Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Bible Verse of the Day - 1 TIMOTHY 2:1-2
- U.S. Capitol Police quietly investigating individuals
- Mailbag: "Just a wild thought from Texas"
- Don't forget about the border
- Interesting background information on Breyer’s retirement
- Why Risk It Ohio?
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1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE
This verse is dedicated by Scott C.
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-2
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2. U.S. Capitol Police quietly investigating individuals
Did you know the U.S. Capitol Police have an intelligence unit?
They sure do, and, unknown to almost everyone, they’ve been stepping up their activities. This is yet another “security measure” put in place after January 6 on the pretext that America is under threat from domestic terrorism. POLITICO broke the story after speaking with people familiar with the new policies; they’ve also examined correspondence describing the new approach.
The intel unit is now quietly investigating the backgrounds of people who meet with lawmakers, including their social media accounts. They’re apparently doing the same to Hill staffers. The concept of “civil liberties” becomes more and more nebulous every day.
North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a Republican and former criminal defense attorney, compared these new activities to spying. “Whatever they think that sounds like for security,” he said, “it sounds dangerously close --- if not already over the line --- to spying on members of Congress, their staff, their constituents and their supporters. Anybody involved with implementing this without making it known to the actual members of Congress should resign or be fired immediately. And I’m not big on calling for resignations.”
“We need to know everything,” he said. I want to know where it goes, how high it goes, and why all of this exists.”
According to POLITICO, the Capitol Police brought on former Department of Homeland Security official Julie Farnam in the fall of 2020, and she changed a lot of protocols in the weeks leading up to January 6, apparently causing “internal confusion” about priorities. After January 6, she went further, changing the template for what they call Congressional Event Assessments, which are done to anticipate the risks of meetings and events held away from the Capitol. (That would now be all of them, as the Capitol building itself remains closed to visitors.) Farnam is directing her analysts to look very closely at the people who would be meeting both publicly and privately with lawmakers.
If this doesn’t seem like a big deal at first glance, or maybe just something that needs to be done in the name of risk mitigation, let me assure you it gets much worse. The new template tells intel agents to examine the social media of attendees, asking, “...is there anything that may impact the event itself or any of the participants [including not just members of Congress but other attendees]?” And here’s where we really enter a danger zone: Analysts are also supposed to search for information about lawmakers’ opponents and their opponents’ supporters: “List and search all political opponents to see if they or their followers intend to attend or disrupt the event.”
What a great excuse to dig into all kinds of private information on one’s political opponents! Sounds like an idea worthy of Hillary Clinton, and you know I don’t mean that in a complimentary way. Perhaps you’re old enough to recall the mysterious White House staffer Craig Livingstone and the FBI files the First Lady was amassing on political opponents. This sounds like just her style.
It’s outright spying by the Capitol Police. With the pretext of trying to head off danger and disruption, as in the movie MINORITY REPORT, they are delving into people’s private lives. As POLITICO reports: “One Capitol Police official noted that Farnam directed analysts to run ‘background checks’ on people whom lawmakers planned to meet, including donors and associates. When staff were listed as attending these meetings, Capitol Police intelligence analysts also got asked to check the social media accounts of the staffers.”
They were even told to “probe the ownership” of the buildings in which lawmakers held their meetings, sifting through tax and real estate records (!!!). Incredibly, this applies to people’s private homes; they scrutinized one such home used by Florida Sen. Rick Scott for a meeting with donors. The social media accounts of both the homeowner and the attendees were scrutinized, and their foreign contacts were assessed.
Sen. Scott was not pleased. “These reports are incredibly disturbing,” he said through a spokesperson. “It is unthinkable that any government entity would conduct secret investigations to build political dossiers on private Americans. The American people deserve to know what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi knew and directed, and when. Sen. Scott believes the Senate Rules Committee should immediately investigate.”
Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was surprised to hear that he and his donors had been similarly scrutinized by the Capitol Police. The department, meanwhile, speaks of this as simply part of their job of protecting people, and they say it’s all coordinated with members of Congress. So why is it that when lawmakers learn the extent of this scrutiny, they are surprised?
