Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee team! Today, if you have a moment, leave me a comment about something you read. Comments help me fine tune what I am writing, and they show that we have an active community of readers.
Daily Bible Verse
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Matthew 10:16 KJV
Reading time: About 18 minutes
Hunter Biden pulls another stunt; no “ethical plan” for sale of his “artwork”
Apologies in advance for the preponderance of Hunter Biden news in today’s newsletter. There’s just so much, and it speaks so loudly of the corruption that is the current administration. Let’s get started…
Wednesday morning, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s “mark-up” meeting on a resolution to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress was crashed by...Hunter Biden himself. He walked in flanked by lead attorney Abbe Lowell and the person who is paying for Lowell, Hunter’s “sugar brother” and wealthy Hollywood attorney/producer Kevin Morris, and the three of them took seats. Of course, they’d brought a large entourage and camera crew into the room as well.
Was Hunter there in response to his subpoena? No. This was a stunt that was over in just a few minutes, as the meeting-crashers quickly walked right out again, unwilling to sit through the outspoken comments from Reps. Nancy Mace and Marjorie Taylor-Greene. MT-G appeared ready to start asking questions of Hunter right then, but Hunter wasn’t there to do that.
Morris seemed highly entertained by the spectacle. He’s been working for months producing a documentary on Hunter, and the little circus he and his friends created was surely intended to be a part of that. He looked pleased.
And it WAS entertaining, as Mace revealed a sharp sense of humor. “My first question is who bribed Hunter Biden to be here today?” she quipped. “That’s my first question. Second question, you are the epitome of white privilege. Coming into the Oversight Committee, spitting in our face, ignoring a subpoena to be deposed --- what are you afraid of? You have no balls to come up here.”
Our one quibble with that is that she might have called it “political privilege.” President Trump’s white family has never been spared the responsibility to testify --- in the very kind of closed-door depositions that Hunter is trying to dodge now.
Hunter and his entourage streamed out of the room in a flash when Greene took the floor; she didn’t even have time to ask one question. “I think it’s clear and obvious for everyone watching this hearing today that Hunter is terrified of strong conservative Republican women because he can’t even face my words as I was about to speak to him,” she said after they were gone. “What a coward.”
We’re not sure if the “strong conservative Republican women” issue is a factor for Hunter, as it would be surprising if Hunter had ever even talked to one in his whole life. (Maybe it would have helped.) My guess is that he would’ve been out the door just as fast if Chairman James Comer had started questioning him.
Abbe Lowell gave a statement to the press after they left that was his usual steaming load, going on about how willing they’d been to participate in a public hearing. (Given Hunter’s quick exit from this one, we wonder about that!) He says they don’t want a closed door because this is “a tactic that Republicans have repeatedly misused in their political crusade to selectively leak and mischaracterize what witnesses have said.” He said Hunter doesn’t want to participate in a hearing in which Republicans can “distort, manipulate or misuse that testimony.”
That is, to use some of our favorite highly technical legal jargon, a hoot.
Once again, we have a big Democrat accusing Republicans of doing what THEY do. How many hours and hours of closed-door testimony have members of the Trump family had to put on the record? How much testimony was taken behind closed doors by Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 Kangaroo Kommittee, later to be presented during public hearings in highly edited form? As far as we can see, it’s the Democrats who specialize in obtaining massive amounts of testimony in secret and then cherry-picking and leaking it. So Lowell is, to use another favorite technical term, full of it. He has no grounds to reject this congressional subpoena and absolutely does not get to dictate the terms.
This is the second stunt Lowell has pulled on behalf of Hunter. On December 13, the day he was scheduled to be deposed behind closed doors, Hunter delivered a press conference outside the building instead. Kevin Morris was there that day, too. Recall that the outdoor space had been reserved by California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who has no business being in Congress at all after getting touchy-feely with a Chinese spy.
Now, on to breaking news about the money paid for Hunter’s “artwork.” George Berges, owner of the Manhattan gallery that was selling Hunter’s paintings, told House impeachment investigators that three of the purchasers were prominent Democrat donors.
Well, who did anyone think would buy them --- art lovers??
Elizabeth Hirsch Naftali was already known to have bought his work, two months after Joe Biden became President, and she later was appointed by President Biden to a prestigious commission. The major buyer was...(drum roll, please)...”sugar brother” Morris, who also happens to be an art collector. What are the odds?
[Interesting side note: Naftali’s niece was among the first American hostages to be released by Hamas as part of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the terror group.]
According to a report in THE MESSENGER, Hunter knew who his buyers were. Sources said he found out on his own, rather than being told by Berges. But Berges apparently was unaware of any plan to keep the Bidens in the dark about who was buying. After interviewing Berges, the Oversight Committee called this “an ethics nightmare.”
Maryland Rep. Jame Raskin stepped in to defend President Biden, saying Joe had no knowledge of these art sales. “It’s not illegal to buy and sell abstract art in America,” he said.
No, it’s not, unless it’s being used as a way to launder bribe money. In Jonathan Turley’s new column, he writes about the frequent reassurances from Jen Psaki that “there was a special ethical plan in place with the gallery to prevent Hunter from knowing who purchased the art.” Berges, though, says he was never contacted by the White House about this and that Hunter knew who had purchased “roughly 70 percent” of the value of his art.
Turley points out that Berges was reading news accounts of this “special ethical plan” and knew there wasn’t one but never objected to this alleged misrepresentation. He just sold paintings and gave money to Hunter. Berges might not have told Hunter who bought them, but, as we’ve all known from the beginning because we’re not stupid, it was easy for Hunter to find out. The buyers must’ve found SOME way to let him know, like maybe a note in that year’s Christmas card.
Oddly, when Kevin Morris bought paintings, he paid the dealer’s commission as well. As Turley says, “The strange arrangement reinforces the view that this was all a sham, from the alleged ethics plan to the purchases themselves.” He notes that Morris was a major Democrat donor who had only briefly known Hunter when he started paying all his bills. The column is a must-read.
Prayers and condolences
We extend our prayers and condolences to former First Lady Melania Trump and her family on the death of her mother, Amalija Knavs. Melania tweeted that her mother was “a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity. She was entirely devoted to her husband, daughters, grandson, and son-in-law. We will miss her beyond measure and continue to honor and love her legacy."
Time to take the blinders off
Those who claim the idea of a two-tiered “justice” system is a rightwing conspiracy need to take their blinders off, especially after the developments of the past week.
First, we had the DC Court of Appeals unanimously ruling that January 6th defendants could be convicted of “disruptive and disorderly conduct” even if they were just standing there doing nothing. That was followed by an announcement that the Biden DOJ would expand its jihad against J6 protesters to hunt down people who did nothing more than walk past the Capitol (apparently, the lawn was a restricted area, as if anyone could’ve known that.)
This blatant attempt to terrify Republicans into not daring to ever question an election the Democrats won was then topped by news that J6 defendant Ray Epps had been given the staggering sentence of…probation, $500 restitution, and 100 hours of community service.
This is from a “justice” system that’s thrown other J6 defendants into federal prison for years, some of whom weren’t even in DC at the time. Epps is on video from that day, aggressively inciting Trump supporters to go into the Capitol, with some bystanders warning others not to listen to him and calling him “a fed.” Epps and the government have denied that, yet it took years for him to face any charges, and now, he’s been let off not with a slap on the wrist but a kiss on the hand, by the same prosecutors who are trying to put conservative grannies into prison for over a decade for praying outside an abortion clinic.
Here's a write-up by Beege Welborn at Hotair.com on this story that would be laughable if it weren’t so transparent and infuriating.
It includes an examination of how the AP framed the story, soft-pedaling what Epps did and sympathetically tut-tutting that the poor baby was “targeted by right-wing conspiracy theories.” I’m sure many people will consider this verdict as confirmation that those “conspiracy theories” were correct. And the coverage of it will only reinforce another “right-wing conspiracy theory” that the media are also on the payroll of the feds. Although I’m willing to believe that they’re campaign volunteers.
And another one bites the dust:
A federal judge in Nevada threw out an attempt to bar Trump from the ballot, in this case ruling that the plaintiff didn’t have standing to bring the suit. Details at the link. Let’s all hope the SCOTUS boots this nonsense for good soon so that we can get on with having an election based on the Democrats’ worst nightmare: letting people vote for the candidate of their choice.
Another court case seemed to go less positively for Trump on Tuesday, as his attorneys argued to a three-judge panel (two of them Biden appointees) of the DC Court of Appeals that he had immunity from prosecution for acts taken in his official duties as President. The judges seemed skeptical, peppering them with questions right off the DNC hotline, like asking if he should get immunity if he ordered Seal Team 6 to assassinate his political opponent. Let’s hope they rule quickly so it can be appealed to the SCOTUS where it might be taken more seriously.
By the way, I’m not an attorney, but I probably would have answered that question like this: “That’s irrelevant because ensuring elections are conducted legally is part of the President’s official duties. While the current Administration might disagree, assassinating your political opponents is not.”
Christie drops out
Wednesday, Chris Christie dropped out of the GOP presidential race, acknowledging that there’s no path forward to victory for him. He also declined to endorse another non-Trump candidate.
I’m not going to list all the cruel double-entendre headlines like “Field thins,” because I don’t think that’s very classy. Still, Christie didn’t exactly bow out with class, as his farewell speech played the same one-note as his campaign: viciously attacking Donald Trump and his own party for voting for Trump.
He even managed to get caught on a hot mic slamming Nikki Haley’s campaign, which is really hurling rocks from a glass house.
Christie’s departure prior to Iowa makes a good point about the Iowa Caucuses. A lot of pundits sneer that Iowa isn’t a reliable indicator of who will win the nomination. That’s true: I won Iowa in 2008 and didn’t become President – sadly for America, I like to think. But that’s not the point. Iowa might not choose the ultimate winner, but it does narrow the field by showing us who has no chance to win. That’s a vital function in itself. Watch my TBN TV show this weekend; I plan to talk more about this.
Iowa: A Debate and a Townhall
Last night, with the Iowa Caucuses drawing near, CNN hosted a debate between Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, while Fox News hosted a townhall with Donald Trump.
I’m not going to go into all the details of both, since it would take up the whole newsletter. But here’s a good recap from Townhall.com of the high points of the Haley-DeSantis fracas:
Personally, I thought that both had good moments, but DeSantis was better at laying out policies while Haley spent too much time attacking her opponent and pushing a website that supposedly exposes his “lies.” The word “lies” has lost all meaning in modern politics; it’s hurled at anyone who expresses an opinion you disagree with or changes his/her mind in light of new information. When I send you to a website for more info in this newsletter, it's to save my space and your time; but when someone’s debating, I’d like to hear what they think in their own words, like, right now.
I thought the best comment came from Bob Hoge at Redstate.com, who wrote, “I know this is a GOP debate, but still not enjoying two Rebubs attempting to rip each other into shreds. Neither of them is the problem. Biden is, and he’s driving America off a cliff. How about we talk about that?” But of course, we couldn’t, because…”This is CNN!”
Hoge's comment came from Redstate’s live-blog of the debate and Trump’s town hall. If you’d like to read some enjoyable commentary, you can scroll back through it all here:
As for Trump’s townhall, the major news that came out of it was that he said he already has a VP pick in mind, but didn’t reveal who it was. He also denied charges that his second term would be about “retribution,” saying he would be too busy making the economy great, and I assume, cleaning up the giant mess created by Biden and his handlers. But I hope his disavowal of retribution doesn’t mean he won’t fire and/or prosecute a lot of people who greatly deserve it. Removing unelected, deep state power abusers isn’t retribution, it’s a vital part of “making America great again.”
At this writing, Fox has yet to post the entire townhall online, but here’s a three-minute distillation from Politico, which covers some important points, even if it leaves out some of Trump's best and most important points (hey, it’s from Politico.) I notice that a lot of the commenters mentioned how amazing it was just to see a President who is capable of speaking about issues extemporaneously without having a giant teleprompter in front of him.
NYC chooses illegal aliens over students
With a dangerous winter storm set to hit New York City, officials there moved 2,000 illegal aliens from the tent shelter at Floyd Bennett Field to the gym at James Madison High School. The students will have to stay home and undergo “virtual classes” so that their school can be taken over by people who shouldn’t be here in the first place (thanks, Joe Biden!)
While a lot of New Yorkers are complaining about this, maybe they should look on the bright side. If those kids went to school in New York, they’d probably be miseducated into voting for Democrats who are responsible for this. At least now, they get to see firsthand the dreadful effects of Democrat policies. Maybe that and avoiding New York school will help them grow up smarter so they don’t vote like their parents.
New Epstein documents released
The last set of Jeffrey Epstein court documents were released, and they include some allegations of sex trafficking involving prominent names. Among them are the late New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (who can’t defend himself), Alan Dershowitz (those allegations have already been debunked and retracted), Richard Branson, Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and even Donald Trump. Previous releases exonerated Trump, with witnesses saying they’d never seen him at Epstein’s home or on his island.
At the link, Bonchie of Redstate.com reports that one Epstein accuser claimed Trump had sexual relations with an unnamed friend of hers at Epstein’s home “on regular occasions,” and that she had sex tapes of him, Clinton and others.
However, many media outlets are blaring the Trump accusation but leaving out or burying the part where she retracted the claims in 2019. The New Yorker reported then that she admitted to having “invented the tapes to draw attention to Epstein’s behavior, and to make him believe that she had ‘evidence that would come out if he harmed me.'”
I tend to believe that if there were any incriminating tapes of Trump, the Biden DOJ would have leaked them long ago.
Dr. Anthony Fauci was grilled Monday about the government’s pandemic-era failures in a closed-door hearing by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. While the testimony was not made public, the Committee chairman reported that Fauci claimed more than 100 times not to recall details surrounding “pertinent COVID-19 information or conversations.”
Hey, cut him some slack. Maybe he suffered brain damage from breathing so much CO2 while wearing three facemasks.
Dad of the new year
A big salute to this New York dad who stood up to obnoxious, traffic-blocking pro-Palestinian protesters and made them move out of his way so he could get to his daughter – yet he also resisted the temptation to run over them. I think they got the idea, though, that he would go through all of them with his fists if he had to, and they stepped aside.
Better take this as a red flag: Americans – even New Yorkers -- are getting fed up with your garbage, and their patience is at an end. You want a ceasefire? Tell your friends in Hamas to give up their hostages and surrender. Problem solved.
Less than impressive evidence
The more hysterical the Democrats get with their claims about the mortal dangers of Donald Trump, the less impressive their evidence is. One of the latest assaults came from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, who released a report that claims Trump is compromised by taking money from foreign governments (yes, this is the party of Joe and Hunter Biden, but we’ll put that irony aside for now.)
The report claims that Trump’s businesses raked in $7.8 million from 20 foreign governments during the first two years of his term. Ooh, sounds incriminating! But hold on, the Daily Caller looked at the details:
Turns out the majority of that money came from one Chinese bank that had been renting office space in Trump Tower since 2008, years before Trump even ran for President. And we know how tough Trump was on China, so that didn’t buy any favors. Nine of the countries paid less than $10,000 to Trump businesses, with one, Cyprus, paying just $590, or about five hours’ pay for Hunter Biden from that Ukrainian energy company.
Committee member and notorious blowhard Jamie Raskin called these numbers evidence of “the Trump family’s staggering corruption.” But the director of the Government Accountability Institute replied, “The difference between Trump’s foreign income and Biden’s foreign income is that Trump had legitimate goods and services to sell and was tough on China while the Bidens did not have any legitimate business and Joe has been weak on China.”
And of course, the minor detail that Trump donated all of his companies’ profits from foreign businesses to the US Treasury, just like he donated his entire presidential salary back to the government. Biden isn’t doing that, but he should. In fact, he should be paying us for having to endure his presidency and all the rubbish from his supporters, like this.
“The Party of Science!”
A group of environmental activists in Bristol, England, demanded an end to gas-powered cars by vandalizing a car. They slashed its tires, painted “CLIMATE CRIMINAL” on the door and stuck a leaflet under the wiper telling the owner, “Your gas-guzzler kills.”
It was a Tesla.
Yes, you read that correctly.
That’s “These go to 11” stupid. I’d compare these people’s intelligence to a bag of rocks, but I’m afraid the rocks would sue me.
Related: I wonder if, after these morons finished their jihad against gas-guzzling electric cars, they went home and enjoyed some special “plant-based peanut butter”?
Line of the Day!
Greg Gutfeld agrees with Michelle Obama: “We can’t have politicians who behave like children. Democrats will try to transition them.”
Headline of the Day!
From Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media: “Georgia Trump Haters Are Getting Their Fani Handed To Them”
Well worth reading the whole thing, especially the part where he says that the loathsome people who think hating Trump gives them the moral high ground “have long struck me as a collection of bottom-feeders who would sell their mothers for beer money.”
“Mary Poppins” Star Glynnis Johns Dies at 100
By “Huckabee” pop culture guru Pat Reeder
I’m sad to have to report that British actress Glynnis Johns died last week at an assisted living home in Los Angeles of natural causes at the age of 100.
Johns appeared in many films over her long career, including “The Court Jester” with Danny Kaye, “While You Were Sleeping,” “The Sundowners” (for which she got an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress) and probably her most famous role, as the mother, Mrs. Banks, in “Mary Poppins.” She also had a renowned stage career, but she said that she put her personal life first, knowing she could always come back to her work.
She holds a special place in my heart as the co-author of “Hollywood Hi-Fi,” the book about unlikely celebrity singers (http://www.hollywoodhifi.com). Glynnis Johns was a unique case: someone who couldn’t sing all that well, but that very trait resulted in the creation of one of the greatest standards of all time, and the only big pop hit ever written by Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim.
In 1973, Johns was set to star in the original Broadway production of Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.” Sondheim had to write a song for her, and he thought she had a lovely voice, but she had a limited range and couldn’t hold long notes. So he wrote a song taking those vocal limitations into mind. It was “Send In The Clowns.” Perhaps because it was simple rather than one of his usual complicated, tongue-twisting compositions, it became his most popular song, covered by countless real singers from Frank Sinatra to Judy Collins.
And that’s how Glynnis Johns being a not-great celebrity singer gave us one of America’s greatest songs. RIP.
I Just Wanted to Say
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