As Katie wrote earlier today, President Obama’s decision to delay any major decision on immigration until after the midterms has his liberal base in a furor. It has become a hot issue, which was further complicated with the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors turning up at the border. Border security has seen a huge bounce in the number of Americans viewing it as a priority. Fifty-one percent of Americans think border security is a priority. Last week, the evidence of a broken border was evident in the composition of the California’s workforce, where 10 percent of all workers are illegal aliens (via LA Times):
A report released Wednesday [9/3/14] by researchers at USC found that immigrants who are in California illegally make up nearly 10% of the state's workforce and contribute $130 billion annually to its gross domestic product.
The study, which was conducted in conjunction with the California Immigrant Policy Center, was based on census data and other statistics, including data from the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security. It looked at a variety of ways the estimated 2.6 million immigrants living in California without permission participate in state life
Among the study’s findings:
Immigrants who are in California illegally make up 38% of the agriculture industry and 14% of the construction industry statewide.
Half of the immigrants in the state illegally have been here for at least 10 years.
Roughly 58% do not have health insurance.
Nearly three in four live in households that include U.S. citizens.
And this is just one state. Yet, we shall see what happens after the midterms. Guy mentioned how Obama can issue a blanket pardon for these folks, which would be an unprecedented, but possibly not illegal as the pardon power is one of the “least limited” powers outlined in our Constitution. The Heritage Foundation also reaffirmed this, which makes it all the more unsettling.
If President Obama is forced to deal with a unified Republican Congress in solving immigration, which is highly possible, come January 2015; then it will be interesting to see what happens next.
In an effort to prevent traitorous Americans from joining ISIS, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced legislation on Monday that would revoke their U.S. citizenships if they do.
Speaking on the Senate floor this afternoon, he explained why such legislation is finally necessary.
“ISIS is a study in oppression and brutality that is conducting ethnic cleansing against religious minorities in the region, that is targeting and persecuting Christians, and that is attempting to subject the local population to the strictest forms of Sharia Law,” he said. “And ISIS has gruesomely murdered U.S. civilians and, indeed, journalists on the public stage."
Washington lawmakers must therefore take two forms of action to protect Americans. First, he argued, securing all U.S. borders.
“It is beyond time for us to secure our borders,” he declared. “Representing the state of Texas, which has a border nearly 2,000 miles long, I know firsthand just how unsecure the border is right now."
"This week of all weeks with the anniversary of the September 11th attacks upon us, we can have no illusions that terrorists won’t try to make good on their specific threats to attack America," he continued. "And as long as our border isn’t secure, we’re making it far too easy for the terrorists to carry through on those promises.”
Secondly, he said, Washington lawmakers "should take commonsense steps to make fighting for or supporting ISIS a [citizenship-stripping offense].
“That is why I have today filed legislation which would amend the existing statue governing renunciation of United States citizenship," he announced.
“[Defeating ISIS] requires clear, decisive, unified action,” he continued. “And it is my hope that all of us will come together supporting such action.”
The Islamic Society of Boston, the former mosque of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and convicted terrorist plotter Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, is under scrutiny once again after it was found that ISIS propagandist Ahmad Abousamra is another member.
The New York Post reports:
Now it can be revealed that another regular worshipper at the Islamic Society mosque was Ahmad Abousamra, who is now the top propagandist for ISIS.
Abousamra’s father, a prominent doctor, even sat on the board of directors of the Muslim organization that runs the mosque. He stepped down after the FBI began questioning his son.
The FBI suspects Abousamra now operates ISIS’s sophisticated media wing promoting the group’s beheadings and other atrocities through slick videos posted on the Internet. The brutally effective English-language propaganda campaign has helped attract thousands of Western jihadists, including at least 300 Americans.
It almost goes without saying that it's incredibly troubling that eight people from one mosque are either accused of or convicted of terrorism charges, including the founder of said mosque. And of course, it shouldn’t matter what their religious affiliation is or what respective houses of worship they belong to: all of us should be concerned.
Sen. Mitch McConnell is fighting for his political survival, but his re-election chances just got better. Over the weekend, Dan noted that the Senate Minority Leader has expanded his lead amongst likely voters over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by 8-points, according to the latest Marist poll; Rep. Tom Cotton in Arkansas is up 5-points over Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, so it’s good news all around.
