"BUILD THE WALL"
Yesterday, it was announced that former Trump campaign aide Steve Bannon, disabled veteran Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badogato, and Timothy Shea have been indicted on fraud charges by the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. They’re accused of using a GoFundMe project to build a wall on the Southern border to rip off donors and siphon money to themselves. Andrew McCarthy lays it all out at the link.
Bannon has already pleaded not guilty, and I make it a point to respect due process rights of the accused on both sides of the aisle, but it looks as if the authorities have built a strong and detailed case. I will say that if this is true, then I am extremely upset and disappointed at the thought of someone scamming money from people who wanted to support a cause they believed in. If this is proven in court, then the guilty parties should pay a penalty for their crimes and be forced to reimburse every penny their donors gave. McCarthy also makes a good observation that this disproves the claim that Trump’s replacement of the federal attorney in that office meant that any prosecutions of people associated with him would be dropped.
Brian Kolfage was one of the 3 charged in the alleged Bannon scam. He is a highly decorated triple amputee Purple Heart recipient who was a guest on my TBN show not long after I met him at an event to benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation. I was inspired by Brian’s story of his long recovery and rehab and still am mindful of the sacrifices he made. If he was part of an effort to improperly take money from donors, then his past service can’t absolve him of responsibility. It would be disappointing if true, as he’s a very energetic and articulate veteran who would have many options to utilize his skills in very legitimate ways. We will let the process play out in court and give him the right of due process.
The media are already trying to tie this to Trump, even though he hasn’t had any association with Bannon in years and he did not support the private wall campaign, calling it “inappropriate” and “showboating.” Media Matters also put out a list of conservative media figures whom they accuse of promoting this project, and they put me on it, with a quote from our newsletter. This is a transparent attempt to smear people who might have been scammed themselves by associating them with the alleged scammers. Maybe they’re seeking to deflect attention from their own current financial scam lawsuit.
Here are the facts: since this project was launched, we have mentioned it only twice. The first time was during the Congressional fight over border wall funding. In an aside, we mentioned that there was then a GoFundMe page to raise money to give the government for the wall, but donations might have to be returned because you can only donate to the general fund, not for a specific project. The other was our story Media Matters quoted, which relied on two news sources that reported a section of the wall had been completed. Our thrust was simply that it disproved the notion that it’s impossible to build a wall there. It also mentioned that critics had called the project a scam.
Neither story endorsed the project nor encouraged our readers to contribute to it. We deliberately chose not to include a link to the GoFundMe pages in either. We don’t promote political fundraising pages, only legitimate charities such as Samaritan’s Purse or the Red Cross, and the occasional humanitarian fundraiser such as medical expenses for a child, veteran or crime victim. We did pass along the GoFundMe link for the project to buy Goya food products, not to support the politics but because by that time, Goya had agreed to donate all the food purchased to food banks.
Again, if the parties turn out to be guilty of scamming, then we will be among the first to report it and condemn them for it. We take the public’s trust seriously and are disgusted by anyone who abuses it.
A FREE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS
What’s something you never heard at the Democrats’ virtual convention, aside from “Thank you, President Trump, for all the hard work you’ve been doing?” You never heard the voice of one of the most appealing new voices in the Party.
It’s been traditional for decades to give a speaking role at the convention to any candidate who wins delegates. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was one of only seven candidates who did, but she confirmed on Twitter that she was “not invited to participate in any way.”
Rep. Gabbard is in most of her beliefs a standard Democrat, but she doesn’t buy into the recent radical leftward tilt. She also pretty well ended Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign by enlightening debate viewers on her record as California’s Attorney General. I’m sure the Dems didn’t want to take a chance of reminding viewers of that! Still, this confirms what has long been “conventional” wisdom: Democrats talk incessantly about “diversity,” but that’s only skin-deep. They have zero tolerance for diversity of thought.
If it’s any consolation, I know how she feels. I have a standing invitation out to prominent liberals to come on my TBN show and have a friendly debate on issues, but I get precious few takers. And guess how many liberal shows ask me to appear. Speaking of that, here’s Rep. Gabbard being welcomed onto my show when she was a Democratic Presidential candidate. We had a respectful, substantive conversation, and she got more airtime than MSNBC gave her.
Why are leftists so afraid of the free exchange of ideas? If it’s that hard to defend what you believe, maybe it’s time to consider other beliefs.
As expected, the mainstream media gushed over Joe Biden’s speech as if it were the greatest oration since the Sermon on the Mount. Although maybe it's even better, since Jesus’ famous sermon might be – brace yourself - “fighting words!”
A black Christian student who was silenced by Gwinnett College in Georgia for preaching the gospel on campus is taking the case to the Supreme Court. The college backed off, but the student wants to establish that this is unacceptable. In preparing to defend the public college, someone in the Georgia Attorney General’s office included the argument that since preaching the gospel might incite violence on campus, quoting Jesus might constitute “fighting words,” which aren’t protected by the First Amendment.
Attorney General Christopher M. Carr said this came from someone on the staff, he hadn’t known about it, and he’s since removed it from the case briefs. That's good, but as Tyler O’Neill notes at the link, it’s disturbing to think there’s anyone in a position of authority who would brand the teachings of the Prince of Peace as “fighting words.” At the risk of triggering some leftists to violence, I’ll quote Jesus: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“Fact-Checkers”: "The claim that mail-in voting leads to vote fraud is a myth unsupported by evidence!"
Fact: Paterson, New Jersey, has to do their city council election all over again because alleged mail-in vote fraud has made it impossible to determine who rightfully won.
Now, multiply Paterson times every town in America and you’ll get a hint of what potentially awaits us in November if the Democrats get their mail-in voting wish. Incidentally, the most inadvertently hilarious story of the past week is all the mass protests over the ridiculous “disappearing mailbox” conspiracy story. Think about it: they’re gathering in crowds to protest that they won’t be able to vote if they have to go to the polls because that might require them to gather in a crowd.
I think some of these masked people have been inhaling their own exhalations too long.