2016 Presidential Election

Fear and self-loathing on the campaign trail

Featured image During the 2016 presidential race, we often heard about “dysfunction” within the Trump campaign. Indeed, this was a theme of mainstream media coverage. The Clinton campaign, by contrast, was portrayed as a smooth, if uninspiring, operation. Only after the election did we begin to learn about discord and dysfunction in Hillaryland. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes provided details. Along, now, comes Chasing Hillary: »

Sore loser Hillary sees popularity plummet

Featured image They say that no one likes a loser. I don’t think that’s true in sports, where winning teams seem less liked than losing ones. When I coached youth basketball, I was more popular the year my team went 8-8 than the year we were 16-0. In politics, though, the saying generally holds true. One reason is probably that so many people have so much riding on a politician’s success. Unlike »

The Democratic Party Collusion Story Gets Worse

Featured image We have barely begun to plumb the depths of the scandal arising out of the 2016 presidential election. James Comey, John Brennan, Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Perkins Coie law firm, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, unknown Russians, Andrew McCabe–the list goes on and on, and it keeps getting longer. The latest report comes from Congressional investigators, via Fox News: Newly uncovered text messages between »

Collusion? I’m With Her!

Featured image This cartoon by Michael Ramirez is admirably even-handed, but since there is no evidence of collusion between Russians and the Trump campaign, and we know the Hillary campaign colluded with Russians through Fusion GPS to produce fake opposition research on Trump, the most apt apparel here is the Hillary shirt. Which is so beautiful I’m surprised no one had already thought of it. Click to enlarge: »

Russian bots were a non-factor in 2016

Featured image Michael Moore’s appearance at an anti-Trump rally organized by Russian meddlers illustrates how inconsequential Russian meddling, at least in the form discussed in the recent Mueller indictment, was. Sure, Moore would not have attended this particular rally absent Russian meddling because, absent such meddling, the rally apparently would not have occurred. But did Russia influence Moore’s view of Trump? Of course not. Did Russia influence Moore’s willingness to express his »

Vlad & him

Featured image Yesterday in “Facebook footnotes” I posted the Facebook ad promoting the protest produced by the friends of Vladimir Putin against President Trump outside Trump Tower in the immediate aftermath of the election. The creative efforts of the Russians toiling away in the troll factory did not go for naught. They attracted Michael Moore to the event. The Daily Caller takes a look back at the action via the tweet below »

New York Times: Russian meddling was drop in an ocean

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote that Russia’s efforts during the 2016 election season to sow discord in the electorate and to libel certain candidates were surely inconsequential, given the amount of garbage with which Americans themselves contaminate our politics. Suggesting that Russia’s efforts affected the outcome or even, appreciably, the tenor of this election “is like saying that dropping a bucket of water into the sea affected the tide,” I concluded. This »

Facebook footnotes

Featured image It’s hard to pick up in the clatter of the Democrats’ media adjunct, but Facebook vice president of advertising Rob Goldman has taken to Twitter to make a point or two congenial to President Trump. Indeed, he sounds a little like President Trump in the Tweets below. He makes the point that Russian spending on Facebook ads after the election exceeded spending before the election. I didn’t know that. Why »

Silence of the Bern

Featured image The indictments handed up on Friday allege that the Russian defendants supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries and Donald Trump in the Republican primaries. Quoting the indictment, Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti notes that Russian “specialists were instructed to post content that focused on ‘politics in the USA’ and to ‘use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them.)’” The internal quote is derived from »

Notes on the indictment

Featured image John and Steve have written good posts on the indictment against Internet Research Agency et al. handed up by the grand jury in the Special Counsel investigation yesterday. The government has posted the indictment here. My comments follow on theirs. I will try not to repeat their points. There is no substitute for reviewing the primary documents with your own eyes. I have embedded the indictment at the bottom of »

Did Russia Waste Its Money on the 2016 Election?

Featured image There’s an old joke that half of all advertising spending is wasted; the problem for the marketing department is determining which half. The Madison Avenue ad agencies depend on no one ever being able to figure this puzzle out because their business model would collapse. A similar controversy has been going on in political science for some time; namely, whether political campaigns (and presidential debates, etc) actually change or affect »

Echo chamber music

Featured image Is the pathetic performance of the Democrats’ media adjunct in the synthetic Trump/Russia collusion scandal just a case of the usual cheerleading? In a provocative column at the Federalist, Lee Smith looks at the roles played by Franklin Foer (Slate), Anne Applebaum (Washington Post), Jeffrey Goldberg (Atlantic), and David Remnick (New Yorker) during the 2016 campaign to plant the seeds. He takes note of certain contradictions that emerged between their »

Rice papers the file

Featured image Those who believe in government transparency have (or had) it in the case of Susan Rice. She is a transparent liar. She is also a knave and a fool. On September 16, 2012, for example, she hit the Sunday morning gabfests to assert that the attack on our Benghazi facilities represented cinematic criticism gone wild. She peddled the same highly rehearsed line virtually verbatim on each of the five shows. »

A bad penny turns up again

Featured image Sid Blumenthal, widely known as Sid Vicious, is the bad penny of American political life. He keeps turning up in major scandals — e.g., the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair and the Libya fiasco. In addition, as Eli Lake has pointed out, we learned of Hillary Clinton’s private email server because Blumenthal’s own e-mail was breached by Marcel Lehel Lazar, a Romanian hacker who goes by the moniker Guccifer. Therefore, we »

Paging Carter Page (2)

Featured image I missed Laura Ingraham’s interview with Carter Page on her FOX News show earlier this week. The first interview segment is below. The second segment is below. Both segments are of great interest in the context of recent developments. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but there appears to be quite a scandal implicit in the FISA warrant issued on Page. At this point Page looks to be the »

Disinformation, Democrat style: Edward Jay Epstein comments

Featured image Our friend Edward Jay Epstein is the author, most recently, of How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft and the City Journal column “A question of motive.” Ed’s long career has centered on issues of intelligence and counterintelligence with respect to which the late CIA head of counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton, turned out to be a mentor to Ed as he navigated his path in »

Disinformation, Democrat style

Featured image I have thought from the moment I read the Steele/Trump dossier produced in the service of the Clinton presidential campaign that, assuming it is what it purports to be, it is highly likely to constitute Russian disinformation. Today the Wall Street Journal turns to retired CIA station chief Daniel Hoffman who served in the former Soviet Union for his opinion. Hoffman makes the case that “The Steele dossier fits the »