From Albert Mohler:
Tuesday night in Colorado the incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall was asked a question:
“We know that you support a woman’s right to choose, but given the advances in scientific understanding of fetal development, where pregnant mothers know at which week babies grow fingernails and can swallow, would you support a ban on late-term abortions and if so at what week?”
Senator Udall, who has become emblematic in the national media of the Democratic Party’s new effort to reach out to women voters, largely by an unembarrassed affirmation of abortion rights, Senator Udall responded by citing the case of a woman he knew who had a medical emergency in the eighth month of pregnancy. And as he stated,
“We ought to respect the women of Colorado and their point of view,”
What the senator did not say is consistent with what he has refused to say in every other point, and it is also consistent with his voting record. He refused to say that he would oppose any abortion, at any point, for any reason.
The Kansas gubernatorial election is proving to be one of the most unpredictable and closely-watched this season.
In a Fox News poll released today, Republican Governor Sam Brownback took the lead for the first time in weeks against Democratic challenger, Paul Davis, with 46 to 40 percent.
This news has the Brownback campaign revitalized as they have had been ahead in only a few polls taken since the campaign started. Brownback's tax reform has been brutally criticized by the Davis campaign and has swayed even the most conservative of voters. The poll also says that Kansas voters tend to believe the tax cuts implemented under Brownback have mostly hurt (43 percent) rather than helped (36 percent) the state’s economy.
This lead is in light of the release of attack ads on the "strip club controversy" involving a drug raid in 1998 where Davis was found with a "nearly naked woman."
Regarding the lead in the poll, Mark Dugan, the campaign manager for Brownback said in an email:
"Look, there are polls that show this race all over the place. But one thing is crystal clear from every single poll – there is massive movement in voters supporting Sam Brownback and his vision for the future of Kansas. Paul Davis’ support is flat and voters are rejecting his failed Obama/Davis agenda."
The Fox News pollsters explain the shift this way:
Support for Davis among Democrats dropped from 91 percent in September to 82 percent, and backing from independents increased for Brownback from 27 percent last month to 36 percent. In addition, Brownback’s support among men increased 10 points in the new poll since September.
Sixty-three percent of Kansas likely voters disapprove of Obama’s job performance, which makes this his worst job rating of the five battleground states tested this week.
New CBS poll http://t.co/PuQkQSnz22 pic.twitter.com/t2modUveKI — Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP) October 8, 2014
Reuters-Ipsos Obama 39-52 http://t.co/P9DT7xq6gR — Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) October 9, 2014
Alaska: Sullivan (R) 44, Begich (D) 40. +4 (Update: CNN's new Alaska poll has Sullivan up six).
Arkansas: Cotton (R) 46, Pryor (D) 39. +7
Colorado: Gardner (R) 43, Udall (D) 37. +6
Kansas: Roberts (R) 44, Orman (I/D) 39. +5
Kentucky: McConnell (R) 45, Grimes (D) 41. +4
#DemsinDisarray RT @michaelcshort: BREAKING: Landrieu shakes up campaign staff, fires campaign manager: http://t.co/u9HwSkAjcL — Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) October 8, 2014
Editor's note: A version of this item is cross-posted at HotAir.com
Government watchdog Judicial Watch has sued the City of Phoenix Police Department over documents surrounding a 2013 gang-style assault on an apartment complex. Long-guns, a handgun, empty casings and buildings riddled with bullets were reported at the scene and two people were wounded in the incident. When the incident occurred and during investigation afterward, police worked with federal law enforcement agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of Homeland Security, FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency in the case, raising suspicions the assault wasn't simply a typical, local gang shootout and prompted questions about the details of the people involved in the shooting in addition to where the weapons that were used came from. Suspects were arrested in the weeks following the incident.
Judicial Watch is seeking all records and communications between Phoenix police and the federal agencies involved. It is suspected the weapons used in the incident are connected to Operation Fast and Furious.
A. Complete copy (including supplements) of Phoenix Police Department report 201-3-01-344558 (621 N. 3Oth Pl., Phx. AZ on or around July 29, 2013). Including but, not limited to copies of crime scene photographs, impound property invoices, audio interviews, case status reports, booking slips, charging documents, and Maricopa County Attorney court /trial/case disposition records.
B. Copies of related Phoenix Police Department, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and/or Homeland Security reports as documented in DR 2013-01344558. Including but not limited to copies of related Phoenix Police, ATF, DEA, FBI and/or Homeland Security search and arrest warrants, affidavits, photographs, audio interviews, booking s1ips, charging documents and property invoices created and/or served on or around August 22, 2Ol-3 at locations on Quail Track Dr. and Monterosa St. related to DR 2013-01-344558.
“We have little doubt that Fast and Furious guns are behind the crazed gun assault last summer in Phoenix,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Eric Holder admitted that his agency’s Fast and Furious guns would continue to be used for crimes for years to come. That is his real legacy as Attorney General, and we are confident that our lawsuit in Phoenix will expose yet another cover-up of Fast and Furious tragedies by the Obama administration.”
Thousands of guns trafficked into Mexico through Operation Fast and Furious are in the wrong hands and have the potential to make their way back into the United States as drug traffickers and cartel members regularly travel back and forth. Because ATF purposely lost track of the guns they allowed to be trafficked across an international border, the only way to find them is when they are left at bloody crime scenes in Mexico or in the U.S., just as they were left at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010 and Mexican beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez in 2012. Hundreds of Mexican citizens have been killed as a result of the lethal program.
While New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District went for Obama twice, State Rep. Marilinda Garcia is up 4 points–41/37 (with leaners)–in a new Granite State poll from the University of New Hampshire. Still, 19 percent are undecided so there’s room for both sides to maneuver and grow as the election heads into the final stretch.
Needless to say, the Kuster camp fired off this fundraising email upon hearing the news:
Last night we got the results of the latest poll in our race. It shows that our opponent’s puppet masters’ - the Koch brothers - attack ads are working. Their relentless attacks on TV have erased our lead and made our race a pure toss up and a statistical dead heat. These next 27 days will determine what will happen on Election Day - the only day that matters – if we're up or we're down.
Meanwhile, former Rep. Charlie Bass has endorsed Garcia.
“New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District deserves an independent Representative who upholds our Granite State traditions of meeting with citizens and being accessible to the public. Marilinda Garcia will be that Representative, and I am proud to endorse her campaign for Congress,” said Bass. “Marilinda is an honest, responsible, and principled leader, and her commitment to common sense fiscal discipline would best serve the people of New Hampshire.”
“As an esteemed legislator who served the 2nd district admirably for nearly two decades, former Congressman Bass understands what is needed to deal with the important issues facing our district,” said Garcia in a statement. “I am honored that he has placed his faith in my candidacy and has endorsed my campaign for Congress.”
At the same time, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has hit Garcia on education with an ad staring a “New Hampshire Teacher” detailing the evil Tea Party plans she has in store for the state’s residents.
While Garcia says that Obamacare is burdening families and new solutions to fix health care are needed.
Nevertheless, while this is only one poll showing Garcia in the lead, it's a sign that maybe Kuster should have emerged from the bunker more visibly than one month before Election Day.
A newly-released New England College poll shows New Hampshire's US Senate race is within the margin of error, with Incumbent Jeanne Shaheen holding a narrow 2.5 percent lead over Republican challenger Scott Brown. A separate UNH/WMUR poll gives Shaheen a wider cushion, 47-41. Brown's campaign is touting new fundraising numbers as evidence of momentum in the contest, via NH Journal:
HUGE HAUL. Republican Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate campaign raised more than $3.6 million in the third quarter that ended on Sept. 30, a campaign adviser tells the New Hampshire Journal. At the end of the second quarter, on June 30, Brown’s campaign had reported raising a total of $2.38 million since he became a candidate. With $3.6 million raised from July 1 through Sept. 30, Brown will have raised a total so far of about $6 million. Brown’s third quarter fundraising figure is believed to be the highest ever for a [New Hampshire] U.S. Senate candidate in a third quarter.
Shaheen's campaign has launched a new television ad attacking Brown on women's healthcare -- which may be straight out of the Democrats' demagoguery playbook, but it's especially peculiar in this race. Brown is pro-choice on abortion and has even voted with Democrats on protecting Planned Parenthood's federal funding. But that hasn't stopped Democrats from inventing a stance that Brown has never held. At a press conference earlier this week, Brown absolutely savaged Shaheen for this distortion, bluntly calling it "despicable" and a lie. He explained that the legislation Team Shaheen is twisting into "evidence" that he opposes "women's healthcare" or whatever was a bill to encourage adoption that he supported nine years ago, and that never even received a vote:
"I would like to take a minute to talk to you about Jeanne Shaheen’s smear against me and my campaign and the insensitive attack ad that she started running today. It’s not only insensitive, but it’s inaccurate...What Jeanne Shaheen is doing is despicable. Her lies and scare tactics are, quite frankly, disappointing...Since Senator Shaheen does not want to talk about her record of voting with the President over 99 percent of the time, she wants to talk about my record, so I think that’s a good idea, so here are the facts..."
