Insane: Rich Los Angeles Neighborhoods Vaccinating Kids at Lower Rates Than Poor African Countries

Herd immunity, that beautiful concept that protects the medically fragile from dying of horrible, preventable diseases like pertussis and measles, is a thing of the past in some upscale Los Angeles neighborhoods. Why? Because parents are refusing to vaccinate their children—and in some areas of the city, vaccination rates are lower than war-torn impoverished African countries.

Parents are able to skip vaccinating their children by filing a "personal belief exemption" (PBE) form. These forms are available for parents who do not want to vaccinate their children for either personal beliefs or religious reasons.

From The Atlantic (emphasis added):

In some schools, up to 60 to 70 percent of parents have filed these PBEs, indicating a vaccination rate as low as that of Chad or South Sudan. Unlike in Santa Monica, however, parents in South Sudan have trouble getting their children vaccinated because of an ongoing civil war.

And lo, it is these very same L.A. neighborhoods that are experiencing a resurgence of diseases like whooping cough, otherwise known as pertussis. Measles cases have also hit a high in California this year.

To be clear, not all PBEs are evidence of an anti-vaxxer parent. Schools require either a PBE or an up-to-date shot record for school attendance, and sometimes parents submit them if they simply aren't able to get the shots done on time. Still, the L.A. Times has previously reported that the percentage of kindergartens in which at least 8 percent of students were not fully vaccinated because of the parent's beliefs had more than doubled since 2007, and private-school parents were likelier to file the PBEs than their public-school counterparts. The paper found that the exemption rate for all of Santa Monica and Malibu was 15 percent.

This is a terrifying trend. I've written previously about measles outbreaks in unvaccinated communities, and it's terrifying to think of something similar happening in Los Angeles and spreading throughout the nation. Vaccines work. Vaccines are safe and do not cause autism. I'm thankful to have grown up in a time where I didn't have to worry about catching measles or polio. Americans have no excuse not to protect their children from these horrible diseases.

A Terrible Polling Day For Democrats


National - Let's start with the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, which speaks to the national 'fundamentals' of the 2014 cycle.  The environment remains treacherous for Democrats:

Republicans hold a six-point lead on the Congressional ballot among likely voters, winning independents by nine points and holding a double-digit enthusiasm advantage.  Those are all very significant numbers.  The GOP holds substantial voter preference edges on the economy (+11), terrorism (+21) and foreign policy (+12), while pulling even with Democrats on immigration and largely erasing Democrats' wide, decades-long lead on healthcare.  

Obama's overall approval rating is sagging at 40 percent, underwater by double-digits.  He's fallen to new lows in this poll on his handling of terrorism (41 percent approval) -- formerly a bright spot amidst otherwise ugly numbers -- and foreign policy (34 percent).

- Nearly six in ten Americans say Obama's posture toward ISIS is "not tough enough, with 31 percent saying he's handling things "about right."  Some respondents said he's being "too tough" on ISIS: Two percent, which is within the poll's margin of error.

"This poll finds no improvement in overall views of the health care law."


Senate - I've been writing a lot about the disparity between national polling trends (see above) and many of the state-level polls of individual races, in which many Democrats have been outperforming the president and the overall environment.  When, if ever, would those surveys "catch up" with the fundamentals?  One headline-grabbing poll isn't necessarily a turning point, but the Iowa Senate poll Conn highlighted earlier is undoubtedly a shot in the arm to the GOP.  Most striking about Joni Ernst's six-point lead is that she's hit 50 percent, with Democrat Bruce Braley sitting in the mid-40's, as quite a few Senate Democratic candidates in toss-up states are.  Here's a new ad highlighting popular Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's endorsement of Ernst in the race:


Braley infamously demeaned Grassley and farmers at an out-of-state fundraiser with fellow trial lawyers.  Such a lawyer, that guy.  And then there's this, out of Colorado:


An incumbent at 42 percent isn't in good shape, and that may not be the only favorable-looking poll to emerge from this race this week.  See below for more.


Governor - Survey USA has Charlie Crist (the worst politician in America) trailing Florida Gov. Rick Scott by five points, and polling at just 39 percent. The respected Marquette University Law School poll shows a significant swing toward Scott Walker in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race; he now leads Mary Burke by three points.  (A NYT/CBS poll last week gave Walker a four-point lead). And finally, this stunner out of Colorado:


Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ties former U. S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican challenger, among women and trails among all likely voters 50 - 40 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Libertarian candidate Matthew Hess and Green Party candidate Harry Hempy each have 3 percent.

Suffolk/USA Today shows this contest roughly tied (with Hickenlooper up by two points), but if Quinnipiac has Beauprez ahead by ten, we're looking forward to see their yet-to-be-released Senate data. Last but not least, why do we write some many posts on polls? Because the media hates showcasing data that makes them sad. Straight up bias:

Obama: "Our Reach Is Long, if You Threaten America, You Will Find No Safe Haven"

Speaking from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, President Obama delivered remarks defending his pledge to “degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS.” But he also spoke confidently about, and reaffirmed his support for, the people who need and deserve it most: U.S. service members and their families.

“I came here to say the same thing I’ve been saying to troops across this country and around the world,” he began. “And that is thank you.”

“I want to thank you for all your service, I want to thank you for your sacrifice,” he intoned. “As your commander in chief, I could not be prouder of each and every one of you.”

Quite rightly, he reminded his audience of military personnel that the “9/11 generation” has met every challenge handed down to them with both acceptance and professionalism.

And while terrorist groups like ISIL–and their al Qaeda affiliates–do not directly threaten America’s national security at this time, they could “if left unchecked,” he said.

Which is why, almost as if he was speaking directly to the terrorists himself, he delivered the most stirring and rousing line of his oration.

“Our reach is long, if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven–we will find you eventually,” he averred to wild applause.

“But this–I want to emphasize–is not and will not be America’s fight alone,” he continued. “This is why we’ve spent the last several weeks building [a coalition].”

“Forty countries so far have offered some assistance,” he added. “And meanwhile, nearly 30 nations have [pledged to help] with humanitarian relief.”

