Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Democrats Finally Face the Pelosi Question

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Have Democrats finally, finally, finally gotten sick and tired of Nancy Pelosi?

It’s been a decade since Pelosi ascended to the speaker’s chair, and since Democrats lost control of the House in 2010, there have been mutterings that Pelosi is a drag on the party. Despite that, she’s continues to get elected as Minority Leader.

But following Jon Ossoff’s loss in the Georgia 6th Congressional District special election, that finally seems to be changing:

Democrats’ embarrassing special-election loss in Georgia, after the liberal media built up unrealistic expectations, has provoked a wave of bitter blowback that targets House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Snip.

On Wednesday, some Democratic members of Congress publicly voiced concerns about Pelosi, raising the specter of a leadership challenge.

“I think you’d have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,” Rep. Filemon Vela, a Texas Democrat, told Politico.

“Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost, but she certainly is one of the reasons.

Representative Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, reportedly met Wednesday morning with a group of lawmakers who have been conferring about economic messaging, according to several people present who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Luján told the group that his committee would examine the Georgia results for lessons, but he urged the lawmakers to portray the race in positive terms in their public comments, stressing that Democrats have consistently exceeded their historical performance in a series of special elections fought in solidly Republican territory.

It was in the meeting with Mr. Luján that Mr. Cárdenas, a member of the Democratic leadership, brought up Ms. Pelosi’s role in the Georgia race, calling it “the elephant in the room.”

Ms. Pelosi was not present.

On the front page of liberal heartland Silicon Valley’s paper, The Mercury News of San Jose: “Question: Is Nancy Pelosi the problem?”

“Some of the toughest ads against the 30-year-old [Georgia Dem candidate Jon] Ossoff were those tying him to Pelosi, whose approval ratings are underwater outside California.”

Furthermore, as NYTimes reports, in a possible omen, the first Democratic candidate to announce his campaign after the Georgia defeat immediately vowed not to support Ms. Pelosi for leader.

Joe Cunningham, a South Carolina lawyer challenging Representative Mark Sanford, said Democrats needed “new leadership now.”

Even Democrats who are not openly antagonistic toward Ms. Pelosi acknowledged that a decade of Republican attacks had taken a toll: “It’s pretty difficult to undo the demonization of anyone,” said Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey.

So with all that said, we are left with one question, as The Economic Collapse blog’s Michael Snyder asks, are the ‘toxic’ Democrats destine to become a permanent minority party?

Every political generation needs a “designated hate object” on the other side. In the early 1990s, a joke went around Republican circles about a direct mail guy: “I had the most horrible dream! Jesse Jackson and Ted Kennedy went down in the same plane!”

But Jackson and Kennedy were clearly to the left of center in a Democratic Party that still included some conservatives and moderates, and neither had any formal leadership role in the party, Jackson never having held office and Kennedy having lost his role as Majority Whip to Robert Byrd in 1971).

By contrast, Pelosi is not an ideological outlier in her Party, but emblematic of it. As Minority Leader, Pelosi is arguably the highest ranking elected Democrat in the country right now.

The reason Pelosi was able to be elected Speaker in the first place is that Howard Dean’s “50 state strategy” helped empower a lot of moderate Democrats to run and win (at least during a wave election) in deep red states, the last gasp of the “Blue Dog Democrats.” Then Pelosi ruthlessly pushed the Stupak bloc flippers into betraying their pledges on the ObamaCare vote, and the aftermath of 2010 wiped most of them out. The congressional careers of Brad Ellsworth, Bart Stupak, James Oberstar, Steve Driehaus, Steve Chabot, Charles Wilson (the Ohio rep, not the Texas one), Kathy Dahlkemper, Paul Kanjorski and Solomon Ortiz died for Nancy Pelosi’s sins. Moreover, the uniformity of far left ideology in the current Democratic Party prevents anyone like them from running in and winning a Democratic primary.

Nancy Pelosi is toxic because her party is toxic.

As Rich Lowry notes:

Stopping Trump is imperative, so long as it doesn’t require the party rethinking its uncompromising stance on abortion, guns or immigration. Every old rule should be thrown out in the cause of the resistance—except the tried-and-true orthodoxies on social issues.

If Democrats had to choose between opposing an honest-to-goodness coup and endorsing a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, they’d probably have to think about it. And if they dared pick opposition to the coup, NARAL Pro Choice America would come after them hammer and tongs.

Those issues, and the unpopularity of ObamaCare, and the relentless Social Justice Warrior madness, etc., are what’s hurting the Democratic Party.

Pelosi has put down rebellions in her ranks before, but this one seems more widespread. Also, Pelosi is 77, and has recently started to have more senior moments than she used to.

