Good Sunday to you! Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read. Topics include:
- Bible Verse of the Day - Jeremiah 31:1
- Lesley Stahl needs to apologize. Think she EVER will?
- Trudeau’s “Emergency Powers” come up for a vote
- Invasion for Real
- Romney was right about Russia
- America the Beautiful
- Reeder: RIP Sally Kellerman
- We know: Spygate was "A Hillary Clinton Enterprise"
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
“At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”
If you have a favorite Bible Verse you want to see in one of our newsletters, please email [email protected]
Lesley Stahl needs to apologize. Think she EVER will?
Lesley Stahl of 60 MINUTES owes President Trump a big-time apology.
For anyone who still hasn’t seen why she needs to apologize, here’s the video…
Here’s the transcript…
She needs to apologize for “correcting” Trump for saying he’d been spied on. We say this for a number of reasons, but mainly because special counsel John Durham says in court documents that he has evidence showing that Trump's campaign and transition actually WERE SPIED ON.
Think Lesley will realize her grievous error and come groveling? She won’t. She and her colleagues are too invested in thinking they’re right on this, even when they’re wrong, and The New York Times is helping them delude themselves. More on that in a moment.
Meanwhile, Mark Levin was blunt about the spying on his Sunday FOX News show, just as we have been for over five years: There’s been spying going on, he said, illegal and unconstitutional spying, against a President of the United States. “[Trump’s] campaign was spied on, his transition was spied on, his presidency was spied on. SPIED ON.” The media were part of it and are now trying to cover it up. It’s the greatest scandal in American history, Levin said, and Levin is a historian par excellence.
He speculated that President Obama “had to know a lot,” simply because he, Levin, knew a lot, and they both “read the same newspapers.” Plus, as President, Obama got briefings twice a day from the very agencies that were purportedly spying on a candidate who was in league with Putin. How could there not have been conversations about this? The idea that it wouldn’t have come up is preposterous.
Recall that Obama, in the last days of his presidency, gave the National Security Agency more latitude to share “globally intercepted personal communications” with the other 16 intel agencies, BEFORE applying privacy protections. Never mind the question of constitutionality –- why would he do this on his way out the door?
Levin spoke Sunday with former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe. The whole episode would be good to see if you missed it, but here’s the link just to that excellent interview.
Ratcliffe notes that “the mainstream media is trying to re-use [the report] as a way to...tamp down the idea that the Trump campaign wasn’t spied on because they can’t find the specific reference to that in something that John Durham puts in a federal pleading.”
Here’s something we hadn’t heard: Ratcliffe told Levin that on February 5, 2020 he questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, asking him “point-blank” if, since an FBI agent had lied and there wasn’t really a proper justification to spy on the Trump campaign, the Trump campaign had been illegally spied on. Wray said yes, it had happened, and it was illegal and “totally unacceptable.”
When Ratcliffe became DNI, he asked to see all the evidence there was on Trump-Russia collusion, and there was none. “But we had all kinds of intelligence about FAKE Russia collusion” that was part of what Hillary’s team created to smear Trump. In fact, Ratcliffe declassified then-CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes, in which Brennan mentions that he’s briefing Obama, Biden and Obama’s national security team on it.
He explained that even though some would like to dismiss this as political dirty tricks, when you start taking false allegations to government agencies such as the FBI and the CIA, trying to make it look authentic by opening an investigation, “that’s all sorts of criminal activity.” Lying, conspiracy, possibly racketeering. He knows Durham is looking at all that because they had conversations about it when he was DNI. But he emphasized that it can take a long time to put that kind of case together.
Durham is revealing more of the details now, Ratcliffe said, but the issue of whether or not this happened “has long been settled.”
Devin Nunes, in an appearance on FOX News’ “Sunday Morning Future” with Maria Bartiromo, pointed out that the committee he chaired, the then-Republican-led House Intelligence Committee, had carried out an investigation that led to 14 criminal referrals being made to the DOJ, even though they had to work largely with circumstantial evidence. This was because they “were misled or outright lied to by government officials.” Ratcliffe as DNI was able to declassify documents that now serve as direct evidence that Nunes’ committee should have seen.
Nunes also recalled the disinformation campaign that was run against members of his committee and all who disagreed with the Trump-Russia story. When anyone said the Trump-collaborating-with-Russia story was a hoax, the media would say, “Well, you must be a Russian agent!”
The difference now, he said, is that Durham is working with direct evidence. An example of new direct evidence Durham has would be the missing cell phones that have now turned up from IG Horowitz. (“Durham couldn’t even get to them...for a year and a half,” Nunes said.)
As Nunes explained it, “What they’ve creatively done here...is they set up legal avenues, using lawyers, to essentially launder all of this spying that was done and communicate to top FBI and DOJ officials. And Durham is starting to piece all of that together.” He hopes Durham can bring conspiracy charges, as he sees “a dozen or more laws” broken, “and people need to pay a price for it.”
“For sure by early 2016, all of the high-level people within the Obama-Biden administration knew about this,” he said. “...A lot of these Obama-Biden people have ‘failed upward,’ and they’re now in high-level positions...in the new Biden administration.” These include Biden’s national security adviser, the large-scale Russia Hoax perpetrator Jake Sullivan.
Nunes called this a “classic frame job” that went to all levels of government, “from the FBI to the Department of Justice, all the way through most of the intelligence agencies,” along with “the culpability and the involvement of the media.” This is what turned the already left-leaning media into “a propaganda machine for the left-wing party in America.”
Nunes said we don’t know what other direct evidence Durham has, but because he’s not putting out what he has in leaks but in very strongly-worded court documents, he finds it “hard to believe that he doesn’t have the goods on a lot of people.
“The question will be, how high can he go and who can he get? I think we all want to know that, but we need to let him do his job.”
So, at this point, why won’t Lesley Stahl finally apologize to President Trump for her mistake? Well, it most likely has to do with a collective self-delusion going on with the left. They cannot admit they were wrong about this. So The New York Times ran a laughable piece by Charlie Savage featuring Democrat talking points that he insists show Durham’s narrative to be “off track.” The usual suspects lapped it up: Vanity Fair, CNN, Jimmy Kimmel…
But Margot Cleveland saw it, too, and came back with a great commentary refuting it point by point. It’s a must-read...especially for Lesley Stahl, who still needs to apologize.
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Trudeau’s “Emergency Powers” come up for a vote
If Canada is going to allow Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to turn a once-free nation into an autocratic police state, then Parliament will have to vote today to allow it. Trudeau wants to make many of his “emergency” powers permanent.
But the emergency powers act he invoked to crush the truckers’ freedom protesters can only hold for seven days unless Parliament votes to extend it, and may the eternal light of shame shine on any member who does.
There have been so many developments and so many outrages just in the past couple of days that I can’t list them all. Here are just a few: The arrests of protesters in Ottawa have continued, although some say they weren’t taken into custody, just driven out of town and released, and many of them returned. This is possibly because they weren’t actually breaking any laws so there wasn’t anything they could be charged with if they were taken to a police station.
It turns out that the elderly lady in a mobility scooter who was trampled by a police horse was an Indigenous People’s leader of full Mohawk heritage. Or as Trudeau would call her, “a white supremacist.”
The government crackdown on rights has gone so far overboard that people are having their bank accounts frozen just because they made donations to the truckers weeks ago before Trudeau even invoked his emergency, creating a new category of retroactive thought crimes.
Coffee is also apparently insurrectionist. A café owner was reportedly threatened with arrest for serving coffee to truckers. And here’s video of police hitting a woman’s camera and threatening her for the crime of being from Alberta and trying to walk somewhere to buy coffee.
This protest was never really about vaccine mandates (it’s reported that 90% of the truckers are already vaccinated.) It was certainly not about racism, as most of the truckers are minorities. It was about the heavy hand of the government crushing the people’s rights. If that wasn’t clear to begin with, it certainly should be now.
Instapundit has been doing a good job of rounding up all the latest stories and comments on this dark time in Canada’s history. You can find a lot more here:
And David Solway at PJ Media has a stark warning for Canadians titled “Requiem For a Nation.”
I hope Canadians will read it because as Solway writes, it’s up to them whether events of the next few days miraculously save their Charter of Rights and Freedoms from being “nothing but an irrelevant scrap of parchment,” or whether “Canada has been transformed into a federal caricature” whose “leaders are unaccountable and depraved and the majority of the population, to quote Aristotle, 'are not capable of sufficient rational appreciation of political ends.'”
