Conn Carroll - Why the Amnesty Lobby is Freaking Out
Posted: 4/8/2014 10:30:00 AM EST

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is done being patient. There was a time when an Oval Office meeting with President Obama could buy their silence. But no longer.

On Friday April 4, the CHC sent a six-page letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson demanding that Obama use "all legal means available" to "suspend, delay, or dispense with the deportations of immigrants who would qualify for legal status and protection under S. 744."

At no point does the letter bother to call for new legislation or the passage of S.744. Instead, the CHC just demands that Obama enforce current law as if he had already signed S.744. The CHC believes Obama has the same legal authority to do this as he did to enact his June 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

And the CHC is correct: if DACA is legal, than it would also be legal for Obama to pretend S.744 was the law of the land as well. However, Obama and the CHC begin with a faulty premise: DACA is completely illegal.

Obama has only gotten away with his illegal DACA amnesty because of its limited scope. But the more people who benefit from Obama's illegal amnesties, the more likely someone will gain the standing to challenge them in court.

So why are amnesty advocates suddenly so willing to abandon legislation and go the executive route?

Just look at Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-IL) reaction to an op-ed by Compete America Executive Director Scott Corley calling on House Republicans to pass the SKILLS Act, which would increase the number of H-1B visas the tech community so badly wants.

"I write to ask you to renew your commitment to passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation and to pledge that you will not support stand-alone legislation to increase the H-1B visa cap,” Durbin wrote in a letter to the CEOs of Accenture, Amazon, Cisco, Deloitte, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle.

"I am troubled by recent statements suggesting that some in the technology industry may shift their focus to passage of stand-alone legislation that would only resolve the industry's concerns," Durbin continued. "This 'divide and conquer' approach destroys the delicate political balance achieved in our bipartisan bill and calls into question the good faith of those who would sacrifice millions of lives for H-1B relief." (emphasis added)

So basically Durbin and the Democrats are now calling Google, Facebook, Amazon, et al murderers if they support standalone legislation that would allow more high-tech workers into the country.

But even if the House did pass a standalone H-1B bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would never allow a vote on it. So why bother with the murder accusations?

Because amnesty advocates know that there is a very real chance Reid will not be majority leader next year. And if Republicans control the Senate, then the odds of piecemeal immigration reform that does not include the same broad amnesty of S.744 goes up substantially.

That is why amnesty advocates are freaking out now. They know that if Democrats lose the Senate this November, they'll be cut out of the debate entirely.

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Conn Carroll - The Sexism Defense
Posted: 4/8/2014 9:39:00 AM EST

Instead of letting their female candidates run on their records, Democrats are crying ‘sexism’ to silence all debate. In the April issue of Townhall Magazine, where this article originally appeared, S.E. Cupp explains how liberals are protecting their female candidates from a political process they should be able to survive.

Look out. The next two years are sure to be fraught with all sorts of GOP sexism meant to tank the campaigns of liberal political heroines like Hillary Clinton, Wendy Davis, and Sandra Fluke.

How do I know? Because liberals have said so.

Before Hillary has even announced her intentions for 2016, the war-on-women agitators are already overzealously predicting Republicans’ hostile, sexist, and downright rude treatment of her. It’s like they think they can will it into fruition.

The Daily Beast’s Sam Kleiner, for one, invoked some seriously Freudian projection when he accused RNC chair Reince Priebus of sexism for his promise to be “very aggressive” against Hillary. But not on issues like Monica Lewinsky or even reproductive rights. Rather, on Benghazi and Obamacare, you know, issues the president had to debate in 2012 and issues Hillary helped oversee. How dare he? What a terrible future sexist.

And in the wake of newly released documents from 1992 Clinton polling, liberals really didn’t appreciate that Hillary was referred to, not by Republicans but by their own polls, as “ruthless.” If Republicans repeat the charge in the future, well that’s sexist.

Newsday columnist Ellis Henican declared, “if gender were flipped, it would be very different.”

I don’t have to point out, but I will, that Republicans have been called all kinds of things, from “Hitler” to “Caribou Barbie.” But I can see how “ruthless” crosses the line of civility.

Mitt Romney recently argued that when it comes to Hillary’s candidacy, if she ends up running, Republicans should focus on her record and not Bill’s dalliances. It’s a nice thought, and one that might be worth considering if holding up our end of the bargain resulted in any reciprocal good will from the other side. But the Republican nominee will not be granted such niceties, that’s for sure.