Still, something tells me that House Democrats lack the guts to oust Pelosi mid-session. But if Democrats do badly in next year’s midterms, then the knives might really come out…

LinkSwarm for June 23, 2017

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Welcome to another Friday LinkSwarm! There’s so much news I’m going to punt “The Pelosi Question” to the weekend:

  • In case you hadn’t noticed, illinois is going bankrupt.
  • John Podesta to testify before the House Intelligence committee. Hopefully they’ll ask him about the allegations in Shattered that he and Robby Mook cooked up the entire “Russia hacked the election” fantasy within 24 hours of Hillary’s loss. And also about his and his brother’s documented financial ties to Russia.
  • Former state Department/CIA employee charged with espionage for China:

    A former State Department employee was arrested Thursday and charged with espionage for allegedly transmitting Top Secret and Secret documents to a Chinese government agent, according to an affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA.

    Kevin Mallory, 60, of Leesburg is a self-employed consultant who speaks fluent Chinese. Court filings show that Mallory was an Army veteran who worked as a special agent for U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service from 1987 to 1990. Since then, Mallory has worked for various government agencies and defense contractors, maintaining a Top Secret security clearance. The Washington Post reports that Mallory was also an employee of the CIA.

  • A lot of hardcore Democrats are becoming increasingly uneasy about the way that Trump Derangement Syndrome has warped their party:

    We do know that Wednesday’s congressional attacker, James Hodgkinson, shared a conspiracy-tinged Change.org link on March 22, accompanied by the caption, “Trump is a traitor.” Once again, it has to be stressed that this information is woefully insufficient to conclude that the perpetrator was motivated by Russia-oriented conspiracy theories. Motivations are multifaceted, and often political beliefs “intersect” with mental distress, causing people to act violently. But the sharing of the link does indicate that Hodgkinson has been affected by the frenzied climate Democrats have stoked around the Russia issue.

    Once again, for extra emphasis: calling attention to the link Hodgkinson shared is not to say that Democrats are directly culpable for this shooting. That would be ridiculous. But the shared link does show that he was to some extent enmeshed in the conspiratorial paranoia that Democrats have knowingly fostered, at full-blast, for approaching an entire year. One ancillary consequence of fostering conspiratorial paranoia for a full year is that certain people with unstable mental predispositions may latch on and commit violent acts. But Democrats and liberals, in their self-assuredness, have been reticent to acknowledge this byproduct of their current political strategy. Proclaiming that the president engaged in treason — as many members of Congress and media figures have — is going to have an influence on the broader public, and included in that broader public are people who might be deranged and/or have violent inclinations.

    If you deny that the kind of overblown rhetoric that Democrats have specialized in over the past months — warning about traitorous subterfuge and foreign infiltration — can have any trickle-down effect on regular people, you’re deluding yourself.

  • It looks like Democrats are learning all the wrong lessons from Jon Ossoff’s loss:

    Democrats want a resistance. They want to impeach the President. They want full-blown socialism. They want to go further to the left than the tea party wanted to go right. A lot of activist Democrats are already interpreting Jon Ossoff’s loss as him not being aggressively anti-Trump enough.

    The Democrat base has moved way further left than where the American public is and at a time we seem to be in a pendulum swing back to the right, that could hurt them. As they start challenging Democrat incumbents with more liberal activists and start winning primaries in swing seats with radical progressives, they risk their ability to win.

    What makes this fun to watch is knowing they reject that idea and think the more radical and more militant the more likely their candidates will win. I cannot wait to watch their slate of moonbat crazy challengers.

  • All those “Ossoff’s loss was a moral victory” excuses? Vox says don’t believe it: “Don’t sugarcoat it — Ossoff’s loss is a big disappointment, and a bad sign, for Democrats. Democrats need to outperform Hillary Clinton to take back the House. Ossoff did worse than her.”
  • As bad as political violence is now, the 1960s and early 1970s were much worse.
  • Phil Montag, technology chairman for the Nebraska Democratic Party, was caught on audio saying he was glad Rep> Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot and wishing he had died. Make that the ex-technology chairman for the Nebraska Democratic Party. Good. Pink slips seem to be the only thing these people pay attention to. (Hat tip: Gabriel Malor’s Twitter feed.)
  • “A professor at a Connecticut college said he was forced to flee the state after he received death threats for appearing to endorse the idea that first responders to last week’s congressional shooting should have let the victims ‘f**king die’ instead of treating them.” Step right up, Trinity College Professor Johnny Eric Williams! You’re the next contestant on “Trump Derangement Syndrome Ruined My Life!”
  • And speaking of Democrats losing it, “Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused ex-DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson of lying under oath when he said the DNC refused the help of the DHS in their hacking scandal.”
  • “This May was the Democratic National Committee’s worst May of fundraising since 2003. The DNC raised $4.29 million in May of this year, according to data recently released by the Federal Election Commission. It is the weakest take for national Democrats since May of 2003, when the party raised a paltry $2.7 million.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Did 5.7 million illegal aliens vote in 2008? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • President Trump follows through on his campaign promise to kill deferred action for illegal alien parents, AKA DAPA.
  • TPPF’s Chris Jacobs is not impressed with the Republican Senate ObamaCare replacement bill. TPPF’s Chip Roy said:

    Simply put, the bill doubles down on the fundamentally flawed architecture of Obamacare and if implemented, will neither increase the actual care available to the people nor drive down the cost of care or insurance. It maintains Obamacare’s subsidy regime, retains almost the entirety of the regulatory architecture driving up people’s premiums and deductibles, continues the previous Administration’s unconstitutional bailouts to insurers, and maintains the Medicaid expansion for five more years before slowly attempting to reform the program.

  • More on the same subject: “Top Ten Ways Senate Obamacare Bill Is #FakeRepeal.”
  • ObamaCare tweet:

  • Liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz states that Presidnet Trump’s tape bluff is perfectly legal. “What President Trump did was no different from what prosecutors, defense attorneys, policemen, FBI agents and others do every day in an effort to elicit truthful testimony from mendacious witnesses.” Also: “We must declare an armistice against using our criminal justice system as a political weapon in what has become a zero-sum bloodsport.”
  • Saudi king replaces crown prince with his own son.
  • Saudis foil Iranian sabotage attack on their offshore oilfields.
  • “Trump Imposes New Sanctions on Russia Over Ukraine.” Insert record scratch sound over derailment of the “Trump is Putin’s stooge” narrative here. Oh, also, New York Times: When you invade, occupy and annex territory, it’s not an “incursion,” it’s an “invasion.”
  • Helmut Kohl, the chancellor who oversaw German reunification, dead at age 87. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Remember all those “refugees” Angela Merkel invited in? “Up to three quarters of Germany’s refugees will still be unemployed in five years’ time.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Trump Administration Begins to Dismantle Obama Campus Rape Tribunals.” Good.
  • “CENTCOM confirms Islamic State’s ‘Grand Mufti’ killed in airstrike…Turki al-Bin’ali was killed in a May 31 airstrike in Mayadin, Syria.”
  • Amazon buying Whole Foods ties into their overall strategy of high fixed costs and returns to scale.
  • Alternate view: Amazon buying Whole Foods is this cycle’s AOL/Time Warner merger.
  • East Lansing, Michigan punishes man for daring to express pro-Christian thoughtcrime on Facebook.
  • “The amount of labor that once bought 54 minutes of light now buys 52 years of light. The cost has fallen by a factor of 500,000 and the quality of that light has transformed from unstable and risky to clean, safe, and controllable.”
  • The year-by-year descent into airline hell. But: More people are flying than ever before, and airlines are actually profitable. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Man almost dies after getting swept away by a river while hiking, learns important survival lessons. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Harvard introduces segregated commencement ceremony for black students. next up: Their own water fountains.
  • “A mentally ill homeless woman in Florida is accused of vandalizing a policeman’s patrol car and smearing feces on a church where she left the walls defaced with nonsensical writings against ‘patriarchy.'”
  • F-35 puts on an impressive demonstration at the Paris Air Show. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • F-16 catches fire at Houston airport.
  • The meaning of Bill Cosby’s hung jury:

    The extraordinarily high prosecutorial burden of proof in any criminal trial is intentionally designed to heavily favor defendants, because we long ago embraced as a society Blackstone’s principle. Formulated in the seventeen-sixties by the English jurist William Blackstone, the presumption is that it is better to have ten guilty people go free than that one innocent person suffer. Hard as it is to stomach today, embracing that calculus means that we should even want ten rapists (not to mention terrorists and murderers) to go free in order to protect the one falsely accused. Unfortunately, Cosby is one of those to escape criminal punishment. And, to put a fine point on the over-all gendered impact of requiring proof “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the inevitable effect of the heavy tilt toward defendants is that in sexual-assault trials, which involve mostly male defendants and mostly female accusers, men are favored over women.

    What works in Bill Cosby’s favor also works in Bill Clinton’s favor… (Hat tip: Christina Hoff Summers’ Twitter feed.)

  • 15 companies that made great games that still went bust. Spoiler: The phrase “bought by EA” appears a lot.
  • Colin Kaepernick seems to have decided that his career is indeed over. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Whipped cream fatality.
  • And that gives me the thinnest of possible justifications to post this classic:

  • Ossoff Defeat Reaction Roundup

    Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

    This morning, following yet another special election defeat, chastised Democrats are doing a lot of soul searching as to why voters keep rejecting their message.

    Ha, just kidding! They’re calling voters “toxic bigots.”

    First up: Feminist Jill Filipovic, who is not happy at all that Karen Handel has shattered a “glass ceiling” by becoming the first woman from Georgia elected [Correction: First Republican woman] to the U.S. House of Representatives:

    Reactions:

    A few random tweets on the subject:

    Jim Geraghty wonders exactly where Democrats can win:

    Democrats and progressives were convinced they had a chance to win this race, and the fact that they didn’t suggests that their real problem is that they don’t actually know where they can win. They’re walking around with a false sense of their own electability — just seven months after they were convinced Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election easily.

    Yes, there’s a lot of road ahead, and there will be easier districts for Democrats to win in 2018. But when you add up all the spending and use the most recent numbers reported in the New York Times, it calculates to a $9 million advantage for the Democrats. ($23.6 million raised by Ossoff + $7.6 million spent by outside groups preferring him = $31.2 million; $4.5 million spent by Handel + $18.2 million spent by outside groups preferring her = $22.7 million.)

    If you fall short in an open-seat special election, in a district Trump barely carried, with a candidate who avoids gaffes and with a giant spending advantage . . . just where the heck are you going to win?

    Democrats show show no sign of learning a lesson from this defeat: “I don’t think Democrats understand that their *Resistance* strategy is not working. But they are so emotionally invested in it, they can’t see their way out.”

    Another big loser from last night: Planned Parenthood. “By tacking a $735,000 price tag onto Ossoff’s failed effort, Planned Parenthood has revealed its own futility at influencing elections.”

    Six reasons Democrats lost GA-6. Including carpetbagging and nationalizing the race with outside money. “Ossoff received more money from California than Georgia. Voters took it as an insult, and acted accordingly.” Also: “The GA-6 may be an upscale, suburban district, but voters there still aren’t interested in Alyssa Milano’s take on politics.” (Hat tip: Big Gator 5’s twitter feed.)

    Will the harsh glare of reality finally penetrate Democrats’ elaborate fantasy world? “Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump.” That’s from Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio.

    Mr. Ryan, who tried to unseat Ms. Pelosi, Democrat of California, as House minority leader after the November elections, said she remained a political drag on other Democrats. Ms. Handel and Republican outside groups tied Mr. Ossoff to Ms. Pelosi in campaign events and television ads, casting him as a puppet for what they described as her liberal agenda and “San Francisco values.”

    “They’re still running against her and still winning races, and it’s still a problem,” Mr. Ryan said.

    More on the same theme: “Republican operatives say that 98 percent of voters in the 6th District already had an impression of Pelosi when they conducted their first internal poll, and she was 35 points underwater. When presented with the choice of whether they wanted a representative who would work with Paul Ryan or Pelosi, six in 10 picked the Speaker and three in 10 picked the minority leader.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

    As long as Democrats’ desire to win elections takes a backseat to their need for moral preening over their own “tolerance” and their emotional need to label voters who reject their policies as racists and bigots, expect them to continue losing elections…

    Republicans Retain Georgia’s 6th Congressional District

    Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

    According to Decision Desk, Republican Karen Handel has defeated Jon Ossoff in the special election for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District.

    Some tweets:

    CNN gonna CNN:

    Newspapers around the country are erasing their HUGE UPSET REBUKE TO TRUMP headlines to replace them with WILD NIGHT OF NBA TRADES! and relegating the Georgia’s 6th news back to A8…

    In another special election, Republicans, as expected, held on to South Carolina’s 5th District, with Republican Ralph Norman beating Democrat Archie Parnell in a closer-than-expected race for the seat vacated by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

    Except for retaining the overwhelmingly Democratic California 34th Congressional District, Democrats seem O-for-Everything in special elections in the Trump era…

    Unmasking Documents Sealed for Five Years?

    Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

    Judicial Watch, which did such good work unmasking various Hillary Clinton scandals last year, has been on the case filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests relating to the Obama Administration’s unmasking scandal.

    However, they just hit a roadblock asking for Susan Rice documents relevant to the issue, as they have been removed to the Obama Presidential Library:

    Judicial Watch today announced that the National Security Council (NSC) on May 23, 2017, informed it by letter that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library.

    The NSC will not fulfill an April 4 Judicial Watch request for records regarding information relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.”

    The agency also informed Judicial Watch that it would not turn over communications with any Intelligence Community member or agency concerning the alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election; the hacking of DNC computers; or the suspected communications between Russia and Trump campaign/transition officials. Specifically, the NSC told Judicial Watch:

    Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.

    The Presidential Records Act:

    Establishes a process for restriction and public access to these records. Specifically, the PRA allows for public access to Presidential records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) beginning five years after the end of the Administration, but allows the President to invoke as many as six specific restrictions to public access for up to twelve years. The PRA also establishes procedures for Congress, courts, and subsequent administrations to obtain special access to records that remain closed to the public, following a 30‑day notice period to the former and current Presidents.

    Disappointing, though one can think of many non-corruption reasons a Presidential Administration might want to shield sensitive records from public view.

    (Hat tip: Conservative Treehouse via Director Blue.)

    LinkSwarm for June 12, 2017

    Monday, June 12th, 2017

    Enjoy a late, out-of-band LinkSwarm to start your week:

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions is serious about border control:

    Sessions said 25 judges have already been deployed to detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to Politico. Another 50 judges will be “on the bench” later this year. A separate 75 judges will be added in fiscal 2018 at a cost of $80 million.

    The need is obvious. About half of all federal arrests in 2014 were for immigration crimes, and 93 percent of that figure took place at or near the border, the Bureau of Justice Statistics recently reported.

