“They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

– Charles Maurice de Talleyrand: Speaking about the restored Bourbon dynasty after the abdication of Napoleon.

The Bourbons never forgot the executions of the elite during the Reign of Terror. They took no lessons from the French Revolution nor from the Napoleonic Empire: The French people had embraced lower taxation, meritocracy, and a resurgent individual pride in their country.

The Bourbons could not unify the France they despised.

USAToady David Rothkopf inadvertently demonstrates why Biden can’t unify Americans for similar reasons:
Biden’s National Security team reveals he has learned from the mistakes of past presidents
Link intentionally broken.

You can fix it if you you want to read a story praising Biden for selecting a bunch of retreads and hacks from the Obama years as National Security gurus; who did not learn from wide spread resistance to Obamacare, the rise of the tea party, their own hubristic initiation of a disastrous civil war in Libya, capitulation to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, acceptance of the Paris Accord Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming hysteria, destroying due process in higher education via Title IX “Dear Colleague” letters, or being caught lying about Benghazi over the coffins of American soldiers. A partial list.

These are the same people who refuse to abandon their various farcical conspiracy theories under the general headings “Russiagate” and “Ukraine.”

Their contempt for fully half of US citizens is even more intense than was Marie-Antoinette’s, and that USAToday article is wordy reprise of “Let them eat cake.”

Which was fake news in 1789.

Smooth

Democrats are complaining that the “transition” to the putative Biden administration is being obstructed. They claim the transition from Obama to Trump was free of such drama. It was “smooth.”

This is a myth. But, never mind the petty obstructionism from the Obama administration: It’s at about this stage of the Obama/Trump transition that the Russiagate plot got well and truly underway, though preparation had begun long before the election.

In Oct 2016, then FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe presented the Steele report (to be totally discredited almost 4 years later) to the FISA court for the first time – as verified intelligence. McCabe was investigating election interference under operation “Crossfire Hurricane,” which began in July of 2016. McCabe has admitted leaking the document and lying TO HIS OWN agency about it.

That plot was pretty smooth, we haven’t yet got to the bottom of it.

Guise and Thralls

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
-James Madison

Andrew McCarthy is, IMO, the best single analyst writing about the Obama administration’s Russia-centered conspiracy to depose Donald Trump. Here, he proposes a novel theory about one part of it.
Unmasking? The Real Story Is When Flynn Was Not Masked in the First Place

This is not just about unmasking. It is about how pervasively the Obama administration was monitoring the Trump campaign.

He does not mention other #Obamagate Hydra heads – hidden Congressional testimony providing zero evidence of “Russian collusion,” secret plea agreements not disclosed to Judge Sullivan’s court, absence of evidence that Russia hacked DNC emails, CIA (Brennan) suppression of evidence indicating Russian support for a Hillary Clinton presidency, nor even the FBI’s use of the DNC funded Steele Dossier to mislead the FISA court.

Michael Flynn was not a FISA surveillance target, but connections may be found:
How The IG FISA Abuse Report Affects Michael Flynn’s Case
Note, in that link, that this is not the first time Judge Sullivan is in the middle of hearing about politically motivated prosecutorial malfeasance in a burgeoning surveillance state.

In her 2014 book Licensed to Lie Sidney Powell, Sullivan’s current nemesis in the Flynn case, praised him:

The judicial hero of my book, Emmet Sullivan held federal prosecutors in contempt for failing to disclose evidence, dismissed the corrupted prosecution of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the Department of Justice.

This makes Sullivan’s animus toward General Flynn hard to comprehend.

You might think that what Judge Sullivan knows about Flynn (remember Sullivan called Flynn out for treason, and then retracted it), is so serious that Sullivan’s attempt to charge him with perjury for pleading guilty under compulsion is justified. Or, you might conclude that what’s different is that Trump is now President, and Sullivan is running a Soviet style show-trial to damage Trump.

The Flynn/Kislyak phone call was NSA/CIA tapping Kislyak’s phone. This does not require a FISA application, since Kislyak is not an American citizen. That’s where Flynn’s identity was supposed to be protected and required the “unmasking” requests, which took place at the discretion of a surprising number of bureaucrats closely associated with dirty cops, rogue prosecutors, and slimy politicians.

What McCarthy is saying in the National Review article is that the surveillance of Trump (and thus Flynn) strongly appears to have preceded any unmaskings of Flynn. It probably started the day Trump announced his candidacy.

Here’s another article worth reading on this with a broader overview of the whole plot, and why it is “the biggest political scandal in our nation’s history.”
John Brennan and the Plot to Subvert an American Election

This quote from that link summarizes McCarthy’s National Review speculation:

[T]he most significant thing about these unmaskings may be the dog that didn’t bark—there was no unmasking request for December 29, 2016, the date that Flynn, then on holiday in the Dominican Republic, made his famous call to Sergei Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the United States. McCarthy speculates that the call was intercepted by “an intelligence program not subject to the masking rules, probably by the CIA or a friendly foreign spy service.”

Seems like there might be more Brady material there. What did the CIA, or MI6, tell the FBI and when did they tell it?

Let’s extend the dot connecting to the more general case for Progressive lawlessness. Here’s Liberal Matt Taibbi:
Democrats Have Abandoned Civil Liberties

If they’ll do all that to a Lt. General to get to Trump, of course they’ll tell you you can’t leave your house, buy seeds, or get a haircut in order to damage the economy. Because Orange man bad:

Democrats clearly believe constituents will forgive them for abandoning constitutional principles, so long as the targets of official inquiry are figures like Flynn or Paul Manafort or Trump himself. In the process, they’ve raised a generation of followers whose contempt for civil liberties is now genuine-to-permanent. Blue-staters have gone from dismissing constitutional concerns as Trumpian ruse to sneering at them, in the manner of French aristocrats, as evidence of proletarian mental defect.

Nowhere has this been more evident than in the response to the Covid-19 crisis, where the almost mandatory take of pundits is that any protest of lockdown measures is troglodyte death wish. The aftereffects of years of Russiagate/Trump coverage are seen everywhere: press outlets reflexively associate complaints of government overreach with Trump, treason, and racism, and conversely radiate a creepily gleeful tone when describing aggressive emergency measures and the problems some “dumb” Americans have had accepting them.

The deplorables in fly-over country need to be taught their place. To paraphrase Commandante Witmer, “Protests must stop, or I’ll extend the house arrest edict.”

Masks are coming off.

Clueless or condescending?

So. The New York Times published and then promptly removed this insight into the President’s television viewing habits:

Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments.

There are three ways to parse that. One, the President is cluelessly isolated, gets his information from “the shows” like Donald Trump, but doesn’t watch the right shows. Two, he was making a condescending joke about the drumbeat of the news cycle and denigrating the intelligence of Americans. Three, both.

It’s true that the media hyped the shootings in San Bernadino. Of course, so did the President in the service of gun control.

It’s true that the media hyped the shootings in San Bernadino. Just as they did Obama’s candidacy in 2008.

Maybe you should have read it first

And maybe Americans should have been told what was in it rather than being told we had to pass it to find out.

From Whitehouse.gov

“We got [Obamacare] done. Now, let’s face it, a lot of us didn’t realize that passing the law was the easy part.”
-Barack Obama

Yep, they supposed deconstructing 1/6 of the American economy would be as easy as convincing Nancy Pelosi to say something stupid. Hell, they assumed she needed convincing to say something stupid. I’m pretty sure she volunteered.

Of course passing the law was the easy part. Unfortunately, just waving your hands and saying, “Make it so.” doesn’t work when your minions have zero experience in actually building anything and are economically ignorant.

So, Barack, You did build that.