Officer Wilson Is Confident He Did The Right Thing In ABC News Interview

On November 26, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos had an exclusive interview with Officer Darren Wilson, who is at the heart of the anger and violence that has engulfed Ferguson, Missouri.

Wilson said the Grand Jury decision was “very relieving," and proceeded to detail the events of the day that ended with him shooting and killing Michael Brown.

He had bought heartburn medicine for his then-fiancé (they recently married) when he got a call to help a 2-3-month old with breathing difficulties. On his way to answer the distress call, he heard about a robbery at a local market; two males were involved.


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Wilson sees two black males walking in the middle of the street on the double yellow line; those two men were Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson.

Officer Wilson asked Johnson why aren’t they walking on the sidewalk; Johnson replied that they were almost to their destination. As Wilson tried to persuade the men to walk in a safer part of the street, they ignored him.

Brown gave an angry response to Wilson, “f**k what you have to say.”

Wilson then angled his car to provide security, block oncoming traffic, and Johnson and Brown’s potential escape route.

As Wilson tired to exited the car, he said, “Hey, come here for a minute,” which prompted Brown to say “what the f**k are you going to do about it,” and slammed Officer Wilson’s door shut. That’s what set off the tragic chain of events that led to Michael Brown’s death.

Wilson had called for back up prior to blocking the street and just wanted to have a discussion with Brown until additional police officers arrived to get to the bottom of their exchange, as well as investigate where Brown obtained those cigarillos. Sadly, that never happened.

After a struggle with Brown, Wilson was able to fire off two shots from his service firearms. Brown fled, and Wilson gave chase.

Stephanopoulos asked Wilson why he didn’t stay in the car, which he responded by saying that, he isn’t trained to sit around and wait; he wanted to see where Michael Brown was going. He wasn’t going to arrest him alone; he was waiting for back up that never showed since his radio channel was switched during his altercation with Brown.

It was here that Wilson said Brown turned and charged him, leading to him firing 12 shots at Brown.

When asked if Michael Brown were white, would it have gone down the same way? Wilson simply said, “yes; no question.”

Wilson admitted to being hurt by the accusations that he was a murderer and a racist, but refrained from going to the media out of respect for the investigative process and to maintain the integrity of the judicial process.

Towards the end of the interview, Wilson admitted that there’s probably no way for him to return as a police officer.

Wilson is reportedly negotiating how to resign from the Ferguson police force. He also said that while he’s unnerved about the federal investigation against him that’s ongoing; he’s confident he will be cleared. Back in October, it was reported in the Washington Post that the Department of Justice does not have enough to file civil rights charges against him, allegations that were labeled premature by a DOJ spokesperson.

Yet, after the documents from the Grand Jury were released, some witness testimonials were found to be inaccurate, fabricated, or provably false (via AP):

Some witnesses said Michael Brown had been shot in the back. Another said he was face-down on the ground when officer Darren Wilson finished him off. Still others acknowledged changing their stories to fit published details about the autopsy or admitted that they did not see the shooting at all.

An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents reveals numerous examples of statements made during the shooting investigation that were inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong. For one, the autopsies ultimately showed Brown was not struck by any bullets in his back.

Their inconsistencies began almost immediately after the shooting, from people in the neighborhood, the friend walking with Brown during the encounter and even one woman who authorities suggested probably wasn't even at the scene at the time.

Jurors also were presented with dueling versions from Wilson and Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown during the Aug. 9 confrontation. Johnson painted Wilson as provoking the violence, while Wilson said Brown was the aggressor.

But Johnson also declared on TV, in a clip played for the grand jury, that Wilson fired at least one shot at his friend while Brown was running away: "It struck my friend in the back."

Other eyewitness accounts also were clearly wrong.

One woman, who said she was smoking a cigarette with a friend nearby, claimed she saw a second police officer in the passenger seat of Wilson's vehicle. When quizzed by a prosecutor, she elaborated: The officer was white, "middle age or young" and in uniform. She said she was positive there was a second officer — even though there was not.

Another woman testified that she saw Brown leaning through the officer's window "from his navel up," with his hand moving up and down, as if he were punching the officer. But when the same witness returned to testify again on another day, she said she suffers from mental disorder, has racist views and that she has trouble distinguishing the truth from things she had read online.

Prosecutors suggested the woman had fabricated the entire incident and was not even at the scene the day of the shooting.

Another witness had told the FBI after the shooting that he saw Wilson shoot Brown in the back and then stand over his prone body to finish him off. But in his grand jury testimony, this witness, acknowledged that he had not seen that part of the shooting, and that what he told the FBI was "based on me being where I'm from, and that can be the only assumption that I have."

The witness, who lives in the predominantly black neighborhood where Brown was killed, also acknowledged that he changed his story to fit details of the autopsy that he had learned about on TV.

Additionally, things got a little more tense when two men, who allegedly plotted to blow up the Gateway Arch, also had plans to kill Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson and St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

Veterans Slam Obama's Leadership On Iraq

Veterans Day has come and gone, but the Media Research Center’s Dan Joseph had just one question to ask the Iraq War veterans: How do they feel about the Obama administration’s decision to pull all combat troops out of Iraq. In short, they weren’t pleased at all.

One veteran called the president a “moron,” and that his friends who died over there would be rolling in their graves over Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq and end combat operations.

Others also voiced their opposition to the decision, noting that there’s a reason why civilian control of the military comes with military advisers who have made careers serving their country and have decades of experience in this field; they’re there to help guide the president in making military decisions.

Another veteran said it’s a bad move to go in and help a county, only to turn around and bail on them. 

With the rise of ISIS in the region, it's hard to disagree with their sentiments. 

Measure Executive Orders By Content, Not Number

President Obama's liberal use of his executive authority has been defended by progressives as being firmly in line - and even less so - than the executive powers claimed by previous presidents. They'll point to the number of executive orders that President Obama has issued as evidence that his use of this authority is not abnormal.