That is to say, after nearly 14 years of war, it’s time for other nations as well as Iraqi citizens to step up to the plate.

“The point is, we cannot do for the Iraqi people what they must do for themselves,” he said. “But this is an effort that calls on America’s unique abilities and responsibilities to lead. In a world that’s more crowded and connected, it is America that has the unique capabilities to mobilize against an organization like ISIL.”

He thus turned to the inescapable fact that the safety of the nation relies chiefly upon a small yet dedicated warrior class of men and women who sometimes do not get the recognition they have earned.

“To all the service members here and around the world, we ask a lot of you,” he said softly. “And any mission involves risk. And any mission separates you from your families. And sending our soldiers into harm’s way is the hardest decision I make–nothing else comes close.”

“I do it,” he added, “only because you are the best at what it is that you do."

“Only 1 percent of Americans may wear the uniform and shoulder the weight of special responsibilities that you do,” he continued. “But 100 percent of Americans need to support you and your family–100 percent.”

Legislation Introduced to Eliminate ATF

Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has introduced legislation to eliminate the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a federal law enforcement agency with 5000 employees. If passed, the legislation would dissolve the duties of ATF to the FBI and DEA. From the legislation:

To abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, transfer
its functions relating to the Federal firearms, explosives, and arson laws, violent crime, and domestic terrorism to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and transfer its functions relating to the Federal alcohol and tobacco smuggling laws to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and for other purposes.


“Washington should be responsible stewards of the American taxpayers’ money. While all too often that is not the case, this is a good government bill to streamline agency activity at DOJ—increasing effectiveness while decreasing cost. The ATF is a largely duplicative, scandal ridden agency that lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges and a lack of leadership. For decades it has been branded by high profile failures. There is also significant overlap with other agencies. At a time when we are approaching $18 trillion in debt, waste and redundancy within our federal agencies must be addressed. Without a doubt, we can fulfill the role of the ATF more efficiently," Sensenbrenner said in a statement about the ATF Elimination Act. 

According to Sensenbrenner there are two main goals for the legislation, "to eliminate and reduce duplicative functions and waste to the maximum extent possible, and to report to Congress with a detailed plan on how the transition will take place."

The legislation comes after years of corruption, Operation Fast and Furious and after a series of ATF stings in Sensenbrenner's home state of Wisconsin where agents took advantage of mentally disabled teenagers by giving them neck tattoos and teaching them how to commit crimes. ATF agents also lost track of a fully-automatic machine gun in Milwaukee after it was stolen from an unattended government vehicle. 

Vindicated: Agent Jay Dobyns Wins Long Court Battle With ATF

After a long six year court battle with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Special Agent and whistleblower Jay Dobyns says he as been vindicated after Federal Judge Francis Allegra ruled in his favor late Tuesday. Dobyns, who infiltrated the dangerous and deadly Hells Angels gang as an undercover agent years ago, brought a lawsuit against the Bureau after supervisors ignored death threats to his family, which included plans to murder him either with a bullet or by injecting him with the AIDS virus, kidnapping and torturing his then 15-year-old daughter and kidnapping his wife in order to videotape a gang rape of her. Contracts were solicited between the Hells Angels, the Aryan Brotherhood and the MS-13 gang to carry out these threats, which were laid out in prison letters and confirmed through FBI and ATF interviews of confidential informants inside numerous detention centers. In 2008, his Tucson home was burned to the ground. When the fire was started, his wife and children were inside. Luckily, they escaped. Instead of investigating, ATF supervisors accused Dobyns of being the arsonist.

"I have been vindicated. First, I must thank God who provided me with strength and faith during these events. I thank those who have supported me; family, friends, peers and strangers but mostly my wife and kids – they have been the true victims here and been forced to suffer too needlessly," Dobyns wrote about the ruling on his website, where he released the news. "An agency I spilled my own blood for and enthusiastically accepted every dirty assignment on behalf of for twenty-seven years, knowingly and intentionally accused me of a crime I did not commit; being a person who would murder his own wife and children by fire."

In his opinion, Allegra said ATF exhibited "organizational weaknesses," in handling the threats against Dobyns and described ATF officials as demonstrating misfeasance in the case "rooted in the sorry failure of some ATF officials."

“The violations occurred because of the way officials like ASAC Gillett and RAC Higman functioned – and were allowed to function – after the arson, especially in terms of how Agent Dobyns was treated”; “In the courts view, the evidence showed that ASAC Gillett and Agent Higman knew that Agent Dobyns was not responsible for the fire, and still allowed him to be treated as a suspect as a form of payback. Moreover, ATF officials knew, or should have known, that individuals like ASAC Gillett and Agent Higman should not have been allowed to participate in the investigation – as it turned out their conduct was not only reprehensible, but predictably so. In donning blinders in this regard, ATF officials compounded potential harm that might have befallen the Dobyns family,” the opinion states.

In his writing about the ruling, Dobyns stressed that the abuses toward him occurred prior to Operation Fast and Furious and were carried out by many of the same players (ASAC Gillett being one of them) ultimately responsible for the bloody project that left Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry dead. 

During Operation Black Biscuit, Dobyns operated as a special field agent under ATF Phoenix Field Office management. At the time of the threats, that management team included Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Phoenix Field Division William Newell, Assistant Special Agent in Charge George Gillett and ATF Deputy Assistant Director William McMahon, who served as Newell’s direct supervisor at the time. All were intimately involved in Operation Fast and Furious. Newell and McMahon have both testified before the House Oversight Committee regarding their roles in the lethal gun trafficking operation that deliberately put over 2,000 high powered weapons into the hands of ruthless Mexican drug cartels and allowed those weapons to be lost south of the border.

Dobyns warned ATF about corrupt, power hungry supervisors for years and was ignored. 

"Why is that important? Because in 2007 and 2008 I warned ATF of the dangers of these people well in advance of Fast and Furious providing them ample time to prevent what was coming. The asleep-at-the-wheel malfeasance of Michael Sullivan, Ronnie Carter, Billy Hoover and Ken Melson empowered them. Once the corruption was exposed they all questioned, 'How did this happen?'" Dobyns wrote. "It happened while I was being buried and tormented by ATF for speaking out and the ringleaders of Fast and Furious remained un-touched, un-investigated, un-disciplined at a time when they were just beginning to orchestrate the greatest law enforcement scandal of the modern era."

Dobyns will be rewarded damages from ATF. In the lawsuit ATF argued the Bureau is entitled to book royalties from Dobyns' New York Times Bestseller No Angel. That argument was denied. 

"I thank the select few of my ATF peers who displayed the courage to publicly stand by me when doing so put their own careers and reputations at risk. Friends I thought I had vanished while friends I never knew I had arrived. There is nothing comparable to “pressure” in a time of need to find out who truly believes in you...Doing the right thing is not always easy but, it is always right," Dobyns wrote.

Editor's note: I've had the honor and pleasure of getting to know Jay Dobyns over the past few years. He is a good man who has been through hell. Jay has become a friend, has given me valuable insight into ATF and was gracious enough to write the intro to my book about Operation Fast and Furious. He has done this country a great service through his more than 25 years of law enforcement work and through his brave stance as a whistleblower. Although ATF hasn't changed and still refuses to prosecute corrupt supervisors, I am grateful to see the court system deliver justice. Thank you Jay for all that you have done and congratulations. 

RELATED: ATF Ignored Death Threats, Tried to Frame Whistleblower Agent to Cover Corruption


White House Celebrates Constitution Day With a Picture of Obama

Stop me if you have heard this before: The official White House Twitter account tweeted their recognition of Constitution Day today...with a picture of President Obama in the National Archives building.

Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) took a different approach to celebrate the day, and tweeted the entire Constitution word for word from his official account, 140 characters at a time.

Happy Constitution Day!

Bobby Jindal Explains Why Democrats Are the True Science Deniers

Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal turned the tables on President Obama yesterday, accusing the White House of being "science deniers" when it comes to energy.

"We now face an administration that is composed of science deniers when it comes to energy and the environment," Jindal said at a lunch with reporters at The Heritage Foundation. "You are looking at an administration that is holding our economy hostage to their radical views. It really is an article of religious faith amongst this administration the way they approach these questions of policy."

Pressed after his presentation to identify what specific science the White House was denying, Jindal rattled off a lengthy list:

Look, the most obvious one is the Keystone Pipeline. For five years they said they were studying this and their own State Department says it will have no discernible environmental impact. It will create tens of thousands of construction jobs. It would boost both of our country's economies and energy self sufficiency. So the Keystone Pipeline is the first example.

The second example is when you look at the EPA's policies, again even if you accept the premise behind their attempts to regulate CO2 admissions from power plants, not even the EPA's regional office could explain to us how they came up with their numbers for the states or what the rationale was. They basically said, 'Go to DC, we don't know where the 40 percent came from.' And again in my state's own personal experience there is no rational connection ... It's not like we're a state where we have a lot of outdated facilities that can be easily upgraded. That is not the case in our state. There is not that low hanging fruit. 

Third, when you look at their approach to the environment, simply shifting energy intensive industries overseas, at a time where China now emits more CO2 than America, the growth is coming from the developing world, they've added more new coal capacity in the last few years than our entire coal capacity, the idea that unilateral actions that hurt our economy are going to somehow benefit the environment makes no scientific sense.

Exporting those energy intensive industries, if that's what we succeed in doing, will actually make the environment worse. Those activities will now be performed in countries with weaker environmental regulations. Today we export about ten percent of our coal. And now this president has said, 'We are going to bankrupt anyone who wants to build a new coal facility' ... 'we're going to increase electricity prices,' so as a result instead of us using our coal we export it and so now China and India are going to burn it, does nothing to help the environment. All we are doing is giving them more affordable electricity to compete with our manufacturers. 

So there are several other examples, when you look at the regulatory overreach this administration that has opposed efforts to do cost benefit analyses before they do environmental regulations. So you look under MACT [Maximum Achievable Control Technology] they will justify the most expensive intervention even without a proportionate benefit to emission reductions or environmental benefit, again ignoring the analysis and the facts.

So I think time and time again the left, they like to tell us they are the ones who are following science and we are the science deniers, but I think over all their approach to energy is telling. You look at the shifting ... and it's pretty startling how quickly they shifted their views on natural gas. Natural gas was the left's favorite energy, at least fossil energy, source for a long time until fracking happened. 

When it was scarce and expensive they loved natural gas. When it was $13 they loved natural gas. As soon as it was affordable, all of a sudden they decided they didn't like it so much. I think that if they are honest, they want energy to be scarce and expensive because it allows the federal government to be more involved in our lives and it allows them to decide what kind of cars you drive, what kind of homes you live in, how we live our lives.

Look I think for much of the left the whole debate about CO2 is really a trojan horse. These are folks that never reality wanted a fee market. These are folks that are always looking for an excuse to impose more government regulation, more government oversight, this is just their latest vehicle to do it.

So in many ways they are hiding behind these claims to use that as a trojan horse to come in and do what they wanted to do anyway. 

You can read Jindal's full 48-page report, "Organizing Around Abundance: Making America and Energy Superpower," here.

Gaffe-Prone Vice President Steps in it Again

The politically incorrect and offensive word the vice president used this time was “Shylocks.” During a recent speech, he was trying to describe the dishonest and greedy bankers his son warned him about, while deployed in Iraq, who knowingly took advantage of American soldiers. It’s unclear whether he was reading from prepared remarks, or speaking off-the-cuff, but the characterization has at least one Jewish group wondering what in the world he was thinking (via Yahoo News’ Olivier Knox and Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey):

“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day. The Vice President should have been more careful,” Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said.

Shylock, the villain in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” is a Jewish moneylender who mercilessly demands a “pound of flesh” from the merchant who defaults on a loan. Whether the 16th-century play is anti-Semitic or reflects the anti-Semitism of the time is a subject of frequent, bitter debate, but the term Shylock is offensive enough that Florida stripped it from state law back in 2009. (Not everyone has gotten that memo). …

Biden’s slip came in a speech to the Legal Services Corporation, which provides lawyers to Americans who could not afford them otherwise. In his remarks, the vice president described the experience of his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who was deployed for one year in Iraq.

