For the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States of America, I hereby officially and wholeheartedly announce my endorsement for – The Empty Lectern!
Debate hosts CNN and Facebook announced earlier this week that they were saving an extra debate podium just in case a liberal knight in shining armor rode in at the last minute to provide desperately-needed legitimacy to the stable of lame donkeys on stage.
But I say forget the knight. The Empty Lectern alone stands head and shoulders above the five candidates now running for the Democratic nomination.
In fact, one does not even have to have watched Tuesday night’s debate to know that the most honest, capable and inspiring leader in the Democratic field is, hands down, The Empty Lectern.
Not since Clint Eastwood introduced us to The Empty Chair at the 2012 Republican Convention has a piece of furniture captured the hopes and dreams of such a despondent electorate.
Let’s not waste time on all the sad and sordid negative reasons that disqualify the rest of the Democratic field to hold the highest office in the land. Let’s just focus on all the positive attributes of The Empty Lectern and why she would be so great as America’s first woman president.
Probably the single greatest thing about The Empty Lectern is that she is NOT married to a sex predator. She truly stands for women’s rights.
The Empty Lectern also never voted to send American troops to die and get disfigured in a war that she didn’t really actually believe in – a war that she later determined was so disastrously hopeless that she was instrumental in surrendering it to the most dangerous jihadi terrorists the world has ever seen.
Nor did she spark protests that killed countless people around the world by falsely blaming a coordinated terrorist attack at an American Embassy on outrage over a two-bit crank film about the Prophet Mohammad that nobody saw – until she made it famous.
The Empty Lectern is open, true and honest. She has never hidden Rose Law Firm records or stashed an unsecured server in her bathroom to keep her employer from reading all the dastardly dealings she was doing over government email.
She is still clean and sturdy and has not weathered the public eye for a quarter of a century.
And that is just comparing The Empty Lectern to the Democratic front-runner!
Consider the rest of the field such as The Gray-Headed Hoot Owl that is nipping at her heels.
At the very least, The Empty Lectern does not describe herself as a “socialist Democrat.” I mean, what is that, anyway? An unprincipled Communist?
Nor has she been a professional politician for 35 years from a politically crackpot state and been a member of Congress since 1991.
The Empty Lectern also has never surrendered the stage to angry Black Lives Matter protesters, or even worse, apologized for saying “all lives matter.” And nor was the city she governed in the state she governed literally in flames earlier this year as a testament to the failure of her government policies.
So, you can sit around waiting for a white knight in shining armor to ride in, but I am going with The Empty Lectern for the Democratic nomination.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 248 to 177 on Friday afternoon to approve a bill that would give a born baby who survives an abortion the same protection under the law as “any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.”
Under the bill, the Congressional Research Service explained in its official summary of the legislation, “An individual who commits an overt act that kills a child born alive is subject to criminal prosecution for murder.”
The bill would also “require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to: (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital.”
Five Democrats voted for the bill, and all 177 votes against it were cast by Democratic members. One member, Rep. John Garamendi (D.-Calif.), voted present, and eight members, including three Republicans and five Democrats did not vote.
Among the members who voted against this bill that would clarify that it is an act of murder to kill a baby who survives an abortion were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.), Rep. Jackie Speier (D.-Calif.), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y.)
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R.-Ariz.), who was joined by 98 co-sponsors. These included Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R.-Mo.), and Rep. Kristi Noem (R.-S.D.).
“The Born Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act protects little children who have been born alive,” Rep. Franks said in a speech on the House floor before the vote. “No one in this body can obscure the humanity and the personhood of these little born alive babies.”
“The abortion industry labored all these decades to convince the world that unborn children and born children should be completely separated in our minds, that while born children are persons worthy of protection, unborn children are not persons and are not worthy of protection,” he said.
“But those who oppose this bill to protect born alive babies now have the impossible task of trying to join born children and unborn children back together again and then trying to convince all of us to condemn them both as inhuman and not worthy of protection after all,” he said.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke against the bill on the House floor.
“I stand in strong opposition to this punitive and intrusive bill,” she said.
“This is politics at its most manipulative and politics that should never be permitted to come between a patient and her doctor,” she said.
“This bill attempts to criminalize legal medical care and punish millions of women by rolling back reproductive choices. It wages a kind of guerilla warfare against Roe v. Wade by threatening doctors with jail time for providing care to their patients.”
Democrats today blocked a bill to defund the Planned Parenthood baby organ harvesting industry today.
The Senate voted 53-46 on the cluture motion failing to get the 60 needed to move the bill forward.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell led the effort to keep Planned Parenthood funding by blocking an amendment to the Highway Bill by Mike Lee to defund the abortion harvesting group.
The move by McConnell made it necessary for conservatives to get 60 votes today for their bill.
They could only muster 53 votes.
Life News reported:
Senate Democrats today defeated an effort to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business by filibustering the bill and preventing a vote on it. Republicans were unable to secure the 60 voted needed to invoke cloture and stop debate on the bill, allowing an up or down vote.
The legislation follows four shocking videos that have caught Planned Parenthood doctors discussing and arranging the sale of body parts of aborted babies.
The Senate voted 53-46 on the cloture motion – failing to get the 60 votes needed to stop the Democratic filibuster against the de-funding measure. had the cloture vote been approved and the bill passed, and should the House pass its own bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, President Barack Obama said he would veto the measure.
With the Senate voting against de-funding, attention now turns to attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood via the budget process. Already, 18 House Republicans have said they will not allow passage of any essential bills to fund the federal government if such bills do not include language de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Attention will also now turn to Congressional and state efforts to investigate Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts from aborted babies and state-level efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood further.
A group of 14 Democrat senators has written a letter to President Obama urging him to “dramatically increase” the number of Syrian refugees being resettled into American cities and towns.
They say the U.S. needs to take in at least 65,000 Syrians as permanent refugees over the next year-and-a-half.
“While the United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees, we must also dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees that we accept for resettlement,” says the four-page letter to Obama, copied to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
More than 3.5 million Syrians are registered with the United Nations as refugees, and the U.N. wants to assign about 350,000 of them to so-called “third-party countries.”
The 14 senators, led by Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., cite the research of the Refugee Council USA to make their case for 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. RCUSA is the main lobbying arm of the nine agencies that contract with the federal government to resettle refugees in cities and towns across America.
The more refugees brought into the country, the more government grants doled out to the nine resettlement agencies. Among them are the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Church World Service, International Rescue Committee and the National Association of Evangelicals’ World Relief.
More than 90 percent of Syrian refugees will be Muslim
Of the 843 Syrians resettled in the U.S. since the start of the Syrian civil war, 92 percent have been Muslim and about 7 percent Christian. Syria’s overall population is 90 percent Muslim and close to 10 percent Christian.
“The vast majority of these refugees are women and children, including two million children,” the letter states, using language similar to what Democrats used to justify the entry of some 60,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America last year. “An entire generation of Syrian children is at risk.
“More than ten thousand Syrian children have been killed, and half of Syrian refugee children are not attending school, more than one-hundred thousand are working to support their families, and thousands are unaccompanied or separated from their parents.
“[W]e urge your Administration to work to accept at least 50 percent of Syrian refugees whom UNCHR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] is seeking to resettle, consistent with our nation’s traditional practice under both Republican and Democratic Presidents.”
The letter also addresses the security concerns about accepting Syrians who may have ties to the various Islamic extremist factions fighting to overthrow and replace Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Among them are ISIS, Jabat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army.
“We fully support your Administration’s efforts to ensure that any potential security concerns are addressed by strengthening security checks for refugees with the latest technology and information,” the letter states.
“Refugees are the most carefully vetted of all travelers to the U.S., with extensive biometric, biographic, intelligence, and law enforcement checks involving numerous agencies,” the letter says, parroting the U.S. State Department talking points about the quality of the screening process for refugees.
The problem with that argument, however, is that it has been debunked by FBI counter-terrorism experts who have openly admitted it is virtually impossible to screen Syrian refugees, precisely because U.S. agents don’t have access to reliable biometric and law enforcement data. As WND previously reported, Michael Steinbach, deputy assistant director of the FBI counter-terrorism unit, admitted at a hearing before the House Homeland Security committee on Feb. 11 that reliable records are not available in a “failed state” like Syria.
The House Homeland Security Committee was schedule to hold another hearing this week on the national security risks associated with the Syrian refugees, but that hearing was postponed Thursday until further notice.
The letter being sent to Obama makes the upcoming House hearing even more pivotal as the battle over this issue heats up on both sides of the aisle, with Democrats pushing for more Syrians and Republicans pushing for less.
‘A serious mistake’
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, says resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. is a “serious mistake” and should be stopped until safeguards are in place.
“We have no way… to know who these people are, and so I think bringing them in is a serious mistake,” said McCaul during a press conference Thursday.
McCaul said the U.S. has “no intelligence footprint or capability” inside Syria to ensure refugees mean no harm.
“We don’t have databases on these individuals so we can’t properly vet them,” he added, “to know where they came from, to know what threat they pose, because we don’t have the data to cross-reference them with.”
McCaul, who has visited Syrian refugee camps overseas, said that while there are “a lot of mothers and kids, there are [also] a lot of males of the age that could conduct terrorist operations.”
“That concerns me,” he added.
‘Give me your tired…’
The U.S. takes in more refugees than any other country by far. In the current fiscal year it has committed to accept 70,000 and some years it has been as high as 200,000. Almost all of the refugees coming to the U.S. are selected by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
Also playing against the Democratic senators argument is the recent string of arrests of Somali refugees and children of Somali refugees. Just last month six Somali young men were arrested and charged with trying to leave the country to fight for ISIS. Two of them used their college student loan money to pay for plane tickets to Turkey.
Dozens of others have gone to fight with al-Shabab in Somalia and still others have been arrested, charged and convicted of providing money or other material support to overseas terrorist organizations.
Somalia, like Syria, is a failed state where the U.S. has no military presence and no access to reliable law enforcement data.
“This issue has obviously come up before. We’ve had a bunch of people who have come in as refugees and committed terrorist acts, or tried to commit terrorist acts,” said Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies. “But I think the underlying question is, one, the ability to vet people from a war-torn country that had poor record keeping to begin with is virtually nonexistent now. There’s simply no way to know what people have done in the past from a country like Syria.
“All we know about Syria is that powerful and well-organized terrorist groups operate throughout the country,” he said.
Lessons learned or mistakes repeated?
Even if they could be adequately screened, experience proves that the children of Muslim immigrants are sometimes more in danger of being radicalized than their parents, Camarota said.
He points to numerous recent cases like that of Hoda Muthana, the 19-year-old daughter of Muslim parents who emigrated from Yemen more than 20 years ago and settled in Birmingham, Alabama. She left to fight for ISIS in November after being recruited over the Internet. Her parents have been “traumatized” by losing their oldest daughter, according to an article by AL.com.
The fact that some arrive as “children” is also no guarantee against radicalization. Some are radicalized in American mosques after they grow into teens and young adults.
That’s what happened to the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing. They came as asylum seekers as young boys with their parents from war-torn Chechnya.
“Unfortunately, a number of people who have come as refuges became radicalized after they arrived in the United States, including the Tsarnaev brothers. The younger brother, who just got convicted, was a young boy when he arrived with his family,” Camarota said.
“We’ve had a number from Somalia who have gone to fight for ISIS or al-Shabab who came to America at young ages,” he added. “Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a number of cases where people have been radicalized after they got here from Somalia.”
There is an alternative that low-immigration advocates such as Camarota say could be more effective in helping the plight of true refugees.
“We can help countries in the region resettle these folks, provide resources to countries like Jordan, and countries like Saudi Arabia, which is a rich country with lots of space,” he said. “And because they would be close to their home countries they could return once the war is over.”
Resettling refugees costs the American taxpayer $1.5 billion a year, and that does not include the cost of social welfare benefits. Unlike other immigrants, refugees immediately qualify for government benefits such as food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, or TANF, subsidized housing and Medicaid health care.
“Instead, that money could be used to help a lot more people resettle in the Middle East region, making it more likely that their life would be less disrupted and they would be more likely to return home,” Camarota said. “We could help more people and make it more likely rather than bring a tiny number here at huge costs and bring these risks to national security.”
Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, said taking in more Syrian refugees poses risks that must be balanced against humanitarian concerns.
“Welcoming more Syrian refugees to the U.S. would be a generous move to make, so long as they can be vetted to exclude any who identify with a jihadist ideology or worse yet, are jihadis themselves,” she said. “It would also make sense to be sure we select for those who will most easily assimilate to America’s Judeo-Christian-based legal system and Western-style democratic society.”
While the lobbying organization National Council of Refugees USA, refers to itself as nonprofit and bipartisan, refugee watchdog Ann Corcoran doesn’t buy it.
She said conservatives shouldn’t be fooled by the “church sounding names.”
“Looking at this list they all appear to be from the hard left,” said Corcoran, who follows the refugee movement at her blog, Refugee Resettlement Watch.
The senators’ letter closes by saying: “[I]t is a moral, legal, and national security imperative for the United States to lead by example in addressing the world’s worst refugee crisis of our time by greatly increasing the number of Syrian refugees who are resettled in our country. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they’ve seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect – just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen.
A poll released today by the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that 28% of 2,099 doctors surveyed nationally saw large increases in volume, while 47% saw slight increases. By contrast, fewer than half of doctors reported any increases last year in the early days of the Affordable Care Act.
Such hikes run counter to one of the goals of the health care overhaul, which is to reduce pressure on emergency rooms by getting more people insured through Medicaid or subsidized private coverage and providing better access to primary care.
A major reason that hasn’t happened is there simply aren’t enough primary care physicians to handle all the newly insured patients, says ACEP President Mike Gerardi, an emergency physician in New Jersey.
“They don’t have anywhere to go but the emergency room,” he says. “This is what we predicted. We know people come because they have to.”
Experts cite many root causes. In addition to the nation’s long-standing shortage of primary care doctors – projected by the federal government to exceed 20,000 doctors by 2020 – some physicians won’t accept Medicaid because of its low reimbursement rates. That leaves many patients who can’t find a primary care doctor to turn to the ER – 56% of doctors in the ACEP poll reported increases in Medicaid patients.
Emergency room usage is bound to increase if there’s a shortage of primary care doctors who accept Medicaid patients and “no financial penalty or economic incentive” to move people away from ERs, says Avik Roy, a health care policy expert with the free market Manhattan Institute.
“It goes to the false promise of the ACA,” Roy says, that Medicaid recipients are “given a card that says they have health insurance, but they can’t have access to physicians.”
Complicating matters, low-income patients face many obstacles to care. They often can’t take time off from work when most primary care offices are open, while ERs operate around the clock and by law must at least stabilize patients. Waits for appointments at primary care offices can stretch for weeks, while ERs must see patients almost immediately.
“Nobody wants to turn anyone away,” says Maggie Gill, CEO of Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga. “But there’s no business in this country that provides resource-intensive anything and can’t even ask if you’re going to be able to pay.”
Some people who have been uninsured for years don’t have regular doctors and are accustomed to using ERs, even though they are much more expensive. A 2013 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says going to an ER when a primary care visit would suffice costs $580 more for each visit.
Damian Alagia, chief physician executive for KentuckyOne Health, says he’s seen the trend play out in his large hospital system. There are more than a half-million people in the state newly insured through Obamacare. Many who put off care in the past now seek it in the place they know — the ER. “We’re seeing an uptick pretty much across the system in our ERs,” he says, calling the rise “significant” in both urban and rural hospitals.
Gerardi acknowledges that some people come to the ER for problems that would be better handled in a primary or urgent care office. But he says the ER is the right place for patients with vague but potentially life-threatening symptoms, such as chest pain, which could be anything from a heart attack to indigestion.
ER volumes are likely to keep climbing, and hospitals are working to adapt. Alagia says his ERs have care management professionals who connect patients with primary care physicians if they don’t already have them. Gill says her Georgia hospital has a “whole staff in the emergency room dedicated to recidivism,” who follow up with patients to see whether they’ve found a primary care doctor, are taking their medications or need help with transportation to get to doctors.
Still, seven in 10 doctors say their emergency departments aren’t ready for continuing, and potentially significant, increases in volume. Although the numbers should level off as people get care to keep their illnesses under control, Alagia says, “the patient demand will outstrip the supply of physicians for a while.”
In December 2014, Utah Senator Mike Lee warned that Obama’s illegal executive amnesty would create an easy loophole for illegal aliens to register to vote thereby compromising our election system. On Thursday, two Secretaries of State testified before Congress that Obama’s illegal amnesty would indeed lead to more illegals voting.
