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I hope you’re able to escape from what the great Irish-American humorist P.J. O’Rourke called “All the trouble in the world” and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day today.

We took a brief pause from breaking news so that my staffers could spend some spring break time with their families, so I thought we should catch up on all the trouble in the world that we missed. But it turned out that there was very little “new” in the news for the first part of this week.

Vladimir Putin continued his horrific attack on Ukraine, ratcheting up the unconscionable attacks on civilians, including bombing a theater in Mariupol that was being used as a shelter for hundreds of civilians and plainly labeled on the outside with the Ukrainian word for “children.” At this writing, the death toll is still unknown, but there are hopeful signs, with reports of survivors emerging safely.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/russian-forces-bombed-mariupol-theater-despite-signs-warning-children-were-sheltering-inside-ukraine

We’d also like to extend our sympathies and prayers to the families of Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and his colleague, Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, who were both killed when they were struck by incoming fire outside Kyiv. Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall was also injured in the attack, but he’s been safely evacuated and will recover. Our prayers for him as well.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/fox-news-cameraman-pierre-zakrzewski-killed-ukraine

The Biden Administration seems conflicted about whether this invasion makes Putin a “war criminal” (a rather toothless term, if the alleged criminal recognizes no authority to enforce the law against him.) Russia fired back, citing the many people killed by American bombs around the world. They conveniently overlook the difference that America bombed states and terrorist organizations that attacked us first, and while there have tragically been instances of innocent people who were killed, we’ve never invaded any nation that hadn’t attacked us first or harbored people who did.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/president-biden-calls-putin-war-criminal-invading-ukraine

Despite what you might have heard from Kamala Harris, Ukrainian President Zelensky said Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and he conceded that it is unlikely Ukraine will join NATO, which was one of the pretexts that Putin used for his invasion. That could signal a potential break in a ceasefire agreement, but only if you believe Putin is honest about his motives.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/zelensky-ukraine-conflict-nato-russia-b2037181.html

However, Ukraine has joined the EU’s Energy Union, uniting its power grid with Europe’s. Zelensky also warned that World War III may have already started in his country.

I miss the good old days, when the media were telling us that if Trump got elected, he’d start World War III, and I could rest easy knowing that was just partisan nonsense.

Another Biden Word Salad

March 17, 2022

President Biden continued making public statements that had people again calling for him to take a cognitive test. They weren’t just word salad, they were a whole word salad bar.

The weirdest might have been when he started talking about how people try to blackmail their exes with naked photos. There’s a Presidential quote for the ages! But Nick Arama at Redstate.com thinks he knows how that image found its way into Joe’s brain and thus fell out of his mouth: it’s exactly the kind of thing that might happen to his son, Hunter.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/16/biden-makes-bizarre-comment-about-naked-blackmail-that-has-everyone-talking-n536855

Other bizarre Bidenisms ranged from tongue fumbles like referring to Kamala Harris as the First Lady to transparent whoppers such as saying that his “green energy” push that’s helped gas skyrocket to upwards of $7 a gallon will save Americans $500 a year in energy costs. This stuff might be funny if it weren’t coming from the alleged leader of the free world during a time when we need someone who’s capable of dealing with countless domestic problems while also avoiding World War III.

https://www.westernjournal.com/word-salad-climate-dressing-6-disastrous-moments-joe-bidens-speech-dnc

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/spencerbrown/2022/03/16/bidens-remarks-at-equal-pay-event-were-a-dumpster-fire-n2604627

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/15/bidens-trainwreck-dnc-fundraiser-speech-shows-where-his-priorities-lie-n536386

A blank book of pages

March 17, 2022

The first school in which we enroll, and the most important in shaping our future, is our home. A casual view of modern TV shows might lead us to believe that parents don’t matter. I contend that nothing matters more.

When Benjamin West was a boy, his mother left him in charge of his younger sister, Sally. Benjamin found bottles of colored ink and painted Sally’s portrait. When his mother arrived home, she discovered spilled ink and ruined paper. But before she had the chance to scold Benjamin, she saw the picture. Then she planted an encouraging kiss on his cheek. He would grow up to become of the greatest painters of historic and religious artworks, a teacher of many other famous artists, and a major force in launching Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, for which he served as president. Benjamin West would later say, “My mother’s kiss made me a painter.”

Every child’s life is like a book of blank pages waiting to be written on. Something is written each day. A parent who exposes a child of hours of television, video games, unsupervised time on the Internet, and an occasional trip to church is not likely to raise a child whose value system will mirror that of the parent. The child will probably reflect the value system of the entertainment industry.

While researching for a book I co-wrote on juvenile delinquency (“Kids Who Kill”), I became aware that children need parents who are informed, involved and (yes) invasive in their children’s lives. There is no single fact that will explain why a child as young as eleven would commit mass murder, but one thing seems certain: the likelihood of this taking place decreases drastically when children have a stable home, good role models and parents who are clearly more afraid for their children than afraid of their children.

Too many parents fear angering or alienating their children. They convince themselves that love means avoiding asking their children questions about how their time is spent and who their friends are. They fool themselves into thinking they’re being good parents when they don’t hold their children accountable for their schoolwork and other activities. On the other hand, we shouldn’t be “helicopter parents” who are so overprotective that our children turn into a generation of “snowflakes” who cannot learn through their failures or develop a healthy maturity and independence.

