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"Putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. It’s --- you know, other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint --- this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”

Attorney General Bill Barr made the above comment during a discussion at Hillsdale College on Wednesday. The lying and twisting of his words started immediately, along with the expected OUTRAGE!!! CNN accused him onscreen of “comparing stay-at-home orders and slavery” as Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina exclaimed, “I think that that statement by Mr. Barr was the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful things I’ve ever heard. It is incredible that the chief law enforcement officer in this country would equate human bondage to expert advice to save lives.”

Except that Barr DIDN’T “equate human bondage” to following lockdown advice. Read it again. He specifically EXEMPTED slavery from the comparison he was making. He was comparing the lockdown with all the other intrusions on civil liberties EXCEPT slavery, which he placed in a class by itself. When you take slavery (and surely he meant that to encompass the later Jim Crow laws as well) out of the discussion, as he did, it’s certainly arguable that widespread stay-at-home orders and the near-total lockdown of the American economy are exactly what he said they are, the worst and most large-scale intrusion on civil liberties we’ve ever had.

That doesn’t matter, though, because a lot of people aren’t smart or conscientious enough to look at what Barr really said and understand the difference. Of those who ARE capable of doing this, some of them deliberately twist his words to fool the less intelligent and/or informed.

CNN kept on with this, of course, with presidential historian Jon Meacham saying in an interview with Don Lemon that “...it’s incendiary hyperbole. If you think that this is akin to slavery, you obviously never suffered under the burden of slavery in real time or in its longtime, uh, longtime system of segregation...”

Except that Barr never said the lockdown was “akin” to slavery. To repeat: he exempted slavery from the comparison, as it was a “different kind of restraint” (indeed). Barr was comparing the lockdown to OTHER intrusions on civil liberties and finding it to be the most extreme of THOSE intrusions.

Barr was right. To cite just one example, I’ve written about the damage done to the great city of Nashville, right around the corner from where I produce my TV show. The tourist economy of Nashville has been destroyed by the closing of restaurants and bars by mayor John Cooper, along with the livelihoods of countless musicians. Shockingly, government officials have even tried to hide the data that show a relatively tiny number of people caught the virus at those restaurants and bars. The intrusion into people’s lives and livelihoods has been devastating.

As brilliant as Barr is, he should anticipate before the words come out of his mouth how they'll be twisted to say something he didn’t mean at all, and speak accordingly to head off incidents like this. But this time, sadly, he let the predictable happen. Because of the resolve he has to discover the truth about certain activities, he’s got a big target on his back. Attorney General Barr is seen by the left as a huge threat --- you know, not counting Donald Trump, who is uniquely loathed and despised --- and is perhaps the biggest threat to the left in American history.

See what I did in that last sentence? I did NOT compare Barr to Donald Trump or say that Barr is “akin” to Donald Trump. I set Trump aside in the discussion. I said if you DON’T INCLUDE TRUMP, then Barr is maybe the biggest threat the left had ever faced. Just as Barr was saying if you DON’T INCLUDE SLAVERY, then the lockdown was the worst intrusion on civil liberties Americans have ever faced.

See?

In another part of the same conversation, Barr said this of the organization Black Lives Matter:

"They’re not interested in black lives...they’re interested in ‘props,’ a small number of blacks who are killed by police during, uh, conflict with police, usually less than a dozen a year, who they can use as props to achieve a much broader political agenda.”

Again...OUTRAGE!! You’d think that Barr had said he personally wasn’t interested in black lives. No, he was exposing the ugly truth about an organization that is centered around a Marxist agenda and is using black lives –- and the pretext of racial “justice” –- to further that agenda. They ARE using tragic incidents with police to start riots, looting and burning that, ironically, destroy black lives and predominantly black neighborhoods. That organization apparently is NOT interested in the damage it causes those black lives.

Once again, Barr is correct.

Don’t think so? In a must-read article, here’s what you should know about the real BLM, the so-called “Black Lives Matter.”

Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza has another venture called the Black Futures Lab, and if you click to donate (for the love of heaven, don’t donate), you’ll be told to send the money to the “Chinese Progressive Association” explaining that the Black Futures Lab is “a fiscally sponsored project of the Chinese Progressive Association.”

