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ANDREW MCCARTHY: It’s Not Just The Clintons: The Obama Administration’s Uranium One Scandal. “The Clintons were just doing what the Clintons do: cashing in on their ‘public service.’ The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront but hardly alone, was knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom. Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony, extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.”

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: The Hill: Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision.

As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

“In the context of a possible trip to Russia at the end of June, WJC is being asked to see the business/government folks below. Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks,” Clinton Foundation foreign policy adviser Amitabh Desai wrote the State Department on May 14, 2010, using the former president’s initials and forwarding the list of names to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team.

The email went to two of Hillary Clinton’s most senior advisers, Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills.

And it sounds like even they were dubious:

Current and former Clinton aides told The Hill that the list of proposed business executives the former president planned to meet raised some sensitivities after Bill Clinton’s speaker bureau got the invite for the lucrative speech.

Hillary Clinton had just returned from Moscow and there were concerns about the appearance of her husband meeting with officials so soon after.

In addition, two of the Russians on the former president’s list had pending business that would be intersecting with State.

On a related note, a reader emails:

You know…when Hillary “fell on stairs” and “broke her toe” and then cancelled all the remaining interviews, I DID wonder if she was going into hiding b/c a story was about to break. Seems the uranium deal story is it. Yet she’s still being protected. I’m actually surprised at that. Figured if the DNC was really tired of her, they’d let it rip.

Yeah, the press hasn’t stopped covering for her the way it stopped covering for Harvey Weinstein. But I think that’s mostly because covering for her on this is a necessary part of covering for Obama.

UPDATE: And on that last note, see this from Andrew McCarthy. “The Uranium One scandal is not only, or even principally, a Clinton scandal. It is an Obama-administration scandal.”

PETER FERRARA: Economic Growth Is Not a Mystery, Yet It Eludes Democrats.

Obama fundamentally transformed America by following the opposite of every Reagan pro-growth policy:

Raised the top tax rate of every major U.S. tax, except the corporate rate, which was already the highest in the developed world;

Imposed draconian regulation on health care, finance and most importantly energy, just when America was emerging with the resources for energy independence to lead the world in production of oil, natural gas and coal;

Raised federal spending, deficits and debt to highest in American history by far;

Supported the Fed in wildly destabilizing monetary policy, with near zero interest rates for nearly a decade, and a flood of money held back by the Fed for now, which only further discouraged global investment in America.

This is why the economy never recovered from the 2008-09 financial crisis, and why instead we got the worst economic recovery from a Recession since the Great Depression, with only 2 percent economic growth. America’s historical record is that the worse the recession is the stronger the recovery, as the economy grows faster than normal for a couple of years to catch up to where it should be on the long-term trendline. That is why we should have come out of the financial crisis in a long-term economic boom, potentially stronger than even Reagan’s.

But to this day, eight years later, that still has not yet happened. Instead, we are still $2 to $3 trillion below where we should be.

This is why Democrats lost the 2016 election. Trump promised to restore Reagan’s pro-growth policies. Hillary promised more of the same Obama failure.

Democrats have yet to catch up with the rest of the world in realizing that socialism does not work. That Bernie Sanders’ throwback silliness continues to spread throughout the Democratic Party is costing it big time.

The difference between 4 percent real growth and 2 percent after 50 years is the difference between America and Third World stagnation.

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.

OF COURSE THEY DO:  Uranium One: Media Scrambles To Protect Obama, Hillary And Russia Trump Narrative!

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Frontier Moved.

The Russian effort was in fact so small, especially when laid alongside Hillary’s giant purchases, that when asked to find the ads Facebook couldn’t even detect them. “Instead of searching through impossibly large batches of data … Facebook zeroed in on a Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency, which had been publicly identified as a troll farm. ‘They worked backward,’ a U.S. official said of the process at Facebook.” Only then could they find the needle in the haystack.

Faced with the numbers Madrigal concludes the ads themselves were unimportant. The Kremlin must have bought the ads as research; to discover what messages bombed and which succeeded. “Think of it as a real-time focus group to test for the most viral content and framing.” But the theory that Russian genius guided Trump’s diabolical babblings fails before one fact. It is now known that Facebook itself that was guiding Donald’s campaign.

Yes, Facebook helped Trump.

This was a regular product offering. Facebook had built analysis tools and offered consulting services to both candidates but apparently only Trump’s newbie team used the analytics Facebook supplied. Hillary’s team decided it did not need help, while Donald’s team took full advantage of it. “The Trump campaign’s digital director, Brad Parscale, says Facebook targeting played a major role in the president’s win last November. Parscale says the campaign accepted help from Facebook employees, which he ‘heard’ the Clinton campaign did not do.”

Fascinating, and serves as further evidence that Clinton made an election-losing mistake in making Robby Mook her point man for All Things Data.

For whatever this anecdote is worth, I’ve also noticed that while YouTube appears to be throttling (and in at least one case, demonetizing) Bill Whittle.com videos, on Facebook our traffic is still trending upwards.

WE HAVE THE WORST POLITICAL CLASS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. FBI Confirms: Yes, James Comey Finished His Draft of the Speech Absolving Hillary Clinton Months Before Concluding the Investigation.

Perhaps that explains Comey’s not-so-righteous indignation last year as caught in this Power Line video: “You can call us wrong, but don’t call us weasels. We are not weasels. We are honest people and…whether or not you agree with the result, this was done the way you want it to be done.”

What a weasel.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Post Editorial Board: Team Obama’s stunning cover-up of Russian crimes.

It turns out the Obama administration knew the Russians were engaged in bribery, kickbacks and extortion in order to gain control of US atomic resources — yet still OK’d that 2010 deal to give Moscow control of one-fifth of America’s uranium. This reeks.

Peter Schweizer got onto part of the scandal in his 2015 book, “Clinton Cash”: the gifts of $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, and the $500,000 fee to Bill for a single speech, by individuals involved in a deal that required Hillary Clinton’s approval.

The New York Times confirmed and followed up on Schweizer’s reporting — all of it denounced by Hillary as a partisan hit job.

But now The Hill reports that the FBI in 2009 had collected substantial evidence — eyewitnesses backed by documents — of money-laundering, blackmail and bribery by Russian nuclear officials, all aimed at growing “Vladimir Putin’s atomic-energy business inside the United States” in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The bureau even flagged the routing of millions from Russian nuclear officials to cutouts and on to Clinton Inc.

Hillary Clinton, again, sat on a key government body that had to approve the deal — though she now claims she had no role in a deal with profound national security implications, and during the campaign called the payments a coincidence.

The Obama administration — anxious to “reset” US-Russian relations — kept it all under wraps, refusing to tell even top congressional intelligence figures. . . .

There’s more: Until September 2013, the FBI director was Robert Mueller — who’s now the special counsel probing Russian meddling in the 2016 election. It’s hard to see how he can be trusted in that job unless he explains what he knew about this Obama-era cover-up.

And maybe not even then. (Bumped).

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: HILLARY CONFIDANT LINDA BLOODWORTH-THOMASON KNEW OF WEINSTEIN. “The creator of ‘Designing Women’ and Clinton confidant details horrific stories of sexual impropriety and abuse of power (“The No. 1 casting criterion for an actress is that she be ‘hot and f—able”) and reveals she warned Democrat operatives about Harvey Weinstein’s rumored behavior.”

How much of a “Clinton confidant” is Bloodworth-Thomason? In 2014, the Hollywood Reporter listed her as being one of five of “Hillary Clinton’s Biggest Hollywood Confidants,” and as they note, “they’ve known each other since the ’80s, when the Clintons were occupying the governor’s mansion.”

This makes Hillary’s Sgt. Schultz impersonation that she knew nothing – nothing! – of Weinstein’s degradations – while taking nearly $1.5 million of his money over the years seem increasingly implausible. Why is Democrat-dominated Hollywood such a cesspit of abuse and misogyny?

Harvey Weinstein and then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arriving to the New York premiere of ‘Finding Neverland’ at the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, New York on October 25, 2004. Brooklyn, New York. (Rex Features via AP Images.)

UPDATE (FROM STEVE): Yep.

The only girl power Hillary has ever been interested in is her own.

ANN ALTHOUSE TO LARRY LESSIG: “Professor Lessig, you need a causation element.”

All this unproved “collusion” with Russia had less to do with the election’s outcome than Hillary’s own awfulness — and failure to campaign in key states. But if you want to find collusion with Russia, well, there’s this.

HILLARY CLINTON’S RUSSIAN SCANDAL:

The Hill reporters John Solomon and Alison Spann’s inquiry found that the FBI began investigating an effort by the Russian government to infiltrate the American nuclear materials industry as early as 2009. “Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States,” they reported.

These reporters were privy to documents revealing the scope of the FBI’s operation, which was extensive and supported the allegation that Moscow had “compromised” a Uranium trucking firm. All of this took place before the Russian energy firm Rosatom secured its first 17 percent stake in the American nuclear materials extraction company Uranium One in 2009. A year later, Rosatom won a majority stake in that company—a deal that had to be approved at the highest levels of the American government and which alarmed observers who fretted the national security implications of that kind of concession to Moscow.

Meanwhile, between 2009 and 2013, the Clinton Foundation was the recipient of four suspicious tranches of donations totaling $2.35 million from Russian-linked sources including Uranium One’s chairman. Former President Bill Clinton personally received half a million dollars for one speech in Moscow from a Russian government-linked investment bank that was promoting Uranium One stock. While the Uranium One deal was under consideration by the Treasury Department, that bank’s analysts were talking up the value of that firm’s stock.

Weird how little media attention this has gotten.

FANTASYLAND: How Hillary Clinton Can, and Should, Become President After the Trump-Russia Investigation.

This …unlikely… scenario comes from no less than Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig:

If number 1: If Trump is definitively found to have colluded directly with Russia, he would be forced to resign or be impeached.

If number 2: If Trump is removed, Vice President Mike Pence would become president.

If number 3: If Pence becomes president, he should resign too, given that he benefited from the same help from Mother Russia.

If number 4: If Pence resigns before appointing a vice president, Ryan would become president.

If number 5: If Ryan becomes president, he should do the right thing and choose Clinton for vice president. Then he should resign.

Does the left still fancy itself as the “reality-based community?”

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): “Mother Russia?”

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Liberals Embrace ‘Dark Money:’ Fusion GPS rolls out a novel excuse to block a House subpoena.

Remember when Democrats and the press corps complained about “dark money” and wanted to rewrite the First Amendment to ban certain campaign contributions? Well, well. Now the progressive operatives at Fusion GPS are invoking free-speech rights to block the House Intelligence Committee’s probe of the infamous Steele dossier.

Fusion GPS is the opposition research firm behind the Steele dossier claiming that Donald Trump colluded with Russians to win the 2016 election. Congress is investigating Russian influence, and former British spook Christopher Steele relied on Russian sources. The dossier is clearly of interest, perhaps even a Rosetta Stone in the probe.

Yet Fusion chief Glenn Simpson won’t cooperate, and on Monday the company’s lawyers sent a letter to the House Intelligence Committee refusing to comply with subpoenas for documents and testimony related to the dossier. The letter claims the subpoenas “violate the First Amendment rights of our clients and their clients, and would chill any American running for office . . . from conducting confidential opposition research in an election.”

Hello? Mr. Simpson must be having a good laugh at that one. Surely he knows that his many Democratic clients have spent most of the last decade moaning about “dark money” donations in politics. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders proposed rewriting the First Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling so government could regulate political speech. Fusion must also not have read the avalanche of press releases from Democrats like Chuck Schumer demanding disclosure of all political donations.