The requirement of parents summed up in Ephesians 6:4 is simple yet profound: “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Children should not be driven to exasperation by parents who make demands that are so difficult to achieve that the children are prevented from succeeding. There’s a vast difference between breaking a child’s rebellious will and breaking his or her spirit.

As parents, our goal should be to channel the energy of our children, rather than destroy their creative and curious natures given by God that motivate them to discover their unique purposes. We are further admonished to bring up our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” By both example and exhortation, parents are to nourish their children. Most values are caught and then taught. Our children are more likely to imitate what they see us do than what they hear us say.

We live in a world where a meal can be microwaved in seconds, and an Internet message can be transmitted around the world almost instantly (another reason why it would be nice if they were fact-checked before hitting “Send.”) But part of the legacy we must leave is raising children who understand that some things can’t be rushed. Patience is a virtue as well as a pathway to victory. Things of great value take time.

If the thing to which you ascribe the greatest value in your life is your children, then don’t they deserve the greatest amount of time, nurturing and guidance you can possible give?

(Adapted from the book, “Rare, Medium or Done Well: Make the Most of your Life.” )

My good friend Colonel Ken Allard has sent me this Ukraine update for my newsletter readers. I hope you will read it!

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee

Three weeks into the Russo-Ukraine War of 2022, it is reasonable to ask: Who is deterring whom - and from what?

So far, the only one being deterred seems to be Joe Biden, who clumsily refused to allow Polish Mig-29’s to be transferred to Ukraine despite the fervent pleas of embattled president Volodomyr Zelenskiy. Meanwhile, Old Uncle Joe was busy linking Vladimir Putin not only to the war in Ukraine but also to sky-rocketing American gas prices and rising inflation, twin outrages for which the Russian premiere bears only slight, if any, responsibility. Through such constant buffoonery, President Biden seems intent on channeling that canonical Mayor of Amity, hilariously reassuring townsfolk that a lucrative tourist season lay just ahead, despite Jaws occasionally snacking on their relatives.

Because we are a nation divorced from studying such politically incorrect subjects as military history, we can no longer distinguish the consequential from the trivial, the capillaries from the arteries.  From Afghanistan to Ukraine, our intelligence community has been hit hardest, seemingly unable to predict whether Tuesday will be followed by Wednesday. Not only were our intel weenies utterly mistaken in predicting how fast the Taliban would triumph but they also admitted last week to the House Intelligence Committee that they had seriously under-estimated the fighting spirit of Ukraine’s citizens. Naturally, they over-corrected, reciting a laundry list of Russian tactical shortcomings. Caught up in the latest zeitgeist, Francis Fukuyama - famous for predicting the end of history several decades too early - argued last week “Russia is heading for an outright defeat in Ukraine…The army in the field will reach a point whether they can no longer be supplied nor withdrawn, and morale will vaporize.” https://www.americanpurpose.com/articles/preparing-for-defeat/

While we can all hope that Professor Fukuyama will be proven right, America’s enemies seem to be a long way from desperation. While we plead for them to produce additional oil and prepare to sign yet another nuclear non-proliferation scam, the Iranians were not deterred at all - raining their rockets down on an American consulate in Irbil, Iraq. How much does Putin fear NATO - with or without a rearmed Germany - when he launches air-strikes that came within a dozen miles of Polish territory over the weekend? And for good measure also threatened to target logistical routes acting as lifelines to the Ukrainian resistance?

Please forgive me for casting doubt on such widely-cherished Beltway assumptions: But Vladimir Putin and his fellow conspirators in the new Axis nations are not desperate! Instead, they have concluded - correctly in my view - that America suffers from catastrophically weak leadership, that it has abandoned its core spiritual values, as well as the world-beating confidence that our country once took for granted. While conceding that American martial prowess can be painfully recovered (or at least not entirely ruled out) neo-Axis leaders believe that the timing will never be better for a basic re-ordering of the global order. That new order will naturally reflect non-Western interests and dismiss any weaker set of values.  

Ukraine is already one major stake in this game, Taiwan is surely next while NATO’s newly-minted Baltic states might not be far off. When measured against the potential stakes, who cares if Russian logistical problems persist, if they lose a few tanks or if they sacrifice a few more generals trying to recapture the morale of their troops? As my friend LTG Jim Dubik wrote recently, “Like other raw realists, Putin has no intention of stopping with Ukraine…Raw realists (like him) take what they can, when they can, until someone stops them.” https://thehill-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/thehill.com/opinion/national-security/596614-the-world-after-the-war-in-ukraine-who-or-what-will-stop-putin?amp

I am also a realist of sorts, one who cherishes memories of the West Point faculty but now wonders how far the fault lines extend when five cadets are hospitalized after taking fentanyl-laced cocaine while on spring break. To say nothing of that loser who belatedly forfeited his commission only after posting a selfie that argued, “Communism will win.”  It is also frustrating to see other losers with stars on the shoulders of their World War II knock-off uniforms, who have either forgotten or never learned the harsh lessons of real war.

They now confront an opponent who will shrug off small shortcomings to focus on the larger objective- using traditional Russian reliance on massed troops and massed firepower to compel the enemy’s total compliance or complete obliteration. He will not be stopped by the mindless half-measures or the bloodless counter-moves now passing for “deterrence.”

During a three-decade career, Colonel Allard advanced from draftee to the West Point faculty and Dean of the National War College. The author of four books, he was also an on-air military analyst for the networks of NBC News.

