Donald Trump Totally Called It That Anthony Weiner Was A Security Risk

In the spirit of "flashback Friday," and in light of the new investigation about Hillary Clinton's emails stemming from things discovered on Anthony Weiner's cell phone, let's take a couple of trips in the way-back machine.

First, here's this Donald Trump tweet from August 31, 2015, when he said that Huma Abedin's marriage to the "sleazebag" Anthony Weiner was a security risk:

And then to August 29, 2016, when Trump released a statement after Abedin announced her separation from the former congressman:

(Emphasis added)

"Huma is making a very wise decision. I know Anthony Weiner well, and she will be far better off without him. I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told? It's just another example of Hillary Clinton's bad judgment. It is possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this.” - Donald J. Trump

Gotta hand it to him: He nailed that one right on the head.

Liberals Are Losing It After FBI Announces Hillary is Back Under Investigation

Liberal supporters of Hillary Clinton are losing it after FBI Director James Comey announced Friday the criminal investigation into the former Secretary of State's mishandling of classified information has been reopened. 

First, lets start with campaign chairman John Podesta

“Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is 'reopening' an investigation but Comey's words do not match that characterization,” Podesta wrote in a statement. “Director Comey's letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are and the Director himself notes they may not even be significant.”
He also expressed frustration at the timing of the letter from Comey to lawmakers, informing them of the new evidence.
"It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election,” he wrote, adding, “The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July."

Campaign manager Robby Mook has deleted his twitter feed.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman:

Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein: 

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: 

Vox's Matt Yglesias:


This post has been updated with additional information.

So, Angelina Jolie's Interview With the FBI About Brad Pitt Was Longer Than Hillary's

A-list actress Angelina Jolie apparently had a more in-depth interview with the FBI than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Jolie spoke to the authorities after she suspected her husband Brad Pitt of abusing their children.

Following news that the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services have expanded their investigation into alleged incidents between Brad Pitt and his wife Angelina Jolie, it's been reported that the actress had to endure a four-hour interview with the FBI.

In case you're counting, that's one hour longer than Clinton's conversation with FBI agents regarding her use of a private unsecure email server. In the FBI's notes during their discussion, they recorded how Clinton claimed she did not know the "C" marking on some of her emails meant classified.


After the interview and investigation, FBI Director James Comey concluded there was no need to pursue criminal charges against her.

Jolie's situation is unnerving and rightfully deserves attention. Yet, didn't Clinton's investigation deserve an even bigger magnifying glass, considering it deals with national security?

If there is any silver lining, it is that the FBI is reopening the investigation. 

Watch Live: Clinton Holds Rally in Des Moines

REMINDER: This Is What The FBI Found During Their First Investigation of Hillary Clinton

As the FBI reopens its criminal investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (thanks to information found on a "device" belonging to Anthony Weiner, the ex-husband of top aide Huma Abedin under FBI investigation for sexting an underage girl), it's important to go over what the FBI found the first time around. 

In July, FBI Director James Comey admitted Clinton was "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information on multiple private servers but did not announce an indictment.

 "There is evidence they [Clinton and staff] were extremely careless in their handling of classified information," Comey said. "Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges."

"One hundred-and-ten emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was top secret, at the time they were sent, 36 of those chains contained secret information and eight contained confidential information at the time," Comey continued. "Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system in violation of a federal statue that makes it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way or a second statute, making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities. And consistent with our counter intelligence responsibilities, we have also investigated to determine if there is evidence of computer intrusion by nations states or by hostile actors of any kind."

FBI agents have been reportedly enraged for months over the non-indictment, with some sources saying Comey stood in the way of a Grand Jury investigation for the case.

This post has been updated with additional information.

The New Hillary Emails Were Found In An Investigation Of Anthony Weiner

Earlier on Friday, news broke that the FBI had discovered additional Hillary Clinton emails during an "unrelated investigation" and would be reopening the investigation into Clinton's private email server. 

At the time, it was unclear as to what the "unrelated investigation" could possibly be, but now we know: they were found during the FBI investigation of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Weiner was under investigation for his online relationship with an underage girl.

The emails in question were discovered on devices belonging to Weiner and his (now-estranged) wife Huma Abedin during an investigation. 

