BY MIKE HUCKABEE
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This morning, SpaceX held a test launch of its biggest rocket yet, the 400-foot-tall Starship. The launch was impressive, but not as much as the spectacular explosion when it blew up in mid-air moments later. Video at the link.
But the company made it clear that they look at the very expensive failure as a learning experience. SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted, "Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship! Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months." And the company issued a statement reading, "With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary."
It's actually inspiring, in these times of ultrasensitive, easily-triggered snowflakes, to see someone be completely undaunted by failure and simply learn from it and move on. If someone can experience failure on that grand of a scale and learn from it, it gives me hope for the Biden Administration. Not much, though.
Cracks are appearing
President Biden is now well past the midpoint of his term, and despite all the efforts of the sycophantic media and the politicized leadership of federal agencies, cracks are starting to appear in the plaster covering the rot. Career federal employees who still have some integrity are turning whistleblower, the Republican takeover of the House has resulted in real investigations instead of Pelosi's January 6th Kangaroo Kommittee antics, and the massive incompetence, perfidy and in-your-face dishonesty of such officials as Alejandro Mayorkas and Merrick Garland are becoming obvious even to people who barely watch the news.
Yesterday, I wrote about a fed-up Rep. Jim Jordan confronting Mayorkas to his face with the horrific effects of his open border policies on migrant children. I write elsewhere today about the career IRS agent whistleblower who could no longer stand the cover up of the blatant special treatment of Hunter Biden. And now, I’m glad to report that Jordan has subpoenaed FBI Director Christopher Wray to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for lying about targeting Catholics as domestic terrorists.
This all started with a leaked internal memo suggesting that the FBI was going to start spying on Catholic Churches to keep tabs on “traditional Catholics” who might be “violent extremists.” Wray replied that the FBI never acted on that memo and would “never conduct investigative activities or open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity.” Except according to Jordan, they did act on it.
In a letter accompanying the subpoena, Jordan wrote, “Based on the limited information produced by the FBI to the Committee, we now know that the FBI relied on at least one undercover agent to produce its analysis, and that the FBI proposed that its agents engage in outreach to Catholic parishes to develop sources among the clergy and church leadership to inform on Americans practicing their faith.”
This appears to be the latest bald-faced lie to Congress by the FBI leadership, and the latest example of it targeting people for Constitutionally-protected behavior. It’s all the more fuel for the argument that the Bureau has so lost its way that it needs to be defunded, disbanded and completely restructured. It also needs leaders who can tell the difference between an actual domestic terrorist and someone who prefers his Masses in Latin.
Inspector General slams Biden Administration
While we’re on the subject of lies and incompetence finally coming to light, John Sopko, the special inspector general in charge of overseeing US taxpayer aid to Afghanistan, slammed the Biden Administration for an “unprecedented lack of cooperation” with his office.
Sopko is in charge of making sure that the $8 billion in US taxpayer aid to Afghanistan following Biden’s disastrous pullout actually goes to help the Afghan people. But he says the State Department is giving him nothing but “obfuscation and delays.” Meanwhile, he believes the Taliban is likely stealing funds that were meant for the people.
Sopko told the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability (yes, there’s actually a committee on accountability; who knew?), "I would just say I haven't seen a starving Taliban fighter on TV. They all seem to be fat, dumb and happy. I see a lot of starving Afghan children on TV. So, I'm wondering where all this funding is going."
Also, security experts warned Congress Tuesday that under the Taliban, Afghanistan has once again become a safe haven for terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS-K, who are building up the capacity to launch strikes on Europe and the US in as little as six months.
As important as all this is, I hesitate even to call it “news” because anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have seen it coming from a mile away. Is anyone really surprised to learn that the Taliban has let terrorist groups back into Afghanistan? Or that shoveling money at a problem with no oversight just results in bad actors stealing it? Is there any example of large government expenditures, from foreign aid to the COVID money blowouts, where that was NOT the case? Did the Biden Administration seriously believe the Taliban were so trustworthy, they’d be different?
Oh, well, they probably need that money to pay for gas and repairs for all the military vehicles Biden left for them.
It’s not clear yet what happened Monday when three carloads of DHS agents descended on the DHS’s own Office of Intelligence and Analysis in Washington. They hauled away Brian Sulc, director of the DHS’s Transnational Organized Crime Mission Center, for questioning and covered the office in “Crime Scene” tape. Boy, there's a sight to inspire confidence in our government: the DHS covered in "Crime Scene" tape put there by the DHS.
Reports are that Sulc was under investigation for having a “personal electronic device” inside a secure office, but that seems like a paltry reason for all the dramatics, considering how little they cared about Hillary Clinton’s devices full of classified data. At the link, Redstate.com writer Streiff has questions about whether this was really much ado over a cell phone, or a serious security breach or crime we haven’t learned about yet, or just an attempt to destroy the reputation of another whistleblower before he could blow his whistle. Stay tuned…
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“We’re From Washington, And We’re Here to Protect You!”
The Wall Street Journal reports that there’s been a massive data breach involving the confidential records of 256,000 consumers. It happened when the records were emailed to a personal email account by a staffer at…the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”
President Biden has a new challenger for the Democratic nomination
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced his candidacy on Wednesday. Kennedy is an environmental lawyer and campaigner against climate change, but in recent years, he’s drawn more attention for his outspoken criticism of the government response to COVID, including denouncing lockdowns and vaccine mandates, which suggests he might draw support from some unlikely quarters.
Polls mean nothing at this point, but there’s already a poll showing he has 14% support.
John Fetterman finally returned to the Senate after a protracted hospital stay for the first meeting of the subcommittee he now chairs. The good news: he was dressed appropriately in a suit and tie. The bad news: everything else. The poor man struggled both to understand other people and to communicate with others, even when trying to read prepared remarks.
It’s obvious that after suffering a severe stroke and not taking the time and rest for rehab that he needed, he is simply not physically capable of serving as a US Senator. Fetterman’s spokesman accused Republicans of “attacking John’s health,” but that’s not what anyone is doing. They’re criticizing people like him who refuse to acknowledge his health problems.
I have nothing but sympathy for him personally, and I pray for him to make a full recovery, but I fear that’s not going to happen while he struggles to handle such a high stress job. He should not have run (or been pushed to run by people who put their hunger for political power above his health.) The Governor should appoint a replacement now so that Fetterman can concentrate on recovering fully, if that’s even still possible at this point.
But that’s not likely to happen because the Democrats in Pennsylvania need to keep him in office long enough to avoid a special election, so they don’t risk losing the seat. Once again, they’re cynically demonstrating that their holding on to power is far more important to them than John Fetterman holding on to his health.
Dispatches From The Blue Wilderness
In recent months, Walmart, Cracker Barrel and the pizza chain Hotlips have announced closures of multiple outlets in Portland, Oregon, due to the rampant crime that the leftist DA refuses to prosecute. The latest to hightail it out of Portland is the outdoor store REI, which said that despite adding extra security, they’d had their “highest number of break-ins and thefts in two decades.”
And in case any “progressives” think they’ll just be replaced by other retailers clamoring to come in, Shake Shack is set to open its first location in Portland next week, and some would-be thief has already smashed a window, but apparently couldn’t get inside.
I guess that’s the new Portland standard of popularity: not even open yet, and people are already lining up to rob you.
Here’s another interesting article about Disney’s too-clever-by-half attempts to snooker the state of Florida and hold on to their sweetheart deal to control the land where their theme parks sit as their personal kingdom. Chris Queen at PJ Media compares their desperate scheme to something Uncle Scrooge would come up with.
I find it fascinating to look at online comments on stories like this, to see how many liberals savage Gov. Ron DeSantis as a power-mad, rightwing dictator. And for what? Expecting Disney to follow the exact same laws that every other business in Florida has to follow? Finally ending an unprecedented sweetheart deal after “only” 55 years? I’ve even seen them trying to defend Disney by citing the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that affirmed corporate entities’ First Amendment rights. The left has been railing against Citizens United for over a decade, and they’ve been vilifying corporations even longer.
But DeSantis must always be in the wrong, so they suddenly find themselves incorrectly citing Citizens United to defend the right of a powerful megacorporation to be above the law. They must feel like they’re twisting themselves into one of these:
Telling the truth
A lot of outrageous political attacks get spoken in Congress, but we’ve finally found something that Democrats believe is so offensive, it must be stricken from the Congressional Record: actually telling the truth about Democrats.
This isn’t the kind of story I’d normally cover, but bear with me because it’s fascinating. It includes a Hollywood celebrity, a top streaming service, an International lawsuit by an entire nation, and most interesting of all, a legal battle between two entrenched concepts of wokeness.
It all began when Netflix signed everyone’s favorite celebrity, Jada Pinkett Smith, to produce a “documentary” called “Queen Cleopatra.” As is the fashionable trend, Smith went with depicting Cleopatra as a black African, a narrative that’s become popular in movies, music videos, etc., since the rise of “Afrocentric” history. This is a school of “history” that claims many of history’s major figures and greatest achievements, like math and science, were actually part of black African culture and were stolen by white people. It was the early prototype for “The 1619 Project.”
