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BREAKING: James T. Hodgkinson Carried Handwritten ‘Political Assassination List’ 

Peter Hasson reports: James T. Hodgkinson, the shooter who opened fire on dozens of Republican congressmen and staffers at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday, had a list of Republican names in his pocket that was recovered by the FBI, The Daily Caller has learned.

“The list was written out on notepad paper and found in the shooter’s pocket, according to multiple sources with intimate knowledge of the situation.”

The news that the shooter had a list of names suggests the shooting was not a random outburst, but instead appears to be a premeditated political assassination.

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The list was written out on notepad paper and found in the shooter’s pocket, according to multiple sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the investigation. The list of names included Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan and Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, TheDC has confirmed.

The FBI has contacted at least one of the three congressmen to inform them of their inclusion on the list.

None of the three offices would offer comments on the record when asked about the names on the list. Brooks and Franks’ office further directed all inquiries to the Capitol police, who declined to comment. The FBI’s Washington field office, which is handling the investigation, also provided no comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

[Read the exclusive story here, at The Daily Caller]

All three representatives are members of the House Freedom Caucus, which contains the lower chamber’s most conservative members. Both Duncan and Brooks attended Wednesday’s baseball practice.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) talks to reporters after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts – RTS172FJ

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) talks to reporters after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Duncan said he spoke with Hodgkinson briefly before the shooting, when the would-be assassin asked him in the parking lot if the players on the field were Republicans or Democrats. Read the rest of this entry »

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NARRATIVE, INTERRUPTED: U.S. Becoming Safer Compared to Europe in Both Fatalities and Frequency of Mass Public Shootings

US Now Ranks 11th in Fatalities and 12th in Frequency.

“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.” 

– President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016

This claim is simply not true.  Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, andliberal-huh 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.

Indeed, over that same period of time, the European Union (EU) suffered 303 deaths from mass public shootings, while the US had 199.  In terms of injuries from these attacks the gap was even much greater, with EU countries facing 680 versus just 197 for the US.  However, given the EU’s larger population, the per million people fatality rate for the US and the EU as a whole are virtually identical (0.62 for the US and 0.60 for the EU).  By contrast, the injury rate in the EU is much higher (0.61 for the US and 1.34 for the EU).

This past year was a particularly bad one for Europe, with 8 Mass Public Shootings versus only 4 for the United States.  Indeed, these 8 Mass Public Shootings for Europe in 2015 count for one-third of all their attacks over the entire seven year period of time…(read more)

Annual Death Rate from MPS Europe and US 2009 to 2015

Even if one puts it in terms of frequency, the president’s statement is still false, with the US ranking 12th compared to European countries.

Frequency of Mass Public Shootings in Europe and US 2009 to 2015

Click on tables to enlarge them.

EU and Europe MPS 2009 to 2015 Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Why Is Homeland Security Welcoming Terrorists into the US? 

Should the Department of Homeland Security respect online privacy, even if terrorists are behind it? How did these ISIS sympathizers involved in the San Bernardino massacre pass visa screenings? Should immigration check social media before granting visas?

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, left, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 24, as they testify on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing regarding the growing problem of unaccompanied children crossing the border into the U.S. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, left, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 24, as they testify on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing regarding the growing problem of unaccompanied children crossing the border into the U.S. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)


[PHOTO] President Ronald Reagan Addressing NASA Employees During NASA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration

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President Ronald Reagan addressed NASA employees during NASA’s 25th Anniversary celebration at the National Air and Space Museum, October 19, 1983. On stage, around the cake (left to right) are: astronauts Guion Bluford and Dale Gardner (hidden); Dr. William Thornton; Daniel Brandenstein; Richard Truly (hidden); James M. Beggs, NASA Administrator; Dr. Norman Thagard; President Ronald Reagan; John Fabian; Frederick Hauck; David Walker; Dr. Rhea Seddon; Ellison Onizuka; Dr. Anna Fisher; Dr. Steven Hawley.

 


BREAKING: House Freedom Caucus Will Not Endorse Ryan 

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, following meetings with House Republican leaders and the Freedom Caucus members. Ryan seeking unity in a place it's rarely found, is telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week's end as their consensus candidate. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Elaina Plott reports: House Freedom Caucus members confirmed that they were not able to reach the 80% threshold required to endorse Paul Ryan for Speaker.

“Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused speaker who will advance limited-government principles and devolve power to the membership.”

— the caucus said in its statement

Representative Raul Labrador called it a “supermajority support” for Ryan. “We were not able to reach a consensus” on an official endorsement, he told reporters, but added that “two thirds of the caucus will be voting” for a Ryan speakership….(read more)

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, and Freedom Caucus members Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., center, and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, walk on Wednesday from the U.S. Capitol to the Longworth House Office Building in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Chair of the Freedom Caucus Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, walks with fellow Freedom Caucus members, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., center, and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, fright, from the Capitol to the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., seeking unity in a place it’s rarely found, is telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week’s end as their consensus candidate. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

‘Supermajority’ of House Freedom Caucus to back Paul Ryan’s speaker bid

Mike DeBonis and Robert Costa report:

...The Freedom Caucus met with Ryan for an hour in the Capitol earlier in the day. Many of its members had balked at the conditions Ryan attached to his decision to serve as speaker, and the meeting represented their first chance to question him directly on his intentions.

The meeting broke up without resolution, setting up a high-stakes decision for a group that played a key role in easing the current speaker, John A. Boehner, into retirement and blocking Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to succeed him….(read more)

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Rep. Paul Ryan, center, arrives for a House GOP conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday. PHOTO: EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

House Freedom Caucus Offers Support But Not Endorsement for Paul Ryan

The Wall Street Journal reports:

…Members of the Freedom Caucus said their offer of support—less-resounding than what Mr. Ryan had sought—thrusts the decision back on Mr. Ryan, who has been publicly reluctant to take the job.

“Paul Ryan needs to decide now what he’s going to do,” Mr. Labrador said. “He’s got to decide whether that’s sufficient for him.”

Mr. Labrador also noted that the caucus had not agreed to a series of conditions Mr. Ryan had set, but declined to say which of the Wisconsin Republican’s demands had triggered the most concern. 

In a statement released Wednesday night, the group praised Mr. Ryan, who met with them earlier Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »


States are Cracking Down on ‘Sanctuary Cities’

Liz-AP

 States around the country are on the verge of passing laws to crack down on “sanctuary cities” that protect undocumented immigrants from being deported.

The efforts are a broad response to the July death of Kathryn Steinle, the San Francisco woman shot by an undocumented immigrant who had been released from a local jail instead of handed over to federal immigration officials.

Her death, publicized by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and others, brought so-called sanctuary cities into the national spotlight, prompting politicians in Congress, state legislatures and local governments to call for sweeping changes. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in July cracking down on those cities, and the Senate is scheduled to take up the bill next week.

Now, after three months of hearings and intense debate, the first state law targeting sanctuary cities is about to be signed into law in North Carolina. State Rep. George Cleveland, a Republican from Jacksonville, N.C., has been trying to pass laws combating illegal immigration for a decade. He said it took Steinle’s death to get enough legislators on board to pass his bill, which Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is likely to sign into law this month.

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“Everyone says, ‘It’s a federal government problem.’ No, it isn’t. The federal government is not doing its job, so it’s our problem,” Cleveland said. “We’ve become so multiculturalist that we don’t have the common sense to see that we’re ruining our country. Instead, we let cities pat (undocumented immigrants) on the back and here we are.”

[Read the full text here, at USAToday]

Defenders of sanctuary cities worry about a national overreaction to the shooting at popular Pier 14 in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district. Sam Liccardo, Democratic mayor of nearby San Jose, said communities like his should use the shooting as an opportunity to review their sanctuary policies. He worries that in the rush to respond to Steinle’s death, cities could pass extreme laws that hurt all immigrants. Read the rest of this entry »


The Ratchet Effect  

John Boehner

John Boehner’s successor inherits a diminished role.

Kevin D. Williamson writes:

…The plot of the Shakespearean succession drama is fixed as the stars: The entertainment wing of the conservative movement prepares to rain brimstone upon Republican whip Kevin McCarthy, the presumptive front-runner among House leaders, or Paul Ryan, a conservative hero until the day before yesterday now cast into the outer darkness for various heresies related to his being an elected lawmaker rather than the host of a radio program.

“Due in part to the massive shift in power away from the most accountable representatives of the people to a president and five judges, we have needed leadership with vision for the future that did not continue the downhill slide.”

— Representative Louie Gohmert

Expect Louie Gohmert or another conservative standard-bearer to shine for a moment before opinion settles on some disappointment or another, and expect the vast majority of the American electorate to go on not knowing who the speaker is or what he does regardless of who is elected.

“The waxing of the president and the consequent waning of Congress is a result of the deep psychological structure of mass democracy on the American scale, probably an inevitable one.”

On the subject of Representative Gohmert, his statement following the speaker’s resignation is on point: “Due in part to the massive shift in power away from the most accountable representatives of the people to a president and five judges, we have needed leadership with vision for the future that did not continue the downhill slide.”

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“…these United States are in the process of transforming the form of their union government from that of a democratic republic to that of a unitary autocratic administrative state. Barack Obama and other progressives have hastened that transformation in no small part because they consider the American constitutional order in purely instrumental terms rather than as a good in and of itself.”

As Gohmert notes without quite saying so, these United States are in the process of transforming the form of their union government from that of a democratic republic to that of a unitary autocratic administrative state. Barack Obama and other progressives have hastened that transformation in no small part because they consider the American constitutional order in purely instrumental terms rather than as a good in and of itself. Sometimes the constitutional order serves progressive ends and sometimes it constrains them, which is why President Wilson despised the Constitution and President Obama simply ignores it when he believes it necessary, adopting as he has — with rather less fuss than one might have expected — a Gaullist rule-by-decree model.

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“Sometimes the constitutional order serves progressive ends and sometimes it constrains them, which is why President Wilson despised the Constitution and President Obama simply ignores it when he believes it necessary, adopting as he has — with rather less fuss than one might have expected — a Gaullist rule-by-decree model.”

The familiar ratchet effect is in operation: The Left in power expands the state, particularly the executive, and the Right in power does not reverse the turn, in part because conservative politicians like power, too, in part because reversing those expansions is difficult, and in part because even if conservatives win the fight there’s not much juice in it.

[Read the full text of Kevin D. Williamson‘s article here, at National Review Online]

As my colleague Charles C. W. Cooke points out, the lack of an American king and an American prime minister has not prevented the traditional English contest between crown and parliament from sneaking into American politics. And the crown is winning.

snap-ons-quick-release-ratchets-fr936-and-sr936-are-versatile-and-p

“The familiar ratchet effect is in operation: The Left in power expands the state, particularly the executive, and the Right in power does not reverse the turn, in part because conservative politicians like power, too, in part because reversing those expansions is difficult, and in part because even if conservatives win the fight there’s not much juice in it.”

This isn’t only a matter of executive opportunism and legislative sloth. The waxing of the president and the consequent waning of Congress is a result of the deep psychological structure of mass democracy on the American scale, probably an inevitable one. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Mia Love: We Can’t Yield the Moral High Ground to the Left

“Regardless of color, regardless of income status, you are not predestined to be poor.”

— Mia Love

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, sits down with The Daily Signal and shares her goals in Congress and why the conservative message remains strong.


THE SLIMY HAND: Zombie Patriot Act Will Keep U.S. Spying—Even if the Original Dies

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Forget the White House’s doomsday talk about American intelligence going blind. Thanks to backdoor provisions and alternate collection schemes, U.S. spies will keep on snooping.

Shane Harris writes: President Obama and his top national-security officials spent the past few days warning that once intelligence-gathering authorities in the Patriot Act expired just after midnight Sunday, the United States would face a greater risk of a terrorist attack.

“I don’t want us to be in a situation in which for a certain period of time those authorities go away and suddenly we’re dark, and heaven forbid we’ve got a problem where we could’ve prevented a terrorist attack or apprehended someone who was engaged in dangerous activity.”

— President Obama, to reporters on Friday

That argument is highly debatable—at least, in the short term. Not only does the U.S. government have all sorts of other ways to collect the same kind of intelligence outlined in the Patriot Act, but there’s also a little-noticed back door in the act that allows U.S. spy agencies to gather information in pretty much the same ways they did before.

Zombie-Killing

“It does seem to me at least reckless to not allow at least a temporary continuation of the bill while we have this debate. But that’s not the way it’s working, and unfortunately I think it’s part of the presidential campaign, and I think people have to judge it for themselves.”

— Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

In other words, there’s a zombie Patriot Act—one that lives on, though the existing version is dead.

On Sunday night, senators voted overwhelmingly to end debate on a measure passed in the House, the USA Freedom Act, which will leave most surveillance authorities in the Patriot Act intact. But some of those powers zombiehandwon’t expire at least until Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. Administration officials had warned that even a momentary interruption posed a grave risk.

“I don’t want us to be in a situation in which for a certain period of time those authorities go away and suddenly we’re dark, and heaven forbid we’ve got a problem where we could’ve prevented a terrorist attack or apprehended someone who was engaged in dangerous activity,” Obama told reporters at the White House on Friday. On Sunday, CIA Director John Brennan said on CBS’s Face the Nation that there’d “been a little too much political grandstanding and crusading for ideological causes that have skewed the debate on this issue,” an apparent reference to Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, and his promise to force the law to expire, “but these tools are important to American lives.”

[Read the full text here, at The Daily Beast]

They may be. But they are far from the only tools in the counterterrorism arsenal, and though they are no longer law as of Monday, the United States still has plenty of authority to collect intelligence on jihadis and foreign spies.

For starters, there will be what’s left of the Patriot Act itself. Read the rest of this entry »


French Ambassador: Risk of Nuclear Arms Race Will Remain After Iran Deal

Frances-U.N.-Ambassador-Gerard-Araud1

Gerard Araud, the French ambassador the United States, says an emerging nuclear deal with Iran will impose tough restrictions on the Islamic Republic and improve regional security across the Middle East. frenchmanBut on Tuesday, Arnaud acknowledged that it could also pose a potential risk: spurring an array Arab countries to develop their own civilian nuclear programs.

“For me, that’s one of the major weak points of the agreement we are negotiating because let’s be frank: the agreement is not perfect,” Araud said at an Atlantic Council event in Washington. “It’s a compromise. Any agreement is a compromise.”

Araud, joined by his British and German counterparts, insisted that Western negotiators in Switzerland wrested the maximum amount of concessions from Iran as possible. Their joint appearance was the latest indication that a final nuclear deal with Tehran is likely to happen this summer, though perhaps not by the June 30 deadline.

“It’s very likely that we won’t have an agreement before the end of June or even (right) after,” Arnaud panic-bettysaid, citing the difficulties of fleshing out technical details and possible delaying tactics by the Iranians. “We could have a sort of fuzzy end to the negotiation,” he said.

In their remarks, the diplomats said the benefits of such an accord far outweigh the risks. But as the June 30 deadline looms for world powers to make an agreement, Araud differed with his fellow European ambassadors about the unintended consequences a final deal might produce.

Namely, Araud said that allowing Iran to maintain enough enrichment capacity for a one-year breakout time could cause Arab adversaries such as Saudi Arabia to seek a similar capability, resulting in more countries becoming nuclear threshold states. Read the rest of this entry »


What if Democrats Called an Anti-Rand Press Conference and No One Came?

Rand-shh

Breitbart EXCLUSIVE: South Carolina Democrats Fail to Support Wasserman Schultz in Undermining Rand Paul 

MOUNT PLEASANT, South Carolina — Matthew Boyle reports: The Democratic Party of the State of South Carolina failed in an attempt to bracket a speech here by newly announced presidential candidate Sen. UnknownRand Paul (R-KY), calling a “press conference” that only one reporter—this one—showed up to.

It’s a shocking embarrassment given the fact the national Democrats had been promoting the event as a prebuttal to Paul’s big speech here, his first since announcing earlier this week he’s running for president of the United States.

“State Democrats here actually undercut the stance Debbie Wasserman Schultz has taken on abortion in response to a line of questioning Paul trapped her into after mainstream media reporters attempted to trip him up on the subject.”

In doing so, the state Democrats here actually undercut the stance Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) has taken on abortion in response to a line of questioning Paul trapped her into after mainstream media reporters attempted to trip him up on the subject. In fact, two high-ranking South Carolina Democrats—the vice chairwoman of the state party and the chairman of the Charleston city Democratic Party—went on record to defend aborting babies who weigh 7 pounds, which is in many cases mere days or weeks from birth.

rand-paul-laughing-AP

“More reporters were in attendance than the legitimate number of Democratic candidates in South Carolina.”

“More reporters were in attendance than the legitimate number of Democratic candidates in South Carolina,” Argh!South Carolina GOP chairman Matt Moore said in an email to Breitbart News after the event, poking fun at the Democratic Party failures in his state. “Their bench is currently thinner than the Atlanta Braves’. If they were handing out speaking fees, Hillary might have attended.”

“Their bench is currently thinner than the Atlanta Braves’. If they were handing out speaking fees, Hillary might have attended.”

— South Carolina GOP chairman Matt Moore

Paul had been scheduled to roll out his South Carolina presidential campaign at the U.S.S. Yorktown later in the day—which he did, with reporters from outlets ranging from Breitbart News, the New York Times, Bloomberg Politics, to television networks and more present, along with hundreds of supporters including high-profile lawmakers.

“It’s a shocking embarrassment given the fact the national Democrats had been promoting the event as a prebuttal to Paul’s big speech here, his first since announcing earlier this week he’s running for president of the United States.”

But the night before Paul’s speech, national Democrats—in conjunction with the South Carolina Democratic Party—called for a press conference in the Commodore Room at the Charleston Harbor Resort to bracket Paul’s speech with negative criticisms about him from the left. Usually, such matters will garner at least a little bit of press.

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“In advance of Rand Paul’s official campaign launch in South Carolina on Thursday, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison and leaders from around the lowcountry will hold a press conference at the Charleston Harbor Resort at Patriots Point to discuss the damaging impact a Rand Paul presidency would have on young people, women, the middle class, and families across the Palmetto state,” the release sent out on Wednesday evening by national Democrats with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) read. “The state leaders will highlight the fact that no matter how desperately Rand Paul tries to rewrite his record, it’s impossible for him to hide from his reckless and outdated views during his launch in Mt Pleasant, or at any other point during the campaign.”

“Several minutes later, at this point well after the start time for the press conference, Harrison—the South Carolina Democratic Chairman—said they were waiting for a few other reporters to show up.”

After RSVP’ing and checking in with plans to show up, this reporter made his way to the event to see what the local Democrats had to say and maybe ask a question or two. Arriving around 10:15 a.m., this reporter was the first—and eventually would be the only—person to show up from the entire media, and the only person to show up who wasn’t there as part of the official Democratic Party delegation despite the fact that several reporters were in South Carolina from national media outlets. The rest of the five or six people at the event were Democratic Party activists, including Chairman Harrison. Two college students, who were aligned with the College Democrats and were supposed to speak if there was a press conference, walked in and sat down in the chairs. Read the rest of this entry »


Breaking: Harry Reid Trips Out

harryreid-master

From this morning’s New York Times:

Senator Harry Reid, the tough tactician who has led Senate Democrats since 2005, will not seek re-election next year, bringing an end to a three-decade congressional career that culminated with his push of President Obama’s ambitious agenda against fierce Republican resistance.

Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.

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“I understand this place,” Mr. Reid said. “I have quite a bit of power as minority leader.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee responds to Harry Reid’s retirement:

“On the verge of losing his own election and after losing the majority, Senator Harry Reid has decided to hang up his rusty spurs. Not only does Reid instantly become irrelevant and a lame duck, his retirement signals that there is no hope for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate. With the exception of Reid, every elected statewide official in Nevada is Republican and this race is the top pickup opportunity for the GOP.”

Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey comments:

“…The contrast of Reid’s obstructionism on budgets through most of his reign and the easy way in which Republicans settled back into normal order would have proved embarrassing when the GOP used it on the campaign trail next year, and Reid would have become the poster boy for the kind of dysfunction voters would get if they chose Democrats in Senate races.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, nearing retirement, is reportedly using LSD regularly. Pictured here is one of Reid's drug-inspired pause to study his own hand during a floor speech

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, nearing retirement, is reportedly using LSD regularly. Pictured here is one of Reid’s drug-inspired pause to study his own hand during a floor speech

Now, after announcing his retirement, Reid’s clout will recede even further. A Minority Leader who doesn’t plan on running again will hold fewer cards for whipping his caucus into line. Other Democrats will look to those who will control committee assignments in future sessions, and the jockeying for leadership slots will necessarily push Reid to the sidelines. Procedurally, Reid might be able to cause some problems, but the more he does that the more he damages Democrats in the next election cycle, especially to the extent that it’s seen as running interference for a lame-duck President who suffered two successive midterm disasters. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Trey Gowdy to Hillary Clinton: ‘Turn Over Your Server’

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Hillary Clinton’s Response to Gowdy’s Letter is Due by April 4

Alex Moe and Carrie Dann report: Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has sent a letter to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attorney requesting that she turn PANTSUIT-REPORTover her private email server to the State Department‘s Inspector General or to another neutral third party.

“The Committee must have objective assurances it, and by extension the House of Representatives as a whole, has received all relevant information requested and necessary for a thorough investigation into what happened before, during and after the attacks in Benghazi, Libya,” he wrote in the letter. “More broadly, the equities in these emails extend beyond this Committee. The House of Representatives and the American people are entitled to a complete accounting of the Secretary’s official record during her time as Secretary of State.”

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“The House of Representatives and the American people are entitled to a complete accounting of the Secretary’s official record during her time as Secretary of State.”

“Should Secretary Clinton continue to maintain that the server and its contents are hers alone, I will inform the Speaker of the House of Representatives so that he can use the full powers of the House to take the necessary steps to protect the best interests of the American people,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »


Only 36 percent of Americans Can Name the Three branches of Government

obama-voting-mandatory

“It would be transformative if everybody voted….If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.”

— President Barack Obama, March 18, 2015

Only 36 percent of Americans can actually name the three branches of government the Constitution created.

That’s according to a new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and it shows a huge percentage of Americans might need to take a civics refresher course.

‘Guessing he’ll issue this by executive order’? Obama says maybe it’s time for mandatory voting

Only 38 percent of Americans knew the Republican Party controls the U.S. House of Representatives, while 17 percent think Democrats are still in charge. The number of people who knew Republicans were in charge has dropped 17 percent since the last time Annenberg asked, back in 2011, right after Republicans reclaimed control.

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An identical number, 38 percent, knows Democrats run the Senate, while 20 percent believe Republicans control the upper chamber. Only 27 percent knew it takes a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.

Annenberg released the survey in partnership with the Civics Renewal Network, a group of 25 nonpartisan organizations including the Library of Congress, the Newseum and the National Archives that offers free civics education resources. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Mia Love on Obamacare: ‘I’ve said I was going to do everything I can to repeal and replace it with broad health-care reforms, free-market health-care reforms. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do’

Newly elected House member Mia Love said Sunday she is behind Senator Ted Cruz’s plan to “do everything humanly possible to stop Obamacare.”

“Look, I was elected by my district to make sure we get the decision-making back in their hands. And I’ve said I was going to do everything I can to repeal and replace it with broad health-care reforms, free-market health-care reforms. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

The Utah Republican said getting rid of the unpopular 2010 Affordable Care Act is part of her election mandate…. (read more)

National Review Online


SMIDGEN REPORT: GOP Rep Looks to Use Appropriations Bill to Curb Power of IRS

National Review OnlineSMDG-TV2‘s Eliana Johnson reports that the House of congress-repRepresentatives on Monday evening will begin considering a Financial Services appropriations bill that funds the Department of the Treasury, including the IRS.

Illinois representative Peter Roskam will attempt to use the legislature to curb the power of the agency, which has been under fire since it revealed in May 2013 that it inappropriately targeted conservative non-profit groups seeking tax exemption. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Congressman Jim Bridenstine: Reports from Migrant-Children Facility He Was Denied Access to Are ‘Devastating’

“All I wanted to do was to talk to who was in charge of the facility.”

— Representative Jim Bridenstine

For National Review Online, Caroline Rizzo reports: Representative Jim Bridenstine (R., Okla.), who was was denied access to an immigrant-detainee facility run by the Health and Human Services Department in his state on Monday, says he felt he had to visit it amidst reports of rape and abuse from children being held in the military barracks.

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” I’m going to send an e-mail, and it’s going to be a press release indicating that you guys are denying me access to a federal facility in my state, and I’m on the Armed Services Committee.”

“Did you say, ‘I’m a member of Congress. Oklahoma’s my state’? Did you tell them that?” Fox NewsGreta Van Susteren asked Bridenstine, and he said he had indeed made that point clear. Read the rest of this entry »


House Votes to Defund DOJ Program that Snagged Legitimate Gun Dealers, Businesses

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“This is a major victory for consumers, law-abiding businesses, and anyone who believes in due process and restraint of government encroachment.”

— Community Financial Services Association of America, a trade group opposed to the operation

For the Washington Times, Kelly Riddell reports: The House of Representatives passed an amendment Thursday to stop all federal funding to be used for the Department of Justice’s Operation Choke Point, an anti-fraud operation that was found to be cutting off legitimate businesses from their banking lines.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Fine Print: Support Building for Congress to Bring Obama to Court for Not Faithfully Executing Laws

Carolyn Kaster / AP (Obama attacks Republicans while police hunt for Navy Yard shooter.)

Carolyn Kaster / AP

30 members support the House Resolution calling for civil action

Daniel Halper reports:  Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina, a Republican, is sponsoring a resolution in the House of Representatives that would, if adopted, direct the legislative body “to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.” In other words, Rep. Rice wants to take President Obama to court for not faithfully executing the laws.

“President Obama has adopted a practice of picking and choosing which laws he wants to enforce. In most cases, his laws of choice conveniently coincide with his Administration’s political agenda. Our Founding Fathers created the Executive Branch to implement and enforce the laws written by Congress and vested this power in the President.  However, President Obama has chosen to ignore some of the laws written by Congress and implemented by preceding Presidents,” Rice wrote in a letter to fellow House members to ask them to co-sponsor this resolution.

“This resolution allows the House of Representatives to bring legal action against the Executive Branch and challenge recent actions, inactions, and policies.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Wave Theory: 2014 Election Wave? There is No Wave

(Susan Walsh/AP)

(Susan Walsh/AP)

John Sides writes: Prognostications about the upcoming midterm election are coming fast and furious.  The bullishness about the Democrats’ prospects, so frequently expressed (and exaggerated) during the government shutdown, is gone.  Current forecasts typically range from “a midterm headache for Democrats” to possibly even another Republican wave.  But at this moment, what’s most likely is something less dramatic, at least as far as the House of Representatives is concerned. An early version of this blog’s forecasting model suggests that there will be only a small shift in House seats in 2014 — one more likely to advantage Republicans than Democrats, but one that will fall far short of a wave.

The forecasting model, which political scientist Eric McGhee and I developed, is centered on what we might call the “fundamentals” of House elections.  It is based on elections from 1952-2012.  It takes advantage of key indicators at the national level: the popularity of the president as of June of the election year, growth or decline in the economy (gross domestic product) in the first two quarters of the election year, and whether it is a presidential or midterm election year.  (Similar factors went into a presidential forecasting model that I helped develop for Wonkblog in 2012.)  The model also builds in key indicators at the district level: the partisanship of the district as measured by the presidential vote, and whether a Democratic, Republican incumbent, or no incumbent is running in the district.  Thus, the model provides a forecast not just of how many seats each party will have in the House as a whole, but of the outcome in each district.  We first deployed this model in 2012, and it proved quite accurate.

Read the rest of this entry »


New York Times: Tim Egan Throws Temper Tantrum, Cries, Blames Half of America

It's the Republicans fault! It's the Teaaaa Party's fault! Waaaaaa

It’s the Republicans fault! It’s Congress’ fault… It’s the Teaaaa Party’s fault! It’s America’s fault! Waaaaaah Wahhhh

“…But in the case of the federal shutdown, of course, the economic hit on millions of Americans didn’t come from government — it came from one political faction in the House of Representatives. You could sue the Tea Party, but what is that? A bunch of costumed zealots on Fox are not responsible for anything that comes out of their mouths and lands in the porous mind of someone like…” 

More crying and whining from the crib at NYT


Technology Is Killing ObamaCare, But It Might Save The Rest of Us

(Photo: Leslie Smith Jr., USA TODAY)

(Photo: Leslie Smith Jr., USA TODAY)

Glenn Reynolds writes:  Despite all the problems with Obamacare, there’s some good news on the horizon for medical care and costs. The good news has nothing to do with exchanges, reimbursement rates or “navigators,” but everything to do with a phenomenon that has cut costs elsewhere in American society: technology.

We’re already seeing things that once took place only in doctors’ offices trickling out into the real world. I thought about this just the other day when reading that schools are stocking auto-injectors of epinephrine to deal with sudden, life-threatening allergy attacks. With these injectors, you don’t have to have any particular medical skill: “The tip of the device is placed firmly against the thigh, which releases a short, spring activated needle that injects the epinephrine.”

With a severe allergic reaction, by the time you got the victim to the hospital it would probably be too late. But with an auto-injector on the hand, you can administer life-saving treatment right away, and the technology makes it easy to store and easy to use. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Al Shabab Lawyers File Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against California Dem Rep George Miller

members of Somalia's al-Shabab jihadist movement seen during exercises at their military training camp outside Mogadishu.

Plaintiffs: Public Relations Operatives of Somalia’s al-Shabab jihadist movement seen taking break during exercises at their military training camp outside Mogadishu to discuss their lawsuit against George Miller (D) 

MOGADISHU – file – Public relations representatives of Somali’s al-Shabab jihadist movement announced today that George Miller (D) violated their trademark and used their image improperly by accusing Congressional Republicans of “waging Jihad” against the American People.

“He said it on the floor of Congress.” said one operative, “He used the term jihad, which we registered for the exclusive use of authentic, legitimate jihadist terror campaign operatives, and the various partnerships that share licensing fees. Miller is not among them.”

“We saw it on YouTube. I contacted our attorney immediately.” said one of the group “I sent emails to other jihadist groups, too”.

A senior member of al-Shabab’s legal advisory group arrived in Washington D.C. this morning. Speaking through an interpreter, he told the press:

“George Miller, and some of his colleagues, have received warnings before. Unless he goes through the proper channels, and licenses the use of our exclusive jihadist trademark, through our Mogadishu office, he’s in violation. This goes for any public figure improperly using our brand”.

Speaking on behalf of the group’s Public Relations division on location in Mogadishu, al-Shabab’s acting regional attourney added, “We take this very seriously, it’s my client’s registered trademark, and we’ve successfully protected it in the courts before”.

When reached for comment, legal counsel for Rep. George Miller–who asked that his name not be used in this report, for fear that his family would be in grave danger–dismissed the suit as frivolous, questioning al-Shabab’s trademark claims, and expressing confidence that his client would prevail.

“George was speaking metaphorically. His fellow lawmakers knew that, and the American people know it. Al-shabab’s public relations groups file lawsuits like this all the time. Why? Because funding for jihadist groups has extended to using legal victories to bankroll their terror activities”.

Al-shabab’s legal team disagreed. “We’ll see Rep George Miller in court. If he wants to settle out of court, we’ll expect to see what his attorney has to say, through intermediaries.”

Representative George Miller could not be reached for comment.


VIDEO: House Republicans Hold a Rally After Defund Obamacare Vote

JOHN SEXTON writes: I thought this was a good presentation by the House GOP which reminded me of the House of Commons a bit. They looked united, cheered one another on and gave a show of force. The speeches repeatedly mentioned the President’s promise about keeping your healthcare, something that will not in fact be true for millions of Americans. Also smart to start with someone other than Cantor or Boehner.

That’s the good stuff. On the other hand, I’m still not clear on the overall strategy. This is not going to get through the Senate. Harry Reid was pretty clear about that this week. And even if it somehow did, there’s still the inevitable veto from the President.

I guess the question is how does this play in 2014? It’s probably too early to say for certain. Obamacare really is unpopular and a the roll out really is a train wreck. Maybe this helps solidify that idea in the public’s mind? Anyway, it might make a nice symbolic moment for the GOP leading up to next year’s midterms even if nothing comes of it between now and then.

The Conversation



House votes to delay bulk ammunition purchase by DHS

By Pete Kasperowicz 

The House late Wednesday voted to stop the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from entering into new contracts to buy millions of rounds of ammunition until the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports to Congress on the need for the ammo, and its cost.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) proposed an amendment to the DHS spending bill for 2014 that would require the report to Congress before it can pursue plans to buy 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition. Meadows said the speed bump is a necessary reaction to news of the huge purchase, which alarmed many Americans and prompted conservative groups to suspect that the government was stocking up on the rounds to fight citizens.

“Given this large purchase, the American people and members of Congress rightfully had concerns and questions,” Meadows said. “This is a responsible amendment which ensures that Congress and the American people are aware of the necessity and the cost of ammunition prior to entering into new contracts for procurement.”

Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) said the amendment was unnecessary based on his talks with DHS officials. Carter said the department has since admitted that its ammunition needs are not as great as first reported, and said the department is pursuing a bulk purchase to keep the costs down…

More via The Hills Floor Action


Dr. Larry Arnn and Robert Ferrigno on Iran « The Hugh Hewitt Show

Dr. Larry Arnn and Robert Ferrigno on Iran

via  Hugh Hewitt

Dr. Larry Arnn is president of Hillsdale College, and was an assistant to Sir Martin Gilbert for some of the years of Gilbert’s work on the massive biography of Churchill.

Robert Ferrigno is the author of the marvelous Prayers for the Assassin. Ferrigno posts here.

(and the recently-released  The Girl Who Cried Wolf  — Kindle Edition  –The Butcher)

Both were my guests today on the growing crisis in Iran.

Their interviews will be up at Radioblogger.com later today…

via The Hugh Hewitt Show

Bonus track — from Ferrigno’s blog:

HOW TO HANDLE A LIVE RADIO INTERVIEW, FOR WRITERS AND NORMAL PEOPLE

I recently did Hugh Hewitt’s live national radio show to promote The Girl Who Cried Wolf and listening to it afterwards – the host archives his shows – I realized, after thirteen book tours and a lot of radio interviews, I had learned some things. I hope the following tips helps other authors facing the microphone and praying that they don’t projectile vomit.

Live radio interviews are either conducted in a studio or linked to your location by telephone. Either way they are terrifying the first few times. Acknowledge that to yourself and move forward.

A studio interview will seem strange the first time you do it. You’re in a glass booth, usually sitting across from the host. The two of you will be wearing headphones and speaking into a large microphone, while the engineer is watching things from another room through a pane of thick glass. Yes, it’s artificial, but the more you can hone in on the host when you talk, the better. You want to make things feel like a friendly conversation between the two of you. Depending on the host, it may actually be a confrontational conversation, but that’s okay too, as long as you keep things lively and don’t freeze up. (I once went on a “Morning Zoo” type early morning show where the merry band of pranksters made fart noises while they read excerpts from my book that they considered “hot.” I played the part of the good sport, although I wanted to strangle them… slowly.)

Location interviews are more relaxed. You’re in a comfortable place at your home, just talking on the phone to hopefully millions of people. Make sure you’re on a land line for the best reception and turn off any “inaudible” air-conditioning or forced-air heating, which will be picked up and make for a “hissy” broadcast. Your host will appreciate this, or, at least the engineer will. (I learned this from an ex-CIA agent I interviewed once, who complained about poor surveillance recordings)

Whether at home or in-studio, make notes to yourself. Short, succinct notes on separate cards. You can’t believe the things you will blank out on under pressure.  I usually go with the name of the host, my own name (really), the name of my book, and the plot of the book in fifteen or twenty words. In big letters I write SLOW DOWN.  Most of us talk faster when we’re nervous, so a reminder to ease off will make things easier for listeners to understand and keep you from running out of air. (My first interview I think the host was worried he was going to have to perform CPR on me)

I also write a note that says HAVE FUN. This is the most important note of all.

Try not, and I know it’s hard, try not to not feel compelled to insert the name of your book in every sentence. A good host will mention the title at the beginning and end of the segment and in my case at least, spell your name for the audience. (“Just like Lou Ferrigno!”) Let the host do the work. Otherwise you come off as sweaty and desperate.

Radio is a medium of superlatives because it makes the guest more interesting to the listeners. If the host introduces you as “perhaps the best crime fiction writer in the known and unknown universe,” don’t correct them. You may think it makes you look humble, but it also makes the host look bad. Don’t EVER make the host look bad. Chuckle and say thank you. Besides, who’s better than you?

The host is always aware of the clock and so should you be. When you hear background music getting louder FINISH YOUR POINT because the host will be cutting to a break and if he has to interrupt you to do so, it will feel awkward. You want to make the host’s job easy, just like the host wants to make your job easy. See, you’re pals!

You have been given a gift, act accordingly. Airtime, whether on a national radio show or a podcast beamed out of a garage, is a way to connect with people who don’t know you, a party where for five or ten minutes you’re the guest of honor. The host has many, MANY more people who want to sit where you are sitting than you can imagine. So greet the host warmly, thank him or her when your time is over and send an email to that effect afterwards. They will have earned it.

Via Robert Ferrigno’s Blog