Good morning! Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read:
- Biden criticized for politicizing Buffalo tragedy
- Mike Flynn sues the government, and good!
- Day 2 of Sussmann trial: DC jury will be a challenge
- AINSWORTH: HOW the left shuts down talk of election fraud
- REEDER: RIP Mickey Gilley & A Quick Note about Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
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Biden criticized for politicizing Buffalo tragedy
This article was originally published on May 18th.
President Biden is taking criticism for announcing that he will go to Buffalo to comfort the victims of the horrific supermarket shooting by a deranged racist teenager. It’s not because people don’t think it’s a serious tragedy, but that it smacks of the kind of political exploitation of tragedies that I wrote about yesterday. They accuse the Democrats of wanting to focus a lot of attention on a white racist who killed 10 people and injured three others, most of them black, because that plays into the “racist America” theme that they use to divide people and win votes. Yet this weekend’s shooting in California where a Chinese man attacked Taiwanese worshippers in church was also apparently a hate crime, but of a type that Democrats don’t like to acknowledge.
And when an alleged black nationalist drove into a parade in Waukesha, killing six people and injuring 62, most of whom were white, Biden didn’t visit. (To be fair, Jill Biden did go to Waukesha to meet victims’ families and attend a memorial.)
The reason given for Joe Biden not visiting Waukesha was that local authorities had so much to deal with that a Presidential visit would be an expensive and difficult distraction. But that would be equally true in Buffalo as well.
I don’t like questioning people’s motives for showing compassion to victims of heinous crimes. I think we should all do that. For now, I will reserve judgement and note that it’s become part of the President’s duties to comfort Americans in times of tragedy. If that’s what this trip is about, then I’m all for it. But Biden should rise above using it to cynically promote policy points and attack political opponents.
There are already too many people trying to divide Americans by firing up hatred and suspicion of anyone who’s different from them, and turning one group against another. The master of that was Adolf Hitler, and it’s not surprising that we’ve seen reports he was admired by both the white racist who wanted to kill black people and the black racist who wanted to kill white people. It’s all the same poison, just in different bottles.
For the record, here are the kinds of statements that a President of all the people should avoid when comforting the victims of a racist shooting:
Calling for restricting both the God-given First and Second Amendment rights of people who had nothing to do with it.
Blaming the shooter’s crimes on TV networks and news commentators you hate, and who, incidentally, the alleged shooter also hated.
In general, blaming the shooter’s crimes on a wide range of people that you don’t like and neither did the shooter.
Trying to use the tragedy to accuse your political opponents of believing in some racist conspiracy theory that most of them have never even heard of. This reminds me of when they were accusing Trump voters of being Q-Anon followers, and I had to Google that just to find out what the heck it was. This time, get ready to hear a lot about GRT or the “Great Replacement Theory.” Claiming that you believe in it is a convenient way to falsely brand you as a promoter of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories for opposing open borders.
Mike Flynn sues the government, and good!
This article was originally published on May 16th.
In other Russia Hoax-related litigation, former Trump National Security Advisor (for two whole weeks!) Michael Flynn has filed a $50 million claim against the FBI and the “Justice” Department under the Federal Tort Claims Act, for malicious prosecution in their so-called investigation of the Russia Hoax.
Investigative reporter John Solomon has obtained a copy of the filing, known as a Form 95 Civil Claim. Filed quietly on February 22, it claims that Flynn can prove political interference inside the FBI.
The career of this three-star Army general was arguably ruined. Thus, the $50 million represents “compensatory damages including but not limited to lost past and future earnings/revenue, emotional distress, lost opportunity to be President’s National Security Advisor, significant restraints of personal liberty, attorney’s fees/expenses and court costs in defending against malicious prosecution, abuse of process, false arrest.”
One strong piece of evidence of his political prosecution is that now-infamous meeting in the Oval Office attended by then-President Obama, Vice President Biden, and FBI officials. Flynn’s filing mentions that this meeting was held just weeks after Obama pointedly urged Trump not to choose Flynn as national security adviser. Flynn also alleges that former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe had a personal vendetta against him.
“Flynn was the target of a politically motivated investigation and prosecution that had no merit when it began, no merit during its course, and no merit in the end when the charges were withdrawn by the DOJ and ultimately dismissed by the Court after Flynn received a full pardon,” the filing reads. They called him a traitor, it says, acting in concert with a foreign power.
They even threatened to prosecute his son unless he pleaded guilty. (Recall that he did, then withdrew the plea after getting new legal representation.) The filing says, “The federal government’s targeting of a citizen for baseless criminal prosecution and eliciting a plea bargain through threatening of family members is outrageous conduct of the highest order.”
We wish Michael Flynn all the best in his pursuit of this suit. No punishment that could be levied is too great. The government cannot be allowed to get away with this banana-republic-style political intimidation and ruination.
Day 2 of Sussmann trial: DC jury will be a challenge
This article was originally published on May 18th.
On Day 2 of the Michael Sussmann trial, federal prosecutors under the direction of special counsel John Durham gave an opening statement accusing Sussmann of using the FBI as a “political tool” to create an October surprise against 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump.
As Trace Gallagher on FOX News reported, they said it was “a plan that used and manipulated the FBI. A plan that the defendant hoped would trigger news outlets and trigger an FBI investigation. A plan that largely succeeded.”
It succeeded because, even though the claim was false, Trump and Russia were “forever linked in the court of public opinion.”
Assistant Special Counsel Deborah Brittain Shaw told the jurors, “He told a lie that was designed to achieve a political end, a lie that was designed to inject the FBI into a presidential election.”
Perhaps deliberately using a term that resonates with the left, she said, “This is a case about privilege...the privilege of a lawyer who thought that for the powerful, the normal rules didn’t apply, that he could use the FBI as a political tool...The defendant lied to direct the power and resources of the FBI to his own ends and to serve the agendas of his clients.”
Given that this DC jury is likely biased against Trump, Shaw addressed what she called “the proverbial elephant in the room,” the political context that threatens to influence jurors: “Some people have very strong feelings about politics and Russia,” she told them, “and many people have strong feelings about Donald Trump and Russia. But we are not here because these allegations involved either of them, nor are we here because the client was the Hillary Clinton campaign.”
“We are here,” she said, “because the FBI is our institution that shouldn’t be used as a political tool for anyone --- not Republicans, not Democrats, not anyone.” She urged them to keep their own political views out of the decisions they make in the courtroom. I’ve rarely known a leftist who could keep politics out of ANY decision, but maybe Durham found some.
“Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, whether we hate Donald Trump or love him, we have to believe the government is above politics,” the prosecution said, and that “the government should never be used as a political pawn.”
I would add, “...even though some in government –- Strzok, McCabe, etc. –- were happy to oblige.”
Legal analyst Andrew C. McCarthy told Brian Kilmeade on FOX News that in Washington DC, “the most political town in the country,” Durham’s biggest challenge will indeed be this jury. “This is not a home game for him in Washington,” McCarthy said. But Durham had no choice but to bring the case in Washington because that’s where the alleged offense took place.
McCarthy was impressed that they seated a jury in one day, but he does take that as a sign that this judge wants to move things along, not let Durham take time with a lot of “joint venture” testimony. So I suspect we might have to wait for the special counsel’s final report to see all the dots officially connected.
Moving to the defense, attorney Michael Bosworth argued that Sussmann is “a good man, a family man” who never tried to hide anything from the FBI, and that they knew he represented the Clinton campaign. (It appears, though, that they did NOT know he came to them specifically with the Alfa Bank story because Clinton was paying him to do it. He told them the opposite.)
Bosworth said it was known that Sussmann represented the DNC after their servers had been hacked by Russians. (Not that hacking by Russians has ever been proved.)
Bosworth called the charge “nonsensical” and said the lie would be “impossible to prove,” since neither man took notes at the meeting (NOTE: isn’t that, in itself, curious?) and Baker can’t possibly have a strong recollection of what was said after five-and-a-half years. He told the jury that Baker’s memory was “clear as mud.” Never mind that the jury will also see the same lie turn up in Sussmann’s text message to him.
Bosworth also asserted that Sussmann’s action didn’t benefit the Clinton camp in any way.
Now wait just a minute. Hillary still managed to lose the election, but considering that the bogus Trump-Russia story dominated the headlines literally for years; gave Hillary a bogus excuse for losing (one of many); cast a dark shadow on Trump’s presidency; and wasted his administration’s time, attention and money with the Mueller investigation, I’d say it was still a gift to her.
Bosworth insisted that Sussmann was motivated by national security, not politics. He said, “If [Sussmann] wasn’t motivated by an actual interest in national security, why did he go to the CIA, months after the election? He had a genuine interest in national security and doing the right thing.” But this reasoning makes no sense. If someone didn’t like the outcome of an election and wanted to get a President impeached, and he had an “in” with the CIA, he certainly might take them an allegation like this and try to get some action.
Of course, you’re familiar with “the” text that Sussmann sent to FBI general counsel James Baker, who was a friend of his, to get the meeting: “Jim – it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss. Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own – not on behalf of a client or company –- want to help the Bureau. Thanks.”
If Durham hadn’t obtained that revealing text, and also the Perkins Coie billing records that show Sussmann billed the Clinton campaign for that meeting, this would just be a matter of whom to believe. But Durham has the proof he was lying, RIGHT THERE.
He didn’t get to the Marc Elias testimony today, as some observers had thought he might, so we’re still waiting for that, and also for James Baker to take the stand.
But in the meantime, Durham called FBI Supervisory Special Agent Scott Hellman, who testified that it took him and another agent “less than a day to ascertain that data and ‘white papers’ on two thumb drives Sussmann gave Baker did not support the Trump-Alfa Bank ‘secret connection’ allegation.” After examining the materials for evidence of hacking, he did a technical review, he said, and cross-referenced them. He said it became clear that “whoever had written that paper had just come to some conclusions not supported by the technical data.”
Also, “the methodology was questionable,” he said, and it didn’t make sense that a candidate for President would put his own name on a “supposedly secret domain name.”
So –- at long last –- all major news networks led their evening broadcasts with the blockbuster story that the FBI had debunked in ONE DAY the evidence for what turned out to be a coordinated attempt to frame Donald Trump before the 2016 election.
Just kidding; I made that up. ABC, NBC and CBS all ignored the story completely. They did cover the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial, however.
AINSWORTH: HOW the left shuts down talk of election fraud
This article by staff writer Laura Ainsworth was originally published on May 18th.
Why is standing firm on what we know to be true so important? For the answer, I’d like to segue from our discussion of 2,000 MULES to this magnificent article by Michael Anton –- author and research fellow at Hillsdale College –- about the psychological techniques being used by the left to shut us down. If you’ve ever looked at a training manual for Critical Race Theory (or related course –- I have) and wondered how they get away with spreading such garbage, Anton’s piece provides an analysis.
Since we’re on the subject of 2,000 MULES, I thought it would be a good idea to take the points in Anton’s “Quick and Dirty Guide to Regime Propaganda” and explain, one by one, how these techniques are used to silence mention of election fraud. (You won’t be tested on the names of these techniques.)
1. THE LAW OF MERITED IMPOSSIBILITY. This is when leftists tell you, “Oh, what you’re worried about will NEVER happen,” and then when it does, tell you, “it will be for the best and you deserve it, anyway.” One example of this, to counter the right’s “slippery slope” concerns, might be, “Oh, just because men are able to self-identify as women, that doesn’t mean they’ll be exposing themselves in locker rooms! Goodness, that will NEVER happen.” And then, when it does, they say, “Now it’s the way it should be, and if you have a problem, deal with it because you’re homophobic.”
As I apply this to election fraud, it might start out with them saying, “Mail-in balloting will NEVER lead to fraud big enough to change elections!” Then, when you suspect it has, they say, “Hey, the important thing is to make every vote count and not disenfranchise any racial group, you racist.”
