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WALL STREET JOURNAL: SECRETS THE FBI SHOULDN’T KEEP.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is emphasizing its ejection of FBI agent Peter Strzok immediately upon learning about anti-Trump texts he exchanged with another FBI employee, Lisa Page, before the 2016 election. But when did the FBI learn of the messages? The inspector general’s investigation began in mid-January. The letter explains that the FBI was asked for text messages of certain key employees based on search terms, which turned up “a number of politically-oriented” Strzok-Page texts. The inspector general then demanded all of the duo’s text messages, which the FBI began producing on July 20.

But when did the FBI dig up and turn over that very first tranche? How long has the bureau known one of its lead investigators was exhibiting such bias? Was it before Mr. Mueller was even appointed? Did FBI leaders sit by as the special counsel tapped Mr. Strzok? In any case, we know from the letter that the inspector general informed both Messrs. Rosenstein and Mueller of the texts on July 27, and that both men hid that explosive information from Congress for four months. The Justice Department, pleading secrecy, defied subpoenas that would have produced the texts. It refused to make Mr. Strzok available for an interview. It didn’t do all this out of fear of hurting national security, obviously. It did it to save itself and the FBI from embarrassment.

This week’s other revelation of jaw-dropping FBI tactics came from a separate letter from Mr. Johnson. In November 2016, the Office of Special Counsel—a federal agency that polices personnel practices and is distinct from the Mueller probe—began investigating whether former FBI Director Jim Comey violated the Hatch Act, which restricts political activity by executive-branch officials, while investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server. The office conducted interviews with two of Mr. Comey’s confidantes: FBI chief of staff James Rybicki and FBI attorney Trisha Anderson.

Sen. Johnson in September demanded the full, unredacted transcripts of the interviews. But it turned out the FBI had refused to let the Office of Special Counsel interview them unless it first signed unprecedented nondisclosure agreements, giving the FBI full authority to withhold the information from Congress. The bureau has continued to insist the office keep huge swaths of the interviews secret from Congress, including the names and actions of key political players. (The Office of Special Counsel closed its investigation in May.)

In his letter this week, Mr. Johnson demanded that Mr. Wray authorize the release of the full transcripts and other documents. Even the redacted ones have revealed important information, for instance that Mr. Comey was drafting his Hillary Clinton exoneration statement well before she was interviewed. Congressional investigators believe the unredacted versions contain pertinent information about the actions of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and key investigators such as Mr. Strzok.

This whole thing stinks.

THE HILL: Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers.

California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill.

The women’s accounts were chronicled in contemporaneous contractual documents, emails and text messages reviewed by The Hill, including an exchange of texts between one woman and Bloom that suggested political action committees supporting Hillary Clinton were contacted during the effort.

Bloom, who has assisted dozens of women in prominent harassment cases and also defended film executive Harvey Weinstein earlier this year, represented four women considering making accusations against Trump last year. Two went public, and two declined.

In a statement to The Hill, Bloom acknowledged she engaged in discussions to secure donations for women who made or considered making accusations against Trump before last year’s election.

Read the whole thing.

PROBABLY OVERDUE: Oh my: FBI deputy chief Andrew McCabe headed for the exit?

McCabe has spent the past year popping up in the news for all the wrong reasons. In February 2016 he was promoted to deputy director and assumed oversight of the Hillary Emailgate investigation — after his wife had received nearly $700,000 from Democratic groups for a failed run for Virginia state senate. This past February he got caught talking to then-chief of staff Reince Priebus about an allegedly bogus Russiagate story in the NYT, a no-no since DOJ investigations are supposed to be independent of politics. His latest news cameo was (apparently) in the infamous text in August 2016 from FBI agent Peter Strzok to Lisa Page: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he [i.e. Trump] gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.” Who’s “Andy”? Almost certainly it’s Andrew McCabe.

What was the “insurance policy” against Trump’s presidency that was discussed in McCabe’s office? McCabe is scheduled to testify about it before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Comey’s plan to trigger a special counsel? Plus: “By the way, a new poll from Harvard shows a majority of the public now believes Mueller has a conflict of interest in the investigation by dint of his friendship with Comey. That’s fertile political soil for Trump.”

REPORT: State Department Allowed Hillary Clinton to Keep Call Log, Schedules Secret.

AND YES, MY FRIEND IS STILL READING “WHAT HAPPENED”:  Look, it’s hard to stage an intervention.  She lives in Texas.  Also this post is exceptionally good.  Possibly because she was really mad at Hillary.  Making History – Amanda S. Green.

ANDREW MCCARTHY IN THE WASHINGTON POST: Mueller Needs To Make A Change.

Mueller’s investigation was triggered when former FBI director James B. Comey, no fan of the president who dismissed him, leaked a memo of a meeting with President Trump. Comey admitted hoping this revelation would lead to appointment of a special counsel. Furthermore, the investigative team Mueller has assembled includes Democratic donors and supporters, including one lawyer who represented the Clinton Foundation and one who represented a subject in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. This month, moreover, it came to light that two members of the team, who had also worked on the Clinton email investigation, were having an extramarital affair and exchanged text messages expressing partisan political views — favoring Clinton and depicting Trump as ‘loathsome.’

Worse, in one August 2016 text, one of them, FBI agent Peter Strzok, asserted that the FBI “can’t take that risk” that Trump could be elected, equating some unspecified action against this seemingly unlikely possibility to “an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.” Dismayingly, this text, which crosses the line between political banter and tainted law enforcement, refers to a meeting in the office of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, then (and now) the bureau’s No. 2 official. While not as weighty, legitimate questions have been raised about McCabe’s own objectivity, his wife’s state Senate campaign having been lavishly funded by groups tied to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a Clinton insider.

Read the whole thing.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIALIZES: The FBI’s Trump ‘Insurance:’ More troubling evidence of election meddling at the bureau.

Democrats and the media are accusing anyone who criticizes special counsel Robert Mueller as Trumpian conspirators trying to undermine his probe. But who needs critics when Mr. Mueller’s team is doing so much to undermine its own credibility?

Wednesday’s revelations—they’re coming almost daily—include the Justice Department’s release of 2016 text messages to and from Peter Strzok, the FBI counterintelligence agent whom Mr. Mueller demoted this summer. The texts, which he exchanged with senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, contain expletive-laced tirades against Mr. Trump. Such Trump hatred is no surprise and not by itself disqualifying. More troubling are texts that suggest that some FBI officials may have gone beyond antipathy to anti-Trump plotting.

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office—that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Mr. Strzok wrote Ms. Page in an Aug. 15, 2016 text. He added: “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

What “policy” would that be? The “Andy” in question is Andrew McCabe, the deputy FBI director. FBI officials are allowed to have political opinions, but what kind of action were they discussing that would amount to anti-Trump “insurance”?

In another exchange that month, Ms. Page forwarded a Trump-related article and wrote: “Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.” He thanked her and assured: “Of course I’ll try and approach it that way.” Mr. Strzok, recall, is the man who changed the words “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” in James Comey’s July 2016 public exoneration of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The McCabe meeting came on the heels of the FBI’s launch of its counterintelligence probe into Trump-Russia ties. July is also when former British spook Christopher Steele briefed the FBI on his Clinton-financed dossier of salacious allegations against Mr. Trump. The texts explain why Mr. Mueller would remove Mr. Strzok, though a straight shooter wouldn’t typically resist turning those messages over to Congress for as long as Mr. Mueller did.

Meanwhile, we’re learning more about the political motives of Mr. Mueller’s lieutenant, Andrew Weissmann.

Related: Fusion DOJ: It’s getting hard to tell where the Clinton campaign ends and the federal law enforcement apparatus begins.

Is animus toward President Donald Trump a prerequisite for landing a job with special counsel Robert Mueller ? Recent revelations in Washington also raise again the question of what former President Barack Obama knew about the decisions of his FBI Director James Comey to exonerate Hillary Clinton and investigate Mr. Trump in 2016. . . .

Mr. Trump does not have to be paranoid to believe that the indigenous creatures of the Beltway swamp are out to get him. A number of them have put it in writing. This column can only imagine what the two political lawyers Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok said about Mr. Trump when they weren’t creating electronic records of their conversations.

Plus: Why did a federal judge overseeing a major Fusion GPS court case never disclose that she worked for multiple firms that hired Fusion GPS?

HARMEET DHILLON: Here’s How The Defeat Of Hillary Clinton Led To The Sexual Harassment Revolution.. “If President Hillary Clinton ran the country, and Bill Clinton were the First Gentlemen, would we be experiencing this cultural moment recognizing the problem of sexual harassment, and would the 2017 Person of the Year be those who spoke out about being harassed? Certainly not. More likely, Harvey Weinstein would be sipping Chardonnay in the Rose Garden and eating canapes while ogling his next victim, with Bill Clinton doing the same. President Hillary Clinton would be smugly presiding over a brittle edifice of equality, beneath which lurked decades of enabling, shaming, attacking, suppressing, and silencing. Consider the lessons that the Clintons taught generations of young people growing up in the 1990s.”

A COMPLETELY, TOTALLY, 100% UNBIASED AND NONPARTISAN INVESTIGATION, WE SWEAR, PART 1,000,008: “Trump Should Go F Himself” – Texts Leak From FBI Agents On Russia Probe, Hillary Emails Investigation.

WELL, YES: Justice Ginsburg has some explaining to do.

This is Chapman University’s Ronald Rotunda for WaPo:

We already know what Ginsburg thinks of the president. She told us more than a year ago that she “can’t imagine what the country would be . . . with Donald Trump as our president.” Facing criticism for her apparent endorsement of Hillary Clinton and her attacks on Trump, Ginsburg doubled down, emphasizing in a CNN interview: “He is a faker.” She then went on “point by point, as if presenting a legal brief,” the CNN analyst said.

