A report released Monday by pro-abortion research tank, Guttmacher Institute, reveals that states across the country passed nearly as many laws protecting preborn children in the last five years as in the last 15 years.
Guttmacher’s 2015 Year-End State Roundup details how states have enacted a record 288 restrictions on abortion since 2010 — including the 57 pro-life laws passed in 2015 — after a number of pro-life lawmakers secured wins in the 2010 midterm elections.
[…]Laws enacted include bans on abortion after a certain point in pregnancy, restrictions on abortion providers, counseling and waiting period legislation, and efforts to halt chemical abortions via telemedicine.
In 2015, a handful of states attempted to defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood after a dozen videos released by the Center for Medical Progress revealed top-level Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting of baby body parts.
Every one of those pro-life measures was pushed by Republicans, and opposed by Democrats. In fact, Democrats would love to roll back every single restriction on abortion at the state and local levels.
Is performing an abortion no different than pulling a tooth? The idea that there isn’t a difference is the basis of a new federal bill that would wipe hundreds of state abortion laws off the books–striking down everything from late-term abortion limits to health and safety regulations in many states.
The Women’s Health Protection Act, introduced by Democratic Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, would even invalidate a law used to convict Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell earlier this year, and it could potentially force taxpayers across the country to directly fund elective abortions for Medicaid recipients.
“The basic principle is that there can be no restriction that is not also imposed on a medically comparable procedure. If they single out abortion or reproductive rights, it’s going to fall foul,” Blumenthal said at a November 13 press conference. Blumenthal told THE WEEKLY STANDARD following his remarks that it’s “for doctors to decide” what counts as a “medically comparable” procedure.
Blumenthal specifically condemned health and safety regulations requiring that an abortion “doctor have admitting privileges” at a hospital “or that the hallways in a clinic be a certain width, which has no relation to health or safety.”
The Democrats also responded to the videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing selling baby parts.
Just one day after Planned Parenthood was exposed cutting up a live baby for body parts for sale, Democrats in the House of Representative are launching their own investigation after the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Instead of looking into the abortion giant, they are probing the pro-life group behind the series of expose’ videos.
The Senate voted today for a bill that would de-fund Planned Parenthood after it was caught selling the body parts of aborted babies. Hearings have exposed how the abortion company likely violated federal laws to sell the body parts.
The bill would block, for one year, most federal payments to Planned Parenthood.
[…]Senators voted 52-47 (see below for roll call) for the reconciliation bill which would de-fund Planned Parenthood and repeal major portions of Obamacare.
Here are the no votes:
Remember where the political parties stand on abortion in November.
I think there are a lot of Cruz supporters who are worried about whether Cruz has the financial support to win this race. If we were voting with our hearts, we would pick Cruz because he is the most conservative. But we don’t want to support someone who will run out of money and fold halfway through the campaign.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign raised $20 million during the final three months of 2015, according to the Cruz campaign. The end of the year fundraising total represents a marked increase compared to his third quarter fundraising sum of $12.2 million.
Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe wrote a memo to campaign staff that details how the campaign hauled in $45 million during the 2015 calendar year. More than 300,000 supporters donated to the Cruz campaign, and the average donation amounted to $67.
“Some campaigns are focused solely on a man, some on a movement. Ours is a hybrid of the two built to win,” Roe wrote. “There’s still plenty of work to be done to make Ted the Republican nominee and the next President, but as 2015 comes to a close, we are exactly where we want to be. Go. Fight. Win. This is OUR time!”
Roe’s memo also notes that the campaign has coordinators in each of the 163 congressional districts in the 24 states with nominating contests scheduled before March 15th. The campaign also boasts its success in recruiting more than 175,000 volunteers, and a donor base residing in two-thirds of all zip codes in the United States.
Cruz ranks first in the Washington Examiner‘s newest GOP presidential power rankings.
Cruz’s rival Marco Rubio is getting a lot of big money from pro-gay-rights donors and pro-amnesty donors. He is the favored candidate of the Republican establishment. He is famous for trying to push through an amnesty deal. Cruz is the outsider, and he doesn’t have the support of billionaire establishment donors. Cruz fought to stop Obama’s executive amnesty, so the establishment Republicans hate him and they are giving him no support. That’s why this donation-related news is so encouraging. Cruz is keeping up with the billionaire-backed candidates like Rubio because he has the support of so many individual conservative donors.
But there is even more good news if you look at the state of the PACs who are supporting Cruz.
In the mid-year reports, Cruz’s super-PACs disclosed nearly $38 million [in] donations, which put him second only to former Florida Gov. Bush in outside support.
But unlike Bush’s super-PAC Right to Rise — which has been spending its $103 million rapidly on TV advertising — Cruz’s super-PACs have been sitting on their cash.
Bush isn’t getting any kind of bump in the polls for all this spending by his PACs. Meanwhile, Cruz is in first or second place in so many states even though Cruz PACs have not been spending much money at all!
I think for people who would like to vote for Cruz but are worried whether he can go the distance, the answer right now is a resounding YES. He’s in a much better position financially than all of the other GOP candidates.
Wow. If you missed tonight’s two CNN debates, you missed two great debates. Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash show very little if any liberal bias, and the most biased moderator was actually the moderate RINO Hugh Hewitt. Substance, substance, substance.
Let’s look at the two biggest clashes of the night, both between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
Cruz vs Rubio on amnesty and border security
The Washington Examiner was the most interesting exchange of the night between Cruz and Rubio, about Rubio’s past support for amnesty.
Ted Cruz continued his fight with Marco Rubio over immigration and the Florida senator’s initial support of the Gang of Eight bill, which died in 2013.
The Texas senator told CNN’s Dana Bash that “border security is national security.”
“He has attempted to muddy the waters,” Cruz said of Rubio. “But I think that anyone who watched the battle that we had. … There was a time for choosing, as Reagan put it, where there was a battle over amnesty, and some chose to stand with Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer and support a massive amnesty plan. Others chose to stand with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and the American people and secure the border.”
Cruz then pivoted to tie the immigration issue to national security, arguing that the proposed immigration plan in 2013 had inadequate vetting, including the lack of mandated background checks for those entering the country.
“This issue is directly connected to what we’ve been talking about because he front line with ISIS isn’t just in Iraq and Syria, it’s in Kennedy Airport and the Rio Grande,” Cruz said. “Border security is national security, and one of the most troubling aspects of the Rubio-Schumer Gang of Eight bill is it gave President Obama blanket authority to admit refugees, including Syrian refugees, without mandating any background checks whatsoever. Now we have seen what happened in San Bernardino when you are letting people in and the FBI can’t vet them, it puts American citizens at risk.
“I tell you if i’m elected president, we will secure the border. We will triple the border patrol,” Cruz said. “We will build a wall that works and I’ll get Donald Trump to pay for it.”
I have the video clip (7 minutes):
You can hear Fiorina trying to jump in there, and I think she hurt herself quite a bit in the debate with her frequent interruptions. Yes, she is well-informed on foreign policy, but no, interruptions did not make her look presidential.
Now, Rubio did try to attack Cruz, claiming that he supported amnesty, and Cruz said that it was false. Who is right?
According to Andrew C. McCarthy in National Review, Cruz is right, and Rubio is lying:
Cruz has cast himself as the Republican field’s most consistent voice against “amnesty” for illegal aliens. Yet Rubio, with an assist from former Senator Rick Santorum, claims that Cruz has actually advocated granting legal status to illegal aliens.
Taken out of context, the charge seems colorable. But under the circumstances as they actually occurred, the proposal Cruz made was a case of intelligent legislating designed to expose the fraudulence of the pro-amnesty position. It was, in this way, reminiscent of smart legislating by Rubio (and, for that matter, by Cruz) that highlighted the folly of President Obama’s Iran deal.
He explains the whole story in the article, and concludes:
Cruz’s objective was to illustrate the fraudulence of the “out of the shadows” blather. Obviously, if the Gang of Eight had been sincere, a grant of limited legal status would have accomplished their purported humanitarian objective. But Cruz knew the Left would bitterly object, revealing that the true “comprehensive immigration reform” agenda was to mint new Democratic voters.