2. THE CELEBRATION PARALLAX. This is when the left cares only about the assumed intent of the speaker in deciding whether words are acceptable or not. For example, if you celebrate a particular point of view --- and you do have to celebrate it, loudly and proudly, not just tolerate it --- you can say, “Illegal immigration is transforming America demographically,” and that’s just fine, because you’re thrilled about it. But if you’re not thrilled, even just neutral, you’ll be called a racist for even bringing it up.
As I apply this to election fraud, your statement might be, “Those drop boxes are placed in Democrat strongholds in battleground states.” If you actively cheer the idea of mobilizing particular demographic groups, the left will say, “Right, because the people who live there have been historically marginalized and we have to do whatever we can to help their votes make a difference!” But if you don’t cheer this, or (worse) think it smacks of manipulation or even cheating, the same statement will be greeted by the left with some version of, “Not true; this is only to help marginalized people vote, and you’re a racist for suggesting it’s partisan.” I can hear Mark Elias saying that, can’t you?
Another example: Someone says, “It’s wrong to question the outcome of an election.” To a leftist, if this is said in reference to the 2020 election, it’s true, because Trump lost. But if it’s about 2016, it’s false, because Trump won. It’s all in the intent. Zero points for consistency.
3. THE LAW OF SALUTORY CONTRADICTION. (Like #1, but about the present instead of the future.) This is when the left essentially says, “That’s not happening and it’s good that it is.” Anton’s example: “Is the Biden administration putting illegal immigrants on planes and shipping them to the heartland? Absolutely not...and those future Nobel Prize winners deserve their shot at the American Dream!”
As I apply this to election fraud, it might go, “Did the left harvest votes in places that might swing the election away from Trump? Absolutely not...and our nation couldn’t have stood another four years of Trump!”
4. THE SMAILS EXHORTATION. That means any “democratic” outcome that conservatives want is automatically illegitimate, racist and fascist. Border wall? Racist and fascist! Law and order? Racist and fascist! Girls-only bathrooms? Transphobic! You’re just bad and don’t deserve to have it the way you want. As Anton puts it, “No matter is too small, too local, too private, or too inconsequential to escape their gaze and slip their punishment. Bake the cake, bigot.”
As I apply this to election fraud, this might go, “Too bad, red states. By whatever means necessary, we’re going to control enough states so that you will be powerless. You’re a bunch of racist ultra-MAGA people and don’t deserve power.”
5. THE LIE-BACK IMPERATIVE. This is a refinement of #4, to keep from unduly alarming and rousing conservatives and keep the frog in the pot of water as it comes to a boil. When they punch us, we grow conditioned to think of it –- and even acknowledge it –- as a massage. I see this as Advanced Brainwashing 201.
Example: When the left says, “You’re in this class because all white people have inherent racism, including you,” there’s pressure for you to reflexively respond, “Thank you for helping me see my inherent bias.” You become “the housebroken Right.” The goal: your self-censorship.
As I apply this to election fraud: They say, “You can’t discuss 2,000 MULES on your show because we don’t know if it’s true and, besides, we might get sued.” You feel the pressure and say, “Thanks for clarifying…...whatever you say, FOX News.”
6. THE ENMITY COUNTERACCUSATION. If you don’t respond as compliantly to their rhetoric as in #5, the left will have to “circle back” and smack you again. As in, “You don’t appreciate it when we call you evil because of your race? You are so divisive!”
Related point: if you warn that the left’s strategies will result in something bad, such as civil war, they’ll say, “Oh, so you want civil war! You domestic terrorist!”
I didn’t say this was logical.
As I apply this to election fraud: You say, “These changes to the election system will destroy faith in our democracy!” They say, “You can’t say that! You’re trying to destroy faith in our democracy! You insurrectionist!”
All of this is designed to twist your thinking and get you to say 2+2=5. Anton warns that the left hates conservatives and wants us canceled and ostracized, or at least obedient. The techniques he describes remind me of Stalinist Russia and also of Orwell’s 1984, which was, of course, inspired by Stalinist Russia.. Anton advises that to deal with the gaslighting, we must be able to think clearly, and that’s why he wrote this breakdown of their strategies as he sees them. I hope my specific application of them to the issue of election fraud is helpful, too.