Over at FiveThirtyEight, Dhrumil Mehta argues that President Obama has been more restrained in his use of executive orders than every President since Grover Cleveland:

We looked at data from the American Presidency Project and found that the use of executive orders peaked in the era of the New Deal (FDR set the record) and has been on the decline since. In the past 100 years, Democrats have used them more than Republicans. Here’s every president’s tally per year that he served in office.

Mehta shows that executive orders peaked with Franklin Roosevelt but have fallen since then, and that Barack Obama has actually issued the fewest executive orders per year in more than 100 years.

This kind of analysis is incomplete. The number of executive orders is not the sole lens through which we should view this kind of executive authority. It should be the way in which a President exercises it.

At the Mercatus Center, Patrick McLaughlin has come up with a better way:

While other analysts have examined the number of executive orders issued by different administrations, we have used RegData, a database producing statistics based on the Code of Federal Regulations, to examine some of the content of these executive orders and proclamations for the past six presidencies, through the end of Obama’s first term. In particular, we examine the usage of restrictions—words that create binding, legal obligations, such as “shall” and “must.” Although the current administration has issued fewer executive orders than other modern administrations, the figures below show that its total usage of restrictions in executive orders and proclamations exceeds that of any of the past six administrations, with the exception of Clinton’s first term.

Take a look:

.

President Clinton is still the reigning modern champion of executive orders, but President Obama is right there with him. It's possible that President Obama also catches up to Clinton - his attitude about dealing with the incoming Republican congress might get his executive order pen itching to issue a few.

5 Ways To Improve Meet The Press

"If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press." 

For a generation of political junkies no truer words were ever spoken. Growing up in Oakland, California, I would even choose Tim Russert over the morning NFL games (both started at 10 a.m. PST). 

But now, Meet just isn't appointment viewing anymore. What can be done to turn the show around?

1. Less is more
In its current form Meet the Press is a mile wide and an inch deep. Take the November 23rd show which tried to cover immigration, Benghazi, Afghanistan, Ferguson, Keystone, and Bill Cosby. To cover all these subjects, Meet used three NBC reporters (host Chuck Todd, John Yang, and Ron Allen), and had 11 guests. Even with an hour of show to fill, that does not leave a lot of time for each issue to get properly covered or for each guest to make their mark.

2. Drop the packages
Meet the Press is not 60 Minutes and shouldn't try to be. Sunday talk show viewers are tuning in to see newsmakers make news, not watch long investigated pieces on a myriad of topics. That is what 60 Minutes or Dateline is for.

3. Bring back the journalist panels
Years ago Meet the Press consisted of a panel of journalists who would question a single guest for the full (then half hour) show. Why not get back to that? Or at least have a panel questioning two guests separately? The more time newsmakers are given to talk, the more chance there is that they will make news.

4. Let partisans be partisans
One change that could improve the old panel model would be let the new panelists be overtly partisan. Instead of a panel of three supposedly neutral reporters, why not let Chuck Todd moderate a panel consisting of himself, a liberal journalist (like Jose Diaz-Balart or Rachel Maddow), and a conservative journalist (like National Review's Kevin Williamson or The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney)?

This might make it easier for Meet the Press to book more conservative guests, many of whom currently do not believe Todd will gave them a fair shake. At least with this set up conservatives will know they'll get a chance to get their message out.

5. Better guests
The panel discussions on the week's events do still have a place. But no more "Republican strategists" or Democratic political consultants. No more former-governors or former-House Majority Leaders who just got bounced from office because they are deaf to the populist movements in their party. And this might be ageist but the guests need to be younger too. Meet the Press is in desperate need of some fresh faces.

Surprisingly, NBC News President Deborah Turness seems to already be on board with many of these ideas. She recently told The New York Times, “The show needs more edge. It needs to be consequential. I think the show had become a talking shop that raked over the cold embers of what had gone on the previous week. The one-on-one conversation belongs to a decade ago.”

I couldn't agree more.

Incredible: Girl Doesn't Let MS Keep Her From Becoming A Phenomenal Distance Runner

Earlier this month, ESPN’s E: 60 series brought you the inspirational story of Kayla Montgomery, a North Carolina teenager living with multiple sclerosis; an incurable disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own nerve cells.

She grew up loving the game of soccer, but was forced to stop upon her diagnosis. She lost feeling in her legs for eight months, but with the help of medication; she was able to recover.  After that, she decided to take up running.

Knowing the window of opportunity for running could be short, Kayla wanted to make the most of it, which is precisely what she told her coach, Patrick Cromwell, who admitted she was very average in the beginning; “varsity hopeful by her senior year” is how he put it.

But, with Kayla’s hard work and Cromwell’s coaching abilities (he pushed her hard), she has become one of the best distance runners in the country for her age group. But it comes with a cost.

Heat triggers multiple sclerosis attacks. She admits feeling a tingling, numbing sensation in her feet, which then travels up her legs.  

Kayla admitted that in the beginning, it was difficult to pace herself because she felt no pain and couldn’t tell how fast she was going. She has since adapted.

Yet, by the time her race is over, she no longer feels anything from the waist down and collapses, but Coach Cromwell is there to catch her. 

When her body temperature returns to normal, she regains full use of her legs–and the attacks cause no permanent damage.

It's a long video for a post, but surely worth watching.

Former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Caught on Kiss Cam

Here's a palate cleanser for your Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

During a Houston Texans game last week former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush were caught on the kiss cam.

And now to one of my favorite kiss cam moments:

Poll: Nearly One-Third of NH Republicans Would Support Romney in '16

Electorally, New Hampshire is as unpredictable a state as they come. During this past year’s midterm elections, for example, New Hampshire was one of the only states in the nation where a Senate Democrat running for re-election survived. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hung on by roughly three percentage points, a decisive victory in what was otherwise a terrible election year for her Senate colleagues. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Kay Hagan (D-NC) all lost their respective races.