Her statements are particularly troubling in the context of the travel ban case, in which the crucial issue — at least, according to the lower courts and the plaintiffs — is the personal credibility of Trump and whether he delivered his executive order in good faith — in other words, whether he is faking it. It’s no wonder 58 House Republicans sent Ginsburg a letter calling for her recusal because of her comments before the election.

Given these facts, Ginsburg should heed her critics — either by recusing herself from the case or explaining to the public why she will not.

Ginsburg is the most nakedly partisan SCOTUS justice in my adult lifetime, and after nearly 25 years on the bench, no one should expect her to change one bit.

RON ROTUNDA ON RECUSAL: Justice Ginsburg has some explaining to do.

The Supreme Court allowed President Trump’s travel ban to go into effect this week, overturning a lower court ruling as a federal appeals court considers the issue. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented and did not disqualify herself from that preliminary decision. Two questions emerge: First, why not? And second, will she disqualify herself if the court takes the case?

We already know what Ginsburg thinks of the president. She told us more than a year ago that she “can’t imagine what the country would be . . . with Donald Trump as our president.” Facing criticism for her apparent endorsement of Hillary Clinton and her attacks on Trump, Ginsburg doubled down, emphasizing in a CNN interview: “He is a faker.” She then went on “point by point, as if presenting a legal brief,” the CNN analyst said.

Her statements are particularly troubling in the context of the travel ban case, in which the crucial issue — at least, according to the lower courts and the plaintiffs — is the personal credibility of Trump and whether he delivered his executive order in good faith — in other words, whether he is faking it. It’s no wonder 58 House Republicans sent Ginsburg a letter calling for her recusal because of her comments before the election.

She doesn’t care, because #Resistance. But, once again, efforts to “denormalize” Trump will instead weaken institutions people want to constrain him with.

ED ROGERS: Robert Mueller Has Some Explaining To Do. “Enough has been disclosed in recent weeks that would create doubts about the objectivity and honesty of Mueller’s Russia investigation. Specifically, recent reports suggest that Peter Strzok, the deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was working on Mueller’s investigation until he was removed during the summer, after Mueller discovered he had exchanged text messages critical of Trump with a lawyer assigned to the probe, with whom he was involved romantically. Strzok, it turns out, was also responsible for editing then-FBI Director James B. Comey’s description of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified emails, reportedly softening the language from describing Clinton’s actions as ‘grossly negligent’ to ‘extremely careless.’ Oh and by the way, several of the attorneys on Mueller’s team have collectively given over $62,000 in political contributions to Democrats. Are we supposed to pretend that this doesn’t show any bias? One attorney in particular, Jeannie Rhee, has donated more than $16,000 to Democrats since 2008 and even defended the Clinton Foundation in a racketeering lawsuit.” (Bumped).

OH, YEAH, MY FRIEND IS STILL DISSECTING HILLARY’S BOOK:  HRC: Idealism and Realism – by Amanda S. Green.

GARRISON KEILLOR? WHO HE? Rod Dreher links to a column by David Vossbrink of the San Jose Mercury, who notes “Erasing Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion is a ‘1984’-like excess:”

Garrison Keillor has been disappeared into the Memory Hole. If you look for his biography or the archived shows from a half century of “A Prairie Home Companion” on the website of Minnesota Public Radio since his fall from grace, you’ll now find only this: “Sorry, but there’s no page here.”

Keillor and his entire body of work from “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Writer’s Almanac” have been effectively erased from the archives of MPR, along with the work of all the other storytellers, singers, poets and production staff who made the shows successful.

In these tumultuous days of unceasing revelations of sexual scandals in media, politics and business, media enterprises especially face a new ethical challenge with their fallen stars: What do you do with history and art?

As Dreher writes:

If you only chose to partake of art, music, and literature created by morally upstanding persons, you’d quickly come to the end of what’s available. Museums would empty out. Concert halls would fall silent. Bookstores would have to be repurposed as yoga studios, and movie theaters as hipster churches. The unfortunate truth is that bad, or at least deeply flawed, people often make the best art.

Assuming the worst about Garrison Keillor’s private behavior does not negate the decades of pleasure — wholesome pleasure, let it be noted; my kids and I used to listen to his show together — that his quality radio program provided. If we grant MPR and content-owners like them the right to erase the artistic legacy of creators like Keillor, where does it stop? Who will be next?

Indeed. Meanwhile, a former Martin O’Malley 2016 presidential campaign state coordinator and DNC organizer named Race Hochdorf explores “Garrison Keillor & The Dark Side Of #MeToo:”

One defense of assuming guilt is “Why would a woman lie about harassment or assault?” This is irritating for two reasons: 1) It presents women as saintly creatures, come down from heaven above, who would never ever have the desire to lie about abuse for any social or material benefit whatsoever (though this actually happens frequently in child custody cases, and despite the fact that several false rape allegations have made headlines in the past decade: The Rolling Stone/UVA case, the Duke Lacrosse case, and the Columbia University/“Mattress Girl” case to name just a few), and 2) It suggests that if no clear motive for lying about an incident can be immediately discerned, then automatic belief should be chosen over neutral investigation.

Another defense of assuming guilt of the alleged perpetrator is that the approach isn’t meant to be applied to the legal system, only applied in a social context. And what reassurance that is! Don’t worry men. If you ever find yourself among the 2-10% of persons falsely accused of rape, you can sleep easy knowing that even if a court of law finds you not guilty, society will loathe and ostracize you regardless. But this doesn’t matter to mainstream feminist writers and activists. In fact, they’re ecstatic about the possibility of innocent men being concerned and worried.

Emily Lindin, a columnist for Teen Vogue, tweeted: “Sorry. If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”

But note how the article begins:

But it was the second work of Keillor’s that I read, his nonfiction Homegrown Democrat, which proved to have the greatest impact, convincing me to ditch my naive and juvenile libertarianism for a practical and caring liberalism that stressed a balance between heart and mind. It was not this book alone, mind you. My transition from libertarianism to liberalism was more of a journey than just one book or thinker. But nevertheless, Homegrown Democrat was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” It was a book that was able to present a set of political ideas not as a set of political ideas, but as a deeply personal reminiscence of community and citizenship. It was democracy as a story told by a village elder near a fire, rather than a lecture delivered by an overly-polished plastic hack.

In short, while Garrison Keillor isn’t necessarily one I would consider an “intellectual influence,” his work has always managed to bring a smile to my face, as it no doubt has done for millions of other people. He is a warm old man with a tender voice who — up until recently — had found his life’s purpose in public radio broadcasting and in writing. He was the face of a kind, humble, rural liberalism; a liberalism, I should add, that is far too rare in American political discourse today.

Keillor is “the face of a kind, humble, rural liberalism; a liberalism, I should add, that is far too rare in American political discourse today”? It’s much rarer that Hochdorf thinks — evidently he missed Keillor, then about 74, telling the New York Times last year just how kind, humble and a man of the rural people he is:

Curiously, Mr. Keillor has always found it difficult spending so much time with the strong, good-looking, above average people of Lake Wobegon, which he based on his relatives, past and present.

In “The Keillor Reader” (2014), he complained bitterly about “their industriousness, their infernal humility, their schoolmarmish sincerity, their earnest interest in you, their clichés falling like clockwork — it can be tiring to be around.”

Speaking on his porch, Mr. Keillor said of Lake Wobegonians, i.e., his relatives, “I am frustrated by them in real life.” They were too controlled by good manners, he said, and “have a very hard time breaking through.”

So why devote so much of his professional life ruminating about them? “It’s the people I think I know,” he replied.

Will he miss them, and the weekly jolt of the show?

“No,” he replied. “No.”

Or Keillor, who “has made roughly $400,000 worth of political contributions to Democratic candidates and groups over the past 30 years,” according to the Washington Free Beacon, describing Trump’s Christian supporters in January, in the Washington Post:

And so the Boy President heads for Washington to be sworn into office, pumping his fist, mooning the media, giving the stinky finger to whomever irks him, doing his end-zone dance, promising to build the wall, cut taxes, create jobs, provide great health insurance for EVERYONE and send his son-in-law to the Middle East to solve that little problem, and the rest of us will sit in a barn and keep ourselves warm and hide our heads under our wings, poor things. Discouraging.

So I’ve been shopping around for a new religion to see me through the next four years. Too many of my fellow Christians voted for selfishness and for degradation of the beautiful world God created. I guess they figured that by the time the planet was a smoky wasteland, they’d be nice and comfy in heaven, so wotthehell. Anyhow, I’m looking around for other options.

Which was pretty much his reaction to George W. Bush’s supporters in 2004:

 The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.

 

Funny how “kind, humble, rural liberalism” sounds quite a lot like angry, smug, punitive* urban leftism, the type practiced by those who are busy airbrushing Keillor out of Minnesota history. As Dreher writes, “Unpersoning the accused ‘Prairie Home Companion’ host is a totalitarian act.” Similarly, Keillor himself had no problem making unpersons out of anyone whose political views he disagreed with – pretty much, based on the quotes above, half the country — to ally himself with those who smash the statues and stoke the memory hole.

* And don’t get the Hillary and Obama supporting Keillor started on gays raising children.

GREAT MOMENTS IN DISPASSIONATE MEDIA OBJECTIVITY: “Hillary, please don’t reject romance novels — you are a romance novel heroine” states a headline that actually ran in the Washington Post yesterday.