Finally, here’s a warning for Americans who think they can ignore what’s happening to our neighbor to the north: William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection says that Trudeau is following the same playbook that the left is following here to cement their own tyrannical rule: declare anyone who disagrees with them to be a lower class of “others” who hold “unacceptable views,” and have government collude with big tech, the financial industry and other systems that everyone relies on to shut their opponents out of the means of communication and the basic necessities of life.
It’s working in China, with their surveillance state and “social credit" system. If China’s too far away for Americans to see the dangers and stand up to stop it, then is Ottawa close enough?
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Invasion for Real
As you surely know by now, last night, Vladimir Putin made good on his threat to invade Ukraine. There’s no hair-splitting about it, it’s a full-on military invasion, including tanks and troops crossing the border and the shelling of the capital city of Kyiv, the largest military attack in Europe since World War II.
Before I get into the details, the most important thing I can do is ask you to join me in praying for the safety of the Ukrainian people, for the return of peace, and although this may sound like too much of a miracle to ask, for Vladimir Putin to realize the evil of his actions and change his heart and mind.
I’m not going to attempt to update you on what's happening, because events are moving too fast. For the latest, here’s a link to a Fox News feed of continually-updated bulletins:
As of this writing (early Thursday morning), there are reports of dozens of people dead. The leader of a Ukrainian emergency response organization said that it appeared Russia was targeting military locations and not civilians, although there is a crush of panicking civilians trying to evacuate. He said so far, Putin was doing exactly what he said he would do. His best case scenario was that he would just attack the military, install a Russian puppet government and pull back without targeting civilians.
Putin threatened that any countries that interfered in his invasion of Ukraine would face “the greatest consequences in history,” not making clear whether he meant cyber warfare, nuclear attack or something else. He also claimed he was reversing the “Nazification” of Ukraine, a bizarre claim considering Ukraine has a Jewish President and a large Jewish population. I wonder where he could have gotten the idea that an autocratic communist could justify crushing his political opponents simply by branding them as “Nazis” first.
Some who watched his TV appearance said he didn’t seem like the same Putin who’s smoothly played the media and attended summit meetings in recent years. No, he seemed like what he has always been: a former KGB thug and Stalin admirer who wants to reassemble the Soviet Union police state. That shouldn’t be a surprise, but too few people these days know real history. Is it only a coincidence that Putin waited to strike until February 23rd, the anniversary of the first mass protests of 1917 that kicked off Russia’s communist revolution?
Just as Russian media misleads the Russian people into thinking that NATO is a threat to Russian sovereignty (it’s actually a purely defensive force against Russian aggression; believe me, nobody wants to take over Russia, certainly not in February), many young people in America have been misled by their teachers into thinking that communism is just “people sharing” and the real evil in the world is the United States.
Well, kids, those Russian tanks and missiles are your rude awakening to reality. You finally get to see the real face of communism that the rest of us grew up with. It’s a tough way to learn what “violence” and “imperialism” really are, and it's not someone building a Chick-Fil-A on your campus.
Putin will do whatever he wants without regard for any threats from the US or NATO. He’s seen weakness, he’s waited for the perfect moment to strike, and after seeing us leave Afghanistan, he’s decided that this is it. And he’s not the only one. Yesterday, China defended Ukraine as an independent nation only so they could warn the world not to confuse Taiwan with one of those because it’s part of China. They went on to make a not-so-veiled threat that implies Beijing has also been emboldened by our weak dealings with Afghanistan and is watching closely to see what Biden does about Ukraine.
At this moment, we’re still waiting to hear what Biden plans to do, although last night, he did reimpose the sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline that he inexplicably lifted less than a year ago.
Maybe that will help bring down the estimated extra $1 billion a day that’s been flowing into Putin’s war chest thanks to high oil and gas prices brought about by targeting America’s fossil fuel industry.
The White House warned that due to the Ukraine crisis and coming sanctions, Americans might be seeing even higher prices at the gas pumps. Gosh, if only there were some way that America could produce its own oil and gas so we wouldn’t be reliant on imports from places like Russia.
There’s a lot more that I could say, but there’s an old tradition in America that’s been ripped up in recent years, but I think it deserves preservation: when America is facing a serious crisis abroad, Americans shouldn’t attack their own President. I think we all know why we, and the world, are in this situation now, so I don’t have to belabor it.
Let’s just say for now that I, and I hope all Americans, stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and behind all those who stand up against this barbaric action by Vladimir Putin. And please, pray for Ukraine.