Nor will Republicans be allowed to ask Hillary about, well, anything. The list of topics that appear to be off limits thus far: Benghazi, Bill, her health, Whitewater, Marc Rich, Vince Foster, driving, and anything before 2014.

The sexism dog whistles aren’t limited to the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. Apparently, Wendy Davis, running for governor in Texas, has also felt the vicious hand of Republican gender bias during her sudden rise to fame.

When reporters (not Republicans) discovered she’d altered significant facts in her autobiography, she fended off critics by hauling out the sexism trope:

“…I would expect people who are inclined to think negatively about me to pick on something like this. Do I think it’s reasonable? No. Do I think that I’m being held to a different standard than a man who would be in this exact same race with the exact same story might be? Yes.”

It would be funny if it weren’t so embarrassing. Does Davis really think we’ve all forgotten about all the probes into the personal lives of John McCain, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and, for that matter, President Obama? Does she really think that stories she’s offered up as facts are above scrutiny because she’s a woman?

Then, of course, there’s Sandra Fluke, who decided not to run for Congress after all and instead to run for California State Senate. When the Daily Caller ran the headline “Fluke Goes for Plan B” and ran “Sandra Fluke Aborts

Congressional Bid” Media Matters of course pounced on the rabid sexism...of puns. What, are we not allowed to mention the very things that made her a thing in the first place?

Liberals sure don’t seem to have much faith in these women. If they did they wouldn’t be so quick to protect them from a necessary political process that they should be able to survive. The rush to defend them against invisible sexism isn’t exactly confidence inspiring. In fact, it reeks of insecurity...get the vapors, she might faint!

Promising sexism that hasn’t even happened yet, or jumping on sexism that isn’t there doesn’t do these women any favors. In fact, it just makes them look like weak, incapable victims. But I know, I know...we’re the sexists. •

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Katie Pavlich - Senate Votes to Block Irananian Hostage Taker From Obtaining US Visa
Posted: 4/8/2014 9:30:00 AM EST

In a rare moment of bipartisanship in Washington last night, Republicans and Democrats voted against the approval of a visa for Hamid Aboutalebi, who has just been chosen by Iran as an ambassador to the United Nations. Aboutalebi is one of the radical extremists who held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days after seizing the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. Aboutalebi needs the visa in order to conduct business at UN headquarters in New York City. The effort to block the visa was led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz and legislation introduced by the Senator prevents a situation like this from happening again.

The legislation, which passed unanimously, targets Hamid Aboutalebi, who has been named by the Iranian government to be its next ambassador to the world body.

According to Cruz, the legislation makes minor changes to existing law that would allow the administration to block visas for an ambassadorial pick if that person poses a national security risk.

“Under the existing statute, if the Taliban in Afghanistan had nominated Osama bin Laden to be its ambassador to the U.N.,” Cruz said, “we’d have to let him in, give him a visa and let him move to Manhattan. Now that’s obviously absurd.”

The Iranians are still waiting on an official denial of Aboutalebi's visa from the State Department.

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Katie Pavlich - Eric Holder: Lets Track Gun Owners With 'Smart Gun' Bracelets
Posted: 4/8/2014 9:14:00 AM EST

While the national debate about gun control has simmered, anti-gun activists are hard at work behind the scenes to come up with new ways to push their agenda.

The most recent attempt comes from Attorney General Eric Holder, who is suggesting gun owners be tracked with smart gun bracelets tied to handguns. Naturally, he's doing it under the guise of "gun safety" and "common sense reforms." More from the Free Beacon:

Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that gun tracking bracelets are something the Justice Department (DOJ) wants to “explore” as part of its gun control efforts.

When discussing gun violence prevention programs within the DOJ, Holder told a House appropriations subcommittee that his agency is looking into technological innovations.

The Justice Department has requested $382.1 million in increased spending for its fiscal year 2014 budget for “gun safety.”

Included in the proposal is $2 million for “Gun Safety Technology” grants, which would award prizes for technologies that are “proven to be reliable and effective.”

Funny how people like Holder are always concerned about tracking the guns of Americans, yet failed to track 2500 AK-47s and .50 caliber rifles that the Department of Justice sent to violent Mexican drug cartels between 2009 and 2010.

