Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Bible Verse of the Day - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
- Lots of "Big Lies," but the Russia Hoax is still the biggest
- One Year Anniversary
- FBI raids the home of Democrat Representative Henry Cuellar
- And much more
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1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
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2. Lots of "Big Lies," but the Russia Hoax is still the biggest:
As we watch the DOJ launch investigations of concerned parents and 2020 election skeptics with the pretext of countering “domestic terrorism,” it’s easy to see how facile they are at creating issues essentially out of thin air. They do it over and over. Another example of this –- evident in President Biden’s Wednesday press conference –- is the fiction that Republicans, in their opposition to the so-called “voter rights” bill, are trying to suppress the minority vote. That is a detestable lie, made up out of whole cloth, but Biden just keeps saying it, anyway. He’ll say it as long as he and his advisers think he’s getting something out of it.
The Democrats have a singular talent for whipping up huge, complex narratives out of nothing, waving their magic wand to get the media obsessed with them, and keeping them going for years. It’s a make-work program for DC lawyers, keeping their political opponents busy fighting in court, and maintains for the public whatever fiction they choose to tell. They illustrate the accuracy of the statement that if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. That’s why many in our country actually believe that millions of Trump supporters are white supremacists and dirty Jim Crow-style segregationists. Just turn on MSNBC to hear that idiotic lie.
But there has never been a bigger and more consequential example of this flair for fiction than the Russia Hoax.
While President Biden has been busy this year failing to live up to even the lowest of expectations –- though he brags that he has exceeded them –- Special Counsel John Durham has been quietly looking into the origin of that Biggest of Big Lies, the lie that actually turned into an attempted coup against a sitting President. Aaron Mate at RealClear Communications has just written an excellent commentary that compares the unsatisfactory investigation completed by “Justice” Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz two years ago with the broader probe headed by Durham. The Special Counsel really is getting to the heart of just how ridiculously flimsy the “evidence” was that the FBI exploited to start spying on Trump’s people.
Horowitz, in his report of December 2019, faulted the FBI for its handling of the Russia probe but still, unbelievably, concluded that it was launched in good faith. If that seems laughable now (and it sure does), keep in mind that Horowitz was only conducting an internal investigation, so he was limited to speaking with “Justice” Department employees. That meant Hillary’s campaign and some of their most notorious helpers were essentially out of his reach.
His report taught us a hard lesson, too, about internal investigations in general. When departments investigate themselves, they tend to cut themselves a ridiculous amount of slack. (See “Capitol Hill Police Lt. Michael Byrd.”) In fact, to reach his conclusion Horowitz had to essentially disregard evidence that was included in his own report.
The media loved that conclusion, though, and danced with delight. As Mate tells it, “Horowitz’ report, wrote Mother Jones reporter (and early Steele media contact) David Corn, ‘concluded that the Trump-Russia contacts had been legitimately launched,’ thereby proving that ‘there was no hoax.’”
But we know differently today –- that they used fake information in the unverified “dossier” to launch the probe and later get their spy warrants. So the question is, who is ultimately responsible for the creation of that work of fiction?
“As he documents the role of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in generating false allegations of Trump-Russia collusion,” Mate writes, “Special Counsel John Durham has also previewed a challenge to the FBI’s claims about how and why its counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign began. At stake is the official reckoning within the U.S. government over the Russiagate scandal --- and whether there will be an accounting commensurate with the offense: the abuse of the nation’s highest law enforcement and intelligence powers to damage an opposition political candidate turned president, at the behest of his opponent from the governing party he defeated.”
Horowitz criticized the FBI for using the Steele memos --- taken together, the “dossier” --- but took them at their word that they didn’t use them to actually open Crossfire Hurricane. They had other evidence, he said, that met the “low threshold” needed for opening an investigation.
Recall that when his report came out, we were scratching our heads over that conclusion. How could there be a low threshold for opening an investigation on a major-party candidate RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT? That was not something to be undertaken lightly. It seemed that, if anything, there should have been a higher-than-normal threshold for the FBI to get involved in something that political.
But apparently Durham was scratching his head over it, too. When it came out, he announced that his office had “advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication [reason] and how the FBI case was opened.” And because Durham’s was not just an internal investigation, it was “not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department” and has instead obtained “information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside the U.S.”
The story about Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos telling Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that the Russians had political dirt on Hillary was so flimsy that it couldn’t have been the pretext for an investigation, as the FBI claimed it was. Besides, we know they got the names Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mike Flynn, who were all investigated, right out of the “dossier.” And while the FBI investigators claimed they didn’t see it until mid-September of 2016, we know that some at the FBI had seen “dossier” material prior to opening Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016.
In fact, Christopher Steele, working on behalf of the Clinton campaign through Fusion GPS, first contacted someone with the FBI on July 5, three weeks before Crossfire Hurricane was opened. That was Michael Gaeta, a senior FBI agent he had worked with before and who was now working as a legal attache in Rome. Gaeta was excited to receive a copy of Steele’s “report” and quickly passed it along to eager colleagues.
Interestingly, Mate reports that before Gaeta took off for London to meet with Steele, he got the approval for his trip from Victoria Nuland, who then worked in the State Department and is now Biden’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Those at the State Department who saw a few pages of what Steele had given Gaeta said, “This needs to go to the FBI.”
It’s hard to know why Horowitz took the FBI’s word when they said they didn’t use the unverified “dossier” to open their investigation, when he’d documented so many of their other lies. Mate outlines these under the subhead, “On Steele, a Pattern of FBI ‘Factual Misstatements and Omissions.’”