Obama’s illegal amnesty creates a significant loophole since illegal aliens will, under Obama’s plan, be able to get drivers licenses and social security numbers. The Washington Times details the testimony of John Husted, Secretary of State in Ohio, and Kris Kobach, Secretary of state in Kansas.
Husted said that mass voter registration drives often lack the resources to fully pay attention to the verification of someone’s immigration status. When the individual is asked if they would like to register to vote and they can produce a drivers license and social security number, which Obama will allow illegal aliens to have, then the result will be more illegals voting, despite the fact that such action is illegal.
“It is a guarantee that it will happen, “ Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said regarding an increasing number of illegals voting in elections. He added that illegals have pointed to being asked by workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles if they would like to register to vote as the reason that did register, then did indeed vote.
Of course, Democrats are accusing Republicans of simply wanting to suppress the right to vote, even though according to the Constitution, illegals do not have the right to vote.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting delegate to Congress representing the District of Columbia, demonstrated that she is in need of a history lesson based upon her criticism of Republicans. Norton said, “The president’s executive order gives immigrants the right to stay – immigrants who have been here for years, immigrants who have been working hard and whose labor we have needed. The Republicans may want to go down in history as the party who tried once again 100 years later to nullify the right to vote. Well, I am here to say they shall not succeed.”
Perhaps Norton needs to brush up on her history since it was the Democrat Party who implemented Jim Crow laws in an attempt to prevent voting by blacks, just as it was the Democrats who enslaved blacks and fought to maintain the practice of slavery.
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts Democrat, took another dishonest path with his defense of Obama’s illegal amnesty by claiming that it’s doubtful that illegal aliens would risk voting since getting caught could get them deported. He added that votes by illegals would be an “insignificant part of an election.”
This disingenuous statement by Lynch is proven to be an egregious lie based upon polls by both the Washington Post and Pew Research Center which determined that illegal aliens are hyper-partisan with an overwhelming majority identifying as Democrats.
Democrats finally get the opportunity to show their true colors for Israel and Netanyahu. They claim this is a partisan effort by Boehner, however it will only be partisan if they don’t show up. Boehner didn’t just invite Netanyahu to speak to Republicans, but all of Congress. Democrats are just miffed because Boehner finally got one on the president:
CNN – Several influential senior Democratic senators said on Wednesday they and other senators are considering boycotting an upcoming speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protest the decision by House Republicans to disregard protocol and invite the foreign leader without the involvement and blessing of the White House.
“Colleagues of mine are very concerned about it and I’m troubled by it. I won’t name names, of course,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat who is also a close ally of President Barack Obama. “It’s a serious mistake by the speaker and the prime minister. The relationship between Israel and the United States has been so strong, so bipartisan.”
Durbin said he hasn’t decided whether to attend the March 3 speech to a joint meeting of Congress. In his address, Netanyahu is expected to criticize the controversial negotiations the Obama administration is spearheading with Iran aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Those talks face a critical deadline at the end of March.
“One of my closest friends – one of the strongest supporters of Israel – described this Boehner tactic as a disaster, a terrible disaster for Israel,” Durbin said, referring to Republican House Speaker John Boehner who invited Netanyahu. “I won’t speak for any other members but they’ve been talking to me about what is the right way to react to what could turn out to be a divisive event.”
Asked about a boycott, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who is Jewish and the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “there are people discussing that.”
She hasn’t decided if she will attend the speech, which will take place in the House chamber. But she is deeply concerned about Netanyahu’s appearance, in part, because it is scheduled just days before the prime minister faces voters in Israeli elections.
“I take it very seriously,” Feinstein said. “My concern is that it is obviously political and it uses the backdrop of the United States House of Representatives and the Senate two weeks before a political campaign and violates all the protocol that’s always existed in terms of working this out with the President and I don’t think that helps Israel.”
Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, said he is still weighing whether to show up.
“I think it’s inappropriate both from in terms of our country and their country,” he said.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, would not say if he would attend.
“One of the most important pillars of the enduring, strong relationship between the United States and Israel is it has always been strongly bipartisan and I am concerned by some of the elements of the timing of the speech,” he said.
It’s not clear how many House and Senate Democrats will skip the speech, but if there is a large number of absences it could be embarrassing to Netanyahu. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said he plans to go but said it should be a “personal decision” by senators as to what they do.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked the Keystone XL pipeline bill from moving forward on Monday, but supporters of the project vowed to push ahead and eventually get a vote on the measure.
The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to limit debate, voting 53 to 39 on the measure.
The Keystone bill allows Congress to approve TransCanada Corp’s project to link Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Democrats, who lost control of the Senate as a result of November’s elections, flexed their muscles to deliver a message to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will have to deal with them even on bills that enjoy some bipartisan support.
McConnell has pledged that amendments to bills will be debated in an open process. But Democrats said McConnell cut off debate last Thursday on several amendments.
“He’s got to work with us and not try to jam us,” Senator Chuck Schumer said of McConnell. Democrats are not trying to delay the bill, but they don’t want McConnell to shut down the open process at his whim, said Schumer, the Senate’s third ranking Democrat.
Republicans have made passing the Keystone bill the first priority of the new Senate.
But the White House has said President Barack Obama would reject the bill, and Keystone supporters are four votes short of the 67 needed to overcome any veto.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, the chairman of the energy committee, vowed to work with Democrats on her panel to consider additional amendments.
The House voted Wednesday to defund President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, a step Republicans promised to take after Obama said in November he would provide legal protection for up to 5 million illegal immigrants.
