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"Fact-Checkers"

August 7, 2020

If you’ve read my newsletter for a while, you won’t be surprised that I put the term “fact-checkers” in quotes. That’s because many “fact-checkers” these days don’t check facts so much as reinforce leftist opinions by citing biased sources to brand anyone who disagrees with them as being misinformed or a liar. We know this because what we do is check actual facts. For instance, if a story claims that a prominent person said something outrageous, we track down the original quote in context, in its entirety. Sometimes, that means we correct or don’t use a story from a conservative news source. But most often, it means we correct a liberal news source. Or sometimes, a so-called “fact-checker.”

The bias of “fact-checkers” is something that many conservatives have come to hold as conventional wisdom, but now, Sharyl Attkisson of Real Clear Investigations has taken a deep dive into their backgrounds and dug up solid evidence that all those assurances of non-partisan objectivity are anything but factual.

The study confirmed that media “fact-checkers” (surprise!) lean left. The claim of objective fact-checking is largely “illusory” and amounts to a “circular feedback loop of verification” in which “like-minded journalists or often Silicon Valley gatekeepers” rely on a small group of partisan news sources and political activists to control narratives and shape and censor information. One obvious example: for monitoring media bias, the far-left activist group Media Matters is treated as a trustworthy, reliable source for “fact-checkers” such as NewsGuard, while the conservative Media Research Center is ignored.

Facebook uses the World Health Organization as a source to fight “disinformation” about the coronavirus, even though we know the WHO has engaged in multiple incidents of spreading misinformation itself. Facebook also claims that members of its new oversight board “were chosen for their expertise and diversity” and “must not have actual or perceived conflicts of interest that could compromise their independent judgment and decision-making.” Yet 18 of the 20 have ties to George Soros’ far-left Open Society Foundations, while none have taken conservative stances on any controversial issue.

Google’s “fact-checking” group First Draft was not only started by the extremely liberal parent company, but it’s also supported by liberal nonprofits, including the Soros groups, and it routinely cites biased news sources to discredit non-leftist views. Its digital director frequently tweets and retweets “anti-American rhetoric and progressive positions.” First Draft even referred readers to an article that pushed the false claim that President Trump encouraged people literally to drink bleach.

This study simply confirms what anyone who’s been paying attention already knows: a great deal of today’s so-called “fact-checking” is just leftist advocacy in camouflage. This is why we have to spend so much time here fact-checking the “fact-checkers.”

From Carol:

If you won the lottery, would you mail in your ticket or take it in person? Some things are important enough to do in person. For me voting is one of them.

From the Gov:

I couldn't have made the case for in-person voting better than you just have. Everyone pushing for mail-in ballots should have to answer your question.

Then, there was this, from Kathi:

Governor, I agree with your entire column up to the point that you started mask pandering by telling people to mask up and go vote. A virus with a 99+% recovery rate no longer requires and actually never did require a mask. Free Americans need to be free to vote as free Americans, and that includes having the CHOICE to mask up or not. I ask you to please #StopMaskPandering! #StayFree

From the Gov:

Kathi, if (when!) you go to the polls, and they insist that you put on a mask before you can come inside --- and they will --- what are you going to do? Elbow your way inside and demand a ballot? I guarantee, that will not get you anywhere. You will be made to leave, by force if necessary, and your voice in the 2020 election will not be heard.

No, if the mask issue is all-important, you will just have to vote absentee or, in the states that institute it, with a mail-in ballot. I suggest you think about Carol's letter, above, before deciding.

Is winning that one "mask" argument on that all-important day so vital to you that you will risk your vote not counting, or walk away rather than vote at all?

If you don't like the intrusion of "mask" rules, remember that if the Democrats take the White House, we will face intrusion into our lives such as we have never seen. If you don't want to put on the mask for any other occasion, we can have that discussion, but in this one case, I will say again, put on the doggone mask and vote.

An unintended positive consequence of the pandemic is that college students who have to attend online will not be getting their standard fall dose of leftist, anti-American brainwashing.

And here’s a piece by a New York City nurse who points out that she has spent months working directly with COVID-19 patients, and grocery store employees kept working, so why should teachers be considered any less “essential?” Her husband, who is a public school teacher, opposes a strike and feels it’s his duty to serve in the classroom. My observation: some of those grocery workers are no doubt high school students themselves, so even the kids continued working while their teachers’ unions are fighting going back to work.

(FYI, that’s in the Atlantic, so of course the writer blames New York’s problems on the federal government and President Trump, who made sure New York had no shortage of ventilators or hospital rooms, and not on her own local and state Democratic leaders, who made every possible wrong decision and turned nursing homes into killing fields.)

Deadly inaction

August 7, 2020

There was a massive explosion in Beirut this week that killed at least 135 people, injured 5,000 more and caused devastating damage that’s left up to 300,000 people homeless. Investigators have been trying to ascertain if it was an attack, a hidden weapons cache or what? Now, it appears that it might have been due to Russian fertilizer.

A Russian ship called the MV Rhosus that was carrying agricultural fertilizer with 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate came into port in Beirut in 2013. It had technical and financial problems, was abandoned by its owners, and the crew sent back to Russia. It’s been there for years, despite multiple warnings from the customs director to the judiciary that it was a “floating bomb,” warnings that were apparently ignored. So the explosion wasn’t due to a deadly action by a foreign government, but deadly inaction by Lebanon’s own government. And yet some people still insist that we need to entrust every important aspect of our lives to the care and efficiency of government bureaucrats.

From James (with slight editing):

The only bad thing about President Trump's [agenda] is that the Democrats keep finding ways to...lie about it to the nation...They don't ‘mislead’ the people of this country –- they create intentional falsehoods and present them as fact. Then, if someone is foolish enough to repudiate their lies, that individual is destroyed in public, shamed, and labeled as a vile character.

Sir, I understand that you and some on FOX News present the truth in his defense, but how are we to combat this constant barrage of lies? Sometimes I lose hope. And people I have known for years have begun to spew this unsubstantiated drivel as gospel. When I ask them for corroboration, they look at me like I'm a fool and shake their heads and refer me to the nightly news. I might quote you or Fox News in response, and they laugh, because "everybody" knows those are not reliable sources.

...How can an individual battle a horde of sanctimonious [media] mouthpieces for a radical, insidious faction bent on usurping our rights?

Maybe I am asking too much of you, but I know you have many contacts who could help us in this quest. Will you reach out to them, bring their voices to the rescue, and lift our spirits before this most integral election of the age?

We hear too many voices from the Left. It is time for us to start hearing a barrage of voices from the Right, to reinforce our belief in a just cause. Without a chorus, the voice of "Truth" will be lost under the clatter and mumbling from the balcony.

From the Gov:

You voice the frustration and worry of millions of Americans. It often feels as though WE’RE the ones stuck in the balcony, high up in the nosebleed seats, while the leftist narrative takes center stage and the prime orchestra seating as well. Our message gets crushed. What to do?

First, some historical perspective. The left has always done this. I’m old enough to barely remember the infamous LBJ anti-Goldwater campaign ad with the little girl playing with a daisy as the atomic bomb goes off, painting Goldwater as a warmonger. That ad was largely credited for Goldwater’s spectacular loss, and Lyndon Johnson, ironically, went on to dramatically escalate the Vietnam War.

The lies intensified when Reagan got into office. And the left has never stopped with the outrageous whoppers, whether it’s a paid ad showing “Paul Ryan” literally throwing a wheelchair-bound granny over a cliff --- in case you didn’t see this, I am not exaggerating --- or the media right now trying to make us fear Trump will refuse to leave office if he loses. They never, never stop lying. And now they use so-called “fact-checkers,” who are themselves typically anti-Trump, to try to make it look as if WE are lying.

I’m sure the worst part of this is seeing people you know buying into the lies and becoming “pod people." They mindlessly tar FOX News as “faux news” when FNC, aside from clearly-designated opinion shows, has been shown statistically to be far more balanced than the major left-leaning outlets. If you’ve suffered through segments with certain DNC-connected FOX News contributors, you know FOX isn't all that conservative. But people have been trained --- yes, trained --- to automatically discount anything from FOX News.

It’s gotten so bad, we can’t let the left get away with it any longer. This is no time to be “shamed” or intimidated into silence. Some tips: Be sure you have the facts on your side when you make a point, and then if someone says you’re wrong, calmly tell them why you’re not.

Be polite, but don’t back down even if someone calls you names, even “racist.” Just tell them: they have no more right to their judgment calls than you do to yours. Name-calling is a pathetic way of saying they have nothing else. Also, you don’t have to stay on the defensive; put it on them to back up what they say.

As for me, believe me, I do what I can. And tell your “pod” friends that they may disagree with the opinions expressed on MikeHuckabee.com, but I doubt anyone has a better record than we do on getting facts right. They should try reading it. They might not like our conclusions, but they can’t say our information is incorrect. Come to think of it, this recent piece in which we answered the accusations of a leftist reader might help you talk to the “pods.”

Finally, you say you want your spirit lifted? Well, let me tell you that I believe conservatism is quietly making headway right now, largely because the far-left, after gaining control of the Democrat Party, has finally shown itself to be what it is, which is to say full-out, batwing crazy communist. Also, millions won’t talk about this, but they are dismayed by the new fanatical religion of anti-“racism” and will not stand for being labeled as racist by people who are themselves obsessed with race. If that weren’t enough, they’ve seen how leftists run cities --- into the ground. They SEE the shocking destruction and anarchy and want it stopped.

They will turn out in force on Election Day. Of course, we can take nothing for granted and must make it an INCONTESTABLE LANDSLIDE to make up for whatever voter fraud there is, and there may be a lot this time. So tell everyone you know who’s not a leftist “pod” person how important it is to vote to keep the crazies from running (ruining) America. And vote in person!

You remember back in 2016, when Hillary Clinton thought she was a shoo-in for President, and Trump might question the validity of her win, and she expressed shock, outrage and horror that anyone would be so selfish and unpatriotic as to refuse to accept the results of a US Presidential election…then she lost, and she’s spent the past three years doing precisely that, along with millions of her fellow “Resistance” sore losers.

Now, it’s déjà vu all over again as the same never-Trumpers who’ve spent every moment since 2016 refusing to accept that Hillary lost are floating nightmare conspiracy theories that Trump might refuse to accept that he lost to Biden and leave the White House (to be fair, there were also some crackpot theories on the right that Obama would refuse to leave the White House.)

This kind of paranoia and refusal to accept the peaceful transfer of power and the verdict of the people in elections is something new and extremely destructive in the history of the United States. It’s a large part of what’s led us to a period that may be the most divisive since the Civil War. And there’s growing concern that if Trump is reelected, it will actually get even worse (like Portland everywhere.)

To test that, a bi-partisan anti-Trump organization called the Transition Integrity Project (Ha!) secretly gathered 100 "former high-ranking government officials, senior political campaigners, nationally prominent journalists and communications professionals, social movement leaders, and experts on politics, national security, democratic reform, election law, and media." Together, they war-gamed various election scenarios to try to figure out what the reactions would be.

These scenarios ranged from Biden winning the popular vote and losing the Electoral College to a narrow Trump win but with claims of some Biden ballots being destroyed. In the end, there was only one scenario in which a candidate won a clear victory and the losing side refused to accept it, and that loser was Biden.

The moral I draw from this (aside from "be VERY prepared") is that Trump’s victory needs to be so overwhelming in both the popular vote and the Electoral College that there can be no disputing it. That won’t stop the left from disputing it anyway, because they may not believe in God, but they think they have a Divine right to rule us. It will, however, send them a signal that they’re outnumbered so maybe they'll finally develop a little introspection and realize it’s time to grow up, end their three-year-plus tantrum and start thinking about why so many people think they shouldn’t be within 100 miles of the levers of power.

Nah, that'll never happen! But at least they can comfort themselves that Trump won't run for a third term.

Or maybe he WILL!...

Most reporters covering the White House have a severe illness --- not COVID-19, but Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS. The main symptom of TDS, at least as it manifests itself at Trump’s press briefings, is the inability to resist the urge to correct him with fake information, typically DNC talking points.

On Wednesday, during President Trump’s press briefing, it happened again. Someone tried to correct the President as he was answering a question on mail-in balloting. The reporter chimed in, “There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.” The President, knowing a Democrat talking point when he hears one, called her out on that, saying, “Oh, really? Well, then, you’re reading a different newspaper than me.” Gotta love it.

Let’s try THE NEW YORK TIMES. Thanks to Dan Bongino for calling attention to this piece from the NYT from just a month before the 2012 election –- significantly, long before Trump called attention to the problem –- called “Error and Fraud at Issue as Absentee Voting Rises.” Note that this article was talking mostly about absentee voting, which still has more controls than widespread mail-in voting.

Using a primary election as an example, this piece illustrated how easy it is to make a ballot NOT COUNT, just by comparing signatures and deciding the “r’s” don’t match. Lather, rinse, repeat, for as many times as you need votes.

At the time this article was written in late 2012, the use of absentee ballots and other forms of mail-in balloting had tripled since 1980 and accounted for almost 20 percent of all voting.

According to the NYT story, statistics showed that votes cast by mail were less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth. Twice more mail-in votes were rejected than in-person votes.

There’s something called the “margin of litigation” that allows election lawyers to challenge results with the possibility of changing the outcome. We’ve seen that if election results fall within that margin, there absolutely will be a challenge. If you recall the Florida results after the Bush-Gore election, you know what a ridiculous mess it turned into, with election judges trying to second-guess and accept or reject ballots on the basis of how their chads were hanging. Anyone who thinks wishful thinking and subjective analysis didn’t enter into that judgment is living in a fantasy world. That counts as fraud in my book.

Keep in mind, this was in THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Voting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner.”

The NYT even cited as an example the 2008 election that made Al Franken a U.S. Senator from Minnesota. (Recall that his win was what ended up giving Obamacare the Senate vote. Elections mean things.) Franken won by a mere 312 votes after 12,000 absentee ballots (about 4 percent of those) had been rejected.

In general, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to vote absentee; ironically, this might help explain the NYT’s willingness to criticize it. (To be fair, it might also have something to do with the push by Republicans in the past for absentee voting.) But widespread voting-by-mail has much less oversight than the process that is normally gone through to vote absentee. Some states are just wildly sending out mail-in ballots. Again this is from THE NEW YORK TIMES: “There is general consensus that voting by mail, whatever its impact, is more easily abused than other forms.”

Absentee voting was not meant to be the main way to vote. It’s for people who know they’re going to be away or otherwise unable to come in and vote on Election Day. In a normal election year, early in-person voting accommodates many of those people, and absentee voting takes care of the rest. I don’t think most people have thought seriously about what it would be like if virtually EVERYONE voted by mail. I agree with Bongino that it would be “an apocalyptic disaster.” (I haven’t even mentioned that the American Postal Workers Union has endorsed Biden. That in itself justifies a lack of confidence in the mail-in process.)

Even with the number of people who would normally vote absentee, the idea that “every vote counts” is naive. The only way we can counteract this problem is with a LANDSLIDE victory for President Trump and Republicans down the line.

I've previously linked to the Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database of proven examples of voter fraud from across the country, and in case you didn’t see it or would like to review it in this context, here it is again.

Voter fraud is hard to prove –- better to head it off than try to do something about it afterwards. Though this accounting is not all-inclusive and is limited to proven, not just suspected, cases, it gives an idea of the scope of the problem. In their words, “preventing, deterring and prosecuting election fraud is essential to protecting the integrity of our voting process. Reforms intended to ensure such integrity do not disenfranchise voters and, in fact, protect their right to vote.”

Bongino also had a story from the NEW YORK POST from just two days ago (August 4), with the headline “25 percent of ballots in Brooklyn June primaries invalid.” They’re trying to deal with the mess; here’s an updated story from later that day.

Election Day has always been a day for Americans to celebrate. There’s a certain ritual involved in going to the polls THAT DAY and exercising our right. Even early voting diminishes that a little, I think, and it also encourages people to vote without knowing as much about the candidates as they might if they had waited. Then there's absentee voting, an alternative when one simply cannot go to the polls. (This year, that would include the elderly and others at high risk.) But large-scale mail-in voting is an unnecessary invitation to fraud and must not happen.

Think of the generations of Americans who have risked their lives –- given their lives –- to preserve our precious freedom and our right to vote. In light of that, the VERY LEAST that freedom-loving Americans can do is put on a doggone mask, go to the polls, keep the proper distance, and VOTE, for crying out loud. They’ll have hand sanitizer there, promise.

Tuesday's Elections

August 6, 2020

Tuesday, primary elections were held in Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Arizona and Washington. Among the most important results: in Kansas, moderate Rep. Roger Marshall defeated Secretary of State Kris Kobach for the GOP nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Pat Roberts. Marshall had heavy backing from the Party establishment who feared that Kobach was too conservative to hold the seat, after he lost the Governor’s race in 2018.

In Missouri, in a stunning upset, Cori Bush defeated longtime Rep. William Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary in the Ferguson area. Bush is a formerly homeless nurse with no elective experience who is mostly known as a protest leader and fervent supporter of Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders. She was the first candidate backed by the far-left group Justice Democrats that got AOC into Congress. Her supporters declared that with her primary win, which makes her a virtual shoo-in in that heavily Democrat district, “The Squad” is now growing, which is very bad news for America.

Speaking of “The Squad,” Squad member and notorious anti-Semite Rashida Tlaib is comfortably ahead of her establishment challenger Brenda Jones, but the vote count is expected to go on until late Wednesday.

And speaking of very bad decisions by the voters, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, most recently known for immediately releasing rioters while prosecuting people who exercise their Second Amendment right to protect themselves (even if it means tampering with evidence) easily defeated her primary challenger. I guess St. Louis voters enjoy lawlessness and going unprotected from criminals because quite a few of them just voted for a lot more of it.

Neil Young just joined the seemingly endless list of rich leftist musicians complaining about their music being played by Republicans, only he’s taken the step of actually suing the Trump campaign for playing some of his songs at their events. The story is here:

Having had personal experience with this nonsense, I’ll just point out the obvious: if a venue pays for an ASCAP performance license, it is allowed to play any ASCAP licensed song it wants without having to get permission. If you want to dictate who’s allowed to play your music, then you should’ve kept it in your bedroom and not signed that evil, capitalist ASCAP contract.

Some artists are now pushing for a separate license for political events so that they can bar politicians they dislike from using their music, but as yet, that doesn’t exist. Since many of these artists are boomer icons such as Young or the Rolling Stones, I would strongly suggest that they think twice before alienating older, non-coastal Republicans. Those are not only their biggest fans, but just about the only people who still buy CDs instead of illegally downloading music files for free. They’re making the same mistake as a lot of corporations and sports leagues these days: ticking off their real fans while sucking up to people who don't patronize their product anyway.