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DIRTY TRICKS: The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election. “In 1980, the Washington Post published an article reporting on the extremely unusual and quite aggressive involvement of the CIA in the 1980 presidential campaign. ‘Simply put, no presidential campaign in recent memory — perhaps ever — has attracted as much support from the intelligence community as the campaign of former CIA director Bush,’ the article said. . . . In 2016, top officials from the intelligence community similarly rallied around Hillary Clinton.”

QUESTION ASKED: “It’s 2018. One of the world’s most powerful married men had a 22-year-old intern perform oral sex on him in his office. He’s been accused of sexual assault by three other women. One claims, as is the case with so many of the men who have fallen from positions of power as a result, that he exposed himself to her (which always makes me, at least, pause and wonder why on earth so many men seem to want to do this). We know, too, that he lied about his tryst with the intern. So why is Bill Clinton still presiding over glamorous parties?”

Meanwhile, regarding his spouse, Hillary to Dems: We’re going to take back our country — and I’ll be there every step of the way.

Related: Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross” in stereo.

YOU CAN ONLY BE AVANT-GARDE FOR SO LONG BEFORE YOU BECOME GARDE: ‘SNL’ Cold Opens Are Unfunny, Elitist Pieces of Liberal Propaganda — The star-studded sketches aren’t just dull, they’re limousine liberalism at its worst, says those wacky rightwingers at, err…

Just compare and contrast how SNL coped with the losses of leftwing presidential candidates, the hilarious “Dukakis After Dark” sketch on the eve of Papa Bush winning in ’88, versus Kate McKinnon in character as Hillary Clinton performing a cringingly melancholy version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” after the 2016 election.

When he returned for a season in 1981, original writer Michael O’Donoghue, the pioneer of take no prisoners “cut and slash humor,” believed that he was there to give the show a “decent Viking Funeral” to close things down. If only NBC had listened.

Or as fellow original writer Anne Beatts, who dated O’Donoghue when both were with the National Lampoon prior to SNL once said, “You can only be avant-garde for so long before you become garde.”

ANDREW MCCARTHY: In Politicized Justice Department, Desperate Times Call for Disparate Measures.

It has now been confirmed that the Trump campaign was subjected to spying tactics under counterintelligence law — FISA surveillance, national-security letters, and covert intelligence operatives who work with the CIA and allied intelligence services. It made no difference, apparently, that there was an ongoing election campaign, which the FBI is supposed to avoid affecting; nor did it matter that the spy targets were American citizens, as to whom there is supposed to be evidence of purposeful, clandestine, criminal activity on behalf of a foreign power before counterintelligence powers are invoked.

But what was the rationale for using these spying authorities?

The fons et origo of the counterintelligence investigation was the suspicion — which our intelligence agencies assure us is a fact — that the Democratic National Committee’s server was hacked by covert Russian operatives. Without this cyber-espionage attack, there would be no investigation. But how do we know it really happened? The Obama Justice Department never took custody of the server — no subpoena, no search warrant. The server was thus never subjected to analysis by the FBI’s renowned forensics lab, and its evidentiary integrity was never preserved for courtroom presentation to a jury.

How come? Well, you see, there was an ongoing election campaign, so the Obama Justice Department figured it would be a terrible imposition to pry into the Democrats’ communications. So, yes, the entire “Russia hacked the election” narrative the nation has endured for nearly two years hinges on the say-so of CrowdStrike, a private DNC contractor with significant financial ties to the Clinton campaign.

In Investigations 101, using foreign-intelligence authorities to spy on Americans is extraordinary, while taking custody of essential physical evidence is basic. By the way, the government’s failure to ensure the evidentiary integrity of the DNC server by taking possession of it and performing its own rigorous testing on it makes it practically impossible to prosecute anyone for “colluding” in Russia’s cyber-espionage. It’s tough to prove that anyone conspired in something unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the something actually happened the way you say it happened. To do that in a courtroom, you need evidence — a confident probability analysis by your intelligence agencies won’t do.

They covered for Hillary. They spied on Trump, and then when he unexpectedly won they panicked. Now, you’ll notice, all the mad leaking to the NYT and the WaPo is defensive in nature: Smoke-blowing to try to cover their tracks. In fact a lot of people involved in this should be in jail, and I’m beginning to think some of them might actually wind up going to jail.

FAKE CHARITY CLINTON FOUNDATION IS THE NEST EGG BUILT FOR CHELSEA: Let us count the ways Bill and Hillary have abused philanthropy law and regulation to create and control a billion-dollar family slush fund that’s tax-exempt and seemingly immune from accountability. And who knew Charles Ortel is a Dire Straits fan!


JOHN BRENNAN’S “EXTREMELY SENSITIVE ISSUE:” “Brennan dimly understood that there would be hell to pay if it came out that Hillary partisans in the U.S. government were spying on her opponent’s campaign, making use of opposition research that she had purchased. But Brennan, who was auditioning to be Hillary’s CIA director and choking on his anger at the thought of Trump as president, couldn’t help himself apparently.”

ANOTHER CLINTON SUBTERFUGE EXPOSED: Joe Schoffstall at Washington Free Beacon shines light on yet another illustration of the Clinton Way: ZFS Holdings LLC was established in 2013 with  Delaware registration to manage her income from speeches and books. The registered agent for ZFS is Corporation Trust Company, a U.S. subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Wolters Kluwer.

Why is that significant? Schoffstall notes that the agent is “an epicenter of U.S. corporate secrecy,” due in great part to the anonymity allowed registrants by Delaware.

But wait, there’s more (isn’t there always with the Clintons?): Clinton’s 2016 president campaign committee has paid ZFS nearly $150,000 since her loss: “The first transaction from the committee to ZFS was made on May 4, 2017 in the amount of $32,929.28, nearly six months after Trump had defeated Clinton. Each payment from the committee to ZFS was marked as ‘rent,'” Schoffstall reports.

“Seven additional payments were made ranging from $9,617.87 to $36,369.39. The most recent payment to ZFS, for $20,822.92, was made on March 15, filings show. The campaign has pushed $149,456.78 to ZFS Holdings since early May of last year.”

And the problem with that? Schoffstall asked campaign finance expert Cleta Mitchell:

“The only disbursements allowed for the Clinton or any other losing campaign are for winding down the campaign. So the question is whether this is really for rent or whether the payments are to this entity for other types of work for Hillary, which would be personal use if it isn’t specifically tied to the winding down of the campaign.

“Personal use is illegal under federal campaign finance law. There are a number of questions that need to be answered to ensure that the campaign is using leftover campaign funds for a legally, permissible purpose.”

HILLARY: “A VERY LARGE PROPORTION OF THE POPULATION” FEAR WOMEN AS LEADERS, YOU KNOW. “At least these are very instructive moments for American voters, though. This what the Clintons and the Democratic establishment truly think of them. That should be quite helpful in discernment about their ballot decisions in November.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL: About That FBI ‘Source:’ Did the Bureau engage in outright spying against the 2016 Trump campaign?

The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications.

Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation. In a Thursday press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly noted that Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s request for details on this secret source was “wholly appropriate,” “completely within the scope” of the committee’s long-running FBI investigation, and “something that probably should have been answered a while ago.” Translation: The department knew full well it should have turned this material over to congressional investigators last year, but instead deliberately concealed it.

House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s response was to double down—accusing the House of “extortion” and delivering a speech in which he claimed that “declining to open the FBI’s files to review” is a constitutional “duty.” Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments—that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in “loss of human lives.”

This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.

The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

Which would lead to another big question for the FBI: When? The bureau has been doggedly sticking with its story that a tip in July 2016 about the drunken ramblings of George Papadopoulos launched its counterintelligence probe. Still, the players in this affair—the FBI, former Director Jim Comey, the Steele dossier authors—have been suspiciously vague on the key moments leading up to that launch date. When precisely was the Steele dossier delivered to the FBI? When precisely did the Papadopoulos information come in?

And to the point, when precisely was this human source operating? Because if it was prior to that infamous Papadopoulos tip, then the FBI isn’t being straight.

I don’t think the FBI is being straight. I’m speculating, of course, but I think it’s going to turn out that they were spying on Trump from surprisingly early on, and that they didn’t expect him to win, and that when he did win, the Russian “collusion” thing was hyped up as a smokescreen.

Flashback, March 2017: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”

Plus: “But if they thought Hillary was sure to win, why bother spying on Trump? A sinister reason: To prosecute him — for something, anything they could discover — after he lost, so as to properly cow Hillary’s opposition. That might be true, but on the other hand, LBJ spied on Goldwater when his win was assured, and Nixon did the same vs. McGovern. Why would unthreatened incumbents spy on opponents they expect to lose? Maybe they do it for the same reason a dog licks himself: Because he can.”

Still just a hypothesis, but one that seems increasingly likely to be true. And if it is, the sinister reason also seems more likely to be true.

More: “Glenn Simpson, founder of the Fusion GPS research firm that hired former British agent Christopher Steele, told investigators that the FBI had shared the existence of ‘a human source from inside the Trump Organization’ in a September 2016 meeting with Steele.” (Bumped).

AND IF YOU DISAGREE, HIS NETWORK WILL DOXX THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF YOU: Silly Cillizza! People Think CNN has an ‘Imagined Ideological Agenda.’

Also from Chris Cillizza: “Here’s a name that would shake up the New York AG race: Hillary Clinton.”

BLUE WAVE? Why the Democrats Just Lost the Senate. “While Nancy Pelosi is shopping for speaker’s gavels, Chuck Schumer should be preparing for another term as minority leader.”

Because the bulk of Republican incumbents up for reelection this year are in states that are nearly impregnable—think Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming—Democrats will almost certainly have to defeat Nevada’s Dean Heller and pick up the Arizona seat left open by Jeff Flake’s retirement.

Beyond that pair, everything else is a stretch. Rep. Marsha Blackburn appears capable of blowing a lay-up open seat in Tennessee for the Republicans, and there are signs that Sen. Ted Cruz could be ripe for a takedown from cash-flush Democrat Beto O’Rourke in Texas, but both of those races are mostly progressive wishcasting at this point.

In any case, picking up two seats is the easy part. The Democrats must also protect incumbents in 10 states that Trump won in 2016. Five of those senators (Indiana’s Joe Donnelly; Missouri’s Claire McCaskill; Montana’s Jon Tester; North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp; and Manchin) represent states where Hillary Clinton failed to muster even 40 percent of the vote.

The Democratic brand is no asset in many of these places. Equally important, the president known for his historically weak approval ratings at the national level remains popular locally in states like Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

Charlie Mahtesian repeats the conventional wisdom that “the House seems to be a lost cause for Republicans,” but that might not be the case.

Anyway, don’t get cocky.

BLUE WAVE: Is the Midwest the Next South for the Democratic Party?