 

Sunday Standard

Good morning! Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read. Topics include:

  • Elon Musk Speaks Out
  • Wisconsin special counsel: nursing home election fraud
  • Durham responds masterfully to Sussmann's lawyers
  • UKRAINE MAILBAG: Here's what we know
  • The Price of Gas Skyrockets
  • Biden bans Russian oil imports

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee


DAILY BIBLE VERSE

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Psalm 56:3

If you have a favorite Bible Verse you want to see in one of our newsletters, please email [email protected]


Elon Musk Speaks Out

Lately, Tesla and Starlink billionaire Elon Musk has been showing more common sense and leadership than we’re getting from our own White House. He stood up for increasing American oil production (even though he sells electric cars), and in less than a day, he provided satellite access and equipment for Ukraine to get back onto the Internet. But now, he’s drawing the line at what he sees as doing the same thing Russia is doing.

https://www.westernjournal.com/governments-pressure-elon-musk-turn-assets-russia-tells-bring-gun-next-time/


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Putin signed a new law barring Russian news outlets from reporting on his war on Ukraine. In response, many governments (but not Ukraine’s, oddly) are pressuring media and Internet companies such as Starlink to ban Russian news outlets as propaganda. He tweeted, “We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.” He added, “And also my sympathies to the great people of Russia, who do not want this.”

I understand the impulse to ban Russian media outlets when we know they’re being forced to censor themselves and air Putin’s propaganda. But if we are aware of that in advance, wouldn’t it be useful for us to know what they’re telling their own people, so we know what we have to counter? Also, you never know when some brave journalist is going to slip in some helpful real information or make a stand that the world should see.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/russian-news-walks-crackdown-media

In America, the Founders gave us free speech and freedom of the press because they trusted the people to have enough sense to know when they were hearing garbage ideas and argue them down and reject them. When the government starts deciding whose ideas are incorrect and unworthy of being spoken, that’s the slippery slope to tyranny.

We were already sliding that way as it is. Letting our government use Russia as an excuse to outright ban certain media outlets from the public square would only move us further down the well-known path of all fanatics, who eventually become what they once claimed to hate.

LEAVE ME A COMMENT, I READ THEM!


Wisconsin special counsel: nursing home election fraud

Special counsels can be appointed at the state level, too, and it appears that one in Wisconsin has found evidence to confirm widespread election fraud.

The Wisconsin Assembly appointed Special Counsel Michael Gableman, a retired State Supreme Court justice, to investigate concerns about the 2020 election, and on Tuesday, his office issued its second interim report, which runs 150 pages. In Chapter 7, it confirms the conclusion of the Racine County Sheriff’s Office last fall that fraud occurred at Wisconsin nursing homes.

https://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/22/brandtjen/media/1552/osc-second-interim-report.pdf

It was the sheriff’s investigation that led to this broader one. Sheriff Christopher Schmaling held a press conference last October 28 at which lead investigator Michael Luell presented their findings. (Note that this hour-long press conference got mostly crickets from national media.) Luell explained that under Wisconsin election law, local municipalities must dispatch two special voting deputies, or SVDs, to residential care facilities to supervise the voting. These officials are tasked with personally delivering ballots to residents and witnessing the voting process. Under law, only a relative or an SVD may assist a resident with the voting process. Once the resident has voted, the SVD seals the ballot envelope and delivers it to the elections clerk.

This sounds like a great plan to preserve the chain of custody and discourage undue influence. Unfortunately, the sheriff’s investigation found that the Ridgewood Care Center in Racine violated every one of those requirements. Amazingly, the blame for this can be traced back to the Wisconsin Election Commission, whose members had allegedly taken it upon themselves to tell municipalities not to use the SVD system and to instead just mail ballots to residents. Such a directive would be illegal.

So it was up to staffers to help residents complete their ballots, and according to the sheriff, they “helped” them, all right --- improperly completing sections of the ballots, mishandling ballots and failing to secure them, and going beyond just reading the ballots to actively discussing the elections and candidates. In legal parlance, that is a no-no.

As Sheriff Schmaling said during his press conference, his investigation had covered only the Ridgewood Care Center, when Racine County was home to 11 such facilities, and Racine County is just one of 72 counties. “There are literally hundreds and hundreds of these facilities throughout the state of Wisconsin,” he said. “We would be foolish to think for a moment that this integrity issue, this violation of the statute, occurred to just this small group of people at one care facility in one county in the entire state.”

Several days after their press conference, the Sheriff’s Office announced that they had forwarded their conclusions to District Attorney Patricia Hanson, recommending that five members of the Wisconsin Election Commission be charged with election fraud, including two felony counts. (Only one member was not cited.) Margot Cleveland has details on the specific charges in her report for The Federalist.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/03/wisconsin-special-counsel-finds-widespread-election-fraud-in-2020-nursing-homes/

You can probably guess what happened next, which is to say nothing –- no charges were filed. After several months, DA Hanson concluded that she “lacked jurisdiction” and had no authority to prosecute the commissioners because they don’t live in Racine County and didn’t issue the “allegedly illegal directive doing away with SVD.” So, we're confused, as the sheriff's investigation had concluded they did do that.

And after deciding not to charge the commissioners, Hanson couldn’t very well charge the staff at the nursing homes, could she? She reasoned it this way: “[I]t would be unfair for me to expect these health care professionals would better understand the election law in Wisconsin than the Wisconsin Election Commission.” Never mind that she should have had higher expectations for the WEC; after lowering the bar for them, she was able to lower it even farther for the nursing home staff. Case dismissed!

Here’s some of the fallout as reported by a local news outlet, just a few days before the special counsel dropped his report.

https://journaltimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/four-wis-prosecutors-considering-whether-to-file-charges-against-elections-commissioners/article_b928849a-965f-512a-920c-62f9527b0844.html

Fortunately it didn’t end with that DA, and we now have an eye-opening special counsel report. This would not have happened without the sheriff’s investigation, which had stemmed from a complaint by some individual about potential violations at just one nursing home. Moral: one person speaking up CAN make a difference.

And now, the special counsel apparently has the goods. “Rampant fraud and abuse occurred statewide at Wisconsin’s nursing homes and other residential care facilities,” his report says.

This conclusion came after his investigation of more than 90 nursing homes in five different counties. We’re talking about blatant violations of the election code by nursing home staff and administrators, such as illegal handling of absentee ballots, illegal assistance in marking ballots, illegally “witnessing” the voting, and possible forgery. According to the report, the fraud and abuse resulted ultimately from the unlawful acts of the WEC’s members and staff, because on June 24, 2020, they did issue that directive to mail the ballots to the nursing homes and just follow the rules for regular absentee voting by mail.

The special counsel found “improbably high voting rates” at nursing homes. He was even able to determine that some of the filled-out ballots did not reflect the intent of the nursing home residents. He found suspected forgeries of signatures and votes by people who had been judged incompetent and could not legally vote. He found votes "cast" by people who were unaware of their surroundings and didn’t even know what year it was.

The WEC had tried to use COVID to justify what it had done, saying they didn’t want seniors ”disenfranchised.” Special Counsel Gableman was stern in his assessment of that: “In no way was WEC’s mandating illegal activity a ‘solution’ to ‘disenfranchisement’ and to suggest that WEC’s actions were a good faith effort at doing so ignores the facts and the law.” He went on to point out that the problems he had found, resulting from their directive, WERE examples of disenfranchisement.

Gableman said that to get the full picture of the significance of the fraud, “a state-wide, complete audit of all absentee votes from all facilities” required to use the SVD system is necessary.

In the 2020 election, Wisconsin went for Biden by a margin of just 20,682 votes. Since about 92,000 people reside in Wisconsin nursing homes, the findings of this investigation cast “doubt on the election result” according to the special counsel report. The Wisconsin State Assembly might authorize Gableman to expand his audit, but that’s not official at this writing. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul called the sheriff’s original investigation a “publicity stunt” and is highly unlikely to do anything with this one. That seems like a great reason for voters to show up in droves this fall and boot him out of office.

Incidentally, the report has chapters dealing with other issues in Wisconsin that we’ve discussed before, such as the infusion of money from Mark Zuckerberg and the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and potential violations of law concerning ballot security at dropboxes. Look for social media to flag discussions of this report as heretical and news outlets to trash it (Politico and BuzzFeed already have), even though it’s the product of a special counsel investigation and contains, presumably, facts.

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Durham responds masterfully to Sussmann's lawyers

Say what you will about former Attorney General Bill Barr…

https://www.abc4.com/news/national/trump-rips-barr-in-letter-to-nbcs-lester-holt/

...but he deserves credit for his fantastic pick of John Durham as special counsel to investigate the origins of the phony “Trump/Russia” probe. For a long time, we all wondered what he could possibly be doing, as months and months went by without any news. But now it’s easy to understand why the case is taking so long. There’s much more to it than anyone imagined at the outset.

In his latest court filing, made Friday to counter Michael Sussmann’s attorneys’ most recent motions, Durham has shown that he'd make a great archer, as he aims right at the target and hits a rhetorical bull’s-eye. Here’s a link to the whole 16-page document.

https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638.44.0_6.pdf

Recall that Sussmann, conveniently the attorney for both the Hillary Clinton campaign and Rodney Joffe (Tech Executive – 1), has been charged with lying to the FBI by failing to disclose that he was acting on behalf of legal clients. He maintained that he had brought the (fake) Alfa Bank story to the FBI simply out of his sense of patriotic duty, as a concerned citizen. A couple of weeks ago, in their motion to dismiss that charge, Sussmann’s attorneys said --- try not to laugh --- that their client hadn’t lied, but that even if he HAD lied, the lie was not material to the case and was protected by the First Amendment besides, so, come on, judge, just let it go.

Durham, in his response to the First Amendment argument, took aim and said, “Far from finding himself in the vulnerable position of an ordinary person whose speech is likely to be chilled, the defendant --- a sophisticated and well-connected lawyer --- chose to bring politically-charged allegations to the FBI’s chief legal officer [James Baker] at the height of an election season.

“He then chose to lie about the clients who were behind those allegations. Using such rare access to the halls of power for the purposes of political deceit is hardly the type of speech that the Founders intended to protect. The Court should therefore reject defendant’s invitation to expand the scope of the First Amendment to protect such conduct.”

Is that not great?

As for whether his (false) statements to the FBI were material to the case, Durham was spot-on again. Imagine how things might have gone if Sussmann had been honest about his true connections, given their implied motivations. His ties to the Clinton campaign could --- at least SHOULD --- have had tremendous bearing. As Durham put it:

“Had the defendant truthfully informed the FBI General Counsel that he was providing the information on behalf of one or more clients, as opposed to merely acting as a ‘good citizen,’ the FBI General Counsel and other FBI personnel might have asked a multitude of additional questions material to the case initiation process.”

It’s hard to imagine information more material to the case than this. As Durham said, the lie was capable of “influencing both the FBI’s decision to initiate an investigation and its subsequent conduct of that investigation.”

Knowledge of these attorney-client relationships, he said, “would have shed critical light on the origins of the allegations at issue.” It goes without saying that this would certainly not have been in the interest of Sussmann’s clients, Hillary Clinton and a man trying in an underhanded way to help get her elected. Sussmann's charade was completely in their interest.

“Given the temporal proximity to the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Durham said, “the FBI also might have taken any number of different steps in initiating, delaying, or declining the initiation of this matter had it known at the time that the defendant was providing information on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a technology executive at a private company.”

Sussmann’s attorneys had also moved to strike the “Factual Background” in Durham’s charge –- the part that went into detail about Sussmann’s ties with Clinton and Joffe as part of the larger picture. They said Durham had included that part “to politicize this case, inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool.” We'd thought their attempt to strike that section seemed like a well-we-gotta-try-something move, as they ended up calling MORE attention to it.

Durham made it clear that there was no basis to strike any part of that motion, as the factual background was “central” to proving the allegation of Sussmann’s criminal conduct. He also said that some of it was necessary for explaining the conflicts of interest that were the point of his earlier filing about various people of interest (Sussmann included) being defended by the same law firm, Latham & Watkins.

Margot Cleveland has another great article about the filings in Durham’s case, this one saying he “demolished” the attempt to get Sussmann’s charges dropped.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/07/5-new-special-counsel-arguments-against-a-russia-hoaxers-attempt-to-escape/

Cleveland offers her usual superb analysis, making points seen nowhere else. She offers five “key takeaways” from Durham’s filing:

1. On the issue of materiality, Durham states what the correct standard for that is, stressing that it refers to the “potential,” as opposed to the actual, effects of the lie. And even using the defense attorneys’ very narrow standard, Sussmann’s alleged “misrepresentation” (lie) is still material because it could have influenced the FBI’s decision-making.

Cleveland says denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss is “inevitable” and that Durham refuted “six ways to Sunday” the claim that Sussmann's lie was not material. It plainly was, he said, “because it misled the General Counsel about, among other things, the critical fact that the defendant was disseminating highly explosive allegations about a then-Presidential candidate on behalf of two specific clients, one of which was the opposing Presidential campaign.” Doesn't get much plainer than that.

2. Durham destroyed the Democrats’ talking point that the FBI already knew Sussmann was an attorney for the DNC. Sussmann had held himself out as a cybersecurity and national security attorney, “not an election lawyer or political consultant,” Durham wrote. So when Sussmann had denied any client relationships, he had made it seem that he was not there in a political capacity, when he was.

3. Durham countered the defense’s argument that Joffe’s status as “a long-standing respected FBI source” made Sussmann’s failure to disclose representing him immaterial. This one is a bit “in the weeds” but really interesting, so if you’re following these arguments closely, do read Cleveland’s piece.

4. Durham countered another defense argument that's also a talking point, the one saying that Trump was not the target because data brought by Sussmann was from before he was President. The special counsel made it clear that this is a distinction without a difference, as Trump clearly was the target.

5. Finally, Durham had some fun with the defense’s assertion that the charge against their client “risks valuable First Amendment speech,” calling a comparison they'd made “absurd.” Sussmann, he said, “as a former government attorney and prosecutor...was well aware that the law required him to honest and forthright when communicating with the FBI.”

I wonder --- is that even possible when furthering the interests of Hillary Clinton?

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UKRAINE MAILBAG: Here's what we know

Putin's invasion of Ukraine has sparked letters touching on stories that are going around. Here are two...

From John K:

“Mike, a history lesson is in order here. Didn't USSR, now Russia, help in [email protected] the Nazis? Some pundits are saying that Russia is now invading European lands. How did that happen? We don't have history on the History channel or Wikipedia. This land was never European land but as I recall it was part of Russia before we sorted that out. The fake new Republic of the World, or as they say the New world Order promulgated by the Sorosbrand and "Progressive Liberals," is or is coming soon to a theatre near you. The play is just starting, so take your seat. I want to sit next to you.”

From Fiorella W:

“I hear many conflicting stories about Putin's real motive. One source says that the U.S. has established 11 biolabs in Ukraine and Putin has taken 7 out... And then, of course, there is the whole Biden family continuing corruption with the puppet regime. What should we believe?

Thanks to you both, and to all who have written. Yes, Soviet Russia did fight against Hitler, after Germany invaded Russia in June, 1941.

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/invasion-of-the-soviet-union-june-1941

Technically, the Soviets became our allies when we entered the war. That’s why, with the way people tend to think in “either/or” terms, alliances ever since have been framed in that way. You checked a box: 1) pro-Nazi, or 2) pro-Russia. Later on, it became 1) pro-Russia, or 2) pro-China. The truth: NONE of them deserve our support.

Eastern Europe was carved up in 1945 at the Yalta Conference –- led by FDR (very ill at the time), British Prime Minister Churchill and Soviet Premier Stalin. They were then looking at terms to induce the Soviets to enter the war in the Pacific. Because of that, and also because Russia had done much in recent days to drive back the Germans, Stalin was seen to have an advantage at the talks.

Stalin refused to relinquish Poland but said he’d permit free elections. Same with Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. At that time, Soviet Russia was an "ally," but that was exposed as a sham when, in 1945, the U.S.S.R. made it clear they’d be clamping down on Poland and not allowing political freedom at all. Our former “ally” controlled those Eastern European nations and also East Berlin, which they shockingly encased behind a wall topped with barbed wire and snipers. In March 1946, Churchill gave his speech saying an “iron curtain” had descended upon Eastern Europe, marking the start of the Cold War.

Since then, the U.S.S.R. has fallen and Russia’s borders have changed. But we see from this snippet of history that distinctions between so-called “Russian territory” and “Eastern Europe” are likely lost on Vladimir Putin.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/yalta-conference

To say Ukraine was once “part of Russia” echoes Putin’s propaganda campaign but ignores the naked, horrific aggression he committed. Some have even said that since Ukraine has corruption, the altruistic Mr. Putin was trying to right a wrong by invading. As if Russia doesn’t have corruption? I have hardly ever heard anything crazier: that Putin is trying to “save” Ukraine from corruption by bombing the daylights out of it. Couldn’t he have just...made a phone call or something?

I say that facetiously to set up a point: that when Trump tried to address corruption through a phone call, he got impeached. Putin wouldn’t have such worries.

Then there’s the story about biolabs. We don’t know --- it’s hard enough finding out about biolabs in China and talking about those freely --- but even if this is real and NOT Russian disinformation, invading Ukraine and killing thousands of innocent people is not an acceptable response. Sounds like a pretext to us. It works well as propaganda, though, because after what we’ve learned about the World Health Organization, it’s believable. But it doesn’t justify Putin’s invasion. Here’s a good write-up by Kyle Becker.

https://beckernews.com/3-russian-ministry-of-defense-claims-it-has-evidence-of-u-s-funded-bioweapons-labs-in-ukraine-44303/

We do know that Putin is a sociopath because operatives have killed many of his critics, defectors, and others besides. From the Homeland Security News Wire in 2020: “...Putin has adopted a milder version of Stalin’s tactics of random killings in order to instill a generalized sense of fear and insecurity in the Russian elite.” They provide a list of murders.

https://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20200825-putin-s-victims-a-long-list-getting-longer

We’ve long known that Putin is a KGB thug, but there are loathsome factions in the U.S. that avoid criticism of him. Bizarrely, President Biden even has Putin involved in the negotiations for a new “Iran deal,” which we know would lead to Iran becoming a nuclear power. Mark Levin had a great show on this and related matters Sunday night.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6299850695001#sp=show-clips

We’ve heard some particularly inane observations, such as that Ukrainian President Zelensky shouldn’t be believed "because he was an actor.” Well, Ronald Reagan was an actor, and he was about as trustworthy as it gets. That doesn’t mean Zelensky is trustworthy, just that the observation is stupid. Putin undeniably is a thug, and Zelensky understandably wants our help with a no-fly zone, but we must anticipate the perhaps-literal fallout. To reject this step does not make one pro-Putin in any way, just pro-using-your-brain.

Trump’s political enemies call him pro-Putin because he’s flattered Vlad now and them, calling him “smart” and such. They fail to understand that this move in itself was smart –- played to discourage Putin from cozying up to China. (Too late now, it seems.) Critics play checkers when they should be playing chess.

Here are more debunked stories...

https://thenationalpulse.com/2022/02/28/pro-ukraine-propaganda-floods-social-media/

And here’s a fabulous more-recent Ukraine history lesson, a “premium” article by Jeff Carlson and Hans Mahncke for The Epoch Times. Highly recommended...

https://www.theepochtimes.com/before-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-a-decade-of-destabilization_4316990.html/?utm_source=partner&utm_campaign=TheLibertyDaily

(Note that The National Pulse, just for offering facts, feels the need to run a disclaimer: “For the avoidance of doubt, The National Pulse is against wars of aggression, and is not supported financially by any government or entity acting on behalf of a government or foreign interest...”)

As for George Soros, yes, his influence in Ukraine has been huge, starting in 1989, just before the fall of the Soviet Union. He’s been pushing for Ukraine to enter the E.U. We highly recommend Matt Palumbo’s book about him, THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN, in which Ukraine gets its own fascinating chapter, with names you’ll recognize from Trump’s first impeachment and even the Steele “dossier.” That country’s full of the kind of secrets you’d expect from a pro-Obama, pro-Hillary crowd.

There are so many unknowns. As we said Saturday, this really is “the first draft of history.” It’s a shame we can’t trust what our own government tells us. Scott Adams, bestselling author and “Dilbert” creator,” called the situation “a big black box that we can’t see into.”

Even so, there's one truth we should agree on: that unprovoked aggression is always wrong. For everything else you might read or hear about this war, ask yourself two questions: 1) Has this person generally been right before, and 2) How can this person possibly KNOW what he’s saying is true?

LEAVE ME A COMMENT, I READ THEM!


The Price of Gas Skyrockets

The price of gas has skyrocketed across America, up 40 cents a gallon in a week in many places. And at one Los Angeles station, regular was $6.99, with premium at $7.29 a gallon.

https://www.westernjournal.com/gas-sits-just-one-cent-away-7-days-record-price-jumps/

It may seem shocking, but this is precisely what the “green” left has long hoped for. For years, they’ve had a dream that if they can just make gas expensive enough, like $8 a gallon, that would cause the public to demand electric cars and mass transit. And somehow, without cheap oil, gas or coal, or any new nuclear power plants (because those are also bad for nostalgic reasons, even though they’re now much safer than they used to be and don’t emit CO2), we’ll magically have breakthroughs in “green” energy that will allow breezes and sunbeams to generate enough power to not only sustain our society and economy, but to charge tens of millions of new electric vehicles.

I didn’t say it made any sense; I said it was a longtime leftist dream. But it’s a nightmare for working Americans and consumers. Of course, there are things we could do right now to fix it, but President Biden refuses.

Last week, I suggested that Republicans in Congress introduce a real emergency bill to fast track the reinstatement of America’s energy independence that was killed by Biden’s executive orders in the name of his “climate change emergency.” I noted then that even if Biden were still stubborn enough to veto it in the face of the Russian oil crunch and skyrocketing gas prices, maybe enough Democrats would be terrified of their reelection prospects to vote for the bill and to override Biden’s veto.

Well, on Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz did pretty much what I suggested, introducing what he calls the “Energy Freedom Act.”

https://redstate.com/mike_miller/2022/03/05/ted-cruz-rolls-out-energy-freedom-act-as-bidens-energy-dependent-chickens-come-home-to-roost-n531835

It would fast-track making America energy-independent again by…well, basically going back to what Trump did that made America energy-independent before Biden bumbled into office. It also contains a sop to the left in the form of “generally speeding up solar, wind, and geothermal development.”

I have a feeling Sen. Joe Manchin would back it. As one of that very endangered species, a DC Democrat with common sense, he’s already talking about how fast and easy it would be to get American oil flowing and gas prices back down, if the government would just take its foot off the necks of energy producers.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/06/manchin-makes-biden-look-silly-with-common-sense-on-russia-n532522

But do enough Democrats in the House and Senate sense electoral Armageddon in those $7 gas prices to vote for common sense and (probably have to) override a Biden veto? I believe in miracles, but that’s harder for me to believe. On the other hand, with November elections growing closer, and the prospect of gas being even higher by then, maybe the wisdom of Samuel Johnson will prevail among a veto-proof majority of Congress members. He’s the one who wrote:

“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”


America The Beautiful

God's creation is all around us. To learn more about Acadia National Park National Park, visit its website here.


Biden bans Russian oil imports

As expected, on Tuesday, President Biden announced that he would end US imports of Russian oil. It’s assumed he didn’t want to, since he’s let it go on all through the buildup to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and past the first two weeks of shocking carnage. But after even Nancy Pelosi agreed with Ted Cruz (one of the signs of the Apocalypse) that Congress should act and cut off Russian oil, Biden reportedly asked Pelosi to delay Monday’s scheduled House vote so that he could jump out in front of the parade and pretend to be leading it.

https://www.westernjournal.com/joe-biden-can-beat-putin-transforming-economy-run-56000-electric-cars/

In the speech, Biden warned Americans that gas prices, which shot up even further beyond previous records on Tuesday, would go up even more because of the cutoff of Russian oil. But apparently, his plan is to replace Russian oil with banana oil, because he dispensed so much of it in his speech as he attempted to convince Americans that “Russia is responsible” for a gallon of gas costing more than a Burger King Whopper (I chose that because there were plenty of whoppers in the speech, too.)

The first thing that caught my ear was Biden's carefully-constructed phrase “Putin’s price hikes,” laid on with all the subtlety of a 10-year-old boy standing by a broken vase and pointing at the cat. As the media would say, “Republicans pounced” on that. Jorge Bonilla tweeted a couple of charts, the first one having already gone viral, showing how the price of gas has been climbing since the day Biden took office, with the recent “Ukraine war” spike representing only a fraction of the increase.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/08/ted-cruz-busts-bidens-latest-sorry-excuse-n533490

The second chart was the same, except it went back even further and showed that the rise in gas prices actually began right after Election Night, when oil futures investors realized that Biden would be replacing Trump. Trump had made energy independence and low gas prices a priority, while Biden had campaigned on destroying our domestic fossil fuel industry in the name of fighting “climate change.” No wonder Trump sent out a message in response that consisted of nothing but the headline about record gas prices, and one sentence: “Do you miss me yet?”

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/08/trump-nails-biden-to-the-wall-with-just-five-words-n533335

But that was hardly the end of the Biden jaw-droppers. I guess he thinks we can save energy by returning to gas lighting, which is the only way to explain lines like this:

“First, it’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production. It’s simply not true.” Except it simply is true. Thanks to his policies, US oil and gas production are down by more than a million gallons a day. Again, that was actually one of his campaign promises, to kill the fossil fuel industry, and he started doing it with executive orders on his first day in office.

He also tried to blame the oil companies, saying they had 9,000 permits to drill and it was their decision not to use them to produce oil. An industry spokesman replied that that reflects a “fundamental misunderstanding” of how the industry works, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. Not only are government drilling leases down by about 75%, but a lease doesn’t even mean there’s oil on the land. There’s a long process of development to explore and start pumping the oil, and Biden has not only cut the number of leases but added lots more regulations to hamstring that process even more.

Here’s a former Keystone Pipeline worker who urges Americans not to buy this blame-shifting and reminds us that they tried to warn everyone what was coming. Hey, join the club, pal!

https://www.foxnews.com/us/former-keystone-pipeline-worker-says-us-energy-crisis-is-result-of-bidens-policies-we-tried-to-warn-you

Toni Williams at the Victory Girls blog also has a good rundown of the many lies packed into that one speech.

https://victorygirlsblog.com/joe-bidens-dirty-lies-about-u-s-energy-production/

And Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com did a good fact-check as well.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2022/03/09/biden-claimed-his-climate-agenda-isnt-hurting-domestic-oil-production-here-are-the-facts-n2604276

But to me, the biggest tip-off that we are dealing with people who are completely out of touch with the reality of the pain they’re causing for working Americans was that both Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg actually suggested that the solution to high gas prices was for everyone to buy electric cars.

https://www.westernjournal.com/buttigieg-buy-55000-electric-car-dont-worry-gas-prices-anymore/

The average price of an EV is over $56,000; there’s a long waiting list to obtain one just with the demand that exists now; and even if every American could afford and obtain one, they’ve still never answered where we’re going to get the power required to charge them all. It’s as if they think regular cars run on bad, dirty gas but the fuel for electric cars comes out of a wall socket directly from Heaven.

With that argument, Biden, Buttigieg and their house jester Stephen Colbert are all competing for the title of the Marie Antoinette of the 21st century: “So the peasants can’t afford gas? Well, let them buy Teslas!”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/08/stephen-colbert-blasted-for-saying-hes-willing-to-pay-more-for-gas/


I Just Wanted to Say:

Thank you for reading the Sunday Standard.


For more news, visit my website here.


As expected, on Tuesday, President Biden announced that he would end US imports of Russian oil. It’s assumed he didn’t want to, since he’s let it go on all through the buildup to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and past the first two weeks of shocking carnage. But after even Nancy Pelosi agreed with Ted Cruz (one of the signs of the Apocalypse) that Congress should act and cut off Russian oil, Biden reportedly asked Pelosi to delay Monday’s scheduled House vote so that he could jump out in front of the parade and pretend to be leading it.

https://www.westernjournal.com/joe-biden-can-beat-putin-transforming-economy-run-56000-electric-cars/

In the speech, Biden warned Americans that gas prices, which shot up even further beyond previous records on Tuesday, would go up even more because of the cutoff of Russian oil. But apparently, his plan is to replace Russian oil with banana oil, because he dispensed so much of it in his speech as he attempted to convince Americans that “Russia is responsible” for a gallon of gas costing more than a Burger King Whopper (I chose that because there were plenty of whoppers in the speech, too.)

The first thing that caught my ear was Biden's carefully-constructed phrase “Putin’s price hikes,” laid on with all the subtlety of a 10-year-old boy standing by a broken vase and pointing at the cat. As the media would say, “Republicans pounced” on that. Jorge Bonilla tweeted a couple of charts, the first one having already gone viral, showing how the price of gas has been climbing since the day Biden took office, with the recent “Ukraine war” spike representing only a fraction of the increase.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/08/ted-cruz-busts-bidens-latest-sorry-excuse-n533490

The second chart was the same, except it went back even further and showed that the rise in gas prices actually began right after Election Night, when oil futures investors realized that Biden would be replacing Trump. Trump had made energy independence and low gas prices a priority, while Biden had campaigned on destroying our domestic fossil fuel industry in the name of fighting “climate change.” No wonder Trump sent out a message in response that consisted of nothing but the headline about record gas prices, and one sentence: “Do you miss me yet?”

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/08/trump-nails-biden-to-the-wall-with-just-five-words-n533335

But that was hardly the end of the Biden jaw-droppers. I guess he thinks we can save energy by returning to gas lighting, which is the only way to explain lines like this:

“First, it’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production. It’s simply not true.” Except it simply is true. Thanks to his policies, US oil and gas production are down by more than a million gallons a day. Again, that was actually one of his campaign promises, to kill the fossil fuel industry, and he started doing it with executive orders on his first day in office.

He also tried to blame the oil companies, saying they had 9,000 permits to drill and it was their decision not to use them to produce oil. An industry spokesman replied that that reflects a “fundamental misunderstanding” of how the industry works, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. Not only are government drilling leases down by about 75%, but a lease doesn’t even mean there’s oil on the land. There’s a long process of development to explore and start pumping the oil, and Biden has not only cut the number of leases but added lots more regulations to hamstring that process even more.

Here’s a former Keystone Pipeline worker who urges Americans not to buy this blame-shifting and reminds us that they tried to warn everyone what was coming. Hey, join the club, pal!

https://www.foxnews.com/us/former-keystone-pipeline-worker-says-us-energy-crisis-is-result-of-bidens-policies-we-tried-to-warn-you

Toni Williams at the Victory Girls blog also has a good rundown of the many lies packed into that one speech.

https://victorygirlsblog.com/joe-bidens-dirty-lies-about-u-s-energy-production/

And Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com did a good fact-check as well.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2022/03/09/biden-claimed-his-climate-agenda-isnt-hurting-domestic-oil-production-here-are-the-facts-n2604276

But to me, the biggest tip-off that we are dealing with people who are completely out of touch with the reality of the pain they’re causing for working Americans was that both Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg actually suggested that the solution to high gas prices was for everyone to buy electric cars.

https://www.westernjournal.com/buttigieg-buy-55000-electric-car-dont-worry-gas-prices-anymore/

The average price of an EV is over $56,000; there’s a long waiting list to obtain one just with the demand that exists now; and even if every American could afford and obtain one, they’ve still never answered where we’re going to get the power required to charge them all. It’s as if they think regular cars run on bad, dirty gas but the fuel for electric cars comes out of a wall socket directly from Heaven.

With that argument, Biden, Buttigieg and their house jester Stephen Colbert are all competing for the title of the Marie Antoinette of the 21st century: “So the peasants can’t afford gas? Well, let them buy Teslas!”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/08/stephen-colbert-blasted-for-saying-hes-willing-to-pay-more-for-gas/