tipsheet
Daniel Doherty - Mittmentum Continues: Romney Clears GOP Field in New Q-poll
Posted: 11/26/2014 8:00:00 PM EST

Before you consume large portions of Thanksgiving deliciousness tomorrow, do check out the latest Quinnipiac poll surveying the crowded and presumptive 2016 presidential field. It may (or may not) give you heartburn:

Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's unsuccessful presidential nominee in 2012, leads the field for the 2016 election among Republican voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.

The former Massachusetts governor would have a slight edge over potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by 45 percent to 44 percent in a general election, the poll found.

Amazingly, Romney leads all other Republicans surveyed, and is beating Hillary Clinton in a hypothetic head-to-head matchup. Perhaps, then, it's finally time to eschew the “loser for life” label.

It doesn't quite seem to fit.

Greg Hengler -  2-Minute Thanksgiving NFL Ad Warns of Rogue President
Posted: 11/26/2014 5:44:00 PM EST

This brilliant ad is coming to your televisions this Thanksgiving from Conservative War Chest.

Leah Barkoukis - ISIS Fighters Reach out to Ferguson Protesters, Offer Help In Exchange for Oath of Allegiance to Baghdadi
Posted: 11/26/2014 5:15:00 PM EST

Protesters in Ferguson have been offered some help from none other than the Islamic State. In a clear attempt to take advantage of the growing unrest and ‘anti-authoritarian feelings,’ British jihadis have offered to send fighters to take on the police in the riot-plagued city. There is one condition, however: they must embrace Islam and pledge their allegiance to the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Daily Mail has the details:

Using the slogan 'From #IS 2 Ferguson', Birmingham-born jihadi Junaid Hussain, 20 - who has adopted the nom de guerre Abu Hussain al-Britani - this morning tweeted a photograph of a hand-written letter urging the Ferguson rioters to 'reject corrupt man-made laws like democracy' and declare their allegiance to ISIS' leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The note Hussain posted on Twitter today is titled 'From #IS 2 Ferguson' and contains a promise to send militants to the Missouri city if protesters pledge allegiance to ISIS.

It reads: 'We hear you and we will help you if you accept Islam and reject corrupt man-made laws like democracy and pledge your allegiance to Caliph Abu Bakr and then we will shed our blood for you and send our soldiers that don't sleep, whose drink is blood, and their play is carnage.'

Underneath the picture Hussain tweeted: 'Accept Islam & give bayah [allegiance] to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi & then we will send u soldiers that don't sleep! - #IS #Ferguson'.

The note was accompanied by a photograph of a number of masked young men posing with assault rifles and mobile phone cases bearing the black and white logo of the Islamic State.

It is understood the men in the photograph are militants based in ISIS-held areas of Syria and Iraq, and that one of the men is 20-year-old Hussain.

Another militant, who uses the Twitter handle @Abu 3antar Britani and is also thought to be British, tweeted: 'From #IS to #Ferguson we heard your call and we are ready to respond! #FergusonDecision #BeLikeMalcolmX #FightBack'.

A third jihadi using the nom de guerre Abu Dujana subsequently posted a photograph of a large knife being brandished by somebody wearing a glove made by the American sports brand Nike.

'For how long will you let these govts oppress u. Draw ur knives and show them a response!! #FergusonDecision #IS,' he wrote.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen ISIS try to capitalize on the unrest in Ferguson. During a CNN news report in August, a sign could be seen in the background that read “ISIS is here.”

By invoking names of black civil rights leaders like Malcolm X, it seems the terrorist group is trying to attract new converts. After all, many of them, including Malcolm X, were Muslim.

Whether ISIS will successfully make inroads in Ferguson remains to be seen, but the thought alone is chilling. 

Sarah Jean Seman - Watch: Congressional Hits and Misses, Thanksgiving Edition
Posted: 11/26/2014 5:07:00 PM EST

You never know what you will hear on the Hill. According to Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) "turkey growers are finding it difficult to heat their barns, and therefore their turkeys." In the holiday spirit, Roll Call has compiled a special Thanksgiving edition for this week's 'Congressional Hits and Misses.' Be prepared, the congress members are "now in their eating time."  

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Matt Vespa - McCain To Graham: You Should Run For President, My Friend
Posted: 11/26/2014 4:15:00 PM EST

While John McCain will probably run for another term as Arizona Senator, he’s urging his friend and colleague, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to run for president in 2016. ABC News mentioned Graham’s interview with the Weekly Standard last month where he said he might consider a 2016 run if no other candidate has a robust and aggressive foreign policy platform (via ABC News/Yahoo!):

“I think he is looking at it, and I am strongly encouraging him to take a look at it,” McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC News. “I know of no one who is better versed and more important on national security policy and defense than Lindsey Graham, and I don’t think these challenges to our security are going away.”

“He is eminently qualified,” McCain added

Yet, he also knows that this will be an exercise in the insane given the media scrutiny, traveling, and fundraising he would have to do if he tossed his hat into the ring:

On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, Graham said running for president is "the hardest thing one could ever do. You go through personal hell. You have got to raise a ton of money. I'm nowhere near there."

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said he expects a “very crowded field” in 2016 that will be compromised of both senators and governors.

“I think there's an old saying that if you are a United States senator that unless you are under indictment, or detoxification that you can automatically consider yourself a candidate,” McCain joked. “I think we should let a thousand flowers bloom. I think that the process is wide open right now, and I think not only will members of the Senate be considered, but I think some of our successful Republican governors will also be interested.”

Guy Benson - Q-Poll: Obama Approval Back to 39 Percent, Americans Trust GOP More
Posted: 11/26/2014 3:07:00 PM EST

Why don't you go ahead and consider Quinnipiac's latest numbers a continuation of these data points we highlighted last week.  The midterm elections were a rejection of the president, his party, and his agenda -- and non-voters are on board with that repudiation:

American voters give Obama a negative 39 - 54 percent approval rating, close to his lowest-ever 38 - 57 percent score in a December 10, 2013, Quinnipiac University poll. Democrats and voters under 30 years old are the only party, gender or age groups who approve of the president. Only 42 percent of American voters trust Obama more than Republicans in Congress to do what is best for the nation, while 47 percent trust Republicans more. It's good for the country that Republicans have taken over control of the U.S. Senate, voters say 51 - 37 percent, but 67 percent of voters expect more gridlock in the next two years. Gridlock will be Obama's fault, 44 percent of voters say, as 42 percent would blame Republicans. "American voters are happy the Republicans have the ball, but don't feel confident there will be a lot of scoring on the deal-making front," Malloy said. "If that's the case, the numbers say blame will fall on Obama as much as Republicans.

Americans are glad the GOP took the Senate, they trust Congressional Republicans more than Obama on pursuing our national interests, and they're poised to blame the president slightly more for the expected resulting gridlock. Obamacare support remains underwater by double digits (40/54), while a slim plurality (48/46) favors full repeal of the law.  Fully 75 percent of respondents say they expect the new Congress will attempt to repeal Obamacare.  Meanwhile, even as this polling series has consistently showed much stronger backing for fully or mostly legal abortion (compared to other pollsters' numbers on the question), the American people still overwhelmingly favor a ban on almost all abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy, with virtually no gender gap on the question:

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 11.32.24 AM

Barack Obama and his extremist party adamantly oppose this consensus, mainstream, humane measure.  And on the red-hot immigration issue, the White House can take solace in the fact that although Obama's executive order is underwater in this survey, it's a closer margin than previous polling has found.  Part of that may be a result of the question wording framing things as both (a) an issue of Congressional inaction, which is straight out of Obama's hymnal, and (b) a hypothetical scenario, which, um, it's not.  Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans who believe that most illegal immigrants should have access to a path to citizenship has fallen considerably, and is now tied with the combined "no path to citizenship" and "deportation" camps.  No worries, Emperor Barack can just continue to "take action to change the law," and make everything better.  Seems legit:



Katie Pavlich - Ahead of Thankgiving Holiday, Obama Administration Quietly Submits New EPA Regulation Proposal
Posted: 11/26/2014 2:30:00 PM EST

As millions of Americans get ready to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday ahead of a four-day weekend, the Obama administration has quietly issued a proposal for new EPA regulations.

Coming full circle on a campaign promise, the Obama administration will propose tightening the amount of a smog-forming pollutant in the air.

People familiar with the proposal tell the Associated Press that the EPA will recommend lowering the limit for ground-level ozone to 65 to 70 parts per billion, down from a 75 parts per billion standard set in the 2008.

The proposal will be announced Wednesday to meet a court-ordered Dec. 1 deadline. The stricter standard makes good a campaign promise Obama made during his first run for the White House. 

The EPA argues these new smog rules will make Americans healthier and the air cleaner, but job creators and business advocates are pushing back, saying the standards are unattainable, won't make much difference in air quality and will have a negative impact on the economy. 

Leaked details of the proposal drew sharp criticism from industry groups, which argue that tighter restrictions will lead to higher costs and losses in jobs and economic productivity. American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said air quality is already improving throughout much of the country, and many states are still struggling to adjust to the last change in ozone regulations six years ago.

Meanwhile, over the past 90 days the federal government has issued 6,000 new regulations for small businesses around the country. 

Matt Vespa - WaPo Flashback: DOJ Probably Does Not Have Enough To File Civil Rights Charges Against Darren Wilson
Posted: 11/26/2014 1:15:00 PM EST

As Katie mentioned yesterday, the Department of Justice is still conducting an ongoing investigation of its own:

While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing. Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now. Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence. And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions," Holder released in a statement.

DOJ is investigating whether Michael Brown’s civil rights were violated and whether there are discriminatory police practices happening in Ferguson.

Yet, on October 31, it was reported that federal officials probably don’t have enough evidence to file civil rights charges against Officer Darren Wilson, but a DOJ spokesperson called such assumptions premature (via WaPo):

Justice Department investigators have all but concluded they do not have a strong enough case to bring civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., law enforcement officials said.

“The evidence at this point does not support civil rights charges against Officer Wilson,” said one person briefed on the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Justice Department officials are loath to acknowledge publicly that their case cannot now meet the high legal threshold for a successful civil rights prosecution.

Justice spokesman Brian Fallon said the case remains open and any discussion of its results is premature. “This is an irresponsible report by The Washington Post that is based on idle speculation,” Fallon said in a statement.

Other law enforcement officials interviewed by The Post said it was not too soon to say how the investigation would end. “The evidence we have makes federal civil rights charges unlikely,” one said.

H/T Dan McLaughlin.
Cortney O'Brien - This Just In: Tesco is Sexist
Posted: 11/26/2014 1:00:00 PM EST

Tesco, a grocery retailer based out of England, has just offended little girls everywhere, according to a slighted mother and her 7-year-old daughter. It's offense? Claiming superhero action figures were "toys for boys."

Karen Cole brought her daughter to Tesco for a routine grocery trip, when her daughter Maggie noticed a sign that said Marvel superheroes were "Fun gifts for boys." Here was Maggie's best Mckayla Maroney-Grumpy Cat-like reaction:

Cole's post got over 10,000 retweets and BuzzFeed decided to run a story on it suggesting that this little girl had "schooled" Tesco. The photo gained more than just social media buzz, however. The picture gained Tesco's attention, prompting the company to remove the "sexist" sign from each of its stores.

In response to her picture going viral, Cole wrote a blog post entitled, "Maggie v. Tesco, our story." In the piece, she explains how she has taught her daughter that toys aren't exclusive to any gender and she was pleasantly surprised that Tesco realized its mistake.

But, was it really a mistake?

John Stossel had a great segment on parents and their decision to raise children in gender neutral homes on his Fox News show which aired Saturday night. During the program, Stossel questioned parents who let their children decide whether they want to be boys or girls. He determined that it was confusing for children, to say the least. 

Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, also tackled this issue in a piece for The Atlantic in 2012. After speaking with experts and studying research on the subject, here's what she concluded about children's play preferences:

"They are different, and nothing short of radical and sustained behavior modification could significantly change their elemental play preferences. Children, with few exceptions, are powerfully drawn to sex-stereotyped play. David Geary, a developmental psychologist at the University of Missouri, told me in an email this week, "One of the largest and most persistent differences between the sexes are children's play preferences." The female preference for nurturing play and the male propensity for rough-and-tumble hold cross-culturally."

Is it so mind boggling to suggest that boys and girls are programmed differently? Boys tend to want to pretend they're Iron Man, and girls tend to want to braid Elsa's hair. It's not sexist - it's basic science.

Presumably, Tesco also had Barbies or Easy Bake Ovens that were labeled "just for girls." I, for one, don't think the company would have to apologize for assuming that girls like playing with dolls and baking cookies - because they do! 

Instead of teaching our sons and daughters to be offended by false cases of sexism, why not teach them to embrace the differences between boys and girls? That is something to be thankful for.

Katie Pavlich - New York Times Pretty Much Publishes The Address of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson
Posted: 11/26/2014 1:00:00 PM EST

Yesterday in an attempt to report on the wedding of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, the New York Times published the street name and suburb where he owns a home with his pregnant wife outside of St. Louis. Breitbart's John Nolte was the first to report on the publication last night. 

Breitbart News will not link the story or give out the specific information, but the New York Times had no qualms whatsoever about publishing almost all the information needed for Officer Darren Wilson's enemies to track him and his wife down at home:

Officer Wilson and [his wife] own a home together on XXXXXXX Lane in XXXXXXXXXX, Mo., a St. Louis suburb about a half-hour drive from Ferguson.

The NYT published the information after a night of rage and violence across the country as rioters burnt business to the ground, called for Wilson's death, hurled rocks at police, smashed windows, turned over cops cars etc., putting the lives of Wilson and his wife further at risk. To make matters worse, the online publication Slate posted a photo of Wilson's home. 

Meanwhile, here's another egregious example of reckless media: