tipsheet
Sarah Jean Seman - Illegal Immigrants' Length of Stay in U.S. Nearly Doubles Since Last Decade
Posted: 9/7/2014 9:00:00 AM EST

The length of time that illegal immigrants stay in the Untied States has spiked drastically over the last decade, according to a recent Pew Research Center study [emphasis added]:

Among the nation’s 10.4 million unauthorized adults, a shrinking share have been in the country for less than five years—15% in 2012, compared with 38% in 2000. A rising share have lived in the U.S. for a decade or more—62% in 2012, compared with 35% in 2000. About a fifth (21%) had been in the U.S. for two decades or more as of 2012.

The rise of long-term residents has been encouraged by laws in the United States that make it easier for aliens to blend in and assimilate into American society. These include allowing illegal immigrants to obtain temporary drivers licenses, fly (probably with less hassle from TSA than most legal residents have), and to go to public school on your taxpayer dollar

In fact, the number of long-term illegal residents has now acutely outnumbered the number of those who remain in the country for only a short-period of time.

With laws that do little more than encourage aliens to stay, and with an immigration court system that is underfunded and grossly back-logged with cases, it is no wonder that these illegal foreigners are finding it easy to lengthen their stay in the United States. 

Ky Sisson - Don't Forget About the VA Scandal: Vet Loses His Nose
Posted: 9/6/2014 8:25:00 PM EST

It seems like President Obama has to deal with one problem after the other. From ISIS, to a border crisis, to vanished IRS emails... the list goes on and on. As Americans wait for something to be done and people to be held accountable, another story steals the spot light and major problems become distant memories. 

Among the many problems plaguing the Obama administration, there is one in particular that I hope the American people and President Obama will especially seek justice for. The VA Scandal that broke headlines in June has left thousands of American veterans without the health care they deserve, even letting some die in the process. And now, another vet has become a victim to the broken system. 

Edward Laird is a 76 year-old Navy veteran and had to wait two and a half years to get a biopsy for a spot on his nose. Once he finally saw a doctor, the cancer had already spread and had to be removed. 

CNN reported:

A physician at the Phoenix VA confirmed to CNN that he sent Laird to the VA's dermatology clinic repeatedly to get a biopsy of his nose, but the biopsy was repeatedly delayed. Laird said 70% of his nose was removed to fight the cancer that spread as he waited for care. After complaining about the delay, Laird received a letter from the then-interim director of the Phoenix VA that said, "I regret that you are dissatisfied with the care. The dermatologist that you saw did not identify any of the signs of a reoccurrence," referring to the spread of cancer.

Cue another promise from Obama: 

President Obama pledged last week at the American Legion conference in North Carolina to "get to the bottom of these problems," calling them, "outrageous and inexcusable."

Let's hope that he is sincere about making our vets a top priority in health care. In the mean time, hero's like Laird are proud of their service to America. 

"There's always lines at the VA but when you go, there you feel like you're walking along with a bunch of champions," Laird said. "It'll jerk a tear from you sometimes."

Leah Barkoukis - Illinois School District Dumps Michelle O's School Lunch Program
Posted: 9/6/2014 3:00:00 PM EST

‘Thanks but no thanks’ is the message Illinois’ second largest school district has for Michelle Obama’s school lunch program. Township High School District 214 decided in May to walk away from nearly $1 million in federal funding just to get a little more freedom back when it comes to the food it serves its students. And so far, things are working out just fine.

In May, the board for Township High School District 214 voted to drop out of the federal program, after deciding its guidelines were too restrictive. For instance, kids would not have been able to buy hard-boiled eggs or certain types of yogurt. School officials also have noted new guidelines consider hummus to be too high in fat, and pretzels to be too high in salt; non-fat milk containers larger than 12 ounces could not be sold either. […]

District 214 Associate Supt. Cathy Johnson said school officials have no regrets so far, despite giving up nearly $1 million in federal funding.

“So far so good. The meals, as you’ve seen, look fantastic, and there’s a lot of excitement,” she said.

It’s been a week since District 214 schools started selling school lunches after opting out of the National School Lunch Program, a move that meant giving up $900,000 in federal aid.

School officials said staying in the program meant following unreasonable restrictions on protein, sodium and fat. Without the newfound freedom from those guidelines, “the meals would be far simpler,” Johnson said.

At least two of the three healthy choices on school menus – crispy falafel with flatread and rice pilaf, and pasta primavera with roasted vegetables and olive oil – would not have made the cut for the federal program, as being too low in protein.

Johnson said, the concern was, in addition to the federal guidelines being too restrictive on menu choices, sales of the food they could offer wouldn’t be high enough to receive federal aid.

“What would happen is the sales simply wouldn’t be there, and the offerings that we would currently have wouldn’t be available,” Johnson said.

Though the school lunch program was designed to combat childhood obesity, it doesn’t exactly help if the program’s restrictions are so burdensome that it’s driven more than 1 million students away from the lunches and led to more than $1 billion in food waste per year since the program’s implementation, according to EAGnews.org.

Cortney O'Brien - MSNBC Host Wanted Beyoncé To Promote Abortion at the VMAs
Posted: 9/6/2014 12:00:00 PM EST

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry apparently thinks MTV’s Video Music Awards would have been an ideal platform to promote abortion. 

At last month’s show, Beyoncé raised some eyebrows after performing in front of a large screen that read, “Feminist.” While Harris-Perry appreciated Beyoncé’s political statement, she suggested the singer could have made the night even more interesting.

"So I have been having these imaginings," Harris-Perry said, "Where, instead of behind her are these enormous letters that say ‘feminist,’ that she’d come out and it had said, ‘Hands up, don't shoot,' or it had said ‘birth control,' I mean – ‘abortion’ behind Beyonce.”

Harris-Perry’s comments were greeted with “Yeses” and “Mmhms” from the rest of the panel.

I’ve been having some imaginings as well. Imaginings that MSNBC would reconsider its TV lineup.

I personally didn’t get Beyoncé’s "statement." It all seemed pretty random. I mean, what room does politics have at a video music awards show?

MTV reaches 387 million households worldwide and its key demographics are young adults aged 12-34. The last thing these viewers need to see is one of their musical idols promoting abortion.

Harris-Perry has made headlines in the past for wearing tampon earrings and mocking former Governor Mitt Romney and his family for adopting a black grandson. Thankfully, in other words, I’m sure she’s the last person Beyoncé would go to for advice.

Townhall Magazine - Demand Primary Neutrality Now
Posted: 9/6/2014 8:45:00 AM EST

Editor's Note: In the September issue of Townhall Magazine, where this column originally appeared, RedState's Bryan Pruitt explains why it's long past time for change at the NRSC. 

 Perusing the National Republican Senatorial Committee website, you would think it’s all kumbaya around the campfire as Republicans throughout the country work to take back the Senate in November. What is really going on is a behind-the-scenes, Washington–based political war against conservatives who dare to challenge the status quo.

The NRSC says it “provides invaluable support and assistance to current and prospective Republican U.S. Senate candidates.”Its real mission today is to protect entrenched, out-of-touch incumbents and personally destroy anyone who would dare to raise their hand and offer to lead, perhaps in a new direction.

What happened in the Mississippi runoff has over shadowed a broader, stealth campaign against conservative candidates across the country. Here and there, and without much fanfare, those who don’t change their views and conform to D.C.norms are targeted for defeat, not byDemocrats, but by Republican fat cats.We shouldn’t be surprised though, they are not used to this new crop of principled conservatives who feel no need to kiss the papal ring.

We will never know the true depths party elders sunk to in their attempt to keep an old-school appropriator afloat. However, what appears to be a big win and six more years of a reliably bought vote will actually come back to haunt those who did anything and everything to win. There will be more primaries, and our win-loss record stands to dramatically improve. 

Primaries are good and keep elected officials connected to their constituents. Primaries bring focus to promises made, and promises broken. The fact is we need more primary opportunities. Good incumbents will survive the process and better represent the people that put them in power. 

RedState editor Erick Erickson is fond of saying “Conservative in the primary, Republican in the general.” He actually means what he says and has taken a fair amount of heat for making general election contributions to Republican candidates RedState did not support in the primary. There are reasons for this. First and most obvious, the Republican, whomever it is, will almost always be better than the Democratic candidate.

The more important point though is that RedState is a movement. It is, as our founders have said from the beginning, an endeavor to educate, motivate, and activate conservatives.

The establishment would much prefer you sit and take direction from central command. In this they are very similar to our Democratic friends. RedState conservatives instead stand up and demand accountability and change. 

The RedState movement challenges the establishment to care about the way in which we win or lose. We take very seriously the biblical admonition in Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul?” Given the Republican Party’s history in the South, it is especially unseemly to stoop to buying votes and race baiting to achieve victory. We are better than that.

And finally, because it’s a movement, RedState conservatives aren’t discouraged by a loss here or there. There are flawed candidates, bad fundraising, and circumstances beyond control that cause an otherwise good and worthy conservative candidate to lose. We soldier on.

We soldier on toward November and that real opportunity to reacquaint the Democrats with what it’s like to be in the minority. Senate Republicans are eager to work with their House colleagues to pass real conservative reforms and challenge President Obama to work with them in his remaining two years in office. But before beginning that noble task, it is important to clean up the way the game is played.

First order of business after Election Day should be for the new Republican majority in the Senate to elect Sen. Ted Cruz (RTX) as chairman of the NRSC. Cruz should then start handing out pink slips, on day one. Anyone with any involvement in a rotten culture that rebukes political competition and the marketplace of ideas should go.