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Romney was right about Russia
Say what you will about Sen. Mitt Romney, but he was right when he warned during the 2012 presidential campaign that Russia would be America’s biggest security threat. The media laughed, and Obama mockingly said that “the ‘80s called, and they want their foreign policy back.” Well, Romney just responded to the Ukraine invasion by saying, “The ‘80s called, and we didn’t answer.”
He also rightly pointed out how predictable this was because Putin pulled similar assaults against Georgia and Crimea while Obama was in office, not that the media spent much time telling you about that.
Oh, but wait: Mitt just couldn’t get through his statement without taking a slam at Trump and trying to blame Putin’s aggression on Trump’s policy of putting “America First.” So close, Mitt…
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RIP Sally Kellerman by Pat Reeder
I’m sad to have to report that Sally Kellerman, the beautiful, lanky actress with the smoky voice, died Thursday at 84 after a five-year battle with dementia.
She made her movie debut in 1957 in the crime drama “Reform School Girl,” and over her long career, appeared in many TV shows, movies and plays, from “That Girl” and “Star Trek” in the ‘60s through “Columbo,” “Evening Shade” and “Murder She Wrote,” all the way up to “The Young and the Restless,” for which she scored a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2015. Her movies included “The Player,” “Brewster McCloud,” “A Little Romance,” “The Boston Strangler” and “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”
But of course, she will always be remembered for her two most famous roles: Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the original movie version of “M*A*S*H” and the teacher Rodney Dangerfield fell for in the classic comedy, “Back To School.” She said when fans saw her in public, they either yelled, “Hey, Hot Lips!” or Rodney’s famous pickup line, “Call me when you have no class!”
Since you count on me for the information other obituaries leave out, here are two cool stories about Sally Kellerman: She recalled being nervous about doing the famous nude scene in “M*A*S*H” where Hawkeye and Trapper dropped her shower tent as a prank. To help capture a genuine look of shock and surprise on her face, when the tent fell, Gary “Radar O’Reilly” Burghoff (the only actor to repeat his character on the TV series) was standing beside the camera, also naked.
Also, of special interest to me, since I co-wrote “Hollywood Hi-Fi,” the history of celebrity singer records (http://www.hollywoodhifi.com), is that Sally Kellerman was a terrific singer. That was her original ambition, and her smoky voice was so good, Norman Granz of the legendary jazz label Verve offered her a contract when she was only 18. But she was too young and lacking in self-confidence to sign. After establishing herself as an actress, she returned to singing in jazz clubs and cabarets and put out two albums, "Roll With the Feelin''' in 1972 and "Sally" in 2009. One of her biggest regrets was rejecting a role in a Robert Altman movie that later turned out to be "Nashville" and would've given her both a prestige role and a chance to sing on screen.
America The Beautiful
God's creation is all around us. To learn more about Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park National Park, visit its website here.
We know: Spygate was "A Hillary Clinton Enterprise"
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might be dominating the news, but whenever one story is taking all the attention, it’s important to ask oneself what other events might be going on behind the scenes. In fact, Hillary Clinton is surely asking herself that very question, as she can’t count on leaks from the special counsel’s office to tell her. Like the rest of us, she has to glean it from the deliberately detailed motions he files.
Recall that Durham was criticized by lawyers for Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann for putting so much detail in his “speaking indictment” against their client and the later motion about conflicts of interest. They created some unintentional humor by saying their client hadn’t lied to the FBI, but even if he did (!), the lie was immaterial so the charge should be dropped. They also asked that Durham’s entire section on “Factual Background” be struck from the record. (One wonders if that might be because Sussmann attorney Latham & Watkins LLP, in a huge conflict of interest, also represents some of the other people mentioned.) But Durham easily defended his inclusion of this section as material to the case.
The question remains, though: why would Durham put so much detail into his court documents at this time, weaving threads with people who haven’t yet been indicted? Former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI Kevin Brock, in an opinion piece for The Hill, speculates that after a year-and-a-half and just a few indictments against seemingly peripheral players, Durham might be seen as unproductive, and that this perception might give Attorney General Merrick Garland enough cover to shut down his investigation, as we all know he’s longing to do.
Brock, in a fine example of understatement, writes, “The Biden DOJ is not friendly to the goals of Mr. Durham.”
“If Durham were to be terminated,” Brock says, “the American people might not even push back much since no one had a clue whether his investigation was bearing meaningful fruit.” But now, the dots he’s connected to the Clinton campaign create quite a stunning picture. Besides providing us with some hope that there might actually be accountability in Washington DC, he also made it much harder for the President or the AG to dump him. Brock offers a brief history lesson on Nixon’s firing of Watergate independent prosecutor Archibald Cox, first accepting the resignations of both the attorney general and deputy attorney general for refusing to fire Cox. At the request of the White House, FBI agents came and sealed off Cox’s office, and those of the AG and deputy AG as well.
(In an interesting bit of trivia, by law the solicitor general acts as attorney general when the AG and deputy AG are absent, so Nixon told HIM to carry out the firing of Cox, and he did. That man was Robert Bork, who was later nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan. Bork’s approval process was the first really vicious one –- setting the tone for future disgraceful hearings such as Clarence Thomas’s and Brett Kavanaugh’s –- with Sen. Ted Kennedy twisting Bork’s opinions to say that “Robert Bork’s America” would be one of “back-alley abortions” and “segregated lunch counters.” Bork was rejected by the Senate, leading to the coining of the word “borked.” One of the senators voting against his confirmation was...yes, Sen. Joe Biden.)
I digress. Anyway, that series of firings, nicknamed the “Saturday Night Massacre,” did not end well for Nixon. Here’s the story as told by the Washington Post in 1973, back when it was a real news organization.
Still, that situation was different from today’s, as Nixon’s AG, Elliot Richardson, and his deputy AG, William Ruckelshaus, were refusing to follow Nixon’s order to fire Cox. Biden’s AG, Merrick Garland, and his deputy AG, Lisa Monaco, are both such political hacks that either of them would fire Durham in a New York minute and not even wait for Biden’s order, thus leaving Biden in the clear. So it’s been important while we wait for the investigation to conclude that they not find any justification to fire him. That seems to be why we’re finally starting to hear compelling hints about the progress he’s made.
And now we know he’s put together the outlines of, in Brock’s words (which suit me fine), “a corrupt conspiracy by operatives linked to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The exposed conspiracy allegedly made a contrived, fraudulent and shocking attempt to entice the FBI and CIA to use their powers against the rival Trump campaign and presidency.” It should be noted that this wasn’t just an “attempt,” as Durham will show the FBI and CIA actually were involved. (The CIA is "Agency - 2.")
When Durham included specifics about “Tech Executive – 1,” identified as Rodney Joffe of Neustar, he signaled that at least one person under investigation had “flipped” and given up some information. That’s because much of the “Factual Background” had to come to him either from Joffe or from someone he approached for help in putting together the fake Alfa Bank story.
Right now, Democrats are trying to say that Joffe wasn’t “really spying” because he had an actual contract –- as Lucy said to Charlie Brown, “a signed document” –- to maintain the servers he lifted information from. Joffe gave proprietary government data to a civilian third party. It’s STILL SPYING. Getting the contract is just the way in.
Brock makes the case that Durham must be allowed to continue his work, and says “there will be more squirming to come in powerful circles.”
Speaking of squirming, we said months ago that “journalists” at The New York Times and the Washington Post should have to give back the Pulitzer Prize they received for their coverage of the Russia Hoax. Now the editorial board at the New York Post concurs, in an epic commentary. The “collusion” was revealed as a hoax, they said, “Yet the damage had been done. The liberal media had ‘destabilized U.S. democracy’ more than Russia ever could, by feeding left-leaning Americans a constant, false narrative that their President was a sleeper agent.”
Something else to enjoy in light of the recent revelations about the Clinton campaign: from Byron York, here’s “A Guide to Clinton Dirty Tricks.” York, with his chronological approach, ties it all together well.
Finally, Margot Cleveland takes what Durham has told us so far that ties in Hillary and says there is more coming. “’Russia Russia Russia’ was a Hillary Clinton enterprise,” she says. We know this because the special counsel has subpoenaed the DNC, the Clinton campaign (same thing), Perkins Coie and, apparently, Fusion GPS. They’ve obtained tens of thousands of relevant documents and prepared reports on over 100 interviews, including one with “a former employee of the Clinton Campaign.”
As Cleveland points out, the media will continue trying to bury whatever comes out of this investigation. Durham knows, of course, the only “win” he (and we) will have is indictments that stick. These people need to pay for their deception and for what they put our country through.
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