BY MIKE HUCKABEE
Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee team! Here are news stories from the past week, you won't want to miss.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
Let all your things be done with charity.
1 Corinthians 16:14
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News you probably won’t hear elsewhere:
In Donald Trump’s trial in New York on real estate fraud charges (the one where the judge who refuses to admit he’s biased found Trump guilty before hearing any arguments), Deutsche Bank executive David Williams took the stand and pretty much destroyed Attorney General Letitia James’ entire case.
He testified that it was “atypical, but not entirely unusual” for the bank to slash a loan applicant’s estimate of the value of his property by as much as 50% and still make the loan anyway. He said the bank does due diligence to assess the property’s value, and in this case, thanks to Trump’s history of successful developments and other criteria, they expected the project to make a profit, so they approved the loan. He also said the differing assessments of the property’s valuation wasn’t a disqualifying factor but “just a difference of opinion.”
So where exactly is the “fraud”? Ooh, I know, I know! She’s in the New York State Attorney General’s office!
2024: Must-read column
Kurt Schlichter has a must-read column on how the 2024 election is impossible to predict because it’s likely to be between the candidate who allegedly can’t win (Trump) and the one who is certain to lose (Biden.)
It also contains this observation for you to share with liberals who think indictments are the same as convictions (and Kurt is both a non-Trump supporter – Kurt backs DeSantis – and a very successful trial attorney):
“Another fact is this lawfare garbage. The legal outrages against Trump are the most despicable and disgusting abuse of power in American political history and will cause huge damage to our political culture. Every charge and accusation is legal nonsense, a total lie, and the entire thing is an attempt to frame a political opponent to prevent him from returning to power and to punish him for daring to have won it in the first place. None of that is debatable. Nor is it debatable that a significant number of voters are stupid and care about this nonsense.”
Proof that famous Trump meme is true
Here's proof that the famous Trump meme is true, that “They’re really coming for you, I’m just in their way.”
In a story that should chill every American to the bone, attorneys for the Biden “Justice” Department were forced by a judge’s order to release documents connected to special counsel Jack Smith’s search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account. If you thought he was just looking for insurrection-y tweets, guess again.
Smith demanded information on “all users Trump followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked, as well as all users who followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked Trump. Smith also requested that Twitter provide information on ‘all lists of Twitter users who have favorited or retweeted tweets posted by [Trump], as well as all tweets that include the username associated with the account (i.e., ‘mentions’ or ‘replies’).’”
In a nutshell: If you followed the President of the United States on Twitter, Jack Smith wanted your personal information to see if there was something he could frame you for.
But wait! It gets worse! Even under the pre-Elon regime, Twitter balked at turning over so much information on its users. But Obama-appointed, outspokenly anti-Trump Judge Beryl Powell fined Twitter $350,000 for not turning it all over by Smith’s deadline, and (even worse) an appeals court upheld that ruling!
So if you need any more reasons why we need to return Trump to power to dismantle the out-of-control Deep State, here are millions, and you're likely one of them.
Disney Update: Bob Iger whistles past the graveyard
In a “Great Moment in Willful Cluelessness,” Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke to a townhall of Disney employees Tuesday, where he whistled past the graveyard louder than a foghorn. Iger denied rumors that Disney was planning to sell off properties like ABC and ESPN, claiming that he didn’t think anyone would run with that story when it was just him running “things up flagpoles to see how they will fly” and thinking out loud. He also denied that Disney was in serious trouble, claiming they’d been through the “fixing” stage and were now back to “building.”
They might want to build a coffin, judging by the fact that Iger refused to take any questions, and after his reassuring speech, Disney’s stock fell by 2.8%.
Among the issues not addressed was how Disney’s embrace of DEI/LGBTQ/woke propaganda and leftwing political issues has driven away their core family audience. Leftists live in a bubble of reality denial, and one of their current tropes is poo-pooing the idea of “Get woke, go broke.” They always have some feeble excuse that doesn’t involve their repulsive politics, like claiming that a woke Disney movie bombed because people are still too afraid of COVID to return to theaters (funny, they’re packing theaters for other movies. I guess those movies are like BLM rallies or Gavin Newsom’s favorite French restaurant or Nancy Pelosi’s hair salon: COVID agreed not to spread there.)
For a hard slap of reality, here's just how broke that going woke can make you. Former box office king Disney has now claimed the title of creator of four of the five biggest money-losing box office bombs of all time, with two coming out just this year, “The Marvels” and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” (The sole non-Disney flop in the top 5 is “The Flash.”)
