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Uvalde Tragedy

May 25, 2022

At this writing, at least 19 school children and two teachers are confirmed dead in the horrific school shooting yesterday in Uvalde, Texas. The 18-year-old shooter is also dead, thanks to the heroic efforts of law enforcement, particularly one unnamed member of an elite Border Patrol tactical unit called BORTAC. He was injured in the leg while exchanging fire with the shooter, who was barricaded and in body armor.

https://www.westernjournal.com/hero-border-patrol-agent-raced-engage-neutralize-uvalde-school-shooter/

This is a breaking story, so here’s a link to Fox News’ continually-updated news reports:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/uvalde-texas-school-shooting

I know that you will join me and others around the world in praying for the victims and the grieving parents who are experiencing the worst nightmare any parent can face. This is a horrifying and senseless tragedy, and all our attention should be focused on the victims and their families.

Unfortunately, as is always the case, many people rushed to cameras to exploit the tragedy by trying to blame it on their political opponents or use it to push their existing agendas before they even knew who the shooter was, what his possible motives might be, what his politics were or what kind of weapon he used (early reports said a handgun and possibly a rifle, but that’s one of many things we don’t yet know for certain.) Also, as is the case too often, it appears that the killer left red flags on social media that were ignored.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-school-shooter-what-we-know

There are those calling for ending the Second Amendment, despite the fact that it’s been around since 1791, and these kinds of cold, conscienceless mass murders have only come in recent years, in an era of family breakdown, rejection of God and moral teachings, desensitizing graphic violence as entertainment, and the erosion of respect for the sanctity of human life. As I wrote recently after the tragic shooting in Buffalo, we have welcomed evil in our midst, and we refuse even to acknowledge its existence. I can make a better case for those things being contributing factors than for “the gun did it.”

But this isn’t the time for political arguments. It should be a time to come together, grieve, offer prayers and comfort to the families, and send a message to the entire world, and especially any would-be future attackers, that every one of those victims was a gift from God and the loss of their lives is an unspeakable tragedy for all of us. Stressing that message to everyone in society – that every life matters and is precious -- would do more to end these horrific attacks than passing more ineffective laws or blaming people who had nothing to do with it.

Related: This is a very good commentary by Darvio Morrow on some things that could be done that really would make our schools safer.

https://redstate.com/redstate-guest-editorial/2022/05/25/morrow-there-is-something-that-we-can-do-n569554

On Tuesday, Day 7 of the Michael Sussmann trial, FBI agent Curtis Heide shed light on how Bureau officials got the idea that Sussmann’s “evidence” about the phony Alfa Bank scandal came from the ‘Justice’ Department.

He said it was his own fault.

In a document drafted the day of Sussmann’s visit by Heide and fellow agent Allison Sands, he said “the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE provided the FBI with a white paper that was produced by an anonymous third party.” This document served as confirmation that an investigation had been opened into the later-debunked allegation.

Heide said the DOJ reference was “a mistake in our paperwork.”

Quite a mistake. When asked by the prosecution how it could’ve been made, Heide said, “I honestly don’t know.”

Recall Monday’s testimony, in which another agent, Ryan Gaynor, testified that the Bureau was shielding Sussmann’s identity from investigating agents, in a procedure called “close hold.” Though this is often considered appropriate, field investigators for this case were frustrated that they couldn’t know the identity. So for all they knew, it WAS the Department of ‘Justice’ that delivered the goods, not just some “anonymous third party,” and such a misinterpretation surely influenced the way they handled the evidence.

Text messages introduced by the prosecution underscore this problem. “We really want to interview the source of all this information,” Heide wrote to Gaynor on October 3. “Any way we can track down who the guy is and how we’re getting this information?”

There wasn’t. They were flying blind. Gaynor told him only that headquarters was looking at it.

Heide happens to be the subject of an internal FBI “investigative inquiry” for allegedly “not identifying exculpatory information as it pertained to one of the Crossfire Hurricane investigations.” His case is still pending. The allegation involves classified information that was left off a FISA application for a warrant to spy. When asked by the prosecution on Tuesday if he’d intentionally withheld such evidence from the Crossfire Hurricane team, he denied that.

Recall that FBI official Kevin Clinesmith was charged and pleaded guilty to altering a document used in the FISA application for a surveillance warrant on Carter Page. We don’t know if the allegation against Heide applies to the same application.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/24/fbi-agent-testifies-in-michael-sussman-trial-about-mistake/

There’s something important to note in the earlier testimony given by Robby Mook, about Hillary personally green-lighting the plan to break the unverified Alfa Bank story in the media. Jim Trusty, a former ‘Justice’ Department official who’s now a DC lawyer, explained to the NEW YORK POST that this fits with other testimony from Mook and Marc Elias saying they were unaware Sussmann planned to also take it to the FBI. Trusty calls this strategy “Protect the Queen.” As in, Queen Hillary. It goes like this:

First, as we’ve said, taking phony evidence to the FBI to gin up an investigation of a political opponent –- or of anyone –- is very serious. It’s a crime, whereas taking it to the media might just be called “political dirty tricks,” completely unethical but not necessarily leading to a perp-walk. Hillary’s accomplices need to keep her out of jail. So by admitting she knew they leaked to the MEDIA, as opposed to the FBI, they’ve gone just to the line, admitting what they have to, but stopping there.

Trusty said Mook and Elias have suggested Hillary was “shocked, shocked by Sussmann going to the FBI.”

We don’t buy it. It makes no sense for Sussmann to GO BEHIND HER BACK to the FBI and then bill her for the meeting!

Trusty put it similarly: “Legal representation simply does not work that way. You don’t ‘free-lance’ a visit to the FBI while billing your client for the time.”

So Mook and Elias can stick to their untenable story and pretend she wasn’t aware, but we know she was. Still, this tenuous testimony might work, especially if Sussmann’s case is being heard by a custom-made equivalent of the O.J. jury. All they need is one excuse, however feeble, to let him off. Heck, maybe billing Hillary was just a mistake in the paperwork. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Trusty called it “a fig leaf [for] any partisan jurors who want to acquit.”

But only those in an extreme state of partisan denial will still believe Hillary wasn’t behind that little trip to the FBI.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/22/clinton-campaign-aides-try-to-protect-the-queen-at-sussmann-trial/

TechnoFog is doing some outstanding summaries of the testimony, and for Tuesday, he starts with Trisha Anderson, who in 2016 was an FBI general counsel reporting directly to James Baker. She’s asked to read her memo from Sussmann’s visit, which says, “No specific client, but group of cyber academics talked with him about research.”

Then Anderson is presented with an email dated June 16, 2016, concerning a meeting to be held later that day and including SUSSMANN, the CEO of the DNC, James Trainor of the FBI’s Cyber Division, and SHAWN HENRY of CrowdStrike. This meeting takes place two days after the June 14 announcement by the DNC that it had been a victim of Russian hacking and over a month before the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) said it, too, had been hacked by Russians.

Soooo...Durham appears to be going somewhere with the story about the DNC’s Russian “hack” and CrowdStrike. As you know, CrowdStrike never turned over the DNC hard drive to the FBI, and the FBI, amazingly, never pressed them about it. To this day, there’s been no evidence that Russia hacked the DNC, or the DCCC. Someone gave the emails to WikiLeaks, but Julian Assange maintains it was not Russia, or any “state actor.” Yet the “Russian hack” was used to help validate the false Trump-Russia “collusion” story. Sussmann is a common element.

TechnoFog also has more very interesting detail on Heide’s testimony. Heide said Bill Priestap (he of the curious memory lapses on Monday) had made it clear, the FBI’s 7th Floor –- including Director Jim Comey –- was demanding a full field investigation be opened. Heide viewed this as inappropriate, but it was “not an option.”

“In order to open a full field investigation,” Heide said, “we would need specific and articulable facts that a threat to U.S. national security has occurred or there’s been a violation of federal law.” But they were ordered to do it anyway, when nothing was found to substantiate the allegations in the Alfa Bank “white paper,”

Heide also testified that there was another confidential human source besides Sussmann supporting the Alfa Bank story. But this was apparently a media person (!), not a cyber expert. TechnoFog speculates that it was David Corn.

Next witness: Jared Novich, former business partner of Rodney Joffe. He testified that Joffe called and asked him to research some information regarding Trump and Russia. He did it, but said he’d never been asked to do something “very political” like this –- it “felt like opposition research.” The project was called “Crimson Rhino” and involved a list of names, home addresses, spouses, workplaces and personal email addresses. Carter Page’s name was on it. Joffe wanted “a 90-day history of data.” Spying, straight up.

https://technofog.substack.com/p/how-fbi-hq-hamstrung-the-alfa-bank?token

This is getting more fascinating by the day.

