DRUMS RATTLE, FLAGS WAVE
ERICKSON – Conservative wins.
LEADS: KRAUTHAMMER – Putin marches; GAMBOA – Texas vs. Planned Parenthood; BRINTON – Cruz and the money; FAIOLA – Vatican wars.
SPEAKER: DOMENECH – Speaker Ryan; FRENCH – Dems praise Ryan.
HILLARY: DRUDGE Links (10/23/15); FOURNIER – Benghazi at night; KAPUR – Conservative ire with hearings; SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI; BOLTON – It still matters; LIPTON & SCHMIDT – Changed stories.
PA: SNYDER – Ups & Downs.
END NOTE: MARK LEVIN (10/22/15)
DRUMS RATTLE, FLAGS WAVE
We are going to start up our rallies at King of Prussia mall on Saturdays from Noon til 3 starting Oct. 31. Please try to attend and bring chairs, water, and appropriate signs. We rally on Rt. 202 by the Wells Fargo Bank. We reach thousands of people at that site and now that the holidays are coming we will reach many more.
Erick Erickson, Red State: “Conservatives United Get Huge Wins for the GOP”
“House Conservatives united together and booted John Boehner from the Speaker’s Chair.
“House Conservatives united together and blocked Kevin McCarthy from taking the Speaker’s Chair.
“And House Conservatives have now, united, given their assent to Paul Ryan becoming Speaker, but without any of Paul Ryan’s preconditions. And House Conservatives are willing to revoke their consent if Paul Ryan tries to gut the motion to vacate the chair. They will even do so on the floor of the House even after the House Republican Conference unites behind Paul Ryan should he try.
House Conservatives, holding a united front, have improved the Office of the Speaker without reducing their power. But that is not all they’ve done.
“House Republican Leaders would prefer you pay attention to the hearings on Planned Parenthood and Benghazi. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THEIR REFUSAL TO USE THE POWER OF THE PURSE TO PROTECT THE UNBORN. PAY NO ATTENTION to them about to raise the debt limit and lift spending caps. Look at Benghazi instead. Look at them fizzle in using their investigative powers.
“Meanwhile, House conservatives ended an out of control earmarks regime, ended a majority leader’s career, ended a Speaker’s career, blocked a would be Speaker, forced budget cuts and sequestration, shuttered a cronyism fueling Export-Import Bank, and stopped amnesty despite the Republican political elite demanding it.
“Conservatives stopped a Republican backed gun registry. They stopped Harriet Miers and George W. Bush’s immigration reform plan. They even stopped Bob Bennett, David Dewhurst, Trey Grayson, Arlen Specter, and Charlie Crist.
“Conservatives have forced Republicans to cut spending. They have been attacked by Republican leadership fluffing talk radio show hosts with limited ratings, newspaper editorialists, leadership friendly pundits, K Street lobbyists, TV personalities, the Chamber of Commerce, and John Boehner himself. But they keep making gains and winning friends among Republican voters.
“No doubt any day now a new media story will circulate how conservatives have been fundraising off all of this with the story oblivious to the fact that the fundraising would not work but for there being a lot of agreement on their issues. Never mind that the GOP in D.C. has been fundraising off these very issues for years then failed to keep their promises. Conservatives are forcing the GOP to keep their promises and raising a war chest to beat Republicans who keep lying to their constituents. That’s what pisses off the Establishment. Conservatives expose their lies and beat them. The best the Establishment can do is tie itself to more lobbyists and scoff at conservatives as “entertainers” and fundraising off chaos.
“There is a great irony in this. Much of the Republican Establishment is now, at night, curled up in the fetal position mumbling “save us Marco Rubio.” They’d have no Marco Rubio to save them if it were not for the conservatives who stood with him against the Washington Republican elite.”
LEADS . . .
Charles Krauthammer, WaPo: “Putin marches, Obama watches”
Putin strengthens his domestic popularity despite a failing economy by his international adventures. It’s OK to be ragged and hungry if your army kicks butt . . . Trump would be a winner in Russia. . .
“Guess who just popped up in the Kremlin? Bashar al-Assad, Syrian dictator and destroyer, now Vladimir Putin’s newest pet. After four years holed up in Damascus, Assad was summoned to Russia to bend a knee to Putin, show the world that today Middle East questions get settled not in Washington but in Moscow, and officially bless the Russian-led four-nation takeover of Syria now underway.
“Does the bewildered Obama administration finally understand what Russia is up to?
“President Obama says Russia is doomed to fail in the Syrian quagmire. But Russia is not trying to reconquer the country for Assad. It is consolidating a rump Syrian state in the roughly 20 percent of the country he now controls, the Alawite areas stretching north and west from Damascus through Latakia and encompassing the Russian naval base at Tartus.
“It’s a partition. It will leave the Islamic State in control in the interior north and east. Why is this doomed to failure?
“Putin’s larger strategy is also obvious. He is not reconstructing the old Soviet empire. That’s too large a task. But he is rebuilding and reasserting Russia’s ability to project power beyond its borders. Annexing Crimea restores to the motherland full control of the warm-water Black Sea port that Russia has coveted since Peter the Great. Shoring up a rump Alawite state secures Russia’s naval and air bases in the eastern Mediterranean. Add to that Russia’s launching of advanced cruise missiles from warships in the Caspian Sea to strike Syrian rebels 900 miles away and you have the most impressive display of Russian military reach since the Cold War.
“For Obama, of course, these things don’t matter. . .”
Suzanne Gamboa, NBC: “Texas Officials Demand Records From Planned Parenthood Health Centers”
“Texas officials showed up at Planned Parenthood offices in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio on Thursday with subpoenas to demand records and other materials.
The visits followed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision this week to drop Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program and cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood affiliated clinics.
Ken Lambrecht, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas president and CEO, said in a statement the Texas Office of Inspector General showed up at Planned Parenthood’s office in Dallas “and requested hundreds of pages of detailed documents from at least 10 different health centers ranging back to 2010.”
Lambrecht said the information requested is located in health centers and a medical storage facilities “spanning Austin to Waco to Paris (Texas), to Dallas. He said the officials demanded the information be handed over in 24 hours . . .”
Lawrence Brinton, NRO: “The Money Race: The Fundraising Favors Cruz”
“WHY TED CRUZ (AND MAYBE DONALD TRUMP) ARE THE GOP FRONT-RUNNERS
“If you believe in the predictive validity of fundraising numbers, Ted Cruz is actually the front-runner in this race, with Donald Trump his only serious competition. Cruz is the only candidate who has shown that he can extensively raise hard dollars from both large and small donors, ranking second in hard dollars to Carson and second in total dollars (including from Super PACs) to Jeb Bush. Cruz’s fundraising is almost evenly balanced between small and large donors. Furthermore, toxic as his relations are with some parts of the party establishment and Congress, it is notable that he has endorsements from the largest number of elected officials of any candidate except Bush. “Cruz has won endorsements from some of the most influential grassroots voices in the movement, including “soft” (unofficial) endorsements from Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, who have on several occasions called him the most conservative candidate in the race. He is the one candidate who has the strongest support from the traditional grassroots but who also can speak to big donors without scaring them off. He will have to overcome a lot to manage poisoned relationships with some in the D.C. establishment, but with Trump as his most likely competition for the nomination (see below), the establishment may decide the devil they know is better than the devil they don’t know. “And that brings us to Trump. He is certainly the wild card in this race, and he’s the one candidate we can’t tell that much about by looking at fundraising numbers, because he hasn’t really done any fundraising. Nonetheless, given the social circles he runs in, it seems very likely that he could raise big-donor money; and given the grassroots enthusiasm for his candidacy, it is clear that he can also raise small-donor money. (Indeed, without actively fundraising, he has raised twice as much small-donor money as Jeb has). Yet the GOP establishment is terrified of him, both because they are worried he will hurt the party with emerging electorates, particularly Hispanics, and because he dissents from GOP orthodoxy on policy issues from abortion to taxes. It is safe to say that the establishment will pull every trick in the book to deny him the nomination, and the establishment knows a lot of tricks. Trump polls well but has had a hard time breaking his polling ceiling and has high negatives even among GOP voters. While a candidate with his polling results and self-funding ability can’t be ruled out as the nominee, he will have to overcome a minefield that the party, and many other candidates, will set out in front of him. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425946/cruz-trump-lead-carson-steady-santorum-huckabee-toast
Anthony Faiola, WaPo: “Vatican meeting reveals growing Catholic divide over divorce and homosexuality”
“VATICAN CITY — At one point during a major summit of the Roman Catholic hierarchy that ends this weekend, a senior conservative bishop took the floor inside the Vatican’s assembly hall and promptly charged his liberal peers with doing the devil’s work.
“The three-week gathering, known as a synod, has erupted into a theological slugfest over Pope Francis’s vision for a more inclusive church, displaying the most bitter and public infighting since the heady days of Catholic reform in the 1960s.
“Archbishop Tomash Peta of Kazakhstan captured the intensity of the divide, raising eyebrows — and even a few incredulous laughs — as he decried some of the policy changes being floated at the synod as having the scent of “infernal smoke.”
“It was just another day at a synod that — more than any single event since Francis began his papacy in 2013 — has highlighted the extent his outreach to once-scorned Catholics has triggered a tug-of-war for the soul of the Catholic Church. More important, it underscored just how hard it may be for Francis to recast the church he serves in his image. . .”
SPEAKER . . .
Ben Domenech, Federalist: Paul Ryan Will Be Your New Speaker of the House”
“Here’s why he should disrupt the way Congress works.
“The Speaker of the House is a job most Americans will not do. This is one of the reasons Paul Ryan could be so confident in driving a hard bargain. So if he is to do it, it will be on his own terms. After meeting with them yesterday, Ryan obtained the backing of a majority (but not the required 80 percent to change endorsements) of the House Freedom Caucus. At the time, he reportedly declared his openness to various ideas regarding structural reforms without committing himself to pushing anything specific through the conference. We will likely get the chance to find out how much he is interested in changing the way Congress works soon enough.
“What would something like this look like in practice? Yesterday, John Podhoretz asked me about this debate regarding shaking up the Congress, suggesting that House Freedom Caucus members are more interested in getting on talk radio to complain about leadership than doing actual work. A fair point! But of course, the reason many of these Freedom Caucus members have a microphone on talk radio is that they have regular opportunities to complain about leadership selling conservatives out behind closed doors.
“Here’s the good news: moving to an open process eliminates that ability. It will expose conservative ideas either as unworkable or as workable, and allow the political process – from Congress to primary voters – to adjust accordingly. . .”
Lauren French, Politico: “Two House Democrats speak well of Ryan for speaker”
“Two leading House Democrats offered measured support for Paul Ryan as speaker on Wednesday, but cautioned that they remain unconvinced he’ll be able to overcome the chaos of the Republican Party.
“Reps. Xavier Becerra of California and Joe Crowley of New York, the chairman and vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, respectively, said Democrats are prepared to work with whomever GOP lawmakers elect as speaker – if that person is prepared to work with Democrats in good faith.
“‘Many of us have had an opportunity to work with Chairman Paul Ryan on the Ways and Means Committee or Chairman Paul Ryan on the Budget Committee,’ Becerra said. ‘I think he’s a serious player. He is smart enough to know what he needs to do and it sounds to me like he is trying to make sure if he does make the move to be speaker, he does it so he can get things done.’
“Becerra and Crowley serve with Ryan on the Ways and Means Committee. Crowley and Ryan were elected during the same election cycle and enjoy a close relationship. . .” http://www.politico.com/blogs/the-gavel/2015/10/xavier-becerra-joe-crowley-support-paul-ryan-house-speaker-215009#ixzz3pJssqlL9
HILLARY . . .
“Thanks to Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony on Thursday, we now understand why the former secretary of state never wanted anyone to see her emails and why the State Department sat on documents. Turns out those emails and papers show that the Obama administration deliberately misled the nation about the deadly events in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.” Kimberley Strassel
Drudge Links (10/23/15)
HILLARY HEALTH WARNING: THE COUGHING FIT… SPOOK SID: Source of Intelligence Was Mystery… MCFARLAND: She showed us glimpse of her soul… Enough about Benghazi… what about Katy Perry concert Where’s Bill?
Ron Fournier, National Journal:” Why Benghazi Should Keep Hillary Clinton Up at Night”
“For Democrats and GOP, shallow theater and naked partisanship make for good politics and lousy leadership.
“Is she a liar or a stateswoman? For the vast majority of Americans who long ago answered that question in their own minds, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s testimony on Benghazi changed nothing.
Republicans won’t vote for the former secretary of State, much less give her any credit for a marathon of emotional testimony in which Clinton took responsibility for the 2012 attacks that cost four Americans their lives.
“Democrats won’t hold Benghazi against her, much less use her actions as a critical measure of Clinton’s leadership. Should the presidential nomination go to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or another Clinton rival, it will not be because of her adventurism in Libya, her department’s failure to secure the U.S. mission in Benghazi, or any part she may have played in misleading voters about the election-year assaults.
“If you don’t have a dog in the fight—if you’re among the growing number of independent voters drifting away from the two parties—you probably don’t care about the hearing. You know what you missed: shallow theater, naked partisanship, and institutionalized incompetence. . .”
Sahil Kapur, Bloomberg: “The Conservative Reviews Are In: Benghazi Hearing a Bust”
“To hear Republicans tell it, a series of unfortunate events culminated in a rough day Thursday for the House Benghazi committee, leaving conservatives to wonder if they’ve lost their most potent political weapon against Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“Seven months after the panel revealed that Clinton used a private e-mail server as secretary of state—a scoop that committee chairman Trey Gowdy repeatedly took credit for—bringing heaps of negative press to Clinton and a dip in her poll numbers, Clinton effectively turned the tables on her most nettlesome GOP inquisitors. During eight hours and 20 minutes of testimony, Clinton deftly handled some hostile and at times pointed questioning from Republicans, keeping her cool and letting Democrats on the committee handle the political attacks.
“In the end, Republicans threw some red meat to their conservative base but failed to land a blow to Clinton’s credibility or unearth a meaningful discovery about the 2012 attacks on a U.S. outpost that left four Americans dead in Libya. It wasn’t just Clinton loyalists saying that. . .”
Select Committee on Benghazi: “Latest News”
October 22, 2015 Press Release
October 21, 2015 Blog Post
October 19, 2015 Press Release
October 18, 2015 Press Release
October 16, 2015 Press Release
John Bolton, WSJ: “Why Benghazi Still Makes a Difference”
“Only in Perry Mason stories does the real culprit break down in open court. After Hillary Clinton’s now-immortal Capitol Hill outburst about investigations into the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya—“What difference, at this point, does it make?”—the former secretary of state and Democratic candidate for president is unlikely to offer any such spontaneity when she testifies Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Nonetheless, the committee’s work is utterly serious, its preparations extensive (and extensively stonewalled by Mrs. Clinton’s team) and its mission vital to our fight against still-metastasizing Islamist terrorism. Much is at stake. The hearing’s focus must be on the key policy and leadership implications of the mistakes made before, during and after the murders of Amb. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11 three years ago.
Before the attack, there was ample warning that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi wasn’t secure, with terrorist threats in the area multiplying. Even the International Red Cross had pulled out of Benghazi. After a string of requests from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli for more security, in mid-August came a joint Embassy-CIA recommendation to move the State Department’s people into the CIA’s Benghazi compound. The State Department in Washington was invariably unresponsive, even though, as Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey later testified, the rising terrorist threat in Libya was well known. . .”
Eric Lipton & Michael Schmidt, NYT: “How the Story of Hillary Clinton’s Emails Has Changed”
“Why did Mrs. Clinton use only a personal email account, and did State Department rules allow it?
“March 10, 2015 ‘When I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two,’ Mrs. Clinton said in March. ‘Looking back, it would’ve been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone.’ Mrs. Clinton said that since a vast majority of her work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, they would be archived by the government.
“July 2015 ‘Media reports say that Mrs. Clinton used multiple devices – a BlackBerry and an iPad. She mostly relied on her BlackBerry for email, but she sometimes used her iPad to access email. After her aides were asked by the media about the iPad, they revised her statement.’ — Clinton campaign statement
“October 2015At this month’s Democratic presidential debate, Mrs. Clinton said, ‘What I did was allowed by the State Department, but it wasn’t the best choice.’
“At the time Mrs. Clinton became secretary of state, in January 2009, the State Department’s written policy was that email generally be conducted on an “authorized” computer with adequate security measures. But because of perennial problems with the state.gov email system, many State Department employees found they had to use their private email accounts to get work done in a timely manner, especially while traveling. Critics of Mrs. Clinton have said that she did not follow the department’s rules and regulations governing email. The Clinton campaign disputes that contention.
PA . . .
Sy Snyder, Politics PA: 10/23 Ups & Downs
“Joe Sestak. Since Sestak has been running for the Senate essentially since 2009, we’ve gotten used to the fact that his campaign doesn’t release any fundraising numbers ahead of time. Therefore, it makes for quite the late revelation every quarter when they finally come in. This was a particularly tough quarter for the candidate as he raised just $551,000 compared to the $1 million McGinty pulled in. As a result, despite a significant head start, Sestak has only about $1.5 million cash on hand lead over his party establishment’s preferred choice.
“Anne Covey. The GOP nominee for State Supreme Court received a famous endorsement yesterday. Former Pittsburgh Steeler and Penn State Nittany Lion running back Franco Harris is not only supporting the Commonwealth Court Judge but appeared in an ad for her. Covey is beloved by PSU alumni for her role in the lawsuit against the NCAA and given the amount of Penn State supporters in the Keystone State that can only help her come election day.
“Mike Parrish. The Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s Sixth Congressional District has been preparing a long time for this race. He entered the 2014 contest only to be forced aside, but his 2016 hopes were always apparent. That’s why it was so surprising to see that he raised just $29,000 in the last fundraising quarter. Considering that prognosticators deem this a competitive race the discrepancy in cash between himself and incumbent Congressman Ryan Costello is incredible. Parrish may soon find that the nation’s pundits no longer believe he can win this race.
“Christine Donohue. With the judicial elections less than two weeks away, endorsements have come pouring in for the various Democratic and Republican nominees. Donohue, however, snagged one of the few to cross party lines when the pro-business PEG PAC endorsed her. So, while the negative ads continue, this support was a big victory for the Democratic nominee.
“Brendan Boyle. On Monday, Congressman Boyle tweeted out that he had heard Vice President Joe Biden would run for President in 2016. On Wednesday, the VP announced he was not entering the race. As a former Texas Governor once said, ‘Oops’.”
END NOTE . . .
Mark Levin (10/22/15)
“On Wednesday’s Mark Levin Show, President Obama has vetoed the annual defense spending bill, which is effectively a vote to shut down the U.S. military while the Islamo-nazis and Russia and China are on the move. The bill would’ve boosted pay and benefits for the brave men and women in the military. Obama’s veto is because the proposed budget won’t increase domestic spending, and also makes it harder for him to transfer terrorists being detained in Guantanamo Bay to U.S. prisons. Obama is a greater threat to our military than any foreign nation because they don’t have the power to cut off funding.
“It’s ironic in a sick way that Obama’s veto comes on the same day as Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi hearing. Hillary, Obama and the whole corrupt regime knew within 24 hours that Al-Qaeda was behind the attack in Benghazi, but refused to let that info out because Joe Biden was too busy talking about how Osama Bin Laden was dead and Al-Qaeda was on the run. Hillary lied, Obama lied, Susan Rice lied – they all lied to once again put party and the Obama agenda before their country.”