tipsheet
Leah Barkoukis - DML 2016?
Posted: 9/16/2014 8:15:00 PM EST

The question posed to Dennis Michael Lynch was simple enough: “What will you do to bring back America as a cohesive unit?” 

Explaining that she does minority outreach for the GOP, the woman who asked the question continued: “My cousin and his crony, the president of the United States, my cousin is Eric Holder.” Before she could finish her thought, the room erupted in laughter and Lynch jokingly interjected, “Are you lying to me?”

Despite the lighthearted twist her question had taken, it was a serious one—every issue these days turns into a race issue, and she wanted to know what Lynch would do to overcome that.

Since openly discussing his interest in running for president in 2016, Lynch has been fielding a wide range of questions during his Fighting for America Tour, which concludes next month. So far, the idea of a presidential bid is gaining steam among his supporters—and fast.

“People are very excited about him,” Carol Davis, leader of an independent tea party group in Illinois, told Townhall. But her support for the idea of DML 2016 wasn’t immediate.

“We seemed to have been conditioned by our political system to think that, you know, all of the people who represent us in government have to be lawyers, or something like that, and so I think that might be why I first kind of brushed it off,” she explained. “But then as I got to looking at Dennis’ background, I thought, ‘who better to get in there but a real person with real world experience?’ I think that’s what the tea party movement has been all about—a rejection of the status quo because it hasn’t served us well.”

Aware that declaring his candidacy would be an uphill battle, Lynch is undeterred by suggestions that he’d need prior military or political experience to be a serious contender.

“As long as you have a strong backbone and surround yourself with top brass, I don’t think you need military experience, I think you need leadership experience,” he said. And regarding political experience, Lynch believes having it is a negative at this point.

Lynch may not have walked a typical path to the presidency, but his story truly embodies the American Dream and is one filled with hard work, passion, integrity, and love of country.

A self-made man, the native New Yorker started his own computer repair and recycling business out of his mother’s basement, which eventually grew to become a multi-million dollar company. In 2000, after expanding to five locations across the U.S. and employing 300 people, Ernst and Young selected him as Long Island’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

But running from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 changed his life, he told Townhall earlier this year, which is what led him to filmmaking, something he’d always been passionate about.

With three highly acclaimed documentaries on immigration and liberal media bias under his belt, he’s now looking to brush off the title of filmmaker, which isn’t what he considers himself to be.

“I’m really a CEO who’s dangerous with a camera,” he says with a laugh.

And to a certain degree, he’s right. Each film he’s made has been created with the purpose of A) showing Americans the true nature of the problem at hand, and B) presenting solutions—no matter the issue. And like a CEO would for his company, he’s always done it for the betterment of America.

When he was trying to understand the problem of illegal immigration in his documentaries, for example, he didn’t just call federal agents or ranchers along the border and ask. He went out with the Texas Border Volunteers, at night, without a weapon, to help Border Patrol apprehend large groups of illegal aliens, many of whom were gang members or repeat offenders with dangerous criminal backgrounds.

“These other guys talk," he said. "I do," noting his leadership style compared to other potential candidates. 

The idea of running for president, then, has been an offshoot of his desire to solve the problems vexing this nation. “[Barack Obama] has fundamentally transformed this country,” he said, “we’re gonna need somebody fundamentally different to get it back on track.”

And to Davis and so many others, that’s part of the allure about Lynch—he would be a fundamentally different candidate.

“He’s just like one of us, and I think people are hungry for that,” Davis said. “He hasn’t lived in that rarified atmosphere of politics his entire adult life. … He doesn’t pretend to know it all, but he knows [how to be] a good leader because he built a successful business, he knows how to surround himself with excellent people, and that is very appealing.”

“Listen, I’m not in this for the money or the fame. I’m not in this because I want the power. I’m in this for my kids, and for my country—that’s it,” he said. 

