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Bryan Preston

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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New Republic: We’re Just Not Good Enough to Deserve Obama and Valerie Jarrett!

Monday, November 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber has a must-read on how Valerie Jarrett influences and more or less runs the Obama White House.

Be aware, of course, that the New Republic is no longer a neo-left pub, but a true left organ now. It’s in the tank for Obama ever since Chris Hughes took it over.

It’s at the end of Scheiber’s long piece that we learn that America just doesn’t deserve the holiness that is embodied in Obama and Jarrett.

The post-election Obama sees no need to descend from the heavens to meet us mere mortals halfway.

As it happens, the way the White House runs these days does even less to check Obama’s inclinations. According to a former high-level aide, there is no longer a daily meeting between the president and his top advisers. Under the old system, if the president waved off one adviser’s objection to his preferred plan of action, another could step in to vouch for the objection’s merit. The advice Obama gets now, though, comes more regularly through one-off interactions with the likes of Jarrett and Denis McDonough, who don’t have anyone else to back them up. In the second term, observes the former aide, “Maybe the president says, more often than in the past, ‘We’re doing it.’”

The result is that Obama has become even more persuaded of his righteousness as the years have gone on. His belief that he can win over opponents is unshaken. Unfortunately, these opponents include a party in the throes of radicalism and a self- interested class of ultra-rich that increasingly calls to mind plutocracy—not people whose better instincts you can appeal to. Obama and Jarrett should know this. Any time they have made preemptive concessions to the GOP or business leaders, their negotiating partners have simply pocketed the concessions and asked for more. From the budget battles to immigration reform, they have consistently overestimated the ability of Republican elites to reason with their rank and file. As recently as early this year, the official White House position was that it preferred Congress to ban workplace discrimination against gays. Congress!

Perhaps no episode illustrates this mind-set better than the fate of the consumer agency that the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill created. In 2010, Jarrett and two other advisers persuaded Obama to install a genuine populist in the person of Elizabeth Warren to set up the agency. But they never intended for her to actually run it, a promotion Warren aggressively sought. “Having Warren in the short-term role was their elegant solution,” says a former administration official. “It was the best way to appease the left while preserving [Obama’s] reasonableness to business. That’s what drives him: Do they look reasonable? … That’s what Valerie’s all about.”

It’s no surprise that Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett would govern as reasonable people. It’s who they are. The tragedy is that we live in surpassingly unreasonable times.

Leftists like Schieber are fascinating creatures. Republicans — supposedly “in the throes of radicalism” — now control the House, the Senate, and have unified control of 23 state governments. The Obama Democrats controlled everything six years ago but have been voted out of control of Congress and only have unified control in fewer than 10 states. The mid-terms saw Democrats bounced out of power in Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland — deep blue states — while the supposedly “radical” Republicans further consolidated their hold on Texas and Florida and made inroads in North Carolina and Colorado and almost snatched a Senate seat in Virginia. The bench for Republicans deepens down to state legislatures now and into the millenial generation and includes Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Susana Martinez, Mia Love, Will Hurd and on and on and on; the Democrats’ bench consists of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren — all Baby Boomers, and two of the three are essentially re-treads now while Warren is a typical northeastern liberal academic with the boutique appeal associated with such candidates. She will not play anywhere outside the deepest blue states. As the three run for president, they will be trying to out-left each other to appeal to a base that is ever more out of touch with reality.

Which party is in the “throes of radicalism” again?

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Chuck Todd: Say, Why Isn’t Repealing Obamacare an ‘Incendiary’ Thing for Republicans to Do?

Monday, November 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Former Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) appeared on Meet the Press Sunday.

Cantor warned that if President Obama insists on pushing an executive order on immigration, it will be “incendiary.”

Allegedly neutral host Chuck Todd ran right over that and took Obama’s side.

“But isn’t repealing health care just as incendiary? Why isn’t that incendiary?” he asked Cantor.

It’s not “health care,” of course, but Obamacare that the Republicans have promised to repeal. Obamacare was opposed by the majority when the Democrats passed it and Obama signed it, and it has never enjoyed majority support since.

“That’s not incendiary because we know that’s gonna happen,” Cantor whiffed. And then he noted that the Democrats wasted time passing bills condemning the Iraq war after they won in 2006, but ended up going along with then-President Bush’s position. Todd chuckled while Cantor answered.

What Cantor should have done is noted that Obamacare lacks majority support and is whipping up a tornado of chaos and premium hikes for millions of Americans. He should have noted that Congress has the power to pass bills, but the president does not have the power to re-write laws on his own.

Todd set Democrat strategist Stephanie Cutter up by asking her if repealing Obamacare is “equally incendiary” to the president violating the law and going it alone on immigration. She scored the layup uncontested.

Watch the segment here.

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Democrat Pollster: ‘Narcissistic’ Obama Will ‘Blow the Country Up’

Monday, November 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Pat Caddell is a lifelong Democrat, and was Jimmy Carter’s pollster. He appeared on Fox Report on Sunday to discuss whether Obama will negotiate with Republicans now that the voters have given them control of both the House and the Senate.

The short answer on immigration reform, according to Caddell, is “No.” Obama will do what he will do, because he is who he is and no election result will change him.

“He is who he is,” Caddell fumed. “He is willing to blow his party and the country up because he is a narcissistic man who doesn’t have a clue how to do his job.”

Caddell is right, but there is more to Obama’s post-election antics than his obvious narcissism. Barack Obama did not come to the presidency with any history of compromise or negotiation on his resume. He came to the presidency with a couple of big red flags on his record. In both the Illinois and the United States Senates, Obama tended to do one of two things. When he could safely go with the far left, he went with the far left. When that option did not look safe, he hid and voted “present” or just did not vote at all. Obama’s history of going far left when he can, and hiding who he is when he has to, goes all the way back to his college days, according to his own autobiographies. Nothing in his history suggests that he is even interested in compromising.

He was never a leader. He still is a “community organizer,” which is fancy term for “rabble rouser.” Or “shakedown artist.” And that’s all he will ever be.

It’s going to be an interesting two years.

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It’s As If Everything The Media Believes on Immigration Is Wrong

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-TX) was elected to become the state’s next lieutenant governor Tuesday night.

Patrick’s opponent, Democrat state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, was supposed to have Hispanic voters flock to her because she is Hispanic herself. According to the state media covering the race, Patrick was supposed to lose the statewide Hispanic vote by a whole lot, because during the primary he talked about border security in ways the media does not approve. He talked tough, about securing the border, and so forth.

So he was supposed lose big among Hispanic voters. But then reality hit. The Dallas Morning News’ Roger Jones noticed that the media’s cherished expectations and beliefs got turned inside out.

A conventional wisdom bubbled up among media people like myself about the tenor of Republican Dan Patrick’s message on immigration. We concluded that his hard-edged border security focus in his campaign for lieutenant governor was going to stampede Hispanic voters into the waiting arms of Democratic statewides.

