committee in private. Why would they so suddenly be willing to let go of this moment of political opportunity?

Fusion GPS. That’s the oppo-research outfit behind the infamous and discredited “Trump dossier,” ginned up by a former British spook. Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson also was supposed to testify at the Grassley hearing, where he might have been asked in public to reveal who hired him to put together the hit job on Mr. Trump, which was based largely on anonymous Russian sources. Turns out Democrats are willing to give up just about anything—including their Manafort moment—to protect Mr. Simpson from having to answer that question.

Make him talk. Under oath. “What if, all this time, Washington and the media have had the Russia collusion story backward? What if it wasn’t the Trump campaign playing footsie with the Vladimir Putin regime, but Democrats? The more we learn about Fusion, the more this seems a possibility.”

EDWARD LUTTWAK: Could The Trump Dynasty Last 16 Years?

In Washington DC, post-electoral stress disorder has generated a hysteria still amply manifest after eight months: the “Russian candidate” impeachment campaign implies that any contact with any Russian by anyone with any connection to Donald Trump was ipso facto treasonous. The quality press is doing its valiant best to pursue this story, but it is a bit much to claim “collusion” – a secret conspiracy – given that, during the election campaign, Trump very publicly called on the Russians to hack and leak Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. And it did not seem especially surprising when the latest target, Donald Trump Jr, promptly released all his emails to and from the Russians to confirm that he did indeed try to help his dad by finding dirt on the other guy. As for the other impeachment track underway, triggered by the ex-FBI director James Comey’s accusation of attempted obstruction of justice, Comey’s failure to accuse Trump until he was himself fired will make it easier for the Republicans who control the House to dismiss an otherwise plausible accusation as a naive error. . . .

But another reason is that the major cause of last November’s electoral outcome has remained mostly unexplored, even un­discovered. That is not due to intellectual laziness, but rather reflects the refusal of almost all commentators to contend with the political economy that determined the outcome of the election. Long-term processes of income redistribution from working people to everyone else, non-working welfare recipients as well as the very rich, had been evident for at least two decades. . . .

In the dramatic crescendo of the 2016 elections that gave Trump to the United States and the world, very possibly for sixteen years (the President’s re-election committee is already hard at work, while his daughter Ivanka Trump is duly apprenticed in the White House that, according to my sources, she means to occupy as America’s first female President), none of the countless campaign reporters and commentators is on record as having noticed the car “affordability” statistics distributed in June 2016 via www.thecarconnection.com. Derived from very reliable Federal Reserve data, they depicted the awful predicament of almost half of all American households. Had journalists studied the numbers and pondered even briefly their implications, they could have determined a priori that only two candidates could win the Presidential election – Sanders and Trump – because none of the others even recognized that there was problem if median American households had been impoverished to the point that they could no longer afford a new car. . . . The Clinton crowd even more than the candidate herself blamed the lethargy of the TV-watching, beer-drinking, gun-owning, church-going, and cigarette-smoking “deplorables”, who unaccountably failed to avail themselves of the wonderful opportunity to leave boring assembly-line jobs or downright dangerous coal-face or oil drilling jobs to become fashion designers, foreign-exchange traders, software engineers, or even political campaign operatives.

Read the whole thing.

HARD TO SEE THIS CREW AS NONPARTISAN, INDEPENDENT, AND PROFESSIONAL: Mueller probe: Meet the lawyers who gave $$ to Hillary, now investigating team Trump.

Then there’s the nonstop leaking. . . .

KURT SCHLICHTER: Trump Needs To Be Smart About How He Fires Mueller.

Trump must eventually fire Robert Mueller, a partisan tool carrying water for his Establishment pals as he oversees an utterly corrupt “investigation” where the only person we actually know committed any wrongdoing is his bestest buddy Jim Comey. But Trump can’t just lash out and do it, though it is well within his political and moral right to do so. No, he’s got to do it cleverly, with cunning, in a way that shows the American people exactly why Mueller’s witch hunt is a flaming dumpster fire of conflicts of interest and contempt for the right of normal Americans to have a say in their own governance.

Trump has to set the stage before he pulls the trigger and puts the coup de grace into the temple of this appalling fiasco. He has to do it so the American people will see and understand why ending this idiocy is so absolutely necessary to preserve our Republic despite the mainstream media’s best effort to hide the truth.

Trump needs to seize the initiative from Leaky Bob. You know, I keep hearing how Mueller was this squared-away Marine officer, but through these incessant leaks his organization demonstrates a complete lack of both integrity and discipline. Mueller seems unwilling or unable to exercise any kind of leadership over his team of Hillary donors, or to instill a culture of seriousness and impartiality. The continuing misconduct of his out-of-control, ever-expanding fiefdom demonstrates that he must be relieved of command. And here’s the letter the president should send to him to set the stage to do it.

More at the link.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Meet the lawyers who gave $$ to Hillary, now investigating team Trump.

SHOT: Schumer’s Criticism of Hillary Is Worse Than It Seems.

—Roger Simon, today.

Chaser:

UNLIKE MELANIA, Hillary So White.

From the comments: “Reading media has become as baroque as reading Pravda used to be: look at these photos, text and graphics, and attempt to divine, what’s to be the next Party line?”

JUST TEN MORE MINUTES, I SWEAR: Democrats snoozing through their wake-up call.

Gloria Johns:

Where do we start with all the Democrats have gotten wrong?

First, they did not anticipate the backlash from the party’s greatest achievement. The election of the first African-American president was the straw that broke the back of conservatives and middle-income white Americans who were quickly becoming the minority and not happy about it at all.

Democrats failed to notice their party’s freefall, as evidenced by the loss of about 900 legislative seats from 2008 to 2016. While it’s not untypical that a two-term presidency starts to lose a little luster during its waning years, these numbers definitely signal a shift in mood among the American people – a shift not quite away from civil rights, but definitely more focused on the right to prosper as an individual, the equivalent of the Republican’s siren song.

And not to diminish her exceptional public service over many decades, but Hillary Clinton was an entitlement candidate and an unimaginative one at that. If Trump represents a 1950s separatist, Clinton is a bit of a relic of the 1960s, when the Democrats’ whimsical party platform was, “… it is the creation of an enduring peace in which the universal values of human dignity, truth, and justice under law are finally secured for all men everywhere on earth.”

How do you turn all of that into action?

If this column is any indicator, even lefties who think they get it still haven’t gotten it.

UPDATE: Yes, even Chuck Schumer.

BYRON YORK: If Trump’s in trouble, why are Republicans trouncing Democrats in fundraising?

The numbers are striking. In June, the RNC raised $13.5 million to the DNC’s $5.5 million.

For 2017 so far, the RNC has raised $75.4 million to the DNC’s $38.2 million.

The RNC started the year with $25.3 million in cash-on-hand. Now it has $44.7 million. The DNC started the year with $10.5 in cash-on-hand. Now, that has fallen to $7.5 million.

As of June 30, the RNC reported $0 in debt. The DNC reported $3.3 million in debt.

A look inside the numbers is even worse for the DNC. Looking at collections from small donors — that is, those who contributed less than $200 — the RNC raised $10.5 million in the months of May and June. The DNC raised $5.3 million from small donors in the same time period.

The RNC’s money total is a record — more than was raised in any previous non-presidential election year. That is true for June, and for all of 2017 as well. The $75.4 million raised this year compares to $55.4 million for the same period in 2015; to $51.2 for the same period in 2014; to $41.1 million for the same period in 2013, and so on going back.

“It’s definitely a reflection of support for President Trump,” said RNC spokesman Ryan Mahoney. “Our small-dollar donors are giving at a record pace because they believe the RNC is supporting President Trump, and they like that.”