With only 26 days until the midterms and polls consistently not going her way, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has decided to shake up her campaign in a major way. From The Times-Picayune:
Facing the toughest battle of her political career, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is replacing her campaign manager and bringing in experienced hands from her previous three successful Senate runs to help with the final push for the Nov. 4th open primary.
Campaign staffers confirmed the changes on Wednesday.
Adam Sullivan, who had been campaign manager, is leaving that role but continuing as an advisor to the campaign.
Sullivan is being replaced by Ryan Berni - and the decision is apparently a family affair. Berni ran the 2014 mayoral re-election campaign of her brother, Mitch Landrieu.
Perhaps Landrieu is hoping family ties will piece together her struggling campaign, but Landrieu faces an uphill battle against GOP challenger Bill Cassidy. Our poll tracker continues to show Cassidy with a steady lead.
Late last night the Washington Post broke a story about a connection between White House aides and the 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal. When the scandal broke two years ago, the White House denied involvement or knowing about the details of what happened. The Post story proves otherwise and provides evidence a White House volunteer officially checked a prostitute into his hotel room in Cartagena, Colombia. The report also details threats made against the Inspector General, who was asked to delay the release of embarrassing and damaging information about the connection between the White House and the scandal until after the 2012 presidential election.
Now, journalists who cover the White House are confused about why the administration would lie and cover-up such a minor issue. That's the point.
Politics Editor, National Journal:
First instinct is to trust what the WH is saying, but they've squandered a lot of that trust lately.— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) October 9, 2014
Huffington Post White House reporter:
Amazing to me WH would go so far to cover up a volunteer staffer hiring a hooker... b/c of fear of election fallout? http://t.co/Tbxri48syH— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) October 9, 2014
Look, if they'd cover up THIS nothingburger...that's the point, guys. That's the point.— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) October 9, 2014
Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the October issue of Townhall Magazine.
The United States may be suffering through the weakest economic recovery since World War II, but the economy is, in fact, recovering, albeit very slowly. And as a result of that recovery, federal deficits are falling. From a high of $1.4 trillion in 2009, to a low of $469 billion in 2015, for a brief time our federal government’s deficit problem was at least heading in the right direction.
But after 2015, our deficits will rise again. And they are set to rise forevermore until we either default on our debts or cut federal spending. And, contrary to President Obama’s specific promises, Obamacare will be one of the main drivers of our federal government’s deficit spending for years to come.
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimates, federal spending is set to grow by $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years, an annual increase of 5.2 percent. And health care spending is the major cause of that growth.
Annual spending on the federal government’s three largest health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare) is set to rise by more than 85 percent over the next 10 years. By 2024, government health care spending will take up 5.9 percent of the entire economy and our federal deficit will be almost $1 trillion. Contrast that with 1974, when government health care spending took up just 1 percent of gross domestic product and our deficit was only $6 billion.
Obamacare’s impact on our nation’s bottom line is stark. The CBO projects that government health care spending will jump by 9 percent in 2014, thanks largely to Obamacare’s massive Medicaid expansion. Spending for Obamacare health insur- ance subsidies will start to trickle out in 2014 as well, coming in at $17 billion. But in just three short years, that number will reach over $100 billion and it will grow steadily after that.
And as scary as those numbers are, they are almost assuredly overly optimistic. According to the CBO’s model, two of the programs that the health insurance industry demanded be part of the original legislation, the reinsurance and risk corridor programs, are supposed to reduce the deficit by $10 billion for the first three years of Obamacare’s implementation.
But, as described in more detail on page 36 (“Obamacare’s Illegal Insurance Company Bailout”), health insurance company executives know those estimates are pure fantasy. They know that health insurance companies will be demanding far more cash from these programs than they will be putting in.
And guess who Obama wants to pick up the tab? You, of course.
Despite the fact that no Congress has ever appropriated funds for the programs (not even the Congress that passed Obamacare), the Department of Health and Human Services has announced that they will bail the health insurance companies out anyway. Unless Republicans in Congress specifically forbid HHS from making the payments, the bailout will begin next summer, and will add about $1 billion to the deficit every year.
Unfortunately, higher deficits are not the only malady Obamacare is inflicting on the country. It is also a proven job killer. And on page 42 (“Obamacare’s Job Killing Employer Mandate”) Townhall’s Kara Jones explores why.
Nobody in Obama’s White House had any private sector experience when Obamacare was written, and it shows. When the cost of anything goes up, people will use less of it. In this case that “it” is labor, and Obamacare’s employer mandate simply makes it more expensive to hire new people.