Shades of the embarrassing Dear Leader fanfic published by the New York Times in early 2009 and headlined “Sometimes a President Is Just a President,” written by author Judith Warner. Warner began her column by imagining Obama emerging from her shower, before noting that “Many women — not too surprisingly — were dreaming about sex with the president.”

In May of last year, a parody “Man Enough for Hillary” campaign ad featuring a brawny-looking Shutterstock model went viral; it was realistic looking enough to fool those ace fact-checkers at, err, GQ. Iowahawk challenged his Twitter followers to produce a Photoshopped Harlequin romance novel cover based on it, so I quickly slammed the image below together. But as Muggeridge’s Law states, there is no way a satirist can keep up with real life for its pure absurdity.

MERRY, QUEEN OF ARKANSAS: Merry ‘Resist-mas!’ You Can Now Get A Hillary Clinton Angel Christmas Tree Topper.

Don’t forget to put a Bernie Sanders action figure under the tree!

(Classical allusion in headline.)

I’M SURE EVERYTHING IS ON THE LEVEL: FBI investigating Cuomo office’s hiring practices.. “Many of the well-paid new political appointees announced in March were veterans of the Obama administration or Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign that needed new employment. The moves also sparked further speculation about Cuomo gearing up for a 2020 presidential run.”

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: Obstruction of Congress: Mueller, the Justice Department and the FBI aren’t helping the lawmakers’ probe.

The media echo chamber spent the week speculating about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller can or will nab President Trump on obstruction-of-justice charges. All the while it continues to ignore Washington’s most obvious obstruction—the coordinated effort to thwart congressional probes of the role law enforcement played in the 2016 election.

The news that senior FBI agent Peter Strzok exchanged anti-Trump, pro-Hillary text messages with another FBI official matters—though we’ve yet to see the content. The bigger scandal is that the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Mueller have known about those texts for months and deliberately kept their existence from Congress. The House Intelligence Committee sent document subpoenas and demanded an interview with Mr. Strzok. The Justice Department dodged, and then leaked.

The department also withheld from Congress that another top official, Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, was in contact with ex-spook Christopher Steele and the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS. It has refused to say what role the Steele dossier—Clinton-commissioned oppo research—played in its Trump investigation. It won’t turn over files about its wiretapping.

And Mr. Mueller—who is well aware the House is probing all this, and considered the Strzok texts relevant enough to earn the agent a demotion—nonetheless did not inform Congress about the matter. Why? Perhaps Mr. Mueller feels he’s above being bothered with any other investigation. Or perhaps his team is covering for the FBI and the Justice Department.

Perhaps.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: A Most Remarkable Year.

After a period of sheer disbelief these liberal revolutionaries are now going head to head with the Deplorable rebels. The game’s afoot and nobody can easily call it off.

Which will win has yet to be determined by history. All one can do is compare their present strengths and strategies. In the matter of strength there should be no contest. A survey of federal government employees has the liberals over the Deplorables by almost 19 to 1. Over 99% of Department of Education employees backed Hillary. Trump’s best showing was in the Department of Defense — and even there Hillary had 84% of contributions. Add to this the liberal dominance in the media (93%) and academe (92%) and in Big Silicon, and it should be a case of progressive Goliath walking over conservative David.

Yet for a variety of reasons, the contest is much closer than the liberals could have imagined. Even the term “Resistance” implicitly accepts the status of equality if not actual inferiority. One possible explanation for the surprising competitiveness is the existence of some weakness which prevents liberals from generating their nominal power potential. In fact, the inability of the Resistance to generate net thrust is indirect confirmation that the toxic lying, wasteful spending, institutional incompetence, and ideological madness of which they have been accused are at least partially true.

Though they won’t admit it, they’ve realized this. This quiet acceptance has driven their strategy. The Resistance’s need to rid itself of weakness explains the choice of rectification, also known as purge, as a major activity. Purges have traditionally been used by “progressive” movements to rid themselves of “undesirables.” In 2017 the purge took two forms. The first was directed against the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, and the second became a vigorous, almost hysterical campaign against sexual predators in liberal ranks. The need to clear the decks was so great that even liberal politicians like Al Franken and John Conyers find themselves reclassified as expendable.

Read the whole thing.

PAUL RAHE: Our Imperial Elites Unmasked.

I quote Caitlin Flanagan at inordinate length for a reason. What she says about Hillary Clinton can be applied to virtually every woman (and man) who has been at work in the last couple of decades within our imperial liberal elite – whether it be in Hollywood, in journalism, or on the Hill.

Meryl Streep, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and the other members of the sisterhood have turned their backs on Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, John Conyers, Al Franken, Glenn Thrush, Matt Lauer, and the like. They say that they didn’t know or that, at most, they had heard a rumor or two. They are for the most part lying. Nearly all of them knew, as did Gloria Steinem and the liberals who defended Bill Clinton. The scale and the scope of these men’s misconduct were too large to have been anything other than an open secret.

Moreover, those who knew were all complicit. Meryl Streep is a case in point. She did not give a damn about the antics of Harvey Weinstein. She was a public defender of Roman Polanski, whose taste as a rapist ran to underage girls. He was, after all, an artiste – a man beyond good and evil.

If you doubt my claim that nearly everyone in our imperial elite was complicit, read Fox News’ report regarding the Friars Club dinner given in honor of Matt Lauer nine years ago. Everyone who was anyone in New York media circles was there, and the roast to which Lauer was subjected was a celebration of his . . . er . . . “accomplishments” with the women with whom he came into contact while doing his job as a journalist. I would quote snatches of what they said in their speeches were they not too graphic to pass the Ricochet Code of Conduct. In any case, you can read it for yourself, and you can read the account published in The Village Voice back in 2008 on which it was based.

When you next see any one of these people engaged in moral posturing, pinch yourself and remind yourself that they are all – especially, the politicians – in show business.

Yep. Everything is an act.

THEY ALL KNEW: Harvey Weinstein’s Web of Complicity Included National Enquirer and CAA.

According to the Times, at least eight agents at Creative Artists Agency were aware that Weinstein had sexually harassed or threatened female clients, yet the agency continued to do business with him and send actresses to meet with him.

The story also details Weinstein’s close relationship with tabloid journalists, detailing how Weinstein would provide tips to reporters about others in exchange for killing stories about his infidelities. The story also documents Weinstein’s close relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton, and discloses that Weinstein was involved in a documentary project about Hillary Clinton until revelations of his sexual misconduct came to light.

Bryan Lourd, the managing partner of CAA, declined to tell the Times whether he was aware of the allegations against Weinstein, citing client confidentiality. In a statement in response to the story, CAA apologized to clients who were “let down,” and vowed to use its influence and resources “to help create permanent change.”

I’ll believe in permanent change when managers like Lourd are permanently canned.

HUGH HEWITT: A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now.

The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

This stinks to high heaven.

MAYBE IT WOULD BE SHORTER TO MAKE A LIST OF MUELLER FOLKS WHO AREN’T HOPELESSLY COMPROMISED: Another One! Mueller Deputy Was Personal Attorney of Ben Rhodes, Represented Clinton Foundation. “Jeannie Rhee, who was hired by Mueller last summer to work on the probe, was the personal attorney of Ben Rhodes and also represented the Clinton Foundation. . . . Rhee is the third member of the Mueller team this week who has been shown to be brazenly partisan. Two other members of the team have been revealed as highly questionable hires in recent days as well — Peter Strzok, an anti-Trumper who helped exonerate Hillary Clinton, and Andrew Weissmann, an unscrupulous prosecutor who told outgoing acting Attorney General Sally Yates in an email that he was ‘proud’ of her for defying President Trump’s travel ban. As bad as Strzok and Weissman are, Jeannie Rhee takes the cake.”

EXCOMMUNICATING THE ABUSERS:

Jill Filipovic isn’t the first to make this argument, but she’s the first to present it cogently in the pages of the New York Times. She wrote that men like Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, and Charlie Rose—prominent journalists who helped set the national political narrative—contributed materially to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss. When they were not patronizing toward Clinton, Filipovic’s argument goes, they were nakedly hostile. Even the New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush, suspended temporarily amid an investigation into claims of impropriety, received an unfriendly mention. “These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn’t that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with,” she wrote, “but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status.”

* * * * * * * *

Filipovic’s targets deserve all the recrimination she heaps upon them and more. By their own admissions, they’ve abused and disrespected their colleagues, to say nothing of their audiences. But her contention amounts to a conspiracy theory. The behaviors in which Clinton engaged don’t sound any better when they’re summarized by a female journalist. And yet, in a way, this is all immaterial. Filipovic was not trying to save Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her own actions. This was an excommunication.

Geez, considering he cheerfully dubbed Hillary’s illegal home server “badass,” and according to Wikileaks, forwarded his emails to her campaign chairman for vetting, what more does a guy like Thrush have to do to prove he’s a loyal DNC foot soldier with a byline?

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Mueller’s Credibility Problem: The special counsel is stonewalling Congress and protecting the FBI.

Donald Trump is his own worst enemy, as his many ill-advised tweets on the weekend about Michael Flynn, the FBI and Robert Mueller’s Russia probe demonstrate. But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Mueller and the Federal Bureau of Investigation deserve a pass about their motives and methods, as new information raises troubling questions.

The Washington Post and the New York Times reported Saturday that a lead FBI investigator on the Mueller probe, Peter Strzok, was demoted this summer after it was discovered he’d sent anti- Trump texts to a mistress. As troubling, Mr. Mueller and the Justice Department kept this information from House investigators, despite Intelligence Committee subpoenas that would have exposed those texts. They also refused to answer questions about Mr. Strzok’s dismissal and refused to make him available for an interview.

