Great Reads for Thursday, November 3, 2016


Five days until the election.

Only at American Greatness: Scott Morefield argues that Donald Trump has made it possible for Americans to discuss some big cultural and political elephants in the room; Pamela Lange is hoping for a Cubs-like comeback on Election Day.

Now pour yourself a short one and settle in for today’s great reads…

We know she’s a crook. She’s also cavalier with national security when it suits her.

Fox News: “Sources: 99 percent chance foreign intel agencies breached Clinton server”:

Authorities now believe there is about a 99 percent chance that up to five foreign intelligence agencies may have accessed and taken emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server, two separate sources with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations told Fox News.

The revelation led House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul to describe Clinton’s handling of her email system during her tenure as secretary of state as “treason.”

“She exposed [information] to our enemies,” McCaul said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning. “Our adversaries have this very sensitive information. … In my opinion, quite frankly, it’s treason.”

Eli Lake at Bloomberg View says “The FBI Wants to Make America Great Again.”

“Maybe it’s just me,” Lake writes, “but I think the FBI is trying to send a message about next week’s election.” (Did the /sarc tags come through there?)

So what’s going on here? Lake explains: “As the New York Times and the Washington Post are now reporting, and as my own sources confirm, many rank-and-file FBI officials are frustrated about the investigation into the Clinton Foundation and the way the e-mail probe was handled. Republicans too have wanted to see the FBI more robustly investigate the Clintons. So Comey has tried his best to split the baby.”

Predictably, the Democrats are complaining the FBI is just another outpost of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Impeachment anyone? The Washington Post was already sneering at the very idea in September. Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from Southern California who gives the distinct impression of a man who values his congressional seat a little too much, says impeachment would be a terrible idea. And, hey, wouldn’t you know it—Nancy Pelosi agrees!  

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) have each urged House Republicans to take the impeachment issue off the table.

“OK, I’m gonna say, be the adult in the room and say ‘calm down, back off, it’s not gonna happen,'” Issa, a Trump supporter and longtime thorn in the Obama administration’s side, said on the “Brett Winterble Show” on 760 KFMB radio San Diego on Wednesday.

Issa previously has said that Clinton should be indicted for using a private email server while secretary of State. Now, however, he’s in an unexpectedly tough race for reelection and has deemphasized his past as a firebrand.

Impeachment is last resort, he said. “I would ask everyone to calm down and go back to the basics, which is we have an opportunity at the ballot box to determine whether Hillary Clinton has disqualified herself with her actions. Do that first.”

Jeff Dunetz: “Calling the kettle black: Donald Trump’s not the anti-Semite in this race” (The Jewish Star)

Now they’ll just use this as a reason to say Trump’s camp supports extra-judicial killings: “Eric Trump on David Duke: ‘The Guy Does Deserve a Bullet’” (Mediaite) Here’s the exchange, if you care:

During his interview with Eric Trump, KHOW host Ross Kaminsky said that Duke is “a guy that desperately needs a bullet in the head.”

Eric Trump responded:

“If I said exactly what you said, I’d get killed for it but I think I’ll say it anyway. The guy does deserve a bullet. I mean, these aren’t good people. These are horrible people.”

But this is a failure of imagination on my part. Another possible response: “So Eric Trump is not sympathetic to David Duke. What does that have to do with Donald Trump? We are not our parents.” Except when we are.

Killer reporting in an op-ed by Larry Sand at the Orange County Register: “WikiLeaks exposes NEA’s inner workings”:

On October 1st, Clinton met with the NEA board in a private meeting coordinated by Podesta and Stocks that was deemed “critical” for the endorsement. The NEA also had a safety net in place that weekend: “They will not call the vote unless they are certain that they will hit the threshold,” Podesta wrote. Later that same day, the announcement was made that Clinton was anointed, garnering 82 percent of the vote.

In response, NEA president Eskelsen García, managing to keep a straight face, gushed, “It was truly what democracy looks like.”

Cuba’s Communist dictators follow the lead of the Communist Party USA and endorse Hillary Clinton for president. Meanwhile, some obscure Klan paper somewhere endorsed Trump, so let’s all squeal like pigs and flagellate ourselves to death. (Do pigs self-flagellate? If they had opposable thumbs, maybe!)

Kurt Schlichter: “On The Upside, At Least This Election Will Destroy The Media (Townhall):

What’s remarkable is the reaction of the press, the Fourth Estate, the ink stained wretches who afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, those proud defenders of the People’s right to know, the guys who published the classified Pentagon Papers because of transparency, damn it. These heroes likewise do not believe that the American people should go into the voting booth armed with the knowledge that one of the two major party candidates is under investigation for multiple felonies by the FBI.

Let that ping pong around in your brain for a minute. Liberal journalists, by which I mean journalists, do not think you should know things that hurt their favored candidate. This is an interesting new take on the whole idea of “news reporting,” an innovative rethink that refocuses journalists less on ensuring people hear the news and instead focuses on ensuring they only hear certain news that, incidentally, supports the media’s progressive political agenda.

Speaking of which, apparently Politico‘s Glenn Thrush is angling for a job in the Clinton administration. Either that, or he’s just a hack. In related news, the right-wingers at the Washington Times seem happy to relate how “Many editors and reporters traded their credibility for a Hillary button.” Too obvious? Just wait . . .

Peter Berkowitz: “Why the Right Splintered But the Left United” (RealClearPolitics):

Progressives—especially progressive elites—can come together in support of Hillary Clinton because of their confidence that for all her baggage she shares their liberationist and egalitarian understanding of liberal democracy and will fortify their grip on the commanding heights of politics and culture.

Well, maybe not all of the Left: Writer, director, advocate, strategist, cultural critic, and founder César Vargas explains at the Huffington Post why he can support Hillary Clinton no longer: “I refuse to be a pawn, a conduit of their oppression, of their disenfranchisement, of their brutalization, of their exploitation, of their lives and deaths. That’s what a Hillary Clinton endorsement means to me.”

Not only that! “Bernie Sanders Abandons Clinton in Final Week.”

The headline is something of an exaggeration, since Sanders is campaigning for Clinton around New England this week. But the story emphasizes that Bernie won’t be a friendly lapdog:

Rather than delay holding Clinton accountable to progressive ideals until she’s safely in the White House, Sanders has recently emphasized the importance of pushing her to do the right thing, as she can’t be trusted to do so otherwise. “This is not trust. We are not here to trust,” Sanders said in a recent interview with NowThis. “It is the very opposite of what I am saying, ‘oh, sit back, elect Clinton, and then trust.’ No, Mobilize. Educate. And if there are Democratic members of Congress, or if Clinton, when elected President does not go forward in doing the right thing, let them know how you feel about it.”

Evan McMullin, who appears to be fading in Utah after a brief surge last week, is the conservative candidate “for those who thought everything was fine.” James Antle writes at The American Conservative:

Evan McMullin’s presidential campaign brings to mind an old joke. A man goes to the doctor and complains, “I just threw out my back.” His doctor replies, “Good, your old one gave you nothing but trouble.”

For many conservatives, the 2016 race for the White House is no laughing matter. Dispirited by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, McMullin, a 40-year-old former CIA operative and House Republican policy aide, gives them a presidential candidate they can feel good about voting for.

Since McMullin’s Utah surge, he has been proposing something much more ambitious. “In the long term, we’re building a new conservative movement we think is badly needed in this country,” he has said.

Like the doctor in the joke, it’s tempting to reply, “Good, your old one gave you nothing but trouble.”


Monitor this nonsense story from Fox News. Everybody knows voter fraud is a Republican-manufactured myth designed to suppress the vote. . . right?:

Jerry Mosna was gardening outside his San Pedro, Calif., home Saturday when he noticed something odd: Two stacks of 2016 ballots on his mailbox.

The 83 ballots, each unused, were addressed to different people, all supposedly living in his elderly neighbor’s two-bedroom apartment.

“I think this is spooky,” Mosna said. “All the different names, none we recognize, all at one address.”

His wife, Madalena Mosna, noted their 89-year-old neighbor lives by herself, and, “Eighty people can’t fit in that apartment.”

Last But Not Least . . .

Honest to God, this isn’t a parody. As a matter of fact, the author is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant:

They know that she is a bit too careful, but they understand that she has to be, that she cannot afford spontaneity. At the debate, when she began a response with “As I recall … ” the people who love her held their breaths because they knew how it came across, as a little staged, a little planned, but they understood. Her words have been so often plucked out of context and turned into scalding weapons, her actions so falsely magnified, that she leaned into caution, wrapped herself in a kind of caution that sometimes makes her appear stilted and in the media world of appearances, stilted can mean insincere. Hillary Clinton is not a performer. She does not have that charismatic flair—which she does not need to be a good president. But she is running for president in a country that expects news to be entertainment, and politicians to be performers, and so suspicion automatically hangs over her lack of public charisma.

Because Hillary Clinton is a woman, she is judged too harshly for doing what most politicians do—hedging sometimes, waffling sometimes, evading sometimes. Politicians are ambitious; they have to be. Yet for Hillary Clinton, ambition is often an accusation. She is held responsible for her husband’s personal failings, in the gendered assumption that a wife is somehow an adult and a husband a child.

There are millions of Americans who do not have the self-indulgent expectation that a politician be perfect. They are frustrated that Hillary Clinton is allowed no complexity. And they love her.



About Ben Boychuk

Ben Boychuk is managing editor of American Greatness. He is a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a veteran of several publications, including City Journal, Investor's Business Daily, and the Claremont Review of Books. He lives in California.

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One response to “Great Reads for Thursday, November 3, 2016”

  1. Donald Trump has smashed PC on its head and forced the country into a dialogue. Conversations must be forced in order to get to a consensus. If led lightheartedly, the best result is never achieved.