Biden Not Sure He Has 'Emotional Fuel' to Run

Vice President Joe Biden is polling well, pretty much has the backing of the White House locked up, and is being urged to run by a number of supporters. There’s just one problem: he’s very much on the fence about the decision.

During a conference call Wednesday that was supposed to be about the Iran deal, the first question that was asked happened to be about whether or not he will run.

Biden said he still didn’t know, despite saying earlier this summer that he’d make up his mind in July.

“I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul, and right now, both are pretty well banged up,” Biden said, according to people on the conference call, reports Politico.

The vice president added that he had to determine whether or not he had the “emotional fuel” to do it.

His indecision likely comes as good news to Hillary, who in Iowa commented that she “cannot even imagine the grief and the heartbreak.”

Biden, of course, recently lost his son Beau to brain cancer.

“Vice President Biden is a friend of mine — he and I were colleagues in the Senate, I worked with him as first lady, I worked with him in President Obama’s first term, and I have a great deal of admiration and respect for him,” Clinton said, reports Politico. “I think he has to make what is a very difficult decision for himself and his family, and he should have the space and opportunity to decide what he wants to do.”

WDBJ Manager: Vester Flanagan Handed Cross to News Director After Being Fired and Said ‘You’ll Need This’

The WDBJ news team held a somber press conference Thursday in Roanoke, VA, wearing ribbons to represent the two young journalists they lost on Wednesday – maroon for Adam Ward’s alma mater Virginia Tech, and teal for Alison Parker’s favorite color. During the press conference, WDBJ Station Manager Jeff Marks cleared up some unclear details regarding Vester Flanagan’s employment at the office before he committed murder on live TV.

Flanagan, Marks said, was hired in March 2012 and passed their standard background check, receiving only positive references.

Soon, however, his unscrupulous work ethic became noticeable. He had poor news judgment and failed to check facts, Marks noted. This behavior led his manager to place him on job improvement plans and, when he didn’t make much progress, on a final warning.

Flanagan, Marks continued, then raised concerns in the WDBJ Human Resource department for unfairness, which was investigated and found to be without merit.

“Management said it was appropriate to let him go,” Marks said.

When they notified him about the news in February 2013, he did not take it well:

“He reacted angrily,” Marks said. “He said he was going to ‘make a stink’ and it would be in the headlines.”

That wasn’t all. Flanagan returned to his desk and had to be physically removed from the building by a police escort. Then, as he was exiting, he handed a wooden cross to the news director and said, ‘you’ll need this.’

On his way out, Flanagan also made a derogatory statement to Adam Ward, one of the victims he murdered in cold blood on Wednesday.

After this tense confrontation, Marks said the only contact between Flanagan and WDBJ were routine calls to HR. The disgruntled employee filed a harassment claim and filed a civil action suit, which was dismissed.

The obvious question, Marks remarked, was what happened in those 2 and a half years?

As always seems to occur in the midst of tragedy, the local community has reached out to the news station with nothing but love and support. Concerned citizens have delivered food, built memorials and held church services for the fallen journalists, Marks shared.

I’ll leave you with the moving tribute Alison's and Adam’s WDBJ colleagues shared Thursday morning.

RIP.

Hillary: My Republican Opponents Treat Women Just Like Terrorists Do

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

During a campaign event Thursday afternoon in Ohio, Hillary Clinton compared her Republican presidential opponents to terrorists by saying they essentially treat women the same way.

"Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don't want to live in the modern world, but it's a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward, we are not going back," she said. 

That's weird. I don't remember Republican presidential candidates (especially female Carly Fiorina), or Republicans in general, doing any of the following: 

-mutilating the genitals of women

-raping women repeatedly

-raping young girls and passing them around as ISIS fighters do

-forcing women to watch their children be crucified

-forcing women into carrying out suicide bombings

-cutting off the noses and slicing the faces of women

-using women as human shields in war

-shooting girls in the head for daring to proclaim women have a right to an education

-banning women from driving

-banning women from voting

-stoning women to death for "committing adultery" after they've been raped

-banning women from walking outside of the house without a male relative

-forcing women into arranged marriages where they are beaten and abused 

-killing women in the name of "family honor"

-selling women into sex slavery

-etc. 

 

I guess to a liberal like Hillary Clinton, being anti-abortion is much worse that how ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the Iranians treat women. If only women had access to abortion, then sex slavery and having no human rights wouldn't be so bad. 

We shouldn't be surprised at her comments considering Clinton is the country's most infamous enabler of powerful and abusive men. Not to mention her time at the State Department, where sexual abuse scandals were covered up or ignored. I detail Clinton's failure to women in my book Assault and Flattery

Clinton's statement just further proves how out of touch she really is with the plight of women around the world. What an asinine thing to say, not because it's offensive to Republicans, but because it belittles the horrifying experiences women face each and every day. 

James Holmes Given 12 Life Sentences, Plus 3,318 Years In Prison

On Wednesday, James Holmes, the perpetrator of the horrific 2012 Aurora shooting, was given 12 life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus 3,318 years in prison for his crimes. Judge Carlos A. Samour made it clear that he felt the sentence was fair and just–and that Holmes should never be allowed to enter society as a free man ever again (via Reuters):

"It is the court's intention that the defendant never set foot in free society again ... If there was ever a case that warranted the maximum sentences, this is the case," Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour said.

"The defendant does not deserve any sympathy."

[…]

After two days of often tearful and sometimes angry testimony from victims, District Attorney George Brauchler had called on Tuesday for Holmes to be given every day of the harshest possible prison term.

The lead prosecutor also said he wished the court could order that the defendant spend the rest of his days in solitary confinement, surrounded by photos of the people he killed, but that it could not.

After the judge delivered the sentence, Brauchler told reporters the gunman had never said he was sorry.

"He has never expressed remorse ... he is remorseless," Brauchler said outside court.

After sentencing was rendered, Judge Samour said, "Sheriff, get the defendant out of my courtroom, please,” which elicited cheers from the audience in the courtroom. The trial took three years and 37 days to bring justice to the victims of Holmes, who murdered 12 people and injured 70 when he opened fire during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Holmes could have claimed more victims if his gun hadn’t jammed during the night of the attack.

Wal-Mart Takes AR-15s Off The Shelves

Attention Wal-Mart shoppers, AR-15s will no longer be sold in our stores, but we want to make sure that this wasn’t motivated by politics (via the Hill):

Wal-Mart announced Wednesday that its stores will no longer carry the AR-15 and other semi-automatic sporting rifles because they do not sell very well, according to The Associated Press.

“It’s based on what customers are looking for and what they were buying when they come into Wal-Mart,” spokesman Kory Lundberg said. “It’s very similar to what we do with other products. If there’s not customer demand there, we’ll phase out.”

The publication added that the retail giant would focus more on hunting rifles and shotguns for the foreseeable future, and that we shouldn't look too much into the timing of this announcement.

In 2012, after the horrific Newtown shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods made the irrational decision to suspend the sale of AR-15 rifles:

We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, CT, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to the entire community.

Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.

We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy.

Forbes reported in August of 2013 that Dick’s came into the cross hairs of the national media since there were rumors that Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook shooting, tried to buy a rifle at a Dick’s store in Danbury, Connecticut; it was actually from a shady dealer that has since lost its federal firearms license. Yet, the publication added that sales of AR-15s are being sold at its offshoot store, Field & Stream.

New National Poll: Trump Dominating GOP Field, But is Weakest in General Election


I spent the morning tweeting about the brand new national Quinnipiac poll of registered voters. Here's a summary of its findings, starting with Hillary Clinton:


And then there's the Biden factor (Sanders and Biden's combined support among Democratic primary voters nearly equals Hillary's in this survey, though she's still well ahead of them separately):


Over on the Republican side, there is a very clear frontrunner.  He's the one who's been sucking up the overwhelming majority of media coverage for weeks on end. How clear is his frontrunner status? Yowza:


The Donald sits at 28 percent support, with Ben Carson next at 12 percent. The four candidates mentioned in the tweet above manage 27 percent support, total. If CNN were to use this poll to select its top ten for the network's upcoming Republican debate, Rand Paul (2 percent) would be on the outside looking in, with Carly Fiorina (5 percent) taking his spot. The Fiorina campaign has been fiercely critical of the CNN/RNC polling formula, which they argue -- credibly, in my view -- leans far too heavily on surveys taken prior to the August debate in Cleveland. Fiorina won rave reviews for her performance in the "undercard" forum and has since vaulted into the middle of the top tier -- yet old polls may again keep her off the main stage.  While Trump leads the GOP pack, he's also at the top of Republicans' "no way" list.  The bigger problem he faces, though, is his lack of viability in a general election setting.  He polls worst against Democrats compared to his GOP rivals; even with universal name recognition (for which most politicians would kill), his "fundamentals" are fatally weak among the overall electorate.  Everyone knows and has an opinion about Donald Trump, and this is what they think (this is data, not my opinion):


Women comprise a majority of the American electorate, with Hispanics representing the largest minority group.  Trump and his fans understandably love to tout surveys showing him leading the GOP primary, but they ignore or dismiss his dead-last performance on telltale measures like personal favorability and temperament among all voters, not just Republican ones. Trump loses to all three Democrats in the survey, including Bernie Sanders -- trailing by the largest margins of those Republicans polled. While Trump is at (-18) on favorability and Hillary is at (-12), Jeb Bush remains underwater at (-9). The word most associated with his candidacy is "Bush," underscoring his greatest vulnerability. The Republicans who fare best on favorability are Carson (+20), Rubio (+14), Kasich (+13) and Fiorina (+12). Of that group, Rubio is far and away the best known, with majorities of voters saying they've never heard of the others.  Candidates like Cruz and Walker sit in the middle of the pack.

The Truth About Guns in Virginia

Since Wednesday's horrific double murder of journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward in Roanoke, Virginia, anti-gun activists have pounced at the opportunity to call for more gun control and exploited the tragedy within hours of its occurrence. Keep in mind the following statements were made before the facts were in about how the killer obtained his firearm. 

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

"There are too many guns in the hands of people that shouldn’t have guns.” 

“There is too much gun violence in America.”

"I've advocated for background checks."

Hillary Clinton

"I believe we are smart enough. We are compassionate enough to figure out how to balance the legitimate Second Amendment rights with preventative measures and control measures so that whatever motivated this murderer, who eventually took his own life, we will not see more deaths–needless, senseless deaths."
"We have got to do something about gun violence in America."
"And I will take it on."

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest

"This is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small all across the United States."
“While there is no piece of legislation that will end all violence in this country, there are some commonsense things that only Congress can do that we know would have a tangible impact in reducing gun violence in this country.”

Bloomberg's Everytown via email: 

While details are still unfolding, it appears that a disgruntled former station employee shot and killed Alison Parker, 24, the reporter, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27. Parker was interviewing Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Vicki Gardner during the morning newscast when the shooting occurred. Gardner is currently in surgery after being shot in the back. Video of the incident, which was being carried live, can be found here. (NOTE: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE)
“First and foremost, my heart goes out to the families and friends of Adam, Alison and Vicki. They were shot this morning while at work, simply doing their jobs. The few seconds of horror that was broadcasted on live TV gave us all a glimpse into the reality of gun violence in America. As a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, it was incredibly difficult to watch,” said Colin Goddard, Virginia Tech shooting survivor and Senior Policy Advocate for Everytown for Gun Safety. “It should not be normal in this country that people are shot and killed while doing their job, or studying in class, or watching a movie. Leaders in the Commonwealth and in our country can no longer sit idly by while more Americans are gunned down. It is time that they act to protect Americans and do more to keep guns out of dangerous hands. We deserve better.”

A few things to start. First, McAuliffe's implication that Virginia doesn't have background checks is absolutely false. In fact, not only does the Commonwealth require background checks for guns sales but requires two forms of identification and lengthy paperwork before a purchase. Further, we still have no idea how the killer obtained the gun used in the crime, so all of the statements (which are really policy positions) above were made with zero relation or knowledge of the situation. 

Second, McAuliffe, Clinton, the White House and Everytown have no interest in taking away guns from certain people, but instead want them taken away from all people. 

Finally, it's important to point out that although every crime carried out with a firearm is a tragedy, there isn't a "gun violence epidemic" as the anti-gun activists claim. In recent years, gun sales in Virginia have exponentially increased while crime, including crimes carried out with firearms, have significantly decreased. 

Gun-related violent crime continues to drop in Virginia as the sales of firearms continue to soar, a pattern that one local criminologist finds interesting “given the current rhetoric about strengthening gun laws.”
Major gun crime collectively dropped for a fourth consecutive year statewide, while firearms sales climbed to a new record in 2012 with 490,119 guns purchased in 444,844 transactions — a 16 percent rise over 2011, according to federally licensed gun dealer sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The proliferation of guns occurred as the total number of major reported crimes committed with all types of firearms in Virginia dropped 5 percent, from 4,618 offenses in 2011 to 4,378 last year, according to Virginia State Police data.
Looking back over seven years, total firearm sales in Virginia have risen a staggering 101 percent from 2006 to 2012, while gun-related crime has dropped 28 percent during that period.
“This appears to be additional evidence that more guns don’t necessarily lead to more crime,” said Thomas R. Baker, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs who specializes in research methods and criminology theory.

Gun control activists have no choice but to exploit tragedy surrounded by emotion. After all, in a sober setting their arguments about why more gun control is needed or details about how new measures will prevent violence, never add up. 

Regardless, shameless efforts to promote gun control in the wake of tragedy should be strongly condemned and refuted.

Black Pastors Demand Removal of Planned Parenthood Founder’s Bust from Smithsonian Museum

“National Portrait Gallery, you must remove the bust!” declared Bishop E.W. Jackson Thursday morning in front of D.C.’s Smithsonian museum. He, along with a group of black pastors and pro-life activists, demanded the NPG take down its statue of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger.

Sanger is widely known as a racist and a eugenicist. Some of her documented statements from 1939 indicate as such:

"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."

Sanger was committed to growing superior populations and preventing the growth of those she deemed unfit. Hence why she was such a promoter of birth control and forced sterilization. African Americans make up 37 percent of abortions today, Jackson explained.

"No wonder the KKK loved her!" he said.

Yet, her prejudice against minorities didn’t stop the National Portrait Gallery from placing a statue of her in its “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, daring to stand her in the same room as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.

“If Margaret Sanger had her way, MLK and Rosa Parks would never have been born,” said Jackson.

The “Struggle for Justice” is supposed to honor trailblazers who were “champions of justice.” The Smithsonian thought Sanger fit this description, including her bust with text that reads she “profoundly affected by the physical and mental toll exacted on women by frequent childbirth, miscarriage and self-induced abortion.”

Yet, the plaque also acknowledges her genocidal tendencies:

“During her campaign, Sanger became associated with the eugenics movement – which promoted, among other practices, the forced sterilization of those deemed mentally unfit and for a time was endorsed by many of the era’s prominent thinkers.”

Jackson held up a folder of the 14,000 signatures his group had acquired within just one week for a petition for removal. So far, however, the museum has refused to honor their wishes.

If the fact Sanger was a racist doesn’t convince NPG to take down the statue, perhaps the eight videos so far released from the Center for Medical Progress investigation into Planned Parenthood's sale of fetal body parts will change their minds.

Congress is supporting their efforts, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) writing letters to their colleagues urging them to join the fight.

By the Way, Obamacare is Still Raising Costs and Breaking Promises


Sure, that's a 'dog bites man' headline, for reasons I've expanded on at greater length herehere, and here.  Massive "Affordable" Care Act rate increases are on the way across the country in 2016, as the insurance industry adjusts to the law's coverage requirements and the older-and-sicker-than-expected individual market risk pools.  There are many reasons why Obamacare has remained consistently and enduringly unpopular for years, including its raft of broken central promises.  A few updates from across the country:

(1) Premium spikes in Florida:

Health insurance premiums for Floridians who buy their own plans will rise 9.5 percent on average for 2016, though some consumers will pay less for their coverage than they did this year, state insurance regulators reported Wednesday. A total of 19 health insurance companies submitted rate filings to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation...Florida regulators denied proposed rate increases for more than half of the issuers in the state for 2016. The majority of health plans received approval for single-digit increases, and four decreased their rates from 2015. Average rate changes for 2016 plans sold on the ACA exchange will range from a decrease of nearly 10 percent for some plans, and an increase of as much as 16 percent for others...Ben Wakana, HHS press secretary, issued a written statement noting that this year Florida regulators “significantly reduced” rates for consumers. “We are pleased that Florida was able to reduce rates,” Wakana said. The largest rate increase approved by Florida regulators for plans sold on the ACA exchange went to UnitedHealthcare of Florida, which had requested an average increase of 18.2 percent. The average monthly premium per person for that UnitedHealthcare plan will rise from $398 in 2015 to about $463 in 2016.

Even after regulators rejected insurers' requested rate increases derived from actuarial data, the artificially-held-down spikes are still nearly 10 percent, on average.  Because these large increases are less than what was requested, HHS is referring to them as "reduced rates."  Orwellian, and unlikely to fool anyone actually paying their bills.  Higher rateshigher out-of-pocket costs, and access shock are national trends under Obamacare.

(2) Failure in Nevada, and elsewhere:

The Nevada Health Co-Op created as part of the Affordable Care Act is ending operations at the end of the year due to continued high costs. The nonprofit’s board of directors announced Wednesday that they’d made the “painful” decision to phase out the program rather than continue investing in an uncertain market. Participants will be covered through the end of 2015, but are asked to choose other insurance providers when an open enrollment period beings in November...Co-ops around the country are struggling. Regulators shut down one covering Iowa and Nebraska, and one in Louisiana announced plans to shut down.

(3) The national healthcare cost curve is still pointed in the wrong direction:

After years of slower growth, Medicare and Medicaid are growing more rapidly again. Following news earlier this year that national health spending growth had started to quicken once again, the CBO estimates that major health programs—mostly Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare—will cost 13 percent more this year than last, adding up to about a $106 billion difference. The biggest contributor to the boom in federal health care spending? Medicaid, which, will cost $49 billion more this year, a year-over-year increase of about 16 percent, thanks largely to the expansion of Medicaid coverage under Obamacare.

(4) Higher Obamacare taxes ensnaring more Americans, leading to scaled back coverage and reduced access:

Obamacare’s “Cadillac tax” will hit one in four employers that offer health care benefits, a leading industry analyst says in a report being released Tuesday, socking companies with a massive levy that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say is unfair to those who have negotiated high-quality plans as part of their jobs. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 26 percent of companies will be affected by the tax when it takes effect in 2018 and 42 percent of employers will be paying the levy a decade later, signaling just how quickly health care costs are expected to rise — and how valuable the Cadillac plans are...Kaiser said some employers probably will cut back on the scope of their plans to duck the tax, resulting in coverage with higher deductibles or networks with fewer doctors.For the most part, these changes will result in employees paying for a greater share of their health care out-of-pocket,” the study authors wrote.

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber bragged that the president's rhetoric about the so-called 'Cadillac tax' was a ruse, deliberately "mislabeled" to convince the public that it would only impact a small number of plans.  In fact, Gruber argued, the tax would expand over time to cover all employer-based plans, with the goal of destroying the status quo, with which tens of millions of Americans are satisfied.  "Keep your plan," etc.  I might as well leave you with this:



UPDATE - Oh by the way:


"Affordable."