The news about Mr. Strzok leaked only when the Justice Department concluded it couldn’t hold out any longer, and the stories were full of spin that praised Mr. Mueller for acting “swiftly” to remove the agent. Only after these stories ran did Justice agree on Saturday to make Mr. Strzok available to the House.

This is all the more notable because Mr. Strzok was a chief lieutenant to former FBI Director James Comey and played a lead role investigating alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller then gave him a top role in his special-counsel probe. And before all this Mr. Strzok led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and sat in on the interview she gave to the FBI shortly before Mr. Comey publicly exonerated her in violation of Justice Department practice.

Oh, and the woman with whom he supposedly exchanged anti-Trump texts, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, worked for both Mr. Mueller and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who was accused of a conflict of interest in the Clinton probe when it came out that Clinton allies had donated to the political campaign of Mr. McCabe’s wife. The texts haven’t been publicly released, but it’s fair to assume their anti-Trump bias must be clear for Mr. Mueller to reassign such a senior agent.

There is no justification for withholding all of this from Congress, which is also investigating Russian influence and has constitutional oversight authority. Justice and the FBI have continued to defy legal subpoenas for documents pertaining to both surveillance warrants and the infamous Steele dossier that was financed by the Clinton campaign and relied on anonymous Russian sources.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

ROGER SIMON: Trump’s Right — the FBI Is in Tatters (UPDATED):

What’re we supposed to think when it’s revealed the man running the Hillary Clinton email server investigation (Peter Strzok) was a married Hillary supporter conducting an adulterous affair with a government lawyer, while dissing Donald Trump in his clandestine billet-doux text messages?

(Was he auditioning for Harvey Weinstein’s next movie, assuming Weinstein is ever allowed to make a movie again or even would make one that in any way besmirched his good friend Hillary?)

As an FBI agent, Strzok’s use of text messaging for such an enterprise was nothing short of moronic in this digital age, but nevertheless he was not fired but simply and quietly sent to FBI “Siberia” last summer, his activities only miraculously coming to public attention last week.

Why the secrecy? Many reasons, probably yet to be determined, but it comes down to this: the FBI, like the Mafia, practices omertà. . . .

Apparently my attack on the FBI was understated. Peter Strzok, it turns out, was the man who was responsible for changing “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” in Comey’s final report on the Clinton email investigation, thus setting Hillary free for a crime the world knows she committed. How do I know this is true? In this instance, consider the source.

This is a disgrace. After this, nobody can take charges seriously. Trump should dismiss Mueller and fire a bunch of people in the FBI.

SO THE FBI SUPERVISOR WHO WAS TEXTING ABOUT HOW MUCH HE HATED TRUMP is the one who interviewed Mike Flynn. “A supervisory special agent who is now under scrutiny after being removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office for alleged bias against President Trump also oversaw the bureau’s interviews of embattled former National Security advisor Michael Flynn, this reporter has learned. Flynn recently pled guilty to one-count of lying to the FBI last week. . . . Strzok was removed from his role in the Special Counsel’s Office after it was discovered he had made disparaging comments about President Trump in text messages between him and his alleged lover FBI attorney Lisa Page, according to the New York Times and Washington Post, which first reported the stories. Strzok is also under investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General for his role in Hillary Clinton’s email server and the ongoing investigation into Russia’s election meddling. On Saturday, the House Intelligence Committee’s Chairman Devin Nunes chided the Justice Department and the FBI for not disclosing why Strzok had been removed from the Special Counsel three months ago, according to a statement given by the Chairman.”

This stinks to high heaven. But wait, there’s more involving shady FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe:

According to another source, with direct knowledge of the Jan. 24 interview, McCabe had contacted Flynn by phone directly at the White House. White House officials had spent the “earlier part of the week with the FBI overseeing training and security measures associated with their new roles so it was no surprise to Flynn that McCabe had called,” the source said.

McCabe told Flynn “some agents were heading over (to the White House) but Flynn thought it was part of the routine work the FBI had been doing and said they would be cleared at the gate,” the source said.

“It wasn’t until after they were already in (Flynn’s) office that he realized he was being formally interviewed. He didn’t have an attorney with him,” they added.

Comey was lecturing us about the FBI’s professionalism and integrity just today. Pathetic. This looks like a sleazy, deliberate trap.

Related: Roger Simon: Trump’s Right: The FBI’s In Tatters.

CHARITY FRAUD NETS EX-CONGRESSWOMAN FIVE YEARS IN PRISON: Former Rep. Corrine Brown, D-FL, was sentenced earlier today to five years in prison for what her judge described as “a crime born out of entitlement and greed.” Specifically, Brown raised an estimated $800,000 for a sham charity, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. She was convicted earlier this year on 18 of 22 charges that included tax fraud and lying on her congressional spending reports. She represented a Jacksonville district for 25 years. By comparison, the Clinton Foundation charity run by Bill and Hillary Clinton since 1997 raised more than $233 million in 2016 alone.

BYRON YORK: Nunes blows up, threatens contempt after FBI stonewalls House on Russia investigator demoted for anti-Trump bias.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has issued an angry demand to the FBI and Department of Justice to explain why they kept the committee in the dark over the reason Special Counsel Robert Mueller kicked a key supervising FBI agent off the Trump-Russia investigation.

Stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times on Saturday reported that Peter Strzok, who played a key role in the original FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia matter, and then a key role in Mueller’s investigation, and who earlier had played an equally critical role in the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation, was reassigned out of the Mueller office because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with a top FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair. Strzok was transferred to the FBI’s human resources office — an obvious demotion — in July.

The Post reported that Strzok and Page exchanged text messages that “expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.”

Word of the messages and the affair were news to Nunes, even though the committee had issued a subpoena that covered information about Strzok’s demotion more than three months ago.

It’s like Mueller was hiding something. Because he was.

HILLARY CLINTON DISPLAYS HER USUAL LEGENDARY SELF-AWARENESS:

Thursday night, a little more than a year after her shocking loss to President Donald Trump, Secretary Clinton returned to Philly for a promotional event at the Academy of Music for her campaign memoir, What Happened. At the event, which was sold-out but not quite full, with an audience about two-thirds female, Clinton was interviewed on-stage by Philly native and best-selling author Jennifer Weiner.

* * * * * * * *

When it came to sexism and the media, it was Weiner who brought up the elephant in the room, reading out a section of What Happened about the September 2016 Commander-in-Chief Forum on NBC, in which the host separately interviewed both candidates but was notably tougher on Clinton than Trump. That host? Matt Lauer.

“Every day I believe more in karma,” Clinton said to that, referring further to several “men who shaped the narrative” during the campaign who have since been sidelined in the wave of sexual harassment scandals.

Control-F “Bill Clinton” returns zero results, unexpectedly.

DEEP STATE UPDATE: Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts.

The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supporting Hillary Clinton, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.

During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season, in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.

So Hillary was investigated by people who love Hillary and hate Trump, and Trump is investigated by people who love Hillary and hate Trump. No appearance of impropriety there, no siree.

SO I WAS ON TUCKER CARLSON LAST NIGHT, talking about my USA Today column on Hillary and Libya. I didn’t post a notice because I figured there was at least a 50% chance I’d get bumped at the last minute for the Mike Flynn story, but they covered that in the first half hour.

UPDATE: Here’s the video, thanks to a commenter.

THEY’VE FOUND SOMEONE NEW TO BLAME: Jill Filipovic: The Men Who Cost Hillary The Election.

IT’S LIKE A WRECKING BALL THROUGH THE MEDIA: Vice fires three employees amid investigations into sexual harassment.

What new broom is sweeping clean through the cesspits of misogyny that are the media? Donald Trump, Feminist Hero. “Honestly, I trace everything back to the election of Donald Trump. I think that without him being elected, if it had been Hillary Clinton, this would’ve never happened.”

YES, AMANDA S. GREEN IS STILL READING HILLARY: Look, she’s an adult.  I can’t stop her.  I just think we might as well enjoy the results.  HRC: Turning Mourning into a Movement – by Amanda S. Green.

HILLARY 2020! Here’s a simple way to appear more likable.

ROGER KIMBALL: If We Love Democracy, Why Does ‘Populism’ Get Such a Bad Rap?

To modern ears, “democracy” is a eulogistic word. It produces pleasant vibrations. People feel good about themselves when they use it. “Populism,” just the opposite.

At first blush, this seems odd because the two words occupy adjacent semantic space. “Democracy” means “rule by the demos,” the people. “Populism,” my 1982 American Heritage Dictionary explains, is “a political philosophy directed to the needs of the common people and advancing a more equitable distribution of wealth and power”—that is, just the sorts of things that the people, were they to rule, would seek.

But the term “populism” is ambivalent at best. Sometimes a charismatic figure can survive and even illuminate the label “populist” like a personal halo. Bernie Sanders managed this trick among the eco-conscious, racially sensitive, non-gender-stereotyping, anticapitalist beneficiaries of capitalism who made up his core constituency.

Still, it was always my impression that in this case the term “populist” was less claimed by Mr. Sanders or his followers than bestowed by his rivals and the media in an effort to fix him in the public’s mind as one of the many lamentable examples of not-Hillary. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, was presumed to be popular though not populist.

There are at least two sides to the negative association under which the term “populist” struggles. On the one hand, some commentators insist that “populist” and “demagogue” are essentially synonyms (though they rarely point out that the Greek demagogos simply meant a popular leader, such as Pericles ).

On the other hand is a disdain for the unedified masses, the soil in which populism takes root. Anyone who watched the commentary on Brexit, Donald Trump’s campaign, the early months of his administration, or the recent French election will have noted this.

Since (at least) the post-World War II era, elites in both parties have tried to slip their preferred policies past a populace that, they know, wouldn’t support them if it knew what was going on. “Populism” is what happens when the charade breaks down.

Roger, by the way, has a new book out: Vox Populi: The Perils and Promises of Populism.

WELL, TO BE FAIR, BACK THEN THEY HAD TO PROTECT BILL AND HILLARY: In 2012, the whole “Today” show gang made light of sexual harassment and impugned the motives of women who complain about it. “I suspect this little sketch grew out of the inside joke that Matt Lauer was a problem. There’s something awfully creepy about the way the women on the couch play along and act delighted about the fun of it all.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Two familiar Democratic names tied to possible immigration scam. Terry McAuliffe and Hillary’s brother Tony Rodham.

YES, IT IS:

Here’s the story:

A government watchdog who played a central role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the Obama administration told Fox News that he, his family and his staffers faced an intense backlash at the time from Clinton allies – and that the campaign even put out word that it planned to fire him if the Democratic presidential nominee won the 2016 election.

“There was personal blowback. Personal blowback to me, to my family, to my office,” former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III said.

The Obama appointee discussed his role in the Clinton email probe for the first time on television, during an exclusive interview with Fox News aired on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” McCullough – who came to the inspector general position with more than two decades of experience at the FBI, Treasury and intelligence community – shed light on how quickly the probe was politicized and his office was marginalized by Democrats.

Read the whole thing.

HARDBALL: Former Intel Watchdog Says Hillary’s Allies Threatened Him Over Email Probe.

BUT THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! EVERY COLLEGE-EDUCATED BRAT KNOWS AMERICA INVENTED SLAVERY BECAUSE RACISM!  Libya Has A Flourishing Slave Trade Today Thanks To Hillary Clinton.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton. “It’s surprising the extent to which Clinton has gotten a pass for this debacle, which represents a humanitarian and strategic failure of the first order. (And, of course the damage is still compounding: How likely is North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons, after seeing the worthlessness of U.S. promises made to Gadhafi?) . . . Back in the 2012 presidential campaign, former vice president Joe Biden told a group of African Americans that the GOP was going to ‘put you all back in chains.’ But it turned out that it was Clinton’s policies that led to black people being sold. As some ponder another Hillary Clinton run in 2020, that’s worth pointing out.”

On Twitter I’m being told that the Libya invasion was over 5 years ago and Hillary isn’t President now, so shut up. But given that we’re still living with the consequences, and she’s still relitigating the election, I think it’s worth noting just what a foreign policy disaster she was as Secretary of State, and would have been as President.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN IS ON THE HARSH SIDE: Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton. “It’s surprising the extent to which Clinton has gotten a pass for this debacle, which represents a humanitarian and strategic failure of the first order. (And, of course the damage is still compounding: How likely is North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons, after seeing the worthlessness of U.S. promises made to Gadhafi?) . . . Back in the 2012 presidential campaign, former vice president Joe Biden told a group of African Americans that the GOP was going to ‘put you all back in chains.’ But it turned out that it was Clinton’s policies that led to black people being sold. As some ponder another Hillary Clinton run in 2020, that’s worth pointing out.”

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Anyhow, we are paying the price – here is news you can use that our #fakenews media fails to pick-up – I’ve already seen 2 riots in Brussels. I’ve been here 7 weeks. Saturday’s riot? Migrants protesting the slavery in Libya.”

I’M SO OLD CAN REMEMBER WHEN SUSAN SARANDON ADORED THE CLINTONS:  Susan Sarandon says Hillary Clinton is ‘very dangerous’.

LEFTOVER TURKEY: The Case For Hillary in 2020.

Sure. What could go wrong?

PAUL KRUGMAN ON ELECTION NIGHT: “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

L.A. Times this weekend: Strong economy boosts Trump among otherwise skeptical voters.

At a recent focus group that Peter Hart, a longtime Democratic pollster, conducted in Wilmington, N.C., for Emory University, even participants who voted for Trump last year sharply criticized his administration, calling it “chaotic” “embarrassing” and disappointing.

Of the five Trump voters among the dozen participants, only one still strongly supported the president. The harsh critiques from the other four followed a pattern that Hart found earlier this year, illustrating how a segment of Trump voters, mostly college-educated and middle- to upper-income whites, has turned against him because of his behavior.

But when the subject turned to the economy, opinions of Trump noticeably warmed.

Trump wants to “bring the economy jobs — infrastructure, construction,” said Katrina Harrell, a 38-year-old black self-employed businesswoman who voted for Hillary Clinton last year. Harrell was extremely critical of almost all other aspects of the administration, but on the economy she gave Trump credit.

“I think those are good moves,” she said. “I mean, that’s what he knows — business.”

Things do seem to be humming along.

AS SHE CONTINUES HER SERIES ON HILLARY’S BOOK, MY FRIEND AMANDA GREEN IS GOING TO EDGE STEPHEN GREEN OFF THE LIVER TRANSPLANT LIST:  It’s All His Fault – by Amanda S. Green.  Also, every time I read one of these posts, I think “So, God does in fact still protect children, drunkards and the United States of America!”

THIS IS WHY THEY’RE SO EAGER TO PUSH HILLARY OFF THE STAGE: DNC Posts Lowest October Fundraising Numbers Since 2003.

SAVING PRIVATE KAEPERNICK. Or, Dispatches from the Intersection of the JournoList and the Memory Hole:

● Shot: Social media users are tearing into Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren for posting a photoshopped image of Colin Kaepernick that depicts him taking a knee in front of the D-Day landings.

The Hill, today.

● Chaser: Hillary’s Campaign Spokesman [Brian Fallon] Compares D-Day Soldiers To Antifa.

—The Daily Caller, August 16th.

● Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic, went a bridge too far, comparing the uber-left group Antifa to the intrepid soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in World War II.

—The Daily Wire, August 16th.

CNN Anchor [Chris Cuomo] Compares Antifa Domestic Terrorists To U.S. Army In WWII.

Cernovich.com, August 16th.

Found via Stephen Miller, who tweets, “journos dunking on [Lahren’s Photoshop] seem to forget different they made the exact same comparison with Antifa.”

IN NATIONAL REVIEW, OF ALL PLACES: This Thanksgiving, Thank Donald Trump:

This Thanksgiving, Americans in general — and free-market conservatives in particular — have plenty for which to be grateful. And much of it would be absent had the White House’s current occupant not become president on November 8, 2016. The day after Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, Princeton University economist Paul Krugman called Trump’s victory “the mother of all adverse effects.” He predicted “very probably . . . a global recession, with no end in sight.” • The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 all hit record highs on Tuesday. The Wilshire 5000 Index calculates that some $3.4 trillion in new wealth has been created since President Trump’s inauguration and $5.4 trillion since his election. Fueled by the reality of deregulation, expectations of lower taxes, and a new tone in Washington that applauds free enterprise rather than excoriate it, the economy is on fire. • Atop the second quarter’s 3.1 percent increase in real GDP, and 3.0 in 3Q, the New York Federal Reserve Bank predicts that 4Q output will expand by 3.8 percent. This far outpaces the feeble average-annual GDP growth rate of 1.5 percent on President Obama’s watch. Meanwhile, the IMF expects global GDP to rise by 3.5 percent this year. So much for a Trump-inspired “global recession.”

Unemployment is at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. New unemployment claims in September were at their most modest since 1974. Goldman Sachs on November 20 “lowered our unemployment rate forecast to 3.7 percent by end-2018 and 3.5 percent by end-2019.” According to the Wall Street powerhouse’s chief economist Jan Hatzius, “Such a scenario would take the U.S. labor market into territory almost never seen outside of a major wartime mobilization.” . . .

• For every new regulation that Trump has imposed, 16 have been erased.

• The FCC has begun to dismantle Obama’s “Net Neutrality” takeover of the Internet, which functioned marvelously, thank you, before his needless e-power-grab.

• Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is on the bench, along with 13 constitutionalist lower-court judges. At this stage in Obama’s presidency, the Senate had confirmed just seven of his district- and circuit-court nominees.

Much more at the link, concluding with this: “The Never Trump faction still claims that the president of the United States ‘is no conservative.’ And yet, with rare deviations (such as free trade), he spends nearly every day implementing the conservative agenda. Ideas that center-Right activists have demanded for decades are becoming public policy, one after another — to the pleasant surprise of even some of Donald J. Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters.”

Did I mention this was in National Review, of all places?

KURT SCHLICHTER ON THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR: No. 1: Be Thankful That Hillary Is Not Our President. “Every day, it is a joy to awaken, unlike Hillary Clinton, without a hangover. Oh yes, and also to awaken knowing that Felonia von Pantsuit is not, and will never be, our president. Can you imagine if she were? She is as vindictive as she is stupid.”

STACY MCCAIN:

There is no doubt that the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse will also destroy some Republicans — new allegations against Roy Moore seem to emerge every day — but on balance, these exposures mainly involve liberal men in politics, journalism and Hollywood. This is deeply ironic, of course, because Democrats campaigned in 2012 on the claim that there was a Republican “War on Women,” Hillary Clinton made feminist “empowerment” a major theme of her campaign in 2016, and it was only because Hillary lost that we have now entered this climate where feminists are willing to pour gasoline all over the machinery of male Democrat power, strike a match and burn it to the ground.

You can thank the 63 million Trump voters for this “empowerment.”

Indeed.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS SUDDENLY FINDS THE GUMPTION TO CRITICIZE BILL CLINTON:

Sebelius extended her criticism to Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton White House for what she called a strategy of dismissing and besmirching the women who stepped forward—a pattern she said is being repeated today by alleged perpetrators of sexual assault—saying that the criticism of the former first lady and Secretary of State was “absolutely” fair. Sebelius noted that the Clinton Administration’s response was being imitated, adding that “you can watch that same pattern repeat, It needs to end. It needs to be over.”

Ann Althouse comments: “It’s still too little, too late. Too easy to say this now when it’s convenient. Nevertheless, good to hear.”

Plus, from the comments: “And why did Obama not say anything?”

MARC THIESSEN IN THE WAPO: This Thanksgiving I’m Grateful Hillary Clinton Isn’t President: Read the whole thing.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Undercover informant confronted FBI handlers about Uranium One deal, was told ‘politics’ was involved. “In any case, despite the Russian bribery scheme, the Uranium One deal was approved. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was one of the people voting to approve it. After the approval, Solomon reports Cambell confronted his FBI handlers about why it had been allowed. He was told the approval was political. . . . As presented, all of this stinks.”

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: We Were Young.

Yglesias may have been a callow youth in 1998 rather than the callow adult he is today, but that excuse doesn’t go very far outside of Vox’s little orbit. James Carville wasn’t a kid when he dismissed one of Bill Clinton’s accusers as what you get when you “drag a $100 bill through a trailer park.” Paul Begala wasn’t a child when he defended Clinton and lambasted the man investigating him — not for adultery, but for perjury and obstruction of justice — as a sex-obsessed reincarnation of Roger Chillingsworth. Maureen Dowd wasn’t young when she lampooned Monica Lewinsky as “a ditsy, predatory White House intern who might have lied under oath for a job at Revlon” and suggested that the affair was the result of psychological problems rooted in Lewinsky’s being “too tubby to be in the high school ‘in’ crowd.” The men who awarded her the Pulitzer Prize for that work were not middle-schoolers. The editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post weren’t little ’uns. Hillary Rodham Clinton was a grown woman when she took charge of destroying the women caught up in her husband’s “bimbo eruptions.”

And Matthew Yglesias wasn’t a high-schooler in 2008 or 2016, either.

Juanita Broaddrick, who says she was violently raped by Bill Clinton, has been trying to tell her story since 1999. In 1999, Bill Clinton wasn’t the pathetic, used-up has-been he is today: He was, if memory serves, the president of the United States of America. As Mrs. Clinton’s political career advanced, Broaddrick continued trying to tell her story, to the general indifference and occasional hostility of the media and the self-satisfied progressives who advertise themselves as the champions of women. Why did no one listen? Yglesias credits Mrs. Clinton’s status as the presumptive first woman president with “creating a kind of reputational vortex that shielded her husband’s behavior from scrutiny.” If reputational vortices were named the way hurricanes are, the one surrounding the Clintons would be named “Matthew Yglesias.” It would have a few other names, too: Call it Legion, for they were — and are — many.

And they will remain legion. Today’s purge is just clearing the deck for tomorrow’s new generation of power users and abusers.

THIS IS THE POINT IN THE MOVIE WHERE THE RABBIT GETS BOILED, RIGHT? Why Bill Clinton’s Legal Reckoning Spells the End of Hillary’s Career.

JOSH KRAUSHAAR: The Franken Factor In Minnesota.

Minnesota nearly became one of the “blue wall” states that flipped to Donald Trump last November. Hillary Clinton carried the state by a mere point, a big falloff from President Obama’s 8-point romp in 2012. The cultural crosscurrents in American politics are vividly reflected in the state: two Obama-voting Congressional districts flipped to Trump, while one swing seat moved in a Democratic direction.

The Republican-held House seats are endangered because they’re nestled in affluent suburbs that are disillusioned with the president, while the Democratic seats are in rural enclaves where Trump made massive gains in last year’s election.

Democrats are most bullish about ousting freshman Rep. Jason Lewis, a provocative conservative talk-show host who surprised health-care executive Angie Craig in a closely contested race last year. Trump’s narrow victory in the St. Paul-area district carried Lewis to reelection, but he won’t be able to count on strong GOP turnout the second time around. He’s facing a rematch against Craig next year. If Democrats want to take back a House majority, they’ll need to win this seat.

The biggest bellwether in the country is the neighboring Third District, where Rep. Erik Paulsen has been one of the most battle-tested Republicans in Congress. He first won this swing Twin Cities seat in a 2008 Democratic landslide, and routinely wins reelection by sizable margins. He ran a whopping 16 points ahead of Trump in last year’s election despite facing a highly touted Democratic recruit. This year he’s expected to face Democrat Dean Phillips, a wealthy founder of a gelato company, who emerged as an early party favorite.

What makes Minnesota’s politics so interesting is that Republicans have a rare opportunity to make inroads into some traditional Democratic strongholds, as well.

Trump’s inroads was the political story of 2016, but even then it was a near-run thing for Trump in the blue states that put him over the top. Whether Trump and the Republicans can build on that success or whether it proves to be a one-time thing will likely be the political story of 2018.

THE WAGES OF BARNEY FRANK AND ELIZABETH WARREN: A Wall Street Journal op-ed by a former Barney Frank staffer, Dennis Shaul, bewails a great mistake by the Democrats: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Richard Cordray’s resignation as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a great opportunity for President Trump to appoint a new director who can undo an unfortunate legacy of bureaucratic overreach and political bias. More important going forward is what we have learned from our experience with the CFPB to prevent future similar missteps.

The first lesson is that Congress should never again create an “independent” agency with a sole director, particularly one not subject to the congressional appropriations process. Under the law, the CFPB—unlike the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and other independent agencies—is funded by the Federal Reserve, a move specifically designed to avoid congressional oversight.

I had the privilege of working as an aide to then-Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee when the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which created the CFPB, was written. I realized that no bill is ever perfect and the CFPB would have its imperfections. The authors wanted the bureau to be a fair arbiter of protecting consumers, instead of what it has become—a politically biased regulatory dictator and a political steppingstone for its sole director, who is now expected to run for governor of Ohio.

An independent federal agency should be nonpartisan. A bipartisan commission on the model of the SEC and FCC would allow for better and more evenhanded decision-making. To show how partisan the CFPB became under Mr. Cordray’s leadership, not one of the agency’s employees made a contribution to Donald Trump’s campaign, while a multitude contributed to Hillary Clinton. The new director will have a partisan staff.

Yes, Trump’s in charge, not Hillary. Tsk. The essay goes on to list several egregious examples of CFPB overreach.

This one, for example:

The CFPB, like other agencies, collects fines and fees. Astonishingly, Congress does not require them to be transferred to the federal Treasury. Mr. Cordray has boasted of collecting billions of dollars on behalf of consumers, but portions of that money ultimately go to favored consumer groups—a continuing problem of ideological preference.

Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren helped create and build this hideous government monster. Yes,”a politically biased regulatory dictator.” Tsk again.

MSNBC PANELIST: WHITE MEN ‘POSE THE BIGGEST THREAT TO AMERICANS’ [VIDEO].

Yes, on the surface, this quote by Jamira Burley, the former “National Deputy Millennial Vote Director” for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign sounds remarkably racist. But considering she’s working in the same building with Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Joe Scarborough, Brian Williams, and Chuck Todd, I could easily see how that would distort her view.

BUT OF COURSE: Hillary Clinton Does Complete 180 on Questioning 2016 Election’s Legitimacy.

PUT DOWN THE CHARDONNAY, GRANDMA: Hillary Brags That Bill Clinton ‘Didn’t Tweet About’ Challenges As President.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● “Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump is acting like a dictator.”

Tweet by Newsweek yesterday plugging this article.

Newsweek on the president as dictator in November of 2012? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Choose the form of your destructor, to coin an Insta-phrase.

SPEAKING OF HILLARY: Look, I told my friend not to go on reading Hillary’s book.  I told her it would have Necronomicon-like effects.  She was warned.  She was told to watch her liver damage.  And yet she persisted.  You might as well enjoy the results.  HRC: A New Deal, A Square Deal or How She Wanted to be the Next Roosevelt.  Also, wait, I THOUGHT Obama was the new Roosevelt.  Progressives.  Living in the past. Again.

VOGUE EDITOR ANNA WINTOUR ENCOURAGES MERYL STREEP TO RUN FOR OFFICE.

She’s already cut her first campaign commercial!

Just slap an “I’m Meryl Streep and I approve this Hillary-esque message” voice-over after the above clip from the climactic scene of her dystopian 2015 Weinstein-produced movie The Giver, and it’s ready to go.

FLASHBACK: Obama speechwriter photographed groping Hillary Clinton likeness.

Plus: Obama’s White House Boys’ Club: New Obama White House Memoir Reveals Staff Drinking, ‘D*ck Jokes,’ and Womanizing.

I mean, who could’ve seen 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.

JAMES BOVARD: Do Trump’s liberal critics seem increasingly unhinged?

Many Democrats sound ready to rush to impeachment regardless of what Trump has actually done. They seem inspired by the Soviet secret police chief who allegedly declared: “Show me the man and I will show you the crime.” Desperate assertions that $3,000 in Russian-linked Facebook ads swung the election results in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin are indicative of the pathetic logic of many Trump critics.

Many Trump opponents are the same type of zealots who, in the late 1700s, proudly labeled themselves “Friends of Government.” In their eyes, Trump’s greatest sin is tarnishing the majesty of the presidency and the federal government. Trump is exposing the sham of a Leviathan Democracy which pretends that presidents will be philosopher kings — instead of merely talented vote catchers. However, Trump cannot be blamed for destroying Americans’ trust in Washington. This was already achieved by presidents such as George W. Bush and Obama who the media occasionally exalted to the skies.

Trump’s critics are correct that the president has too much arbitrary power. But many people happy to believe the worst about Trump will heave all their skepticism overboard when the next political savior is anointed. Such naivete is being encouraged at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. Recall that Hillary Clinton’s recent book declared that the lesson of George Orwell’s “1984” is that people should trust their leaders and the media.

