Good morning! Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read. Topics include:
- The Disney you knew is gone
- New Biden Policy: What can I do to make things worse?
- Hey California, New York! Slick marketing isn't going to fix your mess
- Disney expands operations into countries that outlaw homosexuality
- Daily Mail: emails Hunter only THOUGHT he'd erased
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The Disney you knew is gone
I grew up faithfully watching the Mickey Mouse Club on our black & white TV and singing along with the opening and closing songs. I knew all the Mouseketeers by name and probably had a crush on the girl Mouseketeers like Annette Funicello. On Sunday nights my family watched Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, although I never saw it in color. Color TV wouldn’t be something my family had until I was in high school. There wasn’t a Disney World in Florida back then—just a Disneyland in California, and I dreamed that someday I’d get to go there. The Disney brand was magic and Walt Disney was like everyone’s favorite uncle who was rich and had all the cool stuff. The Disney movies were dependably wholesome, family-friendly, and had a moral lesson embedded in the plot. Parents knew that their kids could see a Disney film and be entertained without being embarrassed or indoctrinated.
Just a few years back, we took our entire family to Disney World. Sure, it was mostly about taking the grandkids there and making sure they were indulged to the hilt.
But the wonderful family-friendly company that Walt Disney founded is gone, replaced by creepy corporate executives who have lost their minds and will likely lose a lot of their customers. They certainly have lost me.
Disney executives have outright lied about the Florida legislation that prohibits government schools from teaching sexual content to pre-schoolers and young elementary children. What person in his or her right mind want 4 year old children to be taught about homosexuality, transgenderism, and sexual expression? Disney execs repeated the utterly debunked lie that the bill was a “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Such language was nowhere in the bill. But it gets worse. In a conference call, other Disney leaders expressed the goal that in future Disney movies, at least half of all the characters in a film with be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, or something other than heterosexual.
And theme parks will be forbidden to say “hello boys and girls” and instead will be required to say “welcome dreamers and friends.” And no more will little girls be called princess when they show up in a gown. I guess boys could be a princess under the new perverted Disney code. Who knows?
This is so outrageous it’s hard to believe that the Disney company has become such a purveyor of soft-porn and woke-ism so that instead of entertaining children with fantasy and magic, Disney’s new model is sexual fantasy, outright betrayal and rejection of traditional values of marriage and gender, and instead of moral neutrality, Disney has opted for immoral advocacy.
Will their remake of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs be called The Nymphomaniac and the 7 Male Prostitutes? Will Lady and the Tramp be re-named “The Lesbian and the Housing Challenged Non-gendered Animal?” Will Beauty and the Beast be renamed “The Bi-Sexual and the Child Predator?” And Swiss Family Robinson will now be about a dysfunctional family that becomes homeless and lives in a local park after wrecking their VW hippie van.
I simply refuse to believe that this dishonesty and insanity from Disney represents what American parents and grandparents want to purchase for their children. But the only way to push back against this filth is to find other products and places when you purchase entertainment for your family.
This is no longer about party politics. A clear majority of Florida Democrats support the law prohibiting schools from indoctrinating 4 and 5 year old children about various sexual agendas that are probably NOT the agendas of parents. I guess the small number of people supporting the perverted version of a public school will next want to trade in yellow school buses for white, windowless utility vans typically called “kidnapper vans” since that is pretty much the direction Disney is taking with your children.
I am old enough to remember when parents would say, “Sure, you can watch that movie. It’s a Disney movie so it will be safe.” Not anymore! This ain’t kid’s stuff. And I for one don’t want to enrich the people that have destroyed the Magic Kingdom and turned it into the Perverted Palace. Mickey shouldn’t be the face of Disney anymore. The Disney character most representative of the company would be GOOFY!
New Biden Policy: What can I do to make things worse?
As part of his never-ending “What Can I Do Next To Make Things Worse?” policy, President Biden is refusing to listen to worried Senate Democrats, angry border state leaders or even the majority of US voters who don’t want him to lift the Title 42 COVID restrictions in May and allow a massive new wave of illegal immigrants to rush across the border. It’s such a harebrained idea that a bipartisan group of Senators will introduce a bill today to try to stop him.
But at the moment, Biden seems determined to proceed with this predictable disaster anyway, because why not?