Well, and the Dems have a lot of bad blood over the way Hillary rigged the primaries.

ME, ONE YEAR AGO: Trump’s not a savior — but neither was Obama.

Obama has continued in this vein much more recently, telling police, “I’m your best hope” in his address after the police shootings by black nationalist Micah X. Johnson.

Obama wasn’t the Messiah, of course, and his feet of clay are now abundantly evident to everyone, except probably him. (With US troops fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan today, even that ending-war stuff turns out to have been a sham, never mind the rise of the oceans stuff. And all the email-deletion and document-shredding doesn’t look very messianic either.)

But that’s no surprise. If it’s salvation you seek, you won’t find it from a politician of either party. They’re pretty much all very naughty boys. And girls. Vote accordingly.

Indeed. Though by not being Hillary or Obama, Trump’s been successful enough to make me glad he won. And the nonstop butthurt from the DC crowd — Democrats and Republicans — is delicious. What really gets them, I think, is that they think Trump is miles beneath them, but the public seems to think that there’s not much difference.

THE O.J. TRIAL AND THE CLINTON PRESIDENCY: The O.J. Trial Was a Preview of America Under Trump.

Race loomed large in the O.J. Simpson trial, which came on the heels of the Rodney King saga, and O.J.’s team leveraged black identity politics in much the same way that Trump leveraged white identity politics. The prosecution team, like Hillary Clinton’s campaign, made a logical (if not particularly inspired) argument for why the jurors should take its side in what seemed to most professionals like a slam-dunk case. But the result came down to ethnocultural identification among the decision-makers. And O.J.’s jurors, like Trump’s voters, simply did not feel understood or recognized by the other team. The prosecution’s efforts at tokenism weren’t enough to convince the largely black jury to take the side of a law enforcement regime they viewed with suspicion, just as Hillary Clinton’s tortured working class appeals didn’t persuade white Rust Belt voters that she had their interests at heart. . . .

The most remarked-upon similarity between these two phenomena is the reality-TV quality of the coverage surrounding them. Both Trump and O.J. achieved wall-to-wall, flood-the-zone coverage unlike anything seen before or since. Both did this at a time of flux in the way Americans consumed information—O.J. at the dawn of the age of cable news, and Trump at the dawn of the age of social media. And both employed similar media strategies, with great success. For O.J.’s legal team, as the communications professional Bradley Tusk wrote in a post-election piece comparing it to the O.J. trial, “message and narrative trumped facts and evidence. Style trumped substance. He turned the whole thing into a spectacle, and the media played right along. Punditry, commentary and celebrity overran the process.” The media wanted O.J. to be convicted, just as it wanted Trump to lose, but the 24/7 coverage vortex probably helped both men more than it hurt.

Plus, Alan Dershowitz!

GREAT MOMENTS IN FAKE NEWS:

● Shot: Andrea Mitchell ‘Can’t Think Of’ Showing Any Bias, Maybe ‘Too Aggressive’ on Hillary.

NewsBusters, yesterday.

● Chaser: Pathetic MSNBC Runs Promo of Hillary Telling Andrea Mitchell She’s ‘My Kind of Woman’; ‘Love you!’

—The Media Research Center, September 15, 2016.

ACCEPTANCE: 35% Of Democrats Say A Friend’s Vote For Trump Would “Strain” Their Relationship.

Three possibilities. One: There’s a sore-loser effect. Republicans bear Democratic friends no grudge because they won the election. Democrats do bear Republican friends a grudge because they lost. The left has to live with Trump for four years while the right is free from Clinton. No wonder one side has harder feelings than the other.

Two: The left is less tolerant of partisan disagreement because it assigns to its political beliefs the same moral weight that the right typically assigns to religion. Granted, that’s a simplification — there are many religious Democrats, albeit fewer than there are religious Republicans — but there’s a reason why campus Savonarolas feel impelled to extirpate interlopers like Ann Coulter, Charles Murray, and Ben Shapiro. The left’s favorite candidate has taken to measuring Republican legislation in terms of how many 9/11s it’s equivalent to, for fark’s sake. The right simply seems to offend the left more deeply than vice versa.

Three, the most Democrat-friendly spin: Trump is so uniquely odious a character (the “Access Hollywood” tape, the sexual assault allegations, a million other embarrassing moments) and his flaws are so intensely magnified by the media that of course one’s decision to vote for him will horrify Democrats. All I’d say to that is … have you ever talked to a Republican about Hillary Clinton?

Heh.

TO BE FAIR, KATIE COURIC KNOWS A LOT ABOUT FAKE NEWS:

Shot: Katie Couric says fake news is ‘tearing’ America ‘apart at the seams.’

—The New York Daily Mail, today.

Chaser:

Of course Yahoo News should fire Katie Couric. She committed an act of gross intellectual dishonesty — and if you don’t fire a journalist for dishonesty, what in hell do you fire one for? Bad manners?

Well, yes. More on that in a bit.

Couric is under fire (you know, like Hillary Rodham Clinton in Bosnia) for her role in an anti-gun documentary (NB: My iPad wants “anti-gun” to be “anti-fun” — changed it three times — and I do not disagree) in which dishonest editing was used to make it look as though pro–Second Amendment activists were unable to answer elementary questions about a gun-rights controversy. This technique is known as “the Jon Stewart.” What you do is take a few seconds (or, in this case, a few minutes) of reaction shots (the footage they shoot of people’s faces while other people are talking) and then insert that non-talking footage after a question is asked: Voilà, the opposition is literally speechless. My friend Jonah Goldberg knows a little bit about this, his Daily Show appearance being an infamous example of editing with malice.

—“Katie Couric & Gun Rights: A Study in Dishonesty,” Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online, May 29, 2016.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

MSNBC’s Jonathan Alter: Trump ‘Voter Suppression Commission’ Is ‘Threat to Democracy.’

NewsBusters, today.

Jonathan Alter Demands Gore Presidency In Spite Of Outcome.

—The Media Research Center, November 9th, 2000.

UPDATE: “MSNBC analyst, Jonathan Alter (Democrat-Barack Obama -Hillary Clinton) Is Textbook Example of Democrat party operative with Byline. Alter’s parents are Chicago Democrat machine hacks,” Steve Bartin writes at Newsalert. Just keep scrolling for the details.

THE LEFT’S ‘HAMBURGER PROBLEM’ IS NOT GOING AWAY, Kyle Smith writes at NRO:

Progressives have a problem: They ladle unto every decision, even the most mundane and trifling one, an unattractive glop of gooey political significance. They can’t resist warning the rest of us that we’re abetting the destruction of the planet every time we, say, tuck into a Quarter Pounder.

Josh Barro is a recovering ex-Republican who is now a member of a niche political group: the non-crazy Democrats. He coined a cute phrase — “the hamburger problem” — to describe the relentless politicization of everything by progressives and Democrats. He writes, “Democrats’ problem isn’t that they’re on the wrong side of policy issues. It’s that they’re too ready to bother too many ordinary people about too many of their personal choices, all the way down to the hamburgers they eat.” He cites nonstop Democratic hectoring on, inter alia, the team name of the Washington Redskins, the way men sit on subway trains, and even some Americans’ choice not to abide by China’s one-child standard as the reasons why the party is today as electorally wobbly as Rocky Balboa in the 15th round. Yet the GOP’s success puzzles him still, because so many core Democratic cultural ideals (notably, gay marriage and marijuana decriminalization) poll more and more strongly.

When John Stuart Mill called the British conservatives “the stupidest party,” it stuck. Today the Democrats are the Annoying Party. The Left thinks Americans are picturing Mary Poppins when they talk about the nanny state; in truth, they’re thinking of Nurse Ratched. The prospect of a new set of nuisances being dreamed up and lashingly enforced by Hillary Clinton is what led voters to roll the dice with an Atlantic City grifter.