  • Leaked diplomatic cables show concern by other U.S. allies in the region that Qatar was backing terrorist groups.
  • More background on the Qatar vs. every other Sunni gulf state feud.
  • “President Trump continues to make sterling judicial nominations.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Trump as our Claudius.
  • Pundits keep telling President Trump he has to give up tweeting. Why would he, when his tweets make the media dance to his tune? (Hat tip: Scott Adams.)
  • “Obama Admin Did Not Publicly Disclose Iran Cyber-Attack During ‘Side-Deal’ Nuclear Negotiations.” Because why protect America’s cybersecurity when you can give billions to a jihad-supporting regime to sign a treaty they’ll refuse to follow?
  • “12 Democrat staffers arrested, charged with voter fraud.”
  • Congress should investigate if Attorney General Lynch pressured Comey to cover for Hillary Clinton, says notorious right-wing shill…Dianne Feinstein? (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Now that Democrats are getting getting hefty support from moneyed elites, they’re not so keen on wealth redistribution.
  • The Strange Death of Scottish Nationalism.” The Tories did badly in the snap election, but the Scottish National Party did much, much worse.
  • How Theresa May screwed up. And why on earth was she using Jim Messina as a political consultant? Because he did such a smashing job on the “Remain” campaign?
  • “EU, UN siphon off 100 million Euro annually to groups running anti-Israel campaign.”
  • “UK government paid London jihad mass murderer’s brother to fight ‘extremism.'”
  • Jim Goad covers the lunacy at Evergreen College. Tidbit: “The school bears the dubious distinction of being ‘one of the least selective universities in the nation with an admittance rate of 98%.'” *Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • So much news dropped last week that I didn’t get around to posting on the arrest of NSA contractor Reality Winner for leaking classified information. And does the name “Reality Winner” mean we’re living in a Philip K. Dick novel? Or a Thomas Pynchon novel?
  • But we should lit Winner’s weird name distract us from the fact she’s a complete and utter moron, “not only printing the document from her NSA computer but emailing the Intercept using her personal Gmail account from the same computer.” (More on printing microdot technology.
  • In any case, the MSM is omitting Winner’s long, documented history of far-left political activism.
  • “The Democrats don’t have a ‘white working-class problem.’ They have a ‘working-class problem.” Caveat: Lots of leftist blather. But it’s refreshing to see liberals admit just how badly the Obama economy sucked. (Hat tip: Mickey Kaus.)
  • Tweet:

  • “Italy’s populist Five Star Movement humiliated in municipal elections.” That’s Beppe Grillo’s left-wing populist Euroskeptic Party. Between this and France’s election, was Brexit the high-water mark of Euroskepticism? Maybe, until the next economic crisis.
  • Speaking of which, the slow-motion Spanish banking panic continues apace, and Spanish regulators have imposed a ban on short-selling.
  • Adam West, RIP.
  • Flying Goth.
  • Attempted cereal killing.
  • Joe’s Crab Shack files for bankruptcy.
  • “Man Fashions Fabulously Tiny Hats for Toad Who Visits His Porch Every Day.”
  • Obligatory James Comey Testimony Roundup

    Sunday, June 11th, 2017

    Now that the breathless wall-to-wall coverage of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony is finished, let’s wade into the towering thicket of articles covering it to pluck the most succulent points:

  • This Comey timeline is a good place to start.

    If you know that what you are about to say is going to lead people to believe the president of the United States is under investigation (as it did), and you know for a fact that the president of the United States is not under investigation (as Comey did), why make the statement? And if it was important enough to tell Congress that Trump was not under investigation so that Congress would not be misled, what conceivable reason is there not to tell the public — especially when you must know that withholding this critical detail will make it much more difficult for the president to deal with foreign leaders and marshal political support for his domestic agenda?

  • “Former FBI director James Comey’s decision to leak FBI documents to a friend may have violated the FBI’s employment agreement regarding unauthorized leaks.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Did the Attorney General lean on Comey to go easy on the target of his investigation? Yes. At least when the Attorney General was Loretta Lynch and the investigation target was Hillary Clinton:

    [Sen. James] LANKFORD [(R-OK)]: Then you made a comment earlier a the attorney general, the previous attorney general asking you about the investigation on the Clinton e-mails saying you were asked to not call it an investigation anymore. But call it a matter. You said that confused you. You can give us additional details on that?

    COMEY: Well, it concerned me because we were at the point where we refused to confirm the existence as we typically do of an investigation for months. And was getting to a place where that looked silly because the campaigns we’re talking about interacting with the FBI in the course of our work. The Clinton campaign at the time was using all kinds of euphemisms, security matters, things like that for what was going on.

    We were getting to a place where the attorney general and I were both going to testify and talk publicly about it I wanted to know was she going to authorize us to confirm we have an investigation. She said yes, don’t call it that, call it a matter. I said why would I do that? She said, just call it a matter. You look back in hindsight, if I looked back and said this isn’t a hill worth dying on so I just said the press is going to completely ignore it. That’s what happened when I said we opened a matter.

