• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Hillary Stench at the 2016 FBI Expands as Documents are Forced Free, inch by inch


by John Hinderaker  at  PowerLine:

The FBI has slowly been producing documents to the DOJ Inspector General and various Congressional committees. As the process continues, more information comes out about the FBI’s attempt to cement the 2016 presidential election for Hillary Clinton. This piece by John Solomon in The Hill is two days old, but I don’t think it has received as much attention as it deserves. Solomon’s reporting evidently is based on information from sources in Congressional committees or perhaps the FBI or the IG’s office.

The memos show Strzok, Lisa Page and others in counterintelligence monitored news articles in September 2016 that quoted a law enforcement source as saying the FBI was investigating Carter Page’s travel to Moscow.

The FBI team pounced on what it saw as an opportunity as soon as [Carter] Page wrote a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey complaining about the “completely false” leak.

“At a minimum, the letter provides us a pretext to interview,” Strzok wrote to Lisa Page on Sept. 26, 2016.

In the current moment it goes unnoticed, but in normal times, for senior FBI officials to seek a “pretext” to pursue a political agenda would be a scandal.

Within weeks, that “pretext” … had been upsized to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant, giving the FBI the ability to use some of its most awesome powers to monitor Carter Page and his activities.
Some internal memos detail the pressure being applied by the FBI to DOJ prosecutors to get the warrant on Carter Page buttoned up before Election Day.

This was the “insurance policy” that Strzok said would “stop” Trump from becoming president.

In one email exchange with the subject line “Crossfire FISA”…

Has the FBI or the Department of Justice ever officially admitted that the FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page was part of its investigation of the Trump campaign, as opposed to a freestanding warrant sought in the normal course of business, based on legitimate suspicion of criminal activity? I’m not sure. But “Crossfire FISA” eliminates any doubt.

…Strzok and Lisa Page discussed talking points to get then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to persuade a high-ranking DOJ official to sign off on the warrant.
“At a minimum, that keeps the hurry the F up pressure on him,” Strzok emailed Page on Oct. 14, 2016, less than four weeks before Election Day.

Time was getting short for the insurance policy.

Four days later the same team was emailing about rushing to get approval for another FISA warrant for another Russia-related investigation code-named “Dragon.”

I confess that I can’t keep up with the ever-expanding FBI scandal, but do we know what “Dragon” is, and how it differs from “Crossfire Hurricane”? Whatever Dragon was, it apparently had to do with stopping the Trump campaign, as Strzok and Page were eager to get it off the ground:

“Still an expedite?” one of the emails beckoned, as the FBI tried to meet the requirements of a process known as a Woods review before a FISA warrant can be approved by the courts.

“Any idea what time he can have it woods-ed by?” Strzok asked Page. “I know it’s not going to matter because DOJ is going to take the time DOJ wants to take. I just don’t want this waiting on us at all.”

Was another FISA warrant issued in connection with “Dragon”? Maybe the answer is in the public domain, but I don’t know.

In any event, as we now know, time ran out on the FBI’s effort and Donald Trump won the election. As we have seen in prior disclosures, the FBI didn’t throw in the towel:

The day after Trump’s surprising win on Nov. 9, 2016, the FBI counterintelligence team engaged in a new mission, bluntly described in another string of emails prompted by another news leak.

“We need ALL of their names to scrub, and we should give them ours for the same purpose,” Strzok emailed Page on Nov. 10, 2016, citing a Daily Beast article about some of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s allegedly unsavory ties overseas.

“Andy didn’t get any others,” Page wrote back, apparently indicating McCabe didn’t have names to add to the “scrub.”

“That’s what Bill said,” Strzok wrote back, apparently referring to then-FBI chief of counterintelligence William Priestap. “I suggested we need to exchange our entire lists as we each have potential derogatory CI info the other doesn’t.” CI is short for confidential informants.

So the day after the election, James Comey’s FBI was looking for “derogatory CI info” on Donald Trump.

As the president-elect geared up to take over, the FBI made another move that has captured investigators’ attention: It named an executive with expertise in the FBI’s most sensitive surveillance equipment to be a liaison to the Trump transition.

On its face, that seems odd; technical surveillance nerds aren’t normally the first picks for plum political assignments. Even odder, the FBI counterintelligence team running the Russia-Trump collusion probe seemed to have an interest in the appointment.

I suspect that we have barely scratched the surface of the FBI scandal.



Could Not Have Happened to a Better Bunch of Guys!

The Minnesota Vikings are a team most disliked by the National Football League.   The league is an eastern state Turkey Fest based upon money making.   Money is where the NFC East exists…..New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys,  and Washington Redskins are all the most favored….

But a second group of favored DOES exist……the AFC East where the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and the New York Jets…..again heavily favored at National Football League Headquarters.

Both of these  National Football League groups are overwhelmingly favored by the league’s money  gurus to be advertised and displayed on game day television and review of games played thereafter.    Reffing at post season games tends to favor both the big money maker urban community teams as well.    Take a look at the reffing ruffing up of Vikings quarterback, Brett Favre in the NFC playoff in 2010.  New Orleans needed a heartbeat and certainly is a far richer source for $$$ than Minneapolis…..and the NFL obliged with a terribly foul officiated game.

Game officials apparently missed their opportunity to secure a Saint win,  although there was a very foul foul called by the game’s  head ref chief when the Vikings were on a drive to regain a two touchdown lead late in the game.

Even the referees failed to expect the following Minnesota Miracle:

Fake News by Jane Mayer at the New Yorker


by John Hinderaker  at PowerLine:

Jane Mayer is a failed reporter for the New Yorker who has tried to make a career out of smearing Charles and David Koch. Her latest effort is headlined, “One Koch Brother Forces the Other Out of the Family Business.”

The story begins with the merest kernel of truth: David Koch, a 78-year-old cancer survivor, is in declining health. Accordingly, he is retiring from his positions at Koch Industries. David’s retirement was announced in a letter to the company’s employees written by Charles:

That warm tribute would seem to speak for itself, but it isn’t enough for vicious haters on the Left. Thus, Jane Mayer writes:

Charles also appears to have dominated David’s decision to retire. According to two well-informed individuals close to the family, David, who has been in declining health for several years, had resisted resigning, but Charles forced him out. A business associate who declined to be identified, in order not to jeopardize his ties to the family, told me, “Charles pushed David out. It was done with a wink, and a nod, and a nudge.” A second longtime family associate confirmed this, saying, “Charles had been pushing him out for quite some time. David kept resisting. It was bad. Charles took control.”

And that, of course, was the headline: one Koch brother “forces the other out.” On its face, this is an implausible claim. David and Charles Koch have long collaborated in one of America’s most consequential partnerships. The brothers are extremely close and have been partners, working smoothly together, for decades.

Moreover, as Mayer says, Charles Koch has long been the dominant member of the team when it comes to public policy. Why would he have any reason to “force out” his ailing, but always loyal, brother?

Mayer’s article, like most “news” stories these days, is based entirely on anonymous sources. There are two: “[a] business associate who declined to be identified,” and “[a] second longtime family associate.” So, who are these sources? The leaders of America’s second-largest privately-owned company have countless “business associates” and “family associates.” So who are these two? Someone who works for a company who buys construction materials from Georgia Pacific? A woman who once babysat for David Koch? Without knowing who they are, we have no reason to assume that they have any basis to speculate about the relationship between Charles and David Koch. This is, in other words, a pure smear.

I would go beyond that. What reason do we have to believe that the “business associate” and “family associate” who are the purported sources for this smear actually exist? Why couldn’t Jane Mayer simply have made up the whole thing? If she is not willing to tell us who her sources are, I am not willing to assume that they exist. The only argument for their existence is Mayer’s reputation for reliability, but Mayer has no such reputation.

Jane Mayer is no different from many other reporters; the New York Times and Washington Post come to mind. A majority of their most explosive stories are based entirely on anonymous sources. Do these sources exist? And if so, do they have a legitimate means to know the “facts” that they anonymously leak to political allies in the press? Or are those sources non-existent, made up out of whole cloth by the reporters?

In short, is there any reason why we should ever attribute any credibility to a “news” story based on anonymous sources that is peddled by a partisan reporter like Jane Mayer? I don’t think so.