Sarah Jean Seman - Welfare Sign-ups Beat Job Creation 2-to-1 in Illinois
Posted: 9/16/2014 7:11:00 PM EST

For every job created in the state of Illinois, two people sign-up for food stamps—not exactly an encouraging statistic. The state ranked ‘dead last’ across America for job growth in 2014, according to the Illinois Policy.

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Not only is the economically-challenged state failing to create positions in the private sector, it actually lost nearly 6,000 jobs between January and July of this year. Since the financial crisis of 2008, Illinois has almost 300,000 fewer workers: 

The pace at which Illinois has been creating jobs is simply not good enough for Illinois families, and policy mistakes, such as the historic 2011 tax hikes, have made it worse. Illinois has gained only 240,000 jobs since the bottom of the recession, while food-stamp enrollment has gone up by 420,000.

To visualize just how grim these numbers are for the future of the Prairie State, take a look at this:

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Hardly the way to economic prosperity and self-reliance.

Ky Sisson - Gov. Bobby Jindal Releases Plan to "Confront Radical Policies" of Obama Admin
Posted: 9/16/2014 6:00:00 PM EST

Becoming an energy superpower is the crux of Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.) and Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) strategy to "cultivate economic growth." 

Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation, Gov. Jindal released a plan he believes would stand "in direct contrast to the Obama Administration's tired policies of energy scarcity and sluggish growth." 

Through the utilization of all forms of domestic energy, Jindal believes America's economy would "supercharge," creating millions of jobs and boosting consumer spending. He also stressed that a lessened dependence on foreign imports would reduce vulnerability to "hostile" nations. 

The "America Next" energy plan includes 42 individual policy recommendations to institute what Jindal and Flores believe are America's full energy and economic potential. He broke them down into six principles:

1) Promote responsible development of domestic energy resources and construction of infrastructure to transport it.

2) Encourage technological innovation of renewables and emerging energy resources.

3) Unlock the economic potential of the manufacturing renaissance by putting America’s energy resources to work.

4) Eliminate burdensome regulations.

5) Bolster national security.

6) Take simple steps to address the possible risks of climate change, in concert with other major economies.

Jindal was persistent in his claim that the Obama Administration has continually stood in the way of energy development on American soil keeping oil prices higher than they need to be. Regulations on fracking and the rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline are what Jindal calls Obama's "religion out of opposing sensible energy policies."

Gov. Jindal said at the event: 

“This is not just an energy plan – it’s a jobs plan and a strategy for America’s economic future. It’s the kind of stimulus that can get our country moving again—creating millions of jobs while lowering energy prices for consumers. And unlike President Obama’s 'stimulus' disaster—which created nearly a trillion dollars in spending and debt for the federal government—this jobs program would actually raise revenue for the federal government.” 

Cortney O'Brien - Finally: DHS Adviser Whose Tweets Were Praised by ISIL Loses Job
Posted: 9/16/2014 4:15:00 PM EST

Is there anyone left in the Obama administration? Since the president took office, the White House has seemed to be a revolving door. Kathleen Sebelius "retired" as Health and Human Services Secretary after overseeing a botched Obamacare rollout, Steven Miller left his position as IRS chief after revelations that the agency had unfairly targeted conservative groups, and Eric Shinseki tendered his resignation as Veteran Affairs Secretary amid headlines that vets were being denied care across the country thanks to his agency's disorganization. Now, the Department of Homeland Security is the latest agency dealing with a scandal and another employee leaving in disgrace.

Mohamed Elibiary served as a senior member of DHS' Homeland Security Advisory Council. In June, he tweeted this controversial message:

Islamic jihadists were more than pleased by his comments, allegedly even using them to recruit members. The tweet also made the rounds through Arabic press. Elibiary's radical statements recently led to his departure from the agency.

Elibiary took to social media again earlier this month, announcing his decision to leave DHS, but documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon suggest he had no choice but to leave. The agency was kicking him out, partly due to allegations that he improperly used security clearances to obtain classified materials.

These past few weeks, ISIL has shown the world its evil intentions, savagely beheading two American journalists and a British aid worker. It shouldn't have taken the White House four months to give Elibiary his pink slip for sympathizing with such a group. This administration should have taken immediate action, showing there is no room for such extremist comments in the nation's capital - where our leaders are supposed to have our best interests in mind.

Anyone who seems to sympathize with the enemy doesn't deserve a post in Washington.

Good riddance.

Daniel Doherty - Obama Deploying Thousands of US Troops Overseas to Combat Ebola
Posted: 9/16/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

Fears of global contagion vis-à-vis the Ebola virus, especially into the Western hemisphere, have largely taken a back seat to growing concerns about American foreign policy towards the Middle East and the rise of ISIS. But perhaps not anymore. In fact, later today President Obama will unveil a sizeable aid package to several beleaguered nations in West Africa in the hopes of alleviating the suffering there and containing this scourge.

USA Today has the details:

President Obama today will announce the expansion of a $763 million military-led plan to help West Africa nations fight the spread of the Ebola virus and prevent it from reaching the United States, officials said Tuesday. The revamped project calls for more doctors and health care professionals; more portable hospitals, laboratories, and other medical facilities; and increased training for first responders and other medical officials throughout West Africa.

Some 3,000 U.S. military personnel will be deployed to West Africa to lead the project, officials said. The total cost of the program is estimated at $763 million over six months, officials said, including $175 million that has already been dedicated to fight the disease that has claimed more than 2,400 lives in Africa.

Reuters reports, meanwhile, that many professionals believe U.S. efforts to combat the virus are well-intentioned but wholly inadequate:

The U.S. action, which goes far further than previous offers of aid, won praise from aid workers and officials in the region, but health experts said it was still not enough to contain the fast-spreading epidemic.

The death toll from the fever, which spreads rapidly, causes uncontrolled bleeding and fever and typically kills more than half of its victims, has doubled in the past month to 2,461, mostly in three countries in West Africa. The World Health Organization said a "much faster" response was needed to limit the number of cases to the tens of thousands.

"This health crisis we're facing is unparalleled in modern times," WHO Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward told a news conference in Geneva. "We don't know where the numbers are going on this."

Hence why the president is taking decisive action by (a) putting boots on the ground in West Africa and (b) appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars to end the epidemic. But what meaningful difference on the ground, if any, these generous efforts will make remains unclear.

Christine Rousselle - McConnell Strikes Back: Grimes is Just Like Obama
Posted: 9/16/2014 2:40:00 PM EST

I wrote yesterday about Kentucky's Democrat nominee for Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, distancing herself from President Obama in a new ad released by her campaign. Her opponent, incumbent Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, struck back today with a stinging ad, claiming that Grimes is exactly like Obama—even down to the photo ops.

Ouch.

Washington Post has more (emphasis added):

McConnell's assertions in the ad that Grimes has repeatedly sided with the president on unpopular-in-Kentucky issues doesn't offer any context, but none is really needed. McConnell's point is that Grimes is an Obama clone, and his point is made very effectively -- even making sure the two Democrats' weapons are pointing in the same direction.

Grimes consistently trails in the polling, in part because McConnell has effectively made the race about Obama. Yeah, on the thin veneer surface, this is a race about guns and gun use. But it's really about whether or not Grimes is an Obama clone, thanks to McConnell's very effective framing. Meaning that by releasing her gun ad, Grimes basically walked right into McConnell's strategy.

It seems as though this race is going to get continuously tense as Election Day approaches.

Daniel Doherty - RNC Launches "The Road to Six" Campaign
Posted: 9/16/2014 12:15:00 PM EST

Keep the number "six" in mind this fall, my friends; it's the total number of Senate seats Republicans must win (without losing any) to demote Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and retake control of the upper chamber.

