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

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

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

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

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

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

SEE, THIS WOULD BE A MORE PERSUASIVE ARGUMENT IF THE “EXPERIENCED” CANDIDATE WASN’T THE CORRUPT AND INEPT ANDREW CUOMO: Cynthia Nixon and the Degradation of Experience. And that was true with regard to Trump and Hillary, too.

NICK GILLESPIE: Hillary Clinton, Not Donald Trump or Cambridge Analytics, Is Gaslighting America: When can we as a country admit that the “most-qualified candidate in history” lost the 2016 election and get on with living our lives?

nstead of nailing down every electoral vote in less-glamorous precincts, the Clinton campaign spent time raising money and running up popular vote counts in California and New York (she won the popular vote by about 3 million). The same take-it-for-granted attitude that led to her loss was on brazen display in her recent comments to an Indian audience, where she explained “I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product… I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward…. We don’t do well with married, white women…and part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

Whenever an election is unexpectedly close, there will always be weird things that crop up to “explain” the result. But just as with George W. Bush’s razor-thin victory in 2000, the real question isn’t what put the underdog over the top but how the hell the odds-on favorite managed to squander such a lead. In 2000, Bush didn’t win so much as Al Gore lost. So it is with 2016: Trump didn’t win as much as Hillary Clinton did everything possible to lose. And now we are paying for her loss by being treated to an endless procession of explanations that will take the measure of every possible reason except for her own incompetence, arrogance, and sense of entitlement.

The literal insanity coming from our alleged best-and-brightest in the wake of the 2016 election (undiminished in 2018!) is proof that our ruling class is unfit to rule.

#IM(NOT)WITHHER: Hillary’s Blame Game Comes Back to Haunt McCaskill’s Re-Election Hopes.

CONRAD BLACK: The Anti-Trump Effort Backfires.

As the parallel investigations and diluvian leaking have unfolded, the anti-Trump Resistance has received a series of gradually suppurating mortal wounds. The Steele dossier was commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign; over a hundred FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers expected Hillary Clinton to be charged criminally, and President Trump was correct in saying conversations by his campaign officials had been tapped, a claim that was much ridiculed at the time. Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe testified that the Steele dossier was essential to obtaining a FISA warrant on a junior Trump aide (Carter Page), and McCabe and former director James Comey’s rabidly partisan helper Peter Strzok, and his FBI girlfriend Lisa Page, texted suggestions for influencing the FISA judge in the case. The judge recused himself, voluntarily or otherwise, after granting the warrant. Mueller set up his “dream team” of entirely partisan Democrats; McCabe failed to identify to the Bureau his wife as a member and beneficiary of the Clinton entourage and political candidate in Virginia; and the fourth person in the Justice Department, Bruce Ohr, met with Steele, and Mrs. Ohr helped compose the Steele dossier.

The Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, whose report is expected imminently, showed the FBI director, Christopher Wray, findings about Andrew McCabe’s conduct that caused him to retire McCabe prematurely. The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), one of the few centers of unquestionably ethical and nonpartisan conduct in Washington, advised the attorney general to fire McCabe.

The wheels are coming off.

SHE HAS. REPEATEDLY. Hillary Should Just Admit She Hates Half of America.

Yes, she basically called half the country racist. Yes, she basically characterized women who voted for Trump as thoughtless vacuums for their husband’s opinions rather than as actual human beings. But I’m still kind of shocked that the comments made the news. Why? Because she has said these things before; we already know that she thinks this way.

During the election, Clinton said that “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged to a “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic . . . basket of deplorables.” In an interview with NPR last year, she talked about women being “under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for ‘the girl.’” Despite the breathless news coverage, these comments weren’t really news so much as they were what we already know.

After the comments received backlash, Clinton insisted that she “meant no disrespect” by her comments — but she’s lying. Disrespect is exactly what she meant.

Even Clinton’s sorry-not-sorry non-apologies drip with contempt.

IT BEGINS: McCaskill Challenger Runs Ad With Hillary Take On Red-State Voters.


● Shot: “In America, White Women Can Get Away With Almost Anything.”

—Koritha Mitchell, associate professor of English at Ohio State University, the Huffington Post, Friday.

● Chaser:

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)

To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday’s primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.

—The late writer-director Nora Ephron, “White Men,” the Huffington Post, April 20, 2008

● Hangover: Huffington Post Op-Ed Editor Brags About Using Racial, Gender Quotas In Submissions: ‘Less Than 50% White Authors (Check!).’

—Ben Shapiro, the Daily Wire, Thursday.

Why, it’s like the mainstream left are the mirror image of the alt-right, or something.

As Andrew Breitbart wrote about his role in helping to create the Huffington Post, “I went in with dual purposes. While the Huffington Post in theory served Arianna’s and the left’s goals of creating a battlefront where they could fight their battles, it served my ulterior purpose of creating preparation for talk radio and cable news, where everyone could see what lunacies constituted the thought processes of the richest noblesse oblige liberals in our land, the people who benefit the most from our way of life and yet craft the culture of our land in opposition to that way of life. Frankly, I wanted to put them on display. And, for different reasons, so did Arianna.”

His eeeeeeevil plan continues to succeed wildly.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Hillary Should Just Admit She Hates Half of America.

Just as we did to Obama, why do we keep failing her so badly?

MICHAEL GRAHAM: What if Trump is right and there is no collusion?

In one sense, the question is irrelevant: Paul Manafort is facing serious money-laundering charges that could land him in jail for 305 years; Gen. Mike Flynn’s been found out for his shady dealings with Russia and Turkey; and various other Papadopouli have pleaded guilty to actual—if relatively minor—crimes. So Robert Mueller could eventually issue stacks of indictments whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia or not.


For more than a year now, Democrats in Congress like Adam Schiff and liberal media outlets have promised Americans proof that “Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election using hackers and propaganda,” as one far-Left activist put it. Back in October, Ezra Klein at said it’s “almost impossible to believe that there wasn’t collusion between Trump’s operation and Russia.”

Even now, two out of three Democrats still believe Russia actually tampered with the polls to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

With Trump declared guilty by Democrats and all but convicted in the press, what happens if Mueller confirms the findings of the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee — that there’s plenty of Trump campaign incompetence, but no collusion?

Read the whole thing.

NO, HILLY, MOST OF US DON’T THINK WITH OUR VAGINAS:  Hillary Clinton Says Women Just ‘Misunderstood’ Her India Remarks.  Only your followers, Hillary.

YOU PAID FOR HER TO INSULT YOU FROM ABROAD:  Hillary Clinton’s India Trip Cost Taxpayers More than $22k.  Shouldn’t multi-millionaire Clinton pay for her own security already?  We could call it “Hands off Deplorable Pockets!”

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: When Hillary Clinton Called You a Racist, Misogynist Idiot, She Was ‘Misinterpreted.’

ROGER KIMBALL ON OUR PREENING RULERS: A ‘Higher Loyalty’ to Their Inflated Sense of Virtue.

One of the most interesting details to emerge from the Comey-McCabe Affair is the . . . er, tension between what McCabe has just said about who said what to whom and with what authority and the testimony of Comey before Congress under oath. In his post-firing statement, McCabe said “I chose to share [information about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server] with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter” (my emphasis).

But as Jonathan Turley reports at The Hill, “If the ‘interaction’ means leaking the information, then McCabe’s statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing.”

Stay tuned.

KEVIN MCCULLOUGH: The Coming Collusion Bloodbath.

What the universe has truly ignored is the fact that the Inspector General’s investigation (which has been far less publicized than Special Council Robert Mueller’s), and in large measure has had much more devastating impact. Agents have been fired, reassigned, and otherwise dealt with just within the process of the investigation. The limited amount of what we’ve seen from the efforts thus far have painted a picture of corruption at the highest levels, and potentially “Watergate” comparable outcomes upon the report’s issuance.

McCabe’s firing was directly linked to the IG’s findings, and once revealed to the Justice Department’s disciplinary powers a concurrent recommendation was termination.

That Comey, McCabe, and others have practiced an obvious double standard in the email case of Hillary Clinton where ample evidence caused 106 of the case agents and attorneys working on the case to believe indictment would occur, and simultaneously going to such extraordinary measures through the assistance of essentially Hillary’s campaign operation to attempt to thwart the outcome of the election is more than enough reason to go after them on a criminal basis alone.

That McCabe reportedly lied to the low key Inspector General, while attempting to send General Michael Flynn to prison for lying to the same FBI is of highest hypocrisy.

But hypocrisy is what Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and others seem especially gifted at.

Well, to be fair, it takes a hypocrite to play the corruption game at this level.

MEET HILLARY’S OTHER, MORE POWERFUL OPPO RESEARCH FIRM: You didn’t think Clinton would only have Fusion GPS, did you? Those guys are amateurs compared to this London-based bunch of former British intel veterans and their buddies from around the world.

ROGER SIMON: The Reckoning of the FBI Has Begun.

From the FBI and across the intelligence agencies an astonishing number of people are going to find themselves accused, one can safely predict at this point, of some atrocious behavior in a free republic. And it will not just be the small change of Peter Strzok (the dimwitted director of counter-intelligence) and his gal pal Lisa Page. It will include—on one level or another—James Comey, Loretta Lynch, John Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice and, almost inevitably, Barack Obama, not to mention others known and unknown.

All these people’s reputations will be damaged forever for the pathetic purpose of getting Hillary Clinton elected president and later for their determination to manipulate the FBI and intelligence agencies to wound as severely as possible Trump’s presidency. That they didn’t stop to think that they might be wounding America at the same time is extraordinarily selfish and nauseating.

Further, that a Russia collusion investigation was employed by these people for their nefarious purposes is darkly ironic because their technique itself reeks of Stalin’s NKVD.

Read the whole thing.

THEIR GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF HISTORY IS ABOUT THE SAME AS HILLARY’S:  Dems Only Pretend to Disavow Hillary’s ‘White Women’ Comments.

BLUE ON BLUE: Heitkamp on when Hillary Clinton will go away: ‘Not soon enough.’

Heitkamp, who is facing a tough re-election race in a state Donald Trump won in 2016, was asked Tuesday by her brother, KFGO host Joel Heitkamp, when Clinton will “ride off into the sunset.”

“I don’t know, not soon enough, I guess,” she responded.

The host asked, “What’s the answer?”

And Heitkamp said again: “Not soon enough.”

“I mean, she’s bashing the middle of the country and my state again. I don’t need her to do that,” the host said during the exchange about Clinton that began about 12 minutes and 30 seconds into the interview.

“Yeah, I know,” Heidi Heitkamp responded.

But other than that, Senator, what did you think of Hillary’s performance in India?

BAD TRIP: Hillary Clinton fractures wrist after slipping in India resort bathtub, report says.

FOR BLOG SWEEPS WEEK, a heartwarming tribute to the bikini. Also to help remove the image of Hillary Clinton in a bathtub from your brain.

RIGHT AFTER HER FALL ON THE STAIRS: Hillary Clinton Fractures Wrist After Slipping In Bathtub.

Remember during the campaign when anyone who raised questions about her health was a Russian bot or something?

MICHAEL BARONE: Democrats can take the House, if they just pick Conor Lamb over Hillary Clinton.

The pattern of Lamb’s narrow victory was similar to results in other special congressional and state legislative elections over the past year. Democratic turnout was robust, particularly in relatively upscale Pittsburgh suburbs. Republican turnout lagged, and some non-college whites who voted for Trump and Romney voted Democratic this time.

Evidently, downscale whites, whose trend toward Republicans started in the 1990s and was augmented with the Trump candidacy, are less firmly attached to one party than Trump-haters are to the other. This is in line with the skeptical response to any new policy change by either party, as evidenced by the negative responses to Obamacare when Barack Obama was in office and the negative response to Republicans’ “repeal and replace” once Trump became president.

Some observers argued that Saccone, like other Republican nominees in special elections, was a weak candidate. A better observation is that Lamb was a strong one. Nominated by party leaders, not in a primary, he has a family political pedigree (his uncle is Pittsburgh city controller) in a long-settled metro area where such ties are important.

And he took moderate positions on multiple issues. A former Marine, he ran an ad showing him shooting an AR-15 and said, “new gun laws aren’t the answer to preventing more mass shootings like the one at a Florida high school.” Early on, he pledged not to vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker (an issue which won’t come up until at least January 2019). While many Democrats are baying for impeachment, Lamb said, “We need the office of the presidency to succeed if we’re going to make any progress on these issues.”

Alternate take:

SUZANNE VENKER: The Sad Plight Of Hillary Clinton.

Most elite feminists have one thing in common: They’re lonely. They’re very, very lonely. It’s hard to go to sleep alone at night and wake up to a failed marriage, and to so much disdain for the country in which one lives. When you’ve spent your life being resentful of men, marriage, and motherhood, what else can one expect?

Women like Clinton have spent their entire adult lives hating the society in which they live and wanting to change it. They’ve spent their entire adult lives trying to convince other women to hate the society in which they live and wanting to change it. How exhausting.

So, after all that time, after all those decades of trying to get women to think as feminists do, imagine what it was like for Clinton to be rejected by more than half of the women who look like her (white). Even worse, she lost them to a white alpha male who (wisely) rejects the feminist label and who represents everything feminists have fought against for decades?

It’s hard for Clinton. It’s painful to accept that most white women do, in fact, think for themselves — which is why they don’t buy what feminists are selling. But to accept that is difficult, so it’s easier to believe such women subordinate themselves to the men in their lives. After all, that’s the message Clinton and her allies have been selling for years. We can’t expect them to give up their life’s work and surrender their beliefs just because most people don’t share them.

Sad, but true.

SHE’S STILL NOT READY FOR HER CLOSE-UP: Jonah Goldberg on Hillary’s Other America.

For years, I’ve been writing that the great myth about Hillary Clinton is the notion she shared even a fraction of her husband’s political skills. There is no transitive property to marriage. If Bill Clinton could play the xylophone, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have gained the skill when she said, “I do.” So it goes with politics. Bill Clinton would never dream of saying anything like this. Having risen in Arkansas politics — not an over-performing state GDP-wise — he understood how to talk to working-class voters in ways Hillary never learned in 40 years of standing next to him sagely nodding.

So, what’s wrong with what she said? Well, nearly everything, starting with the fact that she probably believes all of it. It shows that she really doesn’t like large swathes of the country. She has a Manichaean view that says people who voted against her are backward, racist, sexist, and kind of dumb. I didn’t love the slogan “Make America Great Again,” and Lord knows I didn’t like Trump’s campaign style. But for millions of decent Americans, Trump’s program was optimistic. “We’re gonna make America great again” may sound unequivocally racist to the race-obsessed, but that’s not how everyone who liked it heard it. How easy and comfortable it must be to think that anyone who voted against you is against “black people getting rights.”

At Ricochet, this week’s GLoP (short for Goldberg, Rob Long and John Podhoretz) podcast is titled “A Cheeseburger of Schadenfreude,” because Hillary’s Deplorables on Steroids speech vindicates what conservatives have been saying about her for decades. Near the end of the podcast, the guys riff on her Norma Desmond-ish tone and joke that somebody should make an “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille” parody video of her. But someone already did; Obama-supporting comedienne Lisa Nova – back in 2008. It speaks volumes about where the left was in 2016 that someone who they had rhetorically beaten like a bongo eight years prior in the rush to nominate The One ended up being their nominee. (Well that, and arguably rigging the race to avoid Bernie getting the nomination.)

Click to watch.

MICHAEL DORAN: The Real Collusion Story.

While the establishment press was singing in harmony with the Clinton campaign, a cacophonous debate erupted inside government. At the end of July, James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, said at a public forum that the intelligence community was not “ready yet to make a call on attribution” — not ready, that is, to attribute the DNC hack to Putin. Clapper was also unready to say that the intention of the hackers was to get Trump elected. The goal, he said, may simply have been “to stir up trouble.” When combined with similar comments by other intelligence officials, Clapper’s statements undercut Hillary Clinton’s efforts to brand Trump as Putin’s active accomplice.

Enter John Brennan. In early August, Brennan launched a personal campaign to force a consensus in support of Clinton’s propaganda. Before long, Clapper became his partner in this effort. They would succeed, however, only after the election — and then only by establishing an ad hoc and highly unorthodox intelligence-assessment team. To man the team, Brennan and Clapper handpicked a small number of analysts, tasking them with reaching a consensus before the inauguration of Donald Trump. The team, no surprise, did not disappoint. In January 2017, it produced the “consensus” that Brennan had been trying to orchestrate for the previous five months. By then, it was still useful as a propaganda tool against President Donald Trump, though it had arrived far too late to help Hillary Clinton win the election.

Of course, Brennan has never admitted his political motives. On the contrary, according to an in-depth Washington Post investigation (based on interviews with either Brennan himself or people very close to him), the CIA director claimed to be in possession of eye-popping intelligence reports about the DNC hack. These reports supposedly “captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.” Yet even if this intelligence trove actually did exist and truly did convince the CIA director, it obviously did not have the same persuasive impact on his colleagues, as evidenced by Brennan’s failure to deliver a consensus assessment of Putin’s motives.

This is a lengthy piece, and with a little effort I think Doran could (and should!) make it book-length.

But you should still read the whole thing.

BYRON YORK: House GOP delivers blow to Trump-Russia collusion story. Will others follow?

It has long been the key question of the Trump-Russia affair: Did Donald Trump’s presidential campaign collude with Russia to influence the 2016 election? Now, we have the first official, albeit partisan, answer.

“We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” said Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee Monday as they released findings from a 14-month Trump-Russia investigation.

GOP Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, who formally oversaw the committee probe, said, “We found perhaps bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings.” But no collusion.

Committee investigators looked at the events often cited as evidence of collusion. They looked at the June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Donald Trump Jr. and other top campaign officials talked to a group of Russians who promised, but did not deliver, damaging information on Hillary Clinton. They looked at the activities of peripheral Trump advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. They looked at the allegations in the Trump dossier. They looked at all that, and they could not find a thread connecting events into a narrative of collusion.

“Only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings, whatever, and weave that into a some sort of fictional page-turner spy thriller,” Conaway said. “But we’re not dealing with fiction, we’re dealing with facts. And we found no evidence of any collusion, of anything that people were actually doing, other than taking a meeting they shouldn’t have taken or inadvertently being in the same building.”

The collusion question is the most contentious of the Trump-Russia investigation. Some Democrats have long said we know enough now to prove collusion. Indeed, just last month, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said, “There is already, in my view, ample evidence in the public domain on the issue of collusion if you’re willing to see it.”

When Republicans released their findings, though, Schiff did not mention collusion. . . .

Would-be believers in collusion could suffer another disappointment later this year when the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee releases its report. Shortly after the House findings were made public, the chairman of that committee, Sen. Richard Burr, told CNN he has not seen evidence of collusion in the more than a year his committee has been looking for it.

It’s as if the whole thing was invented out of whole cloth, to keep the Democrats’ troops riled up after Hillary’s unexpected and humiliating defeat.

BUT IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR HILLARY: Breaking glass ceiling doesn’t give Gina Haspel a pass.


YOUR DAILY TREACHER: You Failed Hillary Clinton, America, and She Won’t Forget It.

She’s a sack of seething resentments held together by a $12,000 Armani jacket.

ROGER KIMBALL: Hillary Clinton, Pride of Radcliffe. Ouch.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, HILLARY HIT NEW LOW IN UNREALITY: Came over the weekend during an on-stage interview in India. The Indian audience apparently loved it, but it is clear she has things completely “backwards” (pun fully intended).

HOLLY SCHEER: Hillary Clinton Apparently Still Has No Clue Why She Lost.

Clinton compared herself to the mother of the country, trying to enforce something wholesome that the children aren’t fond of. She said, “She ran the presidential campaign like a mother who was telling the kids to eat spinach because it was good for health while the other guy was asking them to go eat fast food and have ice-cream,” India Today reported. Clinton may not have realized it, but this also sheds a lot of light on how she sees the average American. She views them as short sighted, more interested in junk than substance, and in her words, they’re “backwards.”

Clinton reduced huge populations that voted for and against her to caricatures, by describing them as: “optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward, and his whole campaign ‘Make America Great Again’ was looking backwards. You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs, you don’t want it, you know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are. Whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.”

She traveled overseas to talk poorly about Americans, instead of building up the people that she campaigned to represent. Rural America is dealing with a host of serious issues, including poverty, joblessness, an opioid epidemic, a staggering suicide rate, and she doesn’t touch on any of these problems or offer possibly solutions.

When Trump speaks openly of “shithole” countries, he’s talking about Third World countries which could accurately be described that way. When Clinton implies that there are shithole countries, she’s referring to the vast interior of America.

MICHAEL DORAN: The Real Collusion Story. “In a textbook example of denial and projection, Trump foes in and out of government wove a sinister yarn meant to take him down.”

RUMOR: NY Governor “Melting Down” Over Challenge From Sex And The City Star.

Enter Cynthia Nixon. You may remember her as the skinny, red-headed friend from the Sex and the City series some years ago. (Or, you know… so I am assured people who watched it… *cough*) A quick search shows that she has been politically active in recent years, and in 2016 characterized herself as “definitely a Hillary Clinton supporter.” (Not sure how well that will play this year, but so be it. ) She keeps dropping hints that she may be challenging Cuomo from the left and the buzz has grown to the point where the local media is asking Cuomo about it. He didn’t handle the question well.

Cuomo is doing his best to make jokes about this, but it certainly sounds like the idea of Nixon challenging him has gotten well and truly under his skin. Check out this short video from Spectrum News in New York where analysts play the audio of Cuomo commenting on her. His attempt at a joke winds up cracking him up to the point where he can barely speak, but it doesn’t sound as if he actually thinks it was funny. Frankly, he sounds deranged.

That was awkward.

WHAT IS IT WITH HILLARY AND STAIRS? Clinton slips twice leaving Indian palace — five months after she broke her toe in London hotel fall.

THE WORST RETAIL POLITICIAN EVER. Hillary on 2016: I won the places that aren’t looking backwards.


HERE’S WHY THE 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE WILL BE …Who else, but the ultimate victim, Hillary Clinton.

FLASHBACK: Hillary’s Hipster Army Prepares For The Second Civil War.

YOUTUBE: The Great Radicalizer.

At one point during the 2016 presidential election campaign, I watched a bunch of videos of Donald Trump rallies on YouTube. I was writing an article about his appeal to his voter base and wanted to confirm a few quotations.

Soon I noticed something peculiar. YouTube started to recommend and “autoplay” videos for me that featured white supremacist rants, Holocaust denials and other disturbing content.

Since I was not in the habit of watching extreme right-wing fare on YouTube, I was curious whether this was an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. So I created another YouTube account and started watching videos of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, letting YouTube’s recommender algorithm take me wherever it would.

Before long, I was being directed to videos of a leftish conspiratorial cast, including arguments about the existence of secret government agencies and allegations that the United States government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11. As with the Trump videos, YouTube was recommending content that was more and more extreme than the mainstream political fare I had started with.

Intrigued, I experimented with nonpolitical topics. The same basic pattern emerged. Videos about vegetarianism led to videos about veganism. Videos about jogging led to videos about running ultramarathons. . . . The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation of YouTube content with the help of Mr. Chaslot. It found that YouTube often “fed far-right or far-left videos to users who watched relatively mainstream news sources,” and that such extremist tendencies were evident with a wide variety of material. If you searched for information on the flu vaccine, you were recommended anti-vaccination conspiracy videos.

Related: Social Media As Social Disease.


