How low can you go?

New York Times Targets Kavanaugh’s Wife by John Hinderaker – “I wouldn’t have thought my opinion of the New York Times could get any lower, but it just did.”

“They won’t find anything, of course. But this is what I want to know: When Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg, Sonia Sotamayor and Elena Kagan were appointed to the Court, did the Times, or the Associated Press, try to investigate documents sent or received by their family members?

Captain Ahab Aims Harpoons at… Trump’s Tweets by Daniel J. Flynn – “The Old Gray Lady did not divulge whether the special counsel also seeks the names of books checked out on the president’s library card.”

“Trump’s pursuers continued to obfuscate. An inspector general and congressional oversight revealed investigators boasting “we’ll stop it” in reference to Trump’s election, a discussion of an “insurance” policy in the unlikely event of the despised candidate’s election, and an FBI lawyer texting “Viva le resistance” regarding his plans for acting as a fifth columnist in the incoming administration. Finding no evidence of collusion, Trump’s pursuers steamrolled over attorney-client privilege and raided the office of Trump’s personal lawyer. A 1990s apologist for the Clintons then released a conversation involving Trump and his attorney — surreptitiously recorded by the latter. It proved this shocking fact: a billionaire former casino magnate and beauty pageant overseer once slept with a really, really beautiful woman.

The investigation exposes the investigators more than the investigated. It reveals the umpires as partisan players. It demonstrates lawbreaking by law enforcers. It sows distrust in institutions heretofore beloved by the American people.

Why didn’t FBI tell court about Christopher Steele bias? by Byron York – “a close reading of both the FISA application and the Nunes memo raises questions about whether the FBI told the judges anything about Steele’s possible bias — even though the bureau had evidence that the former spy was out to get Trump.”

“The problem for the FBI is this: The initial FISA application containing those footnotes was filed in October 2016. In the previous month, September, Steele told Justice Department official Bruce Ohr that he, Steele, was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president,” according to Ohr’s account quoted in the Nunes memo. At the time of applying for the warrant, the Justice Department knew about Steele’s “desperate” and “passionate” anti-Trumpism, but did not tell the court.

“This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files — but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications,” Nunes wrote.

It is generally accepted that evidence of a source’s bias, including the source’s own acknowledgment of it, should be disclosed in warrant applications that are predicated on that source. The FBI simply did not do that in Steele’s case.

Grassley to Schumer: Feel free to pound sand on your document demands, my friend by Ed Morrissey – “On this point, Ed Whelan and Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center agree. The staff secretary position is neither a policy-making position nor a judicial role. In the context of this confirmation, it’s mainly a red herring and an excuse for obstruction

“Grassley comes to the same point. He tells Schumer in clear language that he’s not about to let Democrats derail the proceedings with excessive demands for documents that have little value. That motive is clear, Grassley points out, because not only have most Democrats already decided to oppose Kavanaugh, they won’t even bother to meet him

Indeed. If they’re already opposed to the confirmation, why do they need any more records, no matter how irrelevant they are? They have access to the best primary source on Kavanaugh’s state of mind, which is Kavanaugh himself, and they’re not bothering to even ask him directly what he thinks. There’s no need to bend over backwards to accommodate the unaccommodating.

Vandals untied a $40 million yacht owned by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ family by John Sexton – “some on the left are celebrating

“Obviously, the DeVos family can easily absorb the loss of $10,000 in damage. If the entire thing had sunk to the bottom, DeVos would be fine. But we’ve seen a lot of talk in the past couple of months about targeting members of the Trump administration in their private lives. While it’s too early to say for certain that’s what happened here, this could turn out to be another example of a bad trend.

America’s Next Civil War Will Be Worse Than Our Last by H. W. Crocker III – “Today, however, our divisions are so deep and fundamental that Americans cannot even agree on what marriage is or what a man or a woman is (which is pretty darn fundamental).”

“The difference between the America of today and the America of what seems like just yesterday is that we once had a common culture. As recently as 1990, Ken Burns could make a Civil War documentary for PBS and let historian Shelby Foote wax eloquent on the martial prowess of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest — something that now would likely get them both tarred, feathered, and Twitter-banned.

In the end, the war was fought over a single legal issue: whether the states that had freely ratified the Constitution to form the Union could freely leave the Union if they felt it no longer served their interests.

It’s wondering just how far differences have really become.

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