Additionally, even the New York Times is pretty much saying that McConnell will be re-elected, giving him a 93 percent probability that such an outcome will happen on Election Night. While McConnell has low approval ratings, he has the fundamentals and history in his favor; a candidate with a lead this late in the game is bound to win. Lastly, there’s the precipitous decline in Democratic support within Kentucky’s coal country (via NYT):
It should be no surprise that Mr. McConnell has opened up an advantage. A McConnell defeat would have been all but unprecedented: No incumbent senator who represents the party opposed to the White House has ever lost re-election in a state that leans as strongly against the incumbent president’s party as Kentucky does.
The inexorable decline of Democratic standing in coal country has been driven by the collapse of the national Democratic Party in this region, where environmental regulations on coal-fired power plants are deeply unpopular, as are Democratic positions on cultural issues. Like in West Virginia, Kentucky coal country first swung to the Republicans in 2000, and the G.O.P. presidential nominee made additional gains in every successive election. Mr. Obama suffered cataclysmic losses between 2008 and 2012 because of the so-called War on Coal.
The Grimes campaign probably hoped to hold up reasonably well in coal country — perhaps losing it by only five or so points, like Mr. McConnell’s Democratic challenger in 2008 — while winning unprecedented margins in Louisville’s Jefferson County and the Bluegrass Region, which stretches east from Louisville through Lexington to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Just because something hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean it never can. But Ms. Grimes was trying to pave a new road to victory without the help of any fundamental population changes like the ones that helped Democrats break through in Nevada or Virginia, without the help of any issues or messages that might reshape partisanship, as coal did in coal country, and in a time when the incumbent Democratic president was deeply unpopular.
The polls make it clear that this path remains closed.
Guy posted more good news about Republican chances of retaking the Senate on Hot Air earlier today. The GOP is leading in eight senate races heading into the last weeks of the 2014 cycle. Even the New York Times’ Jonathan Martin said, “It does look increasingly likely that the GOP is going to find six," but noted that it’s not over yet for Democrats.
Over at Roll Call, Stu Rothenberg predicted that Republicans would gain seven seats this year:
While the current Rothenberg Political Report ratings don’t show it, I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats.
Right now, for example, the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Senate ratings suggest Republican gains in the mid-single digits. My newsletter has the most likely outcome of the midterms at Republican gains of 5 to 8 seats, with the GOP slightly more likely than not to net the six seats it needs to win Senate control.
The combination of an unpopular president and a midterm election (indeed, a second midterm) can produce disastrous results for the president’s party. President Barack Obama’s numbers could rally, of course, and that would change my expectations in the blink of an eye. But as long as his approval sits in the 40-percent range (the August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll), the signs are ominous for Democrats.
In 1986 — like 2006, a second midterm election — all six of the closest Senate contests were won by Democrats, including three (Colorado, California and North Dakota) where the Democrats drew less than 50 percent of the vote.
Democratic incumbents Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Kay Hagan of North Carolina all would be headed for re-election in a “good” Democratic year, such as President George W. Bush’s second midterm, when voters were unhappy with a Republican president and Democrats constituted the alternative.
But if history is any guide, at least two of them, and quite possibly all four, will lose this year — even with all the huffing and puffing from journalists over how brilliant their campaigns have been and how weak the GOP challengers are.
The NFL's paltry two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice sparked widespread outrage earlier this past spring, and for good reason. Rice was caught on surveillance video dragging his unconscious then-fiancee (now wife) out of a casino elevator after he'd knocked her out during a domestic dispute. Fans, sports writers and women's rights advocates were appalled that the league would slap Rice on the wrist for a violent crime, while sidelining other players with much longer suspensions for actions such as violating league drug policies. Rice was slated to return for the Ravens' third game of the 2014 season, but that all changed overnight when TMZ released footage of the actual beating itself, which took place inside the elevator. And as you watch this, keep in mind that the woman involved apologized in May for "her role" in her own brutal battering, which was ridiculously characterized as a 'mutual' event (content warning):
He hits her once, she comes back at him, then he puts her down with a vicious roundhouse punch -- knocking her out cold. He stands motionless as she lies blacked out on the floor of the elevator, finally reacting when the doors open and he's forced to drag her limp body into the hallway. Previously, the public had only seen the dragging portion of the video clip, shot from a distant camera. The elevator footage is shocking and disgusting, and it proves that there was no accidental element to the result of the confrontation. With a fresh round of blistering criticism swirling around their franchise and one of its star players, the Ravens have terminated Rice's contract. One might argue that this application of justice is "better late than never," but consider the cravenness of the Ravens' decision making timing: They were willing to countenance a two game suspension until the second video leaked. The act of brutality was never in doubt. They knew that he'd punched her out. The only thing that changed was the leak of the clip, which only illustrates the established facts of the case in stark relief. If the new images had never surfaced, it's a safe bet that Ray Rice would be getting ready to suit up in a few weeks.
Facing a maelstrom of criticism over the episode -- prior to this latest shoe dropping -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell rolled out a harsher policy governing the consequences for players involved in domestic abuse incidents several weeks ago. Under the new framework, an initial incident would result in a six-game suspension, followed by a "lifetime ban" for any further infraction. I put that term in air quotes because both elements of the new rule allow for "mitigating" factors, and players are permitted to apply for re-instatement into the league after they've allegedly been banned for life. Loopholes galore. The NFL's new regulations on this front will be put to the test sooner than later, as two active players have been involved in alleged episodes of domestic violence since it was implemented. Parting thought: NFL officials claim they had not seen the elevator film when they handed down Rice's original, lax penalty. Do you believe them? Me neither.
UPDATE - More face-saving posturing:
Roger Goodell has announced that based on new video evidence that became available today he has indefinitely suspended Ray Rice.— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) September 8, 2014
President Obama will unveil on Wednesday his strategy to combat and ultimately destroy ISIS. You'll recall that the White House has known for “at least a year” about this mounting threat, and yet the president memorably revealed by accident last week that he had “no strategy” to contain them. The speech will perhaps begin alleviating fears and changing public perceptions that the president is way over his head.
The ISIS threat is not merely a provincial problem. Many Arab countries, for example, are slowly realizing how their highly organized and well-trained army threatens global security. To that end, the Arab League officially and finally condemned the terrorist organization, vowing to “challenge” their supremacy in the region after agreeing to “urgent measures” -- namely, a joint resolution -- to do just that:
The Arab League agreed Monday to take urgent measures to combat extremists like the Islamic State group as one of its suicide bombers killed 16 people at a meeting of Sunni tribal fighters and security troops in Iraq. The resolution, issued after late-night meetings of Arab foreign ministers a day earlier, doesn't explicitly back American military action against the group. U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking an international coalition to challenge the Islamic State group and is expected to outline his plan Wednesday to the American people.
But the resolution, issued as a separate statement from a comprehensive one dealing with Arab affairs, reflected a new sense of urgency among the 22-member states to challenge the militant group that has seized large swaths of territories in Iraq and Syria. The resolution calls for immediate measures to combat the group on the political, defense, security and legal levels. It didn't elaborate.
Surely the resolution is more a perfunctory statement than an explicit, detailed plan to combat ISIS. Still, it is a significant step in building an "international coalition" (as the president repeatedly says is one of his administration's stated goals), to stabilize the Middle East. What, if any, measures the Arab League will endorse or propose to aid the US remains to be seen, but their willingness to come to the table underscores how destructive and powerful ISIS has already become.
More and more Republicans are embracing over-the-counter birth control and it’s driving Democrats crazy. S.E. Cupp reports for Townhall Magazine.
Get ready. If other conservatives join Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner in his push to make birth control available without a prescription, watch as Democrats systematically lose their collective minds.
So far, Gardner is joined by a few other candidates, namely Ed Gillespie in Virginia and Mike McFadden in Minnesota, in promoting an idea Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal first raised in 2012.
But even with just this handful of Republicans who have the audacity to reach out to women voters with sound public policy that they actually support (how dare they!), Democrats do not know what to do with themselves.
As a general rule, any effort that Democrats find politically confusing is probably a winner for Republicans. But soon the confusion will abate, and the Left will come up with some kind of attack plan to make sure Republicans are still seen as pariahs by women.
In doing so, they will likely ensure women do not get over-the-counter birth control. But improving women’s lives has never really been the objective, otherwise Obamacare wouldn’t have raised premiums for young women by 44 percent, the Violence Against Women Act would actually help curb violence against women, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would, in any measurable way, improve women’s pay.
Because Democrats must oppose something most women want in order to attack Republicans on this issue, I am not going to stop them. But I will help you prepare for some of the mistruths you are about to encounter as they attempt this impressive sleight of hand.
Fallacy No. 1: Republicans are suddenly embracing birth control.
Not long ago on “Morning Joe,” Mika Brzezinski, arbiter of all things lady-related, seemed positively dumbfounded that Republicans had flipped their position on birth control. “This is a huge change for Republicans!” she exclaimed, until a reporter politely corrected her. By a vast majority, Republicans do not oppose birth control. In fact, a 2012 Gallup poll showed that 87 percent of Republicans find birth control to be morally acceptable. To put that number in perspective, 73 percent of Republicans find the death penalty morally acceptable. So there is greater debate and less consensus within the GOP over the death penalty—a conservative pillar—than there is over birth control.
What Republicans have taken issue with in the past is who pays for it, and making it OTC is a step toward taking employers and taxpayers out of the equation.
Fallacy No. 2: Conservative positions on personhood and abortion are inconsistent with increasing access to birth control.
Basic science refutes this one for us. The pill prevents an egg from being fertilized. An embryo is never created. Which is why so many Republicans do not oppose birth control. Personhood initiatives and pro-life legislation protect fertilized eggs from abortion. Democrats lump all this together and think you’re too stupid to know the difference, but the distinctions are actually pretty basic.
Fallacy No. 3: Republicans are just pandering to women.
It will be hard, but try not to laugh at a liberal who makes this charge. And then point out that the entire Democratic agenda is one giant pander to women, who are worse off economically, an actual measure of freedom, because of President Obama’s Democratic policies. On nearly every metric, from the cost of education to job access to median income, women’s lives have gotten harder, not easier. But tell me more about the War on Women…
Fallacy No. 4: Republicans have no credibility on women’s issues.
While it’s inarguable that some Republicans have made painful mistakes over the past few elections resulting in a trust deficit with women voters, Democrats have created their own trust deficit with almost all voters. A majority thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction, and a plurality say the Obama administration is less competent than George W. Bush’s. The Republican push to increase access to birth control isn’t just a “women’s issue.” It’s about making life work better. Democrats have a proven track record of failure on this, and voters are ready for a change.
To turn this around on Republicans, Democrats will have to get pretty creative, so admittedly, I probably can’t even anticipate all the wild maneuvers they’ll try.
But it sure will be fun to watch.
S.E. Cupp is author of “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity.” She has a weekly column in the New York Daily News and is a co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire.”
Surprise! The IRS claims it has lost emails belonging to even more employees embroiled in the scandal surrounding the targeting of conservatives. Guy covered the details of the newest revelations earlier today and the AP reported about the lost emails over the weekend.
The IRS says it has lost emails from five more workers who are part of congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax exempt status. The tax agency said in June that it could not locate an untold number of emails to and from Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. The revelation set off a new round of investigations and congressional hearings. On Friday, the IRS said it has also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status. The agency blamed computer crashes for the lost emails. In a statement, the IRS said it found no evidence that anyone deliberately destroyed evidence.
Attorney Cleta Mitchell, who is representing many tea party and conservative groups targeted by the IRS, isn't impressed and not surprised about the latest round of "lost" emails.
"I have gotten to the point where this is like one of those infomercials where they say 'wait, wait, there's more!' I mean just when you think you've heard it all, you find out more things about the IRS and frankly I think what Congressman Camp said is absolutely right that there is no way we are getting anywhere close to the truth about what happened and the DOJ has become, in my opinion has become complicit in trying to cover-up what's been going on. I think we have to have a special prosecutor if we are ever going to get to the bottom of it," Mitchell said in an interview with Fox News.
The IRS maintains that employees didn't destroy emails deliberately and continues to blame the loss of emails on a computer crash.
Watch Mitchell's entire interview below.
Are liberals trying to turn gun control into a “War on Women” issue again? Amanda Marcotte is surely trying to rekindle that misguided crusade. After Newtown, the feminist and Cosmopolitan senior political writer tried to paint the NRA as the “domestic abusers lobby” last March. Recently, Moms Demand Action released an ad featuring a woman being killed in a domestic dispute, which was an exercise in a lack of self-awareness. As Katie pointed out, the ad made the case for expanding Second Amendment rights than curtailing them. And, the LA Times, which reported on the rise on concealed carry permits in Orange Country, had to make the extraneous claim that 95 percent of permits went to men.
http://t.co/4BBUtP5CWU The NRA launches a sexist attack against Moms Demand Action, adding the gun lobby to the war on women.— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) August 26, 2014
Of course, men participate more in firearm-related activities and have higher rates of gun ownership. Is that really news? On the other hand, women are becoming a “rising voice” in gun ownership, which could throw a wet blanket on the left’s plan to mobilize women voters for gun control.
Women are the fastest growing demographic of gun owners; the rates of ownership jumped from 13 percent to 23 percent between 2005-2013. In terms of concealed carry permits, participation in shooting sports, and gun sales, women are becoming a driving force in these areas–and the gun industry knows it.
Young women have boosted Colorado’s gun ownership rates. Colorado women were a key group, along with blue collar workers and Hispanics, that successfully booted two anti-gun legislators in the recall elections in September of 2013.
In Utah, women have led a surge in the roll for concealed carry permits:
According to statistics from the Utah Department of Public Safety, the number of permits issued to women by the state of Utah has steadily increased over the last few years, and last year the numbers shot up.
In 2011, the state issued about 14,000 permits; in 2012 about 15,000 were issued; and in 2013, 34,597 permits were issued to women.
Women are learning how to defend themselves by exercising their Second Amendment rights–and that’s a good thing.
For more on liberals and gun control, check out Sarah's interview with Frank Miniter:
Over the weekend, news broke President Obama won't be issuing any executive orders surrounding illegal immigration before the midterm elections. Or as Ed Morrissey wrote Sunday, Obama is delaying any action until voters can no longer immediately punish Democrats.
First, lets take a look at where this came from. When photos inside Border Patrol processing facilities surfaced this summer showing hundreds of unaccompanied children piled up on top of each other and sleeping in cages on floors with just a space blanket, Americans blamed Obama's executive action's for the crisis. Remember this IBD/TIPP poll from July.
The poll found that 59% of those closely following the immigration crisis agree that "current administration policies and lack of focus on securing the border" are behind the human tide of illegal crossings. Six in 10 say that the children should be ordered to leave the country.Obama has delayed his executive action because voters believe executive action on illegal immigration leads to crisis. Further, Obama has delayed action altogether, putting aside the option to work with Congress on reform, because that would require border security first. The administration has repeatedly argued the border is secure, but the latest unaccompanied child crisis and Obama's refusal to work with Congress on the issue of bolstering border security proves otherwise.
As POLITICO reported Speaker John Boehner saying over the weekend, this smacks of politics.
"The decision to simply delay this deeply-controversial and possibly unconstitutional unilateral action until after the election - instead of abandoning the idea altogether - smacks of raw politics,” Boehner said.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley echoed Boehner's sentiments.
"Here he goes again. President Obama's decision to delay administrative amnesty is simply a political move. Whether it's now or later, though, it's the wrong move. It goes against the Constitution and the rule of law. Even the President has said that he doesn't have the authority to unilaterally legalize people like he has already done. He should work with Congress on legislation that makes a difference and can pass both the House and the Senate," Grassley said in a statement. "This President is willing to do about anything to get his way. So, he'll probably go ahead and do it after the election is held, and someday the courts likely will say that he acted unconstitutionally."
Regardless, Obama's open border buddies aren't pleased with his decision and many disappointed Democrats are still saying he should go at reform (whatever that means) alone through executive action.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest-ranking Latino lawmaker in Congress and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the president shouldn't wait.
“I’m deeply disappointed that the president hasn't acted where House Republicans have failed to act," Menendez said on "Fox News Sunday."
Rep. Luis Gutierrrez (D-Ill.) said on ABC's "This Week" that politics were clearly behind the decision.
"It's clear that playing it safe is what is going on at the White House and among Democratic circles, and playing it safe means walking away from our values and our principles," Gutierrrez said. "They looked at polling in four or five states where there aren't large Latino constituencies without thinking about the impact that that policy might have in Illinois, in California, in Colorado. And so they walked away."
"Listening to President Obama make his case for executive action one was led to believe that he was driven by a deep-seated conviction that he was acting on behalf of those seeking to come out of the shadows - and to place the dignity of the individual above all. He said he wanted to do what was best for the nation's economy, to alleviate market forces and honor the integrity of borders. Instead, he is driven strictly by political outcomes. His latest indecision also further undermines the trust of the American people - which has been reflected in his falling approval rating - and erodes any hope of a permanent, bipartisan immigration solution during this administration," Executive Director of the LIBRE Initiative said in a statement. "Reform advocates understand that the best outcome has always been to work with Congress to enact permanent changes in law, rather than issue risky unilateral orders that could be overturned by the courts or by a future president - and that also come with serious unintended consequences. We stand ready to work with the president if he is willing to make a good faith effort. In the meantime, it's disappointing - but not surprising - that the president is again putting political considerations first. That's what he has done all along - ever since he broke his promise to propose legislation in his first year in office. Six years later, that's still what he's doing."
The bottom line is this: President Obama will eventually use executive action on illegal immigration "reform," but he'll wait until it is politically convenient to do so. Right now is not that time for two reasons. The first is Obama's executive action would damage vulnerable Democrats ahead of the midterms and the second, Americans want the border secured before internal reform and have been shown through the unaccompanied child crisis that we are far from that goal.