BY MIKE HUCKABEE
Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee team!
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
Devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful.
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Vice President Mike Pence suspends his presidential campaign
Saturday, former Vice President Mike Pence announced that “after much prayer and deliberation,” he is suspending his presidential campaign. He said, “It's become clear to me this is not my time," adding, “I urge you to hold fast to what matters: faith, family, and the Constitution of the United States of America. I'm proud that our campaign stood firm on America's role as leader of the free world." He didn’t endorse any other candidate and it's an open question whether he would endorse Trump, considering the bad blood between them over the 2020 election. In his farewell, he urged the GOP to return to its conservative roots and resist the "siren song of populism," represented by Trump.
We’ll have to agree to disagree on some of that, but I wish him well. It’s never easy to have to accept that a campaign you’ve put so much into has fallen short and it’s time to call it quits. But to be honest, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of this already.
It might start ramping up if polls show what I suspect they might, and that’s an even bigger boost for Trump in the wake of the world starting to fall apart all around us. Usually during a crisis like the war in Israel, there’s a “rallying around” effect that boosts the incumbent President, but in Biden’s case, something is causing his approval rating to fall instead. And that something is the anti-Semitism of his fellow Democrats.
(Apparently, that even includes some Democratic Congress members beyond the “Squad,” 15 of whom voted against a resolution supporting Israel and condemning Hamas, and one of whom is willing to threaten a Jewish colleague for criticizing him over it.)
In the latest Gallup poll, Biden’s approval rating since his speech on Israel has dropped four points to an all-time low of 37%. That’s largely because of fellow Democrats, whom polls show support the Palestinians to a shocking degree, particularly the young Democrats he’s been pandering to with “student loan forgiveness.”
Among Americans who aren’t angry at Biden for not sympathizing with terrorists, there’s more of a “This is your fault” feeling. They’re longing for the good old days of five years ago, when America had secure borders, a strong economy, low inflation and peace deals in the Middle East; we pumped our own oil instead of buying from our enemies; other nations feared and respected us; and we were killing terrorists instead of vice versa. More people are starting to wake up and recognize the politicized lawfare against Trump and how they’ve been lied to by the media about Trump and his supporters (turns out there really are Nazis in America, but they’re not wearing MAGA caps, they’re on Ivy League campuses.)
Those who think that Trump is a goner because of all the bad press and all the lawsuits and indictments should remember the words of a great Republican President: You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
The latest news regarding Israel
Here is today’s link to Fox News’ continually updated reports on the war in Israel…
Latest developments: The IDF said it is expanding its ground operation in Gaza, and overnight, they "eliminated multiple terrorists barricaded within civilian buildings and terrorist tunnels who attempted to attack the forces." This includes killing four senior Hamas commanders. They’re also reportedly using bunker buster bombs to destroy Hamas’ network of tunnels.
The US Navy stated that the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is on its way to join the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its entourage of vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean "in support of the defense of Israel and to deter aggression throughout the region."
But some of the most unsettling news is happening outside of the Middle East, where anti-Semitic threats and violence are suddenly erupting all over. I told you about the pro-Palestinian protesters who shut down Grand Center Terminal at rush hour (about 300 were arrested, but this being New York City, I assume they were immediately released.) And it hasn’t calmed down since.
A Russian airport in a mostly Muslim region was shut down after rioters flooded the runway, shouting “Allahu Akbar” and anti-Semitic slogans and looking for a plane from Israel so they could attack Jews. More than 20 people were wounded. Many Twitter users criticized a White House spokeswoman for calling this a “protest,” when the correct term would be "pogrom," which is an attack on particular ethnic groups, particularly Jews.
Things aren’t much better in the US, where protesters are now openly threatening Jews, including on our liberal college campuses, where “words are violence” if it’s Republicans expressing political opinions, but terrorizing and assaulting Jewish students is apparently free speech. At Cornell University, home of that professor who found Hamas’ brutal slaughter of Israeli civilians “energizing” and “exhilarating,” the FBI is investigating after someone posted death threats against Jewish students and a Jewish student center online. The President of Cornell, at first having tried to soft-pedal the anti-Semitism on her campus, now unequivocally condemns the outright death threats against Jews. I hope that isn’t a testament to how slow people are to learn at Cornell.
