BY MIKE HUCKABEE
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DAILY BIBLE VERSE
Happy Presidents’ Day
Happy Presidents’ Day! Americans used to celebrate the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as holidays, but they were lumped into this three-day weekend holiday, ostensibly to celebrate all US Presidents and give a little honor to some of the lesser lights. Ironically, we’ve recently seen the woke left attacking George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (Washington owned slaves and must be canceled, while Disney is filling your kids’ heads with the idea that Lincoln didn’t really free the slaves, so expect his robot at Disneyland to be scrapped next.) Let’s hope the ghost of Grover Cleveland doesn’t come back and demand not to be lumped in with those two un-PC Presidents.
Still, while this holiday is now for celebrating all Presidents (and getting lots of things on sale), in a larger sense, it’s to celebrate the system by which we pick our national leader. A lot of Americans have lost trust in the system these days because so many people have worked so hard to undermine election integrity and attack the Electoral College.
But in the beginning, the Founders devised a brilliant system that gave a say to all the individual states, with their vastly different cultures and interests. We also celebrate our history of respecting the vote of the people and the peaceful transfer of power. Maybe for one day, we can at least pretend to respect those traditions again, then go back to observing “NOT My President Day” the other 364 days of the year.
I wrote an essay about Presidents’ Day in 2018, and I think it bears repeating, since not much has changed since it first appeared…
Monday was Presidents Day, and this year brought sobering new evidence that not only are Americans sadly ignorant of US history, but our historians aren’t exactly setting the woods on fire in that department, either.
A number of polls were released, asking the public to rank the greatest Presidents of all time. Overall, the highest vote-getters were John Kennedy, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan. JFK had some major accomplishments, like the space program, but his term was tragically cut short after less than three years. Obama’s #1 ranking is similar to those Internet lists of the “all-time greatest movies” that include nothing made before 1995 (“Wow, ‘The Last Jedi’ is #1!”) They’re more a testament to the youthful ignorance of the rankers than the quality of the films. And while I take a back seat to nobody in my admiration for Reagan’s accomplishments, even he would likely protest that Washington and Lincoln should have been on top.
I don’t think most people these days appreciate the unprecedented service Washington performed by refusing to rule as a king and voluntarily stepping down from power to rejoin the people. Without his example, the presidency might not even be recognizable today. Well, at least George and Abe made the top 10 in most polls, but I suspect it’s less because of their historical significance than the fact that young people know them from the money. We’re lucky they didn’t name Alexander Hamilton as the best President, because he’s on the $10 bill and he starred in that rap musical.
But it’s easy to pick on the choices of the general public, who will naturally name things that are most recent and fresh in their minds. But what excuses do alleged experts have for their biased and uninformed choices? For instance, the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey is based on responses from current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. They ranked Lincoln #1 and Washington #2. Their top 10 also includes Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. But LBJ at #10? (I get it: they love big government). Reagan only made it to #9, and at #8: Barack Obama (it goes without saying that they ranked Trump dead last, despite him presiding over the destruction of ISIS, a tax cut that fired up the economy and the rollback of executive overreach, all in his first year -- yet he was ranked lower than William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia 31 days after being sworn in. He must’ve had one heck of a month.)
I think all you need to know about the “expertise” (or the bias) of these particular Presidential experts is that their top 10 includes Obama but not, say, James K. Polk. Polk oversaw the winning of the Mexican-American War; the reestablishing of the independent Treasury system; the annexation of Texas; the Oregon Treaty that set the border with Canada and won more of Oregon from the British than anyone expected; and the Mexican Cession, which added territory that included the current states of California, Nevada and Utah, most of Arizona, half of New Mexico, and some pretty sizable chunks of Colorado and Wyoming. He even tried to buy Cuba, which would have prevented a lot of grief down the road, but Spain wouldn’t sell. And Polk did all that and more in just four years because he kept his promise to serve only one term. For that alone, he deserves to be in the top 10 (They rank Polk at #20, seven places below Bill Clinton).
In comparison, Obama’s eight years gave us…Obamacare? A record stretch of low GDP growth? The spread of ISIS? Michelle’s school lunch program?
I can’t help wondering how many of these alleged “presidential history experts” who lionize Obama live in states that wouldn’t even be part of America if it weren’t for James K. Polk.
Biden to Ukraine
Over the weekend, President Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine, to show solidarity and to gin up international support for Ukraine against the Russian invasion. While there, he announced another half-billion dollars in US assistance, bringing the total US support up to $113 billion so far, more than the annual military budget of any nation on Earth other than the US and China.
Biden said that no cost is too great to defend freedom, but many Americans are starting to wonder why we’re spending so much money to defend Ukraine’s freedom while our own is under attack. While a plurality of Americans still supports US aid to Ukraine, support has dropped from 60% to 48% in the latest A.P. poll. Questions are rising about whether the weapons we’re sending are secure from theft or misuse, whether all this money is ending up in corrupt hands, and why we’re giving away so much military equipment when our adversaries are ramping up aggression. Also, why are we funding Ukrainian hospitals, schools, pensions and border security when we have a crippling debt, our own schools and health care need funding, many of our veterans are homeless, our seniors can’t afford food and our own border is wide open?
Some critics accused Biden of having an “America Last” mindset, even pointing out that he went all the way to Ukraine and still hasn’t visited East Palestine, Ohio, to talk to the victims of the toxic train derailment. Although, personally, I don’t know if anyone there would expect anyone from this Administration to do any good if they did show up. Our “Transportation Secretary” Pete Buttigieg dismissed the catastrophe as just one of 1,000 train derailments we have every year. Seems like someone in his job would be concerned about that statistic, but he’s got racist bridges and white construction workers to worry about. I wonder if he would have been more concerned if the train had derailed in Ukraine?
The best comment about this White House’s double standards that I’ve heard recently came from Instapundit blogmaster Prof. Glenn Reynolds, who pointed out that the same people who want to take away your gas stove on the claim that it’s dangerous to your health are telling the people of East Palestine to just go home, breathe the air and drink the water, it’ll be fine.
President Jimmy Carter
It was announced Saturday that former President Jimmy Carter, 98, who has recently undergone a series of hospital stays due to cancer that's spread to his brain and liver, has decided to forego further medical interventions and spend his “remaining time” at home with his family in hospice care. I’m sure you will join me in offering prayers for him, his wife Rosalyn and his family.
While the Carter years are not remembered as a great time for America, I don’t think anyone can question that President Carter faced some terrible challenges, and that he loved his country and cared deeply about his fellow Americans, and honestly did what he believed best. After leaving office, he devoted himself to charity work that’s helped countless people.
As Daniel Bier of the Foundation for Economic Education writes, Carter did a lot of things, particularly in the area of deregulation of industries from airlines to brewing, that resulted in long term positive changes and that would be considered by today’s Democrats to be radically conservative. His policies not only made airfares cheaper and more available, but also helped create the microbrewery industry. Imagine a Democrat President today actually boosting small businesses and trying to make things cheaper.
As many people are no doubt thinking, Joe Biden has made a lot of Americans appreciate how good they had it under Jimmy Carter.
While everyone was fixated last week on shooting balloons down, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a largely-overlooked 10-year budget and economic forecast, and I suggest you don’t read it if you scare easily. It was a cold shot of reality after President Biden’s boasting in his State of the Union Address about being such a great steward of the economy and slayer of deficits.
The CBO projects that by fiscal 2033, the national debt will surpass $46 trillion, about four times what it was as recently as 2008. The one-time flurry of pandemic spending didn’t help, and that’s what Biden is talking about when he claims he slashed his predecessor’s deficits. It just means all the bipartisan emergency spending has passed. But thanks to his policies, deficits are set to rebound to $1.4 trillion this year, and then average $2 trillion for the next 10 years.
This is largely because of two things: higher interest payments on the debt due to the Fed raising interest rates to try to rein in inflation, and all the inflation-boosting spending that Biden has pushed. Hunter’s laptop wasn’t the only way in which voters were misled: Biden ran as a moderate but has presided over the biggest expansion of government since the 1960s.
The only way out of this mess is either massive tax increases that would kill the economy, or the most unthinkable of all things in Washington: cutting spending. Every time anyone suggests that, Democrats rush to the cameras to cry that every cent of the trillions they spend is absolutely vital, and if you reduce spending by one dime, it means pushing grandma over a cliff and starving orphans. We have no choice but to keep spending our grandkids’ money until the economy crashes.
Christopher Roach at American Greatness has an excellent article on the truth about all that ever-spiraling government spending, who’s benefiting from it, and how little we actually have to show for it.
Our pop culture guru Pat Reeder is always warning people that if there is a book, movie, record, etc. you love, you need a hard copy of it instead of relying on streaming because “if you can’t hold it in your hand, you don’t own it.” If someone else controls it, then they have the ability to take it away or change it. Remember when Netflix took away “Gone With The Wind” and four of Dr. Suess’ books were removed from the market for being un-PC?
Well, here’s the most horrifying example we’ve seen yet: Penguin Books subsidiary Puffin owns the rights to all of Roald Dahl’s children’s classics, like “Matilda,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach.” Well, apparently, they think the delightfully dark kids’ books need to be “updated” with a thorough verbal fumigation, so they’ve rewritten them with the guidance of some “sensitivity readers.” Apparently, that means people who are offended and triggered by absolutely everything, including the word “trigger.”
As the examples at the link show, this isn’t just a little editing to remove racial slurs. This is a Soviet-style rewrite that goes to ridiculous lengths, even replacing the words “black” and “white” when they have nothing to do with race. The term for this is “bowdlerization.” This is right out of George Orwell’s “1984,” although I shouldn’t say that because reading “1984” can now get you put on a government list of “rightwing extremists,” just like reading “Lord of the Rings.”
Even renowned liberal author Joyce Carol Oates sees the danger in allowing censors to gut our literary heritage (although it’s sadly obvious from this story that she lives in such a bubble that she can’t see beyond this issue that's important to her to see how she’s been misled in other ways)
The rewriting of Dahl’s books is an assault on our culture that’s of a piece with the assault and rewriting of history represented by garbage like “The 1619 Project.” I hope that Puffin gets so much blowback that they cancel this horrible idea and it's buried very deep forever. In the meantime, if you want your children to be able to read the classics, I suggest you buy them in dead tree form now, preferably in an edition published in an earlier decade. They might become rare, precious heirlooms someday.
Try getting the story on those Dominion/FOX NEWS emails
by Laura Ainsworth, “Huckabee” writer/researcher
By now, you’ve probably seen the story about the emails revealed after a months-long discovery in Dominion Voting System’s defamation lawsuit against FOX NEWS. Naturally, I wanted to view this story from all angles, but, unsurprisingly, an online search for news on it essentially brought me one side.
Full disclosure: Gov. Huckabee is a FOX NEWS contributor. And what I’m talking about here is not whether Fox News Network, or Tucker Carlson, or even Dominion is at fault --- it’s about the difficulty of getting the full story untainted by spin.
If you use Google or any of the most-used search engines, the articles they spoon-feed you --- even just the headlines, which are all many people bother to read --- won’t give any side other than the mantra “FOX NEWS bad, Trump bad.” I scrolled through nine screens --- studies show most people never even look past one --- and found not one report from a conservative outlet that I recognized.
REUTERS, the earliest account I’ve seen, opened with a quote from Dominion’s filing, making it seem as if their claim were the central fact of the story: “’FOX NEWS repeatedly broadcast lies about vote-rigging claims that it knew were total BS,’ Dominion Voting Systems said in a filing made public on Thursday, as part of the election technology company’s $1.6 billion lawsuit.”
To their credit, though, REUTERS actually quoted quite a bit of FOX NEWS’ response. “The media giant countered that the suit was an assault on a free press and that Dominion could not prove its claims,” REUTERS quoted from their filing. In fact, although the left-wing media has since taken this story and run crazy with it --- quoting generously the “embarrassing excerpts,” as SLATE put it, from Dominion’s brief --- I’d recommend this first one from REUTERS...
Both sides are seeking summary judgment, a court ruling in their favor without need for trial. I would say, though, that anyone seeking a judgment of $1.6 billion should be expected to put on a @#$% trial. That’s just me.
Dominion has to prove “the network either knew the statements it aired were false or recklessly disregarded their accuracy.” In FOX NEWS’ request for summary judgment, they say that Trump’s claims about the election were “undeniably newsworthy” (true) and that viewers understood they were merely being reported as allegations (well, I knew that). A trial is scheduled to start April 17 and expected to last 5 weeks.
REUTERS quoted from Dominion’s filing, which is not the sequence of actual emails in context but quotes selected to make their case. “The underlying exhibits for many of those statements remain under seal,” they reported. “FOX has said Dominion took them out of context.” Many of them have to do with the credibility of one-time Trump attorney Sidney Powell, whom Tucker Carlson described in internal emails as “an unguided missile” and “dangerous as hell.” Recall that Trump dismissed her as his counsel in the midst of this controversy.
As a viewer, I found it hard to know what to make of Powell, as she was an esteemed attorney who had “brought it” in previous cases. That’s normally how one would determine whether or not a source was reliable. It wasn’t like her to say she had the goods and then not to present them. Increasingly, she seemed swallowed up by the whole sad situation, to the disappointment of all who wanted answers.
