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The New York Times’ Brazenly False “Fact Check” About Trump’s Impeachment Trial

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The New York Times’ Brazenly False “Fact Check” About Trump’s Impeachment Trial 

By James D. Agresti

The New York Times has published a “fact check“ by Linda Qiu declaring that Donald Trump’s lawyers “made a number of inaccurate or misleading claims” during the Senate impeachment trial. In reality, much of the article consists of flagrant falsehoods propagated by Qiu and the Times.

“Inciting Violence”

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With regard to Trump’s speech on the day of the Capitol Hill riot, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said: “Far from promoting insurrection against the United States, the president’s remarks explicitly encouraged those in attendance to exercise their rights peacefully and patriotically.”

That statement is demonstrably true, as the transcriptof the speech shows that Trump asked his supporters to go “to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Qiu, however, alleges that his attorney’s statement “is exaggerated” because Trump “used the phrase ‘peacefully and patriotically’ once in his speech, compared with 20 uses of the word ‘fight’.”

Qiu’s argument presumes that Trump used the word “fight” to denote physical violence. This mimics the Democrat’s impeachment resolution, which declares that Trump is guilty of “inciting violence” because he said in his speech: “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

However, both Qiu and the Democrats are quoting Trump out of context. The transcriptshows that Trump never called for violence or even vaguely implied that. In fact, it is glaringly obvious that he was talking about legal and verbal fighting. To wit, 10 of the 20 times in which Trump used the word “fight” are found in these statements:

·     Rudy Giuliani has “guts, he fights. He fights.”
·     “Jim Jordan, and some of these guys. They’re out there fighting the House.”
·     “If they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight. You primary them.”
·     “The American people do not believe the corrupt fake news anymore. They have ruined their reputation. But it used to be that they’d argue with me, I’d fight. So I’d fight, they’d fight. I’d fight, they’d fight. … They had their point of view, I had my point of view. But you’d have an argument. Now what they do is they go silent. It’s called suppression. And that’s what happens in a communist country.”

Highlighting the duplicity of those who claim that Trump’s use of the word “fight” amounts to incitement, Trump’s attorneys showed video footageof numerous Congressional Democrats using the word “fight” more than 200 times, including more than a dozen timesin which they used the exact phrase for which they impeached Trump: “fight like hell.”

Antifa Involvement in the Capitol Hill Riot

Speaking about the Capitol Hill riot, van der Veen said: “One of the first people arrested was a leader of antifa.” Qiu begins her critique of this statement by changing the word “a” so that it becomes “the.” Thus, she claims that van der Veen said: “One of the first people arrested was theleader of antifa.” Qiu then writes:

This is misleading. Mr. van der Veen was most likely referring to John E. Sullivan, a Utah man who was charged on Jan. 14 with violent entry and disorderly conduct. Mr. Sullivan, an activist, said he was there to film the siege. He had previously referred to antifa—a loosely affiliated group of antifascist activiststhat has no leader—on social media, but he has repeatedlydeniedbeing a member of the movement. The F.B.I. has said there is no evidencethat supporters of the antifa movement had participated in the Capitol siege.

Those four sentences contain five elements of deceit:

