tipsheet
Christine Rousselle - More Than Two Thirds of Americans Think Elections Are Rigged for Incumbents
Posted: 7/13/2014 2:58:00 PM EST

More than two thirds of Americans surveyed in a recent Rasmussen poll say that they believe election rules are "rigged" to ensure that incumbents are victorious.

Some 68 percent of respondents in the new Rasmussen survey say the high retention rate in Congress is because lawmakers are able to exploit favorable election rules, not because they do a good job representing their constituents.

And 48 percent of likely voters believe that American elections are not fair to voters — the highest percentage since 2004. By contrast, 39 percent of voters say elections are fair. Of the likely voters surveyed, 14 percent say they’re not sure.

The poll consisted of a survey of 1,000 likely voters who were asked a variety of questions about their perceptions of election fairness.

Since 2012, roughly nine out of 10 incumbents seeking election in the House and Senate were reelected. The presidency has even better odds--an incumbent has only been defeated four times in the last century.

A definite advantage that incumbents have over challengers is that oftentimes they do not have to campaign through a primary election. A primary exposes the flaws of all candidates--including the eventual party nominee. That, coupled with the name recognition of the incumbent, is a definite disadvantage for any challenger.

What reforms should happen to ensure a "fairer" election?

Sarah Jean Seman - Connecticut Gun Company Turns to Texas
Posted: 7/13/2014 2:08:00 PM EST

America’s oldest family owned and operated gun manufacturing company O.F. Mossberg & Sons, has its eye on Texas. The company was founded in Connecticut in 1919; however, after Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) passed one of the strictest gun-control legislations in the nation last April, Mossberg & Sons is looking to expand in a more gun-friendly state.

CEO Iver Mossberg told Forbes:

“Investing in Texas was an easy decision. It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers.”

The gun company will still be headquartered in New Haven, however, all expansion will take place in Texas. Senior vice president of sales and marketing Tom Taylor explained:

“We’re moving all wood gun stock production to our Texas facility. More of our product lines—like our modern sporting rifles—might move to Texas in the future. Texas has been very good to us. Also, our gun sales have been so dynamic over the last number of years. We’ve outgrown our facilities. This major expansion will help us keep up with demand.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has encouraged and even recruited businesses to come to his state, where taxes are low and economic growth is rampant. Recently the car manufacturing company Toyota and the firearm accessories company Magpul Industries, decided to relocate to Texas from the states of California and Colorado. The Tax Foundation ranked Texas at eleven in the 2014 State Business Climate Index. Connecticut placed at almost the very bottom of the list at 42.

Cortney O'Brien - 10 Reasons ‘Assault and Flattery’ is Better Than 'Hard Choices'
Posted: 7/13/2014 12:00:00 PM EST

'Assault and Flattery' is Townhall News Editor Katie Pavlich's newly released second book. In 230 pages, Katie exposes the Democrats' manufactured "war on women" with personal anecdotes and well reported research. Here are ten of many reasons why it is worth choosing over Hillary Clinton's bulky memoir, "Hard Choices."

1. The covers.

Katie is staring you in the eye with purpose. Hillary is in outer space.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

2. Katie’s has a clever title.

3. Katie’s book isn’t dripping with hypocrisy.

Hillary likes to claim that she is a champion of women’s rights:

“I have to admit it,” Hillary writes in Hard Choices of several instances of ‘mansplaining by foreign leaders, “I grew tired of watching otherwise thoughtful people just smile and nod when I brought up the concerns of women and girls.”

She didn’t mention the part where she once defended a man who raped a 12-year old girl.

In Katie’s own words:

4. Katie’s book wasn’t overtaken by a book criticizing her.

This week, author Ed Klein’s new bestseller “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas,bumped Hillary off the top of the bestseller list.

Awkward.

RELATED: Don't forget to order Katie Pavlich's new book, Assault & Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women from Amazon today.

5. ‘Assault and Flattery’ isn’t filled with pictures of Katie schmoozing with our increasingly unpopular president.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

6. Katie’s book can fit in a handbag. Hillary’s is 589 pages too long.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

7. The back cover of Katie’s book isn’t plastered with 100 pictures of herself.

Wish I could say the same for Hillary.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

8. Katie’s book makes the perfect cake decoration.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

9. Reading Katie’s book is a really fun way to annoy feminists.

10. Katie’s book has received praise from conservative heroes like Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity, who refer to ‘Assault and Flattery’ as a “tour de force,” “fun” and “engaging.”

Meanwhile, Hillary’s book has been deemed a “newsless snore.”

Do yourself a favor and get the book that will keep you interested - and awake.

