By Jeff Childers
Good morning on this chilly, snowpocalyptic Thursday, C&C! The horrors of global warming. In today’s roundup: the FBI feeds Americans word salad in its denial of Twitter Files accusations; a family-friendly drag queen Christmas in Florida, of all places; the New York Times panics as China abandons its covid-zero policy; Sam Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend is throwing him under the bus; and Kari Lake has a great first day of trial.
🗞*WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 Yesterday, the Federal Bureau of Investigations released a dense, point-by-point, 64-page rebuttal to the claims and evidence that have been presented against it over the last couple weeks in the serialized Twitter Files. The rebuttal included links to evidence appearing to clearly show that between 2019 and 2022, the FBI scrupulously tried to adhere to the law, and worked diligently to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Haha, just kidding! It wasn’t 64-pages. It was a one-sentence denial hysterically blaming “conspiracy theorists” and childishly claiming people are just trying to make the FBI look bad. I am not making that up. J. Edgar Hoover’s agency has now reached the self-parody stage.
When I first saw this, I suspected it had to be a meme or something. So I checked multiple sources to confirm it was true. It was true! How embarrassing. A fifth-grade class assignment could’ve produced better defenses to the scandal than THIS.
Since the FBI couldn’t be bothered to take more than fifteen seconds to respond to the most dishonorable charges against that agency among a long, sordid list of failures over the past few years, and I’m not just thinking of the Whitmer fednapping, I now have to put their entire statement under the C&C microscope. I didn’t want to, but they left me no choice.
“It is unfortunate…”
Here, we agree; so far, so good. I agree that this is ANOTHER unfortunate mess for the troubled law enforcement agency. To borrow some technical law enforcement jargon, they call this getting caught with your chocolate-stained hand in the cookie jar.
“…that conspiracy theorists and others…”
The FBI couldn’t even get through the first clause without making me want to call them morons. But that’s not nice, so I’m going to resist. For now. Don’t push it.
So … conspiracy theorists and “others”. Logically, “others” can only mean non-conspiracy theorists, otherwise the word would be redundant, and we must presume the FBI meant what it said. Therefore, spelled out, this says “conspiracy theorists and [non-conspiracy theorists].”
In other words, EVERYBODY. Everybody agrees.
I’ll give them partial credit for unintentional honesty.
“… are feeding the American public misinformation …”
First, this is a failed mixed metaphor. If they want to use a non-literal word like “feeding,” they must add something food-related for the metaphor to make sense, otherwise it’s just silly nonsense. You can’t LITERALLY feed someone misinformation. They should’ve said, “are feeding the American public A DIET OF misinformation,” or, “are feeding the American public informational JUNK FOOD,” or “are feeding the American public BALONEY,” or something like that.
Maybe they should’ve asked some fifth graders for help.
Anyway, moving to the substance, we have to dig into the FBI’s definition of “misinformation,” which is information that is TRUE but misleading. “Misleading information.” The only way we can interpret this statement is that the FBI confirmed the truth of all those disclosed communications between 80+ FBI agents and Twitter to silence conservatives who were talking about covid or the elections.
HOW is that mis-information?
Is the FBI saying its agents spent just as much time censoring loony leftwing tweets? Setting aside there’s no evidence of that, they shouldn’t be censoring ANYBODY. That’s not their job. They’re supposed to investigate crimes.
Since their communications with Twitter aren’t classified or privileged, unless part of an ongoing criminal investigation, the FBI could release their own batch of exculpatory emails. But they didn’t, so we are left to assume they don’t have any.
I hate to pour salt into the wound (you know I do), but I feel obliged to point out that for two years the FBI also called the Hunter Biden laptop “misinformation” and “a conspiracy theory.” But it was nevertheless true.
“… with the sole purpose of …”
The SOLE purpose? How did the FBI cleverly deduce the singular purpose motivating all the people working on the Twitter files? This is the most grotesque part of the agency’s denial. As an allegedly non-partisan agency, the FBI should ASSUME good intentions before leaping to conclusions about Americans’ bad motivations.
That what’s presumed innocent means.
This clause perfectly illustrates the agency’s biggest problem: An “us versus them” attitude. It’s how the FBI instantly concluded “everyone who went into the Capitol wanted to overthrow the government.” And how it assumed “everyone who criticized covid vaccines is a Russian disinformation agent.”
“… attempting to discredit the agency.”
Hilarious! First of all guys, you’re doing a perfectly satisfactory job of discrediting yourselves. Conspiracy theorists hardly have to do anything.
Next, “attempting?” This smacks of wishful thinking. The emails released in the Twitter Files HAVE discredited the agency.
Leftists who cheer on the FBI because it hurt conservatives are extremely short-sighted. When the conservatives are all gone, what do leftists think will happen next, with this out-of-control secret police agency? Do they think it will just go back to non-political work, because its job is done?
If that’s what they think, they need to study history a little more.
Finally, this part of the statement sounds the most childish. The FBI is claiming that the ONLY reason people are talking about the FBI censoring Americans is because they want to make the FBI look bad. There’s NO WAY that ANYBODY criticizing the FBI could possibly have any valid concerns about the First Amendment or anything.
But, I’m giving them additional partial credit for stubbornly sticking to their unbelievable story and trying to gaslight their way through. “Honey, it wasn’t ME!”
🔥 Meanwhile, the alert columnist at Libs of TikTok reported yesterday that, down in South Florida, the illustrious Broward Center for the Performing Arts will perform the gala, family-friendly show, “A Drag Queen Christmas,” on December 26th.
I found an online ad for the show, which after performing in Broward, apparently will ooze its way north to the Plaza Live in Orlando, where it is advertised as “all ages welcome.”
It’s not grooming! It’s just a fun, family celebration of Christians’ second most important holiday of the year. Don’t be racist.
🔥 The New York Times ran an overwrought story about covid in China yesterday, headlined, “From Zero Covid to No Plan: Behind China’s Pandemic U-Turn.” The Times’ sub-headline bitterly complained, “After micromanaging the coronavirus strategy for nearly three years, the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, has suddenly left the populace to improvise.”
They didn’t avoid covid, but you’ve got to hand China’s dictatorial government one thing: They avoided mRNA shots.
Anyway, the Times explained that a couple weeks ago, China finally abandoned its draconian “Covid Zero” approach to the pandemic, which the Times feels left poor Chinese “officials scrambling to manage the disarray and uncertainty.” The Times gloomily reported that “[w]arnings about the dangers of the coronavirus have swiftly disappeared, replaced by official claims that the Omicron variant is generally mild.”
“Official claims” that Omicron is generally mild. “Claims.” The Times isn’t too sure. Who knows? It’s not like we’re a year past Omicron here in the U.S. or anything.
The Times also dusted off its early pandemic playbook, and hauled out its old chestnut, the “overwhelmed hospitals” meme — proving the problem not by using statistics or anything, but just by quoting random anonymous doctors and nurses. It soberly reported that “A doctor in a city hospital said on social media that primary care has exploded with Covid patients, and more than half the doctors and nurses in the respiratory disease section were infected.”
A doctor “on social media.” It was just a post on WeChat or something! They didn’t even interview the doctor. What are journalists for? We can read social media posts for ourselves. Why do we need the Times?
Anyway, in other words, to the Times, human freedom brings “disarray and uncertainty,” which explains a lot about how we got here, if you think about it. But the better question is why exactly at this point in the pandemic is the Times so obviously upset about China abandoning Covid-zero?
I’m beginning to suspect the answer is that a lot of liberals were secretly rooting for China to succeed and somehow wipe out covid, because if the communist nation could finally show how successful Covid-zero was, that would silence pandemic response critics. In other words, if Covid-zero worked, we should’ve ALL done it, and that’s what we should do NEXT TIME. It would’ve shown the greatness of the communist system.
Oh well. Too bad, New York Times. I don’t feel sorry for you.
🔥 FTX is back in the news. According a statement late yesterday, Caroline Ellison, polysexual millennial and CEO of Sam Bankman-Fried’s personal billion-dollar piggy bank, Alameda Capital, who liked to brag about being “bad at math,” finally did something smart.
She’s singing like a caged canary.
Just to remind you, here’s Caroline, one of Sam’s former girlfriends in the polycule, or whatever they call it, probably right up until he moved on to more interesting partners.
#FTX #FTXScandal #Alameda @SBF_FTX #carolineellison https://t.co/gFPVfGtZ1z
2:31 AM ∙ Dec 22, 202217Likes6Retweets
What’s that old saying about a polysexual scorned? Something about fury? Anyway.
The SEC’s announcement yesterday included news that Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang have pleaded guilty and are now cooperating with law-enforcement officials, that Sam Bankman-Fried had been bunged onto a plane, being flown away from his Bahamian prison to the fine facilities in the Southern District of New York, and that he is expected to appear before a judge today.
It sure looks like a few days of the old ‘Bahamian hellhole’ treatment helped convince Sam to stop fighting extradition. Hopefully his lawyers are double-checking the new prison’s security camera systems.
Statement of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams on U.S. v. Samuel Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison, and Gary Wang
2:52 AM ∙ Dec 22, 202251Likes16Retweets
US Attorney Williams also encouraged other FTXer’s who “participated in misconduct” to come forward now, since the government’s “patience is not eternal.”
Sing, canaries, sing.
🔥 Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s second day of trial begins today. According to informal reports, her first day of trying to prove election misconduct went well. The best bit seems to be that, after the judge had allowed Kari’s lawyers to inspect fifteen random ballots, Kari’s experts testified that fourteen of the fifteen appeared to be fraudulent.
Kari’s experts determined the problematic election-day ballots had been rejected by electronic tabulators because they’d been shrunk to a 19-inch page size — but printed on 20-inch paper. The visual side-by-side comparisons between the shrunk ballots and regular ones were extremely convincing. Kari’s expert testified there was NO WAY that could’ve happened by accident, and I agree.
It looks like the Maricopa clerk or someone else in authority, cough cough, intentionally modified the ballots so they’d be rejected by electronic scanners and would have to be hand-counted, creating widespread chaos on Election Day.
KARI LAKE TRIAL: Maricopa Election officials have admitted to using the wrong size Ballots on Election Day causing them to be rejected.
7:28 PM ∙ Dec 21, 202210,004Likes3,223Retweets
From the trial videos I’ve seen, Katie Hobb’s lawyers did a poor job of handling Kari’s witnesses and the evidence. For example, take a look at this illustrative clip, and watch how Hobbs’ lawyer completely fell apart after Kari’s witness surprised the lawyer with an answer he didn’t expect:
KARI LAKE TRIAL: Heather Honey, Investigator and Supply Chain Expert with 30+ years experience sends hack defense lawyer packing after she answers his loaded legal question in what appears to be an attempt to intimidate her
10:33 PM ∙ Dec 21, 202216,863Likes5,103Retweets
There’s a simple trial rule — rule number one — that goes, “never ask a witness a question you don’t already know the answer to.” THIS is what happens when lawyers break that rule. The giveaway was him immediately looking down nervously, shuffling his papers desperately trying to figure out what to do, staring in awkward silence, and then barking “no more questions” to contain the damage.
To win, Kari Lake must prove the widespread problems would have resulted in a different outcome. Helpfully, Katie Hobbs’ lawyers asked that critical question, and Kari’s expert nailed it to the courtroom doors. Now it’s evidence.
🚨 Bombshell Testimony from Election Day Attorney 🚨 “There’s no question in my mind that had there not been tabulator issues at 132 vote centers, This election would have ended up with @KariLake winning.” Help FUEL our Legal Team: SaveArizonaFund.com/donate
You might call that, “legal malpractice.” But, before you judge Katie Hobbs’ lawyers too harshly, remember that lawyers don’t build the planes. We just fly them.
Between all that, and the silence of Hobbs supporters, it looks like Kari Lake had a very good day in court yesterday. Still, it’s way too soon to take a victory lap. Since the plaintiff always gets to go first, it always looks good for the first half of trial. Then the defendant gets to put on their case, which normally evens things up.
We’ll see how things go for former Secretary of State Hobbs today.
Have a terrific Thursday! I’ll see you guys back here tomorrow, for the final pre-holiday Coffee & Covid roundup. But … I might have a Christmas present in the blog stocking for you guys, who knows…
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The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.