As a result, the Republican National Committee has launched a new effort to mobilize voters and explain certain initiatives the group has recently undertaken to win more races. Yesterday, for example, the RNC released this promotional video -- and this memorandum -- as part of their "Road to Six" campaign:

FROM: Chairman Reince Priebus

TO: Republican National Committee Members

RE: The Road to Six

As we head into the final stretch of this election, I wanted to send along an update of where we stand—as a party and as a committee—in our effort to take back the U.S. Senate.

As you know, six is the key number in the battle for control of the Senate. Republicans have to flip six Democrat-held seats, and the good news is we have multiple paths to get to six.

But I want to emphasize that even as we hear growing predictions about a Republican “wave,” we have to remember this won’t be easy. To take back the Senate, we have to beat at least three incumbent senators. As others have rightly observed, that would be something of a historic upset. Not since the 1980 Reagan landslide have Republicans defeated more than two incumbent senators.

That’s why the RNC has made such a significant investment in supporting our candidates in 2014: $100 million. We began investing in the states earlier than in midterms past. As I noted at the Summer Meeting, for months, we’ve been quietly expanding the map. That’s partly why the party is now competitive in states that people did not expect us to be. As I’ve visited Victory 365 offices and Co-Chairman Day has gone door-knocking with volunteers and precinct teams, we’ve seen firsthand that these early investment are paying off.

Chairman Priebus went on to say that the RNC has invested significantly in new technologies and data mining operations to improve candidates’ chances in closely-contested races. At the same time, he reiterated the RNC’s commitment to tying vulnerable Democrats to the current administration.

“In these final weeks,” Priebus wrote, “our focus will be reminding voters that the Democrat candidates’ agenda is no different from President Obama’s.”

He also mentioned that, although Democrats will most likely outspend the GOP this fall, the Republican Party has a golden opportunity to make history by putting conservatives back into power.

You can read the whole memo by clicking here.

Katie Pavlich - Dempsey: If Coalition Fails, We'll Need U.S. Boots on Ground Against ISIS
Posted: 9/16/2014 11:50:00 AM EST

Testifying on Capitol Hill Tuesday in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that although "we're not there yet," the United States may eventually need to deploy U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS if a coalition and airstrikes fail to get the job done against the terror army. 

“My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will prove true but if it fails to be true and if there are threats to the United States then I of course would go back to the President and make a recommendation that we include the use of U.S. military ground forces. To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president," Dempsey said.

President Obama has been adamant about keeping U.S. combat troops from re-engaging in conflict in Iraq. Currently 1600 U.S. troops and military personnel are stationed in Iraq as advisors to local forces. Last week in a speech to the nation, Obama said he was sending nearly 500 more advisors to the region.

Thanks to Jim Hoft for the video.

Daniel Doherty - Ibrahim: “There Are Many Meriams in Sudan…I’m Not the Only One”
Posted: 9/16/2014 11:00:00 AM EST

We followed this terribly-sad-yet-ultimately-triumphant story as it unfolded last spring and summer. In brief, a Sudanese Christian mother of two was sentenced to death for worshiping her Christian faith. Although she never self-identified with the religion of Islam (the religion of her father, as it happens) her marriage to an American Christian was considered apostasy under Islamic law. She was therefore condemned to die. Her case sparked international indignation, and only after overcoming some major hurdles was she finally released. Eventually, she flew from Sudan to Rome where she met with Pope Francis (who was deeply moved by her “courageous witness to perseverance in the Faith”). From there she sought asylum in the United States, where she was warmly welcomed with her husband and two children last month.

On The Kelly File last night she told her side of the story. But before you watch the clip below, make sure to have some tissues handy: after all, this is an incredibly moving story of suffering, courage, sacrifice, and triumph:

Guy Benson - Benghazi Whistleblower: We Were Ordered to Withhold Documents from Review Board
Posted: 9/16/2014 10:28:00 AM EST

Ahead of the House Select Committee on Benghazi's first public hearing tomorrow, former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson is out with a significant new report centered around new claims from a former State Department official. Raymond Maxwell -- whom you may recall as one of the lower-level employees disciplined, then reinstated, in the wake of the Benghazi firestorm -- says he was ordered to cull damaging documents from a file of evidence being handed over to the State Department's 'independent' Accountability Review Board (ARB):


A former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya...According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C....Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” ... When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment. “She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers. “I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ” A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says, in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.

According to Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who interviewed Maxwell for the Select Committee, one of those "high-ranking State Department officials" was Cheryl Mills -- Hillary Clinton's Chief of Staff:



Mills famously castigated Gregory Hicks, murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens' second in command in Libya, for cooperating with Congressional investigators.  The ARB supposedly undertook a "fiercely independent" investigation with "unfettered access" into the facts surrounding the Benghazi massacre.  Based on Maxwell's accusation of explicit whitewashing and meddling, the ARB's inquiry would appear to be anything but "unfettered."  The panel has faced challenges to its credibility in the past, including questions over whether it was stacked by the probe's subjects, and the admission of a lead investigator that he'd engaged in some behind-the-scenes collusion with Mills:


The House Oversight Committee report suggests there may be a conflict of interest in having the ARB rely so heavily on the State Department that it's investigating for staff and resources. For example, Under Secretary Kennedy supervised the selection of the Benghazi ARB staff; and the State Department appointed four of the five members of the Board. Further, Mullen acknowledged giving Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton's Chief of Staff, "a head's up" prior to her interview with deputy assistant secretary for international programs Charlene Lamb. Mullen said: "I thought [Lamb's] appearance could be a very difficult appearance for the State Department."

That would be the same Under Secretary [Patrick Kennedy] who has been identified as one of the officials directly responsible for denying requests for an increased on-the-ground security presence in Libya leading up to the deadly terrorist raid. Secretary Clinton, for her part, was never interviewed by the ARB.  A subsequent Senate report on Benghazi was much more critical of the State Department's role in the 'preventable' attacks, and scolded Sec. Clinton's department for "unnecessarily hamper[ing] the committee's review."  Internal email exchanges have also revealed private efforts by top-level State Department officials to scrub relevant details from Susan Rice's inaccurate talking points, very clearly for the purposes of political damage control.  Additional emails that were initially withheld from investigators directly contradicted previous administration assertions, producing frantic, risible spin from the White House.  Mr. Maxwell's allegations add a new layer to the emerging picture of a Benghazi cover up.  If and when he offers public testimony, Democrats will almost certainly accuse Maxwell of being a liar with an axe to grind.  What they can't accuse him of is Republican partisanship:


Maxwell, 58, strongly supported President Barack Obama and personally contributed to his presidential campaign. But post-Benghazi, he has soured on both Obama and Clinton, saying he had nothing to do with security and was sacrificed as a scapegoat while higher-up officials directly responsible escaped discipline.

Insinuating that an African-American Obama donor was somehow part of some GOP conspiracy will be a tough sell. Then again, I must say that this quote from Maxwell rings a bit too 'perfect:'

Several weeks after he was placed on leave with no formal accusations, Maxwell made an appointment to address his status with a State Department ombudsman. “She told me, ‘You are taking this all too personally, Raymond. It is not about you,’ ” Maxwell recalls. “I told her that ‘My name is on TV and I’m on administrative leave, it seems like it’s about me.’ Then she said, ‘You’re not harmed, you’re still getting paid. Don’t watch TV. Take your wife on a cruise. It’s not about you; it’s about Hillary and 2016.’

Was the 2016 bit his inference, or is he claiming that this woman spelled out a cartoonishly political calculus to a furious employee who felt he was being unfairly scapegoated? C'mon. We'll know soon enough: “I’m 100 percent confident the Benghazi Select Committee is going to dive deep on that issue,” Chaffetz says.  Stay tuned.