All of which is to say that New Hampshire has history of bucking national trends and electing and re-electing candidates unexpectedly. It’s also the first-in-the-nation primary state. Thus, it’s somewhat interesting to learn that roughly one-third of GOP primary voters in the state have a candidate in mind who they’d support in 2016. According to a freshly-released poll, presidential also-ran Mitt Romney garnered 30 percent of the vote, followed rather distantly by Sen. Rand Paul (11) and Gov. Chris Christie (9).

National Journal has the scoop:

New Hampshire's all-important stamp of approval is Mitt Romney's to lose—if he runs, that is. The former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential contender leads his potential rivals by a double-digit margin in the early-primary state, with 30 percent of voters expressing their support, according to a Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm poll released Monday. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, the runner-up in the hypothetical contest, garnered just 11 percent support.

Leading up to the midterm elections, Romney fashioned himself as a sort of thought leader for the GOP, a seasoned luminary who rises above the political fray. Although he has stuck to the line that he's not running, albeit in varying language, his popular support continues to grow.

The poll suggests, however, that if he did run, he’s in good shape to win the New Hampshire Republican primary once again. Never say never.

UPDATE: Also, don't forget about this.

Gun Sales Expected to Skyrocket on Black Friday, FBI Worried

From Cabela’s to Wal-Mart guns will be on sale a everywhere on Black Friday, and what better time is there to load up on a firearm? The manic shopping frenzy lands right before Christmas and right in the midst of deer hunting season.

With the expected increase in gun sales the Federal Bureau of Investigation is gearing up for a dense wave of background check requests. There are more than 48,000 gun retailers in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. For every sale, cashiers must call in a check to the FBI or to other approved agency to insure that the customer does not have a criminal record. When the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, was implemented in 1998, the FBI oversaw around 9 million checks. Last year that number inflated to more than 21 million.

“This Friday opens the busiest season for gun purchases, when requests for background checks speed up to nearly two a second, testing the limits of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS….

NICS did about 58,000 checks on a typical day last year. That surged to 145,000 on Black Friday 2013. They're bringing in 100 more workers than usual for the post-Thanksgiving rush this year.”

Seventy-one percent of background checks last year were instantly approved. According to Federal Law, a customer is disqualified from purchasing a gun if he/she is: underage, an illegal alien, a documented drug addict, a convicted felon, a fugitive from justice, underage, mentally ill, dishonorably discharged from the military, has renounced their U.S. citizenship, is subject to a court restraining order, or has a history of domestic violence.

Coming Soon to a Mall Near You: Obamacare

The holiday shopping season kicks off tomorrow with Black Friday, the annual mad-dash for good deals and early-morning sales. This year, shoppers in a few states will see something new this year at shopping malls--and its not exactly a hot new store. It's...Obamacare.

In an effort to boost floundering enrollment numbers, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken to partnering with retail stores, pharmacies and websites to promote the open enrollment period, which lasts until Feb. 15. Enrollment workers will be present on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday to tell shoppers about how to sign up for a plan on the exchange.

Westfield malls in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, Florida and Washington will allow navigators and other enrollment workers to both hand out fliers and use other outreach approach methods.

The NCPA will be hosting calls with HHS officials to train pharmacists on how they can spread the word about open enrollment season, as well as using new tactics to share information with its 23,000 members.

[...]

Finally, the XO Group will be using its sites — such as The Knot and The Bump — to advertise to women who are set to experience a life changing events such as marriage or childbirth.

The "target" of expected signups has been ticked downward to about nine million.

I don't know about you, but when I go to the mall I make an effort to avoid the majority of the mall kiosks attempting to push products on me. I'm assuming this will be no different. How desperate is HHS getting to resort to invading shopping malls?

Rebuilding After The Riots: Ferguson Cake Shop Owner Grateful to Fellow Americans For Love and Support

Natalie Dubose is a single mother of two living and working in Ferguson, Missouri. Dubose runs her own cake shop in the city called Natalie's Cakes and More, a business she dedicated all of her resources to in order to make a living. Dubose started her cake business by renting out a booth at the local flea market every weekend, selling her product and eventually saved enough money to open up a store, which had it's grand opening in August.

Despite pleading with protestors, her store was severely damaged in riots Monday night, but thanks to the generosity of fellow Americans she'll be back in the kitchen in no time. After learning about the destruction, fellow citizens from around the country donated more than $140,000 to a crowdfunding site dedicated to getting her back on her feet. Hundreds of people have also placed orders for her baked goods.

"It's been amazing. I've been crying but these are tears of joy. I'm just so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from people across the country and I thank them," Dubose said during an interview on Fox News Wednesday. "This [the shop] is my baby." 

"I am so thankful and I'm so grateful. If I could have arms big enough I would just hug each and every last one of them but I just want to thank everyone that has contributed to helping me rebuild my shop to helping me live my dream and to helping for me to continue to be the mom that I've been to my children, to continue providing them with the support that they need," she said. 

All the best to Ms. Dubose, what a wonderful example of the American Dream she is and her cake looks really yummy too! Be sure to check out more about her story here.

Hunters Feed The Hungry This Holiday Season

Every year hunters from around the country feed the hungry by donating nearly three million pounds of meat and 11 million meals to those who are less fortunate. Just one pound of ground venison can feed four people. 

Hunters Feed Those In Need

Interested in donating? Watch the video below about how to get started and learn more about venison donation programs by visiting Nssf.org/Huntersfeed.

Author Documents 'The Pilgrim Chronicles'

You know the pilgrims traveled to the New World on the Mayflower, but did you know about the Steadwell? You know they ate turkey during their first feast, but did you know they also had baked beaver? These are just a couple of the little-known facts author Rod Gragg includes in his book, “The Pilgrim Chronicles,” an eyewitness account of the pilgrims’ journey to America and the first Thanksgiving, as well as what their lives looked like in England before stepping onto that famous boat. Gragg shared some insight with Townhall on the effort that went into compiling this information, as well as his passion for studying the pilgrims. Check out what else he had to say, then buy the book! You might just learn something new on this Thanksgiving about a few of America’s first settlers.