Citizens United protected the broadcast of a movie opposing Hillary Clinton—obvious political speech. But the House wants to know who paid Fusion to dig up dirt on Mr. Trump and whether any of that money or intelligence came from foreign sources. The First Amendment doesn’t protect attempts by foreign governments or agents to influence U.S. elections.

Foreign campaign contributions are banned under U.S. law, and in the 1990s Congress conducted extensive investigations into Chinese and other donations to the Clinton campaign. No one claimed the Riady family’s donations were protected political speech because they financed Bill Clinton’s re-election.

Fusion by its own admission has worked in the past on a lobby campaign for a Russian company with ties to the Kremlin. Investigators want to know if those clients or other foreign actors had anything to do with the commissioning or production of the Steele dossier.

It’s as if all the talk of Trump/Russia collusion, which has so far turned out to be vaporware, was just a smokescreen to cover the real collusion.

TIM BLAIR HILARIOUSLY ANNOTATES a softball Hillary interview.

LOOKING FOR A RUSSIAN BRIBERY PLOT? HERE IT IS, AND IT INVOLVES OBAMA AND CLINTON: FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow.

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account – backed by documents – indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefitting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions. . . .

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

So it was basically a coverup. Plus:

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI.

The connections to the current Russia case are many.

Well none of this builds confidence.

MARK PENN: You Can’t Buy the Presidency for $100,000.

This is the same Mark Penn who’s been polling for the Clintons for two decades:

Look at the bigger picture. Every day, Americans see hundreds of ads on TV and radio, in newspapers and magazines, on billboards and smartphones. North Americans post to Facebook something like a billion times a day, and during the election many of those messages were about politics. Facebook typically runs about $40 million worth of advertising a day in North America.

Then consider the scale of American presidential elections. Hillary Clinton’s total campaign budget, including associated committees, was $1.4 billion. Mr. Trump and his allies had about $1 billion. Even a full $100,000 of Russian ads would have erased just 0.025% of Hillary’s financial advantage. In the last week of the campaign alone, Mrs. Clinton’s super PAC dumped $6 million in ads into Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

I have 40 years of experience in politics, and this Russian ad buy, mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a carefully targeted campaign to move voters. It takes tens of millions of dollars to deliver meaningful messages to the contested portion of the electorate. Converting someone who voted for the other party last time is an enormously difficult task. Swing voters in states like Ohio or Florida are typically barraged with 50% or more of a campaign’s budget. Try watching TV in those states the week before an election and you will see how jammed the airwaves are.

Yes, but it’s much easier for Democrats to blame Russia than to admit that Hillary squandered a billion dollars of donor money and her husband’s legacy on the most tin-eared and inept campaign since Mike Dukakis went on sabbatical just as Lee Atwater’s attack machine went into full gear.

Plus: “The only way Russia will get its money’s worth is if Washington overreacts and narrows the very freedoms that make America different in the first place.”

That’s what I’ve been arguing on this page for months now.

CLARICE FELDMAN: Take Back Your Diamonds, Take Back Your Pearls, What Makes You Think I Was One of Weinstein’s Girls?

Jimmy Kimmel says he’s laid off the Harvey Weinstein jokes because he’s not the “moral conscience of America” (there’s also a video of him asking young women to guess what’s in his crotch. And suggesting they feel it and put their mouths on it).

Famously, NBC is playing shy about the scandal, having refused to broadcast the detailed exposé by Ronan Farrow, who took it to the New Yorker which did publish it.

The story has laid bare the hypocrisy of the media giants, Democratic biggies, and the Hollywood virtue signalers.

At the Boston Herald, Howie Carr reminds us of the NBC double standard. . . .

Once Again the Elite Set Up a Two-tier System on Misogyny

For college males they set in motion the horrible, anti-due process Title IX witchhunts. They cheered on the phony rape charges against the Duke Lacrosse team and the University of Virginia fraternity. For their own gang, they looked the other way or set up excuses like Steinem’s “One Grope” rule or Nina Burleigh’s offer to fellate Bill Clinton because of his stand on abortion. Every woman who marched in a pussy hat for Hillary should do some serious soul searching.

But they won’t.

STACY MCCAIN: Harvey Weinstein Is the ‘Patriarchy,’ and Other Feminist Non Sequiturs. “Nearly half a century has passed since the radical Women’s Liberation Movement emerged in the late 1960s. Why is it that Harvey Weinstein — an avowed ‘progressive’ and a major donor to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats — got away with preying on young women for decades?”

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Facebook takes down data and thousands of posts, obscuring reach of Russian disinformation.

Related: “Liberals deliberately designed Facebook to influence elections but it went off in Hillary’s inept hands.”

“Not upon us, oh, King! Not upon us!” (Bumped).

NOT A GOOD LOOK FOR HER: Chelsea Clinton runs from questions about handing back Harvey Weinstein’s tainted $250,000 donations — and her father deploys security to keep the Press away.

Weinstein reportedly donated a total of $1,492,673.45 to Hillary over the last two decades.

Besides also taking his money, has anyone asked Barack or Michele what on earth they were thinking letting their daughter intern for him earlier this year?  Did anyone warn them of his lecherous nature? As far left New York magazine journalist/Veep producer Frank Rich tweeted last week, “Biggest mystery of @nytimes Weinstein story: How exemplary parents like Obamas let their daughter work there. The stories were out there.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: Jerry Jones’ legacy on the line by putting Cowboys at epicenter of ugly partisan divide, says the Dallas Morning News. 

Sure it will. In Texas, particularly. Tom Landry and Tex Schramm required their players to stand for the national anthem for 30 years without doing much harm to their reputations. But then, that was an era when football took priority over the political story of the day in both the NFL and among newspaper sportswriters.

Flashback: Dallas Morning News endorses Hillary Clinton, backing first Democrat in 76 years.

THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN DEMOCRAT BONFIRE: “Just five months ago, Harvey Weinstein was hanging out with Hillary Clinton at Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary gala.”

SAY, HAVE WE HEARD FROM JIMMY KIMMEL YET? Harvey Weinstein Caught on Tape by NYPD Admitting to Groping.

Related: A-listers Who Worked With Harvey Weinstein Denounce His ‘Vile’ History of Alleged Sexual Harassment. So it’s probably safe for Jimmy to say something now. Hey, maybe even Hillary and Barack will break their silence.

UPDATE: Three Women Accuse Weinstein of Rape.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: As Democrats denounce Weinstein, Clintons and Obama stay mum.

Longtime Hillary Clinton aides have been confused by the former secretary of state’s silence on the issue, questioning — in private — why she has not weighed in at all.

Weinstein has long been a Clinton donor with ties to the political family. Weinstein was one of many from Hollywood who donated to Bill Clinton’s legal defense fund in the 1990s, a Washington Post report from the time stated. More recently, the Clintons rented a home next to Weinstein in the Hamptons in 2015, and Weinstein served as a connector between Hollywood stars and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Weinstein raised about $1.5 million from 1990-2016, according to data from the campaign finance-tracking Center for Responsive Politics, and was a bundler for Clinton’s 2016 effort, including at a star-studded fundraiser for Clinton in June 2016 at Weinstein’s Manhattan home.

Clinton personally headlined multiple fundraisers Weinstein was involved in organizing during the campaign.

CRP’s OpenSecrets website shows Weinstein was a bundler for Obama as well, and the Hollywood giant visited the White House on several occasions during Obama’s tenure. At a White House event for student films in 2013, first lady Michelle Obama credited Weinstein for making the event happen and praised him as a wonderful person and a good friend.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been outspoken on the issue of sexual assault, also has not appeared to make any public statements about Weinstein since the report came out, and the Biden Foundation did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

The only Girl Power that Hillary has ever been interested in is her own, but how to interpret Obama’s reticence, given his status as our most vociferous former President?

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual in Clintonland.

#NARRATIVEFAIL: New email shows Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer was about sanctions, not Hillary Clinton.

SALENA ZITO: This die-hard Democratic city is about to turn Republican.

If John Persinger wins the mayoral race in Erie, Pa., next month, it just might be the greatest local political upset in America this century. A Republican candidate has not been elected mayor here since 1961, when JFK was president.

Tall, witty, energetic and razor-sharp, Persinger is not the guy you’d expect to settle in a town like Erie. He is the kind of person who leaves, moves on to blazing success elsewhere and never returns.

The city is affordable, the housing is charming. It is both a college town (there are three: Mercyhurst, Gannon and Penn State Behrend) and a tourist town (miles and miles of beaches along the lake). It boasts some of the top medical facilities in the country, and it is also a company town (Erie Insurance is one of the top employers).

But it is also a struggling city, where schools are hurting financially, the opioid epidemic is rampant and the manufacturing base is collapsing — all factors that led Erie County residents to vote for a Republican president in 2016, the first since Ronald Reagan.

The city of Erie, however, is a different story — Hillary Clinton won all 69 of its voting districts over Donald Trump.

So can 35-year-old Persinger convince his townspeople to turn red? It’s not impossible. And while he is nothing like the president in terms of temperament and style, the two politicians do share a key quality — tapping into voters’ willingness for change.

Fascinating profile, highly recommended.

JOHN PODHORETZ: Democrats’ best hope for 2020: Oprah.

There’s a lot of truth to this. Bernie will be too old. The Weinstein debacle may make fossilized Hillary too toxic for a third try at the piñata. As Podhoretz writes, “If you think that Trump can be beaten by a two-term governor of a Midwestern state with really good ideas about health care, or by a senator who really attracts young people, think again.” The left in general, Instapundit guest blogger Elizabeth Price Foley wrote here in 2015, “are increasingly looking like a political Island of Misfit Toys, where nothing is ‘quite right,’ and everyone is just a little ‘off.’

But Oprah has protected her brand pretty well. Yes, she politicized it by putting Obama on the map — which won’t do her any harm on the left. As the meta-tag of an August 2016 NPR article presciently warned, “Black Voters Who Were Fired Up About Obama Aren’t As Motivated By Clinton.” Think they wouldn’t rally around the woman who was Obama’s first celebrity champion?

An article in Oprah (and Obama’s) hometown newspaper notes that “Donald Trump is on track to win again in 2020.”

But his victory opened the floodgate to a celebrity opponent, and as Podhoretz writes, Oprah seems well-positioned to capitalize on it – if she wants to.

Read the whole thing.

IF HER MARRIAGE TO BILL COULDN’T DO IT, WHY WOULD HARVEY? Harvey Weinstein should force media to admit Hillary Clinton is not a feminist icon.

A SAVAGE COLUMN FROM KURT SCHLICHTER: Hollywood is America’s Conscience or Something.

I am one conservative who is thankful for Hollywood’s collective inability not to say stupid things because I’m a columnist and these idiots are the gift that keeps on giving. Tired of writing about failing, fussy Fredocons and goose-stepping libs with a beef against the Bill of Rights? Well, like clockwork some genius will take to Twitter leveraging his GED and his supporting role as the sassy sidekick in a CW teen vampire dramedy to offer his super-insightful political/cultural insights to us normals and … BOOM! I have the launching pad for another sensational column.

And this week has been exceptional, truly exceptional, as Hollywood has attained peak fail. Much like how Washington, D.C., is Hollywood for ugly people, with notable exceptions, Hollywood is Washington, D.C., for stupid people.

And wow, have these Tinseltown twerps ever been stupid.

Read the whole thing. But here’s a sample:

Hillary donor Harvey Weinstein is now promising his liberal pals to redeem himself by taking on the NRA. Better make sure whoever tends the plants at the NRA’s offices is ready for a biohazard.

