THE MORNING EDITION By Mike Huckabee
Good morning! Here are some stories from me that I think you will want to read. Topics include:
- Rittenhouse Trial Update
- HHS Memo Targets Religious Liberty
- FBI Whistleblower: Still Targeting Parents
- PA's Election Law
- And Much More
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Today's verse was recommended by Dennis R.
If you have a Bible verse you want to see in our newsletter, please email [email protected].
THE LATEST NEWS
1. KYLE RITTENHOUSE TRIAL UPDATE:
As of Wednesday morning, the jury has yet to reach a verdict, and it might not have to, under two possible scenarios:
Jack Posobiec of Human Events tweeted that an unnamed US Marshal told him two jurors are holding up the verdict out of fear of threats by radicals against themselves and their families. If that’s true, the judge might have to dismiss them, and since alternate jurors have already been dismissed, declare a mistrial. But Jennifer Van Laar at Redstate.com explains why she’s skeptical of this story:
The other scenario: Rittenhouse’s attorneys filed a new, late request for the judge to declare a mistrial with prejudice, meaning no retrial. They already requested a mistrial based on the prosecution improperly infringing on Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent and introducing evidence that had been ruled inadmissible. The new filing adds an accusation that the prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense by turning over a compressed copy of the FBI surveillance video and not revealing that they had a clearer, higher resolution version until after that part of the trial was over.
Meanwhile, both pro- and anti-Rittenhouse protesters are gathered outside the Courthouse, and the city is bracing for potential street violence. Some anti-Rittenhouse protesters are claiming that an acquittal means that white supremacists will be free to kill black people, which seems like an odd conclusion to draw from one white guy shooting three other white guys in self-defense. But when you get your news from CNN and MSNBC, clear thinking is not your strong suit.
I already told you how the “fact-checking” site Politifact got Wisconsin law wrong in declaring it "false" that Rittenhouse had a legal right to carry a gun. After being called on it by conservative media sources and having the judge throw out an illegal weapons possession charge, the site acknowledged that the law is "unclear." And then they stood by their original ruling of "false" and refused to retract it. Maybe their next “fact-check” could be a deep dive into what the word “unclear” means.
2. INTERNAL DRAFT HHS MEMO TARGETS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:
Fox News has obtained an internal draft memo from the Department of Health and Human Services showing that HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra is planning to roll back Trump-era protections of religious liberty rights. That includes revoking the authority of the Office of Civil Rights to prevent violations of religious liberty.
The memo, supposedly from OCR to Becerra, expresses concerns that Trump might have expanded OCR’s authority too much. And I truly believe that a government agency would complain about being given too much power.
During his confirmation hearings, Becerra swore to Congress that he would protect religious liberty. But his predecessor as HHS Secretary, Roger Severino, said, "HHS centralized authority over religious freedom claims because the laws weren’t being enforced and because that’s how we enforce every other civil right. Without dedicated staff responsible for investigating religious freedom complaints, HHS will return to trampling people’s rights as before — just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor…Because Becerra was twice found to have violated conscience protection laws by OCR, he has no business deciding its religious freedom authorities given his massive conflict of interest. Becerra told Congress that he values religious freedom and that nothing will change with OCR concerning enforcement. His actions since then prove that he lied, and this move would put an exclamation point on his anti-religious hostility."
The big question remains: why would anyone who voted to confirm Becerra believe that a man who, as California Attorney General, tried to railroad undercover journalists into prison on 15 felony charges just for exposing the truth about Planned Parenthood, give a flip about protecting anyone’s civil rights?
3. FBI WHISTLEBLOWER: GARLAND STILL PLANS TO TARGET PARENTS AS DOMESTIC TERRORISTS:
The House Judiciary Committee released an email Tuesday provided by an FBI whistleblower, showing that the agency’s Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions are pressing forward with keeping tabs on parents who speak up against school boards and other officials. They’ve even created the threat tag EDUOFFICIALS to track instances of such “threats.”
The email acknowledges that this tracking of angry parents as domestic terrorist threats is in response to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s outrageous letter calling for such a thing – a letter written in response to a letter from the National School Boards Association that we now know was created in coordination with Biden Administration officials. Megan Fox at PJ Media examined the alleged threats cited in it and found that none were legitimate, and the NSBA apologized for the letter.
So far, 11 states have withdrawn from the NSBA and 26 have distanced themselves from it. Yet despite all that, plus Garland's denial to Congress that concerned parents will be monitored as domestic terrorists, this email confirms that that’s precisely what the FBI is doing.
Inescapable conclusions: Merrick Garland is a politicized hack and a bald-faced liar (possibly perjurer); and Americans need to elect politicians who will not only remove him from office, but clean out the FBI and DOJ like the snake pits we’ve discovered them to be.
4. THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST:
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was in the Senate Tuesday, where Republican Sen. Mike Lee grilled him like a cheap steak over why the Biden Administration is forcing a vaccine mandate on law-abiding citizens that threatens to sideline an untold number of Border Patrol agents while not enforcing any vaccine mandate on the thousands of illegal immigrants who are streaming across the border.
Related: Speaking of all the things this Administration is doing to Build Back Illegal Immigration Better, someone just noticed that hidden away on page 1,647 (!) of Biden’s $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” spending plan is a line to eliminate the need for a Social Security number to apply for child tax credits. A researcher for the Center for Immigration Studies told Fox News that that could result in the government giving an extra $2.3 billion in payouts to illegal immigrants.
5. THIS STORY DESERVES MORE ATTENTION:
Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com has more on a criminally underreported story that deserves far more attention.
At last week’s climate conference in Scotland, our national climate conscience John Kerry took a moment out from flying around in his private jet to announce a joint deal between the US and China for China to build more solar panels. He made it clear that this is so important that the US is willing to tolerate “differences” with China on human rights in manufacturing those panels, which are reportedly built by the forced labor of Uyghurs in concentration camps.
When asked point blank about China’s use of slave labor to build solar panels, Kerry chuckled and said, “Not my lane.”
That story also has details about Senate Republicans who are less nonchalant about slavery (the party was founded to end it, after all.) They're demanding to know more about a Chinese solar panel manufacturer that’s been linked to companies known to be using forced labor. Bonus: Kerry and his wife reportedly own a $1 million stake in an investment group that’s the top shareholder in that company.
I think I can guess where the lane he is in is ultimately headed.
6. LAWSUIT ON PA ELECTION LAW ATTRACTING ATTENTION:
Sometimes former President Trump points us to some really interesting stories that we might otherwise have missed. In an email bulletin Tuesday from his Save America PAC, he linked to an article by former CIA operations officer and security expert Charles “Sam” Faddis at a website called "AND –- Expert Analysis and Commentary." The case Faddis analyzes, filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, deals with the constitutionality of a change in Pennsylvania election law signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on October 31, 2019.
“The results of the suit [Doug McLinko vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State and Veronica Degraffenreid],” Faddis says, “could have major implications for future elections and potentially for ongoing efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.” The date for a hearing hasn’t been set yet, but “those interested in the question of election integrity will be watching for that news with intense interest.”
Apparently, Degraffenreid is named in the suit because at the time of the election, she was working in the Pennsylvania Department of State as the Special Advisor on Election Modernization. Perhaps she was specifically involved in the push to get mail-in voting passed for 2020, but we have no details on that. She is now acting Secretary of the Commonwealth and oversees elections. She previously served in North Carolina as Director of Election Operations and, going back further, worked for almost ten years in the North Carolina Department of Justice, specializing in “redistricting and election-related litigation.”
As Faddis describes it, this is a very straightforward, narrowly focused case that was brought by someone who clearly has legal standing –- as you will see –- Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko, a member of the Bradford County Board of Elections. The plaintiff says that when the Pennsylvania legislature passed “Act 77” in 2019 and went to “no excuse” mail-in voting, they violated the state constitution, which specifies four instances when absentee voting is allowed:
a. “When they are absent from their residence on the election day because of business.”
b. “[When they are] unable to attend in person because of illness or disability.”
c. “[When they are] unable to attend because of the observances of a religious holiday.”
d. “[When they are] unable to vote because of election day duties.”
But go online, and the State of Pennsylvania says this: “Any qualified voter may apply for a mail-in ballot. You may simply request this ballot without a reason.” And according to Act 77, they can.
They do at least require a form of I.D. or the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court looked at another case and declared an earlier version of “no-excuse” mail-in voting passed by the state legislature in 1923 unconstitutional under Pennsylvania law. So why did the present-day legislature think it was permissible for them to put one in place in 2019? A court may determine that they have...NO EXCUSE.
If that’s the case, it means that to change from in-person to “no-excuse” mail-in voting, they would have had to amend their state constitution. But that’s a process that takes time, and they bypassed that one little inconvenience.
So, moving to the all-important question of “standing” to bring this suit, how is McLinko affected by this law? “As a member of the Board of Elections,” the suit reads, “McLinko must oversee the lawful administration of all aspects of elections, including voter registration, the voting process, and tabulation of votes. He must also certify the results of all primary and general elections in the county to the Secretary of State.” He says that because the move to mail-in voting was done unconstitutionally, he was being required by the state to “act unlawfully.”
One would think that if anyone had standing to challenge the constitutionality of state election law, it would be him.
As Faddis points out, this suit has nothing to do with such allegations as hacked voting machines or ballot stuffing, though we would point out that any expansion of mail-in voting certainly encourages the latter.
Finally, what is the plaintiff asking for? He requests a declaratory judgment saying that Act 77 violates the state constitution and is void –- as in, a legal nullity –- and calls for “any and all other appropriate relief.” Faddis explains to us non-attorneys that by implication, any action taken on the basis of this law would be a nullity as well.
Certainly, the state would have to return to in-person voting. Considering the possible effect this might have on changes to election law made (unconstitutionally) in other states, we’d bet that Marc Elias and his team of lawyers are on it like white on rice. As Faddis writes, “The implications for the November 2020 election remain unclear.”
The “fact”-checkers at POLITIFACT took a look at this issue --- not the specific case brought by McLinko but about what Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley has said about Act 77 --- and rated his claim about the law’s unconstitutionality “mostly false.” They say the state constitution doesn’t specifically ban absentee balloting, but it seems the case is easily be made that in specifying only a few instances when it’s allowed, the constitution implies that it is not allowed across the board.
They do offer some interesting points about the law’s passage. For example, Republicans supported it at the time, at least in part because it included a provision against straight-ticket voting. But we would think the fact that it was a bipartisan bill to begin with should help take the partisanship out of this whole argument. Both Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature passed this law to get certain provisions that they wanted. That does not mean the law is constitutional.
POLITIFACT really is just acting as an advocate for the “nay” side of this argument because, well, they’re POLITIFACT and that’s what they do. But a court, not the partisan advocates at POLITIFACT, will rule on the law’s constitutionality and McLinko’s claim. Sadly, elections are increasingly being won by lawyers, and as we've said, to keep from being bulldozed our lawyers have to be better than their lawyers.
An earlier suit regarding the constitutionality of Act 77 was filed about a year ago by multiple plaintiffs including congressional candidate Sean Parnell, and a Commonwealth judge said it had merit, but the state Supreme Court dismissed it with prejudice, not for lack of merit but for not having been filed “in a timely manner.” Parnell said he’d take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
By the way, if you’d like to know more about Charles “Sam” Faddis, he has quite a resume as a homeland security and terrorism expert and appears on FOX NEWS, FOX BUSINESS NEWS, NEWSMAX and other news outlets. After 20 years with the CIA, he serves as senior partner and executive consultant at Artemis LLC, whose experts have “decades of experience in the Intelligence Community, Special Forces and Military Communities and the Private Sector.”
His books include “WILLFUL NEGLECT: The Dangerous Illusion of Homeland Security” and the very timely “BEYOND REPAIR: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.”
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
This feature returns with images of America's cities, landscapes and people.
HYMNAL: HE LEADETH ME
Today's hymn was recommended by Nancy C.
1 He leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be,
still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, he leadeth me;
by his own hand he leadeth me:
his faithful follower I would be,
for by his hand he leadeth me.
2 Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
sometimes where Eden's flowers bloom,
by waters calm, o'er troubled sea,
still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.
3 Lord, I would clasp thy hand in mine,
nor ever murmur nor repine;
content, whatever lot I see,
since 'tis my God that leadeth me.
4 And when my task on earth is done,
when, by thy grace, the victory's won,
e'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
since God through Jordan leadeth me.
Author: Joseph Gilmore
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