tipsheet
Matt Vespa - Gowdy To Clinton: Let’s Have That Interview About Your Emails, Madam Secretary
Posted: 3/31/2015 2:00:00 PM EST

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has sent a letter to Clinton’s attorney requesting the former secretary of state sit down for a transcribed interview about her private email address and server. Recently, Clinton’s attorney said that they won’t turn over the server, and that it would be a moot point because it had been wiped clean.

Gowdy has said ad nauseum that the committee isn’t interested in any emails relating to Mrs. Clinton’s personal life, or any emails that have nothing to do with Libya or the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012.

“Toward that end and because of the Secretary’s unique arrangement with herself as it relates to public records during and after her tenure as Secretary of State, this Committee is left with no alternative but to request Secretary Clinton appear before this Committee for a transcribed interview to better understand decisions the Secretary made relevant to the creation, maintenance, retention, and ultimately deletion of public records,” wrote Gowdy. “The Committee is willing to schedule the interview at a time convenient for Secretary Clinton, but no later than May 1, 2015.”

We continue to believe Secretary Clinton’s email arrangement with herself is highly unusual, if not unprecedented. The decision to delete these records during the pendency of a congressional investigation only exacerbates our need to better understand what the Secretary did, when she did it, and why she did it. While she has cited a variety of justifications for this arrangement, many questions and details about the arrangement remain unanswered. These questions relate to:

  1. her decision to bypass an official government email account;
  2. whether she affirmatively turned over any relevant records during the pendency of the Accountability Review Board investigation or at any time after Congress first began investigating the Benghazi attack until December 2014;
  3. her decision to retain those records upon separation from the Department of State;
  4. the methodology by which these emails were subsequently searched for evidence of official records; and
  5. her decision to delete certain emails.
Katie Pavlich - White House: We'll Probably Extend Nuke Talks With Iran
Posted: 3/31/2015 1:45:00 PM EST

Talks surrounding Iran's nuclear program are down to the wire just five hours ahead of the 6 pm eastern deadline today. The White House is admitting a deal may not be reached in time and that talks may be extended to the end of June.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that even if a deal is reached today or tomorrow, experts need time to dig through the details. Earnest also said a military option is on the table and always has been, but that the administration is still working toward a diplomatic solution.

"The military option has been on the table for quite sometime and continues to be on the table today. That being said, the diplomatic approach would be more effective in resolving the international community's concerns than the military approach," Earnest said. "The President is willing to walk away from the negotiating table before signing a bad deal."

Earnest said any deal that is reached would have to include Iran shutting down every path they have to a nuclear weapon.

"Even if we were to reach a good agreement....we're still going to have a long list of concerns about Iran's behavior. I don't want to leave anybody with the impression we're going to solve all of those concerns through nuclear talks," Earnest said.  "The international community is united no this. What's holding up the talks is the specific commitment that we need to see."

Yesterday Iran made unattainable last minute demands as talks continued to fall apart. Iranian nuclear talks with the United States have already been delayed multiple times.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress have stressed the importance of approving an agreement if one is reached.
Katie Pavlich - Anti-Gun Hollywood Liberal Accused of Molesting Young Woman
Posted: 3/31/2015 12:30:00 PM EST

Meet Harvey Weinstein: Hollywood liberal and an anti-gun zealot. One of his latest projects (which will bomb at the box office), is a movie specifically targeting the National Rifle Association. 

They are going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them,” Weinstein told Stern on Wednesday, referring to the NRA’s lobbying and political strength.

Weinstein did not go into specifics about the project, but said that Meryl Streep was involved and that it would not be a documentary but “a big movie like ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.'”

“I don’t think we need guns in this country, and I hate it,” Weinstein told Stern. “The NRA is a disaster area.”

But it turns out, Weinstein may have more than an anti-gun political position to blame for his stance against firearms ownership, especially among women. From the Washington Times

A 22-year-old Italian woman has accused Hollywood film producer and Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her Friday night in New York City, police sources told the New York Daily News.

The woman, who wasn’t identified, told police that Mr. Weinstein, 63, touched her private area and her breasts about 6 p.m. Friday at the Tribeca Film Center, the sources reportedly said.

Mr. Weinstein has been questioned by police, and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance will decide whether to file charges, the Daily News reported.

“He initiated the contact,” the source said of Mr. Weinstein, the Daily News reported. “He saw her and spoke to her. She didn’t know who he was until he approached her.”

Funny how anti-gun men often turn out to be creeps. It isn't the men who support firearms ownership among women who we should be worried about, instead, it's the men who don't.

H/T @MadStJack

Daniel Doherty - Pence on RFRA: "This Law Does Not Give Anyone A License To Discriminate"
Posted: 3/31/2015 12:05:00 PM EST

Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) is under intense scrutiny after signing into law a statute that purportedly allows businesses to discriminate against certain classes of Hoosiers. Pushing back against all the misinformation, however, Gov. Pence defended the law in a press conference on Tuesday, thereby hopefully setting the record straight and addressing the controversy head-on.

“Let me say first and foremost I was proud to sign the Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week,” he said. “I believe religious liberty, as President Clinton said when he signed the federal law in 1993, [is] our first freedom and it is vital to millions of Americans who cherish faith as I and my family do. But it’s also vital to the framework of freedom in our nation.”

“This legislation was designed to ensure the vitality of religious liberty in the Hoosier State,” he continued. “But clearly, there’s been misunderstanding and confusion and mischaracterization of this law. And I come before you today to say how we’re going to address that.”

He then dove into the specifics of the widely-pilloried bill.

“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was about religious liberty, not about discrimination,” he said. “As I said last week, had this law been about legalizing discrimination I would have vetoed it. This law does not give anyone a license to discriminate. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana does not give anyone the right to deny services to anyone.”

“I don’t believe for a minute that it was the intention of the general assembly to create a license to discriminate or a right to deny services to gays, lesbians, or anyone else," he added. “But I can appreciate that’s become the perception, not just here in Indiana, but all across this country and we need to confront that."

He also announced, however, that the bill needed to be improved, and therefore would look to the state legislature first and foremost to help clarify and refine the bill’s language.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone,” he said, urging state lawmakers to act as soon as possible. “ We want to make it clear that Indiana is open for business. We want to make it clear that Hoosier hospitality is not a slogan, it’s a way of life.”

“Let me say I believe this is a clarification, but it’s also a fix,” he added. "[The bill] through mischaracterization and confusion, has come to be greatly misunderstood. And I’m determined to address this [problem] this week.”

Not surprisingly, he also characterized the national media’s reporting vis-à-vis the bill as both “reckless” and “irresponsible”—although he conceded in recent days it had “gotten better.”

Guy Benson - Krugman: All of These 'Imaginary' Obamacare Horror Stories Are 'Invented'
Posted: 3/31/2015 10:45:00 AM EST

Here we go again. One of the High Priests of the so-called "reality-based community" has for the umpteenth time pronounced Obamacare a great success, asserting that people who believe otherwise (like, for example, the majority of the American people) have either been deceived, or are liars. Paint-by-numbers acerbic Leftist, reactionary smear artist, and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman calls Obamacare horror stories "imaginary disasters," made up from whole cloth to scare people and undermine a law that's working and helping people.  We've spent quite a lot of time refuting variants of this argument in recent years, producing detailed responses to President ObamaHarry Reid, and two different bloggers at Vox.  Here's Krugman -- in a column declaring Obamacare a success and its opponents discredited, no less -- bemoaning our "post-truth politics:"

In short, when it comes to the facts, the attack on health reform has come up empty-handed...And the favorable experiences of the roughly 16 million Americans who have gained insurance so far have had little effect on public perceptions. Partly that’s because the Affordable Care Act, by design, has had almost no effect on those who already had good health insurance: Before the act, a large majority of Americans were already covered by their employers, by Medicare or by Medicaid, and they have seen no change in their status. At a deeper level, however, what we’re looking at here is the impact of post-truth politics. We live in an era in which politicians and the supposed experts who serve them never feel obliged to acknowledge uncomfortable facts, in which no argument is ever dropped, no matter how overwhelming the evidence that it’s wrong. And the result is that imaginary disasters can overshadow real successes. Obamacare isn’t perfect, but it has dramatically improved the lives of millions. Someone should tell the voters.

