Friday Filibuster: The Tall Tale Edition

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Feb 13, 2015 2:15 PM
Friday Filibuster: The Tall Tale Edition

The Friday Filibuster: The one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about this week in politics.

Closing Numbers

6 – the number of months NBC News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended.

40% of Americans think Williams should resign.

20,000 – the number of foreign fighters from around the world that have joined the Islamic State or other extremist groups.

Brian Williams' Tall Tales

NBC News anchor Brian Williams may have gotten suspended without pay for 6 months, but that didn’t stop more of his tall tales from Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and the 2006 Lebanon War from coming out. All of this makes that one time he said that “integrity … is all we have [as broadcast journalists]” particularly awkward. While Bill O’Reilly was more sympathetic when asked about the scandal, many believe Williams should call it quits, which he will likely do anyway.

Immigration

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake this week joined Democrats in pressuring Republicans to rubber stamp Obama’s amnesty, which is already proving to have disastrous effects. The IRS, for example, confirmed that illegal immigrants are entitled to back tax refunds under Obama’s executive amnesty, and a loophole in the program could allow millions of non-citizens to vote in U.S. elections. Meanwhile, we’re simultaneously dealing with concerns the FBI has raised over the State Department’s plan to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees in the U.S. And Texas officials now want the National Guard to stay on the border, indefinitely.

Terror

It was confirmed this week that ISIS killed yet another American hostage, Kayla Mueller. And on the day we learned of her death, our commander in chief was taking selfies for this Buzzfeed video. Questions remain over how long the White House knew where ISIS hostages were being held before acting. And while the ranks of foreign fighters joining ISIS swell, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest admitted Wednesday that Obama’s refusal to send more ground troops to fight the extremists is prolonging the war, which the president has now officially asked Congress to rubber stamp. House Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul slammed the proposal, however, saying that he’d rather have “no AUMF than the AUMF that he’s proposed.” ISIS, meanwhile, has made its way to Yemen, where U.S. Marines were ordered this week to destroy their weapons and the U.S. Embassy was evacuated over safety and security concerns. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says we can trust the rebels to respect the evacuated embassy until we return, but in an interview with Megyn Kelly, the host pointed out that the Houthis have already posted signs that read "Death to America" at checkpoints. Perhaps the new secretary of Defense, who was confirmed 93-5, can talk some sense into this administration. Although considering they believe climate change is a greater threat to national security than terrorism and that the attack on the Kosher deli in France was random, that’s probably wishful thinking.

Health Care

A stark reality of Obamacare has set in—namely that having coverage does not equal care—and it’s pushing some ardent Obama supporters over the edge, even in California, where the law’s Medicaid expansion is failing patients. Hopefully those in favor of having a ‘measles party’ have better health care than what the Affordable Care Act provides. 

Campaigns & Elections

Potential GOP and Democratic presidential candidates continued dropping hints this week that a run is all but certain. Sen. Marco Rubio, for instance, snagged Romney’s New Hampshire campaign director, and is beginning to sound an awful lot like a man running for president. Scott Walker is getting a taste of the limelight, with Howard Dean and the liberal media questioning the Wisconsin governor’s intelligence because he dropped out of college. On the Left, Hillary Clinton remains in hiding even while the turmoil within her team reaches new levels. It may not matter, though. David Axelrod is confident Elizabeth Warren can’t beat the former secretary of state. But now John Kerry may be a contender? Regardless of who’s crowned the Democratic nominee, the party should be very worried about 2016, Van Jones warned. The Democrats also announced this week that the Democratic National Convention will be held in Philadelphia. At the state level, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) is on the brink of resigning over ethics violations. And America’s favorite senator, Harry Reid, announced he’s definitely running for re-election in 2016. 

Townhall Exclusives:

Cortney caught up with the Benham Brothers to discuss how they overcame religious persecution, which they reflect on in their new book, “Whatever the Cost: Facing Your Fears, Dying to Your Dreams, and Living Powerfully.”

Matt explores why Asian voters have been leaving the GOP in droves since the 1992 election. But looking at the 2014 midterms, it seems they are a demographic that’s very much up for grabs.

In this week's episode of "Capitol Source," Sarah sat down with Marjorie Jones Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, who explained why supporting life might be a winning strategy for presidential candidates on either side of the aisle in 2016.

While in London, Katie came across an Islamic protest against free speech held by the Muslim Action Forum. Check out her photos, including one showing how women were separated from men with barricades.  

Graphics by Townhall Graphic Designer Feven Amenu.