..........................................................
Addendum:  We thought we were through with the Sussmann trial for now, until Wednesday's testimony is over, but then saw this.  A must-read.

Joe Biden's Worst Week

May 24, 2022

I can’t imagine how you make a call like this, but both Democratic pollster John Zogby and conservative poll analyst Jed Babbin agree that last week was the worst week of the Biden Presidency so far.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/washington-secrets/white-house-report-card-zogby-declares-worst-week-d

The baby formula shortage worsened, the stock market continued its biggest fall in years, inflation kept raging with gas prices setting new records every day, Biden’s new press secretary debuted to bad reviews, his Ministry of Truth scheme imploded amid bipartisan outrage, and a federal judge blocked Biden’s plans to lift the Title 42 COVID protections on illegal border crossers, a decision that critics on both side of the aisle saw as an impending disaster.

That Zogby poll had Biden’s approval rating at 41%, which is actually better than the latest AP/NORC poll, which has him down at 39%.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/bidens-approval-dips-to-lowest-of-presidency-ap-norc-poll/ar-AAXvTxk?ocid=BingNews

What’s interesting about these polls is the internal details. As pathetic as 39% approval is, it’s only that high because of the loyalty of Democrats and African-Americans. Biden’s support among Hispanics has crashed to the mid-20s, but blacks and Democrats have adamantly continued to show the kind of monolithic support that can only be explained by sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting, “La-la-la, I can’t hear you!”

But lately, things under Biden have gotten so bad that it’s becoming impossible even for his most self-deluded supporters to keep kidding themselves. The AP poll found that his support among Democrats that’s never before dropped below 82% has fallen to 73%. Even those who still support him admit that everything’s going badly but claim he’s not to blame for it (Biden obviously agrees with them on that point.) But at least some are finally starting to crumble under the weight of reality.

A recent Rasmussen poll found that Biden’s support among black voters is down to 64%. More ominous are the numbers of those who want him to run again. His supporters can pretend to think he’s doing a good job, but when asked if they want him to keep doing it, they scream, “NO!!” This poll found that only 39% of blacks, 31% of Hispanics and 26% of women (all among his strongest support groups) want him to run for reelection.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/washington-secrets/2024-shock-biden-36-trump-50

(That same poll also found that in a potential 2024 rematch, Trump leads Biden by 50-36%.)

And a CBS Poll has more bad news for Biden, with staggering numbers of people pessimistic about the economy and about half of black respondents saying he’s “slow to react.”

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/05/22/new-cbs-poll-is-damning-indictment-of-biden-while-official-offers-up-a-feeble-response-n568323

It seems obvious that the biggest obstacle for Republicans to overcome is the long-engrained, media-defended notion spread by the left that Republicans are scary, racist fascists. But seldom has any group of voters had a starker example of the real difference between Republican and Democrat policies than living in 2018 (pre-COVID Trump America) and 2022 (post-COVID Biden America.)

A good example of how hard this mindset is to counter is Bill Maher, who for all his recent red-pilling still hasn’t shaken off the liberal brainwashing. Last week, he reacted to Elon Musk's decision to vote Republican for the first time by claiming that for all the Dems’ faults, the Republicans are still the most dangerous party.

Really, Bill? And what would happen if Republicans regained power? Would we take away people’s Constitutional rights, create Orwellian government agencies to police speech, jail people without charges, monitor citizens through social media, explode the national debt, crash the stock market, open up our borders to drug dealers and sex traffickers, allow a massive surge of crime in our cities, put violent criminals back on the streets while tying the cops' hands (basically, turn America into Gotham City), empower our enemies abroad, send our troops to places they have no business going, and make the basic necessities of life unavailable and/or unaffordable?

Because in case you haven’t noticed, that’s the Democratic Party’s current platform.