Postscript: Victor Davis Hanson has some excellent columns warning of the societal changes the left is working tirelessly to bring about. Here’s a menu of recent selections, all highly recommended…
America The Beautiful
God's creation is all around us. To learn more about New River Gorge National Park, visit its website here.
REEDER: RIP Mickey Gilley & A Quick Note about Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
This article by staff writer Pat Reeder was originally published on May 13th.
There’s been so much news the past week that it's almost overwhelming, but I can’t let the passing of country star Mickey Gilley go unmentioned. Gilley died last weekend in Pasadena, Texas, at 86 of undisclosed causes.
Gilley was best known for his ‘80s hits that were associated with the “Urban Cowboy” craze kicked off by the John Travolta movie (the country flipside of the disco boom Travolta sparked with “Saturday Night Fever.”) Gilley not enjoyed huge chart success with such pop-country hits as “Stand By Me” and “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time,” he also became famous for his Gilley’s club, the “world’s biggest honky-tonk,” with its mechanical bull, as seen in the film. Even after the hits dried up, his name was still associated with the Mickey Gilley Golf Classic and live venues. He had a theater in Branson, and there was a Gilley’s to the west of us in Fort Worth (now Billy Bob’s Texas) and still a Gilley’s to the east in Dallas (not his, but named after him.)
Those who know only his '80s “Urban Cowboy” years might be surprised to learn that he’d been plugging away for quite a while before that. His first record, “Ooh We Baby,” came in 1957 (the label was "Minor Records"); his first charted song was “Is It Wrong” in 1960 (the uncredited bass player was Kenny Rogers); and his first album was "Lonely Wine" in 1964. He overcame a number of setbacks, including two fires that destroyed his venues and an accident that paralyzed him for three months and ended his ability to play piano. But he kept performing as a singer and storyteller.
Mickey Gilley was a member of a famous trio of singer/pianist cousins from Ferriday, Louisiana, that included “The Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis in the rock field, and Jimmy Swaggart in the gospel arena. Both cousins are still alive (yes, even Jerry Lee.)
A few years ago, Mickey Gilley visited the “Huckabee” show along with fellow “Urban Cowboy” star Johnny Lee (“Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places.”) You can relive that moment here.
Rest in peace, Mickey.
* * *
Just a quick note on this year’s inductees into the “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame. In the performer category, they are Pat Benetar and Neil Geraldo, Eurythmics (both deserved), Duran Duran (not my choice, but okay), Carly Simon, Lionel Richie (wait, wasn’t this supposed to be rock?), Dolly Parton (who unsuccessfully asked that her name be removed because she’s never even made a rock record) and Eminem (okay, this is definitely no longer a rock music Hall of Fame. Some of us would argue that that’s not even music.)
The Hall’s CEO defended Eminem’s induction by claiming he “emits the same feeling” as heavy metal does. If that means he induces headaches, I’ll grant that, but it’s not rock. Actual metal pioneers Judas Priest finally got a “Musical Excellence Award,” but weren’t inducted as performers.
As has become a yearly tradition, here’s my very incomplete list of artists who have NOT been inducted into the alleged “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame so they can make room for people like Eminem, Jay-Z, Dolly Parton, etc.:
Jethro Tull; The Monkees; Mott the Hoople; The Jam; Ted Nugent; Dick Dale; Herman’s Hermits; Blue Oyster Cult; The Guess Who; King Crimson; Thin Lizzy; Robin Trower; Emerson Lake & Palmer; Iron Maiden; Devo; Paul Revere and the Raiders; Styx; Tommy James and the Shondells; Boston; Steppenwolf; America; The Grass Roots; Jan and Dean; Motorhead; Neil Sedaka; Badfinger; the MC5; The New York Dolls; Grand Funk Railroad; Slade; Joe Walsh; Three Dog Night; Warren Zevon; Link Wray; Meat Loaf; Vanilla Fudge; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers; J. Geils Band; Bad Company; neither Johnny nor Edgar Winter; Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels; Peter Frampton, Johnny Burnette; Ten Years After; Johnny Rivers; The B-52s and many more.
I Just Wanted to Say:
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