Individuals are essentially being spied on, simply for exercising their right to petition members of Congress. Their “protected” speech ends up in police files, even when there is no reason to suspect they’re involved in anything criminal. This is just one more way in which the January 6 Capitol Hill riot has been used as a pretext to violate people’s civil liberties.
Here’s the original story from POLITICO.
The story hasn’t received much media attention but continues to percolate. In an update, a group of seven House Republicans sent a letter to the Capitol Police this week demanding answers. Perhaps the biggest question is this: By what authority does the Capitol Police “intel unit” extensively surveil (SPY ON) private citizens? Congress didn’t give it to them.
The letter states, “A decision to expand background checks and intelligence-gathering to a previously unsurveilled group of individuals constitutes a dramatic and troubling expansion of the USCP’s authority.”
A story in The Federalist brings up the resources needed to conduct this type of program, when only three weeks ago, Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger testified to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee about the severe staffing shortages on his security force. What does this say about priorities?
To us, it suggests that the REAL priority among those REALLY in charge of the Capitol Police isn’t security at all, but the ability to spy at will.
3. Mailbag: "Just a wild thought from Texas"
Thanks to Robert S. for this thought-provoking idea...
Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will run for another term of office. I can see her making this announcement so as not to be a lame duck Speaker of the House. But I wonder if there isn't more afoot here. If Pelosi runs for another term, and wins, she can still retire after the first of the year. If she retires, then Governor Newsom, her nephew, would be able to appoint Nancy's replacement. So he would be able to appoint another Pelosi family member to fill the seat. Or maybe himself. Just a wild thought from Texas.
From the Gov.
Thanks for writing, Robert. Gov. Newsom is not technically Nancy Pelosi's nephew, though the two families were once related through marriage. There's no blood tie, but certainly a political one. And it's true that if she retired after being re-elected, he would get to appoint her replacement. That might be another member of the Pelosi family, or someone else entirely.
One benefit of running again is that Pelosi will get to fundraise a giant "war chest," whether she ends up keeping her seat or not. One downside is that as a candidate, she will likely face more scrutiny over the outrageous stock market gains she and her husband have made while she's been in office. It shows in her eyes that she's uncomfortable about being in the hot seat over that, and for good reason. But ego sometimes trumps risk-avoidance. Besides, she'll manage --- because she's doing it "for the children."
Here's a question about Ashli Babbitt from reader Glen G:
I have been supporting Ashli all along. Her getting shot in this manner was dreadfully wrong. But I don't understand the point of this story. Mainly speaks of her trying to stop the process she was in, and then goes through the broken window. How's is that supposed to be understood as good evidence for her?
From the Gov.
Glen, Aaron's point is that his wife was trying to stop the riot, not join in, and that when the situation got to be too intense, she tried to go through the window not to interfere with the election certification process but simply to get to what she thought would be a safer spot. Any evidence of that --- such as the videos, her law enforcement training, and the testimony of those who knew her --- would be considered exculpatory.
4. Don't forget about the border:
While President Biden may be preparing to send thousands of our troops to protect the border of Ukraine from Russian invasion, his Administration has completely dismantled our own border protections and laid out a giant welcome mat to an invasion of illegal immigrants. They’re not merely being allowed to cross the border, they’re being ushered in and transported all over the nation with zero supervision, and some new leaked video shows the shocking extent of the problem (or as leftists see it, their success at undermining American sovereignty and importing a new population that will actually vote for them.)
The video, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act by former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, shows a planeload of migrants being let out in Westchester, New York, where the government had flown them on secret charter flights under cover of darkness (and at taxpayer expense, I might add.)
Local police are heard complaining to federal contractors that they weren’t informed of this, and a contractor told a cop, “The government is betraying the American people.” Astorino said he personally saw the illegal migrants being put onto a bus to a local Costco, where they were simply released into the community.
So whenever Biden talks about the “problem” of border security, remember that the only thing he sees as a problem is how to destroy it completely. We should have suspected that when he put Kamala Harris in charge of fixing it.
Meanwhile, back at the Southern border, our Border Patrol agents are at their wit’s end. Leaked audio obtained by Townhall.com of a meeting between Border Patrol and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas shows just how far relations between our front-line security and the DC bureaucrats who are undermining them have eroded.
The audio reveals Mayorkas mouthing a lot of sympathetic platitudes about how he knows their jobs have gotten more difficult (no kidding!), and how he’s working to provide the personnel, funding, and equipment they need to do their job, but the agents are not buying it. They make it clear they think Biden has destroyed border security, made their jobs impossible, and is covering it up by demonizing them -- for instance, falsely accusing them of whipping migrants when they actually often save their lives.
In the most heated moment, one agent asked how DHS can claim that border security is their main mission when agents can’t even patrol the border anymore because they’re too busy processing all the illegal border crossers who are here due to Biden’s policies. According to sources present at the meeting, the agent then deliberately turned his back on Myorkas. Myorkas replied that they might turn their backs on him, but he would never turn his back on them – which given the sentiment in the room would probably be a good idea.
One agent also told Mayorkas that things were better under Trump because "everyone was doing their jobs." Sadly, I think that everything is going the way it is now because the people in Washington are doing what they think their job is, and only too well. You don’t completely destroy border security while waving in thousands of illegal entrants, putting them on secret planes and dispersing them across America just because you’re incompetent at border security.
5. Interesting background information on Breyer’s retirement:
Last night, Tucker Carlson of Fox News had some interesting background on the intense pressure campaign by leftists to harass Justice Stephen Breyer into retiring so that President Biden could replace him with a black woman. Interestingly, as Tucker notes, the head of the major pressure group is a white male who hasn’t given his job to a black woman.
It was also reported that Breyer was “surprised” at the news reports of his retirement. He does plan to retire, but he assumed he would make that announcement himself. Speculation is that someone on the Court’s staff leaked it, most likely a liberal who wants to force a Senate confirmation vote before the November elections, so that Republicans can’t stop it.
This brings up an interesting point. Whoever leaked it must have feared that if it took too long for Breyer to leave, the confirmation hearings might come after the election when the next Senate was sworn in, and judging by the Democrats’ horrific polling, there could easily be a new GOP majority. That might force Biden to submit a nominee who could draw bipartisan support instead of a far-left judicial activist who could be confirmed on a tie vote plus Kamala Harris.
But hold on! Back up the truck! I thought that “progressive” Democrats were all about “protecting democracy” and “serving the people.” If the leaker(s) really believe that the American people are about to kick Democrats out, then obviously, they don’t WANT a far-left judicial activist. So the leaking is an attempt to rig the system to circumvent democracy and the will of the people. Huh! Imagine a leftist claiming to be protecting democracy while actively working to undermine it. Why, it’s simply unheard of.
Related: I think we’ve all figured out by now that the Biden Administration has zero respect for laws, the Constitution or court orders. But there has been some talk about whether declaring in advance that only black female candidates for the SCOTUS seat will be considered might be a violation of federal anti-discrimination in hiring laws.
But then, as Laura Ingraham on Fox News reminds us, when Biden was in the Senate in 2003, he had no problem with multiple filibusters to block President Bush’s black female nominee from the federal bench. He said then that race and gender only count if you’re thought to be a committed judicial activist. In other words (again, Biden’s own), if you’re not supportive of his politics, you ain’t black…or a woman, apparently.
There’s also a rumor that Biden might solve two problems at once by appointing Kamala Harris to the Supreme Court, thereby both checking off all the “black female liberal” identity boxes and getting rid of a VP who was named in one recent poll as the least popular political figure in Washington. But law professor Alan Dershowitz dismissed that as “absurd” because he says she can’t cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm herself. Besides, even if she could, she’d probably fail to show up that day.
6. Why Risk It Ohio?
In the interest of a well-informed electorate, I’d like voters in a swing district in Ohio to know that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s top recruit to challenge Republican Rep. Steve Chabot actually wrote the Cincinnati City Council motion to cut $200,000 from the police budget. This at a time when violent crime was soaring and homicides were up by 64%.
Sure, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but when the past performance is idiotic policies that create violent crime waves, why risk it?
7. I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Morning Edition.