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SWMissourian

American-Midwest News Corporation (AMNC)

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Name: American-Midwest News Corporation

Call Letters: AMNC

Owner: Jackson Freeman

Media Markets: Champaign-Peoria, IL

 Political Leaning: Conservative


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4 hours ago, SWMissourian said:

Name: American-Midwest News Corporation

Call Letters: AMNC

Owner: Jackson Freeman

Media Markets: Champaign-Peoria, IL

 Political Leaning: Conservative

Approved and goes public January 18, 2016.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SEN. GRANATA ON POTUS BID

As previously reported, Senator Anthony Granata, a rare Illinois Republican and US Senator, has announced his bid for the Presidency on the Republican ticket. Mr. Granata seeks to replace President Barack Obama, an Illinois Democrat, who is term limited. AMNC reporter Vincent Goodman sat down with Senator Granata for an exclusive interview talking about Granata’s views and his upcoming campaign. 

How did you get to where you are today, and what shaped your political views?

We started off with a fairly simple question aimed to expose Senator Granata’s past and motivation. Mr. Granata started with talk of his upbringing:

”I am a product of the south side of Chicago during the late 60's and early 70's when I graduated high school. My father was the owner of a small business and I was able to see first hand the greatness of American freedom and the benefits of entrepreneurship. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of hard work involved, and I was always told that I'd never get anywhere unless I worked for it, but I was extremely fortunate to be able to watch the American dream come true for my father who was a first generation American. 

My father was a tough guy, and he was pretty conservative, although in those days if you were in business in Chicago and you didn't support the city Democratic machine, there would inevitably be a price to pay. I always resented the fact that the government and crooked politicians had that kind of power to influence my father's profit as a businessman. I resented it so much that I ultimately became a Republican...”

While Mr. Granata’s conservative views might surprise some due to his nature as an Illinois native, they actually make sense. Entrepreneurs know firsthand the battle between regulation and business, especially when local political machines are involved. Moreover, conservative Democrats still have a place in Illinois politics, no matter how small it may be these days. Dan Lipinski, a House Democrat known for his rare Democratic social conservatism, hails from Illinois. 

Mr. Granata then spoke of his time as a businessman and his journey to Congress:

“When I took over my father's business in 1986 I had cemented my place as a conservative in a blue state. I fought city hall and the state against regulations that were killing my business and before long I decided to throw my hat into the ring so that my opinion would carry a little bit more weight. I ran for Congress in 1992 where I served while operating the family business. I've been at it ever since.”

So let’s transition to your campaign now. What do you feel are the major planks of your platform?

Moving to the present, we decided to ask him of his new bid for the GOP nomination for President. Granata’s answer was strong, though nothing you wouldn’t expect from a Republican. 

“Unfortunately I think the biggest threat facing this country right now is our broken immigration system. Immigration reform is at the top of my list. If you look at the majority of opinions that come out of the Democratic Party you will see that they do not want to secure our border, they do not want to help us identify and deport criminal aliens, and they are putting the rights of non-citizens above the American people. To say it is a disgrace is an understatement. Policies like that will lead to the destruction of America there's no doubt it and its something that the GOP needs to oppose vigorously. I plan to do that as our nominee.”

Immigration policy has been a thorn in the side of administrations both Democratic and Republican for years now. The hot-button issue, though once enjoying a decent amount of Washington consensus, has become divisive and gridlocked. Despite most Americans agreeing that illegal immigration is a big problem for the nation and that it must be stopped, many politicians have behaved much more dove-ish on immigration, most recently Democratic ones.

((OOC: Sorry for the format change. I can’t fix it on my phone, and I don’t have access to my PC right now.))
 
Mr. Granata also emphasized his plans for the economy. 
 
“The economy is obviously another big pillar of my platform. I want to reform the income tax code, reduce taxes on the middle class, and create jobs to get our people back to work. This includes cutting regulations, cutting pork spending, reducing the size of government, and allowing the people to decide their own financial fate. I've been a businessman along with a legislator for 24 years and I know how to create opportunity and prosperity. We need to even up these deficits with countries like China as well, and I wouldn't be opposed to re-negotiating trade agreements or implementing tariffs to make sure that we're getting our fair share. “
 
Granata echoes the economic worries and griped of millions across the nation, from coal miners being put out of business by the current administration to suburban families worried about the slow, milquetoast recovery from the Great Recession. Senator Granata then moved to foreign affairs:
 
“We need to also make sure that we are strong on the world stage. What this president has done in regards to Iran is completely dangerous and irresponsible. I am going to get rid of this awful Iran nuclear deal as soon as I sit down at my desk and replace the sanctions that were just lifted. We're going to make sure our military is funded properly beyond a doubt and we're going to let the world know that America is a nation of freedom and peace and we will stop at nothing to defend that.”
 
And, perhaps least surprisingly, Senator Granata slammed Obamacare, which has infamously encountered myriad issues, from system failures to rising insurance premiums. 
 
“I think the last main point I want to make about my platform is that we need to get rid of Obamacare as soon as we possibly can. It is a disaster and it was from the beginning. To think that someone who cannot afford the government subsidized insurance shoved down their throats will be punished for not having it is outrageous. The whole thing was put together too fast and without thought and it's a disaster.  We will put together a plan that keeps the parts of the ACA that we agree with like covering pre-existing conditions but we will do a much better job at getting people the coverage they need, and not what the government thinks they need. “ 
 
What are the worst failings or excesses of the Obama Administration to you?
 
Many Republicans, and even some Democrats, have expressed frustration with President Obama’s governance. Granata was no exception: 
 
Obamacare was absolutely the worst thing to come out of the administration. This is a bill that threw millions of Americans off of there perfectly good health insurance plans on to plans that they didn't want, plans that didn't cover anything they needed, and in many cases plans that put them in a worse situation than they were in before. The whole thing was pushed through and implemented way too fast and haphazardly. The worst part about it was that the president said himself that if you liked your plan that you could keep it and we now know that was a complete lie. Now, if you can't afford insurance you are going to be penalized and fined by the government. It is absolute chaos. It is a disaster and it needs to go. 

I think a close second is this Iranian nuclear deal that President Obama agreed to that has absolutely nothing in it to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons in a decade. The deal allows for Iran to slowly accumulate the resources needed for nuclear weapons, meanwhile we are rolling back sanctions on them. Another terrible mistake made by this president and I'll say it again,,. when I sit down at that desk we are pulling out of this awful deal and placing the sanctions right back on Iran. If President Rouhani wants to come back to the table to negotiate a fair deal I would be happy to talk, but what we have now needs to go.”

These are fairly standard criticisms, so we asked Senator Granata what sets him apart from his colleagues in the race. So far, only Senator Driscoll of Nevada has entered the primary field. 

“Well I have to say that I respect anyone and everyone who is willing to stand up and voice their opposition to these bad policy moves by the president. As for my GOP opponent in the race, I admire and respect Senator Driscoll. He's a true patriot and a great American and I believe he'd make a much better president than anyone the democrats could nominate. With that said, I think Perry comes at the Iran deal with a lack of understanding as to what is actually going on. He made a comment the other day that "they don't care about any deal" when referring to Iran. Well, in fact, Iran is in compliance with the deal. It is not that Iran is just blowing us off completely ... they are taking advantage of a bad deal offered to them by the U.S. and its allies. I think that is an important distinction to make because if you can see that a deal is not properly negotiated you can come to the table with something better... I would agree with him that they are laughing at us, however, not because of the fact that we offered a deal, but because of the nature of the deal.”