The revelations of Hillary donor Harvey Weinstein are only revelations to us normals; everyone in Hollywood knew about Hillary donor Harvey Weinstein’s perversions. But then, they knew about Blue Dress Bill Clinton’s perversions too – apparently all these big name liberals share both a contempt for women and incredibly bad aim.

Heh.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

Then: “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

Hillary Clinton(!), November 22nd, 2015.

Now? Not so much:

In making her announcement on Twitter, Ms. Bloom did not offer an explanation for her resignation. The tactics and tenor of her defense of Mr. Weinstein have varied, and there were often substantial differences in her public and private statements. The emails, viewed by The New York Times, reveal that at least two board members did not approve of her approach.

As the board convened an emergency phone meeting on Thursday evening to address the allegations, published in an investigation by The Times, Ms. Bloom sent an email to board members attacking the article. She outlined a plan that involved “more and different reporting,” including “photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.”

—“Lisa Bloom, Lawyer Advising Harvey Weinstein, Resigns Amid Criticism From Board Members,” the New York Times, yesterday.

Hollywood in 2014: “Hollywood PSA: ‘It’s On Us’ to Stop Sexual Assault.”

Rob Reiner, yesterday: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Audience member at LBJ movie screener: In the wake of what we learned about Harvey Weinstein, how can that still be happening in 2017 and what can your community do about it?

Rob Reiner: What can my community do? Listen, this is happening in every workplace in America. I mean, you have Fox News. I mean, this is — you talk about sexual harassment. That goes on and it’s disgusting. It’s disgusting, you know? And the thing to do about it is to – how about this? Harvey Weinstein funded this movie The Hunting Ground. How do you do that? I mean, you know.

That’s something that we all have to — you know, we have to create these safe atmospheres where women can come forward and say what they need to say in order to get these things — but this kind of stuff is going on in every industry.

It’s not just Hollywood. He’s one schmuck who did what he did but you know, there’s lot of great people in Hollywood that don’t do that kind of stuff.

“So there are a lot of fine people among those sexual harassers who run Hollywood? Is that what we’re hearing?”, Twitchy adds.

Incidentally, as Sopan Deb of the New York Times notes, Lawrence Wright of the New Yorker, the moderator of the event “teed up multiple questions about Trump. Didn’t ask about Weinstein. Good on the audience member for asking.”

QUESTION: WOULD THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN STORY HAVE COME OUT IF HILLARY HAD BEEN ELECTED? Flashback: Harvey Weinstein Urged Clinton Campaign to Silence Sanders’s Black Lives Matter Message.

LARRY O’CONNOR: Weinstein Proves In Hollywood, Being Liberal Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry.

Ashley Judd, the most famous victim of Weinstein’s predatory behavior, is an ardent pro-choice feminist activist who led the rally of the “resistance” pink hat march on Washington in January by proclaiming she was a “Naaaaaaaaaasty woman” and went on to speculate about the president’s nocturnal emissions while fantasizing about his own daughter.  It was some sick stuff that left many wondering to themselves “Wow, what happened to Ashley Judd?”

Now we know what happened to her.  Harvey Weinstein happened to her. And at the time, according to the Times report, as she was being preyed upon by a bathrobe-clad Weinstein begging for a massage or for her to watch him shower (talk about Sophie’s Choice) Judd’s over-riding concern was not “alienating Harvey Weinstein” while escaping his Cosby-esque advances.

Has she channeled that anger and humiliation and fear at the industry that allowed it? Or at the man and his multi-million dollar corporation that enabled it? No. Her real enemies are Republicans. Don’t you get it?

So the not-so-hidden message  in Weinstein’s non-apology statement was “Hey, remember, I supported Hillary and Obama and I raise millions for Democrats and I’ll help destroy the NRA and Trump. I may treat you like shit, but my heart is in the right place. Now get your knee pads on.”

In Hollywood, being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry.

Will anyone ask Matthew Weiner if his 1960s-era anti-GOP Mad Men series was inspired by what goes on in 21st century Democrat-controlled Hollywood, especially when his upcoming series for Amazon is being produced by — wait for it — The Weinstein Company? “I am truly excited to have this opportunity to work with risk takers like [Amazon] and Harvey and The Weinstein Company who have a proven, longstanding commitment to creative voices and innovation.”

Keep that quote in mind when you come across a Mad Men rerun on cable. (Though to be fair, don’t knock the show’s later seasons — they’re excellent remedies for even the worst insomniacs.)

NOT LIKELY, THEY’RE TOO COMPLICIT: Will Liberals Give Weinstein the O’Reilly Treatment? “As Camille Paglia noted in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, prominent feminists like Gloria Steinem didn’t waste any time discarding sexual harassment guidelines when it came to Bill Clinton’s sexual predations as president. Principle rapidly gave way to partisanship and political opportunism. Mr. Weinstein clearly understands this calculus. . . . And if the virtue-signaling isn’t enough, the man who has bankrolled Barbara Boxer, Charles Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand — the list goes on and on — is determined to pay out much more. . . . In her interview, Ms. Paglia noted that, the case of Mr. Clinton, ‘Hypocrisy by partisan feminist leaders really destroyed feminism for a long time.’ She might have added that it also helped Donald Trump get elected.”

DAILY MAIL: Hillary supporter Harvey Weinstein thinks a ‘right wing conspiracy out to get me’ is reason he has been revealed as serial sexual harasser.

The Hollywood mogul thinks that shadowy right wing forces are ‘out to get me’ and that he is being targeted for his liberal views.

In an echo of his close friend Hillary Clinton’s notorious claim that ‘a vast right-wing conspiracy’ was out to get her and her husband, the Democratic supporter is making the claim to those around him – despite his admission

Weinstein believes a team of lawyers linked to conservative groups have been digging up dirt on him and that other prominent Democrat supporters will be attacked next.

The Oscar-winning founder of film company Miramax was accused of reaching at least eight settlements with women for inappropriate behaviour going back three decades in a bombshell investigation by the New York Times.

He is said to have asked Ashley Judd to watch him shower and paid Rose McGowan $100,000 under a settlement for an incident shortly before her breakthrough role in ‘Scream’.

The right wing is deeply sorry for having dressed up as Weinstein and forcing Ashley Judd to watch us shower, and we regret the error.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD IS LIKELY OVER,” says show-biz house organ Variety:

In truth, the noose has been tightening for years around Harvey Weinstein. There’s been a bunker-like mentality at the Weinstein Co. for years, as the indie studio’s money troubles have worsened and as it tried to migrate away from prestige fare and into television. There were too many film flops such as “Tulip Fever,” “Burnt,” and “Gold,” and persistent mutterings that the company could no longer pay its bills. High profile executives would leave, with positions remaining vacant or filled by junior staffers. It’s been a while since the studio was a major force at film festivals, swinging its checkbook around to nab the hottest Sundance titles. In the meantime, new players like A24 and Bleecker Street have emerged, establishing themselves as more auteur-friendly (Weinstein had a reputation for battling directors), while Amazon and Netflix have been able to outspend all comers.

Even before the reports broke, agents were already wary about working with Weinstein because of reports that its money was running out. One agent told Variety that the Times’ report will give them an even bigger reason to stay away from the studio.

In some respects, Thursday’s piece was the confirmation of decades of rumors and shop talk that have clung to Weinstein. At various times, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the New Yorker (which has its own competing piece still set to launch) have tried to break this story. They’ve aggressively pursued the angle of whether or not Weinstein used corporate funds at Miramax to pay for legal settlements with women. In most cases, Weinstein was able to successfully hit back at those claims. Another stumbling block was that many women did not want to go on the record with their allegations. That will likely change with the Times piece.

Weinstein Gives First Interview After Shocking Sex Harassment Claims, the New York Post reports:

“The Times editors were so fearful they were going to be scooped by New York Magazine and they would lose the story, that they went ahead and posted the story filled with reckless reporting, and without checking all they had with me and my team.

He added that he believes the paper – which published a long negative piece about Weinstein’s dealings with amfAR a week ago – has a vendetta against him.

Weinstein explained, “They never wrote about the documentary I did with Jay-Z about Rikers Island, they never write that I raised $50 million for amfAR, nor my work with Robin Hood – instead they focus on trying to bring me down. This is a vendetta, and the next time I see Dean Baquet [the executive editor of the Times] it will be across a courtroom.”

Insert Kissinger Iran-Iraq War quote here.

In a link-laden post, Ace of Spades asks, “Didn’t people in the media know, given that Weinstein was, you know, a notorious figure in the media?”, also pondering about how much knowledge the Democrats he donated to had, and the past Disney connection to Weinstein.

“Weinstein was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton 2016 run, donated to her campaigns 10 times between 1999 & 2016,” the Hollywood Reporter notes. He made 13 visits to the Obama White House. Malia Obama interned for him.

Lionsgate distributes Miramax films on home media in the US, and also produced AMC’s Mad Men series during its run from 2007 to 2015. As I wrote at Ed Driscoll.com during its last season, I always thought Hollywood had a lot of chutzpah tut-tutting the sexual mores of the corporate world of the 1960s while simultaneously enabling Bill Clinton, handsy Joe Biden, and what goes on in their own executive suites.

UPDATE: Regarding Weinstein’s NRA and Trump-obsessed “apology” letter (which Iowahawk neatly sums up as, “It’s just this war and that son of a bitch Johnson”), when you’ve lost the Daily Beast…

More: Former Obama Adviser Anita Dunn Helped Harvey Weinstein Strategize Before New York Times Story. “Weinstein has also, supposedly, reached out to the Clintons’ crisis PR honcho Lanny Davis.”

WAR ON WOMEN UPDATE: Decades of Sexual Harassment Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein.

Two decades ago, the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein invited Ashley Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what the young actress expected to be a business breakfast meeting. Instead, he had her sent up to his room, where he appeared in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower, she recalled in an interview.

“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Ms. Judd said she remembers thinking.

Related: Harvey Weinstein hosting star-studded fundraiser for Hillary.

Why are Democrat-monopoly institutions such cesspits of sexual predation?

UPDATE: Weinstein (likely via his damage control team) issues hilariously self-serving statement to the New York Times, which begins with “I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then,” before concluding, “I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party.”

Or as Sonny Bunch writes at the Washington Free Beacon, “Shorter Harvey Weinstein: ‘I’m a Liberal, Maybe Gimme a Pass?’”

“Should be interesting to which Hollywood stars who rightly criticized Bill O’Reilly + Fox suddenly go silent on Harvey Weinstein,” one Twitter user writes in response.

Twitchy notes however that “Weinstein can’t technically give the NRA his full attention … because he’s also gotta sue the New York Times.”

Pass the popcorn.

LIZ PEEK: President Trump isn’t responsible for Puerto Rico’s decades of corruption and collapse.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are very, very concerned about the people of Puerto Rico. Both have joined the mayor of San Juan in criticizing President Trump for not doing enough for the Commonwealth in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Seriously, where have they been?

Where were they when Puerto Rico’s debts ballooned to $123 billion, thrusting the economy into an 11-year recession?

Where were they when 50,000 of the island’s best and brightest hightailed to the mainland every year, looking for jobs and opportunities, as median household income sank to $18,626 as compared to $56,516 on the mainland?

Where were they as the territory’s power system went bust, while its administrators came under FBI investigation for stealing from the people of Puerto Rico?

They were nowhere to be seen, except of course during election season.

