Kevin Glass - Report: GOP Leadership Considering Rules To Punish Party Disloyalty
Posted: 9/19/2014 6:22:00 PM EST

A new congressional delegation will bring a new vote for leadership. With Democrats needing a miracle to gain a few seats, much less actually take the House, Republicans are close to a sure bet to be in control come November. That'll mean elections, and elections means a John Boehner who needs to have the support of his caucus.

There are a lot of members of the GOP caucus who don't very much like John Boehner. He's taken a lot of heat for being insufficiently conservative. To avoid an embarrassing vote, leadership might have some "rules tweaks" in the pipeline, as National Journal reports:

House Republicans are quietly discussing a proposal that could fundamentally alter the way future speakers of the House are chosen, according to multiple GOP sources, with the objective of avoiding a repeat of John Boehner's embarrassing reelection vote in 2013.

The rule tweak began as an informal discussion but has morphed into a concrete proposal that is beginning to circulate in the House. According to people briefed on it, any Republican who votes on the House floor in January against the conference's nominee for House speaker—that is, the candidate chosen by a majority of the House GOP during its closed-door leadership elections in November—would be severely punished. Specifically, sources say, any dissenters would be stripped of all committee assignments for that Congress.

"There's a real concern that there's between 30 and 40 people that would vote against the speaker on the House floor, so they're trying to change the conference rules to make sure that doesn't happen," said a GOP member familiar with the proposal.

The last time, as National Journal notes, there were 12 members who voted against Boehner's speakership on the House floor. The GOP leadership wants to present a more united front this time around.

Matt Vespa - As Tillis Trails Hagan, NRA Launches Major Ad Buy
Posted: 9/19/2014 5:30:00 PM EST

This isn’t a surprise, but Thom Tillis needs something to happen if he’s to unseat Hagan by Election Day.

Recent news hasn’t been too kind to Tillis. A poll from the conservative Civitas Institute showed that unaffiliated voters in North Carolina, who make up 27 percent of the electorate, back Hagan over him.

Fox News poll of likely North Carolina voters showed that Sen. Hagan has the advantage, beating Tillis 41/36. Yet, 19 percent said that they could change their mind between now and Election Day.

An Elon University poll also found Hagan beating Tillis 45/41 amongst likely voters. Tillis’ 47-point deficit amongst single women (they’re breaking 65/18 for Hagan) could be one of the reasons why he’s continued to trail Hagan in the polls. The poll surveyed 1,078 residents, 983 were registered to vote in North Carolina, and 629 described themselves as likely voters.

But there are some areas where Tillis can maneuver. For the first time since 2007, likely voters said the most important issue in the United States had to do with national security, or something related to international relations. Republicans have a clear advantage on foreign affairs heading into the 2014 midterms.

At the same time, from this poll, it looks as if immigration won’t be such an animating force as it is in New Hampshire amongst North Carolina’s registered voters, of which 47 percent think “immigrants are a benefit to North Carolina because of their hard work.” Forty percent feel they will be a burden to public services.

Abortion is another tricky issue, as 44 percent favor fewer restrictions on abortion; 40 percent want more restrictions. On Obamacare, almost half of registered voters–48 percent– think the ACA would make North Carolina health care worse, according to the Elon Poll. Thirty-one percent think it will make it better.

Then again, 7.5 percent of likely voters polled said they were undecided. When pressed whom they would vote for, 49 percent still said they were not sure. Elon predicted that means 4.6 percent of the electorate is up for grabs.

Recently, the National Rifle Association is planning a $11.4 million dollar advertising campaign in key senate and gubernatorial races (via Politico):

The National Rifle Association has reserved $11.4 million for its initial fall advertising campaign and will begin airing its first TV commercials Wednesday in three Senate races crucial to determining which party controls the chamber next year.

The gun rights group, which outlined its fall priorities exclusively for POLITICO Campaign Pro, said it plans to spend much more than the initial outlay during the final weeks before the midterm elections.

The first ads will begin airing in the Arkansas, Colorado and North Carolina Senate races. They will be followed in the next few days with a mix of TV, radio and digital ads to help out the GOP Senate candidates in Georgia, Kentucky, Iowa and Louisiana.

The NRA has reserved $1.4 million of time in each state.

The bulk of the North Carolina buy, just over $1 million, will air in the Raleigh-Durham market, and about $350,000 will be spent in Greensboro.

Additionally, Freedom Partners Action Fund launched a $750,000 ad buy with two ads hitting Sen. Hagan over the Veterans Affairs fiasco and Obamacare.

The Obamacare ad actually ties in education, where we hear from a registered Democrat named Brenda, who taught in North Carolina for over 40 years, but had her hours cut as a substitute teacher due to Obamacare.

While not from the Tillis campaign, the Freedom Partners ad does a nice job in expanding the Obamacare blast radius to not just about gutted plans and higher premiums; it tied in education, which is an issue where Democrats are hammering Tillis.

Speaking of which, here’s an ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee slamming Tillis over his education cuts.

Sen. Kay Hagan, who garnered an endorsement from Cosmopolitan this week, also had this direct ad stating she’s "tough enough to keep taking the punches."

As Election Day draws closer, more voters are likely to become more attentive to this race. Elon predicts that North Carolina will have a higher than average voter turnout this year, so the possible fall groundswell could benefit either campaign. We’ll have to see what happens.

Christine Rousselle - Could ISIS Hurt Franken's Chance for Reelection?
Posted: 9/19/2014 4:15:00 PM EST

While incumbent Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (D) has a comfortable lead in opinion polls, some are wondering if his relatively muted response to ISIS actively recruiting soldiers from Minnesota will come back to haunt him in November.

Minnesota has been a hotbed for ISIS recruitment, with over a dozen residents of the Twin Cities traveling to the Middle East to fight for the Islamic State. Two have been killed.

Mike McFadden, the Republican candidate for Franken's seat, has jumped on the issue of ISIS in Minneapolis by portraying Franken as ineffectively combating the terror threat.

More from ABC:

Hours after the release of the ISIS video showing the execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff on Sept. 2, McFadden blasted Franken for his support of the president’s “foreign policy blunders.”

He later said Franken was “asleep at the wheel” after the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported on a federal grand jury investigation of an attempt to convince 20 to 30 Somali men to leave Minnesota and join ISIS.

“This is a very, very serious issue, and it has not received the attention from Sen. Franken it deserves,” McFadden told ABC News. “We’re sitting here today six years after Sen. Franken and President Obama were elected, and the world is a more dangerous place.”

While Franken wrote a letter to the Department of Justice asking for assistance on addressing the matter of his constituents being successfully recruited to terrorist groups, McFadden called the effort “a day late and a dollar short.”

Franken was narrowly elected in 2009. Despite polls earlier this year showing low favorability and approval ratings, he leads recent polls by 13 points.

Katie Pavlich - Joe Biden at DNC Women's Lunch: I Sure Miss That Serial Sexual Assaulter Bob Packwood
Posted: 9/19/2014 3:15:00 PM EST

Vice President Joe Biden is having quite the week. First he used the Jewish slur "Shylock" while attempting to describe greed. Then in another speech, Biden described Asia as "The Orient."

Today at a DNC women's event (reminder, the folks over at the DNC, including Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, love using war on women rhetoric) Biden said he misses the days of bipartisanship in Washington and especially misses Republican Senator Bob Packwood. 

"It was Republicans that were involved," Biden said in a speech at a DNC Women’s Leadership Forum breakfast. "Guys like [former Maryland Sen.] Mac Mathias and Packwood and so many others. It wasn't Democrats alone. Republicans were the sponsors of the raises of the minimum wage. I could go on and on. I'm not joking: This is not your father's Republican Party, or your mother's Republican Party."

As a reminder, Bob Packwood was run out of the Senate for abhorrent behavior as a misogynist, serial sexual harasser/assaulter and creep. 

After Republican Robert W. Packwood was narrowly reelected to the Senate by Oregon voters in 1992, The Washington Post published a lengthy front-page story outlining the senator's unwanted sexual advances as reported by 10 women, mainly former staff members and lobbyists.

The extremely detailed and convincing accounts of Packwood's gross misbehavior were appalling. Outrage toward Packwood in his home state of Oregon and across the nation grew by day. The scandal and legal entanglements surrounding it would lead the senator to tearfully end his political career in 1995.

But hey, you can't really blame Biden. Excusing sexual abuse is just a habit. After all, he's in the party that praises and glorifies Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton (who have the same records as Packwood, but because they vote the right way on abortion, were allowed by Democrats to stay in politics). At the 2012 DNC convention, Bill Clinton spoke and a seven-minute long tribute video was played in honor of Ted Kennedy's life. Naturally, they left out the chapter when Kennedy left a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, to die in his car. Staff - Why Was David Limbaugh's Book Left Off NYT's Bestseller List?
Posted: 9/19/2014 1:55:00 PM EST

Was this an innocent mistake or another calculated ploy to slight a conservative author? You decide.

The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reports that David Limbaugh, a best-selling author and popular Townhall columnist, has been curiously left off the New York Times bestseller list -- even though his book is flying off bookshelves everywhere. As a matter of fact, it’s already reached pinnacle status on, boasting higher book sales in recent days than most other print publications on the market.

What, then, could possibly explain this glaring omission?

The New York Times Book Review, which has a history of belatedly recognizing conservative bestsellers, has banished conservative legal author David Limbaugh’s latest, Jesus on Trial, from its upcoming best seller list despite having sales better than 17 other books on the list.

According to publishing sources, Limbaugh’s probe into the accuracy of the Bible sold 9,660 in its first week out, according to Nielsen BookScan. That should have made it No. 4 on the NYT print hardcover sales list.

Instead, Henry Kissinger’s World Order, praised by Hillary Clinton in the Washington Post, is No. 4 despite weekly sales of 6,607.

As Secrets wrote about a similar banishment early in the sales of conservative Dinesh D’Souza’s America, the Gray Lady is mysterious in how it calculates its list. A spokeswoman said, “We let the rankings speak for themselves and are confident they are accurate.”

If so, Limbaugh’s book should easily have made the bestseller list. The fact that it didn't certainly suggests that the New York Times is once again engaging in anti-conservative bias.

President and publisher of Regnery Publishing, Marji Ross, told Townhall she was absolutely "flabbergasted" by the news.

“Basically, we were flabbergasted when we got the New York Times bestseller list...and saw that Jesus on Trial wasn’t listed on their top 20 print books,” she said. “We saw sales of nearly 10,000 copies for David’s book, and we knew from past experience what that translates into. And that certainly is enough copies to always make it onto the bestseller list.”

She explained that Limbaugh’s book sold roughly 9,600 copies (according to advanced figures) while Henry Kissinger’s book sold roughly only 6,600 copies -- and yet Kissinger’s book landed at No. 4 on the bestseller list.

“When we saw Henry Kissinger’s book at #4, we literally couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Be that as it may, this isn't the first time something like this has happened.

“We’ve seen this kind of thing before where one of our books [is slighted], and frankly, I think it happens a lot to conservative authors and conservative titles and conservative publishers,” she added. “But this time was truly the most shocking.”

You can learn more about ways to receive a free copy of Jesus on Trial by clicking here.

After all, regardless of what the Times thinks, the book is still very much worth reading.

Katie Pavlich - Military Leaders Increasingly at Odds With Obama Over ISIS Strategy
Posted: 9/19/2014 1:00:00 PM EST

Obama's strategy on how to combat ISIS is confusing at best, but one thing is clear: the battle brewing between Obama and America's top generals about how to move forward against the terror army. 

Earlier this week during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey said there is potential he will recommend ground troops should the coalition with Arab countries against ISIS fail. 

“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.

The next day, President Obama gave a speech in Florida at U.S. Central Command and stressed, "I will not commit you, and the rest of our armed forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq." Obama has repeatedly insisted ground troops will not be used against ISIS.

Regardless, the line of generals and other high ranking military officials expressing skepticism over President Obama's plan and strategy is quickly getting longer. 

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis:

"Half‐hearted or tentative efforts, or air strikes alone, can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foe’s credibility, reinforcing his recruiting efforts which are already strong. I do not necessarily advocate American ground forces at this point, but we should never reassure our enemy that our commander‐in‐chief would not commit them at the time and place of his choosing. When we act it should be unequivocal, designed to end the fight as swiftly as possible. While no one is more reluctant to see us again in combat than those of us who have signed letters to the next of kin of our fallen, if something is worth fighting for we must bring full strength to bear."
General Loyd Austin:
President Obama had been given advice on how to handle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant but did not act on it, according to a new report from Real Clear Defense.Obama was preparing his strategy when he rejected the “best military advice” of Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command.

