BY MIKE HUCKABEE
Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee staff! Thank you for subscribing and I hope you enjoy today’s newsletter.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
1. Kevin McCarthy for Speaker
By Mike Huckabee
Tuesday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to win the vote for House Speaker three times (even losing one supporter on the third vote.) As usual, Democrats stuck together, so that their leader, Hakeem Jeffries, actually got more votes than McCarthy. They will reconvene today and try again. McCarthy said he's willing to set a record for the most votes to become Speaker, and this was only the second time since the Civil War that it took more than one vote to pick a Speaker. Democrats are refusing to leave, because then they'd be marked absent, and that would lower the number of votes McCarthy needs to win.
This has led to some previously unthinkable scenarios, like AOC musing that maybe McCarthy could get votes from Democrats if he agreed to a “coalition” government that would allow Democrats to remain as heads of some committees. Talk about Republicans shooting themselves and their constituents in the foot with a bazooka!
There was also a comment I won’t quote directly because I don’t want to insult anyone, but it might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in politics, and that’s saying something. It was a claim by one Republican that it would be okay for far-left radical (and genuine election denier) Hakeem Jeffries to become Speaker because they would just fight him every day. Smart move: turn over power you already won to your opponents, then fight them instead of running the House yourself. That’s like saying that you don’t like the local locksmith, so you’ll let squatters take over your house and just fight them for the TV remote every night.
Maybe this will make a difference: former President Trump issued a statement supporting McCarthy and urging Republican holdouts to “close the deal,” “take the victory,” and “do not turn a great triumph into a giant and embarrassing defeat.”
Personally, I’ve tried to be gentle and diplomatic in handling this issue, and warned my fellow Republicans to get whatever concessions they can but know when to stop the gamesmanship and don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. But that obviously wasn’t clear enough. So before they turn the House GOP into a laughing stock and blow this vital opportunity to prevent the destruction of the United States by the radical left, I’m going to lay out what I think about this with no holds barred:
I’m disgusted with a small and selfish group of Republicans who probably feel they are “Spartacus,” but the movie best fitting them is “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”
Several of these holdouts (I should say “hold-ups”) are friends, and I supported and campaigned for many. I won’t in the future. The simplest rule of politics is that you take your stand, but if you don’t have enough people following to lead, then recognize that you simply didn’t sell your ideas very well and concede gracefully.
Fewer than 20 GOP members of Congress are stopping 200 of their fellow Republicans from getting about the necessary business of investigating corruption in the White House, FBI, DOJ, and in Congress itself. Instead, without being able to articulate a specific reason for their objections, they have blocked the election of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker and in so doing, are making the Republicans look like a bunch of 6-year-olds who refuse to play unless the majority surrenders to the tantrums of the few.
Is Kevin McCarthy perfect? Of course not. But he has faithfully worked to recruit candidates, help fund them, and get them elected. The ultimate outrage is that some he helped win and raised funds for now have shown they really DO think it’s about them and not the bigger principles of the conservative movement.
Dr. E. V. Hill, longtime CA pastor, used to say, “If you think you’re a leader and you look behind you and no one is following, you aren’t a leader — you’re just out for a walk.” The actions of the petulant circle of “Never-Kevins” don’t amount to enough votes to get close to winning. But they may have enough to make sure their own team loses. It would be one thing if they had an alternative candidate who more closely fit their principles and who had a shot at winning, but they don’t. They keep trying to draft people who don’t want the job, like Steve Scalise or Jim Jordan, who gave a speech supporting McCarthy and who wants to get cracking on the vital job of chairing the Judiciary Committee, but he can’t as long as their political circus rambles on.
These guys are setting fire to their own house, but they are arsonists who didn’t even have fire insurance. The mission is just “burn it down.” And in so doing, they risk empowering the very Democrats some of us worked very hard to put in the minority.
We did NOT work to blow up our own opportunity to take on the Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, and Squad team, but that’s the effect of the actions of the camera-hungry Congress members who may deep down believe they are more “principled” than everyone else, but have shown a startling level of political immaturity.
If the tiny crowd of political tots can’t convince a majority of their peers to follow them, they should have the self-awareness to admit they fired their best shot and simply missed the target. Now it’s time to fight for the American people. If, after taking leadership, Kevin and company don’t deliver, then they can make a better case for replacing him. But one suggestion: before demanding that he be replaced, first find somebody who is willing and able to replace him.
Leave me a comment, I read them.
2. MORE Twitter Files: Here's how the government took over
By Mike Huckabee
“Twitter Files” #11 and 12 dropped on Tuesday, courtesy of independent journalist Matt Taibbi, although the news cycle was dominated by just two stories: 1) the tragic on-field collapse of Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, and 2) the struggle within the GOP to elect a new House Speaker who will stand up for conservative principles and issues. Huge stories, yes. And the entrenched bureaucracy (read “The Swamp”) would be delighted if we focused only on those stories at the expense of this latest revelation from Twitter.
So sorry to disappoint them.
On Tuesday afternoon, Taibbi passed along his first release of the day, entitled “How Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In.” It really shows how the government was able to pressure Twitter to give it what it wanted in terms of narrative. Taibbi starts his thread with a tweet that in August 2017, “when Facebook decided to suspend 300 accounts with ‘suspected Russian origin,’ Twitter wasn’t worried. Its leaders were sure they didn’t have a Russia problem.” They saw the concern as being more on Facebook, though they did end up suspending a small number of accounts and citing 179 with “possible links.”
Their “privileged and confidential” email report said that “Twitter is not the focus of inquiry into Russian election meddling right now --- the spotlight is on FB because FB has better targeting ability than we have for campaign-related advertising; and, because the Trump campaign spent massively on FB during the election compared to what they spent w/us.”
But Twitter’s conclusions about meager Russian election interference weren’t nearly good enough for Sen. Mark Warner, then-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He had expected some big-time results from Twitter! So he held a press conference to denounce their report as “frankly inadequate on every level.” A POLITICO story sourced to his committee even accused Twitter of deleting data “potentially crucial to the Russia probes.”
California Democrat Adam Schiff, then-chairman of the House Intel Committee, and recently defeated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weren’t at all happy about this, either, as it failed to help the narrative that Russia had provided Trump with the help he needed to win in 2016. Hillary stuck to her story of Russian interference even without the evidence, saying, “It’s time for Twitter to stop dragging its heels and live up to the fact that its platform is being used as a tool for cyber-warfare.” (Recall that she had also played up the discredited Alfa Bank story.)
Twitter's platform was used, all right, but as a tool of our own government.
Twitter’s VP of Public Policy Colin Crowell, in a burst of insight, updated Twitter’s email report, adding the observation that “Warner has political incentive to keep this issue at top of the news, maintain pressure on us and rest of industry to keep us producing material for them.”
As Taibbi explains, this was a growing PR problem for Twitter, and they addressed it by forming their own “Russia Task Force” to self-investigate. They were under pressure to find Russian interference, but, darn it, they just couldn’t come up with enough of it to satisfy the feds. They’d found only two accounts of significance, one of which was RT (the publication RUSSIA TODAY), and “no evidence of a coordinated approach.”
To please legislators, Twitter prepared to change its ad policy to remove RT and Sputnik, but they applied more pressure and leaked the entire list of accounts Twitter had checked –- the ones they had found not to be problematic. As a result, BuzzFeed reported that there was a “new network” on Twitter that had “close connections to...Russian-linked bot accounts.” Twitter ended up caving and apologizing even for accounts that they had determined were not significant sources of Russian influence.
Taibbi concludes, “REPORTERS NOW KNOW THIS IS A MODEL THAT WORKS. This cycle --- threatened legislation, wedded to ‘scare’ headlines pushed by congressional/intel sources, followed by Twitter caving to moderation asks --- would later be formalized in partnerships with federal law enforcement.”
And that sets us up for Taibbi's next drop, File #12. The government should've had no involvement in any of this.
Here’s Taibbi’s full thread for File #11…
Later on Tuesday, Taibbi dropped File #12, called “Twitter and the FBI ‘Belly Button.’ We were especially intrigued by that title and will get to that.
This file has to do with an intelligence arm of the State Department called the GEC, or Global Engagement Center, which, with the outbreak of COVID in early 2020, was flagging Twitter accounts and going directly to the media about them. For example, there were accounts that blamed the Wuhan Institute of Virology for the emergence of the virus. (Editorial aside: Crazy talk!) Other accounts went further, saying the new coronavirus was an engineered bioweapon and that the CIA was involved. Accounts also were flagged for retweeting stories on this from ZeroHedge, which had been banned on Twitter.
As Taibbi reports, the GEC had gone directly to outlets such as the AFP (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE), which used the headline, “Russia-linked disinformation campaign led to coronavirus alarm, US says,” and POLITICO, which ran a story about how “Russian, Chinese, Iranian Disinformation Narratives Echo One Another.”
Twitter’s Yoel Roth encouraged outside researchers to work with Twitter instead of going straight to the media. “WE’RE HAPPY TO WORK DIRECTLY WITH YOU ON THIS [the foreign interference stories] INSTEAD OF NBC,” he said.
Roth saw the GEC as inserting itself into the “content moderation club” that included Twitter, Facebook, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI and others. When the FBI told Twitter that the GEC wanted to be included in the “industry calls” shared by social media and government entities, social media executives pushed back, with Roth saying he wanted to keep the “circle of trust” small. The odd thing (to us) is that the executives apparently opposed this because, in their eyes, the GEC was more political than the other government agencies. Where they got that notion, we have no idea. They’d been rolling over for the Democrats at the FBI for years.
The GEC, NSA (National Security Agency) and CIA asked if they could be on the calls, but in “listen mode” only.
And here’s where the “belly button” reference comes from: Elvis Chan at the FBI’s San Francisco field office wrote to these agencies, “We can give you everything we’re seeing from the FBI and USIC [U.S. intelligence community] agencies,” but the DHS agency CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] “will know what’s going on in each state.” He then asked if the industry could “rely on the FBI to be the belly button of the USG.” “USG” means United States Government. “Belly button” means...central point, I guess. Or does it have something to do with the U.S. Navel Academy? Sorry.
Anyway, the various agencies and social media companies set up a secure communications network via Signal. With this in place, Taibbi writes, “Twitter was taking requests from every conceivable government body, beginning with the Senate Intel Committee (SSCI), which seemed to need reassurance Twitter was taking FBI direction. Execs rushed to tell ‘Team SSCI’ they zapped five accounts on an FBI tip.” Requests came from the Treasury Department, the NSA, virtually every state, HHS (Health and Human Services), the FBI, DHS and more.
Taibbi continues: “They also received an astonishing variety of requests asking for individuals they didn’t like to be banned. Here the office for Democrat and House Intel Chief Adam Schiff asks Twitter to ban journalist Paul Sperry." (Note: Sperry should wear that as a badge of honor. He’s one of the best!)
Twitter was acting on almost every request that came in. By this time, as a former CIA staffer working there is quoted as saying, “Our window on [refusing requests] is over.” The war in Ukraine intensified the calls for content moderation, and Twitter was overwhelmed in its job as a paid subcontractor, censoring for U.S. government agencies, a job the government is not constitutionally allowed to give it.
3. “The Border’s Not Open” Update
By Mike Huckabee
The Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida had to be shut down after more than 500 illegal immigrants landed in the Florida Keys over the weekend and the US Border Patrol failed to respond due to lack of resources.
4. Today's Must Read
By Mike Huckabee
A former New Yorker who loved the city describes what finally drove her family to flee to Florida, and it wasn’t cold weather, COVID or “imaginary” high crime rates. To paraphrase James Carville, it was the liberal leadership, stupid. Or more precisely, it was the stupid liberal leadership.
PS – A reminder to all who flee blue states for the safety, sanity and freedom of red states: do NOT ruin those states by voting for the same kind of garbage leftist policies and politicians you fled.
Related: If you want to understand even more clearly why that woman’s family left New York for Florida, read or watch Gov. Ron DeSantis’ second term inaugural speech that he gave on Tuesday.
It was 26 bracing minutes of fantasy bubble-bursting reality for a society that desperately needs it, and a rallying cry for everyone fed up with leftist, big government tyranny. It also was a perfect launch for a potential DeSantis presidential run, the kind of speech guaranteed to make MSNBC reporters so terrified, they'll have to change their undies. Here’s just one paragraph, and it might make you want to get in line to vote for him now:
“We reject this woke ideology. We seek normalcy, not philosophical lunacy! We will not allow reality, facts and truth to become optional! We will never surrender to the woke mob! Florida is where woke goes to die!”
5. Frigid weather causes problems for EV owners
By Mike Huckabee
The recent frigid weather brought problems and second thoughts to a lot of electric vehicle owners. Business Insider reports on a brother and sister who set out on a road trip in their Tesla from Orlando to Kansas and found themselves driving into the cold front.
Cold weather can reduce the range of an EV by 40 to 50%. The colder it got, the faster the battery drained until the siblings found themselves having to stop to recharge every 90 minutes. Each charge cost $25 to $30, so it was only slightly cheaper than buying gas. But each charge also took an hour and a half, six times a day, so they spent more time charging than they did driving. But at least their car did charge. Some EVs won’t charge at all when it’s really cold, which left some people stranded.
But sure, let’s convert all cars to electric. I’m sure that by that time, all these problems will have been figured out by somebody. After all, Democrats are so good at solving large-scale problems.
6. A Great Victory
By Mike Huckabee
In a great victory for the First Amendment, the 9th District Court of Appeals has ruled that a former middle school science teacher in Evergreen, Washington, can sue the principal for harassing him for bringing a “Make America Great Again” cap to a couple of school training events.
Teacher Eric Dodge didn’t wear the cap in front of students, or even during the training event. It was just with his belongings where other teachers could see it, which caused some of them to complain about feeling “threatened” and “intimidated,” which I would suggest is an issue for them to take up with their psychotherapists. Instead, the principal allegedly told Dodge to “use better judgement” and verbally attacked him.
Dodge’s attorneys pointed out that there was no blanket ban on political speech at the school, and the principal had a Bernie Sanders sticker on her car and allowed a Black Lives Matter poster to hang in the school library. So apparently, it was only speech that this petty bureaucrat disagreed with that was banned, which is precisely the reason why we have a First Amendment.
In ruling in Dodge’s favor, the court wrote that "concern over the reaction to controversial or disfavored speech itself does not justify restricting such speech." That’s great as far it goes, but I would like to ask a question: who decided for us all that the idea of wanting to make America great again is “controversial” or “disfavored” speech?
To whom is it controversial or disfavored? People who want to destroy America? I have to assume that’s their goal, since they’re actively working on it now. And why do leftists in politics or media always get to determine that speech they disagree with is “disfavored?” Did I miss the news story reporting that someone died and made them God?
Even after years of censorship of pro-Trump voices and one-sided media vilification, I can point to polls showing that Trump is still more popular than Biden. The type of intolerant, woke leftist authoritarianism exhibited by this teacher is so unpopular that it’s getting school boards voted out all over America, even in ultra-liberal San Francisco, and it’s brought Hollywood to its knees financially. And surveys show that a majority of Americans disapprove of Biden’s attempt to smear “MAGA Republicans” as “semi-fascists” and “enemies of democracy.”
So why do a tiny minority who hold radical left viewpoints get to decide that views held by the majority of Americans are “controversial” or “disfavored” and must be censored, while their own unpopular fringe views are somehow declared to be “mainstream”?
I’d really like to know how that insanity became accepted wisdom so it can be set right again. But don’t worry, I would never censor their views the way they try to censor ours. That’s because I believe that the First Amendment protects your right to say whatever you believe, no matter how idiotic it might be.
I JUST WANTED TO SAY:
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