Indeed, Cruz made clear in proposing his amendment that the Gang of Eight would betray millions of legal immigrants who sought U.S. citizenship properly and that it therefore undermined the rule of law. And as the amnesty-friendly Huffington Post reported at the time, the point of Cruz’s amendment was to “take away one of [the Gang of Eight bill’s] central purposes: giving a pathway to citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants.”
It is thus remarkable to find Rubio, of all people, depicting Cruz as an amnesty supporter because of Cruz’s attempt to expose the Democratic agenda that Rubio, whether out of naïveté or opportunism, was then promoting.
The troubling thing is that Rubio is lying about this in televised ads, which I think justifies my decision to drop him off my list of acceptable candidates for me. He is conservative on many other things, but when you take his liberal policies and add it to these lies about Cruz, he should not be elected President.
Cruz vs Rubio on the Obama-Clinton invasion of Libya
And here is is Cruz attacking Rubio on his support for the Obama administration’s interventions in Libya:
I supported a boots-on-the-ground invasion and occupation of Syria to remove Assad when he crossed the red line. But Libya was a huge mistake that did more harm than good, and Rubio should not have supported the Obama-Clinton plan to invade Libya. I like projecting American military power and punishing evil, but not in Libya and not in Egypt. I disagree with Cruz on Syria, as he did not want to topple Assad. That would have been a huge win for us against Iran, which is the real power behind Syria – and Hezbollah, too. But that’s a minor disagreement compared to the foul-up in Libya.
Cruz vs Rubio on defense spending
I could not find the video clip for Rubio’s charge that Cruz did not vote for some defense spending bills, but this piece by Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard has more details about it. Those charges are damaging, but it turns out that Cruz is innocent of Rubio’s charges. First of all, both Cruz and Rubio voted against those bills, according to Yahoo News. Lindsay, who I often link to on this blog, is a huge Cruz supporter, and she found an article in the Washington Free Beacon that clears Cruz of the charge of being an isolationist:
Rubio said that Cruz’s votes against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would defund programs vital to the security of the U.S. and its allies. Cruz was one of only two senators, along with libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.), to oppose that defense bill in October.
“Three times he voted against the National Defense Authorization Act, which is a bill that funds the troops. It also, by the way, funds Iron Dome and other important programs,” Rubio said, referring to Israel’s air defense platform, which is supported with financial aid from the U.S.
Cruz responded that he opposed the NDAA to fulfill a campaign promise about indefinite detention.
“I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act because when I campaigned in Texas, I told voters in Texas that I would oppose the federal government having the authority to detain U.S. citizens permanently with no due process,” Cruz said.
Rubio responded that individuals who wage war against the U.S. forfeit the constitutional protections of civilians.
“If you’re an American citizen and you decide to join up with ISIS, we’re not going to read you your Miranda rights. You’re going to be treated as an enemy combatant—a member of an army attacking this country,” Rubio said.
While the candidates feuded over civil liberties, both expressed willingness to project power abroad.
“Radical Islamic terrorism will face no more determined foe than I will be,” Cruz said.
“We are the most powerful nation in the world. We need to begin to act like it again,” Rubio said.
However, Cruz introduced an amendment to the NDAA defense spending bill to remove the part about indefinite detention, so that he could go ahead and vote for the rest of the bill:
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), both of whom are running for president, have joined up with other senators to introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), currently before the Senate, that would ban indefinite detention of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, without being charged or given a trial, unless authorized by Congress.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also put their names on the provision.
“The Constitution does not allow President Obama, or any President, to apprehend an American citizen, arrested on U.S. soil, and detain these citizens indefinitely without a trial,” Cruz said in a statement. “While we must vigorously protect national security by pursuing violent terrorists and preventing acts of terror, we must also ensure our most basic rights as American citizens are protected.”
The amendment had bi-partisan support, but it did not pass – that’s why Cruz voted against the bill. At least he tried to fix it so that he could vote for it while respecting the wishes of his constituents. I thought he came across as informed and hawkish in the debate on Tuesday night, which works for me, although I am all for the Patriot Act and collection of bulk data.
So it turns out that Cruz’s attitude towards Rubio’s dishonest attacks was warranted, and it falls to me to do the investigating that shows who was right and who was wrong. Cruz comes out of the debate squeaky clean, and Rubio comes out looking dirty.
This was the best and most substantive debate so far. There was one silly question, and Jindal took the lead in dismissing it, the other candidates followed and talked about the issues. Great job, Fox Business channel!
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ripped his Republican presidential rivals at Tuesday night’s GOP debate, saying that no one but him is committed to cutting government spending.
He singled out former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee after he defended his record, ticking off statistics that he said showed government spending increased during Huckabee’s tenure in Arkansas.
“During your time as governor spending in Arkansas went up 65 percent, the number of state workers went up 25 percent, the taxes on citizens went up 47 percent,” Jindal responded. “That’s not a record of cutting….wanting to cut is one thing, actually cutting is different, facts don’t lie.”
Huckabe tried to respond but the moderator shut him down.
The exchange began when Jindal touted himself as the only GOP governor in race who had actually cut government spending.
“Everyone else talks about it, if they haven’t done it at their state capitols what makes us think they’ll do it if we send them to D.C.?…if Republicans want to win national elections, let’s be conservatives, let’s not be a second version of the liberal party, let’s cut government spending.
Huckabee argued Jindal’s comments were inaccurate.
“Ninety-one percent of our state budget was three things – educate, medicate and incarcerate – and we ended up cutting 11 percent out of the budget so we didn’t have to go in and raise a bunch of taxes,” Huckabee said. “So it’s just not accurate to say nobody else up here has cut.”
The next question went to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who won big applause for playing the uniter.
“For the people who are out there right now, I want to guarantee you one thing,” Christie said. “If you think that Mike Huckabee won’t be a president who will cut spending, or Chris Christie or John Kasich, wait until you see what Hillary Clinton will do to this country and how she will drive us into debt. She is the real adversary and we need to stay focused as Republicans on her.”
Jindal on Tuesday also criticized the Republican senators who are running for president.
“We’ve got four senators running, they’ve never cut anything in D.C.,” he said. “They give these long speeches called filibusters. They pat themselves on the back. Nothing changes, when they go to relieve themselves, their calls and the toilets get flushed at the same time and the American people lose.”
Here’s Bobby Jindal talking on Chris Christie for being a big spender:
Notice how Jindal came at Christie with facts and figures, and Christie replied with deflections and opinions.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal – now in his fourth undercard debate – went on the offensive Tuesday night, attacking both higher-performing rivals and the other low-performers standing on the stage next to him.
At various points, Jindal called out Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) – though not by name – as all talk and no action. He called out former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, newly dropped to the early-evening debate, for being a big spender. And he zinged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had been the dominant figure in the debate’s first half, for doing too little to cut state spending.
“Let’s not be a second liberal party,” Jindal said, talking about Christie. “Let’s just not beat Hillary. Let’s elect a conservative to the White House, not just any Republican.”
Later, he seemed to taunt Christie for trying – but not succeeding, in Jindal’s view – to run New Jersey as a conservative state. “I’ll give you a ribbon for participation. And a juice box,” Jindal said.
Jindal, who rose in politics as a mild-mannered wonk, seems to believe his path to the nomination is to run as a conservative hard-liner, and a bit of a jerk. “I want to fire everybody in D.C.,” he said.
The radically leftist Los Angeles Times had more of Jindal’s attacks on Christie’s record as governor of New Jersey:
“I will give you a ribbon for participation and a juice box,” Jindal said of Christie’s record in New Jersey, as he sought to make the case that he’s accomplished more than the others on stage. Jindal attacked his rivals relentlessly. He accused Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee of allowing spending to continue to rise in their states unchecked. “Just sending any Republican [to Washington] is not enough,” Jindal said. “Under your leadership in New Jersey, your budget has gone up 15%. You’ve had nine credit downgrades.”
think the people who are giving the win to Christie are neglecting his big government record in New Jersey. Yes, Christie has charisma, but no, he is not a conservative. He does not have a conservative record. He is the epitome of RINO, and he did nothing to defend his record against Jindal’s attacks, which were all about Christie’s performance on the merits as governor of New Jersey. He had no defense, so he turned the conversation to someone slightly to the left of him – Hillary Clinton.
Please follow me on Twitter for #GOPDebate related tweets.
The PDF is here. (50 pages, but you only have to read about the candidates you might consider voting for)
Unfortunately, radically leftist Politico is the only one with a write-up on it, so here goes:
The hard-line conservative arm of the Heritage Foundation has tough criticism for much of the 2016 field, but high praise for the Texas senator.
The political arm of The Heritage Foundation has released a detailed assessment of the 2016 Republican presidential field — and it offers harsh words for many candidates. But not for Sen. Ted Cruz.
Cruz receives almost exclusively praise for his stances in the 50-page 2016 presidential policy scorecard, the first of its kind produced by Heritage Action. The report grades the candidates across six categories: growth, opportunity, civil society, limited government, favoritism and national security.
Many of the lines in the scorecard appear destined for future attack ads.
Jeb Bush, for instance, is accused of having “kowtowed to the state’s environmental lobby” in Florida. Chris Christie “has shown favoritism toward well-connected real estate developers.” Rand Paul’s “views at times veer outside the conservative mainstream.” And Donald Trump backs “massive tariffs that would damage the American economy.”
Cruz, by contrast, manages to emerge with barely a blemish, receiving only softly worded critiques of his adopting “sound policies advanced by others” rather than crafting his own.
[…]“Cruz has been willing to pay a political price for taking on government favoritism,” the report reads.
The group even forgives Cruz for one of the few trespasses he has made against its positions, voting for a bill that served “as a bargaining chip for [Export-Import Bank] allies to secure reauthorization.” The report credits him for later switching his vote and then publicly attacking Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for allegedly lying about his plans.
Bobby Jindal, who is running hard to the right in Iowa, receives among the more glowing reviews. So does Marco Rubio, who angered the right with his pursuit of a comprehensive immigration plan after first being elected with tea party support.
The two current front-runners in the polls, Ben Carson and Trump, were dinged for their lack of a record on conservative causes and a lack of specifics in their visions. “His unconventional foreign policy prescriptions raise more questions of significant consequence than they answer,” Heritage writes of Trump.
Bush was singled out for some of the most biting critiques. “Has shown favoritism toward Florida special interests and supports amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, reads one bullet point.
In its 2016 assessment, Heritage dings Bush for not supporting recent efforts to defund Planned Parenthood this fall because he said he opposed precipitating a government shutdown. The report accuses him of “playing to President [Barack] Obama’s talking points rather than reinforcing conservatives.”
No, everyone knows that my list of candidates favors governors who have a history of putting in place actual policies that actually affected real people in the real world and got real conservative results. So on that score, Cruz and Rubio way down the list because they have achieved very little:
Ted Cruz’s Twitter feed and his overall feel to me is that all he does is talk, talk, talk. He just doesn’t have the record of Bobby Jindal at putting policies into place. For example, as governor, Jindal actually cut spending. He actually put in place pro-life measures that actually saved lives. He actually put in place a school choice program that helped low-income students get out of failing schools. He actually cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. He actually defended religious liberty. Cruz is just a senator, so he hasn’t got that proven record. I believe he would be conservative, but I feel safer trusting someone with experience.
Having said that, the more I read reports like this Heritage Action Scorecard report, I am finding out that Cruz has been willing to at least pay a price politically for doing the right thing at various times. So, although he does not have the accomplishments that the governors have, he has been willing to push conservative values when it was not to his advantage, politically. I have to admit, there is some value to this in one sense – we know that he would do what he says no matter what. But there is a problem with Cruz. We don’t know whether he is able to create clever policies that will draw the votes of independents and even moderate Democrats. That’s what Walker and Jindal were able to do. So, although I respect what the Heritage Action team have written, I am not changing my rankings.
Be sure and tune in to both debates tonight on Fox Business, as I am expecting Jindal and Cruz to outperform their competitors in their respective debates:
Republican debate – Fox Business/Wall Street Journal
Moderators – Gerard Baker, Neil Cavuto, Maria Bartiromo
Primary: All candidates averaging at least 2.5 percent in four most recent national polls by Nov. 4.
Secondary: Remaining candidates averaging at least 1 percent in one of the four most recent polls.
Primary: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Rand Paul.
Secondary: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum.
Candidates on my list are in bold. The debate will be live-streamed, so you have no excuses for missing it. This one promises to be a good one. The moderators will not be amateurs as with the Democrat-biased CNBC debate.