Cruz should publicly declare that the NRSC is neutral in primaries from now on, no matter how valuable the particular sacred cow may be to vested interests in Washington. Imagine deploying all these resources to defeat Democrats and really improve America for all Americans. It is time to let the real work begin.

Bryan Pruitt is a Washington, D.C.-based director at RedState. 

Matt Vespa - 'Bureaucratic Issue' Temporarily Grounds Plane Carrying Americans In Iran
Posted: 9/5/2014 7:40:00 PM EST

Earlier this afternoon, a Fly Dubai charter flight carrying 100 American military contractors from Afghanistan to Dubai was ordered to land in Iran. Reportedly, when the plane entered Iranian airspace, it was ordered to go back to Afghanistan, but the pilots cited lack of fuel and subsequently landed the aircraft.  (via Washington Post):

A military-chartered aircraft carrying about 100 Americans from Afghanistan to Dubai landed unexpectedly in Iran on Friday, after Iranian officials questioned its flight plan and ordered it to do so, U.S. and officials in the region said.

Officials said the plane landed of its own accord in the city of Bandar Abbas after being warned that it would be intercepted if it did not. One U.S. official familiar with an initial report about the incident said Iranian fighter jets were scrambled, but the State Department later denied any Iranian military involvement.

In a statement, the department described the incident as a “bureaucratic issue.”

“The issue appears to have been resolved and hopefully the plane will take off soon,” the statement said.

UPDATE: Flight plan was outdated. Dubai has smoothed things over with Iranian government. Aircraft has refueled and currently in the air.
Matt Vespa - Begich Campaign Seems Unrepentant Over 'Inflammatory' Ad
Posted: 9/5/2014 7:30:00 PM EST

Is Alaskan Sen. Mark Begich sorry for his “pants on fire” ad against Republican Dan Sullivan? Apparently, he’s not. The ad insinuated that Dan Sullivan, who at the time was Alaska’s Attorney General, shares some of the blame in a brutal 2013 murder, where an elderly couple was killed, along with the sexual assault of their 2-year-old granddaughter and the girl’s 91-year-old great-grandmother. Where was Sullivan at fault? He gave out light sentences to sex offenders, one of which committed the horrific crime.

The ad was pulled after the victims’ family voiced their outrage at not being consulted. Additionally, the trial is set to begin next month. Sullivan also pulled his ad responding to Begich’s ludicrous claims.

It was the Democrats’ attempt at a Willie Horton-style attack, which failed miserably. Even left-leaning Politifact said the ad is “not only inaccurate, it makes an inflammatory accusation.” Even the Washington Post said the line of attack won’t hurt Sullivan, “first, because his culpability for the decision to set Active free was tenuous to non-existent from the outset. And second, thanks to unrelenting pressure from the already-victimized family.”

Yet, Begich’s campaign says the accusation is “valid” (via WSJ):

Begich spokesman Max Croes said the substance of the attack against Mr. Sullivan remains valid. “Dan Sullivan should still be straightforward with Alaskans and answer questions about the light sentences he awarded as attorney general,” Mr. Croes said. “A pattern that required a subsequent attorney general to change sentencing requirements for sex offenders.”

Moreover, it seems Begich’s advisers initially refused to pull the ad, according to the Associated Press:

Begich's advisers in Washington and some in in Alaska told him there was no way the campaign could continue to run his ad if the victims' relatives were publicly criticizing it. His top campaign aides initially were reluctant to pull the spot, but eventually acquiesced, according to several Democrats who took part in the discussions, which continued throughout the weekend. All spoke on condition of anonymity to share information about those private discussions.

Begich had long planned to make Sullivan's record as attorney general a focus of the fall campaign. His spokesman, Max Croes, said that remains the plan, as does scrutinizing Sullivan's record as a former natural resources commissioner.

Andy Holleman, who leads an Anchorage teachers union and backs Begich, called the ad a distraction. In his view, Sullivan is not personally responsible for what is alleged to have happened in the 2013 killings.

"I would prefer that they do keep the campaign on clear issues," Holleman said. "It's an ugly situation."

One of the editors from the Alaskan Journal of Commerce responded to the ad by publishing an op-ed asking “Is Begich this afraid of Dan Sullivan?”

But rather than hit his target, Begich shot himself in the foot. The ad wasn’t rooted in anything resembling the truth but was born out of apparent desperation. Sullivan was able to easily counter the attack by noting he wasn’t even attorney general when the error that led to Active’s release was made.

Begich stood by the ad until an irate letter from the victims’ family attorney stated Begich’s ad “shocked them,” was “tearing the family apart” and made them want to leave the state forever.

Even Jon Stewart commented that the Begich ad wasn’t grounded in truth

It seems for now, the Begich campaign holds a “sorry, I’m not sorry” position. Stay classy, folks.

Sarah Jean Seman - ISIS Insider: Former Member Speaks Out
Posted: 9/5/2014 6:17:00 PM EST

While President Obama has “no strategy” for addressing ISIS, the terrorist organization has been meticulously plotting its actions every step of the way. A former ISIS fighter told CNN that the main goal of the Islamic State is to infiltrate the Arab world, and then proceed into other countries.

News reports have shown that already Americans have been aiding the terrorist organization. Moner Mohammad Abusalha (Florida), Abdirahmaan Muhumed (Minnesota), and a 19-year-old woman are among the U.S. citizens who have been confirmed traitors.

The ISIS defector told CNN, this gradual infiltration is precisely the group’s plan:

Since western fighters joined ISIS they consider their home country as infidels. If they have a chance, they will carry out attacks because they think of it as an infidel country, and it should be fought.

It is possible that the goal was to project the image that a European or a Western person executed an American, so that they can showcase their western members and appeal to members outside Syria and make them feel like they belong to the same cause.

The former insurgent reportedly left ISIS only two weeks ago, claiming that the group was "spreading injustice in the name of justice."

Hear more about the ruthlessness of the group in the full interview below. Warning: it contains some graphic content.

Leah Barkoukis - Confirmed: Al-Shabaab Leader Killed in Airstrike
Posted: 9/5/2014 4:30:00 PM EST

U.S. officials confirmed on Friday that Ahmed Abdi Godane and 10 other militants were killed in an airstrike earlier this week. Godane is the leader of al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based terrorist organization responsible for the Kenya mall attack last year that killed 68 people and injured more than 170 others.

President Obama, speaking at a NATO summit in Wales, said the successful strike was an example of his administration’s push against terrorism.

"We have been very systematic and methodical in going after these kind of organizations" that threaten U.S. personnel and the homeland, Obama said. "That deliberation allows us to do it right, but have no doubt: We will continue to do what is necessary to protect the American people." […]

U.S. officials had said after the strike on Monday that U.S. special operations forces using manned and drone aircraft had destroyed an encampment and a vehicle using several Hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions. But they did not confirm that Godane had been killed until Friday.

“Godane's removal is a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest Al Qaeda affiliate in Africa and reflects years of painstaking work by our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals,” the White House said in a statement.

Conn Carroll - Obama Has Declared Himself King
Posted: 9/5/2014 3:30:00 PM EST

President Obama promised to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State Friday, but do not expect him to ask permission from Congress anytime soon. The Daily Beast's Josh Rogin reports:

The administration has now reported to Congress three times under the War Powers Resolution about U.S. military force in Iraq; the first report was filed Aug. 8 and the most recent was filed Sept. 1. The reports notified Congress that the U.S. was waging war in Iraq for four distinct reasons: to protect American personnel in Erbil; to save the Yazidi minorities trapped on Mount Sinjar; to protect the Mosul Dam; and to save the people of the Shiite town of Amirli.

The War Powers clock expires Oct. 8, with a possible extension to Nov. 8. But the administration could argue that each new notification resets the clock and gives the president ongoing authority to attack in Iraq. To most in Congress, that’s disingenuous at best, because the strikes are all part of the same operation and are all against the same foe in the same country.

“It’s called the War Powers Act, not the Single Attack Powers Act. Technically you are not restarting the 60-day clock,” said a senior Senate aide involved in the debate.

During Obama’s war on Libya in 2011, he used military strikes well past the 60- or even 90-day deadline. Then he tried to claim there were no “hostilities” in Libya, to nullify the War Powers Resolution. This time around, Obama’s lawyers were more clever.

“The Libya episode taught him the lesson you can trust on 60 to 90 days, so instead they are trying to press the reset button on the clock,” the aide said. “In the end, the administration wants to hang this on the president’s authority under Article 2 (of the Constitution). The problem is, some of these strikes don’t fall under Article 2.”

“It’s a legal shell game,” a senior GOP senate aide said.

And war isn't the only policy arena where Obama is playing legal shell games to justify his unilateral policy making. At the very same press conference where he promised to destroy the Islamic State, Obama again promised to act unilaterally on immigration. "My expectation is that fairly soon, I'll be considering what the next steps are," Obama said in response to a question about when he will act on the issue.

Earlier reports suggest that the "next steps" Obama is considering include granting temporary amnesty to as many as 8 million illegal immigrants. This despite the fact that Obama once told amnesty activists, "the president doesn’t have the authority to simply ignore Congress and say, we’re not going to enforce the laws that you’ve passed."

Obama has also indicated that, despite never receiving authorization from Congress, he will also use taxpayers funds to bailout insurance companies that are losing money on Obamacare

Obama never has to face the voters again. Only Congress has the power to check Obama's unprecedented use of executive power through the use of the appropriations process. And there are indications they will do so after November