Fox has compiled a list of some of the most extreme anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas incidents on college campuses.
But if you follow the money, you’ll hardly be surprised.
And as Twitter commentator Iowahawk (David Burge) noted, schools that have been hiring and giving tenure to anti-Semitic radical professors for 40 years can’t suddenly claim to be shocked to learn that they’ve turned out a bunch of brainwashed, anti-Semitic students.
Iowahawk also had the perfect response to an arrogant, pro-Hamas Harvard student who thinks nobody can touch her because “you can’t fire 700 Harvard students. It would be a scandal. That’s a privilege we have.” Iowahawk replied, “Harvard gets 60,000 applicants every year, and if Harvard came to its senses and expelled your genocide-loving a***s, 59,300 would happily run over their own grandmothers to fill your spot.”
Trump’s response about NY AG is worth reading
If you want to know why all these liberal prosecutors and judges are so desperate to put gag orders on Donald Trump, just read what he posted online about the New York Attorney General and the judge who are trying to force his daughter Ivanka to testify against him even though an appeals court dismissed her as a defendant and she doesn’t even live in New York. Warning, this might scorch your monitor.
How hard is the liberal media having to work to try to dig up dirt on new House Speaker Mike Johnson? Try this shocking scoop from the Atlantic magazine: Johnson’s great-great-great-grandfather was a Confederate soldier!
If you’ve recovered from your fainting spell, brace yourself: he also questioned the validity of a presidential election…just like countless Democrats do for every presidential election they lose, and for far less reason.
At the link, Nick Arama describes the people pushing these stories as “pond scum.” I don’t think I can do better than that.
The New York Times reports actual news
Congratulations to the New York Times for reporting some actual true news. Amid all the criticism and pressure on Israel for cutting off food, fuel and water to Gaza, the Times reported that Hamas (which is supposedly the government of Gaza) has stockpiled huge supplies of fuel, ammunition, explosives, food, water and medicine. But they’re hoarding it for their war on Israel and not sharing any of it with the Palestinian people.
The Times quoted Samir Gattas, “an Egyptian strategic analyst who closely monitors Gaza,” as saying, “The Hamas movement cares only about the Hamas movement. The public of Gaza mean absolutely nothing for Hamas.”
That article also quotes Commentary magazine editor Seth Mandel, who notes that Gaza gets its water from a desalination plant that could be running if Hamas would share its gas for the generators, but they don’t. They’d rather save it to attack Israel and kill Jews than save their own people. As Mandel points out, this is yet another humanitarian crisis caused by Hamas, not Israel.
The FBI Foreign Influence Task Force and how it covered for the Bidens
Last week, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Senate committee protecting whistleblowers, wrote to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, advising them that the House Committees have found that they disregarded evidence from at least 40 confidential human sources about Biden family corruption, dating from when Joe Biden was Vice President.
This week, legal analyst Margot Cleveland at THE FEDERALIST examines the role played in this by the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, which was to falsely label this evidence “foreign disinformation.”
Thanks to Sen. Grassley, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, congressional testimony from IRS and FBI whistleblowers, and the subpoenaing of financial records by the House Committees, we know now that the FBI and DOJ’s “Biden-family protection program” involved numerous players in various positions in offices from coast to coast. “But it’s the involvement of the Foreign Influence Task Force that demands an immediate response by the House,” Cleveland says, “namely the launching of an impeachment inquiry of FBI Director Christopher Wray, under whose watch this task force abused its power --- and interfered in a presidential election.”
Again, it can’t be said more clearly: THIS WAS ELECTION INTERFERENCE BY OUR OWN GOVERNMENT. Shutting down the investigation of the Hunter Biden laptop and the information it held about Biden family corruption effectively kept Joe Biden and his Democrat regime in the running for 2020. (And this was just one way in which they’ve interfered; we’re not even talking about the “Trump-Russia” Hoax that was started before the 2016 election.) And now, with the passage of four years, we’re seeing the same intel community interfering in yet another presidential election, this time focusing mostly on relentless lawfare against Trump and his supporters.
But you knew all that was going on. What we’ve now learned from the House committees is specifically how the Biden investigation got shut down. As Grassley wrote last week, “the basis for shutting the investigative activity down was an August 2020 assessment created by FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten,” which an FBI headquarters team used “to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused the investigative activity to cease.”
Auten had no evidence that this information was coming from Russian sources, but that didn’t matter. And it was Auten’s phony assessment of the case that led the Foreign Influence Task Force to seek out confidential human source (CHS) materials at FBI field offices and “falsely discredit them as foreign disinformation.”
As Cleveland points out, Auten wrote his assessment one month AFTER a CHS told the FBI that Burisma founder Mykola Zolochevsky had said he’d paid $5 million to one Biden and $5 million to another Biden. That interview, from June 30, 2020, had come about only after Western Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney Scott Brady had asked the FBI to search for documents relating to Ukraine; that search had turned up earlier “1023” interview notes from March 2017 from the same CHS that referred to Hunter being on Burisma’s board.
We can thank Scott Brady for requesting the follow-up interview with that CHS that turned up the Zolochevsky comment on Biden bribery. As Cleveland tells it, the FBI fought his request for that follow-up interview for a month.
She says it “cannot be a coincidence” that just one month after that interview was done, Auten did an assessment that the Foreign Influence Task Force then used, in Grassley’s words, “to seek out CHS holdings at FBI Field Offices across the country relating to the Biden family and falsely discredit them as foreign disinformation.”
Brady did some independent vetting of the CHS’s interview to corroborate some of the details, and he also coordinated with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York to assess for themselves whether or not this was foreign disinformation. They “found no hits to known sources of Russian information.” Auten had apparently made it up.
We don’t know how many of the confidential human sources (there were at least 40 in all) or how many of their reports were categorized and dismissed as foreign disinformation by the Foreign Influence Task Force in the wake of Auten’s fake assessment, but according to whistleblower testimony, the improper branding of them as disinformation “caused investigative activity to cease.”
Brady had planned to brief the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office --- that’s David Weiss, who has since been appointed special counsel --- on this “1023” and the need for further investigation, but the Foreign Influence Task Force got out ahead of him and on September 14, 2020, communicated with the CHS’s handling agent and, according to the whistleblower, “attempted to shut down” the CHS’s reporting “by falsely saying it was subject to foreign disinformation.”
As Grassley said in his letter, “It should be emphasized that the basis for trying to shut down the Biden family 1023 has been described to my office as highly suspect and is contradicted by other documents my office has been told exist within the Foreign Influence Task Force, FBI Seattle Field Office, FBI Baltimore Field Office, and FBI HQ [headquarters] holdings.”
And in case Brady, from his Pittsburgh office, might have been getting anywhere with his independent checking, Delaware Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, who was overseeing the Hunter Biden investigation, had, according to IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, “already written off any evidence coming out of Pittsburgh as disinformation.”
Cleveland also reviewed the transcribed interview by the House Judiciary Committee, taken two weeks ago, of Tim Thibault, former FBI assistant special agent in charge of the Washington field office. According to Thibault, the FBI headquarters’ Public Corruption Unit chief called him out of the blue to discuss this CHS and set up a meeting between him and the Foreign Influence Task Force to discuss their “concerns” about him. Thibault subsequently closed the association with that CHS.
Grassley is moving forward, with a list of about 25 DOJ and FBI personnel who need to be interviewed. But, as Cleveland says, that is not enough. Because FBI Director Wray “cannot control his swamp creatures,” the House must open a “long-overdue” impeachment inquiry into Wray.
Wray certainly should be responsible for what the Foreign Influence Task Force is doing, having personally set it up in the fall of 2017. Here’s the FBI’s webpage that tells what they’re supposed to be doing to target foreign influence operations. We read through it very carefully, and nowhere does it say anything about protecting a corrupt presidential candidate and his family by falsely labeling a laptop and a CHS’s interview as “foreign disinformation.” Funny how they ended up getting involved in that anyway.
Here’s more information at the FBI website about how they handle foreign threats. Much of this has to do with “election security” (we’ll pause while you laugh helplessly). Their way of dealing with foreign influence takes a “three-pronged approach.” Watch out for #3, “Private Sector Partnerships: The FBI considers strategic engagement with U.S. technology companies, including threat indicator sharing, to be important in combatting foreign influence actors.”
Ah, that must be why they went to Twitter and Facebook and falsely alerted them to “foreign disinformation” about Hunter Biden before the laptop story broke. Just doing their job. You know, to safeguard our election.
RELATED READING: For when you have time, this piece should raise alarm bells. Last May, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Director of National Intelligence and Obama Holdover Avril Haines first mentioned the FBI’s next step, the creation of the Foreign Malign Influence Center, or FMIC. It had actually been created the previous fall. According to THE INTERCEPT, it was formed “in response to concerns about the impact of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.” Oh, no.
The article reads, “The FMIC is authorized to counter foreign disinformation targeting not just U.S. elections, but also ‘the public opinion within the United States’ generally (!!!), according to the law.”
Here’s something else in the article to send a chill up your back: The Pentagon has very quietly opened something called their “Influence and Perception Management Office” (!!!). No details are given on this Orwellian-named office, because none whatsoever have been released. “As is often the case,” the article reads, “no press release accompanied the office’s creation or any reference by the administration aside from this year’s budget request, which appears to be the only publicly available U.S. government reference to the office.”
RIP Matthew Perry and Richard Roundtree
By “Huckabee” pop culture guru, Pat Reeder (http://www.hollywoodhifi.com)
I am truly sad to have to report that on Saturday, “Friends” star Matthew Perry was found dead at his home in Los Angeles at 54. Police said there were no illegal drugs on the scene (although there are reports that he had prescription medications), and foul play is not suspected. It was initially reported that he had drowned in his hot tub; but it was later learned that he had earlier played pickleball for two hours, and many commenters mentioned that for someone with his serious health issues, strenuous exercise followed by the high heat of a hot tub can lead to heart failure. FYI, here’s more information on that:
The coroner deferred releasing a cause of death pending further tests, but said Perry’s body was “ready for release,” with “other significant conditions” contributing to his death. In short, he had been lucky to still be alive, which he was well aware of.
Perry recently opened up in a best-selling memoir about his years of substance abuse and the toll it took on his body, with doctors at one point giving him only a 2% chance of survival. It started with alcohol, then a skiing accident led to a painkiller addiction. He was also a heavy smoker. You can see the effects on reruns of “Friends,” where at one point, he was taking 55 Vicodin a day and weighed only 128 pounds at six feet tall.
Having finally conquered his addictions and miraculously survived, Perry said, "The best thing about me, bar none, is if somebody comes up to me and says, 'I can't stop drinking. Can you help me?' I can say yes and follow up and do it. And I've said this for a long time: when I die, I don't want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that's mentioned — I want that to be the first thing that's mentioned. And I'm going to live the rest of my life proving that." Perry then stressed that he hopes what people say about him after his death is that “his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That's what I want."
At this writing, Perry’s closest castmates on “Friends” were reportedly in “total shock” and had yet to say anything. But there’s an outpouring of grief from countless celebrities who worked with Perry and who all describe him as incredibly sweet, kind and funny, despite the terrible addictions he fought for so many years. RIP, Matt.
Also, while we were away last week in Nashville, actor Richard Roundtree died at home on October 24th after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81. He had previously survived a double mastectomy and become a spokesperson to inform people that breast cancer could also strike men.
Roundtree played many roles, from the landmark miniseries “Roots” to Burt Reynolds’ partner in “City Heat,” and his favorite, "Once Upon A Time… When We Were Colored” (1996), which he said was his first film that his father didn’t refuse to watch. But he will forever be remembered as the first black action hero, detective John Shaft in 1971’s “Shaft.” “Shaft” spawned several sequels (“Shaft’s Big Score,” “Shaft in Africa” and a 1973 TV series) and two reboots with Samuel L. Jackson taking over as Shaft’s nephew.
As the co-author of “Hollywood Hi-Fi,” I’m known as an expert on celebrity singers, so I’d also like to mention that aside from Isaac Hayes’ classic “Shaft” soundtrack album, Roundtree released an LP called “The Man From Shaft” in 1972 and a few singles that showed off his pretty good R&B crooning skills.
Here’s the funky LP title track…
And a ballad, “Goodnight My Love,” arranged by Sinatra arranger Don Costa!
And something I’ll bet nobody else will mention: his singing was good enough to allow him to star in 1976 as Sky Masterson in a national tour of an all-black production of “Guys and Dolls,” with Leslie Uggams as Sister Sarah Brown. RIP.
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