What made you want to write about the pilgrims? Is this something you’ve always been interested in?

“I’ve always found the pilgrims to be a fascinating group of people and I know that their influence on the development of our nation was tremendous. So, they’ve always had an appeal to me. But actually I had written a couple of books in this genre of eyewitness history. You write a narrative and it’s highlighted with the primary source materials, documents, letters, diary entries and so on that make up history to go and find. So I had done a couple of books like that and the publisher came to me and asked if I wanted to do something like that on the pilgrims and that was something I was interested in because I was familiar with it a bit. But my concern was there wasn’t enough primary source material to actually build an eyewitness history of the pilgrim experience. As it turned out, it was far more than I expected and as usual I only thought I knew the pilgrims – I knew far less about them then I thought I did and they really are extraordinary people who have tremendous impact on American history.”

Can you give us a small teaser, maybe share one of the little-known facts that you included in your book?

“The pilgrims traveled to America from the North Atlantic on the Mayflower, but there are actually two pilgrim vessels, two ships. The other one was called the Steadwell and it did not live up to its name. It sprung leaks repeatedly. When the pilgrims left with two ships from England and they went out into the English Channel and then into the open Atlantic, they made two attempts to travel with both ships. But, the Steadwell continued to leak, they brought it back into port and tried to do repairs and it just didn’t work. Finally, they brought it back to Plymouth and decided it was not seaworthy and so they moved everybody that they could onto the Mayflower. Some of them chose not to come. That’s why the Mayflower, which really was a pretty good size ship, was so packed across the Atlantic.”

Can you put into words what kind of faith and courage it took for the pilgrims to leave the Old World and sail toward the unknown?

“Well this book spends about half of its space dealing with the pilgrims in England. That’s the side of the story that most Americans don’t know. It’s really an extraordinary story, very remarkable. The pilgrims were a remarkable people who were extremely courageous and to do what they did took extraordinary heroism. And of course they made a major positive impact on America.”

Another interesting part of the book was when you talk about the first Thanksgiving feast – which didn’t really look like your typical Turkey Day dinner. Could you tell us what was on the pilgrims’ Thanksgiving table?

“Well the pilgrims were not the first to observe Thanksgiving in the New World. The Spanish settlers in New Spain did so, and so did the Jamestown colonists. But, it was from the pilgrims that we get our Thanksgiving tradition. Although, their Thanksgiving feast was probably not what we think it was. In some ways, it was very different from what we expect today. It was a 3-day event. It presumably featured a very joyful worship service, but what is also on record is that it also included recreations. Those were probably the field sports that were so popular to the English people of their day and that would have included wrestling, foot races, jumping contests - these are the kinds of activities that the English people loved at that time. We do know it also included what they describe as either a firearms competition, a shooting match, or some type of firearms demonstration. One of the sources says they exercised their arms and whether they were having a shooting match or whether they were having a firearms demonstration maybe for their invited guests, the Poconos Indians, we don’t know. But those are things we don’t normally associate with the pilgrims’ Thanksgiving. 

As far as what was on the menu, we know that they were on record as saying they served waterfowl, presumably duck or goose and we know that they served wild turkey, which is where we get our tradition, I guess. But they also had venison. The Poconos Indians, their guests brought three deer, which they butchered, and dressed and served. But they also probably had baked beaver. Yes, they were serving the items that they ate later at Plymouth colony and they would have had lobster, baked clams. We know they served fish, cod, bass. And they had Indian corn, they had peas from England, and also probably beans, cabbage, parsnips, onions, biscuits, probably English porridge or oatmeal and probably corn-based pasty pudding.”

Any thought on why it was the turkey that caught on and not the beaver?

“I don’t know why the turkey became the great tradition of Thanksgiving, but probably because it’s a lot easier today to have a turkey dinner then to have goose, duck, certainly baked beaver if they had – or baked venison which we know to have.”

There’s a lot of great imagery in the book. Did you have a say in what graphics were going to be included in the book?

“Yes, as a matter of fact this publisher is very strong on graphics and they designed two of the maps that are there. There’s one map that’s a traditional, historical map from an earlier era. As far as the images, this really is an illustrated book and I really tried to find as many authentic images as I could. Some are from that era but there aren’t many from that time period. Many of them came from the 19th century and the early 20th century and are authentic depictions of various events.

The star of the show, so to speak, of this book, are the eyewitness accounts. They began with an eyewitness account of the people who became the driving force of the pilgrims, the separatists, an account of their standing by the East Coast of England trying to board a ship to Holland to escape persecution and are caught by English soldiers who bear down on them. There’s also I think a very moving account by a young Puritan preacher who’s in the pilgrim tradition, a man named John Henry, who was executed for writing an unpublished theological manuscript. This letter is to his wife and daughters before he was executed, it’s a very touching letter to me. There’s also a behind-the-scenes account of some of the scandalous behavior that occurred at the court of King James I. There’s a description of the separatist worship service that was recorded secretly by a government agent who was sent to infiltrate the people who became the pilgrims and there’s descriptions of the voyage across the Atlantic. There’s a cargo manifest from a similar expedition. It’s probably typical of what the pilgrims carried and then there are period accounts of the pilgrims and when they reached America and New England and what they experienced there. Some of the most interesting eyewitness accounts are those earlier explorers from North America who recorded what they thought they saw and these were accounts the pilgrims probably read as they prepared to make their voyage to the New World. They would read that these folks saw and claimed that in America they would encounter everything from 3-headed snakes to unicorns to giant clams, all kinds of fanciful descriptions that the pilgrims probably wondered what are we going to see when we’re in this wilderness, this new home of ours?”

