Democrats Obstruct Zika Funding Bill, Blame GOP for Obstructionism

U.S. Capitol Building

For nearly three months now, Congress has been unable to pass a bill funding the fight against the Zika epidemic. This is not because no such bill exists; the House passed one in June which would provide $1.1 billion in funding to combat the virus’ spread. Senate Democrats have blocked the bill, however, for the simple reason that none of the funds would go to Profamilias, the Puerto Rican wing of Planned Parenthood.

That’s all. The bill does not remove any funding from the group. In fact, it doesn’t do anything to impact their bottom line at all, which seems to be the reason that Senate Democrats have blocked its passage twice. Apparently, the fact that Planned Parenthood doesn’t get a cut of the money is enough to stall the emergency funding for the entire summer.

Even more bizarre is the fact that funding Profamilias wouldn’t strengthen the fight against the disease in the slightest. PolitiFact noted in June that the bill already includes funding for clinics in every area where Profamilias lists a facility. (Loyal partisans that they are, PolitiFact somehow still managed to rate the Democrats’ contradictory claim as “half true.”) The New York Times, of all places, notes in addition that the group “provides medical services almost entirely out of its two clinics in San Juan,” where it “served about 7,000 patients in 2015 […] not a particularly large number, given that about 390,000 people” live there. According to a program director at Profamilias, the clinics don’t even offer Zika testing. Continue Reading

“GOP” Senator Makes (Not So) Shocking (Non-) Endorsement

(Editor’s Note: Danny Cannon is fluent in sarcasm.)

On Monday, the American electorate received critical information it had long been waiting for this election— at long last, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) told us who she would be voting for in November. Well, really, she just said who she wouldn’t be voting for, but at least now the country knows what’s been on the mind of the esteemed Senator from Maine.

Collins chose to publish her essay as an opinion piece in the Washington Post, the hometown paper of the people she best represents.

GOP Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine)

Her piece is full of thought-provoking points, such as the claim that Donald Trump’s comments about Judge Curiel somehow demonstrated “a profound lack of respect… for our constitutional separation of powers.” She spends a number of paragraphs explaining that, since Trump has failed to “focus on jobs and the economy, tone down his rhetoric, develop more thoughtful policies and, yes, apologize for his ill-tempered rants”, she will not be supporting him in November. Though she mentions in one sentence of the piece that she supports neither of the major-party nominees, it remains unclear which of the only two possible Presidents next year she would prefer. She closes with the timeless refrain of Republican anti-Trumpers, explaining that one does not have to blindly support whoever happens to be the party’s nominee — and with that, she cut off the only possible counter-argument to her otherwise flawless manifesto.

If you are somehow unaware of Senator Collins (as if anyone possibly could be!), she is the pro-abortion Republican co-sponsor of ENDA, a federal bill which aims to end “discrimination” by denying the religious freedom rights of people across the country. Continue Reading

Tim Kaine Asks Voters to Trust Hillary — But Can They Trust Him?

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Last night at the Democratic National Convention, Tim Kaine attempted to make the case that Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy, a sentiment with which the overwhelming majority of Americans disagree. Amid a number of attacks on Donald Trump, Kaine laid out his argument:

First, she’s consistent. … When you want to know something about the character of somebody in public life, look to see if they have a passion that began long before they were in office, and that they have consistently held it throughout their career.

Kaine’s attempt to paint Hillary Clinton as a consistent, principled politician is certainly difficult one, running contrary to even the most cursory examination of her entire political career. But it is all the less convincing coming from Kaine, who is in the midst of a political realignment of his own, changing a number of long-held beliefs in order to become a more palatable running-mate for the increasingly radical Clinton campaign.

Kaine has followed Clinton’s lead on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with an impressively quick about-face on his previous support of the deal. One week ago, Kaine was praising the trade deal, which Clinton helped negotiate as Secretary of State. The very next day, Hillary Clinton chose him as her running mate, and he privately agreed to echo her newfound opposition to the deal. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, friend to both Kaine and Clinton, said on Tuesday that he expects that a Clinton administration would ultimately flip-flop again and support the deal. Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Undercover Videographer Cleared of All Charges

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Last year, the Center for Medical Progress released a series of videos documenting Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking of aborted children’s body parts. They feature Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of a baby’s liver, discussing how to most profitably crush an unborn child’s abdomen, and a whole host of other equally horrific statements. One video features a former employee of bio-medical company StemExpress, who had been instructed to dissect a child delivered at a San Jose Planned Parenthood clinic while the child’s heart was still beating. Today, the Harris County District Attorney’s office in Texas dropped all charges against David Daleiden, the man behind the videos.

Liberal politicians and the media as a whole dismissed and continue to dismiss the videos, claiming without evidence that they are deceptively edited. Two studies of the footage, including one commissioned by Planned Parenthood itself, both concluded that the footage was genuine and not edited in any manipulative way. The House of Representatives’ investigation over the past year has uncovered a wealth of evidence corroborating the allegations in the video.

The facts are no longer really up for debate: Planned Parenthood clinics profited off of the dissection and sale of parts of unborn children. Yet they have been shielded from almost all repercussions by their allies in all levels of government. Meanwhile, David Daleiden and others behind the video have been targeted by Planned Parenthood proxies, suffering a number of politically motivated attacks over the past year. Continue Reading

WATCH: New Pro-Trump Ads Display Shift in GOP Economic Message

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been massively outspending Donald Trump on advertising since the beginning of this election, including in several key swing states. According to one report, as of July 13th the Clinton campaign and pro-Clinton PACs had booked more than $111 million on TV and radio ads through the election, while Trump and his PACs had booked a little over $650,000, due in part to GOP megadonors’ hesitance in supporting him.

This week, however, one pro-Trump super PAC is trying to start closing that gap, with a $1 million ad buy in several swing states. Politico reports that the group, Rebuilding America, will be airing two new ads in a number of swing states, including ad time in Pennsylvania during the Democratic convention next week.

The two new spots focus on the outsourcing of American jobs. One attacks Clinton’s paid speeches, outlining what the ad describes as a willingness to outsource American jobs for money. The second, a rare positive ad for Trump, depicts a bright future for “craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers” under a Trump presidency. Focusing primarily on American steelworkers, the second ad draws a sharp contrast to the economic message of Mitt Romney four years ago.

Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers, have seen the jobs they love shipped thousands of miles away. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn it around.

It will be American steel, just like the American steel that built the Empire State Building, that will fortify America’s crumbling bridges.

Continue Reading

New Polls: Hillary’s Numbers Plummet After FBI Announcement

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The federal government may have decided to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for her “extreme carelessness” with classified information as Secretary of State, but, as recent polling shows, the voters most certainly have not. Since the end of June, and particularly after FBI Director James Comey’s press conference last week announcing the decision not to recommend charges against her, Clinton’s poll numbers have dropped dramatically.

Jon Schweppe noted the Quinnipiac polls yesterday showing Donald Trump’s gains in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, where voters in each state consider Trump the more honest and trustworthy candidate now by margins of ten to fifteen points. Clinton’s lead in national polling has likewise shrunk dramatically since the end of June, with her lead nearly cut in half over the past few weeks.

Three weeks ago, for example, Clinton led the NBC/SurveyMonkey weekly poll by eight points. The next week, she led by five. By last week, her lead had dwindled to three points. Other polls confirm the trend: Trump’s two-point lead in the previous Rasmussen poll has now grown to seven, Clinton’s six-point lead in last month’s CBS/Times poll has disappeared entirely, and so on, and so forth.

The reason for this drop is clear from the polling: in the most recent YouGov poll, 61 percent described her conduct in the e-mail scandal as wrong, 57 percent as dishonest, and 55 percent as illegal, up from 48 percent in May. Her ratings on honesty in the CBS/NYT poll fell to their lowest point yet this election cycle. Continue Reading

Will the GOP Officially Support Defunding Planned Parenthood?

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

An effort is underway to ensure that a call to defund Planned Parenthood is included in the official Republican platform, the Washington Times reports today. Pro-life groups will be active in Cleveland in the days leading up to the convention, holding rallies and even flying a banner over the city in order to “keep the pressure on” Republicans. Meanwhile, a group of pro-life Democrats bought a billboard near the site of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, hoping “to remind delegates at the Democratic National Convention that 1 in 3 Democrats are pro-life.”

These efforts come shortly after the Democratic Party released the final draft of their platform, which goes further than any other in its support for abortion, and includes specific reference to Planned Parenthood’s funding. “We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers,” the draft says, echoing language from the 2012 platform. The draft also calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal taxpayer funding of abortion and is supported by about 70 percent of the country. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin recently called his party’s draft’s proposal “crazy,” while Senator Tim Kaine, a potential Hillary Clinton running mate, said he had been unaware of the change, telling The Weekly Standard, “I have traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde Amendment, but I’ll check it out.”

While Democratic platforms have long promoted a woman’s “right” to abortion “regardless of ability to pay,” the 2012 platform was the first to mention Planned Parenthood, and 2016’s would be the first to explicitly call for the Hyde Amendment’s repeal. Continue Reading

Donald Trump vs. Big Business: The GOP’s Civil War

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The US Chamber of Commerce is upset. For years, they have shaped Republican policy, spending millions of dollars trying to push the Republican Party towards a business-first economic message that seems incapable of talking about anything but “job creators.” The most special of special interests, the Chamber is by far the largest lobbying organization in the United States, generally backing “pro-business” Republicans who they think will fight for their goals above all else. They find social conservatism distasteful at best, and a liability to their supposedly winning economic message at worst — a message which has nevertheless struggled to secure any wins. In 2012, Mitt Romney was crippled by his inability to make economic appeals to anyone not already represented by the Chamber.

And now, in 2016, there’s Donald Trump. The presumptive Republican nominee disagrees with the Chamber on nearly every issue. Worse still, he has spent his campaign railing against the lobbyist-owned Republican establishment the Chamber has spent millions over the years to create. Now, the Chamber spends its time live-tweeting critiques of Trump’s trade policy speeches, clearly miffed that the Republican nominee doesn’t ask for their edits beforehand.

The growing rift within the Republican Party is often blamed on the Tea Party, or on Trump, but it has existed for years, exacerbated by the Chamber’s influence. They are the reason many Republican elites fail to offer anything to the middle class except a vague suggestion that workers’ economic prospects might improve if only their bosses were richer. Continue Reading

Democrats’ New Abortion Mantra: Unrestricted, Widespread, and Taxpayer-Funded

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Lorie Shaull via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

For years, the Clintons claimed that they wanted abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare,” a relatively moderate position they stuck to so long as they considered it politically convenient. In 2008, Hillary Clinton agreed wholeheartedly when asked if America should try to reduce the number of abortions to zero. For “at least fifteen years,” she said, that had been her goal in “talking about abortion being safe, legal and rare — and by rare I mean rare.”

Yet as soon as she perceived an opening to do so, “rare” mysteriously dropped from her mantra. Now she only advocates for “safe and legal” abortion. When you are pushing to fund abortion both domestically and across the globe, one assumes, it is hard to say you actually long for a world without it.

Over the past few days, it has become clear that neither she nor the Democratic Party are really all that concerned with women’s safety either. In their eyes, abortion is sacred ground: if an abortion clinic cannot meet basic safety standards, the standards must be unconstitutional. Not only will they fight to keep abortion common, they will sacrifice safety to do so.

Clinton no longer portrays abortion as the tragic decision she described it as through 2008. No longer does she claim to respect both sides of the argument. Instead, she has pushed for widespread, taxpayer-funded abortion without any restriction.

This position was embraced in the final draft of the Democratic platform completed by the party’s Platform Committee last Saturday. Continue Reading

Dear Republican Elites: You Can’t Have It Both Ways on Trump

From left: Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

There has been increasing talk among pundits about the possibility of a GOP delegate revolt, in which the delegates to the Republican National Convention would refuse to nominate Trump in favor of . . . well, somebody else. It’s unclear whether this hypothetical candidate would be someone the voters have already rejected or someone who didn’t even run. Though, of course, according to the people advocating such a move, the votes never actually mattered. Or, rather, the votes mattered until they disagreed with them. After all, they seemed plenty invested in the primary process while it was going on.

To read some of these reports, it would appear as if the delegates were on the verge of a rebellion, needing only some prodding in order to throw out the entire nomination process. The problem is that there’s very little clarity on who exactly who these angry delegates are. Kendal Unruh, a Colorado delegate leading this movement, claims the support of 400 delegates — a whopping 837 delegates short of the majority required to approve any proposed rule change. Even if every non-Trump delegate, every unbound delegate, and one-in-ten bound Trump delegates were to join their cause, they would still be 75 votes short of a majority. To push a rule change through, 1,237 delegates need to be convinced that stealing the nomination from the clear winner is the right thing to do. Nevertheless, the Trump campaign is building a team in preparation for the possible floor fight. Continue Reading