The different reactions at FOX NEWS strike me as having been fog-of-war behavior that distracted from the most important issue that needed to be seriously addressed; namely, might there have been voter fraud --- it didn’t even have to be “widespread” --- leading to Biden becoming President? It wouldn’t necessarily have been some global conspiracy in which Venezuela and China hacked our voting machines, though we absolutely must know if electronic systems are vulnerable to such sabotage. (It seems they are; I’ll get to that below.) It might just take a few machines here and there, in key counties. We also needed to look at that suspicious pause in the vote counts in those very counties.
While trying to find out why Dominion’s lawsuit was filed in Delaware state court, I did find this from FORBES about all the election litigation going on. It’s a LOT.
FORBES is technically correct in saying the theory that Biden’s win was caused by “flipping votes from Biden to Trump” on these machines has not been substantiated by evidence. However, it was like pulling teeth without Novocaine to get anyone to look at whether this even COULD happen, and those of us who asked were tagged as “election deniers” and “a threat to ‘our’ democracy.”
NOTE: I still haven’t found out why this suit was specifically filed in Delaware Superior Court. Dominion is based in Denver, FOX NEWS in New York. Was Dominion judge-shopping? Don’t know; you be the judge (ha-ha). Here’s more about Judge Eric M. Davis.
Here’s DELAWARE BUSINESS NEWS’ report from March 2021, when the suit was filed. Even this doesn’t answer the question, why Delaware? (To their credit, the DBN does not describe January 6 as an “insurrection.”)
Fortunately, Kari Lake’s litigation in Arizona is forcing the issue of election security. And another computer specialist --- a Democrat, by the way --- has come forward to say he knows firsthand that this can and has been done. “It’s very easy to do,” he testified, but “hard to stop.” The only way to stop it, he said, is to stop using electronic voting machines. Hear, hear! No need to single out Dominion, as all electronic voting systems are vulnerable to hacking. If we’re ever to trust the results of our elections again, they must go.
Bestselling author and DILBERT creator Scott Adams discusses Dominion’s lawsuit and these emails in Episode 2024 of his podcast “Coffee With Scott Adams.” He first notes that “anybody’s internal communications can be embarrassing [in one way or another]. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are, right? That’s not a statement about FOX NEWS.” Taking unguarded conversations and putting them in public isn’t fair, he says. “But it’s necessary, I suppose, for the lawsuit purposes.”
Importantly, Adams points out that access to private emails is a two-way street, meaning that FOX also gets to see Dominion’s internal communications. He says one of these, as reported by CBS NEWS, is that Dominion’s Director of Product Strategy and Security complained that the company’s products were “just riddled with bugs.” Adams is correct; this official said so on October 2020, just days before the election. Here’s CBS’s excellent report…
Doesn’t sound very good, does it? If left-wing media are going to cherry-pick internal email comments at FOX NEWS, two can play at that game.
“Was it a good idea for Dominion to sue FOX?” Adams asks. “Because no matter what FOX NEWS did or did not do, their own internal expert said their own product is ‘riddled with bugs.’ And it’s the one product, of all the products in the world, that’s the one [in which] you can’t tolerate bugs.”
Adams stresses that even if these machines ARE riddled with bugs, that in itself doesn’t mean the 2020 results were wrong. Still, “...The complaints about FOX NEWS are just things that FOX NEWS’ enemies are saying out of context that don’t seem to be backed up by the actual evidence. The suggestion that Tucker Carlson believed the election was fair but talked about it as if it were not -- that just isn’t in evidence...Nothing in the private conversations suggests that he believes the elections are accurate but wants to talk about them as if they’re not. That’s how it’s reported, but there’s no evidence of that. There’s only evidence he wanted to make sure that the FOX NEWS audience was respected.”
Tucker was skeptical of Sidney Powell from the beginning, Adams says, “because she wasn’t showing her work…So, if you discount the fake stories about this story, FOX NEWS looks pretty good...I didn’t see anything embarrassing for FOX NEWS if you look at what they actually said.”
Adams thinks that, at least so far, Dominion has been hurt more than FOX by the revelations. Of course, you will likely not know this if you let Google direct you to its preferred news selections and read what they say at SLATE and MEDIA MATTERS.
RELATED: Well, have we just about exhausted this topic for now? Not quite --- here’s a column by legal expert Margot Cleveland questioning a Georgia “special purpose” grand jury’s conclusion that Trump witnesses may have committed perjury. She says it’s really a matter of garbage in, garbage out.
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