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WHY NOT? New Excuse for Hillary Election Loss: Grocery Checkout Lines.

REMINDER TO THE LEFT: INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS AND THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE ARE COLD WAR-ERA SATIRE, NOT HOW-TO GUIDES. Politico Describes How Donald Trump Inhabited Body of Hillary Aide:

Help! Donald Trump has taken over my body and he won’t get out!

Politico reporter Annie Karni wrote an inadvertently hilarious story about how a Hillary aide worked so intently to acquire the personality of Donald Trump as part of debate prep that now the President-elect is still lingering inside his soul to the extent that he can channel him.

The extreme lengths to which Philippe Reines went to become Donald Trump is the stuff of which comedy movies are made. In fact, Reines could not only write the script from first hand experience but he could also conjure up his inner Donald Trump to negotiate the movie deal. Even the title of the Politico article could also serve as the movie title, The Man Who Became Donald Trump:

Read the whole thing; it’s a hoot.

Found via Kathy Shaidle, who writes, “I don’t know what to say about this.” Me neither, but here’s the most recent video footage of the still-detoxing Reines we could find:

ADRIANA COHEN ON THE DEMOCRATS’ ELECTION-DENIAL:

Since Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, Democrats have been trying to delegitimize his historic upset.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who sent shock waves through the media echo chamber this weekend when he said in an NBC interview, “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.” Former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon went on CNN Friday to chime in as well. . . .

I’ll tell you real reasons Clinton lost. In addition to failing to campaign in key battleground states, she lacked an inspiring message. Hillary thought she could win by (A) riding Obama’s coattails and (B) attacking Trump.

Never mind that she alienated voters with her “Pay to Play” family foundation, her Wall Street ties or her failure to maintain national security by insisting on doing government business on a private email server — all to dodge public scrutiny. After the lies she told from “I didn’t send or receive any classified emails,” to blaming a video for the terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, voters got skittish.

Add to it skyrocketing Obamacare premiums and her goose was cooked — quite apart from any alleged hacking.

Remember, Vladimir Putin didn’t announce Obamacare costs were going up double digits on average in 2017 — the Health and Human Services Department did — right before the election.

But no matter, Dems are still trying to delegitimize Trump’s victory. Can you imagine if GOP members of Congress called Obama’s presidency in 2008 or 2012 illegitimate? They would’ve been called racist. If Clinton won this election and Republicans said her presidency wasn’t legitimate, they’d be called sexist. It would be the War on Women all over again.

Yep. And I don’t think this is playing very well, but I also don’t think it’s so much a planned strategy as something they just can’t help. But Joe Manchin understands that this is playing badly with swing voters:

Georgia Rep. John Lewis’ comments about President-elect Trump were “uncalled for,” Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for Congressman Lewis. He’s an icon, if you will,” Manchin told CBS’ John Dickerson. “I just think that was uncalled for. I just wish that rhetoric would tone down from both back and forth.”

Lewis had said last week he doesn’t view Trump as a “legitimate” president, nor does he look forward to working with the president-elect once he enters office.

The “bickering going on back and forth” between Lewis and Trump makes the U.S. look weaker to its allies, Manchin said.

Related: Don Surber: When Atlanta’s High Crime Rate Is Acceptable To The Journal-Constitution. When treating it as a problem might help Trump, of course.

Plus: The Left Hates Trump Because His Victory Was A Cultural One, Not Just A Political One:

The left is used to losing political battles. They scream and cry over these but they don’t truly panic, because they know that as long as they maintain their hammerlock on the culture, Republicans can’t really change anything.

Blue Team Progressivism is a church, offering you moral superiority and a path to spiritual enlightenment. As a church it’s got a lot going for it. It runs religious programming on television, all day every day. Every modern primetime program is like a left-wing Andy Griffith show, reinforcing lessons of inclusion, tolerance, feminism, and anti-racism.

Watching a 90-pound Sci-Fi heroine beat up a room full of giant evil men is as satisfying to the left as John Wayne westerns were for the right.

The Blue Church controls the HR department, so even if you don’t go to church, you have to act like a loyal churchgoer in every way that matters while you’re on the clock. And off the clock, on any kind of public social media platform.

Jon Stewart and John Oliver are basically TV preachers. Watching them gives the same sense of quiet superiority your grandma gets from watching The 700 Club. The messages are constantly reinforced, providing that lovely dopamine hit, like an angel’s voice whispering, “You’re right, you’re better, you’re winning.”

Hollywood award shows are like church talent shows – the skits and jokes aren’t really funny, but it’s fun to look at the pretty girls, and you’re all on the same team. . . .

For the first time in decades, voters explicitly rejected the Blue Church, defying hours of daily cultural programming, years of indoctrination from the schools, and dozens of explicit warnings from HR.

We’ve been trained since childhood to obey the pretty people on TV, but for the first time in decades, that didn’t work.

Donald Trump won because flyover America wants their culture back, and Blue Team has not been rejected like that before.

The younger ones have grown up in an environment where Blue Faith assumptions cannot even be questioned, except anonymously by the bad kids on Twitter.

But now the bad kids are getting bolder, posting funny memes that make you laugh even though John Oliver would not approve, like passing crude dirty pictures under the table in Sunday School.

Meryl Streep is panicking because for the first time voters have rejected HER, and everything her faith has taught her to believe.

I think there’s a lot to that.

ANDREW KLAVAN’S STRANGE NEW TRUMPIAN GLEE:

Look, I don’t care if the Trump fan-bots rail against me, Trump is an unreliable chap, to put it mildly. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he throws away his promises too easily and a lot of his instincts are leftist in the worst way. Everything he’s done so far could be scuttled on the rock of his personality.

But that hasn’t happened yet and every day is another day. And today, after eight years of a dishonest, undemocratic, anti-American scold in the White House, I am feeling gleeful. Almost pretty. Okay, gleeful.

He’s far from alone; the left’s psychotic post-election meltdown – after years of promising “a new civility” and demanding the same of Trump voters had Hillary won — has done much to remind reluctant Trump supporters why they voted for him.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON TRUMP AND THE AMERICAN DIVIDE:

As the nation became more urban and its wealth soared, the old Democratic commitment from the Roosevelt era to much of rural America—construction of water projects, rail, highways, land banks, and universities; deference to traditional values; and Grapes of Wrath–like empathy—has largely been forgotten. A confident, upbeat urban America promoted its ever more radical culture without worrying much about its effects on a mostly distant and silent small-town other. In 2008, gay marriage and women in combat were opposed, at least rhetorically, by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in their respective presidential campaigns. By 2016, mere skepticism on these issues was viewed by urban elites as reactionary ignorance. In other words, it was bad enough that rural America was getting left behind economically; adding insult to injury, elite America (which is Democrat America) openly caricatured rural citizens’ traditional views and tried to force its own values on them. Lena Dunham’s loud sexual politics and Beyoncé’s uncritical evocation of the Black Panthers resonated in blue cities and on the coasts, not in the heartland. Only in today’s bifurcated America could billion-dollar sports conglomerates fail to sense that second-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests of the national anthem would turn off a sizable percentage of the National Football League’s viewing audience, which is disproportionately conservative and middle American. These cultural themes, too, Trump addressed forcefully.

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: FALSE. If The Comey Letter Sank Hillary, It’s Her Own Fault.

It can’t be her fault — because strong, independent woman or something.

HE WHO TROLLS LAST… When Trump Tweets, the Left’s Outrage Machine Shudders.

Stephen Miller:

The anti-Trump group Grab Your Wallet called for a boycott of L.L. Bean stores, even though the company itself has offered no political position on Trump or anything else for that matter really. This is how it usually starts.

Suddenly, however, the left finds itself somewhat outmatched and ill-equipped, because now they are up against the most powerful pushback tool they’ve ever faced: Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to announce his support for Linda Bean. “Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean,” he wrote.

He also mistakenly included the twitter handle of a lobster restaurant in Maine, thinking it was the LL Bean company hashtag. So they are having a fun day now as well. You can bet a handful of left-wing websites are trying to figure out where the restaurant stands on gay marriage.

Trump is a master at branding. It’s one of the few things he’s managed successfully over the decades. His product launches fail, but the name and the branding carry on, and it carried him to the White House. Republicans in the primaries had no idea how to counter it. Hillary Clinton had no idea how to stop it. Trump knows he can tweet out support of a company, or insult them, and cause their brand to rise in prominence, their stocks to fall in value.

The Obama campaign took his powerful personal brand, wedded it to Big Data, and the result was a permanent political campaign which the GOP never did figure out how to fully counter.

Trump has done something similar, but he runs his permanent campaign more like a guerrilla action — a social media version of Mao’s Long March.

UPDATE (From Glenn): A reader emails: “Just spent >$500 with them online. On stuff I really don’t need. But it felt so good. Haaaaa! Eat that, boycotters!”

Question: When do businesses start deliberately trolling the left to reap the additional business it generates?

NOTHING POLITICAL ABOUT THE TIMING HERE: Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes.

The Justice Department inspector general on Thursday announced that it will launch an investigation into the FBI’s conduct leading up to the 2016 elections.

The probe, which comes in response to requests from numerous chairmen and ranking members of congressional oversight committees, will look into allegations that Director James Comey broke bureau policy with his various public disclosures regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The FBI’s role in Clinton’s unexpected defeat in November has remained a subject of fierce debate — with Comey himself in the middle of the controversy. Clinton’s campaign has blamed Comey and the FBI for her loss to President-elect Donald Trump.

Well, Trump could always fire the Inspector General, the way that Obama did with Gerald Walpin. The usual “ethics watchdogs” were awfully quiet about that, but I’m sure they’d rouse for Trump.

ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II:

Anne Frank’s stepsister compares Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.

—Headline, CNN.com, January 27, 2016.

Anne Frank Center: Trump’s ‘Nazi’ quip insults Holocaust survivors.

—Headline, Yahoo News, yesterday.

Well yes, it does. But so did all of the Godwin-violating insults from the left last year comparing Trump to Hitler, which culminated nearly 75 years’ worth of such tactics by Democrats, beginning with FDR and Harry Truman. It’s not surprising that finally, as Scott Adams wrote yesterday on Trump’s “Nazi quip,” “The Master Persuader Scrambles the Frame.”

You can almost hear the left saying it: How dare the president-elect call us Nazis — only we’re allowed to call the other side Nazis! Evidently, they believed that their scorched earth tactics, so effective against first Hillary and then McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, would have been sufficient against Trump, and then conveniently forgotten afterwards, until needed for the next presidential election, and in the interim, Democrats would go back to pretending they’re obsessed with fairness, civility, tolerance, and unicorn flatulence. Or if Trump somehow managed to win, he’d play by Marquess of Queensberry rules in DC. Something tells me that his memory won’t be very short, and that he’ll act like a Democrat himself when it comes to getting in his enemies’ faces and punching back twice as a hard, to paraphrase a famous community organizer.

This isn’t a political culture — or media “overculture” — that I wanted to see, but it’s one that the left created and wrote the rules for long ago; and thus, to coin a phrase, chose their eventual destructor.

JOHN PODESTA AS SECRETARY OF STATE? Hillary’s List Of Cabinet Picks Revealed, Including Black Person To Be Named Later. The “black person to be named later” bit is funny, but this list of sad retreads (Jamie Gorelick as Attorney General? Really?) makes Trump’s picks look awfully good, which probably means it’s “fake news,” right?

POLITICO: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.

Is there anybody not trying to mess with our elections?

In a way it’s comforting, though. Even after eight years of Obama, other countries still think we matter.

IT’S NOT ENOUGH THAT SHE GAVE HILLARY THE DEBATE QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE, NOW DONNA BRAZILE IS OPENLY PEDDLING RACISM!!!

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They told me if Donald Trump were elected, powerful people would feel free to engage in racist attacks. And they were right!

MERYL STREEP DROPS THE MASK:

[Hugh] Laurie embodied both as he devoted most of his speech to anti-Trump barbs like, “I’ll be able to say I won this at the last ever Golden Globes. I don’t mean to be gloomy, it’s just that it has the words ‘Hollywood,’ ‘Foreign,’ and ‘Press’ in the title. I also think to some Republicans even the word ‘association’ is sketchy.” Hugh has only been working in this country for 20 years. He hasn’t heard of the National Rifle Association yet.

Even more bizarrely, Meryl Streep, accepting a lifetime achievement award, virtually repeated Laurie’s joke, then mournfully called out the names of foreign-born actors and said, “If we kick em all out we’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed-martial arts. Which are not the arts!”

This is what it’s like to view the world through Hollyweird glasses: You actually worry that President Trump is going to deport Amy Adams and Natalie Portman.

To follow up on my post yesterday referencing the DNC-MSM “Cathedral,” Goodtime Meryl has the cerulean blues; her oikophobic worldview is far closer to her Anna Wintour-inspired Devil Wears Prada character than she’d like to admit:

Not to mention her Chief Elder character in 2014 futuristic parable The Giver. Ironically, given the massive amount of money Streep has given to Democrat causes over the last four years, and her appearance as a Hillary surrogate at the Democrat convention last year, at the climax of the film, Streep’s fascist character neatly paraphrases one of Hillary’s most infamous quotes: “When people have the power to choose, they choose wrong. Every single time.” In my review of the film over at Ed Driscoll.com, I described it as “A Chilling Cinematic Peek into Hillary Clinton’s Infamous Village.”

And just as they continually lashed out in the late ‘60s through the pre-Star Wars ‘70s, leftwing Hollywood will be very angry at us for the next four to eight years for making the choosing wrong and not supporting its building.

Related: “Two tears flowed in quick succession in that room last night. The first tear said: How nice to see Meryl Streep praising us and denouncing Donald Trump. The second tear said: How nice to be moved, together with all decent-thinking people, by Meryl Streep’s praise of us and denunciation of Donald Trump. It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch.”

More: FLASHBACK: Meryl Streep gave Roman Polanski a standing ovation at the 2003 Oscars.

WHAT VLADIMIR PUTIN AND HILLARY CLINTON HAVE IN COMMON:

The unclassified version of the Intelligence Community assessment has been published, and as widely predicted, it contains no bombshells. Part of that has to do with the IC protecting its sources, and part of that has to do with the fact that one could have reached most of the conclusions merely by closely following the news and being aware of recent history.

One quick observation: If Putin thought helping Trump win the election would give him the weakest possible opponent, he would not be alone in his assessment: Hillary Clinton thought the exact same thing. Team Clinton tried to help Trump win the GOP nomination race because they thought he would be the weakest possible opponent in the general.

There are lots of people in the United States that underestimated Donald Trump who now have Trump’s footprints all over their faces. Just maybe, the trend will continue. . .

Heh.

TWITTER PEOTUS: Trump Shoots Back: Meryl Streep is ‘A Hillary Flunky Who Lost Big’

APPARENTLY, EVERYBODY IS MAD AT DEBLASIO FOR BUMBLING SNOW-REMOVAL TODAY, NOT JUST PEOPLE IN STATEN ISLAND. I heard from a friend in Manhattan today that everyone is steaming, and that her Uber driver said he’d only seen one or two plows all day. Just making things easier for Hillary, I guess!

UPDATE: In the comments: “I’m sure it has something to do with Russian hacking.”

OUT: ALT-RIGHT. IN: California As Alt-America.

In 1949 the historian Carey McWilliams defined California as the “the Great Exception” — a place so different from the rest of America as to seem almost a separate country. In the ensuing half-century, the Golden State became not so much exceptional but predictive of the rest of the nation: California’s approaches to public education, the environment, politics, community-building and lifestyle often became national standards, and even normative.

Today California is returning to its outlier roots, defying many of the political trends that define most of the country. Rather than adjust to changing conditions, the state seems determined to go it alone as a bastion of progressivism. Some Californians, going farther out on a limb, have proposed separating from the rest of the country entirely; a ballot measure on that proposition has been proposed for 2018.

This shift to outpost of modern-day progressivism has been developing for years but was markedly evident in November. As the rest of America trended to the right, electing Republicans at the congressional and local levels in impressive numbers, California has moved farther left, accounting for virtually all of the net popular vote margin for Hillary Clinton. Today the GOP is all but non-existent in the most populated parts of the state, and the legislature has a supermajority of Democrats in both houses. In many cases, including last year’s Senate race, no Republicans even got on the November ballot. . . .

According to the most recent Social Science Research Council report, the state overall suffers the greatest levels of income inequality in the nation; the Public Policy Institute places the gap well over 10 percent higher than the national average. And though California may be home to some of the wealthiest communities in the nation, accounting for 15 of the 20 wealthiest, its poverty rate, adjusted for cost, is also the highest in the nation. Indeed, a recent United Way study found that half of all California Latinos, and some 40 percent of African-Americans, have incomes below the cost of necessities (the “Real Cost Measure”). Among non-citizens, 60 percent of households have incomes below the Real Cost Measure, a figure that stretches to 80 percent below among Latinos.

In sharp contrast to the 1960s California governed by Jerry Brown’s great father, Pat, upward mobility is not particularly promising for the state’s majority Latino next generation. Not only are housing prices out of reach for all but a few, but the state’s public education system ranks 40th in the nation, behind New York, Texas and South Carolina. If California remains the technological leader, it is also becoming the harbinger of something else — a kind of feudal society divided by a rich elite and a larger poverty class, while the middle class either struggles or leaves town. . . .

Instead of a role model for the future, the Golden State seems likely to become a cross between Hawaii and Tijuana, a land for the aging rich and their servants.

Their approach is unsustainable, but they mean to keep it going as long as they can.

ENTITLEMENT AND INSANITY: She was angry she always lost. So this woman threatened to kill lottery officials, police say. “A Pennsylvania lottery player who kept buying losing scratch-off tickets called her string of losses a conspiracy and threatened to kill employees at state lottery headquarters, authorities said. Towanda A. Shields is wanted on 53 charges, including harassment, stalking and terroristic threats, for phone calls and voice-mail messages that police said started as a ‘nuisance’ last year and escalated into a ‘relentless’ stream of hostile, sexually explicit and threatening statements to Pennsylvania Lottery officials in Lower Swatara Township.”

Plus: “Most people know when they play the lottery, they’re not going to win. She seemed like she had a sense of entitlement — that she was supposed to win the lottery.”

Funny, when I saw this breakout quote on Twitter — “She seemed like she had a sense of entitlement — that she was supposed to win the lottery,” I thought it was about Hillary

JOHN KASS, IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: In Facebook torture, victim’s eyes terrify most.

There’s a lot to unpack from Chicago’s latest racial outrage, the Facebook Torture Case, and it’s ugly, so let’s get to it.

You know the news. Four African-Americans were charged Thursday with hate crimes in the alleged kidnapping and torture of a bound, white and mentally disabled young man.

Police said they beat him, forced him to drink toilet water, jabbed at him with a knife and cut his scalp, shouting “F—white people!” and “F— [Donald] Trump!” and laughing while smoking blunts and streaming it all live on Facebook.

I watched some, not all of that video, the way they brutalized that young man, the terror in his eyes, hearing their laughter. And I realized these were human beings, amusing themselves with the pain of a mentally disabled man. There are many words for this, but irredeemable is the one that comes to mind.

Ridiculous. As Hillary made clear, it’s Trump supporters who are irredeemable, and these people clearly opposed Trump.

Plus:

There are other elements of this heater case that should be acknowledged, like the politics of this thing. It’s crawling with politics now.

It’s partly a racial thing so let’s talk race. If the races were reversed, and a mentally disabled black kid were tortured by white barbarians, the political left would be screaming that over-the-top political rhetoric from the right had trickled down and encouraged the brutes. You can argue with me about this, but that won’t change it.

Yet it’s the other way now, isn’t it? And the political right is arguing that anti-Trump rants from the left — including casting white males as the political enemy — have given license to this kind of thing. The two sides will slap-fight each other over this on social media, in anonymous and hateful comments under online news stories, and they’ll slap each other in the journals.

And this is how we craft political weapons from human misery.

But there is another kind of politics at work here, as well, the politics of Chicago musical chairs. From the moment the torture video went viral, picked up by the cable news networks and replayed, over and over, and as talking heads debated whether “evil” was the appropriate word, Chicago politicians hunkered down.

You weren’t in the meetings and neither was I, but you can envision them huddling in three distinct groups: One group with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his people; another with new Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and hers; and a third with Eddie Johnson with his white shirt supervisors and detectives. And in each one, there must have been some staffers, staring at their phones, wondering if this heater case would burn their boss when the music stopped.

Foxx seemed to never miss a camera during the Laquan McDonald controversy. When that video finally surfaced after the mayoral election, showing the white cop shooting a black kid 16 times, Foxx won her election.

She was all over the news then, but for this case, she was rather reserved, though her office pressed the charges.

And Emanuel, hoping to rehabilitate himself with black voters after the way he handled the McDonald fiasco, waited until the water was warm.

Most of it was left to Johnson, and he made sure to hit his main political talking point early in his Thursday news conference, as the charges were read and national news was made.

Why are Democrat-run cities such cesspits of political violence and political incompetence?

THANK GOD TRUMP SAVED US FROM THAT HORROR: The Era of ‘The Bitch’ Is Coming: A Hillary Clinton presidential victory promises to usher in a new age of public misogyny.

BY THE VOICES IN HER HEAD: Hillary Clinton Being Urged to Run for Mayor of New York.

 

JOHN HINDERAKER: Today’s Intelligence Report Proves Nothing.

The report constitutes, allegedly, the long-awaited proof that Russia (specifically, Vladimir Putin) meddled in the 2016 presidential election by, most notably, hacking into email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta and distributing emails from those accounts to Wikileaks and others.

Does the report prove that claim? No, it merely states it. There is zero evidence in the report tying the Russian government (or anyone else) to the crude spearfishing effort or to the generic, out-of-date malware that invaded the DNC’s and Podesta’s email systems. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Related: To the FBI, CIA and NSA: Where Were You When We Needed You?

While failing utterly to provide evidence (let alone persuasive evidence) that Russia intruded into the DNC’s email system, today’s intelligence report is not without interest. The most notable sections of the report are those that tie Russia’s government to a series of left-wing propaganda campaigns in the U.S. No member of the Occupy movement, for instance, can read the report without squirming. If true, it vindicates what we conservatives have been saying for decades, going back to the unilateral disarmament and nuclear freeze movements of the 1950s through 1980s.

Those didn’t constitute a national crisis, because they enhanced Democratic power rather than harming it.

Plus: “Remember the anti-Diebold campaign from the Democrats in 2012? That propaganda effort may have been inspired, and was supported, if today’s report is credible, by Russia’s government.”

And: “Russia has supported environmental groups to try to suppress fracking, which strikes at the heart of Russian economic strength. . . . I personally think that the anti-fracking movement is mostly a creation of the Russian government. That view is at least consistent with today’s report.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Donald Trump’s Soft Spot for Russia Could Be His Political Undoing. Now that the election’s over, it doesn’t matter that Hillary would have been just as compromised (or moreso) where Putin is concerned. If Trump is smart, he’ll provide some reassurance to people who worry he’s too close to Putin.

YEAH, SURE, BUT THE RUSSIAN MIND-RAYS PREVENTED HER RESPONDING AND STUFF: FBI warned Clinton campaign last spring of cyberattack.  (And yes, I realize the article is old.  Think about it.)

SAD! Hillary Clinton’s New York Hometown Is Still Despondent Over Her Loss.

THE SAME WAY HE CAME IN: Obama is going out in a blaze of self-interest.

Creating national monuments in Utah and Nevada, banning offshore oil drilling in the Arctic and the Northeast, deleting the database of Muslim men at the Department of Homeland Security: All of these things will earn him toasts at all the right parties.

Despite a remarkable lack of evidence that the Russians “hacked” the election (as opposed to their more obvious complicity in the WikiLeaks shenanigans), the conviction that Hillary Clinton lost because of Putin’s skulduggery is rapidly gelling into liberal conventional wisdom. These sanctions give Obama yet another useful talking point in retirement.

They’re also having the desired effect on the Trump team, which for obvious reasons hates any suggestion that The Donald’s election was less than legitimate.

But will they actually “box in” a President Trump? It seems unlikely.

Obama plans to stick around in Washington past his sell-by date and has said he’ll break precedent by speaking out (lecturing? hectoring?) on policy issues after he’s left office.

In other words, he’s the gift that keeps on giving — to the GOP.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Hacking Democratic Rules Isn’t Good Government.

Before the election, the Senate’s refusal to hold a vote on the appointment of Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, seemed destined to be a footnote in history. Hillary Clinton would win the election, a different and even more liberal nominee would be put forward (quite possibly to a Democratic-controlled Senate), and after decades of conservative dominance, the Supreme Court would once again tilt leftward.

Trump’s surprise election upset this. Particularly, it upset progressive activists, who thought that Antonin Scalia’s death in office had finally given them a chance at a more activist liberal judiciary. Having written the lede on the way to the ballpark, some of them were not quite ready to tear up their story and start over.

Enter the procedural hacks. What if Democrats went and confirmed Garland anyway?

You may be a bit confused. Republicans hold the majority in this Senate. They will also control the next Senate. How are Democrats supposed to bring the thing to the floor for a vote, much less get enough votes to actually confirm him?

That’s a very good question! The answer some progressives have come up with is that there will be a nanosecond gap between when the outgoing senators leave office, and the new ones are sworn in. During that gap, there will be more Democrats left than Republicans. So the idea is to call that smaller body into session, vote on the nomination, and voila! — a new Supreme Court justice. Alternatively, President Obama could use that gap to make a recess appointment.

Sure. Harry Reid’s breaking the filibuster is going to work out great for them. Why not throw all the other norms out the window, too! Make it all about raw power! Trump won’t be able to handle that!

FAKE NEWS: ABC News continues to “normalize” Donna Brazile as DNC chair.

Why is Jonathan Karl interviewing Brazile in the first place? And if he’s going to do that, how does one sit there and politely rehash the last election with her without poking the obvious elephant in the room? It has been 62 days since CNN severed their ties with Donna Brazile over the fact (no longer an “allegation”) that she cheated during one of the Democratic presidential primary debates and attempted to cheat during a second one in Flint, Michigan. And yet ABC News is inviting her to sit down for a casual New Years Day chat like any other political analyst.

There is not one reputable media outlet in the country who is even attempting to suggest that Brazile didn’t cheat or attempt to cheat on Hillary Clinton’s behalf during the primary. Even Brazile herself refuses to say that she’s innocent, instead preferring to insist that she will not be persecuted as if she were Jesus Christ or something.

I keep hearing media outlets complaining when any of their competitors provide coverage of Donald Trump in terms of his policy proposals, cabinet nominations and all the rest. The major charge they level is that these journalists are somehow “normalizing” Trump’s presidency. That’s a rather insulting phrase, since Trump actually won and must now be evaluated by the job he does. But isn’t it somehow worse to keep introducing Donna Brazile as the interim chair of the DNC and allow her to continue commenting on politics? Isn’t this an act of “normalizing” someone as the head of one of our two major parties while she’s known to have attempted to do more to directly tamper with an election than the Russians did? And where is the media outrage at the DNC for not removing this person who is known to be corrupt? All I’m hearing is crickets on that score.

We’re witnessing the “normalization” of a known cheat… a dishonest actor who was caught red handed attempting to corrupt a presidential election. This person has remained as the interim head of the Democratic Party for more than two months since being definitively exposed. And ABC News continues to propagate the fantasy that all is well and there’s nothing particularly notable about the situation.

Think of them as Democratic Party operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

START OFF 2017 WITH DAVE BARRY’S REVIEW OF 2016, WHICH HE SUMS UP IN TWO WORDS: “WHAT THE…?” Plus a few more words, including:

In U.S. politics, the Republicans gather in Cleveland to nominate Trump, although many top party officials are unable to attend because of an urgent compelling need to not be there. Nevertheless Trump receives enthusiastic prime-time endorsements from former celebrity Scott Baio, several dozen Trump children and current Trump wife Melania, who enthralls delegates with a well-received speech in which she tells her heartwarming story of growing up as an African-American woman in Chicago. The dramatic highlight comes on the final night, when Trump, in his acceptance speech, brings the delegates cheering to their feet with his emotional challenge to “grab the future by the p—y.”

On the Democratic side, the month gets off to a rocky start when FBI Director James Comey, announcing the results of the bureau’s investigation, reveals that when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, her official emails, some including classified material, were basically as secure from prying eyes as a neon beer sign. Nevertheless, Comey says he is recommending that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton, because, quote, “I don’t want to die.”

With that legal hurdle cleared, relieved Democrats gather in Philadelphia for their convention, which opens — in a bid to placate Sanders’ delegates — with the ceremonial caning of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This is followed by several hundred speeches praising Hillary Clinton for the many accomplishments she has achieved, as well as the achievements she has accomplished, while at the same time being, historically, a woman. In her acceptance speech, Clinton calls on Americans “to join with me in building a better world for us and for our children,” adding, “or I will crush you like an insect.”

In a media shakeup, Roger Ailes resigns as chairman of Fox News following allegations that his name can be rearranged to spell “I ogle rears.”

That’s just (an incomplete) look at July. Read the whole thing, now that 2016 is safely behind us. Just like Alien hiding in the Narcissus, Glenn Close lurking in the bathtub at the end of Fatal Attraction, and every other horror movie shock ending…

WASHINGTON FREE BEACON: 2016 Man Of The Year: American Men.

In the year 2016, men did so much winning they were dangerously close to getting sick from it. First, men handed the keys to the Oval Office to one Donald Trump, preserving a glass ceiling established by their patriarchal forebears in 1776. Despite dire warning that “Women are defeating Donald Trump,” and political maps showing “Crooked” Hillary Clinton winning 458 electoral votes in an all-female electorate, the votes of men ended up proving decisive and a much better barometer for the final election results. An all-male electorate would have given Donald Trump 350 electoral votes—he ended up winning 306.

Even in defeat, men managed to win consolation prizes. Men were so accustomed to winning that the Clinton campaign paid them more than female staffers, as the Washington Free Beacon reported last year.

Heh. Then there’s the lady Ghostbusters. . . .

FEMINISM DIED IN 1998. HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN WAS A ROTTING, STINKING ZOMBIE STALKING THE EARTH. Feminism Lost: Now What? “For those at the forefront of the women’s movement, there is despair, division and defiance. Hillary Clinton’s loss was feminism’s, too. . . . The Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21 is an apt metaphor for the moment: movement as primal scream.”

JEFF JACOBY: The Experts Got 2016 Wrong. They’ll Get 2017 Wrong, Too.

2016! Was there ever such a year for making donkeys out of seers? A whole column could be filled with nothing but the names of sages and savants, supposedly adept in the ways of politics, who confidently assured everyone that Donald J. Trump couldn’t possibly win the Republican presidential nomination, let alone be elected president of the United States.

“If Trump is nominated, then everything we think we know about presidential nominations is wrong,” wrote Larry Sabato, whose highly regarded website at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics is called Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Peering into his crystal ball on Nov. 7, he saw Hillary Clinton poised to harvest 322 votes in the Electoral College, handily defeating Trump in the next day’s election.

Countless experts made similar predictions. “GOP insiders: Trump can’t win,” read a Politico headline last summer. Atop the story was the cocksure analysis of one of those insiders that nothing could keep Trump from losing short of “video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of ‘Death to America.’ ” Pollsters, politicians, and even the incumbent POTUS announced with perfect certitude that a Trump victory was off the table. Indeed, prophesied Damon Linker, senior correspondent at The Week, not only would Trump lose, he would “lose in the biggest landslide in modern American history.”

By no means was it only in the realm of US presidential politics that experts blew it.

At Fox Sports, Sam Gardner insisted on Opening Day that the Chicago Cubs “weren’t ready to make the leap” to the World Series. He was still insisting six months later that the Cubs’ World Series drought would persist.

Climate experts predicted that in the summer of 2016, for the first time in 100,000 years, the Arctic Ocean would be essentially ice-free. Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, said the decline in sea ice was unstoppable. But when satellite images for September were released, they showed ice levels greater than they were in 2012.

Fortune magazine played up the doomsaying of Wall Street strategist Albert Edwards, who warned that 2016 would bring the biggest stock market crash in a generation. “The illusion of prosperity is shattered as boom now turns to bust,” Edwards wrote in January, amid a market swoon. Bust? By year’s end, the Dow was flirting with an all-time record high.

British experts of every description made the case for keeping the United Kingdom inside the European Union, and pollsters were sure Brexit would go down to defeat. But on the day of the election, voters tore up the script, handing the “Leave” campaign a victory margin of more than a million votes. Michael Gove, the UK’s justice minister and a leading Brexiteer, had been laughed at when he contended: “People in this country have had enough of experts.” Maybe the experts should have listened.

Maybe all of us should be more skeptical when experts are telling us what to think.

Experts and expertise have their place, but it is smaller than they imagine. And many “experts” fall into the credentialed but not educated category.

WAIT, IT’S NOT BECAUSE AMERICANS ARE JUST A BUNCH OF BIGOTS AND HATERS? “Democratic strategist Donna Brazile acknowledged Sunday that President-elect Trump ran an effective, non-traditional campaign against Hillary Clinton, in large part because he had a consistent message.”

Plus: “Everywhere I went in blue states, especially in so-called blue states … I kept phoning back to Brooklyn, ‘Hey guys, there are Trump posters all over. All over the place.'” Funny how so many people saw Trump’s victory coming, as it turns out.

BIPOLAR MSM ATTACKS CUSTOMERS:

Shot:

2009_socialist_newsweek_cover_5-5-13-1

“We Are All Socialists Now,” headline on February 16, 2009 cover of Newsweek, then owned by the Graham family, which also owned the Washington Post until 2013. (Link safe, goes to NewsBusters.)

Chaser: “2016 Was the Year White Liberals Realized How Unjust, Racist, and Sexist America Is.”

—Headline, Slate, the last opinion Website owned by the Graham family, this past Thursday. Link safe, goes to Power Line, where Steve Hayward writes:

Forget all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the left. That’s just for show. Remember that the left was never very enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton, and are not sorry to have seen her lose. Trump’s victory, however, provides the left with something much more important that patronage in Washington DC: it provides them with the supposed evidence to bolster their essential hatred and contempt for America, and endless opportunities to proclaim and parade their supposed moral superiority over their fellow citizens.

Because if there’s one thing that’s a sure business model for success, it’s constantly insulting your customers.

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: How Trump Clears Obama’s Minefield.

Before moving into the White House, President-elect Trump needs to double check the Oval Office for trip wires. His predecessor has spent the last month setting traps to ensnare the new administration.

President Obama has more on his mind than an effort to solidify a legacy and nail down policy. He has adopted a guerrilla strategy designed to defame and debilitate. Inherently political, it’s administrative sabotage by extra legislative means and it threatens to hobble Trump.

Obama has prepared what looks like a classic episode from Mad Magazine: Executive vs. Executive. Instead of delivering on his own agenda, Trump will be forced to deal with the aftermath of his predecessor’s final binge. They could consume a notable portion of Trump’s first 100 days, but if left unaddressed it would stain his administration long term.

To avoid that hazard, an examination of President Clinton’s final days in office is helpful. After all, Obama didn’t develop these tactics on his own. He lifted them directly from a manual written by the Clintons.

Just days before President George W. Bush’s inauguration, Clinton weaponized EPA regulations to set a trap for the new administration. Despite complaints from rural communities about crippling compliance costs and a lack of a scientific consensus, Clinton adopted aggressive arsenic standards for drinking water. When Bush eased the mandate, it unleashed a torrent of criticism that had been long planned, most notably from Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

Despite calling for studies based on “sound science,” Bush couldn’t shake accusations that he wanted to poison children. The attacks found their mark, and Bush later remembered the experience as one of the worst mistakes of his young administration.

Now Obama’s running the same play. But while his midnight regulations haven’t escaped media attention, journalists continue giving the Obama administration charitable coverage. By focusing on the policy impact, they ignore and amplify the coming political fallout. . . .

Although Obama promised a smooth transition, he’s moved unilaterally to make that impossible. He lacks the grace and modesty to recognize that the country does not want him or his policies any longer. His indefinite oil ban in the Arctic Ocean provides a perfect example. Overturning the ban would require congressional action and incur significant political opportunity cost. For every regulation Trump overturns, he risks letting another slip into the Federal Register forever.

None of this should dissuade Trump from delivering on his pledge to roll back regulation. But he should proceed with the proper preparation and study on both the substantive policies and on the public relations.

Trump would be wise to condemn early and often Obama’s weaponization of executive action. Remember how Obama blamed everything on Bush until, oh, about the sixth year of his presidency. Trump should make sure the public knows where the blame really lies.

I expect he will.

QUESTIONS THAT ANSWER THEMSELVES: With Obama in charge of all our intelligence agencies for the last eight years, why are we so easy to hack?

Related, seen on Facebook:

demtransparency

LET’S HOPE: Washington Examiner: The Death Throes of Political Correctness.

Not everyone, not even a majority, is comfortable with the bizarre and dehumanizing ideas routinely foisted on less militant citizens in the name of self-affirmation for one group or another. The public is not interested in cultivating obsessive concern over microaggressions. Not everyone agrees when they are told, often angrily, that belief in marriage as a sacrament is merely a centuries-old excuse for oppression. Not everyone heeds the command to pretend that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman.

Many look on, aghast, at the brutal public shamings so frequently meted out to those who say almost anything mildly insensitive. They don’t like threats to individual rights made in the name of sensitivity. They notice that everything the political and cultural elite disagrees with is quickly defined as bigotry. Moral pressure even induced both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to embrace the absurd idea that immigration law is per se racist.

Voters, especially the many non-traditional Republican voters who gave President-elect Trump his victory, did not have to be conservative or even political to see something was terribly wrong. All they had to do was have their eyes open. They only had to feel the anger that comes naturally to people who are commanded by the self-important to behave irrationally.

There are many explanations for the 2016 election. But at the heart of the matter remains the question: How did Trump, for all his manifest faults, become the champion of the working class voter, the little guy, the men and women who feel their opinions are scorned and their voices unheeded?

As Trump repeatedly did and said things that would have ended anyone else’s political career, he won rather than lost admiration. Why? Because by example, not just by precept, he rejected, day in and day out, every convention and custom demanded by an overbearing, supercilious and detested cultural elite.

Our “elites” are not so much elite as elitist. We are, as Peggy Noonan says, patronized by our inferiors. And people are tired of it.

THEY THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: How Analytical Models Failed Clinton: Her campaign was so confident in its data that it opted not to do tracking polls in states that decided the election.

In 2004 the Howard Dean, George W. Bush-Dick Cheney, and John Kerry-John Ed­wards pres­id­en­tial cam­paigns ad­vanced the uses of data to con­tact voters, but it was the 2008 cam­paign of Barack Obama that took ana­lyt­ics to a whole new level. The in­fatu­ation with ana­lyt­ics after Obama’s reelec­tion in 2012 promp­ted some of his op­er­at­ives to say they didn’t need tra­di­tion­al polling any­more.

When Hil­lary Clin­ton began put­ting to­geth­er her 2016 cam­paign, she brought on board many Obama vet­er­ans, go­ing all in for the new tech­no­logy. Don­ald Trump’s gen­er­al-elec­tion cam­paign also em­ployed ana­lyt­ics, though how soph­ist­ic­ated and im­port­ant it was in his vic­tory is a mat­ter of con­sid­er­able de­bate. House and Sen­ate cam­paign com­mit­tees and su­per-PACs also used ana­lyt­ics to vary­ing de­grees.

The re­li­ance, or per­haps over­re­li­ance on ana­lyt­ics, may be one of the factors con­trib­ut­ing to Clin­ton’s sur­prise de­feat. The Clin­ton team was so con­fid­ent in its ana­lyt­ic­al mod­els that it op­ted not to con­duct track­ing polls in a num­ber of states dur­ing the last month of the cam­paign. As a con­sequence, de­teri­or­at­ing sup­port in states such as Michigan and Wis­con­sin fell be­low the radar screen, slip­page that that tra­di­tion­al track­ing polls would have cer­tainly caught.

Ac­cord­ing to Kantar Me­dia/CMAG data, the Clin­ton cam­paign did not go on the air with tele­vi­sion ads in Wis­con­sin un­til the weeks of Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, spend­ing in the end just $2.6 mil­lion. Su­per PACs back­ing Clin­ton didn’t air ads in Wis­con­sin un­til the last week of the cam­paign. In Michigan, aside from a tiny $16,000 buy by the cam­paign and a party com­mit­tee the week of Oct. 25, the Clin­ton cam­paign and its al­lied groups didn’t con­duct a con­cer­ted ad­vert­ising ef­fort un­til a week be­fore the elec­tion.

In fact, the Clin­ton cam­paign spent more money on tele­vi­sion ad­vert­ising in Ari­zona, Geor­gia, and the Omaha, Neb­raska mar­kets than in Michigan and Wis­con­sin com­bined.

Worse, due to bad targeting their vaunted “ground game” wound up driving Trump voters to the polls. Trump had his get-out-the-vote operation, and made Hillary pay for it!

OR IS HE POSITIONING HIMSELF FOR 2020? Joe Biden Admits: Hillary Lost Because She Failed to Reach Out to the White Working Class.

BACKBITING IN HILLARYLAND: Pantsuit Nation, like actual nation, divided and angry.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: UN Vote on Settlements Can’t Hide Palestinian Collapse.

Many Palestinians and many of their sympathizers would like to see this vote as a landmark victory for the Palestinian cause in a long campaign to isolate Israel diplomatically and to delegitimize it morally in the eyes of the world. The vote is certainly a propaganda victory for the Palestinian cause, but it does nothing to help the Palestinians in practical terms. Indeed, a sober look at the situation suggests that the Palestinians have not been this weak, this divided or this helpless in many decades. Almost everywhere one looks around the world, the net effect of the policies of the Obama presidency has been to undermine the movements and the values that the President hoped to support; the cause of the Palestinians and the quest for the two state solution are no exceptions to the rule.

Palestinians have been organizing to fight Zionism for well over 100 years; during all that time the fundamental problems of the Palestinians have come from the weakness of Palestinian political leadership and the lack of capacity of Palestinian institutions. During the Mandate period when Palestine was under British rule, the Jews organized a proto-state and a political leadership that was able to make the numerically smaller Jewish community much more effective and powerful on the ground than their Palestinian Arab rivals. The Palestinian Arabs were cursed by family and clan divisions, and perhaps most of all by the incompetent leadership of the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini, and were politically divided, militarily impotent and diplomatically inept in the most critical hours of their history. . . .

The Sunni Arabs, the most natural if always self-interested and undependable allies of the Palestinian cause, are so weak and divided that they look to Israel as a defender of the Sunni world against the Persians and the Shi’a. The European Union has never been less able to exert influence beyond its frontiers. The incapacity of the United Nations to do anything concrete in the Middle East has never been more obvious; ask the people of Aleppo how much of a player the United Nations really is. The end of the Obama administration would have been a setback for the Palestinians even if Hillary Clinton had been the next President; with the succession of Donald Trump the United States appears to be shifting toward a pro-Likud orientation in its Israel policy. Putin has broken from the Russian tradition of sympathy for the Palestinians; Erdogan at least for now is prioritizing his need for Israeli support over his instinctive sympathy for the Palestinians and in any case, his identification with Hamas threatens to perpetuate rather than to heal Palestinian weakness and division.

Meanwhile, inside Israel, the pro-settlement Right senses that this unprecedented moment of Palestinian weakness offers a historic opportunity.

No vote in the impotent echo chamber of the Security Council can change any of these facts.

Well, good.

TRUMP SPREADS DESTRUCTION AMID DEMOCRAT RANKS. IS THERE ANYTHING HE CAN’T DO? Pity the husbands of Los Angeles – sex therapist claims city’s Hillary-supporting women have lost their libido over Trump victory. “Sex therapist Kimberly Resnick Anderson claims Trump winning the presidency has led to a widespread loss of libido in the bedroom among her clients. Dubbing it ‘The Trump Bedroom Backlash’ Resnick Anderson says she has seen it time and again in her office.”

Between this and all the Democratic women engaging in self-mutilation over the election outcome, Democratic men may have to become Republicans in order to enjoy a satisfactory sex life.

NATE COHN: How The Obama Coalition Crumbled.

It is entirely possible, as many have argued, that Hillary Clinton would be the president-elect of the United States if the F.B.I. director, James Comey, had not sent a letter to Congress about her emails in the last weeks of the campaign.

But the electoral trends that put Donald J. Trump within striking distance of victory were clear long before Mr. Comey sent his letter. They were clear before WikiLeaks published hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. They were even clear back in early July, before Mr. Comey excoriated Mrs. Clinton for using a private email server.

It was clear from the start that Mrs. Clinton was struggling to reassemble the Obama coalition.

At every point of the race, Mr. Trump was doing better among white voters without a college degree than Mitt Romney did in 2012 — by a wide margin. Mrs. Clinton was also not matching Mr. Obama’s support among black voters.

This was the core of the Obama coalition: an alliance between black voters and Northern white voters, from Mr. Obama’s first win in the 2008 Iowa caucuses to his final sprint across the so-called Midwestern Firewall states where he staked his 2012 re-election bid.

In 2016, the Obama coalition crumbled and so did the Midwestern Firewall.

Obama won because of the support of a bunch of voters that he treated with contempt, and they finally noticed.

IS TRUMP BECOMING A CONSERVATIVE? “My guess is that throughout the general election campaign and continuing to the present, Trump has been stunned by the insane outpouring of hatred against him and his family from the Left and the Democratic Party,” posits John Hinderaker at Power Line. “My guess is that he didn’t see it coming. He wasn’t particularly conservative, and had never had anything to do with the social issues, the main locus of left-wing venom. As an urban real estate developer, he had worked collegially with Democrats in various cities. He had been a Democrat for much of his life; heck, he even had been a friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He must have been shocked by the hysterical hatred that the Democrats unleashed against him and his wife and children. Trump spends a fair amount of time on Twitter; how do you think he felt when he saw that #RapeMelania was one of the top trending hashtags? One thing we know about Trump is that if you hit him, he will hit back. During the campaign, he didn’t react much to the hatred that was unleashed against him, but I think we are seeing his response now. The liberals wanted war, so war they will get. Trump knows where his friends are–on the right–and it looks like that is where he will govern.”

Read the whole thing.

Related: Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca tweets and deletes “Eat shit, @realDonaldTrump,” and tweets, “Ivanka Trump is poised to become the most powerful woman in the world. Don’t let her off the hook because she looks like she smells good,” and “Ivanka HAS IT ALL, [and] by that I mean, ‘a job, family [and] sinister complicity in aiding the most aggressively anti-woman candidate of our time,’” before being embarrassed by Tucker Carlson last night.

JOE BIDEN: NOT EVEN HILLARY CLINTON KNEW FOR SURE WHY SHE RAN FOR PRESIDENT.

Ted Kennedy could not be reached in Hell for comment and/or Nelson Muntz-style savage laughter.

SALENA ZITO: Why Hillary Clinton is still losing supporters.

Audrey and Robert, a Virginia couple, were heading to Montana to visit their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren; Edward of Lancaster, Pa., was traveling to see his mother and brothers and sisters in Fort Wayne, Ind. All had voted for Trump — and all had noticed the way they were still being portrayed by the losing side.

“On Nov. 8 I went from a responsible, hard-working, upstanding citizen to an uninformed bigot who gleefully supports Russian interference in our elections and the destruction of our republic,” Robert said. “At least that’s what I have read in the newspaper or seen on television, so it must be true, right?”

Edward smiled, paused, and then said, “It is refreshing to hear your candor, it’s gotten to the point where you are afraid to not only express your opinion, but to stand by your opinion. Yes, I supported him and yes, I would do it again.”

“They’ve thrown everything at everyone who voted for Trump to deteriorate or place doubt in his supporters’ minds,” said Audrey.

“It astounds me that the press still doesn’t get it, that my party (Democrats) are blaming everyone but themselves for a poor message, poor messenger and the responsibility she bears for placing her email security in jeopardy . . . it’s not Comey’s fault. It’s hers,” said Elizabeth who was sitting in the booth across the aisle.

Elizabeth voted for Clinton, but wasn’t sure she’d do so again. “The way everyone is acting now post-election shows that no one, no one, has learned anything. She is just proving she deserved to lose,” she said.

Nobody likes a sore loser.

CHAUNCEY GARDNER COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT: Clinton Loss Shows the Importance of “Being There”

Addressing donors in Manhattan recently, Hillary Clinton said that she lost because of two “unprecedented” events: FBI Director James Comey announcing the reopening of an investigation into her use of a private email server, and the “unprecedented Russian plot to swing this election.”

Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta, who in the immediate aftermath of the election claimed that Clinton lost because the media gave Trump a pass, has more recently complained that the hacking of his personal email and emails of the Democratic National Committee by Russians had “distorted” the election outcome.

But analysis of final results in the three Rust Belt states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that cost Clinton the election suggests a less dramatic reason for her defeat than the machinations of Russian President Vladimir Putin. She may have lost simply because she failed to show up in crucial counties where she might have made a difference.

No doubt about it, Clinton was a terrible candidate with worse judgement. Here’s a reminder from last month of just how bad:

In the closing weeks of the presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s campaign — and the outside groups that supported it — aired more television advertisements in Omaha than in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin combined. The Omaha ads were in pursuit of a single electoral vote in a Nebraska congressional district, which Clinton did not ultimately win.

And this short video ought to go in everyone’s playbook of Exactly What Not to Do or Say:

Trump looked and sounded like he was having fun — and I suspect he was and still is. Clinton came across as annoyed that there was all of this campaigning to be done before her inevitable coronation.

TRENDS: The New Swing Voters Are Suburbanites And Populist, And Both Lean Right.

Brad Todd:

Democrats in 2016 now know their coalition, and their platform, has become too urban and elitist. Hillary Clinton carried each of the nation’s 18 largest cities by large margins—and none of those margins was decisive in changing a single electoral vote. For example, even if she’d tied Trump in New York City, she’d still have won the Empire State’s electoral votes due to her 62,845-vote victory in the rest of the state.

Republicans, meanwhile, saw rock-bottom shares of the suburban vote go for Trump, revealing a vulnerability unseen for the GOP since modern suburbs were invented in the middle of the last century.

Both parties shed an important part of their historic bases in 2016 and their task now is to get them back. Smart analysts looking toward the next election should ask whether it will be easier for Trump to placate his educated affluent defectors in suburban cul-de-sacs or for Democrats to heal the party’s estrangement from white voters outside metropolises.

If Trump can deliver on his promise of Rust Belt jobs, then it won’t matter if he wins the South and the Midwest in 2020 by smaller-than-GOP-normal margins — just like it didn’t matter last month.

THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID: GOP lawmaker: Bill Clinton ‘doesn’t want to let go.’

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., argued Tuesday that former President Bill Clinton is trying to delegitimize President-elect Trump by reminding voters that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, when Clinton should instead by helping to unite the country.

Which is funny, because Bill never won a majority of the popular vote. Were his two terms illegitimate?

QUESTION ASKED: Are We In a New Era of Espionage?

The release of the surreptitiously gathered information, either to tip an election in one direction or just to sow disorder, is novel—especially in the context of American elections. During the 2008 and 2012 cycles, political campaigns came under cyberattack, but if anything was stolen, it was never shared with the public.

Despite the unique nature of this intervention, the 2016 cyberattacks square with Russian intelligence techniques reaching as far back as the Cold War. It’s an evolution of the Soviet Union’s “active measures,” a tactic favored by the KGB that involved covertly spreading politically damaging fictions in order to seed discord in an enemy. Houghton pointed to an example: Operation INFEKTION, a Soviet misinformation campaign in the 1980s that claimed the U.S. Army had created the AIDS virus at a research facility in Maryland. The Soviet Union pushed the story particularly hard in Africa, where AIDS epidemics had broken out in several countries, and where the Kremlin was wrestling with the U.S. for influence.

“What we’re seeing, essentially, is a long-running, old, traditional struggle, perhaps being conducted in new ways with new technology,” said John Hughes-Wilson, a former British intelligence officer and the author of The Secret State, a history of espionage. “Do you not think the CIA is working hard—I bloody well hope they are, actually—to try and do stuff in Russia? I mean, why do you guys pay your taxpayer dollars?”

There’s very little that can be done to save hubristic politicians and their enablers from themselves. And there’s plenty of evidence now that the DNC emails weren’t hacked by Russians, but leaked by Democrats.

We can and should however hack-proof our elections by requiring photo ID, paper ballots, and ink-stained fingers.

THE NEW YORK TIMES’ READERS WILL LOVE THIS:

Donald Trump pulled off one of the greatest political feats in modern history by defeating Hillary Clinton and the vaunted Clinton machine. . . .

The election was a complete repudiation of Barack Obama: his fantasy world of political correctness, the politicization of the Justice Department and the I.R.S., an out-of-control E.P.A., his neutering of the military, his nonsupport of the police and his fixation on things like transgender bathrooms. Since he became president, his party has lost 63 House seats, 10 Senate seats and 14 governorships. . . .

Mr. Trump received over 62 million votes, not all of them cast by homophobes, Islamaphobes, racists, sexists, misogynists or any other “ists.” I would caution Trump deniers that all of the crying and whining is not good preparation for the coming storm. The liberal media, both print and electronic, has lost all credibility. I am reasonably sure that none of the mainstream print media had stories prepared for a Trump victory. I watched the networks and cable stations in their midnight meltdown.

The media’s criticism of Trump’s high-level picks as “not diverse enough” or “too white and male” — a day before he named two women and offered a cabinet position to an African-American — magnified this fact.

Here is a final word to my Democratic friends. The election is over. There will not be a do-over. So let me bid farewell to Al Sharpton, Ben Rhodes and the Clintons. Note to Cher, Barbra, Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham: Your plane is waiting. And to Jon Stewart, who talked about moving to another planet: Your spaceship is waiting. To Bruce Springsteen, Jay Z, Beyoncé and Katy Perry, thanks for the free concerts. And finally, to all the foreign countries that contributed to the Clinton Foundation, there will not be a payoff or a rebate.

As Eddie Murphy so eloquently stated in the movie “48 Hrs.”: “There’s a new sheriff in town.” And he is going to be here for 1,461 days. Merry Christmas.

True.

TIME FOR DEMOCRATS TO ACCEPT REALITY:

It’s possible that the Democratic National Committee leaks were caused by Russian hackers—but given that the hack took place thanks to John Podesta clicking on a link in a phishing email, displaying all the technological savvy of someone’s aunt extremely excited by the new iPhone she thinks she’s won, it could have been anyone. . . .

Whatever Russia did or didn’t do, the idea that its interference is what cost Hillary Clinton the election is utterly ludicrous and absolutely false. What cost Hillary Clinton the election can be summed up by a single line from Sen. Chuck Schumer, soon to be the country’s highest-ranking Democrat: “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.” As it turned out, he was fatally wrong. It wasn’t the Russians who told the Democratic Party to abandon the working-class people of all races who used to form its electoral base. It wasn’t the Russians who decided to run a presidential campaign that offered people nothing but blackmail—“vote for us or Dangerous Donald wins.” The Russians didn’t come up with awful tin-eared catchphrases like “I’m with her” or “America is already great.” The Russians never ordered the DNC to run one of the most widely despised people in the country, simply because she thought it was her turn. The Democrats did that all by themselves.

What the Russia obsession represents is a massive ethical failure on the part of American liberals.

To be fair, so was the Hillary campaign.

THE NEW YORK POST EDITORIALIZES: Bill Clinton’s sad excuses for Hillary’s defeat.

REMEMBER, IF YOUR SCHADENFREUDE LASTS FOR OVER A MONTH…. OH, WAIT, IT’S GOING TO BE AT LEAST FOUR YEARS, ISN’T IT? The Associated Press did all it could to elect Hillary Clinton, but today it (almost) gave up the ghost. 

GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY THE TRUMP TRAIN: ‘Faithless Electors’ so far Refusing to Vote for Hillary Clinton, Not Donald Trump.

ZOMBIE WRITES THAT TRUMP’S VICTORY IS A PIVOTAL TURNING POINT IN HUMAN HISTORY:

The results of these decades of indoctrination was plainly visible in the college students of today, who are all so left-wing by default that they consider standard Marxism too old-fashioned and conservative. Taking this into consideration, and remembering that the adults of today were the radical students of the recent past, it had seemed that these decades of indoctrination had been resoundingly successful, and that the U.S. electorate had swung wildly to the left, never to swing back, just as the Gramscian brainwashers had been planning and implementing for the last 50 or more years.

Ooops

And then November 8, 2016 happened, and BOOM: It was all revealed to be a lie. Not only did the indoctrination fail, but the general impression that the relentless indoctrination had always been successful was itself a gigantic meta-deception.

All the chatter and statistics and talk show “experts” proclaiming that America had forever swung Democratic? ALL LIES.

All the slanted polls, which were intended to convince everyone that Hillary was inevitable? ALL LIES.

The derision of Trump as a ludicrous fringe candidate and his supporters as wild-eyed extremists? ALL LIES.

And it’s not just that they were all lies — they were lies that had no effect. Somehow, without anyone noticing, a majority of the American populace had evolved a new immunity to progressive disinformation.

So we’re not all socialists now? File this infamous early 2009 cover with the rest of the DNC-MSM’s proverbial fake news:

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IT’S OFFICIAL: Electoral College votes to make Donald Trump president.

UPDATE: Congratulations, President-Elect Trump: “Happily, the effort to bribe or threaten electors into subverting the will of their voters came to nothing. As of the latest count, only two Trump electors, both from Texas, were faithless, while four Democrat electors voted for someone other than Hillary Clinton. It is a fitting end to a deeply contemptible and anti-democratic campaign by far too many Democrats.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Bill Clinton was impeached on this day 18 years ago.

ROGUE WON: 3 faithless electors vote for Colin Powell in Washington state.

Reports from Washington showed more faithless electors went against Clinton, continuing a trend seen in Maine, Minnesota and Colorado.

The votes were cast for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Maine and Minnesota — both of which were thrown out — and it’s unknown whom the elector in Colorado chose. His vote was also thrown out.

The votes in Washington will not be thrown out, as that state does not require electors to vote from among the two top vote getters. That means Powell and Faith Spotted Eagle, a Native American elder, will be among the candidates getting votes.

Democrats used to say Colin Powell lied to get us into war with Iraq, and now they’re voting for him over Hillary Clinton.

UPDATE: Heh.

AND:

I’M JUST WILD ABOUT HARRY: The Senate left town with 99 judicial vacancies, as well as the current Supreme Court opening.

There are also 38 judicial emergencies, according to the federal judiciary. Republicans had mulled confirming some judges if Hillary Clinton had won, GOP sources said before the election, but since Trump prevailed Republicans believed there was little reason to do any judicial confirmations in the lame duck. The Senate last voted on a judge on July 6, when Brian Martinotti was confirmed to a New Jersey district court.

The CRS data stretches back to 1987, and there is no modern equivalent to the slow-pace of judicial confirmations over the past two years. The second-fewest over that period was during the GOP-led Senate of 2005 and 2006, when just 51 of President George W. Bush’s judicial picks were confirmed.

“The numbers speak for themselves. The Republican-led Senate worked the fewest days in session since the 1950s, took the longest summer recess in modern era and confirmed the fewest judges and nominees in recent history. Those aren’t records to be proud of,” said Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman for outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

But Republicans argued that as majority leader, Reid goosed the numbers from 2013 to 2014, confirming 132 lifetime judges after changing the Senate rules to allow their confirmation by a majority vote. Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, said the judges that Reid confirmed after losing the Senate in 2014 would have been confirmed during this Congress — thereby skewing the statistics significantly. He also said Democrats blocked some nominations that vulnerable GOP incumbents were seeking to confirm this year.

If Democrats don’t already rue Reid’s tenure as Majority Leader, they soon will.

BILL CLINTON: Comey Ruined Hillary’s Shot at the Presidency.

So devious of Comey to put that unsecured email server in Hillary’s bathroom.

OBAMA ENDS WITH A WHIMPER: Michael Goodwin is having fun.

So this is how it ends — in a whimper wrapped in self-pity and recriminations. With President Obama on the defensive at his final press conference and Hillary Clinton’s last campaign event resembling a wake, the Democratic Party is limping off the stage and into the political winter.

It was supposed to sit atop the national power pyramid for decades, a new paradigm of liberals, progressives, the young, the old, the unions and blacks, Latinos, Muslims and Asians.

The torch would be passed from Obama to Clinton, a liberal Supreme Court would vastly expand executive power and the regulatory state would enforce climate-change orthodoxy on all industry and elitist dictates on every American. Globalism would be the new patriotism.

But a funny thing happened on the way to one-party dominance: The people who work for a living said no, hell no. Their revolt brings Donald Trump to the White House amid hopes of a revival of the economy and of the American spirit.

Yes.

NEWS FROM AN ALTERNATE TIMELINE WHERE THINGS DIDN’T TURN OUT NEARLY AS WELL: Kurt Schlichter: The Terrifying Aftermath Of Hillary’s Election Victory.

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Why They Oppose Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. “Groups like the Leadership Conference and American Civil Liberties Union and NAACP are no longer about civil rights. They are about enforcing an orthodoxy of identity politics. Identity politics helps Democrats win elections. The only way Hillary had a hope to win the White House was to ride intense racial polarization among black and Hispanic voters. The groups opposing Jeff Sessions now exist to divide Americans along the skin color lines. . . . They also want to cash out. Leading the opposition to Jeff Sessions is Nancy Zirkin from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The activists at the Leadership Conference live large on the struggle. The most recent IRS form 990s from this organization show Wade Henderson, the President, raked in $360,080 in compensation. But that’s just the start.”

OF COURSE THEY DO: Media Move To Delegitimize Trump’s Win.

Many in the national press have taken on the role of discrediting President-elect Trump’s victory, just days before the Electoral College is set to meet and officially make Trump the next president of the United States.

Because of mounting evidence that Russian hackers stole the emails of Democratic leaders and the FBI’s public condemnation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said the election was “illegitimate.”

“So this was a tainted election,” he said in an op-ed this week. “It was not, as far as we can tell, stolen in the sense that votes were counted wrong, and the result won’t be overturned. But the result was nonetheless illegitimate in important ways; the victor was rejected by the public, and won the Electoral College only thanks to foreign intervention and grotesquely inappropriate, partisan behavior on the part of domestic law enforcement.”

Last weekend on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” liberal Slate writer Jamelle Bouie also said the hacking had cast a shadow on Trump’s win, rendering it a farce.

Well, if Paul Krugman and Jamelle Bouie think the election of a Republican was illegitimate. . . .

Flashback: “As a journalist of my acquaintance joked on Twitter this week, I’m so old that I remember when it was dangerous and unpatriotic to question the validity of election results.”

DON SURBER: “Hillary Clinton lost because she is Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump exploited that and became President Trump.”

Related: The Deranged Twitter Thread That shows How Establishment Liberals Have Lost Their Minds. “Clearly something horrifying has happened to America’s great liberal intellects. One moment they were yapping along in the train of a historic political movement; now, ragged and destitute, they wander with lolling tongues in search of anything that might explain their new world to them.”

Send them Surber’s post.

THE CLINTON ARCHIPELAGO, as spotted by conservative talk radio host John Cardillo:

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Click to enlarge.

WELL, SURE, NOW SHE DOES: A.G. Lynch says she regrets tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton.

But if Hillary had won she’d be parlaying this into a Supreme Court seat.

IF THIS WERE HAPPENING TO HILLARY ELECTORS, PAUL KRUGMAN WOULD BE CALLING FOR MARTIAL LAW: Harassment of GOP electors continues as vote nears.

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: It’s Official: Clinton’s Popular Vote Win Came Entirely From California.

Democrats who are having trouble getting out of the first stage of grief — denial — aren’t being helped by the fact that, now that all the votes are counted, Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has topped 2.8 million, giving her a 48% share of the vote compared with Trumps 46%.

To those unschooled in how the United States selects presidents, this seems totally unfair. But look more closely at the numbers and you see that Clinton’s advantage all but disappears.

As we noted in this space earlier, while Clinton’s overall margin looks large and impressive, it is due to Clinton’s huge margin of victory in one state — California — where she got a whopping 4.3 million more votes than Trump.

California is the only state, in fact, where Clinton’s margin of victory was bigger than President Obama’s in 2012 — 61.5% vs. Obama’s 60%.

But California is the exception that proves the true genius of the Electoral College — which was designed to prevent regional candidates from dominating national elections.

In recent years, California has been turning into what amounts to a one-party state. Between 2008 and 2016, the number of Californian’s who registered as Democrats climbed by 1.1 million, while the number of registered Republicans dropped by almost 400,000.

What’s more, many Republicans in the state had nobody to vote for in November.

There were two Democrats — and zero Republicans — running to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer. There were no Republicans on the ballot for House seats in nine of California’s congressional districts.

At the state level, six districts had no Republicans running for the state senate, and 16 districts had no Republicans running for state assembly seats.

Plus, since Republicans knew Clinton was going to win the state — and its entire 55 electoral votes — casting a ballot for Trump was virtually meaningless, since no matter what her margin of victory, Clinton was getting all 55 votes.

I think California needs to be divided into several states. For fairness.

RIGHT.  IT’S MORE LIKE SPECIESISM. i JUST DON’T’ LIKE SPACE LIZARDS:Stop Blaming Hillary Clinton’s Loss on Racism.

MATT DRUDGE is enjoying the transition:

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UPDATE: Obama Press Conference Deflates Progressive Fantasies. “The fever swamps of the left were eager for Obama’s final press conference of the year. Would the CIA’s leaks about Russian hacking force the President to disrupt the transition? The Electoral College meets Monday — could Obama give them all the intelligence? Would Obama refuse to relinquish power to that borscht-slurping Putin stooge tweeting at 4 a.m. from Trump Tower? They were sorely disappointed. Obama instead gave another tedious, blame-shifting performance. Packing five minutes of content into an hour and 26 minutes of podium time, Obama began by outlining what a wonderful President he has been.”

Plus: “And then there was a pre-Festivus Airing of Grievances. Any discord in America or the world was due to Republicans, Assad, fake news, the DNC, guns, Putin, the press, Wikileaks, Hillary, or Iran (wait, I thought he fixed Iran). But to the chagrin of progressives, Obama deflated their case to somehow invalidate the election. . . . Rather than calling for more agitation, Obama recommended that Hillary voters accept their loss.”

Related: Liberal Media Turns On Obama.

ENFORCING A RED LINE:

So just what can stir our president from his “no drama Obama” cool indifference to aggression?

Russia invaded Georgia. After President Bush responded effectively to save Georgia from complete conquest, President Obama offered a “reset” to Russia.

Iran crushes a democracy movement in Iran. President Obama does nothing and says nothing.

Russian-backed Assad slaughters the Syrian people, including with the use of poison gas that was a “red line” for intervention. No American response.

Russia invaded Ukraine, including a shoot-down of a Malaysian airliner by Russian-backed separatist hand puppets. Little American response.

Iran tries to bomb a Saudi diplomat in Washington, D.C., with a bomb plot. There is no American response.

Chinese cyber-thefts of our economy and defenses rages. There is no apparent American response.

Russians violate nuclear arms agreement on theater nuclear weapons. Muted American response.

Russians hack Democratic emails when it looked like Hillary Clinton would win. No American response.

Trump wins election. Blood and Guts President Obama vows that this Russian cyber-aggression will not stand!

Heh.

DIAL L FOR LOSER: Democratic donors call for Clinton campaign post-mortem.

“A lot of the bundlers and donors still are in shock and disbelief by what happened. They’re looking for some introspection and analysis about what really happened, what worked and what didn’t,” said Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and a top campaign bundler himself. “It may take some time to do that, but people are still just scratching their heads.”

Or, in the words of a Midwestern fundraiser who’s kept in touch with fellow donors, “A lot of people are saying, ‘I’m not putting another fucking dime in until someone tells me what just happened.’”

