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Former President Obama is taking heat over a speech for which he should’ve worn a mask and maybe nobody would’ve noticed that he was talking out of both sides of his mouth.

He began with a defense of free speech, claiming he was pretty close to a First Amendment “absolutist.” Then came the “but…” But because of social media spreading harmful “disinformation,” Big Tech needs to regulate speech more. And “content moderation” doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t prevent the distribution of “clearly dangerous content.” Which is why the federal government needs to get involved by creating a “regulatory structure” to ensure Internet speech platforms are “following certain safety standards that we as a country – not just them – have agreed are necessary for the greater good.” Funny, I don't recall being asked if I thought the federal government regulating speech was necessary for the greater good. Were you?

https://www.theblaze.com/news/obama-promptly-gets-called-out-for-demanding-govt-intervention-over-harmful-online-content-after-promoting-free-speech

So to recap: he’s a “free speech absolutist,” except he thinks that Big Tech should monitor and censor speech and the federal government should have laws regulating speech to make sure they’re censoring it the way he thinks they should be – for our own good, of course.

Obama does have a point: people who tell gigantic lies can cause great harm. Like when you take away millions of peoples’ health insurance coverage while assuring them it will be replaced with something that allows them to keep their doctor if they like their doctor. I remember that being declared “Lie of the Year.” Yet irresponsible media companies broadcast it as if it were true.

And then there were the Trump years, which was the golden age of fake news, when trust in the government was poisoned by the media credulously repeating the Russia collusion hoax, the “very fine people” hoax, the “all Mexicans are rapists and criminals” hoax, the Nick Sandmann hoax, the Jussie Smollett hoax, etc. etc.

So maybe Obama has a point: we need federal regulation to ride herd on media outlets that fill the public square with dangerous lies.

Or we could zealously protect freedom of speech so that these unrepentant liars could be called out in the public square and everyone would simply learn not to listen to them anymore. I like that solution better, and it's already well under way.

Here’s today’s link to continually-updated Russia-Ukraine stories from Fox News:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-news-putin-zelenskyy-live

Weekend developments: Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were in Kyiv for a meeting with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Afterward, Blinken said, “The strategy that we’ve put in place — massive support for Ukraine, massive pressure against Russia, solidarity with more than 30 countries engaged in these efforts — is having real results. When it comes to Russia’s war aims, Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding. Russia has sought as its principal aim to totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed.” Nevertheless, Putin shows no signs of ending his military assault on eastern Ukraine, and he reportedly aims to take control of southern Ukraine.

While it’s debatable whether Russia is actually losing, it isn’t winning the swift and overwhelming victory that Putin apparently thought it would. Why? Lawrence Person has some fascinating data and theories on that, and it’s a lesson Americans can learn some lessons from.

https://www.battleswarmblog.com/?p=51256

Russia spends 5% of its GDP on defense and 20% of the nation’s industrial jobs are in arms manufacturing. Yet some of their missiles turned out to have a 60% failure rate, their planes are being shot down, their tanks are stuck in the mud, and their soldiers not only don’t have enough ammo, they don’t even have decent food. What’s the problem? The rotten thing that ruins everything it touches: socialism!

Instead of embracing free market capitalism and cutting deals with private companies for weapons and supplies, Russia relies on state monopolies that are staggeringly corrupt and incompetent and have no incentives to do better. Read the full article. It will make it clear why Russia’s military looks so fearsome in parades but gets its rump kicked by Ukrainian volunteers with personal small firearms. You’ll understand why the term “Potemkin village” – a phony façade created to fool onlookers into thinking things are going better than they really are – originated in Russia.

Friday, the Disney Corporation learned what the adage, “Get woke, go broke,” really means as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a quickly-passed bill revoking the special self-governing tax district that Disney has enjoyed near Orlando for over five decades.

https://www.westernjournal.com/desantis-seals-disneys-fate-dont-think-walt-appreciate-going-company/

The news caused Disney’s stock to take another drop on Friday. It’s down 33% from one year ago.

Some conservatives are joining liberals in attacking the move, claiming it’s punishing Disney for free speech to revoke the sweetheart deal, because CEO Bob Chapek vowed to use Disney's political clout to overturn the state law barring inappropriate sexual content and gender politics from being taught to children in kindergarten through third grade (and I could hear Walt Disney spinning in his grave as I typed that.) But all it really means is that Disney now has to follow the same rules as every other company in Florida. Up until now, liberals were the ones complaining about how Disney was abusing its power in Florida to exploit the workers, etc. Guess if you’re “woke” enough, they’ll overlook any other sins.

One worry is that dissolving Disney’s district could force local taxpayers to pick up the bill for expenses Disney had been covering, which could mean a big tax increase. But it doesn’t take effect until 2023, so those issues could be worked out before then.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/disney-stripped-special-status-florida-local-taxpayers

DeSantis gave them a well-deserved lesson in who really has the political clout in Florida. And market analysts who are brushing off the stock drop as fleeting don’t seem to understand just how badly Disney’s CEO has tarnished the company’s brand. He took the side of radical LGBTQ activists over parents (Disney's customer base), and I don’t think they’re going to forget that anytime soon.

You don’t even have to be politically partisan to realize how badly Disney has Goofied up. Here’s the former CEO of McDonald’s arguing that Chapek and other Disney executives should be fired for getting involved in politics “without thought and care” and costing their stockholders big time.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/disney-execs-fired-rensi-desantis-parental-rights-law

If they really want to get people back into the theme parks, I’d suggest firing them out of cannons as part of the nightly fireworks show.

I’m sure I angered some Democrats recently by asking if the Party had become pro-death. I didn’t mean that lightly or as just a partisan jab. I have honestly become alarmed at how radical factions have so taken over the Party that it seems the toll of human life is secondary to imposing their policies.

Stop and ask yourself, how many people have died because of the imposition of leftist policies that have led to riots; wars; skyrocketing murder rates; incredibly dangerous illegal immigration made even worse by coyotes and gangs; deadly drugs like fentanyl pouring across the border; the botched Afghanistan pullout; famines and deaths caused by energy and food shortages created by their radical green policies (not here yet, but give it time); and new abortion laws that are erasing the line between killing babies in the womb and outright infanticide of post-birth children. Dare to say any of this and the “party of compassion” attacks you for criticizing them while ignoring the victims of its tragically misguided views.

Well, it now appears that another death has occurred at the border that will be harder for Biden & Co. to ignore. A search resumed at dawn Saturday for a Texas National Guard soldier who is believed to have drowned in the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass.

https://www.westernjournal.com/texas-national-guard-soldier-border-officials-confirm-heroic-final-feat/

He reportedly dived in to save a migrant woman who started drowning as she attempted to cross the river from Mexico. The woman was saved, but the soldier disappeared in the deep, muddy water. Officials say the river is more dangerous than it looks, and migrants drown there as often as twice a week.

https://www.newsweek.com/search-texas-soldier-feared-drowned-during-rescue-called-off-night-1700290

That’s just one of the many ways in which migrants die, lured here by Biden’s open borders policy. How long has it been since you’ve seen anyone in the news even mention these deaths? Did you know that a couple of people drown every week just in that one spot while crossing the border illegally? If the latest victim hadn’t been a heroic Guardsman, would they have even bothered to cover it?

This is why I don’t want to hear another word about how, if you don’t support Democrat policies, you have no compassion. I think the very lowest bar for compassion is caring at all whether your policies are actually killing people.

Special Counsel John Durham has issued subpoenas for members of Hillary For America (her 2016 campaign) and the Democratic National Committee in the case against Michael Sussmann, who, as a Perkins Coie partner, represented them both.

But according to Jerry Dunleavy at the Washington Examiner, Hillary’s campaign, the DNC, Perkins Coie, and oppo research firm Fusion GPS are all fighting Durham’s efforts to compel the submission of documents –- UNREDACTED documents –- they continue to withhold.

They’re citing attorney-client privilege. As background, here’s what legal analyst Margot Cleveland wrote a few weeks ago about their refusal to turn over documents.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/07/will-the-court-allow-special-counsel-john-durham-to-see-clinton-campaign-documents/

As Durham has pointed out, the party asserting attorney-client privilege has the burden of establishing that the communications in question are, in fact, privileged. “...Merely claiming they are is not enough.”

For privilege to protect a communication, he said, it must be something “that a client conveys to his attorney for the purpose of security for an opinion on law, legal services, or assistance in a legal proceeding.” It can also cover third parties, such as legal assistants, as long as the communication is “for the purpose of obtaining legal advice from the lawyer.” But that's it.

Durham can't see the unredacted documents unless the judge has so ruled, so he has asked that they be submitted to the court for an “in camera” review. Cleveland included all the lawyerly details, but her thoughts a few weeks ago can be summarized this way: Presiding Judge Christopher Cooper would likely call for this and provide the Clinton campaign and the DNC an opportunity to argue why the communications are privileged, but that the argument would be very tough.

Even though the burden of proof is on Hillary For America and the DNC, Durham has filed an impressive argument for why these communications are not privileged. But Sussmann’s attorneys fought back Friday in another filing, saying, “The Special Counsel took the astonishing and legally inappropriate step of subpoenaing witnesses for the express purpose of having them testify to the invocation of the attorney-client privilege in front of the jury.” (I’m not a lawyer, but Isn’t that just what Cleveland said they’re supposed to do, seeing as how the burden of proof is on them?)

They’re also saying Durham “overreached” in trying to prove “prejudicial allegations he has not charged.” But Durham volleyed back, saying that the “joint venture” he’s investigating “was far from collateral for the charged crime,” meaning they were both part of the same scheme.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/justice/durham-issues-trial-subpoenas-to-clinton-campaign-and-dnc

But now, here’s the best verbal “capture” of this moment in the Durham investigation, which Andrew C. McCarthy calls, “the moment of attorney-client privilege.” McCarthy has outdone himself in his comments on this desperate attempt by the Clinton campaign and DNC to keep their communications secret, and they are a joy to read. “...With yet another special counsel hovering,” he writes, “and apparently close to concluding that the Hillary Clinton campaign pulled off one of the great political dirty tricks of all time, it’s like we’re right back in the Nineties, wondering what the definition of ‘is’ is.”

This is an absolute must-read:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/04/durhams-investigation-is-finally-getting-interesting/

As he explains, the last laugh might be on the Clinton people, because when they argue for attorney-client privilege because Sussmann was their attorney, they’re reinforcing the very charge that Durham has made against him; namely, that he lied to the FBI when he said he was NOT acting as their attorney. This is really getting good.

John Solomon also has an update, and he, too, says their effort is likely to backfire. That’s because “the very subjects the Clinton campaign now seeks to protect –- such as its now-discredited anti-Trump research –- were widely distributed without regard to privilege for years.”

Once a privileged attorney-client communication is spread to third parties, privilege is history.

Alan Dershowitz actually supported Hillary for President in 2016 but dismisses her claims of privilege now. Kash Patel anticipates that Durham will use the crime-fraud exception, saying that “this is an attempt to block information in an ongoing fraud. You cannot use the attorney-client privilege.” Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, calls the attempt “laughable,” considering the many times false Russia collusion claims were shared with third parties. He thinks it might be a delaying tactic.

“I think they’re going to lose on that,” Biggs said. “And, you know, it’s starting to unravel for them pretty quickly. And they just don’t want the truth to come out.”

https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/clinton-campaigns-11th-hour-attorney-privilege-ploy

UPDATE: We just came across a new report from The Epoch Times about the Durham investigation and Sussmann trial. It’s a “premium” story, by subscription only, but I’ll quote in full one unbelievable paragraph. Durham would surely know better than anyone about this, but it’s hard to fathom how the judge in the Sussmann case, Christopher Cooper, can possibly be without serious conflicts of interest.

Here it is; no further elaboration needed:

“The judge in the Sussmann case, Christopher Reid Cooper, used to be a colleague of Sussmann’s at the DOJ. His wife, Amy Jeffress, is a lawyer for Lisa Page, formerly a high-level FBI attorney who’s now suing the DOJ. Page was deeply embedded in the Russia investigation. She was also a mistress of Peter Strzok, former head of FBI counterintelligence operations and a point man in the Russia probe. Cooper and Jeffress also have close ties to the Democratic Party. Cooper served on the 2008 transition team of President Barack Obama, Jeffress spent 20 years at the DOJ and was a national security counselor for Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder, and their wedding was officiated by Merrick Garland, the current Attorney General.”

Joe Biden's Bad Week

April 25, 2022

Just when you didn’t think Joe Biden’s blunders could get any worse, he has a week like this one. After a 2 year hiatus due to Covid, the White House Easter Egg roll was resumed and Biden officials probably wished they’d canceled this one too. While working the rope line, some pesky reporters actually asked him a real question beyond asking him about his favorite ice cream flavor. As he seemed to get lost in the question and start speaking off the cuff instead of off the script, a staffer dressed as the Easter Bunny jumped in and intervened, pulling the President away from reporters so he didn’t saying something honest and truthful.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/18/easter-bunny-stops-biden-from-answering-reporters-question/

Reports are that when Jen Psaki leaves the White House to go work for MSNBC, she will be replaced by a large cartoon figure because it’s less conspicuous for the President to be hustled away from journalists by a bigger than life Easter Bunny than by an almost human-like staffer.

Then there’s the famous “ghost handshake” Biden attempted to have after a speech in North Carolina. He finished his speech and appears to have followed a cue from his teleprompter that told him to shake hands when he finished…one little problem—his cue to shake hands was there, but there was no one there. A couple of days earlier he gave a speech about ghost guns; it appears that he thought that meant that actual ghosts were getting guns and he just wanted to pretend to shake the ghost’s hand.

https://twitter.com/FreeBeacon/status/1514691339639791629

Most of the press didn’t even try to cover for this rather pathetic moment, but the so-called “fact checker” site called Politifact tried to explain it away by calling it just a hand gesture to point at someone. The utterly discredited Politifact got laughed at more than Biden for that Whopper of a cover-up.

And then this week, after a federal judge in Florida overruled the despised and hated mask mandate for trains, planes, and buses, the President seemed to take sides with the people when he said that people could decide for themselves whether to wear the phony Fauci-fashion face diaper.

https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1516480024819478530

But apparently he’s just the President…he’s not really calling the shots because hours after the President seemed to indicate that we were a free country again and that wearing a mask on a plane was be “up to the citizen,” his own Justice Department said it would appeal the ruling to Democrats can keep everyone’s faces covered up. Maybe Democrats know that if they force us all to keep wearing masks, no one will notice that they are talking out of both sides of their mouths. Frankly, there are some Democrats whose faces do look better all covered up, so maybe it’s not all bad. And yes, some people should wear a mask for medical reasons or maybe they just don’t want to brush their teeth. But shouldn’t that be our choice? Why do Democrats want to justify killing an unborn child based on the CHOICE of the mother, but want to eliminate the choice you might make not about your baby’s health, but about your own health?

And remember when President Biden said we need to punish those border patrol agents who were accused of using whips against illegal immigrants? After a thorough investigation, the agents were completely cleared of any wrong doing, but the White House refused to apologize or even admit they were wrong.

https://twitter.com/townhallcom/status/1516152842150723588

I know you might think I’m a bit tough on President Biden, but not nearly as tough as I could be. I don’t bungle his decisions and his declarations. I just try to make sure you see why I think our country is in trouble with him in the driver’s seat and why I encourage you to get out and vote this November!

This week, top Pentagon official Preston Dunlap, the founding chief architect officer of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force since 2019, announced his resignation. In doing so, he released a frightening warning about the state of readiness of the US Defense Department.

https://www.westernjournal.com/chief-architect-space-force-resigns-3-years-issues-big-warning-defending-country/

He described the US government as the world's largest bureaucracy in which people were more concerned with defending their turf than defending America, and competing with each other instead of China. He said on his first day of work at creating what should be a branch of the armed forces on the cutting edge of technology, he instead found a dinosaur:

“I arrived to find no budget, no authority, no alignment of vision, no people, no computers, no networks, a leaky ceiling, even a broken curtain.” He said that as he was writing his resignation, “I received notification that the phone lines are down at the Pentagon IT help desk. Phone lines are down? It’s 2022, folks.”

And in what I assume is preaching to the choir here, he added, “By the time the Government manages to produce something, it’s too often obsolete; no business would ever survive this way, nor should it.”

I hear a lot of complaints about letting billionaires like Elon Musk take over space technology. But when you consider Washington’s recent track record, I fear that if the current government brain trust had been in charge of NASA in the ‘60s, they not only wouldn’t have made it to the moon, they’d still be arguing over whether any lifeforms we might find on Mars are diverse enough.

An iconic athlete has spoken up against allowing “trans” athletes with male bodies to compete in women’s sports. See if you can guess who said this:

Current rules allowing “male-bodied people presenting as women, who live as women, with varying degrees of medical intervention and in some degrees, no medical intervention” to compete against women have “crossed the line,” and “it’s a slap in the face to women.”

She said denying the impact of testosterone on athletic performance “is obviously utter rubbish…Anyone with any basic understanding (of) biology and the difference between men and women knows it’s ridiculous. It’s male puberty that really grants boys and men that physical performance in sport. And I think it’s irrefutable — it’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise.”

You probably didn’t guess that that was the opinion of Danish golfer Mianne Bagger, who made history in 2004 as the first transgender athlete in a pro golf tournament at the Women’s Australian Open.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/20/transgender-golfer-mianne-bagger-rips-male-bodied-competitors-in-female-sports/

Bagger acknowledged she’ll be attacked as a hypocrite because restrictions on trans athletes might have prevented her from playing, but she says she’ll just take the abuse and criticism. She said she would be open to trans athletes competing under tougher rules, but not the “current, softened policies that are requiring less and less medical intervention of a male-bodied person entering women’s sport.”

So it’s official: we’ve now reached the point where the push to allow transgender athletes in women’s sports has gone so far beyond ridiculous that it’s actually offending transgender athletes.