Wrong. Or at least partially wrong.

Patrick trailed Leticia Van de Putte among Hispanic voters by only 52-46, according to NBC’s exit polling on the race. I said “only,” because the 40 percentage range among Hispanics was once a mark of distinction for statewide Republicans. When George W. Bush reached 40 percent among Hispanics in balloting for governor, it was heralded as a breakthrough. Patrick was well into the 40s despite his so-called “anti-immigrant” rhetoric and calls for, among other things, repeal of in-state college tuition for Texas high school grads who are in the country illegally.

Here’s the big surprise for me: Patrick thumped Van de Putte among Hispanic men, 53-46. These voters clearly didn’t find Patrick’s tough immigration stance offensive.

Isn’t that interesting?

You know who else won on Tuesday among Latino men? Greg Abbott, the next governor.

Abbott won among white men and women, by a lot, and among Latino men, by a few points.

Might it be the case that the media assumes things about a whole lot of things that aren’t actually true?

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SCOTUS Will Take Up Obamacare Again

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

I don’t know what to make of this. The Supreme Court was not yet on the hook to take up a challenge to Obamacare’s subsidies. But it has taken up that challenge anyway.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to the subsidies that are a linchpin of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, accepting a case that suddenly puts the law under a new legal cloud.

Two years after upholding much of the law by a single vote, the justices today said they will hear a Republican-backed appeal targeting tax credits that have helped more than 4 million people afford insurance.

Dontcha love the media? They hardly ever mention the millions who lost their insurance thanks to Obamacare, and the millions whose insurances are being jacked up because of it, and all the job loss and chaos it has created. They tilt to focus on the Obama administration’s talking points.

A ruling blocking those credits might unravel the Affordable Care Act, making other provisions ineffective and potentially destabilizing insurance markets in much of the country. The high court’s decision to hear the case comes days before the start of the law’s second open-enrollment season. A decision will come by June.

I’m sure that readers here are familiar with all this. The plain language of the Obamacare law stipulates that the taxpayer-funded subsidies are only available in states that created their own Obamacare exchanges. Many states elected not to do that, but the subsidies are being paid anyway. That’s at the heart of this challenge.

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State Department Spokeswoman Picks Another Fight with Israel

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

According to Haaretz, Gen. Martin Dempsey, U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made some helpful and conciliatory comments toward Israel. The nation’s top military officer lauded Israel for going to “extraordinary lengths” to avoid civilian casualties during the latest round of fighting with the Palestinians.

Dempsey’s comments come after unknown figures within the Obama administration blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickensh*t” and a coward. Relations between the U.S. and its ally, already shaky, were made shakier by those comments, and by the administration’s refusal to investigate who made the comments and reprimand them.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked to react to Dempsey’s diplomatic comments during today’s press conference, by the AP’s Matt Lee. Psaki had the choice of agreeing with Gen. Dempsey, refusing to offer an opinion, or disagreeing with him — the latter, carrying the possibility of opening up another argument with Israel.

Psaki chose the latter.

Lee asked Psaki to comment on whether the Obama administration believes that the Israelis lived up to their own “high standards” on civilian casualties.

Psaki undiplomatically replied, “It remains the broad view of this administration that they could’ve done more. And they shouldv’e taken feasible precautions to prevent more civilian casualties.”

Such as?

Psaki’s comment here sets the United States up for criticism on the question of civilian casualties should we get more deeply involved on the ground fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. She has also singled out Israel for criticism that is ultimately unfair and impossible to satisfy. One can always “do more” to avoid civilian casualties, but the Israelis are fighting Hamas, which goes out of its way to increase civilian casualties and use them for propaganda.

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Are We About to Increase Troops in Iraq to Fight ISIS? (Update: Yes, Double)

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Yahoo News/Reuters is running this cryptic little number on the Friday after pivotal mid-term elections.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military has drawn up plans to significantly increase the number of American forces in Iraq, which now total around 1,400, as Washington seeks to bolster Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday.

It’s an anonymously sourced report, making it tough to evaluate. Did it come from the Joint Chiefs of Staff or a lower-level planner, SecDef Hagel or someone else? The source matters quite a bit.

It’s also missing an awful lot of detail, such as, how many troops are we talking about — a few hundred, tens of thousands, what? Did Obama order this plan, or is it an ordinary contingency plan of the type that the Pentagon draws up for every possibility, or is this more of an action plan that is in some stage of deployment? The story just doesn’t go into any of that.

Its timing raises the possibility that the Obama administration did not want to go public with any possibility of escalating the war against ISIS until after the election, lest he further alienate the hard left Democrat base.

Update: NBC gets some more detail. Post-election, the Obama administration is looking to double the number of American troops in Iraq, but not in actual ground combat roles. They will be “advisers” to the Iraqis and the Kurds.

We’ve seen this war before. It’s not the last couple of Iraq wars, in which the U.S. went in big to win quickly, and succeeded.

It’s the slippery slope war that we lost in Southeast Asia.

Update: The cryptic story has turned into an authorization to double forces in Iraq, and a request for $5.6 billion more to fund the operation. That’s less than Obama requested to fight Ebola. It’s quite fascinating that this news is hitting on the Friday following the election. It has clearly been in the works for a while.

On Fox a few minutes ago, Chris Wallace said that this slow-drip approach has “the scent of Vietnam.” That seems to be the prevailing reaction today.

My opinion on all this is that fighting ISIS on the ground is inevitable. They are recruiting about 1,000 new fighters a month, and despite the airstrikes they are still hauling in buckets of money every day. Some of our allies on the ground in Syria have already switched sides to join ISIS. The Kurds continue to fight with amazing capability and bravery, but they are not enough to defeat ISIS. At this point, they are holding ISIS in place, which is good, but they’re not rolling ISIS back. Likewise, the less capable Iraqi security forces.

We can choose to fight ISIS hard now, and win, or we can continue with the current approach, which allows ISIS to strengthen to the point that they actually become entrenched and we may not be in a position to take them on (not with Russia menacing Europe, which may require our attentions through NATO). Obama continues to pursue the latter approach, which he admits will not defeat ISIS. That’s what he is saying when he holds up Yemen and Somalia as successful counter-terrorism.

 

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Democrat Rep. Steve Israel: Now that They’re In Control, Republicans Should Pass the Senate’s Immigration Bill

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The losers in Tuesday’s epic bloodbath continue to try dictating terms to the victors. Here’s Rep. Steve Israel, liberal Democrat from a safe seat in New York.

The Republicans crushed the Democrats across the board, increasing their hold on the House, taking control of the Senate, even increasing their numbers far down the ballot.

To the extent that immigration was on the ballot, voters repudiated the Democrats’ point of view. The Republicans held serve in the House for a lot of reasons, and not destroying their credibility with their base by passing that awful Senate bill is high among them.