The president’s courting of voters in the Heartland is a shrewd political calculation by Team Trump. More than half of the 206 so-called “pivot” counties—areas that twice voted for Obama then switched to Trump in 2016—are located in the Midwest, as are four “pivot” states: Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Hillary Clinton won Minnesota by fewer than 50,000 votes; Barack Obama won it by 225,000 votes in 2012.

Over the past decade, Midwestern states have been bleeding blue votes and politicians. With the exception of Minnesota, every single Midwestern state has a Republican governor (even my home state, the basket case Illinois) and Republicans control state houses throughout the Midwest except for Illinois. This once-reliably Democratic region is turning red faster than Elon Musk’s investors and Trump is only part of the reason why.

Democrats have been counting on the Great Lakes to deliver a Big Blue Wave this November to help win back control of Congress, but the current outlook portends a possible riptide that threatens to carry Democrats even further out to political sea. With no compelling message aside from impeachment, no policy agenda for the economy or national security, and no tactical strategy to lure swing voters back, Democrats might reverse the historical trend of the out-of-power party gaining more power in the midterm election. Republicans have a legitimate chance to expand their majority in the U.S. Senate and curtail losses in the House to less than a dozen seats.

Is the Midwest the next South for the Democratic Party?

Julie Kelly has the distressing numbers — distressing for midwestern Democrats.

Related: Democrats’ 2018 advantage is nearly gone.

MAKE HILLARY NEW YORK’S NEW AG? YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT? Believe it or not, Clinton loyalists in politics and media are releasing lots of trial balloons to see if the failed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee can succeed the disgraced Eric Schneiderman as New York’s top law enforcement official.

After he finally stopped laughing and picked himself up off the floor, Charles Ortel explains in LifeZette why the decades of charitable fraud and abuse by the Clinton Foundation make the notion of putting Hillary Clinton in as New York Attorney General is ludicrous on its face.


After the 2016 election, the so-called deep state was confident that it had the power easily to either stop, remove, or delegitimize the outlier Donald Trump and his presidency.

Give it credit, the Washington apparat quite imaginatively pulled out all the stops: implanting Obama holdover appointees all over the Trump executive branch; filing lawsuits and judge shopping; organizing the Resistance; pursuing impeachment writs; warping the FISA courts; weaponizing the DOJ and FBI; attempting to disrupt the Electoral College; angling for enactment of the 25th Amendment or the emoluments clause; and unleashing Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley, and many in Wall Street to suffocate the Trump presidency in its infancy.

But now the administrative state’s multifaceted efforts are starting to unwind, and perhaps even boomerang, on the perpetrators. If a federal judge should end up throwing out most of the indictments of Paul Manafort on the rationale that they have nothing much to do with the original mandate of the special counsel’s office, or if Michael Flynn’s confession to giving false statements is withdrawn successfully because the FBI politicized its investigation and FISA courts were misled in approving the surveillance of Flynn, then the Mueller investigation will implode.

Indeed, the Mueller investigation would likely lose so much public support that the Department of Justice could probably dismiss it with impunity. So, in an ironic sense, Mueller’s overreach might well end once and for all the absurdities of the special counsel/prosecutor law that for nearly half a century has plagued the nation.

Until recently, deep-state apparatchiks such as John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe seemed immune from accountability after lying either to Congress or to federal authorities. In a perverse sort of way, the more Robert Mueller plays the role of the obsessed but impotent Inspector Javert, the more he demonstrates that there is no Russian-Trump collusion. Meanwhile, he is establishing precedents that those whom he exempts from his own zeal will inevitably have to account for their own lawbreaking. One cannot justifiably hound Michael Flynn for supposedly misleading FBI agents, when agency investigators were told by Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills that they had known nothing about Hillary Clinton’s private server during her tenure as secretary of state — despite evidence that they themselves had communicated over it (as had the former president of the United States).

Let us hope.

IF ONLY MAMA HILLARY WERE IN THE WHITE HOUSE, TO SOOTHE EVERYONE’S JANGLED NERVES: It’s not just you, we’re all living in the United States of Anxiety. It couldn’t be nonstop media hysteria setting people on edge.

But here’s a prescription:

DAILY CALLER EXCLUSIVE: How Buzzfeed’s ‘Data-Monster’ Leveraged User Data To Fuel Super PACs, Target Voters.

BuzzFeed partnered closely with multiple Democratic and anti-Trump super PACs in 2016 to target its own users with dozens of political advertisements that were not in accordance with its own policies, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

Former BuzzFeed Vice President Rena Shapiro, who led the website’s native political advertising team during the 2016 election, described candidly in a pair of unearthed interviews how she partnered closely with political groups to create ads that harnessed the data BuzzFeed collects on its audience of over 650 million people to solve their “ultimate need, which is to get elected, to get their message out there, or to canvas people together to create impact around a cause.”


BuzzFeed raised eyebrows in June 2016 when it announced it had canceled a $1.3 million advertising agreement with the Republican National Committee due to disagreements with then-candidate Donald Trump’s “offensive statements.”

Doing business with any group that supports Trump, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti said after canceling the RNC ad buy, would be “hazardous to our health.”


BuzzFeed’s advertising business demonstrated in 2016 that by refusing to work with pro-Trump political groups it had skin in the political game. But Smith, the website’s editor-in-chief, insists that its news coverage of the president is rooted in the facts. He said in January that the website would have treated a Hillary Clinton presidency the same way they’re treating Trump’s.

But juxtaposing BuzzFeed’s critical coverage of Trump to that of his predecessor, President Barack Obama, suggests otherwise.

BuzzFeed’s coverage of Obama was “almost uniformly uncritical and often sycophantic,” according to a 2016 analysis by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), a left-leaning media watchdog group.

At this point I probably don’t have to remind you to think of them as Democrat operatives with bylines.


Because we don’t live in a healthy polity.


And the people claiming the most concern with Russian machinations have contributed the most to the damage.

Related: How the Russian collusion myth was hatched by Team Hillary immediately after her loss.

It’s all in Shattered, a book everyone supposedly read.

NO, THE CLINTONS ARE NOT TOO BIG TO JAIL: Remember the megabuck Wall Streeters who were “too big to fail” without putting the entire economy at risk. Well, Charles Ortel makes the case in today’s LifeZette that Bill and Hillary are not too big to jail without fears the civilized world will come crashing down.

HILARY BUYS INTO THE DELUSION THAT SHE WASN’T FAR LEFT ENOUGHHillary’s Blame Game Continues: I Lost Because Democrat Voters Are Socialists.

EXCESSIVE DRINKING CAN LEAD TO BLACKOUTS. OR IN SOME RARE CASES, MEDIA BLACKOUTS. Oh My: National Review Finally Asks, “Does Hillary Clinton Drink Too Much Alcohol? And Did the Media Cover This Up?”

That’s also from the Washington Post, which treated this “meme” like swamp-fever conspiracy theorizing.

Despite a reporter covering her letting us know she likes to drink, and despite an email from Palmieri instructing the staff to “sober her up.”

No one in the media asked the obvious follow-up questions or treated this as anything more than a silly internet conspiracy theory meme.

Combine that quote, and all the pictures of Hillary enjoying a cocktail or five (see below) with what didn’t get reported, and you have a genuine scandal — only partly about Hillary’s level of alcohol consumption.

Mostly, it’s about what the press knew but decided to hide from the public.

I know I’m writing this in a humorous way, but this is actually a question I’ve had for two years, and I’ve never seen the media touch it.

Just think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

MICHAEL BARONE: Democrats are taking minorities for granted.

According to the 2016 exit poll , Hillary Clinton received the votes of 88 percent of black Americans and 65 percent of Hispanic and Asians. Barack Obama’s 2012 percentages among these groups were marginally higher—93 percent of blacks, 71 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of Asians. That was a downtick from the 95 percent he won among blacks, but that and his 2012 percentages among Hispanics and Asians were the highest Democratic percentages among the three nonwhite groups measured in exit polls starting in 1972.

Naturally, Democrats want to retain these high levels of support. Hillary Clinton’s 37 percent among white voters was the lowest Democratic percentage among that bloc since Ronald Reagan was on the ballot, and her fall to 28 percent among white non-college graduates may be the worst Democratic showing in that group in the party’s history. It’s easy to imagine — it can be extrapolated from current polling — that other Democrats will run stronger among white groups than Clinton did. It’s harder to imagine that they can win without something like the very high percentages they have been getting among nonwhites.

One way to do that is to hark back to the issues that seem to have worked in the past. In August 2012, campaigning before a biracial audience in South Side Virginia, Vice President Joe Biden said that Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s financial policies would “put y’all back in chains.” Obama-Biden campaign spokesman said this was a metaphor for “unshackling” the middle class, but Republicans — and probably many voters — heard it as an insinuation that their side wanted to return to slavery. Similarly, Democrats attacked the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County decision overturning section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act, but leaving in place the rest of the law, as a return to exclusion of blacks from the polls. But that section only singled out for special administrative scrutiny changes in voting laws in states defined by low voter participation levels in the 1964, 1968 and 1972 elections. That provision made sense when discrimination barred blacks from voting in several Southern states, but as the Court pointed out, there has been no such mass suppression in recent decades; a Census survey showed higher turnout rates among blacks than whites in 2012. It’s hard to see the Democrats’ attacks here as anything but attempts to tar their opponent as racists determined to restore slavery or segregation, even while knowing that such characterizations are false.

Hard indeed.

Plus: “Scarcely mentioned in the immigration debate are Asians, who in recent years have made up an increasing share of immigrants. They constitute, however, only 13 percent of the illegal immigrant population, and the income levels of Asian households are more than 30 percent higher than those of all U.S. households. Historically, there was much prejudice among Asians, peaking perhaps after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Today there is little evidence of invidious discrimination or of the underrepresentation in desirable categories that is considered the justification for racial quotas and preferences. To the contrary, there is stark evidence that racial quotas work against Asian applicants to colleges and universities, who need much higher test scores and academic records than whites, much less Hispanics and blacks, to be admitted to selective schools. Harvard University has been sued for discriminating against Asian applicants and, when Democratic legislators in California sought to seek a ballot proposition to repeal an earlier measure barring racial discrimination in state higher education, they were met by a torrent of protest from Asian parents and dropped the issue.”

WAIT, I THOUGHT SHE ONLY LOST BECAUSE OF RACISM AND RUSSIAN COLLUSION: In an excerpt from her new book, Chasing Hillary, the author explains how a group of perspicacious—and pretty miserable—Clinton campaign reporters knew the candidate’s electoral hopes were imperiled all the way back in Iowa, in early 2016. “That didn’t feel like a victory rally.”

Plus wise (and ignored) words from Bill Clinton: “What’s the data and organization for if voters don’t like Hillary?”