General Ray Odierno:

Airstrikes have halted the advance of the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL, General Odierno, now the Army chief of staff, told journalists from four news organizations, including The New York Times, in what aides said were his first public comments on the current situation in Iraq. Ultimately, though, “you’ve got to have ground forces that are capable of going in and rooting them out,” he said, referring to the Islamic extremists.

The airstrikes “will not be the end all and be all solution in Iraq,” he said. Similarly, he added, the jihadis cannot be allowed to have a safe haven across the border in Syria.

Lt. Col. Oliver North:

"In my military mind what you have is Operation Enduring Confusion. You have a President who cannot make up his mind about what he wants." 

"I've spent my whole life hanging around the U.S. military. I've been on plenty of times with you from Iraq and other places. I've spent my life with these young guys. I'm waiting for the general or admiral who will stand up on his hind feet and say this is mission impossible. Given the constraints that you've [Obama] given we cannot accomplish the objective you have set. It is impossible to do."

"Somebody has to tell the truth...Some general or admiral at the Pentagon or somewhere else in Central Command has got to stand up and say, 'The mission we've been given we can do but we can't with the constraints you've places upon us.'"

Last night on The Kelly File, General Jack Keane gave his analysis: 

And then there's this:

The current situation in Iraq is a direct result of President Obama choosing politics over the advice of his generals. Even with the threat of ISIS, things haven't changed.

Daniel Doherty - Report: ISIS Urging "Lone Wolves" To Target US Soldiers
Posted: 9/19/2014 12:00:00 PM EST

My visceral reaction to reading this story was intense anger. And yet, why am I bewildered that a terrorist organization that kills innocents has reportedly stepped up its efforts in urging rogue extremists in the U.S. to target American soldiers?

On second thought, I’m not surprised at all. But that doesn’t mean I don’t find their their latest tactic to kill Americans somewhat strange. Is this not the same army of barbarians whose chief spokesman (since killed in a drone strike) arrogantly prodded the president to “send [us] your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq?” If ISIS is so confident and proud of their own military capabilities, why must they resort to such cowardly and desperate acts?

Fox News has the exclusive:

A law enforcement bulletin obtained by warned that Islamic State fighters have increased calls for "lone wolves" to attack U.S. soldiers in America in recent months, citing one tweet that called for jihadists to find service members' addresses online and then "show up and slaughter them."

There will be “a continued call - by Western fighters in Syria and terrorist organizations - for lone offender attacks against U.S. military facilities and personnel,” warned a July law enforcement intelligence bulletin from the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange, a state-run agency that gathers, assesses and shares threat information and works with the Department of Homeland Security. “These threats will most likely increase should the U.S. or its allies attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) in Syria or Iraq.”

Given what happened yesterday in Australia, the West must be ever-vigilant and on its guard against coordinated and “lone wolf”-style terror attacks from ISIS. Our soldiers, it seems, are now top targets.

And while not wholly unexpected, this is something all of us should bear in mind.

Kevin Glass - Debbie Wasserman Schultz Is An Obama Problem, Not A DNC Problem
Posted: 9/19/2014 11:40:00 AM EST
A Politico report came out a few days ago about the Democrats and the White House turning against DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz. It's obvious timing because Wasserman Schultz has become a public liability for the Democrats - but not for the reasons they claim.

The White House claims that Wasserman Schultz is looking out for herself above the party. But that's not true. Wasserman Schultz is only doing what the Democrats and the Obama White House want her to do.

RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said that the way Wasserman Schultz is being treated is embarrassing:

What the White House and what others are doing, throwing her under the bus, if they don't like the job they're doing they should respectfully ask her to step down, but treating her this way is just really not something that should be done.

An RNC spokesperson tells Townhall that "when they lose this November, it won't be because of what the DNC didn't do. It will be due to the failures at the White House."

Greg Hengler - "Obama Lives in a Cocoon Surrounded by Sycophants"
Posted: 9/19/2014 11:07:00 AM EST

On this week's Townhall Weekend Journal: 

Bill Bennett interviews Marc Thiessen on why we need American troops fighting the Islamic State. Medved talks with John McCain about the best strategy moving forward in Iraq. Krauthammer tells Hugh Hewitt that Obama lives in a cocoon surrounded by sycophants. Bennett speaks with Marco Rubio and then David Gelernter on Islamic Jihadism and Muslims trying to stop Ayaan Hirsi Ali from talking on campus.

Guy Benson - Boom: Federal Investigators Find No Christie Link in 'Bridgegate' Probe
Posted: 9/19/2014 10:25:00 AM EST

When the team of investigators enlisted by Chris Christie's office to look into the 'Bridgegate' matter -- which was comprised of former federal prosecutors with reputations on the line, by the way -- cleared Christie of any knowledge of those fateful lane closures, critics scoffed.  Of course his personally-sanctioned internal investigation produced favorable results.  Acutely aware of that skepticism, Christie made the following prediction during a lengthy press conference at which he unveiled the inquiry's results: "I think the report will stand the test of time. But it will be tested by the other investigations that are ongoing.”  He was right, of course.  If independent investigators had unearthed evidence refuting his consistent story, his credibility would be shot.  And the probe he'd authorized would look like a corrupt joke -- an elaborate, crass, and taxpayer-funded cover up.  Well, that report has been tested by federal investigators for nine months, and now we have our first meaningful look into what they've found.  Or, more accurately, haven't found:

The U.S. Justice Department investigation into New Jersey Gov.Chris Christie’s role in “Bridgegate” has thus far uncovered no information he either knew in advance or directed the closure of traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge, federal officials tell NBC 4 New York. The September 2013 closures -- where several entrance lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Ft. Lee were shut down causing a traffic nightmare for commuters -- has been the subject of several federal and state investigations. Federal officials caution that the investigation begun nine months ago is ongoing and that no final determination has been made, but say that after nine months authorities have uncovered no information Christie either knew in advance or ordered the closure of traffic lanes . According to one former federal prosecutor, who had no involvement in any of the probes into the bridge closure, investigations of this kind will often turn up a solid connection early in the inquiry.

And that hasn't happened.  This isn't the final report, so it's probably premature to sound the "total exoneration, full stop" trumpet just yet, but this is big news nonetheless.  To recap: The Christie-authorized investigation cleared him, the feds have found zero evidence connecting him to the decisions he's repeatedly repudiated, and the Trenton-based legislative probe has also struck out, by leading Democrats' own admission.  Oh-for-three.  Unless significant, heretofore unseen information comes to light (and no, deranged, discredited accusations don't count), this matter is resolved.  Two high-ranking members of Christie's inner circle abused their authority and lied about it, which is a fair knock on Christie's judgment.  But he dealt with the violators swiftly and decisively (and with contrition), and his unwavering insistence that he had absolutely nothing to do with their machinations appears to have been vindicated by the facts.  But in the sphere of public opinion, real damage has been done.  Christie's recovered from his mid-scandal polling free fall in New Jersey, but he's never come close to recapturing the remarkably broad-based support that fueled his overwhelming re-election victory.  The media's incessant drum-beating on 'Bridgegate' has taken its toll; we'll see how much ink and airtime they devote to this new chapter.  Either way, the federal whiff presents a peg for Christie to hang his hat on -- a clean, easy rebuttal to scandal-related criticism that may come his way should he decide to run for president in 2016.

Many conservatives harbor legitimate wariness when contemplating a potential Christie presidential candidacy; absent major countervailing evidence, 'Bridgegate' should be stricken from the sources of concern.  In fact, aside from the judgment questions pertaining to the fired staffers, it might even deserve a place in the 'positives' column.  Democrats threw everything they had at the guy to try to kill his political career in one fell swoop.  Much of the mainstream media was happy to oblige in the endeavor.  Though they've wounded Christie, they didn't finish him off.  Their obvious fear of him, coupled with his skillful and articulate defense of himself throughout this ordeal, shouldn't be discounted.  Conservatives should also be mindful that the Left is increasingly weaponizing the criminal justice system as a means of knee-capping people they view as threats.  Over the last year alone, they've come after Christie in Jersey, Rick Perry in Texas and Scott Walker in Wisconsin (which might be the most insidious case of the three for a number of reasons).  The Right can and should have robust debates about personalities and policies in advance of 2016, but it must stand arm-in-arm against unjustified character assassination in the form of partisan criminal investigations and bogus indictments.  I'll leave you with a bit of snark at the anti-Christie media's expense:

In fairness to MSNBC, it's not exactly a slow news week -- but if it were, would they devote endless hours of coverage to this narrative-disrupting revelation? Doubtful, and don't bother asking, either. Rachel Maddow "doesn't play requests."

UPDATE - Christie responds: