Good morning! Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Bulletins on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
- Biden wants to fund the police
- Pain from Ukraine: Manafort as Trump's campaign chair
- And much more
1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
If you have a favorite Bible Verse you want to see in one of our newsletters, please email [email protected].
2. Bulletins on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
This is today’s link to Fox News’ continually-updated bulletins on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
The biggest development: Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister said Russia has agreed to "reduce military activity in the Kiev and Chernihiv direction" due to constructive negotiations on an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine. I’m glad to hear of any pullback on the military assault, but I can’t help wondering if that would be happening if Ukraine hadn’t turned out to be far more resolute and deadly in fighting back than Putin anticipated. But if this is a case of “Declare victory and get out,” then let Russia declare victory as long as they get out.
There’s been a lot of criticism that President Biden keeps saying things that are like pouring gasoline on the fire, and that encourage Putin to crack down harder. Not that anyone in the current Administration is familiar with military tactics or history, but many war strategists have noted that he’s ignoring Sun Tzu’s advice in “The Art of War” to “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.” If Putin declares that he’s gotten what he wanted (even if he really didn’t) and pulls out, then please, Joe, don’t start boasting about how badly he was beaten. Just shut your pie hole and let him retreat already.
3. Continuous cleanup
I recently compared President Biden’s public statements to driving behind an overloaded pickup with its tailgate down: you never know what might drop out at any moment and cause a huge wreck.
Well, there’s now so much junk falling onto the highway that his staffers can’t even clean up one spill before the next one occurs. Just since Friday, he’s said things that implied he was planning to send troops to Ukraine, that the US might respond to any Russian chemical attacks with chemical weapons, and that he was calling for Putin to be removed. His staffers had to rush to “clarify” these things and deny that he actually meant what it sounded like. That last one in particular could give Russia an excuse for ramping up its aggression.
On Monday, Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked him about these three dangerous misstatements, and Biden replied, “None of the three occurred.”
(Editor’s note: Yes, they all did.)
But then, he proceeded to make a fourth statement that his verbal hazmat squad had to rush to clean up. Biden claimed that what he “really” meant when he said our troops would be seeing the Ukrainians in action themselves was that they’d see them when they were “helping train the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland."
First of all, that doesn’t jibe with what he said about our troops “being there” and seeing Ukrainian women stand in front of Russian tanks. Secondly, he might have inadvertently given away classified information and endangered both our mission and Poland. Last week, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan denied that the U.S. was training any Ukrainians.
The White House claimed there are Ukrainian soldiers in Poland who are just “interacting on a regular basis” with US troops, and that’s what he was referring to, but Biden got confused.
I’m not sure what to believe, except for the last three words of that. Let’s pray he doesn’t confuse us into World War III.
4. Biden wants to fund the police
Here’s how you can tell that the dire consequences of leftist policies have Democrats terrified of the November elections: after two years of Democrats defunding the police, defending rioters and looters, releasing criminals and prosecuting law-abiding citizens who try to defend themselves, President Biden is about to present a massive $5.8 trillion budget that not only has the biggest tax increase in history, it also includes $32 billion to…(drumroll)…fund the police!
Biden declared that “We will secure our communities by putting more police on the street…” While it’s welcome news to hear that he’s finally starting to reconnect with reality (Now, try to define what a “woman” is), I still have questions:
Since the deadly crime waves are all in blue cities where leftist leaders were stupid enough to slash police budgets and empty the jails, why are the rest of us taxpayers in safe, sane red states expected to pick up the tab for cleaning up their self-inflicted mess by hiring their cops back? I already pay taxes to provide police officers in Arkansas. Why is it my responsibility to pay for them in Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle or Portland?
I’d suggest that if the people in those cities think they need more cops (and they definitely do), then they could free up some money in the budget by firing their mayors and city councils.
5. Federal Judge rules
A Clinton-appointed federal judge in California ruled in a case involving Nancy Pelosi’s January 6th Committee’s subpoena requests that President Trump and his legal adviser likely committed federal crimes in attempting to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election.
That’s also likely all you’ll hear about this from most media outlets, but it’s a pretty convoluted ruling that runs to 44 pages. Even the judge himself admitted that his ruling in this case has no direct bearing on whether Trump will face criminal charges. He wrote, “The Court is tasked only with deciding a dispute over a handful of emails. This is not a criminal prosecution; this is not even a civil liability suit.”
Which begs the question, “Then why would a judge make such an incendiary claim when it’s outside the bounds of the case before him?” Similarly, why would any prosecutor publicly declare that Trump is definitely guilty of multiple crimes, even as he’s quitting because the D.A. reportedly decided he didn’t even have enough evidence to get an indictment?
I’m not a prosecutor or a judge, but if I were, I like to think I’d take the job too seriously to make public statements that someone I disagreed with politically was guilty of felonies without providing any evidence, or bothering with the formality of a trial to prove it first.
Of course, if I were the judge in this case, I would have thrown it out because this Committee was illegally formed without the required participation of Republicans chosen by the Minority Leader, so it shouldn’t have any subpoena power at all. I also like to think I would have resisted adding, “And while it’s not at issue, I’d just like to say that I think what Pelosi did is a felony.”
Here’s more from Bonchie at Redstate.com on why this judge’s opinion is “one of the most insane interpretations of the law I’ve ever read.”
6. 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.
7. Why People Who Can Afford Gas Are Fleeing California
A Republican California Assemblyman introduced a bill to temporarily suspend the state’s 51-cent-a-gallon gas tax to give citizens a little relief from the highest gas prices in America. Democrats kept the bill’s name, but stripped out the tax suspension and replaced it with a bunch of new taxes.
Seriously, do NOT move to red states and vote for people like this.
8. Cue the world’s smallest violin
Speaker Nancy Pelosi fears for our democracy if Republicans win back the House in November.
I’ve long suspected that she has no idea what “democracy” means, and that it’s just become a vague buzzword, like “racist” or “fascist,” that Democrats throw out in lieu of making an actual argument. But this is the first time I’ve heard someone claim it would be the death of democracy if a majority of the voters went to the polls and chose their own Representatives.
I Just Wanted to Say
Thank you for reading my newsletter.