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
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 KJV
The Truth Won't Hurt Us
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy authorized the release of 40,000 hours of surveillance video from hundreds of cameras at the nation’s Capitol from January 6 of 2021. The tapes were initially shared with producers from the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News who after a few weeks of sifting through what was many hours of empty hallways and facilities, put together a very revealing compilation of previously unseen footage. To say the reaction was explosive is an understatement.
Predictably, Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrat California Congressman, camera hog and all-around professional liar Adam Schiff predicted that simply viewing the actual events from that day would somehow mark the end of civilization as we know it. How anyone takes these people seriously is beyond me. A few Republicans did what they usually do and cozied up to the Democrat narrative that the Jan 6 riot was worse than Pearl Harbor, 9-11, or the Civil War. I’m of course talking about Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, and Thom Tillis mostly. And utterly discredited and soundly defeated Liz Cheney and Nancy Pelosi-approved former Republican Adam Kinzinger also tore their garments to protest that anyone other than the Kangaroo Kourt jesters sitting on the politically charged Jan 6 panel might be able to see for themselves the full story. So here’s some things we learned:
There were some really bad things done on Jan 6 of 2021. As I’ve said from the day it happened, those who broke through police barricades, broke windows or doors, assaulted a police officer either physically or verbally, or who vandalized facilities should be criminally charged. There is no excuse for such action, no matter how angry or frustrated one may be with the system.
But we also learned that what America saw from the Congressional clown car pretending to be hearings were a tightly produced and falsified record that included the addition of audio sounds of a crowd that didn’t exist on the original tapes since no audio was recorded. We learned that the tapes were manipulated by the Adam Schiff/Liz Cheney/Nancy Pelosi club to pretend that Senator Josh Hawley was the only Senator hauling his backside out of the Senate Chamber, when in fact the full video revealed that Capitol Police were leading a whole host of Senators out of the Chamber in mass and that Hawley was the last to leave, not the first, and was simply following instructions of the security forces.
We learned that officer Brian Sicknick, who the committee continued to claim was murdered by rioters in fact was walking about the Capitol quite some time after the Jan 6 claimed he had been killed. Turns out that according to the medical examiner, he didn’t die that day at all. He died from a stroke the day after and after a thorough examination by the medical examiner, it was determined that his stroke was not the result of any injuries from January 6 and that despite repeated media lies, he was NOT struck in the head by a fire extinguisher.
We learned that the mysterious Ray Epps, who is seen urging people to “Go INTO the Capitol” and giving instructions to a number of people about breeching the Capitol lied to the Jan 6 committee by claiming that he had gone back to his hotel room shortly after texting a relative that he had orchestrated the assault on the Capitol. He was in fact caught on the video still very much at the Capitol long after he claimed he left. We still don’t know if he was there on his own or was in fact a government informer. But unlike many others who have all but rotted in a DC jail since the riot, he was never so much as charged with a misdemeanor despite his clear urging for others to enter the Capitol.
There is much yet to uncover about that day, but here are some things we for sure know:
1. The media repeatedly lied when it said 5 police officers were killed by rioters that day. No police officer was killed at the Capitol. There were 4 deaths at the Capitol that day. All Trump supporters. 2 died of heart attacks. One from an accidental overdose. And unarmed Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit was shot and killed BY a Capitol Police officer who was never even reprimanded for the shooting.
2. The Jan 6 committee didn’t show video of the event as they happened. They hired a former ABC producer to create videos that were carefully and selectively edited and in which sound effects were added for dramatic effect. It wasn’t an investigation. It was a slick TV show.
3. There were absolutely bad actors that day who did criminal things and should be held accountable. But hundreds of others were charged with various crimes who didn’t even go inside the building like Brandon Straka who has been on our show. For most, the charges were ultimately dropped or reduced to misdemeanors, but not before ruining many lives.
4. Nancy Pelosi was repeatedly urged to put extra security in place that day, but for some reason did not. She has never been asked under oath why not.
Instead of the press demanding that the 40,000 hours of video be released, the main-stream media joined the chorus of corrupt Democrats urging it be covered up. When the press wants to turn the lights off instead of on, they ARE the enemy of the people.
