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BY MIKE HUCKABEE
Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee staff! Thank you for subscribing and I hope you enjoy today’s newsletter.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
Let all your things be done with charity.
1 Corinthians 16:14
IRS may have been “weaponized” against journalist Taibbi
It’s been quite a while since we talked at length about the targeting of political adversaries by the IRS. The FBI, DHS, and DOJ, sure --- happens all the time --- but we associate IRS abuse specifically with Lois Lerner and conservative Tea Party groups. That was a decade ago, Lois Lerner is gone, but it seems to be happening again.
On March 9, the day independent journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified before Congress about what they’d found in Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files,” an IRS agent went to Taibbi’s New Jersey home. Since (surprise) Taibbi wasn’t there (he was TESTIFYING), the agent left a note for him on the door. The irony: Taibbi was appearing before the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
The note left for Taibbi weirdly told him they’d talk “after the weekend” -- March 9 was a Thursday --and said he should call the agent’s office in four days. When he did that, the agent told him his returns for 2018 and 2021 had been rejected because of concerns about identity theft.
Taibbi went to House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan of Ohio and told him about the curious same-day IRS visit. He supplied Jordan with documentation indicating his 2018 return had been electronically accepted. In all this time, he has never heard of any problem about it from the IRS.
As for the 2021 return, it had been rejected, and when his accountants refiled it with an IRS-provided PIN, it was rejected again. But Taibbi said it wasn’t a question of money for either year -- that, in fact, the IRS actually owed him a “considerable” amount. For this, they knock on his door? Maybe it was supposed to be like Publishers Clearinghouse, and they’d wanted him to pose with a giant refund check! That must have been it. Even Avon stopped ringing people’s doorbells but now is the IRS going to compete with Jehovah’s Witnesses as the last of the door knockers?
Jordan has sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel on Monday, hoping to find out why the federal agent showed up at Taibbi’s house on the same day he was testifying. “In light of the hostile reaction to Mr. Taibbi’s reporting among left-wing activists, and the IRS’s history as a tool of government abuse, the IRS’s action could be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate a witness before Congress,” he wrote. Until Jordan gets an answer, Taibbi doesn’t want to comment further.
Taibbi, along with the other journalists tasked by Musk to go through the files, uncovered shocking political bias at Twitter and coordination with various government agencies to stifle what they labeled “disinformation” but that was often true, or else just someone’s opinion. It’s beyond doubt now that Twitter was meeting weekly with other Big Tech entities and government agencies. The journalists dubbed this collaboration the “Censorship Industrial Complex.”
The FBI advised Big Tech specifically about some sort of “Russian disinformation” about members of the Biden family, particularly Hunter Biden, that might show up in October, priming them to censor the laptop story when they’d KNOWN it was real since December 2019. Biden voters had no clue when they went to the polls, because they’d been hoodwinked. And later polling showed that enough of them would have changed their votes, had they known about this, to potentially sway the election.
Anyway, Jordan appeared Tuesday night with Sean Hannity to explain what most of us know: that the IRS does NOT typically visit someone’s home like that, whether they’re about to testify about the weaponization of government or not. The first contacts are by mail only. (Incidentally, that’s why those phone calls from someone saying, “I’m from the IRS and we have a question about your 2020 return; can you answer a few questions to identify yourself?” are ALWAYS a scam.) Taibbi had apparently received no mail contact about this from the IRS.
“Now, maybe this is one big coincidence; I don’t know,” Jordan said. “It sure doesn’t seem to be. But it’s pretty darn alarming when you think about it happening exactly while the Democrats were going after the First Amendment, asking him questions --- we had him in there testifying --- [while] the IRS pays a visit to his home. That is scary stuff.”
As for the weaponized IRS we remember under Lois Lerner, “Looks like they’re back,” Jordan said. So the committee looking at the weaponization of government got even more of a look at that than they had anticipated when Taibbi testified. Recall that agents under Lerner slow-walked applications from conservative groups for tax-exempt status, subjecting them to extra scrutiny and interminable waits --- before an election, of course.
Let’s flash back to the day when Lerner, the IRS’s director of Exempt Organizations, pleaded the Fifth. Recall that she had previously read a statement before Congress, which many experts said was a waiver of her Fifth Amendment right.
Still, she was able to refuse investigators’ questions, conveniently retire and start taking her pension, out of reach of any internal investigation. In 2015, POLITICO reported that “the Justice Department will not seek criminal contempt charges against IRS official Lois Lerner, the central figure in a scandal over whether the tax agency improperly targeted conservative political groups.” At that time, she and others were still under investigation for targeting those groups. Whatever happened to that?
So, back to 2023 and Jordan’s interview. “[The IRS] got $80 billion for 87,000 more IRS agents in that last big spending bill the Democrats did,” he said. That’s certainly not comforting in light of what they appear to have been doing to an independent journalist daring to report what he finds. But this appropriation will be up for negotiation this fall, Jordan said, when they confront the (sigh) debt ceiling.
Reps. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Adrian Smith of Nebraska wrote an excellent editorial for FOX BUSINESS NEWS about the need to defund this new IRS “army.” This comes after Yellen actually confirmed that 90 percent of the new audits resulting from this huge expansion would fall on small businesses and families earning less than $400,000 a year.
Smith makes the case that they’re not going after “tax cheats and billionaires,” but rather want to “tax, target and surveil Americans’ private finances at every turn.” That’s why the first bill the GOP brought to the floor as the majority was the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act, which would defund the massive hiring to ensure families and small businesses wouldn’t be targeted, while leaving in place funding for badly needed customer service upgrades and improvements.
Of course, no one on the right should doubt that this “army” would be used to target conservatives as well, just as it was with Lerner giving the directives.
And speaking of weaponizing government, two days before the IRS visited Taibbi’s house, the Federal Trade Commission revealed they’ve opened a sweeping investigation of Twitter as it is run under Musk. Letters from the FTC have made over 350 demands on the company. They even seek internal communications showing the names of all journalists (!) to whom Musk has provided records from the “Twitter Files,” as well as information about what the reporters had requested (!!) As if that’s any of their business. The harassment and invasiveness just never stop.
Musk got the picture, and appropriately used Twitter to call this “a shameful case of weaponization of a government agency for political purposes and suppression of the truth!”
James O’Keefe uncovers what looks to be massive Democrat campaign scheme
It didn’t take Project Veritas founder and former director James O’Keefe long to regain his footing and get back in business. Now head of O’Keefe Media Group (OMG), and training “citizen journalists” across the country, he’s released a video revealing what appears to be a huge, nationwide money scheme for laundering campaign contributions, using senior citizens with “a similar profile” to get the job done.
The story came from Election Watch, a group of “citizen journalists” in Maryland. They combed through FEC records and found that some elderly individuals of seemingly modest means had given amazing amounts of money --- into the six figures --- to left-wing groups such as ActBlue, typically parceled out in dribs and drabs as if to avoid detection. This is yet another stunning-but-not-surprising story involving corruption within the Democrat Party. So far, only this video has been released; we’ll have more information soon.
We have learned more about the tragic shooting at the Covenant Christian School in Nashville that left three adults and three children dead, as well as the shooter who was killed by the police.
Police have yet to release the murderer’s so-called “manifesto,” but it’s been reported that she was a biological female who identified as a male and was able to buy seven guns from five stores despite being treated by a doctor for an “emotional disorder” which the police knew nothing about (I wonder if they weren’t allowed to know about it because being “transgender” means nobody’s allowed to suggest you have an emotional disorder.)
If the police had known about her disorder and treatments, she would not have been allowed to buy the guns. This is yet another failure of gun control laws, so obviously, the solution is more gun control laws.
A friend said she sent a private message reading, “I’m planning to die today. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!! You’ll probably hear about me on the news after I die.”
While she was a former student at the school, it’s believed that she initially had another target in mind, but rejected it because there was too much security, while the school was a “gun-free zone.” Leftists are trying to blame this horrific crime on the gun, as usual, but as Victoria Taft at PJ Media writes, this entire incident puts the lie to all their narratives, showing that gun-free zones attract attackers, armed security deters them, and “good guys with guns” (in this case, cops) stop them.
Speaking of that, the heroic cops who charged in and took out the Nashville killer also dispelled other liberal talking points while utterly shaming the cops in Uvalde, Texas, who allowed a killer to continue murdering children while they cowered outside. Their excuse was that the killer had an AR-15 and they didn’t have bullet shields. The exact same conditions prevailed in Nashville, but those cops did their duty and risked their lives to save the children by running toward the danger and ending it. As one commenter put it, there’s that “toxic masculinity” that we’re all supposed to condemn.
The slain headmistress of the school, Katherine Koonce, is also being hailed as a hero, both for imposing active shooter protocols that saved lives and for apparently moving toward the shooter in an attempt to stop her.
Meanwhile, the left wasted no time in trying to blame the killings not on the killer but on the guns and on Republicans for allegedly stirring up hatred and violence against the transgender community. Some actually seemed more concerned with the press “misgendering” the shooter by accurately calling her “she” or using her actual name than they were about her victims.
It’s all part of their endless crusade to always paint themselves as victims. They apparently haven’t noticed, but in recent times, there have been four mass shootings by trans or “gender neutral” people. We're seeing more active shooters turn out to be activist shooters.
LGBTQ activists had been irresponsibly pumping up a so-called “Day of Vengeance” (note the violent language) for this Friday, and specifically targeting Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has already been the target of an assassination plot by an unhinged leftist.
And here’s more of the increasingly violent rhetoric from trans activists...