Democrats Continue Their War Against President Trump and America

Democrats Disgrace Themselves Interrogating Trump’s CIA Nominee

by Elise Cooper  at  American Thinker:

“Anyone who watched the confirmation hearings of Gina Haspel should be astonished at the way most of the Democrats treated her.  KSM, the mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, and the Senate intelligence panel”s Democrats both agree that they are against the nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.  He has written a letter to them giving information about Haspel, who in 2002 was a chief of base at a black-site prison in Thailand, where detainees were subjected to enhanced interrogation.  Waterboarding was a big issue, but none thought to mention that it happened to only three terrorists.  Maybe the Democrats should call KSM as a witness, since they appear to be singing the same tune of Kumbaya.

At best, these Democrats were playing Monday-morning quarterback, but more likely, the takeaway is that they are politically correct, while appearing to sympathize with the terrorists.  New Mexico senator Martin Heinrich asked her, “Do you think that a transcript that says the detainees continued to scream has the same gravity, the same reality of an actual video?”

Is he kidding, or does he believe that Americans will ever feel sorry for these jihadist extremists who brutally killed 3,000 Americans?  This just shows how out of touch the Democrats are with reality.  Maybe Heinrich should think about the screams of those 3,000 people on 9-11 as they plunged to their deaths, were burned alive, or were dismembered.  After all, KSM said how his brothers would relentlessly continue their attacks: “[e]ventually America will expose her neck to us for slaughter.”

Democratic senators on the Intelligence Committee – Heinrich, Feinstein, Warner, Harris, and King – ignored the legality of the Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation programs by calling them immoral.  They had the attitude of Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who asked over five times if Haspel “believed the previous interrogation techniques were immoral” and Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), who stated, “It is not enough that you have committed to the rule of law?” and called it “a get out of jail free card.”

They refuse to remember the fear of a ticking time bomb.  As Jose Rodriguez, Jr., the former director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, previously told American Thinker, “to prevent a second wave of attacks, the detention and interrogation program was formulated.  We made sure that we vetted information.  Everything was based on legality, a training manual, strict procedures, and guidelines.  There were reports that bin Laden had met with Pakistani nuclear scientists, there were attempts to smuggle nuclear weapons into New York City, and al-Qaeda was trying to manufacture anthrax.  This program led to the disruption of terrorist plots that saved American lives.  It contributed to helping us learn more about al-Qaeda, including the best way to attack, thwart, and degrade it.”

The Democrats seem to be playing right into KSM’s hands, since they frame what the CIA did as morally wrong.  Maybe someone should point out to them that KSM considers responses like theirs “one of Allah’s gifts.”  “The long war for Islamic domination wasn’t going to be won in the streets with bombs and bullets and bloodshed, but would be won in the minds of the American people.”

Haspel was pressed by the Democrats to throw her fellow CIA peers under the bus.  Speaking of moral courage, it is so obvious she has it all over the Democrats.  She stuck to her beliefs, refused to play their political game, and should be admired for doing this.  Her response: “It was the CIA who identified and captured the mastermind of 9-11 [KSM] in a brilliant operation.  I am proud of our work during that time, which allowed us to defend this country and prevent another attack.”

She went on to say, “Under my leadership and watch, the CIA will not start the RDI program.  I support the higher moral standard that this country has decided to hold itself to.  I would never take the CIA back to an interrogation program.  We followed the law then; we follow the law today.  I support the law.  I would not put CIA officers at risk by asking them to undertake controversial field activities again.  The CIA has learned some tough lessons from that experience.”

Former CIA director Michael Hayden previously noted that he was afraid that congressional actions would create a risk-averse environment.  He stated in an earlier interview, “This organization is in a lose-lose situation.  The curse of American intelligence officers is that we are criticized for not doing enough when the nation feels endangered and are criticized for doing too much when everybody feels safe again.”

Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) had the audacity to compare a CIA officer to a terrorist when asking, “If one of your operation officers was captured and subjected to waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques, would you consider that to be moral and good tradecraft?”

Really!  These bona fide American heroes, among whom Gina Haspel is included, men and women who serve in the intelligence agency, never get the heroic welcome or thanks they so rightly deserve for the risks they take.  Their names will never be known, and they will never receive the public gratitude so many others get.  There are no parades for these quiet professionals.  Maybe Senator Reed should be reminded that the first person to die in battle, defending this country, right after 9-11 was Mike Spann, a CIA paramilitary officer, who was beaten to death by the Islamic extremists in Afghanistan as they screamed “Allah akbar.”  Note to the senator: Waterboarding would be the least of the CIA’s problems, considering that the terrorists enjoy beheading people.

Gina Haspel was put through the ringer, while in 2013 many of these same Democrats had a love-fest with John Brennan during his confirmation hearing. Surprisingly, even some Republicans voted for him, including Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.  Even though he was the fourth person in charge at the agency during those turbulent times, never was Brennan asked about his role, or why more information was not de-classified.  In fact, Senator Heinrich agreed with Brennan – “I would just say I agree with you that sources and methods, and many of the operational details, absolutely should never be declassified” – while denouncing Haspel for not declassifying.  Senator Warner described Brennan’s dedication, selflessness, intelligence, and patriotism but did not use those terms of endearment for Haspel.

Americans should feel anger and frustration toward the Democrats who are obviously hypocrites for disparaging a patriot such as Gina Haspel.  She has made sacrifices, put herself in harm’s way, and faithfully served her country.  Why?  To protect her fellow citizens.

Although Michael Hayden did not make this statement about the current Senate Democrats and the confirmation of Gina Haspel, it is applicable today.  “It feels like September 11th never took place, that Americans are living in the bubble of September 10th, 2001.  Americans need to wake up and not forgot the real dangers under which we are living.”

(Glenn’s note:  These Democrats ‘turned fascist’ were despicable distorting  their snotty faces and phony noises pretending this woman’s life service to her country made her unworthy of CIA leadership because she was honest enough not to join these lying leftists in concocting their sudden disdain for water boarding.

I was one of the proud watching the Dianne Feinstein and friends display their leftist vulgarities every moment of their turn to belch fascistic disdain against Donald Trump’s administration by attacking one of the most admirable candidates ever selected for American public service leadership in Washington, Gina Haspel……what a credit to the ideal American public servant class this candidate displayed reeking with earned honesty,  confidence, service, and devotion to duty!)



Donald Trump’s 2016 Victory FAR FROM A FLUKE!


by  Salena Zito  at New York Post:

America’s political experts got it wrong in 2016 — not because they took too few polls, but because they made the false assumption that American elections are immune to societal change.

They are, in large part, still getting things wrong, not only by failing to understand a new group of voters who put President Donald Trump in the White House but also by ignoring why they voted the way they did.

When explaining the Trump voter, the media usually offers portraits of isolated, uneducated, working-class rubes who are driven by anger, race and nationalism. To the experts and those who didn’t support Trump, it’s hard for them to see it any other way.

And while the media obsesses over the future demise of the president, they aren’t pausing to consider the strength and durability of the coalition that swept him into office.
They aren’t asking why people in the Rust Belt counties who voted for former President Barack Obama twice suddenly switched to Trump.

But they should. Because Trump was not the cause of this movement, he was the result of it. In order to fully appreciate his rise to the White House, you need focus on the people who put him there.

My new book, “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics” (Crown Forum), co-written by Brad Todd, is a road trip into the lives of Rust Belt voters who switched their states’ allegiances in the presidential elections from 2012 to 2016.

On the back roads and side streets of places like Erie, Pa., and Kenosha, Wis., emerge blue-collar optimists, evangelical pragmatists and suburban vacillators who turned the dials just enough to shock the body politic, leading to an emerging populist-conservative alliance that wrecked the old partisan framework.

Far from a fluke, the 2016 election was a product of the tectonic plate-grinding of our society — a backlash against globalism, secularism and coastal elitism. An August 2017 survey of 2,000 self-reporting Trump voters in the Rust Belt, commissioned by me and my co-author, revealed their motivations, priorities and decision making, and reinforced what we had found in our interviews.

In “The Great Revolt,” out Tuesday, we pinpoint and describe several archetypes of the new Trump voter, many of whom broke ranks to back him. Those hoping to predict what comes next in American life should study them — because the ballot box likely won’t be their last venue for change.


JEFFERSON, Ohio — When you walk into the Legally Sweet Bakery on Chestnut Street you can barely see Bonnie Smith standing behind the display cases filled with sugar cookies, tea cakes, cream wafers, brownies and mini tarts.

But don’t let her diminutive size fool you. At 63, Smith is a powerhouse. After working her way up from a cook’s job to the role of deputy sheriff at the Ashtabula County Sheriff Department, she is now in her second career as a small business owner.

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Ohio baker Bonnie Smith was fed up with the economy, and she’s just one of many stories in “The Great Revolt,” about the voter swing toward Donald Trump.

It is 9 a.m. on a Tuesday, and she has already been up 8 ½ hours baking delicacies to fill her cozy shop.

For years, Smith’s politics reflected her community. She was raised a Democrat, her parents were Democrats, her husband was a Democrat, she worked for the Democrats. She even voted for Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary in March 2016.

And then, suddenly, “I woke up one morning and said ‘I had had enough.’”

Smith says her dissatisfaction grew as she looked around her community. The main-street business district where her bakery is located was sprinkled with closed storefronts. The opioid crisis had ravaged the area, and every news story was about job cuts instead of job creation.

“I am kind of that voter that was hiding in plain sight that no one saw coming. I was right here all along. I’ve seen the job losses here, the rising crime, the mess and heroin problem, society essentially losing hope. Something just gave in within me,” she said.

To her surprise, her husband echoed her sentiments. They both voted for Trump.

Smith’s journey to that point was not an evolution, it was a revelation. And many others in Ashtabula County, Ohio, experienced the same eureka moment: The exact county that gave Barack Obama a 55 percent majority of its vote twice, swung a remarkable 31 points to give Trump a victory over Clinton by a margin of 57 percent to 38 percent.


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Dave Millet

ERIE, Pa. — Dave Millet bears a striking a resemblance to Kenny Rogers as he stands outside the Ugly Tuna Tavern on Peninsula Drive in this northeastern Pennsylvania industrial town.

It’s a resemblance he’s taken advantage of for the past 30 years as an impersonator at local bars and casinos in the region. “It’s fun and it’s extra income. Here, let me show you,” he says as he stands up to sing:

“You got to know when to hold ’em,
Know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away,
And know when to run.”

A group of young people cheer him on as they walk inside the tavern.

Millet (inset) hasn’t had an easy life. He’s been up, he’s been down, he’s been up again only to be struck down by illness. Now he’s back up again.

Never once has he ever given up.

“You can’t give up. You reinvent yourself, you make bank, you find a way. I’ve lost plenty of jobs and I’ve earned plenty of jobs. You just keep climbing back up,” he says.

Unconventional candidates attract voters for unconventional reasons, and the way Americans pick presidential candidates can be as emotional as any consumer behavior.

One group uniquely attracted to Donald Trump, regardless of their politics, was voters that experienced setbacks in life and saw the same kind of vulnerability and recovery in Trump they had experienced themselves.

For this group, which I’ve named the Rough Rebounders, Trump’s appeal was inextricable from his foibles, be it bankruptcies or family ruptures or tragic mistakes.

In his underdog status, they found a candidate with whom they identified. Trump’s constant positioning of his candidacy as counter to the Republican party’s desires, and even his unvarnished struggle with factual accuracy on the campaign trail, affirmed him as the candidate of last chances and won him a legion of loyalists among Americans facing their own second, or even last, chance in life.

“Yes, I’d absolutely vote for Donald Trump again,” Millet, 68, says. “But here again, like Reagan, I’m gonna keep his feet to the fire. Long as he’s trying, as long as he makes sure he has our back, well then he has my support.”


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Mom Julie Bayles, with family, voted primarily for the advancement of Christian liberty.

BRISTOL, Wis. — Julie Bayles did not decide she would vote for Donald Trump until she walked into the voting booth on Nov. 8, 2016.

The 44-year-old mother of seven took issue with Trump’s coarse language and boorish behavior on the campaign trail and found both incompatible with the commands of her own Christian faith.

“It was the hardest decision I think I’ve had to make as an adult in any voting process,” Bayles says.

“It was so difficult. And I think the reason it was so difficult is because I don’t take it lightly. This is important. This is our country. This is my seven children’s future.”
Bayles’ evolution to Trump voter demonstrates how the president exceeded expectations with evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics.

How did a thrice-married, Playmate-courting, areligious New York billionaire become the leader of an evangelical political crusade? He punched back. And he offered a transaction: In exchange for Christian conservatives’ support, he vowed to defeat the enemies of religious liberty. Ultimately, they saw him as a warrior for religious freedom.

Bayles and her husband Donnie — along with two of their adult children — could easily have stayed home on Election Day when faced with their two choices. Instead, they were part of a political tipping point in Wisconsin, a state in which 22 percent of the adult population is affiliated with an evangelical protestant church and 71 percent overall identify as Christian.

The alliance between the billionaire and the believers, however transactional, has persisted well into Trump’s presidency.

“Funny, all of that anxiety, all of that praying,” Bayles says, “and it turns out I like him now much more than I did when I voted for him.”


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Ed Harry

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Ed Harry is sitting in the booth at the back end of D’s Diner in Plains Township, Luzerne County. Up front, the place is filled with customers at a chrome lunch counter as waitresses busily fill coffee cups, take orders and greet regulars with a familiar, “The usual?”

For most of his life Harry (inset) has done two things: voted Democrat and lead union workers.

A Vietnam War veteran, he became a Democrat as a teenager and found his calling in the unions when he took a job as a custodian in a state mental institution.

Harry helped campaign to turn public sector facilities into union facilities. “Turns out I was good at persuasion,” he deadpans.

He swiftly moved up the ranks, becoming a contract negotiator. When he retired after 25 years, he was president of the Wilkes-Barre Labor Council.

But, he says, when the establishment Democrats stopped caring about his people, he stopped caring about them.

Many working-class voters like Harry, 71, have been portrayed as anxious, frustrated, angry and desperate.

But my survey revealed a more complicated picture. The archetypal red-blooded, blue-collared Trump voter has worked an hourly-wage or physical-labor job after the age of 21 and experienced a job loss personally or in their immediate family in the last seven years. But a full 84 percent were actually optimistic about their future career path or financial situation, regardless of how they felt about their community’s prospects as a whole.

This inherent optimism is a key nuance missed by most analysts. It’s a sentiment that perfectly matched Trump’s positive, forward-looking slogan: “Make America Great Again.”

Harry felt that optimism.

“My party, the party that was supposed to be the party of the working guy, the guy I stood up for and worked for all of my career, was no longer part of this new ascending Democratic coalition. Blue-collar America essentially had the door shut in its face,” Harry says.


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Amy MaurerDavid Fricke

KENOSHA, Wis. — Amy Maurer is a very striking woman, her blond hair cut short in the kind of dramatic fashion you’d see in the pages of Vogue or on a Paris runway.

Sitting in the conference room of TG3 Electronics, Chief Financial Officer Maurer (inset) is both in command and at ease, surrounded by the keyboards her company manufactures.

Maurer, 43, is the married, educated, suburban mom whom experts missed in the 2016 election — and still don’t get today. As a gun owner and strong defender of the Second Amendment, she based her vote entirely on the Supreme Court vacancy and who would fill it.

The Clinton campaign tried hard to win over voters like Maurer with ads highlighting Trump’s most misogynistic remarks, casting him as an unhinged troglodyte no self-respecting woman could support.

“They believed, I think, that the social pressure from either friends or professional peers would be too much. That we would cave because of his behavior. Well, they misunderstood where the emphasis of our vote was. They thought, ‘Feminist, right? Successful, kids in the home, married, college-educated . . . Oh, they cannot vote for Trump, they just cannot.’” She smiles broadly. “They were wrong.”

Women were the group most likely to bail on Trump after it was revealed — one month before the election — that he had crudely boasted of sexual exploits on the “Access Hollywood” tape.

Which is why the issue of gun ownership among women was critical. According to my survey, female Rust Belt Trump voters under the age of 45 are the demographic most likely to agree with the idea that every American has a fundamental right to self-defense.

“Got a couple in my office,” Maurer says of her firearms. “It’s smart, it’s empowering, it reminds me I am in charge of taking care of myself and my family at all times. I actually conceal carry because where I work, well, it’s a dangerous area.

“One of the things I think Democrats did not understand about women and guns is that empowerment that a gun gives you.”


Judge T.S. Ellis Rips Apart Robert Mueller’s Prosecution of Paul Manafort, Persecution of the President

Breaking: Judge Blasts Special Counsel In Manafort Hearing

A federal judge sharply criticized the special-counsel prosecution of Paul Manafort in court this afternoon, accusing Robert Mueller’s team of attempting to unseat the president by proxy. Judge T.S. Ellis told prosecutors that “you don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” and questioned whether Mueller had gone beyond his jurisdiction in bringing the case:

A federal judge expressed deep skepticism Friday in the bank fraud case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, at one point saying he believes that Mueller’s motivation is to oust President Donald Trump from office.

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” District Judge T.S. Ellis said to prosecutor Michael Dreeben, at times losing his temper. Ellis said prosecutors were interested in Manafort because of his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump’s “prosecution or impeachment,” Ellis said.

“That’s what you’re really interested in,” said Ellis, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. He repeated his suspicion several times in the hour-long court hearing.

This might revive an issue that Manafort had lost last month. Judge Amy Berman Jackson had dismissed a civil suit over the issue of Mueller’s jurisdiction, but pointedly not on the merits of the complaint. “A civil case is not the appropriate vehicle for taking issue with what a prosecutor has done in the past or where he might be headed in the future,” Berman Jackson ruled in dismissing the lawsuit, which puts the issue squarely on Ellis’ plate.


District Judge Exposes, Derides Robert Mueller’s “Operation Fascism” Special Counsel against President Trump


by Scott Johnson  at PowerLine:

“Senior United States District Judge T.S. Ellis III has been assigned one of the pending criminal cases — the one transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia — brought by the Special Counsel against Paul Manafort. In a hearing on the motion brought by Manafort to dismiss the charges as beyond the authority of the Special Counsel, Judge Ellis unloaded. As James Freeman puts it in his Best of the Web column this afternoon, Judge Ellis “is old enough to remember when Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was about alleged Russian collusion. Now the judge wants to know why Mr. Mueller’s signature prosecution doesn’t appear to have anything to do with it.” FOX News reports on the hearing here, Reuters here, Bloomberg here, Politico here, CNN here.

The case before Judge Ellis consists of tax and bank fraud charges that not only have nothing to do with alleged Russian collusion, but also predate the 2016 presidential campaign by a decade. It turns they have also previously been under investigation by the United States Attorney for the District, though not brought until they turned out to be of use to Mueller.

“I don’t see what relationship this indictment has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate,” Judge Ellis said. He decried Mueller’s apparently “unfettered power.” He did not find the power to prosecute Mueller in the May 2017 appointment order, which directed him to pursue links between Russia and the Trump campaign, as well as “any matter that arose or may arise directly” from the investigation. He said that Mueller improperly took over existing Justice Department investigations into Manafort without adequately explaining what connection it had to the Russia probe.

Freeman derives this observation from the news reports” “The judge is not just searching for an explanation as to how the Manafort prosecution relates to Russia and the 2016 election. He also wants to know just how far the special counsel’s authority extends. Team Mueller doesn’t want to tell him.”

Judge Ellis doesn’t find what he’s looking for in the May 2017 memo by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. Team Mueller was represented at the hearing by former deputy solicitor general Michael Dreeben. At the hearing Dreeben took a drubbing. Asserting that Mueller’s authority is even broader than the mandate given 2017 memo, Dreeben claimed that national security precluded a full accounting of Mueller’s authority.

Dreeben cited Rosenstein’s August 2017 memo — covered by Andrew McCarthy in this NR column — explicitly granting Mueller the authority to investigate Manafort’s Ukraine dealings years before the 2016 election.

Mueller must have given Judge Ellis the same highly redacted copy of the August 2017 memo that is linked above. Judge Ellis wanted to see the whole thing. He gave Mueller two weeks to consult with intelligence agencies to determine whether they can confide a sealed, unredacted version of the memo with him.

Dreeben told him the redacted portions did not pertain to the Manafort case. “I’ll be the judge,” Ellis said.

CNN quotes Judge Ellis: “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud.” Judge Ellis demonstrated his grasp of what I’ve been calling the Mueller Switch Project. He said prosecutors were interested in Manafort only because of his potential to provide material that would lead to President Trump’s “prosecution or impeachment.”

I don’t know where we’re going here, but I’m enjoying the ride. I am immensely gratified to find a responsible judge giving voice to his revulsion over the production engineered by James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, and Robert Mueller.

Judge Ellis was appointed to the bench by President Reagan in 1987. He reminds us in his own way of the importance of President Trump appointing judges to current judicial vacancies and gutting out the Democrats’ obstruction of judicial appointees as quickly as possible.”