Hysteria remains the 2017 political badge of honor. Last Wednesday, thousands of people gathered across the nation to shout at the sky to protest the anniversary of Trump’s victory. But righteous rage is no substitute for focusing on the real perils that Trump and any other president poses to our rights. The Friends of Freedom need to keep their intellectual ammo dry.

Among other kinds.

. . . . NOW THAT WE DON’T NEED HIM ANYMORE, AND WE DO NEED TO HUSTLE HILLARY OFF THE STAGE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. “Years of excusing Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct suddenly seems morally indefensible.”

JOHN PODHORETZ: If Roy Moore Squeaks By, It Will Be Because Of Democrats.

Yet Goldberg cannot keep herself from seeing a truth that was evident during the Clinton presidency to anyone with eyes to see: Bill Clinton was a sexual reprobate whose ascension to the Democratic nomination after the revelation of his relationship with Flowers during the primaries was a hinge moment in American history.

No one before him would’ve survived it. He did by denying it hotly — and was saved from perdition’s flames by his Hillary. She sat there on “60 Minutes” and supported him even as she said she wasn’t the type of woman who’d just “stand by her man.” Later, Clinton acknowledged the five-year Flowers affair in testimony before an independent counsel.

n 1998, when the news of his liaison with Lewinsky became public, the Clintons did it again. Bill said he did not have sexual relations with Miss Lewinsky, and Hillary went on the “Today Show” and said her husband had unjustly been placed in the target sights of a “right wing conspiracy.”

If you want to know how Roy Moore of Alabama might survive these charges against him and win the Senate race in December, look no farther than Hillary Clinton’s words. Again, replace “right wing” with “left wing” (or “GOP establishment”) and you have the entirety of Moore’s defense.

The Clinton play in the wake of the Lewinsky revelation was to signal to their supporters and the entire Democratic liberal-left that any crack in their defense of him would allow a Puritanical right-wing flood to engulf the country.

And anyway, even if you believed he’d done it, what had he done? It was a peccadillo, really nothing more than the sainted JFK had done in his tragically shortened time in the Oval.

Moore is saying exactly the same thing to conservatives.

Related:

MOLON LABE: Hand over your weapons.

At a New Hampshire forum in the fall of 2015, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke approvingly of an Australian gun buyback program that collected more than 650,000 weapons — a buyback that, she neglected to mention, was compulsory.

And just a few months earlier, then-President Barack Obama offered coded support for the same confiscatory approach. “When Australia had a mass killing — I think it was in Tasmania — about 25 years ago, it was just so shocking, the entire country said, ‘Well, we’re going to completely change our gun laws,’ and they did,” he said.

Democrats have even let the word “confiscation” slip out, on occasion. After the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in 2012, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a radio interview that when it came to assault weapons “confiscation could be an option, mandatory sale to the state could be an option.”

It was an option Cuomo didn’t pursue. But five years after that slaughter of schoolchildren — and with fresh tales of murdered kids on the floor of a Texas church — might gun-control advocates expand their agenda?

The logic of gun control lies, at bottom, in substantially reducing the number of deadly weapons on the street — and confiscation is far and away the most effective approach. Is there any conceivable turn of events in our politics that could make confiscation happen? And what would a mass seizure look like?

It would not look the way David Scharfenberg thinks it would look.

EVERYONE IS EXPENDABLE WHEN THEY BECOME A BURDEN TO THE PARTY: Hell freeze over?! The NYT just defended Juanita Broaddrick … no seriously, it did. It’s almost comical how quickly they’ve turned on Bill now that he can’t do anything for them anymore, and now that they want to hustle Hillary off the political stage before 2020. The thing is, the Clintons are no more loyal to them, and might poison the well as they depart.

PATRICK POOLE: Hillary Clinton PERSONALLY Overturned Visa Ban for Islamist Figure Now Accused of Rape.

BYRON YORK: Did dossier trigger the Trump-Russia probe? “The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump-Russia affair shortly after receiving the first installment of an anti-Trump dossier from a former British spy working for the Hillary Clinton campaign. What congressional investigators want to know is whether that was a coincidence or not.”

Hint: Not.

CAITLYN FLANAGAN ON BILL CLINTON: Feminists saved the 42nd president of the United States in the 1990s. They were on the wrong side of history; is it finally time to make things right?

Let us not forget the sex crimes of which the younger, stronger Bill Clinton was very credibly accused in the 1990s. Juanita Broaddrick reported that when she was a volunteer on one of his gubernatorial campaigns, she had arranged to meet him in a hotel coffee shop. At the last minute, he had changed the location to her room in the hotel, where she says he very violently raped her. She said she fought against Clinton throughout a rape that left her bloodied. At a different Arkansas hotel, he caught sight of a minor state employee named Paula Jones, and, Jones says, he sent a couple of state troopers to invite her to his suite, where he exposed his penis to her and told her to kiss it. Kathleen Willey said that she met him in the Oval Office for personal and professional advice and that he groped her, rubbed his erect penis on her, and pushed her hand to his crotch.

It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault; the women involved had far more credible evidence than many of the most notorious accusations that have come to light in the past five weeks. But Clinton was not left to the swift and pitiless justice that today’s accused men have experienced. Rather, he was rescued by a surprising force: machine feminism. The movement had by then ossified into a partisan operation and it was willing—eager—to let this friend of the sisterhood enjoy a little droit de seigneur.

The thing is, going after him now — when they don’t need him anymore, and when they’re trying to hustle Hillary off the political stage for 2020 — doesn’t make up for what they did then. Rather, it underscores it.

GIVEN THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE CHARGES, I THINK THAT’S OBLIGATORY: Sessions considering second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns, letter shows. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions is entertaining the idea of appointing a second special counsel to investigate a host of Republican concerns — including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia — and has directed senior federal prosecutors to explore at least some of the matters and report back to him and his top deputy, according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post. . . . The list of matters he wanted probed was wide ranging, but included the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, various dealings of the Clinton Foundation and several matters connected to the purchase of the Canadian mining company Uranium One by Russia’s nuclear energy agency. Goodlatte took particular aim at former FBI director James B. Comey, asking for a second special counsel to evaluate the leaks he directed about his conversations with President Trump, among other things.”

TYLER O’NEIL: 54 Percent of Democrats Still Think Hillary Clinton Beat Bernie Sanders Fair and Square.

Yes, 54% is a majority, but it isn’t exactly confidence-inspiring.

CLETA MITCHELL AND HANS VAN SPAKOVSKY: Hillary Clinton, the DNC and the Law: Did their arrangement violate legal limits on coordination between a candidate and a party?

The purpose of joint fundraising committees is to allow more than one entity to collaborate in raising money and share in the costs. Each participant is subject to federal contribution limits. When the party itself is a participant, its committee (in this case the DNC) normally handles accounting and financial controls. Not here. The Hillary Victory Fund was controlled by the Clinton campaign, with a campaign employee as treasurer and the fund’s bank account established at the Clinton campaign’s bank. According to Federal Election Commission reports, the Hillary Victory Fund has raised more than $526 million.

The DNC asserted its “neutrality” by also entering into a joint fundraising committee with the Sanders campaign. It raised a total of $1,000. And the Bernie Victory Committee treasurer was the DNC’s designee. . . .

Contributions to the DNC, even though made through the Hillary Victory Fund, were required by law to be transferred to the party and could not legally be withheld by the Clinton-designated treasurer. Nor does the law allow a single candidate to control a political party’s operations and expenditures.

National party committees have higher contribution limits than candidates do—$334,000 a year vs. $2,700 for each election. The memorandum raises the possibility that Clinton campaign took advantage of the DNC’s higher limits, then availed itself of all the resources the DNC could buy—without having any of the attendant costs or expenditures assessed against the campaign.

There are strict statutory limits on what a party committee can contribute to any candidate and what a party can spend in coordination with its candidates. We don’t like limits on the ability of parties to support their candidates. But campaign-finance zealots, egged on by media outlets (which are not subject to any limits), made certain that the McCain-Feingold law of 2002 stringently limited coordination between candidates and political parties. Although the Supreme Court struck down parts of McCain-Feingold in the 2010 Citizens United case, the coordination limits still apply. The FEC and the Justice Department should investigate the Clinton-DNC arrangement.

Yes, they should.

BARACK OBAMA: EGOTISTICAL SPENDTHRIFT? Donna Brazile Lays Out How Obama’s Obsession With ‘His Image’ ‘Leeched’ The Democratic Party ‘Of Its Vitality.’

“Barack never had seen himself as connected to the party. He had not come up through it the way Joe Biden and Hillary had, but had sprung up almost on his own and never had any trouble raising money for his campaigns,” Brazile wrote.

Obama “used the party to provide for political expenses like gifts to donors, and political travel.” Because he “also cared deeply about his image,” he used DNC funds for “his pollster and focus groups” late into his second term, even though he couldn’t run for president, Brazile said.

Paying of the party’s debt made the DNC beholden to Clinton and her the de facto head of the party, Brazile wrote. Most decisions had to be run through Clinton’s Brooklyn, N.Y., headquarters. Brazile referred to it as the “high command of Brooklyn” on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos Sunday.

Despite blaming Obama, Clinton and Wasserman Schultz for the party’s troubles, she admitted that the three do love the Democratic party.

They only abuse it because they love it so much.

BYRON YORK: Did dossier trigger the Trump-Russia probe? “The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump-Russia affair shortly after receiving the first installment of an anti-Trump dossier from a former British spy working for the Hillary Clinton campaign. What congressional investigators want to know is whether that was a coincidence or not.” I’m going to go with “not.”

Plus: “Now the moving parts, as far as the dossier is concerned, are the Mueller investigation and Congress. With Mueller, it’s impossible to determine whether he is using the dossier and if so, in what way. For its part, Congress is trying to uncover the dossier story — what did the FBI do to try to verify it? Did agents use it as a basis for seeking wiretaps? — but getting information out of the FBI, as well as Fusion GPS, has been like pulling teeth, even after a House subpoena. Ultimately more will become public. But if the past months have shown anything, it is that the FBI will not reveal its secrets, even to its legitimate congressional overseers, without a fight.”

SHAMBLING AND MUTTERING “BRAINZZZ”:  Is Hillary Shuffling for President in 2020?

HOW EX-DNC CHAIR DONNA BRAZILE RUINED HILLARY’S CHANCE IN 2020:

To say the Clinton camp is furious at what they regard as betrayal doesn’t do justice to their outrage. They are attacking Brazile personally, accusing her of telling outright lies just to sell books.

Which is mighty rich when you consider the history of the Clintons.

Still, you can’t blame their distress because the stakes are huge. If it sticks, Brazile’s searing indictment of Hillary’s persona, ethics and political skills could prove fatal to her hopes for a 2020 comeback.

In fact, I believe that is the ultimate point of the book: to clear the Democratic decks for desperately needed new leadership and messages.

It’s easier said than done because Clinton’s comeback plan is not as crazy as it sounds. Until a new challenger comes along to knock her off the party pedestal, she remains the default Democrat.

No wonder the initial reaction by the DNC-MSM was to circle the wagons around Hillary when Brazile’s (admittedly self-serving) memoirs appeared.

UPDATE: Another CNN Race Problem: Employees Directed to Destroy Donna Brazile’s Credibility.

FALLOUT: The rise and fall of the Podestas, Washington’s powerful political brother act. “Then John became chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, putting the Podestas in the crosshairs of the alt-right. In the middle of the campaign, John’s hacked emails led to ‘Pizzagate,’ a bizarre conspiracy theory about a child sex ring. Finally, and against all expectations, he lost the bitterly fought election. Now Tony’s work for a Ukrainian nonprofit group is part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, prompting the powerful lobbyist to resign from the Podesta Group, the firm he founded three decades ago.”

WE WARNED HER.  WE TOLD HER SHE WAS KILLING HER LIVER BY READING HILLARY’S BOOK (AND DRINKING) AND YET SHE PERSISTED:  HRC Gets ”Caught Trying”- Amanda S. Green.

SENATOR SPEAK WITH FORKED TONGUE: Warren Backpedals After Twice Calling Democratic Primaries ‘Rigged.’

Warren told MassLive.com on Wednesday that she believes the allegations in former acting Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile’s new book, but said while the allegations showed “bias” in Hillary Clinton’s favor, the primaries did not rise to the level of being “rigged.”

“While there was some bias at the DNC, the overall 2016 primary process was fair and Hillary made history,” she said.

A week earlier, the senator was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether she agreed with Brazile’s allegation that the process was “rigged” in Clinton’s favor. “Yes,” she answered simply.

Later that same day, Warren was asked on PBS’ “NewsHour” if the DNC’s actions meant “the election was rigged.”

“I think it was,” Warren responded.

Maybe she just believes it wasn’t rigged-rigged.

RASMUSSEN: Just 32% Think Hillary Clinton Won Democratic Nomination Fairly.

RUSSIAGATE: Judicial Watch Sues Department of Justice for Communications Relating to ‘Russian Lawyer’ Immigration Parole.

Fox News recently reported on a meeting between Fusion GPS and Veselnitskaya:

The co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the unverified Trump dossier, met with [Veselnitskaya] before and after a key meeting she had last year with Trump’s son, Fox News has learned. The contacts shed new light on how closely tied the firm was to Russian interests, at a time when it was financing research to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump.

The opposition research firm has faced renewed scrutiny after litigation revealed that the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for that research. Congressional Republicans have since questioned whether that politically financed research contributed to the FBI’s investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – making Fusion’s 2016 contacts with Russian interests all the more relevant.

“The ‘Russian lawyer’ who finagled a meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. evidently wasn’t supposed to be in the country,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We want to know what the Obama Justice Department knew and when it knew about what Ms. Veselniskava was up to.”

“No good” is the easy answer, but I do wish Congress were investigating more effectively since we can no longer trust our counterintelligence outfit at the FBI.

THE NEXT TARGET IN DONNA BRAZILE’S PRIVATE WAR? JAKE TAPPER:

Brazile, a former CNN contributor, recalled in her new book when emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta showed that she relayed information about possible topics that would be brought up during the Democratic primary debate hosted by her network.

“The next day, even Jake Tapper took a swing at me, calling me unethical and ‘journalistically horrifying’ during a radio interview with WMAL even though I worked for CNN as a commentator not a journalist,” Brazile wrote in her book Hacks: The Insider Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House. “When I called him on this, he did not apologize. His attack on me was really about him. He wrote in an email, ‘I don’t know what happened here except it undermines the integrity of my work and CNN … you have to know how betrayed we all feel.’”

Brazile continued, “The feeling is mutual, my friend.”

This is the mirror image version of the question that Mike Cernovich asked CBS’s Scott Pelley, when Pelley attempted to give the pro-Trump blogger/Twitter star the third degree 60 Minutes treatment. In March, Pelley asked Cernovich about a piece he ran during the campaign headlined “Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson’s Disease, Physician Confirms,” telling Cernovich “It isn’t true.” When Cernovich mentioned Hillary’s apparent seizure on September 11th last year, Pelley dismissed it as “pneumonia.” Cernovich asked Pelley how he knew that, and Pelley replied “Well, the campaign told us that.”

Cernovich then asked the veteran CBS anchor the obvious question, one that he telling refused to answer: “Why would you trust a campaign?”

Why would Donna Brazile, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, trust an “objective” CNN reporter in the heat of a presidential campaign? As with Pelley, to ask the question is to answer it:

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Hillary Clinton Is Finally Making Her Way to Wisconsin.

MICHAEL BARONE: 2016 is looking like the new normal.

If you wanted to predict the results of Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, you would have been wise to ignore the flurry of polls and campaign events. You would have paid no heed to the conventional wisdom that Republican Kim Guadagno was uncompetitive against Democrat Phil Murphy in New Jersey, while Republican Ed Gillespie had a solid chance to beat Ralph Northam in Virginia.

In fact, Northam’s 9 point victory margin in Virginia was not much different from Murphy’s 13 point margin in New Jersey. And both almost precisely mirrored the 2016 presidential results. Hillary Clinton carried New Jersey 55 to 41 percent; Murphy won it by 56 to 43 percent. Clinton carried Virginia 50 to 44 percent; Northam won it 54 to 45 percent. The two Democrats, lacking Clinton’s reputation for dishonesty, gained a few points she lost to third-party candidates; the two Republicans got almost exactly the same percentages as Trump.

It’s neither a catastrophe for the GOP nor a breakthrough for the Dems. Nobody should get cocky, especially since voters basically hate both parties.

AND YET THE SCHADENFREUDE IS STILL FRESH:  Flashback: One Year Ago Tonight, Donald Trump Defeated Hillary Clinton and the GOP Liberal Legacy Donor Class.

DONNA BRAZILE SEEMS DETERMINED TO FINISH OFF HILLARY ONCE AND FOR ALL: Brazile Blames Clinton’s Health for ‘Basket of Deplorables’ Remark.

Thus the two worst moments of Hillary’s campaign in a single headline, her health scare on September 11th, the anniversary of both the 2001 attack on American soil and Benghazi, and her ‘Basket of Deplorables’ uber-gaffe:

Former DNC chairman Donna Brazile says she doesn’t think Hillary Clinton would have remarked that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables” if she was in “better health.”

Brazile reveals in her just-released book Hacked that she saw Clinton right before she made the “basket of deplorables” comment, and it was the first time she noticed “Hillary did not look well.”

Brazile “noticed her face was puffy,” “her skin looked pale and papery,” and “her eyes were glazed.” She approached Clinton about her health before the speech and observed her to be “wobbly on her feet” with a “rattled cough” so bad Brazile suggested medical attention.

Not exactly buried in the subtext of these quotes is that Hillary will be age 73 in 2020, and clearly, Brazile would like to see fresh blood next time around.

DYING TO BE PRESIDENT: How Brazile’s book exposes liberal media’s Hillary health coverup.

Her coughing fits, especially a long one on Labor Day, and a history of falling were pointed out by the popular Drudge Report, some Republicans and smaller, conservative-leaning sites to suggest she was not being honest about her health.

But her campaign always denied anything was wrong — allergies, the candidate and her flacks insisted, caused the persistent coughs, and major news organizations mostly nodded their heads and stayed mum, accepting the official denials without skepticism.

The dam cracked a bit on Labor Day, when an NBC reporter filed a 91-word, four-paragraph story that said Clinton had been unable to finish her speech in Ohio because of a coughing fit.

The truth was dangerous, so the Praetorian Guard sprang to Clinton’s defense. The NBC reporter, Andrew Rafferty, was mocked and insulted, first by the campaign, and then by journalists, including some MSNBC commentators who turned on their colleague as if he had violated a secret oath.

CNN joined the Clinton amen chorus, and at the Washington Post, political writer Chris Cillizza denounced the topic of Clinton’s health as “a totally ridiculous issue” and declared it a “sure-fire loser” for Trump.

“It’s hard to plausibly insist, based on the available data, that Clinton is ill,” insisted Cillizza, who is now at CNN.

They haven’t been calling it Clinton News Network for 25 years for nothin’.