Members voted 237-190 in favor of a defunding amendment brought by Rep. Bob Aderholt (R-Ala.). All but seven Republicans supported it, and it was opposed by all Democrats.
Republicans voting against it were Reps. Carlos Curbello (Fla.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Bob Dold (Ill.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) and David Valadao (Calif.).
With that vote, Aderholt’s language was attached to a Department of Homeland Security spending bill, which the House then passed shortly after noon in a 236-191 vote.
Aderholt’s language would block funding for Obama’s executive action, even those funds that agencies collect on their own through fees. It would prevent enforcement of memos DHS released in 2011 and 2012 that allow agencies to halt immigration enforcement on various classes of illegal immigrants.
It would also block any effort to carry out similar policies, and prevent the executive branch from giving any benefit to illegal immigrants that aren’t prescribed under law.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised to fight Obama’s action “tooth and nail,” and attaching the defunding language to the DHS spending bill is one of the stronger steps the GOP could take. Many conservatives feared the House might pass a defunding bill as a separate item, which would have made it much easier for Obama to ignore.
Attaching it to the DHS spending bill sets up an immediate challenge to Obama, who has said he would veto the bill if it defunds his immigration plan.
It also raises questions about how the Senate will handle the bill. It’s possible that Republicans may have to consider tweaking the language in order to find the 60 votes needed to start work on the bill, and failure to do so could effectively kill the bill in the upper chamber.
But this week, at least, House Republicans were holding firm, and were led by Boehner himself in the effort to fight back against Obama’s attempt to go around Congress.
“We do not take this action lightly, but simply, there is no alternative,” Boehner said, making one of his rare appearances on the House floor to speak about specific legislation. “This executive overreach is an affront to the rule of law and to the Constitution itself.”
“Enough is enough,” Boehner added. “By their votes last November, the people made clear that they wanted more accountability from this president, and by our votes here today, we will heed their will and we will keep our oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Democrats used the debate to warn that Obama’s actions were legal, and that the defunding language threatens to create a fight that could lead to the partial shutdown of DHS. Several Democrats have noted that Congress should not put at risk DHS funding, especially after the attacks against Charlie Hebdo in France last week.
“I am deeply disappointed that Republicans insist on making Congress play out this farce at the expense of our Nation’s security,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, on Tuesday. “It has taken less than two weeks for the Republican Congress to prove that it cannot govern responsibly.”
Members considered two other substantive amendments to the bill. One from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) would prohibit the use of any federal funding to consider new applications under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. That program, known as DACA, has given legal protection to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the country with their parents.
That amendment narrowly passed in a 218-209 vote, as 26 Republicans voted against it along with every Democrat.
Start with Obama’s claim that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or ISIS) is not Islamic. Say what? In fact, the so-called war on terror is clearly a war that Islamic jihadists have declared on us. Yet Obama is so hostile to this war that even the subterfuge “war on terror” was too much for him and he purged it from official government statements and replaced it with “Overseas Contingency Operations,” which describes nothing. Why would he do this? To avoid confronting the actual threat from what is obviously the most dynamic movement in Islam today: the jihadist war to purge the world of infidels and establish a global Islamic state. The same impulse to deny this threat can be seen in the Obama administration’s characterization of domestic acts of Islamic terror like the recent beheading in Oklahoma and the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.”
The origin of the Democratic lies that fog the nature of the war against the Islamists and make us vulnerable to their attacks can be traced to the Democrats’ defection from the war in Iraq, the second front in the so-called “war on terror.” “Bush Lied People Died.” This was the disgusting charge with which progressives and Democrats sought successfully to demonize America’s commander-in-chief and demoralize the nation as it went to war to take down the terrorist-supporting monster regime of Saddam Hussein and eventually defeat Ansar-al-Islam and al-Qaeda in Iraq. In fact, Bush didn’t lie about the reasons for taking on the terrorist regime in Iraq, as the Democrats claimed. Democrats, including senators John Kerry and Diane Feinstein sat on the intelligence committees and had access to every piece of data about Saddam Hussein’s weapons and the reasons for going to war that George Bush did. If they had any doubts about these reasons all they had to do was pick up the phone to CIA director George Tenet – a Bill Clinton appointee – and ask him. The reprehensible claim that Bush lied was concocted by Democrats to justify their defection from a war they had just authorized betraying their country in time of war along with the young men and women they had sent into the battlefield.
The Democrats lied in claiming that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that therefore the war was unnecessary and therefore immoral. This was actually two lies in one. In the first place the decision to go to war wasn’t about Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. It was about his determination to build and use weapons of mass destruction and his violation of 17 Security Council resolutions designed to stop him from doing just that. Saddam violated all 17 of the UN resolutions, beginning with those that constituted the Gulf War Truce and culminating in the ultimatum to disclose and destroy all his weapons of mass destruction. His defiance of that ultimatum is why we went to war with him.
But it was the second lie – that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction – that the Democrats used to discredit the president and the war we were fighting. In fact, the Saddam regime did have weapons of mass destruction, including a chemical weapons storage plant recently discovered by ISIS along with 2200 rockets filled with deadly Sarin gas. Here’s the report from the Daily News of July 9, 2014:
“A terrorist group bent on turning Iraq into an Islamic state has seized a chemical weapons depot near Baghdad stockpiled with sarin-filled rockets left over from the Saddam Hussein era… The site, about 35 miles southwest of Baghdad, was once operated by Saddam’s army and is believed to contain 2,500 degraded rockets filled with potentially deadly sarin and mustard gas.”
Not a single Democrat has apologized for the monstrous defamation campaign they conducted around this lie to cripple their president and their country in a time of war.
The Democrats began their sabotage campaign against the war in Iraq in June 2003, claiming that Bush lied when he cited a British report that Saddam was seeking fissionable uranium in Niger for his nuclear weapons program. Two official reports, one by the British and the other by the U.S. Senate confirmed that Bush’s statement was correct, but this was long after the Democrats had so demonized America’s commander-in-chief as a cynical and dangerous liar that his ability to mobilize American citizens to support the war against the Iraqi terrorists was severely damaged. No apologies from Democrats or the media, which abetted their lies, in this case either. Here is a recent testimony about the facts of Saddam’s quest for fissionable yellow cake uranium:
“As someone who led the company that transported 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium – enough to make fourteen Hiroshima-size bombs – from Saddam’s nuclear complex in the Iraq War’s notorious ‘Triangle of Death’ for air shipment out of the country, I know Baathist Iraq’s WMD potential existed.”
Not content with these lies, the Democrats reached into their Marxist pocket for another. The progressive slogan “No Blood For Oil” was a maliciously false claim designed to undermine the moral basis for the war by accusing President Bush of serving the interests of his Texas oil cronies beginning with Vice President Cheney, former president of Halliburton, instead of the American people. In the Democrats’ telling, evil corporations in the Republicans’ pocket pushed the country into a needless and “imperialist” war that cost thousands of American and Iraqi lives. But the fact is that despite spending trillions of dollars on a war that cost thousands of American lives, America got no oil out of the war in Iraq, which has wound up in the hands of ISIS terrorists and the People’s Republic of China. No apologies for this myth either.
Perhaps the most destructive lie that Democrats have used to sabotage the war against the Islamist fanatics is that fighting terrorists creates more of them. Nancy Pelosi actually told 60 Minutes’ Steve Croft that if America left Iraq the terrorists would leave too. The argument has been used by progressives to oppose a serious military effort to stop ISIS in Syria and Iraq rather than having to fight them here at home. But aggressive pre-emptive war against the terrorists in their homelands rather than ours has the opposite effect as the victory in Iraq showed before Obama undid it.
The six-year retreat of the Obama Administration from the battlefields in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and appeasement of the terrorist state of Iran, has created more terrorists than we have ever seen. The weakness displayed by the chief defender of freedom under the leadership of an anti-American president has been a provocation to terrorists. The terror threat diminished under Bush but has grown dramatically under Obama. That is because fighting terrorists does not produce them. ISIS is able to recruit thousands of new terrorists because Islamist radicals are inspired by what Osama bin Laden called “the strong horse,” by beheadings and the slaughter of Christians without a serious reprisal. This is the face of the evil that confronts us, and we better wake up to that threat before it is too late.
Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Run Away With Huge Election Wins In Blue States As GOP Solidifies Majority In Governors’ Mansions, Including Liberal Maryland, Illinois And Massachusetts – Daily Mail
Republicans danced Tuesday night to the tune of a new U.S. Senate majority, but governor’s mansions will also be redder in 2015 than they were this year.
Stunning upsets in Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts – three of America’s more liberal-dominated states – left political consultants and commentators shaking their heads.
The strong GOP showing – they won at least six races in states with Democratic governors – will be seen as a repudiation of Barack Obama, who said in October that while he wouldn’t be on the ballot, his policies would be.
It also will cast doubt on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ability to galvanize Democratic voters in states she would need to win in order to claim the presidency in 2016.
Clinton stumped for Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in October, carefully controlling events by limiting reporters’ access while playing to half-empty auditoriums.
Brown lost big to political newcomer Larry Hogan, known in real estate but not in Annapolis, in a 6-point upset that also brought first lady Michelle Obama out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to buck up Brown as his campaign flagged.
Maryland’s incumbent governor, Martin O’Malley, is also a potential 2016 presidential candidate. His stock fell Tuesday, too, as Democrats saw him surrendering the keys to the governor’s mansion to a Republican.
That sleeper race was one of Tuesday’s biggest shockers. Brown led in nine of the last 10 opinion polls covering the race, slipping behind just days before the election – and then only in a poll commissioned by Hogan’s campaign.
In June, Hogan faced a seemingly insurmountable 18-point deficit.
Five months later, he thanked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, for helping him seal the deal.
Christie, he told wildly cheering supporters, ‘was so excited that we had the biggest upset in the entire country, that he wanted to fly his helicopter down here to be with us tonight.’
He framed his victory as the ‘largest mandate for change in Maryland in 63 years.’
‘Tonight countless Democrats crossed over,’ he said, ‘and affirmed the wisdom of John F. Kennedy who said, “Sometimes party loyalty demands too much”.’
In Massachusetts, state Attorney General Martha Coakley crashed and burned at the hands of former state cabinet member Charlie Baker, who won in every county except those in the western part of the state plus Boston and the elite playground islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
Coakley earned the sobriquet ‘Martha Croakley’ after losing a special election in 2010 that was called to fill a U.S. Senate seat after the death of Ted Kennedy. That seat had been in Democrats’ hands for ages, but then-unknown Republican Scott Brown trounced her.
Brown appeared to have failed in a bid to return to the Senate in a New Hampshire race on Tuesday, in a race he lost by less than one-half of one percent. He has not, however, conceded the race.
That’s one thing he and Coakley have in common: On Tuesday night, trailing by one and one-half percentage points, she sent her supporters home and said she wouldn’t admit she had lost.
Baker trailed all summer in the polls but held a consistent if narrow lead through October.
Christie, the pugnacious Garden State loudmouth who may fancy himself a presidential contender in just a few short months, also stumped for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who squeaked by Democratic former Gov. Charlie Crist by about 1 per cent of the votes cast.
President Obama, too, had a hard night at the polls as Americans saw evidence that his 39 per cent approval rating has rendered his coattails too short to grasp.
He personally campaigned for Democratic challenger Mary Burke in Wisconsin, only to see her fall to incumbent Gov. Scott Walker by a 7-point margin – in a state where every Democratic incumbent in the U.S House won another two-year term.
During an October 28 rally, cameras caught people leaving in droves as the president spoke.
In Obama’s adopted home state of Illinois, incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn lost by 5 points to Bruce Rauner. He, too, hadn’t conceded the race by the time Rauner delivered his victory speech.
‘There are a lot of votes still to be counted,’ Quinn said. ‘I don’t believe in throwing in the towel when there are that many votes still to be counted.’
But Rauner was romping, crediting his outreach to black pastors – a constituency that helped Obama launch his political career – with delivering crucial margins in nearly every county statewide.
‘Are you ready for a new direction? Are you ready to bring back Illinois?’ he asked a capacity crowd at his victory party.
‘This election is about bringing back our great state. This is a victory for our taxpayers who need to have a lower tax burden. This is a victory for our workers who deserve to have a booming economy.’
‘This victory is for our students, our children, who deserve the best schools in America. And this is a victory for our citizens who deserve a government without corruption.’
The win changes the political landscape in Illinois with an injection of Republicanism for the first time in a dozen years.
In Connecticut, Vermont and Colorado, incumbent Democratic governors held on in races that were too close to call.
Democrats’ only bight spot all night came in Pennsylvania, as Republican Gov. Tom Corbett lost his job to Democrat Tom Wolf.
Another closely watched race turned into a Republican landslide as Greg Abbott, the paraplegic state Attorney General, trounced state Sen. Wendy Davis by 20 points.
Davis is a freshly minted feminist icon known for filibustering an anti-abortion bill in pink sneakers.
Abbott had pulled away in recent days, enlarging a 6-point lead to an 18-point spread in the last two weeks – since Davis ran a controversial TV ad making a wheelchair the center of attention.
He won big on Tuesday, despite reports that his name never appeared on touch-screen voting machines in at least one polling place.
In her concession speech, Davis told her supporters to be disappointed, but not discouraged.
Accusations surfaced Tuesday afternoon that in the Lone Star State’s third-most populous county, Abbott’s name isn’t on at least one touch-screen ballot machine. Instead, an Instagram photo of a Bexar County machine shows, the Republican slot is taken by David Dewhurst, the 2012 failed GOP candidate for lieutenant governor.
Logan Churchwell, communications director at the conservative True the Vote organization, told MailOnline that his group had confirmed Bexar County has received ‘additional complaints’ and that ‘they are currently investigating how widespread the matter is.’
‘I think it’s a photoshopped deal but we are checking,’ Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen told the San Antonio Express-News.
The image, which shows clunky block-like sections of the video template out of place, could reflect a ham-fisted Photoshop attempt, a Republican campaign consultant in Washington told MailOnline.
‘Or,’ he said, ‘it could be that the voting machine’s software is messed up. If it’s pulling in candidates from two years ago, who knows what else is wrong in those computers?’
The campaign operative insisted, though, that Abbott would win Tuesday.
‘Not even the Democratic Party could buy enough votes or stuff enough ballot boxes to save Wendy Davis at this point,’ he said.
WOAI reporter Jocelyn Tovar posted the Instagram photo after she interviewed the woman who snapped it. It’s unclear how that voter could have edited the image so fast, and without leaving the polling place.
‘I don’t have time for that,’ the woman told her. Tovar posted a second photo on Twitter, showing the same kind of digital goof.
The anti-gun senators are all Democrats or so-called Independents. Meet all 46! Write Down their names, and Share them with everyone you know.
Baldwin (D WI)
Baucus (D MT)
Bennet (D CO)
Blumenthal (D CT)
Boxer (D CA)
Brown (D OH)
Cantwell (D WA)
Cardin (D MD)
Carper (D DE)
Casey (D PA)
Coons (D DE)
Cowan (D MA)
Durbin (D IL)
Feinstein (D CA)
Franken (D MN)
Gillibrand (D NY)
Harkin (D IA)
Hirono (D HI)
Johnson (D SD)
Kaine (D VA)
King (I ME)
Klobuchar (D MN)
Landrieu (D LA)
Leahy (D VT)
Levin (D MI)
McCaskill (D MO)
Menendez (D NJ)
Merkley (D OR)
Mikulski (D MD)
Murphy (D CT)
Murray (D WA)
Nelson (D FL)
Reed (D RI)
Reid (D NV)
Rockefeller (D WA)
Sanders (I VT)
Schatz (D HI)
Shaheen (D NH)
Stabenow (D MI)
Udall (D CO)
Udall (D NM)
Warner (D VA)
Warren (D MA)
Whitehouse (D RI)
Wyden (D OR)
Senate Bill 139 passed 53-46. 46 US Senators voted against this: “To uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”
Fortunately, the odious, anti-American treaty was again voted down by the full Senate, but 46 Senators voted in favor of handing over our Constitutional rights to the UN.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) offered Amendment 139 that was passed with a 53 to 46 vote. His Amendment contained language to affirm that foreign treaties would not trump the U.S. Constitution.
“Mr. President,” Inhofe said on the floor of the Senate, “I want to make sure that everyone understands what the United Nations trade treaty is. The trade treaty is a treaty that cedes our authority to have trade agreements with our allies in terms of trading arms.”
He went on to say, “I want to very briefly read this so nobody over there or over here misunderstands what this amendment does. This is right out of the amendment. Uphold the Second Amendment rights, that is one thing. And secondly, prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations arms trade treaties.”
But many Democrats simply didn’t agree with Inhofe’s insistence that the U.S. Constitution trump the UN.
Forty-six Democrats-Independents favored ceding your Constitutional rights over to the United Nations.
On Tuesday, Breitbart.com reported that a senior communications aide to Attorney General Eric Holder mistakenly called the House oversight committee chair Darrell Issa’s office to discuss how they’d spin the IRS conservative targeting scandal. The DOJ aide thought he was talking to Democratic members on the committee.
DOJ Aide Brian Fallon Calls ISSA Office To Spin IRS Scandal – When he meant to call Democrats!
On Tuesday, Breitbart.com reported that a senior communications aide to Attorney General Eric Holder mistakenly called the House oversight committee chair Darrell Issa’s office to discuss how they’d spin the IRS conservative targeting scandal. The DOJ aide thought he was talking to Democratic members on the committee.
DOJ Aide Brian Fallon Calls ISSA Office To Spin IRS Scandal – When he meant to call Democrats!
A senior communications aide to Attorney General Eric Holder seemingly called House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa’s staff by accident and asked for their help spinning new revelations about the IRS scandal, Issa said in a September 8 letter to Holder.
The aide, Brian Fallon, is a former senior aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and a well-known personality on Capitol Hill. The letter describes Fallon as “audibly shaken” when he realizes his request to leak documents to help get ahead of news stories about them was mistakenly made to the very office he was seeking to undermine. Issa believes the call was intended to be made to Democratic Rep. Elijah Cumming’s staff, the ranking member on the oversight panel, the letter said.
According to the letter, Fallon – who is not named in the letter but confirmed he made the call – asked if the aides could release the IRS scandal documents to “selected reporters” to give Fallon an “opportunity to comment publicly on it.”
Fallon explained to Issa aides that the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs had not permitted him to release the documents to the public and he wanted to get ahead of the story “before the Majority” – meaning Issa – could share it, according to the letter.
Issa aides – who had placed the call on speakerphone – were “caught off guard by the unusual nature of the call and the odd request” and asked Fallon to “e-mail the material for evaluation.”
“At this point,” Fallon “abruptly placed the call on hold for approximately three minutes.” When Fallon returned to the call, “he was audibly shaken. He immediately stated that there was a ‘change in plans’ and that there would be no effort” by DOJ to release the material early.
FLASHBACK – APRIL 9, 2014
New IRS emails released by the House Oversight Committee show staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. True the Vote was targeted by the IRS after applying for tax exempt status more than two years ago. Further, information shows the IRS and Cummings’ staff asked for nearly identical information from True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht about her organization, indicating coordination and improper sharing of confidential taxpayer information.
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, along with five Subcommittee Chairmen are demanding Cummings provide an explanation for the staff inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote and for his denial that his staff ever contacted the IRS about the group.
“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” the letter to Cummings states. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”
The first contact between the IRS and Cummings’ staffers about True the Vote happened in August 2012. In January 2013, staff asked for more information from the IRS about the group. Former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner went out of her way to try and get information to Cummings’ office.The information Cummings received was not shared with Majority Members on the Committee.
On January 28, three days after staffers requested more information, Lerner wrote an email to her deputy Holly Paz, who has since been put on administrative leave, asking, “Did we find anything?” Paz responded immediately by saying information had not been found yet, to which Lerner replied, “Thanks, check tomorrow please.”
On January 31, Paz sent True the Vote’s 990 forms to Cumming’s staff.
Up until this point, Rep. Cummings has denied his staff ever contacted the IRS about True the Vote and their activities during Oversight hearings. In fact, on February 6, 2014 during a Subcommittee hearing where Engelbrecht testified, Cummings vehemently denied having any contact or coordination in targeting True the Vote when attorney Cleta Mitchell, who is representing the group, indicated staff on the Committee had been involved in communication with the IRS. This was the exchange:
Ms. Mitchell: We want to get to the bottom of how these coincidences happened, and we’re going to try to figure out whether any – if there was any staff of this committee that might have been involved in putting True the Vote on the radar screen of some of these Federal agencies. We don’t know that, but we – we’re going to do everything we can do to try to get to the bottom of how did this all happen.
Mr. Cummings. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. Meadows. Yes.
Mr. Cummings. I want to thank the gentleman for his courtesy. What she just said is absolutely incorrect and not true.
After the hearing, Engelbrecht filed an ethics complaint against Cummings for his targeting and intimidation of her organization.
Rep. Cummings has described the investigation into IRS targeting of conservative groups as a “witch hunt,” and has tried multiple times to put the investigation on hold.
“These documents, indicating involvement of IRS officials at the center of the targeting scandal responding to your requests, raise serious questions about your actions and motivations for trying to bring this investigation to a premature end. If the Committee, as you publicly suggested in June 2013,’wrap[ped] this case up and moved on’ at that time, the Committee may have never seen documents raising questions about your possible coordination with the IRS in communications that excluded the Committee Majority,” the letter sent by Issa and the Chairmen further states. “As the Committee continues to investigate the IRS’s wrongdoing and to gather all relevant testimonial and documentary evidence, the American people deserve to know the full truth. They deserve to know why the Ranking Member and Minority staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform surreptitiously contacted the IRS about an individual organization without informing the Majority Staff and even failed to disclose the contact after it became an issue during a subcommittee proceeding…We ask that you explain the full extent of you and your staff’s communications with the IRS and why you chose to keep communications with the IRS from Majority Members and staff even after it became a subject of controversy.”
The House Oversight Committee will vote tomorrow about whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.