Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read.
And after you read my Sunday Standard, please leave me a comment.
WNBA Star Brittney Griner released from Russian penal colony
This story was originally published on December 8.
There’s breaking good news this morning: WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian penal colony, where she was serving a nine-year sentence after being caught with cannabis oil in her luggage during a trip to Russia. The Biden Administration is congratulating itself on arranging her safe return to the US.
Now, the bad news: to get her out, they agreed to a prisoner exchange. They’re releasing alleged Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, known as “the Merchant of Death,” who was serving 25 years for conspiracy to kill Americans as part of his support for a Colombian terrorist group.
Not exactly an even exchange, is it? Some critics are calling it a “huge win for Vladimir Putin” (wait, I thought it was only Trump who did Putin’s bidding.) In fact, one might almost suspect that Russia’s entire motive in arresting a high-profile American was just to obtain a bargaining chip to get this dangerous monster released, and that they’re now laughing at how they rolled us as other nations watch and take notes.
It might be a little more reasonable if Biden had at least gotten a 2-for-1 deal and secured the release of former Marine Paul Whelan, who’s been jailed in Russia since 2021, but he didn’t. He just got one WNBA player for the “Merchant of Death.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that Ms. Griner is home safe. Maybe now she’ll actually have a little appreciation for America and the many rights Americans enjoy. But it’s hard not to ponder that if only she had acted with a bit more caution and intelligence in the first place, maybe “The Merchant of Death” wouldn't be walking around loose again.
His own worst enemy
This story was originally published on December 5.
It’s hard to believe with so many contenders, but there are times when Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. He had a perfect opportunity to respond to the revelation that Twitter was colluding with Democrats to rig the 2020 election, taking orders from them to silence inconvenient speech like a waitress at a short order restaurant. Unfortunately, Trump released this statement:
"So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great 'Founders' did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!"
I agree with that last line, but how could he not know that suggesting we terminate the rules in the Constitution was like handing his enemies a weapon to bash him with on a silver platter, which they also bashed him with. It played right into the “authoritarian insurrectionist” narrative they’ve been trying to gin up for years. Trump actually gave President Biden – the beneficiary of all that unconstitutional censorship of free speech – the high ground to defend the Constitution against him, and Biden’s been using the Constitution as Charmin since his first minute in office. I think in sports, they call this an “unforced error.”
This is the type of unpredictable and unnecessary media storm that has many Republicans, even Trump supporters, looking to Ron DeSantis as an alternative who might carry on Trump’s policies without the drama and baggage. That’s showing up in a new poll by WPA Intelligence, a firm used by top GOP politicians and organizations. Trump’s favorability rating among Republicans is now 70%, which sounds high but is down quite a bit from its peak.
Meanwhile, DeSantis’ net favorability rating is higher than Trump’s among several demographics, including Republicans (+66 to +44), Fox News viewers (+58 to +27) and even 2020 Trump voters (+69 to +54.) DeSantis also does better among all-important Independent voters, 66% of whom view Trump unfavorably. DeSantis has a net -3 favorability rating among Independents, which sounds bad until you hear that Biden is at -27 and Trump -39.
That article rightly warns that polls shouldn’t be taken too seriously, especially at this stage. But this should serve as a warning sign to Trump’s circle that Republican voters consider 2024 to be too important to risk on someone who shoots from the hip and hits his own foot. If Trump wants to know how badly some ill-chosen words can hurt you, I have two words for him to consider: “Kanye West.” Those are also two words that should never again appear on his dinner guest list.
Musk delivers PROOF Twitter censored Biden laptop story to rig election
This story was originally published on December 4.
“Big Tech censorship is a critical tool of the ‘national security state.’ Whenever anyone tries to do anything about it, these former people from the CIA...and the Pentagon and the rest jump up and say, ‘We cannot allow you to restore free speech; this form of censorship is a crucial weapon.’ And so they’re completely intertwined and integrated, and we’re seeing that in the role that Jim Baker, a former U.S. security state lawyer, who became a Twitter lawyer, played in the censorship right before the election.”
That was Glenn Greenwald, in an interview with FOX NEWS’ Tucker Carlson Friday evening, the night of Elon Musk’s promised revelations through an hours-long series of tweets from journalist Matt Taibbi, about how Twitter deliberately deep-sixed the Hunter Biden laptop story to make sure Biden won in 2020.
Taibbi normally writes on Substack, but apparently Musk required the release of these revelations about Twitter in a series of tweets first. I do enjoy the irony of seeing them on Twitter.