1)   Sullivan’s claim that he was in the Capitol only to film the riot is flatly disproven by video footagethat shows him breaking a window, calling for people to “storm” and “burn” the Capitol, and celebrating the riot with an accomplice.
2)   Qiu neglected to reveal that Sullivan was also charged with“interfering with law enforcement.”
3)   Sullivan’s denials of involvement with antifa are implausible given that he:
o  was the leaderof a group called “Insurgence USA,” which sold“black bloc” tactical gear (often used by antifa) and rubber pigs (carried by antifato mock police officers).
o  threatened to physically ripTrump out of the White House in accord with antifa’s missionto use violence against people they deem to be “fascists” (this explicitly includesTrump, his supporters, all police officers, and anyone who stands in the way of their self-described “radical left-wing” agenda).
o  organizedan event called “Kick These Fascists Out of DC.”
4)   Qiu parrots the propaganda of antifa by reporting that they are “antifascist activists,” even though they embrace key tactics and defining elements of fascism, including but not limited to:
o   using “determined youths, armed, dressed in black shirts and organized in military fashion” to fight in the streets (Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals).
o   leftist economic policieslike a “strong progressive tax” on businesses, heavy unionization, a minimum wage, and government control of industries (Mussolini’s Fascist Manifesto).
o   the suppression of “all criticism or opposition” (Cambridge Dictionary).
5)   Qiu’s claim that the FBI found no involvement by antifa in the Capitol Hill riot is outdated and out of context. Two days after the riot, an FBI official was asked about antifa involvement, and he replied“we have no indication of that at this time.” Five days after that, the FBI filed an affidavitfor the arrest of Sullivan.

In short, Qiu turned the truth about every major aspect of this matter on its head.

Georgia’s Absentee Ballots

Regarding Trump’s statements about electoral fraud, Trump attorney Bruce Castor stated: “Based on an analysis of publicly available voter data, the ballot rejection rate in Georgia in 2016 was approximately 6.42%. And even though a tremendous amount of new first time mail-in ballots were included in the 2020 count, the Georgia rejection rate in 2020 was a mere four-tenths of one percent. A drop-off from 6.42% to 0.4%.”

Once again, Qiu attempts to refute a statement that is entirely true. She does this by alleging:

Georgia elections officials have repeatedly debunkedthis claim, which conflates the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots in 2016 to the rejection rate specifically for signature mismatch in 2020. (Ballots can also be rejected for arriving late or not having a signature, among other reasons.)

In 2016, Georgia rejected about 6.4 percentof all returned mail-in ballots and 0.24 percentof those ballots because of signature-matching issues. It is unclear what the 0.4 percent refers to, but in both 2018 and 2020, Georgia rejected 0.15 percent of mail-in ballots because of signature-matching issues.

To the contrary, it is abundantly clear what the 0.4% refers to: the overall rejection rate—just as Castor said. Ballotpedia detailsthe components of this 0.4% figure as follows:

This total was calculated by adding all accepted absentee/mail-in ballots received electronically or by mail (1,327,126) with the total number of rejected absentee/mail-in ballots received electronically or by mail (4,602) and dividing the total number of rejected ballots by the sum.

As of Jan. 7, 2021, the Nov. 3, 2020, absentee voter file provided by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office was last updated Nov. 16, 2020. Following communication with the Secretary of State’s office, there are no plans to update the file further and any such updates, were they to occur, would take place on an ad hoc basis.

Using raw datafrom Georgia’s Secretary of State, Just Facts confirmed Ballotpedia’s work and calculateda rejection rate of 0.35% in 2020.

That said, the rejection rate of 6.4% in 2016—used by Castor, Qiu, and Ballotpedia—comes from a secondary source(the U.S.Election Assistance Commission) that appears to be inconsistent with the primary source(Georgia’s Secretary of State). Ballotpedia mentionsthis discrepancy in a footnote and calculates a rejection rate of 2.9% in 2016 using the primary source data. Just Facts confirmsthat these calculations are accurate.

Regardless of whether Georgia’s 2016 mail-in ballot rejection rate was 6.4% or 2.9%, the 0.35% rejection rate in 2020 was at least 88% lower. This means that if Georgia had the same rejection rate in 2020 as in 2016, at least 34,000fewer absentee ballots would have been cast. In comparison, Joe Biden’s margin of victory in Georgia was 11,779 votes.

Georgia’s Signature Audit

With further regard to potential fraud in Georgia’s election, Castor said: “President Trump wanted the signature verification to be done in public. How can a request for signature verifications to be done in public be a basis for a charge for inciting a riot?”