HEADLINES FROM 1972: Film and TV workers take aim at Nixon for criticizing tax breaks.

Cynthia Nixon’s platform for governor is a show stopper to these furious film and TV industry workers who used to share a set with her.

The “Sex and the City” actress and Democratic candidate for guv was blasted by production crew and small businesses after she bashed a big film industry tax break that helped earn her fat paychecks.

“If you had your way you would bring production to a halt, causing long term damage to the New York economy, and more personally, you would take away our livelihoods,” 40 vendors and crew workers with New Yorkers for TV & Film Jobs wrote in an open letter to Nixon defending the $420 million program.

On the one hand, it’s fascinating to watch a mass of Hillary supporting leftists rally to support a tax break.* On the other, it’s good to see Glenn’s “Repeal the Hollywood Tax Cuts” mantra finding “unexpected” east coast support.

 * As Robert Conquest stated in his First Law of Politics, “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.”

DISPATCHES FROM NERD PROM. The top of the Drudge Report is astounding today:

Credentialed-but-not-educated – and the worst political class in American history, as Glenn likes to say, who have no idea how easily they’re being trolled by the administration over their past fake news and anti-GOP hyperbole.

UPDATE: “After [last night’s] WHCD debacle, the GOP message until November should be ‘They Hate You,’ featuring nothing but clips of Hillary/Schumer/Pelosi/Colleges/Media mocking and attacking heartland voters. ‘They hate you and want to control you. Don’t let them win,’” Sean Davis of the Federalist tweets.

THE GUILD PROTECTS ITS OWN: Female journos suspend Hillary’s ‘believe all women’ rule, sign letter of support for Tom Brokaw.

Much like Brokaw and the late Peter Jennings rushed to Dan Rather’s defense the month before the 2004 presidential election.


It had long been my opinion that the writers and editors of the New York Times and, by extension, their readers live on a different planet—the planet where a martini costs $20. But, upon perusal of the Sunday Review section, I see that I was wrong. They do not live on another planet. They live in another cosmos—a universe with different physics, different mathematics, different scientific constants, and different laws of nature.

The lead essay in the Sunday Review is by Amy Chozick, adapted from her new book Chasing Hillary. The headline is a quotation from Hillary Clinton: “They Were Never Going To Let Me Be President.”

The Hillary Clinton of Universe New York Times (UNYT) is similar to the Hillary Clinton of the known universe (U1) except that in UNYT she was the rightful winner of the 2016 election.

Chozick’s subject is time travel—impossible in U1 but commonplace in UNYT . By means of technology unknown to the inhabitants of U1, Chozick transports her UNYT readers to an ancient period of fossilization that political paleontologists of U1 have named “Who Cares?” There, she and her audience experience phenomena hardly imaginable to us. In U1 we sometimes beat a dead horse, but in UNYT they feed it and groom it and ride it around.

Order up a $20 Martini and read the whole thing.


Here’s where birtherism parallel comes in: To believe that version of events, you have to believe that some ten years ago an enemy of Joy Reid (a) Suspected that Reid would become a prominent media personality (she wasn’t when the posts were authored), (b) known that a left-wing gadfly would go trawling through her defunct website’s archives a decade later, and (c) that during the intervening years the conversation around gay rights would change so drastically that expressing opposition to gay marriage would become a career-ending transgression. (To reemphasize: During the period in question, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton also opposed gay marriage.)

Apparently Joy Reid has an enemy whose precog skills rival that of [Obama’s mother] Ann Dunham.

Between Reid, Brokaw, formerly beloved NBC superstar Bill Cosby, and the reports that “NBC faces doubts on harassment reforms,” the Comcast-owned network and its subsidiaries have had quite a week.


The parts of the book that I read reveal that [Amy] Chozick was a Hillary fan. She met Hillary when she was a high schooler in San Antonio and has been an admirer ever since.

She referred to Hillary as FWP (first woman president). Chozick and her fellow female reporters on the press bus were fully invested in the Hillary candidacy as a historic event for all women. They were of the same school as Madeleine Albright holding that it was a woman’s duty as a woman to vote for Madam Hillary. In her spiked victory story she wrote, “No one in modern politics, male or female, has had to withstand more indignities, setbacks and cynicism.” While Hillary deserved every bit of the little grief she got, how could Chozick write that line in light of what Donald Trump endured daily on the campaign trail? Two movies on one screen.

On the same page in which Chozik describes herself as having adopted her “role as a detached political reporter” she emotes how Hillary’s victory party “was ours.” This is what Trump’s Fake News is all about: media people claiming to be fair and neutral observers while overtly and covertly cheering cheering for one team in the press box.

Just think of the media as Democratic activists with bylines, and it all makes sense. Speaking of which, a CNN spokesman believes the American people are diseased:

As Peter. Hasson tweets in response, “If a group of people doesn’t trust you, calling them an ‘infection’ might not be the best way to win over their trust..”

UPDATE: Hack says what?! Brian Stelter calling Repubs who don’t trust media ‘an infection’ goes really really badly.

MICHAEL WALSH: Donald Trump and the Star Chamber of Horrors:

Fifteen months into his administration, Donald Trump remains the object of a dedicated attempt by the Democratic Party, the media, NeverTrump Republicans, and rogue members of the deep state to take him down. From the night he was elected, lifelong members of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party and the embedded bureaucracy have refused to accept the results of a national election, and have instead waged a campaign of “lawfare” against a man they consider an interloper—a situation unique in the annals of American democracy.

From Hillary Clinton to James Comey to Robert Mueller to Stormy Daniels, to various minor federal judges, to CNN and MSNBC, the list of Trump’s enemies continues to grow.

Their tactics are breathtakingly simple—and amazingly brazen. As the past year-plus of Robert Mueller’s tedious investigation has proven, there is no very great crime behind Trump’s very great fortune of having been elected the 45th president of the United States. The entire notion of Russian “collusion” (not in itself actionable in the first place) was cooked up in the witches’ cauldron that was Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The resulting brew was liberally dispensed to the cadres of media operatives pretending to be dispassionate reporters in order to assuage the failed candidate’s rage over losing what she thought—what she was assured by her friends at the CIA and the FBI—was a fixed fight.

And so the Big Lie—that Trump had collaborated with Vladimir Putin to change the course of an American election—was born.

There was and is nothing to it, of course. But that hasn’t stopped the Democrats, whose sterling moral history of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition has prepared them for just this moment.

Flashback: Russians! Under My Bed!

TOUR DE FORCE: FNC’s Baier Grills Comey Over Dossier, E-Mail, Leaks in Epic Interview.

The questioning began with the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe and if it was “true that you and your FBI colleagues made the decision to exonerate Secretary Clinton well before she was interviewed.”

Comey denied that despite having written a memo exonerating her and emphasized that it’s crucial for investigators to have an idea of where a probe that ended up lasting almost a year.

It was soon after that Baier showed his mettle, telling Comey that “you already knew that she had been telling, whatever you want to say, lies, mistruths about this investigation of what — and how she handled those emails” and played a clip of Comey stating just that in congressional testimony in July 2016.

Here’s more of that exchange, including a question about why Cheryl Mills was allowed to sit in on Clinton’s FBI interview.

Read the whole thing.

More here: Comey Makes Surprising New Claims In Disastrous Fox News Interview.


A curious dualism emerges in New York Times reporter Amy Chozick’s book Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling. As I noted yesterday, Chozick makes it clear that she was rooting for Clinton. But she also thinks Clinton hates her.

Chozick shouldn’t take things so personally: Clinton hates everyone. You can’t relate to people you despise. Her inability to master the basics of being a politician inspired one of the great underreported witticisms of the 2016 campaign, when Donald Trump was asked about his comparatively loose debate preparations. “I don’t need to rehearse being human,” he said.

As a college sophomore, Clinton once described herself as a “misanthrope.” Her inability to hide that made her an amazingly poor candidate, one who would have had difficulty capturing a seat on any city council on her own. Dealing with the populace standing between her and power was never anything but a chore. . . .

That inability to schmooze was a noxious gas, the flammable hydrogen that doomed Clinton’s two Hindenburg-like presidential campaigns. Bill Clinton once told Chozick that Hillary had told him back at Yale Law School, “Nobody will ever vote for me for anything.” Her husband tried mightily to help, but charm can’t be lent.

Glimpses of Clinton caught on the fly confirm that Clinton despised campaigning. In Iowa in 2015, as the press is hurling fangirl queries at her (“Secretary! Can you believe you’re back in Iowa!”), Hilary pretends to flip a steak, unable to hide her revulsion. “The image screamed all at once, how long do I have to act like I enjoy this [sh**] and Why the [f***] am I back in this state?” writes Chozick. When Chozick shared Clinton’s amazingly light August schedule with an editor at the Times, the latter responded, “Does she even want to be president?” Clinton spent much of that month holed up with her rich friends in the Hamptons.

Clinton “suffered from a chronic inability to crack a simple joke,” Chozick writes. Even at special off-the-record drinks events specifically designed by her staff to allow Clinton to let her guard down and banter with reporters the way Barack Obama did, Clinton excoriates the journos for having big egos and little brains.

Well, she’s not wrong about that, but it’s poor salesmanship.

RONAN FARROW: Hillary Canceled An Interview When She Learned I Was Reporting On Harvey Weinstein.

I wasn’t sure whether to file this one under “CIRCLING THE WAGONS” or “THE MISANTHROPIC MRS. CLINTON.”

BRET STEPHENS WRITES ON Bush 41, Trump, and American Decline. There’s a lot of talk about how decent and wonderful Bush was, and how crass and crude Trump is. But Bush was elected thanks to Lee Atwater, whose campaigning technique (and electoral target market) wasn’t that different from Trump’s. And Bush lost after the very same establishment that’s now waxing nostalgic about his presidency viciously went after him, mocking him, scorning him, calling him a wimp, making up the claim that he didn’t know what a grocery scanner was, calling him a warmonger and a tool of the theocratic Christian right, etc.

Now they miss him? Too bad. You chose the form of your destructor, guys.


With Trump, meanwhile, the press treated him as a novelty candidate until he had the nomination wrapped up, and then started calling him, basically, Hitler. This didn’t get much traction because they do that with every Republican nominee. As David Mastio wrote here, “No one is listening anymore. When mild-mannered technocrat Mitt Romney was running for president, Clinton’s obscure Obama-administration colleague Joe Biden told a black audience that Republicans ‘are going to put ya’ll back in chains.’ If you listen to Democrats, every Republican who has run for anything in my lifetime has Klan robes in their closet and secret Confederate memorabilia collection.”

Perhaps we should require reading “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in journalism schools.

Destructor, chosen.


You might expect Clinton to at least be sensitive to sexism. Instead she was a source of it. “She told aides she knew women reporters would be harder on her. We’d be jealous and catty and more spiteful than men. We’d be impervious to her flirting.” (Side note: Chozick actually thinks flirting with Hillary Clinton is something men want to do.) A running joke had it that the unofficial motto of Clinton supporters was, “I’m With Her . . . I Guess.” This, even though Chozick and other female reporters were sympathetic to Hillary based on gender solidarity: “I still felt some kind of feminine bond with Hillary then,” she writes of her early months on the beat, and later describes her coverage as “neutral to positive, with plenty of wet kisses thrown in.”

Clinton’s poor political instincts infected the entire campaign. One aide ripped a sign saying “I [heart] Hillary” out of a little girl’s hands in Phoenix because “Brooklyn [the site of Clinton’s headquarters] thought it best that Everydays hold professionally produced signs that displayed the message du jour rather than something made with love and some finger paint.”

As for larger strategic moves, Chozick notes dryly of a March excursion, “That was Hillary’s last trip to Wisconsin.” Team Clinton in its waning days was spending money in Utah, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona, and even Texas while the Upper Midwest was begging for more resources. Bill Clinton was meanwhile going “red in the face” warning his wife’s team “that Trump had a shrewd understanding . . . of the white working class,” Chozick says. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, responded by spoofing Bill behind his back, as one would Grandpa Simpson: “And let me tell you another thing about the white working class,” he’d say, mockingly.

Savaging the guy who actually won multiple elections as both governor and president is just a minor example of how out of touch the campaign was. Read the whole thing.

WILLIAM MCGURN: The Elitists’ Trump Excuse: His critics may be more corrupting to democracy and decency than he is.

The election and its aftermath have been an education in how the smart set responds when the American people refuse the judgment of their self-styled betters. In its most honest form, it is the “Resist!” movement. In the more genteel version, it turns out to mean not just opposing Mr. Trump’s policies, which people can reasonably do, but throwing fairness and principle to the wind so long as it might help bring down the 45th president. Consider:

• In the thick of the 2016 election, the New York Times ran a front-page article in which it advertised that the particular dangers posed by Mr. Trump’s candidacy meant that the long-held norm of journalism—objectivity—might have to give way to a more oppositional approach.

• Good liberals once found the idea of spying on American citizens without just cause unconscionable. But when the target is a former Trump campaign associate, it becomes OK to get a warrant based on an unverified dossier paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

• James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, revised procedures to make it easier for executive branch officials to “unmask” the names of Americans in intelligence reports and share the information among themselves, making leaks all but inevitable. The illegal leak of Mike Flynn’s name in connection with a phone conversation with Russia’s ambassador was one result. But again, it doesn’t matter because he was a Trump transition official.

• When Sally Yates was acting attorney general and President Trump issued an executive order on immigration she objected to, Ms. Yates ordered the entire Justice Department not to obey, despite a finding from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel that the order was lawful. She was applauded in her insubordination by Andrew Weissmann, then a Justice attorney, who now serves on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. But it’s all for a good cause, right?

• In the middle of a #MeToo moment ostensibly all about more respect for women, the president’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has been derided as everything from a “summer whore” to “a slightly chunky soccer mom.” Though the columnist who wrote the latter has since apologized, the accomplished Mrs. Sanders must wonder what happened to “when they go low, we go high?”

• The pardon power enjoyed by the president is among the most unfettered in the Constitution. But because the president is Mr. Trump, and the pardon for controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has opted for lawlessness: appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the pardon’s legitimacy, in clear violation of the separation of powers.

Meanwhile, week after week, the same people who accuse Mr. Trump of lacking depth and nuance toss off allusions to Hilter, Stalin and a parade of murderous dictators. Channeling Mrs. Clinton, they insist that anyone who would chose Mr. Trump over her—or God forbid, agree to serve in a Trump administration—isn’t just wrong but forever morally tainted.

The people aren’t stupid. The 63 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump—some as an unappealing but better alternative to Mrs. Clinton, but many with gusto—recognize that what is going on here is a concerted effort to overturn the results of a legitimate presidential election. Is it really unreasonable to ask whether this might be as much of a threat to American democracy as anything Mr. Trump has said or done?

Nope. Trump’s election — or, more specifically, the reaction thereto — revealed that we have been ruled by moral and intellectual failures for some time. But what they lack in competence, humility, and integrity, they make up for in self-importance and entitlement.

IN THE EMAIL FROM CURTIS EDMONDS:  Snowflake’s Chance: The 2016 Campaign Diary of Justin T. Fairchild, Social Justice Warrior.

Justin Trudeau-Fairchild, a self-described “social justice warrior,” seeks to make America safe for kombucha-drinking vegetarian socialists. 

In Snowflake’s Chance, we follow the eager young activist as he navigates the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. and hustles votes in rural New Jersey. Along the way, he inserts himself into the funniest moments of the 2016 campaign, as he learns how to operate a power shredder, interrupts Hillary Clinton as she orders a Chipotle burrito, and gets mistaken for the Canadian prime minister.

A hilariously jaundiced account of the beliefs that animate progressive ideology today, Snowflake’s Chance depicts the inner workings of progressive politics and the silliest excesses of the politically-correct left.

BLUE WAVE? Hillary Clinton, not on ballot, is star of GOP midterm plan.

“I promise you that you’ll continue to see it — Hillary Clinton starring in our paid media. She’s a very powerful motivator,” said Corry Bliss, who leads the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super political action committee ready to spend tens of millions of dollars to shape House races this fall. “It’s about what she represents. What she represents, just like what Nancy Pelosi represents, is out-of-touch far-left liberal positions.”

Critics suggest the strategy reeks of desperation, if not sexism. But with no Democrat to attack in the White House for the first time in nearly a decade, Republicans are betting big that the ghost of Clinton will serve them well in 2018. Saddled with Trump’s poor approval ratings, they may have little choice.

It’s helpful, some Republicans say, that Clinton refuses to disappear from national politics altogether.

I bet a lot of Democrats say the same thing, except for the “helpful” part.


New York Times writer Amy Chozick reveals something she claims to have never told anybody before while covering the Clinton campaign.

“I never told anyone this, but one time when I’d been visiting the Brooklyn campaign headquarters I found an iPhone in the women’s room,” Chozick wrote in the piece adapted from her forthcoming book, “Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling.” “I wasn’t sure, but it seemed to belong to Mr. Podesta’s assistant because when I picked it up, a flood of calendar alerts for him popped up.”

She was referring to John Podesta, who served as chairman of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

After inspecting the device, Chozick claims she left it in the restroom and didn’t share her finding for fear of retribution.

“I placed it on the sink counter, went into the stall, came out and washed my hands. I left the phone sitting there, worried that if I turned it in, even touched it again, aides would think I had snooped. This seemed a violation that would at best get my invitation to the headquarters rescinded and at worst get me booted off the beat for unethical behavior,” she wrote.

Podesta’s Gmail account was hacked in March 2016, and his emails were later leaked by WikiLeaks during the campaign. An assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies concluded there were no “evident forgeries” in the stolen emails, which were also taken from the Democratic National Committee.

Information security doesn’t seem to be their thing.

REVISITING 2016 MEDIA BIAS: With the elite media increasingly suggesting that they were too harsh on Clinton and not hostile enough to Trump in 2016, it’s perhaps time to revisit just how biased elite media outlets were in 2016. Consider, for example, this NPR interview with the executive editor of the New York Times, Dean Baquet. Baquet explains why the newspaper decided to use the word “lie” when referring to what seems like ordinary campaign obfuscation: “I think the moment for me was the birther story, where he has repeated for years his belief that President Obama was not born in the United States.” This, for some reason, justifies using the word “lie” more generally with regard to Trump and his campaign, but not with regard to any false statements by Clinton: “I don’t think Hillary Clinton, to be honest, has crossed the line the way Donald Trump did with the birther issue.” Thus, in NewYorkTimesworld Clinton merely obfuscates and exaggerates, while Trump lies. You can’t make this stuff up.

My guess is that Clinton lost far more votes because they resented the elites were shoving Clinton down their throats than because of the “Russian interference” the elites now want to blame for Clinton’s defeat. The response, apparently, is for the elite media to double-down on its strategy of overtly favoring whomever runs against Trump, which, I suspect, is how we get more Trump in 2020.


The Daily Beast has another damning quote — “Basket of Deplorables” was no off-the-cuff line. Hillary routinely used it as a laugh line in big-money fundraising dinners in swank places like the Hamptons… Funny, I don’t remember [Amy Chozick of the New York Times] or anyone else covering Clinton during the campaign reporting that little nugget. It’s almost as if they were trying to protect her from herself, and deliberately hiding relevant information from the public they were allegedly helping to make an informed choice.

Read the whole thing.


KARMA: James Comey may face criminal charges for doing exactly what he let Hillary get away with.

SHE FORGOT THERE WAS A COUNTRY BEYOND HER CIRCLE:  What Happened: Hillary Clinton Means-Tested Basket Of Deplorables With Rich Donor Pals And That’s Why She Lost.


From early on, the Clinton camp saw Trump as an enemy to encourage, Chozick writes. During the campaign, as had been previously reported, there was an effort to elevate Trump into a so-called Pied Piper in order to tie him to the mainstream of the Republican Party.

“An agenda for an upcoming campaign meeting sent by [Campaign Manager] Robby Mook’s office asked, ‘How do we maximize Trump?’” Chozick writes, describing a time when the GOP primary was still crowded. . . .

By the time of the conventions, though, as Trump was selected as the Republican nominee, the Clinton campaign was still trying to figure out how to improve her negative favorability ratings.

Choose the form of your destructor, indeed.

Plus, another reason why the Democrats should blame Hillary for Trump:

Chozick writes that the Clinton campaign, which she covered from the beginning, had reacted furiously to the prospect of a Joe Biden run, as floated first in an August 2015 Maureen Dowd Times column and then in a reported story by Chozick. In the book, she writes that “Biden had confided (off the record) to the White House press corps that he wanted to run, but he added something like ‘You guys don’t understand these people. The Clintons will try to destroy me.’”


DISPATCHES FROM THE WAR ON WOMEN. NY Times Reporter: Male Hillary Clinton Staffers Directed Sexist Comments at Me.

The Post‘s Carlos Lozada relays that while [Amy] Chozick refers to Clinton’s female staffers by name in the book, she refers to Clinton’s male press staffers anonymously as “The Guys,” giving them nicknames like Brown Loafers Guy, Policy Guy, and Original Guy, the worst of the bunch.

“The Guys constantly mess with Chozick, magnifying her self-doubts,” Lozada writes. “‘I don’t care what you write because no one takes you seriously,’ Outsider Guy says. They suggest that a Times colleague is leaking her story ideas to a competitor at Politico and that more-experienced reporters in her newsroom will steal away her assignment.”

At times, the scorn from The Guys was overtly sexist. “They ask if there are any other Times reporters, preferably male, that they could talk to instead of her,” Lozada relates.

Lozada goes on to call out the rhetoric from Original Guy as particularly sexist. “The undercurrent of sexism spills over when Chozick and Original Guy spar over whether a prior conversation can go on the record, and he randomly paraphrases a crude line from ‘Thank You for Smoking,’ a 2005 film in which a reporter sleeps with a lobbyist for information. ‘I didn’t know I had to say it was off the record when I was inside you,’ Original Guy smirks.”

“The words hung there, so grossly gynecological,” Chozick writes in the book.

I know that Timespeople are invariably the last to know, but is Chozick aware of who Hillary is married to? …And who Hillary’s Girl Friday, Huma Abedin, was married to at the time?

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President,’ Said the Woman Who Thought It Was Her Due.

Norm Macdonald, in addition to being the best Weekend Update anchor ever, is also a keen student of human nature. Last year he summed up the results of the 2016 presidential election with this koan-like observation: “People hated Hillary Clinton so much that they voted for someone they hated more than Hillary Clinton in order to rub it in.”

Heh. Read the whole thing, needless to say.


● Shot: Hillary: “They were never going to let me be president.”

That’s when Robby [Mook], drained and deflated, watching the results with his team in a room down the hall from Hillary’s suite, labored into the hallway of the Peninsula to break the news. Hillary didn’t seem all that surprised. ‘I knew it. I knew this would happen to me….’ Hillary said, now within a couple of inches of his face. ‘They were never going to let me be president.’”

Who’s “they”? According to Chozick, Bill Clinton thought it was … the New York Times?

“After the election, Bill would spread a more absurd Times conspiracy: The publisher had struck a deal with Trump that we’d destroy Hillary on her emails to help him get elected, if he kept driving traffic and boosting the company’s stock price.”

● Chaser:

There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies — and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.

“We’re all that way, and I think a part of it is we grew up in the ’60s and the press led us against the war and the press led us on civil rights and the press led us on Watergate,” [Bill] Clinton said. “Those of us of a certain age grew up with this almost unrealistic set of expectations.”

— “New Media A Weapon in New World Of Politics,” the Washington Post, October 6, 2006.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: Comey’s Memos Indicate Dossier Briefing Of Trump Was A Setup.

Keep in mind that nothing we now know about the dossier had been reported at the time. It wasn’t yet reported that it was used by the FBI to provide a substantial basis to wiretap at least one Trump affiliate despite the fact it was unverified. It wasn’t yet reported that the product was bought and paid for as a Hillary Clinton campaign operation, or that it was secretly funded by the DNC using a law firm as a pass-through to hide its provenance in federal campaign filings. It wasn’t yet reported that its author’s working relationship with the FBI was terminated because he had lied to the agency about how he wouldn’t talk to the media.

After nearly a year of wrangling, the seven memos written by Comey were finally handed over on Thursday to Congress, which oversees the operation and funding of the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The memos purport to show Comey’s version of his interactions with the president before Comey was fired last May. According to Daniel Richman, the original recipient of Comey’s leaks who now claims to be his personal attorney, Comey gave him four memos. Four of the seven memos are classified, meaning that at least one of the memos he leaked was classified. By his own account, Comey orchestrated these leaks to the media in order to launch an aggressive special counsel to avenge his firing by Trump in May 2017. The memos given to Congress on Thursday were quickly leaked to the media.

Read the whole thing.

JIM GERAGHTY: James Comey’s Stellar Windiness.

Comey mentions that the New York Times editorial board called Bill Clinton’s pardon of Rich “a shocking abuse of federal power,” and he adds that Clinton’s pardon of a fugitive was, to his knowledge, unprecedented. But he also writes, “In the end, we did not find sufficient evidence to bring any charges and closed the case.” From his mention of the Times editorial and the unprecedented nature of the pardon, we get a vague sense that Comey disapproved of Clinton’s pardon, but no real elaboration about how this shaped Comey’s perspective on him.

He moves on to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, and quickly swats away the claim from Clinton defenders that this was merely a harmless mistake. “There were thirty-six e-mail chains about topics that could cause ‘serious’ damage to national security and eight that could be expected to cause ‘exceptionally grave’ damage to the security of the United States if released.” But he spends a lot of time discussing the difficulty of proving intent. Does Comey really believe that every one of these emails was an innocent mistake, and that Clinton never realized what she was doing?

Comey offers a passage lamenting the absurdity of Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s request that he refer to the questioning about Clinton’s e-mails as a “matter,” not an “investigation.” But Comey went out and did it anyway, telling reporters that he was confident that “personnel assigned to the matter” would be “able to do it in a professional, prompt, and independent way.”

Comey points out that in October 2015 and April 2016, President Obama declared that Clinton had merely made a “mistake” that had not endangered national security, but laments, “To this day, I don’t know why he spoke about the case publicly and seemed to absolve her before a final determination had been made.”

It’s weird that someone who spent almost two decades relieving the Clintons of the burdens of their criminality would fail to recognize someone else doing the same thing.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Deep Staters Referred to DOJ and Much, Much More. “Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and 10 other congressman sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending a criminal investigation into such extra-constitutional, bureaucrat, actors as Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, James Comey and Andrew McCabe.”

MICHAEL BARONE: Collusion, Anyone?

As the likelihood of the charges of Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia seems headed toward zero, the likelihood of proof of a different form of “collusion” seems headed upward toward certainty.

The Russia collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Trump’s dealings in Russia and candidate Trump’s off-putting praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was fueled by breathless media coverage of such trivial events as Jeff Sessions’ exchange of pleasantries with the Russian ambassador at a Washington reception.

And, of course, by the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel. But Mueller’s prosecutions of Trump campaign operatives were for misdeeds long before the campaign, and his indictment of 13 Russians specified that no American was a “knowing participant” in their work.

Now, there’s talk that Mueller is winding up his investigation. Whenever he finishes, it seems unlikely his work will fulfill the daydreams so many liberals have of making Trump go the way of Richard Nixon.

Meanwhile, the evidence builds of collusion by the Obama administration’s law enforcement and intelligence personnel in trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat and delegitimize Donald Trump in and after the 2016 presidential election.

The investigation of Hillary Clinton’s illegal email system was conducted with kid gloves. One glaring example of impropriety came when FBI Director James Comey was given (and accepted) Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s order to call it a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” Clinton aides were allowed to keep her emails and destroy 30,000 of them, plus cellphones. They were not subject to grand jury subpoenas, and a potential co-defendant was allowed to claim attorney-client privilege.

On June 27, 2016, Lynch clandestinely met with Bill Clinton on his plane at the Phoenix airport — a meeting that became known only thanks to an alert local TV reporter. Lynch supposedly left the decision on prosecution to Comey, who on July 5 announced publicly that Clinton was “extremely careless” but lacked intent to violate the law, even though the statute punishes violations intentional or not.

Contrast that with the collusion of Obama officials with the Clinton campaign-financed Christopher Steele/Fusion GPS memorandum alleging Trump ties with Russians. Comey and the Justice Department used it, without divulging who paid for it, to get a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page’s future and past communications — the “wiretap” Trump was derided for mentioning.

Similarly, when Comey informed Trump in January 2017 of the contents of the then-unpublished Steele memorandum, he didn’t reveal that the Clinton campaign paid for it. Asked on his book tour why not, he blandly said he didn’t know.

Well, we know.

“CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW…”: California Progressives Launch (Another) Attack on Free Speech.

On Sunday evening, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait published a piece asking why more disgruntled Republicans don’t punish their party by switching sides. Chait notes that the “strongest defense against the election of an extreme or unfit leader is for his more mainstream partners to defect en masse.” Yet with few exceptions, Never Trump Republicans — especially Never Trump social conservatives — were steadfastly Never Hillary and remain (as Chait calls it) “Never-Democrats.” Why?

I’d suggest the answer lies in the words “extreme” and “mainstream.” Chait’s premise implies that Republicans have gone extreme, yet more-sensible conservatives are strangely refusing to join a mainstream opposition. Yet that’s not how the world looks from the right side of the aisle. From there, it looks as if the Democratic party is responding to Trump by galloping away from the center, doubling down on the very policies and ideologies that led Evangelicals to vote en masse for Trump as a form of simple self-defense.

It’s interesting, for example, that Chait makes the argument just as the California State Assembly is set to vote on a bill that would actually — among other things — ban the sale of books expressing orthodox Christian beliefs about sexual morality.

Yes, ban the sale of books.

What should Californians do with all those unsold books — burn them?

PRETTY PLEASE: Please Stop Predicting the End of Trump’s Presidency. “Unless you can explain exactly how he gets impeached or why he resigns.”

The Professional Left hasn’t done rank-and-file Democrats any favors by keeping them whipped into a “President Hillary could really happen!” frenzy for the last year or so.


Just think of the media as Democratic activists with bylines, and it all makes sense.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Photo of Protesters at Starbucks Is a Sad but Accurate Representation of Our Times.

We can all agree that racism is bad, and shouldn’t be allowed. The social justice warriors claim this too, but their solution isn’t understanding and togetherness. It’s finding a culprit, generating outrage about said culprit, and finding a way to make said culprit a pariah. That culprit can play any part they need it to as well. Corporations, the rich, white people, men, Christians, police, Trump, Pence, guns, NRA, Republicans, or even women if you’re Hillary Clinton.

It doesn’t matter if you fit any or all of these qualifiers. To the social justice mob, we are all sinners. They demand you repent and apologize for your transgressions against their religion’s version of morality, but unlike Christ, the true definer of morality in our western culture, you are not forgiven after your penance. You’re still a pariah, only now you’re a useful one. An example of how the mob is all-powerful and ready to conquer you at any moment.

It doesn’t matter if you did it or not. You still better fall on your knees and swear obedience.

Read the whole thing. Ironically, as Mollie Hemmingway noted in 2015, Starbucks’ then-CEO (now executive chairman) Howard Schultz wanted Zack and the rest of his baristas to be the ones preaching the ol’ time social justice gospel to the heathens:

The whole campaign reminded me so much of this story from 2004, when an American Airlines pilot got on the loudspeaker and asked passengers who were Christian to raise their hands. Then he suggested to the ones who raised their hands that they spend the remainder of the flight trying to convert those who hadn’t. The passengers were so confused by the request that they wondered if the pilot was a terrorist.

Listen, I love few things more than sharing the good news that Jesus has triumphed over sin, death and Satan with others and I hate racism. But there’s a reason why the American Airlines pilot and the Starbucks approaches freak people out! Yes, part of it is that there’s a time and place to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and discuss difficult social problems. But also, these things are highly ineffective when done outside of a personal relationship.

I don’t know if Zack was working for Starbucks in 2015, but he (including whatever is left of his hearing) is definitely paying penance for the sins of his boss.

Local Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif, left, stands inside a Starbucks, Sunday April 15, 2018, demanding the firing of the manager who called police resulting the arrest of two black men on Thursday. The arrests were captured on video that quickly gained traction on social media. (AP photo and caption.)

GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: “A Jacksonville city inspector walked into a Cedar Hills Estate business to issue a warning citation over the display of military flags and employees said she insulted a customer who turned out to be a military veteran. Surveillance video captured city inspector Melinda Power getting in the face of the customer at Jaguar Power Sports on Blanding Boulevard. Employees told News4Jax on Monday that she was so disruptive and disrespectful to the veteran, they asked her to leave.”


“She says, ‘What did you do for this country?’ He says, ‘I took three bullets to the leg. I almost lost my life for this country. I’m retired. I’m a veteran.’ She gets in his face this close and says, ‘You did nothing for this country,'” store employee Katie Klasse said.

Hillary voter, I’m guessing. But maybe Bernie or Jill.

ROGER KIMBALL: The McCabe Report Is Just An Appetizer. “In the coming weeks, Horowitz will follow up with entrees on the FBI’s partisan activities in the 2016 presidential election and, later, another report on (if I may employ the term) collusion with the State Department. . . . Andrew McCabe, you might recall, was a central player in the pseudo-investigation of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified information and self-enrichment schemes while Secretary of State. He was one of the people who made sure that went nowhere. He was also a central figure in the get-Mike-Flynn operation and, later, the Great Trump Hunt that has been occupying Robert Mueller for nearly a year. McCabe leaked information about an investigation to a Wall Street Journal reporter, lied about leaking in casual conversations with superiors as well as under oath. Attorney Jeff Sessions, digesting a preliminary report on McCabe’s conduct, fired him in March 2018 (not even a month ago, but it seems like forever).”

MARK PENN IN THE HILL: Comey’s Last Stand For The Deep State.

They were among the most powerful men of the last decade. They commanded armies of armed agents, had the ability to bug and wiretap almost anyone, and had virtually unlimited budgets. They were the leadership of the FBI, the CIA and the director of national intelligence under President Obama. Each day, it becomes clearer that they are the real abusers of power in this drama.

The book by former FBI Director James Comey and the daily hyperbolic John Brennan sound bites are perhaps the final reveal of just how much hubris and vitriol they had. Comey’s book, according to reports, contains nothing new of legal consequence to Trump (while suggesting that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has something to worry about), but it unmasks the hatred that Comey had for Donald Trump from the beginning. It impeaches Comey’s fitness to have ever held high, nonpartisan office.

Whether you are a Democrat who can’t stand Trump, a Hillary Clinton supporter who feels robbed by Comey, or a Trump supporter, any use of wiretapping and vast prosecutorial machinery against our political campaigns and sitting presidents always has to be viewed skeptically and should meet the highest standards of conduct and impartiality. The post-election actions of these former officials makes suspect their actions as officials.

Yes, they’ve called into question the very legitimacy of government as it operates nowadays.

IT’S ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Former Hillary Clinton Spox Blames Syria On Susan Sarandon.

ANNALS OF LEFTWING AUTOPHAGY: #BoycottStarbucks trends on Twitter after video shows arrest of two black men at Philadelphia location.

Amid outrage, Starbucks issued a statement online, writing, “We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest.”

During a Facebook Live statement uploaded Saturday afternoon, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross described the incident. He said the men were “trespassing,” because they were non-paying customers who wanted to use the bathroom. When Starbucks employees asked the men to leave, they refused and the police were called. He said the officers “did absolutely nothing wrong.”

However, several on social media disagreed and #BoycottStarbucks soon became a trending topic on Twitter Saturday. Many called the arrest racist and discriminatory.

Starbucks’ CEO (now executive chairman) Howard Schultz, a self-proclaimed “life-long Democrat,” floated the idea of having his baristas lecture customers on racial tolerance, trashed Trump, openly endorsed Hillary and afterwards, vowed “to hire thousands of refugees after President Donald Trump’s first executive order that temporarily banned travel from seven mostly-Muslim nations.”

Naturally, in response, #BoycottStarbucks is trending today, as the revolution eats its own – and washes the remains down with really mediocre coffee.

ANDREW MCCARTHY thinks the Michael Cohen investigation poses a real threat to Trump.

Meanwhile, from Lee Smith: Robert Mueller’s Beltway Cover-Up: By using the justice system as a political weapon, Mueller and his supporters in both parties are confirming what many Americans already believe: We are not all equal under one law. “Mueller’s job is to obscure the abuses of the US surveillance apparatus that occurred under the Obama administration.”

Flashback: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”

Plus: “But if they thought Hillary was sure to win, why bother spying on Trump? A sinister reason: To prosecute him — for something, anything they could discover — after he lost, so as to properly cow Hillary’s opposition. That might be true, but on the other hand, LBJ spied on Goldwater when his win was assured, and Nixon did the same vs. McGovern. Why would unthreatened incumbents spy on opponents they expect to lose? Maybe they do it for the same reason a dog licks himself: Because he can.”

A HIGHER LOYALTY — TO THE POLLS? Comey: I Announced The Hillary Investigation Because Polls Showed Her Ahead.

A lot of people did a lot of things because they thought Hillary had it in the bag. Their fear of consequences has a lot to do with the absurdly over-the-top reaction to Trump’s win.


THEY TOLD ME IF TRUMP WERE ELECTED, JACKBOOTED FEDS WOULD BE INVESTIGATING THE EDITORIAL POLICIES OF NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS. And they were right! “In one instance, The Enquirer bought but did not publish a story about an alleged extramarital relationship years earlier with the presidential candidate, an unusual decision for a scandal sheet. The federal inquiry could pose serious legal implications for the president and his campaign committee. It also presents thorny questions about A.M.I.’s First Amendment protections, and whether its record in supporting Mr. Trump somehow opens the door to scrutiny usually reserved for political organizations.”

Everyone knows that “editorial decisions” aren’t protected under the First Amendment if they might help Trump. And there’s absolutely no such thing as a Deep State.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire has thoughts.

“Thorny questions”. My goodness, the Times was bailed out in 2009 by Carlos Slim, a wealthy Mexican. Does this raise “thorny questions” about their commitment to undocumented immigrants? Of course not, because they say it doesn’t.

Now obviously, Mr. Slim knew the Times was reliably progressive when he bought them, so he didn’t need them to change their views on anything. But the National Enquirer has been making money off of Clinton scandals for decades. Maybe the AMI people simply decided that, in mirror image to the Times Upper West Side readership, their readers wanted material that bashed Hillary and praised Trump. They do tell the Times it was a business decision driven by the popularity of Trump with their readership. Plausible? Sure. Legal? Say what now?

If all AMI did was pick a side in pursuit of an audience, my goodness. That is well worth investigating because we all know that the mainstream media would never trade sympathetic coverage for access that can boost prestige, circulation and ratings. Please.

As to aggressive coverage of sex scandals by the mainstream media, well, that may be ideologically contingent – back in 2007-08, John Edwards and Rielle Hunter were a tabloid-based open secret (gullible Media Matters link) for months before the “responsible” media decided to jump in. Why they might today rush to bash Trump based on mere allegations is hard to understand. No it’s not. Is the National Enquirer being investigated for spiking a story which the Times would never lower itself to touch? Too thorny!

Ouch. Plus: “Is paying for stories a ‘legitimate press function’? That is how the National Enquirer broke the case of the murderer of Bill Cosby’s son. They also paid Rush Limbaugh’s housekeeper for the scoop that got Rush busted for his oxycontin habit – I bet that looked legit to Common Cause. To paraphrase slightly, the dark night of fascism is always descending on the right yet arriving from the left.”

NOT BEFORE A DEMOCRAT IS SWORN IN. NEXT QUESTION? When Will The Media Finally Get Over The 2016 Election?

David Harsanyi:

I bring this up, because this week, a new Politico piece theorizes that a lack of “trusted news sources” in rural areas, rather than any particular issues, gave Donald Trump victory in 2016. It is perhaps the most unconvincing, inference-ridden, self-aggrandizing piece in the entire “What Went Wrong?” genre. The premise, basically, is that a lack of local media sources left a void that was filled by Donald Trump’s tweets and unreliable conservative sites, and that factor turned the 2016 election, “especially in states like Wisconsin, North Carolina and Pennsylvania,” where hapless Americans were unable to make educated choices without proper guidance from journalists.

“The results,” Shawn Musgrave and Matthew Nussbaum write, “show a clear correlation between low subscription rates and Trump’s success in the 2016 election, both against Hillary Clinton and when compared to Romney in 2012.” Setting aside the problem of correlational/causation and all that, every one of these stories is driven by the unstated notion that Clinton was predestined to win the 2016 election, and any other outcome means something went wrong. There’s simply no way, a year into Hillary’s presidency, that major outlets would be doing a deep dive into the viewing habits of urbanites to try and comprehend how they could have been crazy enough to elect her.

The bitterly clinging deplorable irredeemables have been losing interest in the Mainstream Media’s shoddy product for a lot longer than they’ve been voting for Trump.

SO I SAW LITTLE PINK HOUSE, Courtney and Ted Balaker’s movie about the Kelo case, today. Really excellent, and Jeanne Tripplehorn deftly channeled Hillary as she talked about social justice while being chauffeured in a Rolls. Highly recommended; it hits theaters next week.

MEADOWS THREATENS “CONSEQUENCES WELL BEYOND CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS:” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows has had it up to here with excuses from the Department of Justice and the FBI for not producing for the House Judiciary Committee the estimated 1.2 million documents the panel has been seeking for nearly a year on Hillary Clinton’s private server and alleged contacts between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian interests.

As I explained Friday, the way to spell “way beyond contempt” is J-A-I-L. The last time Congress did it was 1935. Given the recent conduct of Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray, one might easily conclude it’s been too long since that last time.

BLUE ON BLUE: Ex-AG Loretta Lynch alleges James Comey gave conflicting testimony about Hillary Clinton email probe.

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch says fired FBI Director James Comey didn’t raise any concerns when she directed him in 2015 to label the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server a “matter” as opposed to an “investigation.”

But, nearly two years later, Comey gave a different recollection of events during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, telling lawmakers that Lynch’s directive “confused and concerned” him.

Lynch drew attention to Comey’s apparent conflicting remarks during an NBC News interview set to air in full Monday night.

“It was a meeting like any other that we had had where we talked about the issues. We had a full and open discussion about it and concerns were not raised,” Lynch said.

I find that unlikely in the extreme.

BLUE WAVE? Paul Ryan-Linked PAC Sets Up Shop in Toss-Up Washington District Held by Republicans for Decades.

Washington’s 8th congressional district, which is located in the suburbs of Seattle and boasts a population of nearly 700,000 residents, is now up for grabs after Rep. Dave Reichert (R.) said he will not seek reelection. Reichert, who announced his retirement shortly after turning 67, has represented the district since 2004.

Reichert found a way to comfortably win the district even as it has swung to Democratic presidential candidates. The seven-term congressman defeated his opponent, Democrat Tony Ventrella, by nearly 21 points during the 2016 elections despite Hillary Clinton garnering 3 percent more of the vote than President Donald Trump. George H.W. Bush was the most recent Republican presidential candidate to carry the district, in 1988.

Republicans, however, have held the seat on the congressional level since the district’s creation in 1980.

Democrats only need to flip 24 seats to win back the House of Representatives and now sense an opportunity to topple Republicans at the congressional level in the 8th for the first time. Eleven Democrats entered the primary—eight remain—and the Nancy Pelosi-affiliated House Majority PAC has already purchased airtime in the district.

As Glenn has been saying for a while now: If you want to make a difference, spend less time on the internet and more time volunteering for a local campaign.

CECILE RICHARDS’ ABORTION EUPHEMISM – “AFFORDABLE, NONJUDGMENTAL HEALTH CARE:” That one appears among the five most outrageous quotes compiled by LifeZette from the former Planned Parenthood chief’s new book about her panic in waking up the morning after the 2016 election to discover Hillary Clinton was not president-elect.


IF YOU DON’T LIKE THOSE PRINCIPLES, WE HAVE OTHERS: Here’s the hilarious part: the law firm who defended Backpage’s right to assist in sex trafficking of underage women is also the law firm for The New York Times, HBO, The Daily Beast, Forbes and many other media entities. And very close contributors to Hillary “I’m With Her” Clinton.

SCHOLARSHIP YOU CAN USE: Jersey Shore: An Oral History. “What put Pauly D at the instant top of the list was that he owned his own tanning booth at his own house. A tanning booth is like $10,000. Who’s saving up coins and then buying a tanning booth?”

Hey, laugh if you want, but Snooki’s getting paid more than Hillary now.

Plus, a reminiscence that should make Mark Zuckerberg’s blood run cold: “Back then, Facebook was everything.”

SHE’S LOSING IT: Hillary Blames James Comey And Pizzagate For 2016 Loss In Bizarre New Talk.

There’s video at the link, but it’s a wince-inducing challenge to watch the whole thing.

BLUE WAVE? Expanding map creates tough choices for GOP.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) must decide how much focus should be placed on competitive and Democratic-leaning districts that Hillary Clinton carried — or if the party should put more energy into protecting solid GOP seats that could be in danger if a wave materializes this fall.

“Not every seat is created equal. … Ultimately, you have to decide what is the best path to holding the majority,” said Matt Mackowiak, a GOP strategist based in Texas. “You’re dealing with a chess board that has 30 or 40 pieces on it, and you’re trying to figure out how to get from here to there.”

“It’s a judgment call both sides have to make,” he added. “And it’s challenging.”

Republicans are bracing for tough midterm elections, with anxiety running high over whether anti-Trump sentiment could hurt the GOP at the polls.

The GOP election strategy has been further scrambled by Democrat Conor Lamb’s upset victory in a Pennsylvania special election last month, which suggested the GOP could even be vulnerable in areas of the country where Trump was strong in 2016.

Historically, the president’s party loses about 32 seats on average during the midterms. Democrats will win back the majority if they flip a net 23 seats.

As Glenn has written here several times: If you want to make a difference, spend less time online and more time volunteering for a local candidate.

BLUE WAVE? Democrats Still Struggling for Party Unity in Colorado ‘Toss Up’ District.

“One thing I’ve said in the past: I don’t really believe in the Republican concept of ‘trickle down’ economics,” [Democratic candidate Levi ] Tillemann told the Washington Free Beacon in a recent phone interview. “But it doesn’t work in the political system either. We don’t want to be in a country where political parties are practicing ‘trickle down’ politics, where they give all the money and the resources to people who they perceive to be at the top and try to shut people out of the conversation.”

Tillemann upset the normal order last January when he blasted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and accused House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of telling him he should drop out of the race earlier this year so the party could unify behind former Army Ranger Jason Crow.

Intra-party fighting such as this worried Democrats in the early campaign months of 2017, when they hoped to defeat incumbent Republican Mike Coffman and flip the most competitive district in a purple state.

Democrats rigged the primaries for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but that didn’t quite work out as planned.

MARK PENN: Roseanne is bringing conservative American women out of the closet.

“Roseanne,” the ABC sitcom, brought in 25 million viewers and counting to the shock of elites who believed that the biggest new draw on TV was Jimmy Kimmel and comedy tilting politically left. But there are an estimated 15 million closet conservatives in America today — people who have views that are more conservative than they let on to friends and family — and series star Roseanne Barr tapped into that enormous constituency.

Hillary Clinton recently suggested that women were being in some sense forced or brainwashed into following their spouses. And yet, the real phenomenon seems to be the opposite: women who say to their friends and family that they are liberal when, in fact, they harbor more conservative views, especially on hot-button issues like immigration, crime and even taxes.

At long last millions of women feel free to strike back, even in a small way, against the progressive patriarchy.

JAMES BOVARD: After the FBI’s Pulse nightclub failure, why should we trust James Comey anymore? We shouldn’t.

Federal prosecutors flourished the FBI memo of Salman’s confession as the ultimate proof of her perfidy. But the memo contained false statements and contradictions which even the government could not sweep away. After the trial ended, the jury foreman (who wished to remain anonymous) notified the Orlando Sentinel: “I wish that the FBI had recorded their interviews with Ms. Salman as there were several significant inconsistencies with the written summaries of her statements.”

In this landmark case — as well as in the 2016 interview of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn — the FBI chose to rely on its agents’ ex post facto memos instead of the words and voices of individuals it was investigating. Four years ago, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the FBI and other federal agencies would henceforth record such interviews but little has changed from the J. Edgar Hoover era.

But that was not the biggest blow to federal credibility. On the day after the Pulse club massacre, then-FBI chief James Comey promised: “We will leave no stone unturned and we will work all day and all night to understand the path to that terrible night. … I don’t see anything in reviewing our work that our agents should have done differently, but we’ll look at it in an open and honest way, and be transparent about it.” But Comey provided zero transparency over the following 11 months prior to President Trump’s firing him last May. The FBI even redacted Mateen’s endorsement of ISIS in the initial transcripts they released of his discussions with hostage negotiators on the night of the shooting.

Comey complained of the difficulty of investigating lone wolf terrorists: “Our work is very challenging. We are looking for needles in a nationwide haystack.” But the key player in this case was in the FBI’s back pocket all along.

Eleven days after Noor Salman’s trial began, the Justice Department belatedly admitted that the killer’s father, Seddique Mateen, had been a paid FBI informant for 11 years, starting in 2005. . . . The FBI’s Orlando debacle follows too many other cases in which the FBI failed to heed obvious warning signs of terrorist attacks — from 9/11 to the Fort Hood, Texas, killing spree to the Boston Marathon bombing to a Garland, Texas, attack spurred by an FBI agent. If not for the federal prosecution of Noor Salman, we likely never would have learned that Seddique Mateen was on the FBI payroll. How many other self-damning bombshells remain hidden in FBI files?

There’s something terribly wrong at the FBI.

FROM AL HUNT, SOME ACTUAL GOOD ADVICE FOR DEMOCRATS: When You Insult Trump Voters, You Make It Hard To Get Them Back.

There are legitimate criticisms of Trump’s policies, personnel choices, temperament and integrity. These should be pointed and sharp without getting in the pit.

Hillary Clinton’s remarks should be cause for greater concern. During the 2016 campaign, she derided half of Trump’s followers as “deplorables.” Her speech in India created a field day for Fox News and Republican campaigns that are trying to tie her remarks to Democrats like Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who is running for re-election in a state that Trump easily carried in 2016.

But the payoff for Democrats — the “dopamine hit” — is quite specifically in feeling superior to other Americans. That makes self-discipline in such things difficult.

SALENA ZITO: The Middle Of Somewhere:

In my estimation, there is no patch of geography in this country that is the “middle of nowhere.” This is America; everywhere is the middle of somewhere.

Whether it is Tightwad, Mo., Mooresville, Ala., Hyder, Alaska, Oatman, Ariz., or right here in Lost River, W.Va., every place, large or small, depressed or thriving, or down to one mailbox on one lonely road, is somewhere.

We are all equals; we all contribute to the culture, diversity, dialect, and importance of this country. We build things, we serve in our communities, we serve in our military, we create families, businesses, and technology no matter where we are – we find a way to make each village and town and city a unique snapshot of this country.

It is an idea and an ideal that Hillary Clinton not only got wrong in the last election, but is still getting wrong; her remarks in India in March reinforced that.

“If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle where Trump won,” she said. “I win the coast, I win, you know, Illinois and Minnesota, places like that.”

She went on to say that where she won, America is thriving: “I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So, I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.”

Clinton is not the only person to hold that contempt. Many of her supporters have gone on to agree with her and to hold those same strident positions – and their condescension for half of the country has only deepened since November 2016.

Yep. Plus: “Our current political populism has been a pushback against larger institutions like Hollywood and its disconnect with the heartland – and it has also been a pushback against establishment politicians, like Clinton and her unmasked contempt for those who live here. It is only once the people in power understand that Trump was the result of this movement, and not the cause, that maybe they’ll start calling all of America the middle of somewhere.”

They say the biggest indicator that a marriage is headed for divorce is when spouses have contempt for one another.

HARRY STEIN: More Deplorable, Please:

All of which makes the new Roseanne, for all its apparent success, a major opportunity missed—the first and maybe only chance to tell the other side of the story on a major network, with laughs. Sure, for people like  the Conners, the bread-and-butter issues are vital. But millions of us also care passionately about the Left’s unrelenting assault on the culture—its undermining of free speech and religious liberty, its poisonous identity and victimhood politics, its elite colleges that proselytize instead of educate, and all the rest, most of which, seen from the proper perspective, has always been laughable anyway. It shouldn’t be Jackie demanding “How could you?!” in reaction to Roseanne’s vote, but the other way around.

Roseanne Barr is surely the only showbiz Trump supporter who has that kind of clout, which is why it’s a shame to see it wasted on an enterprise that could have been so much more.

As Allahpundit writes:

Republicans are forever starving for validation from celebrities. They get so little of it that when someone sympathetic to them in entertainment scores a major success, they rush in to bear-hug them. Hannity in particular has proved, per his treatment of Julian Assange, that there’s nothing he won’t forgive and forget about an influential person if that person can serve his current agenda. But before we crown Roseanne the new queen of conservatism because she voted for Trump and makes no bones about it, a gentle reminder: She’s a crank.

She ran for the Green Party nomination for president in 2012, touting herself as “a tireless advocate of Occupy Wall Street.” Now she’s a Trump booster. Odds are no worse than 50/50 that he’ll do something over the next two years that’ll alienate her and she’ll be backing the Socialist Party candidate in 2020. Proceed with caution in embracing her. That goes quadruple for POTUS.

Crankery, you say?


HILLARY GETS MANSPLAINED: A Man Did Some Research, And Found 297,000 Google References to People Telling Mitt Romney to “Go Away.”

As Jim Treacher says, Let Hillary Speak!

YOU’D HAVE TO HAVE A HEART OF STONE NOT TO LAUGH: Snooki Was Paid More For Rutgers Speech Than Hillary.


VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Distortions of Our Unelected Officials.

On March 17, ex-CIA Director John Brennan tweeted about the current president of the United States: “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. . . . America will triumph over you.”

That outburst from the former head of the world’s premier spy agency seemed a near threat to a sitting president, and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power tweeted that it probably was: “Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”

If there is such a thing as a dangerous “deep state” of elite but unelected federal officials who feel that they are untouchable and unaccountable, then John Brennan is the poster boy. . . .

Brennan is typical of the careerist deep state.

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice lied about the Benghazi tragedy, the nature of the Bowe Bergdahl/Guantanamo detainee exchange, the presence of chemical weapons in Syria, and her role in unmasking the identities of surveilled Americans.

Andrew McCabe, recently fired from his job as FBI deputy director, openly admitted to lying to investigators, claiming he was “confused and distracted.” McCabe had said that he was not a source for background leaks about the investigation of the Clinton Foundation. He wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post that “some of my answers were not fully accurate . . .”

Former FBI Director James Comey likely lied about not drafting a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in her email scandal before interviewing her.

Comey misled a FISA court by not providing the entire truth about the Steele dossier. He falsely assured the president that he was not under investigation while likely leaking to others that Trump was, in fact, under investigation.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee when he said that the National Security Agency did not collect data on American citizens. When caught in the lie, Clapper claimed that he had given the “least untruthful” answer to the committee that he could publicly provide.

In the past, Clapper had also misled the country about the “secular” nature of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the threat posed by the Islamic State.

Note that Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, and Rice so far have not been held to account for their distortions.

Not yet, anyway.


MEET THE CLINTON CHARITY THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT: When Bill and Hillary and Chelsea have nightmares, you can bet Charles Ortel is right in the middle of them. And with a multitude of good reasons why.


In the midst of wrapping up a media tour hawking his latest book and on the heels of what he considers – because of the election of Donald Trump – the ‘worst time’ of his 35 years in the United States, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos now says he’s pining to return to Mexico.

In an extensive interview with Spanish-language television personality Jaime Bayly, Ramos, who turned 60 this month, confessed he would like to live in Mexico again, at least “for a while.” “I would like to return to the country I left,” Ramos said with evident nostalgia, calling his desire to return to his homeland “a pending assignment.”

Bayly also singularly succeeded in both confronting – and getting the Univision anchor to admit – that the type of journalism Ramos practices includes activism, specifically when it comes to U.S. immigration policy.

Which brings us to…Children’s March Spokesmoppet Tells CNN’s Media Analyst Brian Stetler That “Journalism is Activism.”

Read: “Progressive” activism.

Stelter, whose frequent guest is Dan Rather (see also: origin of PJ Media’s name) doesn’t argue with her, and Matt Pearce of the L.A. Times concurs, tweeting, “Journalism *is* activism in its most basic form. The entire basis for its ethical practice is the idea that a democracy requires an informed citizenry in order to function. Choosing what you want people to know is a form of activism, even if it’s not the march-and-protest kind.”

Note the admission of bias by selection with “Choosing what you want people to know is a form of activism.” Of course, when conservatives cheer a photo such as this, which has become symbolic of newspaper declines across the country…

… The DNC-MSM immediately switch back to “How dare you impugn our reputations and cheer for our demise. We’re totally objective, we just want the facts,” as if they’re the modern incarnation of Jack Webb’s Detective Joe Friday. The media knew the bell was tolling ever louder in both 2008 and 2016, when it went all-in on first Obama and then Hillary in the hopes of bailouts and subsidies that would have kept the gravy train alive a little longer. Without them, the bill is coming due for decades of “Yeah, I’m with the media, screw you” arrogance — which is also one of the many reasons for their vaporish reaction to Trump.

Oh and speaking of Jorge Ramos and activism: Flashback: Ramos Discloses Daughter Works for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign.

UPDATE: CNN goes all in as David Hogg fanboys.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Walmart to remove Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines, citing #MeToo movement.

Flashbacks (for those who’ve forgotten how far to the left Walmart’s management leans):

Walmart CEO criticizes Trump but is not stepping down from advisory council.

Walmart’s Walton family backing [Hillary] Clinton.

Walmart Ripped for Supporting Cap and Trade at Annual Meeting.

● “Leslie Dach: a well-known progressive and former senior aide to Vice President Al Gore. In July 2006, Dach was installed as the public relations chief for Wal-Mart. He drafted a number of other progressives into the company, seeking to change the company’s way of doing business: its culture, its politics, and most importantly its products.”

Related: After the Pervalanche.

BUT THE NARRATIVE! No, Hillary, it’s the red states that are ‘dynamic.’

Of the 12 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins — Hawaii, California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Washington, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware — all but three of them lost residents through domestic migration (excluding immigration) over the last 10 years.
In fact combined, all 12 Hillary Clinton states lost an average of 6 percent of their populations to net out-migration over the past decade. California and New York alone lost 3 million people in the past 10 years.

Now let’s contrast the Hillary Clinton states with the 12 states that had the largest percentage margin vote for Donald Trump. Every one of them, save Wyoming, was a net population gainer — West Virginia, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Idaho, South Dakota, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska and Kansas.

The move from blue to red states — almost 1,000 people every day — has been one of the greatest demographic stories in American history. If you go to states like Arizona, Florida, Tennessee and Texas these days, all you see is out of blue state license plates.

Pretty much the same pattern holds true for jobs. The job gains in the red states carried by the widest margins by Mr. Trump had about twice the job creation rate as the bluest states carried by Mrs. Clinton.

Hillary Clinton mentioned GDP numbers. While it is true that the blue states of the two coasts and several of the Midwestern states are richer than the redder states of the South and mountain regions over recent decades, she failed to mention the giant transfer of wealth from Clinton to Trump states.

IRS tax return data confirm that from 2006-2016 Hillary Clinton’s states lost $113.6 billion in combined wealth, whereas Donald Trump’s states gained $116.0 billion.
The Hillary Clinton states are in a slow bleed.

To be fair, the Bluest States will go broke two ways: Gradually, then suddenly.

SPEAKING OF BLOWING, DIDN’T THE MEDIA AND THE DEMOCRATS TELL US THERE WAS NOTHING TO SEE AND SEX WAS A PRIVATE MATTER WHEN CLINTON SEXUALLY HARASSED HIS INTERN?  On 60 Minutes, Stormy Daniels blew her credibility.  Also, at least Trump never pretended to be a saint in sexual matters.  And there’s the reason he was elected, too, to wit, still not Hillary.

CHANGE: Gun maker Remington files for bankruptcy.

But there’s a silver lining:

The Journal reported that the gun industry is facing low demand and high stock after Donald Trump’s unexpected election to the presidency in 2016. According to the paper, firearms manufacturers boosted output in the run-up to the election, expecting that a Hillary Clinton victory would lead to a boost in sales ahead of tighter gun laws.

It’s a buyers’ market.

CLAIRE MCCASKILL DISTANCES HERSELF FROM HILLARY, HARD: “For those of us that are in states that Trump won we would really appreciate if she would be more careful and show respect to every American voter and not just the ones who voted for her.”

JOEL KOTKIN: Is This The End For The Neoliberal World Order?

Whatever his grievous shortcomings, President Trump has succeeded in one thing: smashing the once imposing edifice of neoliberalism. His presidency rejects the neoliberal globalist perspective on trade, immigration and foreign relations, including a penchant for military intervention, that has dominated both parties’ political establishments for well over two decades.

Some of Trump’s actions, notably the proposed tariffs, may be crude and even wrong-headed but other moves, notably focus on China’s buying of American technology assets, expose the fundamental weakness of the neoliberal trade regime. Trump’s policy agenda would never have risen if neoliberalism was able to improve the lives of the vast majority of citizens rather than promote stagnation and downward mobility for a large portion of the population.

Yes, that’s the problem. Plus:

Neoliberal policies have worked well for those in the upper economic, academic, bureaucratic classes and the cosmopolitan places where they predominate. But what works for Manhattan or Palo Alto, as well as Goldman Sachs or Apple, does not help so much residents of declining industrial cities, small towns and villages which suffered millions of lost jobs due to China or NAFTA.

Trump’s support in these locations reflects a broader global phenomenon. Like the Midwestern and southern towns recently denounced by Hillary Clinton as looking “backward,” neoliberal policies have been rejected by similar geographies in the United Kingdom, as seen in the Brexit vote, and powered nationalist parties in such varied places as Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Hungary, Sweden, Poland and the Netherlands. Most recently Italians, including in the impoverished south, voted largely for anti-immigrant, nationalist and populist parties.

Neoliberal embrace of draconian climate change policies represent one irritant. These tend to hurt natural resource and industrial pursuits that power many smaller city economies. Establishmentarian intellectuals tend to have little regard for the prospects of such places and those who remain in them. Neoliberalism is also associated with uncontrolled mass immigration, which threatens both more conservative cultural norms and the economic prospects of those outside what urbanist Saskia Sassen calls the urban “glamour zone.”

Hence also the move toward splitting up some U.S. states. More on that here.

ART IMITATES LIFE: Bill and Hillary Clinton have ‘AT LEAST a one-way open marriage’ claims their veteran pollster – who compares them to Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in House of Cards.

‘It’s not hard to conclude that Bill and Hillary Clinton didn’t have at least a one-way open marriage,’ [Mark Penn] writes. ‘Perhaps it was not by choice, but the stories accumulated over the years until the fact of it became apparent.

‘There was also no question that at the same time their relationship was so deep and enduring. If this was the model of the first couple, what did it mean for the rest of the country?’

Penn claims that open marriages are ‘perfect’ for Hollywood stars and other A-listers, pointing out that it could be ‘more stable’ than having serial marriages.

‘Hollywood usually does as Hollywood writes. For example, Frank and Claire Underwood in House of Cards have numerous partners, including one who sleeps at the White House, as they pretend to ignore it. There seems to be a rage of jealousy under the surface.’

I never got past the first season of House of Cards, but assumed from the start that the Underwoods were based in no small way on the Clintons.