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Ukraine may be the only place on Earth that people are fleeing in greater numbers than New York City or California. That means their tourism officials really have their work cut out for them, when their biggest selling point is, “At least the people running this place are better than Vladimir Putin.”

To try to convince tourists to return to cities that have become infamous for their own residents fleeing from the criminals, filth and dangerous homeless people, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an order creating a tourism cabinet. Sadly, just minutes after the cabinet was created, someone stole it.

https://labusinessjournal.com/tourism/l-a-mayor-garcetti-signs-order-creating-tourism-cabinet/

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has an even wackier scheme to try to bring people back to the big rotten apple. Playing off the totally incorrect idea that Florida has banned people from saying the word “gay,” he’s launched a tourism campaign urging Florida LGBTQ residents to leave their beautiful, low-tax Miami homes for New York. They might be terrorized by criminals, shoved in front of subway trains by deranged homeless people and taxed into bankruptcy, but they can say “Gay! Gay! Gay!” all day if they want. Which they can also do in Florida, if anyone actually wants to.

https://redstate.com/tladuke/2022/04/05/new-york-city-mayor-begs-people-to-move-to-new-york-city-why-would-they-n545680

I have a feeling this will create one of those “strange bedfellows” moments where gay Floridians respond by quoting country star Buck Owens, who sang, “I wouldn’t live in New York City if they gave me the whole dang town.”

https://youtu.be/gEe02hCiWmk

Incidentally, here’s how reading helps: Public Opinion Strategies conducted a unique poll in which they asked respondents to read the text of the Florida bill and then give their opinion on it. After seeing what it actually says (it merely bars inappropriate sexual or gender lessons for children under eight without parental consent), two-thirds of respondents supported it.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/04/03/poll-majority-of-americans-approve-of-floridas-dont-say-gay-law-including-55-of-democrats/

That lopsided support held across all demographics, including Democrats (55-29%), Biden voters (53-30%), and people who “know someone who’s LGBTQ” (61-28%.)

Instead of wasting his time trying to persuade people in Florida to come back to New York, Mayor Adams should read the bill and take a voyage back to reality.

If Republicans return to power and don’t issue subpoenas and get to the bottom of what happened to bury the Biden laptop story before the 2020 election, they don’t deserve power.

That’s what I told Sean Hannity on FOX News Monday night, after he said he couldn’t think of a bigger “in-kind” campaign contribution the media could’ve made to Joe Biden. Republicans must show up and engage the other side so the American people can find out if the President of the United States is compromised.

As I’ve said, this isn’t about Hunter, but “the Big Guy.” If Hunter traded on his father’s powerful name to work deals with our country’s biggest adversaries, especially China, this truly is the biggest political scandal in America’s history. Perhaps the worst part, though, is the media’s role as accomplices, crying "Russian disinformation!" to hide the deeds of their political friends, at least for as long as this met the needs of those pulling the strings. I hate to say it, but what we see looks like something akin to the Corleone family.

We have to strip off layer after layer, like peeling an onion, till we expose the rotten center. And, yes, also like peeling an onion, it makes us want to cry.

On the bright side, the latest update from the New York Post suggests Durham’s grand jury is already exploring the “Big Guy” connection…

https://nypost.com/2022/04/04/hunter-biden-grand-jury-witness-was-asked-about-deal-with-chinese-firm-and-the-big-guy/

Greg Gutfeld targeted the Washington Post Monday night for offering a lame defense and semi-apology for the media’s failure to report the story. On Sunday, the unintentionally amusing WaPo Editorial Board actually asked, “Why is confirmation of a story that first surfaced in the fall of 2020 emerging only now?”

Why indeed, WaPo Editorial Board? As if you weren’t largely to blame for that yourselves, though you tried to point fingers away from yourselves and towards Twitter and Facebook. You said you were just trying to be “prudent,” so as to not be “the unwitting tools of a Russian influence campaign.” (Never mind that you were for years the eager tools of Hillary’s “Russia Hoax.”) We still get the distinct impression that you shared Twitter’s goal –- that if you’d had your way, that laptop story would’ve disappeared without a trace, as the White House surely wishes the laptop itself had.

Gutfeld put it more bluntly, “The press asking why the story is only emerging now –- that’s like O.J. Simpson asking what happened to his ex-wife Nicole, or Scott Peterson putting up missing person posters of his wife all around the neighborhood. Your hands were all over this.”

His coup de grace, Line Of The Day: “There was a disinformation campaign all right, but the culprits weren’t chugging vodka in Moscow; they were sipping lattes in Silicon Valley.”

At this writing, Monday’s “Gutfeld!” hasn’t yet been posted, but do check it out if you missed it, as both the monologue and the opening discussion are about the Biden scandal and media cover-up.

As for Hillary and the “Russia Hoax,” Michael Sussmann’s attorneys have tried again to get the charge dropped against their client. They’ve come up with a novel argument that plays off some circular logic. Here’s how the reasoning goes:

Sussmann is accused of lying to the FBI about whether he was there on behalf of clients (Hillary and tech executive Rodney Joffe), telling them instead that he was just there to give them a “tip” (the fake Alfa Bank story) out of his patriotic duty. His attorneys told the judge that never before, at least to their knowledge, “has an individual provided a tip to the government and been prosecuted for making a false statement that’s ancillary to the tip itself.”

Reminder to Sussmann’s attorneys, and also to the presiding judge, Obama appointee U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper: Sussmann was not providing a “tip” to the government. That’s what he was lying about! On behalf of his clients, whom he was billing for the meeting, he PRETENDED it was a tip. We all know he was actually feeding the FBI a fake piece of evidence. So unless you’re doing a standup comedy routine, don’t use the lie that it was a tip in your argument to dismiss the charge of lying that it was a tip.

The Epoch Times has a good summary, but it’s a “premium” story. I’ll include the link, but we’ve covered the main points.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/lawyers-for-ex-clinton-campaign-lawyer-try-convincing-court-to-dismiss-charge-from-john-durham_4374988.html

Speaking of Sussmann and the argument for dismissal, legal analyst Margot Cleveland has a detailed new piece relating to that. Sussmann’s attorney --- from law firm Latham & Watkins, whose reach extends far in this scandal --- had another argument for dismissal: that the lie wasn’t “material,” and thus not a crime. So, why wasn’t it material? The attorney, Michael Bosworth, said no one at the FBI even asked Sussmann about the source of the Alfa Bank information. “Not once,” Bosworth said. “Ever.”

Cleveland recounts from the transcript the heated back-and-forth on this point between Boswell and prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis. Boswell was arguing that Sussmann’s (alleged) lie didn’t matter to the FBI, because if the FBI had cared at all about the source of the information he had brought them, they would have asked him about it.

Now, as I’ve said many times, my research team and I are not attorneys, but it occurred to us that the FBI DID straight-out ask if Sussmann had come representing clients, so that must have mattered, and that’s what he lied about. It sure seems material to us. Bosworth was probably thinking, “Hey, it’s worth a shot.”

Still, amazingly, we learn from this that the FBI never asked Sussmann anything like, “Who are these cyber experts you talked to? Can we talk to them? How’d they get this information?” Sure enough, Cleveland had the same take-away; namely, that the FBI’s failure to ask these questions “speaks not of the unimportance of the information, but of the incompetence (or political corruption) of the Crossfire Hurricane team.” They had the same lack of curiosity about the Steele “dossier” and didn’t care if they were relying on obviously suspect information if it fit their purpose.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/04/the-alfa-bank-hoax-is-looking-a-lot-like-crossfire-hurricane/

Finally, in an update to the FEC’s fining of Hillary For America and the DNC, Kash Patel, lead investigator for the House Intelligence Committee when it was chaired by Devin Nunes, says they’re paying their fines to bury the story.

Recall that the fines were for misreporting “oppo research” for the Steele “dossier” as “legal services” and funneling the money for the “dossier” through law firm Perkins Coie. As we’ve reported, they essentially pleaded “no contest” and are paying the fines, with Patel now saying it’s to avoid calling more attention to what they did.

Patel points out that “the Hillary Clinton campaign could’ve said, ‘We disagree with your finding. We’re going to court.’ What did the Hillary Clinton campaign do? ...They agreed to the finding of probable cause by the FEC, which means they’re basically agreeing that it happened. ...Like we’ve always said, ‘Follow the money.’”

He sees the FEC fines as “another step towards accountability,” which needs to come in the form of indictments.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/clinton-campaign-dnc-are-paying-fec-fine-in-an-effort-to-bury-story-kash-patel

By “Huckabee” pop culture guru Pat Reeder (http://www.hollywoodhifi.com)

I really wish we could stop talking about this because I’m as sick of it as you are, but there have been a few more twists to the “Will Smith goes berserk at the Oscars” story. First, Smith resigned from the Academy. They were already meeting to discuss punishment, which could have included expulsion, so this could just be a “You can’t fire me, I quit!” move. Smith issued a statement acknowledging that his actions were “shocking, painful and inexcusable.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/mel-gibsons-fox-news-interview-comes-bizarre-end-asked-will-smith/

That might be easier to swallow if the other new twist wasn’t that footage of the Oscars from different vantage points appears to show that his wife Jada was laughing as he walked back from slapping Chris Rock, that co-host Amy Schumer later joked about it (“Did anything happen while I was away?”) and Smith guffawed at that, and he was later taped after his tearful, contrite acceptance speech dancing at an after-party and shaking his Oscar like a maraca. So he really did deserve that award for Best Actor. But considering Schumer also claims she’s taking a month off to recover from the trauma of the same incident that she was joking about before everyone in the theater realized how badly it came off to us normal people, Smith is only the tip of the Hollywood hypocrisy iceberg.

Also, last night, CBS aired the Grammy Awards from Las Vegas (full disclosure: my wife and fellow writer Laura Ainsworth is also a recording artist and Grammy voter: https://shop.bandwear.com/collections/laura-ainsworth-shop)

Maybe because of the tanking ratings, or the sense that Americans are fed up with woke celebrity hypocrites, the Grammy Awards were a little better this year than in recent years. The emphasis was more on music than politics, the virtue-signaling was turned down a bit, and the major political statement was a message from Ukrainian President Zelensky with a musical salute to Ukraine and an appeal to help the refugees.

They continued the unfortunate trend of putting performers on stage during the “In Memoriam” segment, often pushing the departed honorees so far into the background that you couldn’t see them (and I don’t understand why the drummer for the Foo Fighters got a special segment while Mike Nesmith got two seconds), but at least the Steven Sondheim songs were superbly performed. And while there were the usual classless moments and too much stuff that I personally might not technically consider to be “music,” there were also more examples than in recent years of actual musical talent and diverse styles, from the ‘70s funk of Silk Sonic to Lady Gaga’s salute to Tony Bennett to Jon Batiste’s New Orleans jazz-infused R&B.

Finally, congratulations to our friends who won and were nominated in the type of indie label categories that feature the best music being made today, so naturally, they’re shunted off to the untelevised afternoon ceremony.

The firehose of news about Hunter Biden’s laptop is still on full blast. Mark Levin, on Sunday’s LIFE, LIBERTY & LEVIN, speculated that we might have a real-life “Manchurian Candidate” in the Oval Office. And he implicated the media –- the “Big Tech oligarchs” –- that covered up for the Bidens by censoring the Hunter laptop story before the 2020 election and afterwards, calling it “Russian disinformation.”

Levin pointedly mentioned Chris Wallace’s role in that. Recall that when Donald Trump tried to bring it up during a debate, Wallace refused to allow it. He also noted that The New York Times, now admitting the laptop really is Hunter’s, maintained as recently as September 2021 that it was (sigh) Russian disinformation.

This withholding of evidence absolutely was election interference.

Levin believes the NYT and also the Washington Post are writing about this now because they’ve been tipped off that prosecutors are moving fast. Much as they might like to, it’s hard for them to ignore developments like this, as reported in WaPo: “...The new documents –- which include a signed copy of a $1 million legal retainer, emails related to the wire transfers, and $3.8 million in consulting fees [from CEFC –- the CCP’s oil and gas conglomerate] that are confirmed in new bank records and agreements signed by Hunter Biden –- illustrate the ways in which his family profited from relationships built over Joe Biden’s decades in public service.”

There’s much more on the laptop tying Hunter to CEFC. As WaPo reported a few days ago, according to a contract signed in August 2017, Hunter would be paid a one-time retainer of $500,000 and would then receive a monthly stipend of $100,000, with his uncle James (Joe Biden’s brother) getting $65,000 a month.” Nice work if you can get it.

According to WaPo, the money started flowing “almost immediately, with the first incoming wire of $5 million arriving on August 8, 2017.” Documents on Hunter’s laptop to that effect were corroborated by identical bank statements [Sen. Chuck] Grassley’s office obtained from Cathay Bank for an account jointly held by Hunter Biden and CEFC executives...”

WaPo obtained a report from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the Treasury Department saying the transactions were flagged as potential money laundering, political corruption or other financial crimes. No wonder they’re thinking an indictment might be imminent.

There’s much more, and this is just the part about China, not Ukraine. (It includes that email verified by Hunter’s former partner Tony Bolulinski that specifies “10 [percent] held by H for the Big Guy.”) Of course, WaPo and the NYT have obviously tried to “help” the President by distancing him as much as possible from the activities of his brother and son. But, as Levin says, this laptop has “the names of individuals, it’s got dates on it, it’s got times on it, it’s got a thousand methods for confirming the authenticity of what’s on the laptop. Where are the media?” This information was known by them before the election, but the establishment media are only now talking about it. In contrast, the reporters at the New York Post, Miranda Devine in particular, deserve high praise for putting it all out there, raising the ire of the propagandists running social media.

Levin called for a federal special counsel, as opposed to the politicized DOJ led by Merrick Garland, to set up an office to look into all foreign dealings of the Biden family. There is solid evidence that President Biden lied multiple times in claiming not to know anything about Hunter’s business dealings and saying reports of wrongdoing had been “totally discredited.” “We need a Biden Crime Family Committee,” Levin said, “and we need one right now. We need to know what the hell’s going on. Communist China’s our biggest enemy, and they’re staring us down. It’s my contention we have a man in the Oval Office who is by all evidence corrupt --- bought off --- and we need it now.”

Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, went on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday to tell George Stefanopoulos the President is confident Hunter didn’t break the law. But to cover his bases, Klain said, “These are actions by Hunter and his brother. They’re private matters. And they certainly are something that no one at the White House is involved in.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/biden-confident-son-hunter-biden-didnt-break-the-law-white-house-chief-of-staff_4379711.html

Bonchie at RedState.com explains how Klain made an inadvertent admission. Right after saying Joe was confident Hunter hadn’t broken the law, Klain said Joe had had no contact with the DOJ. So, if he had no knowledge of his son’s business and hadn’t talked to the attorney general, how would he know whether or not Hunter had broken the law? Answer: he wouldn’t. Biden’s lying in one statement or the other, or perhaps in both.