Related: Rod Dreher on the left’s “Law of Merited Impossibility, which states: ‘It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.’”

THE PATRIARCHY — IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Peter Daou goes off on pretty much EVERYBODY after HuffPo reality check about Hillary.

COLLUSION: Postal Service broke law by letting employees do Clinton campaign work.

The OSC determined the USPS “engaged in systemic violations” of the Hatch Act, a federal law that limits certain political activities of federal employees.

The investigation was launched months ago after Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., brought constituent complaints to the OSC in October. The constituent, identified as a USPS employee, was concerned the Postal Service “incurred unnecessary overtime costs” and “improperly coordinated” with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) when it released members for several weeks of “union official” leave without pay to participate in campaign work.

“The Labor 2016 program sought to ‘elect Hillary Clinton and pro-worker candidates across the country,’” the report said, citing campaign work like door-to-door canvassing, phone banks and other get-out-the-vote efforts.

The Republican Congress ought to keep this in mind the next time the Post Office asks for more money or a friendly regulation.

WELL, THAT’S CHANGED.  IT USED TO BE HILLARY’S POPULARITY ROSE THE LESS SHE WAS SEEN: Clinton is still apparently more unpopular than Trump.

COLLUSION: Hillary Clinton sided with Russia on sanctions as Bill made $500G on Moscow speech.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Our Corrupt Media Is Now Haunted By All The Precedents They Set While Colluding With Obama.

Barack Obama trafficked guns to Mexican drug lords, secretly delivered pallets filled with billions in cash to Iran’s America/Jew-hating mullahs, left four Americans to die in Benghazi and then lied about it, allowed his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to exchange government favors for hundreds of millions of dollars slushed into the Clinton Foundation, sic’d his IRS on everyday, law-abiding Americans, and used a trillion dollars in “stimulus” funds to pay off his cronies, like those behind a boondoggle called Solyndra.

And all along, over eight terrible years, our media did a whole lot more than just let Obama get away with it. They wholeheartedly colluded. They allowed Obama to persecute them through the Department of Justice and to lie to our face (remember: I just now read about it in the newspaper, the IRS did nothing wrong, you can keep your insurance). And when that wasn’t enough, the media mercilessly attacked as racist anyone who criticized the Precious and ginned up nothingburgers like Todd Akin to distract from those four dead Americans. And when even that wasn’t enough, they themselves lied and obfuscated, covered up and dissembled, and most of all they set all kinds of precedents that, in a delicious form of irony, are now driving this utterly failed institution to the edge of insanity. . . .

And now — now! — this very same media (with the help of #NeverTrump’s forever-preening moral narcissists) is using the spear of Muh Principles to demand that those of us on the political right agree to destroy ourselves in their corrupt crusade, that we acquiesce like second-class citizens to their separate sets of rules?

Like hell.

People do notice hypocrisy.

RICK PERRY: We aim for energy domination.

Washington Examiner: Shell is building a cracker plant not far from here. Is that part of the equation of creating an energy hub in this region? Explain what a cracker plant is, because when people who are not from an energy state hear “cracker plants,” they think it’s a plant that makes saltines.

Perry: (laughing) Well, this is cracking those molecules so that you can have different byproducts — ethane, ethylene — that go into the petrochemical industry, and yes, that is adding value. That is creating a hub. If you just took that gas and burned it at a power plant, it’s sort of like cooking your breakfast using $100 bills. It will cook your breakfast, but it’s a pretty expensive way to do it.

But if you take that gas, process it, crack it, send different streams different ways to be used in a lot of valued-added processing, that can happen right here in this region. So, one job becomes 10 jobs. And those are high-value jobs.

The other side of what it does, President Trump’s vision of making America dominant in the energy field — this is exactly what he’s talking about. He doesn’t want us just to be independent. He wants us to be dominant. That means that our allies, wherever they may be in the world, know that there will be a constant stream of these products that they need to develop their countries economically.

All of our allies are very interested in our being able to develop different energy sources, LNG in particular. I mean, this is a game changer.

Putin, OPEC hardest hit.

FLASHBACK: “By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place,” [Hillary Clinton] said.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: How The Press Ignored Bill Clinton’s Foreign-Donation Scandal. “I’m glad the news media is pursuing the Trump–Russia scandal, but let’s not forget the differences between how they are covering Russia compared with how they reported a similar story — this one involving Communist China — that developed during Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign. . . . Many people still believe that a major cover-up of that scandal worked — in part because the media expressed skepticism and devoted only a fraction of resources they are spending on the Trump–Russia story. Network reporters expressed outright skepticism of the story, with many openly criticizing the late senator Fred Thompson, the chair of the Senate investigating committee, for wasting time and money.”

They were in the tank for Bill Clinton nearly as much as they were in the tank for Obama and Hillary.

“SEXISM” IS THE LAST REFUGE OF SCOUNDRELS: Jane Sanders cries sexism in bank-fraud accusations as GOP hits back.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders, is crying sexism against the man responsible for an FBI investigation into the allegations she fraudulently obtained a loan for the Vermont college she once oversaw.

“I find it incredibly sexist that basically he’s going after my husband by destroying my reputation, and that’s not OK,” Jane Sanders told The Boston Globe.

The FBI investigation began in early 2016 after Brady Toensing, a former official for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Vermont and now a candidate for U.S. attorney in the state, filed a complaint alleging Jane Sanders committed bank fraud.

Toensing, according to the Washington Examiner, started researching Jane Sanders in 2014, years before her husband Sen. Sanders, I-Vt., would run for president.

And the kicker: “‘Jane Sanders must think Hillary Clinton’s campaign was sexist for viewing the alleged bank fraud as a major issue, too,’ said Michael Ahrens, Rapid Response Director for the RNC.”

If you strike at Queen Hillary…

BYRON YORK: What campaign wouldn’t seek motherlode of Clinton emails?

The public learned on March 10, 2015 that Hillary Clinton had more than 60,000 emails on her private email system, and that she had turned over “about half” of them to the State Department and destroyed the rest, which she said were “personal” and “not in any way related” to her work as Secretary of State.

The public learned later the lengths to which Clinton went to make sure the “personal” emails were completely and permanently deleted. Her team used a commercial-strength program called BleachBit to erase all traces of the emails, and they used hammers to physically destroy mobile devices that might have had the emails on them. The person who did the actual deleting later cited legal privileges and the Fifth Amendment to avoid talking to the FBI and Congress.

Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, told Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Benghazi Committee, that investigators could forget about finding any of those emails, whether on a device or a server or anywhere. Sorry, Trey, he said; they’re all gone.

It was, as the New York Times’ Mark Landler said in August 2016, the “original sin” of the Clinton email affair — that Clinton herself, and no independent body, unilaterally decided which emails she would hand over to the State Department and which she would delete.

Still, there were people who did not believe that Clinton’s deleted emails, all 30,000-plus of them, were truly gone. What is ever truly gone on the Internet? And what if Clinton were not telling the truth? What if she deleted emails covering more than just personal matters? In that event, recovering the emails would have rocked the 2016 presidential campaign.

So, if there were an enormous trove of information potentially harmful to a presidential candidate just sitting out there — what opposing campaign wouldn’t want to find it?

The difference is, most campaigns would send some deniable operative. Trump’s campaign was so lean that he didn’t have a bunch of those people to call on.

SHUT UP AND SING! U2 Concerts Would Be Better If the Band Preached Less and Sang More:

For much of the show, the band projected an earnest slideshow of Native Americans and other immigrants onto the screen. Those pictured were unsmiling, trudging down roads and living in shacks. This is U2’s version of what the immigrant experience looks like in America, and it’s all pretty bleak. But the message was muddled and totally unclear.

The album’s greatest songs—“Running to Stand Still” and “Red Hill Mining Town”—are about, respectively, heroin abuse and the death of a mining town. America is experiencing an explosive surge in opioid deaths, and the death of the steel and car industry has decimated cities like Pittsburgh and Detroit. It’s hard to understand how the relentless stream of grim portraits of immigrants connected to the songs themselves.

Last year, Bono declared Trump “potentially the worst idea that ever happened to America” and reportedly “sought favorable access to Hillary through [the] Clinton Foundation.”  In January, as Spin reported, “Obama Walked Out to U2’s ‘City of Blinding Lights’ for His Farewell Address,” and had lunch with Bono in March. So it’s rather odd for U2 to resurrect a song lamenting the death of a mining town, when Obama vowed to bankrupt the coal industry, and last year, Hillary chortled at the prospect that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

(Classical reference in headline.)

THE WEEK: This isn’t Watergate. This isn’t treason. And there’s still no smoking gun.

The unflagging tedium of the Trump-Russia-Manafort-Guccifer 2.0-Kushner-Page-Comey-Flynn-Steele-Stone-Lavrov-Mueller-WikiLeaks-Fancy Bear-­Intercept-CIA-FBI-NSA-BBC-Don Jr. saga refuses to go away. Every day there are new breathless reports, fresh for-initiates-only micro-revelations that inspire screeches of “Treason!”

But there is still no smoking gun. . . .

This is hardly the first This is it moment the media has begged us to acknowledge. Please remember that a year ago we were expected to believe that Donald Trump had committed treason by begging the Russian government to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails live on cable television, before an audience of millions. We all know that this is exactly how espionage works and that there is no way that the smiling ex-reality television show host was making a joke about the actual documented collusion between the former secretary of state’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, which marshaled their forces against an honest public servant who could arguably have beaten Trump in a general election if the primary had not been rigged.

And so it has continued, uninterrupted without so much as a hint of self-reproach or critical reflection, and so it will continue, presumably, “from day to day / To the last syllable of recorded time,” in saecula saeculorum.

Related:

Plus:

And:

Let’s find out their names. You know, in the interest of policing “collusion.”

WHEN EVERYBODY’S DIRTY, IT’S HARD TO MAKE THE MUD STICK: Spare me your Donald Jr. indignation. “To be clear, none of this is okay. This isn’t an effort to justify Donald Jr.’s decisions. But politics is a dirty industry. Many of the people criticizing him have spent plenty of time playing in the mud. They could at least wipe themselves off before handing down hypocritical moral judgments on others.”

Given that we have the worst political class in our history, yelling “Trump is not normal!” doesn’t persuade. Given that our political class is also deeply corrupt and incompetent, calling Trump corrupt and incompetent doesn’t carry a lot of weight either. Given how many of them — *cough*Hillary*cough* — are on the take from foreign countries, the Russian thing seems like weak sauce. And given that everyone was hopped up to destroy him on any possible grounds as soon as their post-election hangovers started to recede, it’s easy to doubt the sincerity of Trump’s critics.

UNUSED OPPO TRICKLES OUT: Hillary Clinton’s plan to attack Bernie Sanders’ wife.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ claims that an ongoing FBI probe of his wife is based on partisan politics don’t square with the fact that it began under President Obama and appears to closely track Democratic opposition research revealed in the hacked emails of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney in Vermont are investigating Jane O’Meara Sanders for her role in a failed 2010, $10 million college land deal that she orchestrated during her seven-year stint as president of Burlington College in Vermont.

According to a series of 2015 emails to and from Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, leaked to and published on Wikileaks, the Clinton team wrote an extensive political opposition memo entitled “Sanders Top Hits-Thematics.” The memo details Mrs. Sanders’ role in the college’s financial failure, and parallels the ongoing FBI investigation, now before a grand jury, into the scandal. Other email correspondence shows the Clinton team believed scandals surrounding the college and Jane Sanders provided an opportunity to knock the Vermont senator’s reputation and chances to win the Democratic primary election.

I’m sure they would have rolled this out if Bernie had done better. Hillary had a plan for every contingency, except being unpopular and a bad candidate.

TRIGGER WARNING, DEMOCRATS: Your Path To Political Revival Is Through Trump Voters.

To win again, the Democrats don’t need to adopt an alien agenda or back away from policies aimed at racial justice. But their leaders would be well advised to change their rhetorical priorities and more directly address the country’s bastions of gloom. The party has been crushed—not just in the recent presidential election, but in countless down-ballot elections—by its failure to develop a message that can resonate with people beyond the core members of the Obama coalition, and by its unwillingness to blare its hostility to crony capitalism.

The makings of a Democratic majority are real. Demographic advantages will continue to accrue to the left. The party needs only to add to its coalition on the margins and in the right patches on the map. Doing that does not require the abandonment of any moral principles; persuasion is a different category of political activity from pandering. A decent liberalism, not to mention a savvy party, shouldn’t struggle to accord dignity and respect to citizens, even if it believes some of them hold abhorrent views.

It may take a generational shift before Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” remark is not longer the Democrats’ brand with the white working class voters who were already fleeing the party.

Meanwhile, younger Americans are trending more conservative than is widely appreciated on economic issues. That gives the GOP an opening to pursue the youth vote — although doing so will probably require a tricky combination of accepting defeat on certain social issues (gay marriage, aspects of the Drug War) while doubling down on others (religious liberty, campus reform, and the like).

TWO CNNs IN ONE!

Shot: CNN’s Trump Hatred: Host [Alisyn Camerota] Says President Would Have Sold Uranium to Russia.

NewsBusters, today.

Chaser:

On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Clinton’s State Department was “among the agencies” to eventually sign off on a deal that allowed a Russian energy company to buy the rights to one-fifth of the United States’ uranium deposits. Significant donors to the foundation, according to the Times, stood to benefit from the deal, which was eventually approved.

The piece also notes how donations from the Canadian company flowed to the Clinton Foundation around the time of the deal and how “shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”

“Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown,” the Times writes.

—“New ethics questions test Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” CNN.com, April 23, 2015.

AND FOR NEWSWEEK, IT STILL IS:

● Shot: It’s Hillary Clinton’s Election to Lose.

—Headline, Newsweek, September 29, 2016.

● Chaser: Hillary Clinton Is President in an Alternate Universe, Where America Is Great Again.

—Headline, Newsweek, yesterday. (Link safe; goes to NewsBusters.)  

● Hangover: If Gore Had Won — An alternate oral history of the last decade.

—Headline, Newsweek, December, 2010. 

And of course, the ultimate leftwing fantasy moment from Newsweek immediately after the November election: “Madam President: how Newsweek reported a Clinton victory.”

(Buried lede: Newsweek somehow still exists as a magazine.)

 

NUCLE’R COMBAT, TOE TO TOE WITH THE RUSSKIES! Paul Begala summary: We should start nuclear war with Russia because Hillary was too dumb to campaign in WI/PA/MI.

Paul, when I called you guys the John Birch Left in 2014 – honest, I didn’t mean for you to take the metaphor so literally.

UPDATE: Begala, of course, mocked Romney in 2012: “Potus nails Mitt for saying Russia our #1 geostrategic threat. ‘The 1980’s called. They want their foreign police back.’ Bam!”

And the beards have all grown longer overnight.

THE CORRECT ANSWER, OF COURSE, IS THAT IT’S ONLY A CRIME IF A REPUBLICAN DOES IT. Can it be a crime to do opposition research by asking foreigners for information?

Say that, in Summer 2016, a top Hillary Clinton staffer gets a message: “A Miss Universe contestant — Miss Slovakia — says that Donald Trump had sexually harassed her. Would you like to get her story?” The staffer says, “I’d love to,” and indeed gets the information, which he then uses in the campaign.

Did the staffer and the Miss Universe contestant just commit a crime? Yes, under the analysis set forth in the past couple of days by some analysts, such as my University of California colleague and leading election law scholar Rick Hasen (UC Irvine School of Law) and by Common Cause; Hasen was cited by the Wall Street Journal and CNN; similar arguments were quoted by Dahlia Lithwick (Slate).

Foreigners who aren’t U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, the argument goes, are barred from providing candidates any “thing of value” in connection with any American election campaign. Campaign staff are barred from soliciting any “thing of value” from such foreigners. And, the argument goes, valuable political information about an opponent’s misdeeds is a “thing of value.” . . . Can Americans — whether political candidates or anyone else — really be barred from asking questions of foreigners, just because the answers might be especially important to voters?

Read the whole thing, by Eugene Volokh.

“THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE JUICE”: New Information In A Bizarre Story About A Quest To Hunt Down Hillary Clinton’s Deleted Emails.

WEIRD HOW THE PRESS DIDN’T REALLY COVER THIS: Obama’s White House Boys’ Club: New Obama White House Memoir Reveals Staff Drinking, ‘D*ck Jokes,’ and Womanizing.

I mean, who could’ve seem that coming when it started out with things like this scene, involving Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau:

Imagine the difference in treatment if these had been Trump staffers. “Fraternities have been closed for less.”

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

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Yes, Trump Jr. Was ‘Collusion Curious,’ But Where’s the Outrage About Hillary’s Ukraine Collusion?

YOU STAY CLASSY, ABC. Nasty: Jimmy Kimmel Airs Fake Interview with Grotesque Puppet of Kellyanne Conway.

Just ask the media — there’s no bias. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Spitting Image-style Hillary or Michelle Obama puppets from Kimmel anytime soon.

RISE OF THE GIANT RANGEOMORPHS: As scary as an Al Gore or Michael Mann global warming climate change horror story. They lived in the ocean. They looked like plants. But they were probably animals, with ecophenotypic plasticity.

Ecophenotypic plasticity refers to changes in an organism’s form (or phenotype) wrought by environmental influences.

Rangeomorphs lived 570 million years ago, but ecophenotypic plasticity isn’t over ’til it’s over. The 21st century is plagued by new forms of ecophenotypic plasticity. For example, Hillary Clinton looks like an animal but she’s really a plant with political ecophenotypic plasticity. CNN looks like a news network but it’s really an ecophenotypic plastic banana Democrat propaganda machine. I could give you other examples but I’d rather pour myself a shot of bourbon.

HEY: OK, I added the O. Typo, not bourbon.

DEEP STATE: US Post Office spent big OT bucks to cover workers while they campaigned for Hillary.

YEAH, THAT’S HOW IT LOOKS TO ME, TOO: Michael Walsh: The Times ‘exposé’ on Donald Trump Jr. is a big yawn.

The news was delivered by the New York Times in the breathless tones that might announce a cure for cancer or the discovery of life on Mars:

“President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.”

To which a rational response is … who wouldn’t? And also: so, what? A third response is unprintable. . . .

According to the younger Trump, the Clinton angle was just a ruse: “Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered,” he told the Times.

“The real reason, it seems, was that Veselnitskaya wanted to lobby for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, an Obama-era law that allows the US to deny visas to Russians thought guilty of human-rights violations.” In retaliation, the Russians promptly ended the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans.

And that’s what all the fuss is about? No campaign in its right mind would turn down an offer of information on their opponent. That is what opposition research is all about. You can bet Hillary wouldn’t have hung up on the person who claimed to have dirt on the Donald. After all, the Clinton campaign lobbied the comedian Tom Arnold two days before the election to release potentially embarrassing footage from Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice.” Arnold declined.

But in the end, the lawyer had nothing, gave nothing, got nothing in return, in a meeting that lasted 20 minutes. This is a scandal?

They hope that the rubes will think so.

SERIOUS QUESTION: CAN JAMES COMEY GET ANYTHING RIGHT? Comey’s private memos on Trump conversations contained classified material.

More than half of the memos former FBI chief James Comey wrote as personal recollections of his conversations with President Trump about the Russia investigation have been determined to contain classified information, according to interviews with officials familiar with the documents.

This revelation raises the possibility that Comey broke his own agency’s rules and ignored the same security protocol that he publicly criticized Hillary Clinton for in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election.

Comey testified last month he considered the memos to be personal documents and that he shared at least one of them with a Columbia University lawyer friend. . . .

But when the seven memos Comey wrote regarding his nine conversations with Trump about Russia earlier this year were shown to Congress in recent days, the FBI claimed all were, in fact, deemed to be government documents.

While the Comey memos have been previously reported, this is the first time there has been a number connected to the amount of the memos the ex-FBI chief wrote.

Four of the memos had markings making clear they contained information classified at the “secret” or “confidential” level, according to officials directly familiar with the matter.

A spokesman for the FBI on Sunday declined to comment.

FBI policy forbids any agent from releasing classified information or any information from ongoing investigations or sensitive operations without prior written permission, and mandates that all records created during official duties are considered to be government property.

His firing is looking pretty darn justified. It’s his hiring that should raise questions.

MAYBE SHE’LL FIND IT IN WISCONSIN OR MICHIGAN: Hillary Still Searching for the Meaning of Life in 2018 Elections.

MAYBE SHE’LL CAMPAIGN IN WISCONSIN: Hillary Clinton looks for her role in midterms.

ANDY McCARTHY: ‘A Word of Truth’ About Linda Sarsour’s ‘Jihad.’

I’m so old, I can remember when the left still openly stated that jihad was a euphemism for terror. But hey, the Newspeak Dictionary was due for an update, anyhow.

RICH LOWRY: TRUMP IS WINNING THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE.

With his penchant for tweeted insults and GIFs, Donald Trump will never be mistaken for a master of the sweet art of persuasion. Yet he is clearly winning the public argument on the issue of immigration.

He isn’t doing it through sustained, careful attention. He tweeted the other day that the media will eventually have to cover his success at the border, even though he himself has devoted more energy to his war with CNN than promoting the reduction in illegal border crossings.

No, it is the sheer fact of his November victory, and the data showing the importance of the issue of immigration to it, that has begun to shift the intellectual climate.

It had been assumed, even by many Republicans like Sen. John McCain, that opposition to amnesty and higher levels of legal immigration would doom the GOP to minority status forevermore. Trump blew up this conventional wisdom.

Now, intellectuals on the center-left are calling for Democrats to rethink the party’s orthodoxy on immigration, which has become more and more hostile to enforcement and to any skepticism about current high levels of immigration.

The swing here was enormous. A Trump defeat in November after running on an exaggerated version of immigration restriction would have sent Republicans scurrying back to the comfortable, corporate-friendly cliches about so-called comprehensive immigration reform. And if Hillary Clinton had won on a platform that doubled down on Obama’s executive amnesties, serious immigration enforcement would have lost its political legitimacy.

Trump probably wouldn’t have won without running so directly into the teeth of the elite consensus.

That’s true. Plus: “The pull of the left’s cosmopolitanism is strong. In an attack on Beinart, Dylan Matthews of Vox argues that the left’s egalitarianism can’t stop at the nation’s borders—’it means a strong presumption in favor of open immigration.'”

Well, if Trump can get the Dems to double down on open borders, while also calling Western Civilization fascism and praising Jihad, he could take 45 states in 2020.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: ‘Collusion’ as Farce: The Hunt for Hillary’s Hackers.