Incidentally, Buzz Feed released a video several weeks ago highlighting the commonly-used pejoratives still in circulation today. I found the video instructive, in part, because I didn’t even know some of those words and phrases were offensive. Is it possible, then, that Biden used the term “Shylocks” in his own speech to emphasize a point -- not understanding its hidden meaning and its implications?

For the life of me, I can’t imagine he would use the word willingly or knowingly in public, let alone in a speech, if he knew it would offend Jewish Americans. The Anti-Defamation League National Director, for his part, seemed to admit as much. He told Olivier that “[w]hen someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden, uses the term 'Shylocked’ to describe unscrupulous moneylenders dealing with service men and women, we see once again how deeply embedded this stereotype about Jews is in society.”

In other words, Biden almost certainly didn't use the term maliciously. And that, in turn, is one of many reasons why I suspect he will soon be forgiven.

UPDATE: See below.

Exclusive Poll: Louisiana Senate Race a Dead Heat, Landrieu Languishing

To see the full results of the Townhall/Gravis Poll, click here


A new poll of likely voters conducted for Townhall by Gravis Marketing reveals that Louisiana's US Senate race is statistically deadlocked, with support for incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu mired in the low-to-mid 40's.  In a three-way contest among the top contenders, Landrieu attracts 43 percent support, with Republicans Rep. Bill Cassidy and Col. Rob Manness combining for 44 percent:

LASen ThreeWay

In the likely runoff match-up (see below) between Landrieu and Cassidy, the candidates are separated by two-tenths of a percentage point. Neck and neck:

LASen TwoWay

Within the still-sizable cohort (10 percent) of undecided voters, nearly two-thirds identify as political "independents" who don't align themselves with either major party.  President Obama's job approval among Louisiana independents is underwater by 45 points (24 percent approve / 69 percent disapprove) in this poll, suggesting that the bulk of undecided voters are at least somewhat inclined to break against Democrats.  Obama's overall job approval rating in the state is a paltry 37 percent, with a 58 percent majority disapproving. The president has been consistently and deeply unpopular in Louisiana across multiple statewide surveys.  "This poll is good news for Republicans," says Gravis co-founder Doug Kaplan.  "The GOP will be happy with these results, and Democrats know this is a crucial seat for them if they want to keep control of the Senate."

This random, scientific survey polled 426 likely Louisiana voters, with a margin of error of five percent.  The D/R/I partisan breakdown of the sample is (44/36/20), or D+8; women comprised 53 percent of the sample.  Mary Landrieu was first elected to the US Senate in 1996, having been re-elected twice.  She won her most recent race by just six points -- in a Democratic wave year, against an unheralded and deeply under-funded opponent.  Landrieu is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the country in the 2014 cycle.  Louisiana boasts a "jungle primary"-style election system wherein a runoff between the top two vote-getters is automatically triggered if no candidate breaches 50 percent of the aggregate vote total.  This year's runoff date is slated for December 6.

New Poll Shows Ernst Surging in Iowa Senate Race

Republican State Sen. Joni Ernst has pulled ahead of Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) in the race to become the next U.S. Senator from Iowa by a six-point, 50 to 44 percent, margin according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll of likely voters.


Ernst's lead is due almost entirely from a strong showing among independents, who favor the former-hog farmer by a seven-point, 50 to 43 percent, margin. 

"Sen. Ernst's television commercials and campaign have presented her as a born and bred Iowan, who never lost her farm girl values. She should pay her strategists and media folks quite well because up until now they have sold that message effectively," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll said. "The fact that more voters think she cares about their needs than does Braley is telling. That is a measurement that many Republicans, even winning GOPers, lose.

Earlier polls showed Braley with a slight lead, including one taken two weeks ago with Braley up by four points.

You can see Ernst's latest campaign ad, "About," below.

WATCH LIVE: First Benghazi Select Committee Hearing

The first public House Select Committee on Benghazi starts at 10 a.m. et. You can watch live below. 


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Eric Holder Really Doesn't Want Fast and Furious Documents Released

Back in July after a long FOIA lawsuit from government watchdog Judicial Watch, a federal judge ordered the Department of Justice to produce a detailed list or Vaughn Index of documents being withheld from Congress and the American people under President Obama's executive privilege claim. A month later in August, a federal judge ordered DOJ to turn over a privilege log of withheld documents to the House Oversight Committee. Both orders were to be completed by October 1. 

Now, Attorney General Eric Holder is asking a federal judge to delay (again) an order requiring him to turn over thousands of Fast and Furious documents, not just a detailed list. More from POLITICO

Attorney General Eric Holder is again asking a federal court to delay the transfer of disputed documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious to a House committee.

In a new court filing Monday night, Justice Department lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson not to require Holder to turn over any of the roughly 64,000 pages of documents to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until after her rulings can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

"The Department respectfully submits that it would be preferable for the parties, this Court, and the D.C. Circuit — if an appeal were taken — to have any injunctive order await the conclusion of the district court litigation to allow for orderly and complete appellate proceedings," DOJ lawyers wrote.

Jackson has previously denied DOJ permission to file an immediate appeal, although lawyers for Holder indicated in the new filing (posted here) that they may do so anyway. Any appeal is likely to take months and perhaps more than a year to resolve. If that process does not begin until Jackson rules definitively on the the executive privilege claim President Barack Obama has made for many of the documents, the timeline for the case being resolved could begin to approach the end of the Obama administration.

How convenient that the appeals process will bump right up against the end of Obama's, and therefore Holder's, time in office. This tactic and strategy has been used by Holder since the beginning to run out the clock until a new administration comes into office and dumps the case.

Regardless, Holder is still required to produce a list of documents by October 1, which will give us significant insight into the kind of documents the Department of Justice is trying so desperately to hide.

Benghazi Back in the Spotlight on Capitol Hill With First Select Committee Hearing

The 9/11/2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya is back in the spotlight today on Capitol Hill as lawmakers from the select committee prepare to hold their first public hearing. 

Led by Republican South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, members of the Committee have been working for months to interview witnesses and to gather more information about what happened the night Americans Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods and Sean Smith were killed by terrorists.

Today Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Greg Starr, Chairman of the Independent Panel on Best Practices Mark J. Sullivan and former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Todd Keil will testify.

“As Chairman Gowdy has said, he is willing to risk answering the same question twice rather than risk it not be answered at all. Since all documents responsive to Congressional inquiries into the Benghazi terrorist attack have not been produced, it is fair to say that not all questions have been asked and answered," Gowdy Communications Director Jamal D. Ware released in a statement yesterday. “Chairman Gowdy is leading a fair, fact-based and impartial investigation. The Committee will consider all evidence, across all jurisdictions, and produce the final, definitive accounting on behalf of Congress of what happened before, during and after the terrorist attacks on our facilities in Benghazi."

"Chairman Gowdy sincerely hopes that all sides will not prejudge the outcome of the investigation—before even the Committee’s first hearing, which is on a topic suggested by the Democrats—and instead allow a constructive and thorough investigatory process that produces a final report on Benghazi that is beyond any doubt. Chairman Gowdy is committed to a process and result worthy of the sacrifice of the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens,” Ware continued. 

This hearing comes just days after a report was published by investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson showing senior aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were ordered to separate and withhold damning documents from investigators.

The hearing starts at 10 a.m. et. You can watch live here.

DML 2016?

The question posed to Dennis Michael Lynch was simple enough: “What will you do to bring back America as a cohesive unit?” 

Explaining that she does minority outreach for the GOP, the woman who asked the question continued: “My cousin and his crony, the president of the United States, my cousin is Eric Holder.” Before she could finish her thought, the room erupted in laughter and Lynch jokingly interjected, “Are you lying to me?”

Despite the lighthearted twist her question had taken, it was a serious one—every issue these days turns into a race issue, and she wanted to know what Lynch would do to overcome that.

Since openly discussing his interest in running for president in 2016, Lynch has been fielding a wide range of questions during his Fighting for America Tour, which concludes next month. So far, the idea of a presidential bid is gaining steam among his supporters—and fast.

“People are very excited about him,” Carol Davis, leader of an independent tea party group in Illinois, told Townhall. But her support for the idea of DML 2016 wasn’t immediate.

“We seemed to have been conditioned by our political system to think that, you know, all of the people who represent us in government have to be lawyers, or something like that, and so I think that might be why I first kind of brushed it off,” she explained. “But then as I got to looking at Dennis’ background, I thought, ‘who better to get in there but a real person with real world experience?’ I think that’s what the tea party movement has been all about—a rejection of the status quo because it hasn’t served us well.”

Aware that declaring his candidacy would be an uphill battle, Lynch is undeterred by suggestions that he’d need prior military or political experience to be a serious contender.

“As long as you have a strong backbone and surround yourself with top brass, I don’t think you need military experience, I think you need leadership experience,” he said. And regarding political experience, Lynch believes having it is a negative at this point.

Lynch may not have walked a typical path to the presidency, but his story truly embodies the American Dream and is one filled with hard work, passion, integrity, and love of country.

A self-made man, the native New Yorker started his own computer repair and recycling business out of his mother’s basement, which eventually grew to become a multi-million dollar company. In 2000, after expanding to five locations across the U.S. and employing 300 people, Ernst and Young selected him as Long Island’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

But running from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 changed his life, he told Townhall earlier this year, which is what led him to filmmaking, something he’d always been passionate about.

With three highly acclaimed documentaries on immigration and liberal media bias under his belt, he’s now looking to brush off the title of filmmaker, which isn’t what he considers himself to be.

“I’m really a CEO who’s dangerous with a camera,” he says with a laugh.

And to a certain degree, he’s right. Each film he’s made has been created with the purpose of A) showing Americans the true nature of the problem at hand, and B) presenting solutions—no matter the issue. And like a CEO would for his company, he’s always done it for the betterment of America.

When he was trying to understand the problem of illegal immigration in his documentaries, for example, he didn’t just call federal agents or ranchers along the border and ask. He went out with the Texas Border Volunteers, at night, without a weapon, to help Border Patrol apprehend large groups of illegal aliens, many of whom were gang members or repeat offenders with dangerous criminal backgrounds.

“These other guys talk," he said. "I do," noting his leadership style compared to other potential candidates. 

The idea of running for president, then, has been an offshoot of his desire to solve the problems vexing this nation. “[Barack Obama] has fundamentally transformed this country,” he said, “we’re gonna need somebody fundamentally different to get it back on track.”

And to Davis and so many others, that’s part of the allure about Lynch—he would be a fundamentally different candidate.

“He’s just like one of us, and I think people are hungry for that,” Davis said. “He hasn’t lived in that rarified atmosphere of politics his entire adult life. … He doesn’t pretend to know it all, but he knows [how to be] a good leader because he built a successful business, he knows how to surround himself with excellent people, and that is very appealing.”

“Listen, I’m not in this for the money or the fame. I’m not in this because I want the power. I’m in this for my kids, and for my country—that’s it,” he said. 

Welfare Sign-ups Beat Job Creation 2-to-1 in Illinois

For every job created in the state of Illinois, two people sign-up for food stamps—not exactly an encouraging statistic. The state ranked ‘dead last’ across America for job growth in 2014, according to the Illinois Policy.

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Not only is the economically-challenged state failing to create positions in the private sector, it actually lost nearly 6,000 jobs between January and July of this year. Since the financial crisis of 2008, Illinois has almost 300,000 fewer workers: 

The pace at which Illinois has been creating jobs is simply not good enough for Illinois families, and policy mistakes, such as the historic 2011 tax hikes, have made it worse. Illinois has gained only 240,000 jobs since the bottom of the recession, while food-stamp enrollment has gone up by 420,000.

To visualize just how grim these numbers are for the future of the Prairie State, take a look at this:

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Hardly the way to economic prosperity and self-reliance.

Gov. Bobby Jindal Releases Plan to "Confront Radical Policies" of Obama Admin

Becoming an energy superpower is the crux of Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.) and Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) strategy to "cultivate economic growth." 

Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation, Gov. Jindal released a plan he believes would stand "in direct contrast to the Obama Administration's tired policies of energy scarcity and sluggish growth." 

Through the utilization of all forms of domestic energy, Jindal believes America's economy would "supercharge," creating millions of jobs and boosting consumer spending. He also stressed that a lessened dependence on foreign imports would reduce vulnerability to "hostile" nations. 

The "America Next" energy plan includes 42 individual policy recommendations to institute what Jindal and Flores believe are America's full energy and economic potential. He broke them down into six principles:

1) Promote responsible development of domestic energy resources and construction of infrastructure to transport it.

2) Encourage technological innovation of renewables and emerging energy resources.

3) Unlock the economic potential of the manufacturing renaissance by putting America’s energy resources to work.

4) Eliminate burdensome regulations.

5) Bolster national security.

6) Take simple steps to address the possible risks of climate change, in concert with other major economies.

Jindal was persistent in his claim that the Obama Administration has continually stood in the way of energy development on American soil keeping oil prices higher than they need to be. Regulations on fracking and the rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline are what Jindal calls Obama's "religion out of opposing sensible energy policies."

Gov. Jindal said at the event: 

“This is not just an energy plan – it’s a jobs plan and a strategy for America’s economic future. It’s the kind of stimulus that can get our country moving again—creating millions of jobs while lowering energy prices for consumers. And unlike President Obama’s 'stimulus' disaster—which created nearly a trillion dollars in spending and debt for the federal government—this jobs program would actually raise revenue for the federal government.” 

Finally: DHS Adviser Whose Tweets Were Praised by ISIL Loses Job

Is there anyone left in the Obama administration? Since the president took office, the White House has seemed to be a revolving door. Kathleen Sebelius "retired" as Health and Human Services Secretary after overseeing a botched Obamacare rollout, Steven Miller left his position as IRS chief after revelations that the agency had unfairly targeted conservative groups, and Eric Shinseki tendered his resignation as Veteran Affairs Secretary amid headlines that vets were being denied care across the country thanks to his agency's disorganization. Now, the Department of Homeland Security is the latest agency dealing with a scandal and another employee leaving in disgrace.

Mohamed Elibiary served as a senior member of DHS' Homeland Security Advisory Council. In June, he tweeted this controversial message:

Islamic jihadists were more than pleased by his comments, allegedly even using them to recruit members. The tweet also made the rounds through Arabic press. Elibiary's radical statements recently led to his departure from the agency.

Elibiary took to social media again earlier this month, announcing his decision to leave DHS, but documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon suggest he had no choice but to leave. The agency was kicking him out, partly due to allegations that he improperly used security clearances to obtain classified materials.

These past few weeks, ISIL has shown the world its evil intentions, savagely beheading two American journalists and a British aid worker. It shouldn't have taken the White House four months to give Elibiary his pink slip for sympathizing with such a group. This administration should have taken immediate action, showing there is no room for such extremist comments in the nation's capital - where our leaders are supposed to have our best interests in mind.

Anyone who seems to sympathize with the enemy doesn't deserve a post in Washington.

Good riddance.

Obama Deploying Thousands of US Troops Overseas to Combat Ebola

Fears of global contagion vis-à-vis the Ebola virus, especially into the Western hemisphere, have largely taken a back seat to growing concerns about American foreign policy towards the Middle East and the rise of ISIS. But perhaps not anymore. In fact, later today President Obama will unveil a sizeable aid package to several beleaguered nations in West Africa in the hopes of alleviating the suffering there and containing this scourge.

USA Today has the details:

President Obama today will announce the expansion of a $763 million military-led plan to help West Africa nations fight the spread of the Ebola virus and prevent it from reaching the United States, officials said Tuesday. The revamped project calls for more doctors and health care professionals; more portable hospitals, laboratories, and other medical facilities; and increased training for first responders and other medical officials throughout West Africa.

Some 3,000 U.S. military personnel will be deployed to West Africa to lead the project, officials said. The total cost of the program is estimated at $763 million over six months, officials said, including $175 million that has already been dedicated to fight the disease that has claimed more than 2,400 lives in Africa.

Reuters reports, meanwhile, that many professionals believe U.S. efforts to combat the virus are well-intentioned but wholly inadequate:

The U.S. action, which goes far further than previous offers of aid, won praise from aid workers and officials in the region, but health experts said it was still not enough to contain the fast-spreading epidemic.

The death toll from the fever, which spreads rapidly, causes uncontrolled bleeding and fever and typically kills more than half of its victims, has doubled in the past month to 2,461, mostly in three countries in West Africa. The World Health Organization said a "much faster" response was needed to limit the number of cases to the tens of thousands.

"This health crisis we're facing is unparalleled in modern times," WHO Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward told a news conference in Geneva. "We don't know where the numbers are going on this."

Hence why the president is taking decisive action by (a) putting boots on the ground in West Africa and (b) appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars to end the epidemic. But what meaningful difference on the ground, if any, these generous efforts will make remains unclear.

McConnell Strikes Back: Grimes is Just Like Obama

I wrote yesterday about Kentucky's Democrat nominee for Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, distancing herself from President Obama in a new ad released by her campaign. Her opponent, incumbent Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, struck back today with a stinging ad, claiming that Grimes is exactly like Obama—even down to the photo ops.

Ouch.

Washington Post has more (emphasis added):

McConnell's assertions in the ad that Grimes has repeatedly sided with the president on unpopular-in-Kentucky issues doesn't offer any context, but none is really needed. McConnell's point is that Grimes is an Obama clone, and his point is made very effectively -- even making sure the two Democrats' weapons are pointing in the same direction.

Grimes consistently trails in the polling, in part because McConnell has effectively made the race about Obama. Yeah, on the thin veneer surface, this is a race about guns and gun use. But it's really about whether or not Grimes is an Obama clone, thanks to McConnell's very effective framing. Meaning that by releasing her gun ad, Grimes basically walked right into McConnell's strategy.

It seems as though this race is going to get continuously tense as Election Day approaches.

RNC Launches "The Road to Six" Campaign

Keep the number "six" in mind this fall, my friends; it's the total number of Senate seats Republicans must win (without losing any) to demote Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and retake control of the upper chamber.

As a result, the Republican National Committee has launched a new effort to mobilize voters and explain certain initiatives the group has recently undertaken to win more races. Yesterday, for example, the RNC released this promotional video -- and this memorandum -- as part of their "Road to Six" campaign:

FROM: Chairman Reince Priebus

TO: Republican National Committee Members

RE: The Road to Six

As we head into the final stretch of this election, I wanted to send along an update of where we stand—as a party and as a committee—in our effort to take back the U.S. Senate.

As you know, six is the key number in the battle for control of the Senate. Republicans have to flip six Democrat-held seats, and the good news is we have multiple paths to get to six.

But I want to emphasize that even as we hear growing predictions about a Republican “wave,” we have to remember this won’t be easy. To take back the Senate, we have to beat at least three incumbent senators. As others have rightly observed, that would be something of a historic upset. Not since the 1980 Reagan landslide have Republicans defeated more than two incumbent senators.

That’s why the RNC has made such a significant investment in supporting our candidates in 2014: $100 million. We began investing in the states earlier than in midterms past. As I noted at the Summer Meeting, for months, we’ve been quietly expanding the map. That’s partly why the party is now competitive in states that people did not expect us to be. As I’ve visited Victory 365 offices and Co-Chairman Day has gone door-knocking with volunteers and precinct teams, we’ve seen firsthand that these early investment are paying off.

Chairman Priebus went on to say that the RNC has invested significantly in new technologies and data mining operations to improve candidates’ chances in closely-contested races. At the same time, he reiterated the RNC’s commitment to tying vulnerable Democrats to the current administration.

“In these final weeks,” Priebus wrote, “our focus will be reminding voters that the Democrat candidates’ agenda is no different from President Obama’s.”

He also mentioned that, although Democrats will most likely outspend the GOP this fall, the Republican Party has a golden opportunity to make history by putting conservatives back into power.

You can read the whole memo by clicking here.

Dempsey: If Coalition Fails, We'll Need U.S. Boots on Ground Against ISIS

Testifying on Capitol Hill Tuesday in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that although "we're not there yet," the United States may eventually need to deploy U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS if a coalition and airstrikes fail to get the job done against the terror army. 

“My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will prove true but if it fails to be true and if there are threats to the United States then I of course would go back to the President and make a recommendation that we include the use of U.S. military ground forces. To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president," Dempsey said.

President Obama has been adamant about keeping U.S. combat troops from re-engaging in conflict in Iraq. Currently 1600 U.S. troops and military personnel are stationed in Iraq as advisors to local forces. Last week in a speech to the nation, Obama said he was sending nearly 500 more advisors to the region.

Thanks to Jim Hoft for the video.

Ibrahim: “There Are Many Meriams in Sudan…I’m Not the Only One”

We followed this terribly-sad-yet-ultimately-triumphant story as it unfolded last spring and summer. In brief, a Sudanese Christian mother of two was sentenced to death for worshiping her Christian faith. Although she never self-identified with the religion of Islam (the religion of her father, as it happens) her marriage to an American Christian was considered apostasy under Islamic law. She was therefore condemned to die. Her case sparked international indignation, and only after overcoming some major hurdles was she finally released. Eventually, she flew from Sudan to Rome where she met with Pope Francis (who was deeply moved by her “courageous witness to perseverance in the Faith”). From there she sought asylum in the United States, where she was warmly welcomed with her husband and two children last month.

On The Kelly File last night she told her side of the story. But before you watch the clip below, make sure to have some tissues handy: after all, this is an incredibly moving story of suffering, courage, sacrifice, and triumph:

Benghazi Whistleblower: We Were Ordered to Withhold Documents from Review Board


Ahead of the House Select Committee on Benghazi's first public hearing tomorrow, former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson is out with a significant new report centered around new claims from a former State Department official. Raymond Maxwell -- whom you may recall as one of the lower-level employees disciplined, then reinstated, in the wake of the Benghazi firestorm -- says he was ordered to cull damaging documents from a file of evidence being handed over to the State Department's 'independent' Accountability Review Board (ARB):


A former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya...According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C....Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” ... When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment. “She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers. “I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ” A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says, in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.

According to Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who interviewed Maxwell for the Select Committee, one of those "high-ranking State Department officials" was Cheryl Mills -- Hillary Clinton's Chief of Staff:



Mills famously castigated Gregory Hicks, murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens' second in command in Libya, for cooperating with Congressional investigators.  The ARB supposedly undertook a "fiercely independent" investigation with "unfettered access" into the facts surrounding the Benghazi massacre.  Based on Maxwell's accusation of explicit whitewashing and meddling, the ARB's inquiry would appear to be anything but "unfettered."  The panel has faced challenges to its credibility in the past, including questions over whether it was stacked by the probe's subjects, and the admission of a lead investigator that he'd engaged in some behind-the-scenes collusion with Mills:


The House Oversight Committee report suggests there may be a conflict of interest in having the ARB rely so heavily on the State Department that it's investigating for staff and resources. For example, Under Secretary Kennedy supervised the selection of the Benghazi ARB staff; and the State Department appointed four of the five members of the Board. Further, Mullen acknowledged giving Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton's Chief of Staff, "a head's up" prior to her interview with deputy assistant secretary for international programs Charlene Lamb. Mullen said: "I thought [Lamb's] appearance could be a very difficult appearance for the State Department."

That would be the same Under Secretary [Patrick Kennedy] who has been identified as one of the officials directly responsible for denying requests for an increased on-the-ground security presence in Libya leading up to the deadly terrorist raid. Secretary Clinton, for her part, was never interviewed by the ARB.  A subsequent Senate report on Benghazi was much more critical of the State Department's role in the 'preventable' attacks, and scolded Sec. Clinton's department for "unnecessarily hamper[ing] the committee's review."  Internal email exchanges have also revealed private efforts by top-level State Department officials to scrub relevant details from Susan Rice's inaccurate talking points, very clearly for the purposes of political damage control.  Additional emails that were initially withheld from investigators directly contradicted previous administration assertions, producing frantic, risible spin from the White House.  Mr. Maxwell's allegations add a new layer to the emerging picture of a Benghazi cover up.  If and when he offers public testimony, Democrats will almost certainly accuse Maxwell of being a liar with an axe to grind.  What they can't accuse him of is Republican partisanship:


Maxwell, 58, strongly supported President Barack Obama and personally contributed to his presidential campaign. But post-Benghazi, he has soured on both Obama and Clinton, saying he had nothing to do with security and was sacrificed as a scapegoat while higher-up officials directly responsible escaped discipline.

Insinuating that an African-American Obama donor was somehow part of some GOP conspiracy will be a tough sell. Then again, I must say that this quote from Maxwell rings a bit too 'perfect:'

Several weeks after he was placed on leave with no formal accusations, Maxwell made an appointment to address his status with a State Department ombudsman. “She told me, ‘You are taking this all too personally, Raymond. It is not about you,’ ” Maxwell recalls. “I told her that ‘My name is on TV and I’m on administrative leave, it seems like it’s about me.’ Then she said, ‘You’re not harmed, you’re still getting paid. Don’t watch TV. Take your wife on a cruise. It’s not about you; it’s about Hillary and 2016.’

Was the 2016 bit his inference, or is he claiming that this woman spelled out a cartoonishly political calculus to a furious employee who felt he was being unfairly scapegoated? C'mon. We'll know soon enough: “I’m 100 percent confident the Benghazi Select Committee is going to dive deep on that issue,” Chaffetz says.  Stay tuned.

Paul Krugman Is Wrong Today

Esteemed New York Times opinion writer and Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman doesn't think it's necessary to be nice to people. He's displayed this time and time again, and again today writes that he feels no particular urge to be nice to people:

First, picturesque language, used right, serves an important purpose. “Words ought to be a little wild,” wrote John Maynard Keynes, “for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking.” You could say, “I’m dubious about the case for expansionary austerity, which rests on questionable empirical evidence and zzzzzzzz…”; or you could accuse austerians of believing in the Confidence Fairy. Which do you think is more effective at challenging a really bad economic doctrine?

We writers and journalists shouldn't shy away from "picturesque language;" Krugman is right that when it's used correctly, writing - journalism and nonfiction, even - is much better to read.

Where he's wrong is his last sentence about "effectiveness" of challenging wrong ideas. We don't have to speculate or ask our readers about this. We have studies.

In a recent study, a team of researchers from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and several other institutions employed a survey of 1,183 Americans to get at the negative consequences of vituperative online comments for the public understanding of science… The text of the post was the same for all participants, but the tone of the comments varied. Sometimes, they were “civil”—e.g., no name calling or flaming. But sometimes they were more like this: “If you don’t see the benefits of using nanotechnology in these products, you’re an idiot.”

The researchers were trying to find out what effect exposure to such rudeness had on public perceptions of nanotech risks. They found that it wasn’t a good one. Rather, it polarized the audience: Those who already thought nanorisks were low tended to become more sure of themselves when exposed to name-calling, while those who thought nanorisks are high were more likely to move in their own favored direction. In other words, it appeared that pushing people’s emotional buttons, through derogatory comments, made them double down on their preexisting beliefs.

The use of "picturesque language," in Professor Krugman's terminology, actually makes people less likely to be convinced by an argument. (Funny how Krugman's "picturesque language" always manifests itself in name-calling rather than, I don't know, landscape metaphors about Federal Reserve charts, but c'est la vie.)

In this way, incivility is not designed to actually convince anyone in argumentation. It's a performance art, designed to close minds, inflame passion, and rally your own troops (who are already on your side) to your side. One would think that a Nobel Prize winner in economics wouldn't need to name-calling - or at the very least, that he'd read the academic literature on the subject.

GAO Report Confirms Obamacare Subsidizes Abortion

For years pro-life activists have raised concerns about President Obama's healthcare overhaul and the way it forces taxpayers to subsidize abortion. The administration has long assured Americans Obamacare does not subsidize abortion services, despite the White House's close ties to abortion giant Planned Parenthood. President Obama promised repeatedly that not a dime of taxpayer money would go toward funding abortions through Obamacare. 

"Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions," Obama promised in 2009.

Further, Obamacare received its final and necessary 60th vote from former Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson based on the promise abortion subsidies wouldn't be included in the bill. 

Now, a new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that Obamacare does in fact force taxpayers to foot the bill for abortion services by simply ignoring strict regulations and laws put in place to prohibit subsidization. The report shows more than 1000 Obamacare insurance plans in different states do not separate funding for abortion services from coverage as required by law. 

"We provided a draft of this report to HHS, for CMS, and to OPM for comment. In its written comments, reproduced in enclosure III, HHS stated that, in addition to issuing a regulation governing the provision of health insurance coverage by QHPs, CMS also had answered individual questions from issuers and provided limited guidance to help ensure that stakeholders, including states and issuers, understand and follow the rules relating to coverage of abortion services in QHPs. However, HHS stated that, based upon our findings, additional clarification may be needed and CMS will use our findings to address issues of concern to better ensure that stakeholders understand the laws and regulations governing the provision of non-excepted abortion services coverage," GAO recommended after its findings.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser is outraged, but has been warning about abortion subsidies for years. 

"Today’s report is confirmation that ObamaCare is a massive expansion of abortion on demand, paid for by the taxpayers,” Dannenfelser said in a statement. “ObamaCare breaks from the long tradition of the Hyde Amendment, which has prevented taxpayer funding of abortion with broad public support, and was not included in the law.”

“Shame on Senators like Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, and Kay Hagan – all of whom come from strong pro-life states and voted for taxpayer funding of abortion in ObamaCare,” Dannenfelser continued. “The GAO report is damning evidence that they betrayed their constituents in casting a vote for the largest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion on demand since Roe. The No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act gives these Senators a prime opportunity to right a grave wrong, but they continue to stand with Harry Reid and the abortion lobby instead of their constituents by blocking a vote on it.”

The GAO puts Obamacare back on the map just ahead of the 2014 midterm elections and just ahead of open-enrollment, when consumers are expected to see massive increases in their healthcare premiums.

H/T POLITICO