John Lott Blog

Democrats still control eight of the circuit courts, Republicans four, one tied

The Supreme Court grants oral arguments to about 80 cases a year. They decide another 50 without hearing oral arguments. By contrast, the Circuit Courts in the United States handled 51,832 in the year that ended on March 31, 2018 (that is down from 59,040 the previous year). The Circuit Courts, not the Supreme Court, have the final word on 99.75% of all cases.

Republicans may have confirmed 26 Circuit Court judges under Trump, but they still have a ways to go to get parity in control of Circuit Courts. As of today, the picture above shows the breakdown by Circuit. Three other nominees have cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee, but even when those nominees are confirmed, the Democrats will still control the Second, Third, and Ninth Circuits. So far 62% of Trump's appointees have been confirmed are merely replacing Republicans who are retiring. Five of the Democrats on the Ninth Circuit are over 70 years of age, but Trump would have to replace all the current vacancies and have four of these five judges over 70 retire for the Republicans to take a one-seat majority on that Circuit.

If Trump were to fill all existing vacancies, the only circuit that he could move from Democrat control to a tie would be the Third Circuit. There is no Circuit that he could flip from Democrat to Republican control during Trump's first term.

Nine Circuit Court judges nominated by Democrats are over 75 years of age. These likely retirements over the next 6 years could flip the Fourth Circuit.

Some more information is available here

Outrageous: Judge Kavanaugh no longer teaching at Harvard Law School

Seriously, only a little over 700 signatures by Monday with students and alumni who graduated from as far back as 1959. Harvard has about 500 entering students each year. Over say the last 30 years that would be 15,000 graduates. There are currently 1,990 enrolled law students. So the number of signers equals only about one-third of those currently enrolled, let alone all the alumni who have graduated over the decades.
Every single letter asked Manning to launch a Harvard-led investigation into the sexual assault allegations levied against Kavanaugh.
They need to read Rachel Mitchell report that she gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday. Click on the pages below to enlarge. The claims by Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick are even more unbelievable. 

More threats of violence by the left against Republicans this week

The supposed Russia/NRA/GOP connection was based prosecutors now admitting that they misunderstood a joke? Seriously?

For weeks, prosecutors made sure to fuel stories of an attractive Russian spy ensnaring older men with sexual favor.  Now, the Justice Department admitted in a court filing that they had been “mistaken” in interpreting what joking emails as serious offers. Federal prosecutors have admitted that they wrongly accused Maria Butina, a Russian citizen now in custody on charges of illegally acting as a foreign agent, of offering to trade sex for a job as part of a covert effort by Russian government officials to infiltrate Republican circles in the United States. In a court filing late Friday, prosecutors in the United States attorney’s office in Washington acknowledged that they had been “mistaken” in interpreting what were apparently joking text messages between Ms. Butina and a friend who had helped her renew her car insurance. Ms. Butina was charged this summer with conspiracy and illegally acting as an agent of the Russian government in what prosecutors have claimed was a secret campaign to try to influence high-level Republican politicians, including Donald J. Trump, both as a candidate and after his election. Denied bail, she is now in custody in the detention center in Alexandria, Va. . . .“I’m glad they walked it back, but in a lot of ways, the damage is already done,” Robert N. Driscoll, Ms. Butina’s lawyer, said in an interview. In court filings, he has argued that his client engaged in innocent political activity but has now been falsely portrayed as a villain in a sensationalized spy drama. “A simple Google search using the phrase ‘Maria Butina and sex’ yields over 300,000 hits,” he said. . . .Please note that in this story there is no mention of the NRA. Take some of the New York Times previous headlines:Wife of Former NRA President Tapped Accused Russian Agent Maria Butina Loved Guns, Trump and Russia. It was cover Timeline of Suspected Plot to Infiltrate NRA, GOP

More examples of extreme media bias: Trump and Palin told not to come to funeral, so the media has these bizarre headlines

President Trump and Sarah Palin were bizarrely told not to come to John McCain's funeral. It is one thing not to have someone in the front row, but to tell them not to show up for the funeral is just petty. Sarah Palin has never said a bad word about McCain. What was her crime? So what were they supposed to do? Trump went to play golf.
McCain's career was marked by pettiness. If you feel wronged by someone as McCain obviously is by Trump, take it out on Trump. And McCain did so in pretty despicable ways such as sending an aide to London to pick up the famous dossier filled with fake information and give it to Comey. But out of spite, McCain broke his promise to his voters to repeal Obamacare. That didn't just hurt Trump it hurt all Americans. Where is the honor in that?
The media just can't even try to be slightly balanced. Here are some of the headlines in the media today.

