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February 21, 2024

Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee team!

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Mike Huckabee

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Daily Bible Verse

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ephesians 1:7

Newsletter Notes

9 stories

3,659 words

Reading time: About 17 minutes

President Trump’s Town Hall

Former President Trump took part in a town hall with Laura Ingraham on Fox News last night. Here’s the full video:

A couple of major moments: Trump said he was willing to debate President Biden any time on any issues, but he doubts that Biden will debate him. Also, when asked about the claim that he will seek “revenge” on those who have relentlessly smeared, prosecuted and undermined him, he replied, “I don't care about the revenge thing. I know they usually use the word revenge. Will there be revenge? My revenge will be success.”

While I love that he’s taking the high road and refusing to respond to the slander, I hope he won’t consider it “revenge” to justifiably fire, and when called for, prosecute people who have clearly abused their power to weaponize the government and target political opponents. One of the greatest missed opportunities of his first term was that he didn’t use his famous catchphrase “You’re fired” nearly often enough. I’d like to see that rectified in his second term, especially if he wants to avoid being undermined from within the way he was in his first term.

Must-read column

Must-read column by Byron York at in which he gives us some little-discussed insight into why Judge Engoron levied that outrageous $355 million fine on Trump, and (surprise!) it has little to do with the actual law. It’s largely because Engoron decided that Trump didn’t show any “contrition” or “remorse.” He apparently handed down that outrageous nuclear verdict because Trump didn’t grovel before him but instead acted as if he’d done nothing wrong, just because he’s the only person in 70 years ever to be prosecuted for doing what every other business person in New York does when taking out loans.

As York puts it, it wasn’t justice, it was “retribution.” But I think we all knew that going in.

York also compiles a number of quotes from New York Attorney General Letitia James from her campaign, making it abundantly clear that she hated Trump and would abuse the power of her office to go after him and “bring him down,” before she’d even figured out what the charges would be (FYI: This Stalinesque tactic is exactly the opposite of how legitimate prosecutors operate. You’re supposed to identify a crime first, then decide who to charge for it; not target the person then come up with something to charge them with)

Having tasted blood, James is determined to go for the jugular, and is now talking about seizing Trump’s properties (and likely selling them off for pennies on the dollar) to destroy his real estate empire in New York. And she sneers at the warning that her unbridled leftist tyranny is convincing other businesses to flee New York. She scoffed, “Last I checked, tourism is up. Wall Street is doing just fine.”

That’s odd. I checked while writing this, and the Dow was down 120 points, after taking a 500-point drop last week. Plus, the stock market is not a local business. And in addition to the major venture capitalists announcing that they’ll no longer invest in New York, America’s oldest firearms manufacturer, Remington, is fleeing its home in Ilion, New York, after 208 years to move to Georgia.

By the way, Letitia: those aren’t tourists crowding New York City, they’re illegal aliens.

For the record, I thank God every week that I now film my TV show in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and no longer have to commute to Manhattan!

SCOTUS declines to hear Virginia education case

Even with its alleged conservative majority, the Supreme Court has dodged its duty too many times, usually because Chief Justice Roberts seems more concerned with maintaining the lofty image of the SCOTUS than with wading into the Court’s sometimes-messy prime directive of protecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

That happened again on Tuesday when the SCOTUS declined to hear a case challenging an elite Virginia high school’s admissions policy that allegedly discriminates against Asian-Americans for being too well-qualified. This may keep them from being accepted to Ivy League schools (that could be a blessing in disguise, but that’s another story.) In a furious 10-page dissent joined by Justice Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito called the lower court’s ruling allowing the school’s policy to stand "patently incorrect and dangerous.”

Alito wrote, "What the Fourth Circuit majority held, in essence, is that intentional racial discrimination is constitutional so long as it is not too severe. This reasoning is indefensible, and it cries out for correction…The holding below effectively licenses official actors to discriminate against any racial group with impunity as long as that group continues to perform at a higher rate than other groups…The Court’s willingness to swallow the aberrant decision below is hard to understand. We should wipe the decision off the books, and because the Court refuses to do so, I must respectfully dissent."

The SCOTUS also earned a rebuke from Alito for refusing to hear a case to determine whether potential jurors can be excluded based on having sincere, traditional religious beliefs. Alito rightly noted that, just as he warned in the case where they “discovered” a right to same-sex marriage, the SCOTUS is allowing “Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct” to be “‘labeled as bigots and treated as such’ by the government.”

(Of course, much of the media are framing this as "Alito defends bigotry against gays" instead of "Alito opposes bigotry against people of faith, just as he opposes liberal bigotry against Asian Americans.")

Both of these cases illustrate the dangers of allowing unconstitutional laws, policies and regulations to be created and then hoping the Supreme Court will do its job and protect the Constitution. We should instead be doing everything possible to elect officials, both locally and on the national level, who will protect Constitutional rights and hold them accountable, so we don’t have to rely on the last line of defense.

Biden vs Trump

This morning, the White House once again thumbed its nose at the Supreme Court, announcing another $1.2 billion in student loan forgiveness (which the SCOTUS ruled it has no power to implement. Someone please mention that to the committee looking into Biden's impeachment.) As the linked story notes, “Biden has now unilaterally wiped away nearly $138 billion in federal student loans for almost 3.9 million borrowers without a single act of Congress.”

Correction: He hasn’t “wiped away” that debt, since that’s impossible. He’s just taken it off the backs of the people who willingly agreed to take out loans and repay them, and dumped the cost onto the backs of taxpayers who might not even have had the chance to go to college, or who worked their way through or paid off their own student loans.

So just to be clear: Trump is fined $355 million for taking out loans and paying them back, but Democrat voters who take out loans and fail to pay them back get rewarded by having someone else pay their loans off for them. And this is the party that claims to be the champion of “justice.”

Report: $517 million to illegal immigrants

According to a Fox News Digital review of state and local programs, Democrat mayors and governors spent at least $517 million from Biden’s $1.2 trillion “American Rescue Plan” that was meant to help Americans during the COVID pandemic on support for “undocumented residents” (i.e., illegal immigrants.)

As the Economic Policy Innovation Center put it, "This means the Biden Administration directly subsidized ‘undocumented’ immigration under the guise of COVID-19 pandemic relief."  I assume it’s like the payoffs of student loans: Democrats using our tax money to buy the support of one of their voting blocs.

Haley’s bait-and-switch

Nikki Haley ticked off some reporters Tuesday by calling a press conference that was allegedly going to include some major news. It got media attention because they assumed she was announcing that she was dropping out of the race, considering she’s yet to win a primary and is at least 25 points behind Trump in polls for the upcoming primary in her home state of South Carolina. But she pulled a bait-and-switch by making the “big announcement” that she’s not dropping out, regardless of what happens in South Carolina.

Haley said, “Why would I [drop out] when only, at that point, four states have voted? Ten days after South Carolina, another 20 states vote. I mean, this isn’t Russia.” I’m not sure what that means. Are Russian political candidates forced to drop out if they keep losing and are 25 points behind in the polls, or do they just figure out for themselves that they should drop out?

I’ve said before that I don’t want to tell anyone else when it’s time to quit, but I can’t see any path forward to victory for Haley. At this point, she’s wasting her supporters’ time and money on what I can only imagine is an audition for a slot as a Trump-hating Republican on MSNBC. If she really cares about stopping the incalculable damage being done to America by the Biden White House, then it’s time to put the divisive attacks on Trump aside and start working to unify the party, focus the message and win in November.

As I told Sean Hannity on Fox News last night, Trump should ignore Haley, stay above the intra-party sniping, and concentrate on contrasting his positive vision for America with the disastrous policies of the Democrats. He should also go easy on personal attacks on Biden, since I’m not convinced he’ll be the nominee, but anyone who replaces him will be nothing but a different face on the same failed, destructive policies.

Surprise:  the FBI’s “RNC” pipe bomb story has big problems, too

We’ve previously reported that the so-called “RNC” bomb was found in a back alley right next to the adjacent Capitol Hill Club and was actually closer to it than to the RNC headquarters building, although the FBI has made “RNC bomb” part of the narrative.  There’s a nice symmetry to it:  DNC, RNC.  Now, investigative reporters Michael Shellenberger and Alex Gutentag are focusing on this.  Is it another made-up story by the FBI, designed to give it maximum political overtones?

This is a second case of what the FBI has said was an active bomb placed the night before but with a one-hour kitchen timer attached to it.  As with the DNC bomb (which really was at the DNC), the timer had 20 minutes remaining.  This makes no sense if these were intended to go off.

The new piece of information is that according to an experienced security analyst who came forward with a report to Congress, the FBI has to be misrepresenting the location of the bomb allegedly found at the RNC.  In a series of illustrations, he has corrected the FBI’s misleading map to show where the bomb was actually found --- practically on the other side of the Capitol Hill Club from where the FBI has maintained, much farther from the RNC.

As we reported quite a while back, the “RNC” bomb was supposedly discovered shortly before the DNC bomb, by a woman named Karlin Younger who was going back and forth to do laundry and who worked for a security contractor for the (surprise) FBI.  But what we didn’t know till now is this security expert’s observation:  that the way she described her reaction to the bomb was oddly worry-free, “unrealistically calm.”

More on this as it develops, which we have a feeling will be soon.

FBI Claim That Alleged January 6 Pipe Bomb Was Left At Republican Headquarters Is False, New Evidence Suggests
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), last year, somebody planted a bomb at the Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters on January 5 to go off on January 6, the day of the Capitol riot. But the person who was the FBI’s Director of the Washington Field Office on January 6, 2021…
Read more

Nick Arama at REDSTATE wrote about this, too.

COMMENTARY: More on FBI informant Smirnov that doesn’t add up

In breaking news Tuesday evening, Alexander Smirnov, the longtime FBI informant whose alleged lies relating to Biden bribery were immortalized in that “1023” is now being said by Special Counsel David Weiss to have ties with Russian intelligence.  Those ties, he says, were “involved in passing a story about Hunter Biden that has been critical to congressional Republicans’ efforts to investigate the first family.”

Actually, as we’ll get to below, it’s not so critical.  But Democrats want us to believe it is.  And mainstream media is running with the “Russia” theme.  Note the headline on ABC NEWS…

The filing by Weiss sounds suspiciously like yet another of the intelligence community’s “Russian disinformation” tales:  "Smirnov's efforts to spread misinformation about a candidate of one of the two major parties in the United States continues," the filing states. "What this shows is that the misinformation he is spreading is not confined to 2020. He is actively peddling new lies that could impact U.S. elections after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November.”

Aside from the now-tired references to “Russian disinformation,” there’s something about this story that just isn’t right.  For years, this individual was a highly-paid and utilized confidential human source (CHS) for the FBI.  As recently as last summer, they were refusing to release the “1023” because, they claimed, it would compromise a valuable source.  Did they still not know last summer that he had lied to them in 2017?  About something so consequential?

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky said, “When asked by the committee about their confidence in the confidential human source, the FBI told the committee the [CHS] was credible and trusted.”  Smirnov, he said, “had worked with the FBI for over a decade and had been paid six figures.”  Of course, Smirnov was also well aware that lying to a federal agent is against the law.

So, “Did Smirnov really lie about this or not?” is just the first of the questions we have.  Why did the DOJ not charge Christopher Steele with the same crime, when he seemingly committed it with his “dossier” falsely tying Trump to Russia?  And why did they wait years to charge Smirnov with lying, or even just to change their tune on the matter of his reliability?

We all understood when the “1023” story broke that the notes of an FBI agent in such a report constitute raw intelligence that still requires investigation and verification.  Without that next step, it wasn’t solid evidence of the Biden family’s wrongdoing, yet the media and Democrats (same thing) are now talking as if all the evidence the committee has gathered had just gone away somehow.  Au contraire.  Plenty of evidence is there, mostly in the form of financial records and sworn testimony.

So...drop the impeachment inquiry?  Are they kidding?

It’s easy to speculate, so let’s.  Perhaps Smirnov used to be a trusted source but was found out by the Russians and compromised somehow, made to pass along certain information.  But why would Russia want him to pass along a story damaging to Biden, when we now have good reason to believe that Putin really did NOT want Trump in the White House due to his unpredictability.  (Note:  this is just the opposite of what our intelligence community was telling us.)  Again, it doesn’t make sense.

FOX NEWS reports that Smirnov has been released from custody in Las Vegas after turning in his passport; he’s wearing an ankle monitor.  If he disappears, the one way to find out if Burisma founder Mikola Zlochevsky really said he “paid $5 million to one Biden and $5 million to another Biden” is to hear it from Zlochevsky himself.

More on this soon.

RELATED:  President Biden’s younger brother James is set to answer questions (well, to face questions, at least) behind closed doors today for the House impeachment inquiry regarding the use of Joe’s name to generate business.  (Hunter is scheduled for February 28.)  As you know, former Hunter business partner Tony Bobulinski has said that President Biden “lied to the American people” about this.  Questions for James will focus on those “loans” between James and Joe and how they fit into the complicated web of payments that allegedly were part of an influence-peddling and bribery scheme.  Two so-called “loan repayment” checks, written in 2017 from James to the then-former Vice President --- he had just left office --- are central to this inquiry:  one for $200,000 and the other for $40,000.

As Mike Davis said on FOX NEWS last night, the problem with the Biden family is that they have more than $20 million from foreign governments and other entities, distributed to every family member (well, except Hunter’s 6-year-old daughter in Arkansas), that needs to be explained.  What were they selling other than Joe Biden’s name?  

We’ll have a report tomorrow on James’ testimony, at least as much as can be gleaned from the press statements given after a closed-door session.  Don’t expect us to take Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin seriously.  Talk about an unreliable source!

ALSO RELATED:  For when you have time, John D. O’Connor at PJ MEDIA has a detailed piece on how Special Counsel Hur’s “classified document” report on President Biden managed to gloss over what may be obstruction of justice by Biden and his team.  Would Trump get away with this lack of documentation by those on his team going through boxes of potentially classified material?  Are you kidding?

“If the scene had exonerated Biden,” O’Connor writes, “Hur would have had photos galore, common sense suggests.”  But for some reason nobody on his team took out a cell phone to get even one picture of the vast pile of boxes they found.

And now it’s impossible to examine the 28 boxes that they delivered to the Archives.  Under the Presidential Records Act, these documents are for the exclusive use of President Biden for the next 12 years --- and even after that, access is limited.  As O’Connor reports, “We therefore must wait 12 years to investigate further whether Biden obstructed justice or used classified documents after leaving office.  Of course, by then, the statute of limitations would have lapsed on these possible crimes.”

Oh, and by the way, here’s a surprise:  Special Counsel Hur has missed the deadline set by Congress to turn over the transcript of the interview with President Biden.  Guess it’s subpoena time.

COMMENTARY: Fake news alert!  Trump sneaker-buyer is NOT a “Russian oligarch”

As Truman Capote famously said: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

And the media hardly ever will, at least not when the story has anything to do with President Trump.  If you’ve seen the story about the $9,000 purchase of a pair of Trump’s limited-edition high-top gold sneakers --- autographed, of course --- at Philadelphia’s “Sneaker Con” (yes, they have conventions for EVERYTHING), you likely saw the purchaser identified as a Russian oligarch.  Obviously, the fake Trump-Russia narrative still hasn’t gone away.

The media apparently glommed on to some inaccurate report that supported the preferred narrative and repeated it like the simpleminded Greek chorus they are.  Next thing you know, this man will be investigated by the FBI for (nonexistent) ties to Russian intelligence.  (That’s a joke, but these days, you never know.)

As BLAZE MEDIA reported Tuesday, “Various social media users with significant followings insinuated that the sneaker game presented an opportunity for Trump and Moscow to collude.”  In their stories and tweets, the purchaser of this pair of collectibles was alternately described as a “Russian oligarch,” a “Russian CEO” and a “shady Russian watch dealer.”

Here’s who he really is: Roman Sharf is a proud U.S. Army veteran and a Republican.  His business is not “shady”; his company “Luxury Bazaar,” has for two decades sold pre-owned luxury watches.  He came to America as a 13-year-old refugee from Ukraine when it was still part of the Soviet Union.  He says his dad had four dollars in his pocket when they arrived.  In a video posted on X, he also says he “busted my a-- working every dirty job under the sun to get where I am today to get to a point where I can splurge on a $9,000 pair of collectible sneakers.”

He is not pro-Russia.  In fact, through his charitable organization, he says that since the war in Ukraine started, he has raised over a quarter of a million dollars in aid to Ukraine.

After being threatened with a boycott of his business, he says, “There’s not a mean tweet in the world, there’s not an IG post, there’s not a news article that’s gonna stop me from being who I am and that is a patriot of this country...”

After this experience, he laments how divided our country is but says nothing is going to stop him from being a patriot.  Watch his powerful statement here:

Here’s the story at THE BLAZE.

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