Kara Jones - Conservative Victory: A Look at 5 Significant Supreme Court Cases of This Term
Posted: 7/13/2014 11:40:00 AM EST

The conservative movement experienced considerable achievements throughout the course of the Supreme Court’s October 2013 – June 2014 term. An overview of five key decisions that championed religious freedom, First Amendment rights, and more:

1. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) v. Noel Canning

Decided June 26, 2014

9 to 0

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Obama had overstepped constitutional authority by making high-level government appointments without consent of the Senate. The president claimed that his authority to appoint officials during this time was pursuant to the Recess Appointments Clause. The Court held that this clause allows the president to make appointments only if the Senate is unavailable. At this particular time, the Senate was not technically in recess and was actually holding pro forma sessions every three days.

Justice Stephen Breyer writing for the majority:

“Presidents have made recess appointments since the beginning of the Republic. Their frequency suggests that the Senate and President have recognized that recess appointments can be both necessary and appropriate in certain circumstances. We have not have not previously interpreted the [Recess] Clause, and, when doing so for the first time in more than 200 years, we must hesitate to upset the compromises and working arrangements that the elected branches of Government themselves have reached.”

2. McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC)

Decided April 2, 2014

5 to 4

SCOTUS struck down a Watergate-era cap on individual campaign contributions in this First Amendment rights case. The limits on the total contributions a donor can give to candidates, political action committees, and party committees per election cycle was officially lifted. Echoing 2010’s “Citizens United” case, which overturned constraints on corporate campaign contributions, the Court’s more conservative members ruled in the majority.

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. writing for the majority:

“Constituents have the right to support candidates who share their views and concerns. Representatives are not to follow constituent orders, but can be expected to be cognizant of and responsive to those concerns. Such responsiveness is key to the very concept of self-governance through elected officials.”

3. Town of Greece v. Galloway

Decided May 5, 2014

5 to 4

Since the Supreme Court ruled in 1983 that legislative prayer does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, it was a surprise that Town of Greece v. Galloway was a slim 5 to 4 decision. In this similar case, the High Court once again held that legislative bodies such as city councils can begin their meetings with a prayer. It should be noted that the prayer can explicitly represent a particular faith and the town does not discriminate against minority religions.

Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority:

"The decision concluded that legislative prayer, while religious in nature, has long been understood as compatible with the Establishment Clause. As practiced by Congress since the framing of the Constitution, legislative prayer lends gravity to public business, reminds lawmakers to transcend petty differences in pursuit of a higher purpose, and expresses a common aspiration to a just and peaceful society."

4. Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

Decided April 22, 2014

6 to 2

In this complicated ruling, SCOTUS decided that states are free to prohibit considerations of race and sex in university admission processes. It was ruled that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not violated when a state bars a college from discriminating and/or granting preferential treatment to students based on these factors.

Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the majority:

“‘The Constitution proscribes government discrimination on the basis of race, and state-provided education is no exception’...It is precisely this understanding – the correct understanding – of the federal Equal Protection Clause that the people of the State of Michigan have adopted for their own fundamental law. By adopting it, they did not simultaneously offend it.”

5. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Decided June 30, 2014

5 to 4

An HHS mandate of the Affordable Care Act was struck down as the Supreme Court ruled in what was perhaps the most anticipated decision of this term. The case brought into question the religious rights of corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. It was decided that closely held for-profit businesses can not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage that conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Justice Samuel Alito Jr. writing for the majority:

“The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients. If the owners comply with the HHS mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions, and if they do not comply they will pay a very heavy price – as much as $1.3 million per day, or about $473 million per year, in the case of one of the companies. If these consequences do not amount to a substantial burden, it is hard to see what would.”

Daniel Doherty - Single Tear: North Korea Whines to the UN About...an Anti-Kim Jong Un Film?
Posted: 7/13/2014 9:00:00 AM EST

A soon-to-be-released Hollywood film (which I’ve vowed to see on opening night) will mercilessly and hilariously mock the “Supreme Leader” of North Korea. And, therefore, Kim Jong Un and his cronies are very, very upset.

How do I know this? Because his envoy to the United Nations penned a rather alarmist (and, dare I say, ridiculous) letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to block the film's release, or else.

Or else what?

The North Korean Foreign Ministry had previously warned the U.S. of 'stern' and 'merciless' retaliation if it fails to block the release of the film, which is out on October 14.

Now, in a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, North Korea's UN envoy Ja Song-Nam says allowing the film to be made and seen constitutes 'the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as a war action.'

'The US authorities should take immediate and appropriate action to ban the production and distribution of the film, otherwise it will be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism,' the letter says.

North Korea asked that the letter be circulated as an official document to members of the UN General Assembly and Security Council for their consideration.