Abedin, one of Clinton's top aides, announced in August that her and Weiner would be separating following additional allegations of Weiner's infidelity.

After FBI Announcement, Hillary's Campaign Manager Appears to Have Deleted His Twitter Timeline

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook has apparently deleted his entire Twitter timeline. Previous tweets, of which there were hundreds, are no longer visible on his page just hours after the FBI announced it was looking into newly found emails belonging to the former Secretary of State. 

Only a single tweet, which was sent two days ago, remains. 

When FBI Director James Comey made the announcement about further investigation for Clinton earlier today, the Democrat presidential candidate and her staff were on an airplane without internet access, finding out about the situation upon landing. 

Oh Man: Hillary's Plane Didn't Have Wifi And She Had No Idea The FBI Was Investigating Her

Pretty much everyone was caught by surprise on Friday afternoon when it was revealed that the FBI is once again investigating Hillary Clinton and her private email server. This includes Clinton herself, as well of her staff--who were on an airplane with no internet when the news broke.

According to Clinton's advisors and aides, they were notified about the investigation at the same time the rest of the world was.

Talk about a most unpleasant October surprise for the Clinton camp.

FBI Stuns Washington, 'Reopens' Email Scandal Probe: Gamechanger?

By now, you know that FBI Director James Comey has effectively reopened the Bureau's investigation into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified materials through her improper, unsecure email server. You know how Donald Trump and Paul Ryan have responded to this development. You know that the hysterical Left is reacting with its own frantic versions of "rigged" conspiracies.  Let's take a deeper look into what's going on here, starting with a review of Comey's somewhat cryptic letter to the relevant Congressional committees:

He writes that new discoveries from an "unrelated case" (the Podesta hack? the Clinton Foundation?) were brought to his attention by an investigative team, who briefed him on the fresh information yesterday. Based on what they found, Comey determined that the emails "appear to be pertinent" to the email case, which had previously been informally closed -- without any charges being filed, but not before Comey publicly exposed Clinton's reckless conduct and many lies on the matter. He stresses that the FBI "cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant," and more or less signs off with a 'stay tuned.' Twelve days before the presidential election.  Wow. Without further information -- and I agree that voters deserve more context and details as soon as possible -- it's impossible to draw any definitive conclusions.  Pete Williams of NBC is reporting some insights from his stable of sources:

If accurate, this rules out the Wikileaks hack case as the source of the new information, and would indicate that the new emails originated from someone other than Mrs. Clinton.  Let's recall that Comey is clearly very attuned to the politics of this whole situation, which is why the FBI raced to complete (or not, it seems) its probe months before the election.  For him to write a public letter of this nature with less than two weeks until November 8 suggests to me that whatever his investigators have unearthed must be significant on some level.  Why would he close the books on this matter, having strained to justify his extremely controversial lack of a criminal referral, only to pull a U-turn in late October (!) over a small development that had no chance of altering his recommendation on criminal charges?  Comey says that he was briefed by the people who found the new evidence, then agreed that it looks serious enough to take new "investigative steps."  Based on his previous defenses of passing on an indictment, it seems reasonable to conclude that the only factor that might change his calculus would be smoking-gun proof of intent -- beyond, of course, Clinton's numerous "false exculpatory statements" and ordering the set-up of a bootleg system in the first place.  Is that what they've found?  We don't know yet.

Here's another possibility, and perhaps the likelier one: Agents attached to another case ran across some significant or relevant information that the Bureau had not fully vetted or reviewed in its previously-ended investigation.  Comey, recognizing that this new evidence is at least serious on some level, decided to go public because he realized that the inevitable discovery that he'd kept it under wraps until after the election would massively escalate criticisms of the FBI's impartiality, and lend credence to the "rigged" narrative.  Which is to say, the new information may not ultimately change the legal status of anything here.  May not.  But it's possible that Comey recognizes how bad it would look if "pertinent" information was suppressed at this key juncture, and therefore decided that inflaming the Left (and quite possibly hurting Hillary's campaign -- with polls already tightening a bit) by making this disclosure now is less damaging than the alternative.  He'd be accused of directly meddling in the election either way, so he chose Door A. To conservatives who believe today's news may finally lead to the moment when Hillary Clinton gets frog-marched away in handcuffs, don't get your hopes up. Things are fluid, and details are scant. Celebrations are premature. And to liberals livid at the FBI for scraping off this scab in the heat of a major election's home stretch...

Every single bit of agita she experiences as a result of her email scandal is totally and completely on her. She did this.

UPDATE -- It looks like the new email(s) weren't even on her server, but were found in the course of the...creepy Anthony Weiner sexting investigation. Because 2016:

Letter: Comey Explains Why He's Reopened The FBI Investigation Into Hillary's Email Server

FBI Director James Comey announced Friday afternoon the criminal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information on a private email server has been reopened. Comey announced the case closed in July after announcing Clinton would not be indicted. 

In a letter to a number of House and Senate Chairman, specifically on Committees related to government oversight, national security and intelligence, Comey explained why the investigation has been reopened.

Read the letter below: 

Letter from Comey by Katie Pavlich on Scribd

Hillary Campaign Fundraisers Locked Down Billions in Foreign Arms Contracts While She Was Secretary of State

Big time fundraisers for Hillary Clinton's 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns were able to lock down billions of dollars in arms deal contracts on behalf of Raytheon during her time as Secretary of State, despite having little experience with the business. One of the bundlers turned lobbyists happens to be Heather Podesta, the sister-in-law of former State Department advisor and current Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. 

Additionally, after locking down purchases of major weapons systems from Raytheon, which were negotiated by the lobbyists close to Clinton and Podesta, the government of Qatar donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation in honor of former President Bill Clinton's birthday and requested a sit down with him.

Fox News James Rosen reports:

Bill and Hillary Clinton, in addition to the Clinton campaign, maintain play-to-play or quid-pro-quo schemes were never used at the State Department and deny donations to the Clinton Foundation were purchases for access or influence. During the last and final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said everything she did at the State Department was in the best interest of the United States. 

Watch: Trump Crowd Erupts... "Lock Her Up!"

After the FBI reopened its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of state on Friday, Donald Trump supporters who turned out for a rally in New Hampshire erupted into "Lock Her Up!" chant just as Trump took the stage.  

FBI Director James Comey wrote in a letter to top members of Congress Friday that the bureau has “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.”

Watch Live: Trump Holds Rally in Lisbon, Maine

Jeff Flake Already Has 2018 Primary Challenge. GOP Civil War Brewing?

The 2016 race isn’t even over and already we have candidates announcing bids for 2018.

Kelli Ward made clear this week that she will be running a primary challenge against Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. The announcement was made on her radio program “The Kelli Ward Connection” on Wednesday.

That name may sound familiar. Kelli Ward recently lost a primary challenge to Senator John McCain just a few months ago. She ran to McCain’s “right” and continually pressed the senator on his wavering support for Trump. Despite lots of speculation that Ward would give McCain a fight for his life, the race ended pretty handedly for McCain.

Ward is now giving a senate primary another try. Senator Flake has been an unabashed critic of Trump, and we have yet to see if Ward will make it a campaign issue in 2018.

“Sen. Flake might be semi-well-liked but he doesn’t have the longevity of John McCain, he doesn’t have the reach of John McCain, he doesn’t have the war hero status of John McCain,” Ward said. “And so I think that it’s an excellent opportunity for us.”

Something to also look out for is how Trump may play a part in the upcoming Arizona race. The GOP presidential nominee has been not so quiet on seeking retribution against Republicans who have refrained from supporting him.

Will more Never Trump Republicans be facing challenges from pro-Trump forces?

WH Press Secretary: You Can Avoid Paying Penalties If You Sign Up For Our Unaffordable Health Care...You Idiots

Obamacare premiums are going through the roof, which is one of the main problems plaguing President Obama’s heath care law. Donald Trump has taken a swipe at the deductibles from the plans offered under the bill, saying they’re so high that you’d need to get hit by a Komatsu tractor in order benefit from the law. With Obamacare falling apart, more Americans are opting to pay the penalty to remain uninsured since it’s more economical to take a risk than pay monthly premiums that are simply torpedoing home budgets. Health insurance companies weren’t expecting to cover this many claims and incur severe losses. As a result, they’re leaving—and health care is already a rather pricy part of one’s budget. ABC News listed all three as reasons for why premiums are spiking, which were entirely predictable; that, and the fact that Obamacare enrollment was off by 24 million, according to numbers crunched by the Congressional Budget Office. That’s less people in the pool, which means the ones who were driving up costs, the old people, weren’t being offset.

For those paying penalties to remain uninsured because this president’s law was so terrible have more bad news. It’s being increased to $700. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest offered the solution to us simpletons: just sign up for Obamacare. Sign up for our egregiously unaffordable health care program that was sold to us by a series of well thought out lies and avoid the penalty. And this observation that the law is unaffordable is now becoming a bipartisan consensus. Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton recently admitted that Obamacare is unaffordable. Yet, Earnest seems to think that we can still buy plans for $75 a month or less:

We want to make sure that people understand the facts about the opportunities that are available to them. And if people are discouraged about what opportunities are available to them, that might be understandable given the headlines, but it's not understandable given the opportunities that are available to the vast majority of Americans who sign up. Because more than seven in 10 Americans who sign up for the marketplace will be able to purchase a plan for $75 a month or less, after you factor in tax credits -- tax credits that exist because of the Affordable Care Act.

So that's why the President continues to be optimistic about the law and its impact on middle-class families across the country. And it's why the President continues to be energetic in making the case that this is a top priority.

And we want to encourage people -- it doesn’t cost anything to window-shop, and people can do that now by going to and taking a look at the options that are available to them in their community. That doesn’t cost anything. But what most people will find, particularly people who signed up last year, many people will find that there actually is a comparable plan that they can sign on to that could actually save them money, that would cost less. So we're encouraging people to shop around, whether they have health care or not. And that opportunity is available at today.

And finally, we know that the system, overall, benefits -- everybody's costs go down -- when more people sign up. So that's why we're making such an aggressive effort to include people all across the country, particularly young people, to encourage them to avail themselves of this opportunity.

All of this is particularly important when you consider that the penalty that is imposed for people who don’t sign up for health care is quite significant. This year it's about $700. And I think our argument is pretty simple, which is, why would you pay $700 to Uncle Sam when you don’t need to? You can avoid having to make that $700 payment if you go and sign up and for health care, which, of course, also affords you a variety of benefits that protect you and your family in the event of an illness.

For starters, what options is this guy talking about? More than 1,000 counties in 26 states are going to have only one health care insurer operating in those respective markets next year. That’s no choice—and the Associated Press noted that next year is when there will be the least amount of choice seen in the health care arena since this law was enacted. Third, young people have zero incentive to sign up for Obamacare; most of them are probably insured through their parents' plan and the Obama administration decided to extend dependent coverage until age 26. Also, young people don’t go to the doctor as often, nor are they sick as much as the elderly, thus negating the need for them to event think about health insurance. I’m betting that more young people don’t sign up for Obamacare, which is a focal point in the final months of this administration.

The law sucks. The plans suck. The premiums suck. But buy into Obamacare anyway even though the costs are unaffordable and if you don’t we’ll still get money out of you with a penalty (it’s really a tax) for being uninsured because we have an individual mandate to encourage participation. Our plan is that good. It’s so good; it’s mandatory. All of this seems to be the Obama White House’s position, which is nothing more than a tantrum. It’s actually a shakedown. You don’t want to get hit with this penalty, sign up. Either way the government gets a piece in this double-dipping scheme. We get screwed over, being squeezed at both ends by the state over a health care law that simply does not work.

Also, Earnest mentioned the $75 talking point before. The Washington Post fact-checkers annoyingly didn’t offer any Pinocchios, but mentioned that the White House should be clearer when referring to the exchanges. Maybe those $75 a month plans exists, but they’re only for folks who are eligible for the tax subsidies. They’re not for everyone [emphasis mine]:

Like many readers, we originally thought Earnest was speaking broadly, about all Americans. But seen in the context of his overall comments, it’s clear he was talking about people who participate in the exchanges.

That is increasingly a self-selected grouppeople who qualify for tax credits and cost-sharing that helps keep costs low for people who have incomes not much above the official poverty line. But for people who do not qualify for subsidies, premiums and deductibles are significantly higher.

We can understand the confusion of our readers, as Earnest did not make clear that he was including the impact of the tax subsidies. (Similarly, critics of Obamacare frequently fail to include the impact of tax credits when they discuss premiums on the exchanges.) We are not going to award Pinocchios, but the White House should be clearer about why premiums are so reduced for people buying insurance on the exchanges.

Trump Confident the FBI Is Going to 'Right the Ship'

Ten minutes after Donald Trump heard the news that the FBI has reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, he shared the news with his supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire.

They already knew. As soon as he said the word “FBI,” the crowd erupted in applause and started chanting “lock her up!”

Trump noted all the people that have “suffered” at the expense of Clinton’s email abuse, such as Gen. David Petraeus, perhaps finally “justice will be done.”

“We must not let her take her email scheme into the Oval Office,” he said. “I have great respect for the fact the FBI and DOJ are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made.”

“This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understood.”

In the wake of this news, Trump wondered whether this election might not be as rigged as he thought.

“I think the FBI is going to right the ship, folks.”

He then offered a sort of apology to his fans, noting the rest of his speech is going to be “so boring.”

Update: The Trump campaign has released an official response.

Paul Ryan: Suspend All Classified Briefings With Hillary Clinton

After FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has released a statement condemning Hillary Clinton for "mishandling" classified information on her private server. Ryan also called for the Director of National Intelligence to cease classified briefings with Clinton until this matter is settled.

"Yet again, Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame. She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information. This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators. I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved."


Woman: Justice Clarence Thomas Groped Me

Well, it seems the crosshairs could be aimed at Justice Clarence Thomas once again, as a woman has come forward to say that he was groped by the sitting Supreme Court justice. Moira Smith alleges an incident at a dinner party in 1999, where Thomas inappropriately touched her at a Truman Foundation Scholar dinner party. Again, there’s very little to go on here, with the former head of the Truman Foundation noting that she had never heard of such an incident, adding that it would be unusual for Justice Thomas to be alone with a guest. Yet another game of he said, she said (via the Hill):

A woman is claiming that Justice Clarence Thomas groped her when she was a young scholar in 1999, an allegation the justice denies.

Moira Smith claims Thomas squeezed her on the buttocks several times at a dinner party when she was a Truman Foundation Scholar, according to the National Law Journal, which first reported the allegations.

In a statement through a Supreme Court spokeswoman, Thomas denied Smith's allegations.

“This claim is preposterous and it never happened,” the spokeswoman said.

National Law Journal spoke to three of Smith's former roommates during the spring and summer of 1999 in an attempt to corroborate her allegations. Each said they remembered Smith describing the inappropriate interaction with Thomas. Two of Smith's roommates also told The Associated Press they remembered being told about the incident.

The journal also spoke to three other people who attended the same dinner, including Louis Blair, the former head of the Truman Foundation, who had no knowledge of the alleged incident. Blair questioned whether Thomas ever would have been alone with a dinner guest.

Again, these friends were told, but the Blair said that she has no idea what Smith is talking about. Let’s entertain this for a second: if this did happen, why come forward now? I can see why some women have come forward with their allegations about Trump since the Republican nominee said he was never sexually inappropriate with women during the second presidential debate. He’s gone on to attack his accusers’ physical appearance in some cases, which I guess could prompt some of these alleged accusers to come forward. I would say that if you really want to make an accusation carry more weight with people, don’t call Gloria Allred.

What has Thomas done to earn such a heinous accusation? The fact that Thomas is the alleged groper certainly rehashes his 1990 Supreme Court nomination, where Anita Hill alleged that the now-sitting jurist made sexually graphic remarks in her presence. We don’t know if these allegations are true. We’ll see how these pan out, but the timing is fishy. The target has always been one for the Left, who can’t stand how a poor black man from Georgia can become one of the bulwarks of conservative judicial thought, a sitting jurist, and one of the country’s leading legal minds. Thomas can be all of those things, but he has to be a liberal, according to the progressive left’s ethos. If he isn’t, he’s slammed as an uncle tom—and he’s had that slur thrown at him many times. When Justice Antonin Scalia passed away this year, liberals were hoping that Thomas would drop dead next. This level of abuse isn’t anything new to Thomas or conservatives in general.

Let’s see how these allegations play out, but my guess is this thing will fizzle. It’s simply too political, there’s no real evidence, whereas there’s recordings of Trump, and conservatives will circle the wagons around Thomas making any attempt to know the truth about these allegations, which could be total lies, come to fruition.

BREAKING: The FBI Is Reopening the Investigation About Hillary's Emails

The FBI is reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server, multiple sources are reporting.

NBC News, as well as Congressman Jason Chaffetz, are reporting that FBI Director James Comey has sent a letter to Congress saying that the investigation into Clinton's server is now open to re-examine additional emails for classified information. These additional emails were discovered during an unrelated investigation. (It is unknown at the time as to what this "unrelated" investigation concerns. EDIT: The investigation concerned Anthony Weiner's sexts to an underage girl.)

And the actual letter:

This post has been updated.

Earlier, this post had an update that said the investigation would be completed in two to three days. This is incorrect and came from a now-deleted tweet from WaPo's Erik Wemple. There is no timeline for the investigation as of yet.

Joke's On You America: Obama's Golf Trip with Tiger Woods Cost Taxpayers Nearly $4 MIllion

When it comes to taking advantage of the system, no one does it better than Barack Obama.  And when it comes to golfing while on the job, Obama has completed more rounds than any person who has served in the White House in history.  

And one of Obama's most expensive rounds of golf came in 2013 with Tiger Woods, costing U.S. taxpayers nearly $3.6 million, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

The costs accounted for operating expenses of Air Force One, supporting aircraft, and U.S. Coast Guard small boats, travel expenses, which include commercial airfare and rental cars for Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security personnel supporting the trip, according to the report. 

The specific schedule for Feb. 15, 2013, were that Obama flew from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to Chicago to deliver remarks on the economy, He then flew to Palm Beach, Florida, for vacation, where he golfed with Woods before returning to Joint Base Andrews.

Clinton Campaign Chair Rips Sanders, Says His Health Care Plan Sucks...Part Of 'Leftie Alternative Universe'

Wikileaks has exposed that the Clinton campaign really didn’t care for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) plan to institute single-payer health care. In a January email exchange between Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and ThinkProgress’ Judd Legum—ThinkProgress is a side project of Center for American Progress, which was founded by Podesta—Legum notes some negative media attention being pointed at Sanders’ proposal.

“Not sure how it's playing out on your end but having been seeing a lot of negative stuff online about the single payer hit on Bernie. See it being fit into the she's dishonest/will say anything to win frame. So I just wanted you to make sure you were cognizant of that,” wrote Legum on January 14.

“Thx. His actual proposal sucks, but we live in a leftie alternative universe,” replied Podesta.

Yikes. Well, it certainly does at least show some differences between the two candidates in the sense that one is left and the other is hard left. Yes, I know there is an argument to be made that both are hard left candidates, but Clinton never really seemed keen on single-payer, though many have argued that the current collapse of Obamacare was intentional. That the law was designed to create a crisis in which the Left could argue that only total and complete control of health care policy through Washington could ease the premium spikes, the cost overruns, and finally get everyone access to quality care.

Instead, at a base level, Clinton seems content with expanding the program to fix the problem (no shocker there from a Democrat) while offering a public option in the form of a buy into Medicare and Medicaid for Americans 55 years of age or older at an affordable rate. What that rate is remains to be seen, though the expansion of Medicare and Medicaid to cover everyone is the Left’s end goal. In fact, some leftie pundits have pitched it that way since it sounds less scary that single-payer, or socialized medicine, but that’s essentially what it is—and what Sanders was pushing for.

In some ways, maybe it’s a tacit acknowledgement that Democrats know we’re not there yet on single-payer. If the GOP retains the House, then certainly that plan is dead. But it could also show that maybe in some areas Clinton might be a pragmatic centrist when she needs to be (not very comforting coming from a liar, but it’s for the sake of argument) on policy. That left-of-center Clinton mold is something that’s annoyed the progressive Left to no end, with many noting that Bill Clinton probably would never be able to win the nomination of today’s Democratic Party if he were to run today. Also, given that happy center Clinton used to take pride in could be what congressional Republicans remember about the former first lady. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who is expected to win re-election this year, says that they know Clinton—and that they would have an easier time working with her (some have stated otherwise) than Obama who came into power with little to no paper trail. Also, Clinton has been quietly contacting old GOP allies on the Hill, saying that she’s willing to work with them should she beat Donald Trump in November.

On the other hand, Clinton has moved to the Left, thanks to Sanders, on issues like trade. Though she was supportive of fracking to tap into natural gas reserves, a decades-old technique of drilling that is anathema to Democrats. Remember when Clinton said you should have a public and a private position on things. Well, this could be an example, though should she win—her political capital balance will be low. Go all in on fixing Obamacare or the Supreme Court?

Julie Pace of the Associated Press said that should Clinton win the election, and the Democrats retake the Senate, the pressure on her from the hard left of the party to possibly pick a judicial nominee fitting a hard core liberal mold that conservatives have longed feared to fill Scalia’s vacancy could be significant. Health care and SCOTUS are two huge issues facing a potential Clinton presidency, and Donald Trump’s for that matter should he win, in the coming months after inauguration day. All of this remains to be seen, but at least her top adviser, Podesta, who could reassume his old role as White House Chief Of Staff, thinks that single-payer is a crap policy. It’s not much of a silver lining, though it shows that some top Democrats view their more left wing brethren (comrades more appropriate?) as being bankrupt in the policy department.

Ali Meyer of The Washington Free Beacon added that the Tax Policy Center noted that Sanders’ plan would increase public and private health care spending by $5.5 trillion over the next decade.

Here's Sen. Ron Johnson Chugging A Beer

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is up for re-election this year in a close race against Democrat Russ Feingold. While Johnson may be down by about six points in the polls, he's got at least one thing going for him: he can chug the hell out of a beer.

To celebrate being endorsed by the Tavern League of Wisconsin, Johnson downed a pint of Miller Lite in about five seconds, and was congratulated by the bartender.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin previously endorsed Feingold during the last election cycle, but praised Johnson for his business-friendly policies this go-around.

And hey, this could help swing the frat boy vote.

Watch Live: Clinton Holds Rally in Cedar Rapids

Watch Live: Trump Holds Rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

It's Working: Obamacare Offers Least Amount Of Choice For Health Care Since The Law Was Enacted

Guy has already written about the 2017 premium Armageddon that’s about to screw over millions of Americans. The premiums hikes are expected to go up on average by double-digits; Arizona is looking at a 75 percent increase. It’s a total disaster for a law that even Bill Clinton called “the craziest thing in the world.” Yet, what about choice in the health care market? Well, for now, the law is offering the least amount in terms of choice since the law was enacted (via AP):

Americans in the health insurance markets created by President Barack Obama's law will have less choice next year than any time since the program started, a new county-level analysis for The Associated Press has found.

The analysis by AP and consulting firm Avalere Health found that about one-third of U.S. counties will have only one health marketplace insurer next year. That's more than 1,000 counties in 26 states — roughly double the number of counties in 2014, the first year of coverage through the program.

With insurance notices for 2017 in the mail, families are already facing difficult choices, even weighing whether to stay covered.


Largely as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the nation's uninsured rate has dropped to a historically low level, less than 9 percent. But the program hasn't yet found stable footing, and it remains politically divisive. Insurer participation rose in 2015 and 2016, only to plunge.

Dwindling choice could be a trickier issue than rising premiums for the Obama administration and advocates of the 2010 law, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Most customers get financial assistance, and their subsidies are designed to rise along with premiums, which are increasing an average of 25 percent in states served by But there is no comparable safety valve for disruptions caused by insurers bailing out.

Well, for starters, the co-ops that were established to spur competition among insurers and expand Obamacare choices to rural America have failed. Twenty-three were established, only six remain—and those are on life support as well. So, you can see how competition and choice were already on a death spiral before the AP analysis. Recently, Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said that this law was unaffordable. Now, there’s no choice either. The fall back Democrats try to harp on is the amount of those insured through Obamacare, which has reduced the umber of uninsured in the country overalls. Fine, but that main pitch of Obamacare was that it would reduce costs, which was a way for the Obama White House to put pressure on Congress to pass it, along with the notion that the GOP plan was lacking (though their reforms existed in bits and pieces over the past ten years). Still, as premiums go up, more Americans are paying the penalty to be uninsured because it’s more economical. That penalty is set to spike next year, so once again we have American families being squeezed by government on both ends. You get screwed remaining insured (due to the premium shock) or becoming uninsured (due to the penalty). Yet, the government got involved so this was predictable. Oh, and the Democrats’ solution is more government. And if you think a Clinton presidency will fix this, you’re on something stronger than heroin.