Important headlines for October 26th:
Bottom Line: These are the stories you don't want to miss (but probably would if I didn't find them for you)...
After Trump Dossier Revelation, FBI Is Next Byron York, Washington Examiner
Excerpt: Sometime in October 2016 — that is, at the height of the presidential campaign — Christopher Steele, the foreign agent hired by Fusion GPS to compile the Trump dossier, approached the FBI with information he had gleaned during the project. According to a February report in the Washington Post, Steele "reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work."
It was an astonishing turn: the nation's top federal law enforcement agency agreeing to fund an ongoing opposition research project being conducted by one of the candidates in the midst of a presidential election. "The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI's independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration's use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends," wrote Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
In the end, according to reports, the FBI did not pay Steele. But the dossier did not go away. Indeed, in January 2017, Comey briefed President-elect Trump (and President Obama) on the dossier's contents.
In recent months, Nunes has been trying to force the FBI to reveal just what it did in the dossier matter. The intel chairman issued a subpoena to the FBI on Aug. 24, and in the time since, not a single document has been produced to the committee. The FBI and the Justice Department have spent most of that time talking about possibly complying with this or that part of the subpoena. But so far — nothing.
Where. to. begin. When you put this together with what we've learned this week with the Uranium 1 investigation. Bengazi. The DNC's effort to undermine Bernie Sanders in the primary, etc. You have a picture of complete and utter corruption stemming from the Clinton's, the DNC and multiple Obama administration agencies. After what happened in Bengazi - there's nothing that could really surprise me with regard to how far some of these actors would go to lie, cheat, steal, undermine our republic, etc. but the added audacity of attempting instead to tie President Trump to Russia collusion is truly astounding. I can't help but think that the idea was to put all of the attention on the President to attempt to keep the light off of their corruption after Clinton lost and they knew they'd be vulnerable if the truth came to light.
Is the End of Blocking Trump's Judicial Nominees Near? Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker
This story is hardly favorable to the President or to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. But it does address a story that's otherwise not receiving any attention. We're all familiar with the end of the judicial filibuster but aside from the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch little has occurred to address vacancies on benches around the country. This piece depicts the action being taken behind the scenes to potentially have a significant roll-out of nominees for dozens (potentially hundreds) of vacant seats across the country. Should McConnell follow through, the impact on the courts could be the largest in a generation.
Democrats in Denial Damon Linker, The Week
Excerpt: Democrats needed to wake up to the fact that the party got (as Yglesias put it) "annihilated" from top to bottom on Election Day. Donald Trump didn't just manage to (barely) win the presidency. The GOP ran the table, holding onto both houses of Congress, ensuring the Supreme Court would continue to lean right for years to come, and taking control of two-thirds of state legislatures, two-thirds of governorships, and 24 states outright. Democrats lost in nearly every way imaginable.
Given that painful reality, it made sense to assume that Democrats would spend the following year focused on the one and only thing that matters: gaining a greater share of political power by winning future elections at every level, from local to national.
Unfortunately, they did no such thing.
The Week is sympathetic to the Democrat's cause and this piece is designed as a wake up call. It's also incredibly honest. Much of my narrative over the past year has derived from the truth referenced in that piece. For those on the right to are upset daily by the GSS media, I've cautioned that it needs to be put in perspective. Republicans hold more elective offices in the US today than at any point since the 1920's. If the GSS media really had the influence they wish they still had over the average person - there's zero chance of that being the case - especially with Donald Trump as President. To the moral of the Democrat's story I also am concerned for the party. In elections someone wins and governs. Just twenty years ago that might be someone who'd govern like Bill Clinton, a center-left pragmatist. Today that person is far more likely to govern like, well, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.