The Bureau has already been caught relying on Clinton-funded disinformation and lying about that. It could get a lot worse. Mate anticipates that Durham is in his “final months” of the investigation and is honing in on his ultimate targets.
3. One Year Anniversary:
Today marks one year since Joe Biden assumed the Presidency. I know it’s my job to comment on things like this, but I was brought up to believe that if you have absolutely nothing good to say about someone, you shouldn’t say anything. So I will try to think of something good to say about Biden’s first year in the White House…
Hold on, don’t rush me…
Okay, I’ve got something! As one gets older, the years seem to move faster. Time starts to rush by, and you wish you could slow it down a bit. Well, I can honestly say that thanks to the Biden Administration, the past year has seemed like an eternity. So, thanks, Joe, for that.
It seems depressingly appropriate that the first year of this snakebit Administration ended with a press conference that critics dubbed a “disaster” and that was occurring even as his quixotic attempts to eliminate the filibuster and nationalize voting laws were crashing and burning in the Senate, thanks to Joe Manchin, and on the filibuster issue, Kyrsten Sinema.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the double rejection of the Democrats’ efforts to kill the filibuster and voter integrity laws “the most important day in the history of the Senate as an institution,” adding that "America can breathe a sigh of relief" because "this radicalism will have been stopped. A good day for America.”
Meanwhile, back at the podium, President Biden was not having a good day. As one commentator put it, Biden hadn’t held a press conference in months, and now we all understand why.
The debacle ranged from attempts to undermine faith in the legitimacy of the upcoming election (wait, I thought that questioning election results was treasonous?); a shockingly soft comment about Russia that could encourage Putin to make a “minor incursion” into Ukraine; bragging about record “job creation and economic growth” that was mostly due to red states ignoring him and reopening their locked-down economies; insisting that store shelves aren’t empty and he doesn’t believe polls; lashing out at a reporter who accurately quoted his comparison of his critics to racist Democrats of the past like Bull Connor (he denied saying that, but yes, he did, on camera); and making a jaw-dropping claim that no other President has done as much in one year and that he’s “outperformed” what people thought he was capable of.
In the spirit of trying to find something good to say, I’ll just say that in a manner of speaking, that last claim might actually be true.
Here’s a good write-up of some of the most cringe-worthy moments of Biden's press conference and reactions to it.
Laura Ingraham of Fox News, who doesn’t try to follow the “try to say something nice” rule, called this a “quicksand” presidency and described Biden as “completely delusional” and his team as “frighteningly stupid.”
Matt Margolis at PJ Media has some thoughts about Biden’s claim that he makes “no apologies” for the deadly botching of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
The brutally funny writer Bonchie at RedState.com is always worth reading, and his analysis of Biden’s press conference includes some facts and statistics that prove all that spinning was an attempt to disguise a downward spiral.
Finally, as for everyone else who watched the press conference but is not a professional commentator, I think most of them were thinking the same thing: “How are we going to survive three more years of this?”
4. The toughest job in the White House:
Pulling clean-up duty after President Biden goes off the Teleprompter.
5. FBI raids the home of Democrat Representative Henry Cuellar:
It’s been reported that last night, the FBI raided the Laredo, Texas, home and campaign office of Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar, reportedly removing large bags, plastic bins and a computer. Cuellar’s office said he’s “cooperating fully.” This is a breaking story, and at this writing, we still have no idea what the raid is all about, although Cuellar is a frequent critic of President Biden and his disastrous border policies (or maybe the FBI found out that he was in the Capitol on January 6th.) I’ll fill you in as soon as more information is known.
6. UK Prime Minister announces that Great Britain will be lifting virtually all of its COVID restrictions:
While our “leaders” in DC continue to ramp up the COVID fear and authoritarian anti-virus measures, other nations are starting to recognize that the time may be here to just learn to live with it. I reported recently on Israeli researchers who say too many vaccine shots may actually harm your body’s ability to fight the virus, and on the former head of the UK’s virus task force saying that Omicron is a mild variant, and Britain's mass vaccination effort is a "waste of time" and should come to an end. He said the government should focus instead on protecting the most vulnerable, such as unvaccinated elderly people.
Apparently, that message sank in, because yesterday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Great Britain will be lifting virtually all of its COVID restrictions. Johnson said the Omicron wave has peaked nationally and infections are leveling off. So the UK will end mask mandates and requirements for vaccine passports. He said, “We will trust the judgment of the British people, and no longer criminalize anyone who chooses not to wear (a mask.)” Imagine that: trusting the judgment of the people! Why, it's almost like a free country!
Meanwhile, our leaders continue to make a bad situation worse by pressing more draconian mandates over strong public resistance.
Which brings up an interesting discussion: what if the Omicron wave is doing exactly as predicted by spreading natural immunity and ending the pandemic? COVID would become just another endemic problem like the flu that people have to periodically deal with. Will our leaders be willing to give up the unconstitutional power they’ve seized in the name of the “health emergency?” How will Americans react if they don’t? What about Americans who’ve been so frightened of this disease that they’ve become addicted to wearing masks, hiding out at home and finking on their neighbors for just wanting to live their lives?
Dennis Santiago at RedState.com examines those questions and ponders what's next and whether people who’ve adopted a “bunker” mentality will ever be able to come outside, blink at the sun and go back to living normally again.
7. I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Morning Edition.