Allowing the government to use technology to regulate anything is a slippery slope, but especially when it comes to firearms and "safety." Not to mention, these kinds of reforms only punish the law abiding, not criminals looking to do harm. The Patriot Perspective explains:

Technological tricks are par for the course for anti-rights gun banning autocrats. Technology becomes a tool to ban things – just mandate a feature for “safety” (especially when it’s the antithesis of safe) and suddenly all the things they want to ban can be banned in the name of “safety”. Then soon enough the last thing wasn’t “safe” enough, and it can be banned, too.

On top of this new tactic, last month Senator Dianne Feinsten asked her fellow senators to sign a letter to President Obama urging him to ban imports of sporting rifles and ammunition from overseas.

Feinstein is calling on fellow Senators to sign a letter to President Obama asking him to issue an executive order banning the import of "assault or military weapons" and firearms not "generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes." The executive order would be enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

As a reminder, Attorney General Eric Holder is sill in contempt of Congress for his stonewalling and failure to cooperate with the Oversight Committee Investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. Further, lets not forget Holder is also the guy who said we should "brainwash" people against guns.

Update: Bob Owens over at Bearing Arms points out that Holder was referring to smart gun technology bracelets/watches that link up with firearms, not necessarily "gun tracking bracelets."

He was instead likely referring to “smart gun” technologies like the RFID technology used in the technological train-wreck that is the Armatix iP1 pistol/iW1 watch combination.

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Heather Ginsberg - Supreme Court Will Not Hear NSA Case
Posted: 4/7/2014 4:50:00 PM EST

The Supreme Court announced earlier today which cases they won’t be taking on this upcoming session. They have declined to take on the challenge to the NSA’s bulk collection of information about telephone calls. A lower court decided on this case earlier, but the Supreme Court has decided to pass on reviewing that ruling.

Lower courts have ruled differently, one saying that the NSA program is most likely unconstitutional and a New York District Court ruled to uphold the program. It is not entirely surprising that the court has decided to pass on this case because it hasn’t gone through the extensive appeals process so many other cases have. Lawyers were hoping the importance of the issue would be enough to get the judges to consider the case.

The decision not to take a look at this case comes up as Congress is now beginning to debate legislative ways to end the NSA program. There are various options on the table right now. The White House has suggested the option of keeping the records in the hands of private phone companies, only accessible by government agents in case of emergency. Another option is to do away with the program, but make it easier for agents to obtain the information from private companies.

If Congress does not authorize reforms to the program by next June there will be a disastrous outcome, according to intelligence officials. This is a major issue, which perhaps one day, will make it to the Supreme Court. But for now, Congress and an appeals system are waiting for this case.

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Leah Barkoukis - PETA: Let's Turn Jeffrey Dahmer's House into a Vegan Restaurant
Posted: 4/7/2014 4:40:00 PM EST

The notorious serial killer, cannibal, and necrophiliac Jeffrey Dahmer is known for raping, torturing, and dismembering his victims, the first of whom was a hitchhiker by the name of Steven Hicks. Dahmer brought Hicks to his parents’ home in Bath, Ohio, in 1978, where he proceeded to kill him with a blow to the head with a barbell. To get rid of the body, Dahmer cut it up, wrapped it up in garbage bags, and buried them in the woods behind his parents’ house. After a few years, Dahmer returned to the site, dug up the body, and “pounded the decomposing corpse with a sledgehammer and scattered the remains in the woods.”

PETA thinks this house, with its sordid history, is just the perfect location to open up a vegan restaurant named “Eat for Life—Home Cooking.” Yes, seriously—it’s up for sale, and they want to buy it.

“We’re always looking for ways to turn cruelty on its ugly head, so when we heard that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer‘s childhood home had been put up for sale, we saw an opportunity to create good out of evil. Rather than remaining as a stark reminder of its dark past, the building can instead become the site of a celebration of culinary compassion,” PETA writes on its blog.

It gets better:

“Like Dahmer’s human victims, cows, pigs, and chickens are made of flesh and blood and fear for their lives when confronted by a man with a knife. They are also drugged and dragged, and their limbs are bound. Their struggles and screams are ignored as they are killed and cut up to be consumed. Their bones are thrown away like garbage.”

Is this just PETA actively looking for publicity? Maybe. But if they truly believe it’s OK to compare human victims of horrific murders to that of a pig’s death, there’s no rationalizing with them and it’s clear they have zero respect for human life. Heck, these are the same people that have compared the death of six billion broiler chickens in slaughterhouses to the death of six million Jews in concentration camps.

I highly doubt their dream for the house will come to fruition but if it does, rest assured, ‘Eat for Life’ will celebrate a grand opening and grand closing in the same week.

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Daniel Doherty - Obligatory Post: Harry Reid's Tweet of the Day
Posted: 4/7/2014 4:30:00 PM EST

Can you guess its content or subject matter? Surprise:

Lest you think it’s mere coincidence that Reid & Co. are ramping up the anti-Koch hysteria before the 2014 midterm elections, let me direct your attention to this. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) conceded today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that bashing the Koch brothers and Koch Industries is a winning political strategy that Democrats are fully committing to. And why is that? Because it’s working (via Politico):

Obviously Democrats are not oblivious to political realities. For instance, a new Associated Press/GfK poll out today shows Republicans holding a narrow but not insignificant lead seven months before the fall elections. The electoral ground is shifting. At the same time, the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act has backed many vulnerable Democrats into a proverbial corner, some of whom have forcibly said they’d vote for Obamacare again while others are quite literally running away from such questions. Hence why demonizing two evil, corporate-suit-wearing billionaires is a perfect way, as Chuck Schumer even said, to “undue the sting” of their damaging and effective anti-Obamacare attack ads.

What’s stunning to me, though, is that Reid acts as if Democrats occupy some sort of moral high ground on this issue, when the truth is Democrats receive donations from ideological billionaires, too -- and labor unions. But because the causes they champion are deemed “progressive” -- and therefore righteous and good -- they cannot recognize (or refuse to recognize) the hypocrisy dripping from their own public declarations.

Twitchy has a nice round-up of conservatives mercilessly ridiculing Reid for what he tweeted this afternoon. But alas, I don’t think he'll get the message.

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Guy Benson - Poll: GOP Has Slight Edge on 2014 Ballot
Posted: 4/7/2014 3:35:00 PM EST

A new Associated Press poll gives the GOP a small advantage on the so-called generic Congressional ballot, a significant reversal from its January survey:

The latest Associated Press-GfK poll holds bad news for President Barack Obama, but as the November elections draw closer, there are ominous signs for congressional Democrats as well. Preferences for control of Congress are tight, but Republicans have gained on Democrats since January. Thirty-six percent in last month's poll said they would rather see the Democrats in charge of Congress and 37 percent chose Republicans. Democrats held a narrow advantage on that question in January, when 39 percent favored the Democrats and 32 percent the Republicans...That's not the only positive sign in the poll for the Republicans. Favorable views of the GOP have improved, with 38 percent overall now saying they hold a favorable impression of the Party. Republicans' positive view of their own party has increased from 57 percent in January to 72 percent now. Even impressions of the tea party movement have shifted more positive in recent months.

That's an eight point swing, and any GOP lead on this question is pretty big news, as Democrats have traditionally performed better on this measure. Republican favorability has been in the toilet for years, with the GOP consistently trailing Democrats on that metric, too. But much of that gap has been attributable to self-identified Republicans disapproving of their own party, whereas rank-and-file Democrats have remained far more loyal to their party's brand. The GOP's image rebound is a function of a larger share of their voters "coming home," so to speak. Meanwhile, political independents have been roughly equally sour on both parties, though they're currently trending Republican as a voting bloc. A big reason behind Republicans' surge is a clear intensity gap among the two parties' core constituencies, a phenomenon that's manifested itself in other recent polling:

In the new poll, registered voters who are most strongly interested in politics favored the Republicans by 14 percentage points, 51 percent to 37 percent. In January, this group was about evenly split, with 42 percent preferring Democrats and 45 percent the Republicans.

Democrats are seeking to counter this trend by energizing their base through a series of pure messaging votes in the Senate, by dispatching Joe Biden to denounce so-called "voter suppression" attempts by Republicans, and by giving vulnerable members lots of face time to promote popular agenda items:

It's all an attempt to shift the conversation away from the hobbled economy and an enduringly unpopular healthcare law. Part of the strategy also entails Harry Reid steadfastly refusing to allow any Republican amendments on practically any bills under consideration, thus insulating his members from taking tough votes. He defends this abuse of power by blaming the Koch brothers. Reid has used a controversial debate-stifling maneuver more often than his last six predecessors combined, dating back to the 1970s. Senate Democrats have also declined to offer a budget for the fourth time in five years, despite their statutory obligation to do so.

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Christine Rousselle - Tanning Salons Are Inspected More Than Abortion Clinics in New York
Posted: 4/7/2014 1:30:00 PM EST

While abortion proponents claim they want to make the practice "safe, legal, and rare," a new report by the New York Post shows that dozens of abortion clinics in New York are rarely, if ever, inspected by the state's Health Department.

Health inspectors regulate 25 diagnostic and treatment clinics and surgery centers that provide abortion services — though pro-choice advocates say there are 225 abortion service providers in New York state.

Eight of the 25 clinics were never inspected over the 2000-12 span, five were inspected just once, and eight were inspected only twice or three times — meaning once every four or six years.

A total of just 45 inspections were conducted at all 25 facilities during the 12-year period.

Conversely, restaurants in New York are inspected at least once a year, and tanning salons are inspected on a biyearly basis.

Neglecting to inspect abortion clinics can have deadly consequences. Women's Medical Society, an abortion mill run by Kermit Gosnell, was not inspected between 1993 and 2010. During this time, Gosnell committed unspeakable horrors and practiced unsafe medical procedures, maiming women regularly.

Abortion clinics shouldn't be treated with less scrutiny than tanning salons. There's nothing safe about not inspecting a clinic.

Update: A statement from Live Action's founder Lila Rose sums things up nicely.

“Live Action went to New York for our Inhuman investigation for a reason: this is one of America's most pro-abortion states, with an outrageously high abortion rate and next to nothing in the law to protect mothers and their babies from the industry's profit-hungry vultures. The Inhuman project showed hideous crimes being perpetrated at an abortion center in the Bronx, yet when we called for an official investigation, the state stonewalled us at every turn.

These filthy killing centers maim mothers and destroy their babies for money, and the state does nothing. There is no excuse for this sort of negligence, especially in the wake of mass-murdering Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania and ‘Gosnell-like conditions’ at Planned Parenthood of Delaware. New York is being exposed once again as a partner in the full-throttle attack on the most basic of human rights.”

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Daniel Doherty - Report: Ted Kennedy Jr. to Seek Public Office in CT
Posted: 4/7/2014 1:15:00 PM EST

Edward Kennedy Jr. will reportedly run for an open state Senate seat in Connecticut’s 12th District, the Associated Press reports. He is expected to make the official announcement later this week:

Ted Kennedy Jr. is planning to run for the state Senate in Connecticut in his first bid for public office, two people briefed on the decision told The Associated Press on Monday.

The son of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts will announce Tuesday he intends to seek the Democratic nomination for the 12th Senatorial District, two people said on condition of anonymity because Kennedy wants to make the announcement. Kennedy said he would announce his decision that evening at a library in Branford.

Kennedy is 52-year-old health care lawyer who lives in Branford, a coastal town near New Haven, and has been mentioned as a possible political candidate for some time. He said last month he was considering running for the seat.

Kennedy Jr. has never sought political office before, even though he’s been urged to in years past by members of his family and others. But now his children are somewhat older, it seems, so he’s finally ready to test Connecticut’s political waters. Meanwhile, his brother Patrick -- who represented residents of Rhode Island in the House of Representatives for 16 years -- is convinced he’d be a compelling candidate if he chooses to run. And as a consequence, is rather enthusiastic about his candidacy:

Patrick Kennedy said his brother's life was transformed when as a boy he lost his leg to cancer. Describing him with the phrase that was the title of a book by their uncle and former President John F. Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy said his brother became a "profile in courage": surviving a deadly cancer, having his leg amputated and later becoming a champion for people with disabilities.

"I've always thought my brother could be a really powerful leader, I'm not just talking elected-office sense, but leadership sense," he said. "He's just got such a tremendous personal story. I've always thought he'd be a very compelling political figure because he's integrated work with public policy with his own personal experience."

He added that if Kennedy Jr. does decide to run, he'll get plenty of support from the Kennedy clan.

"I haven't succeeded in getting him to take that plunge, but if he does, like everyone who knows him well, we're going to be very enthusiastic in our efforts on his behalf," he said.

One wonders why with such a famous surname the younger Kennedy doesn’t run for a more prominent political office. He certainly could. But I suppose every politician must start somewhere. Plus, if his goal in public service is to champion the causes of his progressive father, perhaps winning a state Senate seat in Connecticut isn’t the worst place to start.

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