Sierra Leone's Last Ebola Patient Dances Her Way Out of the Hospital

I'm sure I'm not the only one ready for some good news after an utterly tragic Wednesday. Thankfully, Sierra Leone has given us something to smile about: The country's last Ebola patient has left a treatment center fully cured of the virus - and she did it in style.

Surrounded by dancing medical staff in the Sierra Leone city of Mankeni, the last person confirmed to be treated for Ebola,danced her way down a red carpet to celebrate her release from an Ebola treatment center.

Adamah Sankoh's discharge marks the beginning of a 42-day countdown until the World Health Organization (WHO) can officially declare Sierra Leone as being completely cleared of the Ebola virus.

Sankoh contracted Ebola from her 23-year-old son, who died from the disease. She still feels the pain of losing her son, yet is thankful her own life was spared.

"Although my child died of Ebola, I am very happy that I have survived today," Sankoh said as she left the facility, according to the AP.

Sierra Leone is celebrating with her, yet officials are urging caution:

"We might have hidden cases, so we have to continue to be vigilant, continue our surveillance, maintain our discipline of hand-washing and temperature checks, screening and avoid over-crowding," OB Sisay, director of the situation room of the National Ebola Response Centre told the BBC.

If 42 days pass with no new cases, Sierra Leone's Ebola outbreak will be officially declared over.

Several Americans who were exposed to the virus while abroad in Africa were flown back to the U.S. for treatment last year. One of those patients was Dr. Kent Brantly, who today is one grateful survivor. When he was discharged from the hospital, Brantly acknowledged it was a miracle he was alive and opened up about a faith which strengthened him to beat the disease that has claimed over 10,000 lives

"I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and your support. But what I can tell you is that I serve a faithful God who answers prayers."

The doctor has since written a book about the ordeal.

Brantly's and Sankoh's celebration of life is the kind of joy we need to witness every day.

Bill Clinton Reportedly Upset Biden Might Crush His Dreams of Reoccupying The White House

Hold onto your seats everyone, things are about to get interesting. 

Rumblings of a Joe Biden presidential run continue to get louder and despite the claims of James Carville, some Democrats and the Clinton campaign are starting to panic. 

Just days ago, Hillary Clinton cut her vacation short in order to get back onto the campaign trail. Her return came shortly after Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a darling of the left who many wish were running for president instead of Hillary, met with Biden in Washington D.C. for lunch. Warren's non-commitment to another Senate run is also making the Clinton camp extremely nervous because it's an indication Biden may choose Warren as his VP nominee. 

But it appears Hillary Clinton isn't the only part of the Clinton equation upset about a possible (and probable) Biden run. Former President Bill Clinton seems to be concerned a Biden run could destroy his chances of reoccupying the White House. From POLITICO

Clinton’s camp, hands full with the email controversy and a surprisingly stout challenge from independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, isn’t in a patient mood. Bill Clinton, according to a person who has spoken with the former president in the past couple of weeks, is “very agitated” by the possibility of a Biden candidacy and incensed at the press hype around a possible bid.

If Biden does in fact get into the race, there's no doubt President Obama will not only endorse him over Hillary, but will offer the resources and infrastructure that got him elected in 2008 and 2012 as additional support.

The longtime feud between the Obamas and Clintons is far from over.

Video: Hillary To ‘Take On’ The Issue Of Gun Violence In America

At a campaign event in Iowa today that focused on rural policy, Hillary Clinton had one thing to say about the horrific shooting in Moneta, Virginia earlier this morning, which left reporter 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and her 27-year-old videographer, Alex Ward, dead. Ex-employee Vester Lee Flanagan murdered Parker and Ward on live television. He eventually committed suicide, but not before sending an eerie fax to ABC News that turned out to be his manifesto/suicide note. He claimed that the Charleston Church shooting in South Carolina is what put him “over the top.”

After offering condolences to the families of the victims, Clinton said, “We have got to do something about gun violence in America.” “And I will take it on,” she added, noting the treacherous political waters that come with this issue.

“I believe we are smart enough. We are compassionate enough to figure out how to balance the legitimate Second Amendment rights with preventative measures and control measures so that whatever motivated this murderer, who eventually took his own life, we will not see more deaths–needless, senseless deaths,” she added.

The former first lady then read off the typical talking points about gun deaths happening every day, whether those incidents are intentional, unintentional, or related to suicides.

“There is so much evidence that if guns were not so readily available; if we had universal background checks; if we could just put some time out between the person who’s upset because he got fired, or the domestic abuse, or whatever other motivation may be working on someone who does this–that maybe we could prevent this kind of carnage.”

First, all dealers with a federal firearms license (FFL) are mandated by law to conduct background checks on all purchases. Second, it’s not a full-proof solution, as Dylann Roof, the Charleston Church shooter in South Carolina, was able to pass a background check, obtain a firearm, and engage in a senseless act of violence, despite a pending narcotics charge, which left nine people dead. The FBI admitted that a clerical error had not added Roof’s pending drug charge into the National Instant Background Check System (NICS). If this had been done, the awful incident could have been avoided. The government (yet again) failed, and FBI Director James Comey admitted to shortfalls in the Roof case.  Also, none of Obama's gun control measures he advocated post-Newtown would have prevented Roof from engaging in mass murder. 

The “time out” portion of Clinton’s quote I’m assuming refers to waiting periods for firearms. It’s a policy initiative that has yet to provide any solid statistical data concerning its usefulness. So far, there is no evidence that waiting periods curb gun violence.

Lastly, we are not in the midst of a gun violence epidemic. The Bureau for Justice Statistics reported that gun-related homicides were down 39 percent from 1993-2011. Pew Research found that it was down 49 percent in roughly the same period. Additionally, more women are lining up for their concealed carry permits. In fact, since 2007, women and minorities are responsible for a concealed carry permit surge.

There are certainly areas where gun control groups and Second Amendment supporters can agree on, which is that the mentally ill should not possess firearms. The problem is that gun control groups–as of late–aren’t interested in curbing gun violence; they’re interested in curbing gun rights at all costs.

Given the composition of Congress, it's likely that Republicans will maintain control of the House. Things are still uncertain in the Senate, but the fact remains that gun control splits Democrats.  Moreover, any gun control measure would eventually meet a legislative death in the House.

Vester Flanagan’s Suicide Note Says Charleston Church Shooting Sent Him ‘Over The Top’

An eerie story from ABC News comes right after the tragic deaths of WDBJ7’s Alison Parker and Alex Ward. Parker, a 24-year-old reporter, was murdered, along with 27-year-old Ward, her videographer, on live television earlier this morning in Moneta, Virginia by ex-employee Vester Lee Flanagan (aka Bryce Williams). Flanagan was tweeting and posting videos of his heinous crime before Twitter and Facebook blessedly shut down his accounts. The third victim was Vicki Gardner, the executive director for the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, who was rushed into surgery and is currently in stable condition.

Around 8:26 a.m. this morning, ABC News received a fax from the alleged gunman. Around 10 a.m., the news organization received a phone call from a man who identified himself as “Bryce,” said he shot two people this morning, and added that the law enforcement was after him. He hung up, and ABC News promptly informed the authorities of the situation:

In the 23-page document faxed to ABC News, the writer says “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS” and his legal name is Vester Lee Flanagan II.” He writes what triggered today’s carnage was his reaction to the racism of the Charleston church shooting:

“Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15…”

“What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them."

It is unclear whose initials he is referring to. He continues, “As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!” He said Jehovah spoke to him, telling him to act.

Later in the manifesto, the writer quotes the Virginia Tech mass killer, Seung Hui Cho, calls him “his boy,” and expresses admiration for the Columbine High School killers. “Also, I was influenced by Seung–Hui Cho. That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got…just sayin.'"

The article also mentioned that he was a victim of racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and bullying at work; that he was the subject of abuse from black men and white women; and the noted that the reason for such harassment was probably due to the fact that he was a gay, black man.

“The church shooting was the tipping point…but my anger has been building steadily...I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM!!!!” he wrote.

According to Mediaite, WDBJ’s station manager, Jeff Marks, described Flanagan as an “unhappy man,” who had a reputation of being “difficult to work with,” but admitted that he was a talented journalist. The anger demonstrated by Flanagan in his manifesto/suicide note appears to have been exhibited at the WDBJ office, where Marks said his anger issues came up often. The publication noted that Flanagan was eventually fired from the local CBS news station two years ago, which caused the police to arrive and escort him from the premises. Also, the Equal Opportunity and Employment Commission also dismissed his complaints, as they could not be corroborated.

In the meantime, the families of the victims are in mourning. Alison Parker’s father said in a statement that his family is “numb” and “devastated” by the news of her murder.

“Not hearing her voice again crushes my soul. Our family can only take solace in the fact that although her life was brief, she was so happy with it.”

ABC News added that the person claiming to be Vester Lee Flanagan (aka Bryce Williams) had called their offices for weeks prior to the shooting.  

To rehash, in June, Dylann Roof committed a senseless act of violence at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people when he opened fire during the service. 

ME Gov. LePage May Run for Senate in 2018

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) said Tuesday on a radio show that he is considering a Senate run in 2018 to challenge one-term independent Sen. Angus King.

From the Bangor Daily News:

LePage made the comment during an appearance on the Boston-based “Howie Carr Show,” which was broadcasting from Maine on Tuesday afternoon.

LePage said specifically he was thinking about challenging U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent and former two-term governor, because King caucuses with Democrats in Washington.

“I’m thinking about it very strongly,” LePage said during the hour-long segment.

LePage was elected to a second term in 2014, in what was somewhat of an upset victory over former Rep. Mike Michaud (D). King was elected to the Senate in 2012, taking over the seat vacated by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R), who decided against running for reelection that year. King served as governor of Maine from 1995-2003.

LePage is term limited and cannot seek another term as governor.

While it's certainly early, it looks as though the election for Maine's Senate representation may get interesting in the coming months.

Podcast Author Interview with Mark Levin

CBC recently sat down with national radio talk show host and bestselling author, Mark Levin! Mr. Levin’s book, Plunder & Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and the Future, is currently #1 on the NYT Best Sellers List, and is also #1 on the Conservative Bestseller List.

In our 1-on-1 podcast interview – our first official CBC podcast author interview, Levin discusses his writing process, the 2016 GOP presidential primary race, Donald Trump, what a conservative candidate needs to do in order to win, and the main message of his new book.

Levin rarely does interviews and we’re honored to have him sit down with us! Levin is one of the smartest and most dynamic talk radio hosts in the country and is teaching people every day about the Constitution, conservatism, and American Exceptionalism.

Interview with Mark Levin and CBC Editor, Christopher Malagisi. Also check out Mark Levin’s endorsement of CBC!

- See more at: http://www.conservativebookclub.com/13009/author-interviews/podcast-author-interview-with-mark-levin#sthash.oQWvt0mU.dpuf

Pelosi Cheerleads Iran Deal Around Congress, Makes Undecided Dems Her ‘Target’

Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been working overtime trying to sway 'the crazies' on Capitol Hill who have not yet pledged their support for the Obama administration's nuclear agreement with Iran. This August, Pelosi has been laser focused on securing Democratic support for the deal, holding full caucus conference calls and sending emails each time a Democrat announces their support, according to The Hill. She is recruiting other legislators in this effort and following up incessantly:

Pelosi last month also assembled a team of “at least a dozen” other Democrats to help her to make calls through the break, according to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who is among that group.

“I'm talking to the leader almost daily on this,” Schakowsky said Monday by phone.

The whip team, Schawkowsky said, is ‘targeting’ Democrats and urging them to make swift announcements.

“Making an early announcement means that large target on their back will be off,” Schakowsky said.

Meanwhile, Republicans are working on a disapproval measure, which would ultimately halt the deal by preventing the president from waiving Iran sanctions. Should the resolution pass, Obama said he would use his veto power.

In total, the Minority Leader needs 146 of the 188 House Democrats on board. 

Over in the Senate, two Democrats have come out in opposition to the deal: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Schumer called the deal “troubling” and Menendez defiantly proclaimed that if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb under this agreement, it would “not have his name on it.”

Pelosi’s support for the deal is unsurprising. Back in March, the Minority Leader declared she was “near tears” as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Congress to reject a nuclear deal with Iran. Such rhetoric, she claimed, threatened the U.S.-Israel relationship. She was, at the time, “saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation."

Pelosi’ obsessive cheerleading of the Iran deal also comes in the midst of low public approval ratings. Even in liberal New York City, polls are clear: Americans don’t want Obama to sign on the dotted line.

ICYMI: North Dakota Police Can Now Use Drones Equipped With Non-Lethal Weapons

The original intent behind North Dakota House Bill 1328 was to limit police drone powers. Instead, however, police now have authorization to deploy drones armed with a number of non-lethal weapons, including tear gas, Tasers, rubber bullets, and more.

So, why the complete 180? According to a new report, the state’s police lobby successfully blocked restrictions on the type of equipment police could include on drones.

The International Business Times reports:

HB 1328 was initially meant to limit police drone powers. A draft of the bill banned all weapons on law enforcement drones, and required them to obtain a warrant before deploying an unmanned aerial vehicle in a search for criminal evidence. That was until the state house committee allowed Bruce Burkett of North Dakota's Peace Officer's Association, a police lobby group, to amend HB 1328 so it limited the weapons ban so that “less than lethal” weapons are still allowed, according to an extensive report in the Daily Beast.

Rep. Rick Becker, the Republican sponsor of the bill, is less than pleased with the final outcome. “This is one I’m not in full agreement with. I wish it was any weapon,” he said at a hearing in March, the Daily Beast reports. “In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponized. Period.”’

While the IBT notes that extensive reporting requirements are in the final version of the measure for transparency purposes, it nevertheless allows law enforcement to use a whole gamut of “less than lethal” weapons that will certainly draw the ire of those on both sides of the political aisle who are concerned about the militarization of police.

Governor Jack Dalrymple signed the bill into law in April.

Video: Donald Trump vs. Jorge Ramos on Illegal Immigration


If you're not up to speed on the latest campaign trail flare-up, here are the basics: Spanish language television host Jorge Ramos confronted Donald Trump at an Iowa press conference last night, challenging the GOP frontrunner on the issue of immigration. Trump said Ramos -- who hadn't been called on -- was out of line, telling him several times to sit down before suggesting he "go back to Univision." When Ramos carried on asking his "questions" anyway, security escorted him from the room. Ramos was later re-admitted to the presser, and Trump called on him, leading to a heated exchange over Trump's immigration policy. Video of the initial kerfuffle:


Ramos has since claimed that he thought it was his turn to pose a question, which is plainly untrue based on the clip above, which was posted by his own network. He commenced his harangue before Trump was even at the podium. He wasn't selected as a questioner. Plus, his queries sounded more like an indignant monologue than a good faith effort to extract meaningful information from a public figure. Keep in mind that Ramos is a committed immigration activist who engages in issue advocacy that goes far beyond any semblance of journalism.  Jim Geragthy notes that just last week, Ramos called Trump "the loudest voice of intolerance, hatred and division in the United States."  Now he's whining about having his "right to free expression" "suppressed" by Trump, or whatever.  I'll let Allahpundit take it from here:

When you’re speaking open-borders “truth” to security power, your righteous urgency leaves no room for professional courtesy. And now he’s a free-speech martyr, all because Trump wouldn’t stand there and be heckled at length — even though he did eventually let Ramos back in for a little heckling and counter-heckling...The day liberals decide that Obama or Hillary Clinton is duty bound to engage in press-conference colloquies with, say, Rush Limbaugh is the day Trump is duty bound to engage Ramos.

Hillary Clinton rarely holds press conferences at all -- for reasons that should be obvious -- so the scenario AP envisions is virtually unthinkable.  Unlike Hillary, Trump tends to take questions from all comers, even if he ends up whimpering about being treated "unfairly" and childishly trolling the journalists who challenge him for weeks on end. Trump allowed the allegedly "suppressed" Ramos back into the room and proceeded to engage him at length.  Act two:


After waiting his turn to be called on this go 'round, Ramos begins his, ahem, "question" by listing the flaws he sees in Trump's immigration proposal.  (He makes some fair points). Trump parries challenges on changing the law to withhold and/or strip citizenship from so-called 'anchor babies' by punting the issue to legal scholars, then asserts that building a wall along the entirety of the southern border is less complicated than constructing skyscrapers.  Ramos asks how Trump intends to round up and deport 12 million illegal immigrants, logistically speaking.  Trump's answer focuses entirely on beginning the process with gang members and felons, which...isn't an answer, nor is it a politically risky position to take.  The billionaire turns the tables on Ramos' grandstanding by pushing back with a series of his own questions for his interlocutor: Don't you agree that not every illegal immigrant is a good person?  Aren't there some terrible criminals among the illegal immigrant population here?  Are you okay with booting them out of the country?  Ramos tellingly refuses to respond at first, then finally concedes the point.  He later recites the facile bumper sticker slogan that "no human being is illegal," to which Trump responds that yes, if you enter the country illegally, you're an illegal immigrant.

Neither man convinced the other of a single thing, of course, but both men undoubtedly benefitted from the spectacle.  Tossing a rude quasi-journalist -- from Univision, no less! -- out of a press conference, then sparring aggressively with him for several minutes about illegal immigration is weapons-grade catnip for Trump's base.  His fans (and many other Americans, for that matter) are tired of mealy-mouthed political double-talk, they're focused on the hottest button issue of the day, and they loathe the news media.  This was a Trumpian trifecta.  Likewise, lecturing America's most prominent border warrior after being forcibly marched out of the room is pure gold for Ramos' brand, too.  And thus we've lurched from one fireworks-heavy Trump/media feud to another.  Via The Hill, I'll leave you with Ted Cruz trying to get in on the action, accusing Megyn Kelly of asking "liberal journalist"-style questions about the specifics of his immigration stance:


Maybe Cruz figures that by pushing back against Kelly, he'll further ingratiate himself with the Trump folks, whom he's taken great pains not to inflame.  Or maybe, as AP speculates, he'd prefer not to answer the question, given his previously-stated position from 2013: "Asked about what to do with the people here illegally, however, [Cruz] stressed that he had never tried to undo the goal of allowing them to stay. 'The amendment that I introduced removed the path to citizenship, but it did not change the underlying work permit from the Gang of Eight,' he said during a recent visit to El Paso. Mr. Cruz also noted that he had not called for deportation..." How'd that answer play given the passions of the moment?

Gun Control Crowd Already Exploiting Horrific WDBJ Shooting

The video showing the deaths of Alison Parker and her videographer, Adam Ward, is horrific. Parker and Ward of WDBJ7–a local CBS station–were in Moneta, Virginia around 6:45am this morning when suspect Vester Lee Flanagan, a reportedly “disgruntled” ex-employee, opened fire. As Cortney reported earlier this morning, Parker was interviewing local Chamber Commerce official Vicki Gardner, who was hit in the back. She’s currently in surgery.

This is a horrific incident. Parker was 24-years-old. Ward was 27. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families. Sadly, not everyone had such sentiments. While they may have offered prayers, the gun control crowd unsurprisingly took a jab at the National Rifle Association in yet another feeble attempt to make their cause relevant. 

First, let’s go to Everytown’s Twitter account, who decided to remind us that a firearm is the weapons of choice for domestic abusers. Katie wrote a while back how they even produced an ad about this subject, which actually demonstrated why more women should exercise their Second Amendment rights.  Obviously, that wasn't their intention.

Then, the New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch who decided to engage in similar nonsensical behavior, praising New York City’s tough gun laws while also claiming that today’s tragedy was “another proud moment for the NRA.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted that he was “heartbroken over [these] senseless murder today,” but also made a call for more gun control:

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called for tighter gun laws in response to the deadly shooting of two Roanoke, Virginia-based TV journalists during a live broadcast this morning in his state.

“There are too many guns in the hands of people that shouldn’t have guns,” McAuliffe said during an interview with WTOP. “There is too much gun violence in America,” he said, adding that he has long advocated for strengthening gun background checks and that it should be made a priority.

[…]

The shooting quickly captured national attention — with presidential candidates like Martin O’Malley, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz all sending their condolences to the victims’ families on social media.

For starters, I wish I could say a prayer and offer a condolence without things getting political, but the other side has no standards, no decency, and must make made statements in the hopes that the national attitude towards, in this instance, Second Amendment rights might change with this horrific double-murder. It’s hasn’t. It won’t.

In Virginia, our gun laws will be safe. We have a Republican-controlled legislature, with a supermajority in the House of Delegates. We’ve killed gun control measures from the governor before, and it will happen again.

While New York City has strict gun laws, so does Washington D.C.–and they’re seeing a spike in homicides. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says this is due to an influx of firearms with high-capacity magazines. Yet, Fox5DC’s Emily Miller aptly noted that magazine capacity isn’t listed on the police form regarding recovered firearms:

Last week, I asked the chief to back up her claim.

“In D.C., over ten rounds is high capacity, but your department doesn’t trace what kind of magazine size guns have. I’m asking when you say high capacity, where are you getting that information?" I asked.

“From the guns that we’ve recovered,” Lanier responded.

“So I'm talking about 100-round drum magazines -- that would be high capacity.”

She also added, “High-capacity magazines are magazines that are designed to enhance the normal capacity of a firearm.”

But a form police use when they get property in a crime has a section for firearms. It asks for a brand name -- a Glock would be an example for that column -- and then type -- such as a handgun or rifle.

Then there are other specifics. No. of shots is for how many rounds of ammunition is still in the gun when the police seize it.

But there is no section for ammunition capacity on the form, which means how many rounds the gun, could hold. Sources in the police department said they just don’t track it.

Maybe the spike in crime in DC–and in Chicago–are due to stringent anti-gun laws that keep law-abiding citizens open to harm, chief. As for New York City, there’s an ongoing debate about whether stop and frisk was effective. Moreover, a change in policing–broken windows theory–during the Giuliani mayoralty might have also impacted the decrease in New York City’s crime rate. After all, New York City wasn’t always safe. For nearly a quarter century, the city was a nightmare, with homicides soaring to over 2,000 by 1990. I doubt the murder rate ever reached that high in Moneta, Virginia, even by percentage.

Regardless, today was a dark day. The families of these two young journalists are devastated, and they surely got no help from the political left today. Keep in mind, that all of this progressive nonsense was being spewed before the suspect was even caught. We now know that Flanagan shot himself and is in critical condition.

Parting Thoughts:

And, we have NYT Mag's Julia Ioffe for the win with these tweets.

That's a gross exaggeration, Ms. Ioffe.

Clinton also gave her thoughts, which, as Truth Revolt's Caleb Howe noted, placed prayers for the victims' families in the third spot.

Friendly Reminder: That time RedState's Erick Erickson said that everything is political to the left, there's an arc of history where they must land on the right side of, and you will be forced to care. No one can escape. This is why such tragic incidents will always turn into political theater.  

James O'Keefe: Yes Hillary, I Have Undercover Video of Your Campaign

Late last week rumors started swirling about an undercover investigation of Hillary Clinton's campaign being conducted by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas, an organization responsible for holding a number of government officials accountable for bad behavior. The Clinton camp was put on high alert, told to look for suspicious behavior and to be aware they may be under video surveillance. 

We now know the rumors are true. O'Keefe has confirmed Project Veritas journalists have in fact conducted an undercover video investigation into Clinton's campaign and have plenty of footage to share. 

The first video shows a paid campaign staffer telling a volunteer that they only want to register voters who will vote for Hillary, a Democrat, when the law requires voters be able to register regardless of their political affiliation or support for a certain candidate. 

New James O’Keefe undercover video shows Clinton campaign playing fast and loose with Iowa election laws, directly contradicting their previous statement to Time Magazine. Hillary campaign organizer Sarah Sterner was captured on hidden camera stating: “We don’t want to make our focus voter registration because then we have to like register everyone regardless of whether they’re supporters or not.” The Clinton campaign “maintains that its policy is to register all voters, regardless of their preference in candidates.” Yet paid organizer Sarah Sterner was caught instructing staffers to ask potential supporters “Hey are you a Hillary supporter? And then if not, then like great move on, you know?”

“Hillary Clinton and her top advisers have some serious explaining to do as it pertains to their campaign’s obligation to honor both the spirit and the letter of the law," O’Keefe said in a statement about the footage. “There are two lessons in this story. First, if you are not doing anything wrong you can’t get caught and second, as Hillary is soon to learn the hard way, if you do something wrong, make sure you don’t get caught on camera." 

It turns out it isn't just the FBI Hillary has to worry about.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," O'Keefe says in the video. "In fact, stay tuned Hillary...check your email." 

Deeper: Excuses Dropping Like Flies as Intel Agencies, Evidence Refute Clinton Email Claims


Didn't we already know this? Sort of. McClatchy  reported in late July that classified information from five US intelligence agencies were found on Hillary Clinton's unsecure email server, contradicting her claim that "there is no classified material" on the server. Team Clinton adapted their talking points to say that the server didn't contain anything that was classified at the time, allowing that retroactive classifications had occurred. Two independent Inspectors General said otherwise from the beginning, then Reuters debunked the updated spin conclusively last week, concluding: "[Emails on the server] are filled with a type of information the U.S. government and the department's own regulations automatically deems classified from the get-go."  The latest wrinkle from Fox News national security correspondent Catherine Herridge focuses on one email in particular. It was the message that "kickstarted" the investigation into the mishandling of classified information and a potential data breach -- and according to her sources, it included details furnished by three US intelligence agencies. Note well that the material was and is classified, and pay special attention to the bit about President Obama's executive order that undermines Hillary's additional claim that this is really just about an inter-agency dispute:


"All three agencies have confirmed that the intelligence was classified when it was sent three years ago, and remains classified to this day."  Furthermore, "only the three intelligence agencies who own that information in the first place have the authority to declassify it.  Not Mrs. Clinton. And not the State Department."  Within the squabble described by Hillary in the clip, her agency -- which has continued to run interference on her behalf long after her departure -- was in the wrong.  The Washington Examiner took a closer look at some of the classified topics that passed through Clinton's private server, including discussions with foreign leaders and embassy security -- a particularly sensitive issue.  The report undercuts two extra justifications and excuses cooked up by Team Hillary. First:

Abedin was frequently involved in the transmission of classified information to Clinton, emails show. Cheryl Mills, Clinton's former chief of staff, and Jake Sullivan, former director of policy planning, also routinely sent or received classified emails from the secretary of state. Despite her campaign's claims that Clinton was simply a "passive recipient" of classified information, a review of her emails indicates she wrote messages that are now classified.

And second, via Ed Morrissey, here's the classification tag from the bottom of one of the memos:


"CONFIDENTIAL," with a declassification date in 2019. The last iteration of Hillary's ever-evolving spin was that none of the information was marked as classified at the time (which is legally irrelevant, by the way). Oops. They might consider sticking to "the rules she violated are dumb" from now on -- though that probably won't help them politically, and like the "it wasn't marked" line, it certainly isn't a legal defense. Here's Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney laughably asserting that Hillary Clinton cared very deeply about protecting classified information, repeating several discredited and disproven claims along the way:



Horrifying: Journalists Killed During Live TV Broadcast in Virginia

WDBJ Journalist Alison Parker, 24, and photographer Adam Ward, 27, were shot and killed during a live television broadcast Wednesday morning in southwest Virginia, reports Fox News.

Parker and Ward were airing a broadcast on tourism in the area when they were shot during an active shooting situation in Bridgewater Plaza, in Moneta, VA.

Stay tuned for updates.

Update: A very disturbing update for our readers. A screenshot is circulating social media that appears to capture a photo of the gunman before he shot and killed Parker and Ward.

Update II: Local schools near the tragedy are on lock down as authorities search for the gunman. WDBJ General Manager Jeffrey Marks responded to the tragic news and dedicated a segment this morning to the young journalists:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

“Our hearts are broken,” Marks said. “They were out doing their job today.”

“They are working very diligently to track down the person responsible for this terrible crime against these two fine journalists,” he added of the police investigation into the shooting. “We do not know what the motive is. We do not know who the shooter is.”

Update III: The woman being interviewed during today's fatal broadcast, Local Chamber of Commerce official Vicki Gardner, was also shot, reports Fox News. She is currently recovering from surgery and is in stable condition.

Update IV: Other news stations in major cities are upping security measures after today's tragedy.

Update V: The shooter is reportedly a disgruntled former employee of WDBJ.

Update VI: Police have reportedly ID'd the suspect. His name has since been corrected to Vester Lee Flanagan. He was known to local viewers as Bryce Williams.

Update VII: In another sickening turn of events, it appears the shooter is actively posting on social media, including his own video of the shooting and motives for the attack. He allegedly accused the reporters of being racist. Twitter and Facebook has since shut down the accounts.

Update VIII: The murderer has shot himself, local news stations are reporting. He is in critical condition.

Update IX: The suspect is dead.

At a press conference today in Hardy, VA, authorities described the car chase that ensued after today’s fatal shooting. When police located the suspect’s vehicle, he refused to stop and sped away from a trooper who tried to stop him. He eventually ran his car off the road and a trooper discovered him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, VA, where he later died.

Lois Lerner May Have Committed a Crime With Use of Private Email at IRS

In case you missed it yesterday the Washington Times reported former IRS official Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS targeting controversy, used a private email account under her dog's name to conduct official government business. The report came as a result of a Judicial Watch lawsuit against the IRS for information about the scandal. The discovery of this private account comes in addition to Lerner's use of another personal account on top of her government email system. In total, we know she used at least three different email accounts during her time at the agency. 

Now, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton is responding to the new revelation and notes Lerner may have broken the law if she shared confidential tax information on her private account. 

"It is remarkable that the Obama IRS and Justice Department waited two years to tell a federal court that Lois Lerner had a separate email account that contains documents at issue in the IRS scandal. Especially since both agencies knew about this account since April of last year," Fitton said in statement released yesterday. "It could be a crime if Lois Lerner kept confidential taxpayer data on her non-governmental email account."

It should also be noted using a private email account is against government policy and potentially violates federal records laws as it allows officials to skirt the Freedom of Information Act. Further, use of private email to conduct government business makes it difficult for Congress to make proper inquiries about official communications during investigations.

John Podesta: I Haven't Read Hillary's 55,000 Emails But I Know She Didn't Send or Receive Classified Information

While Hillary Clinton is still giving little access to reporters on the campaign trail, her closest allies have been tapped to defend her on the airwaves. 

Last week long time Clinton confidant and loyal soldier James Carville lamented "having to come out of my vacation to deal with this kind of stupidity," in response to revelations Clinton sent and received top secret classified information on her private email server.

Over the weekend John Podesta, who much like Carville has been working for the Clintons since the 90s, attempted to defend Clinton by once again declaring she never sent or received classified information on her private server. 

"She never sent any classified information, she never received anything," Podesta said. "I haven't read all 55,000 pages of emails but I'm quite confident."

His statement is false. An independent Inspector General has confirmed top secret classified information was indeed found on her server and 300 more documents have been flagged as potentially classified for further review. Second, Clinton is under FBI criminal investigation and the same prosecutor who took down General David Petraeus for mishandling classified information is looking at her case. Further, if he hasn't "read all 55,000 emails" then how would he know none of them contained classified information? 

At this point, Team Clinton is simply saying things that are not true and hoping that one day the American people buy it. This time around, they won't. Clinton's poll numbers continue to crater on the issue of trust and it's clear her campaign has no real strategy about how to gain that trust back.

This post has been updated with additional information. The headline has also been updated from 65,000 emails to 55,000 emails.

Watch Live: Donald Trump Rally In Iowa

Trump holds rally in Iowa and answers a few questions from the press.