Clinton and Sanders are good at feigning concern, but the real action is from the Democrat-Media Complex, which sees in Puerto Rico a chance to “Katrina” Trump like they did George W. Bush.

THE MEDIA DOESN’T UNDERSTAND GUNS — AND DOESN’T WANT TO:

Kimmel chastised Paul Ryan and the GOP Congress (again) for not enforcing laws about guns that literally do not exist. These include the so called “gunshow loophole,” an online background check loophole and allowing mentally ill individuals (a move supported by the ACLU) from purchasing firearms. All of these claims have been debunked and yet are ignored by fact-checkers at mainstream outlets and cable news pundits. Stephen Paddock did not have a criminal background, prior record and no evaluations of suspect mental health. So what then?

New York Times Magazine’s Ana Marie Cox tweeted “Man, imagine if the right believed in unfettered access to the ballot box as much as they believed in the right to own guns.” Her sudden support of background checks and voter ID laws (two things needed to purchase a firearm in America) are a welcome surprise.

Politico reporter Dan Diamond tweeted out an email announcement from The American College of Physicians calling for a ban on all automatic and semiautomatic weapons. What Diamond did not reveal is a ban on semiautomatic weapons would include most handguns. I’m not sure members of media know this fact, and more importantly, have demonstrated zero willingness to learn. But sure, let’s put them in charge of the health care debate.

And this is where the credibility chasm exists in media as they continue to parrot Democrat narratives on guns. As the sun rose on Vegas the morning after, and before Americans could grasp the facts of what had happened, Democrat leaders including Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer and their celebrity Hollywood base were already pointing fingers and placing blame without facts and without knowledge.

Law-abiding, gun-owning Americans will not be lectured to about a national tragedy they had nothing to do with, and they certainly won’t be lectured by elitists in media who refuse to understand even a basic grasp or terminology about a sacred constitutional right.

Regarding that last paragraph, as David Marcus asks at the Federalist, “Why Are White People Culpable For Stephen Paddock But Not Arabs For Islamic Terrorism?

THEY MUST WANT MORE TRUMP: Trump will win in 2020 if the left keeps calling him a racist.

Robert Robb:

I now believe that the left will re-elect Trump. The ruction over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem illustrates the point.

The left has talked itself into believing that Trump’s alleged appeals to white racism were what put him over the top.

More astute psephologists have pointed out that the actual difference was made by people in industrial states who previously had voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, but switched to Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Hard to attribute those decisions to white racism.

Nevertheless, the left now interprets all of Trump’s actions through the prism of perceived appeals to white racism. If Trump were to tweet, “It’s a lovely day in Washington,” the left would denounce it as a dog whistle to white supremacists.

Which brings us to the NFL ruction. Players began kneeling during the national anthem reportedly to protest what they regard as racial injustice in the United States. Trump denounced them in Trumpian fashion.

According to the left, since the players were protesting racial injustice, Trump was endorsing racial injustice by criticizing them. There goes that dog whistle!

To most Americans, that’s nuts.

Well, yes. But as Bill Whittle likes to say, if Republicans didn’t have Democrats to run against, they’d lose every time.

DARK MONEY: Hidden Donors of Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ Group Revealed.

The Center for Community Change, a Washington, D.C.-based 501 (c)(3) progressive community organizing group that does not reveal its donors, has been involved in direct action against President Donald Trump and Republicans before and after the November elections. The organization’s members sit on the boards of other prominent liberal activist groups.

The Free Beacon has obtained the group’s unredacted 2015 tax forms that shed light on its funders, who provide millions of dollars in assistance. The group appears to rely heavily on a few major liberal foundations, organizations, and unions.

The Center for Community Change’s largest contribution was $3,000,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which was initially created by Will Kellogg, the food manufacturer and founder of Kellogg Company. The Ford Foundation, which was first created by the founders of the Ford Motor Company, added a $2,350,000 donation. The Open Society Foundation, a foundation run by liberal billionaire mega-donor George Soros, gave $1,750,000 to the Center for Community Change.

Other donors to the organization include the California Endowment, which gave $524,500; the Marquerite Casey Foundation, which gave $515,000; Fidelity Charitable Gift, which donated $505,100; and the National Immigration Law Center, which gave $316,000.

The Center for Community Change Action, the “social welfare” (c)(4) arm of the group, additionally relies on a handful of donors for almost all of its funding, according to its documents that do not include the privacy redactions.

Donors to its “social welfare” arm in 2015 included Every Citizen Counts ($1,750,000 contribution), a nonprofit that was created by allies of Hillary Clinton to mobilize Latino and African-American voters; the Open Society Policy Center ($1,475,000), another Soros group; the Sixteen Thirty Fund ($610,000), a progressive advocacy group; Center for Community Change ($150,000); Services Employees International Union (SEIU) ($150,000); Atlantic Philanthropies ($75,000); and the Tides Foundation ($50,000), the largest liberal donor-advised network, among other funders.

The Center for Community Change has been involved with anti-Trump campaigns for some time now. The group’s members also sit on the advisory boards of other prominent liberal organizations.

Sounds shady.

MICHAEL BARONE: Michael Barone: California Democrats’ early presidential primary: Unintended consequences?

California doesn’t vote much like the rest of the nation any more. It favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a 30 point margin, the second most Democratic result (after Hawaii) in the nation. California voted 1 to 3 percent more Democratic than the nation in 1988, 1992 and 1996. Since then it has shifted to become more Democratic than the national result: 5 percent more in 2000, 6 percent more in 2004, 8 percent more in 2008, 9 percent more in 2012 and 13 percent more in 2016. This is the first time in American history that our largest state has voted at one end of the partisan spectrum.

These results make mincemeat of the argument that California ought to go first because it’s typical of the nation as a whole. And of course California’s large size means it can’t be the kind of venue where personal campaigning and grassroots organization can propel an otherwise little known candidate ahead, as Iowa and New Hampshire have repeatedly done.

Quite the contrary: California requires huge amounts of money and favors candidates with national (or California) name identification. Perhaps that would help Kamala Harris, elected California’s attorney general in 2010 and 2014 and U.S. senator in 2016. But it’s not clear that helping Harris helps the Democratic party. She seems well to the left of Hillary Clinton on many issues, and while that’s not a general election problem in California, it could be in most of the rest of the country.

I see no downside to this.

WASHINGTON POST: Why the debate over gun suppressors isn’t really relevant to what happened in Las Vegas.

The effect of having a silencer probably would have been negligible. Clinton and others appear to be assuming that silencers — or “suppressors,” as they’re known in the industry — work the way that they do in the movies. Screw a little barrel on the end of your pistol, and you can run through enemy headquarters picking off bad guys with no more audio footprint than a little zip.

In reality, trying to suppress an automatic weapon sounds like this.

The gunfire is clearly audible, as our Washington Post fact-checkers noted in March.

The video above features a weapon from Asymmetric Solutions, a firearm training firm based in Missouri. Thomas Satterly, the company’s director of development, spoke by phone with The Post to explain why a suppressor wouldn’t have silenced the noise of the gunfire in the way Clinton assumed. Satterly is a veteran who served in Somalia in 1993. When we spoke, he was with several friends who served in law enforcement and who contributed their thoughts, as well.

“A suppressor wouldn’t have stopped anyone from doing what they did” in Las Vegas, Satterly said, “and definitely wouldn’t have hidden the noise of the gunfire.”

Indeed. What’s most interesting about this report is that even WaPo staffers felt the need to correct Hillary Clinton twice in one day.

HMM: Reuters: Islamic state claims Las Vegas shooting, says attacker recent convert to Islam. Well, stay tuned.

Plus, a reminder from Rukmina Callimachi: “No, they don’t claim everything. With few exceptions, IS has shown itself to be accurate in claiming only attacks they directed/inspired” Is that true here? Like I said, stay tuned.

Related: Trump speaks on the Las Vegas massacre.

President Trump’s speech was overwhelmingly about empathy toward the victims. He doesn’t name the gunman, he calls it “an act of pure evil,” and refers to the ongoing investigation before going on to praising the first responders and then concentrating onto the victims: “We cannot fathom their pain. We cannot imagine their loss.”

At the 2 minute point, he turns to religion: “Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.”

It’s smart that he’s not getting ahead of the news. Which is more than you can say for Hillary, who’s already blaming the NRA.

UPDATE (from Steve): Charles Cooke on Twitter:

We’re still very much in the “developing” stage of the news cycle, except of course for two-time failed presidential contenders looking for any angle back to relevance.

SALENA ZITO: The media is missing the Republican takeover in New England.

On Sept. 19, Politico congressional reporter Burgess Everett tweeted that he suddenly “[Remembers Vermont has a Republican governor].” His tweet prompted Seung Min Kim, a fellow Politico reporter who covers the US Senate to reply that she “[Learns Vermont has a Republican governor].” That, in turn, instigated a response by Wall Street Journal congressional reporter Byron Tau: “[Googles the name of Vermont’s Republican governor].”

To which Phil Scott, Vermont’s Republican governor responded that he “[Is Vermont’s Republican governor].”

The moment was comical but also insightful, underscoring just how little Washington’s political class knows about who holds the executive power in the Northeast.

Here’s the surprising truth: It’s not the Democrats.

Last November, while most of the country was either cheering Donald Trump’s presidential win or making an appointment with their therapist about how to cope with the results, New Englanders in four out of the region’s six “blue” states — Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine — woke up the next morning with four Republican governors.

Three of those governorships flipped from blue to red. It was a trend that the Northeast had not seen for a generation, but it received little national attention. (Connecticut and Rhode Island hold their governorship elections in 2018.)

If the reverse had happened, and four Democrats had won governorships in deep red states last year, the news would have been treated quite differently, said Brad Todd, a Washington, DC-based GOP strategist.

Well, yes.

Plus: “In the aftermath of the 2016 electoral — but not popular-vote — win of Trump over Hillary Clinton, Democrats have spent endless time bemoaning their inability to capture the Electoral College. They blame it on a so-called antiquated system that gives greater weight to the states populated by more cows than people. But it really is a symptom of a bigger problem for the Democrats: The Republican Party is the only party that is a national party. Republicans, at some level, are competing in every state up and down the ballot, while Democrats are not competing anywhere but on the coasts and in the big cities. In short, they are a regionalized party, confined to the most densely populated parts of the nation — more cut off and compartmentalized than the GOP.”

Also: “Seven years after the Republicans won the House and three years after they gained the US Senate majority, the media/entertainment complex still fails to accept or understand that the majority of this country is center-right. Until these institutions grasp this fact, they will continue to see their viewership drop and their trust erode. There is a reason this year’s Trump-bashing Emmy Awards saw viewership figures tank for the second year in a row (11.38 million views — down 5 percent from 2015). You can’t expect to hold onto the middle of the country when you spend four hours mocking the choice many of them made for president.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Harvard Students Brand Betsy DeVos a ‘White Supremacist’ — in the Middle of Her Speech!

Declaring a person racist lost much of its career-destroying sting due to its massive overuse against any and all of Obama’s critics to his right (including Hillary in 2008). In the Trump era, the left seems determined to make the phrase “White Supremacist” a similarly meaningless cliché.

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN DEFENDS 2003 PUSH TO BOOT US NAVY FROM PUERTO RICO:

New York Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez Thursday defended pressuring the Bush administration to order the U.S. Navy to leave the Puerto Rican island of Vieques in 2003, blaming the military’s munitions for the area’s high cancer rate and ignoring the high jobless rate since the Navy left.