    They all reported the FBI has an investigation open. So that concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning.

    LANKFORD: You gave impression that the campaign was somehow using the language as the FBI because you were handed the campaign language?

    COMEY: I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way it was describing that. It was inaccurate. We had an investigation open for the federal bureau of investigation, we had an investigation open at the time. That gave me a queasy feeling.

  • “Most seemed to miss the fact that Comey was describing his own conduct in strikingly unethical terms. The greatest irony is that Trump succeeded in baiting Comey to a degree that even Trump could not have imagined. After calling Comey a ‘showboat’ and poor director, Comey proceeded to commit an unethical and unprofessional act in leaking damaging memos against Trump.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Kurt Schlichter:

    That towering doofus James Comey crushed the spirits of millions of democracy-hating geebos when, trapped by his own prior testimony, he was forced to admit the truth on national television. And that truth, as those of us not caught up in the whirlpool of Menschian insanity and liberal wishcasting all know, is that the whole Russia thing is a wheelbarrow of fresh Schumer squeezed out by Hillary and her minions in order to create a narrative – any narrative – that would hide the bitter truth. We rejected her, and now we’re rejecting the Russia idiocy too.

  • Scott Adams:

    Was President Trump trying to persuade Comey in any of their private conversations? Of course he was. In a political context, all conversations are about persuasion. Comey was trying to persuade Trump that Comey was a competent and capable player with no bias. Trump was expressing his preferences from a power position, which is persuasive by its nature.

    Persuasion isn’t inherently good or bad. Persuasion is a tool. It’s goodness or badness depends on the context of its use. If you believe Trump knows he and his associates were innocent of any wrongdoing, and you observe that the investigations are making the government less effective, it feels entirely legitimate for the President to persuade in a direction that is a benefit for all citizens. No one wants to waste time, money, or energy on a useless investigation. But if you think there is some wrongdoing yet uncovered, presidential persuasion would be wildly inappropriate in this case, even if technically legal.

    I haven’t seen evidence of any crimes on the Trump side, so my filter sees a president trying to remove some obstacles that are not serving him or the American public. That kind of persuasion doesn’t feel wrong to me.

  • “Trump committed no crime. Democrats need to get over it.”

    Democrats will continue to lash out and contort Comey’s testimony, but the facts speak for themselves. President Trump has not asked anyone to lie, he has not prevented anyone from performing his or her legal obligations, and he has most certainly not obstructed justice.

    Comey’s testimony was not flattering toward the president, but, as I wrote yesterday, it did more to help Trump than to hurt him. No matter how much the Democrats and mainstream media outlets try to spin a crime out of the straw that was Comey’s testimony, the facts just do not take us there.

    The president still has the advantage of being innocent. If the Democrats want to impeach Trump, they will have to keep looking. I’m sure they will.

  • 7 Big Takeaways From The Comey Hearing.” Including:

    The Conspiracy Theory That Says Trump Colluded With Russia To Somehow Steal The Election From Hillary Clinton Is Now Dead: Not only did Comey thoroughly shoot down the idea that Trump was being investigated in the Russia probe, he explicitly denied stories based on anonymous sources that said Trump colluded with the Russians. He added, “Yes, there have been many, many stories based on — well, lots of stuff but about Russia that are dead wrong.” Read it and weep, conspiracy theorists.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • “Comey stated that a key New York Times report asserting Trump campaign collusion, which sparked much of the frenzy the past several months, was substantively false. On top of that, Comey testified not only that Trump didn’t try to impede the Russia investigation, he actually encouraged Comey to find out and expose whether any of Trump’s campaign ‘satellites’ (I assume that means people working for or with the campaign) engaged in wrongdoing.”
  • Lefty constitutional law scholar Alan Dershowitz says that there’s no plausible case that President Trump obstructed justice. “You can’t obstruct justice by simply exercising your power under the Constitution.”
  • Seven questions that should have been asked at the Comey hearing. Such as: “Did you also create memos for every phone call and every meeting you had with President Obama? With Attorneys General Lynch and Sessions? If you did not, why did you treat your interactions with Lynch over the Clinton email server investigation differently from your interactions with President Trump over the Russia probe?” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Random Tweet:

  • There. Now let’s sweep up all these breathless Comey memos and Trump-Russia conspiracy theories into one big crate, padlock it shut, and ship it off to that giant warehouse with the Ark of the Covenant where we never have to speak of it again.

    Theresa May Screws Up

    Friday, June 9th, 2017

    Despite having an absolute majority in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May gambled she could increase Tory numbers in Parliament, strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations, and KO the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party by calling a snap election.

    The result: the Tories lost 12 seats and Labour picked up 29, meaning that the Tories no longer have an absolute majority. Because they still have the most seats in Parliament, the Tories will still get first crack at forming a coalition government, most likely with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. “For as long as Corbyn leads Labour, we will ensure there’s a Tory PM.”

    Oddly enough, both Conservatives and Labour gained vote share at the expense of the minor parties. The conservatives increased their share of votes in Scotland, where they took several seats from the Scottish National Party. The Liberal Democrats gained three seats.

    I said when she scheduled the snap election that it was a bold but risky move, and it backfired. I think “campaign fatigue” might have had a role in May’s defeat, a classic “Hubris clobbered by Nemesis” move.

    If there’s one pattern to 21st century electoral politics, it’s apparently “never believe polls.”

    (Administrative note: So much news dropped yesterday that the LinkSwarm will probably be pushed out to Monday.)

    Other Reasons For Hillary’s Loss

    Sunday, June 4th, 2017

    If you’ve been following the Hillary Comeback Tour, you might have noticed that she has an ever-expanding list of reasons why she lost the 2016 Presidential race:

    Funny how none of those cover her own corruption, incompetence and dishonesty.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

    Given that ever-expanding list, Twitter decided to help Hillary out with #OtherReasonsForHillarysLoss.

    Clinton Corruption Update for June 1, 2017

    Thursday, June 1st, 2017

    After Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 Presidential election to Donald Trump, I assumed that (if she wasn’t indicted), she would go the way of Al Gore and Walter Mondale and step out of the public spotlight. Never did I dream that we’d be almost half a year into the Trump Presidency and Hillary Clinton would still be refighting the 2016 Presidential election.

    Say this for the Atlanta Falcons: As bad as their collapse was, I don’t see any of them making the talk shows rounds proclaiming that they really won Super Bowl LI. Yet Hillary Clinton suffers from a world-class case of denial:

    New York Magazine dedicated its cover story to covering Clinton’s journey from a one-time presidential loser to a two-time presidential loser. Deep inside the coverage is a key kernel of wisdom: Even if you lose, just pretend you didn’t so people keep giving you money.

    When asked about how Trump and Bernie Sanders capitalized on American anger, Clinton responded like a dementia-riddled Civil War veteran: “Yes, and I beat both of them,” she told Rebecca Traister of New York Mag.

    Uh huh. I guess when Clinton says things like this we’re just supposed to ignore them like when grandma says something racist at the dinner table. Sure, Clinton won in November, and the maid is stealing money from Nana’s purse.

    Snip.

    If you think Clinton is ready to take any responsibility, hold your breath. Her unfavorables, the FBI investigation, her shady business practices—that’s all just the fault of The Media.

    “Look, we have an advocacy press on the right that has done a really good job for the last 25 years,” Clinton told NY Mag. “They have a mission. They use the rights given to them under the First Amendment to advocate a set of policies that are in their interests, their commercial, corporate, religious interests. Because the advocacy media occupies the right, and the center needs to be focused on providing as accurate information as possible. Not both-sides-ism and not false equivalency.”

    Only a Clinton would somehow have the gall to argue that the media didn’t work hard enough to stop Trump from getting elected.

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

    Yet another revelation from Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, namely that the entire “Russia hacked the election” fantasy liberals have been pushing was cooked up by Hillary Clinton’s team within 24 hours of her loss:

    The book further highlights how Clinton’s Russia-blame-game was a plan hatched by senior campaign staffers John Podesta and Robby Mook, less than “within twenty-four hours” after she conceded:

    That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

    The Clinton camp settled on a two-pronged plan — pushing the press to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio,” while “hammering the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, which had created a cloud over her candidacy,” the authors wrote.

    Of course, many Democrats who “wanted to believe” have been taken in by that laughably fake Russian “dossier” on Trump. Including former FBI Director James Comey. “It was a very powerful factor in the decision to go forward in July with the statement that there shouldn’t be a prosecution.”

    And now that Comey is out, “a growing chorus is suggesting that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal should be reopened.”

    In other Clinton Corruption news:

  • “Bangladesh prime minister says Clinton personally pressured her to help foundation donor.”

    The Office of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina confirmed to Circa that Mrs. Clinton called her office in March 2011 to demand that Dr. Muhammed Yunus, a 2006 Nobel Peace prize winner, be restored to his role as chairman of the country’s most famous microcredit bank, Grameen Bank. The bank’s nonprofit Grameen America, which Yunus chairs, has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative. Grameen Research, which is chaired by Yunus, has donated between $25,000 and $50,000, according to the Clinton Foundation website.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Democrats don’t actually want a congressional investigation into Russian hacking allegations. “They have tried to destroy this Russia investigation, they’ve never been serious about it.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • How Hillary blew the election in five easy steps. “Hillary Clinton had no real sincere position on any issue other than a desire to stay in public office for nearly a quarter-century.”

    Also:

    Haughtiness, insularity, and laziness characterized the conduct of the Clinton campaign. Even a novice outsider could see that Obama’s successful electoral matrix — record minority turnout and bloc voting, coupled with the drop-off in turnout by a disengaged white working middle class (tired both of left-wing identity politics and Republican bluestocking elitism) — was not going to be transferrable to an off-putting 69-year-old, white multimillionaire.

    Not only did Hillary Clinton lack Obama’s youthful vigor and mellifluousness; she also seemed at times geriatric, snarky, and screechy. The result was that she did not win the minority vote at the levels she needed. Further, she galvanized the supposedly ossified and irrelevant white working classes to finally come out and vote, in their own bloc fashion, against her. Obama had guaranteed her his downside but never delivered his upside.

    Snip.

    She made her disdain concrete by never campaigning in Wisconsin and only sporadically visiting the Blue Wall states eastward to the Carolinas. And she was convinced that demography had doomed the white working classes and empowered Latinos and blacks in red states such as Arizona and Georgia.

    Clinton’s inept campaign aimed, then, not just at a win (which was attainable by nonstop populist barnstorming and message massaging in the Rust Belt) but, greedily, at a “mandate” that was impossible, given minority-vote falloff and Democratic estrangement from the working classes. Apparently, no one told the campaign that open borders were not a popular national issue, and that Democrats could not win Texas even with Latino bloc voting, and that they could do so in deep-blue California but without any electoral significance.

    Also:

    Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash is underappreciated for its effect on the campaign. Through painstaking research, it tied together all the strands of Clinton nefariousness: the Clinton Foundation as an excuse to hire political flunkies and provide free jet travel; the quid pro quo State Department nods to those who hired Bill Clinton to speak; and corruption under Hillary Clinton, from cellphone concessions in Haiti to North American uranium sales to Russian interests.

    Add to the Clinton sleaze Hillary’s unsecured server and communications of classified material, the creepy New York and Washington careerists who turned up in the Podesta archives, and the political rigging that warped the conduct of the Democratic National Committee.

    The result was that Hillary could no longer play the role of the “good” Clinton who “put up” with her husband’s “good ole boy” sleaze. Her new image was that of an equal partner in crime — or perhaps even a godmother who used the capo Bill as muscle. In comparison, Trump steaks, Trump University, Trump taxes, and Trump ties were old-fashioned American hucksterism, but with one important difference: Trump’s excesses were a private person’s; Clinton’s were those of a public servant.

  • Clinton even trashed the in-the-tank for Hillary DNC over poor data collection.

    “I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,” she continued.

    “What do you mean nothing?” asked interviewer Walt Mossberg.

    “I mean it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it, the DNC, to keep it going,” Clinton said.

    Hell, all that may even be true, but what sort of gratitude is that after the DNC went out of its way to put its thumb on the scales to ensure she beat Bernie Sanders? (Hat tip: Directror Blue.)

  • That, in turn, lead DNC data guy Andrew Therriault to tweet defending himself:

    Then he deleted both those tweets, including the one that mentioned DNC limits as a “laundering vehicle.” Why, it’s almost as though he feared criticizing Hillary Clinton…

  • The real Clinton-Russia nexus is a lot more concrete than the theoretical Trump-Russia nexus.
  • We keep hearing again and again that Hillary isn’t running for anything. Then why does she keep sounding like she is?

    Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t merely in a state of denial. She has become Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense. Politically speaking, she is dead, but she doesn’t know it. Her staffers are so many Haley Joel Osments — too kind (and too attached to their salaries) to tell her that her career is over. She doesn’t need briefings. She doesn’t need to do interviews. She doesn’t need to write the book she is writing (after so many indigestible volumes, why bother with one more?). She doesn’t need to stake out a politically nuanced position on James Comey’s firing or scramble to get out in front of the Resistance parade. She lost two exceedingly winnable presidential campaigns in Hindenburgian fashion. There is no demand for her to run again and there is nothing left for her except to receive whatever ceremonial honors and sinecures may come her way. She has been handed her political retirement papers by the American people. She’s done.

    (Hat tip: Maggie’s Farm.)

  • Hillary’s accusations of voter suppression are bunk.
  • “Hillary Clinton is making fools out of feminists.” Making? (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • From back in January: The FBI quietly release “nearly 300 pages of records from its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.”
  • More on the same subject:

    A new batch of messages released by the State Department on Tuesday shows the former secretary of state and her team routinely shared her upcoming schedules, talking points and sensitive items – such as her iPad password – via the homebrewed system.

    Other newly revealed emails, which were posted as the result of litigation, show Clinton’s top advisers griping about her during her time as secretary of State; an Asian ruler who later implemented Sharia law saying he considered former President Bill Clinton part of his “family”; and Clinton talking about Justin Cooper, one of the key figures who administered to her private server.

  • Hillary Clinton gets a break when an Obama-appointed judge throughs out a lawsuit against her over Benghazi on technical grounds.
  • “Hey, Hillary Clinton, shut the f— up and go away already.” And that’s from someone who voted for Clinton! “No one deserves more blame for the election debacle than Hillary Rodham Clinton.”