Well, maybe this will get his attention: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made it clear that Texas is fed up with bearing the brunt of Biden’s open border policy and all the crime and drugs it’s allowed to come pouring into the state. He says since the federal government refuses to do its job, he’s allocating state resources, including more equipment and the Texas National Guard, to shore up border security. But here’s the really creative part:
Abbott says overwhelmed towns along the border have been busing migrants to San Antonio, but he has a better solution. He’s arranged to provide charter buses to pick up any illegal entrants and take them directly to Washington, DC. He says they’ll be dropped off at the US Capitol, “where the Biden Administration will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border."
Abbott said he will employ as many buses as needed, pointing to past evacuations for natural disasters that used as many as 900 buses. I assume he'll need more than that, since Biden's presidency is proving to be a bigger disaster than any recent hurricane.
As much as I love this idea, I suggest that they also unload plenty of those buses in some of the more affluent suburbs around DC, the ones with the highest incomes in America, wherein live the lawyers, lobbyists and politicians who have worked so hard to create the open borders policy and its resulting flood of illegal immigration that they assumed would never touch them in any way.
Related: Speaking of Biden and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad policy decisions, his new Iran nuclear deal is so alarmingly awful that a group of 18 House Democrats is now speaking out to try to stop it.
Hey California, New York! Slick marketing isn't going to fix your mess
Ukraine may be the only place on Earth that people are fleeing in greater numbers than New York City or California. That means their tourism officials really have their work cut out for them, when their biggest selling point is, “At least the people running this place are better than Vladimir Putin.”
To try to convince tourists to return to cities that have become infamous for their own residents fleeing from the criminals, filth and dangerous homeless people, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an order creating a tourism cabinet. Sadly, just minutes after the cabinet was created, someone stole it.
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has an even wackier scheme to try to bring people back to the big rotten apple. Playing off the totally incorrect idea that Florida has banned people from saying the word “gay,” he’s launched a tourism campaign urging Florida LGBTQ residents to leave their beautiful, low-tax Miami homes for New York. They might be terrorized by criminals, shoved in front of subway trains by deranged homeless people and taxed into bankruptcy, but they can say “Gay! Gay! Gay!” all day if they want. Which they can also do in Florida, if anyone actually wants to.
I have a feeling this will create one of those “strange bedfellows” moments where gay Floridians respond by quoting country star Buck Owens, who sang, “I wouldn’t live in New York City if they gave me the whole dang town.”
Incidentally, here’s how reading helps: Public Opinion Strategies conducted a unique poll in which they asked respondents to read the text of the Florida bill and then give their opinion on it. After seeing what it actually says (it merely bars inappropriate sexual or gender lessons for children under eight without parental consent), two-thirds of respondents supported it.
That lopsided support held across all demographics, including Democrats (55-29%), Biden voters (53-30%), and people who “know someone who’s LGBTQ” (61-28%.)
Instead of wasting his time trying to persuade people in Florida to come back to New York, Mayor Adams should read the bill and take a voyage back to reality.
Disney expands operations into countries that outlaw homosexuality
There’s a rule of thumb that wealth in a family tends to last three generations. The first generation is smart and hard-working (or creative, or ruthless) and builds a fortune. The second generation sees its parents working and struggling, and is taught how to build wealth, so they often increase the fortune. The third generation knows nothing but wealth and privilege, and grows up resentful of the success that made their lives so easy. That makes them the perfect target for leftists who persuade them to fund political agendas that previous, wiser generations wouldn’t have given a dime to.
That brings us to this story about Abigail Disney, great niece of Walt and granddaughter of his brother and business partner, Roy Disney. Heiress to a fortune reported to be over $100 million, Abigail Disney is also a prominent social justice activist, maker of leftwing documentaries and funding source for various causes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail_Disney)
Abigail Disney hit the news by launching a multi-part Twitter rant against journalist Christopher Rufo, who released the shocking leaked footage of a Disney Zoom meeting in which top executives openly boasted of their efforts to inject as much LGBTQ propaganda into children’s cartoons as possible. As you can read at this link…
Abigail Disney is quite incensed that what she characterizes as “rightwing” fascists dare to challenge the values pushed by Disney. She curiously seems to think that we’re the ones who are threatening people and calling folks names. She called on corporations to stop funding the “right wing” (And which big businesses are those? Twitter? Google? Microsoft? Apple? Disney?...) She claims that we are the “minority,” even though polls show a clear majority of Floridians, including Democrats, support barring schools from injecting sex and gender messages into kindergarten through third grade classes. She always gloated that corporations like Disney have the power to crush impertinent upstarts like Rufo, who dares to expose the truth about them. (Wait, I thought we were the ones who threatened people?...)
It’s valuable to read not because you learn anything from her, Heaven forbid, but because it gives you such a window into the utterly warped world view of someone who was born into so much money and privilege, and who lives in such a cast iron bubble of leftist ideology. It’s almost like reading the latest news from Bizarro World.
If you have a little time to kill and would enjoy watching someone reset this Twitter thread back to reality tweet by tweet, check out Brad Slager’s fisking of it at Redstate.com.
Incidentally, it’s a bit strange to see Abigail depicting Disney as the icon of virtue that we must all obey considering that as recently as 2020, she was blasting the company herself for allegedly giving their CEO obscene pay while underpaying park employees so badly that they were eating out of dumpsters. She said, "Disney has turned a pretty profit on the idea that families are a kind of magic, that love is important, that imaginations matter. That's why it turns your stomach a little bit when I tell you that Cinderella might be sleeping in her car." I actually agree with her: their CEO should be sleeping in his car. And the way he's running the company, he might be soon.
But then, I guess if Disney’s current ideas about indoctrinating our children with inappropriate sexual messages turn our stomachs, we’re not allowed to say so. If we wanted that kind of privilege, we should’ve picked our own parents more carefully and chosen richer ones.
Related: While Disney Corp is attacking Florida for not being woke enough, the company just announced an expansion of Disney Plus into a number of new areas, including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen. All them outlaw homosexuality by law, with punishments ranging from fines and imprisonment to chemical castration to the death penalty.
Daily Mail: emails Hunter only THOUGHT he'd erased
So much Hunter laptop news, so little time!
“Hunter laptop,” of course, is shorthand for what this story really is: Expansive Biden family corruption and the media’s shameful coverup designed to ensure Joe Biden’s win in 2020.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the media’s sudden readiness to talk about Hunter isn’t part of a plan by those pulling their strings. Right now, most in the media are playing catch-up as they finally acknowledge what you and I have known for many months.
High praise to the New York Post, which broke the story initially in October 2020, and also to the British press, which has covered what most of the American press would not touch. DailyMail.com has new information about laptop “whistleblower” Jack Maxey, the man who received Hunter’s hard drive from Rudy Giuliani and gave a copy to the Daily Mail. Out of concerns for his own safety, Maxey, who was co-host of Steve Bannon’s podcast “The War Room,” has reportedly been hiding out the past couple of weeks in Zurich, where he’s working with IT experts to extract more information –- emails that supposedly had been deleted. (Considering what Hunter did NOT delete, it’s impossible even to imagine what he thought he’d better delete!)
Maxey said he’d found 400 gigabytes of what Hunter probably assumed had been erased, including 80,000 images and videos (good grief) and more than 120,000 archived emails –- “very difficult to reach,” he said –- and that he’ll be posting them all online in a searchable database in the coming weeks.
His original intention, he said, was to make copies of this material available to the U.S. Congress and Senate and to law enforcement. But he has a big concern about the FBI: “It appears that the FBI agent that picked up Hunter’s laptop and those he was associated with never filed [it] into evidence at the FBI...The FBI received the laptop on the 9th of December 2019, but they actually were informed of its existence earlier.”
He’s seen no confirmation that they’ve done anything at all with it. “As far as I can tell, the trial in Delaware’s about taxes,” he said. “It’s not about abusing children; it’s not about trafficking women. It’s not about putting in jail all the crack dealers all across America who Hunter used to keep his habit up.” (Watch the video at the link to see what he says about the hypocrisy of Joe Biden’s crack law that has incarcerated so many black men, when Hunter never got prosecuted.)
Maxey said that in the spring of 2021, when he approached the Daily Mail, he also gave copies and material from the hard drive to the Washington Post, New York Times, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and that they all, even Grassley, sat on it for months. “No news organizations [except the Daily Mail] would take it,” he said.
According to Maxey, after he contacted the Daily Mail about the laptop, black suburban SUVs appeared outside his house, and former U.S. intel officers with whom he’d shared copies told him they were getting “strange calls.”
Friends “were making welfare calls to me every day,” he said, “basically to see if I was still alive.” He said he posted some of the newly recovered material to file sharing sites, and it was there for about an hour before being taken down --- he suspects by our intelligence services, but Daily Mail has not been able to verify this.
Maxey believes that suppression of this material interfered with the election. “The American people were utterly betrayed,” he said, “because I guarantee you that Joe Biden couldn’t run for dog catcher if [they] knew about this laptop.”
Here’s the link; we apologize once again for the creepy Hunter Biden pictures.
Joel Pollak of Breitbart News agrees that this was election interference. Tweet Of The Day:
FOX News reported Wednesday that according to emails, “Big Guy” Joe Biden wrote a letter of recommendation in 2017 for the son of one of Hunter’s Chinese business partners –- you know, the Chinese business partners that Joe never knew anything about –- to help him get into Brown University.
As you know, the grand jury in Delaware has asked one of Hunter’s business associates about the identity of the “Big Guy.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, when asked about the letter by FOX News’ Peter Doocy, dismissed his question by saying Biden was “a private citizen” at the time he wrote the letter, but that’s not the point. Biden has said he knew nothing of his son’s business ventures, but to write the letter, he had to know Hunter was a partner of this Chinese businessman.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson noted on Wednesday’s HANNITY that President Biden gifted the CCP by, for example, canceling the China Initiative, which was to look into college students and professors who might be stealing intellectual property. Johnson called the whole situation “sleazy” and “corrupt,” but saved his most serious concerns for the cooperation of the mainstream media and the 51 former intel officials who signed the letter claiming the laptop had “earmarks” of a Russian plot.
As much as we need a special counsel to investigate "Biden, Inc.," Sen. Johnson said he’d have no faith in anyone appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland. “If we could find one with integrity, I’d love to see it,” he said, “but the problem is, the information then goes into a dark hole.” He pointed out the length of time the Durham probe has taken to start revealing evidence, noting that it takes good investigative reporters to get information to us in a more timely way. (Of course, we’ve been getting that in the form of John Solomon, Miranda Deevine and others.)
Jordan Boyd makes a good point in The Federalist: that what we’ve learned is true about “the Biden family racket” is what the media think is true about Trump. She sees the media ignoring and burying the real Biden stories while eagerly pushing the fake Trump stories.
In fact, Matt Vespa at Townhall offers a stunning example of the sorry state of liberal “journalism.” Watch the video and see the utterly dismissive attitude of The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum towards the Hunter story…
Why, she simply has no interest in it at all. Of course, if this were about Trump and his family, she’d call it The Story Of The Century.
Leftist “journalists” are an embarrassment to their so-called profession, and Matt Taibbi is not above rubbing their noses in it. Let’s join in (when you have time; it's a long piece)...
Democrats in Congress are on par with these media types. I’ll summarize the “premium” story in The Epoch Times about Democrats blocking the GOP’s subpoena to have Hunter Biden come testify: Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs had moved to subpoena Hunter –- for a meeting about electrifying the U.S. Postal System, as he had sold a cobalt mine to a Chinese company. I don’t think that’s what they really wanted to talk to him about.
But, of course, the Democrats blocked it, so it's sort of a “dog bites man” story.
America The Beautiful
God's creation is all around us. To learn more about Yellowstone National Park, visit its website here.
Pain from Ukraine: Manafort as Trump's campaign chair
While writing about the Hunter Biden laptop story, we still had the same nagging question: How did Paul Manafort, with all his heavy Ukraine-lobbying baggage, get to chair Donald Trump’s campaign in the first place? So we started looking.
Oddly, when we did a Yahoo search on that question, the first link that came up was to an entity called Just Security, funded in part by Open Society Foundations. What? Thanks, but no thanks, Yahoo; George Soros isn’t exactly the person to tell us the truth about Manafort (or anything else). Don’t click the link unless you want to see billionaire Soros staring back at you with those lifeless eyes, no doubt from his Bond villain-style subterranean lair, complete with piranha tank. All he needs is a white Persian cat.
The next story Yahoo selected for us appeared more promising: an article in Time magazine from October 2017, just a few days after he’d been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller. The article says that in mid-2016, “when his nomination seemed in peril, Trump turned to a longtime acquaintance, Paul Manafort, who owned a condo in Trump Tower and had a political pedigree that peaked in the 1970 and ‘80s, despite Manafort’s reputation for representing foreign autocrats.”
Not much information there, but the Time article at least asks the question we’re asking: “How did such a colorful political operative, known for his international clientele and larger-than-life reputation, wind up trading in the jet-setting pace for one more domestic political campaign?” They said they found Trump’s decision to hire him “confounding.”
The problem with this article, though, is that its sources can’t agree on why Trump thought hiring Manafort would be a good idea.
The piece summarizes three basic theories and offers some interesting background on Manafort’s relationships with other Trump associates such as Roger Stone.
We also learn how Manafort and his baggage quickly became problematic and led to infighting. Too much of the campaign became about him.. Trump said “You’re fired!” on August 19, 2016. Manafort had chaired the campaign for only three months.
But as Columbo would say, “There’s something about this that bothers me...” The presence in Trump’s campaign of Manafort, with his previous work for a couple of pro-Russia political parties in Ukraine, seems all too convenient for those working so hard to falsely tar Trump as an ally of Putin. Is there more to this story than we have heard in the media?
Fortunately, we found a mother lode of information about Manafort, his dealings in Ukraine, and how they relate to what happened later with the Trump campaign and special counsel. It’s Andrew C. McCarthy’s book BALL OF COLLUSION, specifically Chapter 3. Read this chapter, and you’ll be taken on a guided tour of the Washington DC and Ukraine swamps, going back decades. And it’s swampier and murkier than you ever imagined, populated with Russians and Ukrainians, Republicans and Democrats.
In “An Old Story: Beltway Consultants as Agents of the Kremlin,” McCarthy explains that when the Soviet Union disintegrated at the end of 1991, “suddenly, a gravy train roared through the badlands of ‘gangster capitalism’...the spoils of a fallen empire that became available to the shrewdest and most ruthless bidders.” On one side were the oligarchs, who often came up from nothing in Soviet Russia through alliances with organized crime and corrupt government officials. On the other were the well-connected American lawyers and lobbyists who worked as political operatives.
This is the muck Manafort swam in, and I suppose there’s a certain skill in prospering there without ending up sleeping with the fishes in the Black Sea. As McCarthy puts it, “The guys with their snouts in the trough are the same guys who write and enforce the laws, the benefits accruing as they glide between the ‘public service’ and the private lobbying sides of the revolving door –- the door between political office and political consultancy, between law enforcement and law evasion.”
If you’re like me, when you read that sentence, you realize our own country can increasingly be described this way. We don’t have to go to Ukraine to encounter it –- it’s here.
In fact, you might be shocked at some of the names of Americans politicians and bureaucrats that turn up in this story: the venerable Bob Dole, John McCain (a lot), former FBI Director William Sessions, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller, Hillary (of course) and many more. I’ll quote one key paragraph: “Most Americans are not familiar with the fraught history and politics of Ukraine...the netherworld of Washington political lobbying for foreign interests –- especially for despots and Mafiosi-turned-magnates. When Hillary Clinton lost an election, and it came time for her progressive sympathizers and Republic anti-Trump agitators to pin her defeat on Russian espionage, it was easy to craft a narrative that painted Trump political consultants who’d worked for Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs as Putin’s puppets. All that was necessary was for the rest of us to forget the last quarter-century, to develop amnesia about Washington’s projection of post-Soviet Russia as a political and business partner, an effort that Mrs. Clinton herself had been in up to her neck...”
And though Manafort seems like a villain right out of Central Casting, McCarthy explains that in his role as a consultant he was toeing a line, constantly playing one sordid side against the other, and even playing Europe against Moscow. It was a balancing act. Claiming that Manafort was “Putin’s puppet” is revisionist history.
Read this chapter, and you’ll see how ridiculous it was to malign Manafort as an agent of Russia. Influence peddling is not the same thing as collusion. What he was doing as a consultant was the norm --- it was "unsavory but legal."
The various personalities in Manafort’s world are too numerous to mention here –- encompassing many of the people involved with the “dossier” –- but it’s not necessary to keep track of them all. There were Republican consultants, Obama consultants and Clinton consultants. In McCarthy’s words, “The Ukrainian politician is navigating a minefield of power centers, amid rampant corruption and organized crime.”
So in the end, given the pervasiveness of The Swamp, I guess it’s not so strange after all that someone with these shady connections ended up heading a presidential campaign –- Trump’s or anyone else’s –- though it sure came in handy for Trump’s enemies when they were looking for anything to attack. Keep in mind, too, that those from the most prestigious firms would not work for Trump. Heck, I’ll bet some would work for a corrupt Russian oligarch before they’d work for Donald Trump!
So he might not have had much to choose from. Remember how hard it was for him to find attorneys when he was impeached? Law firms that might've agreed to represent him were threatened and ostracized. We’ll keep looking for more on this story, but for now, this seems to be an explanation that actually makes sense. It could just be that Manafort was super-aggressive, had handled many campaigns, would actually take the job, and, hey, had a condo right there in Trump Tower. Where the FBI probably spied on him.
I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Sunday Standard.