By the way, the Chinese Progressive Association is organized as a 501(c)3, tax-exempt.

A 2009 paper from Stanford University that appears on the website Marxist.org describes it as a pro-People’s Republic of China organization whose “support for the PRC was based on the inspiration its members took from what they saw as a successful grassroots model that presented a viable alternative to Western capitalism.”

That's what this is really about. Again, read the article, and Barr will not only be seen as correct but as understating the threat of Black Lives Matter.

Many of you know me and my wife, Laura Ainsworth, through this newsletter. For over ten years, we have worked as writers/researchers for Gov. Huckabee on his radio, TV, Internet and book projects. He trusts us to dig up news that’s accurate and quotes that are fully sourced and in context, to ferret out fake news, and not to share slanted stores that ignore some facts to support a viewpoint, even if we agree with it. There’s plenty of that elsewhere.

Since you know we are straight shooters who try to bring you the honest truth, we thought you might be interested in hearing our personal experience with contracting COVID-19. This was frightening news for us. Even though we are otherwise healthy and not elderly, we’d heard all the scare stories. Laura is also an award-winning retro-jazz singer and recording artist (you can hear her music here: http://www.lauraainsworth.com and on “Huckabee” with the Music City Connection here. So we have to protect her voice.

Plus, she has a preexisting condition: In 2009, she got swine flu (H1N1) during the second wave, which was only diagnosed later because they weren’t testing for it even that late (so much for Biden’s claim that he would handle pandemics better than Trump.) She was very sick for eight months, developed pneumonia and pleurisy, and suffered permanent scarring on her lungs that recently sent her to the ER. She even had to relearn to sing after that.

So we were very worried last month when we came down with suspiciously familiar symptoms. After a trip to a parking lot testing center where we had to stick a six-inch Q-Tip up our noses until our eyes watered, we were told to self-quarantine until we got the results. A few days later, the tests came back: Positive. We both had the Covid.

We were asked if we knew where we got it. No. We’d followed all the precautions: hand washing and hand sanitizer, social distancing (I’ve been doing that since high school), working from home (which we’ve done for years), masks in public, etc. We did go to a few restaurants, but they all took extreme precautions, and we only sat in open-air patios far from other diners. This suggested to me that much of the talk about the precautions – and Biden’s insistence on expanding and enforcing them indefinitely – is mostly “security theater.” If you really know anything about “science” and the size of viruses, you know that wearing a cheap surgical mask to stop a virus is like putting up a chain link fence to keep out mosquitoes.

What was the disease like? We both coughed a lot. We had fevers, but never that high, and they went away after four or five days. We lost our senses of smell (it’s weird to hold a jar of peanut butter up to your nose and smell nothing), but luckily, that’s come back. We had no appetites and had to force ourselves to eat. We also felt queasy (it’s odd to feel like you might throw up when your stomach is so empty it’s cramping.) We also lost much of our sense of taste (I mean our taste buds, not that we started listening to Cardi B music.) Unfortunately, we retained enough to have a constant horrible taste in our mouths, like sucking on pennies. We had no energy and slept a LOT, suffered headaches and body aches, and our skin was so sensitive that having clothes or blankets touching us was very irritating.

Fortunately, we live in a place where there are plenty of delivery options, so we had food, medicine and (most importantly) supplies for the 12 rescued parrots and cockatoos we live with.

We started to feel better after a week or so. As sick as we were, we never missed a day’s work on the newsletter or TV show or a day’s birdcage cleaning, so I think you could say we definitely had mild cases. We never took anything other than aspirin, Pepto-Bismol and vitamins. Laura is still trying to get some energy back, and I still have a lingering wheezy cough, but we’re out of quarantine and mostly back to normal.

This is not in any way meant to downplay the seriousness of this disease, because we know it’s been much worse, even deadly, for some people, so we count ourselves lucky. But for us, as bad as it was, it was hardly the worst thing we ever had (I had something far worse last winter that dragged on for two months.) For most people like us (not elderly and otherwise in good health), it seems to be like a bad, rather weird version of the flu that’s mostly over within a week.