But now, an unexpected objection has arisen. The nation of Egypt is suing Netflix, calling the film a “crime” against their culture.
They say that in fact, Cleopatra was the last of the 300-year Ptolemaic Dynasty, descended from Ptolemy 1, a general who served under Alexander the Great. She wasn’t a black African, she was Macedonian Greek, and might even have been a blonde. There are also surviving artistic representations of the people of that ancient era, so we know there were people of various skin colors and what their roles in society were.
Now, before anyone starts accusing Egypt of being racist, note: their lawsuit accuses Netflix of promoting a political agenda by falsifying facts that misrepresent “the Egyptian national and cultural identity” and airing programs that “do not conform to Islamic and societal values and principles, especially Egyptian ones.” The star of the movie is even being accused of “cultural appropriation” on social media.
See what I mean? This story not only has Hollywood celebrities and international conflict, it’s also a courtroom battle between sacred totems of wokeness: Afrocentric history vs. cultural appropriation and misrepresenting identities! I don’t know which side you’re rooting for, but personally, I hope that what’s left standing at the end is the concept of once again making documentaries based on interesting historical facts. Like learning that Cleopatra was Greek!
Country star Granger Smith announced that he is quitting his successful music career after his final tour date this summer to devote his life to God and being a minister at his local church outside Austin.
The Egard Watch Company thinks it's high time to stand up against woke corporatism with a devastating ad defending women athletes against biological males taking over their sports, stealing their dreams and negating all their hard work. You know, I could use a new watch; maybe I should get one from a company that knows what time it is…
Surprise, surprise! Whistleblower cites preferential treatment in Hunter case
BREAKING UPDATE! Thursday morning, the 2nd US Court of Appeals issued a temporary administrative stay of Mark Pomerantz’s House subpoena while they consider Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s appeal. The stay specifically takes no position on the merits of the appeal; it just means Pomerantz won’t have to testify today.
Would it surprise you to hear that Biden-appointed federal prosecutors have engaged in preferential treatment and politics to block criminal tax charges against son Hunter? Me, neither.
That’s the story being told by a decorated supervisory IRS agent who has come forward as a whistleblower to Michael Horowitz in the ‘Justice’ Department’s Office of the Inspector General. He’s requested whistleblower protection and is not being named. And the story he tells conflicts with sworn congressional testimony by Attorney General Merrick Garland that the decision on whether or not to bring charges against President Biden had been left entirely to the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for Delaware, David Weiss.
John Solomon at JUST THE NEWS obtained a letter written Wednesday by Mark Lytle, attorney for this whistleblower, to multiple congressional oversight committees, saying he seeks to provide information to the tax-writing committees --- the only ones, according to tax privacy laws, who have the authority to see detailed disclosures concerning such a sensitive, high-profile case. That would be a necessary step towards providing the information to other committees in coming weeks.
“Despite serious risks of retaliation,” Lytle wrote, “my client is offering to provide you with information necessary to exercise your constitutional oversight and wishes to make the disclosures in a non-partisan manner to the leadership of the relevant committees on both sides of the political aisle.”
The letter itself doesn’t say the information specifically concerns Hunter Biden, but Solomon has independently confirmed through interviews with multiple people that it does.
Lytle wrote: “The protected disclosures 1) contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee [that would be Garland], 2) involve failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interest in the ultimate disposition of the case [that might relate to the Biden-appointed Garland as well], and 3) detail examples of preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed by career law enforcement professionals in similar circumstances if the subject were not politically connected.”
Why, if that were true, it would mean...we have a double standard of justice. Surely not!
Here’s the full letter…
Solomon describes this IRS agent as having a “sterling record,” working on major international banking cases and winning several merit awards. “His emergence now in such a politically charged case is certain to inflame a debate over unequal justice in Washington.” Let it be so.
Ironically, when this agent first tried to come forward late last year, he did it with the help of whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Zaid is the big Democrat attorney who co-founded the whistleblower law firm whose client (falsely) accused Trump of an inappropriate phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, leading to Trump’s impeachment. We note with approval that the IRS whistleblower has apparently changed attorneys.
Hunter is supposedly being investigated over tax issues and allegations of money laundering. Recall that Hunter had failed to resolve a tax bill of over $2 million when a wealthy friend of his, “sugar brother” Hollywood entertainment lawyer Kevin Morris, gave him the money to pay it. He also paid the $20,000-a-month rent --- no, that’s not a typo --- on Hunter’s Malibu Beach pad. It was Morris who also advised Hunter on selling his paintings to “anonymous” buyers.
As Solomon explained it to Hannity, this agent was supervising the other agents assigned to the U.S. attorney to investigate Hunter. Last fall, he learned that two Biden appointees, two U.S. attorneys in two different cities, “declined to bring criminal charges that were recommended by the investigators, by U.S. Attorney Weiss, and greenlighted by the Tax Division inside the Justice Department.”
In other words, everyone was on board except the two Biden political appointees. And this “has brought the case to a standstill,” he said. The whistleblower goes on to say that Weiss had told his team that, since he’d been blocked, he went to the DOJ to be upgraded to a special counsel and was told no. So when he later heard AG Garland testify to Congress that Weiss was working independently with no political interference, he knew that was not true.
So he went to the Treasury Inspector General and then to the DOJ Inspector general. Now, per the letter, he wants to go before Congress. He comes equipped with emails, government memos, summary memos, the works, all documenting political interference and special treatment.
Solomon has an exclusive interview with his attorney, here…
And a final note: Solomon broke news Wednesday night that it was Secretary of State Tony Blinken who called former acting CIA Director Mike Morell and said “I need you to get this done,” regarding the “classic hallmarks” letter. None of the intel officials who signed that letter to shield Joe Biden from the laptop story had seen any evidence to back up what they were saying. They were essentially following an order for, in the words of Jim Jordan “a political operation, not an intelligence operation.” So, how much about this did Biden know?
RELATED STORY: As for news from the bottom tier of the ‘justice’ system (Hunter’s on the top tier; Trump is on the bottom), District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil has ruled House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee can subpoena former Manhattan prosecutor Mark Pomerantz. He’s scheduled to testify Thursday at 10 AM.
Pomerantz, as you know, was the special prosecutor who loudly resigned when new Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg initially balked at indicting Trump. He went back to the big Democrat law firm that had loaned him to Bragg (reportedly for free) to go after Trump, and he wrote a book called GET TRUMP. Kidding; the name of the book is PEOPLE VS. DONALD TRUMP.
In February of this year --- just before the book’s scheduled publication date of February 7 --- Law.com wrote that Pomerantz could be disbarred and might even face a criminal charge over writing that highly inappropriate book. The book is wildly Trump-deranged, going so far as to compare Trump to mobster John Gotti.
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys took this very seriously, saying, “The most likely implication for any lawyer publicly opining about the guilt of a suspect is a formal complaint to the state bar association that he has violated his ethical duties. This complaint could result in his suspension or termination from the practice of law depending on severity, motive, frequency of these statements, as well as any benefit, such as a book, that is sought to be gained by the lawyer.”
Pomerantz’s book has also upset the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY), which called it “unfortunate and unprecedented.” The president of that organization said that by publishing a book about an ongoing case, he is “upending the norms and ethics of prosecutorial conduct” and is “potentially compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.” And our guess is that compromising the Trump case is probably what most New York lawyers are so mad at him for.
Anyway, barring appeals, Pomerantz will be compelled to go before Congress. On his show Wednesday evening, Sean Hannity asked two legal analysts for comment, with Emily Compagno happy to see that the judge “took Bragg to school” on why Congress had the authority to look into this prosecution. Compagno called his case against Trump “a blatant perversion of justice” and noted the pushback against Bragg at the state level.
Gregg Jarrett said the judge saw right through Bragg’s motion to prevent Pomerantz’ testimony, which was “doomed to fail,” a “desperate bid...to cover up and conceal his own wrongdoing by bringing an indictment against Trump that is unsupported by the law, contradicted by the facts, and politically driven.” So there.
He said a key witness [apparently referring to attorney Bob Costello] testified that Bragg withheld exculpatory evidence in the Trump case and that for this, Bragg should “face disbarment proceedings” and the judge should charge him with criminal contempt.
Jarrett laughed at Bragg’s argument that Pomerantz’ testimony might disclose sensitive and confidential information about the case, saying Pomerantz “already did that, that in a 300-page book that was little more than a personal and venomous screed against Donald Trump.” He made it clear in the book that the prosecution was political and that they hated Trump personally. (How did he think this would help the case??) This judge also echoed the concerns of the above prosecutors’ organizations, saying that Pomerantz “has placed himself in criminal liability.”
Jarrett says Pomerantz might plead the Fifth before Congress, or perhaps try to claim “some privilege that has already been waived by his book.” By the time you read this on Thursday, we’ll likely be finding out.
Here are the details of the judge’s ruling that Pomerantz must testify. Very worthwhile reading…