Some have criticized today’s classrooms for their curriculum as not accurately portraying the pilgrims’ experience and really highlighting their mistreatment of Native Americans. Do you agree that they’re not being taught as they should? What are a few of the worst misconceptions about the pilgrims?

“Well I would say that the history of the relationship between European Americans and later American authorities with the Native American peoples is certainly one of the saddest chapters of American history. But the pilgrims actually set a model of a much better relationship. They really developed a healthy, respectful relationship with the Poconos Indians and with some of the other tribes in the area. They were kind of a model of what those relationships should have been and could have been perhaps with European Americans and later American authorities so it’s really, I think, inaccurate and a lie that the pilgrims would be blamed for some of the terrible relationships that actually did exist later on. I think that, as far as the treatment of the pilgrims today that I hear in some cases, I think that probably reflects the bias of a contemporary American culture toward anything related to faith more than it reflects true accurate history. The pilgrims were a remarkable people who really are deserving of respect. They really probably deserved the tradition that has come down to us about them that is not totally inaccurate. These people came to a New World to try to establish a new home where they would exercise freedom of faith. They tried to establish a respectful relationship with the Native Americans, they were respectful of their environment. They did set up a remarkable legacy for us of how they influenced American culture, law and government based on the two pillars that were the pillars of colonial America and that freedom.”

Black Friday is quickly becoming Black Thursday, meaning families are going shopping as soon as they’re done eating turkey. Do you think our culture is in a sense forgetting the true meaning of Thanksgiving?

“I think Thanksgiving is really a great, really unique American holiday and it’s a time, if you follow that tradition that has come from the pilgrims, a time for us to really stop, step back and take account of the blessings we have in this country and to have an attitude of gratitude that God has blessed us. There is a reason why the national motto of the United States is ‘In God We Trust’ and it goes back to the States exhibited by people like these pilgrims and in other colonies in the very beginning, that you see reflected even in the language of the Declaration of Independence, this foundational Judeo-Christian worldview that American culture, law and government were founded on and this is a good time to think about that and to remember that despite all of our faults that we have all throughout our history, this is an exceptional nation and it has produced exceptional opportunity of freedom for generations of people throughout the world.”

DC Protestors Support Acts Of 'Communal Self-Defense' In Ferguson

Last night, Ferguson protests erupted in Washington D.C. and in other cities across the country. Needless to say, some on the left are very unhappy with the Grand Jury decision, but do they condemn the acts of vandalism and looting that occurred in city earlier this week?

[Warning: some strong language]

That was a question the Media Research Center’s Dan Joseph wanted to ask protestors; he even dressed up for the occasion in a suit and tie.

More than a few protestors said that they were supporting the acts of “communal self-defense” that are occurring in Ferguson.

One protestor had the racial composition of the Grand Jury on a sign; there were nine white and three black jurors. When asked by Joseph if she knew how the jurors voted–and if it was along racial lines–she admitted to not knowing the answer.

The Grand Jury vote is kept secret.

In all, Joseph got some great footage of left-wing extremism.

    

What We're Thankful For: Happy Thanksgiving from the Townhall Team

The editorial team here at Townhall would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. Here's some of the things we're thankful for in 2014:

***

Another year has flown by and here we are again celebrating Thanksgiving, hopefully surrounded by family and friends. As cliche as it sounds, I am grateful for nearly everything in my life. It's the big things, the little things, the good things and even the bad things each day that remind me of just how blessed I am. I’m grateful for my health, my incredibly supportive family, loyal friends, life lessons, a warm place to go home to, my work, a good boss, my colleagues, plentiful food, my cell phone, the Internet, chapstick, my upcoming deer hunt, the opportunity I had to travel to Israel this year and so much more. I am thankful today and every day for many blessings, including the blessing of being born an American.

As you sit down with your families today, please remember the men and women serving in our armed forces who won't be at home with theirs, I am certainly grateful for their sacrifice and dedication to keeping us safe. Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

-Katie Pavlich, News Editor

***

I am truly thankful for my loving family, my fantastic friends, my good health, my fulfilling job, and my wonderful colleagues, both at Townhall and Fox News. It's all too easy to lose sight of seemingly mundane blessings during our frenetic day-to-day shuffle, so I'm also thankful that we as Americans observe a holiday each year that encourages us to take a step back and reflect on our many causes for gratitude. Including, in my case, the Northwestern Wildcats' epic overtime upset at Notre Dame this month.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Guy Benson, Political Editor

***

I'm thankful to live in the United States. While the United States is not perfect, and we are working to improve it every day, our nation is without a doubt the greatest country in the world. The brave men and women who defend it deserve our eternal thanks.

I'm thankful for my amazing family, without whose love and support I would not be the same person that I am today. Not everyone is so blessed, and I wake up every day thankful for the people who love me. My wife, my parents, and my siblings are the greatest support network I have.

-Kevin Glass, Managing Editor

***

This year, as always, I am thankful for all of God’s blessings—my family, friends, health, job, and living in the greatest country in the world, which wouldn’t be possible if not for members of the military, past and present, and their families. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

-Leah Barkoukis, Managing Editor, Townhall Magazine

***

I am beyond grateful for many things: For my parents’ love, support and commitment to my education when I was younger. For my three siblings: Meaghan, Timothy, and Matthew. For such great friends who would (quite literally) give me the shirts off their backs. They know who they are. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I am grateful to the men and women who defend our freedom. Their courage and sacrifice never ceases to amaze me. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

-Dan Doherty, Deputy News Editor

***

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it forces us to stop and reflect. This year, especially, I am incredibly thankful for my family. Even though hundreds of miles separate us they have been my support system and my biggest cheerleaders as I started this new adventure in DC. I am thankful for the friends I have made living here, and for a wonderful church family I can be a part of on a weekly basis. I am thankful for the freedoms that living in these United States gives us. And I am thankful for the men and women of our armed forces, and for the sacrifices they make to protect our great nation. As the new girl to Townhall, I am thankful for amazing colleagues and a team I love to work with. I pray that you and yours have a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

-Chelsea Courson, Office Coordinator

***

2014 was quite a year to be thankful for. I’m thankful for Charlie White and Meryl Davis and their gold medal. I’m thankful for the second Royal Baby. I’m thankful for the Hunger Games franchise. I’m thankful for successfully seeing only one Downton Abbey spoiler this year before it airs in America. I’m thankful for I Love Lucy reruns. I’m thankful for Nutella (which is a lifesaver for someone with a peanut allergy.) I’m thankful for Ted’s Bulletin pop tarts. On the political side of things, I’m thankful for the fact that pro-life women will be making history next year in Congress.