Terrorism? Ironically enough, the United Nations is the same deliberative body that found earlier this year that, among other things, the regime's "human rights violations" are so barbaric and so evil they are unparalleled in modern times:

"Systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed" by the leaders of North Korea against their own people, the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights declared Monday in a report that goes on to accuse that nation's communist regime of "crimes against humanity."

According to U.N. investigators, "the gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world." They conclude, for example, that "hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have perished" in prison camps over the past five decades.

The High Commissioner's report calls on the U.N. Security Council to "refer the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the International Criminal Court."

"The United Nations must ensure that those most responsible for the crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are held accountable," the report concludes.

As a result, the UN's first order of business should be dealing aggressively with this murderous regime, not placating it.

Let us hope, then, this letter goes unanswered.

Matt Vespa - Oh Great! A Protestor Waving Hezbollah's Flag Outside Israeli Embassy
Posted: 7/12/2014 4:20:00 PM EST

On July 11, Stephen Gutowski of the Capitol City Project covered an anti-Israel rally, where he spotted man waving a Hezbollah flag.

They decided to ask him about it and got a rather disturbing response (via Capitol City Project):

When the Capitol City Project asked why he was carrying the flag the protester responded that “in 2006 Hezbollah did something which no other resistance group was able to do against Israel. And that was defeat an Israeli Zionist army”. “At this point the only Israel, unfortunately, is able to understand is armed resistance,” he continued.

I don’t have a Hamas flag but I would’ve been waving a Hamas flag, Islamic Jihad flag” the man said. “Because these are people that, just like the IRA before them, just like the Russians against the Nazis, just like the Americans here in this country, it was armed resistance that gave them their freedom,” he contended.

He said that armed resistance is “just one aspect of achieving the freedom.” “BDS [Boycott, Disinvestment, and Sanctions] is also something that will be able to achieve that” the activist claimed.

So, I take it this guy isn’t a fan of Sodastream either.

Cortney O'Brien - Walking For Life
Posted: 7/12/2014 3:26:00 PM EST

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the July issue of Townhall Magazine.

After months of studying and cramming, most college students spend their summers going to the beach, taking road trips, or catching up on naps. But, for the young adults who take part in Crossroads Walk, vacations are dedicated to marching for unborn babies. James Nolan is the current president of Crossroads and he is ecstatic that the pro-life organization is entering its 20th year. He shared their backstory with Townhall Magazine.

“We started in 1995. Some students from Franciscan University in Steuben- ville, Ohio got together after St. John Paul II challenged the world to spread the gospel of life. They decided to take that call, literally. For some of them, that was their primary goal.”

Fifteen of those inspired young people started a walk from San Francisco to the nation’s capital. Now, 15 has become several hundred thousand, and one walk has expanded to three. Every May through August, participants lead pro-life pilgrimages from Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, passing through 36 states before all ending in Washington, D.C. Dozens of colleges throughout the country take part in these lifesaving events and Nolan estimates that each group covers about 10,000-15,000 miles. But, they don’t just do it for the exercise. On weekends, the groups pray and counsel in front of abortion clinics and speak at churches.

Nolan deems it important to combat the culture of death, which he says is becoming prevalent in Western society. But, he is still hopeful based on some promising statistics.

“One thing we like to say, is there’s a big increase in support for pro-life issues. Polls over the last few years are indicating that the majority of Americans are pro-life, over 50 per- cent. We’ve been seeing that trend. Now, we run into very little resistance. We have an overwhelming amount of support.”

Nolan insists this is significant, for his groups are “not shy” about where they stand on the abortion issue.

“If you see the t-shirts, they say in huge letters that cover your entire chest: ‘Pro-Life.’ People can see it from like a quarter of a mile away. It’s hard to miss.”

He then stressed what he considers Crossroads’ ultimate identity.

“We’re not an anti-abortion organization, we’re a pro-life organization. There’s a big distinction. Because if you’re pro- life, you’re for the culture of life, standing up for the value and dignity of each person without exceptions, from the beginning all the way until their actual death. We’re seeing the culture of death beginning to wane, but breathing its last heavy breath coming out more in the open as the desperation sets in.”

That’s where Crossroads comes in. Nolan explained how the organization is helping to bring more people into the pro-life movement.

“We’ve seen amazing conversions on the issue of life, some almost instantaneous. Especially because it’s young people, it’s very attractive. Even pro-choice people are intrigued, drawn in by it. After that, you see a change of mind, they’re able to look at the issue differently.”

He then shared a couple of moving examples to prove how these walks are working in action.

“We were walking in the middle of a desert and a vehicle drove out of nowhere in Nevada. No gas station in 50 miles either direction. The mother was taking her daughter to Los Angeles for an abortion. They saw us walking with the pro-life t-shirts. They pulled over and asked what we were doing. After a half hour discussion, they changed their mind.”

The Crossroads president revealed another encouraging testimony from someone who approached the pro-life walkers after a church service.

“He said the day before he had been driving a relative to get an abortion and saw us praying in front of [the] clinic. He said they couldn’t go in. They changed their mind and decided to go to the hospital and get an ultrasound. They found out she was pregnant with twins.”

Nolan assured Townhall that the pro-life efforts of Crossroads participants don’t end when the walks do.

“We have a lot of people we know, one of our former staff members adopted two or three Down syndrome babies, just to bring awareness to that and to protect these children, let people know that they’re wanted. A lot of former walkers move on to other pro-life efforts, such as in politics.”

The organization also conducts walks in Ireland, Australia, and Canada. So, you could say they are literally walking across the globe to save precious children from the horrors of abortion. Crossroads offers young people the opportunity to make much more of an impact than just spending their summers on the couch. Who needs to save energy when you can save lives? •

Matt Vespa - Gun Control Is Just One Of The Many Problems With Chris Christie
Posted: 7/12/2014 2:52:00 PM EST

There’s some talk about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie becoming a viable contender for the 2016 Republican nomination. That is until you look at his record on Second Amendment rights. Yes, many in the base know Gov. Christie is a squish on gun rights. And, that might be why his candidacy could end before it begins.

We already nominated a moderate, Northeastern Republican in 2012. Let’s not make the same mistake twice.

Like defending life, support for the Second Amendment makes up one off the cornerstones of American conservatism. Earlier this month, Gov. Christie vetoed a magazine reduction bill, which is a good thing.

But, last week the Daily Beast published a piece that showed how Mr. Christie really feels about gun rights:

Christie’s first two campaigns were run on his support of New Jersey’s assault weapons ban, in place since 1990, which includes the 15-round magazine cap.

In April 1993, the future governor (then just a lawyer) announced he would run for the State Senate. He told the Star-Ledger, “The issue which has motivated me to get into this race is the recent attempt by certain Republican legislators to repeal New Jersey’s ban on assault weapons...In today’s society no one needs a semiautomatic assault weapon...We already have too many firearms in our communities.” Christie said that while he absolutely supported the right to bear arms, he would prevent any “weakening” of existing gun laws. The campaign only lasted a week.

In 1995, Christie, while serving as a county Freeholder, mounted a campaign for the State Assembly. He teamed up with Richard Merkt, then a legislative aide, to give running on assault weapons another go. Today, Merkt says that he just “went along” with Christie on the issue. Team Christie, he told The Daily Beast, “took control of that whole process.” The process including distributing mailers attacking the duo’s two main opponents, the vulnerable incumbent, Anthony Bucco, and a prominent conservative voice in the district, Michael Patrick Carroll. The mailers deemed repealing the ban on automatic assault weapons “dangerous,” “crazy,” and “radical.”

“He was basically kind of mocking the Second Amendment people,” Merkt said. “I think he thought the Second Amendment issue was kind of a joke, and was not significant.”

Christie and Merkt lost, with Christie coming in fourth place.

On top his abysmal record on the Second Amendment, there’s the fact that New Jersey is one of the worst states for business; its property taxes have continued to rise; and its tax projections left the state budget with a $800 million dollar shortfall. These are hardly accomplishments to be running on a national ticket.

So, it seems that while being for gun control, which is anathema to the base (and rightfully so) could derail Christie’s presidential ambitions; his economic record isn’t much to write home about either.

Greg Hengler - MSNBC Guest on Immigration: Catholic Help is Good as Long as They Don't Talk Jesus
Posted: 7/11/2014 5:53:00 PM EST

Another way to say what Lehigh University Professor, Dr. Monica Miller said is, "You're free to believe what you want as long as you don't share or live-out your beliefs in any way."

This is one of the Left's favorite mantras.

Greg Hengler - Would Burger King Make A Wrapper Celebrating Husbands and Wives?
Posted: 7/11/2014 5:22:00 PM EST

On this week's Townhall Weekend Journal:

Michael Medved spoke with Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Tom Cotton with Hugh Hewitt on Obama's national security. Historian and all-around ridiculously smart guy Sam Tanenhaus with Hewitt on the production and distribution of conservative ideas. Medved on Obama's presidential ranking among presidents since WWII. Dennis Prager on Burger King's pro-homosexual Whopper wrapper. Mike Gallagher talks with Ann Coulter about her recent controversial World Cup soccer columns. Prager says that attempts to remove "Redskins" from the NFL team is a leftist issue, not an American Indian one.