Qiu attacked that truthful statement with the following barrage of misinformation:

This is misleading. Contrary to Mr. Trump’s belief and Mr. Castor’s repetition of it, Georgia does verify signatures. Georgia’s Republican secretary of state notedthat the state trained officials on signature matching and created a portal that checked and confirmed voters’ driver’s licenses. In a news conferencelast month debunking Mr. Trump’s claims, Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, explained that the secretary of state’s office also brought in signature experts to check over 15,000 ballots. They discovered issues with two, and after further examination, concluded that they were legitimate.

Neither Castor nor Trump said that Georgia doesn’t verify signatures. Instead, Trump questionedthe integrity of the signature verification process in Fulton County, Georgia. This county is a Democratic Party strongholdwith an extensive history of corruption.

Moreover, the signature match of more than 15,000 ballots that Qiu characterized as “debunking Mr. Trump’s claims” does nothing of the sort. This is because it was performed in Cobb County, not Fulton County. Trump directly addressed this matter in his speechon the day of the riot:

We’ve been trying to get verifications of signatures in Fulton County. They won’t let us do it. The only reason they won’t is because we’ll find things in the hundreds of thousands. Why wouldn’t they let us verify signatures in Fulton County? Which is known for being very corrupt. They won’t do it. They go to some other county where you would live. I said, “That’s not the problem. The problem is Fulton County.”

Summary

In direct contradiction to a so-called “fact check” by Linda Qiu of the New York Times, genuine facts prove the following about the circumstances surrounding Trump’s impeachment trial:

·     On the day of the Capitol Hill riot, President Trump explicitly encouraged his supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically.”
·     In the same speech, Trump told his supporters to “fight” legally and verbally, not physically.
·     An antifa leader was arrested for participating in the Capitol Hill riot, during which he called for people to “storm” and “burn” the Capitol, broke a window, interfered with police, and celebrated the riot with an accomplice.
·     Antifa activists, who claim to be “antifascist,” embrace key tactics and defining elements of fascism.
·     In Georgia, the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots in the 2020 election was 0.35%, or at least 88% lower than in the 2016 election.
·     Despite repeated requests by Trump, a signature audit of mail-in ballots has not been performed in Fulton County—a Democratic Party stronghold with an extensive history of corruption.

The points above don’t address every falsehood in the fact check, but they reveal a pattern of brazen dishonesty and/or incompetence by the Times.

James D. Agrestiis the president of Just Facts, a think tank dedicated to publishing rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.

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Nancy Pelosi: The Personification of Evil

Nancy Pelosi should be lead away from Congress in handcuffs and ankle chains

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Last year, Newt Gringich condemned Nancy Pelosi as the “most dangerous Speaker of the House we’ve had… She doesn’t mind abusing power. She doesn’t mind running over people.” Indeed! She praises Biden, downplays inflation, ignores the plight of her own constituency, deals in insider trading, and continually flouts the law and the U.S. Constitution. Has there ever been a Speaker more venal, more vicious, and more vindictive than Nancy Pelosi?

From her private hair salon visits – when everybody else was locked down – to her gourmet ice cream, to her embrace of riots that didn’t put her in danger, to her attempted civilization-destroying HR-1 bill, to her continual public persona of feigned sincerity, there is plenty to dislike. It seems as if the near octogenarian is evil personified, and getting worse each day.

Beyond Credibility

Ms. Pelosi is so out of touch with what everyday Americans experience that she is almost an anachronism. Her unbounded hatred of Donald Trump exceeded that of the typical leftist. From ripping up his whirlwind 2020 State of the Union speech, to all of the little acts that she’s undertaken, her phoniness is amply on display.

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On numerous occasions, while he was president, she said “I’m praying for President Trump.” Can anyone, let alone God, accept that as the truth? She pushed the impeachment button twice, and would do it a third time and fourth time, if the ‘opportunity’ were to arise.

The first impeachment was based on shoddy information and shallow rationale. Even far leftists should have been up in arms. Don’t they know that they’ve opened the wrong door and that this will happen to them, some day soon?

The Loneliest Number

Based on one unidentified whistleblower, Pelosi initiated impeachment proceedings against President Trump, primarily as a result of a phone call he had with the Ukrainian prime minister.

Next, as The Washington Post has begrudgingly pointed out, Donald Trump had no impact on the Capitol riot that took place on January 6th. The riot had been pre-planned by members of Antifa, as well as some right-wingers. It didn’t matter what President Trump said on the Mall, these people had already planned to rush the Capitol and occupy it for however long they could.

To impeach Donald Trump a second time, after he was already out of office (which makes the quest absurd), Nancy Pelosi and the looney Left needed a valid rationale. The FBI report didn’t support them, nor did the timeline of events.

No One is Safe

Today, anyone who plans a rally or protest in Washington, D.C., or elsewhere, whose members are infiltrated by others, could be subject to the same erroneous charges. Thus by impeaching Donald Trump a second time, Pelosi was all but saying to the American public, your right to assembly, which can be upset by intruders, who plant a false flag (a familiar tactic of the Left), makes you liable. This is a flat out attack on the First Amendment.

Infiltrating the rallies, assemblies, and peaceful protests of the opposing party is straight out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a handbook on how to undermine and destroy America. Alinsky dedicated his book to the devil, and one can only hope that he became a permanent resident, for eternity, doing heavy labor, 24/7, in the hottest section of Hell.

A Cozy Cell?

When Pelosi’s time on Earth is over, and editors write her obituary, perhaps some will have enough objectivity to say that among all the Speakers of the House since the nation was founded, she did not serve with distinction.

She manipulated her office and the American public, on a continual basis, for her own personal power, for the wealth she could generate, and to diminish our freedoms as Americans. If this isn’t said about her, then whoever writes the obituary will be engaging in fantasy.

Nancy Pelosi should be lead away from Congress in handcuffs and ankle chains. She is a criminal and her crimes against America are vast and deep. The things she has done in the name of ‘democracy’ are so bogus that democracy itself cries out.

– – – – –

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The Issues that Will Matter Most in the November Election

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November is looming on the horizon. There are predictions of major gains by Republicans. But there are wild cards that no one can predict their impact—The war in Ukraine, the Hunter Biden investigation and potential litigation, new COVID variants and the resulting mask “wars,” “transgender” issues, ensuring a “fair election,” along with the Durham investigation that can impact both Hillary Clinton and others. The mainstream media and Democrats want these stories to fade into the rearview mirror, but Republicans will work to keep them front and center when they work to their advantage.

But what issues will drive the electorate to the polls this November? Here are ten issue that will be vying for attention in this critical election year.

Inflation: Inflation is advancing at an unprecedented rate acting as a tax on every American as the value of their dollars are less and less. With Democrats in power, money is being printed and our deficit is growing at an every-increasing rate. Democrats threw $2 trillion into an overheating economy on top of the $3 trillion bipartisan COVID-relief bill. They then passed another trillion-plus-dollar infrastructure bill. Inflation is reducing the value of each dollar, destroying the buying power of the very people they claim to support—the poor and middle class.

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Law and Order: Crime is a growing problem in America. From the threats of defunding police to lenient district attorneys unwilling to hold criminals accountable, citizens are more and more concerned about their own family’s safety. Progressive leaders have initiated criminal-justice reforms with the intent of rectifying the imbalance of black Americans who are arrested, convicted and incarcerated. But that does not deal with the reality of crime in our cities. White Americans make up 76% of the population with black Americans representing only 13%. Yet, in 2020, at least 9,941 black Americans were murdered compared to just 7,043 whites The No. 1 cause of preventable death for young black men is homicide, usually committed by another young black man. From brazen snatch and grab mobs to attacks on the streets, law and order will be a strong issue in the Fall.

Border Security: Biden’s immigration policies have created the worst immigration crisis in American history. In Biden’s first year as president, a record 1.65 million Illegal migrants were intercepted crossing into the United States, doubling the encounters in 2020. As with President Trump, over 50% were expelled under Title 42. Those apprehended, instead of being expelled, were held temporarily and then released or bused to cities across the country. President Biden’s plans to let Title 42 expire could limit expulsions and result in as many as 18,000 apprehensions a day allowed to stay by Customs and Border Protection. Candidates calling to stem the tide of illegals, to finish the Southern border wall, and to reinstitute Title 42 and the “Remain in Mexico” policy will echo strong in November with many frustrated Americans.

Energy Independence: Under Biden, America as gone from energy independence to energy dependence relying on oil from less than friendly countries using less environmentally sound drilling practices. Alternative energy sources are currently unable and may never be able to sustain our economy. By ending construction of Keystone pipeline and curtailing drilling on government land Biden has put our future at peril and added to our inflationary spiral.

Self-reliance over Government Dependence: America was formed to protect individual citizens from government overreach and oppression. From the beginning, the focus was on ensuring the pursuit happiness, not hiring politicians to take from one’s neighbor to pay for what one should earn themselves. Fewer people are working; they are looking to Washington for their next government handout. The Foundation for Government Accountability calculated that the enhanced unemployment payments and monthly child tax credits have added to existing benefits for lower-income Americans. That translates to about $3,700 per month for a two-child family, or $44,300 per year in payments. Why work? Such largesse contributes to our labor shortage. Campaigning on less government and letting working citizens keep more of what they earn instead of subsidizing those who don’t work is a winning issue.

School Choice vs Government Controlled Education: Teacher unions are investing heavily to keep public schools in control of education in America. Unions would like to extend that control to pre-schools. Popular charter schools are under attack. Parents are increasingly concerned that Critical Race Theory and sexual preferences/sexual practices curriculum will be forced on their elementary school children. Many minority parents want to get their children out of under-performing public schools. School choice would give parents the dollars to make their own choice of what school to send their children.

Racial Equality: Shouts of “Black Lives Matter,” “Critical Race Theory,” “White Privilege,” and “Black Reparations,” are beginning to be shown for what they are—another form of racism. America is built on the God-based value that all lives matter. We will always need to work to further that ideal, but policies that attempt to put one race over another must never win the day. There are racists from all races. It’s time responsible citizens stand for equal rights for all.

Fair Taxes: With allowances and child credits, more and more Americans seem willing to make their hard-working neighbors pay for their free ride. To say that the wealthy do not pay their fair share is not supported by the facts. The top 1% paid about $615 billion in federal income taxes in 2018, which accounted for about 40% of all federal income taxes paid. The bottom half of the income distribution paid about 3% of federal income taxes that year. Recent results now indicate that 57% of Americans pay no federal income tax. It’s time to stop making the IRS a welfare agency; all should pay some tax.

Clean Environment: There is evidence that economic freedom is the answer to the environmental goals of cleaner air, water, and a sustainable planet. In a C3 Solutions report called “Free Economies are Clean Economies,” it can be shown that “mostly free” economies, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Index, scored twice as high on Yale’s Environmental Performance Index than “mostly unfree” economies. We don’t need more government regulations and controls; we need the freedom to unleash American innovation.

Limiting Abortion: It has been estimated that over 62 million children have lost their chance to live at the hand of abortionists since the passage of Roe v. Wade. Speculation is growing about whether the high court will hear an abortion case in this term that could result in the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. If that occurs before November, such a ruling would clearly make abortion a key election issue. States are already acting to limit abortions; in those states, this issue will be elevated.

Issues aside, there is another reality that cannot be dismissed in November. The party out of power normally makes significant gains in the mid-term elections. For example, with the Obama administration, Republicans picked up 63 seats in the House and 6 seats in the Senate in his first mid-term election. Joe Biden is no Obama. Similar results would produce a change in power in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Conservative Republicans can hardly wait to make that a reality.

Terry Paulson is PhD psychologist, author, and professional speaker on Earned Optimism, Making Change Work, Claiming Your American Dream, and Becoming a Conservative Values Voter. Contact him at [email protected]

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