To Rep. Israel, that just means that Republicans should pass the Senate’s lousy immigration bill anyway. That’s what he said on MSNBC today.

“People need to not go to the corners, but come to the middle,” Israel said. “Democrats want infrastructure to create good paying jobs and sustainable paychecks and rebuild America. Republicans want corporate tax reform. Put the two together and do infrastructure. On immigration, there shouldn’t be paralysis on this. 68 senators from Harry Reid to Marco Rubio agreed to pass a bill. When you can get Harry Reid and Rubio and John McCain to agree on passing the bill, let’s just pass it in the House.”

There’s shouldn’t be any paralysis. Enforce the current law. Do immigration reform piecemeal, with security taking first place. And the president should not even contemplate issuing any executive orders on the subject.

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White House Chief of Staff: Washington Will Work Better If Obama Gets ‘His Way’

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The headline isn’t an interpretation or an exaggeration. It is literally what White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told CBS’ Chris Jansing Thursday.

See for yourself.

Jansing asked McDonough, “Is there one thing you can say to American voters they’re going to see that’s different, given the message they sent on Tuesday?”

McDonough replied, “They’re going to see Washington working better if this president has his way. And that’s what he’s going to do.”

That’s quite an answer coming from a party just got shelled, pulverized and overrun because the man in the White House has become a toxic brand.

McDonough’s comments are one more signal, as if we needed one, that Obama intends to spend his last two years in office provoking constitutional battles and crises. It’s just not in his nature to change or compromise.

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No One Fears Obama Anymore

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Tuesday’s devastating losses may already be triggering a civil war in the Democratic Party. But it’s one-sided — the remaining Democrats in Congress versus Barack Obama.

Over at NRO, Ramesh Ponnuru highlights comments made on the record by Sen. Harry Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone. Krone went on the record to slam Obama and his political operation, evidently with Reid’s approval.

Reid was Obama’s human shield in the Senate over the past six years. It was Reid who kept legislation passed by the House Republicans from getting any votes in the Senate, and who blocked Republicans even from being able to offer amendments to bills. Reid’s aim was protecting Senate Democrats from having to publicly split with Obama, and to prevent Obama from having to veto any legislation that had gotten through both the Senate and the House. Such votes might have ended up helping endangered Democrats survive their terrible Tuesday. Reid might even still be majority leader.

Now Reid is no longer the majority leader in the Senate. Republicans now own his home state government too.

Reid made his choices, but projecting blame is always easier than accepting responsibility.

Twitchy highlights a tweet first sent out by the leftwing Vox.com and seconded by the director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. His name is Guy Cecil.

Vox tweeted out a graph that shows clearly that Obama was a drag in the battleground states, a decisive drag.

The director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee agrees.

That tweet is still up, not deleted.

The media love to play up any evidence at all of a civil war among Republicans. Here we have the Democrats’ Senate leadership directly blaming Obama for their defeats. But Obama is unique among presidents. He is not beholden to the Democratic Party. He has his own party that he controls outside the DNC — his Organizing for America groups and his Battleground Texas-style groups. They’re supposed to be independent, but in reality they answer to him and his operation.

We have the makings and the rumblings of a Democratic civil war. Let’s watch the mainstream media ignore it.

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Report: Russian Tanks Enter Ukraine

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Putin appears to be upping the ante in Ukraine.

Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said a convoy made up of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer cannons and 30 trucks of troops and equipment crossed the border into the rebel-controlled Lugansk region on Thursday.

Another column including trucks and three mobile radar stations crossed another border point in the same region, he said.

The Fiscal Times reminds that Putin’s objectives go far beyond seizing chunks of Ukraine.

The deteriorating situation in Ukraine might deserve its low profile if it was just violence in Ukraine. But it’s not. It’s symptomatic of renewed Russian pressure all along the frontier with Europe. Days after the cease-fire came into force (again, escaping doublespeak is impossible), Russian forces abducted an Estonian security service officer and spirited him away in a car into Russia. It’s not clear if he’s back.  A mystery submarine was near Stockholm, and on October 28thNATO fighters from several countries scrambled to intercept four groups of Russian aircraft conducting potential nuclear drills along the alliance’s periphery.

Related: Ukraine Crisis Deepens After Rebel Vote in East

The objective of this pressure is ostensibly to split NATO.  In the short run, according to Tsarov, the Russians and their rebels seem to be aiming at capturing enough of Ukraine’s coastline to create a land bridge to the Crimean peninsula, which is now accessible to them only by water.  But over the long run, Russia’s intent is to force the states along NATO’s periphery to react strongly; to react as if, per John Kerry, there is a 19th century threat.

They will; and that reaction will be profoundly unsettling for many Western European nations, which make up the bulk of traditional NATO and often have the unfortunate diplomatic tic of acting puzzled by aggression, like somebody who violated the seating chart at dinner.  After the rebels’ November 2 elections, for example, the German government responded that the vote was unlawful because it was not in compliance with the Minsk agreement, Ukrainian law or the Ukrainian constitution.  Angela Merkel’s office said it could not understand how Russia could consider recognizing the elections.

Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Moldova are all preparing in one way or another for war with Russia. They’re shifting forces to the east, and they’re deepening cooperation with NATO.

The mid-term elections changed a lot, but they didn’t change anything that’s going on outside our borders.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s top concern remains global warming, by the way.

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Democrats Abandon Landrieu

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Louisiana’s Senate seat is still up for grabs. Incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) and challenger Bill Cassidy (R) are headed to a runoff in December after finishing first and second Tuesday, but both failing to get 50% of the vote in the “jungle primary.”

Landrieu trails in the most recent head-to-head polls in that race, and now has lost the support of her party according to Politico.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has canceled its advertising reservations for Sen. Mary Landrieu ahead of the December runoff in Louisiana.

The committee canceled all broadcast buys planned from Monday through Dec. 6 in the state’s five major media markets, three sources tracking the air war told POLITICO. That’s about $1.6 million worth of time. The DSCC is in the process of canceling an additional $275,000 in cable placements, according to buyer sources.

The DSCC’s Republicans counterpart, the NRSC, is still in for that election. Its buy of $2.3 million is still going up.

Cassidy, the Republican, is getting cheeky.

Cassidy is behaving like a front-runner. On Tuesday night, Landrieu challenged him to six debates. He countered Thursday by saying he would agree to only one — on the Monday before the Saturday runoff.

As a publicity stunt — and to get the name of the unpopular president in stories about his refusal to debate more — Cassidy added his own challenge.

“For every time Senator Landrieu barnstorms the state with Barack Obama, I will participate in another debate,” he said in a press release.

Heh.

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Sen. McCain Worries that Obama’s Unilateral ‘Amnesty’ will ‘Inflame the Country’

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Arizona Sen. John McCain has commented on President Obama’s executive order amnesty threat a couple of times today. He is urging the president not to do what he has signaled he will do for months now.