Unless Democrats are willing to listen to advice from outside the echo chamber (Eric S Raymond and Scott Ott come to mind), their 2016 post-mortem won’t be any more effective than the one the GOP put together after 2012.

IF YOU STRIKE AT THE KING YOU MUST KILL HIM: Left for dead, Sen. Ron Johnson freed to shake up DC, repeal Obama regs.

Newly re-elected Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson isn’t supposed to be here.

After all, Washington’s political-media-donor clique had written off the businessman in a rematch against former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in a state the pundits said tilts Democratic.

First, the website FiveThirtyEight gave Feingold an 85 percent chance to win. Then Washington-based political action committees stopped writing checks to “RonJohn.” And finally he was mocked by critics for sticking with Donald Trump.

But he didn’t drown his sorrows in beer. He celebrated his independence from Washington with a Milwaukee-made Miller Lite.

“Back here in D.C., I realized how thoroughly I was written off. At least prior to the election, people were giving lip service to the thought I’d have a chance. I always thought I did,” he said in an interview.

And win he did, beating Feingold 50.2 percent to 46.8 percent, a bigger margin that Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton, and getting the largest vote total of any Wisconsin Republican to ever run.

Despite being a one-term senator, Johnson said he ran as an outsider who portrayed Feingold as a political lifer.

“It definitely was an outside of Washington campaign. It was also outside the professional political consultant class. It was breaking away from that and just running a campaign like a business person would trying to market a product. And I was the product,” he said.

Novel approach.

COMPETENCE: Republican National Committee Security Foiled Russian Hackers.

Russian hackers tried to penetrate the computer networks of the Republican National Committee, using the same techniques that allowed them to infiltrate its Democratic counterpart, according to U.S. officials who have been briefed on the attempted intrusion.

But the intruders failed to get past security defenses on the RNC’s computer networks, the officials said. And people close to the investigation said it indicated a less aggressive and much less persistent effort by Russian intelligence to hack the Republican group than the Democratic National Committee. Only a single email account linked to a long-departed RNC staffer was targeted.

The disclosures came as a political furor grows over suspected Russian hacking of U.S. political organizations. The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Russian hackers, whom analysts say work for that country’s military and intelligence apparatus, stole emails from the DNC, as well as another Democratic organization and the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, to harm her candidacy and boost Republican Donald Trump’s chances of winning. Russia has denied the allegations.

The possibility that Russians tried and failed to infiltrate the RNC doesn’t necessarily conflict with the CIA’s conclusion. A senior U.S. official said analysts now believe what started as an information-gathering campaign aimed at both parties later took on a focus of leaked emails about Mrs. Clinton and Democrats.

Two things come to mind. First, which party would you trust more with your national security? And second, it’s perfectly clear that with a Clintonista running things, the DNC servers were always going to contain much juicier material than anything on the RNC’s.

Listen up, Democrats: You can have a Clinton or you can have lax security, but you can’t have both.

LIKE MANY OF US, FOR WHOM THE ELECTION RESULTS WERE AN UTTER (AND WELCOME) SURPRISE, THE RUSSIANS BELIEVED THE POLLS: Russia’s election hack aimed to hurt Hillary — not help Trump.

ROGER SIMON: Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Vlad?

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GEORGE FRIEDMAN: Obama’s Deep Dive Into Putin’s Intent.

There are a number of questions to ask. First, why did Obama announce what I assume is a major analytic and covert effort to determine whether the Russians did it? Second, why did the CIA then tell officials that it already had done the deep dive and found evidence of Russian actions? Third, why didn’t the CIA tell the president that there was no need for a deep dive? Fourth, why didn’t the CIA share its information with the FBI? Fifth, how would Trump know there was no Russian effort? Finally, why does Congress want to get into the act? The last is the easiest to answer: cameras.

If all the sound and fury were correct, then either U.S. intelligence detected the attempt or the Russians with their usual clumsiness in these matters had poor operational security – unless they wanted it to become public. The detection of an operation to make Trump president did not hurt Clinton. It could devastate Trump. It was emphasized during the campaign that Russian President Vladimir Putin admired Trump, and vice versa. Given that, it would seem likely the Russians wanted Trump to be president. But of course, if they really wanted him to be president and effective, the last thing they would do is anything that would cast a shadow over him. Hacking Hillary to little effect and allowing U.S. intelligence to get wind of it would be imbecilic.

Whether or not Russian efforts were effective is the one question Democrats have yet to seriously consider (at best), and have taken pains to avoid (at worst). Also left unaddressed by the Left is the fact that the DNC’s digital security was so lax (not something we look for in a Commander-in-Chief and her coterie) that Russia was allowed free access to their servers for months. If Clinton had won, it seems likely as President she’d be the most exposed to Russian intelligence in our history, with the possible exception of if FDR had died a few months sooner and left Henry Wallace in charge.

Then there’s the actual content of the emails, which can hardly be addressed without igniting another intra-party civil war. It’s not a stretch to imagine that the primary purpose of all this sound and fury is to distract rank-and-file Democrats from all the disdain shown for them in Clintonworld.

We also have President Obama’s behavior — the unprecedented and reprehensible act of using America’s intelligence services to discredit his successor. This is small, even for the man who described Hillary Clinton as “likable enough” when they were rivals for the Democrat nomination, and who just can’t help reminding people about all the winning he’s done on the campaign trail.

It’s small and cheap and completely expected from a President who poisoned almost every American institution he touched.

MASSACHUSETTS ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY: Not All “Hate Crimes” Are Created Equal.

Attorney General Maura Healey said she does not intend to investigate the vilification and now-lifted campus ban of two pro-Donald Trump Babson College students for any civil rights violations — even as the pair face a disciplinary hearing Friday, though a police report found no basis for racism allegations against them.

Healey, a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, instead touted the hate crimes hotline she set up after Trump’s election. . . .

But she indicated she doesn’t consider the case of two pro-Trump students worth her office’s attention.

“We’re not involved in that matter specifically, but certainly wherever we see bias-motivated conduct, hate crimes and the like, we want to make sure that we’re taking that on and addressing it,” Healey said.

Unless, you know, the bias is against white male Republican students.

Related: Documents: Babson College used hearsay to condemn pro-Trump students for ‘victory lap.’

HE’S NOT ALONE: “’Maybe I’m just pissed off, but I really don’t give a shit about what happens to Huma to be honest with you,’ one close adviser to Hillary Clinton told me recently.”

By the way, when Vanity Fair(!) begins an article about the Clintons and their inner circle with a lede like that, you know how angry they are with Hillary – and her inner circle. Speaking of which:

But amid Clinton’s stunning post-election hangover, some inside the inner circle wonder if Abedin became overwhelmed by the attention, and shut too many people out. “She was enjoying the red carpet and enjoying the photo spreads much too much in my opinion,” one Clinton insider told me. “She enjoyed being a celebrity too much.” The close Clinton adviser elaborated that Abedin and the other tight-knit circle of people may have suffocated Clinton, preventing the campaign from taking in outside counsel. “The real anger is toward Hillary’s inner circle,” the Clinton insider told me. “They reinforced all the bad habits.” For instance, the suggestion had been made that Clinton should show her gregarious side, by, for instance, appearing more often on The View. (She appeared once, but Bernie Sanders, her rival for the nomination, appeared a handful of times.)

Why, it’s almost as if Hillary is a stunningly terrible retail politician or something.

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DOES ANYONE HERE KNOW HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME?

Maybe we were expecting too much from an unaccomplished Senator who went on to prove the Peter Principle to be overly optimistic during her tenure at State.

WHY ARE FEMINISTS SO NASTY AND HATEFUL TOWARD PRETTY WOMEN? Feminists Love To Hate Melania Trump, And It’s Hurting Their Cause.

Related: Feminists Take a Swing at Kellyanne Conway—and Whiff Totally. “To be clear, there is very little that has come out of Kellyanne Conway’s mouth the last couple of months I have agreed with. But of all of the things for feminists, including myself, to take issue with, her comments about motherhood should not be on the list. The fact that liberal leaning publications attacked her shows just how out of touch they are with many women across this country and their values, and it explains why so many in the East Coast media bubble remain shocked these women didn’t vote for Hillary – and their specific brand of feminism.”

You mean “Mean Girls” feminism? “These attacks on Conway were irresponsible, and are a perfect case study in why some younger women eschew the feminist label. After all, why would they want to be part of a group that seems like a less-fun sorority?”

JILL GLAM’S RECOUNTS FLOP: Why pick Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, Jill? Neil Cavuto asks her that. Her answers strike me as fog, but judge for yourself. (Background on Jill Glam and Hillary Scam.)

DEMOCRATS HAVE A HARD TIME REACHING THE “ACCEPTANCE” STAGE: 2 weeks ago it was Nazis, last week voter fraud, this week, Russians.

UPDATE: John Kass: Clinton Democrats build a mind palace.

The Clinton Democratic left has created a vast mind palace, an artificial world where they may craft a safe space, protected from post-traumatic Trump (election) disorder.

In this pleasant mind palace of theirs, where they don’t have to address Democratic failings, Hillary Clinton’s numerous faults and stupendous strategic blunders, two things stand out:

The CIA is now the left’s champion of truth and beauty.

And Russia, once the friend of the useful American left, is now its enemy.

Well, ever since the Hitler/Stalin pact, they’ve been accustomed to turning the party line on a dime.

UNEXPECTEDLY: New York Times Hires Reporter Who Sent Stories To Hillary Staffers For Approval.

Fortunately for the Times, unlike his pose during the previous eight years, I doubt Glenn Thrush will be feigning much boredom during the Trump administration. (Perhaps a little ignorance of history, though.) And I doubt he’ll dub their worst decisions as “badass.”

Just think of him as a Democrat operative with a byline, and you’ll rarely go far wrong.

SO IF PICKING THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS A “BRAND DECISION” FOR TRUMP, what does the Rex Tillerson pick say? Honestly, to me it looks like a bad pick. As CEO of Exxon, I’m sure the guy is competent, and he probably knows more about foreign relations than the average Senator, even those with Foreign Relations Committee experience. (Cough! *Joe Biden* Cough!)

But we’re talking branding here. What signal does Trump send with this pick? Some possibilities: (1) The Business Of America Is Business! (2) Remind me why Russia is our adversary? (3) We’re the #1 oil producer in the world thanks to fracking, and we’re going to increase our lead, so we want someone who understands how we can use the Oil Weapon. (4) I got nothin’.

As for #1, well, fine, but I don’t think that’s where Trump wants to go, is it? As for (2), Russia pretty clearly is our adversary. Just because you don’t want to risk nuclear war with them like Hillary did doesn’t mean that they’re our friend. Putin fooled Bush, who thought he looked into his soul, but Trump should have the benefit of that experience. (3) The oil thing kinda makes sense, but do you need an Exxon CEO for that? (4) This is pretty much my main take. I’m comforted, though, that Robert Gates and Condi Rice like Tillerson. Maybe Trump just thinks his own brand is so strong that he doesn’t need to make a branding statement with his Secretary of State pick? Or maybe it’s a literary conspiracy. “Ayn Rand was perhaps the leading literary voice in 20th century America for the notion that, in society, there are makers and takers, and that the takers are parasitic moochers who get in the way of the morally-superior innovators.” Well, if Rand didn’t convince people of that, Obama should have.

Any thoughts? Weigh in in the comments.

ROLL CALL: How Tomi Lahren Could Get Elected to Congress.

With millions of video views and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, young Tomi Lahren is leaving her mark on the political world from her new media perch on the right. Could Congress be next?

Lahren is no stranger to Republicans, conservatives, and Donald Trump supporters. Her “Final Thoughts” segment chastising San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for protesting racial injustice by sitting during the national anthem has been viewed more than 66 million times on Facebook.

The confrontational 24-year old was introduced to the rest of the country (and the rest of the ideological spectrum) recently with a profile in The New York Times, “Young, Vocal and the Right’s Rising Media Star,” and a 26-minute sparring match with Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central.

If she wants it, Lahren would have a plausible path to Congress.

She is a native of Rapid City, South Dakota. And less than a week after winning re-election last month, GOP Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota announced she would leave her at-large district at the end of her term to run for governor in 2018.

With Trump’s 62 percent to 32 percent victory over Hillary Clinton in the Mount Rushmore State and Noem’s 64 percent to 36 percent re-election victory, the battle for the congresswoman’s seat will essentially take place in the Republican primary.

Lahren has the opportunity to overwhelm the field.

Well, stay tuned.

FAUXCAHONTAS SCALPS WRONG PALEFACE:

Senator Elizabeth Warren, furious about President-elect Donald J. Trump’s appointments of finance industry insiders, took to Facebook a little over a week ago to fire off a message to her nearly 2.5 million followers.

She took aim at an individual she described as a “hedge fund billionaire” who is “thrilled by Donald Trump’s economic team of Wall Street insiders.”

The hedge fund manager she condemned was Whitney Tilson, who runs Kase Capital. Ms. Warren — the fiery Massachusetts Democrat who is known for her stern mistrust of Wall Street — called him out by saying, “Tilson knows that, despite all the stunts and rhetoric, Donald Trump isn’t going to change the economic system.” Then she added, “The next four years are going to be a bonanza for the Whitney Tilsons of the world.”

There’s one rather glaring problem with Ms. Warren’s attack: Mr. Tilson happens to be one of the few financial executives who publicly fought Mr. Trump’s election and supported Hillary Clinton. A lifelong Democrat who was involved in helping to start Teach for America, Mr. Tilson also happened to be one of the rare Wall Street executives who had donated to Ms. Warren and actively sought new regulations for the industry. Recently, he gave Mrs. Clinton $1,000 so he could see Ms. Warren speak at a campaign fund-raiser. (He’s also far, far from a billionaire.)

As with Obama, and Occupy Wall Street, someone remind the history-challenged Warren that Wall Street tends to vote Democrat these days.

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Gawker’s Fall & the Trump-Era Threat to 1st Amendment.

For decades, the news media benefitted from the deference paid by courts to the judgments of newspaper editors. The judge in federal court treated Gawker’s editors as if they were running a newspaper, and he declined to second-guess them about what constitutes the news. The jury in state court did the opposite. The question now is whether the law, instead of treating every publication as a newspaper, will start to treat all publications as Web sites—with the same skepticism and hostility displayed by the jury in Tampa. The new President and his fellow-billionaires, like Thiel, will certainly welcome a legal environment that is less forgiving of media organizations. Trump’s victory, along with Hulk Hogan’s, suggests that the public may well take their side, too.

I’m not sure exactly what “Trump-Era Threat” is supposed to mean. There doesn’t seem to be a threat from Trump, who knows exactly how to get what he wants out of the press. Are we supposed to feel threatened by an “era” merely because of its unseemly namesake? Perhaps then “Trump-Era Threat” is in the headline just to generate pageviews.

Who knows?

So then a more important question is, would the New Yorker have headlined a “Clinton-era threat” in Gawker’s wake had Hillary won the election?

Let’s talk about that Clinton-era threat — hypothetical, thank goodness — because it seems certain that there would have been one.

Hillary Clinton was the subject of the movie in the Citizens United case, which as a candidate she promised to see overturned — silencing political filmmakers for generations to come. It was on Clinton’s behalf (following her blunder at Benghazi) that an innocent YouTube videomaker was jailed for nearly a year. Just last week it was Clinton who urged “that Congress should take action against” purveyors of what she deems to be “fake news.” And forget mere threats, what about two years ago when Democrats tried to repeal the First Amendment? That, too, was backed by Hillary Clinton.

Whatever you might think of Donald Trump or the merits of the Gawker verdict, Hillary Clinton’s record on freedom of speech is atrocious — for which she has never been held accountable by the very press she has sought to control.

Even if Trump were to somehow turn out to be as hostile to free speech as Clinton is, at least he’d have Jeffrey Toobin et al. to hold him to account.

UPDATE: From the comments:

Was this summer the Era of Trump? First everything was George W Bush’s fault, even after he left office. Now it’s all Trump’s fault, even before he’s formally elected President.

Obama hasn’t even left the White House and it’s already like he was never there.

Faster, please.

OOPS: A big change to U.S. broadcasting is coming — and it’s one Putin might admire. Note the headline that tries to imply that Trump’s presidency will be Putin-like. But there’s this:

The Obama administration — perhaps anticipating a Hillary Clinton presidency — supported these changes.

And, so, once again:

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SORRY, GUYS, YOU LET HILLARY DOWN. How A Free Press Became “Fake.” Just a reminder, the reviled Citizens United case was about Hillary wanting people who criticized her punished.

THANK GOODNESS WE’VE PUT THE OBAMA “BOYS CLUB” WHITE HOUSE BEHIND US: Trump expected to pick Cathy McMorris Rodgers to run Interior as he nears assembling the most woman-packed initial cabinet in history.

Under Trump, we’d never see anything as disgraceful as this scene, involving Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau:

“Fraternities have been closed for less.”

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

THOMAS LIFSON: The great Russia-hacked-the-election con.

Most of the American media are “reporting” that President Obama ordered an investigation “Russian hacking of our election,” and that the intelligence community “confirms” that it happened. Yet there is not yet any evidence that Russia hacked the election or was responsible for the DNC email hacks. None.

When self-interested people and their media allies proclaim something is true, and for a chorus that drowns out any other views, I always suspect a con. . . .

Where is the skepticism? The Russian hacking scenario is an excuse for the Democrats to explain away their loss without blaming themselves or their candidate, and it serves to delegitimize the next president – a bad thing for the country.

My own suspicion is that an insider at the DNC leaked the emails. There is as much evidence for the public to see supporting that assertion as there is for the claim that the Russians did it.

To the extent that it was a Russian hack, it was mostly due to Hillary and other Democrats’ exercising criminal negligence in matters of security. That’s hardly an argument that she should have been President.

Related:

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MONEY WITHOUT SCRUTINY: Big, Very Rich and Dangerous: Time to Rein in Private Charitable Foundations.

A few years ago, Mark Steyn sagely observed, “In America today, few activities are as profitable as a ‘nonprofit.’” Nothing warrants changing that assessment now. President-elect Trump has a lot on his plate if he plans to turn around the ship of state. But if it’s not too presumptuous, I’d like to add one more item to his agenda: a substantial rewrite of the laws respecting our tax-exempt sector, reining in private foundations. . . .

Together, private and public charitable foundations are apparently sitting on trillions of dollars of assets.

These organizations have grown to massive size — and are poorly, if at all, regulated. Instead of meeting the charitable needs of citizens that government funds were inadequate to provide for, foundations are regularly being misused to fund organizations and outfits antithetical to our best interests, disenfranchising us and working at cross purposes to the desires and beliefs of most Americans. The achievements of a few big foundations include undermining the war on terror, Balkanizing our universities and society, lobbying for open borders, and undermining our economy with radical environmentalism. –

The most egregious offenders in terms of size seem to be those foundations categorized as private “non operating foundations” such as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation –which exist primarily to give grants to others, and it will be these to which I refer here. (Operating foundations function rather like public charities, providing direct support to a school, a hospital, or another specific charitable program, and are not the subject of this article.)

The Foundations that are my focus are those like the Tides Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation.

There’s a burgeoning interest among legal scholars, in business associations and tax, in reining in and scrutinizing nonprofits.

I’M SURE THE NEW TRUMP-APPOINTED FBI DIRECTOR WOULD BE BIG-LEAGUE TERRIFIC: Harry Reid: Comey is ‘the new J. Edgar Hoover’ and should resign.

Don’t these people ever think anything through?

Plus: “The Obama White House had the same information Reid is now suggesting Director Comey was sitting on. Why isn’t Reid upset with the White House for failing to release it? More to the point, if the CIA was confident of this in October, why didn’t DHS and the DNI mention it then? . . . Of course it’s possible Reid knows something the public does not but usually when we start down that road it turns out Reid is just lying. The most likely explanation for Reid’s outburst is that President Obama doesn’t make a convenient villain to help explain why Hillary lost the election, whereas James Comey does. As we’ve come to expect from Senator Reid, this is about scoring partisan political points and not about telling the truth.”

SO, I WAS WRITING ABOUT THIS PUTIN STUFF BACK IN JULY, but nobody seemed to care then.

Meanwhile, if you want to do something about Russian interference going forward, we need to (1) get serious with cybersecurity and not give divas like Hillary a pass because they’re divas; (2) go to paper ballots and other forms of enhanced election-integrity protections. I’d go full-bore with the kinds of standards used in many other countries: Photo ID, dyed finger, paper ballots counted in a big open room in front of many witnesses, etc. U.S. elections aren’t run according to accepted international standards, and that should be fixed.

And remember, anyone who doesn’t want to fix things is obviously a big ole Putin stooge.

JOHN EKDAHL: Question: were all the international donations into Obama’s 2008 campaign foreign influence in our elections? Yes, but they were foreign influence that the press approved of, so questioning them was racist.

For those who’ve forgotten, dubious donations, Gangster Government edition.

Plus: “According to journalist Kenneth Timmerman, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently – in contrast not just with McCain but also with Hillary Clinton. Sen. Clinton’s presidential campaign required US citizens living abroad to fax copies of their passports before it would accept donations. By contrast, foreign donors to Obama can just use credit cards and false addresses. Why has the Obama campaign chosen to operate without the basic automated credit-card controls that would prevent or hamper fraud and illegal contributions?”

The Obama campaign’s online donation system was designed to facilitate the flow of untraceable foreign money. But that’s not “foreign influence” because shut up.

WHEN “DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION” DOESN’T APPLY TO REPUBLICANS: Republican Student Gets A Liberal Dose of Intolerance at Harvard.

It ain’t easy being a Republican at Harvard, and certainly not in the era of Donald Trump, according to Emily Hall, an unabashed conservative at the world’s most famous university.

Hall, a junior who’s majoring in government, watched the presidential election results come in at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, once again finding herself in the minority while stunned Hillary Clinton supporters openly sobbed with each victory racked up by Trump.

“I felt bad for them,” Hall said of her liberal schoolmates. “But I also recognize that people would not have felt bad for me if I had been the one crying.” . . .

Hall, a 20-year-old native of Clinton, Conn., said professors and students often broached Trump’s victory as if a horrific tragedy had taken place and spoke of creating support for Clinton backers.

“Had Hillary won, I don’t know those same sentiments would have been extended, because the assumption was the majority of everyone in the room were liberals and were Democrats,” said Hall. “It was just disheartening to me.”

There have been other examples of well-meaning liberal professors not presenting balance in their lectures, she said.

“They want to include conservative perspectives in the classroom, they just don’t know how,” said Hall. “And I think they may not even realize that what they’re teaching has a liberal bent to it, because there are so few conservatives there to actually challenge that.”

All that talk about “othering,” marginalizing, and microaggressions? They put it to work when dealing with non-lefty students.