She made the comments as President Donald Trump deployed the USNS Comfort to Puerto Rico after the U.S. territory was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Velazquez, at a press conference during a press conference calling for hurricane relief and military deployment for Puerto Rico, pounded the point that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.

Here’s a flashback to an ABC article written in 2003 when the Navy departed Vieques, following an edict issued by Bill Clinton in 2000. Note the other Democrat heavy hitters namechecked, including Al Sharpton and Hillary:

For 60 years, American troops have trained on Vieques Island off Puerto Rico. The government bought most of the island because it considered it a perfect place to train sailors and pilots. It’s surrounded by ocean, but far from shipping lanes.

Then four years ago, a pilot made a tragic mistake. He dropped two bombs in the wrong place and killed David Sanes, a security guard. Immediately, activists started leading protests against the Navy bombing. They pulled down fences and invaded the property, saying the Navy must leave Vieques.

The activists claimed the bombing caused cancer and polluted the island.

Famous people joined the protests. Al Sharpton went through the fence. So did Robert Kennedy Jr. and actor Edward James Olmos.

Lots of politicians from New York, which has a large Puerto Rican population, got involved too, including Gov. George Pataki, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Jose Serrano, and Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Back in 2000, President Clinton decided the Navy would stop the training in Vieques. “We have not always been good neighbors on Vieques,” said Clinton.

President Bush supported that decision.

“These are our friends and neighbors and they don’t want us there,” Bush said.

Until they did.

DON’T WANT TO GET “HILLARYED?” Don’t be “hypocritical and untrustworthy.” Too late for Liz Warren, I’m afraid.

GLENN GREENWALD: Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

Sorry, ya gotta wait until Hillary’s book tour is over, at least.

RATTLING KIM JONG UN: Insulting a dictator’s “dignity” is a potentially valuable psychological weapon. And Trump uses it. He rattled Crooked Hillary, an arrogant banana republic tin pot if there ever was one. Now he’s working on Rocket Man. It appears even the MSM’s noticed the rattle. (bumped)

MICHELLE OBAMA: WOMEN VOTED FOR TRUMP BECAUSE THEY WERE TOLD TO LIKE HIM.

Michelle Obama has declared that “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their (sic) own voice.” In addition to its grammatical error, the former First Lady’s statement seems substantively incoherent. What does she mean by a woman voting against her own voice? How, exactly, does that happen?

Michelle always seemed rather ambivalent during the 2008 election cycle about her husband running for the White House, but it seems a shame to write off his electoral success as mere sexism. Not to mention, this is a tacit reminder that she was apparently powerless to stop him from running against Hillary, and/or that Obama ignored his own wife’s pleas. And what does it say about the church she attended for so long?

Related: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Sexism was major, major factor against Hillary in 2016 (but 2008?)

KIM JONG UN IS RATTLED: Insulting a dictator’s “dignity” is a potentially valuable psychological weapon. And Trump uses it. He rattled Crooked Hillary, a banana republic tin pot if there ever was one. Now he’s working on Rocket Man.

VERY RELATED: It appears even the Washington Post acknowledges the rattle. ” Trump “might be irrational — or too smart,” the North Korean Pak Song Il told Osnos. “We don’t know.”

Heh.

JOSH KRAUSHAAR: Democrats Lose Touch With America — Hillary Clinton’s new book blames a lot of culprits for her defeat. It barely notes the biggest reason: her cultural disconnect from the country.

Clinton’s decision to call Trump backers deplorable was one of her campaign’s low points. But the problem runs much deeper within her party. Progressives now instinctively label pro-Trump conservatives as “white supremacists,” a slur that paints nearly half the country with a racist brush. Legitimate anxieties over the country’s national security are frequently dismissed as anti-Muslim xenophobia. Politicized sportswriters assumed that the American public supports players protesting the national anthem, even when a swell of football fans across the country—including those in the most liberal media markets—booed their own team’s players for disrespecting the flag.

President Trump has exploited this gaping disconnect between elite opinion and majority sentiment in the most divisive way possible. But it doesn’t mean that Democrats should be playing into his hands.

For a sign of how far to the left Democrats have drifted on culture, just look at the last major anthem protest to sweep up a sports league. In 1996, Nuggets star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the national anthem, calling the American flag a symbol of tyranny. He was promptly suspended for a game and fined by the NBA. There was no uproar in favor of his right to protest, even in a league where most players were African-American. Condemnation of Abdul-Rauf’s action ran across the political spectrum. Then-commissioner David Stern later mandated players stand in a dignified manner when the anthem was played—a wholly uncontroversial decision.

The closest Clinton comes to acknowledging the party’s cultural tone-deafness is an anecdote she shares about the Arkansas Senate race in 2014. She relays a story about an old friend who typically votes Democratic, has fairly liberal economic views, but was having a tough time supporting moderate Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor’s reelection. She recounts him telling her husband: “At least the Republicans won’t do anything to us. The Democrats want to take away my gun and make me go to a gay wedding.” But instead of showing empathy for people with more-traditional social views, she concludes that “the politics of cultural identity and resentment were overwhelming evidence, reason and personal experience.” Successful politicians feel people’s pain; they don’t hector them about their hang-ups.

As president, Bill Clinton’s strategy when tackling divisive cultural issues was to at least offer a signal that he understood the opposition. His famous formulation about wanting abortion to be “safe, legal and rare” offered rhetorical reassurance to those opposed to abortion, even as his administration was solidly and proudly in favor of abortion rights. Inclusive language helps dampen the anger of opponents, even when there’s little agreement on policy.

Even longtime Clinton pollster Stanley Greenberg, who has long urged Democrats to adopt an aggressively populist economic message, concludes that Clinton’s cultural disconnect was her most glaring vulnerability in the campaign. In an essay in The American Prospect, he writes: “Despite overwhelming evidence that the Democratic base wasn’t consolidated or excited, the campaign believed that Trump’s tasteless attacks and Clinton’s identification with every group in the rainbow coalition would produce near-universal support…. They were explicitly privileging race and gender over class.”

How’d that work out for you, folks?

INSULTING A DICTATOR’S “DIGNITY” IS A POTENTIALLY VALUABLE PSYCHOLOGICAL WEAPON: Trump’s nicknames, like Crooked Hillary and Rocket Man, are such damningly effective political caricatures they become psychological weapons. (Bumped)

EVEN I HAVE COME ACROSS THE “TRUMP IS NOT MENTIONING PUERTO RICO, OMG”:  You know what, actions speak louder than words.

INSULTING A DICTATOR’S “DIGNITY” IS A POTENTIALLY VALUABLE PSYCHOLOGICAL WEAPON: Trump’s nicknames, like Crooked Hillary and Rocket Man, are such damningly effective political caricatures they become psychological weapons. (Bumped)

INSULTING A DICTATOR’S “DIGNITY” IS A POTENTIALLY VALUABLE PSYCHOLOGICAL WEAPON: Trump’s nicknames, like Crooked Hillary and Rocket Man, are such damningly effective political caricatures they become psychological weapons.

ANN ALTHOUSE: Is it wrong for foreign leaders to try to influence American elections? Hillary didn’t think so. Well, not if they’re influencing for her.

Also: How Hillary answered the question “Putin or Trump?”

HE CHOSE WISELY: Trump v. Tattooed Millionaires. Steve Malanga in City Journal:

Once upon a time, professional athletes not only came out of working-class, scrappy neighborhoods, but they also pretty much stayed working class their entire lives. Until as recently as the late 1960s, NFL linemen worked construction or loaded trucks in the offseason to pay their bills. Players with a college degree traded on their celebrity status to sell stocks or insurance. (The policy my mother cashed in when my father died was sold to him in the early 1960s by a retired New York Giants player). Many of today’s players, by contrast, live in a world of ostentatious homes, fast cars, and red-carpet celebrity appearances, far from the struggles of those whose support pays their salaries. These players have deemed themselves important enough to impose their political views on ordinary fans watching sports as a respite from life’s daily grind. . . .

If players and officials think Trump will retreat on this issue, they haven’t been paying attention. And if they believe that their world is impervious, they’ve forgotten that America has had, over the last 75 years, several different favorite sports—from boxing to baseball—that eventually gave way.

Players, sportswriters, and maybe even the owners seem to think that fans will find it impossible to give up football on Sundays in the fall. It’s not.

But hey, didn’t Hillary Clinton prove you don’t need those blue-collar plebes anyway?

 

SO FAR, THE ONLY ONE JAILED IN THE HILLARY EMAIL SCANDAL: Anthony Weiner gets hard time. “The disgraced ex-congressman broke down crying as he was sentenced to 21 months in prison Monday for convincing a high school student to undress and touch herself via Skype in 2016. . . . His father and brother also joined him in the courtroom — but the serial sexter’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Huma Abedin, was nowhere to be seen.”

Flashback: Comey Tells Congressional Panel: Classified Emails from Hillary’s Server Were Forwarded to Anthony Weiner.

I GUESS PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO GET WORRIED THAT IT WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN: Hillary Clinton attacks Convention of States, Mark Meckler responds.

At the risk of repeating myself, I should note that the Tennessee Law Review published a special symposium issue on constitutional conventions a few years ago. I wrote the Foreword, Sandy Levinson wrote the Afterword, and an all-star cast including Randy Barnett, Brannon Denning, Richard Epstein, Tim Lynch, Rob Natelson, and too many other luminaries to mention contributed the stuff in between. Here’s my contribution, which focuses specifically on spending. And here’s video of me talking about it at the Harvard Law School conference on constitutional conventions, where you can see Mark Meckler introducing me.

Plus, note this from Robert Natelson: How the procedures for a modern Amendments Convention may unfold.

VIRGINIA POSTREL: Facebook’s Pros Still Outweigh Its Cons: I wanted to quit. Here’s why I decided to stay.

The response to my question made me realize that Facebook had allowed me to create a distinctive forum, that people appreciate it more than I can usually tell, and that I’d miss (most of) these interactions if I left. It reminded me of the reasons to like Facebook: the connections it provides and the chance to easily share interests. So I’ve decided to stay, with modifications.

To avoid distraction, I’d already started using the Anti-Social app to block Facebook and Twitter for several hours at a time. I’ll extend the blocked periods and make them a daily habit. Taking a cue from psychology research that suggests that reading Facebook passively is what puts people in a bad mood, I’ve also installed the Stop Scrolling Newsfeed for Facebook browser extension, which lets you block the feed after a minute or even 15 seconds. (If that doesn’t work, there’s the nuclear option: Feed Eradicator for Facebook extension, whose name is self-explanatory.) Instead of endlessly scrolling through whatever some algorithm serves up, I’ll visit specific people’s pages directly and focus on interaction.

The exercise was a useful reminder of what often gets lost in the public commentary on social media. For all their myriad faults, services like Facebook provide genuine value by connecting people who wouldn’t otherwise be in touch. Tools exist to help users minimize the downside — you just have to look for them. Like any other form of abundance, making the most of social media requires conscious consideration. So I reserve the right to revisit the question next year.

I agree, though I feel this way somewhat less than I used to. Plus, on her fear of Facebook knowing her too well:

This particular fear was somewhat assuaged by downloading my Facebook archive and discovering just how clueless the ad targeting was. Rolex? The band America? Soccer? The ad preferences page also pegs “fire” as a hobby, presumably based on my interest in FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Hillary bet the farm on big data analytics. Now it’s Trump’s farm.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Left-Wing Causes, Like Frankenstein’s Monster, Have Escaped Their Chains.