“The American people want us to get to work on the complex things,” McCain told the Associated Press. “We just finished the least productive Congress in history. They want us to pass the XL pipeline, they want tax reform, they want a government that functions on their behalf, and they also reject resoundingly the policies of the President of the United States.

“But, most disturbing to me is if he acts by executive order and grants amnesty to millions of people, that will inflame the entire situation to the point where I think it would be — make it much more difficult to enact comprehensive reform. There’s no reason for him to do it. I don’t believe it is constitutional and it’s incredibly — that was the most disturbing part of his press conference yesterday.”

What if Obama doesn’t really want any bill to pass Congress? What if “inflaming the country” is his goal?

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Did More Evidence of Politicization Emerge From Today’s Hearing on the Perry Indictment?

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Texas Gov. Rick Perry had to appear in Travis County court today for a hearing in the case against him. Perry was indicted in August on charges that he abused his power by saying that he would exercise his constitutional veto power, and then following through with that, regarding state funds for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.

The veto had no impact on the PIU’s operations. The county was able to make up the $7.5 million that Perry vetoed by moving other money around to compensate. None of its investigations, including one into the state’s Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, were interrupted, despite some Democrats’ claims to the contrary.

The Public Integrity Unit claims a statewide writ to prosecute wrongdoing by public officials, a task that was more than complicated by Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s (D) arrest for drunk driving, and her failure to resign after pleading guilty to that charge, in 2013. So much for the integrity of the official who heads the Public Integrity Unit.

Perry and his top-flight legal team appeared for today’s hearing, which centered on defense motions to get transcripts of the grand jury testimony, and to get the special prosecutor removed from the case. Breitbart’s Sarah Rumpf, who is an attorney herself, reports on something strange that was revealed in today’s hearing.

District Judge Bert Richardson heard arguments from both sides, as well as testimony from several court employees regarding the unique way that records have been kept in this case. One major issue is that the files for Perry’s case were not kept in the same way that court files are normally kept, and Perry’s attorneys have had problems getting records requests filled. Testimony from court employees included admissions that certain files — including original documents — had been on employees’ desks instead of in a central filing location, and that for the past sixteen years, Travis County had assigned a special cause number for the grand jury proceedings in only two cases: Tom Delay and now Perry. Delay was cleared of all charges against himearlier last month by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, but the case took years to resolve and ended Delay’s political career.

What does that part about “special cause numbers” mean?

On its face, it means that Tom DeLay and Rick Perry have been singled out for different treatment than other PIU targets have gotten. Given how DeLay’s case progressed, and how Perry’s case has been handled so far, it cannot be argued that they were singled out for special favorable treatment, as one might expect for powerful and famous political figures.

The Travis County DA and its Public Integrity Unit are headed by Lehmberg, a Democrat, and Travis County is the bluest county in the state. Both DeLay and Perry are Republicans.

In DeLay’s case, then-DA Ronnie Earle shopped the charges around to three grand juries before finally securing the indictment as the clock was ticking down. The charges of money laundering were not even criminal when DeLay supposedly committed them. DeLay was eventually exonerated entirely, but not before Earle had managed to convict him, destroy his political career, help the Democrats capture the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, and cost DeLay millions of dollars over the course of about nine years of his life. That case took a key Republican leader out of action at a critical moment for the Democrats, and tarnished the entire GOP for years.

In Perry’s case, the sitting Republican governor and probable presidential contender has been indicted for taking action that was obviously written into his state constitutional powers, and for speaking, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. Some members of the grand jury went on a public relations campaign against him after indicting him (one was an activist at the Texas Democratic Party’s statewide convention). Perry defended himself from that publicly, only to have another Democratic Travis County judge threaten him.

The entire case has been strange and very obviously political from the beginning.

Rumpf’s report suggest that the Travis County DA’s office came up with some new system for categorizing political cases for DeLay, years before his case even started. He was indicted nine years ago. The “special cause number” somehow goes back 16 years, to circa 1998, which puts it between the Travis County DA’s prosecution of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 1993-94 and DeLay in 2005. Earle was humiliated in the Hutchison case, and she went on to become one of Texas’ most popular politicians as Texas transitioned from a Democrat stronghold to the Republican fortress that it is today. Had the case against her succeeded, Texas politics would look very different today. Earle’s success in the DeLay case had a profound impact on not just Texas politics, but national politics as well.

The DA office and the PIU changed hands, when Earle left and Lehmberg took over in 2009. But that “special cause number” system remained in place.

If the implementation of “special cause numbers” constitutes some filing system, then who developed that system, and for what purpose?

We can get a hint of what its purpose might be, from the Breitbart paragraph above. Rumpf writes that the Perry team has had trouble getting files from the DA’s office. Some of that is due to the files not being stored in the central location where other case files are stored, but on employees’ desks, and some might be attributable to the “special cause number.” One employee who is processing a request for files may not know that such files even exist, if they’re classified under a special number, and are stored on other employees’ desks. The defense team loses access to information to which it is entitled to mount a vigorous defense. But the DA knows where that information is the whole time.

Has the Travis County DA’s office devised a means of hiding information from certain defendants? That question needs to be investigated, regardless of how the Perry case progresses.

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Reporter Admits that Houston Mayor Subpoenaing Pastors Hurt Wendy Davis…But Then Gets the Story Entirely Wrong

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Wendy Davis never had a chance to be elected governor of conservative Texas, running as a liberal in an anti-liberal wave election. It just wasn’t going to happen, not even if the Democrats could clone Battleground Texas’ Jeremy Bird and put a clone of him in each of the state’s 254 counties.

Davis was hurt by a number of things, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Bud Kennedy gets at one of them in this story: abortion. The issue that made her famous was also one of the major reasons that she lost.

Kennedy’s story is well worth the read, as it does break down how problematic Davis’ filibuster turned out to be for her and her party, but apparently he either doesn’t know what happened in Houston, or let some bias slip in.

He admits that the subpoenas of pastors in Houston, in the weeks right before the election, hurt Wendy Davis. They certainly did. But take a look at how Kennedy renders that sordid business.

Davis rarely mentioned her Baptist faith except in her book. It didn’t help when Houston Mayor Annise Parker was drawn into a city legal dispute that involved subpoenaing pastors’ sermons.

That second sentence is entirely incorrect.

Mayor Parker was not “drawn into a city legal dispute that involved subpoenaing pastors’ sermons.” That isn’t what happened.

Parker’s city administration is being sued because it threw out thousands of signatures on petitions that would have put her controversial “bathroom ordinance” up for a vote in a referendum. The lawsuit seeks to get those petitions restored, which would presumably put the ordinance back on the ballot.

Parker’s city administration chose to subpoena five pastors’ sermons and their internal church communications, despite the fact that they are not parties in the lawsuit. They publicly opposed the ordinance, as is their right. But they’re not parties to the lawsuit. The subpoenas also ordered the pastors to appear at a local lawfirm that is known for supporting leftwing causes.

Parker herself defended the subpoenas, at first, in a tweet that she has since deleted. It’s preserved here.

Controversy erupted nationally. Parker and her city attorney backtracked. They claimed not to have read the subpoenas that they had sent out, and which Parker had publicly defended.

They finally had to surrender and rescind the original subpoenas and issue new ones that omit the sermons, which are all publicly available on the churches’ websites anyway. There was never any need at all to subpoena those sermons.

None of that is captured in Kennedy’s writing that Parker was “drawn into a city legal dispute that involved subpoenaing pastors’ sermons.” Perhaps he just didn’t follow the story. There was a whole lot going on.

But that section of Kennedy’s story is so far from the facts that it ought to be corrected.

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This Reporter Asks Boehner One of the Most Biased and Ridiculous Questions You’ll Ever Hear

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The mainstream media infamously failed to vet Barack Obama or hold him to account for any of the radical things that he or his many associates have said and done.

But a reporter tried to use House Speaker John Boehner’s press conference today to hold him to account for things that may or may not have been said by some incoming House members.

The unidentified reporter sets Boehner up as follows:

“Mr. Speaker, you have a new crop of conservatives coming into the House that have suggested among other things that women need to submit to the authority of their husbands, that Hillary Clinton is the anti-Christ and that the families of Sandy Hook victims should get over it….How do deal with them differently than in the last election?”

She growled the “get over it” part. She couldn’t even ask a biased, loaded question in a straightforward way.

To his credit, Boeher rejected the premise. He could also have pointed out that reporters routinely ignore the edgier things that many Democrats say, all the time.

When Boehner rejected her question, she made this face at him.

ridiculous-reporter

Watch video of the exchange.

Aside from the obvious bias in the question, the reporter’s reaction gives another part of the game away. She was setting Boehner up to react strongly, like Obama did to Major Garrett yesterday. Boehner didn’t bite, but if he had, you can bet that a clip of him overreacting to a woman’s question would have been all over the leftwing blogs.

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Boehner: If Obama ‘Plays With Matches’ on Immigration, He May ‘Burn Himself’

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

On Wednesday, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned President Obama that issuing an executive order on amnesty would be “waving a red flag in front of a bull.”

Today, House Speaker John Boehner used a different metaphor to send President Obama the same message: Don’t do what you’ve already threatened and promised to do. The speaker made his remarks in a press conference this afternoon.

A reporter sets Boehner up by framing the question in favor of Obama, asking “Mr. Speaker, you heard the president say he gave you a year waiting for you to deliver on immigration reform and that in this post-election period he’s ready to act and then he would pull back those executive orders if you can have legislation that works. Could that be a catalyst for you to actually get something done?”

Boenher replied, “No. I believe that the president continues to act on his own, he’s going to poison the well. When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. He’s going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path. The American people made it clear election day they want to get things done and they don’t want the president acting on a unilateral basis.”

The question is, if Obama does what he says he will do, what can Congress do? The last resort is always impeachment, and that is possible now that the Republicans hold the Senate. But despite Obama’s lawlessness, that remains a remote possibility.

Less drastic measures include defunding Obama’s ability to grant amnesty. Whatever decision the president makes, it will require some taxpayer-funded support from the federal infrastructure. Republicans could pass measures to defund that. Any such bill will require the president’s signature, which sets up a showdown over spending. Obama wants showdowns. That’s why he is threatening to use an executive order in the first place.

Obama is playing with matches, but he doesn’t fear burning himself. He wants to burn the GOP, and the constitutional checks on his power.

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The Left Didn’t Get Much on Tuesday, But At Least They Got Berkeley to Tax Soda

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

People of a left persuasion often argue that you cannot legislate morality, before they go and attempt to legislate morality  – their own, of course, not any morality that they oppose.

They also like to argue for keeping government out of the bedroom, while they’re perfectly happy to put government in the bedroom, in your living room and in your kitchen and in your wallet and right into your hand when it suits them.

They’ll ban plastic bags in a leftwing city like Austin, ignoring strong evidence that reusable bags are unsanitary and increased use of paper leaves them fewer trees to hug.

Now in Berkeley, they have a soda tax to show for their efforts.

Tax hikes on soda, in the name of public health, were on several ballots across the country including San Francisco, but the only one that actually passed Tuesday is the one that was up for grabs in Berkeley.

The American Beverage Association, made up of soda makers, spent lots of money on one side to oppose the ban. Former New York Mayor Micheal Bloomberg, of soda ban infamy in his city, spent about $650,000 of his own money to impose his disdain for sodas on Berkeley. Berkeley voters approved by 3-to-1, but the law won’t tax consumers. It taxes the soda distributors. Leftists in other cities have tried, a couple dozen times, to impose similar taxes. Berkeley is the first to actually do it.

The taxes will go into the city’s general fund, where they’re likely to be used to fund Berkeley’s other hair-brained leftwing ideas.

Forbes opines that the tax sets a scary precedent for the food industry well beyond soda makers. It does. If soda can be sin taxed, so can a whole lot of other perfectly legal products that Americans choose to consume or not to consume. Will a Twinkie tax be next?

The soda tax is explicitly designed to persuade American consumers to make a lifestyle choice that the likes of Bloomberg deem more appropriate for them than they choices they are currently making. It’s a very regressive tax. It will hit the poorest the hardest. The left don’t mind imposing some regressive taxes and have been fairly upfront about their goals — they don’t like Americans’ current choice which, by and large, is to drink lots of sugary drinks, and are using taxes and laws for the purpose of coercion.

That model began for the most part with tobacco, a legal product that many wanted to ban but settled for stigmatizing and sin taxing to death. It’s unlikely to end in Berkeley, or with soda, or even with food.

In fact, the soda taxmen already have leftwing cities with big universities in their crosshairs.

[H]ealth advocates are practically jumping for joy. After decades of hard-fought losses on soda taxes, they hope their victory in Berkeley will breathe new life into the issue. The win is “absolutely huge,” according to Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University and author of “Food Politics.”

“Yes, it’s Berkeley, yes, it’s a liberal community with a big university, but there are lots of communities like that in America,” said Nestle, who is currently working on a book about food advocacy and the soda industry. “Others will certainly do the same thing. If it could win in Berkeley, it could win in a lot of places. Maybe it will pass in Austin. Maybe it will pass in Ithaca. … Other places are going to try this.”

Bloomberg still has lots of money to burn.

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Obama Flashback: ‘If you don’t like my policies, go out there and win an election.’

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The following clip is from October 17, 2013. The government shutdown, during which Obama’s government had locked veterans out of their own memorials and shut down self-sufficient businesses in national parks, had just ended.

President Obama reacted by challenging his opponents to win elections.

And we responded: Challenge accepted!

The 2014 midterms saw Republicans capture the Senate, take over the entire government of the state of Nevada, and sweep Democrats out of state legislatures across the country. The GOP victory is so sweeping that it may damage Democrats for years, even decades, to come — according to the leftists at Vox.

On October 17, 2013, President Obama said: “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don’t break it. Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. That’s not being faithful to what this country’s about.”

Obama’s threat to carry out a unilateral amnesty for millions of illegal aliens threatens the system that he claimed to defend just over a year ago. And he is well aware of that.

Also read: 

Dangerous: Obama Ignores GOP Wave, Left Eggs Him On

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WATCH Chris Matthews UNLOAD on Obama’s Rampant Arrogance

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

You know things are bad for Barack Obama when Chris Matthews’ tingles turn into a tantrum.

Matthews, a lifelong Democrat who worked for the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill*, took to MSNBC’s air after Obama’s press conference Wednesday. Matthews usually hails Obama for his soaring rhetoric, but he was having none of that after Obama’s strange, sometimes petulant and intentionally divisive performance.

What Matthews did instead is have a breakthrough. He finally noticed that behind all the lofty speeches is a politician who only sees what he wants to see and who intends to do whatever he wants to do, with or without support from the voters or even his own party. Matthews exposes Obama’s total inability to compromise, and what Obama really meant when he claimed to hear the Americans who didn’t vote in the mid-terms, as if they are Obama’s silent base.

“There’s something in this guy that just plays to his constituency and acts like there’s no other world out there,” Matthews said, adding that that means America is headed for a “collision” on illegal immigration because Obama refuses to recognize any position on it besides his own. Matthews agreed that if Obama takes unilateral action on illegal immigration, it will be like “waving a red flag in front of a bull,” as Sen. Mitch McConnell warned Wednesday.

YouTube Preview Image

Matthews, an old school Democrat who may hate Republicans but still values the Constitution and the two-party system, gets a lot right in that segment, but he still fails to realize one thing. Obama wants and must have confrontation. He was never interested in being president of all of America. Compromise is not in his make-up. It’s just not there. Those of us who oppose Obama’s agenda, and that may now include some Democrats, are illegitimate to him. So is the Constitution with its restraints on his power.

The trained community organizer has to have division in order to generate anger and get his way. The collision that Matthews fears, Obama embraces.

h/t Soopermexican

*I originally wrote that Matthews worked for Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Which was wrong.

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Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley Lit Up the CMAs with Jokes About Ebola and Dems Losing the Senate

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In case you missed it, here’s country superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley’s routine from the Country Music Awards Wednesday night. The crowd ROARS when Underwood jokes about the Democrats losing the Senate.

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Battleground Texas Operative: The Election Was Stolen!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Texas Tribune published this post mortem on Battleground Texas and its role in Wendy Davis’ spectacular defeat.

It’s a good piece, but some of the comments are hilarious.

This one, from a self-described Battleground Texas ground operative, is so good it ought to be framed.

bgtx-election-stolen

Unfortunately for her, drugs weren’t legalized in Texas.

This one is good too. But…how does “redistricting” explain a statewide result, let alone a whole bunch of statewide results, which were consistently for Republicans and against Democrats?

bgtx-redistricting-blame

Some people use words, having no idea what those words mean.

Was Maryland “redistricted” into voting Republican too?

In the real world, no poll of recent vintage or any reputation showed Davis or any other Democrat anywhere near winning in Texas. They weren’t even showing up as competitive. And they lost.

She isn’t alone, though. Several commenters over there blame the Texas Democrats’ gargantuan loss on the voter ID law or something other than their own fault and their party’s policies and actions. That ignores a whole lot, including the last 20-odd years of Texas history.

Which, when you recall that most of Battleground Texas’ operatives aren’t from around here, makes a lot of sense.

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The Most Important Thing that Obama Said During that Insufferable Presser

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

He’s not going to change, not for you, not for the voters, not for anybody.

Lose the House? He’s not going to change. Lose more governorships and legislatures? He’s not going to change. Lose the Senate and find himself isolated atop a rump, coastal party?

He’s not going to change.

Barack Obama is tired, you see. Tired of your ability to resist and reject what he wants to do to you.

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The Faces and Images of the GOP, 2014

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s two thousand words on the scale of Wendy Davis’ spectacular defeat Tuesday night. Plus a few thousand words about the Republican Party that is emerging from Tuesday night’s victories.

The Wu Tang Clan shirt might have been clever, in an insidery way.

ABC_wendy_davis_jef_141104_16x9_992

 

But it did not change anything. Texas is still red. Very, very red. Of Texas’ 254 counties, Greg Abbott won all but 19, and most by a whole lot of votes. (Map source: Politico)

texas-map

This is Elise Stefanik. She is 30 years old. Having won her race in NY-21, she is now the youngest woman in Congress. She is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. And she is a conservative Republican.

stefanik

 

So the millenials have their first representation in Congress.

Gen Xers have Sen.-elect Cory Gardner (R-CO) to join Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio and a few others who are already there. He is 40 years old. He finished off the Democrats’ phony, cynical “war on women” by defeating one its mascots, Democrat Mark “Uterus” Udall.

gardner

Remember all that talk, during the 1980s and 1990s, of a “New South”?

Conservative Sen. Tim Scott (R) won re-election last night. Scott is the first black man elected to the Senate from the South since Reconstruction. And the 49-year-old is a conservative Republican.

sen-tim-scott

 

Scott was joined in re-election in South Carolina by Gov. Nikki Haley (R). Haley is of Indian heritage. She is 42 years old.

Nikki Haley

 

This is Will Hurd. The former CIA agent is now Rep.-elect Will Hurd, Republican of Texas. The 37-year-old defeated Rep. Pete Gallego (D) Tuesday night in Texas’ 23rd congressional district.

hurd

Staying in Texas for a moment, this is George P. Bush. He is 38 years old, and a conservative Republican. Texas elected him land commissioner Tuesday night — with about 61% of the vote.

georgepbush

This is Susana Martinez (R). New Mexico re-elected her governor last night. Martinez, a conservative Republican, won in a blue state.

Republican National Convention

Wisconsin used to be a reliably blue state. It’s the birthplace of Big Labor. But it’s red now, thanks in no small part to Gov. Scott Walker. Gov. Walker is just 47 years old, yet the conservative reforming Republican has already beaten Big Labor three times, and may have broken Big Labor’s power for years to come.

2012 Republican National Convention: Day 2

Let’s to up to Utah. This is 38-year-old Mai Love, campaigning for Congress at a gun show on the Saturday before the election.

love-selfie

Mia Love, conservative Republican, won Tuesday night and will serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here she is right after learning that she is the first black Republican woman elected to the House, ever.

love-ut-win

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Bloodbath

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Rather than write a string of words to describe what has happened to Barack Obama’s Democratic Party tonight, I’ll show you a short movie. It’s from a horror film that is nowhere near as terrifying as what the Democrats have experienced tonight.

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To get the obvious results out of the way, Wendy Davis not only did not make a strong showing in her race for Texas governor, she bombed. Greg Abbott defeated her literally everywhere, in the cities and in the countryside, among men and among women (52-47, by the way), even among Hispanic men. It was embarrassing, for her and for Battleground Texas.

Wendy Davis fared poorer than the Democratic nominee did four years ago, even though she had the vaunted Battleground Texas operation backing her. Embarrassing.

Not only did Wendy Davis lose, all of the statewide Democrats lost, and all by huge margins. Not a single Texas Democrat got above 40%. And then, Davis’ state Senate seat went to Republican Konni Burton. Go ahead and laugh, if you’re not a Wendy Davis fan.

The Republicans easily picked up the six U.S. Senate seats that they needed to take control. The GOP candidates picked up West Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, Arkansas, South Dakota, Montana and North Carolina. They needed six; that’s seven. And we don’t know what will happen yet in Louisiana and Alaska. The Republicans could take both. If they do, that exceeds even the most optimistic projections. I had it at +7 for weeks. They beat the spread.

The misery for Democrats by no means ends in the Senate. The Republicans increased their margin in the U.S. House by about 10 seats.

And they wrested three governorships away from Democrats in deep blue states. Republican Bruce Rauner defeated incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn in Illinois, 50-46. Martha Coakley turned in another dismal performance in Massachusetts, losing to Republican Charlie Baker. And in probably the most shocking result of the night, Maryland elected just its second Republican governor since the 1970s. Larry Hogan defeated Gov. Martin O’Malley’s chosen successor, easily, 52-46.

It goes without saying that Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland are not generally considered to be battleground states. But now they are. The Republicans also held serve in Maine. Republicans came close to winning Senate seats in New Hampshire and Virginia.

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Greg Abbott Leads the Way as the Republicans Crush Wendy Davis and the Democrats in Texas

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Battleground Texas rode into the Lone Star State promising to make the state more competitive for Democrats.

They have failed. Not only that, the Texas Democrats might have been better off if the president’s personal political support group had never shown up in Texas.

Their brightest star, governor nominee Wendy Davis, flamed out. Despite the backing of President Obama, the media, Hollywood and rich liberal trial lawyers (or perhaps because of all of that), Davis underperformed the Democrats’ showing in 2010. Bill White lost to Gov. Rick Perry 54-42 four years ago. Wendy Davis is set to lose 58-31. Or maybe 57-32.

Read that again. The Democrats lost ground compared to where they were four years ago, and where they were four years ago in Texas was not a good place at all. They couldn’t win a thing statewide. They couldn’t even make it close.

They still can’t.

From Governor-elect Greg Abbott to Lt. Gov-elect Dan Patrick to Land Commissioner-elect George P. Bush to Sen. John Cornyn, from the statewide party to the county level, the Republicans have destroyed the Democrats in Texas. Destroyed.

All the president’s henchmen and all the president’s canvassers and social media mavens could not even make the races interesting.

Battleground Texas may as well move on to prey on some other state. Texas will just repel them again if they stay.

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Crystal Ball Says GOP Picks Up 8 in the Senate

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Larry Sabato’s final Crystal Ball mid-term prediction says that tonight will be a good to great night for the Republicans.

sabato-final-prediction

He predicts that Louisiana goes to a runoff, and that Georgia may also, but that both end up in the GOP column. Recent polls agree, though the dynamics of a run-off make those races dicey to predict now. The runoffs will be on different dates, which could turn them into national races, or at least give them both high national attention, and therefore spending — especially if control of the Senate is still up for grabs based on those races’ results. Which is possible.

If Sabato is right and those two seats stay undecided tonight, then the GOP still will be assured of taking control of the Senate in January. But there is one more wrinkle, at least — Alaska. Given the size of the state and the difficulty of just moving around it this time of year, it could be a week or two before we have a result there.

Even though I blanked the likely Louisiana overtime election, I’m sticking to my call that the GOP picks up 7. But I’m feeling cranky about that. The Democrats’ ground game overperformed in 2012 and could do that again. There have been numerous reports — too many to ignore — of voting machines going rogue and voting Democrat when voters were trying to vote Republican. It’s feeling like the Republicans have gotten into the third quarter with a lead, but they have a weak defense. Will it hold up? We’ll see.

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Chris Matthews, MSNBC Go Looking for Good News for Progressives In This Election

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

And they can’t find any.

It’s honest of Matthews to admit that he’s a “progressive,” though.

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Texas Voting Booth Removed After ‘Glitch’ Kept GOP Nominee Off the Ballot

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

WOAI reporter Jocelyn Tovar posted this image of a Bexar County voting machine today. It shows what is at least a major error — Republican Attorney General and governor nominee Greg Abbott is not on the ballot.

bexar-machine

 

The image was captured by a mother who went to vote today. David Dewhurst is not only not running for governor, he is the sitting lieutenant governor — but he lost in the primary and is on his way out of office.

Tovar reports that after the county elections board was alerted to the issue, they have removed that machine and are “testing” it.

 

The Bexar County Elections administrator, Jacque Callahen, publicly speculated that the image is Photoshopped. It doesn’t appear to be, and the original reporter has posted a second image of the machine. She also interviewed the voter, who says it was not Photoshopped.

Bexar County is Democrat country. The machine in question was at the First Chinese Baptist Church in Precinct 3146.

Around the country, voters have reported machine issues in Texas, Maryland, Chicago, Virginia and other places. In most of those cases, the machines were recording votes for Democrats that voters were attempting to cast for Republicans.

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Biden Lets the ‘Independent’ Cat Out of the Bag

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Republicans have been saying for months that the pro-abortion “Independent” candidate David Orman, who is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas, is really a Democrat who won’t wear that brand because it would cost him the Kansas Senate election. Orman has not said which party he will caucus with, but his record of giving to Democrats suggests that he’s really one of them.

Vice President Joe Biden appears to have confirmed that, in a radio appearance today.

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The media like to go on and on about how “broken” the Republican brand is, and there’s some truth to that. But how broken is the Democrat brand after Obama? In Kansas, the only way the Democrat can win a Senate race is to pretend that he isn’t a Democrat at all.

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Muslim Mob Savagely Murders, Burns Christians in Pakistan

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

CBS’ actual headline on this story doesn’t avoid anything: “Muslim mob beats to deadh Christians over blasphemy, Pakistan police say.”

ISLAMABAD - Police in Pakistan say a Muslim mob has beaten to death a Christian couple and burned their bodies in a brick kiln where they worked over them allegedly desecrating the Quran.

Tuesday’s slaying is the latest targeting minorities in Pakistan who allegedly committed blasphemy.

Local police officer Mohammed Pervez says Tuesday’s attack took place in the town of Kot Radha Kishan in eastern Punjab province.

Pervez said officers were trying arrest those involved. He declined to elaborate.

The mob may face arrest, or not, but they were carrying out what Pakistan’s own laws specify. Blasphemy against Islam is punishable by death in that country.

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Lena Dunham Says Her Use of ‘Sexual Predator’ Was ‘Comic’

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

TIME magazine has gotten an exclusive statement from Lena Dunham. The actress on HBO’s media buzzy but poorly rated Girls is having a bad week because in her memoir, which she wrote, she admitted to engaging in behaviors with her younger sister that she described as predatory. Those behaviors include paying her sister with candy to kiss her on the lips, and masturbating right next to her. An incident that Dunham describes when her sister was still an infant is also front and center in the controversy.

One day, as I sat in our driveway in Long Island playing with blocks and buckets, my curiosity got the best of me. Grace was sitting up, babbling and smiling, and I leaned down between her legs and carefully spread open her vagina. She didn’t resist, and when I saw what was inside I shrieked. “My mother came running. “Mama, Mama! Grace has something in there!”

My mother didn’t bother asking why I had opened Grace’s vagina. This was within the spectrum of things that I did.

So there was a pattern of behavior, that ran for about 10 years, from the time that Lena Dunham was about 7 years old to when she was about 17. Her parents were aware of it but never did anything about it. This was a twisted family life, of which young Grace was the victim. That she remains friends with her older sister, the perpetrator, now is irrelevant. Her older sister robbed her of ever knowing what is and is not acceptable behavior with an infant.

Dunham initially blamed the controversy on the “right wing,” but that has failed. She has threatened to sue Truth Revolt and by implication, everyone else who has reported on what she wrote in her own book. That backfired. It got more people interested in the ghastly story.

So now, this statement to TIME.

I am dismayed over the recent interpretation of events described in my book Not That Kind of Girl.

First and foremost, I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances.

Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term “sexual predator” was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.

As for my sibling, Grace, she is my best friend, and anything I have written about her has been published with her approval.

This excuse changes nothing. Dunham claims that she does not “condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances,” but she clearly condoned and celebrated her own behavior until she was called out on it. Then she tried to deflect blame and silence her critics. Saying that “sexual predator” was used “comically” simply won’t fly.

Dunham is in full damage-control mode now.

 

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Memo: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) Was In on the IRS Targeting Conspiracy

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Daily Caller dropped this bombshell last night. That makes it feel a bit like a campaign dirty trick, but the DC has the goods here.

“The IRS is aware of the current public interest in this issue,” IRS chief counsel William J. Wilkins, a White House visitor described by insiders as “The President’s Man at the IRS,” personally wrote in a hand-stamped memo to “Senator Shaheen” on official Department of the Treasury letterhead on April 25, 2012.

The memo, obtained by TheDC, briefed the Democratic senator about a coordinated IRS-Treasury Department plot to target political activity by nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups. The plot was operating out of Lois Lerner’s Tax Exempt Government Entities Division. (RELATED: Liens Filed Against Dem Senator Jeanne Shaheen And Her Husband For Failure To Pay Creditors)

“These regulations have been in place since 1959,” Wilkins wrote. “We will consider proposed changes in this area as we work with Tax-Exempt and Government Entities and the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy to identify tax issues that should be addressed” in designing new regulations and “guidance.”

“I hope this information is helpful,” Wilkins wrote. “I am sending a similar response to your colleagues. If you have questions, please contact me or have your staff contact Cathy Barre at (202) 622-3720.”

Shaheen wasn’t the only Democrat who knew about the targeting. Sens. Chuck Schumer (NY), and Al Franken (MN) were also in on it, along with a handful of other key Democrat senators, according to the DC.

The Democrats have successfully walked that scandal past the mid-terms, just as they successfully walked Benghazi past the 2012 elections — by misleading and stonewalling. Release of this memo is probably too late to have much impact on Shaheen’s re-election race.

But if the Republicans do capture the Senate, investigating the IRS’ abuse of citizens must be a major priority. The Senate under Harry Reid has provided President Obama with a shield. Republicans should end that if they take over.

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Bad Twitter Theater on Election Day

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Here we’ll keep an eye out for the best/worst Election Day tweets. If you see tweets that you think we ought to include, send them to editors – at – pjmedia – dot – com. They have to be real tweets, nothing staged.

We’ll start off with a nod from the so-called elite media.

 

Just in case MSNBC deletes, here’s a screencap.

msnbc-wrong-scott

MSNBC either has the wrong Scott in mind, or the wrong state. Either way, they’re just wrong.

Here’s one that was sent out by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to encourage people to vote. We’re not sure that it accomplishes that mission.

gov-nixon-crack-tweet

Crack kills, governor. His social media people must agree, as they’ve switched out the photo above for something that’s a little less hilarious.

Update: Can’t you just feel the excitement at this Mark Udall rally? No? Wake up!

Update: How about some celebrity versus celebrity action. Here’s Bette Midler, student of the school that believes that BIG LETTERS=BIG WINS.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan makes some sense.

Update: MSNBC is confused again.

Screencap:

msnbc-kansas

If McConnell and Grimes are tied in Kansas, that would be news. They’re running in Kentucky.

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Tom Brokaw Really Hopes GOP Victory Means They Will Surrender on Dem Wish List

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Newsman Tom Brokaw turned up on Morning Joe today, election day across the country. He picked up where he left off Monday, hoping that if the GOP takes the Senate, they’ll come in with a mind to help Democrats finish up their Obama-do list.

Brokaw grilled Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). He teed Portman up as a “sensible voice,” obviously implying that Brokaw believes that the rest of the Republicans are bunch of wild-eyed yahoos, before trying to dictate the terms of victory to the winning side.

Brokaw: “Senator, I was watching you the other morning and you’re always the sensible voice. You talked about what you want to do, corporate tax reform, you want to do something as well about keystone, the oil pipeline. But to get all of that, what is your margin is because it looks like it will be in your favor but small, what are you prepared to give to the Democrats? You can’t come these deals entirely on your own. are you prepared to negotiate for example on minimum wage or immigration reform?”

Under Harry Reid, the Senate Democrats have been uncompromising for years now. They have given no ground to any GOP ideas. Brokaw must have missed all of that.

Sen. Portman, Brokaw’s “sensible voice,” noted that the Keystone Pipeline is supported by both Republicans and Democrats and should have been approved years ago.

Brokaw wasn’t interested in that, or energy overall, or the trade authority that Obama wants and Republicans say they will give him. Brokaw went right back to Democrat pet issues.

“What are the chances that you’ll get some of what the Democrats would like to have, immigration reform and increase in the minimum wage?” What are the chances that you’ll ignore your victory over the Democrats and just give them everything that they want?

Portman didn’t bite. He offered that immigration reform is “something we ought to do,” but that the current Senate bill — the one the Democrats want because it leaves enforcement up to Obama’s whims — will not pass.

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