Gil Gutknecht has a must-read, “From his keyboard to God’s ears” column on the day of reckoning for all those woke corporate CEOs who are putting far-left politics ahead of serving their customer base. In the few months, we’ve seen a number of them suffer crashing stock prices and deep drops in profits, and no, it’s not the fault of the pandemic or Vladimir Putin.

https://townhall.com/columnists/gilgutknecht/2022/05/22/the-day-of-reckoning-for-woke-ceos-is-at-hand-n2607616

All the media stories about the “unexpected” downturns at Target, Netflix and other companies focused on excuses such as inflation and the supply chain crisis. They mostly avoided the possibility that these companies had ticked off at least half their customer base by embracing radical leftwing political dogma. The media live in a cast iron echo chamber and seldom talk to those peasants in Flyover Country, whom they think are so small in numbers, they can be safely marginalized and ignored. You know, like the 73 million Americans who voted for Trump.

Those folks aren’t like leftists: they don’t tend to “organize,” shout through bullhorns, or threaten and bully those who disagree with them. And they don’t have a complicit mass media to amplify their message and make them sound bigger than they are. They just quietly keep a list in their heads of companies that have ticked them off and that they will NEVER do business with again. And there are a LOT of them (I know, I actually talk to them!)

The talking heads think that because it’s not a loud, organized movement, it makes no difference. There is an organized movement called WalkAway, formed by Brandon Straka, but you don’t have to be a member to simply walk away from companies that spit on your values. If Target or Disney don’t want your dirty conservative money, someone else will gladly take it.

There’s an old saying, “Ignore this at your peril.” These companies ignored half their customers and now they are imperiled. Color me unsurprised.

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/05/21/it-sure-looks-like-joe-biden-is-trying-to-purposely-destroy-the-country-n567813

Speaking of “Get woke, go broke,” when the Fed gets woke, we ALL go broke.

https://www.aier.org/article/woke-fed-fell-asleep-on-the-job/

Speaking of large organizations that want to go around parents to indoctrinate small children, State Farm’s “Corporate Responsibility Analyst” (and boy, does he have the wrong job title) put out a memo touting the insurance giant’s partnership with a group called the “GenderCool Project.” It was to have 500 State Farm agents and employees donate a three-book bundle about Being Transgender, Inclusive and Non-Binary to their “local teacher, community center or library of their choice.” The goal was to “increase representation of LGBTQ+ books and support our communities in having challenging, empowering, and important conversations with children Age 5+.” Yes, that’s correct: AGE FIVE and up.

https://redstate.com/jenvanlaar/2022/05/23/breaking-state-farm-terminates-partnership-with-gendercool-according-to-internal-memo-n568913

The news sparked predictable outrage not only from parents and State Farm customers but from many agents and employees who didn’t appreciate being turned into spreaders of radical LGBTQ propaganda. The story hit the news like a shovelful of manure hitting a ceiling fan, and not desiring to “get woke and go broke,” State Farm rushed to do damage control. They announced that the memo came from “a mid-to-lower level employee in Florida” who doesn’t speak for the company, adding:

Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents. We don’t support requiring curriculum in schools on this topic. We support organizations providing resources for parents to have these conversations. We will no longer support that program.”

Pretty simple, isn’t it? Companies that want to stay in business concentrate on their corporate mission, stay out of radical political and social issues, and let parents raise their own kids.

Take note, Disney Corp. In fact, take a lot of notes.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/05/20/disney-releases-lgbtq-pride-themed-toys-marketed-to-children/

Primary Day

May 24, 2022

Today is Primary Election day in Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama, plus there’s a House Special Election in Minnesota and primary runoff elections in Texas. Be sure to vote, and I’ll have a roundup of the results tomorrow (at least, those that are in by tomorrow.)

For a list of my Arkansas endorsements through my political organization, Huck PAC, go here.

For my Georgia endorsements, go here.

For my Alabama endorsements, go here.

A couple of races of particular note: In the Texas Attorney General run-off, incumbent Ken Paxton is facing George P. Bush in a race that’s being framed as a test of the Bush dynasty’s ability to survive in the MAGA era. And in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp is being challenged by David Perdue, who is backed by Donald Trump because Trump thinks Kemp didn’t do enough to challenge the 2020 vote. 

Here’s some more info on these and other races in these states, plus the potential impact of Trump’s endorsements.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-ballot-looms-large-tuesday-primaries-georgia-alabama-arkansas-texas

Sadly for Georgia Democrats, they have no choice in the Governor’s race because Stacey Abrams is running unopposed. Just think of that: Stacey Abrams is literally the best the Democrats could do!