But those are just the record holders. Only one Disney movie in the past year (“Guardians of the Galaxy III”) made a profit, and their big, 100th anniversary animated movie “Wish” has already tanked spectacularly (hey, records are made to be broken.) I mentioned recently that “Wish” was touted as a return to the classic fairy tale princess movies, but that was apparently just the PR campaign. The creators reportedly saw it as being about yet another perfect young “activist” female of color and her diverse group of friends overthrowing an evil white male villain and his patriarchy. Audiences noticed that, too.
If you really want to know why Disney is failing so hard, read this fascinating article in which some disgruntled people who worked on the film revealed why it was doomed from the start, and why the same thing is happening to every movie Disney puts out.
Short version: Disney has hired a lot of leftwing “activists” based on their gender identities and ethnicities rather than their talent or creativity. They’ve caused such a hostile work environment with their aggressive politics that they’ve driven out many of the older animators and writers who actually know how to do their jobs. This is why a release that allegedly celebrates 100 years of Disney animation shows the villain on horseback in closeup: because there was nobody left at Disney who knew how to animate a horse galloping!
Bob Iger might know that the real reason they’re going broke is that they went woke, but he’s still refusing to admit it. Or, obviously, to change directions. Here’s an article about what awaits your kids’ innocent eyes in Disney Plus’s new Christmas movie, “The Naughty Nine.”
If I had to sum up Bob Iger’s speech, I couldn’t do better than quoting a movie from a time when Hollywood remembered how to make great films. As Boss Gettys says to Charles Foster Kane in “Citizen Kane,” “You're the greatest fool I've ever known, Kane. If it was anybody else, I'd say what's going to happen to you would be a lesson to you. Only you're going to need more than one lesson. And you're going to get more than one lesson.”
More finger-pointing from the Left
In Chicago, which has been run by Democrats since the early 1930s, the far-left Mayor has finally figured out why black people there have so many problems like crime, gangs and poverty. It’s the fault of (drumroll, please)…”rightwing extremists!” I guess like those Chicago MAGA guys who attacked Jussie Smolett.
When he’s voted out after one term, he could get a job writing for the New York Times.
A Post-Thanksgiving Perspective
By Col. (Ret) Kenneth Allard
Are we in trouble? The US now has the smallest Army since World War II, a force of 452,000 troops that is currently “losing the existential fight to recruit new soldiers.” While strained by the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, the Army is also challenged by new technologies: cyber, counter-drone warfare and extended-range battlefield artillery. While these new disciplines require smart, well-trained and highly adaptive soldiers, “the bottom…has fallen out of the high school graduate recruiting market.”
Retired generals and admirals frequently grouse about the need for better messaging, increased pay and better benefits. But today, some raise more basic issues: “Only 9% of those who are 16 to 21 years old are willing to serve.” https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/nov/15/veterans-all-hands-on-deck-to-remedy-dire-military/
And just in time for Veterans Day, Newsweek reported even more disturbing news: “A majority of American adults would not be willing to serve in the military were the U.S. to enter into a major war…while public confidence in the armed forces appears to be waning.” In the succinct summation of one Marine recruiter, "We have strike groups, aircraft carriers with a Marine Expeditionary Unit outside Israel now…We're funding two wars, but we're actually boots on the ground, drones above Gaza. So we're already involved in there—and we're not sure what's happening in Taiwan.” https://www.newsweek.com/american-military-recruitment-problems-public-apathy-1842449
As a retired Army officer, most of the usual explanations for our continuing manpower difficulties leave me cold. As a Vietnam-era draftee, I well remember our transition from a conscript to a volunteer force, including my first responsibilities as a newly commissioned officer. But few of us ever imagined that the contemporaneous passage of Roe versus Wade would inaugurate an era of scarce, expensive manpower resources, made even worse by a steadily declining percentage of Americans volunteering to wear the uniform. Today, that percentage is less than half of one percent, a military establishment largely segregated from the society it defends. Does such a divided nation truly deserve its freedom?
Having spent most of my adult life as either a military or civilian educator, I have also seen the dumbing-down of all forms of history – and the virtual extinction of military history. I directly experienced that dichotomy as an NBC News military analyst before and after 911. One of our continuing challenges was to explain this new form of warfare to a national audience that often lacked even a basic familiarity with the grim calculus of combat. The residual question: How could a nation of military illiterates select the right civilian leaders to ensure our national survival?
My cynicism reached new heights over the Thanksgiving weekend when an old friend sent me an interesting communication from Lycoming College, our common alma mater. Lycoming has a solid reputation as a competent liberal arts college, often praised by national publications for its cost-effective tuition. Even those who know little about Lycoming may recall its location in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, home of the Little League World Series and an enduring symbol of Middle America.
Unhappily however, Lycoming students were sent home for Thanksgiving with a memo urging their reflection “on the misrepresented history of Thanksgiving,” including video references from YouTube, NPR and PBS. The videographers slanted their lenses to reflect a panoply of native activism, bemoaning “European colonialism,” the taking of “our land” and “teaching the appropriator’s version” of the “harvest feast.” Worst of all, “The (neighboring) Wampanoags weren’t invited.” Without any apparent irony, the student memo concluded, “President Abraham Lincoln established this holiday to improve the relationships between northern and southern states (Really, amidst the Civil War?) and between the US and tribal nations.” (Email memo Lycoming College Office of Student Involvement, “The Truth Behind Thanksgiving,” November 23, 2023.)
It would be difficult to assemble a more blatant collection of errors in history and logic in any memo not prepared by the Biden White House. One can certainly rejoice that at least Lycoming students aren’t brandishing hatchets and demonstrating for Hamas. However, a number of older alums, perhaps reflecting on that recent unpleasantness, have vowed to review their collegiate bequests, maybe even requiring more in-depth oversight of Lycoming’s leadership.
As an old professor, however, I wonder why no one recalled that the primary mission of college teaching is neither indoctrination nor presentations slanted to one side or the other: But rather the more refined arts of debate and critical thinking.
Colonel (Ret.) Kenneth Allard is a former West Point professor, Dean of the National War College and NBC News on-air military analyst.
Hunter was flagged by bank in 2017 as possible money launderer
Did you read the blustery letter sent by Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, or at least our comments about it on Wednesday? That letter didn’t make much of an impression on the House Committee chairmen.
Kentucky Rep. James Comer (Oversight), Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (Judiciary), and Missouri Rep. Jason Smith (Ways and Means) have all issued statements demanding that Hunter comply with the subpoena to appear for a behind-closed-doors hearing on December 13.
In demanding a public hearing only, Lowell had written, “We have seen you use closed door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and mislead the public...A public proceeding would prevent selective leaks, manipulated transcripts, doctored exhibits, or one-sided press statements.” But he offered no examples, and we can’t think of any, either.
Lowell was using the Democrats’ well-worn strategy of accusing your adversaries of doing what you yourself are doing. Why, we can think of plenty of examples of the Democrats’ January 6 committee doing exactly the things Lowell accused the GOP-led committees of doing; more about that later when the discussion turns to a master of the technique, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin.
Anyway, Comer explained at a House leadership press conference that the way it works is, their committees will first interview and depose witnesses, and then they “would welcome Hunter Biden to testify at a public hearing at a future date.” Jordan said that having Hunter participate in both will “be great.” But the deposition must come first.
That’s the way it was done with IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who testified behind closed doors in July about “special handling” of the Hunter case they before appeared publicly. (Recall that Ziegler, a gay Democrat who risked retribution for coming forward, remained anonymous until it was time for the public hearing.) And legally, their testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee HAD to be behind closed doors, because it involved confidential financial records. Ways and Means had to see that before allowing it to be released outside their committee.
At the press conference, Rep. Smith sounded a lot like legal expert Jonathan Turley when he said, “The congressional subpoena [Hunter] received was not a suggestion…” Since Smith chairs Ways and Means and Hunter’s testimony might also involve confidential financial information, his words carry additional force.
Others involved with the Hunter case have already testified behind closed doors, including various DOJ and IRS officials and former Hunter business partner Devon Archer. As reported by the DAILY CALLER, the committees are still seeking depositions from Hunter’s uncle, James Biden, and other former business partners Eric Schwerin and Rob Walker. They also have yet to depose Hunter’s “art” dealer, Georges Berges, and “art” patron Elizabeth Naftali. All have been subpoenaed.
Here’s video of Rep. Comer at the press conference, outlining what they’ve found so far about the Biden family’s very concerning financial activities.
John Solomon and Steven Richards at JUST THE NEWS have an update on those activities, reporting that, according to congressional investigators, money ending up in Joe Biden’s account was part of a 2017 Chinese “loan” flagged by a bank investigator for potential money laundering and political influence. (Solomon reported in September that banks had started raising alarms about some of the Biden transactions as early as spring 2015 --- even a Morgan Stanley report to the SEC --- when Joe was still Vice President.)
This 2017 loan was the $5 million transfer from a CEFC-associated company we’ve seen in Comer’s handy chart, which showed that $400,000 went to Hunter, Hunter sent $150,000 to Jim and Sara Biden, and $40,000 of that (10 percent of what Hunter had held for the Big Guy?) was written out in a personal check to Joe. The “breaking” part of this story is that the original transaction had been flagged by a bank investigator as “high risk” for money laundering “or other illicit financial activity” and was possibly tied to efforts by the communist government of China to gain influence through Hunter Biden.
The bank investigator had identified Hunter Biden as what they call a “Potentially Exposed Person (PEP),” which is a term used in the finance industry to classify a person who is “either entrusted with a prominent public function” or an immediate family member of one who is.
Financial institutions like to see paper trails, and this “loan” had no paperwork at all, at any stage. Also, the recipient firm (a law firm) belonging to the Biden family “did not appear to have any investments in need of a loan,” according to the bank investigator.
Read through this explanation of the factors that tend to label someone a “PEP,” and it’s easy to see why a bank might choose to identify Hunter as one, considering the large amount of money involved, Hunter’s close familial relationship to someone of very high political status, the particular countries with whom he and his family did business, and the lack of anything tangible given in exchange. No wonder this transaction raised eyebrows...
According to the bank investigator’s memo, they’d even looked into Hunter’s personal life, citing “financial concerns about his extravagant spending on his own interests (drugs, strip clubs, prostitutes, etc.) which may have put his family in a deep financial hole.” More generally, it even mentions “China targeting children of politicians and [the] purchase of political influence through ‘sweetheart deals.’”
And there’s this, which really spells out the problem: “Specifically, Hunter Biden’s $1.5 billion deal with the Chinese-State [is] to establish a private equity firm in which they manage the funds over time and make huge fees. The management company’s purpose is to invest in companies that benefit [the] Chinese government. Thus, the activity on the account appears unusual with no current business purpose and along with the recent negative news (...regarding Dr. Patrick Ho Chi Ping’s trial…) may require re-evaluation of [redacted] relationship with customer.” Here’s the full memo.
Here’s the full report at JUST THE NEWS, including video of Rep. Andy Biggs from the House Judiciary Committee, briefly explaining what’s important about this finding. The bank records are going to be the backbone of this case.
Finally, we promised examples of Democrats pointing fingers at Republicans for doing what they themselves had done, with emphasis on Jamie Raskin. In a new column about Hunter’s attorneys essentially flipping-off congressional investigators, Jonathan Turley mentions Raskin’s over-the-top reaction to the Oversight Committee’s rejection of Hunter’s demand for a public hearing only.
Raskin declared that their position on this was an “epic humiliation” and “a frank confession that they are simply not interested in the facts and have no confidence in their own case or the ability of their own Members to pursue it.”
The humorous part of this otherwise pathetic tirade is that Raskin and his colleagues on the left insisted on the exact same practice when they controlled the House and exercised it to a remarkable degree. Recall that Raskin sat on Pelosi’s January 6 “select” kangaroo kommittee that conducted extensive closed-door hearings with witnesses before trotting out a few “select” ones to testify at the Democrats’ tightly scripted and professionally produced public hearings. And they specifically refused an offer from key witness Stewart Rhodes (who now sits in jail) to testify in public. So anything Raskin or any of the Democrats have to say on this subject should be met only with giant eye rolls.
Here’s the rest of Turley’s column, highly recommended, on Hunter’s upcoming testimony. The kid-glove treatment is over for Hunter and, indeed, the Biden family. As Turley says, the alarm Democrats feel right now at the prospect of Hunter testifying is justified. His lawyers’ objections are not.
And Another One Bites The Dust…
A Rhode Island judge threw out a lawsuit attempting to keep Donald Trump off the 2024 ballot. How can these heroic Democrats protect our democracy if these lousy judges keep letting the American people vote for whoever they want?!
Wednesday morning, the government estimated that the US economy grew at an annual rate of 5.2% in the third quarter of 2023, higher than the 4.9% economists predicted. Also, disposable personal income grew 2.9 percent after an upward revision of 1.1 percent. But before you start celebrating the red hot Biden economy, here are some caveats:
"Disposable personal income grew 2.9 percent after an upward revision. Adjusted for inflation, real after-tax income rose 0.1 percent after a big upward revision of 1.1 percentage points."
“The upward revision (in GDP) reflects an increase in government spending and business investment. Consumer spending was revised down as were exports.”
Also, “Spending by the federal government grew at an annual rate of seven percent, revised up from the earlier estimate of 6.2 percent. Overall government spending, including state and local expenditures, rose at a 5.5 percent rate, up from the earlier estimate of 4.6 percent.”
So while I’m glad to hear any economic good news, pardon me for being skeptical that so much of it is based on the theory that Washington can spend us into prosperity.