Now for my loved ones. I’m thankful for my friends, who make weddings way more fun than they ought to be. I’m thankful for my brother and sister-in-law and their stellar advice. I’m thankful for my parents, who always offer me their listening ears when I feel like venting. Most of all, I’m thankful for my faith in God, which has pulled me through trials I never thought would end.

Happy Thanksgiving, Townhall family!

-Cortney O’Brien, Web Editor

***

Like I said last year, I’m not the best at emoting via writing, so here’s an unordered list. I’m thankful for the Catholic Church. For my family, including my cousin’s unborn son whom I can’t wait to meet this April. My friends, both old and new, near and far. My amazing job and coworkers. For the fact that my flight was able to successfully make it from DC to Maine for the holiday before the snow hit. For being able to travel to London and North Dakota this past year. For free inflight wifi allowing me to type this (thanks, Verizon!). For the legislative and electoral victories this year, especially the re-election of Gov. Paul LePage. And, as always, I am forever thankful to be a citizen of the United States of America.

-Christine Rousselle, Web Editor

***

I am thankful for my parents, for my dear friends, and for all those in my life with whom I have loved, laughed and grown. I'm thankful for my very dedicated and hardworking coworkers at Townhall, every day I love working alongside of them and learning from them. I am thankful for being born in America, where people still value and fight for their religious freedom, free speech, and a free press. I am thankful for all those who fight for those rights. I am thankful for my wonderful roommate, and for the dinners we cook together. I am thankful for Taylor Swift, for acoustic guitars, and for my keyboard. I am thankful for technology, coffee and art museums. And I am thankful for all the opportunities I have each day to learn more about the world and those around me.

-Sarah Jean Seman, Web Editor

***

After lingering in unemployment and internship-land for almost two years, there’s a lot to be thankful for this year. I’m thankful for being raised by a loving and supportive family; my mom and dad, along with my brother and sister, have been my biggest supporters; for being an American, for having amazing friends and co-workers, for having a job, for being part of the amazing team at Townhall.com, and for our men and women serving in uniform at home and abroad.

I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

-Matt Vespa, Web Editor/Community Manager

***

As a college intern at Townhall, I will not be making the trip back home (Reno, Nevada) for the holiday...It's a little too expensive for my budget. So from 2,000 miles away from home, I am thankful for my family, my dog, and my pickup truck waiting for me when I get back in mid-December. As for my current 'home' in D.C., I could not be more thankful for my experience in this fascinatingly robust city and for the wonderful people at Townhall.

-Ky Sisson, Editorial Intern

Report: Businesses Will Receive $3,000 Per Employee For Hiring Illegal Immigrants

As if President Obama’s executive amnesty wasn’t already a slap in the face to out-of-work Americans, thanks to a loophole in Obamacare, it looks like businesses will actually have a financial incentive for hiring illegal immigrants.

The Washington Times reports:

Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.

President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.

Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover. [...]

A Department of Homeland Security official confirmed that the newly legalized immigrants won’t have access to Obamacare, which opens up the loophole for employers looking to avoid the penalty.

The Health and Human Services Department, which oversees Obamacare, referred questions to the White House, which didn’t reply to a request for comment.

“If it is true that the president’s actions give employers a $3,000 incentive to hire those who came here illegally, he has added insult to injury,” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) told the Times. “The president’s actions would have just moved those who came here illegally to the front of the line, ahead of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”

Meanwhile, Obama maintains that bringing undocumented workers into the workforce is a good thing.

“Immigrants are good for the economy,” he said in Chicago on Tuesday. “We keep on hearing that they’re bad, but a report by my Council of Economic Advisers put out last week shows how the actions we’re taking will grow our economy for everybody.”

I’m sure those in the unemployment line would beg to differ. 

Mittmentum Continues: Romney Clears GOP Field in New Q-poll

Before you consume large portions of Thanksgiving deliciousness tomorrow, do check out the latest Quinnipiac poll surveying the crowded and presumptive 2016 presidential field. It may (or may not) give you heartburn:

Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's unsuccessful presidential nominee in 2012, leads the field for the 2016 election among Republican voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.

The former Massachusetts governor would have a slight edge over potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by 45 percent to 44 percent in a general election, the poll found.

Amazingly, Romney leads all other Republicans surveyed, and is beating Hillary Clinton in a hypothetic head-to-head matchup. Perhaps, then, it's finally time to eschew the “loser for life” label.

It doesn't quite seem to fit.

2-Minute Thanksgiving NFL Ad Warns of Rogue President

This brilliant ad is coming to your televisions this Thanksgiving from Conservative War Chest.

ISIS Fighters Reach out to Ferguson Protesters, Offer Help In Exchange for Oath of Allegiance to Baghdadi

Protesters in Ferguson have been offered some help from none other than the Islamic State. In a clear attempt to take advantage of the growing unrest and ‘anti-authoritarian feelings,’ British jihadis have offered to send fighters to take on the police in the riot-plagued city. There is one condition, however: they must embrace Islam and pledge their allegiance to the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Daily Mail has the details:

Using the slogan 'From #IS 2 Ferguson', Birmingham-born jihadi Junaid Hussain, 20 - who has adopted the nom de guerre Abu Hussain al-Britani - this morning tweeted a photograph of a hand-written letter urging the Ferguson rioters to 'reject corrupt man-made laws like democracy' and declare their allegiance to ISIS' leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The note Hussain posted on Twitter today is titled 'From #IS 2 Ferguson' and contains a promise to send militants to the Missouri city if protesters pledge allegiance to ISIS.

