FBI headquarters in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency)
Opinion writer

Republicans may need a new conspiracy angle. “The Department of Justice inspector general says he has recovered missing text messages from two senior FBI officials who investigated both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and exchanged notes critical of the president.”

Republicans’ fictional plots are now fodder for Democrats. “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed Republicans Thursday for what he described as ‘delusional’ and ‘paranoid’ attempts to discredit the FBI — singling out GOP Sen. Ron Johnson for a particularly harsh rebuke.” Tough but fair.

Make Johnson turn up evidence of his accusation about a cabal of FBI agents. “Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on Thursday called on Sen. Ron Johnson to turn over information about an unnamed informant that the Wisconsin Republican claims told him about secret ‘off-site’ meetings of FBI officials.” Good for her. Republicans shouldn’t get a free pass to spread nonsense.

Not all Fox on-air personalities are spinning tales of intrigue.” Fox News’s Stirewalt: Republicans Turning FBI’s Strzok Into ‘Smoking Man’ From X-Files.” Bravo!

Somehow I don’t think these schemes are going to work. “In California, Senate Bill 227 creates the California Excellence Fund and provides a credit against state income tax liability for contributions in the fund, effectively recharacterizing state tax liability as charitable contributions which can be deducted on taxpayers’ federal income tax returns.” Read the whole thing before trying this at home.

It’s not a devious plan; it’s plain incompetence. “So make that — so far — four continuing resolutions for funding most of what government does, still providing no clear guidance for the remaining seven-and-a-half months of the fiscal year. Put shutdown politics and DACA aside for a moment; that is simply pathetic. … The failure to enact any spending bills is a product of deep disagreements over spending and spending priorities among and between House and Senate Republicans, deeper disagreements between Republicans and Democrats, and the looming problem of the damaging across-the-board cuts called “sequesters” that came about because Congress could not agree on a deficit reduction plan in 2011 — primarily because Republicans would not accept a balance that included tax increases along with the major changes they demanded in Social Security and Medicare.”

He should explain his own machinations. “Open the Government Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg, says that a new secret memo by Rep. Devin Nunes, (R-CA) that claims the Obama Administration abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to target Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, raises serious questions about why lawmakers voted last week for reauthorization immediately after rejecting an amendment to fix the parts of the law most subject to misuse and interference with Americans’ privacy.” Oh, well. Yes.