In yesterday’s newsletter, we outlined just how far into the censorship game Google is. And now that we know about Twitter as well, I don’t want to hear any more garbage –- not one more word –- from the left about “protecting our democracy” from “misinformation” and “disinformation.” It's not normally my style to tell people to just shut up, but I'll say it to them. They’re the ones dealing in fakery and deceit, to make sure we believed and voted the way they wanted.
They “protected” us from the REAL INFORMATION, the truth that voters deserved to know before they cast their votes. Talk about being a threat to democracy! The only time they should be using that term is when they’re looking in a mirror.
And, of course, the collusion between the U.S. government and media (both social and mainstream) to censor free speech that Greenwald is talking about is highly illegal. Twitter had information about Hunter Biden’s laptop that directly implicated candidate Joe Biden and his family in a lucrative scheme to sell influence to China and Ukraine. They even blocked the private sharing (!!!) of the Hunter Biden story, which was labeled “unsafe.” Subsequent polls make it clear that most people think this censorship had a direct affect on the outcome of the 2020 election, which makes it ELECTION INTERFERENCE. As I’ve said before, who needs Russia when you’ve got our own government to do it?
This is just about the worst systemic violation of the First Amendment we’ve ever heard of. I’ve raised huge red flags in the past about former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, neck-deep in the Russia Hoax, becoming the lead attorney for Twitter, and now it’s obvious why that development was (to use a favorite word of leftists) “problematic.” We clearly see how his move to Twitter is consistent with what we’re learning now. This confirms everything we suspected; It was just what it looked like.
As Tucker reported, “These documents show that, among other things, political officials in the Democratic National Committee were directing censorship at Twitter ahead of the 2020 election.”
Just one sample exchange between Twitter executives: “More [tweets critical of Biden] to review from the Biden Team.” “Handled.” As Taibbi describes it, “By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine.” Some of those accounts they suspended are still suspended today.
Miranda Devine, who broke the original Hunter Biden laptop story that was suppressed by the media and also authored LAPTOP FROM HELL, thinks Elon is still holding something back. Recall that the laptop story isn’t just about Hunter and his longtime affair with sex and drugs; it’s about buying access to his VP-and-future-President father, Joe Biden. It might be something more about dad. It might be something that implicates anti-Trump Republicans. I’m speculating; Taibbi has said there’s “more to come.”
Devine says it appears that then-CEO Jack Dorsey didn’t know anything about this censorship as it was going on and was “blindsided.” As Taibbi tweeted, “The decision was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing along.”
The story was that this material was suppressed because it had been hacked. Obviously, people at Twitter knew that was just a pretext, and a flimsy one at that.
As Carlson reported, Twitter’s former Head of Trust [!] and Safety, Yoel Roth, said that Twitter HAD to censor the story, “so Donald Trump would not be re-elected President.” As he wrote in an internal Twitter email, “The policy basis is hacked materials --- though, as discussed, this is an emerging situation where the facts remain unclear. Given the SEVERE [emphasis his] risks here and the lessons of 2016, we’re erring on the side of including a warning and preventing this content from being amplified.”
In other words, Twitter had to stop Trump from being re-elected, so it was necessary to suppress what they knew about the laptop being Hunter’s and pretend it was “unclear” when the evidence was there that Hunter had abandoned it at John Paul Mac Isaac’s repair shop. (Check out Mac Isaac’s excellent book, “AMERICAN INJUSTICE: My Battle to Expose the Truth,” to see how his life was destroyed over this. To create the fiction that the laptop was a Russian fake, Mac Isaac was falsely painted as a Russian agent himself. He had to go into hiding and lost his business.)
Twitter received a communication from a DC consultant who’d taken an informal poll of members of congressional Democrats that said, “Democrats in Congress support the censorship.” They didn’t think the First Amendment was “absolute.” This is reported in the U.K. DAILY MAIL, which you might recall verified the laptop as real.
If you’re not familiar with the details of the laptop story and how the media dealt with it, Laura Ingraham’s opening monologue offers a brief catch-up, followed by a MUST-SEE panel discussion with THE FEDERALIST editor-in-chief Mollie Hemingway, Mike Davis of the Internet Accountability Project (who has been all over this issue), and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.
Note that Musk’s revelation essentially verifies what had already been deduced. Chapter 8 in Hemingway’s book RIGGED, tells about it. She and others like us who’ve discussed it are vindicated.
“What happened with the Hunter Biden story wasn’t about mere media bias or double standards,” Hemingway wrote --- in 2021 --- “nor was it about the establishment’s giving a pass to the ne’er-do-well son of a politician. At every point, the media and their Big Tech allies deliberately controlled the information surrounding a major political corruption story involving a man who is now president, who knowingly let his family exploit his political power to strike deals with communist China and the violent oligarchs that emerged from the corrupt wasteland of the former Soviet Union. They withheld information on this corruption by any means necessary, eventually resorting to censorship and publishing disinformation in order to help Joe Biden win an election.”
Kirk put it well: “When Elon Musk bought Twitter, I don’t think he quite realized that he was actually buying a Democrat Super PAC.” If you don’t like a story, he said, “just email your friends at Twitter and you can make it vanish…”
“It will forever question and taint the 2020 election the more we learn about this, and I’m glad Elon Musk has the courage...to let this be known.”
Bonchie at REDSTATE has an excellent breakdown of what was going on, including Twitter’s collaboration with Democrats in the House and Senate. “To put it succinctly,” he tells us, “what was being said was downright disturbing.”
“What this boils down to,” he says, “is a small group of political elites who decided they had the moral authority to essentially rig the 2020 election.” He notes that after this, “Democrats will just move on to their next underhanded, possibly illegal scheme to hold onto power.”
See how the DNC went to Twitter and got actor James Woods silenced. Woods called in to Tucker Carlson’s show Friday night, saying he’s suing the DNC. (“I’m coming for you.”) The MUST-SEE video is here...
NATIONAL REVIEW has a good write-up that highlights some of the internal dissent at Twitter, and also this email to them from Trump campaign staffer Mike Hahn after Kayleigh McEnany was de-platformed as the election neared: “I...don’t [appreciate] how nobody on this team called me regarding the news that you’ll be censoring news articles. At least pretend to care for the next 20 days.”
Here's more about key figure Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's former Head of Legal, Police and Trust. (“Trust” –- don’t you love it?)
The BREITBART NEWS account is to the point. (Language alert.) Good highlights here.
Finally, J. D. Rucker at LIBERTY DAILY has reproduced the entire Twitter thread in what will forever be known as “Twittergate.”
Much more to come on Monday.
A terrible day for Republicans, Trump and America
This story was originally published on December 8.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s no other way to put it: Tuesday was a terrible day for Republicans, for former President Trump, and for America in general in the long run.
The biggest story was in Georgia, where once again, Democrat Raphael Warnock won a narrow victory in a Senate run-off election. Only this time, it wasn’t just to give the Democrats a Senate tie but to give them control by 51-49. Any Republicans who didn’t vote (and there were more than enough to change the outcome) should be ashamed. This gives Chuck Schumer full control of Senate Committees, takes away the braking power of Sen. Joe Manchin (the only moderate left in the Democrat Party), and makes it easier for the Senate to change long standing rules and confirm Biden’s radical nominees.
Today’s Democrat leaders having no ethics other than the situational kind, we can expect to hear that the Republicans’ slim 9-vote House majority means they need to share power, compromise and not push their agenda, while the Democrats’ 1-vote Senate majority is a mandate to shove their most radical agenda items and nominees down America’s throat.
I don’t want to say that Herschel Walker was a loser in that race because he deserves respect for being a political novice who ran a good race against overwhelming opposition, lowball attacks and piles of out-of-state money and still lost by less than 2%. But it’s another coat of tarnish for former President Trump. Walker was one of his hand-picked candidates, most of whom won their primaries but cost Republicans seats in the general election. Trump is facing growing concerns that while his popularity is strong with the GOP base, he’s just too radioactive to attract swing voters who are needed to win general elections. In that regard, Ron DeSantis may be as big a winner in that race as Warnock.
Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media offers a different take, arguing that the GOP has much deeper problems that can’t be blamed on Trump.
Trump also suffered a big defeat in a New York courtroom, where a jury found the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corp, two entities under the Trump Organization umbrella, guilty on 17 counts of tax evasion and liable for a $1.6 million fine. It’s actually not as bad as it sounds: the case was based on testimony from former CFO Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to charges that he manipulated the company’s books and his own compensation package to illegally reduce his taxes, through things like not declaring the value of some of his benefits as income. You know, the type of thing that countless Wall Street executives do and never get prosecuted for it.
For Trump, it mostly amounts to a PR defeat. Weisselberg took full responsibility and did not implicate Trump or any of his family members (despite what I’m sure was extreme pressure to do so.) Even the New York Times admitted that the companies “largely perform back-office functions, employing and paying top executives, so they do not hold any loans, liquor licenses or other privileges that might slip away in the wake of the conviction.” And $1.6 million sounds like a lot, but to Trump, it’s precisely the amount of his total Presidential salary that this alleged “greedy, selfish crook” donated back to the Treasury. (FYI: Biden keeps his entire salary, but of course, he deserves it. Just look at the results!)
That link has more details, including Trump’s response. He said he will appeal the verdict, calling it part of the continuing witch hunt against him, and noted that the charges involved no monetary benefit to his companies and were entirely the actions of his ex-employee and his accountants. He also said that despite record high violent crime in New York City, the prosecutors spent all their time and effort on an unprecedented prosecution of his company over "fringe benefits" when no murder cases have come to trial in six years.
I can’t argue with that. But while I don’t want to appear to be trying to excuse cheating on your taxes, I do have to point out that the tax code is so incomprehensible even to the IRS that vindictive prosecutors could probably go after anyone over disagreements on how to interpret something like “contract worker or employee.” The real verdict that Americans should reach from this case is that we need to scrap the tax code and replace it with the Fair Tax, which would eliminate both tax cheating and partisan prosecutions over tax disputes.
Trump will also have to worry about the House January 6th Kangaroo Kommittee’s announcement that it intends to include criminal referrals as part of its report. They didn’t say whom they want to prosecute, but since it’s obvious that they’re as obsessed with “getting Trump'' as Captain Ahab was with Moby Dick, you can bet that they’ll recommend the DOJ prosecute Trump despite them failing to produce evidence that he committed any crimes.
VOTE HERE: Do you agree with President Biden's deal to swap Russian Arms Dealer Viktor Bout for WNBA star Brittney Griner?
Vote here: https://www.mikehuckabee.com/top-issue-poll
And as Bonchie at Redstate.com points out, this is bad news for Trump because between the Biden DOJ and DC juries, the lack of evidence of any crime will in no way prevent Trump from being prosecuted or convicted. As we saw with the raid on Trump’s home to seize his own Presidential documents, we’re already deep into banana republic territory.
Finally, in the last piece of bad news for Republicans, Trump and America, the Supreme Court rejected without comment a lawsuit alleging that Dominion Voting Machines and Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg had an undue influence over the 2020 election. The plaintiffs argued that the Founders intended elections to be run by the people’s representatives in the states, not by private individuals whose money is used to influence the outcome.
The lower court threw out the suit not on its merits but on the controversial dodge that the plaintiffs didn’t have “standing” to sue because they couldn’t show that they suffered specific damages worse than every other voter suffered. Seems pretty weasely to shirk the court’s responsibility to ensure we have honest elections just because every American was harmed and not just the ones who brought the case, but that was the court’s excuse.
They might be worse…
This story was originally published on December 5.
To paraphrase the Who, meet the new bosses, possibly even worse than the old bosses, if that’s possible. These will be the three most powerful leaders of the incoming House Democratic minority, and for the sake of America, let’s all pray and work to keep them from ever becoming leaders of the majority. As Nick Arama at Redstate.com explains, their ascendance to the top shows that the Democrat Party has abandoned the center to embrace radical left narratives, willful ignorance and election denialism.
I hope you’ll be especially appalled by incoming House Democrat Whip Katherine Clark talking about her little child waking up with “nightmares over concerns about climate change.” I think that tells us more about what kind of mother she is than it does about climate science. Why would anyone allow their small child to be traumatized to the point of nightmares by radical green propaganda?
Well, I guess you do that if you want to mold them into paranoid leftist radicals. Like teenage “climate activist” Greta Thunberg, who during a recent book signing took off the green mask and made it clear that she now believes the only way to save the Earth is by overthrowing “racist” capitalism, a “system defined by colonialism, imperialism, oppression and genocide.” Actually, it’s defined by lifting more people of all races out of poverty and starvation than any other system ever devised, certainly more than the socialism and communism she’s obviously advocating for, which have been both humanitarian and environmental disasters.
She’s proof that the left’s war on children isn’t limited just to late-term abortions and filling schools with CRT and inappropriate sexual content.
But as I’ve said, I don’t blame her for being a misguided child. I blame her radical leftist parents who terrified her with nightmarish propaganda, stole her childhood and warped her worldview so they could exploit her to serve their political ends. If she were capable of thinking rationally, she wouldn’t be claiming we need radical action to save the environment and destroy capitalism by jetting around on a tour to get people to buy as many copies as possible of a product made from trees.
Here's an excellent response to this poor deluded child’s rantings.
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