Do reporters really see racism in everything?

What would Nelson Mandela think of South Africa's new policy of expropriating land without compensation? Can one look at the disaster that befell Zimbabwe and be very concerned about the human tragedy that might await South Africa? Does this reporter disagree with the US Constitution's guarantee of compensation for property taken by the government?
Click on picture to enlarge.

At Fox News: Anti-Trump media can't handle 'the truth' as it piles on Giuliani comment

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
The anti-Trump media are in an uproar about a comment by President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that “truth isn’t truth.”News reports have taken Giuliani’s comment completely out of context – showing that many in the media really don’t care about the truth.As part of the media pile-on attacking Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, CNN’s Brian Stelter warned: “For a part of the country’s population, the truth is not the truth anymore. President Trump’s accomplishment has been to destroy the notion of the commonly accepted set of facts. The truth is what the president says that it is.”Washington Post Opinions Editor James Downie comparedGiuliani’s comment to President Clinton’s statement about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinksy, when Clinton said: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
HBO’s John Oliver gaveonly a glimpse of the late night talk shows will do with the statement this week by poking fun at Giuliani’s statement.
But what was Giuliani really saying?
Here is the exchange between Giuliani and Todd on “Meet the Press.” Giuliani: “And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.”
Todd: “Truth is truth. I don’t mean to go like – ”
Giuliani: “No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth. The president of the United States says, “I didn’t – ”
Todd: “Truth isn’t truth? Mr. Mayor, do you realize, what, I, I, I —”
Giuliani: “No, no, no –”
Todd: “This is going to become a bad meme.”
Giuliani: “Don’t do, don’t do this to me.”
Todd: “Don’t do truth isn’t truth to me.” Giuliani’s point was simple: even if you tell the complete truth, prosecutors can still go after you for perjury. It could be that the prosecutors truly believe some other witness. It could also be that the prosecutors are just hell bent on getting another conviction.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was charged last year with perjury after getting a date wrong in an interview with FBI agents. Flynn wasn’t told the purpose of the interview and hadn’t had a chance to refresh his memory.
The agents who interviewed Flynn didn’t think that he had lied, but merely made a mistake on dates. They found no“physical indications of deception” and “didn't see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact.”
Making a mistake isn’t the same thing as lying. Witnesses to crimes often make mistakes in recalling events that may have happened just minutes or hours previously.
But perjury charges weren’t brought against Flynn until Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election got underway months later in 2017.
Mueller never alleged that Flynn perjured himself in an attempt to cover up some other crime. The hope was simply to get someone in President Trump’s inner circle to crack and divulge evidence against the president.
Mueller’s prosecutors weren’t present at Flynn’s interview and may have no reason to believe that Flynn lied. Indeed, there was not any reason for Flynn to lie, because what he was talking to the agents about didn’t even involve a crime.
When I served as chief economist at the U.S. Sentencing Commission, I observed this sort of thing happen many times. Prosecutors often abuse their tremendous power in the belief that the ends justify the means. I had prosecutors tell me that even if the defendant hadn’t committed this particular crime, they were sure that he had committed other ones.
“Meet the Press” panelists congratulated Todd on getting a sound bite that they could run with. They seemed unconcerned with what Giuliani actually meant.
“I think the headline is truth isn't truth,” said PBS White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor. “As soon as he said (it) I thought, ‘Man, Chuck Todd really does these things really well.’"
Former FBI director James Comey ignored Giuliani’s point and quickly chimed in on Twitter: “Truth exists and truth matters. Truth has always been the touchstone of our country’s justice system and political life. People who lie are held accountable.” . . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

In China owning “too many books” is viewed as a bad thing by the government

In China owning “too many books” among other things can reduce your social credit score, limiting your ability to travel, to get a good job, to have your kids go to good schools.

MIT Technology Review has a fairly thorough review of how China is using AI and the internet to control its population.
All these data streams are fed into Xinjiang’s public security system, along with other records capturing information on everything from banking history to family planning. “The computer program aggregates all the data from these different sources and flags those who might become ‘a threat’ to authorities,” says Wang. Though the precise algorithm is unknown, it’s believed that it may highlight behaviors such as visiting a particular mosque, owning a lot of books, buying a large quantity of gasoline, or receiving phone calls or email from contacts abroad. People it flags are visited by police, who may take them into custody and put them in prison or in reeducation camps without any formal charges. . . .

Comparing percent of Americans who think the US is moving in the right direction compared to previous midterms

If the percent of Americans who think the US is going in the right direction is important for who wins elections, Republicans are in relatively good shape. The percent who think the country is moving in the right direction is currently at 43%.
By comparison at previous midterms it was much lower:

27% early Nov 2014
28% early Nov 2010

On the other hand, if the issue is presidential approval. Republicans are about in the same shape that Democrats were in 2010.

Democrats have also taken a 7 point lead in the generic ballot survey.

At Fox News: Here's the real reason Democrats are so scared about Kavanaugh joining the Supreme Court

I have a new piece up at Fox News where about why Democrats are afraid of Judge Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The piece starts this way:
Democrats are getting hysterical about the prospect of Judge Brett Kavanaugh being seated on the Supreme Court. Most of their hyperventilating is nonsense. In a desperate attempt to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the Senate, the Democrats are making wild claims that abortion would be banned, people would be dying in the streets, and the president would gain immunity from investigation and prosecution if Kavanaugh joins the nation’s highest court.  Time for a reality check. Let’s all take a deep breath and look at the facts about the judge who President Trump has nominated to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh currently serves on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He’s not some right-wing extremist who would run wild – like the proverbial bull in the china shop – overturning legal precedents, despite what the Democrats claim.Kavanaugh is dedicated to judging cases based on the evidence and dedicated to following the Constitution as it is written. He is a firm opponent of legislating from the bench to support his ideological views. When he accepted President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court in televised remarks, Kavanaugh made this crystal clear, saying: “A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.” Lower court judges are supposed to follow Supreme Court precedent, whether or not they personally agree with the decision. When judges ignore precedent, it is easy to infer that they are acting on their own political biases. However, Kavanaugh has been a consistent follower of precedent while he has been on the D.C. Circuit Court. The appellate court is widely acknowledged to be the nation’s second highest court, just below the Supreme Court. While the Supreme Court can overrule its own precedent, Kavanaugh has co-authored a hefty 942-page book on precedent, titled “Law of Judicial Precedent.” The book seeks to formerly describe rules when courts should follow precedent, and it makes clear that jettisoning precedent is not something that Kavanaugh takes lightly. For those on the left who insist that Kavanaugh is dangerous because he supposedly won’t follow precedent when it comes to Roe v Wade – the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide – it seems clear that his critics haven’t read the book he co-authored on precedent. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

CBS News: "Even in gun country, Democrats shift towards gun control"

Like abortion, the Democratic party is going to exclude anyone who disagrees with the party othodoxy on gun control.  From CBS News:
Just 18 months after declaring his opposition to banning assault weapons, Nebraska Democrat Brad Ashford has changed his mind. The former one-term congressman, now trying to win back an Omaha-area seat he lost in 2016, used to consider it futile to push for a ban while Republicans held power on Capitol Hill. But the student activism that has followed the rampage at a school in Parkland, Florida, has changed his thinking in a way that other high-profile shootings, including two in his hometown since 2007, had not. Ashford's conversion mirrors the one underway in his party. Not long ago, a moderate record on guns would have been considered a plus for a Democratic candidate in the GOP-leaning suburbs and conservative outskirts of Nebraska's largest city. Today, even with Ashford's reversal, it's a vulnerability that his opponent in the May 15 Democratic primary has been quick to exploit. That contest, along with races in Virginia, rural Pennsylvania and other places where gun control has been taboo, shows how far the Democratic Party has traveled on this issue. The November elections will test whether Democrats will make room for candidates who don't back all gun control measures. "He should have been stronger on this," said Kara Eastman, the 46-year-old political newcomer running against Ashford for the nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. "We need leaders who are going to stand up and fight for the kids." . . .

At Fox News: Trump Administration agreement means "This Marks the End of Gun Control"

I have a major piece up at Fox News where he explains how a new Trump Administration agreement means "This Marks the End of Gun Control." The piece starts this way:
The federal government has finally recognized the obvious – that sharing instructions on how to make guns with 3D printers counts as constitutionally protected speech.Despite little fanfare, this is an important victory for First Amendment rights. It also represents a real blow to the increasingly futile cause of gun control.The U.S. Justice Department announced a legal settlementand its surrender to the First Amendment arguments July 10 made in a case brought by Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed. Wilson, 25, created a ruckus in May 2013 when he announced his successful design of a plastic gun. In just two days, 100,000 copies of the handgun blueprint were downloaded from Wilson’s website.The most downloads came from Spain, followed by the U.S., Brazil and Germany. The heavy downloading in Spain, Brazil and Germany likely reflected attempts to evade extremely restrictive handgun regulations in those countries.
People are going to download these files whether they're legal or not. As we've seen with movies, file sharing is unstoppable. The most pirated TV program in 2017 was the seventh season of “Game of Thrones,” with well over 10 million illegal downloadsin most weeks.
Within days of the gun file being uploaded, the Obama State Department served Wilson with a letter threatening criminal prosecution for violating federal export controls. Wilson immediately complied with the order, but there was no way to stop further downloading.
Within a week of the initial uploading, the file could be downloaded on the Internet from over 4,000different computers around the world.
The Justice Department’s recent settlement with Wilson is very favorable to him, allowing Wilson to provide the printing instructions “for public release (meaning unlimited distribution) in any form.” The government also compensated $40,000of Wilson’s legal costs.
Someone has just as much right to release the instructions in a computer file as in a book or newspaper article. The groups that submitted argumentson Wilson's behalf were ideologically diverse, ranging from conservative self-defense advocacy groups to the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press and Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Anyone with access to a metal 3D printer can make guns functionally and aesthetically indistinguishable from any gun that can be bought in a store. Such metal printers are available for less than $2,000.
How the government will stop people from obtaining these printers isn’t exactly obvious. Proposals to require background checks, mandatory serial numbers and even a registration processfor printers are easily defeated. Even if printers are registered with the government, what is going to stop gangs from stealing them? And the designs for making your own printer have been available on the Internetfor years.
3D printers make the already extremely difficult job of controlling access to guns practically impossible. The government is not going to be able to ban guns, and limits on the size of bullet magazines will be even more laughable than before. Many parts of a gun can be made on very inexpensive, plastic 3D printers or even from simple machine tools. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

Interesting new Gallup Survey: No one views Global Warming as most important problem and only 2% view gun control that way

A copy of the Gallup survey is available here.
Also of interest is the percent of Americans who are satisfied with the direction of the country. The percent of Americans satisfied with how things are going in July of election years isn't a great predictor of how people will feel that November, but 35 percent who were satisfied this July was 7 percentage points higher than the previous high in July 2012.
July 2010: 21 percent satisfiedNovember 2010: 19 percent satisfiedJuly 2012: 28 percent satisfiedNovember 2012: 31 percent satisfiedJuly 2014: 24 percent satisfiedNovember 2014: 20 percent satisfiedJuly 2016: 17 percent satisfiedNovember 2016: 37 percent satisfiedJuly 2018: 35 percent satisfied

At “How Entertainment Shows have become Vehicles for Gun Control Propaganda”

My newest piece is up at on the continuing bias in entertainment television. The piece starts this way:All of the major television networks use their primetime entertainment shows to push a pro-gun control agenda.  Liberal television executives apparently think that they have the power to change Americans’ attitudes.Not liking guns has been portrayed as cool for a long time. It is an old theme that dates back to the original 1980s MacGyver series, in which the titular character avoids using guns and expresses his aversion to them. This theme has continued with the current remake.But the push to sway public opinion really seems to have picked up. This spring on ABC’s “The Crossing,” the sheriff’s young son says, “I don’t like guns” when a deputy suggests he may someday replace his father. The deputy appears discomforted by the exchange.In NBC’s “Reverie,” main character Mara Kint(Sarah Shahi) is traumatized by the shooting deaths of her sister and niece. The deaths are played repeatedly throughout the show. In the second episode, which aired last month, Kint throws a gun into the ocean and explains that she has had training with guns. When asked why she threw the gun away she says that she “hates guns.” This scene touches on multiple gun control points in just 15 seconds.It’s a tight race, but NBC might just be the worst network.  It seems to have given out orders for its TV shows to include some anti-gun or pro-gun control mentions.This April, an episode of “Taken” (Season 2, Episode 11) tried to convey to viewers that gun-free zones work because the criminals obey the bans.Santana(Jessica Camacho) asks Agent Bryan Mills (Clive Standen), if he is “OK with this whole no-guns thing” as they enter a hospital  Mills replies that it is OK because the gun-free zone means that “bad guys won’t have them either.”Do viewers really believe that a group of professional killers couldn’t find some way to get guns into a hospital?  Mass public shootings actually almost always occur in gun-free zones. Since 1950, that’s been true of 98 percent of incidents.  This happens precisely because criminals prefer unarmed victims.In March, the NBC show “Chicago Fire” (Season 6, episode 15) contains ascenewhere stored ammunition catches fire. Bullets fly everywhere, causing firemen to think that a sniper is targeting them. One of them is seriously wounded.It is hard to believe that anyone would want to have a gun in their home after watching this scene.  But it is complete fiction.  A gun barrel is needed to propel a bullet forward.  Outside of a gun, the gunpowder in a bullet would simply explode in all directions, which wouldn’t generate much speed in any particular direction.A February episode of NBC’s “The Black List” (Season 5, episode 13) begins with a group of people accusing a gun maker of providing inexpensive guns that “have no value to anyone but criminals.” The gun maker is accused of making sales that “drive up homicide rates,” further increase the demand for his product, and bring in “blood money.”  There is even a dig about how the law protects the gun maker from being sued, to which his only response is that everything he’s doing is perfectly legal. No one mentions that poor people — particularly poor minorities — are the most likely victims of violent crime and rely on inexpensive gunsfor self-defense. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

At The Hill: Gun control advocates are hyperventilating over Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination

My latest piece at The Hill is available here:Gun control advocates are hyperventilating over President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun rights group, Everytown for Gun Safety, warned: “Judge Kavanaugh has applied an extreme and dangerous interpretation of the Second Amendment when determining whether a law is constitutional, one that does not take into account a law’s impact on public safety.”Since the Supreme Court’s last gun control case in 2010, the court has turned away at least 15 gun-rights cases, including several challenges to prohibitions on semi-automatic assault rifles and on public carry of firearms. Gun control advocates hoped that the Supreme Court would overturn unfavorable lower court decisions. Some believe that Justice Anthony Kennedy stopped the court from taking these cases, but it could just as easily have been Chief Justice John Roberts, who places considerable weight on building consensus and is willing to put off dealing with contentious issues. Rarely is any information released on who voted to hear these appeals.Gun control advocates are most upset by a 2011 dissent in which Kavanaugh voted to strike down Washington, D.C.’s ban on most semi-automatic rifles. Two other judges voted to uphold the ban, so Kavanaugh lost the vote.But it’s easy to read too much into any one case, especially when a judge is simply following precedent set by the Supreme Court — in this case, precedent from the 2008 Heller decision that struck down D.C.’s handgun ban. “As a lower court, however, it is not our role to re-litigate Heller or to bend it in any particular direction,” Kavanaugh wrote. “Our sole job is to faithfully apply Heller and the approach it set forth for analyzing gun bans and regulations.”Lower court judges are supposed to follow Supreme Court precedent, whether or not they personally agree with the decision. When a judge ignores precedent, it is easy to infer that he is acting on his own political biases. But Kavanaugh has been a consistent follower of precedent while he has been on the D.C. Circuit Court, widely acknowledged to be the nation’s second highest court, just below the Supreme Court.While the Supreme Court can overrule its own precedent, Kavanaugh has co-authored a hefty 942 page book on the topic titled “Law of Judicial Precedent.” The book seeks to describe rules governing when courts should follow precedent, and it makes clear that jettisoning precedent is not something that he takes lightly.It’s not as though Kavanaugh took a particularly strong self-defense rights view of Supreme Court precedent: “Heller largely preserved the status quo of gun regulation in the United States. Heller established that traditional and common gun laws in the United States remain constitutionally permissible.”Kavanaugh showed consistent respect for precedent, but the left insists that he is dangerous because he supposedly won’t follow precedent when it comes to Roe v. Wade. But during his confirmation hearing to the D.C. Circuit Court in 2006, Kavanaugh promised, “I would follow Roe v Wade faithfully and fully.” In language very similar to what he said to justify his decision on D.C.’s rifle ban, Kavanaugh explained that Roe v Wade would be, “Binding precedent of the court. It’s been decided by the Supreme Court.”Bloomberg’s Everytown is also simply wrong when it says that Kavanaugh “does not take into account a law’s impact on public safety.” For example, on page 33 of his dissent, Kavanaugh compares the safety issues for semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles. On pages 42 and 43 he compares the relatively safety aspects of licensing versus registration laws. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

Why does anyone give much credibility to Mueller's latest indictments for Twelve Russian military intelligence officers in Hacking probe?

Politico's headline questions the timing of Mueller's indictment of Russian military intelligence officers just one business day before Trump is to meet with Putin (‘It's a big FU from Mueller’). But put aside the timing of the recent indictments, does anyone remember the Mueller probe's previous indictments of Russians regarding their interference in our election? How they had indicted Russians in the belief that they wouldn't contest the charges and when the Russians fought back, Mueller suddenly had to ask for delays in the proceedings? From the WSJ in May:
In February, in its first indictment based on alleged conduct directly related to Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, Mr. Mueller’s office charged three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with engaging in a widespread effort to interfere in the presidential election. . . . Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors accused them of funding efforts at another organization, the Internet Research Agency LLC, to create fictitious online personas and set up hundreds of social-media accounts—on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram—that pushed divisive messages and helped organize rallies in advance of the November 2016 election. . . . Mr. Mueller’s office asked the court to delay Concord Management’s arraignment, in which the company would enter a plea, saying it had tried unsuccessfully to serve the indictment on the defendants. Mr. Mueller’s attorneys said they wanted to ensure the proper process was followed. Mr. Dubelier said in a filing it was the special counsel’s “own fault” that the summons hadn’t been served and described the special counsel’s motion as “pettifoggery.” Earlier this month, the judge overseeing the case, Dabney Friedrich, denied the special counsel’s request to delay the arraignment, and the company pleaded not guilty at a hearing on May 9. . . .It isn't even obvious to me that there is credible evidence of hacking the DNC and others as the DNC wouldn't even let the FBI look at the supposedly hacked servers.

From CNN: "FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated.... [had] rely upon a third party for information."

The DNC claims: "the FBI never requested access to the DNC's computer servers." The FBI says that they have had to rely on third-party sources to determine if the DNC servers have been hacked, presumably that is a significantly less reliable method. Does anyone believe the DNC claim the FBI never asked to look at the servers is credible?

Elon Musk emailed Obama EPA director on her pseudonym account, begging director for special help

From John Fund at Fox News:
. . . But on December 13, 2012 the EPA’s assistant inspector general announced he would conduct an audit into Jackson’s use of private email accounts under the alias “Richard Windsor” to conduct official government business. Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute had brought a lawsuit to make 12,000 of Jackson’s “alias” emails public. Before that could happen, Jackson announced she would be leaving office on December 27, 2012 – apparently with the strong private encouragement of the White House. It took three more years of litigation to get all of Jackson’s private emails released. We now know that her alias email accounts were her prime method of doing business. One of the more infamous emails involved the billionaire inventor and businessman Elon Musk begging Jackson on her false-identity account for an emergency assist for his already heavily subsidized Tesla Motors. Musk wanted Jackson’s EPA to give Tesla a “certificate of conformity” that other companies had to formally apply for. Jackson quickly brought in top EPA aides, asking “what can be done?” Within hours, the certificate was approved and Jackson wrote to her senior aides: “Done. Elon replied to say thank you.” . . .

Democrats by 28% to 16% think Social Media Platforms Censor Conservatives more than Liberals

From the new PEW Research Center:
The view that major technology companies are more supportive of certain political views is particularly widespread among Republicans. Some 64% of Republicans (including Republican-leaning independents) say major technology companies support the views of liberals over conservatives, and just 28% say these companies support the views of liberals and conservatives equally. By contrast, 28% of Democrats and Democratic leaners say these companies support liberal views over conservative ones, and 53% say both groups’ views are supported equally. Just 16% of Democrats say the companies support the views of conservatives over liberals. . . .