Three strange incidents occurred in recent weeks. Nancy Pelosi was “shouted down by immigration activists for trying to strike Dreamers deal with Trump.” Hillary Clinton’s book received disappointing reviews from the left, and former FBI director James Comey was heckled at Howard University. “Go home Comey, you’re not our homey.” The audience was turning on its performers. All were signs the once reliable Blue Model is misfiring.

Time magazine … offer a brutal assessment concerning the direction of the Democratic Party. One rallying cry from the Left is that Clinton lost because she … wasn’t left wing enough. Every time the party has gone this way in national elections, they’ve lost in a landslide. … to win back the House, to redraw congressional maps favorable to the Left—you need to rebuild the party apparatuses in the rural areas, which have all but disintegrated.

In a classic case of the law of unintended consequences, identity politics is undermining globalism instead of being its tool.

Read the whole thing, in which Richard refrains from so much as a single, well-deserved “I told you so.”

POLL: Why is Trump’s approval improving? I think Hillary’s book tour reminded people of the bullet we dodged.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Astonishingly, the 2016 Clinton campaign conducted no state polls in the final three weeks of the general election and relied primarily on data analytics to project turnout and the state vote. They paid little attention to qualitative focus groups or feedback from the field, and their brief daily analytics poll didn’t measure which candidate was defining the election or getting people engaged.

The models from the data analytics team led by Elan Kriegel got the Iowa and Michigan primaries badly wrong, with huge consequences for the race. Why were they not then fired? Campaign manager Robbie Mook and the analytics team argued, according to Shattered, that the Sanders vote grew “organically”—turnout was unexpectedly high and new registrants broke against Clinton. Why was that a surprise?

Campaign chair John Podesta wanted to fire Mook, but Clinton stood by him. She rightly admired previous campaigns in which big data and technology were big winners, yet in 2008 it was the candidate and his appeal more than the technical wizardry that pushed Obama over the top. David Axelrod told me that analytics adds a “great field-goal kicker”—no substitute for a strategy and compelling message.

* * * * * * *

 

Clinton and the campaign acted as if “demographics is destiny” and that a “rainbow coalition” was bound to govern. Yes, there is a growing “Rising American Electorate,” but Page Gardner and I wrote at the outset of this election, you must give people a compelling reason to vote and I have demonstrated for my entire career that a candidate must target white working-class voters too.

I’m sure if the campaign had gone with the “Because It’s Her Turn” slogan that would totally sold the deal.

HONEY, I SHRUNK THE PARTY! Collapse: Time Magazine’s Brutal Deep Dive Into The Ever Shrinking And Regional Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party is in shambles. Say what you will about the Republicans—they have problems too—but at least they’re a national party. For all his faults, Trump was able to virtually get the entire GOP base to vote for him in 2016. The GOP controls Congress, the presidency, two-thirds of the governorships, and 69/99 state legislatures. They’re at the apex of their power. As the GOP licked their wounds and learned from their 2008 and 2012 defeats, the Democrats, smug, content, and insufferable, felt they had advantage for the next generation. They would run the table on national elections due to demographic shifts. Then, Hillary Clinton torpedoed that whole narrative. Time magazine delved into the state of the party, its hit to the mouth after Trump’s win, and noted that things look grim for this regional, shrinking party. As many other, including here, have noted—the Democrats have no leader, no message, dismal fundraising, and seem to be on the brink of civil war over issues on what actually makes one a Democrat.

Time magazine featured Obama on 22 covers. I’m sure if it had been 23 covers, they wouldn’t have had to run this cover:

On the other hand, as Glenn would say, don’t get cocky, GOP — the media loves to write “Death of ____” stories and project a current crisis out to infinity. Business Week’s infamous “Death of Equities” cover story in 1979 is a classic example in hindsight, coming just before President Reagan and Paul Volcker jumpstarted the economy by cutting taxes and significantly reducing the Carter-era inflation that made stocks such a bad bet in the 1970s. And there have been past reports of the demise of parties and political worldviews — I collated several of them in a 2010 post titled,  Whatever Your Ideology, Your Opponents’ Worldview Is Officially Dead.

JIM GERAGHTY: The Unlearned Lessons of 2016.

Representative Maxine Waters calls the president and his allies “scumbags,” while DNC chair Tom Perez declares, “Republicans don’t give a s*** about people.” The outgoing California Democratic-party chairman leads a chant of “F*** Donald Trump!” Little-known Democratic lawmakers create national headlines by calling Trump the p-word, “ “fascist, loofa-faced, s***-gibbon,” and wishing for his assassination.

Russ Feingold, who came within 4 percent of winning back his old Senate seat in 2016, declared, “Let us finally, finally rip off the veneer that Trump’s affinity for white supremacy is distinct from the Republican agenda of voter suppression, renewed mass incarceration, and the expulsion of immigrants.” Enraged by the White House proposal to end DACA, Illinois Democratic representative Luis Gutierrez declared that White House chief of staff John Kelly is “a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear” who “should be drummed out of the White House along with the white supremacists.” DNC vice chairman Keith Ellison recently compared the Dreamers, those who came to the United States illegally while children, to Jews in Nazi Germany — which make ICE comparable to the Gestapo.

It is as if Democrats concluded that the reason they lost in 2016 was that they just didn’t denounce Trump angrily enough.

Related: Divided Democratic Party Debates Its Future as 2020 Looms.

Like virtually all Democrats, Tim Ryan is no fan of Donald Trump. But as he speeds through his northeastern Ohio district in a silver Chevy Suburban, the eight-term Congressman sounds almost as frustrated with his own party. Popping fistfuls of almonds in the backseat, Ryan gripes about its fixation on divisive issues and its “demonization” of business owners. Ryan, 44, was briefly considered for the role of Hillary Clinton’s running mate last year. Now he sounds ready to brawl with his political kin. “We’re going to have a fight,” Ryan says. “There’s no question about it.”

Indeed. But so long as the Democratic Party remains all-in on “no enemies to the left,” then Democrats like Ryan will remain marginalized — and the Waters and Feingolds and Ellison’s will be empowered.

Nancy Pelosi has seen which way the wind is blowing, but even she is powerless to stop the party’s descent into madness, in no small part because she spent so many years helping to push it over the cliff.

FEDS SPEND $187,704 TO IMPROVE OLDER WOMEN’S SEX LIVES.

Presumably, the money the feds spend on cowboy poetry are an important first step.

LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY: Push to unseal the draft Whitewater indictment against Hillary Clinton gets court date.

SHARYL ATTKISSON IN THE HILL: It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me.

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

ANOTHER UPDATE: Don Surber: Why CNN told you Trump’s campaign was wiretapped.

Bonus question: At this point, would anyone be surprised to find out that they were spying on the Romney campaign, too?

MORE: From the comments: “Do you remember when the IRS scandal unfolded? It was brought up at a press briefing. They were trying to get ahead of the Scandal by releasing the information in measured doses, so it could be handled carefully by Administration allies in the Press. That is what they are doing right now, with the wiretapping.”

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ HIRES ONLY THE BEST: ‘Like a Slave:’ Three Muslim Women, At Least One Of Them Bloodied, Called Police on Imran Awan.

Multiple women in relationships with Imran Awan, the indicted former IT aide for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have recently called Virginia law enforcement and alleged being abused by him, police reports obtained under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act show.

Officers found one of the women bloodied and she told them she “just wanted to leave,” while the second said she felt like a “slave,” according to Fairfax County Police reports obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group. A third woman claimed she was being kept “in captivity.”

The third woman is Awan’s stepmother, Samina Gilani, who said in court documents that Awan invoked his authority as a congressional employee to intimidate immigrant women, in part by telling them he had the power to have people kidnapped.

All but two of the nearly two dozen Democratic women Awan worked for in the House declined to comment on the police reports.

Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, refused to fire Awan for months after his Feb. 2, 2017, banishment from the House computer network due to his being a suspect in a criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police into a major cybersecurity breach.

Wasserman Schultz said that “as a mother, a Jew, and a member of Congress,” she wanted to defend his rights, a sentiment echoed by Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, and Wasserman Schultz also claimed allegations against Awan might stem from Islamophobia. All three women are Muslim.

Awan’s attorney Chris Gowen, a former aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton, has blasted journalists covering the investigation. The press “should be reminded that Imran Awan is a husband and a father, not a political pawn,” Gowen said.

He’s a lot of things, and some of them we don’t know about yet. But I have suspicions.

TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL, SAM: Sam Kass of the Huffington Post on “What Should Have Happened In Hillary Clinton’s Useless Book:”

It’s like a self-care book written by a serial killer. Aside from the alternate-nostril breathing, she drinks plenty of Chardonnay but refuses antidepressants. (“Wasn’t for me. Never has been.”) She redecorates her other mansion, the one next door to the mansion she lives in. She retreats from her quest for world domination, returning to the simple joys of being a multimillionaire. In one revealing anecdote, a well-wisher sends her a thousand origami cranes. Hanging them up inside your house, the accompanying note tells her, brings you good luck. Clinton hangs them on her porch.

* * * * * * *

In literary terms, the book could be classed as a Mary Sue self-insertion fanfic. Reading What Happened induces a horrifying claustrophobia, the feeling of being pent up in a small room as someone delivers an unending lecture about how much better they are than everyone else. Like every horrifying little room, this one is cluttered with cutesy sayings on every wall. Each chapter begins and ends with an inspirational quote about believing in yourself and reaching higher, 25 epigraphs in total. One (“It is hard to be a woman. You must think like a man, act like a lady, look like a young girl, and work like a horse”) is attributed to “a sign that hangs in my house.”

Ordinarily, I’d snark, “When Hillary’s lost the Huffington Post” – but as we saw in 2008, she had never won them, and eight years before her “Deplorables” smear against Trump’s supporters, the Huffington Post was declaring her own voters as racist white men. Used cars rarely succeed as Democrat party presidential nominees – they like their candidates with that shiny new presidential smell, and as minimal baggage as possible to used against them, but hey, as the Hillary campaign moronically debated as a slogan in 2016, it was her turn

IF HILLARY HAD WON, HE’D HAVE BEEN IN THE LINCOLN BEDROOM: Democrat Freak Anthony Weiner Watched Naked 15-Year-Old Fondle Herself on Skype. And he knew she was underage.

HILLARY CLINTON: ‘I’m a Bit of a Paula Revere’ on Russian Election Meddling.

I don’t recall Paul Revere having been bought and paid for by British mineral interests, but whatever helps you sleep through the night, Hill.

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! “They’re coming to buy targeted ads on Facebook. There’s no invasion in the offing. A distant foreign power coaxes us to eat away at ourselves from the inside. And Hillary urges us to gnaw away.”

FIGHT THE CORRUPTION! Jaclyn Cashman: Trump should muzzle million $$ speaker fees.

President George W. Bush signed sweeping lobbying legislation to cut down on corruption in 2007 with the “Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.”

The law forced ex-senators and top executive branch officials to wait two years before they could lobby Congress after their Capitol Hill jobs ended. Former Representatives had to wait only one year.

At the time, rising star Barack Obama, then a U.S. Senator, called it “the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate.”

Trump should simply make an amendment to that rule and address the issue of huge speaking fees.

Doesn’t it seem a bit cozy that Obama is making more than most people make in a year during all these speeches to the finance sector? A little distance between the Oval Office and Wall Street could further put Americans at ease that the commander in chief and top staffers care more about Main Street than landing gigs once they depart.

How do we know that decisions made on the way out didn’t benefit the companies now cutting checks to top officials for doing little work in return?

Even Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren called Obama’s first paid speech troubling.

During the presidential election, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized Hillary Clinton’s bank account filled with six-figure checks from Wall Street.

It would appear Trump could get bipartisan support on such a law.

It would be super-amusing.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES MOVIE: BILLIE JEAN KING SINGS, ‘I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME BORE.’ “The directors of the new movie don’t seem to realize that Bobby Riggs is the one viewers want to hang out with:”

It’s impossible not to think of John McEnroe’s comment that Serena Williams would be ranked no. 700 if she played in the men’s circuit. Riggs, though a Wimbledon champion in his youth, is now 55 and out of shape. Instead of training, he parties. He isn’t close to being one of the top 700 male tennis players in the world. When he goes on to play King, he manages to win ten games over three sets and proves a perfectly creditable opponent. The movie’s implied contention that women’s tennis offers the same quality of play as men’s simply doesn’t withstand acquaintance with the facts.

Moreover, that point is made in the dullest way imaginable. Simon Beaufoy is one of the most accomplished screenwriters working today, with The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire to his vast credit, but he falls into the earnest-message-movie trap and keeps having his characters state, restate and re-restate the themes of the film in one on-the-nose scene after another. The directors, the wife-and-husband team of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, who made Little Miss Sunshine in 2006 but haven’t had a hit since, don’t seem to realize that the irrepressible Riggs — he’s such a born entertainer that he wears scuba flippers for one match and plays another with a dog on a leash — is the one we want to hang out with. King is simply a grind, a classic student-council nerd who stays home and does her homework while Riggs, the class clown, is out there making the world giggle with outrageous stunts and insult comedy.

According to Wikipedia, “Principal photography on the film began in Los Angeles on April 13, 2016.” Of course it was intended as a parable for the presidential election – except as usually happens, the person who appears to be having more fun on the campaign trail ends up the winner. Did Hillary look like she was having any fun at all plonking along the campaign trail?

DAVID HARSANYI: After Self-Reflection, Journalists Discover They’ve Been Too Critical Of … Democrats.

It’s difficult to believe this now, but at one point a number of top media outlets considered the first-ever FBI investigation of a major presidential candidate in the history of the republic to be somewhat newsworthy. So they proceeded to cover the candidate’s many lies, her purging of somewhere around 30,000 pieces of evidence, and the FBI’s she’s-so-freaking-guilty-but-not-guilty verdict. And when authorities uncovered a computer that should have been in the possession of the FBI but was instead accessible to the sex-addicted husband of a top Hillary aide, they reported that, as well. This should have all been ignored.

On numerous occasions during her book tour, Clinton argued that the press didn’t do its job — which is to say, help her get elected. Considering the sycophantic coverage afforded her and her former boss the past eight years, perhaps these expectations were too high. Perhaps she expected the whitewashing to continue. Perhaps she anticipated the reaction to her dishonesty to be similar to the reaction she received after lying about the events surrounding the September 11, 2012 terror attack that took the life of Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Which is to say a bunch journalists tweeting,

B
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embellished with dismissive jokes.

Perhaps in all the excitement of the election some journalists lost their way.

They must want more Trump, because this is how to get just that.

SHOT: Information Warfare: Russia’s “Active Measures.”

According to researchers who conducted a post-mortem of social media activity during the election using internet analytics tools, Russian Information Warfare content on social media attempts to subvert Western democracies in five ways: undermine public confidence in democratic government, exacerbate internal political divisions, erode trust in government, push the Russian agenda in foreign populations, and create confusion and distrust by blurring fact and fiction.

CHASER: Clinton won’t rule out challenging legitimacy of 2016 election.

“I don’t know if there’s any legal constitutional way to do that. I think you can raise questions,” Clinton told NPR’s Terry Gross during an extended interview on “Fresh Air,” before pivoting to criticism of President Donald Trump’s rhetoric regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 race.

Gross quickly returned to her initial question, asking if Clinton would “completely rule out questioning the legitimacy of this election if we learn that the Russian interference in the election is even deeper than we know now?”

“No. I would not,” Clinton said.

The followup question should have been, “Why are you doing the Kremlin’s work?”

PEOPLE ARE TUNING OUT ON ENTERTAINMENT SHOWS BECAUSE THEY AREN’T ENTERTAINING: The Great Tune Out.

Though adjustments may change the preliminary verdict, this year’s Emmys are set to underperform even last year’s all-time low ratings. Maybe the politics on display were irrelevant; maybe the rise of streaming services has made traditional broadcast television a dying product. Maybe. But the Emmys misfortunes are of a familiar sort. This tune out is starting to feel like a trend.

In August, at just 5.4 million viewers, MTV’s Music Video Awards turned in their lowest ratings of all time. Occurring just days after a white-supremacist terrorist attack on peaceful demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, that event was explicitly political. But it was hard to avoid the impression it would have been political even absent events in Charlottesville.

Awardees delivered homilies praising NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand for the American national anthem and the network played a song titled “f*** Donald Trump” into breaks. For the first time, MTV presented an award for “Best Fight Against the System.” Host Katy Perry, a prominent member of Hillary Clinton’s squad of celebrity surrogates, displayed blinding originality when she joked about appearing in “Handmaid’s Tale” regalia and added that the VMAs was “one election where the popular vote actually matters.”

For months, liberal media outlets have contorted themselves into pretzels to support the claim that the sports network ESPN is not liberal, and conservatives who perceive it to be are addlebrained conspiracy theorists. Nevertheless, ESPN’s former personalities and even its regular viewers—according to a study commissioned by the network—don’t agree. Meanwhile, the network is laying off employees in droves, advertisers are panicking, and its ratings are cratering—the second quarter of 2017 was its least-watched Q2 in four years. Last week, ESPN John Skipper was compelled to admit that the network’s politicization is not a figment of conservative imaginations. “ESPN is not a political organization,” he wrote in a letter to his employees. “ESPN is about sports.” He continued, “we are a journalistic organization and that we should not do anything that undermines that position.”

Even Hollywood is feeling the crunch. The summer of 2017 was the worst performing summer for domestic box office releases in years. “Without a film debuting widely over the Labor Day weekend, Box-office Media predicts the film industry will end the summer of 2017 with sales down by up to 15 percent,” Bloomberg reported. Contrary to some recent revisionism, the films that were released this summer were well-regarded and scored well among reviewers. It’s possible this collapse is unrelated to an epidemic of performing artists lecturing America on its lack of a “moral foundation,” the “cancer” afflicting its politics, and the deteriorating race relations. But what if it’s not?

A lot of people don’t want to support the enemy, and they’re pretty convinced that Hollywood sees them as enemies.

Related:

OF NARRATIVES PAST AND PRESENT: In the new issue of Commentary, Andrew Ferguson profiles veteran DC journalist Elizabeth Drew, whom he describes as “Washington’s Keeper of the Narratives.”

Every administration gets suited up with the Divided White House Narrative at some point; Donald Trump’s is just the latest to succumb, and Ronald Reagan’s never outgrew it. The Pentagon Papers Narrative is also ongoing, most recently with Julian Assange as the hero, until he broke the narrative flow and became a bad guy, not at all like that brave Daniel Ellsberg. Bill Clinton’s White House was fit into the Tragic Presidency Narrative originally applied to the administration of Lyndon Johnson. Bill Clinton—able, smart, stuffed with charm, oozing political savvy—was shown lifting the country from the HWBushian darkness into the light of Democratic peace and prosperity even as he was brought low by his own personal Vietnam, who was wearing a thong.

More than once Barack Obama was draped in the Cuban Missile Crisis Narrative. His iciness was undeniable, though how canny he was remains an open question. But his far-seeing aide, John Kerry, was a Kennedy wannabe from Massachusetts, and when the time came to stare down the nuke-craving mullahs and call their bluff, Obama rose to the narrative by striking the Iran nuclear deal, thereby saving the world from cataclysm. It says so right here in the narrative.

Drew is handy with all these narratives, able to keep one spinning on the tip of a pool cue even as she balances another on her forehead while lifting a third with her big toe. As Keeper of the Narratives, though, she has particular responsibility for the crown jewel. Drew covered the Watergate scandal in weekly dispatches for the New Yorker and has been closely associated with it ever since. She even appears in the movie adaptation of All the President’s Men, which, although admittedly fictionalized and largely debunked, is to Washington narratives what the epic of Gilgamesh is to quest literature.

Drew’s Watergate articles became a book, called Washington Journal. I reread it the other day. It is droll, knowing, discursive, full of flavorsome detail, a worthy and appealing work of higher journalism. It is also animated by a subcutaneous vein of hysteria. Actually, it’s hysteria and delight all mixed together, for in Washington the two are always commingling. We Washingtonians are an excitable people. We feed off crises, draw strength from the Republic’s misfortune. I recall a remark from Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post (yeah, he was legendary, too), during the Iran-Contra scandal of the late 1980s. The official position of the Washington establishment was that Iran-Contra, like Watergate before it, was a grave threat to the Constitution, indeed to the existence of self-government. No laughing matter, in other words. And yet: “I haven’t had so much fun since Watergate,” Bradlee said. That’s the emotional life of the capital, indiscreetly expressed.

And Drew is its truest representative.

In the middle of a fascinating hour-long interview with Peter Robson on Uncommon Knowledge, Scott Adams of Dilbert fame and the author of How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big and the upcoming Win Bigly, charts the path of the current narrative arc:

Peter Robinson: How … You did … I found this quotation, because I thought to myself, “I’ve got him.” Let’s see if I have got you. “Trump’s value proposition is … this is you on your blog. Quote, “Trump’s value proposition is that he will ‘Make America Great.’ That concept sounds appealing to me. The nation needs good brand management.” Whatever else is going on, issue, by issue, by issue, you look at this guy and say, “You know, he’s my guy.”

Scott Adams: Well, I’m not saying I’d say, “My guy.” I say that he has a set of skills, which are extraordinary, and the thing I was most interested in was that the country could see it clearly without the filter put on it by the opposition because they’re both painting each other terribly. In Hillary Clinton’s situation, people know what a standard politician is. They could see through the attacks on the other side. We knew what we were getting, but with Trump, people didn’t know what they were getting. At least half the country thought he was crazy Hitler. I had actually predicted, I guess before he was inaugurated, that you would see the following story arc develop because it just was obvious if you’re trained in persuasion, it was going to go this way. It would start with, “Oh my God, we’ve accidentally elected Hitler, like how did this happen? How did half the country or so not know that we’ve elected a monster?” I figured, okay, after a few months of not doing Hitler stuff, it’s just going to dissipate, and it has. By summer, I said the Hitler thing will dissipate, and it did, but it would be replaced with “But, he’s incompetent. He’s incompetent. He’s incompetent”. Sure enough, that was the big word of the summer up until now. I didn’t see the Russia thing coming because that, that’s hard to predict, but I’ve predicted that after the “He’s incompetent” phase will come the, “Well, he did get a lot done, but we don’t all like that. He did things we don’t like, but he was awfully effective and he did do the things he said he was going to do. We just don’t like those things.” You’re going to see that by year end, and in fact you’re already seeing the turn.

Peter Robinson: Yes.

Scott Adams: It’s visible now. You can see the turn happening.

Hmmmm.

At times during his conversation with Robinson, Adams’ takes are awfully out there; as Kathy Shaidle wrote last year, “You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Be Scott Adams, But It Helps,” though perhaps that’s what makes it such an interesting interview. Or maybe it’s Adams’ claim to Robinson that “I have a background as a hypnotist, I’m a trained hypnotist” at work…

HILLARY IN A NUTSHELL: She Doesn’t Understand How Bad She Was, And Still Won’t Go Away.

