BY MIKE HUCKABEE
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DAILY BIBLE VERSE
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27 KJV
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As the White House must have anticipated, the Commerce Department reported this morning that second quarter US GDP shrank by 0.9%. Economists were expecting it to grow by 0.5%. It’s the second consecutive quarter of economic decline, which is the definition of a recession, despite all the efforts of the Democrats and their media minions to redefine the word.
They’re calling it a “technical recession,” although to Americans struggling to put gas in the car and food on the table, it probably doesn’t feel like a technicality. I like the new term Breitbart.com suggested: A “Bidenpression.”
Funny, I don’t recall so many media figures and economic officials tying themselves into pretzels to try to convince us that a recession wasn’t really a recession when a Republican was in the White House. Some of us are old enough to remember when a modest recession under Bush Sr. that was already over by Election Day in 1992 was painted as the worst economy since the Great Depression, then it miraculously rebounded the instant Bill Clinton was safely elected.
That’s one of the few good things about getting older: you recognize the same scams when they try to recycle them on you.
Fed hikes interest rate
The RECESSION news came one day after the Fed announced another interest rate hike of 75 basis points to try to curb inflation. The Fed singled out Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, tiptoeing around the elephant in the room of the massive federal spending flooding the system with dollars.
As noted at the link, “This is the second consecutive 0.75 point raise, a rate of increases that is unprecedented in the modern era of interest rate targeting. Prior to the 1980s, the Fed targeted the size of the money supply.” But it also notes that “the Fed plans to reduce the size of its balance sheet by not replacing bonds as they mature, a process known as allowing the bonds to ‘roll off;’” and that “some officials consider the balance sheet reduction to be equivalent to rate increases, another form of monetary tightening.” So they can't avoid the painful remedies, but they can try to hide them.
This is too complex to get into here, but you can read more about it at the link. And if it doesn’t make sense to you, don’t feel bad. After all, even Fed Chairman Jerome Powell admitted that it just “doesn’t make sense” to him that the economy would be in a recession. Yet here we are.
Well, at least we know the Fed isn’t actively trying to cause a recession. We know because Powell told us that they aren’t. How reassuring!
Manchin caves, agrees to $700+ billion deal
I can’t imagine that many of Sen. Joe Manchin’s conservative constituents in West Virginia are happy with him for caving to pressure from “progressives” and agreeing with Chuck Schumer to pass a scaled-down but still recklessly expensive “Build Back Better” bill. For all his good service so far, Manchin is still a Democrat for some reason, and he can’t enjoy being treated like a pariah by his party. He wants to help them have something to run on in the midterms. This is the danger of relying on a “moderate Democrat” as the only firewall between America’s interests and those of the radical left. Some held out hope that Sen. Kysten Sinema might block it, but I wouldn’t pin my hopes on that.
The bill will include $739 billion in "revenues" (i.e., taxes) via “IRS tax enforcement, closing the carried interest loophole and establishing a corporate minimum tax,” and it will spend $400 billion on deficit reduction and about $433 billion on energy and climate provisions and expanding Obamacare.
At least the energy spending includes fossil fuels, which Manchin said are reliable and necessary and shouldn’t be removed before new technologies can replace them. That sounds reasonable, but why do taxpayers need to spend billions of dollars to prop up an industry that would be doing fine on its own if Biden would just take his foot off its neck?
Claiming that it didn’t spend trillions of dollars (just hundreds of billions, so no big whoop) and will reduce fuel costs, Manchin said it will be called the "Inflation Reduction Act of 2022." But Republican leaders fired back that giving it a positive name doesn’t whitewash the reality that it will spend hundreds of billions of dollars during a time when massive government spending is already fueling rampant inflation, while increasing job-killing taxes on businesses during a recession. As Mitch McConnell tweeted, “First they killed your family’s budget. Now they want to kill your job, too.”
Back when Manchin blocked the original $5 trillion “Build Back Better” plan, he said, "If I can’t go home and explain to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it.” I eagerly await his explanation to West Virginians as to why we need nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars in new taxes and spending on more Green New Deal crony capitalism.
How the corrupt FBI hid Hunter's laptop, PART 2
Yesterday, we related the story of FBI agents Brian Auten and Timothy Thibault, along with officials at FBI headquarters, improperly discrediting Hunter Biden’s laptop as “Russian disinformation,” effectively burying it a few months before the 2020 election. Auten also happens to be one of the agents who worked on “Crossfire Hurricane” in 2016 to frame then-candidate Donald Trump for “colluding” with Russians.
Coincidence?? I think not! The FBI is neck-deep in election interference. The ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, received this new information from multiple whistleblowers and has written a fiery letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray.
Clearly, the FBI interfered with the LAST TWO elections, first to help Hillary in 2016 by spreading a fake story of “collusion” between Trump and Vladimir Putin –- a story that came from Hillary’s own people –- and then to help Biden by hiding a real story about Biden family corruption in 2020. Mark Levin, on his Wednesday radio show, talked about other times when the FBI has acted corruptly. His words reminded us of a commentary we ran back in March of 2019, by HUCKABEE writer Laura Ainsworth, called “The FBI’s Long, Proud History of Election Interference.”
But it’s now so bad that Americans have lost their last bit of trust in our justice system. For many, the breaking point was in 2016, with then-Director James Comey’s “no reasonable prosecutor” speech about Hillary Clinton, when everyone knew she’d deliberately deleted 30,000 subpoenaed emails, an act that would send any one of us peons to the pokey. For others, it was the heinous treatment of January 6 detainees, even those who peacefully entered the Capitol, waved in by guards. And no one thinks for a minute that a Republican will get a fair trial in Washington DC.
Democrats in Congress have helped blow up the system, too, with their January 6 kangaroo court.
One legal expert who’s concerned about the national security consequences of this politicization is Margot Cleveland, and she explains why here.
“This scandal is no longer just about the Biden family,” she says. “It’s about every member of the law enforcement and intelligence communities who put our country at risk by failing to do their jobs.”
Her concern is that by burying the information on Hunter’s hard drive without thoroughly vetting it, “the intelligence community ignored a momentous national security threat, namely that the Russians potentially possessed a second Hunter Biden laptop.”
To make the Hunter story disappear, these FBI agents even tried to frame the investigation by Grassley and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson into his shady business dealings as tainted by “Russian disinformation.” When Senate Republicans issued a subpoena to Hunter for records about more than two dozen entities, including Burisma (which was paying him almost $1 million a year to sit on their board), Democrats pushed back with a letter to Director Wray, calling for the FBI to brief Congress on foreign “disinformation.”
On August 6, 2020, the FBI dutifully briefed Grassley and Johnson --- the senators said this “unsolicited and unnecessary” briefing provided no new information --- and the briefing was later leaked to the WASHINGTON POST, which covered it in a way that painted the senators as reckless in their investigation of Hunter.
But that’s mostly just a PR problem compared to Cleveland’s main concern: the serious threat that might have arisen from not investigating this material. When the FBI received the laptop, they were told that in addition to pornography, it had information “dealing with foreign interests, a pay-for-play scheme linked to the former administration [that would be Biden’s vice presidency] [and] lots of foreign money.” If they had reviewed it, agents would’ve discovered a video of Hunter saying that at a party in Las Vegas in 2018, ANOTHER laptop had gone missing, and that he believed it had been stolen by a group of Russians.”
If laptop #2 had information that implicated Joe Biden in his son’s pay-for-play, and it was in Russian hands, that was a huge national security risk. Think of the opportunities for blackmail. (Editorial note: as if there weren’t enough already, by the Chinese.) Even Hunter in his drug-induced stupor was dimly aware of the possibility. It didn’t keep him from leaving his laptops around, but he knew.
Anyway, it seems that to protect Joe Biden, their favored candidate, the FBI did a “non-investigation” of material they knew would be damaging to him, and the national security risk posed by it remained. This was unknown to us unsuspecting chumps on Election Day.
By the way, if there were any question remaining that Joe Biden is “the Big Guy” on that disbursement page that gives him 10 percent of the big Chinese deal, Miranda Devine at the NEW YORK POST shows us that, yes, he is.
Of course, another business associate, Tony Bobulinski, identified Joe Biden as “the Big Guy” early on, but the media suppressed that story.
Brian Auten update: In a piece Paul Sperry wrote in March 2021 –- thanks to Dan Bongino for pointing this out –- he exploded the popular myth that said, “Well, maybe a FEW of the stories in the Steele “dossier” aren’t corroborated, but most of them ARE!” FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten (there’s that name again) testified under oath in a closed-door session of the Senate Judiciary Committee the previous October that “With respect to the Steele reporting, the actual allegations and the actions described in those reports could not be corroborated.” Period.