And don’t buy for a second any Democratic claims that Obamacare is a good deal for women. As Julie Borowski shows on page 48 (“Obamacare’s War on Women”) Obamacare makes life more difficult for millions of American women in a number of crucial ways.
It has now been a year since the Obamacare exchanges first went online. And instead of getting more popular, Obamacare has only become more despised. The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found more Americans than ever, 54 percent, view Obamacare unfavorably, while support for the law ticked down to just 37 percent.
Obama will not be in office forever. The next president, Democrat or Republican, will want to make major changes to this fundamentally flawed legislation. Conservatives need to come up with a realistic game plan to make sure those changes shrink the size and scope of the federal government instead of expanding it. •
Two years ago a slew of Secret Service agents got busted for hiring prostitutes while on an official trip in Cartagena, Colombia. That scandal erupted after an agent failed to properly pay a woman for her services. They were fired and the White House denied aides had any involvement.
Now, the Washington Post is out with a stunning report about the scandal not only detailing that former White House presidential advance team member and volunteer Jonathan Dach officially registered a prostitute as an overnight guest in his hotel room, but that White House aides knew about Dach's actions and interfered with an Inspector General investigation of the incident.
The Post reviewed copies of the hotel logs for Dach’s stay, which showed that a woman was registered to Dach’s room at 12:02 a.m. April 4 and included an attached photocopy of a woman’s ID card. Through his attorney, Dach declined to discuss these details as well.
Hotel staff members in Cartagena told federal investigators that they had determined Dach was one of three guests at the Hilton who had additional overnight guests registered to their rooms, federal records reviewed by The Post show. The other two were a military staffer stationed at the White House and another Secret Service agent.
The Secret Service shared its findings twice in the weeks after the scandal with top White House officials, including then-White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler. Each time, she and other presidential aides conducted an interview with the advance-team member and concluded that he had done nothing wrong.
Meanwhile, the new details also show that a separate set of investigators in the inspector general’s office of the Department of Homeland Security — tasked by a Senate committee with digging more deeply into misconduct on the trip — found additional evidence from records and eyewitnesses who had accompanied the team member in Colombia.
The lead investigator later told Senate staffers that he felt pressure from his superiors in the office of Charles K. Edwards, who was then the acting inspector general, to withhold evidence — and that, in the heat of an election year, decisions were being made with political considerations in mind.
“We were directed at the time... to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election,” David Nieland, the lead investigator on the Colombia case for the DHS inspector general’s office, told Senate staffers, according to three people with knowledge of his statement.
Nieland added that his superiors told him “to withhold and alter certain information in the report of investigation because it was potentially embarrassing to the administration.”
The White House interfering with an IG investigation and threatening people in the process is nothing new. This kind of coverup tactic is their habit and it spans across Obama's entire administration.
To make matters worse Dach wasn't fired after exploiting women, he was hired as a policy advisor for the State Department's Office of Global Women's Issues. (Also as a side note, Dach's daddy was a big Obama campaign donor)
Perfect. Just perfect. pic.twitter.com/RrSAQU0sQD— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) October 9, 2014
Good point. WH covered up own staffer's exploitation of women, then hired him on women's issues. Care to comment, every Democrat in America?— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) October 9, 2014
Shortly after the story broke last night, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest took to Twitter to respond, saying the story is old news.
Supposed WaPo "exclusive" was previously reported by AP, CBS, ABC, Politico, The Hill & others - 2 years ago. http://t.co/dk9qV0TbJK— Josh Earnest (@PressSec) October 9, 2014
Pay no attention everyone. That was like, two years ago, dude. The Post's Carol Leonnig, who broke this story, responded.
@PressSec Josh, great colleagues.But such different stories.None tell of evidence WH had in hand & decision to stop looking when it got more— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) October 9, 2014
There's only one problem. The story Earnest linked to has no mention of efforts by the White House to cover-up Dach's involvement and doesn't mention the threats issued by officials in order to push the release of the IG report to after the 2012 elections. Not to mention, former Press Secretary Jay Carney cleared the White House of wrongdoing in the scandal and said in 2012, "If someone comes to us with some credible allegation that anybody at the White House was involved in any inappropriate conduct, I'm sure that we'll look at it, but there isn't that."
I'll leave you with this:
Shorter WH: We manipulated an investigation over an *advance-team member* for political reasons, but are 100% truthful about everything else— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 9, 2014
Dear press, if WH did full court press cover-up on this prostitution story, what else might they've been willing to lie about to your faces?— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) October 9, 2014