ST. LOUIS TV JOURNALIST: “Scariest moment in my career. Protesters upset about not guilty verdict for an officer accused of killing a suspect, turn on me and media.”

Video at Twitchy, which adds, “Tell us more about the scary Trump supporters, eh?”

As David Horowitz tweeted last night, “Trump is nearly all that stands between this country and disaster. Take a look at St. Louis tonight & imagine that Hillary won.” To get a sense of the MSM-White House triangulation we’d be seeing this weekend, here’s a flashback to a Tammy Bruce article from late 2014: “Ferguson Unrest: Obama, Dems fan flames of racial tension, ignore own failed economics.”

In a similar vein, hopefully CNN being obsessed with a sports blogger uttering “boobs” on the air last night distracted them from further ginning up the riots, as they did in Ferguson and Baltimore.

IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE, PRESIDENT HILLARY HAS JUST PASSED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER MANDATING UNIVERSAL SITZPINKLING. Report: Standing Up to Pee Gives Boys an Unfair Advantage in Physics.

MOVE ON: NYT Reporter: I Know People Who Are ‘Still in Therapy’ Because Clinton Lost.

But does she know any Trump voters?

SO I GUESS WE SHOULD REPEAL THE 19TH AMENDMENT, SINCE WOMEN ARE TOO WEAK TO EXERCISE THE FRANCHISE: Hillary Says Women Who Voted Against Her Caved To Pressure From Fathers, Husbands. I mean, isn’t that the logical implication here?

WHAT HAPPENED, PART 1,237,322:

● Shot: [Republicans keep winning because] “they have successfully persuaded much of the public that they are the party of Joe Sixpack and Democrats are the party of Jessica Yogamat.”

—Mark Lilla, in his recent book The Once And Future Liberal, as quoted a month ago by Rod Dreher.

● Chaser: CNN’s Anderson Cooper Fawns Over Hillary’s Yoga Breathing in Softball Interview.

NewsBusters, today.

Exit quote:

Among some of Cooper’s not-so-hard hitting inquiries was a question about her yoga routine. “Seems like you’ve been doing a lot of yoga,” he commented. “And alternate nostril breathing! Have you tried that,” Clinton exclaimed with joy. “Page 27 in your book, you talk about alternative nostril breathing. What is that and dare you give me a demonstration of that,” he requested.

If Kathy Griffin is indeed now persona non grata at CNN after being photographed with the effigy of Trump’s severed head, her replacement as Cooper’s New Year’s Eve co-host has just identified herself.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. On authoritarianism, Hillary Clinton was the greater threat.

When Hillary Clinton, who was almost our president, riffed on President Trump and what she saw as his “authoritarianism” she displayed an odd definition of the idea. She said that at the “core” of authoritarianism is “to sow mistrust toward exact the people we need to rely on: our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence…”

So, authoritarianism involves sowing distrust in the people in power?

Clinton fitting invokedly Orwell in her perverse definition of authoritarianism. We could wave off her backwards understanding to sloppiness or partisanship. But this is a small shadow of something far bigger: Clinton has a fundamentally authoritarian mindset, and she had built around her a circle of sycophants who enabled that mindset.

Events since the election have confirmed my suspicion during the campaign that, whichever of the two major party candidates would be worse overall, Hillary Clinton was the greater threat on the score of authoritarianism.

This was obvious to anyone who was paying attention.

FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Need White Men. Turns out, she kinda did. And articles like this both helped to feed her complacency, and reminded those white men what a Hillary presidency would probably be like.

SAVAGE: Of Course Hillary Clinton Identifies with Cersei Lannister. They Are the Same Person. “What Happened” invites readers to make an unflattering comparison with the mad queen of Westeros.

What’s the difference between Game of Thrones character Cersei Lannister and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton? One is an entitled narcissist who quietly supported her lecherous husband (whom she clearly loathed) when it was politically convenient, then insisted it was her turn to rule (even though it wasn’t), chose boot-lickers, ass-kissers, and elitist bankers as her advisors while alienating more competent and better-liked people who might have helped her, exacted petty vengeance on imagined enemies, escaped justice and the judgment of the people by destroying her main rival—the charismatic, income-inequality obsessed populist—with an explosive cheat, and was left confused why so many people in her country would rather be ruled by a complete political unknown who tells it like it is.

The other fucks her twin brother.

Ouch.

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. Hillary Clinton: The lesson of 1984 is trust your leaders.


To add to the conclusion of Allahpundit’s post, it’s fascinating that Hillary and/or her ghostwriters apparently don’t recall how Hillary’s 2008 campaign was torpedoed by an Obama operative through their own 1984 callback:

REMEMBRANCE: While Hillary Used Her Book Tour to Spread the Blame, Here’s What the CIA Was Up To.

No one was safe from the finger-pointing — everyone from former FBI Director James Comey and Joe Biden to the Russians and the angry women who didn’t start marching early enough got a taste of the blame.

And after the book’s release on Tuesday, September 12, she continued to promote it — and push her alternate theories of responsibility.

Meanwhile, the CIA embarked on a very different mission: to honor two of the men many blame Clinton for deserting six years ago in Benghazi.

Read the whole thing.

STEPHEN KRUISER: Hillary’s Media Criticisms Are a Perfect Snapshot of Why She Lost.

What has struck me most about Clinton’s book at media tour is her tone. When she casually dismissed a quarter of the American electorate as “deplorables” and, worse, as “irredeemable,” Clinton revealed a contempt unworthy of a candidate for any office. That was a far worse character smear than Mitt Romney’s political judgement about the “47 percent” who he believed would never vote Republican. Clinton’s casual contempt, probably more than any other single factor, cost her what should have been a gimme election.

But she doesn’t seem to have learned anything, if her book and recent statements are anything to go by. Clinton not only thinks that Trump is an inexcusable disaster, but her book indicates that she places the blame for him (while blithely comparing herself to Cersei from Game of Thrones) on those same deplorables, still so full of “anger and resentment.”

So while there’s always good fun to be had at the expense of a clueless politico, the idea of a sitting President filled with that much contempt for her fellow Americans ought to make one shudder.

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Deplorable Book, Deplorable Person.

Nearly a year after she lost the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton is promoting a book about how her defeat is everyone else’s fault. So much, so familiar.

What’s striking is that even though she has barely begun her book tour, Clinton has already given the game away, reverting to her self-pitying idea that half her countrymen are “irredeemable” and “deplorable.”

Remember that riff she got into at a 2016 private fundraiser? No? Well here it is, to freshen your recollection.

You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Clinton later issued a half-cocked apology for casting aspersions on tens of millions of her fellow citizens. She didn’t repeat exactly those words this past weekend when trying to flog her book, but she might as well have done. In an interview with Jane Pauley, she said Trump “was quite successful in referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, comfort, settle grievances, for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others.” She then clarified that she meant “millions of white people, yeah.”

This is actually an uglier comment than the one for which she pretended to apologize during the election. It’s a characteristically self-centered and selfish remark that should remind the nation why it can be glad Clinton didn’t become president and never will.

Every day Trump goes on not being President Hillary, and every day that makes me happy. Hillary’s clueless book is only making me happier.

Plus: “Between 2009 and 2017, Democrats and the Left forgot how to make arguments for their political positions. They leaned on Obama’s blackness, and argued that all his critics must ipso facto be racists. It was facile to make the accusation, but it seemed worthwhile at the time because it obviated the need for the sort of clear-eyed introspection that can make people, even politicians, question their beliefs and come up with fresh ideas. But convenient though it was to hide behind unthinking charges or bigotry, it eroded the Democrats ability to back their policies with facts and cogent reasoning. It was always a weak argument. Voters saw through in two midterm elections and again in 2016. But how much more contemptible it is to see that same racial crutch used by to prop up the amour propre of a whiter-than-white, uber-privileged politician who rode into public life on her husband’s coattails.”

In cosmic irony, though, she ignored Bill Clinton’s “mansplaining” of the election to her, and as a result, lost.

GOOD QUESTION: What Kind of History Did Hillary Clinton Make?

“Hillary made history by winning the nomination” is another way of saying “Hillary made history by managing to not lose the nomination with institutional advantages that no other candidate is likely to enjoy for the next few decades.”

And then she headed into a general election with another slew of institutional advantages: her campaign spent twice as much as Trump’s did, the media detested Trump, and the Republican nominee stumbled from one mess to another. Many prominent Republicans skipped their party’s convention in Cleveland while the Democrats’ gathering in Philadelphia went off without a hitch. Clinton may complain about FBI Director James Comey’s last minute reopening (and re-closing!) of the bureau’s investigation of her, but it’s not like Trump had a smooth final month with the revelation of the Access Hollywood tape in early October. Sure, the first line of Hillary’s obituary will mention she was the first woman to win a major party’s presidential nomination. But it’s likely to continue, “and the loser in the most shocking upset in American political history.”

She was a terrible candidate — and aside from Barack Obama, the best the Democrats have put up since 1996.

THESE ARE ALMOST AS GOOD AS QUOTES FROM ONE OF JIMMY CARTER’S BOOKS:  Some Choice Quotes from Hillary Clinton’s Book About Collapsing In the Street (And Also, Losing a Presidential Election).

SOME CHOICE QUOTES FROM HILLARY CLINTON’S BOOK ABOUT COLLAPSING IN THE STREET (AND ALSO, LOSING A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION). The first one collated by Ace is a hoot:

Indeed.™

At Commentary, John Podhoretz dubs Hillary’s book “simultaneously interesting and dreadful,” and writes:

She complains that she did everything she should have done and said everything people said she should have said and still lost. She offers convincing proof that this is so and openly expresses bafflement that she was not given credit for speaking to the white working class and its issues, etc. The problem that she cannot face, as her bafflement suggests, is that people didn’t believe she meant what she said, in part because what she said was an endless series of platitudes she could not convince anyone was anything more than platitudes. Whatever Trump is, he’s not platitudinous.

But perhaps surprisingly, Young Adult Website Vox.com (as James Taranto would say), features a rare moment of clarity from Hillary: “I don’t think the press did their job in this election, with very few exceptions.”

Since Hillary views the job of the DNC-MSM to block for her and get her into the end zone, that’s the probably the most honest thing she’s ever said.

Tim Blair, everyone’s favorite Blogger Down Under, collates more of Hillary’s excuses regarding “Wha’ Happened:”

And finally:

  1. Hillary hate. “I have come to terms with the fact that a lot of people — millions and millions of people — decided they just didn’t like me,” Clinton writes — though she doesn’t understand the dislike. “What makes me such a lightning rod for fury? I’m really asking … I’m at a loss.”

Readers are invited to help her out with this.

Have at it in the comments at Tim’s homepage at the Daily Telegraph, and in our comments below.

OF COURSE HILLARY CLINTON IDENTIFIES WITH CERSEI LANNISTER. THEY ARE THE SAME PERSON:

What’s the difference between Game of Thrones character Cersei Lannister and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton? One is an entitled narcissist who quietly supported her lecherous husband (whom she clearly loathed) when it was politically convenient, then insisted it was her turn to rule (even though it wasn’t), chose boot-lickers, ass-kissers, and elitist bankers as her advisors while alienating more competent and better-liked people who might have helped her, exacted petty vengeance on imagined enemies, escaped justice and the judgment of the people by destroying her main rival—the charismatic, income-inequality obsessed populist—with an explosive cheat, and was left confused why so many people in her country would rather be ruled by a complete political unknown who tells it like it is.

The other f**ks her twin brother.

Ouch. Oh and, heh, indeed.™