This testimony was kept secret for months, but it was the first time anyone at the FBI had admitted they hadn’t been able to verify ANYTHING of significance in the dossier. What’s really deplorable is that publicly, Auten and his colleagues were calling the Steele gossip their “Crown material,” to make it sound British and, therefore, of quality. They knew it wasn’t, but they used it to get surveillance warrants and never told the FISA court it was unverified.
Sperry goes on at length about Auten and his “Crossfire Hurricane” activities in this highly-recommended archival piece. This agent was a key, key player in the Russia Hoax. Of course, this piece was written well before we knew about Auten’s role in burying Hunter’s laptop as well. I have a feeling Auten will figure prominently in the Igor Danchenko trial coming up in October.
We’ll leave you with a rueful laugh, from another archival headline we found. I remember when we reported on this: From July 24, 2020, it says “FBI Analyst [Brian Auten] who OK’d Steele Dossier a Professor of ‘Spying Ethics.’" This 'ethics professor' must have lectured his students on how to look for loopholes. At the time this story was written, “Professor Auten’s” page on the Patrick Henry College website had recently been taken down.
The View issues an "apology"
The media have been lying for the Democrats for so long that they seem to have forgotten that there can be legal consequences for defamation. ABC got a sharp reminder this week when Turning Point USA immediately threatened them with a big, fat lawsuit after the hosts of “The View” falsely insinuated that some alleged neo-Nazis (who smelled to me like Antifa brats dressed up for Halloween) gathered outside TPUSA’s event in Tampa were somehow welcomed in and embraced by the group. It took just one day to get an on-air correction and apology, although whether it was complete enough to head off a lawsuit is still up in the air. I'm not the Great Pumpkin, but I definitely sense that apology was not sincere.
Also, Whoopi Goldberg never took back or apologized for claiming that TPUSA welcomed Nazis into its event, saying instead, “My point was metaphorical.” So take out your list of common words that the left is redefining and make a note that the term “horse manure” has now been replaced with “metaphorical.”
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President Trump uses the courts to fight media bias
Former President Trump is also turning to the courts to fight media bias. In a surprise move Wednesday, his attorneys hit CNN with a 238-page letter listing a long list of allegedly defamatory statements about him and demanding corrections, retractions or apologies within 10 days or he will sue. They go all the way back to the 2016 election, when he says that CNN aired a number of unchallenged false assertions that he was illegitimately elected.
It’s notoriously difficult for a public figure, especially a President, to sue successfully for defamation, but there might be other reasons why Trump is doing this. For one thing, with the January 6th Kommittee refusing to let him defend himself, this lawsuit will help the public hear some of his defenses and arguments that have been censored by outlets like CNN.
For instance, the Kommittee is trying to indict Trump for attempting to overturn an election he really knew he lost. But the lawsuit hits CNN for claiming that Trump was lying about the results of the 2020 election when “President Trump’s comments are not lies: He subjectively believes that the results of the 2020 presidential election turned on fraudulent voting activity in several key states,” a concern shared by many Americans.
(Side note: if it’s a treasonous offense to distrust elections, then we’re going to need a lot more prisons. A recent Rasmussen survey found that 50% of likely voters fear that cheating will undermine the results of the upcoming midterms, and 52% think it’s at least somewhat likely that cheating affected the outcome of the 2020 election, with 36% saying it’s “very likely.” And that’s not just Trump supporters: it includes 74% of Republicans, 50% of Independents and even 30% of Democrats.)
As for the high hurdle of proving actual malice, the letter points out that CNN has repeatedly referred to Trump as a liar and his claims about election fraud to be “the Big Lie,” yet they never referred that way to known liars on the left such as Jussie Smollett or Stacey Abrams, who still falsely claims she really won the 2018 Georgia Governor’s race.
While the chances of success in court are unlikely, the lawsuit is vintage Trump: an unexpected bombshell that disrupts the narrative, makes his opponents defend the indefensible, and of course, will force the media to give him attention whether they like it or not. He also hasn’t ruled out suing any other media outlets that did the same things, which means the lawsuits could be springing up like daisies.