Actually, when it comes to the facts, opponents' attacks on the law have been overwhelmingly vindicated. Obamacare has failed to deliver on nearly every major promise upon which it was sold.  Remember, one of the law's chief architects has conceded that its PR team lied about taxing benefits, lied about cost control, and intentionally exploited legislative opacity, which he bragged would help bamboozle "stupid" voters. So the statement that critics have "come up empty-handed" could only come from a cloistered, closed-minded ideologue who admits to shielding himself from uncomfortable data and opposing viewpoints.  Krugman also fails to mention that many of the millions who've "gained insurance" under the law previously had coverage and were forced to sign up through the exchanges when their suddenly-noncompliant plans were unceremoniously canceled.  He writes that the law had "almost no effect" on people who were already happily insured.  That's only true if you willfully ignore the millions of consumers who've received cancellation notices as a direct result of the law, and the millions more who will experience the same upheaval in the years to come.  Finally, poll after poll confirms that Americans who've been directly harmed by Obamacare substantially outnumber those whose lives have been "dramatically improved."  These are people's actual experiences, and no amount of smug, tendentious bloviating can alter people's everyday realities.  These disasters are not "imaginary" -- as Krugman might be aware if he deigned to read his own newspaper from time to time.  Here's the Times last month:

Ms. Pineman, who is self-employed, accepted that she’d have to pay higher premiums for a plan with a narrower provider network and no out-of-network coverage. She accepted that she’d have to pay out of pocket to see her primary care physician, who didn’t participate. She even accepted having co-pays of nearly $1,800 to have a cast put on her ankle in an emergency room after she broke it while playing tennis. But her frustration bubbled over when she tried to arrange a follow-up visit with an orthopedist in her Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield network: The nearest doctor available who treated ankle problems was in Stamford, Conn. When she called to protest, her insurer said that Stamford was 14 miles from her home and 15 was considered a reasonable travel distance. “It was ridiculous — didn’t they notice it was in another state?” said Ms. Pineman, 46, who was on crutches. She instead paid $350 to see a nearby orthopedist and bought a boot on Amazon as he suggested. She has since forked over hundreds of dollars more for a physical therapist that insurance didn’t cover, even though that provider was in-network...For still others, the new fees are so confusing and unsupportable that they just avoid seeing doctors...by endorsing and expanding the complex new policies promoted by the health care industry, the law may in some ways be undermining its signature promise: health care that is accessible and affordable for all.

Would Mr. Krugman care to repeat his "imaginary" rubbish to the faces of this cancer patient, this young mother, this erstwhile Obamacare poster child, or these workers in Pennsylvania?


I'll leave you with this interesting nugget from the Libre Initiative:

As the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2015 ends, analysis by Avalere Health shows that while 76 percent of eligible individuals between 100 and 150 percent of the Poverty level signed up through Healthcare .gov this year, enrollment figures decline dramatically among people earning more. Just 16 percent of those earning between 300 and 400 percent of the federal Poverty level signed up, and just 2 percent of those earning $46,000 or more per year did so. The data shows that for consumers who bear a significant portion of the cost themselves, the federal exchange is simply not a popular option. Only when large taxpayer subsidies are provided are people choosing to enroll in significant numbers. But people are required by the ACA to purchase health insurance or face penalties, and as these penalties increase over time, more Americans will be compelled to comply with the law or face penalties that are simply too onerous.

This is a wealth redistribution scheme that hurts the middle class.  As it turns out, people who are both mandated to buy coverage and handed large subsidies from taxpayers are the most likely group to sign up for Obamacare. Go figure. "Success!"

Daniel Doherty - Reid: Nope, I Have No Regrets Calling Mitt Romney a Tax Cheat
Posted: 3/31/2015 10:30:00 AM EST

The ends always justify the means.

Asked in a recent interview if he had any “regrets” about accusing 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of not paying his taxes for ten years during the homestretch of the campaign, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) essentially shrugged his shoulders.

“He didn’t win, did he?” he intoned.

The Washington Free Beacon captured the video:

We knew he was lying, of course, and the Romney campaign ensured in good time everyone else would, too. But such a smug and remorseless answer astonishes even me.

Or does it?

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Senator.

UPDATE: Watch the full clip here.