When we asked Mr. Granata who his political hero was, he said Ronald Reagan was. He described him as “a great human and a great leader.”

Primary voters have a choice on their hands. So far, they have home-grown Illinois Senator Granata and casino tycoon and infamous extravagant Senator Driscoll of Nevada. Who knows who else shall enter the primaries or who shall win? The voters shall decide after the coming months of hard campaigning from both sides. 


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Senate Republicans Lend a Helping Hand to Manufacturing

The new Senate docket contains incentives for American industry that could prove vital in domestic industrial survival

WASHINGTON, DC - Senate Majority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald (R-TX) announced the Senate’s new docket and on the list of bills to be considered is one of special interest to Illinoisans and Midwesterners: the Promoting More American Manufacturing Jobs Act

A well-known truth about modern America, accepted throughout the nation, is the decline of American manufacturing. The industrial heartland in the Midwest, including here in Illinois, has suffered blow after blow. Perhaps the most devastating recent blow was the Great Recession. Increasingly apparent to middle class Illinoisans is the fact that manufacturing jobs just aren’t coming back to the state, even as they return to other states or move to foreign nations. 

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have promised aide to our ailing manufacturing sector, but it’s decline as nonetheless persisted. As it turns out, Industrial America may have found its newest ally in the Republican Party. 

Senator Perry Driscoll (R-NV), a casino tycoon and prospective Republican nominee for President, introduced the Promoting American Manufacturing Jobs Act. This legislation, if enacted, would clarify rules relating to tax incentives for domestic manufacturing. Senator Kyle Fitzgerald (R-TX), the Senate Majority Leader, announced the Senate’s new docket recently, and Driscoll’s bill was on the list. 

When asked about the bill, Senator Fitzgerald said,"I'm proud of Senator Driscoll for working to bring back good manufacturing jobs back to our country. Protecting and growing our manufacturing base is one of our top priorities right now."

With a Presidential election on the horizon, along with the Senate and House elections, it would seem the GOP wants to show blue collar workers that they will fight for their interests in a Washington that has consistently ignored their voices. 


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AMNC NEWS CHANNEL - “Free Man’s News” hosted by Jackson Freeman

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Intro: For Midwestern news and expert analysis, this is Free Man’s News with Jackson Freeman!

FREEMAN: “Good evening, folks, and welcome to Free Man’s News. I am Jackson Freeman, and tonight we have a huge breaking news story.

Earlier today, AMNC reported that Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Henry Tomblin of the Democratic Party has taken numerous bribes over a long period of time in exchange for favors in his capacity as speaker. These bribes have been numerous and substantial, including a $100,000 bribe from a construction company to shut down a House inquiry into unsafe business practices. This is quite obviously very corrupt and an abuse of legislative influence. A huge embarrassment for the Illinois Democratic Party with their own Speaker, one of their most powerful members, engaging in insanely corrupt behavior. Untold thousands of dollars have exchanged hands between Speaker Tomblin and business groups, even as the people of Illinois only make an average of $59,000 a year. Keep that number in mind as we put that into perspective. One singular bribe was worth nearly twice that of what an average Illinoisan makes. 

We bring on now special guest Doug Hartman, senior political analyst for AMNC and professor of political science at Illinois State University. Thank you for coming on, Doug.”

HARTMAN: “No problem, Jackson.”

FREEMAN: “So, what do you make of all of this? What kind of fallout can we expect from the revelation of Speaker Tomblin’s corrupt behavior?”

HARTMAN: “Well, I definitely see Speaker Tomblin getting ousted. You know, with the Democratic Party in Illinois with egg on its face, it just HAS to do something. This is a huge embarrassment, with such substantial, unchecked bribes. Either the Illinois Democrats are incompetent or unwilling to punish their senior members.”

FREEMAN: “What do you think we can expect to see from voters?”

HARTMAN: “This is a very blue state, Jackson, so I’d say the Democratic Party definitely isn’t losing their control over the state legislature, but stranger things have happened. After all, how can voters trust the Democratic Party to do all the things they say they will, like with consumer protection and labor rights, if their most important House member is excepting huge bribes from special interest groups to advance their agenda and not the people’s? Big opportunity for the Illinois GOP.”

FREEMAN: “Alright thank you for coming on, Doug. We have to move to commercial break now, but when we come back, more analysis on Henry Tomblin’s bribes, and the Democratic Party’s slowing of industry protection in the US Senate.”

***Commercials over Dawn dish soap, Coca-Cola, LifeAlert, and Purple Mattresses***

*End of transcript*

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EXCLUSIVE Interview with NV Senator Driscoll on POTUS Run

Senator Driscoll isn’t from the Midwest but says he can appeal to blue-collar workers ruined by bad policy

Last month, we did an exclusive interview with Illinois’s own Senator Anthony Granata. He, however, is not the only person running for the Republican nomination for President. He is joined by Nevada US Senator Perry Driscoll, a magnanimous, bombastic person known for his bluntness, nicknames, and populist rhetoric. We sat down with him to ask him the same questions we asked Mr. Granata in order to inform the voters of Illinois so that they may make the right choice in the primary. 

How did you get to where you are today, and what shaped your political views?

”I've worked hard for everything I have today. I was born in Queens, and my father had just come home from fighting the Nazis. He taught me the value of hard work. He himself came from nothing and was able to be highly successful. He showed me the ropes of his real estate business at a young age, but what he hadn't prepared me for was his untimely death. I had to take over very young, and I learned many lessons the hard way. I was able to turn his business from a modest company worth only a couple of million dollars into a very successful casino business worth billions. I could've been content with my life for years, but I said, you know what, I don't like the direction Obama is taking our country, and I ran for Senate, totally self funded mind you, because I wanted to make a difference. I ran as a Republican because they truly are the party of opportunity. Democrats are all about handouts, and its a big reason our country is going in the direction it is. We're in a position now where people aren't working because of the policies of the Dems, and I've always said the greatest social program is a job. I'm going to bring jobs back to America that the Dems have sold out to China and Mexico. Folks are going to be proud, and they're going to make much more than they would’ve ever made before, tremendous wealth. They'll be doing so well, that we will thrive as a country once again.”

Criticizing the Democratic Party as the party of handouts is nothing new, due to the party’s long history of advocating for and implementing new welfare programs. These programs have always come under fire for enabling and encouraging lazy behavior and being rife with fraud. Mr. Driscoll’s background from a successful immigrant father and as a mostly self-made businessman is a testament to the very American idea that you can make your own way without the help of big government. 

What do you feel are the major planks of your platform? 

“First of all, jobs. I've said it once and I'll say it again, we need to bring the jobs America once had, back home! I'm talking auto manufacturers, steel mills, coal mines, all very great American industries that used to be here. Now they are in China and Mexico, and I can't abide by that. It absolutely grinds my gears that hard working folks are not able to find work because for far too long, we've fostered this mentality where we just accept that factories close and unemployment is on the rise. Its simply not acceptable, and I'm going to bring back jobs in a big way.

Secondly, with our foreign affairs, its been a total disaster under Obama. I mean look at this Iran deal for one. Iran is laughing at us because we're giving them money and they get to keep making nuclear weapons. We need to be tough, and I'm going to bring them back to the negotiating table and say, look, sorry, this isn't going to work out, we either work out a better deal, or we're done. Same thing with North Korea, for the past 20 years, every President has not been able to stop them from producing nuclear weapons. I'll be the President that stops them. We've got to be firm on this, we can't allow rogue states to have nuclear weapons, its not safe. And you know what, we're going to defeat ISIS too. You know, 50 years ago, if these animals existed, they would've been wiped off the face of the earth in record time. Now what are we doing, half assing the fight? No, it's time for the gloves to come off, let our generals do their jobs, and end this.”

Foreign policy promises aside, his domestic agenda closely mirrors his famous populist attitude. With an appeal towards blue-collar workers who’ve been forced out of work by regulation (coal miners) or trade policy (automakers), Driscoll may find strong support among Midwestern voters. 

He continued on domestic trade policy by saying: 

“Finally, trade, we've been getting destroyed by China for years. I mean if you go into any house in America, just about everything will say, "Made in China." Unbelievable. We used to be a nation that made things, but not anymore. We've got to go back to that. We need someone who can negotiate with the Chinese and make a deal that is finally fair. A deal where all Americans can finally benefit. I've dealt with the Chinese before, as you know I have a casino in China, it took some hard work to get it open, but I did it, and believe me, it's successful. I will make a good deal as I have done in the past, and America will be made great again!”  

What are the worst failings or excesses of the Obama Administration to you? 

To this question, Senator Driscoll gave an unsurprising, yet still strong, condemnation of Obamacare: 

“Definitely Obamacare. What a total disaster! I like to call it the big lie, because that's what it is. The deductibles are so high, its useless. On top of that if you don't want to buy into this useless program, you're penalized. Unbelievable. They spent $5 billion dollars on a website that doesn't even work. That should tell you everything you need to know about this Presidency, a total and complete disaster. Affordable healthcare was promised, and guess what it's not there, because its useless. Its a big lie, because people were told they could keep their plans, and now they are crying because their old plan that worked has now been replaced with an awful, awful plan. We need to repeal it and we need to get something that works, pronto!” 

We’ve seen similar criticisms from other Republicans, though perhaps not always so fierce. What distinguishes you from other candidates? 

“Look, when I say something, I mean it. I'm not a man who gonna say something, and it never happens. That's what most politicians do to get votes. I'm just not that kind of guy. I can't be bought by special interests, I work for the American people, and no one else. Listen, Anthony Granata is a great man, and I'd love to have him on my team when I'm President. Smart guy, and trust me when I'm President, I'm only going to hire the best and the brightest.” 

Mr. Driscoll bills himself as a no-nonsense, get-stuff-done, kind of guy. After 16 years of arguably quite run-of-the-mill, fluffy politicians, perhaps Mr. Driscoll can tap on the wish for an anti-PC, tell-it-like-it-is candidate. 

Who is your political hero? 

“I'd have to say George Washington. He was a highly successful businessman like myself. People don't look back and think of him as such, but he was. If you go and look though there’s a huge collection of account books, ledgers and financial documentation. He took this know how with him to the Presidency and was no doubt the greatest President this country has ever seen.”

With his bombastic, populist rhetoric, Senator Driscoll makes a compelling candidate. He will compete in the Republican primaries against Illinois Senator Anthony Granata to win the Republican nomination for President of the United States. 

Edited by SWMissourian
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Welcome to AMNC’s Top News Tonight with Host Thomas Williams!

Williams: Welcome to Top News Tonight! I’m Thomas Williams, here with an update on Speaker Tomblin’s bribery scandal, which some Illinoisans have termed ‘BriberyGate’. For those who are unaware, AMNC previously discovered and reported that Illinois Speaker of the House Henry Tomblin, a Democrat, has taken numerous substantial bribes throughout his tenure as Speaker in exchange for legislative favors. One of these bribes was even over $100,000, and that is just one. 

Well, folks, Speaker Tomblin has finally responded. In a statement provided to the press, Tomblin said,"I intend to remain as an advocate for the people of Illinois and will fight these inaccurate and slanderous accusations with the strength and determination that makes the great people of Illinois the best in the country. I will not bow to pressures from Washington to abandon my constituents." So, at least in his mind, he isn’t going anywhere. In fact, he just dismissed the claims, even though they are in fact legitimate. Personally, I find it troubling that he thinks he can get away with this without any problems from the IL Democratic Party, and I bet he has good reason to believe that. Luckily, he is facing pushback, though from a more curious place. Colorado Senator Robert Powell, a fellow Democrat, has called on him to resign among other things. He agreed to come on this show to speak with us about his efforts and about Speaker Tomblin. Thank you for coming, Senator.

PowellThank you for having me, Thomas. 

WilliamsA pleasure to have you. Let’s start with what you think of Tomblin’s corruption. What do you have to say about it? 

PowellWell I think it’s disgusting. I think he should be ashamed and man enough to admit it. I also know he should no longer be welcome 1, in the Illinois legislature and 2, in the Democratic Party. That’s why I have called on him to both resign and have started a vote to expel him from the party. 

WCan the National Democratic Party expel him, though? Do they have the power to do that? 

PWe can say he’s no longer welcome in the party. Then once that motion passes, I hope the Illinois house will expel him from there. 

WBut would he still be a Democrat because he is a state official?

PThat’s for the state party to decide. Though I really hope they officially expel them from there. But know this, the National Democratic Party thinks that he should no longer be allowed in the party. 

WAlright, so its a more "on principle" and symbolic push to the Illinois Democratic Party to expel him. Any word on how this motion is going through the DNC? 

PWell, the voting is still ongoing but I can tell you this, so far every single member of the Democratic National Committee has voted to expel including myself. It looks like this will be a unanimous condemnation of corruption by our party. 

WGood to hear. I do find it troubling that Speaker Tomblin seems to feel as if he has enough support behind him to stay seated within the Democratic Party and the Illinois House of Representatives. Do you know why other prominent Democrats haven't condemned Tomblin, especially ones that are closer to home? I mean, you're a Colorado Senator, which is probably why Speaker Tomblin neglects to take you seriously. I haven't heard condemnations or calls to resign from, well, anyone else in the national Democratic caucus, which is alarming considering y'all have Midwestern Senators, including Mr. O'Malley who announced a Presidential campaign. Do you know why everyone else is so silent? 

PWell I am the Minority leader and as I said in my press release I spoke on behalf of all senate democrats. And as I’ve said, so far the vote in unanimous in the DNC. 

WRight, but I mean public statements from other Democrats. A private vote in the DNC doesn't really mean all that much to Illinois or Midwestern politicians or voters, especially if they can turn around and ignore it. I find the silence from the others, even if we just get a Tweet, a little underwhelming. 

PLike I said, I spoke on behalf of the entire Democratic Senate caucus. And I know others are in the process of finalizing their own PRs now

WWell, it's not like one Tweet or some public statement takes that long to complete. All I'm saying is it would mean more to Speaker Tomblin if he felt pressure from more Democratic Senators. Moving on, though, do you feel like Illinois voters can still trust the Democratic Party, either on the federal or state level? 

PYes, they can. Speaker Tomblin does not represent ANY part of the Democratic Party. The response from our party to his crimes has been swift and fittingly harsh. Our party has also fought for anti-corruption measures both at state and federal level. We’ve fought for fairer elections and fought to get dark money out of politics. So, yes, I think they can trust us still.

WWhen a party claims to be against, as you put it, "dark money" but has one of its statewide leaders take numerous gigantic bribes from corporations, it definitely does undermine the message. Speaker Tomblin seems to think he can survive an expulsion vote from either the Illinois Democratic Party or the House. I know you aren't an Illinois Democrat, but if you were, what would you tell voters come November about why they can trust the Democrats with control of the Illinois legislature? Why can't they just trust campaign financing issues to ballot initiatives or moderate Republicans or even Independents?

PBecause Tomblin is no longer welcome in the party. He simply isn’t. He isn’t a true Democrat and since he’s done this heinous crime, he never has been a true Democrat. 

WVoters are going to worry about similar corruption in the Democratic caucus in Illinois due to Tomblin's confidence. In your opinion, though, the Democratic Party is still the best to tackle campaign financing and corruption?

P: Well, yes. We’re the ones fighting for electoral reform. We tried to get rid of gerrymandering, something 76% of Americans approve of, and republicans voted against it unanimously. We’re the only party with the platform of getting dark money out of politics, getting rid of gerrymandering, expanding access to voting, and passing an amendment to overturn citizens united. Republicans have none of that.

WWell, I'm talking about purely on the state level. The Illinois General Assembly draws the maps, and it has been controlled by the Democratic Party in both chambers since the early 2000s. I think if gerrymandering was a big issue statewide, they would have changed how they voted. I wonder if voters are more concerned on statewide governance than what the platform just says. If the platform says less dark money but the top officials remain corrupt, as they have for years, one has to wonder if voters really can trust the Illinois Party.

Well, we are almost out of time, but I have one last question for you: has there been any communication, besides the vote, between the Illinois Democratic Party and its Chair and the DNC?

P: We have not been able to reach out yet.

W: Well, that is unfortunate. We can only hope they listen to reason and common decency. Thank you for coming on today, Senator. 

PThank you for having me. I hope to do this again sometime. 

WI hope so too. Coming up, manufacturing bills make their way through the federal government: will Obama sign them? And we discuss the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. I am Thomas Williams, and this is Top News Tonight!

*Commercials over Dawn dish soap, Ford F-150, Coca-Cola, Dodge Rams, and an NRA ad*

**End of transcript**

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A Profile on the Republican Presidential Field

With an increasingly populist attitude combined with conservative policies, the Republican primary field will be interesting for voters to choose from.

As the year progresses, the Republican Primary field gets more and more interesting. While the Democrats wrapped theirs up fairly quickly when the O'Malley campaign fizzled out, the GOP Primary remains alive and vibrant. We've already interviewed and met with some of the candidates, but there are also a few that AMNC hasn't been able to interview. Nevertheless, these candidates have been active. In seeking to inform the voters of Illinois so that they may choose the best candidate for them, we decided to provide a profile on each candidates that has announced their intent to run for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Senator Perry Driscoll (R-NV)

Loyal subscribers of AMNC will recognize Mr. Driscoll. He is a coarse-talking, no-nonsense candidate dedicated to saving American jobs, balancing trade agreements, cutting taxes, fixing immigration woes, and fighting against the liberal agenda. His rough attitude and distinctive New York-style accent (he grew up in New York) combined with his business smarts have already drawn many supporters.

Senator Anthony Granata (R-IL)

Illinois's own Anthony Granata launched his campaign early in the season, being one of the first to announce. He has a reputation for strongly repudiating the Democratic Party, sharply criticizing Obama and Obamacare, Senate Minority Leader Robert Powell. and most every orthodox Democratic idea. He has made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign. He further criticized the Iran Deal while also expressing nuance and expertise around the situation, perhaps showing some foreign policy expertise that many will find appealing.

Senator Kyle Fitzgerald (R-TX) 

Senator Fitzgerald, the current Senate Majority Leader, is a fiery Senator known for his populist beliefs. Senator Fitzgerald is running a campaign on fixing our broken immigration system and establishing e-verify as a mandate on businesses nationwide. He even called for building a wall on the southern border. Similar to Mr. Driscoll, Fitzgerald has lambasted the current trade regime, promising to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and threatening tariffs on "outsourced goods and currency manipulators while protecting key American industries such as steel and aluminum that are vital to our national security." Of course, he also promised to reform regulation and taxation. He called for reducing regulations and taxes on the middle class. Naturally, he discussed the judiciary as well, saying:"As President, I will appoint judges who will uphold those values. They will respect the rights of the unborn, the right to own and bear arms, and the rights of states to make decisions on their own without the meddling influence of an overbearing federal government. They will preserve and protect the Constitution that has made this country so great." Overall, Kyle Fitzgerald is a striking, formidable candidate with a powerful, detailed platform and fiery rhetoric to back him.

Senator Adam Benson (R-UT)

Unfortunately, there isn't much to say about Adam Benson, a Utah Republican, who entered the rave quietly and hasn't said much since. While the others have already started campaigning hard, voters won't want to discount Mr. Benson yet.

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OPINION: The Danger of an Ascendant China

BY: Franklin Freeman

Americans have long recognized the threat that the People's Republic of China poses to America. Over the concerns of the American people, Washington politicians promised us for years that China would radically liberalize and become freer, more Western. Unsurprisingly, this did not end up happening at all. In fact, things have only gotten progressively worse until we find ourselves in the situation we are in today: massive intellectual property theft, theft of technological and trade secrets, and an ascendant China asserting itself on the global stage. This problem was very preventable, but Washington elites and Wall Street businessmen willingly blinded themselves to the reality that China did not and would not liberalize, and China wanted to overthrow the United States as the dominant nation in the world and establish a new world order revolving around them. Let's take a look at how we ended up here. 

One could argue that this started in the 1970s, when under President Richard Nixon, Sino-American relations began to thaw, but our current quagmire really kicked off in the 1990s. Under President Bush Senior, China and the US signed a trade agreement in 1992 that would have China enact intellectual property theft laws. Even then, the issue of pirating and manufacturing of knockoffs in China was well-known in the world. This agreement was heralded as a major step in combating IP theft, with American computing and software companies (being the biggest victims) as the biggest proponents. The agreement, however, had a fatal flaw: there was no enforcement mechanism, no reason for China to actually act on the laws it promised it would pass. And so the problem got worse. Further agreements came and went, but the problem only got worse. 

You might think that Washington would take notice. Only if you forgot who was in charge here. Neither Wall Street nor Bill Clinton had the stomach for punishing China, because it turns out that Chinese investments were pretty profitable. President Clinton, near the end of his Presidency, signed a bill passed by Congress that established permanent normal trade relations with the People's Republic, over the concerns of people who'd lost jobs to Chinese companies who cheated American entities out of their money and property. 

Things haven't gotten better. Last year, in 2015, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property valued counterfeit and pirated goods in China at $50-$100 billion USD. Furthermore. theft of trade secrets cost a monumental $180-$540 billion. Even as China steals American money and property, they increase their global influence with their Belt and Road Initiative (among other programs), and they assert their newfound military power in the South China Sea, threatening trillions of dollars of trade and freedom of the seas for American ships. Politicians have continued to ignore the problems, but there is hope. While the Democratic Party remains largely mute about the threat of Communist China, the Republican primary candidates have all been vocal in their criticisms of current trade policy. They've promised to take the Chinese threat seriously, and punish China for its crimes. Whether any of them will fulfill their promises has yet to be seen, but the simple fact that politicians are at least talking about it again is somewhat reassuring. 

Ultimately, we can only hope that the candidates are serious.

Edited by SWMissourian
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Can Washington Fix Immigration?

BY: The Editors

Illegal immigration is widely recognized as one of America's biggest problems in the modern political climate. Politician after politician has paid lip service to getting the crisis solved, but it has only gotten worse. As illegal immigration swells, the costs become more severe. Over 60% of non-citizen households rely on welfare, a far higher rate than that of American households. It should come as no surprise, then, that illegal immigrants are a net fiscal drain on the US, costing over 60 billion dollars per million illegal immigrants over their lifetime. That's a lot of cash. Enforcing immigration law is much cheaper, and therefore it is cost-effective. Washington, however, has not only refused to properly enforce immigration law, it has ignored flaws in the system and tacitly allowed the problem to get worse and worse. Republican candidates in the primary thus far have lambasted illegal immigration and put forth their plans thus far. For those who don't know, here are three solutions for our broken immigration system. 

#1: Increase Immigration Judges: 

The judicial system for immigration is in complete and total disarray. There aren't enough judges to address the massive backlog of cases. It takes years to hear one deportation case. Immigration court backlog has more than doubled between 2003 and 2015, but immigration court spending has increased much less--less than half, in fact. Illustrative of the deep immigration problem we have it the fact that the Imperial Immigration Court hasn't had a judge in two years, yet the federal government still spends money on the facility and maintains it. There clearly must be significant reforms to the immigration justice system. 

#2: End Chain Migration and the Diversity Visa Lottery: 

Chain migration happens whenever immigrants who live in the United States to sponsor extended family members, allowing them to get visas. Why should a nuclear family member need to bring his adult brother and sister-in-law, who will thereafter sponsor even more of their family? This, coupled with the Diversity Visa lottery program makes for a dangerous national security risk. The Diversity Visa program, for those who do not know, is a lottery that gives a visa to whoever wins. The kicker is that the person who wins must come from an under-represented country in immigration. They are only let in because not a lot of Uzbekistanis came through that year. If that doesn't make sense to you, then you're correct in questioning the necessity of this program. When you just let random people in and then allow them to bring over countless more people, you endanger your nation. That must be fixed.

#3: Switch to a merit-based system: 

This has already been introduced to Congress: the RAISE Act, or the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act. This bill would move us to a modern, merit-based immigration system. Prioritizing skilled immigrants would keep America competitive economically as well as spur innovation, while protecting blue-collar Americans. Blue-collar Americans don't need any more fronts of assault to worry about, so decreasing it by at least one is a good start. This isn't an affront to our immigrant heritage either. Other countries that were born of immigration, like Canada (that bastion of racist conservatism), have an immigration system based on merit. Should the Republicans win in November, it is likely that we shall see a big push to enact this legislation.

Those were just three of many ways to begin reforming our immigration system. We encourage our readers to take these ideas and pitch them to their representatives. Compare your ideas with immigration with those running for President and for Congress. Tell them we need action.

Edited by SWMissourian
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Fitzgerald Takes Lead in GOP Primary, Races Remain Tight

Republican Senate Majority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald (R-TX) has taken the lead in the Republican primary race for President. Senator Fitzgerald has won Iowa and South Carolina so far, though all were close races.

He won Iowa with 36% of the vote, and second place in Iowa was Senator Anthony Granata (R-IL), who garnered 24% of the vote. Senator Fitzgerald went on to win South Carolina (which has a winner-take-all primary) with 29.5%, compared to second place’s Granata, who got 26.6%. That leaves Senator Fitzgerald with a 68 delegates so far, a far first place. Senator Driscoll (R-NV) comes in second place, with 31 delegates (with the lion’s share of those coming from his home state, where he won handily). Meanwhile, Senators Benson and Granata come in third and fourth, respectively with 18 and 16 delegates. 

Some would say that the last placers should look to dropping out, but with Super Tuesday coming up, this is unlikely. Candidates will have Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. These states carry with them a massive amount of delegates that could completely change the race. Weeks of hard campaigning are here, and following that, one can only be anxious to see who the voters choose to run against Democratic nominee Senator Tillman. 

Edited by SWMissourian
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Image result for 15 minimum wage

Democrats Call for Minimum Wage Hike

Democratic Senators Powell (Colorado) and Tillman (California) are calling for a $15 minimum wage despite studies that show that would be a bad idea

Democratic Presidential nominee and California Senator Christina Tillman and Senate Minority Leader Robert Powell, a Colorado Senator, have stepped up their left-wing rhetoric recently, this time with a focus on the $15 minimum wage. Speaking in Denver, Senator Tillman said,"There is no earthly reason why in 2016 we have families living below the poverty line . Robert said it best just a few  minutes  ago when  he said this is  not just an  economic issue, but it is a moral issue. We  have an obligation to the American worker to stand up for what is right. All we are proposing is an avenue for Americans to be able to live the American Dream." Democratic politicians have called for minimum wage increases for years now, and many states controlled by the Democrats have increased their own minimum wages. However, these moves are not without controversy. 

Critics of the $15 minimum wage argue that it will increase costs on small businesses, making the economy less competitive and driving away jobs. According to the Heritage Foundation, the proposed minimum wage hike would cost a typical small business employing seven minimum wage employees an extra $122,000 per year. Once you factor in the typical 10% profit margin, the small business would need to boost sales by about $1.2 million, nearly impossible for most small businesses. Businesses would have to raise prices, layoff workers, cut hours, and/or postpone future expansion. They cite as evidence Seattle's experience in wage hikes. Workers experienced minimal gains, but the local economy experienced "major disruptions". 

Others critique the federal $15 minimum wage push as ignoring economic conditions in local areas and usurping states' rights. Many economists who do support raising the minimum wage oppose a national hike, stressing the need for local policy that takes into account local economic conditions. A minimum wage hike that is especially large for the area will drastically alter the economic climate of the region and throw the local economy into chaos. That comes from economists who support minimum wage increases in general, so the spectrum of disagreement is not exactly narrow. 

We contacted the primary campaigns of Ms. Tillman's opponents in the Republican Party. The Fitzgerald campaign, when asked about Senator Tillman's embrace of the #FightFor15 cause, provided this statement: "The CBO estimated that raising the minimum wage to even just $10.10 an hour would have damaging effects on our economy. They estimated that such a policy change would eliminate 500,000 jobs from the economy. Economists at the Manhattan Institute combined the CBO’s methodology and baselines with those of other leading economists to predict the effects of a $15 per hour minimum wage. The results are startling. They estimated that somewhere between 3.3 million and 16.8 million jobs would be lost in the near future.

UPDATE: Senator Benson's campaign responded to our request for a statement by saying,"I think it is very clear that what raising the minimum wage by that much will do is simply push a large chunk of the service sector to cut benefits and to start automating as quickly as they can.  We're already seeing restaurants like Applebee's putting kiosks at tables to try and cut server hours and when Sea-Tac hiked their minimum wage to $15/hour all sorts of benefits were cut to balance out those costs.  Raising the national minimum wage will push those trends much farther, much faster." Mr. Benson further added, perhaps more sympathetically,"I know the intention behind this push is rooted in trying to help people, but the law of unintended consequences can be a real...pain...sometimes."

So, the minimum wage: helping the poor, or well-intentioned but disastrous policy?

Edited by SWMissourian
added Benson Campaign quote
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AMNC Midwest POTUS Polls Show Tillman Ahead 

404540690_mapforpolls.thumb.png.1fdff2169e33ea5ef703007c95e0fe06.png

AMNC partnered with independent polling organizations to poll voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan in order to determine how they will vote in the 2016 Presidential election. With the election right around the corner, readers can expect these numbers to be close to the ultimate results of the election, though we must add a disclaimer that these may not be representative of the final results due to potential polling errors or biases and further campaigning. The margin of error is 1%.

---------------------------------------------------

Ohio: 

Christina Tillman (D-CA) - 48%

Anthony Granata (R-IL) - 52% 

Pennsylvania: 

Christina Tillman (D-CA) - 52%

Anthony Granata (R-IL) - 48%

Michigan: 

Christina Tillman (D-CA) - 56%

Anthony Granata (R-IL) - 44% 

Wisconsin: 

Christina Tillman (D-CA) - 54%

Anthony Granata (R-IL) - 46% 

---------------------------------------------------

These are purple swing states, and with the exception of Ohio, they appear as if they will go for Democratic nominee Christina Tillman. Ohio and Pennsylvania are also particularly close, so they will be very interesting to watch on Election Night. Watch the AMNC News Channel broadcast on Election Night for the latest updates as the results come in! 

Additionally, internal RNC polling leaked from Missouri suggests that incumbent Senator Michael Madison, a Republican, will win a landslide victory. The poll, confirmed by official RNC sources to be legitimate, shows Madison winning by 70%-30% against his Democratic opponent, Parker Porter. We will keep up to date on other Midwestern Senate races like the one in Pennsylvania and provide you with the latest information. 

Edited by SWMissourian
accidentally swapped percentages on PA
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AMNC Official Senate Forecast

Just around the corner from Election Day, this is the official forecast on the makeup of the Senate come January 2017

With a third of the Senate seats up in the 2016 elections, voters in many states have additional decision-making to do. Along with electing their Representatives in the House and their new President, they must choose who will represent them in the Senate. While most states already had clear winners early on, a few did not and the contest between the two candidates in those states has been closely watched by millions across the nation. After hard campaigning, mud-slinging, accusations, promises, and advertisements, we now sit on the doorstep of Election Day. Now that we are so close, we thought it fair to issue an official Senate Forecast and briefly analyze the races in each of the most contested states. 

Pennsylvania: Republican Hold 

The Republican candidate in Pennsylvania, Dean Tyler, has done a very good job with his campaign. Normally an extremely close state, perhaps the closest except for Florida, polls from the state show Tyler winning the Senate race by a very healthy margin. Pat Toomey's seat will indeed remain in GOP hands, even as Pennsylvania looks to vote for Democrat Christina Tillman for President. 

Colorado: Democratic Hold

While initially thought to be one of the most promising states for Republicans to challenge in 2016, this race has devolved into a largely uncompetitive race between Senate Minority Leader Robert Powell and Air Force veteran Bill Bloom. While Bill Bloom is a good candidate, his campaign's mishandling of things allowed Powell to make the most of his campaign while Bloom fell behind. Perhaps more importantly was the vast fundraising gap between the two, with Robert Powell receiving a vast amount more funds at the beginning than Bloom did. Powell's advantages in money, time, and perhaps messaging have allowed him to turn what we expected to be a much closer race (Colorado is a purple state, after all) into what some suspect may be a landslide for him. 

Illinois: Democratic Gain 

This one is hardly surprising. The Democratic Party fielded a relatively strong candidate against a relatively weak Republican one, after incumbent Republican Senator Granata began his run for the Presidency. Illinois has been a strongly Democratic state for the past few years, with Republican victories largely seen as upsets and one-offs. Perhaps a strong, relatively liberal Republican candidate could win this state in the future, but this state will most definitely flip to Democrat Barnabee James. 

New Hampshire: Democratic Gain

New Hampshire is another state that is deeply purple, but Republicans have managed to hold on to their Class 3 Senate Seat in this state by wide margins for a long time. However, it appears that will change this election cycle. While polling has been sparse, it is generally accepted that the seat will flip this cycle. Republicans will have to look to another year if they want to regain their New Hampshire Senator. 

Arkansas: Republican Hold

This race has been a very surprising one. The beginning was very predictable, with Republican Piper Valentine holding a commanding lead over Democrat Elise Thorne. However, with Thorne's strong campaigning and promises of conservative moderation, she has made a surprisingly strong and compelling candidate. While polling is fuzzy, it is thought that Thorne is likely slightly ahead. However, with increased national party support and attention from party leaders (including the Senate Majority Leader and Whip), we suspect that this seat will remain under GOP control, though it is remarkable how close the Democratic Party made this seat.

Nevada: Republican Gain

This has been one of the most riveting campaigns to watch so far. Tony Barilla (R) and Virginia Murray (D) both make strong, compelling candidates. The race started out with public polling suggesting that Murray was slightly ahead in the race, but as the weeks have gone on, it has become apparent that Tony Barilla now leads the race. With a very comfortable advantage in money, Barilla has been able to spread his message and shift those swing voters to him, while fending off attacks from Murray. We anticipate this to be a Republican flip this year. 

North Carolina: Republican Hold

Senator Ross has done a great job maintaining his popularity and lead here, despite GOP worries over his bizarre abortion debacle earlier this year. Ross will most likely win another term in the Tar Heel State.

Missouri: Republican Hold

This is the seat of the Republican National Committee Chair, Senator Michael Madison. Missouri has trended away from its status as a bellwether and has voted reliably Republican in the last few elections, though it does have a Democratic Senator, Senator Wolfe Allenson. This means that though Missouri has leaned increasingly Republican in the last few election cycles, it is still possible for Democrats to win statewide office. However, no strong challenger was tapped to run against Madison, leaving only a relatively weak candidate: Parker Porter. Madison polled strongly at the outset and now has, according to polls, a 70%-30% advantage over Porter. What could have been a tossup contest ended up being a landslide for a member of Republican leadership. 

 

Overall, the Republican efforts this election cycle seem to have paid off in keeping them in control of the Senate. Democratic failures to front strong challenges to some of the more vulnerable GOP seats in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and even perhaps Missouri left a Senate Democratic Majority out of play, though Powell's strong performance in securing Colorado and funding other races has kept Democrats from losing most of their own seats. Here is what we expect the new map of Senators to look like in 2017: Democrats with a net gain of +1, winning New Hampshire and Illinois, but losing Nevada.

1892115089_senatemap2017.thumb.png.ee4443c966658f1e7d81c1d5b4172d44.png

Edited by SWMissourian
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Nevada GOP Senate Candidate: Finding Solutions and Giving Nevadans Back Their Land

BY: Lucas Wheeler

LAS VEGAS, NV -  The Senate race in Nevada has been very close and hard-fought this election cycle, as per usual. In one of the most purple states of this nation, a strenuous contest emerges every election cycle: who will win the state's votes for President, Senator, and Representatives? This year, the frontrunner in the Senate race is Tony Barilla, a Republican who looks to flip a Democratic seat. We sat down with Mr. Barilla for a short interview session, talking about his campaign and the issues surrounding it. 

Nevada is one of the races that will decide control of the Senate. How are things going for you?

We’re trying to run a different kind of campaign, one that’s about solutions and not about partisan talking points. Our internal polls shows that it’s working - we’re attracting support not just from conservatives, but from moderates and even from people who normally vote for the Democrats. 

What are some differences in politics out in Nevada, that our viewers here in the Midwest might not know about?

One of the biggest differences is who owns the land. Your viewers in the Midwest might be shocked to learn that the federal government owns most of the land in the western United States. In Nevada, 85% of the land is owned by the federal government. Only a very small percentage of this is national parks, national monuments, military bases, or other stuff you might think of when you think of federal land. Most of it is just normal land that sits there, mostly unused, because the federal government has no idea what to do with it. Part of my campaign is to sell that land, so it can be put to good use. 

Such as?

I’d like to see entrepreneurs buy some land and use it to test self-driving cars. I’d like to see energy companies buy some land and use it to build solar panels that generate green energy. I’d like to see nature groups buy land and turn it into wildlife refuges. I’d like to see state governments buy some land and turn it into additional state parks where people can camp and have fun. Above all, I want to see this land start generating economic value instead of just sitting around. And I’m sure there are people out there who have other good ideas that I can’t even think of. That’s part of the point of getting this land out of the federal government’s hand, because the federal government isn’t good at creative thinking. 

What about immigration? That’s a big issue out west, right?

Absolutely. Nevada is a state that historically welcomes newcomers. Not only do we get a lot of immigrants from other countries, even our American-born population has a lot of people who moved here from other states to get a fresh start. A lot of our industries, like casinos and restaurants, just wouldn’t work without immigrants. But Nevadans are common sense people, they understand that not all immigrants are the same. That’s why my immigration policy is based on the idea that there are good immigrants and bad immigrants. The good immigrants are people who come to this country, follow the laws, and work hard. The bad immigrants are people who come to this country and commit crimes or join gangs. My policy is to roll out the red carpet for the good immigrants, and make it easier to deport the bad immigrants. 

Aren’t you worried your immigration policy is confusing? 

No. My policy is the policy that everyone would come up with if they sat down and devised an immigration policy based on logic instead of partisan politics. It makes sense that since our economy needs immigrants, we should make it easier to move here legally, especially for people with in-demand job skills and education. It makes sense that since we already have enough home-grown criminals, we don’t need criminals from other countries too. The politicians who should be worried about confusing the voters are politicians whose policies are not based on logic. 

As Nevada looks to send another Republican to the Senate, the nation can look forward to an interesting and novel Senator joining the ranks of the Senate Majority.

Edited by SWMissourian
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Tillman Wins White House; GOP Keeps Congress

Senator Christina Tillman (D-CA) has won the election to the Presidency of the United States, handily. She won most swing states and performed strongly here in the Midwest. Importantly, she won Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. She even almost turned Arizona blue.

Meanwhile, her coattails brought Democrats twelve seats in the House, leaving the count at 229-206. A Republican Speaker will take the gavel in January. Democrats also flipped two Republican Senate seats: New Hampshire and Illinois. However, the Republicans flipped Nevada's Democratic seat, leaving the Senate total at 53-47, with the Republicans keeping their majority. 

Our elections have concluded, leaving us not just only another 4 years of a Democratic White House, but also at least another two years of divided government. What this means for policy we will see as President-elect Christina Tillman takes the Oval Office and directs the nation, starting in January 2017.

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With Heavy Fighting Around Istanbul, Fears of a Turkish Civil War Mount

Image result for turkish coup fighting

BY: Jesse Ratcliffe

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Violence rocks the streets as government forces and forces loyal to the Peace at Home Council battle over control of the huge, strategically important city. With both sides ramping up violence and gathering forces, leaders in Washington and elsewhere fear that the conflict may boil over into a full-on Turkish Civil War. 

On November 26, 2016, a rebel faction called the Peace at Home Council, consisting of elements of the military and "other civil institutions" (per John Kerry) rose up and attempted a coup on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan, throughout his long tenure in power, has been criticized by many entities of human rights violations and undermining the secular democratic system in Turkey. The Peace at Home Council seems to agree with this assessment, according to a broadcast they aired over Turkey's public news channel, TRTThe Council tried and failed to assassinate President Erdogan, who escaped and proceeded to lead the remaining government from an undisclosed location. At the time, the State Department estimated the Council to number in the "tens of thousands" in active conspirators with potentially "millions" in public support. 

Outgoing President Obama has made it clear that he supports President Erdogan and his government, despite concerns previously brought up even by his own Vice President. When AMNC asked Secretary of State John Kerry if the President would contact the new government should they succeed in ousting Erdogan, he made no comment, and when pressed on why the President was supporting Erdogan, Kerry dodged the question. 

According to a recent update provided by the State Department, the situation has escalated dramatically. Ethnic Kurdish communities, a minority in Turkey which has seen abuse under the Erdogan government, have pledged their allegiances to the Peace at Home Council, giving them firm control over eastern Turkey. Central Turkey, meanwhile, remains under the jurisdiction of the government, including the capital city of Ankara. Heavy fighting continues in western Turkey, however. The center of the fighting appears to be the ancient city of Istanbul, which will be vital for both sides to seize in their fight over the country, for both symbolic and strategic reasons. 

Washington, as well as other governments across the globe, is fearing that the situation will escalate into an all-out civil war between the two sides. Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated his full support for the government, similar to President Obama. However, with Obama leaving the White House soon, speculation is rife over how the new President, Christina Tillman, will conduct the US throughout the conflict, as she has not yet made any public statement concerning the fighting. Will she support the controversial Turkish government under Erdogan, or an unproven revolutionary faction of Kurds and soldiers? Only time will tell.

Edited by SWMissourian
incorrect year
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Turkish Revolutionaries Take Istanbul

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - The Peace at Home Council, a Turkish revolutionary faction consisting largely of military and Kurdish elements, has seized Istanbul, the historic, huge city on the Bosporus Strait, after heavy fighting in the region. The revolutionaries have also taken the rest of Turkey in Europe. After having previously seized Eastern Turkey, this leaves the government surrounded in the center of the country, including the capital of Ankara. 

On November, 26, 2016, the Council began its coup, seizing multiple buildings in the capital and attempting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The attempt failed, and though the capital was eventually secured by government forces, forces loyal to the Council achieved success in driving out government forces from the east, thanks to the Kurdish minority rising up. 

With world leaders already taking sides, fears of a civil war were rife in Washington, alarming many during the critical transition phase between outgoing President Obama's administration and the new one under President-elect Christina Tillman. Those fears seem to have been justified, with official State Department updates now describing the situation as a civil war, though only time will tell. Meanwhile, as each side solidifies its hold on territory, President Erdogan has flatly refused to step down. The Peace at Home Council has fallen under the leadership of Colonel Muharrem Köse, who has endorsed Fethullah Gülen, a man who has lived in Pennsylvania after being granted asylum by the United States in 1999. However, Gülen has denounced violence and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. 

President Obama continues to support President Erdogan, who critics allege has eroded secular government and persecuted minorities, like the Kurds. President-elect Christina Tillman seems to indicate that her administration will be more of the same, directing any questions about the situation to the current State Department position. There may, however, be changes as the transition concludes. We will continue to update readers on the situation as changes come along.

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Image result for tucker carlson smug face

Welcome to AMNC’s Top News Tonight with Host Thomas Williams!

Williams: Welcome to Top News Tonight on AMNC! I’m your host, Thomas Williams, and tonight we have on our show special guest Grant Pinnacle, Senate Majority Leader and Republican Senator from Arkansas. As you may have heard, Democrats have been making the claim that the Republican Senate majority have been “holding hostage” President-elect Tillman’s nominees in the upcoming Senate docket. They say Mr. Pinnacle is holding up the country’s ability to conduct foreign policy and national security affairs to advance partisan legislation. Here to talk about that is Mr. Pinnacle himself. Welcome, Senator!
 
Pinnacle: Glad to finally be on, Thomas! Thanks for having me
 
Williams: Great to have you here. So, what do you think of the claims made by the Senate Minority Leader and other leading Democrats? What’s going on here?
 
Pinnacle: That’s a great question. When I became Majority Leader I pledged to bring focus to the Senate so that we can, together, pursue a strong agenda for the American people. Out of courtesy, I personally reached out to the Minority Leader well in advance of our next session to craft a Senate schedule reflecting our pressing national priorities. I wanted to consider the nominations for Secretaries of Defense & State (should the President select a nominee for State), as well as consider bipartisan Bills that would promote cybersecurity, prevent child exploitation, and support farmers. The Minority Leader unfortunately used my attempted collaboration to promote himself and to release a few wholly-deceptive talking points.  None of the nominees are being “held hostage.” Our job in the Senate is both to legislate and to give advice and consent. My job as Majority Leader is to juggle these equally important tasks in the most effective way.
 
Williams: Right, so tell me, what was the timeline of everything that happened here? You reached out first with an offer, I assume. What kind of offer was that? What kind of discussion was there? Senator Powell didn't really release much for us to go on.
 

Pinnacle: It happened pretty fast. I scheduled a time to meet, he came in and said “I want the 1st docket to be appointments.” I explained to him that we could consider priority nominations and priority legislation, then hear the rest of the nominees in the second docket. He didn’t budge: he wanted all nominees in docket one, no question. So I told him: we both want a good government and a strong system of laws. ‘If you can get your people to knock these bipartisan bills out of the way, they won’t take up space on the first docket.’ Senator Powell—not sayin’ a word—then left my office and told the press that I refused to put up nominees, and was intentionally putting national security at risk. That was just unbelievable.
 
Williams: In a press release, you listed out the bills you are trying to cooperate with the Democrats on. It had the Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, Farming for Future Act, SECURE Technology Act, Protecting Children From Online Predators Act, and Securing Our Agriculture and Food Act. Our colleagues over at NATN have described these bills as 'Republican legislation'. Looks like the most of these bills are authored by GOP Senators, so, tell me, are these Republican bills, or are they bipartisan, what are we looking at here?
 
Pinnacle: Well, for one, the Farming for Future Act is actually a Democrat-sponsored bill introduced by President-elect Christina Tillman. NATN can call them “Democrat bills” or “Republican bills” all they want, but to farmers, children, and every citizen in this country, these are necessary and commonsense bills. Honestly I don’t understand why they were taken as partisan bills; and I don’t understand why the Minority Leader couldn’t just suggest alternative bills. Remember, I was consulting with Mr. Powell out of bipartisanship—I didn’t need his blessing to set the docket. I was seeking common ground.
 
Williams: Are these bills really all that important?
 

Pinnacle: Yes, I think that these are just a few of many very important pieces of legislation. We never know how long these nomination hearings will take, but it would be quite negligent of us to put cybersecurity on hold for weeks (if not months) so that we can ask the prospective Secretary of the Interior about his favorite parks.
 

Williams: Why do you think the Senate Minority Leader went to the press instead of accepting your deal?
 
Pinnacle: I wish I knew the answer to that. I can only assume that he just doesn’t want compromise.
 
Williams: Alright, thank you for being on, Senator. Next up: more shocking developments on the ground in Turkey, we have Susan Roberts reporting from Istanbul; and right here at home, what a local church is doing for its community’s homeless. I’m Thomas Williams, and this is Top News Tonight!


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Freshman Nevada Senator: Regulations Must Be Curtailed

WASHINGTON, D.C - One of the races to watch on Election Night was the Senate race between Tony Barilla (R) and Virginia Murray (D). Nevada is a very purple state, but observers of the race noted its lean towards the Democratic Party might give Murray an edge in her fight against Barilla. Plus, polling showed Democratic Presidential candidate Christina Tillman in the lead against Republican candidate Anthony Granata. This could've given Murray a helping hand as she appeared to trail Barilla closer to Election Day. When Nevadans went to the polling booths last November, however, they chose Barilla to represent them in the Senate, marking a Republican flip in a year many thought would only be occupied by Democratic flips. This makes Nevada one of the least Republican states in the Union to nonetheless have two GOP Senators. So, when Tony Barilla arrived in Washington for the new Senate session, we met with him to discuss his thoughts on regulation. Here is the exchange: 

 

Senator Barilla, you say that everything people think they know about how government works is wrong?

That’s right. In school they teach you that Congress makes the law, the President signs the law, and all these people are elected by the people. Well that is how laws work…but there are also regulations. Regulations have the same force as laws, but federal agencies can issue them without a single vote in Congress. Each year, the federal bureaucracy issues thousands of regulations, and they have a huge impact on our economy.

How do regulations work, then?

It’s all governed by a 1946 law called the Administrative Procedure Act. In short, to issue a regulation, an agency just has to publish the proposed regulation in a government newspaper. The public has the right to comment on it, and the agency has to read the comments, but they’re not required to use or apply the comments in any way. Then they can publish the regulation a second time, and a few months later it’s a law that people can get fined or punished for breaking. Not a single vote in Congress. Nobody involved in the process is elected by the American people. There’s very little voters can actually do to stop a regulation. We have a powerful, unelected government that few people know about, but everyone suffers the consequences. 

Do these regulations actually matter? 

Absolutely. Regulations govern every aspect of American business. The Obama administration specifically used regulations to issue billions upon billions of dollars of new regulations restricting the energy and mining industry, which absolutely destroyed energy and mining jobs. American companies spend billions of dollars each year on lawyers to help them comply with regulations, which is money that is not being used to create new jobs. Lots of Democrats want to use regulations to restrict how people can store or transport guns or ammunition, so they are a threat to personal liberty too, not just the economy. And regulations never expire, so each year there are more of them. 

What about the Judiciary? Can’t courts strike down an unconstitutional regulation?

The problem is that courts have completely abdicated their duty. Regulations are rarely struck down, and with thousands of regulations issued each year it would be impossible for the court to hear suits against each and every one. If anything, courts have just helped make it easier for agencies to issue regulations. There is a controversial Supreme Court ruling from the 80’s called Chevron, which says that when issuing a regulation, agencies are allowed to make their own interpretation of a law. Think about it: Chevron literally says that agencies can be their own judge when issuing regulations. The courts aren’t going to end unelected government. 

So what do you propose to do about it?

I have introduced a law called the Rein in Regulation Act. It says that agencies can no longer issue any regulations that would have an economic impact of $2 billion or more, without getting approval from Congress. This would ensure that the people’s elected representatives have a say, and that voters could keep them accountable for the regulations they approve or deny. It also creates a mandatory sunset clause, so that regulations do not last forever and are updated for modern times. 

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Senator Barilla has arrived in Washington this year with a fresh mandate from Nevadans, and he is on a mission: take on Big Government. With his land reform legislation promising to give unused federal land back to western states and his taking on of the regulatory state, he is likely to earn many new fans during his time in the Senate: conservatives, libertarians, and moderates alike. 

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