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Cortney O'Brien - “Republicans Should Have Held Their Convention in Detroit”
Posted: 7/29/2014 2:00:00 PM EST

Liberals can and should be criticized for using cheap shots and outlandish rhetoric (“war on women” ring a bell?) to beat their conservative opponents each campaign cycle. But Republicans are just as much to blame for letting the discourse continue. Author David Horowitz, in his new book, “Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left,” explains he’s had it with Republicans and their weak responses to Democrats’ dirty tactics. But, the author doesn't just complain about their lackluster fighting spirit - he arms conservatives with the tools they need to throw their own political punches.

“20 years of frustration lies behind this book, of trying to get Republicans to fight, Horowitz told Townhall. "This is a how-to-fight book.”

Horowitz insists that Republicans can no longer expect to win elections on policy alone, evident in campaigns like the 2012 presidential election.

“Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist, said ‘everybody has a game plan, until you punch them in the mouth.’ The Democrats have a big punch, which they use every election. Which is, of course, to describe Republicans as anti-woman, anti-black, anti-poor, and defenders of the rich. Republicans have no punch, they have no answer to this. It’s monotonous. The Democrats haven’t changed their campaign theme in 20 years. But Republicans have no answer. You have a candidate like Romney who was centrist, seemingly unassailable, and they spent $200 million and demonized him. He had no answer to their attacks. Now there is an answer. And the book lays out the answer that Republicans need.”

If he was running a campaign, Horowitz would throw some of these charges at his opponents:

“Republicans have to answer this by defining Democrats as immoral and evil [...] Democrats control all the major cities in America and they have for 50 to 100 years. Everything that’s wrong with inner cities, the Democrats are responsible for. Democrats have welfare programs that seduce single mothers into having more and more children so they can get pittances that the welfare system hands out. This not only puts mothers, but children in lives of permanent poverty."

Case in point: Detroit.

“Republicans should have held the convention in Detroit – which is a symbol of what the Democrats have done. Detroit, in 1961, was America’s richest city. But, that was the year a Democrat was elected there and for the next 50 years, the Democrats have controlled Detroit and ruined it. Two-thirds of the population has fled. The Democrat Party there were racist, anti-business. They drove business out of Detroit, they drove the ripe middle class out of Detroit. In one generation, they took a crown jewel of first world and created a third world city. So, if Republicans held the convention in Detroit, it would be a symbol of every reason why you should never vote for a Democrat.”

But, Republicans' choice in Cleveland suggests they are more concerned about gaining momentum in a swing state than making a direct mockery of Democrats. Horowitz says Republicans refusing to challenge their opponents has become the norm.

“When have you heard a Republican attack a Democrat as racist for the inner cities they control and the welfare programs that they have devised? They have destroyed the black family, in particular. They talk about the food stamps, but they never use the word ‘racist’ in connection with the food stamps. Take away their incentives to make a living. It’s like extending unemployment insurance for years.”

Horowitz pinpointed a few bold conservatives today who are aren’t afraid to verbally challenge liberals, but insists no leader has employed this ‘take no prisoners’ mentality when it really mattered.

“I think there are conservatives: Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Ted Cruz is approaching this, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). But no, I don’t think there was one candidate in the last election. There were 12 – none of them had this mentality.”

The author offered suggestions as to how Republicans can engage the other side and win – especially on one particular issue.

“By using the left’s tactics against it – by making these issues moral. Obamacare is a declaration of war on individual freedom. That’s what’s wrong with it. The government comes in and tells you you have to get into a medical program and you have four choices. They are the ones that make the choices. They tell you if you’re doing the right thing, making a proper living. We’re going to stick our hands in your pockets and we’re going to subsidize people who aren’t working and who don’t play by the rules.”

You can read more about Horowitz's game plan for Republicans in "Take No Prisoners."

Greg Hengler - TIME's Transgender: "God Has A Plan...My Work Is Just To Submit To That Plan"
Posted: 7/29/2014 12:11:00 PM EST

CBS "This Morning" had on TIME magazine cover "girl" and movie star of the Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black," Laverne Cox. I'm posting this clip in order to spotlight how it embodies the zeitgeist we are living in.

I sympathize with those who suffer deep pain over gender confusion, but when Laverne Cox states, "God has a plan for you that you can't even imagine for yourself, and a lot of my work is just to submit to that plan." it begs the question as to why he isn't embracing his birth gender as a central dimension of God’s will for his sexual identity. When transgender individuals declare their sex to be a mistake, they are repudiating God’s own verdict on His creation and His plan for humanity. Let's face it, when submission is rooted in your own heart and will, you are not submitting to God but to yourself.

Katie Pavlich - Trey Gowdy Announces First Benghazi Hearing
Posted: 7/29/2014 11:15:00 AM EST

In an interview with Fox News' Catherine Herridge Tuesday morning, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy announced the first Benghazi select committee hearing will be held in early September. The announcement comes after months of quiet investigation from the Committee, which was announced by House Speaker John Boehner in May. The select committee includes seven Republicans and four Democrats.

Conn Carroll - Reform Conservatism's Federalism Blind Spot
Posted: 7/29/2014 10:45:00 AM EST

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat published a must-read column Sunday on, "The New Republican Populism," a subject Townhall Magazine has covered extensively. Douthat writes:

So haltingly at first, and then with increasing seriousness, Republicans began to look for a different path back to power — one tailored to the party’s growing dependence on working-class votes, and one designed to deliver populist substance as well as style.

Thus far they have circled around two broad approaches. One, dubbed “reform conservatism,” seeks to make the welfare state and tax code more friendly to work and child-rearing and upward mobility — through larger wage subsidies, bigger child tax credits, and a substantial clearing-out of the insider-friendly subsidies and tax breaks and regulations that drive up costs in health care, real estate, energy and higher education.

The other, “libertarian populism,” is even more zealous about attacking rent-seeking and crony capitalism, while also looking for other places — criminal justice reform, notably — where a libertarian approach to public policy might benefit people lower on the economic ladder.

These two approaches substantially overlap (with the main difference being a skepticism among the libertarians about targeting tax cuts and subsidies specifically to parents and the poor).

This is an exceedingly fair recap of Reform Conservatism and Libertarian Populism, although if he had more space, Douthat could have more extensively explained why Libertarian Populists are so skeptical of expanding federal government programs that target "parents and the poor."

For example, as Douthat mentions elsewhere in his column, both Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) have outlined Reform Conservatism-friendly proposals that would consolidate many of our federal government's anti-poverty programs into one place and then let states decide how best to implement those programs.

Consolidation. More power to states. Sounds great. Maybe conservative even.

But both proposals ignore the reality of our modern administrative state and seem to have completely slept through the Obama administration.

Rubio would funnel all federal anti-poverty programs "into one single agency" that would administer "a revenue neutral Flex Fund" that would transfer money "to the states so they can design and fund creative initiatives that address the factors behind inequality of opportunity."

Ryan wants a pilot program that would allow states to apply for "Opportunity Grants" that would "consolidate several means-tested programs into a new Opportunity Grant program." Under the Ryan plan, states would have to submit "concrete" plans that "would have to meet four conditions."

Both of these proposals suffer from the same flaw: the executive branch would still be entirely in control of writing the regulations and making the implementation decisions for these programs.

Do you trust the same administration that is using the No Child Left Behind law to force Common Core on our states to decide if states have met Ryan's four conditions for Opportunity Grant approval? Do you trust the same administration that is epically abusing its enforcement discretion at the border to rewrite immigration law to fairly administer Rubio's Flex Fund?

The questions answer themselves.

The problem with both the Ryan and Rubio poverty plans is that they increase the power and discretion of the executive branch over the states. Both would be a major expansion of what George Mason University Law School professor Michael Greve calls "cartel federalism," a brand of federalism which is undermining the Founder's true vision. Last year Greve explained:

At the fiscal front, the central problem is the flood of transfer programs that encourage states to “experiment” with federal dollars. The most menacing example is Medicaid, which now consumes almost a quarter of state budgets. For the most part, this is not a result of federal coercion or mandates. It is a result of the states’ voluntary decisions to expand Medicaid so as to attract federal matching funds. The states’ perverse incentive to expand their domestic welfare state on our collective nickel—trillions of nickels—is, again, a federalism problem. So is the moral hazard that attends these arrangements that is, the risk that states will spend themselves to the brink of bankruptcy in hopes of a federal bailout. Greece exemplifies that problem; but then, so does Illinois.

There are better ways to help Americans escape poverty. Specifically, conservatives should push to cut the regressive, job-killing payroll tax. Such a tax cut, paid for by eliminating loopholes that benefit rich coastal elites (like the state and local tax deduction), would create jobs, increase the incentives for people in poverty to work, and put more money in every working American's paycheck.

Guy Benson - White House, MSNBC Can't Stop Talking About Impeachment
Posted: 7/29/2014 10:22:00 AM EST


Republicans are not planning to impeach President Obama. Yes, Sarah Palin has called for it. The South Dakota GOP passed an impeachment resolution. Andy McCarthy is out with a book arguing that the legal foundation for ousting Obama exists, but the political will does not. And the occasional House back-bencher floats the 'I-word' from time to time. But there is no groundswell of support, or any semblance of a serious campaign, to remove the President of the United States from office. That's not a thing. When asked about Palin's impeachment advocacy House Speaker John Boehner -- who's suing Obama for executive overreach -- flatly responded, "I disagree." The Republican chairman of the relevant House committee has shut the idea down, too. Indeed, the parties most excited about invoking the specter of impeachment are the White House...


A top aide to President Obama said it's possible that Obama could be impeached by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner's decision to proceed with a lawsuit against the president has "opened the door" to the third presidential impeachment in the nation's history, Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer told reporters at a Friday breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor...Later, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said "prominent voices in the Republican party" have called for impeachment, but was hard-pressed to name one other than Palin. "I think there are some Republicans, including some Republicans that are running for office, hoping that they can get into office so they can impeach the president," he said.



...and MSNBC:



The uptick in impeachment hand-wringing from the Left isn't an accident. It's a coordinated fundraising and base-goosing effort that's latched onto this CNN poll as a news hook:


Roughly a third of adult Americans want to see President Barack Obama impeached, according to a new CNN poll released Friday. Support for impeachment cuts down party lines, with 57% of Republicans favoring the idea but just 35% of independents and 13% of Democrats feeling similarly.


A majority of Republicans! This is serious, they clamor. Not really. In 2006, roughly the same percentage of CNN poll respondents favored impeaching George W. Bush, presumably with heavy support from Democrats (that survey didn't include internals). A substantial majority of liberal Vermont residents told a CBS News pollster they wanted Bush impeached in 2007. In short, it's not unusual for partisans to want the other guy thrown out. Hell, more than half of self-identifying Democrats believed that it was at least "somewhat likely" that Bush knew about 9/11 in advance, according to a 2006 poll. Congressional Democrats never came close to advancing articles of impeachment against the 43rd president even though some really wanted to -- including the powerful House Judiciary Committee Chairman. Rep. John Conyers and dozens of fellow liberals convened fantasy impeachment hearings in the Capitol basement in 2005, before they took over the lower chamber. Obama impeachment chatter hasn't even sniffed that level of, er, "seriousness." Here's what's going on: Democrats are desperate to light a fire under their base before November, as enthusiasm indicators have looked fairly grim so far. One way to galvanize support and raise easy money is to try to convince low information lefties that the nasty, racist GOP is actively scheming to bring down The Precious. The White House, evidently, is not above playing along with the charade. This is about fear-mongering and raising cash, plain and simple. Did I mention that Democrats are desperate? Here's a screen grab from an endless parade of borderline stalker-esque, impeachment-themed contribution solicitations:


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Matt Vespa - Netroots Nation: Of Course, Photo Voter ID Is The 'New Jim Crow'
Posted: 7/29/2014 10:00:00 AM EST

Well, it wouldn’t be a liberal conference without liberals discussing voter rights and voter ID legislation that they allege is being used to suppress the vote. Jess McIntosh, the communications director of EMILY’s List, moderated the panel, which was filled by Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, and Jocelyn Benson. All three women are running or ran for the position of Secretary of State. Nina Turner is the current Democratic candidate in Ohio; Oliver is running in New Mexico; and Benson ran for the office in 2010 in Michigan.

McIntosh noted that there have been efforts to curb voting rights before, but we’re, or shall I say liberals, are seeing a full-blown assault on voting rights since the 2012 election.

Benson noted that this battle in our democracy (we’re a constitutional republic) has always existed in American society since our founding; it’s just taken different forms. The power this office holds was on display during the 2000 presidential election under then-Florida Secretary of State Katharine Harris, which elicited disgust, even hisses, from the audience when Benson mentioned her name.

It shows “how important this one office is to ensuring that democracy works the way it’s supposed to,” she said.

“If we leave you with anything here today, I hope that we leave you the the recognition that each of you have a responsibility to make sure these offices are not just another office on the ballot in this year’s election or in future elections, but are ones that are taken seriously and that we talk about as very, very powerful positions for ensuring that every other issue we work on actually is able to come to fruition through the democratic process.”

Oliver said when she became Bernalillo County Clerk in 2007, her first goal was to make sure the office functioned properly. After all, Bernalillo is the most populous county in the state; the county seat is the city of Albuquerque.

After getting her office in order, Oliver said it was necessary to give her residents more opportunities to cast their ballots in elections.

On the alleged assault on voter rights, Oliver described it as “an insidious thing because it takes the form of trying to win at the expense of people’s personal civil rights.” Hence why she decided to run for Secretary of State, saying “I’m running against a current incumbent who has been sort of taking the mantra, or carrying the mantel forth of [John] Husted and [Scott] Gessler and some of these other bad guys and really replicating those same things, only they look a little bit different in my state, but it’s basically the same idea: let’s keep people from casting ballots.”

For Nina Turner, it’s all about protecting the “greatest equalizer” in our society. She described how voting no longer comes with any obstacles regarding race, sex, and socioeconomic status. But she’s running to become Ohio’s next Secretary of State to stop the wave of voter suppression happening across the country, which she decried as “immoral.” She said Republicans “subscribe to a mantra of if we can’t beat them, cheat them.”

When it comes to the issue of access to voter materials, like being able to register to vote, Oliver noted how there are kiosks in New Mexico’s Department of Motor Vehicles where you can register to vote after waiting a millennia for your driver’s license. Not many people have participated.

In Ohio, Turner listed occasions where voting rights are being suppressed. The state legislature took away “golden week,” where one could register and vote at the same time. Ohio residents are now unable to participate in Sunday voting, where African-Americans would go to early voting locations after services to cast their ballot. Why? Because African-Americans tend to vote Democratic, said Turner, remember, “If you can’t beat them, cheat them.”

Another example of voter suppression she gave was the Cincinnati Board of Elections’ decision to move the early voting location outside of the city. By bus going one-way, it took ninety minutes, but it gets worse; you had to walk a half-mile from the bus stop to the polling location. Turner pointed out the obvious: this would be devastating to people who are public transportation dependent.

She said the video is somewhere in the archives of MSNBC; the Ed Show and the New York Times documented this development. I’ll let you troll around for that on your own.

But what about those horrible, racist photo voter ID laws?

Oliver noted how incumbent New Mexico Secretary of State – and her Republican opponent – Dianna Duran said she was pushing for such a policy to protect the integrity of the elections. Right now, New Mexico doesn’t have such a law, which Oliver hopes will remain, especially if she’s elected, but commented on how proponents of the legislation talk about this issue. They say, according to Oliver:

“We can’t trust the election process. That all of us that are going out to vote and our neighbors and our friends, that we can’t trust that it’s really them; that who they say they are that are going to the polls and therefore we must put these – and let me be perfectly frank – these sort of new Jim Crow laws in place, such as photo voter ID, such as rolling back early voting etc. etc. that’s what it is.”

On voter fraud, Oliver insisted, “this stuff hardly ever happens” and that attempts at in-person voter fraud in her county are mythical.

My colleague Katie Pavlich wrote two years ago that UN poll watchers were “baffled” that our elections don’t require voters to verify their identity. As for concerns about people not the proper documentation, it only costs $10 for a non-driver’s license in New York (4 years) or New Hampshire. It used to be $13.50 in Pennsylvania, but their fees went up astronomically to $27.50 due to the state’s new transportation bill. That’s an issue for another time.

Katie Pavlich - New Bloomberg Anti-Gun Ad Inadvertently Proves Why Women Need Guns
Posted: 7/29/2014 9:30:00 AM EST

Bloomberg's new anti-gun Organization Everytown is out with a new advertisement that inadvertently proves why women should be trained and armed before being faced with a violent attacker.

The new ad shows an unarmed woman with her child alone in her home when her violent ex-husband shows up at the door in a violent rage. She calls 911, but because when seconds count the police are minutes away, that phone call didn't matter. The ex-husband breaks down the door, takes the kid and pulls a gun on the woman. All of this could have been prevented if the woman had a firearm in her possession as soon as she saw her ex-husband pounding on the door.

The point of the video according to Everytown is to urge people to contact their legislators about keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Fair enough, but what happens when a domestic abuser disobeys firearms laws already on the books and gets a gun illegally (as most criminals do)? As the video makes clear, there was a restraining order against the husband, which he violated. What are women supposed to do when violent attackers disobey the laws? I happen to believe that a piece of paper and a false assurance police will show up on time aren't good enough. Women must be able to go on the offensive with equal force to protect themselves.

When Everytown was established earlier this year, the group's organizers made it clear they were going after women. Unfortunately, the anti-gun, unarmed policies Everytown stands behind only make women more vulnerable, not less. Their own advertisement proves it.

Tomorrow the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing about "protecting women from gun violence" as part of the Violence Against Women's Act.

H/T @DavidRGreen_

Gun control is a war on women. Be sure to check out my book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women to find out why.

Katie Pavlich - Good News: Russia Accused of Violating Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Reagan Put in Place
Posted: 7/29/2014 8:45:00 AM EST

"The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War has been over for 20 years." -Barack Obama, October 22, 2012.

It's been 12 days since Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot out of the sky by Russian separatists with a surface to air missile, yet President Vladimir Putin seems untouched by global outrage over the incident. Now, the United States is accusing the Russians of violating a key nuclear test ban put forth by President Ronald Reagan and the former Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev. The accusation comes after it was discovered Russia has been testing long range missiles for years. More from the New York Times:

The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials, a finding that was conveyed by President Obama to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in a letter on Monday.

At the heart of the issue is the 1987 treaty that bans American and Russian ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of flying 300 to 3,400 miles. That accord, which was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, helped seal the end of the Cold War and has been regarded as a cornerstone of American-Russian arms control efforts.

Russia first began testing the cruise missiles as early as 2008, according to American officials, and the Obama administration concluded by the end of 2011 that they were a compliance concern. In May 2013, Rose Gottemoeller, the State Department’s senior arms control official, first raised the possibility of a violation with Russian officials.

“The United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the I.N.F. treaty not to possess, produce or flight test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.”

Meanwhile, sales to Russia from the United States have increased, not decreased, since heavy sanctions were put in place months ago.

U.S. Census Bureau foreign trade data show that exports rose 17 percent from March through May _ the most recent months for which the data is available _ compared with the previous three months, before sanctions were imposed. The value of exports has risen in each consecutive month this year, an unusual trend in a trade relationship that historically fluctuates on a monthly basis.

Russian markets account for less than 1 percent of U.S. exports, but what the U.S. sells to Russia is largely high-tech and expensive goods, including technology and equipment for the energy sector, which faces the threat of targeted sanctions.

I'll leave you with this.

Sarah Jean Seman - Court Rules in Favor of Ground Zero Cross, Rejects Atheists' Appeal
Posted: 7/28/2014 9:46:00 PM EST

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the 17-foot cross beam salvaged from the wreckage of Twin Towers will remain in the National 9/11 Museum, despite the very best efforts of American Atheists Inc.

In “American Atheists v. Port Authority of New Jersey and New York” the group asserted that the artifact's positioning in the museum towered "over any other symbols in the vicinity, expressing Christian primacy." It charged that the Latin cross's dominance violated the First Amendment Establishment Clause and the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

The judges found, however, that the "Ground Zero Cross" is a constitutional and an important symbolic artifact from the terrorist attack. According to the ruling:

"The stated purpose of displaying The Cross at Ground Zero to tell the story of how some people used faith to cope with the tragedy is genuine, and an objective observer would understand the purpose of the display to be secular...there is no evidence that the static display of this genuine historic artifact excessively entangles the government with religion."

This common sense ruling still comes as a major legal victory. Eric Baxter, Counsel for the Beckett Fund, noted that the court made a very key distinction:

“Even though the Ground Zero Cross is unquestionably a religious symbol, and holds deep religious meaning for many people—particularly those who found hope and inspiration in its discovery—the government does not violate the Establishment Clause by recognizing and educating others about the actual role played by religion in our history and culture.”

This historic relic will now continue to show the importance of religion in the United States for years to come.

Christine Rousselle - Sarah Palin Launches Online Web Channel
Posted: 7/28/2014 5:08:00 PM EST

Former GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin has launched a new online community dubbed the Sarah Palin Channel. The channel will feature videos of Palin and her family as well as "behind the scenes" videos of the Palin household as well as links to Bristol Palin's blog and video chats with Palin herself. Access to the channel is available via a subscription.

We'll go directly to the root of the problems confronting America. We'll talk about the issues mainstream media won't talk about.

The Palin family is quite familiar with reality television. "Sarah Palin's Alaska" lasted for one season on TLC in 2010 and "Amazing America with Sarah Palin has been renewed for a second season on the Sportsman Channel.

The channel can be accessed via computer, tablet or smartphone.

While this is certainly an unusual endeavor for an ex-politician, all power to Palin for marketing her personal brand.