The Democratic Party was once considered the home of working people. That changed as mainstream liberals of the 1960s such as Hubert Humphrey, John and Bobby Kennedy, and AFL-CIO leader George Meany were replaced by radicals and their ideological offspring.

A key moment in that transition came during Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. Before a group of wealthy supporters in California, Obama spoke condescendingly of people in small towns in Pennsylvania and the Midwest where “the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. . . . And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” . . .

Angelo Codevilla, professor emeritus at Boston University, noted that “America is now ruled by a uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of the bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party. Its control of access to prestige, power, privilege, and wealth exerts a gravitational pull that has made the Republican Party’s elites into its satellites.”

Indeed, rabidly anti-Trump Republicans shared Democrats’ disdain for Trump supporters. Kevin Williamson of National Review wrote, “The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.”

From there, it was a short walk to Hillary’s Clinton’s description of half of Trump supporters as “deplorables.”

What you’re seeing now, played out every night on the news, is class warfare.

America’s privileged elites refuse to accept Trump as president and support any effort, no matter how absurd, to bring him down. (Impeach him! He’s a Russian spy!)

Trump may be a New York billionaire, but to the elites, he’s a man of Queens—the Queens of working-class history and Archie Bunker stereotype—rather than a sophisticated Manhattanite, who would be fit for the presidency.

Worse, he is a stand-in for his supporters. Too many of them are the kind of folks who work on farms or in factories or on construction projects. Too many are the sort who take showers after they get home from work rather than before they leave for work.

It’s a pattern repeated throughout history: Members of one group—say, the British aristocracy, or the Bourbon planter class in the South—come to dominate members of another group—the peasantry, or poor African-Americans and white farmers. In the minds of the elites, the advantages they experience must be the result of their innate superiority; they are more moral, more sophisticated, more intelligent than the lower classes. They’re just better.

I think the Educational Testing Service has aggravated this phenomenon.

HOW MANY PRO-HILLARY HUSBAND-WIFE TEAMS DOES FUSION GPS HAVE? House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence investigators appear to have found another Obama administration inside-outside duo linked to Hillary’s favorite political mud drilling team, Fusion GPS.

JANE MAYER’S DOSSIAD: Powerline’s Scott Johnson continues to hammer Mayer’s idiotic New Yorker article defending the Cristopher Steele/Hillary Clinton propaganda smear mainstream media call a dossier. In her epic Mayer portrays Steele as a hero of the purest motive– verily, Stainless Steele. This is the third post in Scott’s series that utterly destroys Mayer’s trash. His title “Dossiad” plays on Alexander Pope’s poem “The Dunciad,” a poem satirizing heroic narrative poems. Is Powerline suggesting the The New Yorker is a contemporary Empire of Dulness? Stay tuned.

FBI’S AUSSIE TIPPER LINKED TO CHINESE FIRM LONG DISTRUSTED BY U.S. INTEL: So the FBI’s two chief sources for probing allegations of Trump-Russia collusion against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign includes Christopher Steele, a former British spy obsessed with beating Trump, and Alexander Downer, the Australian politico closely tied to Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications firm all six U.S. intelligence chiefs just warned Congress about last month.

HEY, BIG SPENDER: Cash-Strapped DNC, DCCC Pay Hillary Clinton’s ‘Resistance’ Group Nearly $900,000 Combined for List Acquisitions. “DNC’s $300,000 payment was made as state Democratic parties were waiting on promised funding.”

The DNC, which is in the midst of facing financial hardships, conjured up $300,000 on Jan. 8 to pay Onward Together, Clinton’s group, for “list acquisition,” according to the FEC filings. The payment was made to Clinton’s organization as state Democratic parties were waiting on $10 million in funding for rebuilding efforts that was initially promised last July.

As of early January of this year, the money had never made its way to the parties, and the DNC did not even have $10 million on hand. In late January, after reports surfaced of its inaction in relation to the state parties, the DNC finally announced it would begin disbursing $1 million to 11 different state parties, with grants going to Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia.

The DCCC also paid hundreds of thousands to Clinton’s “resistance” group for “generic committee list rental” between mid-December and late January.

It says something about today’s Democratic Party that it is still in thrall to its losing presidential candidate — who is no longer an elected official holding any office.

I don’t recall Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, Al Gore, or John Kerry having much or anything to do with the party’s day-to-day affairs after their losses.

PRESIDENT HILLARY? The Woman In The High Castle. I still wake up every day glad she’s not President, and Roger Kimball’s alt-history of the past year doesn’t make me feel any different.

BLUE ON BLUE: How a Texas House primary erupted into a full-blown Democratic war. “Now, with two days left before the Texas primary on Tuesday, the infighting has opened wounds within the Democratic Party that never quite healed after the 2016 election, when Sanders supporters accused the Democratic National Committee of tipping the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton. And the fighting could go on past Tuesday: If none of the four leading candidates top 50%, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff six weeks later.”

“‘TRY NOT TO GET KILLED,’ A FRIEND WARNED. BUT I WAS GREETED WITH OPEN ARMS.” A Hillary Staffer Goes To CPAC. “Where some saw a circus, I saw a big tent. . . . In retrospect, I’m embarrassed at how nervous I was when I arrived. I found myself singing along to ‘God Bless the USA’ with a hilariously rowdy group of college Republicans, having nuanced discussions about gun control and education policy with people from all walks of life, nodding my head in agreement with parts of Ben Shapiro’s speech, and coming away with a greater determination to burst ideological media bubbles.”


When Meg Sheridan arrived in Mossy Creek, Texas, she had one goal in mind: to fulfill her mother’s dying wish. Now, less than a month after burying her mother, all Meg knows about the town is that it has always been a haven for the Others, even before they made their existence known to the world. As an Other herself, that should reassure Meg. Instead, it raises more questions than it answers. More than that, she has one very large problem. She doesn’t know why her mother wanted her to come to Mossy Creek. Worse, she soon learns not everyone is willing to welcome her with open arms.

Faced with the daunting task of discovering not only why her mother sent her to Mossy Creek but also with uncovering why her mother fled there years before, Meg is determined to find the truth. Along the way, she discovers something else. Even in death, her mother is looking out for her – if Meg will let her.

And if she will accept the friendship and love of those who knew her mother all those years ago.

But danger awaits her as well. Secrets decades old and resentments going back generations seethe just below the surface. Do those secrets have anything to do with why Meg’s mother wanted her to come to town? Will discovering them help her understand why her mother fled Mossy Creek so long ago?

Or will they lead to something much more sinister. . . and deadly?

NOAH ROTHMAN: Ben Rhodes and the Democratic Guilt Complex on Russia and Iran.

When you’re good at something, you should never do it for free. That’s perhaps why Barack Obama’s former deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, is gearing up to politicize national security issues once again in a professional capacity.

On Tuesday, Rhodes revealed his intention to join former Obama administration officials, Hillary Clinton staffers, and a handful of career civil servants to form “National Security Action,” a 501(c)(4) that will not endorse candidates but will campaign against them. You can probably guess who this organization’s primary target will be. “We’re a temporary organization,” Rhodes told the Washington Post. “Our hope is to be out of business in three years.”

There’s more of that revolving door action, assuming Rhodes means what he says — which by his own admission is a dangerous assumption.

But Rhodes’ problem since leaving the Obama Administration is that his audience no longer consists exclusively of 27-year-olds who literally know nothing. As you can see for yourself at his sad (and widely mocked) Twitter feed.

WAS OBAMA A PARTNER IN CRIME OR UNWITTING VICTIM OF CLINTON CORRUPTION? Here’s the threshold observation in answering that question, according to Charles Ortel, writing today in LifeZette:

“The deep and intertwined extent to which loyalists of Bill and Hillary Clinton were immediately inserted into the Obama administration after the 2008 presidential election has never been fully exposed or adequately explained …

“But we have yet to learn the real story — one that explains why, for example, so many Obama appointees would allow Hillary Clinton to mishandle classified information, while also letting the Clinton Foundation run riot soliciting billions of dollars (including affiliates) in contributions for patently unauthorized causes, and flouting so many strict laws in the process.”

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE: Bernie Sanders struggles to address Russian support after Mueller indictment.

A bombshell Feb. 16 indictment filed against 13 Russian nationals in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe bolstered those allegations, in stunning detail — but also said the Russians sought to help Sanders.

Russian nationals, the indictment said, “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”

The details create an awkward situation for the Vermont senator, as he is seen to be positioning himself for a potential 2020 White House run.

Sanders, however, has yet to give a clear response on whether he and his campaign were aware of, or took action to address, the interference — like Russian bot social media accounts allegedly supporting his campaign. Instead, Sanders, I-Vt., has tried to shift the scrutiny toward Clinton’s campaign for not doing more to prevent Russian meddling.

I’d say let him squirm, but what of it? Sanders has a long history of playing footsie with brutal socialist regimes like the Soviet Union and “Bolivarian” Venezuela, while insisting that his own socialist beliefs were the kinder, gentler, “democratic” variety.

That wasn’t enough to sink him with millions and millions of Democratic primary voters — so why should this more recent revelation be a worry?

DEROY MURDOCK: The Russians Colluded Massively — with Democrats.

There is not enough proof of Russian collusion by Trump to fuel a stovetop pilot light.

In contrast, the evidence of Democratic collusion with Russia blazes on, even as Team Mueller ignores it.

• The Obama administration’s Russian Reset began in Geneva on March 6, 2009. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton huddled with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, and together they pressed a red button that should have been labeled “Reset” in Russian. Instead, Hillary’s aides had mislabeled it with the Russian word for “Overload.” Regardless, once pushed, the button symbolized a red dawn of increasingly cozy U.S.–Russian affairs.

• Obama announced on September 17, 2009, that he would cancel President George W. Bush’s plan to station missile-defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. “This is a U-turn in U.S. policy,” complained former Czech ambassador to Washington Alexander Vondra. “Russia had furiously opposed the project, claiming it targeted Moscow’s nuclear arsenal,” added Luke Harding and Ian Traynor of London’s Guardian. “Obama’s climb-down is likely to be seen by Russia as a victory.”

Indeed, Vladimir Putin applauded Obama’s strategic abandonment of the Poles and Czechs. The Russian strongman said: “I do anticipate that this correct and brave decision will be followed by others.”

Plus, Obama had all that extra flexibility after his re-election.

There’s more DNC-Kremlin collusion at the link. Much more.


Somebody on Twitter was claiming that this clown was set to be Hillary’s choice for FBI director. Given his behavior, that seems entirely plausible.

RELATED: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel admits that at time of CNN forum he knew of reports Deputy didn’t enter school.

But, like Harvey Weinstein, he went full-bore against the NRA — and for the same reasons.

WHY ON EARTH WOULD THAT BE? Dems Fear California Crackup. “Heading into the annual state Democratic Party convention in San Diego this weekend, the Democratic-controlled Legislature is mired in a contentious sexual harassment scandal. Cutthroat primaries have party officials on edge. And grass-roots activists are still seething, nearly two years after Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary. Escalating the tension in the nation’s most populous state, the national party and a handful of other outside groups are beginning to muscle into crowded congressional races, hoping to head off a nightmare scenario in which the state’s unusual, top-two primary system results in no Democratic candidate at all appearing on November ballots in several key races.”

COLLUSION: Democratic rebuttal to GOP House Intelligence memo released.

UPDATE: More here including this White House response: “As the majority’s memorandum stated, the FISA judge was never informed that Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded the dossier that was a basis for the Department of Justice’s FISA application. In addition, the Minority’s memo fails to even address the fact that the Deputy FBI Director told the Committee that had it not been for the dossier, no surveillance order would have been sought.”

WELL, HER AND OBAMA: Bernie Sanders blames Hillary for allowing Russian interference.

CAN SOMEONE TELL SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND $133M IS MORE THAN $54.4M? The numbers are significant because the New York Democrat — who is expected to mount a bid for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination — thinks the NRA has a “chokehold” on Congress that blocks gun control.

In fact, as LifeZette’s Kathryn Blackhurst explains, the NRA spent “only” $54.4 million in contributions to, mostly, Republican congressional incumbents and challengers, while Priorities USA, the liberal PAC created and run by two former Obama campaign veterans, spent $133 million on Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton.

Add the spending totals by three other liberal PACs and NRA was outspent in 2016 $393 million to $54.4 million. So tell us Mrs. Gillibrand, how does $54.4 million buy more of a chokehold in the nation’s capitol than $393 million???

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Kill the NRA, Mueller Gets Another One and Much, Much More. “Speaking of RUSSIAN troll farms, according to The New York Post, the RUSSIANS ‘hired two actors in an abortive bid to fake a sex tape of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’.”

Rule 34 always applies, even in presidential politics.

RICH LOWRY: THE RUSSIANS DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO US THAT WE WEREN’T ALREADY DOING TO OURSELVES: “The larger goal was to sow discord, yet we had already primed ourselves for plenty of that. Does anyone believe, absent Russian trolls on Twitter and Facebook, that we were headed to a placid election season involving an incendiary, mediagenic former reality TV star bent on blowing up the political establishment and a longtime pol who had stoked the enmity of Republicans for 30 years and was under FBI investigation?”

The Russians didn’t make Hillary skip Wisconsin, and they didn’t make her stage a late, and grudging, concession.

BYRON YORK: Devin Nunes’ 10 questions about the Trump dossier.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has sent a series of questions about the Trump dossier to a number of current and former government officials. The committee did not specify to whom Nunes sent the questions, but a spokesman said the letter has gone to more than 20 recipients.

The questions concern when the recipients first became aware of “the information contained in the Steele dossier,” referring to the compilation of anti-Trump allegations compiled during the 2016 campaign by former British spy Christopher Steele. The letter asks who the recipients may have shared dossier information with. They ask when the recipient first learned that the dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. They ask when President Obama was made aware of the information in the dossier. And more.


“IMPEACHMENT OR BUST”: What if ‘Resist!’ makes it harder for Democrats to take back the House?

Finally there’s Mr. Trump. Even with his recent bump in the polls, he remains divisive. But he’s not the only divisive politician who will figure in this election. The most recent Politico/Morning Consult poll suggests that Nancy Pelosi has pulled off a largely unheralded achievement: In the Age of Trump, she is arguably the most unpopular politician in America.

What does that mean for impeachment? Well, in 69 House districts surveyed by the Congressional Leadership Fund (a super PAC devoted to maintaining the GOP majority), Mrs. Pelosi is underwater in every one. She is also toxic among independents.

Take California’s 10th District, held by Republican Jeff Denham. Hillary Clinton carried this district in 2016, and Mr. Trump’s approval rating is at minus four. But again, Democrats are split among eight primary contenders. And the CLF survey showed that voters in Mr. Denham’s district prefer Paul Ryan as speaker to Mrs. Pelosi by 13 points. Come this fall, expect many GOP ads featuring Mrs. Pelosi calling tax cuts for workers “crumbs” and reminding voters that even if they find their Democratic candidate for the House reasonable, a vote for him will be a vote for Speaker Pelosi.

Of course it’s still early, and the polls remain volatile. The received orthodoxy may well turn out to be true, and the blue tsunami will wash over Congress in November, which will be followed by President Trump’s impeachment the following year.

Even so, the Resist! card remains a huge gamble.

All Democrats have to do is not act crazy, somebody recently quipped, and they can’t even manage that.

SO THIS PIECE RAISES A QUESTION: Convinced of a Hillary victory, they thought nobody would ever know.

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

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.”

BAD NEWS FOR COMEY, MCCABE, STRZOK, ET. AL.: Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that the Department of Justice is investigating the FBI’s failure to notify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that its warrant application to surveil Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page was based on material paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. As of noon Monday, this fact appears not to have been reported by either the New York Times or the Washington Post.

INSERT HILLARY CHARDONNAY JOKE HERE: This Alzheimer’s Drug Repairs Alcohol-Induced Brain Damage in Rats.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: DOJ Official Bruce Ohr Hid Wife’s Fusion GPS Payments From Ethics Officials. “Bruce Ohr, the Department of Justice official who brought opposition research on President Donald Trump to the FBI, did not disclose that Fusion GPS, which performed that research at the Democratic National Committee’s behest, was paying his wife, and did not obtain a conflict of interest waiver from his superiors at the Justice Department, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show. The omission may explain why Ohr was demoted from his post as associate deputy attorney general after the relationship between Fusion GPS and his wife emerged and Fusion founder Glenn Simpson acknowledged meeting with Ohr. Willfully falsifying government ethics forms can carry a penalty of jail time, if convicted.”


Related: Monica Showalter: Bruce and Nellie Ohr: The other Trump-hating lovebirds. “The Daily Caller speculates that from Fusion GPS’s point of view, it was the perfect Bonnie and Clyde scenario for getting its research out there – not just for the incurious press, but before the eyes of the FBI, using the FBI as a means to take down Trump. All of this would have benefited its client, Hillary Clinton, whose campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, was paying for the whole thing. Two heads are better than one, it seems. Lovebirds united in their loathing of Trump repeatedly get into mischief. This shows the incestuousness of the Deep State, of course: first FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and his wife, then FBI counterintelligence big Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page, and now Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Not a one of them was afraid of the consequences that ordinarily come of blatant conflicts of interest, and some, apparently such as Bruce Ohr, felt they could get away easily with lying. It goes to show it’s about time to clean house harder among the Deep State tag-teams.”

I HAD BEEN ASSURED HIS WAS A REMARKABLY SCANDAL-FREE ADMINISTRATION: Federal abuses on Obama’s watch represent a growing blight on his legacy.

It’s increasingly apparent that these recently exposed abuses of power served two ostensible purposes: to secure Hillary Clinton’s candidacy by shielding her from prosecution stemming from the use of her unauthorized private server, and to derail the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump.

But something else, something more profound, drove their efforts: their urgency to preserve what Obama once called “the fundamental transformation of the nation” — a grand project much bigger than Obama himself or any other single figure. He largely fulfilled the long-held progressive ambition of changing the nation’s course, only to see Trump threaten to change it once again: not to return it to where it was pre-Obama, but to smash the corrupt existing order that had made their progressive advances possible.

Obama and the leftist movement over which he has presided could not tolerate a reversal of their gains (by Trump, no less!), so they got to work.

On the offensive side, these Obama officials — who obviously loathe Trump, as demonstrated by the glaring antipathy in the Strzok–Page texts and others’ communications — set out to damage him. Trump, they thought, gave them much material with which to work, plus they enjoyed a compliant media that stood ready to amplify spoon-fed narratives, regardless of their veracity. The acquisition of multiple FISA warrants — now known to be largely based on an unverified dossier prepared by a foreign spy, using anonymous Russian and close Clinton associates and paid for by her campaign and the Democratic National Committee — to subvert and impair Trump and his associates, succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

On the defensive side, Herculean efforts were made by the Obama DOJ and FBI to stonewall the Clinton investigation, not out of any real love for Hillary but because they needed to ensure a Democratic win and the continuance of their “transformative” agenda. Further, with Clinton at the helm, evidence of all of their previous abuses would never see the light of day.

Weird how this stuff is getting more attention only now that Obama is safely out of office and Clinton doesn’t wield presidential powers.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL COLLUSION: Hillary Clinton’s Fingerprints Are All Over The FBI’s Investigation Into Trump’s Russia Ties.

I DON’T KNOW, BUT I KNOW THE WAY TO BET: Michael Goodwin: Did Hillary Clinton pull off the dirtiest dirty trick in US presidential history?

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why is the Porter resignation a big scandal, asks Andrew Klavan? “Because Democrats and their news media are pumping it up to distract the public from the truly enormous scandal of the Obama administration’s apparent illegal spying on the Trump campaign and its apparent scuttling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”

Read the whole thing.

DANIEL HENNINGER: The Trump Panic: It was the belief that the elected president was unacceptable and had to be stopped.

The Washington press corps has kept the Trump-Russia collusion story before the American public for a year, and the president himself, speaking through his Twitter account, says he is the victim of a “witch hunt.”

How did this spectacle happen? Two salient and related events occurred on Nov. 8, 2016. Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton for the U.S. presidency. Within hours, the Trump Panic went viral.

The Trump Panic of 2016-17 was the belief that the U.S. presidency had fallen into the hands of an unacceptable person—who had to be stopped, or resisted by any means.

Historians will record that the Trump Panic gripped all Democrats, some Republicans, scores of intellectuals (such as those who signed documents declaring their refusal to work in the Trump foreign-policy agencies), foreign leaders, journalists, and members of U.S. security agencies.

On election day, two FBI officials— Peter Strzok of the bureau’s counterintelligence division and Lisa Page —exchanged text messages.

Page: “OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING.” Strzok: “Omg, I am so depressed.”

Recall how routine it was then to hear or read that the new U.S. president resembled Hitler or Mussolini. Democracy was “at risk”—even as such non-Hitlerian pillars as Jim Mattis, Rex Tillerson and Gary Cohn joined the government.

Let us stipulate it is not beyond imagining that individuals at the FBI’s Washington headquarters or at the Justice Department are Democrats. This is Washington, and the sky is blue. Historically, though, it has been possible to believe a functional distinction existed in these sensitive bureaucracies between political impulse and professional responsibility.

Because of the Trump Panic, professional discipline eroded.

And it hasn’t recovered yet. One of Trump’s major accomplishments has been to reveal the lack of civic virtue and self-control across our elite institutions.

MICHAEL WALSH: Tear Down That Wall . . . Of Silence.

As the Obama wall of silence begins to crumble, the FBI’s reputation is befouled by its own rash actions, a politicized Justice Department stands revealed as, well, politicized, and the Democrats furiously spin the facts outlined in the Nunes Memo and subsequent revelations, there’s only one overarching question left to ask: what made them think they could get away with it?

And by “them,” I mean the lot of them—the corrupt, partisan officials, the political operatives masquerading as selfless public servants, the intelligence community pooh-bahs who betrayed their trusts, the preening “straight arrows,” the talking heads, the Washington bureau chiefs, the White House correspondents, every man jack of whom did his level best to create, run, and disseminate a disinformation operation designed to do one thing: destroy the unwanted and unwelcome presidency of Donald J. Trump.

From the moment it dawned on Hillary Clinton, late on election night, that she had managed to blow a fixed fight, and that there would, therefore, be hell to pay, the Democrat-Deep State-Media Complex suddenly had to conceal their own malfeasance by doing what the Left does best—projecting its own sins onto others.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: Tear Down That Wall . . . of Silence. “From the moment it dawned on Hillary Clinton, late on election night, that she had managed to blow a fixed fight, and that there would, therefore, be hell to pay, the Democrat-Deep State-Media Complex suddenly had to conceal their own malfeasance by doing what the Left does best — projecting its own sins onto others.”

Read the whole thing.

FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL MICHAEL MUKASEY: The Memo and the Mueller Probe: If the investigation arose from partisan opposition research, what specific crime is he looking into?

The regulation that governs the jurisdiction of the special counsel requires that he be “provided with a specific statement of the matter to be investigated.” The letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointing Mr. Mueller says he is to “conduct the investigation confirmed by then-Director James Comey before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20, 2017,” which covers “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” and any matters that may arise “directly” from that investigation.

But the investigation then disclosed by Mr. Comey was not a criminal investigation; it was a national-security investigation. Possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election is certainly a worthy subject for a national-security investigation, but “links” or “coordination”—or “collusion,” a word that does not appear in the letter of appointment but has been used as a synonym for coordination—does not define or constitute a crime. The information, and misinformation, in the Steele dossier relates to that subject.

If partisan opposition research was used to fuel a national-security investigation that has morphed into a series of criminal investigations, and the special counsel has no tether that identifies a specific crime, or “a specific statement of the matter” he is to investigate, that is at least unsettling. By contrast, the Watergate, Iran-Contra and Whitewater investigations, whatever you think of how they were conducted, identified specific crimes. The public knew what was being investigated.

Here, none of the charges Mr. Mueller has brought thus far involved “coordination” or “collusion” with the Russians. Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos both pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, the latter over the timing of conversations with Russians in which he was allegedly offered but never received “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton, including her emails. He also attempted to set up a meeting between the Russians and Mr. Trump, but the campaign blew off that effort. Notably, Mr. Papadopoulos did not plead guilty to participating in any plot that involved “coordination.” The Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indictments charge fraud on the government through receipt of and failure to disclose payments from a pro-Russian Ukraine politician.

What to do? I believe that at a minimum, the public should get access to a carefully redacted copy of the FISA application and renewals, so we can see whether officials behaved unlawfully by misleading a court; and Mr. Mueller’s mandate should be defined in a way that conforms with the legal standard of his office. Both would go a long way toward assuring that we do more than talk about a “government of laws.”

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.”

YOU WANT A REAL-LIFE GAME OF THRONES? WATCH TRUMP’S DRAINING THE SWAMP: When the final verdict is delivered on the Clintons, their foundation, Hillary’s email scandal and the Russia Collusion fantasy, one name is certain to be near the top of those who forced the truth out into the open – Charles Ortel.

CONSISTENCY IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE:  Hillary Wants It Both Ways: Women Will Bear Brunt Of Climate Change But Blames Men For Campaign Loss.

BYRON YORK: Republicans and those ‘attacks’ on the FBI.

The news is filled with reports that Republicans in Washington are “attacking” the FBI over the Trump-Russia investigation.

The Washington Post recently compiled a collection of statements by GOP lawmakers under the heading, “Republicans launch attack after attack on the FBI.” The New York Times ran a news analysis headlined, “Trump’s Unparalleled War on a Pillar of Society: Law Enforcement.”

Those words have been echoed many, many times by various talking heads on television.

But have Republicans really been attacking the FBI? The bureau is a big organization — about 35,000 people. It does many different things. A more accurate way to describe what Republicans are doing is that they are condemning the FBI leadership’s handling of two of the most heavily politicized investigations in years — the Trump-Russia probe and the Hillary Clinton email investigation. All that proves is that when law enforcement wades into politics, it becomes the target of sometimes intense political criticism.

That is an entirely different thing from attacking the FBI as an institution or attacking the role it plays in government.

Well, I feel bad for the many honest agents that their leaders’ misbehavior reflects on the whole organization. But it does.

SO IS THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE, APPARENTLY: Hillary Clinton Claims Climate Change Is Sexist.

CONGRESSMAN DEVIN NUNES: ‘Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton Campaign Colluded with the Russians.’

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The FISA-Gate Boomerangs. “We are at the very beginning of the exposure of wronging by Obama-era DOJ and FBI officials — and their superiors — and have not begun to learn exactly why and how American citizens were improperly monitored, and by whom. In one of the strangest moments in the history of American journalism, Washington reporters and agencies, known for their loud interests in protecting civil liberties, are either silent or working to suppress news of these scandals, and they may well soon rue their own complacency. . . . Nor have we learned the full nature of why and how Obama-era investigative agencies departed from normal protocol in exonerating Hillary Clinton from criminal liability during a number of 2015–16 controversies. Presumably there are records, official and otherwise, of these matters; they should come to light as soon as possible. What seems clear is that the present hysteria about the Trump administration was already deeply seeded in the federal government throughout the 2016 campaign and the 2016–17 transition. A number of powerful Obama officials thought they had both moral right and the administrative means to nullify Trump. And they were not shy in breaking the law to exercise them.”

HUGH HEWITT IN THE WAPO: The Nunes memo revealed a damning omission. “Having reviewed hundreds and hundreds of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications as the final stop between the FBI and the desks of Attorneys General William French Smith and Edwin Meese III, I read the Nunes memo as revealing one major fact that stands out above all other revelations: The FISA warrant for surveillance on Carter Page (and the three subsequent renewals of the warrant) omitted a material fact. While the FBI admitted that the information came from a politically motivated source, the bureau did not disclose that the source had been financed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. That is a damning omission.”

HILLARY SAYS CLIMATE CHANGE WILL FORCE WOMEN ‘FIND THE FOOD … GATHER THE WOOD:” No, I am not making this one up, she really did say this. LifeZette’s Kathryn Blackhurst has the details.

I’M EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Landmines left behind by the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign might soon start detonating—on Democrats.

Obama concealed his sharp-edged, Chicago-style machine politics under the rhetorical cover of progressivism. He was protected by a press corps that first enlisted in his administration and then fought to stop Donald Trump. But now that Obama is out of office, his ability to intimidate is much diminished. This past week, a 2005 picture of a beaming Obama next to a bright-eyed Louis Farrakhan surfaced, after having been held back for more than a decade at the behest of a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who had been tried for corruption by Obama’s Justice Department after he refused to toe the party line about the “peace-loving” mullahs of Iran, has now seen the charges against him dropped. Z Street, a hawkish nonprofit supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Israel, had been tied up with IRS matters since 2009; it has just been released from its legal chains. Democrats are holding to the line that the prophet of hope and change ran a pure administration, virtually free of scandal. But the memo is probably just the beginning; we’re likely to see many more revelations come out.

Obama isn’t directly mentioned in the memo. But he’s nonetheless implicated through his appointees’ apparent efforts to clear Hillary Clinton in her State Department email scandal while undermining her opponent, Trump, through the veneer of legality provided by FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Security Act) warrants, justified solely by the so-called Steele Dossier. The dossier was paid for by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee; it was created by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who despised Trump, and the “research” firm Fusion GPS. The FISA Court, supervised by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, was never told about the unverified dossier’s origins.

I had been assured by the highest authorities that the Obama Administration was amazingly scandal-free.

JONATHAN TURLEY: Comey takes page from Trump by turning to Twitter to attack enemies.

Many of us supported the appointment of a special counsel after Trump fired Comey in the midst of Comey’s Russian investigation. Soon after his departure, however, Comey began to take actions that seriously undermined his own position, and his value as a witness to special counsel Robert Mueller. Indeed, the special counsel would now be taking a considerable risk by calling Comey on the stand in any prosecution of the president, but Comey could well end up on the witness list for the defense.

In leaving the FBI, Comey improperly removed memos from the Russian investigation that he wrote concerning meetings with Trump. These memos were clearly FBI material, and some were deemed later to be classified. He had neither the authority to take the memos nor any review that confirmed that they were not classified. Comey then sent some of the memos to a friend to disclose the information to the media. Four of the seven memos that Comey removed are now believed to be classified. He reportedly gave four memos to his friend to leak to the media. Thus, at least one was likely classified.

It was a tragically ironic moment. This was the man who was tasked with finding leakers and became a leaker himself the minute it served his purposes. Moreover, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had called for Comey to be fired for his conduct during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of private servers for official and classified information. Comey had denounced Clinton’s handling of such material as “extremely careless.” Now, he was sending official and possibly classified material to a friend with the specific purpose of leaking the contents to the media.

Read the whole thing.

IRA STOLL: The Other FBI Scandal.

So long as Congress and the Trump White House are taking a look at FBI shenanigans, let them not forget the case of Supervisory Special Agent David Chaves.

He is the one whose interactions with reporters for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times were described by federal prosecutors in a January 2017 court filing as “unquestionable misconduct by an agent of the Government…improper and inexcusable.” The federal judge presiding over the insider trading case affected by the illegal leaks of grand jury information, P. Kevin Castel, was so worked up about the issue that he ordered the Justice Department to provide updates every three months on the status of the leak investigation.

The latest of those updates appears here, with enough redaction to make it resemble a late Rothko painting. . . .

Chaves, like McCabe, has now apparently retired, according to his page at the speaker’s bureau that represents him.

The insider trading leaks and the conduct surrounding the Clinton email investigation and Trump Russia influence investigation may appear different, but there are actually plenty of similarities. In all three cases, law enforcement skated close to the warning of Robert Jackson in his classic 1940 speech “The Federal Prosecutor”: “It is in this realm — in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies.”

In all three cases, there were real life consequences. Hillary Clinton and her supporters blame Comey’s public statements, with some justification, for affecting the outcome of the election. The Russia investigation has mired Trump’s aides in a morass of legal fees and perjury-trap interviews, regardless of their underlying culpability. And the insider trading investigations took years out of the lives of money managers like Michael Steinberg and David Ganek, who were never ultimately found to be guilty of any crimes or, in Ganek’s case, even charged.

In both the insider trading cases and the Russia investigation, wiretaps were used and perhaps abused. A federal judge in Connecticut found that FBI agents listened to 180 phone calls between hedge fund manager Craig Drimal and his wife Arlene. The judge described the agents’ conduct as “disgraceful,” “egregious,” and “voyeuristic.”

But remember, if you dare to criticize the FBI you’re provoking a constitutional crisis or something.

IS THIS THE MOST PIVOTAL FEDERAL JUDGE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF? FISA Court Judge James Boasberg is why Osama bin Laden’s death photos have never been seen outside the Pentagon. He’s also the reason 14,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails were made public.

But those decisions may pale by comparison with Boasberg’s decision Friday to keep you from reading any of the seven memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote to himself (and partially leaked to a buddy at Columbia Law School) on his conversations with President Trump.

OBAMA’S COVERUP FOR CLINTON WAS WORSE THAN COLLUSION: Among the least discussed facets of the Clinton email scandal has been former President Barack Obama’s obvious approval of what his Secretary of State was doing. Nobody has produced a shred of credible evidence that President Donald Trump “colluded” with Russia, yet Obama knew Clinton was using a private server and how that jeopardized national security. Charles Ortel probes deeper in LifeZette this morning.

CLINTONS HAVE USED FBI AGAINST ENEMIES FOR YEARS: Nunes memo made clear the Clinton campaign and the DNC it controlled on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton paid for the Steele dossier. But don’t think this was Hillary’s first foray into using and abusing federal law enforcement against political opponents. Remember Filegate? I do.

INEZ FELTSCHER STEPMAN: We Need To Do Something About Civil Service Reform:

In November 2016, Washington was abuzz with talk of “landing teams,” as though transitioning from a Democratic administration to a Republican one was akin to landing at Omaha Beach. After Trump’s election, his employees in the executive branch openly declared their intention to “resist” by undermining his policies. Republican insiders bemoaned the slow appointments of people to political office within the administration, knowing that even a full political staff guiding a hostile department is much like the rudder of a sailboat trying to turn the Titanic.

That’s because the bulk of the civil service—2.8 million bureaucrats—has become a permanent class of powerbrokers, totally unaccountable to the winds of democratic change. Regardless of whether the man who sits in the Oval Office is President Trump or President Obama, the functions of the executive branch agencies carry on in much the same way as they did before.

As Congress debated the Pendleton Act in 1883, the first of many laws over the next century that added layers of job protection for government employees, they thought they were correcting the excesses of the spoils system. They could never have dreamed of the kind of system we have today, where federal employees get two civil trial-level appeals before a Merit Board (including discovery and the calling of witnesses), and where it takes years to fire a bureaucrat convicted of a felony he committed in the course of doing his job.

But incompetence and corruption are the least of the problems with the modern civil service. With 95-99 percent of political donations from government employees going to Hillary Clinton in the last election, it looks less like a system of apolitical administrators and more like an arm of the Democratic Party.

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

DAVID HARSANYI: The Media’s Ugly David Duke-Louis Farrakhan Double Standard.

It’s true that no politician has control over who supports him, even if politicians occasionally instigate that support. I mean, Farrakhan endorsed Barack Obama’s presidential run in 2008. Hillary Clinton was accused of passive-aggressive racism for even bringing up the topic. “I did not solicit his support,” the candidate explained at the time. “I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy.” Obama was correct, even if his antagonist policies towards Israel may have pleased the Nation of Islam leader who went to Iran to celebrate the anniversary for the Islamic Revolution a couple of years back.

On the other hand, when Obama posed for a photo with the man who claims white people are a “race of devils” and said Hitler was a “very great man” at a Congressional Black Caucus gathering in 2005, it was entirely his fault. We only found out about the picture recently — and thus the new questions — because the Congressional Black Caucus allegedly suppressed photos of Democrats hanging out with a man who spent decades spreading noxious anti-Semitic and racist conspiracies theories to African-Americans.

Obama is now gone. There are, however, 45 members in the CBC leading the resistance against Donald Trump. Four of them — Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Al Green, and William Jefferson — can been seen here exchanging pleasantries and running through some talking points on the hurricane Katrina response with Farrakhan in 2009.

But that’s different because shut up.

KELLYANNE CONWAY: The Patriots are the Hillary Clinton of football.

C’mon, the Pats never broke the rules that badly.

THE FIX WAS IN: FBI Officials Knew of New Clinton Emails Weeks Before Alerting Congress. “Andrew McCabe learned of thousands of emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop at least a month before alerting lawmakers.”

Top FBI officials were aware for at least a month before alerting Congress that emails potentially related to an investigation of Hillary Clinton had emerged during a key stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to text messages reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had learned about the thousands of emails by Sept. 28, 2016, and Director James Comey informed Congress about them on Oct. 28, 11 days before the presidential election, the messages show. Mr. Comey later said nothing in the new emails had changed the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s decision that Mrs. Clinton had committed no prosecutable offenses.

In the text messages reviewed by the Journal, FBI agent Peter Strzok, who led the probe into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server, told FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Sept. 28 that he had just been summoned to speak to Mr. McCabe about the newly discovered emails.

Agents in New York had found them on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, a former congressman and husband of Huma Abedin, one of Mrs. Clinton’s closest advisers. The FBI was investigating Mr. Weiner for sexting a 15-year-old girl; he would later plead guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

“Got called up to Andy’s earlier,” Mr. Strzok wrote in a Sept. 28 text. He continued: “hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s atty to sdny, includes a ton of material from spouse. Sending team up tomorrow to review … this will never end ….” SDNY refers to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, which was investigating Mr. Weiner.

Republicans and critics of the FBI have suggested the bureau may have sat on the emails to avoid hurting Mrs. Clinton before the Nov. 8 election.

Ya think?

HILLARY CLINTON’S 1,500 WORD NEWS DUMP: “I’m not even mad. I’m impressed. It takes some guts to publish a 1,500-word Facebook post 20 minutes before the State of the Union explaining why you, Hillary Clinton, feminist hero, didn’t fire a dude for sexually harassing one of your young female staffers despite the fact that everyone in your campaign told you to get rid of him ASAP.”


J.D. TUCCILLE: FBI’s Unsavory History Casts Shadow Over Debate About Political Meddling.

Trump may have had reason to be concerned about FBI politicking. Leaked text messages shared by two romantically involved FBI employees who were involved in the probe into Russian meddling revealed their belief that Trump is “loathsome” and an “idiot.” At the same time, they had a soft spot for his major opponent, Hillary Clinton, noting that they should take it easy in investigating her conduct because “She might be our next president. The last thing you need us going in there loaded for bear'”

This has Republicans waging what Vox’s Jane Coaston calls a “war on the FBI,” claiming that partisan bias extends beyond those two FBI texting buddies to taint the whole bureau. Democrats beg to differ. “I can assure you that the men and women at the bureau are dedicated public servants committed to defending the American people and upholding the law,” protests Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.).

But those “dedicated public servants” who are “upholding the rule of law” are the institutional descendants of the folks the bipartisan Church Committee said “all too often disregarded the Constitutional rights of Americans.” In their domestic operations, the report revealed, “FBI intelligence reports on protest activity and domestic dissent accumulated massive information on lawful activity and law-abiding citizens.”

And yes, the FBI used the information it gathered to become an active player in politics.

Maybe we should just abolish the Bureau.