Truth won’t hurt us, but the lies will. Let the truth out and let the chips fall. Keep the truth hidden, and the nation falls.
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Yes, ANOTHER government-paid “disinformation” company
Legal expert Margot Cleveland, writing for THE FEDERALIST, has turned her sights on new revelations from the “Twitter Files,” including the participation of another government-paid censorship entity --- this one a for-profit company --- called NewsGuard.
We’ve been reporting for some time on two “non-partisan” (ha) organizations, the State Department’s Global Engagement Center and the Britain-based, Soros-funded nonprofit Global Disinformation Index, which were working as go-betweens between government agencies and Big Tech. Here’s an update from NEWSMAX on those two, from earlier this month.
But now we’re told of another one, called NewsGuard, which Matt Taibbi mentioned in passing last week in his testimony before the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
“Some NGOs [non-governmental organizations] like the GEC-funded Global Disinformation Index or the DoD-funded NewsGuard, not only seek content moderation but also apply subjective ‘risk’ or ‘reliability’ scores to media outlets, which can result in reduction in revenue,” Taibbi testified.
So, just as the State Department paid GDI, so the Defense Department paid NewsGuard. Why shouldn’t everybody get into the act? As NEWSMAX reported, government records show a purchase order from the DoD in the amount of $749, 387 with the recipient listed as NewsGuard Technologies, Inc. They specify a start date of September 7, 2021, and an end date of December 8, 2022. (That period does happen to coincide with the election season for the 2022 midterms.)
NewsGuard, a for-profit company, was founded in 2018 by Steve Brill, described by NEWSMAX as “a longtime and prolific Democratic Party supporter, including having made donations to former Presidents Barack Obama [and] Bill Clinton, and Chuck Schumer.”
NewsGuard --- just like the GDI, which put us on their “blacklist” (too bad we didn’t make their Top Ten) --- negatively rates leading conservative outlets such as WASHINGTON TIMES, NEWSMAX, BREITBART, THE FEDERALIST, EPOCH TIMES, REDSTATE, PRAGER U, DAILY WIRE, and others. They supply credibility ratings on news and information outlets to advertisers, agencies and other businesses, claiming to provide “online safety...while promoting safety for readers, brands and democracy.”
That’s right, we American consumers --- and democracy itself! --- are protected when shielded from information not deemed “safe” by NewsGuard. Agencies use NewsGuard’s rating system to ban conservative media outlets from receiving advertiser revenue --- to try to starve them out of existence.
As NEWSMAX reported, the Media Research Center has examined NewsGuard’s rating system and found that they consistently favor left-wing and left-leaning outlets as “trusted” while rating conservative ones as unreliable. Assessments were done in 2021 and again in 2022, and the latest results are in. Last month, the MRC released a report saying, “A new analysis shows that liberal media outlets were rated 25 points higher on average than right leaning media outlets,” illustrating “how NewsGuard’s self-projection as a credibility gatekeeper is a complete joke.”
Joseph Vazquez, the associate editor at the MRC who led the study, sees NewsGuard as in the same league with the Global Disinformation Index. “NewsGuard claims they’re not biased,” he said, “but their ratings are completely subjective, and they have the same goals of GDI, to silence conservative views and voices.” Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana has also questioned their neutrality, pointing out that they have ranked several Chinese state-run media outlets as more “trustworthy/truthful” than popular American conservative news sources.
NewsGuard has been so aggressive against conservative outlets that Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis issued them a warning that he’s ready to levy the power of his office to protect any Florida businesses they target. He says their efforts appear to be a larger push to establish social credit scores (similar to those in China) that will result in “debanking” and “deplatforming” private companies.
The Florida Legislature, Patronis said in a letter to NewsGuard last week, is taking a stand against the ‘environmental, social and governance’ standards (ESG) that NewsGuard proudly follows, because “as fiduciaries, we cannot undermine those in our pension plan from gaining the best returns possible in the name of political outcomes.” We would note that his letter was written before the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which had been focused on investments driven by these same standards. That’s the sort of outcome from which Patronis wants to protect his state.
Patronis noted that Florida laws already call for divestment from companies engaging in “boycott divestment, or sanctions” (BDS) against our allies, including Israel.
He also sees the “blacklisting” NewsGuard does as undemocratic, “because of its use of capital to push businesses into the promotion of social outcomes.” So he told them, “If your actions target any Florida business, as someone who’s charged with protecting Florida’s economy and economic vitality, I will not hesitate to use the full force of my office to shed light on the organization you’re running.”
NewsGuard responded that they were “surprised” by Patronis’ letter and that there had been a “fundamental misunderstanding” of what they do. They claimed to be “strictly apolitical and fully transparent and said they did not use “ESG metrics.” As Margot Cleveland reports, they’re even denying they were government-funded --- never mind the records mentioned above that show a nearly $750,000 federal grant. Taibbi had photographed the document and included it in his Twitter post.
Co-CEO Gordon Crovitz sought to distance himself from what is now being called the “Censorship Complex,” telling Taibbi in a letter that NewGuard operates in “an entirely different manner” than GDI. He said he was skeptical of those Silicon Valley “advocacy groups.” He claimed that NewsGuard’s work for the Pentagon is to analyze info ops (disinformation campaigns) from foreign adversaries such as Russia and China.
Cleveland gives NewsGuard points for at least being more transparent than the Global Disinformation Index, but she says their history of rating news outlets is certainly not apolitical. She pulls up an example from 2022, a story about NewsGuard’s then-new agreement with the American Federation of Teachers, granting AFT members access to their so-called “misinformation” software. This piece is an eye-opener.
Cleveland notes that in last week’s hearing, it was Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida --- see, Florida again ---who specifically asked, “Who is NewsGuard?” Witness Michael Shellenberger explained that “both the Global Disinformation Index and NewsGuard are U.S. government funded entities who are working to drive advertisers’ revenue away from disfavored publications and towards the ones they favor. This is totally inappropriate.”
But Crovitz maintains that NewsGuard is not government-funded. The $750,000 payment from the DoD was a “licensing fee.” (Oh, that’s very different!) In NewsGuard’s 2021 “Social Impact Report,” however, it called the award a “grant,” from the Small Business Innovation and Research Program.” When questioned about this by THE FEDERALIST, Crovitz provided them with a copy of the licensing contract for a tool called “Misinformation Fingerprints,” confirming the organization had given the government a “license to use the NewsGuard Data...for the purpose of tracking and monitoring disinformation and misinformation campaigns.”
But the amount of the licensing fee is not specified. The agreement says this would be negotiated based on “use cases.” Cleveland examines this arrangement and then goes on to dissect the relationship between the State Department’s Global Engagement Center and the “Disinfo Cloud,” which funnels other government grant dollars to still more entities. The mind reels.
It’s quite a tiny needle Crovitz is having to thread to try to say his company is not government-funded. The point, to use a favorite phrase of our Supreme Court justices, seems moot. Cleveland finally says to draw your own conclusion. But she reiterates that NewsGuard referred to the so-called licensing fee as a grant in their own materials.
Crovitz insists the money was unrelated to their work rating media companies, but either way, our taxpayer dollars were shoveled right into the bank account of a company that was busy doing that very thing. As Cleveland puts it, “While NewsGuard stresses that the ‘Misinformation Fingerprints’ are intended to monitor ‘clearly false narratives’ such as ‘hostile information operations by Russia and China,’ the ‘Twitter Files’ show that the federal government sees things very differently and has no qualms about silencing ordinary Americans speaking the truth.”
RELATED READING: Margot Cleveland has another new piece dealing with U.S. government censorship of Americans. This one is her take on the significance of the testimony given by Taibbi and Shellenberger last week and the network of various censorship groups that (yes) get funded by the government. Highly recommended.
High inflation persists
The Labor Department announced this morning that inflation continued rising in February by 0.4%, for an increase of 6% from a year before. I still think that anyone who believes prices are only 6% higher than they were a year ago hasn’t been in a grocery store in at least a year.
Adding to the problem is that the failures of SVB and Signature Bank, and the massive stock plunge for the banking industry in general, may have spooked the Fed into postponing any more interest rate hikes to curb inflation.
Because of years of bad economic management and runaway deficit spending, the government has accrued a massive debt of around $32 trillion, and banks have become dependent on the endless flow of easy money printed by Washington. Meanwhile, our debt service is taking up more and more of our federal revenues (I mentioned recently that we pay over $60 million a day in interest on our debt just to China alone.) We actually have a national fiscal policy indistinguishable from that of a college student with his first credit card: “It doesn’t matter how much I charge as long as I can cover the minimum payment!”
All that deficit spending fuels inflation, and the only way to curb inflation is to raise interest rates. But if we raise interest rates, it makes the cost of servicing all that debt unsustainable and crashes the economy. That’s the Catch-22, or to put it another way, the rock and the hard place we’re stuck between.
Both Washington economic officials and banking executives seem to be competing to see who can most ignore their real responsibilities while pursuing irrelevant political side issues. For instance, the Daily Wire reports that SVB went for eight months in 2022 with nobody in charge of risk assessment in the US, while the person in charge in the UK was focused more on “diversity initiatives.” Meanwhile, as multiple banking failures were rising like a tidal wave last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was in Ukraine, promising a blank check to their war effort against Russia.
Andy Kessler at the Wall Street Journal also noticed SVB’s fixation on identity politics over sound banking practices, writing, “Management screwed up interest rates, underestimated customer withdrawals, hired the wrong people, and failed to sell equity. You’re really only allowed one mistake; more proved fatal. Was management hubristic, delusional or incompetent? Sometimes there’s no difference.” You could say the same about the government regulators supposedly overseeing them.
Back in Washington, what MAD magazine would call “The usual gang of idiots” (the Biden White House, Elizabeth Warren, etc.) are trying to blame SVB on (guess who?) Trump, because he loosened some banking regulations (with the support of many Democrats.) But just as with the attempt to blame him for the Ohio train derailment, that dog won’t hunt. The regulation changes under Trump didn’t give banks carte blanche to ignore their fiduciary duties while pursuing leftist virtue-signaling, nor did they allow federal regulators to fail to do their own jobs.
New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer said the SVB mess wasn’t because of Trump, it was because the people running SVB made dumb decisions and took big risks, and federal regulators failed to catch it.
Even Maxine Waters declined to jump on the “blame Trump” bandwagon, which should show you how shaky it is.
Finally, Victoria Taft at PJ Media has a good article on how we really got here.
Of course, defining the problem is easy, solving it is the bear. Trump and the Republicans spent too much (Trump had the excuse of dealing with the pandemic), but at least their pro-growth, pro-business policies increased tax revenues and helped to offset the debt. But Biden came in from day one like an economic wrecking ball, vastly increasing spending while shutting down major parts of the economy like the energy sector, destroying border security, depleting our petroleum reserves and either giving our military equipment to Ukraine or leaving it to the Taliban. Yet in fairness, his decisions were only the latest and worst in a long line of politicians who ignored fiscal reality while trying to kick the can just a little further down the road and put off the day of reckoning.
The real solution to this would have been to elect competent, responsible leaders who didn’t spend us into oblivion 30 years ago, but sadly, that ship has already sailed.
Climate activists melt down
Climate change activists are spewing dangerous levels of CO2 as they have meltdowns over word that President Biden plans to approve a major oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope.
They are outraged that Biden may have finally awakened to reality and put America’s energy security, our economy, and people’s ability to survive ahead of the radical environmentalist movement’s unscientific fantasies (note: there is some editorial opinion in that description, but not a lot.) But maybe all these banks failing have given him a harsh reminder that he can’t keep assaulting the lifeblood of America’s economy without eventually bringing everything crashing down on his head.
Still, this is hardly a done deal, and to quote Obama, never underestimate Joe’s ability to (BLEEP) things up. He could yet cave to the green left, or apply so many restrictions that he kills the deal. There has never been a major issue in five decades on which he’s come down on the right side, so it’s hard to believe he’s going to start now, no matter how obvious the right choice might be. Read more details at the link, and keep hoping for a miracle.
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