Today would be a great time for her to face a challenger because last week, she publicly griped that she was sick of hearing about how Georgia is the best state to do business when it’s the worst state to live in (I guess all the New Yorkers who are fleeing there must be masochists.) Also, as I previously reported, the massive surge in early voting has proven that Abrams’ claims about Georgia’s new election integrity laws being Jim Crow-style racist voter suppression – a claim echoed by the media, President Biden, and major corporations and that cost Georgians hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues – was, as I've said from day one, a scurrilous and very expensive lie.

As of the end of early voting on Friday, over 850,000 Georgians had cast early or absentee ballots, which is more than triple the number in 2018.

https://pjmedia.com/columns/stephen-kruiser/2022/05/24/the-morning-briefing-democrats-georgia-lies-are-being-laid-bare-n1600298

And it’s not just white Republicans who are finding it easy to vote. One 70-year-old black woman told the Washington Post, "I had heard that they were going to try to deter us in any way possible because of the fact that we didn’t go Republican on the last election, when Trump didn’t win. To go in there and vote as easily as I did and to be treated with the respect that I knew I deserved as an American citizen — I was really thrown back." Shame on the people who made her believe that about her fellow Georgians.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/georgia-voting-law-media-jim-crow-accusations

In summation, Stacey Abrams told a “Big Lie” that the 2018 election she lost was rigged; she intentionally inflamed racial divisions; and she frightened the public and undermined our democracy by shattering the people’s faith in the integrity of their elections. Aren’t those all the same charges that the Democrats are falsely making against Trump as an argument for banning him from office for life? Yet Abrams has done them all openly for nearly four years, and it made her wealthy, a Democrat Party/Hollywood celebrity, and now they want her to be Governor of Georgia. Once again, if it weren’t for double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

I just hope that in November, Georgians will use their new system of easier but more transparent voting to deliver a well-deserved heavy loss to Stacey Abrams. Maybe if it’s a crushing landslide defeat, it will finally be enough to make her go away – or at least stop claiming she actually won.

 

A "Pandemic Treaty"

May 24, 2022

I’ve been getting a lot of comments wanting to know more about a “pandemic treaty” that’s being hashed out to expand the role of the World Health Organization. This really took off after Tucker Carlson blasted it last week. There are concerns that proposed changes by the Biden Administration would give the head of the WHO sweeping powers to declare pandemics and impose rights-denying measures like lockdowns on sovereign nations without their consent or even over their objections.

This is a complicated issue, so I’m going to link to a couple of stories with more details than I can provide you here. First, Breitbart explains the objections to the proposed treaty and amendments.

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2022/05/20/biden-backed-w-h-o-treaty-amendment-would-yield-united-states-public-health-powers-u-n/

And this article that originally appeared in Fortune argues that those concerns are unfounded: that the WHO would only gain enhanced advisory capabilities to deal more swiftly with health emergencies, but not the power to overrule sovereign governments. They say that because “international law” isn’t really enforceable, such nations could just ignore them anyway.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/why-tucker-carlson-is-wrong-about-the-world-health-organization-and-its-pandemic-treaty/ar-AAXwyi5

This is all still in a state of flux, and no matter what the original intention, there’s a good chance that the rising scrutiny and anger will have an effect. My personal view: I certainly don’t think the WHO is deserving of being granted any kind of power over sovereign nations, elected governments or individual citizens. But on top of that, I question the wisdom of expanding their part in dealing with emergencies even in a purely advisory role.

What is there about their botched handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that has earned them the right to greater trust and responsibility? Was it their disgusting and dishonest kowtowing to the communist Chinese government? Or their dogged defense of lockdowns and school closures that have done irreparable harm while studies have since confirmed they had little to no effect on the spread of the virus? In fact, researchers have known for years that lockdowns are useless against airborne viruses. I thought the most basic rule of medicine was "First, do no harm." Here’s just one of many examples of the harm that their policies caused:

https://redstate.com/bobhoge/2022/05/22/media-shows-surprise-at-reports-covid-lockdowns-led-to-massive-learning-loss-n568385

Until the WHO cleans up its act and thoroughly reforms and de-policizes itself, it doesn’t deserve more power or even more influence not backed by power. To quote the Who that I respect a lot more, we won’t get fooled again.