Israel’s right to exist
Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution affirming Israel’s right to exist. Even more shocking than the fact that such a thing seemed necessary in 2023 was that several members refused to support it. Among them were (surprise!) “Squad” members Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush.
Tlaib voted “present” while Bush didn’t vote at all. Tlaib justified her vote with the predictable diatribe about Israeli “occupation” and “apartheid” and complaints that it didn’t include affirming the Palestinians’ “right to coexist with Israelis in their historic homeland.” Actually, they do have a right to peacefully coexist with the Israelis, but they’ve repeatedly chosen not to exercise it.
Bush also failed to vote for another resolution condemning Hamas' brutal October 7 attack on Israel and demanding the immediate release of its remaining hostages. Even her fellow “Squad” members including Tlaib (!) voted for that.
The sole “no” vote on affirming Israel’s right to exist came from Republican Rep. Thomas Massie. He claimed that he agreed with much of the language, but he voted no “because it equates anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Antisemitism is deplorable, but expanding it to include criticism of Israel is not helpful."
There were also members of both parties who failed to vote for either resolution, and I think we should all demand to hear their reasons why. Here are links to the vote tallies so you can see how your Representative voted.
Following yesterday’s story that special counsel Jack Smith not only tried to force Twitter to hand over Donald Trump’s account records but also information on every user who followed, liked, reposted or commented on Trump’s tweets, here’s more from the Gateway Pundit. It reminds us that Smith admitted last summer to lying to the court to get Obama-appointed Judge Beryl Howell to declare Trump a flight risk so Smith could get a nondisclosure order to prevent Twitter from informing Trump about the subpoena for all his private Twitter records.
Latest development: Smith and Howell are now apparently redacting court documents in an attempt to cover up their efforts to falsely brand Trump as a flight risk.
I must admit one thing: If Smith wanted to convince me that there was a huge liar in a powerful position in Washington who would stop at nothing to abuse his power, he’s certainly succeeded at that.
Here’s today’s link to continuously-updated news on the war in Israel…
Israel announced that the ceasefire that was set to expire early Thursday morning had been extended for one more day. They also announced that 16 more hostages had been released, including an American citizen with dual citizenship. Tragically, however, they said that Ofir Tzarfati, an Israeli man who was celebrating his 27th birthday at the music festival when Hamas terrorists attacked and who was believed to be a hostage, had been found dead.
Ten more hostages are expected to be released today, but they are among about 145 victims that Hamas is still holding, long after the initial ceasefire would have ended.
To further illustrate their sincere yearning for peace, just minutes after the ceasefire was extended, Hamas terrorist gunmen killed three people and injured six more near a bus stop in Jerusalem before two off-duty IDF soldiers and an armed citizen shot and killed them.
If you scroll down through the stories, you will read about various officials in places that are NOT under threat of attack by bloodthirsty, anti-Semitic mass murderers, lecturing Israel about being humane and holding their fire. I’m too disgusted with them to quote their blather, but I’ll be sure to run a bulletin if any of them say anything equally critical of the Hamas terrorists or the many Palestinians who openly support them.
How to Win Friends and Influence People: Pro-Hamas protesters in New York City, one carrying a sign with a swastika on it, clashed with police as they tried to prevent the lighting of the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
RIP Henry Kissinger
Former Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger died Wednesday at the age of 100. Active almost until the very end, he was still giving foreign policy advice and commentary in his 90s and touring to promote his latest book at 99.
Kissinger was one of the most towering figures in foreign policy for decades, with a controversial legacy that created both ardent admirers and fierce detractors. Some lauded him for helping end the Vietnam War, others called him a war criminal for not ending it faster or for crafting an agreement that allowed Vietnam to fall to the communists. Some celebrated his efforts to open diplomacy with Russia and China, others criticized him as one of the fathers of globalism. Some thought his realpolitik policies, which put America’s interests ahead of promoting reform inside other nations, were amoral and Machiavellian. Others saw them as dealing pragmatically with other nations and leaders as they really were, not as we wished they were.
However you view Kissinger, there’s no question that he played a major role in shaping the state of the world and relationships between America and other nations, for better or worse, from the 1960s up to today. When asked about those who accuse him of criminality in foreign policy, or who second-guess policies he crafted years ago, he dismissed them, saying, “That’s a reflection of their ignorance. It wasn’t conceived that way. It wasn’t conducted that way.” And he summed up what many of us might say if asked to defend the decisions we made in our lives: “The recommendations I made were the best of which I was then capable.”
Here's what a number of US and world leaders had to say on the passing of Henry Kissinger.
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