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/04/03/white-house-response-to-hunter-biden-scandal-seems-to-make-an-inadvertent-admission-n544933

Similarly, the White House “pointed to” statements made in the fall of 2020 that Hunter and James Biden had committed no crimes but went on to dodge the question of whether or not the President might have had conversations about pardoning them.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/white-house-denies-hunter-biden-committed-any-crimes-and-dodges-on-pardon

We do know, however, that Biden HAS had conversations about prosecuting Trump, over January 6. And this story probably was leaked to put a bee in AG Garland’s bonnet. I thought the President wasn’t supposed to use his office to prosecute a political rival.

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/04/02/report-joe-biden-openly-pusing-for-the-doj-to-prosecute-donald-trump-n544606

Kyle Becker reports that a revealing text between Hunter and his daughter Naomi from December of 2018 has been verified. Here’s what it says at the end: “I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years. It’s really hard. But don’t worry unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary.”

Rudy Giuliani discussed this text two weeks before the election with Martha MacCallum on FOX News. He said that, yes, he could verify that it was legit. Back then, the media --- well, not Martha --- painted Giuliani as a dingbat, and he later turned out to be 100 percent correct about this. Read the transcript of their interview at the link.

https://beckernews.com/bombshell-hunter-biden-text-reveals-joe-biden-made-him-give-him-half-his-salary-for-over-30-years-44654/

Finally, John Solomon has a must-read piece in which he tells the story of a retired intelligence office, Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who was approached by one of the intel agencies ahead of the 2020 election to try to help them acquire a copy of Hunter’s hard drive. “We don’t have a political dog in the fight,” they told Shaffer. “What our concern is, is that if there’s compromising information on that hard drive, this is before the election, the President could be compromised to the level of owing either China or Ukraine something.” Goodness, that sounds like a legitimate and very serious concern.

But according to Shaffer, in late October, the intel leadership abruptly said, “Stop, don’t touch it. We don’t want to know.”

Also, regarding the now-infamous letter signed by 51 former intel officials to say the laptop had “earmarks” of Russian disinformation, Shaffer said national security experts normally stay out of presidential politics, and that the signatories should be barred by law from holding an inside-government national security job ever again. Think that'll happen?

https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/hldex-intel-officer-spy-agency-sought-hunter-biden

Republican Sen. Susan Collins has already voiced her intentions to vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court, as has Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, so it’s now being treated as a certainty. Democrats are rushing forward with a vote today to advance her nomination out of the Judiciary Committee and hurry it to a floor vote.

But her confirmation process has actually made her appear less qualified than she seemed at first glance. Her record of going easy on pedophiles is disturbing enough. And the New York Post obtained transcripts of some of those rulings that are even more disturbing that we’ve been led to believe (warning: graphic details at the link.)

https://redstate.com/beccalower/2022/04/02/newly-released-transcripts-of-judge-ketanji-brown-jackson-child-porn-cases-show-why-she-must-not-be-seated-on-scotus-n544681

Also, the Democrats have refused even to release other records on her. And Sen. Ted Cruz revealed that in the written questions he submitted to her, she claimed she was unable to state whether Americans have natural rights. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure the Founders listed our God-given rights in a PS to the Constitution called “The Bill of Rights.”

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/04/02/yikes-you-need-to-see-this-answer-from-ketanji-brown-jackson-n544428

I get that she was too afraid of the trans lobby to admit that she knows what a “woman” is, but who is she afraid of offending by admitting that she knows Americans are endowed by their Creator with certain natural rights? Personally, I don’t want someone who’s unclear on that concept sitting on the Supreme Court for life.

Republicans may not have the majority, but lest we forget, neither do the Democrats. They just have the Veep to break ties. There is still a way that the Republicans could stop this headlong rush to place someone on the SCOTUS who doesn’t know a woman from a natural right. Allan Stevo at American Greatness explains how, but it would require all the Republicans to stand together to protect America. Let’s hope that’s not too much to ask of some of them.

https://amgreatness.com/2022/04/03/republicans-can-stop-the-ketanji-brown-jackson-nomination/