BUT IT WAS HER TURN! “WAS THE ELECTION RIGGED AGAINST BERNIE SANDERS? DNC LAWSUIT DEMANDS REPAYMENT FOR CAMPAIGN DONORS”.

Jared Beck, a Harvard Law graduate and one of the several attorneys who filed the suit against the DNC and its former chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz, wants retribution for donations made by supporters to the Vermont senator’s campaign, citing six legal claims of the DNC’s deceptive conduct, negligent misrepresentation and fraud. The DNC violated Article 5, Section 4 of its own charter by working with a single campaign to effectively choose who would win the Democratic ballot, the attorneys stated in the suit.

Oh dear Lord, we beseech thee, let this case survive a motion to dismiss and go to discovery.

YEAH, THAT’S TOUGH TO CLAIM, NOW THAT THE “REFEREES” ARE BUSY OUTING THE IDENTITIES OF THE BLEACHER BUMS: MSNBC Panel Bemoans ‘Impartiality’ as ‘Mistakes of the Past,’ a ‘Disservice:’

MSNBC’s self-crowned political referee, Chuck Todd, appeared to throw in the towel on enforcing D.C.’s political rules, or at least the journalistic ones. During the first segment of Monday’s MTP Daily, Todd and two of his panelists, Brian Karem and David Folkenflik, whined about how the media was expected to be impartial with President Trump attacking them. “But look, two generations of us as reporters. We’re trained and conditioned to don’t show emotion, we’re the umpires and the referees.” Todd claimed. “When somebody is insisting on making you the story, what do you do? … I struggle with it.”

It was clear that Todd didn’t know how to be an unbiased reporter as he opined about how he and other journalists weren’t trained to deal with Trump’s “moral failings.” “Somebody tweeted that journalists today were never trained to cover moral failings very well. And in some ways, this is what makes this more difficult,” he told his fellow partisans. “We’re not good with having to say what’s right and wrong sometimes because again, we have been trained to be dispassionate and the umpire.”

Of course, when dealing with the previous president’s moral failings and lack of empathy, Todd had no problem justifying them away:

CHUCK TODD: I would say the real danger for the president on issues like this, is less about this, and more about — Paul Begala one time said this to me — he said, you know, the guy really is his mother’s son sometimes when it comes to studying society.  He’s anthropoligcal about it.  Remember that time when he was studying people in Pennsylvania, and he said to that fundraiser in Pennsylvania, you know they cling to their guns.  He wasn’t meaning it as demeaning in his mind, but it came across that way.

ANDREA MITCHELL: It’s intellectualized.

TODD: He’s the son of an anthropologist, and I think sometimes he goes about religion that way, almost in this, as I said because he’s very well studied on, not just Christianity but on a lot of religions, but in that, frankly, anthropological way, and that can come across as distant.

Trump’s excesses, and the media’s obvious boiling anger that Hillary lost, are simply the latest excuses for the DNC-MSM to drop the mask and claim that objectivity is unwarranted – not that they ever need much of excuse:

Big Journalism, September 28th, 2013

— Column in liberal MSM industry house organ Editor & Publisher in 2007.

— Twitchy.com, July 13, 2013.

— Ed Driscoll.com (aka, me) June 25th, 2013.

— The Daily Caller, April, 2013.

— Twitchy, April, 2013

— Newsbusters, February of 2010.

— Newsweek cover headline, February of 2009.

— Ed Driscoll.com, February 24, 2012.

Nobody believes the MSM is objective anymore (not that they ever really were) – and their insanity is, ironically, the best thing that could happen to Trump. As Glenn quipped earlier today, “This is the point where the Wilford Brimley character turns and says ‘Mr. Trump, I seem to want to ask if you set all this up. But if I do, you ain’t gonna tell me, are you?’ No.”

DO I HAVE TO? BECAUSE HONESTLY, I’VE KIND OF BEEN ENJOYING THEM. OR AT LEAST THE OVER-THE-TOP REACTION THEY PROVOKE. Kurt Schlichter: Here’s How To Deal With Trump’s Tweets: Stop Caring About Them.

If the hyperventilating faux outrage over Donald Trump’s tweets about that pair of home-wrecking nobodies on MSNBC was actually presented in good faith, it would be merely be stupid. But it is not presented in good faith. It is a transparent attempt to drag Trump off-point and tie him up in a never-ending discussion about his completely irrelevant personal failings, even though liberals slobber over all sorts of people with personal failings who just happen to support their fascist dreams. It’s not working, because Trump cares nothing about what these fussy nannies shriek while clutching their pearls, nor do his voters really care. But it is still annoying.

No, his tweets are not annoying. I don’t care about his tweets, so they don’t annoy me. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump to be a role model or a moral paragon. I voted for him to not be Hillary Clinton, and to incrementally move towards actual conservatism. Like everyone else who voted for him, I knew he wasn’t a doctrinaire conservative. But he believed in some conservative things, and that was better than someone who believed in no conservative things, and who wanted to stamp her sensible shoe into our faces forever.

Was he my first choice? No. Was he my second? No. But was there any other choice when it came down to him or Felonia von Pantsuit?

No. Which is something a lot of the cogs in the machine that is Conservative, Inc., still don’t choose to acknowledge.

Read the whole thing.

KEITH OLBERMANN: Trump Should Be Impeached After Tweeting CNN Takedown Video.

Flashback to the middle of 2008, when Olbermann was busy looking for “Somebody who can take [Hillary] into a room and only he comes out,” and the fall of that year, when he was worried that Sarah Palin “might stick around to be the slowest-moving target imaginable for comedians and commentators. It would be like shooting moose from a chopper.”

Also, a reminder of MSNBC’s Martin Bashir’s on-air monologue from 2013 when he wished that Palin would be defecated and urinated on.

As Glenn noted yesterday, new status anxiety fuels Trump derangement, just as it did Palin derangement syndrome.

I BLAME THE VIOLENT RHETORIC OF ELIZABETH SANDERS AND BERNIE SANDERS: California Democrats to far-left single payer advocates: Stop bullying and threatening us!

But Elizabeth Sanders says anyone standing in the way of single payer healthcare is guilty of “blood money.” Bernie Sanders says they’re going to kill “thousands of people.” Fellow California Democrat Nancy Pelosi says they’re dishonoring God. Hillary Clinton and Motel Williams concur with all of the above.

What, you think you wouldn’t have to deal with the blowback from this sort of hyperbolic rhetoric surrounding health care whipping your base into a frenzy? Sorry about that, Sacramento.

Or as Seth Barron wrote in City Journal in response to GOP Rep. Steve Scalise being shot by a deranged Sanders supporter, “Every policy difference, no matter how trivial, has been cast as a matter of life and death. Proposed changes in federal Medicaid reimbursement practices will consign ‘tens of thousands of people’ to early death, according to Senator Bernie Sanders, while rolling back federal guidelines on transgender bathroom signage will cause more teenagers to kill themselves, according to ThinkProgress…Trump’s opponents in the media, academia, and politics can pretend that their calls for radical action were meant metaphorically or in a nonviolent sense. But they are the ones who opened this box of fear, panic, and rage. Let them take responsibility for the climate that now exists.”

FLASHBACK: New status anxiety fuels Trump derangement.

Our privileged, college-educated left — what Joel Kotkin calls the gentry liberals — feels that its preeminent position in American society is under threat. And people care a lot about status.

What’s more, the people who seem to be lashing out the most are, in fact, just those gentry liberals: academics, entertainers, pundits, low-level tech types, and so on. As journalism professor Mark Grabowski reported, another academic texted him on election night: “Oh my God! We will be the ones ostracized if he wins.”

Maybe we shouldn’t “ostracize” people based on whether their candidate wins, but in a way this professor was right: A Trump victory is a blow to the status of the people who thought Hillary Clinton was their candidate — one that they feel even more deeply because gentry liberals, having been raised on the principle that the personal is political, seem to take politics pretty personally.

Related: Trump Is Playing With The Press.

Knowing how much they hate him, he’s constantly provoking them to go over the top. Sean Spicer’s crowd-size remarks on Saturday were all about making them seem petty and negative. (And, possibly, teeing up crowd size comparisons at this Friday’s March For Life, which the press normally ignores but which Trump will probably force them to cover).

Trump knows that the press isn’t trusted very much, and that the less it’s trusted, the less it can hurt him. So he’s prodding reporters to do things that will make them less trusted, and they’re constantly taking the bait.

They’re taking the bait because they think he’s dumb, and impulsive, and lacking self-control — but he’s the one causing them to act in ways that are dumb and impulsive, and demonstrate lack of self-control.

And they still haven’t learned.

Plus: How David Brooks Created Donald Trump. “When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly. Brooks closes his Trump column with Psalm 73, but a more appropriate verse is Hosea 8:7 ‘For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.’ Trump’s ascendance is a symptom of a colossal failure among America’s political leaders, of which Brooks’ mean-spirited insularity is only a tiny part. God help us all.”

MEDIA HORRIFIED AFTER TRUMP TWEETS VIDEO BODY-SLAMMING A CNN LOGO:


Journalists reacted in horror Sunday morning after President Trump tweeted a fake video that showed him body-slamming “fraud news” CNN in a fake wrestling match.

While many of the president’s supporters online reacted to the video with humor, the consensus among journalists seemed to be that Trump was inciting violence against the media.

“It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” CNN said in a statement responding to the tweet.

ABC News’ chief political analyst Matthew Dowd claimed Trump is “advocating violence against media” and demanded Republican leaders “put country over party” in response to the fake video of fake wrestling.

“Around the world, journalists are murdered with impunity on a regular basis,” Poynter managing editor Ben Mullin gravely stated. “This isn’t funny.”

CNN commentator Ana Navarro called the tweet “an incitement to violence” in an appearance on ABC News. “He is going to get somebody killed in the media,” she claimed.

None of them actually believe that, of course. What the DNC-MSM is actually angry about is that those enjoying the president’s tweet the most are millions of those same voters whom they’ve trashed for years, not least of which those residing in “downtown Arkansas,” as the New York Times embarrassingly tweeted yesterday. Just this past week, CNN producer Jimmy Carr was caught on hidden camera by an associate of James O’Keefe saying, American voters are “stupid as shit.”

Much more openly, they were mocked on the air by another Democrat operative with a byline back in 2009, also an employee of CNN:

Back in 1992, a Newsweek editor (back when Newsweek was still owned by the Washington Post) defended on C-Span her wearing of a button to that year’s Republican National Convention a pin that read “Yeah, I’m in the Media. Screw You.” A media that allowed such actions with no consequences, and spent decades pretending to be “objective” while trashing anyone with a (R) after his or her name, and who votes quadrennially in overwhelming numbers for the Democrat presidential candidate is shocked! shocked! that they’re suddenly not being treated (and tweeted about) with Marquess of Queensberry rules.

And then there’s the president as pro-wrestler kingpin angle, no doubt also causing vapors in the DNC-MSM. But in 2008, all three major presidential candidates had their dalliance with professional wrestling…

…With the winner of the election going on to eventually be interviewed by a woman who produces YouTube clips while sitting a bathtub full of milk and Cheerios. During his 2008 appearance on WWE, the future POTUS asked, paraphrasing the catchphrase of pro wrestler “The Rock,” “Do you smell what Barack is cooking?”

Yes. And its indigestible aftermath as well. Or as Iowahawk tweeted today:

Take a bow DNC-MSM – to paraphrase the former president, you did that build that.

UPDATE: Retired ABC Reporter Details Obama’s Off-the-Record ‘Profanity-Laced Tirade’ About the Media.

He and Hillary are their bosses. What choice do the media have, but to take it? As Larry Elder tweets, imagine how the media would react if Trump did that. But keep the above link in mind next time someone from CNN theatrically laces into Sean Spicer or Sarah Huckabee.

MORE: “After weeks of hearing how assassination plays* and holding up a severed head was just ‘art’ – the leftist response to [Trump’s] tweet is precious,” podcaster Stefan Molyneux‏ adds on Twitter.

* Sponsored by CNN’s parent company.

WELL, YES: McMaster Points To Obama’s ‘Premature Disengagement’ For Current Afghan Mess.

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster cast blame for the dire current situation in Afghanistan on the previous administration’s handling of the war effort, while speaking at a Center for New American Security conference Wednesday.

The national security advisor’s comments came during an answer to a question as to how increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan can change the tide of the war. McMaster pointed to former President Barack Obama’s “precipitous withdrawal” from Iraq and subsequent development of the Islamic State as an example of what the Trump administration intended not to do in Afghanistan.

The Taliban have made unprecedented gains across Afghanistan since the end of the U.S. combat mission in 2014, controlling nearly a third of the population. The U.S. backed Afghan National Security Forces have borne massive casualties in the last two years of fighting and continue to suffer from major systematic problems.

Obama’s legacy has been self-inflicted defeat everywhere we faced Islamist terror. Plus, some history, worth repeating again:

IT’S TRUE. HE LACKED COURAGE AND INTELLECT. Obama whines he just didn’t ‘have the tools’ to act on Syria.

Related: Obama seems eager to massage his legacy as it’s being written. We, therefore, are obliged to get the record right.

Well, here’s some history for you:

Rachel Maddow Tries to Rewrite History of Obama ‘Ending the War’ in Iraq.

Flashback: No Doubt About It — We’re Back in a Ground War in Iraq.

Without much fanfare, Obama has dramatically reversed his Iraq policy — sending thousands of troops back in the country after he declared the war over, engaging in ground combat despite initially promising that his strategy “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” Well, they’re on foreign soil, and they’re fighting.

It would have been easier — and would have cost far fewer lives — if we had just stayed. But Obama had to have a campaign issue.

And I suppose I should repeat my Iraq War history lesson: Things were going so well as late as 2010 that the Obama Administration was bragging about Iraq as one of its big foreign policy successes.

In the interest of historical accuracy, I think I’ll repeat this post again:

BOB WOODWARD: Bush Didn’t Lie About WMD, And Obama Sure Screwed Up Iraq In 2011.

[Y]ou certainly can make a persuasive argument it was a mistake. But there is a time that line going along that Bush and the other people lied about this. I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq. And lots of mistakes, but it was Bush telling George Tenet, the CIA director, don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD. And he was the one who was skeptical. And if you try to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. The war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end, people were saying, hey, look, it will only take a week or two. And early on it looked like it was going to take a year or 18 months. And so Bush pulled the trigger. A mistake certainly can be argued, and there is an abundance of evidence. But there was no lying in this that I could find.

Plus:

Woodward was also asked if it was a mistake to withdraw in 2011. Wallace points out that Obama has said that he tried to negotiate a status of forces agreement but did not succeed, but “A lot of people think he really didn’t want to keep any troops there.” Woodward agrees that Obama didn’t want to keep troops there and elaborates:

Look, Obama does not like war. But as you look back on this, the argument from the military was, let’s keep 10,000, 15,000 troops there as an insurance policy. And we all know insurance policies make sense. We have 30,000 troops or more in South Korea still 65 years or so after the war. When you are a superpower, you have to buy these insurance policies. And he didn’t in this case. I don’t think you can say everything is because of that decision, but clearly a factor.

We had some woeful laughs about the insurance policies metaphor. Everyone knows they make sense, but it’s still hard to get people to buy them. They want to think things might just work out, so why pay for the insurance? It’s the old “young invincibles” problem that underlies Obamcare.

Obama blew it in Iraq, which is in chaos, and in Syria, which is in chaos, and in Libya, which is in chaos. A little history:


As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq that Obama and Biden were bragging. Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot of people will pay a steep price for the Obama Administration’s fecklessness.

Related: National Journal: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.

Related: What Kind Of Iraq Did Obama Inherit?

Plus, I’m just going to keep running this video of what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:

Because I expect a lot of revisionist history over the next few months.

Plus: 2008 Flashback: Obama Says Preventing Genocide Not A Reason To Stay In Iraq. He was warned. He didn’t care.

And who can forget this?

Yes, I keep repeating this stuff. Because it bears repeating. In Iraq, Obama took a war that we had won at a considerable expense in lives and treasure, and threw it away for the callowest of political reasons. In Syria and Libya, he involved us in wars of choice without Congressional authorization, and proceeded to hand victories to the Islamists. Obama’s policy here has been a debacle of the first order, and the press wants to talk about Bush as a way of protecting him. Whenever you see anyone in the media bringing up 2003, you will know that they are serving as palace guard, not as press.

Related: Obama’s Betrayal Of The Iraqis.

Plus: Maybe that Iraq withdrawal was a bad thing in hindsight. Obama’s actions, if not his words, suggest that even he may think so.

ET TU, MUELLER?

Many have said that Donald Trump is like Julius Caesar, even depicting his assassination in similar fashion in the latest production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”

And just like in the legendary play, other public figures have come forward to justify and explain their various attacks on Trump, insisting that Trump — like Caesar — is “ambitious,” or “illegitimate,” or “corrupt,” or, at the very least, deserving of investigation.

Then, as if on cue, President Trump showed his open-handed generosity to one of them by calling Robert Mueller an “honorable man.”

With apologies to Shakespeare, the parallels are just too obvious to ignore.

Robert Mueller, a friend of James Comey, who staffs his investigation of Trump with Hillary donors and ex-campaign workers, stands to make a lot of money for himself and his partisan team as this process continues with no end in sight.

But, Mueller says Trump is the one under suspicion, and Mueller, as we’ve been assured, is an “honorable man.”

James Comey admitted under oath that Trump had committed no crime, but that he merely sought to create the circumstances for a special counsel to harass and ultimately assassinate (the character of) Trump.

Now Comey says Trump should be investigated for firing him. And Comey, as we’ve been assured, is also an “honorable man.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer knew Trump was not under investigation for Russian collusion when he lied and publicly claimed otherwise.

But Schumer has said repeatedly that Trump is not a legitimate president, and Schumer, we’ve been assured, is an “honorable man.”

And California Rep. Adam Schiff says no collusion actually took place between Russia and Trump, and yet demands an investigation to uncover any crime, whatever it may be, and sure, he is an “honorable man.”

So, are they all — “honorable men.” Well, maybe in the swamp of Washington, D.C.

Sad! And don’t forget Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who’s also under investigation.

POST-TRUMP, AN AWFUL LOT OF ROT SEEMS TO BE COMING TO THE SURFACE: The FBI’s boss is under investigation for possible hatch act violations. “The Office of U.S. Special Counsel, the government’s main whistleblower agency, is investigating whether FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s activities supporting his wife Jill’s Democratic campaign for Virginia state senate in 2015 violated the Hatch Act’s prohibition against FBI agents campaigning in partisan races. . . . Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office released to Circa under the Freedom of Information Act documents showing McCabe attended a meeting with his wife and the governor on a Saturday in March 2015 specifically to discuss having Jill McCabe run for state Senate in Virginia as a Democrat. . . . At the time of the meeting, published reports indicate agents in the Washington field office were involved in both a probe of McAuliffe and of the governor’s close friend, Hillary Clinton’s and her private email account. . . . The meeting led to McAuliffe supporting Jill McCabe’s candidacy and ultimately sending her $700,000 in support.”

If Hillary had won, would we even be hearing about this? Trump needs to clean house at the FBI, which appears to be a nest of corruption and incompetence at the top.

NANCY PELOSI: If Hillary Had Won, I Might Have Resigned.

Now she tells us.

RAMESH PONNURU: Hot Rhetoric Is OK for Liberals, and for Me.

Over the weekend Hillary Clinton tweeted that if Republicans pass the health-care bill, they should be called “the death party.” Senator Bernie Sanders had his own tweet:

Let us be clear and this is not trying to be overly dramatic: Thousands of people will die if the Republican health care bill becomes law.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 23, 2017

Republicans denounced these remarks. Senator Orrin Hatch tweeted in response to Sanders:

The brief time when we were *not* accusing those we disagree with of murder was nice while it lasted. https://t.co/qr1rzon1cg

— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) June 23, 2017

My own reaction to the Democrats’ words was to consider calling a copyright attorney about Clinton, since a decade ago I wrote a book about abortion and related issues titled “The Party of Death.”

Liberals were outraged by my title then, as conservatives are by Clinton and Sanders now. It seems to me that today’s outrage is, as yesterday’s was, misdirected. A healthy democratic culture would not consider any of this rhetoric out of bounds.

The presumption of course is that our political culture is healthy, but do read the whole thing.

ADVANCED PETARD-HOISTMENT, DEMS/RUSSIA EDITION: Focus turns to Obama role. “Months of harping on President Trump’s purported ties to Russia may end up backfiring on Democrats as the White House turns the focus to former President Barack Obama’s failure to address Russian hacking, operatives from both sides said.”

Related: Adriana Cohen: Time To Investigate Democrats’ Russia Behavior.

Not only has there been zero credible evidence to warrant any of the costly investigations to date — despite a year of digging by anti-Trump forces — we now learn the widely debunked dossier published by BuzzFeed — with an assist by CNN — was commissioned by a pro-Hillary Clinton oppo research group to take down Trump.

The slanted dossier not only sparked the whole Russiagate investigation, it also provided a bogus excuse for the Obama administration, DOJ and intel agencies to engage in improper surveillance of Trump associates, unmasking of Trump officials as well as the illegal leaking of sensitive information gathered from the sketchy spying to complicit media in a deliberate attempt to smear Trump.

If this doesn’t scream corruption and collusion at the highest echelons of our government — what does? . . .

Worse, the FBI reportedly paid the discredited British spy Christopher Steele — whose report full of false rumors about Trump were spread to the media — $50,000 and then may have relied on Steele’s fake dossier to advance its Russian/Trump investigation.

Forget the fake Russian collusion. Congress and the special counsel should turn their attention to what the Democrats — from the Obama administration to the Clinton campaign — have been doing to undermine democracy in America.

What we know so far stinks to High Heaven.

Perhaps Rudy Giuliani would be willing to accept an appointment as special counsel.

THE CNN CRACKDOWN, HILLARY’S RUSSIA CONNECTION, AND MORE: All on Liz Sheld’s morning brief.

DON SURBER:

Barack Obama’s administration made up the Russian-Trump lie to justify spying on Team Trump.

Hillary bitterly clung to the story to stave off angry donors who invested a billion bucks and all they got was a I’m With Her shirt.

The Resistance Media hung on to it in the hopes of bringing down President Trump

But last week’s Toss Off Ossoff election — and Comey’s admission under oath that there was nothing to this — forced Democrats to abandon their big, fat, stupid lie.

Today, CNN ordered its staff to back off on Russia.

It’s dead. So why’s Mueller still investigating with 14 newly hired lawyers?