Vivian Hughbanks  - Santorum Speech Receives Mixed Reactions from GW Students Over Gay Rights
Posted: 3/31/2015 10:00:00 AM EST

As former presidential candidate Rick Santorum closed his remarks Monday evening at George Washington University, controversy that’s been brewing for nearly a month at the school was visible: half of the students in the auditorium stood in applause while the other half of the room sat stone-faced.

The speech was hosted by GWU’s chapter of Young America’s Foundation, which has come onto the national media stage in the past month because the group boycotted mandatory “LGBT sensitivity training.” In response, GW YAF was labeled a “hate group,” a “cancer,” and was even compared to ISIS.

“The only sensitivity training we need is to respect every person,” Santorum said Monday, to strong applause from half the audience. “Tolerance is the most misused word in the English language.”

“Tolerance means you can say really horrible nasty things that I hate and offend me,” he added. “That’s how we get along. You have a right to be mean -- a right to be nasty to people. That’s how this country works, because we have thick skins and we aren’t offended.”

In his opening remarks, Santorum explained conservative policy on the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran and the impending nuclear deal, and commented on the recent religious protection law passed in Indiana. Afterward, students queued to throw the former senator some tough questions.

“People aren’t dying in America because of this,” one student said, arguing that business owners should be forced to serve everyone regardless of sexual orientation -- one concept addressed in the Indiana law.

Santorum was quick to respond: “Should a gay or lesbian-owned printshop have to print signs for the Westboro Baptists that say ‘God hates fags’?”

“If they have the money to pay, they should,” the student shot back, to “ooohh” from the audience.

Taking the gloves off, Santorum continued: “Should a Jewish printshop have to make signs for the KKK? Should a kosher deli have to serve non-kosher food? It’s a two-way street. Tolerance is a two-way street. If you’re saying that ‘your religious liberties are not as important as my -- fill in the blank,’ then I’ve got a problem with that.”

Peppered with other inquiries ranging from follow-ups on Iran policy and immigration to Santorum’s new book “Bella’s Gift,” about his severely disabled daughter, the theme of the Q&A always returned to gay rights.

“I am a proud and confident lesbian woman, and I’m just wondering why are you denying me my rights to marry the love of my life, to adopt my future children -- both of which I will do?” another student asked, to thunderous applause from half the room.

The former senator was ready to point out her fallacy:

“I don’t come in and say ‘because you have a different point of view, you’re denying me my view of marriage,’” he said. “You’re expressing your opinion -- you have a right to do that, and I have a right to do that.”

The overly secure environment of the auditorium added to the obvious clash of ideologies as the members of GW YAF and various liberal and gay pride campus organizations came together: five security guards lined the walls of the auditorium.

Attendees were notified before the event not to bring any book bags or purses with them, and signs carried in protest were also not permitted. A posted message outside the auditorium read “any person who disrupts the event will be removed by the University Police Department.”

“If you intend to participate in the larger conversation about American politics and culture, it’s really important to understand about the 40 percent of Americans that call themselves conservatives,” said GW YAF President Emily Jashinsky after introducing Santorum. “I want to invite everyone to demonstrate their very best sense of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect tonight -- let’s have a great debate.”

Both Santorum and questioners were repeatedly interrupted by approving applause from both divisions of the audience -- yet Santorum coolly and patiently responded to even the most disgruntled students.

“No matter what your passion is on the issues, we need to have a system that says everybody’s allowed in,” Santorum said.

Santorum’s speech came on the eve of Trans Day of Visibility, hosted by the student group Allied in Pride -- a key opponent of GW YAF on campus.

“Their decision to bring Rick Santorum -- a man who has compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality -- to campus the day before Trans Day of Visibility underscores their intolerance and pattern of hate,” Allied in Pride posted on Facebook.

Cortney O'Brien - Gov Christie Pledges Support for 20-Week Abortion Ban Just Hours After Pro-Life Group Places His Name in Red
Posted: 3/31/2015 9:30:00 AM EST

His name was the only one in red. Yet, just hours after the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List declared Gov. Chris Christie was the only potential 2016 GOP candidate who hadn’t pledged his support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the outspoken New Jersey governor made his stand much clearer.

2016: Where Do They Stand? is a new resource for pro-life voters heading into next year’s presidential election. Specifically, it provides the candidates’ opinion on the Pain-Capable bill. The legislation has been surrounded by controversy thanks to Congress’ missed opportunity, yet the goal of the bill itself is anything but.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is compassionate legislation that would protect babies from brutal abortions after 20 weeks, or five months of pregnancy. If enacted into law, it would save approximately 15,000 babies every year from brutal, painful deaths.

Think this sounds like common sense? The majority of Americans would agree with you. Passing the pain-capable bill is the SBA List's main priority in the lead up to the race to the White House. Because it's so important, the organization wanted to make sure their supporters knew where the 2016 candidates stood on the issue. 

The only one they weren't sure of was Gov. Christie. The SBA List explained this to the press in a Monday email, informing them that the New Jersey Governor was the only one had not endorsed the bill. Therefore, while every other candidate's picture was included with a pro-life quote, Gov. Christie's name was simply placed in red with no corresponding quote. Just hours later, however, Christie sent the SBA List this statement:

“I am proud to be a pro-life Republican. I believe that every life is an individual gift from God, and that no life is disposable...I urge Congress to take swift action on this important issue."

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser gladly accepted his announcement:

"There is complete unity on the Republican side around this highly reasonable proposal to protect pain-capable children after five months,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement after Christie's endorsement. “Meanwhile, the national Democratic Party and its leaders remind us almost daily of the abortion lobby’s importance in their policy and politics. We expect this clear difference to be a focal point of the general election debate.”

The pro-life movement should be cheering to know that the SBA List clearly has influence in this election and Christie's wake-up call should be a warning to all presidential wannabes who don't stand up for the unborn. I hope all of them escape the red ink.

Katie Pavlich - Surprise: Hillary Clinton Lied About Using Only One Device For Email
Posted: 3/31/2015 9:15:00 AM EST

When Hillary Clinton stepped to the microphones three weeks ago to explain why she used a personal email account on a private server hosted in her home to conduct all of her official State Department business, she claimed she did it out of convenience because she didn't want to carry two devices. 

We already knew Clinton didn't simply own just one device capable of sending and receiving email. After all, she said so during a February 2015 event in California when she admitted to using an iPhone, iPad, mini iPad and a Blackberry. 

Now, the Associated Press has confirmed Clinton did in fact use multiple devices to conduct her official State Department business, not the one phone she previously claimed. 

Hillary Rodham Clinton emailed her staff on an iPad as well as a BlackBerry while secretary of state, despite her explanation she exclusively used a personal email address on a homebrew server so that she could carry a single device, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The State Department released a total of four emails between Clinton and her top advisers as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed in 2013 by the AP, which sought Clinton's correspondence with senior advisers over a four-year period relating to drone strikes overseas and U.S. surveillance programs.

While limited, the emails offer one of the first looks into Clinton's correspondence while secretary of state. The messages came from and were sent to her private email address, hosted on a server at her property in Chappaqua, New York, as opposed to a government-run email account.

Meanwhile, Congress is still trying to figure out how to handle new revelations Clinton "wiped her server clean."

Katie Pavlich - Marco Rubio: Future of The Country Depends Strongly on The Next Election
Posted: 3/31/2015 8:45:00 AM EST

Senator Marco Rubio (R - FL) stopped by Fox News' The Five yesterday to discuss his presidential plans and the state of the country moving forward.

"I strongly believe that the future of this country will depend on the next election and what's at stake in 2016 is not simply what party is going to win or the candidate. The fundamental question in 2016 is what kind of country do we want to be in this new century? Do we want to remain an exceptional country, a land of equality of opportunity, the strongest nation on earth, or are we prepared to diminish and decline? And decline is a choice, it's not our destiny," Rubio said. "The country is really at a hinge point in terms of moving forward into the future. We are really transitioning from out of the 20th century, well into the 21st century, a dramatically different world. Globalization has changed the nature of our economy, technology has changed the nature of work, the entire global order that we've had since the end of World War II is now in flux and I think it's really important we move in the right direction as a country by not just confronting the challenges of this new era, but increasing its opportunities."

As he said in the interview, Rubio will make an announcement about his presidential plans on April 13, 2015.

Check out Townhall's Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome