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DEMOCRATS GONE WILD: With children on stage behind him, Perez told an audience in Las Vegas this weekend that Trump “doesn’t give a shit about health care.”

From the comments, a new GOP ad is suggested: “They won’t behave on stage. Imagine how they’ll behave with your money. The American people deserve better.”

It was just a few months ago they were going to the fainting couches over Trump. Remember? Hillary Ad: “Our Children Are Watching.”

GOODBYE, NANNY STATE: Joel Kotkin & Wendell Cox: The Politics of Migration: From Blue to Red.

Democratic “blue” state attitudes may dominate the national media, but they can’t yet tell people where to live. Despite all the hype about a massive “back to the city” movement and the supposed superiority of ultra-expensive liberal regions, people are increasingly moving to red states and regions, as well as to suburbs and exurbs.

This is the basic takeaway from the most recent IRS data and Census Bureau estimates, which have been widely ignored in the established media. Essentially, Americans are rejecting what Walter Russell Mead has labelled “the blue model,” and relocating to cities, states and regions that are less dense, less heavily taxed, and less regulated.

This suggests not an intrinsic political calculation so much as a series of very personal decisions by individuals and families. People move for varied reasons — cheaper homes, lower taxes, employment opportunities, better schools, more value to the paycheck — but the upshot is that they are settling in states that tend to be red or, at least, purple in political coloration.

In 2016 alone, states that supported Donald Trump gained 400,000 domestic migrants from states that supported Hillary Clinton.

Well, Blue cities are cesspits of racism, corruption, crime, and violence.

STUFF JUST GOT REAL: French Parties Unify Against Le Pen: ‘This Is Deadly Serious Now’.

Pieces like this one are trying to pass off centrist Emmanuel Macron as an outsider, but his centrism is what made him the French establishment’s preferred candidate-of-last-resort.

MORE HUMILIATION FOR HILLARY: Poll: Trump would beat Clinton in a rematch among 2016 voters. “Good lord. It’s one thing to blow an election once, but to lose hypothetically to a guy with a 42 percent approval rating again? Is there no limit to the humiliation the Clintons will suffer at Trump’s hands?”

WAPO: Trump Polling Badly — Except With His Base, Which Loves Him.

There are no signs of major slippage in support among those who voted for Trump. His approval rating among those who cast ballots for him stands at 94 percent. Among Republicans, it is 84 percent. Asked of those who voted for him whether they regret doing so, 2 percent say they do, while 96 percent say supporting Trump was the right thing to do.When asked if they would vote for him again, 96 percent say they would, which is higher than the 85 percent of Hillary Clinton voters who say they would support her again.

Trump is also satisfying the substantial share of the electorate that voted for him with some reservation. Among Trump voters who say they were “somewhat enthusiastic” or less excited about supporting him, 88 percent approve of his current performance and 79 percent say he understands the problems of people like them.

Wow.

WELL, THAT WAS ONE OF MANY THINGS NOT TO TRUST HER ABOUT: NYT: Comey distrusted Lynch on Clinton.

FBI Director James Comey distrusted former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and senior officials at the Justice Department, believing they might provide Hillary Clinton with political cover over her email, according to a new report published Saturday by The New York Times.

The Times described Comey’s “go-it-alone strategy” in the Clinton probe as emerging largely from his suspicions that Lynch and others at Justice might seek to subtly downplay the Clinton investigation.

As an example, the Times reported that Lynch, during a meeting in September 2015, called on Comey to use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” when publicly discussing the case, three people who attended the meeting told the Times.

Lynch reportedly reasoned that the word “investigation” would raise a number of other questions. Furthermore, she argued that the department should maintain its policy of not confirming investigations.

After referring to the FBI the question of whether classified information had been improperly handled by Clinton through her use of a private server, a step toward a criminal investigation, Justice clarified that it was not a “criminal referral.”

This also raised suspicions at the FBI, according to the Times. Clinton seized on the wording to say that what the FBI was conducting was “not a criminal investigation.”

Lynch came under pressure to recuse herself from the investigation entirely after she had a discussion with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016 on he plane as it sat on the tarmac of Phoenix’s airport.

Lynch did not recuse herself, but the situation did lead her to say she would accept what ever conclusions career prosecutors and the FBI reached.

The DOJ under Lynch (and Obama) was corrupt and politicized. And most of the people who were there then are there now.

IF ONLY SHE HAD A HUSBAND WHO WAS A PAST MASTER OF RETAIL POLITICS: Hillary’s staffers “stumped for month by how to explain why their candidate wanted to be president:”

The real protagonist of this book is a Washington political establishment that has lost the ability to explain itself or its motives to people outside the Beltway.

In fact, it shines through in the book that the voters’ need to understand why this or that person is running for office is viewed in Washington as little more than an annoying problem.

In the Clinton run, that problem became such a millstone around the neck of the campaign that staffers began to flirt with the idea of sharing the uninspiring truth with voters. Stumped for months by how to explain why their candidate wanted to be president, Clinton staffers began toying with the idea of seeing how “Because it’s her turn” might fly as a public rallying cry.

Ted Kennedy could not be reached in Hell for comment and belly laughs.

SOMETHING IS HAPPENING HERE BUT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS, DO YOU, MRS. JONES? “The campaign had no central message and, worse, it featured an unpleasant but clueless Hillary Clinton, who confided to a close friend, ‘I don’t understand what’s happening in the country.’”

Epistemic closure — now there’s a confidence booster in a presidential candidate. Say what you will about Trump’s excesses, he did understand on a gut level what was happening in the country, and acted upon it accordingly.

Related: “Wouldn’t it have been nice to know there was a ‘feeling of impending doom’ inside the Clinton campaign last year?”

FAKE NEWS? Old-school journalists ‘pissed’ about Gayle King’s vacation with Obamas:

Gayle King’s serious CBS colleagues had a lot to say about her recent yacht jaunt with former first couple Barack and Michelle Obama in Tahiti, and it wasn’t positive.

“The ‘Capital J’ journalists are pissed and raving mad that she was on a yacht with the Obamas over the weekend. The old-school people were talking about it. She shouldn’t be doing that. She’s an anchor of a news program that covers the White House. You’re held to a different standard. It’s one thing to be friendly. It’s another thing to go vacationing on a yacht,” a source told us of the backlash at CBS.

CBS is denying that there’s any rancor internally directed at King, which makes sense, considering that her colleague Charlie Rose pretended to have no clue about candidate Obama’s foreign policy stance on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, and last year sat with two of Obama’s speechwriters while all three laughed on air about the Big Lie of Obamacare — the over 36 times Obama told Americans, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

CBS Nightly News anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley once compared global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers, and admitted recently to accepting at face value the Hillary campaign’s story and not investigating further the cause of her infamous collapse on September 11th last year.

John Dickerson, the host of Face the Nation and the “political director” for CBS, wrote an article for Slate in 2013 charmingly titled “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.” This was followed last year by his asking Obama, ‘Is honesty overrated as a presidential quality?’

And the boss of CBS’s news division is David Rhodes, the brother of Obama’s infamous former deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes.

Just think of them all as Democrat operatives with bylines and lavaliere microphones, and it all makes sense.

OF COURSE THEY DID: Clinton Camp Instituted ‘Loyalty Scores’ Following 2008 Loss.

Clinton had two staffers “toil” to rate every Democrat members of Congress on a scale of one to seven — one being the most loyal — after she lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama in 2008. Her husband Bill Clinton then deliberately campaigned against the disloyal “sevens” in subsequent primary elections, and succeeded in getting some of them removed. Some of those who remained apparently took note, and were quick to endorse Hillary in 2016.

The idea of this person controlling the weaponized Executive Branch is beyond unnerving.

MATT TAIBBI: It still isn’t Hillary’s fault.

Shattered is sourced almost entirely to figures inside the Clinton campaign who were and are deeply loyal to Clinton. Yet those sources tell of a campaign that spent nearly two years paralyzed by simple existential questions: Why are we running? What do we stand for?

If you’re wondering what might be the point of rehashing this now, the responsibility for opposing Donald Trump going forward still rests with the (mostly anonymous) voices described in this book.

What Allen and Parnes captured in Shattered was a far more revealing portrait of the Democratic Party intelligentsia than, say, the WikiLeaks dumps. And while the book is profoundly unflattering to Hillary Clinton, the problem it describes really has nothing to do with Secretary Clinton.

The real protagonist of this book is a Washington political establishment that has lost the ability to explain itself or its motives to people outside the Beltway.

First it was Russians, then it was misogynists specifically, then it was men generally, and now Hillary’s loss is the fault of the “Washington political establishment.”

Of which Clinton was, I suppose, never, ever a member.

SO SHATTERED REVEALS SOME DEEP DISHONESTY ON HILARY’S PART ABOUT EMAILS, AS HUGH HEWITT NOTES:

HH: Jon Allen, you sly dog, throughout the course of the writing of this thing, you’ve been on my show a number of times, but we’ve had a number of cigars. We’ve lit up a couple of cigars and had long talks about the campaign. You never gave away any of the bigs. And I must tell you the biggest of the bit, and you know, I’ve read this thing, and I’m looking at it objectively as a reporter, is that Hillary autopsied her own server from 2008, and you never ever gave me a blinking look into that story, you bozo. How, you all along knew that had to be the lead, right?

JA: You know, that’s what we thought. We thought that was something that people would really latch onto. I’m surprised it hasn’t, you know, I’m not surprised that you latched onto it, but I’m surprised it hasn’t been more prominent in some of the reviews and the stories since the book has come out, although it’s only a day old. Yeah, she basically at the end of the 2008 campaign instructed one of her close aides to download the emails of some of her top campaign advisors to figure out who’d been talking to the press, who’d been doing the backstabbing, or presumably if anybody had been talking bad about her, and because she felt that this loyalty was a huge problem for her in 2008. So what she did was figured out how to get all these emails. Now you know, a few years later, she’s making the argument that she didn’t understand what she was doing in setting up a private server outside the State Department system. But it’s very hard to, it’s very hard to reconcile the idea that she understood well enough that she could download her own aides’ emails, but didn’t understand that by putting a server outside the State Department, she was basically preventing people from getting her information during a campaign season, unless of course as happened, there was a court order to retrieve those emails.

HH: Amie Parnes, the implications of this revelation in Shattered are actually very enormous. And if in fact she ever comes before either a prosecutor or a Congressional committee again, they will be going to intention, management of her server as a result of this autopsy. Can you explain a little more at length while Duane redials up Jon to get a better connection? What actually happened here after the campaign of 2008 vis-à-vis her campaign server?

AP: Basically, she wanted to know what happened in her campaign. She wanted to know, obviously, leaking was a problem, a huge problem on her campaign. And she wanted to know exactly who was doing what. And she had this crazy, it was this enormous sort of autopsy that she did, a post-mortem where she met with lots of people, wanted to basically find out exactly what went wrong. This was part of it. So she ordered up one of her staffers to kind of go through, read all these emails and find out who was leaking what and where it all went wrong. And this was part of all of that. This was part of her post-mortem.

As a reader emails, “All of this contradicts her later statements & even testimony about how she didn’t know anything about servers.”

BUT THE GOP SHOULDN’T GET COCKY: How Democrats overplayed their hand with Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s special congressional election.

One event to watch will be this coming weekend’s Georgia’s sixth congressional district Republican Party convention. If the Republican family starts coming together fairly quickly, this will bode well for Handel in the run-off.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Gray or Moody will start knocking on doors and raising money on behalf of Handel, but in talking to political operatives, most are saying that Gray and Moody supporters will eventually fall in line and cast their vote for Handel.

Handel says that Republicans in the district know that, “…There is too much at stake” for Republicans to remain divided. She is right, but more importantly Republicans outnumber Democrats by a healthy margin. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, which rates how much a congressional district leans Republican or Democratic, this suburban Atlanta district has a PVI score of R+8. That’s sizable no matter how you slice it.

In short, the dynamics for a special election run-off in a non-presidential year in a safe Republican district between a Democrat and a Republican favors Republicans. It’s that simple, no matter how hard Daily Kos would have us believe.

Ultimately, what will doom Democrats is all of the attention that they generated for this special election they really had no business winning. Ossoff is a weak candidate that is hardly an electric, dynamic or natural retail politician. He was, is and will continue to be a vessel for progressive dissatisfaction that still cannot believe that Hillary Clinton lost and Donald Trump is president.

That election drove a lot of Democrats (and some Republicans) more-or-less literally crazy. They’ll do better once they become sane, if they ever do.

AND JUST IMAGINE HOW SHE WOULD HAVE GOVERNED: Hillary ran the worst presidential campaign ever:

Campaign chairman Bob Teeter called Bush’s speechwriters into a meeting in June 1992.

Teeter set before them a chart that looked like the layout of “Hollywood Squares” or the “Brady Bunch” title sequence. Each of the nine boxes had a message the speechwriters were to use in crafting their work — things like “I have been president for 3½ years: Major accomplishments/record.”

There was nothing else in the box. “What I want from you,” Teeter said, “is to help me fill this empty box.”

After nearly four years as president, eight years as vice president and nearly 20 years in public life before that, Bush and his closest advisers could come up with no simple reason to give the voters for presenting him with a second term.

So, too, Hillary Clinton. Whatever Trump’s manifold weaknesses, that is what he had in abundance — Make America Great Again.

And Hillary? It was the empty box all over again.

Really? “I’m With Her” and “Ready for Hillary” and H with an arrow through it (that took three months to design) weren’t enough to put her over the top? But she had top men working for her behind the scenes. Top men.

STEVE HAYWARD: THE FATE TRUMP SPARED US.

The Trump White House may or may not be a scene of chaos and personnel conflict and Trump may yet turn out to be a poor president—certainly the media has an interest in exaggerating any difficulties there may be—but one thing is certain from the release of the new book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign: Trump has spared us a much worse fate in the form of President Hillary Clinton. . . .

Imagine the self-pity and doom the nation would have had if she had won, given that her administration would have been just as out of touch and incompetent as her campaign.

But cheer up. I see Chelsea Clinton is on the cover of Variety. So we have that to look forward to. We’ll never be rid of these people.

What did Variety do to her face? It looks like a bad photoshop job.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Hillary ran the worst presidential campaign ever.

John Podhoretz:

Campaign honcho Robby Mook “was worried about overspending . . . so he declined to use pollsters to track voter preferences in the final three weeks of the campaign.” Mook had learned from his time on the Obama 2012 campaign, Allen and Parnes write, that “old-school polling should be used for testing messages and gauging the sentiments of the electorate and that analytics were just as good for tracking which candidate was ahead and by how much in each state.”

Guess not.

Allen and Parnes report that the Republican National Committee did know — but just couldn’t accept it. The RNC didn’t brief reporters on early November polling data it had developed in Michigan and Pennsylvania, “because the upticks there were so rosy that party officials didn’t believe their own data.”

The day after the election, Hillary asked Mook “which decisions had been misguided, where they had erred in strategy and tactics. ‘Our data was wrong,’ he said . . . ‘OK,’ she replied.”

It is true that, but for 100,000 votes in three states, Hillary Clinton would be president today. It is also true that she ended the election with 3 million more votes than Trump. But it is also true, as “Shattered” makes indisputably clear, that she was unquestionably the worst major presidential candidate in our lifetime.

Others (like Bob Dole) did far worse. But they likely never really had a shot. Hillary had no business losing an election to Donald Trump — but Allen and Parnes pile up headshaking detail after headshaking detail from the very beginning of her campaign to its end showing that she and her people were incapable of making a good call.

But other than that, the question remains: “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?”

I THOUGHT SYRIA, LIBYA, AND IRAN TOOK CARE OF THAT: Hillary’s image of competence ‘shattered.’

LIBERAL TEARS: Hillary Clinton to President Obama on Election Night: ‘I’m Sorry’ I Lost.

She had to apologize to the man who kept her out of the White House in 2008 for losing the White House in 2016.

ONE WOULD NEED A HEART OF STONE NOT TO LAUGH: The night Clinton said what she never expected to say: ‘Congratulations, Donald.’

It’s a review of the new campaign history, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, which has quite a few of my Democratic friends on Facebook in tears. Some say they can’t even bring themselves to read the reviews, because the election loss is still so raw and painful.

Here’s another review.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Shattered’ Picks Through The Broken Pieces Of Hillary Clinton’s Dream.

What’s interesting about Ron Elving’s review is that it reads as though he’s almost as willing to deflect blame away from Hillary Clinton as Hillary Clinton is.

MICHAEL BARONE: Advice to Democrats: Don’t let California vote early in 2020.

What will it mean for Democrats if California votes right after Iowa and New Hampshire? For one thing, it will require Democratic candidates, who constantly inveigh against the evils of money in politics, to raise very large amounts of money up front.

That’s probably the only way they’ll be able to get their messages across to California’s 5 million-plus Democratic voters. Trying to organize the state precinct by precinct sounds impossible. Another likelihood is that California’s public employee unions will become the kingmakers. This will help Democrats if you think they need a candidate who backs hugely higher government spending; not so much if you don’t.

To appeal to Hispanic voters, Democratic candidates will have an incentive to get very close to an open borders and amnesty immigration policy, which may not help in other states. As for appealing to white non-college voters, the group which arguably defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016, California won’t be much help; there aren’t very many of them in the state. High taxes and high housing costs have driven hundreds of thousands of non-affluent whites to leave California. . . .

California Democrats argue that California, with its huge size, should have more clout in determining the Democratic nomination. That’s a reasonable enough assertion. But you can’t argue, these days, that California is typical of the nation demographically or politically, as it was from the 1940s to the 1990s.

California’s electorate, according to fivethirtyeight.com, is 26 percent non-college white, compared to 42 percent nationally. California is 6 percent black, compared to 13 percent nationally. California is 24 percent Hispanic compared to 13 percent nationally. California is 14 percent Asian compared to 5 percent nationally.

You get the idea. The only group which is similar-size in this state and the nation is college-educated whites: 29 percent of California, 31 percent of the nation. But evidence suggests—take a look at those San Francisco Bay Area election returns—that California’s college-educated whites are much more left-wing than the rest of the nation’s.

And so is California, of course.

If California goes early, we might get Bernie as the nominee this time!

SO DO REPUBLICANS: Democrats welcome Bernie takeover.

Democrats previously reticent to welcoming Sen. Bernie Sanders into their fold are coming around.

More than a dozen Democrats interviewed by The Hill say the Vermont Independent has become a powerful and welcome voice for a party struggling to find its identity after a devastating defeat in 2016.

While misgivings remain about giving too much leadership to a politician who technically isn’t a Democrat, a clear warming trend is on the rise.

“It continues to drive me a bit nuts that he continues to register as an Independent, but the bottom line is that he is a good Democrat,” said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who supported Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primary and openly worried then about Sanders’s allegiances to the party.

During the primary, some Democrats worried that Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, was pushing the party too far to the left.

Sanders doesn’t have to become a Democrat, because the Democrats have joined him as Socialists.

JAY COST: As goes Kansas, so goes …?

It is a dicey proposition to read too much into special elections to the House of Representatives. Turnout tends to be quite low, and local factors can skew results one way or another. That could be especially true in this case. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is immensely unpopular in the state, and Mr. Estes, as state treasurer, is naturally linked to his administration.

Still, the results were notable — especially in Topeka, the state capital and the biggest population center in the district. Mr. Trump won Topeka comfortably against Hillary Clinton in 2016, but in the special election, the vote was split more or less down the middle. In many respects, Topeka is your typical Midwestern city. So, to see the Democratic nominee claim half the vote could be a sign of rising voter discontent nationwide.

Or it could just be a fluke. That’s the trouble with special elections.

Still, congressional Republicans would do well to confront the plain fact that, though they have had complete charge of the government, they have no substantive accomplishments to show for their time in power. Worse, they do not even have any big achievements working their way through the pipeline.

Read the whole thing.

My preference would have been for a GOP loss in Kansas last week. The sacrifice of one easy-to-win-back seat would have been worth it, if it had given the House GOP a wakeup call in time to avoid a 2006-style shellacking next year.

PAUL BEDARD: Trump’s Base Is Still Firm. “And even in Democratic Massachusetts, Trump’s base has stuck with him. The latest WBUR survey said that those who backed the president in the state won handily by Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton remain ‘strong’ for the president. Said WBUR, ‘Red towns in Massachusetts continue to support Trump: 80-90 percent of voters agree that Trump will keep America safe, is a good negotiator, cares about people like you, will put the country’s interest ahead of his own, is honest and forthright, shares your values and is an ethical person.'”

DISPATCHES FROM THE DNC-MSM MEMORY HOLE: Recalling Hillary’s seance.

I’m old enough to remember other previous residents of the White House getting plenty of media grief for talking to its past occupants and other forms of mysticism many consider silly — but they each had an (R) after their names. For Hillary, the MSM happily airbrushes her Ouija board right into the ether.

HEH: Young Republican Trolls Clueless CBS Chicago With Famous Hillary Clinton Quote.

CLARICE FELDMAN ON THE TRUMP WIRETAPS: In Her Majesty’s Disservice. “It has become increasingly clear to me that there was widespread wiretapping of President Trump and his associates and that the underlying justification was pretextual — it was actually intended to spy on a political opponent. And it is equally clear that the nonsensical post-election tale that Russia colluded with Trump so that he could beat Hillary Clinton was a coverup tale to justify the unmasking and leaking of some of the information — particularly about General Flynn — which has taken place. The prior administration was so confident Hillary would win that they left their tracks uncovered and afterward were desperate to hide the truth so they projected and whispered the Russians were colluding with Trump.”

That does seem increasingly likely to be true.

JOHN HINDERAKER: How Many Countries Were Spying On Trump?

So just about every Western intelligence service was collaborating with the Obama administration in trying to elect Hillary Clinton. Yet, amazingly enough, they failed.

The blindingly obvious point that the Guardian tries to obscure is that the combined assets of all of these agencies failed to find any evidence of collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia. We know this, because the Democrats have pulled out all the stops. Both before the election, and especially after the election, they have leaked furiously to try to discredit President Trump. If there were any evidence of collusion between Trump (or even obscure, minor “advisers” like Carter Page) and Russia, there would have been nothing else in the Washington Post or the New York Times for the past five months. But they have nothing.

What was really going on seems clear. Everyone involved in this story thought that Hillary Clinton was sure to win the election. Why? Because they read the Washington Post and the New York Times. Plus Real Clear Politics and 538. The suggestion that the Russian government tried to swing the election to Donald Trump is ridiculous. The Russians thought that Hillary was the certain winner, and if–a big if–they carried out a primitive phishing expedition into Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s email account, and subsequently sent the DNC emails to Wikileaks, it was to cause trouble for Clinton after she became president.

Likewise, British intelligence and the other agencies mentioned by the Guardian thought there was no doubt but that Hillary would win. How could they curry favor with the new administration, expected to be Obama’s third term? By feeding negative information about the opponent who was sure to lose, even though there was no real significance to the intelligence provided.

That’s what happened. The fact that liberals still try to push the “Russia” story, even when it is obvious that they are out of ammo, is pathetic.

Well, no. The story about Trump/Russia collaboration was, I’ve hypothesized, created as a cover once he was elected and it was clear the reality that he’d been spied on would come out.

THEODORE DALRYMPLE: Unleashing Arrogance, Complacency, and Mediocrity:

Everyone around him, including the Prime Minister (the dullest man ever to hold the position), comes off as just as uninteresting as he; though it has to be admitted that the author could make Talleyrand seem a bore. The one outstanding quality that these mediocrities seem to share is ambition. It is disconcerting for the citizen to be faced so starkly by the fact that ambitious mediocrity is now the main characteristic of those who rule him.

* * * * * * *

The reason that these philosopher-kings didn’t object [to Brexit] beforehand was that they were confident that the vision of the anointed (to use Thomas Sowell’s pithy phrase) would triumph. So wedded to that vision is the author that he does not feel it even necessary to explain why Britain should have voted to remain in the EU. Beyond saying that serious economists, chief executives of large companies, the Governor of the Bank of England and the director of the International Monetary Fund were in favor of Britain remaining (which is, in essence, the argument from authority) he provided no arguments for his opinion—though, in fact, such arguments existed, the most convincing, at least to me, being Lord Falkland’s famous principle that when it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change. Of course, when and whether change is necessary is always a matter of judgment, for no condition is perfect; but you don’t wreck a room just because there is dust on the mantelpiece.

However, the main reason the author provides no arguments for his views is that he believes that there are simply no arguments against them, and that therefore everything goes by default. Apparently, anyone who is capable of reading a book must, almost by definition, agree with Mr. Oliver. Over and over again he says that the push to exit the EU was based purely on xenophobia and propaganda lies. One does not refute xenophobia or propaganda.

Related! Hillary’s loss was “heartbreaking” for Lena Dunham, who tells the Financial Times, “There was no moment during the entirety of the Hillary Clinton campaign where Donald Trump winning the election seemed like an actual possibility to me. That could have been liberal naivety.”

As Glenn likes to say, we have the worst governing class and self-styled cultural elites on both sides of the Atlantic – and central to their worldview is Pauline Kael-ism on steroids. In January of 2013, Ace of Spades wrote a post attempting to explain the cause of the elites’ deliberate ignorance to opinions other than their own, titled “The Unburstable Bubble of Willful Ignorance of the International Self-Purported Elites.”

Brexit and Trump were a two-fisted bursting of that bubble last year – but don’t expect elites to change direction anytime soon.

Update: Hey, Kids! Let’s Take A Trip Behind The Veil of Ignorance! “Which then begs the question, which this post is preoccupied with: if the veil of ignorance is so useless (and it is), then how come so many people keep wanting to use it? Why is it that so many people find it clever?”

WELL, WELL: Judge Andrew Napolitano was apparently right about British surveillance on the American election. “He was openly mocked — and suspended from Fox News — but now, it seems, he was right.” Prediction: Trace it back, if you can, and you’ll find Obama or one of his henchmen asking the Brits to do this. Or henchwomen.

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.”

As a commenter says to this post, about Obama: “We kept thinking he was Carter and it turned out he was Nixon.” Well, I did say that Carter was a best-case scenario.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

Some of the biggest blows to the progressive cause in the past year have often been due to the votes of white men. If white men were not allowed to vote, it is unlikely that the United Kingdom would be leaving the European Union, it is unlikely that Donald Trump would now be the President of the United States, and it is unlikely that the Democratic Alliance would now be governing four of South Africa’s biggest cities.

Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?, the Huffington Post yesterday.

I’m old enough to remember when the Huffington Post was angry at white men because they were voting for Hillary.

Why, it’s like the white man is the Jew of Liberal Fascism, to coin a phrase.

Related: The ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Trend Blames Boys For Being Born Male.

ANYBODY BUT HER: Clinton Campaign Left Frustrated, Angry After Bill and Hillary Continuously Blamed Them For Sucking.

“Neither Clinton could accept the simple fact that Hillary had hamstrung her own campaign and dealt the most serious blow to her own presidential aspirations,” the authors wrote.

“The underlying truth — the one that many didn’t want to admit to themselves — was the person ultimately responsible for these decisions, the one whose name was on the ticket, hadn’t corrected these problems, all of which had been brought to her attention before primary day. She’d stuck with the plan, and it had cost her,” Allen and Parnes concluded.

Clinton continues to blame FBI director James Comey’s decision to re-open the investigation into Clinton days before the election as well as Russia for hacking into the campaign’s email server.

And don’t forget men. Men did this to Madam not-President.

HILLARY AND OBAMA’S LIBYA DEBACLE: From Responsibility to Protect to Slave Markets.

If a Republican President had invaded Libya and overthrown its government, then left bloody chaos, terrorism and rampant arms smuggling behind, our courageous press corps would be all over the story like a chicken on a June bug.

But fortunately all this happened under President Obama, so we don’t hear all that much about it. And when we do, nobody tries to assign blame to the arrogant ignoramuses who “organized” this disaster.

But the latest news, that slave markets are now operating in Libya, where desperate black Africans are being bought and sold as slaves, ought to trigger some kind of response. . . .

Again, if Republicans were responsible for this it would be the Biggest. Disaster. Ever.

As it is: crickets.

How about that.

BUT WHAT ABOUT HILLARY’S NARRATIVE? Putin says trust between the U.S. and Russia “has not become better but most likely has degraded” since Trump became president.

THE HILL: Clinton campaign plagued by bickering.

She’d been humiliated in the Michigan primary the night before, a loss that not only robbed her of a prime opportunity to put Bernie Sanders down for good but also exposed several of her weaknesses. How could she have been left so vulnerable? She knew — or at least she thought she did. The blame belonged to her campaign team, she believed, for failing to hone her message, energize important constituencies and take care of business in getting voters to the polls. And now, Jake Sullivan, her de facto chief strategist, was giving her lip about the last answer she’d delivered in the prep session.

“That’s not very good,” Sullivan corrected.

“Really?” Hillary snapped back.

The room fell silent.

“Why don’t you do it?”

The comment was pointed and sarcastic, but she meant it. So for the next 30 minutes, there he was, pretending to be Hillary while she critiqued his performance.

Every time the Yale lawyer and former high school debate champ opened his mouth, Hillary cut him off. “That isn’t very good,” she’d say. “You can do better.” Then she’d hammer him with a Bernie line.

Read the whole thing.

HOW CAN WE MISS HIM IF HE WON’T GO AWAY? Obama fingerprints at DNC?

Former President Obama’s White House political director is informally providing strategic advice to leaders at the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

David Simas, who is now CEO of the Obama Foundation, is close with DNC Chairman Tom Perez and has been in regular contact with Sam Cornale, a top adviser to Perez.

A source who has been involved in the transition said Simas has provided strategic advice on hiring decisions.

The new chairman has asked for resignation letters from most DNC staff as he begins the process of building his own team, although so far the DNC has only unveiled its communications team.

The talks with one of Obama’s most prominent political aides underscore the delicate line walked by the DNC as it charts a way forward after a divisive presidential primary battle last year.

Any conversations between Perez and political figures who are viewed as being part of the establishment can be greeted with suspicion by liberal Democrats, who want to see the DNC stocked with progressives after the organization tilted the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last year during the presidential campaign.

Perez, Obama’s Labor secretary, was seen as the former president’s favored candidate in the race for the chairmanship earlier this year. Progressives were disappointed when he defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who ran with the support of Sanders.

It’s Obama’s personal party.

MICHAEL GOODWIN: Trump won’t definitively say he still backs Bannon.

“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”

He ended by saying, “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”

That’s the same thing Trump said to Beijing about North Korea.

FRUITS OF HILLARY’S FAILED, ILLEGAL WAR: Migrants Are Being Sold At Open Slave Markets In Libya.

POLITICS: Reporters on Dems’ thin bench: ‘Democrats are kind of screwed.’ What are you talking about? They’ve got Elizabeth Warren. And Hillary will be rested and ready in 2020, with her new motto, This Time It’s Really My Turn, Bitchez! and for the youth vote they’ve got Bernie Sanders!

But a caveat: “Democrats may not have many broadly appealing candidates but that’s only if you limit yourself to Senators, Governors and other office holders. If you expand the field to consider billionaires, pop stars, movie stars and other well-known faces who lean left (and let’s face it, the Democrats have lots of star power) then the bench might be looking a little better. That won’t help them take back seats in state houses but it could help them take back the White House.”

And right on cue, that fresh face, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is getting talked about.

SEE, HILLARY DOES HAVE A CHANCE IN 2020: Brain-Infecting Worm Booming in Popular Vacation Destination.

FRED BARNES: How Mitch McConnell Won the Battle to Confirm Gorsuch.

When I interviewed McConnell shortly after Gorsuch was confirmed, he wanted to talk before I asked a question. He had plenty to say. It’s rare there are things “you can say you did on your own.” One was his snap decision to bar the Senate from taking up a Supreme Court nomination until a new president took office. Only the majority leader could do this. “It is the most consequential decision I ever made,” McConnell said.

And it turned out the open seat was an “electoral asset” for Trump. Voters didn’t like him or Hillary Clinton. But once filling the seat became the “principal issue,” Trump had the advantage. Everyone knew she would dump Garland, a moderate, for someone further to the left.

“We didn’t know if the president would be a conservative or not,” McConnell said. However, he had promised to pick a nominee from a list of 20 conservative jurists. (McConnell had advocated such a list.) “This reassured conservatives.” The result: he got 90 percent of the Republican vote and won.

McConnell gave Trump credit for nominating “the single best circuit court judge in the country. It made my job easier.” He described the job as “getting all my frogs in the wheelbarrow.” On cloture, the nuclear option, and confirmation, he got all 52 frogs.

Paul Ryan could learn a thing or two.

RUN IN 2020, HILLARY! 2016 WAS JUST A FLUKE! Here’s a list of everyone Hillary Clinton blamed this week for 2016 (she’s not on it).

She didn’t mention, for example, the fact that she didn’t set foot in Wisconsin once during the entire general election. She didn’t mention her team’s initial decision to frame the campaign in terms of how voters could help her (“I’m with her!”) and not vice versa. She didn’t mention her team’s mind-boggling decision to outsource part of its millennial outreach efforts to Al Gore, 69, and Dave Matthews, 50. She didn’t mention the campaign’s bizarre decision to send Lena Dunham to North Carolina. She didn’t mention the moment she claimed at a fundraiser in New York City that “half” of Trump’s supporters were “irredeemable” bigots.

Clinton also ignored all mentions of the fact her team actively ignored and took for granted disaffected white and working class voters whom Obama had won, even after Bill Clinton, who won the rust belt twice, implored them to reconsider their strategy.

The point of this isn’t to pile on or twist the knife, but Clinton and her campaign got a lot wrong. They need to own it instead of just blaming Putin and misogyny.

Oh, let’s twist the knife a little.

NOBODY HATES THEIR CUSTOMERS LIKE OLD MEDIA: ‘Meet the Press’ Debates If Hillary Lost Because of the Country’s ‘Misogyny.’

I’m so old, I can remember the DNC-MSM blamed their losses on racism instead.

 

YESTERDAY IT WAS THE RUSSIANS: Hillary Clinton says misogyny ‘certainly’ played a role in 2016 election loss.

Women-hating Russians with frog avatars told her not to campaign in Wisconsin.

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Left’s Talking Point On Gerrymandering Put To Rest.

During the second half of the Obama era, it became an article of faith among many Democrats that Republicans had essentially stolen the House of Representatives and polarized the government by nefariously redrawing district lines in their party’s favor. But it was always clear to impartial observers that the impact of gerrymandering had been greatly exaggerated, and that demographic changes in the distribution of the population played a far greater role. A new analysis from the nonpartisan Cook Political Report confirms this: “As it turns out, gerrymandering wasn’t as much of a factor in the House’s polarization as some redistricting reform advocates might argue. Of the 92 “Swing Seats” that have vanished since 1997, 83 percent of the decline has resulted from natural geographic sorting of the electorate from election to election, while only 17 percent of the decline has resulted from changes to district boundaries.” . . .

But however comforting it might be to imagine that Congressional polarization is the result of reversible partisan machinations, the fact is that it has much more to do with broad-based geographical sorting. Democrats trying to break out of their “built-in” disadvantage in the House and state legislatures should spend less time railing against gerrymandering and more time trying to reach voters outside of their dense, hyper-sorted urban strongholds.

Hey, toward the end of the campaign, Hillary had a “rural outreach” person at her Brooklyn headquarters.

NEW LEFTY THESIS: Donald Trump Is Functionally Illiterate, Can’t Really Read.

I’ve heard similar stuff about every GOP president from W., who read dozens of books a year, all the way back to Gerald Ford, who was a Yale Law grad. But imagine that it’s true. If it’s true, then Hillary and all the brightest minds of the left were beaten like drums by a man who can’t even read!

But maybe, as with Reagan, it’s all just an act.

ALEXANDER BOLTON: McConnell’s shining moment.

Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is a huge victory for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a frequent target of conservatives who saved Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat for the right.

When Scalia died suddenly in February 2016, in seemed certain that then-President Obama would be able to tilt the court to the left with his third appointment.

Instead, McConnell issued a statement within hours that essentially shut the door on an Obama appointment, stating “this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

The Senate GOP backed McConnell up, and Donald Trump won the presidential election in an upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Months later, Trump nominated Gorsuch. McConnell made good on his promise to see the judge confirmed, even triggering the controversial “nuclear option” to break Democrats’ blockade and end filibusters for Supreme Court nominees.

“When the final chapter in Mitch McConnell’s book is written, this will place very prominently,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

“It prevented the court from going in a completely opposite direction, so in that sense, it’s a huge victory, consequential for decades,” he added.

McConnell on Friday, moments before the Senate confirmed Gorsuch, said the decision to keep the seat open was “the most consequential decision I’ve ever been involved in.”

The strategy leaves McConnell as an unlikely hero of hard-line conservative activists who have sometimes criticized him over as an establishment figure too willing to craft deals with Democrats.

True.

HILLARY BLAMES THE RUSSIANS FOR HER LOSS: ‘More effective theft even than Watergate’

Notice, please, the smug implication that the White House was somehow hers already and that it was stolen from her by others — others who weren’t the American voters.

HILLARY CLINTON: A lot of other people are to blame for my 2016 election loss.

WAIT, I THOUGHT IT WAS THE RUSSIAN BERNIE BROS THAT ACCOUNTED FOR HILLARY’S LOSS? Sheldon Whitehouse: ‘Wall Street money’ backed Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.

I guess it’s just too painful to acknowledge that she was a terrible candidate, following up on a failed administration of the same party, and that’s why she lost. So any other excuse will do, if it means not having to confront that reality.

NICK KRISTOF? My Most Unpopular Idea: Be Nice to Trump Voters.

“I absolutely despise these people,” one woman tweeted at me after I interviewed Trump voters. “Truly the worst of humanity. To hell with every one of them.”

Maybe we all need a little more empathy?

I wrote my last column from Oklahoma, highlighting voters who had supported Trump and now find that he wants to cut programs that had helped them. One woman had recovered from a rape with the help of a women’s center that stands to lose funding, another said that she would sit home and die without a job program facing cutbacks, and so on. Yet every one of them was still behind Trump — and that infuriated my readers.

“I’m just going to say it,” tweeted Bridgette. “I hate these people. They are stupid and selfish. Screw them. Lose your jobs, sit home and die.”

Another: “ALL Trump voters are racist and deplorable. They’ll never vote Democratic. We should never pander to the Trumpites. We’re not a party for racists.”

The torrent of venom was, to me, as misplaced as the support for Trump from struggling Oklahomans. I’m afraid that Trump’s craziness is proving infectious, making Democrats crazy with rage that actually impedes a progressive agenda.

They’re just taking their cue from Hillary “Basket of Deplorables” Clinton.

AND OBAMA OPERATIVES WILL BE LEAKING TRUMP’S FROM NOW UNTIL THEN: The Public Won’t See the Rest of Hillary’s Emails Until 2020.

Justice Department attorney Jennie Kneedler told U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg Tuesday that “processing takes time.” She also told Boasberg during the status hearing on the case that the continued review of the former secretary of state’s emails was “not the best use of State’s time.”

Cut their entertainment and conference budget in half until the job is done, and they’ll miraculously find the time. They’re foot-dragging to protect her, as they’ve been doing all along.

Meanwhile we saw under W. — and we’ll no doubt see under Trump — that FOIA requests for stuff that makes a Republican administration look bad get processed by the bureaucracy with miraculous speed.

BILL GERTZ: U.S. Ill-Prepared to Stop Widespread Russian Information Warfare.

In addition to the hacking and leaking campaign during the election, Russian intelligence agencies engaged in covert influence operations that falsely reported terrorist attacks in the United States and against the key U.S. military base in Incirlik, Turkey.

The Russian government also backed the Occupy Wall Street protest movement and trumpeted racially charged news to sow social unrest.

The federal government has been unable to stop Moscow’s propaganda and influence operations. Likewise, it has failed to counter cyber attacks aimed at stealing data or sabotaging critical networks.

“Americans should be concerned because right now a foreign country, whether they realize it or not, is pitting them against their neighbor, other political parties, ramping up divisions based on things that aren’t true,” said Clint Watts, a cyber security expert and former FBI special agent.

Russian information warfare operations seek to erode Americans’ trust in the government.

“If they can do that, if Americans don’t believe that their vote counts, they’re not going to show up to participate in democracy,” said Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

There’s still no evidence that Russia “hacked” the election in any way, although high-level Clinton hand John Podesta was apparently gullible enough to fall for a phishing attack — which revealed embarrassing, but true, details about Hillary’s campaign.

As for the rest, given how much more fragile Russia’s institutions are than ours, a little tit might prevent a whole lot of future tat.

“A TREMENDOUS ABUSE OF THE SYSTEM:” Susan Rice Ordered Spy Agencies To Produce ‘Detailed Spreadsheets’ Involving Trump.

Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.

“What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.

“The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with,” diGenova said. “In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.”

Other knowledgeable official sources with direct knowledge and who requested anonymity confirmed to TheDCNF diGenova’s description of surveillance reports Rice ordered one year before the 2016 presidential election. . . .

Col. (Ret.) James Waurishuk, an NSC veteran and former deputy director for intelligence at the U.S. Central Command, told TheDCNF that many hands had to be involved throughout the Obama administration to launch such a political spying program.

“The surveillance initially is the responsibility of the National Security Agency,” Waurishuk said. “They have to abide by this guidance when one of the other agencies says, ‘we’re looking at this particular person which we would like to unmask.’”

“The lawyers and counsel at the NSA surely would be talking to the lawyers and members of counsel at CIA, or at the National Security Council or at the Director of National Intelligence or at the FBI,” he said. “It’s unbelievable of the level and degree of the administration to look for information on Donald Trump and his associates, his campaign team and his transition team. This is really, really serious stuff.”

Michael Doran, former NSC senior director, told TheDCNF Monday that “somebody blew a hole in the wall between national security secrets and partisan politics.” This “was a stream of information that was supposed to be hermetically sealed from politics and the Obama administration found a way to blow a hole in that wall.”

Doran charged that potential serious crimes were undertaken because “this is a leaking of signal intelligence.”

“That’s a felony,” he told TheDCNF. “And you can get 10 years for that. It is a tremendous abuse of the system. We’re not supposed to be monitoring American citizens. Bigger than the crime, is the breach of public trust.”

All these people need to be placed under oath and questioned separately about what happened. There’s also sure to be a document trail. And it seems like the mid-level security bureaucrats are starting to talk.

Bottom line:

“We’re looking at a potential constitutional crisis from the standpoint that we used an extremely strong capability that’s supposed to be used to safeguard and protect the country,” he said. “And we used it for political purposes by a sitting President.”

Yep. Political abuse has always been the big risk with mass surveillance, and now it appears that risk has become an actuality.

UPDATE: And I see Stephen Green was posting this at the same time. I’ll leave both up, because it’s that big a story.

Plus, InstaPundit from a month ago: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction. Now it’s being rowed back because the talk of ‘transcripts’ supports the spying-on-Trump storyline. Will we ever know? Maybe, if there’s a proper investigation into Obama Administration political spying.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: From the comments: “If they were spying on Trump a year before the election, they were spying on other GOP candidates, too. And probably Democrats running against Hillary for the nomination.” Well, so far as I know there’s no evidence of that, but it’s worth looking into.

MEGAN MCARDLE: The Pences’ Prophylactic Approach to Infidelity.

Eventually Pence’s critics seemed to settle on two reasonable-sounding arguments: that his rule against one-on-one dining with females other than his wife would structurally disadvantage women in his office political network and that his rules for himself were actually sexist demands on his wife, requiring Karen Pence to give up her own career and act as a chaperone.

On that second point, I can say only that I remember when it was the height of bad taste to have any opinion at all about what went on in someone else’s marriage — for example, whether Hillary Clinton or Huma Abedin should have divorced their husbands for their sexual indiscretions. Back then, women of Karen Pence’s age were presumed to be adults, fully competent to decide what they were willing to endure in the course of their marriage. They were even entitled to do so without the unsolicited advice of several million unlicensed freelance marriage counselors. Has that edict now been rescinded? Or did it only ever apply to the spouses of Democratic politicians?

The other objection is more serious. Having once worked at a place where a lot of client bonding went on at strip clubs — outings at which I would have felt unwelcome, to say the least — I am fully cognizant of how these sorts of structural barriers can hamper a career. “If Pence won’t eat with a woman alone, how could a woman be Chief of Staff, or lawyer, campaign manager …” asked Mother Jones editor Clara Jeffery on Twitter. “Would Pence dine with Ivanka? Or KellyAnne? Or are they too relegated to second class citizens … I don’t know/care if Pences have weird hangups. I do care if women are being denied jobs and opportunities, and that some normalize this. Has Pence in his career had a woman high up in any campaign, administration, private practice, radio show or think-tank?”

These are reasonable questions. The thing is, they have answers. And those answers seem to include a fair number of female staffers doing things other than fetching coffee. Who do not necessarily think that Pence’s rules are holding them back.

The important thing was to have an opportunity for Republicans Are Mean To Women!! shrieking, in the hopes that the majority of white women who voted from Trump can be lured back.

WHEN RACE-AND-GENDER DIVISIVENESS BITES BACK: “I knew just what one of my graduate students meant when I asked her how millennial feminists saw Hillary and she said ‘a white lady.'”

This echoes my question right after the election: “What if minority voters just won’t turn out for non-minority candidates any more? That’s a real problem for the Democrats, especially if all the racial politics they pursue in order to try to motivate minority voters (Black Lives Matter, immigration protests, etc.) actually serve to make minorities less likely to vote for whites, even if they’re Democrats. And if working-class whites start to vote Republican the way minorities have voted Democratic — and all that racial politics is likely to encourage that — the Dems are in trouble.”

BUT OF COURSE: If Ivanka Trump Were A Democrat, She’d Be A Feminist Hero.

In addition to allegations of fake feminism, Ivanka faces charges of nepotism. Last week it was reported she would have an office in the White House and access to classified information sans a top-secret clearance or official title. This is indeed not only nepotism but stupid. If President Obama had done this with a 35 year-old Sasha Obama, Republicans would have been crying “nepotism!” faster than Jason Bourne can shimmy into a SCIF. That said, it’s not as if this hasn’t happened in previous administrations (looking at you, Bill Clinton, circa 1990s).

This brings me to Chelsea Clinton. Before Ivanka was the president’s daughter, she was heralded as an intelligent woman, a dedicated wife and mother, and a businesswoman with a burgeoning clothing line. Yet in a recent Fast Company longread, editor Anjali Mullany writes:

Ivanka has built her business on a brand platform that champions working women, so why is calm, polite Ivanka supporting an unpredictable and combative candidate so many professional woman have accused of sexual harassment, they wonder? Is the root of her loyalty pure filial duty? Does she support him because he’s rich (though how rich is anyone’s guess?) Because she suffers from a form of Stockholm Syndrome? Because the exposure is good for her business? Because deep down, she’s actually just like him? Because of her stated reason: that she truly believes he’s the best man for the job?

Compare that to this glowing review in The Atlantic of Chelsea Clinton, the daughter not only of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton but President Bill Clinton, who was impeached for perjury related to sexual misconduct, and both of whose lifelong political careers have been constantly dogged with scandal.

To be fair, it’s different when they do it.

QUESTION ASKED: Why Isn’t Hillary Clinton in Jail?

Because laws are for the little people, and while Hillary might be many things, she certainly isn’t one of those.

FLASHBACK: From a month ago: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction. Now it’s being rowed back because the talk of ‘transcripts’ supports the spying-on-Trump storyline. Will we ever know? Maybe, if there’s a proper investigation into Obama Administration political spying.”

KURT SCHLICHTER: The Russiagate Scam Will Blow Up In The Democrats’ Smug Faces.

How do I know this with utter certainty? Because it’s all so glaringly obvious, and it’s the only scenario that fits the facts. As Hugh Hewitt says, this scandal has three silos. The first silo is the question of whether the Russians somehow “hacked our election.” The second silo is whether any Trump people “colluded” with the Russians. The third silo, the one patriots care most about since it’s the one that isn’t a ridiculous fantasy, is whether anyone in Obama’s administration used our intelligence apparatus to spy on his and Hillary’s political opponents. The answers are “No,” “No,” and “Yes.” The end results are going to be a stronger Trump, weaker Democrats, and various Obama minions exploring new career opportunities in the exciting fields of license plate-making, large-to-small rock transformation, and artisanal pruno distilling.

Well, stay tuned.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: What Is the Alt-Left?

The Obama victory of 2008 had a profound effect on the Democratic Party, suggesting that the “power” of getting elected twice gave “truth” to Obama’s polarizing brand of organizing groups based on ethnic and racially based grievances, in concert against a supposedly fading and bigoted establishment. (This axiom is in need of some postmodern revisionism after the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the loss of most governorships, state legislatures, the Congress, the presidency and the Supreme Court.)

The Alt-Left largely dismisses the old liberal idea of 1960s Civil Rights. Liberals once promoted integration and the goal of an American melting pot empowered by the time-honored traditions of racially blind integration, assimilation, and intermarriage. The liberal goal once was a common American culture and experience where race became subsidiary. Yet we hear little from liberals any more about non-discrimination and integration. Instead, preference, diversity, and segregated safe spaces become the new discriminatory and reparatory agendas.

The Alt-Left also believes that racial, ethnic, sexual, and religious identity is essential not incidental to character—as evidenced from the profound by the recent racialist statements of would-be candidates to head the DNC, to the ridiculous, as the careerist-driven and invented identities of a Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Ward Churchill or former white/black activists such as Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King attest.

Blatant appeals to racial chauvinism such as those of La Raza (“The Race,” a phraseology popularized in Franco’s Spain in imitation of Hitler’s Volk) or “Black Lives Matter” (that went to great lengths to reject counter ecumenical arguments that “All Lives Matter”) are not just tolerated as useful political props, but institutionalized by the Alt Left to the degree that the Obama Justice Department used fines collected from financial institutions to redistribute to such Alt-Left radical identity political groups.

Another tenet is the age-old left wing idea that the noble ends of “fairness”—equality of result, and government mandated redistribution—justify almost any means in obtaining them. . . . The Alt-Left also does not really believe in free speech, at least as it was calibrated by the New Left of the 1960s that mandated “free speech” zones on campus, wrote academic handbooks outlining the need for protected expression, such as the Yale University’s highly regarded Woodward Report, or, in hippie fashion, equated free speech with advocacy for obscenity and pornography. Reading Mark Twain is hurtful and should be banned, screaming “F—k you to a Yale professor’s face is free speech and to be encouraged.

I remember describing the Critical Legal Studies movement to a judge when I was in law school. “Crap,” he said. “I thought that shit died with Marcuse.”

THE HILL: Gingrich: All ‘real evidence’ of Russian influence points to Dems.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that all the “real evidence” of Russian interference in the presidential election points to Democratic collusion. His charge comes one day after President Trump tweeted that the “phony Russia story” is “a total scam!”

“It is ironic that all of the real evidence of real money and real influence-buying relates to Democrats,” Gingrich said on Fox New’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”

“There is no evidence that anybody was being purchased on the Republican side.”

Gingrich, a trusted Trump adviser, added that Russian interference in U.S. elections “may have helped Democrats far more than Republicans” in the past.

Gingrich cited the brother of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta as an example, saying Tony Podesta is a “registered agent for a Russian bank” as an example.

Trump has frequently assailed allegations of possible collusion between his associates and Moscow as a smokescreen intended to compensate for Clinton’s unexpected loss in November.

Gingrich urged Congress to examine all of Russia’s efforts and involvement to subvert elections both in the U.S. and abroad, rather than narrowly focusing on possible Russian ties to President Trump’s associates.

Somebody needs to go through all the Clinton dealings with foreign interests — not just Russia — with a fine-tooth comb. Since we’re now worrying about such things.

I DON’T KNOW: HILLARY OR LIZZY WARREN? THEY’RE BOTH LIARS, BUT DIFFERENT ENTERTAINMENT VALUES: 2020: The Race for the White House.

CBS’S SCOTT PELLEY LOSES A FIGHT RIGGED IN HIS FAVOR: Ever since it was created by Don Hewitt in 1968, CBS’s Sixty Minutes has functioned as a sort of ritual kabuki for its audiences: it made stars of its left-leaning investigative journalists, who would grill the offending conservative politician or businessman of the week. By the mid-’80s, the show’s formula was summed up brilliantly in the classic parodies by Martin Short’s Nathan Thurm character on Saturday Night Live, who would be drenched in sweat and chain-smoking Marlboro 100s by the time he was done attempting to survive the hammering from the crusading journalist on the other side of the desk.

But CBS made its bones during the days when, as Rob Long wrote of NBC’s Johnny Carson, “There were three big channels—and maybe an old movie on one of those fuzzy UHF stations—so if you didn’t like what was on, you were out of luck. Network television didn’t compete with cable channels or Hulu or Amazon Prime. It competed with silence.”

And such lack of competition allowed the networks’ news divisions to create self-contained worlds where they could absolutely control the dialogue, as Walter Cronkite did throughout his career at CBS, while signing off each night “And that’s the way it is.” His successor’s career at CBS ended there with a Sixty Minutes segment…well, we all know how it ended there, right?

Which brings us to CBS’s Scott Pelley and his recent interview with Mike Cernovich, whom Breitbart.com’s Ezra Dulis describes as “a lawyer, independent blogger/author/filmmaker, and a dominant voice on Twitter,” and whom BuzzFeed describes as “a troll.” The latter Website of course is home of the infamous Trump golden showers with Russian hookers story and an editor who believes covering Trump “sometimes…means publishing unverified information in a transparent way that informs our users of its provenance, its impact and why we trust or distrust it.”

Whatever Cernovich’s excesses, assuming this transcript of the full unedited interview is accurate, it’s fascinating much more for what it reveals about Pelley, watched by six and a half million viewers on the CBS Evening News, than for Cernovich. Here’s how the transcript begins:

Scott Pelley: How would you describe what you do?

Mike Cernovich: I’m a lawyer, author, documenter, filmmaker, and journalist.

Scott Pelley: And how would you describe your website?

Mike Cernovich: Edgy, controversial content that goes against the dominant narrative.

Scott Pelley: What’s the dominant narrative?

Mike Cernovich: The dominant narrative is that there are good guys and there are bad guys. The good guys are liberals. Everybody on the right is a bad guy. Let’s find a way to make everybody look bad. Let’s tie marginal figures who have no actual influence to anybody we cannot overwrite. That’s the narrative.

Scott Pelley: That’s not a narrative I’m familiar with. Who’s narrative is that?

In 2008, Pelley compared global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers. Ben Rhodes, who until January was Obama’s deputy national security advisor, is the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes. John Dickerson, the host of Face the Nation and the “political director” for CBS, wrote an article for Slate in 2013 charmingly titled “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.” Katie Couric, whom Pelley succeeded as Evening News host, read a poem on her broadcast to shill for the passing of Obamacare, and after leaving CBS had a Rathergate-like moment of her own, attempting to marginalize gun owners.

But back to the transcript of Pelley and Cernovich, where eventually, the hunter is captured by his prey:  

Scott Pelley: You wrote in August a story about Hillary Clinton’s medical condition the headlines said, “Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease. Position confirms.” That’s quite a headline.

Mike Cernovich: Yeah, Dr. Ted Noel had se-sent a story to me anonymously, that I checked out, analyzing her medical condition. And –

Scott Pelley: It isn’t true.

Mike Cernovich: How do you know?

Scott Pelley: Well, she doesn’t seem to have any signs of Parkinson’s disease.

Mike Cernovich: She had a seizure and froze up walking into her motorcade that day caught by a citizen journalist.

Scott Pelley: Did you, well, she had pneumonia. I mean –

Mike Cernovich: How do you know?

Scott Pelley: Well, because that’s what was reported.

Mike Cernovich: By whom? Who told you that?

Scott Pelley: Well, the campaign told us that.

Mike Cernovich: Why would you trust a campaign?

To ask the question is to answer it. In a post headlined “‘Shamefully Stupid’: CBS’s Scott Pelley Loses a Fight Rigged in His Favor,” Breitbart.com’s Ezra Dulis adds in response, “Pelley has no answer for those six words — ‘Why would you trust the campaign’ — as his entire profession goes berserk with literal-minded fact checks for every tweet from President Trump. Pelley also seems to forget the fakery that Clinton World attempted hours before its pneumonia statement — with the candidate smiling and waving outside her daughter’s apartment, greeting a little girl, and assuring reporters everything was a-okay.”

More:

Mike Cernovich: So let’s be, let’s be honest with one another, which is that you are reporting that the Hillary Clinton campaign-

Scott Pelley: I didn’t report that she had Parkinson’s disease.

Mike Cernovich: You just told me she’s healthy though. Based on what was told to you by the campaign. See? That’s what I’m saying about the double standards which is I don’t take anything Hillary Clinton’s going to say at all as true. I’m not going to take her on her word. The media says we’re not going to take Donald Trump on his word. And that’ why we are on these different universes.

Scott Pelley: Why should anyone take you on your word?

Mike Cernovich: Oh, you should always double-check. You should always fact check. And if people don’t agree with me, people express that disagreement, and I’m completely, completely open to criticism.

Insert Glenn Reynolds’ Rathergate-era comments about the positive nature of the Internet being a low-trust environment here. Not to mention Michael Crichton’s Gell-Man Amnesia Effect.

Let’s give Pelley the exit quote: “Well, the benefit of intermediaries is having experienced editors check things out and research people. Check the facts before it goes out to the public. You don’t do any of that.”

Mary Mapes could not be reached for comment.

UPDATE: “Was Pelley not around in 2004?” John Hinderaker asks at Power Line. “Has he forgotten how stupid that refrain sounded then? (‘Layers and layers of fact-checkers’) Does he not realize how false it rings today? We have been here before: the liberal media are in a panic because their authority is being challenged. It must be worse now, though, than it was in 2004. Then, Time’s refrain was a relatively benign ‘Who owns the truth?’ Now, they ask, ‘Is truth dead?’ We can translate: ‘Is the liberal news media monopoly dead?’”

BYRON YORK: Senate committee targets FBI No. 2 in Trump dossier probe.

Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey demanding the story behind the FBI’s reported plan to pay the author of a lurid and unsubstantiated dossier on candidate Donald Trump. In particular, Grassley appears to be zeroing in on the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, indicating Senate investigators want to learn more about McCabe’s role in a key aspect of the Trump-Russia affair.

Grassley began his investigation after the Washington Post reported on February 28 that the FBI, “a few weeks before the election,” agreed to pay former British spy Christopher Steele to investigate Trump. Prior to that, supporters of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign had paid Steele to gather intelligence on Clinton’s Republican rival. In the end, the FBI did not pay Steele, the Post reported, after the dossier “became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials.” It is not clear whether Steele worked under agreement with the FBI for any period of time before the payment deal fell through.

“The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Comey dated March 28.

Raises questions, answers questions, whatever.

NOT AN APRIL FOOL: Hillary Clinton Had Astonishing Access to Top Secret Documents After She Left State Department. “And it wasn’t just Clinton who kept the power of top secret access. It was six of her former staffers, who went by the tag of ‘research assistants.'”

IT TOOK A GAY AUTHOR TURNED PODCASTER TO ROAST LIBERALS MELTING DOWN OVER TRUMP: The author turned podcaster lays waste to liberals still raging over Hillary Clinton’s loss.

FASTER, PLEASE: GOP Rep. Franks: ‘Trump Agenda Is Dead’ Without Senate Rule Change.

On the flip-side Hillary will (likely) never be president, so that alone is a major accomplishment for Trump.

RAYMOND LOEWY WEEPS: Great moments in graphic design — It Took Three People Two Months to Create Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Logo.

Contrast that with how quickly Trump came up with “Make America Great Again:”

Trump told the Post that he first thought of it after the Republican loss in the 2012 presidential election. Republicans were surprised at the loss, having thought their nominee Mitt Romney could have beat President Barack Obama, and Trump was considering how he could brand a run for president as a revival of the party and the country.

“As soon as the loss took place, I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, assuming I’m in a good position, assuming all of the things that you have to assume, which are many, I’m going to run next time,'” he told the Post. “And I sat back and I said, ‘What would be a good expression? And I said, let’s do this.'”

Trump outlined his thought process to the Post: “I said, ‘We’ll make America great.’ And I had started off ‘We Will Make America Great.’ That was my first idea, but I didn’t like it. And then all of a sudden it was going to be ‘Make America Great.’ But that didn’t work because that was a slight to America because that means it was never great before. And it has been great before.”

He continued: “So I said, ‘Make America Great Again.’ I said, ‘That is so good.’ I wrote it down. I went to my lawyers. I have a lot of lawyers in-house. We have many lawyers. I have got guys that handle this stuff. I said, ‘See if you can have this registered and trademarked.'”

One of the designers of the Hillary H-logo was Michael Bierut, who was featured in the (actually really fascinating) film Helvetica, released in 2007 to celebrate the ubiquitous font’s 50th anniversary. When I wrote a long post on the movie in 2010, I dubbed it “Liberal Fascism: The Font,” due to how seamlessly the Helvetica font unites the world of business and government into a seamless corporatist whole.

Bierut is quoted by the Washington Free Beacon today as being quite proud of the Helvetica-derived logo he created for Hillary, and apparently quite astonished that “The majority of the reviews were negative:”

He didn’t know his logo had been chosen by Clinton, however, until he saw it in Clinton’s official launch video in April.

“What we had been working on in secret was suddenly public,” Bierut wrote. “It was really happening.”

The majority of the reviews were negative, which was difficult for Bierut to deal with, but he was told by the campaign to “adopt a no-comment policy about the logo.”

Though he was unable to defend the logo publicly, he believes that “the world noticed” how great it actually was as the campaign went on and its versatility became known.

Bierut also thought that Donald Trump’s visual campaign was awful—”Bad typography; amateurish design; haphazard, inconsistent, downright ugly communications”—and that gave him added confidence as he settled into the Clinton campaign’s election night victory party in New York City.

“It was going to be the most thrilling night of my life,” Bierut wrote. “As I walked the darkening streets of midtown Manhattan toward Jacob Javits Convention Center, from blocks away I could glimpse an enormous image on the JumboTron over its main entrance, a forward-pointing arrow superimposed on a letter H.”

The night, of course, did not go as planned.

Heh.™ In the Helvetica movie, there’s a clip of Bierut that to date as received 94,000 views on YouTube, as it neatly summarizes both the film and its subject matter’s history, which is quite a double-edged sword:

The pre-war socialist modernists of Weimar Germany’s Bauhaus and Holland’s De Stijl produced some genuinely impressive graphic design and architecture, but as with political correctness, another prewar German product that flourished in America after WWII, by the 1960s, architects and designers were trapped by the soul-crushing limitations of its rules: only Mies van der Rohe steel and glass boxes were considered acceptable architectural designs, and only Helvetica-based logos were considered acceptable graphic design, destroying much Americana and great design in their wake.

See also: New York’s Penn Station.

Just as Pauline Kael infamously described Nixon voters as “outside my ken,” no wonder Bierut couldn’t imagine being defeated by “Bad typography; amateurish design; haphazard, inconsistent, downright ugly communications” – everything terrible except a slogan that genuinely resonated with the American people exhausted after eight years of Obama and dreading another four of the same.

And speaking of graphic design and Obama, lest you think I’m reflexively bashing the left, compare Hillary’s soulless H with the iconography of the 2008 Obama campaign. The Obama “O” logo’s brilliant graphic design – the sun rising, the red, white and blue “Morning in America” symbolism all inside Obama’s namesake initial — leaves Hillary’s clunky H in the dust, as PJM’s own Bill Whittle explained in 2009:

BUT THE NARRATIVE! Hillary Clinton and John Podesta’s Troubling Ties to Russia.

MONEY WELL SPENT? It Took Three People Two Months to Create Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Logo.

IN THE FUTURE, DEMOCRATS WILL BECOME THE REPUBLICAN THEY LOATHED THE MOST FOR 15 MINUTES:

Is Obama the Democrats’ Reagan?

The Christian Science Monitor, September 6, 2015.

Is [Hillary] Clinton a liberal Reagan?

The Hill, February 17, 2015.

Is Bernie Sanders the Democrats’ Ronald Reagan?

The Week, today.

The “Is ________ the Democrats’ Trump?” headlines during the 2028 presidential election will be amazing to watch.

THEY TOLD ME IF TRUMP WERE ELECTED, WEB CENSORSHIP WOULD RUN RAMPANT. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Alternative facts alert: Proposed legislation bans “fake news.”

The new proposal bars the online publication of a “false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote.” Bye-bye online news. On the flip side, this legislation would probably outlaw lawmakers’ and candidates’ online speech, too.

The bill is proposed by California Assemblyman Edwin “Ed” Chau, a Democrat representing a section of Southern California. The proposal, which is likely unconstitutional on its face, was supposed to have a committee hearing Tuesday afternoon, but it was pulled at the 11th hour.

The measure does have a laudable goal, however. It’s designed to combat the so-called “fake news” that filled the 2016 election season. Intentions aside, the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Monday began campaigning against the proposal.

“At a time when political leaders are promoting ‘alternative facts’ and branding unflattering reporting as ‘fake news,’ we don’t think it’s a good idea to give the government more power to punish speech,” the EFF said.

Actually, EFF, it’s never a good time to give the government more power to punish speech. Even when a Democrat is in power. You know, like Ed Chau. Or Hillary, who wanted people jailed for making a film that was critical of her, and who did jail a filmmaker when it provided a handy cover story. Making it sound like it’s somehow a Trump related problem in this context is unfair and dishonest.

WHY NOT HAVE THE FBI DO IT? OR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. Trump demands intel panel probe Clinton Foundation ties to Russian uranium deal.

President Trump argued in a pair of tweets Monday evening that the House Intelligence Committee should look a deal between a Russian state-owned energy company, Rosatom, and a Canadian-owned mining company with deep ties to the Clinton Foundation that had ultimately placed one-fifth of U.S. uranium interests in Russian hands. . . .

The deal with Uranium One, the Canadian company owned by Clinton Foundation patron Frank Giustra, plagued Hillary Clinton throughout the presidential race as an example of the ways her family’s foundation could have served as a conduit for larger financial and political interests. The transaction that left so much of America’s uranium production under the control of a Canadian company with extensive Clinton ties took place while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state and required the approval of an inter-agency committee that included the State Department.

Well, so long as Russian ties are on the table. . . .

STOP TRYING TO MAKE PRESIDENT HILLARY HAPPEN. PRESIDENT HILLARY IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Hillary is not next if Trump is impeached, you guys. Amber Tamblyn Shows Why Actor Doesn’t Mean ‘Constitutional Scholar.’

I’m not surprised when actresses make fools of themselves. I’m a bit disappointed to see some people I’d considered fairly substantive engaging in all sorts of absurd fantasies about changing the line of succession, providing for a “do over” election, and other legalistic efforts to remove Trump. Not only is it not going to happen, if it did happen people would be justified in taking up arms and hanging people doing it from lampposts, because it would be a coup. There was a time when allegedly substantive people knew that it was dangerous to talk about things like that.

LOSING IT: Schumer goes off on Trump supporter at NYC restaurant, witness says.

“They are a highly respected couple, and Schumer made a scene, yelling, ‘She voted for Trump!’ The Califanos left the restaurant, but Schumer followed them outside.” On the sidewalk, Schumer carried on with his fantastical filibuster: “ ‘How could you vote for Trump? He’s a liar!’ He kept repeating, ‘He’s a liar!’ ”

Hilary confirmed the confrontation, telling Page Six, “Sen. Schumer was really rude . . . He’s our senator, and I don’t really like him. Yes, I voted for Trump. Schumer joined us outside and he told me Trump was a liar. I should have told him that Hillary Clinton was a liar, but I was so surprised I didn’t say anything.”

Joe Califano was my boss back at Dewey Ballantine. I’m glad to hear he’s doing well, though the Joe I remember probably wouldn’t have let some punk Senator yell at his wife. And good for Hilary.

But this is pretty much proof that Trump is living rent-free in the heads of the Democratic leadership. His victory really did cause a party-wide nervous breakdown.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Clearly this shows that the Senator from New York may be losing his ability to direct the affairs of state!”

Plus: “People who are confident do not do that in public.” True.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Russian Farce. “Remember when Obama and Hillary cozied up to Putin? And recall when the media rejoiced at surveillance leaks about Team Trump?”

And:

The Obama administration came up with a reset–soft-glove approach to Vladimir’s Russia, characterized by Secretary Hillary Clinton’s heralded pushing of the red plastic button on March 6, 2009, in Geneva. Reset was couched in overt criticism of George W. Bush, who had supposedly alienated Putin by reacting too harshly (like a typical cowboy) to Russia’s aggression in Georgia.

Over the next few years, the reset policy consisted of, among other things, backtracking on previously agreed-on missile-defense plans in Eastern Europe. In the second presidential debate of 2012, Obama portrayed Romney as being too tough on Russia, to the point of delusion:

A few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaeda. You said Russia. In the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.

The Obama administration invited Russia into the Middle East for the first time in nearly a half-century to help Obama back off from his own redline threats to attack Syria if evidence of WMD usage appeared. Moreover, after the Crimea and eastern Ukraine aggressions, the perception in most of the Western world was that the U.S. was not sufficiently tough with Putin, largely because of its commitment to a prior (though failed) outreach.

So what ended this one-sided reset in 2016?

The estrangement certainly did not coincide entirely with Putin’s aggressions on Russia’s borders. Nor were Democrats inordinately angry with Putin when he bombed non-al-Qaeda Syrian resistance fighters.

Rather, Democrats’ split with Putin grew from the perception that hackers had easily entered the porous e-mail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign guru John Podesta and released his messages to WikiLeaks. This led to general embarrassment for Hillary and the Democrats — and they floated the theory that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange were taking orders from Putin or at least operating with the encouragement of the Kremlin’s intelligence services.

Read the whole thing.

HOWIE CARR: Don’t Cry For Chelsea Clinton:

Last week, in the Los Angeles Times, someone named Ann Friedman laid out the former First Spawn’s credentials as a modern Democrat in good standing. Chelsea is oppressed, as opposed to, say, another first daughter with blond hair.

“Chelsea,” Friedman wrote, “like her mother, never gets a break — unlike Ivanka and her father.”

You don’t say. Now that I think about it, it really must be arduous being Chelsea Clinton. This L.A. Times op-ed appeared a day after it was reported that after a nationwide search, she’d been added to the board of Expedia, a travel company owned by Clinton-connected billionaire Barry Diller.

The pay: $250,000 a year in stock options, plus $45,000 cash. It’s her second no-heavy-lifting director’s gig at a Diller company — she also grabs $299,936 a year for sitting on the board of something called IAC Interactive. Nice work if you can get it.

Chelsea Clinton. How did her father’s aide, Doug Band, describe her?

A “spoiled brat.” In the WikiLeaks emails, Band said she had dipped into Clinton Foundation funds for “her V.I.P. wedding,” which he described as “not smart.”

But then, how could a graduate of such lofty institutions as Stanford, Oxford and Columbia possibly concern herself about such mundane matters as the provenance of money.

“I was curious,” she was once quoted as saying, “if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t.”

What exactly are Chelsea’s credentials? She made $600,000 a year “working” for NBC News alongside anchor-fraud Brian Williams. Somebody did the math on her on-air packages (put together by a producer, of course) and discovered that she was paid $26,724 for every minute she appeared on NBC.

Chelsea Clinton was born on third base and thinks she hit a triple — can I actually say that about a member of a protected class (Democrats) and not be brought up on hate-speech charges? Of course, when the exact same thing was said, and rightly so, of George W. or Jeb! Bush, it was marvelously droll and speaking truth to power.

This Ann Friedman can’t understand why the spawn of Bill and Hillary is so resented for winning the lucky sperm contest.

They’re grooming her for office, which means she must be insulated from criticism.

PAYMENT DUE UPON RECEIPT: Trump Reportedly Handed Merkel a $374 Billion Invoice for NATO.

One German minister did not hesitate to qualify the invoice as “outrageous,” saying the intent was clear. “The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” the minister said.

Although no one confirmed how much the total invoice was for, a calculation by the Times suggests the total was around $312 billion for the shortfall in spending and around $62 billion in interest.

I’m sure that, unlike Hillary Clinton’s infamous “Reset” button, this was not meant to be taken literally.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prosecute the leaker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Sounds Like Hillary May Run Again?!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mine too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DANIEL GREENFIELD: OBAMA’S THIRD TERM.

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

It was always going to come down to this.

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

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

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

But that’s just half the picture.

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

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

This will end well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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