Now that we've had it, we feel strangely relieved. All that worry and effort avoiding it, then we got it, and…that’s it? It’s over now? I feel like making T-shirts that say, “I’d had it already, so save your mask lecture.”

Our experience did convince me that shutting down the world economy over this was one of the dumbest mistakes in history. We should have scrupulously protected those most at risk (like not putting COVID-19 patients into nursing homes), encouraged everyone else to follow reasonable precautions (for all the good it did us), and otherwise gone on with life. I seriously doubt that the death rates would have been noticeably different (look at Sweden), but millions of people would have been much better off and countless businesses would not now be extinct.

Finally, do I blame Donald Trump because we got sick from a virus that lying Chinese communists unleashed on the world? Of course not, I’m not an idiot. The same people who’ve spent the past four years saying Trump is crazy to think he can keep millions of illegal immigrants from crossing the border now expect us to believe he had the power to keep a virus out. I’m just glad we didn’t catch whatever brain disease they have.

Much Overdue Good News

September 17, 2020

Rioting and looting apparently wasn’t polling as popular as the Democrats thought, because all of a sudden, the revolving door on blue city jails seems to have stopped spinning.

In Portland, a “peaceful protester” who allegedly shined a laser powerful enough to cut through paper and start fires into the eyes of a police officer has been charged with second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer. This happened to multiple officers, so I hope we can look forward to multiple indictments of multiple “peaceful protesters.” More good news: all the officers have mostly recovered, so they will not suffer permanent blindness.

Meanwhile, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a fed-up judge threw the book, sharp corner first, at 13 alleged rioters who are accused of attacking police headquarters and setting an arson fire. This came during rioting over the fatal police shooting of Ricardo Munez, a mentally ill man who was off his meds and awaiting trial for stabbing four people last year, and who was running toward the cops with a knife in his hand when he was shot. The judge set bail so high ($1 million each for seven of the rioters) that they are still in jail. Joe Biden’s campaign staffers will have to pony up a lot more donations to bail them out.

Note that the dad of one young woman who was arrested insists she was there as “a medic” (yeah, that’s the ticket!) as she has been at previous protests, and claims her $1 million bail is “obscene,” “outrageous” and “clearly against the 8th Amendment,” which according to legal experts I’ve read, is not correct. In some places, arson is a felony that can bring up to 35 years in prison, and if it seriously harms or kills somone, whether intentional or not, the charge can escalate to attempted murder and life in prison. So yeah, your daughter is in serious trouble and could be considered a flight risk, hence the high bail.

Maybe instead of blaming the judge and venting to the media, dad should use jail visiting hours to have that little talk with his daughter about respecting the law and other people’s rights and not setting fires that he should have had when she was five.

It was a ridiculously odd “coincidence” that about 30 phones used by members of Robert Mueller’s special counsel team were completely erased before being turned over to John Durham’s investigators. But the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, headed by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, voted Wednesday to authorize over two dozen subpoenas, and this destruction of government records will definitely be on the agenda.

It’s really kind of funny to read POLITICO’s report on this, as their methods are as transparent as Saran Wrap. Consider that in the opening paragraph, they term this effort “part of a highly partisan, Republican-led investigation targeting former Obama administration officials’ role in the presidential transition period.” Why, it’s “targeting President Trump’s political foes less than 50 days before Election Day.” The story does quote a Republican, though. Mitt Romney.

Democrats called the committee’s probes “inappropriate fishing expeditions,” which I have to say is something they know quite a lot about. Ranking Democrat Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan sent a letter to Sen. Johnson on Monday formally objecting to the subpoenas, accusing Republicans of just trying to help Trump's bid for re-election.

How about calling these efforts what they really are, a possibly last-ditch effort to find out the TRUTH of what has gone on to undermine Donald Trump ever since he announced his candidacy for President? If Democrats (shudder) take the Senate in the coming election, ALL investigations will be shut down faster than you can say "Chuck Schumer." This could be a case of now or never for justice to be done.

