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[VIDEO] Millennials Love Love Love Socialism (But Can’t Define It)

 writes: Millennials rushed to the polls to vote for Bernie Sanders running as a Democratic socialist last election season. However, did they fall in love with socialism or just want free college and healthcare? A new video suggests they have no idea what socialism is.

Campus Reform interviewed George Washington University students and asked them two questions: Do you think socialism is good or bad?

“I think people throw that word around to try to scare you, but if helping other people is socialism, then I’m all for it,” one girl answered.

“It could really benefit our country in the future,” another said.

“Socialism as a concept, as a philosophy, is good,” a male student said. “I think it’s got a bad rep.” Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] ‘At Some Point Aren’t You Just Ashamed?’ Jake Tapper Grills Trump Puppet Sarah Huckabee Sanders Over False Smears 

At one point, Jake Tapper says, “Sarah, I’ve known you and I’ve known your family for a long time, and I can’t believe that either one of you would condone what Dan Scavino did yesterday!”

What he’s referring to is Trump’s scumbag media guy pushing out an idiotic video as “evidence” that Amanda Carpenter had an affair with Ted Cruz….(read more)

Source: therightscoop.com

 


[VIDEO] REWIND 1977: Ronald Reagan’s Speech at the 4th Annual CPAC Convention

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I’m happy to be back with you in this annual event after missing last year’s meeting. I had some business in New Hampshire that wouldn’t wait.

Three weeks ago here in our nation’s capital I told a group of conservative scholars that we are currently in the midst of a re-ordering of the political realities that have shaped our time. We know today that the principles and values that lie at the heart of conservatism are shared by the majority.

Despite what some in the press may say, we who are proud to call ourselves “conservative” are not a minority of a minority party; we are part of the great majority of Americans of both major parties and of most of the independents as well.

A Harris poll released September 7, l975 showed 18 percent identifying themselves as liberal and 31 per- cent as conservative, with 41 percent as middle of the road; a few months later, on January 5, 1976, by a 43-19 plurality those polled by Harris said they would “prefer to see the country move in a more conservative direction than a liberal one.”

Last October 24th, the Gallup organization released the result of a poll taken right in the midst of the presidential campaign.

Respondents were asked to state where they would place themselves on a scale ranging from “right-of-center” (which was defined as “conservative”) to left-of-center (which was defined as “liberal”).

  • Thirty-seven percent viewed themselves as left-of-center or liberal
  • Twelve percent placed themselves in the middle
  • Fifty-one percent said they were right-of-center, that is, conservative.

What I find interesting about this particular poll is that it offered those polled a range of choices on a left-right continuum. This seems to me to be a more realistic approach than dividing the world into strict left and rights. Most of us, I guess, like to think of ourselves as avoiding both extremes, and the fact that a majority of Americans chose one or the other position on the right end of the spectrum is really impressive.

Those polls confirm that most Americans are basically conservative in their outlook. But once we have said this, we conservatives have not solved our problems, we have merely stated them clearly. Yes, conservatism can and does mean different things to those who call themselves conservatives.

You know, as I do, that most commentators make a distinction between they call “social” conservatism and “economic” conservatism. The so-called social issues—law and order, abortion, busing, quota systems—are usually associated with blue-collar, ethnic and religious groups themselves traditionally associated with the Democratic Party. The economic issues—inflation, deficit spending and big government—are usually associated with Republican Party members and independents who concentrate their attention on economic matters.

Now I am willing to accept this view of two major kinds of conservatism—or, better still, two different conservative constituencies. But at the same time let me say that the old lines that once clearly divided these two kinds of conservatism are disappearing.

In fact, the time has come to see if it is possible to present a program of action based on political principle that can attract those interested in the so-called “social” issues and those interested in “economic” issues. In short, isn’t it possible to combine the two major segments of contemporary American conservatism into one politically effective whole?

I believe the answer is: Yes, it is possible to create a political entity that will reflect the views of the great, hitherto, conservative majority. We went a long way toward doing it in California. We can do it in America. This is not a dream, a wistful hope. It is and has been a reality. I have seen the conservative future and it works.

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Let me say again what I said to our conservative friends from the academic world: What I envision is not simply a melding together of the two branches of American conservatism into a temporary uneasy alliance, but the creation of a new, lasting majority.

This will mean compromise. But not a compromise of basic principle. What will emerge will be something new: something open and vital and dynamic, something the great conservative majority will recognize as its own, because at the heart of this undertaking is principled politics.

I have always been puzzled by the inability of some political and media types to understand exactly what is meant by adherence to political principle. All too often in the press and the television evening news it is treated as a call for “ideological purity.” Whatever ideology may mean—and it seems to mean a variety of things, depending upon who is using it—it always conjures up in my mind a picture of a rigid, irrational clinging to abstract theory in the face of reality. We have to recognize that in this country “ideology” is a scare word. And for good reason. Marxist-Leninism is, to give but one example, an ideology. All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin. If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded.

I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. If there is any political viewpoint in this world which is free for slavish adherence to abstraction, it is American conservatism.

When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth.

When a conservative says that totalitarian Communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom he is not theorizing—he is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

When a conservative says it is bad for the government to spend more than it takes in, he is simply showing the same common sense that tells him to come in out of the rain.

When a conservative says that busing does not work, he is not appealing to some theory of education—he is merely reporting what he has seen down at the local school.

When a conservative quotes Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire.

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Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanatacism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way—this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before.

The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and that we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations—found through the often bitter testing of pain, or sacrifice and sorrow.

One thing that must be made clear in post-Watergate is this: The American new conservative majority we represent is not based on abstract theorizing of the kind that turns off the American people, but on common sense, intelligence, reason, hard work, faith in God, and the guts to say: “Yes, there are things we do strongly believe in, that we are willing to live for, and yes, if necessary, to die for.” That is not “ideological purity.” It is simply what built this country and kept it great.

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Let us lay to rest, once and for all, the myth of a small group of ideological purists trying to capture a majority. Replace it with the reality of a majority trying to assert its rights against the tyranny of powerful academics, fashionable left-revolutionaries, some economic illiterates who happen to hold elective office and the social engineers who dominate the dialogue and set the format in political and social affairs. If there is any ideological fanaticism in American political life, it is to be found among the enemies of freedom on the left or right—those who would sacrifice principle to theory, those who worship only the god of political, social and economic abstractions, ignoring the realities of everyday life. They are not conservatives.

Our first job is to get this message across to those who share most of our principles. If we allow ourselves to be portrayed as ideological shock troops without correcting this error we are doing ourselves and our cause a disservice. Wherever and whenever we can, we should gently but firmly correct our political and media friends who have been perpetuating the myth of conservatism as a narrow ideology. Whatever the word may have meant in the past, today conservatism means principles evolving from experience and a belief in change when necessary, but not just for the sake of change.

Once we have established this, the next question is: What will be the political vehicle by which the majority can assert its rights?

I have to say I cannot agree with some of my friends—perhaps including some of you here tonight—who have answered that question by saying this nation needs a new political party. Read the rest of this entry »


Matt Bevin Elected Governor of Kentucky, Only the 2nd Republican Governor in 4 Decades

Matt Bevin of Louisville, Ky., waits to speak during the 133rd Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. Bevin, a Louisville businessman, will face off against Sen. Mitch McConnell in the primary election for the Republican party ticket. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) UPDATED at 8:09: Matt Bevin elected governor of Kentucky, only the 2nd Republican governor in four decades.

The campaign for Kentucky governor concludes Tuesday as voters elect someone to replace a two-term Democrat in a race that has turned on health insurance for 500,000 people, marriage licenses for same-sex couples and public education for preschool children.

Republican Matt Bevin, Democrat Jack Conway and Independent Drew Curtis have contrasted sharply in a race watched closely for its proximity to the 2016 presidential election and for its competitiveness in one of the nation’s last two-party states.

The two major-party candidates and their allies have spent more than $14 million to air more than 41,000 TV ads in Kentucky, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. That does not include direct mail or ads on radio or local cable systems.

The governor’s race is considered to be one of the top tickets in the country. The race was featured Tuesday in the New York Times. The paper said the victor will largely be determined by who actually goes to the polls. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans in Kentucky, so Bevin could “eke out” a victory if he persuaded enough Christian conservatives to go to the polls. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Critical Race and Legal Theory’ Duke Law Professor Renee Cramer’s Shameless Propaganda Defense of #PlannedParenthood

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GOP War Chest Crushing Clinton Cash

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Hillary Clinton, the dominant front-runner in the Democratic field, is facing a massive pile of money on the Republican side, with early numbers showing that the GOPers have outraised Clinton more than four times over.PANTSUIT-REPORT

So far, the 15 candidates vying for the Republican nomination have raked in more than $280 million to Clinton’s $69 million, through a mix of campaign fundraising, super PAC donations, and other money groups.

Yes, the field is lopsided, but that doesn’t diminish this fact: Hillary’s squaring off against a lot of Republican cash. Read the rest of this entry »


Katherine Archuleta and the Accountability Problem

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Senators are continuing their call for the ouster of Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, where cyber hackers stole the records of millions of people

Lisa Rein writes: The federal personnel chief said Tuesday that she does not believe “anyone is personally responsible” for the massive hack of federal employee data and security clearance files and instead blamed the breach on old computer systems and the hackers themselves.

“If there’s anyone to blame, it’s the perpetrators. Their concentrated, very well-funded efforts to come into our system are what we’re concerned about.”

— Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management

“We have legacy systems that are very old,” Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, told Senate lawmakers at a hearing on the intrusion. “It’s an enterprise-wide problem. I don’t believe anyone is personally responsible.”

She then told Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), who pressed her repeatedly to take responsibility for failing to shore up the agency’s computer security, that the attackers are the ones to blame.

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“We have legacy systems that are very old. It’s an enterprise-wide problem. I don’t believe anyone is personally responsible.”

— Katherine Archuleta

“If there’s anyone to blame, it’s the perpetrators,” Archuleta said. “Their concentrated, very well-funded efforts to come into our system are what we’re concerned about.”

Her comments before lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee were the first public pushback against a growing chorus of lawmakers, federal employees — and today, presidential candidate Jeb Bush — who have called on Archuleta to resign following the intrusion. She still has the support of President Obama, the White House said last week, but she is coming under increasing scrutiny as many of the 4.2 million active and former federal workers who’ve been affected by the attack say OPM has fumbled its response.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

“So to date you don’t consider anyone at OPM to be personally responsible [for the attack]?” Moran asked her. “Or is this simply a problem with the system and no one in particular is responsible?”

Archuleta responded, “I’m as angry as you are that this has happened at OPM. But cybersecurity is the responsibility of all of us.”

OPM

Asked to address the growing complaints about long hold times and other customer service problems with the private contractor OPM hired to offer victims of the hack credit monitoring and other security protections, Archuleta said her agency is “demanding from our contractor that they improve their services.”

“I’m as angry as you are that this has happened at OPM. But cybersecurity is the responsibility of all of us.”

“I am as angry as you are about that,” she told Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), chairman of the committee’s financial services and general government panel. “I want to be sure they are doing everything they can to improve those wait times. Employees should not have to experience that.” Read the rest of this entry »


RETURN OF THE SPEECH POLICE: 2012 It was the IRS. This Election? Watch the DOJ

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You won’t read much about it in the Beltway press corps, but a behind-the-scenes effort is under way to lobby the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department to stifle free political speech the way the Internal Revenue Service did in 2012. Don’t be surprised if the subpoenas hit Republican candidates at crucial political moments.

“Justice’s involvement elbows in on the regulatory province of the FEC, an agency explicitly designed with a 3-3 partisan split to prevent it from being co-opted by one party. And that’s the point. Democracy 21 says it is lobbying Justice because the FEC has become ‘dysfunctional.'”

In late May the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 asked the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Right to Rise Super PAC for violating campaign-finance law. According to the letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, “If Bush is raising and spending money as a candidate, he is a candidate under the law, whether or not he declares himself to be one.”

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“We don’t recall any such cry when the FEC dismissed a similar complaint against the Ready for Hillary PAC regarding an email sent by the independent group to a list-serve provided by Friends of Hillary.”

The theory behind this accusation is campaign “coordination,” the new favorite tool of the anti-speech political left. Earlier this year the Justice Department invited such complaints with a public statement that it would “aggressively pursue coordination offenses at every appropriate opportunity.”

Under federal law, illegal coordination occurs if a campaign expenditure (say, a TV ad) mentions a candidate by name in the 120 days before a presidential primary, or if it advocates for a candidate and if the candidate and Super PAC have coordinated the content of the ad.

March 27, 2014: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, during a education panel discussion at Advanced Technologies Academy, in Las Vegas. Bush is the chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, which promotes expanding charter schools and vouchers to allow students to attend private schools. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jeff Scheid)

“The liberal accusers say Mr. Bush is over the line because the law defines political contributions and expenditures as money spent ‘for the purpose of influencing an election.'”

The liberals claim that a Super PAC raising and spending money in favor of a Bush candidacy should be treated as coordinated expenditures, making them de facto contributions to his campaign. Candidate is the operative word here, a designation that has always been applied to those who announce they are running for public office.

“The problem with that argument is that in Buckley v. Valeo the Supreme Court ruled that the ‘purpose of influencing’ language was unconstitutionally vague unless it refers to advertising that calls for the election or defeat of a candidate.”

Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer says Mr. Bush should be considered a candidate who is illegally coordinating because if you asked “100 ordinary Americans” if he is a candidate, they will say yes. What a bracing legal standard. What would the same 100 Americans have said about Hillary Clinton in 2013, or Ted Cruz in high school? Where is the limiting principle?

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Under actual law, a politician becomes a candidate for federal office when he declares he is, and when he has raised or spent more than $5,000 on the candidacy. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Ted Cruz Super PACs CRUSHES Hillary’s PAC In Fundraising

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Rachel Stoltzfoos reports:  Super PACs backing Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz have raised more than double the PAC backing presumptive Democratic nomineePANTSUIT-REPORT Hillary Clinton.

“Cruz’s haul is eye-popping, one that instantly raises the stakes in the Republican fundraising contest.”

Priorities USA Action has managed to secure just $5 million in “hard commitments,” and expects to raise just $15 million through the end of June, reported The Wall Street Journal.

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The PAC is led by prominent Democrats including President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina. Read the rest of this entry »


‘The First Amendment is Not Abridged for the Benefit of the Brotherhood of the Robe’

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Symposium: When strict scrutiny ceased to be strict

NW_HB_abrams_070805_289_360_c1At SCOTUSblog, Floyd Abrams writes: The result in the Williams-Yulee case was a difficult one to predict except that it was entirely predictable that the result would be by a deeply divided Court. It is no surprise that it was a five-to-four ruling, and no surprise at all that the jurists on both sides appear to have been irritated and frustrated by the views of those on the Court with whom they differed. The same had been true in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White (2002), the Supreme Court’s last trek into the muddy constitutional waters that required an assessment of First Amendment issues in the context of judicial elections. That case was not only decided by a five-to-four vote, but one of the five Justices — Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — repeatedly announced after her retirement that she regretted her vote.

“Critics of Citizens United can take no solace from yesterday’s decision, since it is rooted in all respects in the difference between judicial elections and all others. If anything, the more the Court focuses on the special and distinct role of judges as opposed to other elected officials, the more firmly it reinforces its earlier ruling as to the latter.”

The unavoidable problem in the case stems from the reality that if judges are to be elected, they must be allowed to campaign for election. Yet, what they say in their campaigns about what they will do as judges may lead people to doubt their open-mindedness as judges.

[Also see – Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar: A Disappointing End by Jonathan Keim]

And when they personally raise money, at least from lawyers and potential litigants before them, it may well lead to the perception of indebtedness on their part to their contributors.

Justice Scalia testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before a House Judiciary Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee hearing. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“One need not adopt wholesale Justice Scalia’s final thrust at the majority in the case to admire its beauty: ‘The First Amendment is not abridged for the benefit of the Brotherhood of the Robe.’”

The Florida Code of Judicial Conduct sought to strike a compromise, barring judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign funds, while allowing their campaign committees to solicit funds for them and allowing the candidates to write thank-you notes to contributors. On its face, it was a perfectly reasonable, goodfriend-of-court faith effort to walk a difficult line. The First Amendment, however, is more demanding than that.

[Check out Floyd Abrams’s book “Friend of the Court: On the Front Lines with the First Amendment” at Amazon.com]

The problem with the ruling begins with an ostensible First Amendment victory. Seven of the nine members of the Court (all but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer) concluded that strict scrutiny should apply, a usual predicate for striking one sort or another of government limitation on speech. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Watch Hillary Clinton Nod and Sip Water While Maintaining Eye Contact with an Everyday Iowa Voter

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 writes: Journeyman presidential candidate Hillary Clinton interacted with some everyday Iowa students in a garage on Tuesday, and taught all of us a lesson in the art of relatable politicking.

[Stay tuned for regular updates to THE PANTSUIT REPORT]

On several occasions during the roundtable event, Clinton revealed herself as a true “triple threat” by demonstrating an array of crucial skills that, when deployed correctly, can make even the most out-of-touch politicians appear somewhat human.

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  1. Eye Contact — One of the easiest ways to make an everyday person feel that you really care about what they are saying, even if you are secretly counting the seconds until you can return to the plush leather “safe space” in your luxury van. This iPANTSUIT-REPORTs particularly useful for a extremely wealthy person who is forced to interact with a commoner on the commoner’s home turf.
  1. Head Nod — A critical tool of everyday human interaction, especially when paired with meaningful eye contact. It makes the commoner feel as though you agree with them, and can empathize with their everyday concerns even if you can’t. Keep in mind that most people who have never met a sultan, much less shared a Gulfstream jet with one, usually don’t have anything interesting to say, and certainly won’t be able to write a six-figure check to your Super PAC. Alas, they are still allowed to vote.
  1. Hydration — The human body needs water, but simply taking a sip every now and then won’t increase your favorability rating. Everybody drinks; that’s boring. Some may argue that hydrating while engaged in nodding eye contact is just showing off. Read the rest of this entry »

Eric Holder’s Speech Police

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Justice gears up to prosecute campaign ‘coordination.’

You know the 2016 election is heating up when the Justice Department announces it’s gearing up to prosecute campaign-finance “coordination” between candidates and outside groups. If you thought the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits was troubling, watch what Justice can do to criminalize political speech.

Justice said in a recent statement that it plans to “aggressively pursue coordination offenses at every appropriate opportunity.” That’s a warning for Republican candidates and the SuperPacs that support them. Note to major players: The federal government can subpoena your documents, email, computers and bank records in a political fishing expedition conducted by the FBI.

Attorney General Eric Holder To Resign

“A coordination investigation can be started on almost any pretext. All you need is an allegation that someone talked to someone they should not have. Once the investigation makes it over that low evidentiary hurdle, the feds can comb through every shred of personal and group communications to find illegal contact.”

Under federal law, a campaign expenditure is illegally coordinated when it meets certain tests for content and conduct. The content of an ad must either advocate for a candidate or mention the candidate by name in the 60 days before a general election. The conduct amounts to illegal coordination if there is material involvement or substantial discussion between a SuperPac and a candidate regarding that election-related content.

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“Ms. Lerner knows all about campaign “coordination,” having led a multiyear FEC coordination investigation into the Christian Coalition in the 1990s. Ms. Lerner was pursuing a theory that the group had illegally coordinated its issue advocacy with candidates. That theory was rejected in federal court.”

A coordination investigation can be started on almost any pretext. All you need is an allegation that someone talked to someone they should not have. Once the investigation makes it over that low evidentiary hurdle, the feds can comb through every shred of personal and group communications to find illegal contact.

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“GOP campaigns better lawyer up because Mr. Pilger’s speech police are gunning for you.”

We’ve seen how this wrecking ball works in Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker ’s conservative allies had their records seized and homes raided based on mere claims of coordination. Justice is now essentially giving itself sway to probe every Republican presidential campaign based on an accusation from some left-wing activist. Read the rest of this entry »


The Real Party of the Rich

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Back in October, Fred Barnes wrote: Democratic senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina was pounded last winter and spring in TV ads by conservative groups for having voted for Obamacare and echoed President Obama’s false claim that people could keep their current health insurance. “They had her on the ropes,” says Marc Rotterman, a Republican consultant in North Carolina.

Then Senate Majority PAC, Harry Reid’s personal political action committee, intervened. Its television spots defended Hagan and attacked Thom Tillis, her Republican challenger, for supposedly dubious ethics. This was only the beginning. By last week, Reid’s PAC had spent $9 million to boost Hagan’s reelection. And Hagan’s candidacy was saved from an early, and possibly fatal, tailspin.

“Outside spending by groups—mostly super-PACs—that disclose their donors… is dominated by the left.”

Hagan has outraised Tillis, the state house speaker, $19.2 million to $4.8 million. But that’s only one measure of her money advantage. Liberal and Democratic groups have devoted $26.3 million to going after Tillis—a chunk of it on ads while he was still running in the Republican primary—and another $4 million touting her. Conservative and Republican groups were unable to neutralize the anti-Tillis barrage. They’ve spent $17.3 million against Hagan and $10.9 million to promote Tillis. In overall campaign spending, Hagan tops Tillis by $53.7 million to $33 million. This, however, doesn’t count undisclosed millions in “issue ads” criticizing Hagan by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group.

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The result: Hagan, a mediocre candidate at best, led Tillis in polls for months. Only in mid-October, with spending for Tillis finally matching that for Hagan, has the race tightened. He was ahead by a percentage point or two in several recent polls. Still, Hagan felt confident enough of winning to skip a scheduled debate with Tillis last week.

The North Carolina campaign is a reflection of what’s happened in many of the competitive Senate races. The political fundamentals favor Republicans. President Obama is so unpopular that Democratic candidates avoid mentioning his name, much less inviting him to appear at their campaign events or in their TV spots. Meanwhile, the economy is stagnant. Foreign policy failures continue to stack up. America’s global influence fades. Two-thirds of Americans are pessimistic about the country’s future. Democrats have few national issues they’re comfortable talking about. Read the rest of this entry »


BLOGAGGEDON: Democrats on FCC to Introduce New Regulation on Donors, Internet

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Paul Bedard reports: Claiming that thousands of public comments condemning “dark money” in politics can’t be ignored, the Democrat-chaired Federal Election Commission on Wednesday appeared ready to open the door to new regulations on donors, bloggers and others who use the Internet to influence policy and campaigns.

During a broad FEC hearing to discuss a recent Supreme Court decision that eliminated some donor limits, proponents encouraged the agency to draw up new funding disclosure rules and require even third-party internet-based groups to reveal donors, a move that would extinguish a 2006 decision to keep the agency’s hands off the Internet.

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Noting the 32,000 public comments that came into the FEC in advance of the hearing, Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, “75 percent thought that we need to do more about money in politics, particularly in the area of disclosure. And I think that’s something that we can’t ignore.”

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But a former Republican FEC chairman said in his testimony that if the agency moves to regulate the Internet, including news voices like the Drudge Report as GOP commissioners have warned, many thousands more comments will flood in in opposition of regulation. Read the rest of this entry »


Twilight of the Romney Dream

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The exit of Romney from the campaign most immediately helps those viewed as part of the party’s establishment wing, including Bush, Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a three-week flirtation with a new campaign for the White House, Mitt Romney announced Friday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016.

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney told supporters on a conference call.

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

The exit of Romney, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, comes after several of his former major donors and a veteran staffer in the early voting state of Iowa defected to support former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

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Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would have served as Romney’s most likely rivals for the support of the Republican Party’s establishment-minded voters.

In his call with supporters, Romney appeared to take a swipe at Bush, saying it was time for fresh leadership within the GOP.

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” Romney said. “In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

Romney pauses as he addresses supporters during his election night rally. Mary Altaffer / AP

Romney pauses as he addresses supporters during his election night rally. Mary Altaffer / AP

The former governor of Massachusetts, who is 67, had jumped back into the presidential discussion on Jan. 10, when he surprised a small group of former donors at a meeting in New York by telling them he was eyeing a third run for the White House. Read the rest of this entry »


We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

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Former Florida Governor to Launch Political-Action Committee in January

Jeb Bush, the son and brother of past presidents, kick-started the 2016 presidential race Tuesday by announcing plans to “actively explore” a presidential campaign, an unexpectedly early declaration that ramps up pressure on potential rivals and reshuffles the policy debate.

The move by the 61-year-old former Florida governor essentially marks the beginning of the presidential sweepstakes. With a national profile, access to big donors and iconic status in the nation’s largest swing state, Mr. Bush ’s move puts instant pressure on a sprawling field of as many as two dozen other Republicans weighing 2016 bids.

His online announcement amounts to a pre-emptive strike against efforts by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and allies of the 2012 GOP nominee, Mitt Romney , to lock in major donors or at least keep them on the sidelines.

Mr. Bush’s step toward a campaign also threatens to undermine the aspirations of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio , his onetime protégé, who shares the same home state and an overlapping political network there.

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“I think Jeb is trying to clear the field,” said Bobbie Kilberg, a prominent Republican donor who worked in the White House for Mr. Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush. “He’s now gotten out ahead of everyone else, and I think this may force other candidates to move earlier than they had wanted to.”

Mr. Bush’s potential candidacy also has implications for the expected Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. His younger GOP rivals could try to make the case for going in a different direction by lumping Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton together as tired figures from the past. That argument, however, would lose its potency in a general election match-up between Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »


Hispanics on GOP Senate: Sure, Why Not?


MoveOn.org Flaming Fundraising Freakout Anguish Crisis Panic Message of the Day

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President Obama To Press: Drop Dead

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Obama has attended three super PAC events in the past week. | AP Photo

The most transparent administration in history…

SAN FRANCISCO —For POLITICO.comDward-Isaac Dovere and Josh Gerstein report: President Barack Obama went to the West Coast to meet donors from two top Democratic super PACs, but the press wasn’t invited.

“We think these fundraisers ought to be open to at least some scrutiny, because the president’s participation in them is fundamentally public in nature.”

— Christi Parsons, the new president of the White House Correspondents’ Association

Tuesday, the reporters and photographers traveling with the president on Air Force One and in his motorcade were left on the gravel path not even within sight of former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal’s house in the Seattle suburbs where Obama sat for a Senate Majority PAC fundraiser with a $25,000 entrance fee.

“Denying access to him in that setting undermines the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing.”

Wednesday morning, when he met with big donors for the House Majority PAC at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown San Francisco, they weren’t even told what room or floor he was on. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s On: Obamacare Failures May Put Oregon Senate Seat in Play for GOP

wehbycongerjpgFor Breitbart.com, Tony Lee reports:

Obamacare’s failure in Oregon may make incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) vulnerable this year, and Republicans have two candidates battling for the nomination who will make it difficult for Democrats to frame them in the fall as “cold-hearted” or to play the “war on women” card.

Jason Conger, a pro-life two-term representative in the Oregon State House, has an inspirational life story in a party the mainstream press have lambasted as being the party for rich people who look down on the “47%.”

“It’s a 2,700 page law, 20,000 pages of regulations now — it’s impossible to work with this law. I think the best way is to repeal and replace with a plan that will actually work.”

— Monica Wehby

Monica Wehby, the pro-choice frontrunner in the race, as Fox News noted, is a pediatric neurosurgeon who “was the first woman to graduate from UCLA’s neurosurgery program.” She also “was an early critic of Obamacare” and even “featured in a 2009 ad opposing the Affordable Care Act.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Hidden Camera Footage Surfaces of Supreme Court Debate

Mario Trujillo  reports:  Hidden camera footage of what appeared to be Supreme Court proceedings from earlier this week surfaced on Thursday, offering one the of the first public recordings of the High Court’s proceedings.

“I rise on behalf of the vast majority of American people who believe that money is not speech, corporations are not people, and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder…”

A video posted on YouTube and recorded by 99 Rise, a group that supports tougher campaign finance laws, shows proceedings leading up to and during a rare protest that took place in the court Wednesday.

Noah Kai Newkirk, a leader of the group, is seen in the video standing up and calling on the court to overturn the 2010 Citizens United ruling that opened the door to corporate political donations and led to the creation of super-PACs.

Read the rest of this entry »


Memo to Hillary from The Billionaire’s Club: ‘The Vault is Open, Madame’

Bloomberg‘s Greg Giroux and Julie Bykowicz report:

clinton-goldBillionaires Alice Walton, George Soros and Marc Benioff are helping to finance a super-political action committee encouraging former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president, according to a report filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission.

The super-PAC earlier reported raising about $4 million last year from 30,000 donors, most of them giving small amounts, such as $20.16. Walton, Soros and Benioff were among 33 people or companies that gave $25,000 in the second half of 2013, the FEC report shows. New Yorkers who chipped in to help their former senator include Roger Altman, the chairman and founder of New York-based Evercore Partners Inc...

Bloomberg

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Donations to Karl Rove’s Groups Drop 98% after Targeting Tea Party

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Tony Lee reports:  After wasting nearly $325 million during the 2012 election cycle with nothing to show for it and then declaring war on the Tea Party, donations to Karl Rove‘s three Crossroads groups decreased by 98% last year. The groups reportedly raised a paltry $6.1 million combined in 2013.

“Rove’s organization has been so tarnished among the conservative base that candidates fear donors will not contribute to any group associated with him.”

Read the rest of this entry »


‘Extortion’: DC ‘Just Like the Mob, Except It’s Legal’

Where have I read this before? NRO‘s Kevin Williamson’s book has some great stuff on this, a chapter exploring how a governments and criminal organizations are functionally identical. It’s a protection racket. It’s the historical norm, not the exception. Institutionalized extortion is more commonplace than we like to believe. (If you haven’t read Williamson’s The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure, I recommend it. I’ve plugged it before, and will probably mention it again) Where were we? Oh yeah, here’s Breitbart.com item about Peter Schweizer‘s newly-relased  Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets.

WYNTON HALL writes:  Peter Schweizer argued that Washington’s political establishment creates threatening bills to scare wealthy interests into making big campaign donations and to hire favored lobbyists, similar to the mafia’s tactic of requiring “protection money” on Friday.

Schweizer, President of the Government Accountability Institute and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large, argued that point during a Friday Yahoo! Finance appearance discussing his new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets.

Washington, D.C. runs “just like the mob, except it’s legal,” said Schweizer. 

Read the rest of this entry »


D.C. 9-11 Muslim rally VASTLY outnumbered by Bikers

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Meredith Somers writes: A few dozen demonstrators attending a rally on the Mall once billed as the Million Muslim March were vastly outnumbered Wednesday by a Christian group objecting to their event and a counterprotest consisting of motorcycle riders honoring Sept. 11 victims. Read the rest of this entry »


2 Million Bikers to DC: Motorcycle Riders Roll into Washington

Jacob Davidson writes: A group called the 2 Million Bikers to DC is leading a parade of motorcycles through the nation’s capital today to commemorate 9/11 victims and military veterans. “We’re here for 9-11,” the national ride coordinator Belinda Bee told the Washington Times. Since Tuesday, riders from around the country have been tweeting photos of their journey to Washington (hashtag #2MBikers), with early pictures and videos showing thousands of bikes overflowing out of rest stops and parking lots on their way to the event. A Facebook page devoted to the ride is also being updated with highlights.

If this sounds like the type of event that would never receive approval from the city, you’d be correct. U.S. News reports that the group initially asked for a permit to demonstrate around the National Mall. However, the National Park Service denied the request, saying that such a large gathering of motorcycles would cause “a severe disruption of traffic” and more police than D.C. could provide. Read the rest of this entry »


VIDEO: Bikers entering D.C. to honor 9/11, protest Muslim rally

Thousands of bikers from around the country roared into the D.C. area on Wednesday in a show of support for Sept. 11 victims and in solidarity against a controversial Muslim rally on the Mall. Read the rest of this entry »


Elbert Guillory: “Why I Am a Republican”

via YouTube