I wonder if any of those shooters had warped, paranoid views of Republicans and Christians because radical activists lied to them to exploit them, telling them that people who actually sympathize and want to help them instead hate and want to harm them. I don’t know any Republican or Christian who is afraid (“phobic”) of trans kids, or wishes them ill. The movement to stop quacks from “treating” a mental and emotional problem with dangerous chemicals and irreversible surgical mutilation is NOT motivated by a desire to harm these kids. Quite the opposite, in fact. We’re trying to protect them. It’s their alleged “friends” who are misleading and harming them, whether for power or profits. They’re the ones who should be ashamed of themselves.
California Republican David Giglio was correct when he said, “We must stop normalizing and entertaining mental illness. Encouraging and helping people get treatment isn’t ‘mean;’ it’s compassion. A damaged soul can be a deadly weapon with or without a gun. Progress won’t be made until we get serious about treating the root cause.”
Another thing that might help turn down the rising heat on this topic would be for celebrities, be they music stars or people in political office, to put their incendiary rhetoric aside and engage their brains before speaking or tweeting about it.
The Left is Destroying Faith in America
A new Wall Street Journal/NORC poll sadly confirms what many of us deduced just from reading the news lately: the left has been shockingly successful in destroying faith in long-standing American values among young people.
Compared to a poll that asked the same questions 25 years ago, only 38% of Americans say that patriotism is “very important” to them, compared to 70% in 1998. Those who say religion is very important to them dropped from 62% to 39%. The percentage who said raising children is very important fell from 59% to 30%. And the number who place high importance on community involvement plummeted from 62% to 27%.
Disturbingly, the only value that rose in high importance was “money,” up from 31% to 43%.
When broken down demographically, it’s clear that the steepest erosion in the belief in traditional American values is among Democrats and young people. It’s yet more proof that the biggest mistake made by Republicans in the past half century was allowing the left to infiltrate and take over our schools.
But before we despair completely about the future of America, there is some good news to report on that front. On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a historic bill expanding school choice to “every single student in the state.” He said, “We believe that the money should follow the student and it should be directed based on what the parent thinks is the most appropriate education program for their child.” That includes lower income families and children in foster care, and it allows parents to decide what is best for their children, whether it’s public or private schools, charter schools, religious schools or homeschooling. There’s also much more to the bill, which you can read at the link.
About half of US states now have some form of school choice. The left hates this because activists see public schools as leftist indoctrination factories (see the WSJ poll above for the results of that) and teachers’ unions see them as a guaranteed income program. For years, any attempt to empower parents and students was immediately smeared as an assault on our “sacred public school system.” I got really fed up with hearing that.
Personally, while I think many public school teachers are dedicated professionals trying their best, often under very difficult conditions, I don’t think any governmental system should be considered “sacred,” especially if it’s failing to do the job it was created to do. The top priority should always be what is best for the students, what gives them the best education that allows them to go the furthest in life, regardless of where they came from.
The argument that if we let parents and students decide where to spend their education dollars, it will leave public schools with no money is not an argument to keep forcing kids into public schools. It’s an admission that public schools need to do a better job. No child should be forced to sacrifice his or her future just because the government is trying to preserve a failing institution.
Arrest Made, 80 to Go...
Nearly a year after the string of over 80 attacks on churches and pro-life pregnancy centers began, the DOJ has finally made its third arrest, thanks to a half-eaten burrito. Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, 29, of Madison has been charged in the firebombing of Wisconsin Family Action’s headquarters.
Two Molotov cocktails were thrown through the window and the threat, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either,” was spray-painted on the building along with a circled anarchist “A” and the number “1312.” Roychowdhury is reportedly a research scientist at Promega Advanced Technologies in Madison with a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. So you’d think he would be aware of DNA. Authorities say his DNA was found at the attack scene and matched to a half-eaten burrito he threw away.
Congratulations to whoever cracked this case. Now, let’s get cracking on the other 80 or so.
Trump Arrest Update
It’s starting to look as if all the liberals who’ve been demanding that Donald Trump be arrested for something/anything for years (despite countless investigations that turned up nothing), and who keep getting their hopes up that “the walls are closing in!,” are about to have them dashed yet again as the case ends not with a bang but with a whimper.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg wants to indict Trump on a transparently bogus charge, but his attempts to keep the grand jury from finding out the exculpatory details and tainted motivations don’t seem to have worked. Trump was not indicted last week after a last-minute witness shredded Bragg witness Michael Cohen’s façade of credibility. And now it appears that this week will also pass without Trump being frog-marched and handcuffed.
The grand jury normally meets only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. NBC reports that they will not meet today, and Thursday’s meeting is on an unrelated case, so that’s another week down with no Trump arrest. I wonder if it’s possible the grand jurors have realized that Bragg was trying to trick them into kicking a hornets’ nest, and they’ve decided their best move is just to let this political trap die as quietly as possible.
Related: Trump’s attorney Lindsey Halligan on why she thinks Bragg’s case is “dead.”
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