At the same time, Sen. Johnson has apparently acknowledged that his committee's effort would help Trump. According to POLITICO, he told a radio host that the probe “would certainly help Donald Trump win re-election and certainly be pretty good, I would say, evidence about not voting for Vice President Biden.” If this raises your hackles, I would point out that deliberately putting off finding the truth until AFTER the election is, in effect, influencing the election --- just in the other direction, by CONCEALING the truth from voters, who deserve to know. That observation applies to John Durham’s findings as well.

"Our investigation is focused on uncovering and revealing the truth," Sen. Johnson said, “but Democrats seem intent at every turn to frustrate and interfere with our oversight efforts.”

This could get interesting. Those targeted with subpoenas include former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI counsel Lisa Page, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough, former FBI agent Joe Pientka, former FBI director of counterintelligence Bill Priestap, former UN ambassador Samantha Power, former White House national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith (who has already pleaded guilty to making a false statement after altering a document to lie about Carter Page), former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former top lawyer for the FBI James Baker, top DOJ official Bruce Ohr, Cambridge University professor and FBI “confidential human source” Stefan Halper, and former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. There’s also James Baker, head of the Office of Net Assessment at the Defense Department, which had hired Stefan Halper as a contractor.

Oh, and last but not least, Sidney Blumenthal. Fun times!

Some of the subpoenas do involve Ukraine and Joe and Hunter Biden, as Johnson wants to formally investigate claims made by Andriy Derkach, described by POLITICO as “a pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker who was just sanctioned by the Treasury Department for election interference.” In fact, the Treasury Department called him a Russian agent. That must be why Jacob Lew is being subpoenaed.

In another bit of unintentional hilarity, Sen. Chuck Schumer did the (for him) laughably predictable thing and brought up “Russia Russia Russia!” Have you noticed this is always his fall-back? He sought to pass a resolution “calling for a cessation of any Senate investigation or activity that allows Congress to act as a conduit for Russian information." Message to Sen. Schumer: Your act is getting stale.

For a less slanted take on the story than POLITICO’s, I recommend this one.

And also this one.

In related news, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been (finally) busy setting up hearings as well, with chairman Lindsay Graham (finally) announcing that Comey has agreed to testify without a subpoena about “Crossfire Hurricane.”

The scheduled date is September 30. Graham said on Wednesday’s HANNITY show that Comey “will be respectfully treated but asked hard questions.” (I assume they’ve figured out how to get around Comey’s sneaky refusal to renew his own security clearance.) They’re also in negotiation with McCabe and Strzok. (“He’s selling a book,” Graham joked about Strzok. “We will see if he will come without a subpoena.”)

Mueller, however, has already declined to appear voluntarily. He says he “doesn’t have enough time.” He might have a point; judging by his previous testimony, there’s not enough time in the world for him to familiarize himself even with his own report, which it seems someone else wrote and put his name on. But I’d say go with a subpoena for him and anyone else who tries to weasel out. It sure would be nice to get their comments on all those curiously “wiped” phones.

They Were Wrong

September 17, 2020

A hat tip to Stephen Green of PJ Media for reminding us of this typically pompous, condescending and wrongheaded pronouncement by former Obama Secretary of State John Kerry, most recently seen lecturing us at the Democratic Convention about how Trump is totally botching foreign policy. In 2017, Kerry predicted that if Trump moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, it would ignite a violent uprising in the Middle East that nobody would be able to control.

In fact, like everything John Kerry says with utter self-assurance, this was laughably incorrect. There was no violent uprising, Trump has just overseen landmark peace deals between Israel and Bahrain and the UAE, and he says nine more Arab nations may soon join in those deals. Another reminder: Kerry brokered Obama’s brilliant Iran nuclear deal that involved giving the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism billions of dollars in exchange for unenforceable pinky-swear promises that they wouldn’t use it to build nuclear weapons.

And yet none of this record of being wrong-wrong-wrong will penetrate the thick skulls of the media talking heads who continue to tell us that we must restore the Obama-Biden Administration to power because Trump is screwing up our foreign policy by…what, not launching enough pointless wars or enriching our enemies enough? Not getting our troops killed for no reason? Bringing too much peace to the Middle East? Well, electing them again will certainly put a stop to all that!