July 16, 2020
By Mike Huckabee
KANYE BOWS OUT
I’m kind of sorry to report that Kanye West has dropped his bid for the White House just 10 days after announcing it. It definitely would have made the debates more interesting. But it turns out you can’t just say you’re running; you actually have to do a lot of stuff to get your name on the ballots in all the states. Who knew? Well, at least he knows for 2024.
If nothing else, it was instructive to see that his campaign was greeted with congratulations by President Trump and with fury, condemnation, ridicule and threats by Democrats. Why is the left so threatened every time a popular black American expresses an independent thought?
UNINTENTIONAL HUMOR DEPT: FBI ANALYST TAUGHT SPYING ETHICS CLASS
South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham appeared on Wednesday’s HANNITY TV show to talk about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s efforts to declassify an approximately 40-page FBI memo critical of the Steele “dossier,” and also to question the lead intel analyst and a case agent who interviewed Steele’s Russian “sub-source” –- actually Steele’s employee –- twice, first in January and later in March of 2017. (The warrant to spy on Carter Page was renewed in April and June of 2017, after the problems with the “dossier” were known. This is documented, and it is a crime.)
Sen. Graham didn’t mention names, and in the IG report the lead analyst is identified only as Supervisory Intelligence Analyst, never by name, but I think Graham must have been talking about this guy.
Yes, I know; the headline alone is a laff riot, if you want to laugh until you cry. Profiled by Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations, our “person of interest” is senior FBI analyst Brian J. Auten. He was central to the vetting process for the “dossier” that was used in the FISA application and three renewals to spy on Carter Page, but it’s also true that since 2010, he has taught a class on...wait for it...the ethics of spying at Patrick Henry College. (Motto: “Give me irony, or give me death!” Kidding.)
As Sperry reports, Auten “seems to have violated his own stated “golden rule” for spying, which involves using ‘the least intrusive standard” for surveilling U.S. citizens to avoid harming “a subject’s reputation, dignity and privacy.” Yes, we’ve seen how that standard was respected in the case of Carter Page, who was actually accused of being a Russian agent in order for the FBI to get inside Trump’s 2016 campaign. Page was put through the wringer over that horrific charge, telling RealClear Investigations that based on leaks to the media, people believed he was a “traitor” who conspired with the Kremlin to help Trump. He received death threats. Imagine if that happened to you.
Sperry goes into detail describing Auten’s involvement in downplaying the problems with the “dossier.” It’s a lengthy article, but I encourage you to read it (you won't be tested), just to see how one person in the right place within a bureaucracy can guide a chain of events. It's also quite interesting to see how a so-called “ethicist” can so skillfully rationalize his own lack of ethics.
Sperry reports that Auten’s name is indeed on a list of witnesses Sen. Graham intends to call now that he has received subpoena power for the Judiciary Committee, and also that Graham says they’ll be focusing on the investigators.
Incidentally, last December, FBI Director Christopher Wray wrote Inspector General Michael Horowitz to tell him he’d put every employee involved in the 2016-2017 FISA application process through “additional training in ethics” with “an emphasis on privacy and civil liberties.”
Don't know about you, but I feel so much better now. Hey, wouldn’t it be hilarious if we found out Brian J. Auten taught the class? No, really, I wonder if he did.
READER COMMENT: A THANK YOU TO JOURNALIST BARI WEISS
From Anne T:
I would really like to get a message to Ms. Weiss but I refuse to join Twitter.
Dear Ms. Weiss,
I am an 80-year-old Independent who leans conservative, just so you know where I am coming from. Congratulations for having such courage. It is so refreshing to read of a person whose courage and integrity cost her a prestigious job. You have struck a loud gong for [reason] and for the return of true journalism.
In the past, news was news, not an entire paper of op-ed. While newspapers have always taken political positions, these have been expressed in the opinion columns. That was healthy. Now the major newspapers have one credo throughout their publications: get Trump, no matter what.
I had long thought that journalism was an honorable profession whose people took great pride in objectivity when reporting the news. They wanted to expose the truth. They knew the difference between news and opinion. They may still know that, but they have sold their souls.
Thank you for your bravery and for standing up for right vs. wrong. You are unique. I wish you well. You have given me renewed hope for our country.
From the Gov:
Thank you, Anne, for expressing well what so many of us, myself included, would like to say to Ms.Weiss. By the way, there’s a fast-growing alternative to Twitter called Parler that I’d encourage you to join. It does not try to play “PC police” and censor the heretics in the heartland. Real journalists who want to break out of leftist groupthink and listen to what the rest of the country is saying should join, too.
REAL JOE BIDEN: 42 YEARS IN WASHINGTON
For anyone suffering under the delusion that the voters were wrong all the previous times when they declined to make Joe Biden President, here’s a handy reminder of what he actually did during the 42 years that he was in Washington.
Of course, Democrats could make the argument that the past doesn’t matter because he’s now the figurehead for a radical leftist agenda crafted by “Democratic” socialists like AOC, which includes defunding the police; doing away with coal and fossil fuels; ending fracking that’s made our air cleaner, our energy costs lower and ended our dependence on Middle East oil; vastly expanding the government while raising taxes to the skies; and as of Tuesday, officially endorsing a $2 trillion “Green New Deal”-inspired climate change program. He offered no specifics of how this would be paid for, but more taxes and deficit spending are the odds-on favorites. But I doubt that would sway many voters.
Speaking of blasts from Joe’s past, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise called his climate plan “Solyndra on steroids,” referring to the solar panel company that took $528 million in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees under Obama then promptly folded.
Biden also said, “When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax.’ When I think about climate change, what I think of is jobs.” Ironic, since Obama also promised that spending a ton of taxpayer money would create “green jobs,” and that turned out to be a hoax, just like after spending nearly a trillion dollars on a bill that would supposedly create “shovel-ready jobs,” he had to admit there were no “shovel-ready jobs.”
It appears that the only jobs Democrats can create that involve shoveling something are their own political jobs.
REPLACE THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER?!?
This article isn’t worth reading in its lengthy entirety, but it’s worth noting just to show the wackiness of the current cancel culture left. An L.A. Times writer jumped on the bandwagon to drop “The Star-Spangled Banner” as our National Anthem, and offers a novel suggestion for a replacement: Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me.
A nice song, but for the National Anthem? I prefer an anthem that celebrates standing up strong on your own two feet rather than encouraging people to lean on others. We’re certainly the nation others lean on (often without gratitude), but that’s not our entire reason for existence. As long as we’re throwing out more recent popular songs, I have a couple of more appropriate candidates that are actually about America, what it is and should be. How about “In America” by Charlie Daniels or “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” by Toby Keith?
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY (KJV)