It reads: 'We hear you and we will help you if you accept Islam and reject corrupt man-made laws like democracy and pledge your allegiance to Caliph Abu Bakr and then we will shed our blood for you and send our soldiers that don't sleep, whose drink is blood, and their play is carnage.'

Underneath the picture Hussain tweeted: 'Accept Islam & give bayah [allegiance] to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi & then we will send u soldiers that don't sleep! - #IS #Ferguson'.

The note was accompanied by a photograph of a number of masked young men posing with assault rifles and mobile phone cases bearing the black and white logo of the Islamic State.

It is understood the men in the photograph are militants based in ISIS-held areas of Syria and Iraq, and that one of the men is 20-year-old Hussain.

Another militant, who uses the Twitter handle @Abu 3antar Britani and is also thought to be British, tweeted: 'From #IS to #Ferguson we heard your call and we are ready to respond! #FergusonDecision #BeLikeMalcolmX #FightBack'.

A third jihadi using the nom de guerre Abu Dujana subsequently posted a photograph of a large knife being brandished by somebody wearing a glove made by the American sports brand Nike.

'For how long will you let these govts oppress u. Draw ur knives and show them a response!! #FergusonDecision #IS,' he wrote.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen ISIS try to capitalize on the unrest in Ferguson. During a CNN news report in August, a sign could be seen in the background that read “ISIS is here.”

By invoking names of black civil rights leaders like Malcolm X, it seems the terrorist group is trying to attract new converts. After all, many of them, including Malcolm X, were Muslim.

Whether ISIS will successfully make inroads in Ferguson remains to be seen, but the thought alone is chilling. 

Watch: Congressional Hits and Misses, Thanksgiving Edition

You never know what you will hear on the Hill. According to Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) "turkey growers are finding it difficult to heat their barns, and therefore their turkeys." In the holiday spirit, Roll Call has compiled a special Thanksgiving edition for this week's 'Congressional Hits and Misses.' Be prepared, the congress members are "now in their eating time."  

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

McCain To Graham: You Should Run For President, My Friend

While John McCain will probably run for another term as Arizona Senator, he’s urging his friend and colleague, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to run for president in 2016. ABC News mentioned Graham’s interview with the Weekly Standard last month where he said he might consider a 2016 run if no other candidate has a robust and aggressive foreign policy platform (via ABC News/Yahoo!):

“I think he is looking at it, and I am strongly encouraging him to take a look at it,” McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC News. “I know of no one who is better versed and more important on national security policy and defense than Lindsey Graham, and I don’t think these challenges to our security are going away.”

“He is eminently qualified,” McCain added

Yet, he also knows that this will be an exercise in the insane given the media scrutiny, traveling, and fundraising he would have to do if he tossed his hat into the ring:

On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, Graham said running for president is "the hardest thing one could ever do. You go through personal hell. You have got to raise a ton of money. I'm nowhere near there."

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said he expects a “very crowded field” in 2016 that will be compromised of both senators and governors.

“I think there's an old saying that if you are a United States senator that unless you are under indictment, or detoxification that you can automatically consider yourself a candidate,” McCain joked. “I think we should let a thousand flowers bloom. I think that the process is wide open right now, and I think not only will members of the Senate be considered, but I think some of our successful Republican governors will also be interested.”

Q-Poll: Obama Approval Back to 39 Percent, Americans Trust GOP More


Why don't you go ahead and consider Quinnipiac's latest numbers a continuation of these data points we highlighted last week.  The midterm elections were a rejection of the president, his party, and his agenda -- and non-voters are on board with that repudiation:

American voters give Obama a negative 39 - 54 percent approval rating, close to his lowest-ever 38 - 57 percent score in a December 10, 2013, Quinnipiac University poll. Democrats and voters under 30 years old are the only party, gender or age groups who approve of the president. Only 42 percent of American voters trust Obama more than Republicans in Congress to do what is best for the nation, while 47 percent trust Republicans more. It's good for the country that Republicans have taken over control of the U.S. Senate, voters say 51 - 37 percent, but 67 percent of voters expect more gridlock in the next two years. Gridlock will be Obama's fault, 44 percent of voters say, as 42 percent would blame Republicans. "American voters are happy the Republicans have the ball, but don't feel confident there will be a lot of scoring on the deal-making front," Malloy said. "If that's the case, the numbers say blame will fall on Obama as much as Republicans.

Americans are glad the GOP took the Senate, they trust Congressional Republicans more than Obama on pursuing our national interests, and they're poised to blame the president slightly more for the expected resulting gridlock. Obamacare support remains underwater by double digits (40/54), while a slim plurality (48/46) favors full repeal of the law.  Fully 75 percent of respondents say they expect the new Congress will attempt to repeal Obamacare.  Meanwhile, even as this polling series has consistently showed much stronger backing for fully or mostly legal abortion (compared to other pollsters' numbers on the question), the American people still overwhelmingly favor a ban on almost all abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy, with virtually no gender gap on the question:

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 11.32.24 AM

Barack Obama and his extremist party adamantly oppose this consensus, mainstream, humane measure.  And on the red-hot immigration issue, the White House can take solace in the fact that although Obama's executive order is underwater in this survey, it's a closer margin than previous polling has found.  Part of that may be a result of the question wording framing things as both (a) an issue of Congressional inaction, which is straight out of Obama's hymnal, and (b) a hypothetical scenario, which, um, it's not.  Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans who believe that most illegal immigrants should have access to a path to citizenship has fallen considerably, and is now tied with the combined "no path to citizenship" and "deportation" camps.  No worries, Emperor Barack can just continue to "take action to change the law," and make everything better.  Seems legit:



Ahead of Thankgiving Holiday, Obama Administration Quietly Submits New EPA Regulation Proposal

As millions of Americans get ready to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday ahead of a four-day weekend, the Obama administration has quietly issued a proposal for new EPA regulations.

Coming full circle on a campaign promise, the Obama administration will propose tightening the amount of a smog-forming pollutant in the air.

People familiar with the proposal tell the Associated Press that the EPA will recommend lowering the limit for ground-level ozone to 65 to 70 parts per billion, down from a 75 parts per billion standard set in the 2008.

The proposal will be announced Wednesday to meet a court-ordered Dec. 1 deadline. The stricter standard makes good a campaign promise Obama made during his first run for the White House. 

The EPA argues these new smog rules will make Americans healthier and the air cleaner, but job creators and business advocates are pushing back, saying the standards are unattainable, won't make much difference in air quality and will have a negative impact on the economy. 

Leaked details of the proposal drew sharp criticism from industry groups, which argue that tighter restrictions will lead to higher costs and losses in jobs and economic productivity. American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said air quality is already improving throughout much of the country, and many states are still struggling to adjust to the last change in ozone regulations six years ago.

Meanwhile, over the past 90 days the federal government has issued 6,000 new regulations for small businesses around the country. 

WaPo Flashback: DOJ Probably Does Not Have Enough To File Civil Rights Charges Against Darren Wilson

As Katie mentioned yesterday, the Department of Justice is still conducting an ongoing investigation of its own:

While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing. Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now. Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence. And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions," Holder released in a statement.

DOJ is investigating whether Michael Brown’s civil rights were violated and whether there are discriminatory police practices happening in Ferguson.

Yet, on October 31, it was reported that federal officials probably don’t have enough evidence to file civil rights charges against Officer Darren Wilson, but a DOJ spokesperson called such assumptions premature (via WaPo):

Justice Department investigators have all but concluded they do not have a strong enough case to bring civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., law enforcement officials said.

“The evidence at this point does not support civil rights charges against Officer Wilson,” said one person briefed on the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Justice Department officials are loath to acknowledge publicly that their case cannot now meet the high legal threshold for a successful civil rights prosecution.

Justice spokesman Brian Fallon said the case remains open and any discussion of its results is premature. “This is an irresponsible report by The Washington Post that is based on idle speculation,” Fallon said in a statement.

Other law enforcement officials interviewed by The Post said it was not too soon to say how the investigation would end. “The evidence we have makes federal civil rights charges unlikely,” one said.

H/T Dan McLaughlin.

This Just In: Tesco is Sexist

Tesco, a grocery retailer based out of England, has just offended little girls everywhere, according to a slighted mother and her 7-year-old daughter. It's offense? Claiming superhero action figures were "toys for boys."

Karen Cole brought her daughter to Tesco for a routine grocery trip, when her daughter Maggie noticed a sign that said Marvel superheroes were "Fun gifts for boys." Here was Maggie's best Mckayla Maroney-Grumpy Cat-like reaction:

Cole's post got over 10,000 retweets and BuzzFeed decided to run a story on it suggesting that this little girl had "schooled" Tesco. The photo gained more than just social media buzz, however. The picture gained Tesco's attention, prompting the company to remove the "sexist" sign from each of its stores.

In response to her picture going viral, Cole wrote a blog post entitled, "Maggie v. Tesco, our story." In the piece, she explains how she has taught her daughter that toys aren't exclusive to any gender and she was pleasantly surprised that Tesco realized its mistake.

But, was it really a mistake?

John Stossel had a great segment on parents and their decision to raise children in gender neutral homes on his Fox News show which aired Saturday night. During the program, Stossel questioned parents who let their children decide whether they want to be boys or girls. He determined that it was confusing for children, to say the least. 

Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, also tackled this issue in a piece for The Atlantic in 2012. After speaking with experts and studying research on the subject, here's what she concluded about children's play preferences:

"They are different, and nothing short of radical and sustained behavior modification could significantly change their elemental play preferences. Children, with few exceptions, are powerfully drawn to sex-stereotyped play. David Geary, a developmental psychologist at the University of Missouri, told me in an email this week, "One of the largest and most persistent differences between the sexes are children's play preferences." The female preference for nurturing play and the male propensity for rough-and-tumble hold cross-culturally."

Is it so mind boggling to suggest that boys and girls are programmed differently? Boys tend to want to pretend they're Iron Man, and girls tend to want to braid Elsa's hair. It's not sexist - it's basic science.

Presumably, Tesco also had Barbies or Easy Bake Ovens that were labeled "just for girls." I, for one, don't think the company would have to apologize for assuming that girls like playing with dolls and baking cookies - because they do! 

Instead of teaching our sons and daughters to be offended by false cases of sexism, why not teach them to embrace the differences between boys and girls? That is something to be thankful for.

New York Times Pretty Much Publishes The Address of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson

Yesterday in an attempt to report on the wedding of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, the New York Times published the street name and suburb where he owns a home with his pregnant wife outside of St. Louis. Breitbart's John Nolte was the first to report on the publication last night. 

Breitbart News will not link the story or give out the specific information, but the New York Times had no qualms whatsoever about publishing almost all the information needed for Officer Darren Wilson's enemies to track him and his wife down at home:

Officer Wilson and [his wife] own a home together on XXXXXXX Lane in XXXXXXXXXX, Mo., a St. Louis suburb about a half-hour drive from Ferguson.

The NYT published the information after a night of rage and violence across the country as rioters burnt business to the ground, called for Wilson's death, hurled rocks at police, smashed windows, turned over cops cars etc., putting the lives of Wilson and his wife further at risk. To make matters worse, the online publication Slate posted a photo of Wilson's home. 

Meanwhile, here's another egregious example of reckless media: