University Cop Who Killed Unarmed Motorist Charged With Murder

Natalie Johnson /

The University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose during a routine traffic stop on July 19 was indicted on murder charges Wednesday.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters called the shooting “senseless” and said he would treat the officer, Ray Tensing, “like a murderer.”

“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years,” Deters said during a press conference. “This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make, totally unwarranted.”

During the press conference Deters showed the body camera footage of Tensing shooting DuBose, an unarmed black man, calling the footage “invaluable” to the investigation.

Tensing previously claimed he was “dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon.” The video contradicted his account.

“He was not dragged. If you slowed down this tape, you see what happened,” he said. “People want to believe that Mr. DuBose had done something violent towards the officer. He did not.”

The footage from Tensing’s body camera shows the officer pulling over DuBose for not having a license plate. Tensing asked DuBose for his driver’s license multiple times before DuBose replied he could not find it, telling the officer, “I have a license. You can run my name.”

The officer eventually asked DuBose to take his seat belt off and began to open the driver’s side door.

“I didn’t even do nothing,” DuBose said as he pulled the door shut.

He began to turn the car on as the officer yelled “Stop!” and immediately fired on DuBose, killing him instantly with a single shot in the head.

“He purposely killed him,” Deters said. “He should never have been a police officer.”

Tensing voluntarily turned himself in following the indictment. He will be arraigned on Thursday morning and faces life in prison. The University of Cincinnati also fired Tensing after the indictment was announced.

“This office has probably reviewed upwards of hundreds of police shootings, and this is the first time that we’ve thought this is without question a murder,” Deters said. “Could you imagine the outrage you would have if this was your kid, if this was your brother, over a stop like this?”

The incident, captured from the officer’s body camera, will likely encourage momentum in Congress to outfit police with such equipment.

A viral cellphone video showing a police officer fatally shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, in Sen. Tim Scott’s South Carolina hometown spurred the GOP’s sole black senator to introduce police body camera legislation earlier this week.

Chris Christie: Obama Has ‘Over-Promised and Under-Delivered’ on Foreign Policy - The Daily Signal

Chris Christie: Obama Has ‘Over-Promised and Under-Delivered’ on Foreign Policy

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon /

MANCHESTER, N.H.—During a forum today hosted by Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that President Obama has “over-promised and under-delivered” on foreign policy.

“I’m about to have an historic moment in front of you,” Christie said. “In fact, one of the only times you’ll hear me say this in my political career: I am about to quote Jimmy Carter.”

Christie said former President Carter was asked about Obama’s foreign policy in an interview and responded that “I cannot think of one country that we have a better relationship with today than the day he became president.”

“That came from a president of his own party,” Christie said. “The world has become a more complicated and difficult place because of the lack of American leadership as personified by this president and his conduct.”

Christie reiterated his criticism of the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran by saying “the president lied” when he told the American people that the deal with Iran included “anytime, anywhere inspections.”

He said that under the terms of the deal, it could take up to 24 days to inspect Iran if there is a suspicion they are in violation of the deal.

Giving Iran 24 days’ notice is like giving a criminal 24 days’ notice that you are coming to his house with a warrant, Christie said.

“Now listen: even the stupidest criminal in New Jersey, if I gave them 24 days before I was coming back to look for the evidence, would be able to figure out how to get it out of there before I came back. By the way, just as an aside, we pride ourselves in New Jersey in having some of the stupidest criminals in America.”

“But the Iranians are far from stupid,” Christie continued. “There is no commonsense reason why you should give these folks nuclear power.”

He said the next president must repair U.S.-Israeli relations, and that Israelis should have been included in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

“It is amazing to me that the Israelis were not at the table[.] … It is shameful that this president has decided that the only world leader he is willing to stand up to, and berate in public, is the prime minister of Israel.”

He believes America must be the world’s leader rather than the world’s police force, but that there are conflicts that merit American involvement.

“Americans have an interest in preventing genocide,” Christie said.

Asked by an audience member about immigration, Christie said his party is not anti-immigration, but must provide the opportunity to immigrate to the United States to those “who want to do so on a legal basis.”

He said that the proposal to build a fence across the entire Southern border is merely a “chest-pumping, false sense of security.”

He proposed using technology such as drones and cameras, and building fences in areas where law enforcement thinks it is prudent to do so.

His grandfather, he said, was “born on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean” as his great-grandparents journeyed to America.

His family story is indicative of the stories of many American families, he said.

“His grandson is running for president,” Christie added. “Two generations from the guy who was born on a boat.”

.@ChrisChristie talks about his foreign policy views in Manchester, NH #FITN

— Kate Scanlon (@scanlon_kate) July 29, 2015

McConnell Pledges to Hold Vote Next Week on Ending Taxpayer Funding of Planned Parenthood - The Daily Signal

McConnell Pledges to Hold Vote Next Week on Ending Taxpayer Funding of Planned Parenthood

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harkness /

In light of a trio of undercover videos recently released depicting Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting of fetal body parts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would fast-track a bill that would strip the organization of its federal funding, promising to hold a vote “next week.”

“This legislation would ensure taxpayer dollars for women’s health are actually spent on women’s health—not a scandal-plagued political lobbying giant,” McConnell said.

“The horrendous videos of senior executives from Planned Parenthood discussing in callous tones and shocking detail their role in a national scandal requires a congressional response.”

McConnell, along with eight of his Republican colleagues, gathered on Capitol Hill today to promote the legislation, which was introduced on Tuesday by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; James Lankford, R-Okla.; and Rand Paul, R-Ky.

The group of GOP senators said they have the support of the conference and stressed that they are calling not simply to defund Planned Parenthood, but also to redirect its funding to other women’s health care providers.

“What we would like to see is those dollars directed to hospitals, community health centers,” Ernst said.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he has “every confidence” those institutions will be able to absorb an influx of patients with the help of increased funding.

Lankford, a co-sponsor of the bill, said it is “incredibly important” that Congress continue to provide funding for women’s health, “but we don’t continue to provide funding for an organization that makes part of their money off the death of that child, and then part of the money off the sale of the parts of that child to different research facilities.”

When asked if it is premature to defund the organization before completing investigations, Lankford said “no.”

“This is not a prejudgment,” he said. “This is a statement by Congress that this is what we choose to do.”

According to its 2013-2014 annual report, Planned Parenthood received more than $500 million in government funding last year.

In response to the GOP proposal, some Democrats pointed to the “millions of women” the organization serves each year, calling to “stand with Planned Parenthood.”

Planned Parenthood provides needed healthcare services to millions of women each year. #StandwithPP

— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) July 29, 2015

On Sunday, GOP leadership had the opportunity to attach a defund amendment to the so-called “must-pass” highway bill—which would have avoided the threat of a filibuster—but McConnell refused to bring the measure to a vote, instead promising a stand-alone bill on the issue. This move angered conservatives Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who accused Senate leadership of prioritizing corporate welfare by allowing a vote on the controversial Export-Import Bank over stripping Planned Parenthood of its federal funding.

Stand-alone bills on controversial matters like defunding Planned Parenthood have a hard time clearing Senate filibusters, the House of Representatives and President Obama’s veto.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., acknowledged the hurdle Republicans now face, telling them via Twitter, “Good luck with that.”

To Republicans who are trying to defund Planned Parenthood: Good luck with that.

— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) July 28, 2015

In the House, Republicans are divided on how to best address the recent Planned Parenthood scandal, with Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, suggesting that Congress get “facts first” before defunding the organization and conservatives arguing that there’s no time to wait.

Pro-life members like Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., pressured House leadership to take up legislation this week that would place an immediate one-year moratorium on federal funding of the organization until Congress completes its investigations into allegations that it profits off the harvesting of fetal body parts. But members departed this afternoon for their month-long summer break without taking any action.

“I stand here profoundly disappointed that the House will leave town today without taking a vote on my legislation to defund Planned Parenthood,” Black said on the House floor prior to departing.

Speaking Out: The Voices of the Growing Pro-Life Movement at the #WomenBetrayed Rally - The Daily Signal

Speaking Out: The Voices of the Growing Pro-Life Movement at the #WomenBetrayed Rally

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harkness / Diana Stancy /

According to Planned Parenthood’s website, most women “ultimately feel relief” after having an abortion. In fact, the website asserts that sustained “emotional problems” after an abortion are not typical—just like when a woman has a baby.

“I’m here to refute those words,” said Andrea Pearson, regional coordinator from the pro-life organization Silent No More.

Carrying a sign reading, “I Regret My Abortion,” Pearson shared her story at a #WomenBetrayed rally outside the Capitol on Tuesday, along with other speakers in the pro-life movement.

When Pearson was 18 years old, she became pregnant. After going to Planned Parenthood, Pearson said she left the clinic feeling as if there were no alternative options.

She wasn’t counseled. She wasn’t told of the consequences ahead. She just made an appointment and left the clinic.

When Pearson went to Planned Parenthood for the procedure, she justified the abortion by arguing that it was legal. But once she left the clinic, Pearson said she felt shame and was overcome with depression.

“In the days and months following my abortion, I would relive that procedure. I would vividly remember, and still do, the sounds of the suction, the physical pain, the coldness of the room and the other women’s vacant stares,” Pearson said. “The full impact of my decision and its consequences were starting to evolve.”

Although Pearson had two more abortions following her first, she since has become an advocate in the pro-life movement.

And that pro-life movement is growing.

As a third video from the Center for Medical Progress was released Tuesday, Pearson joined others at the #WomenBetrayed rally, organized by Students for Life of America, to discuss the misdemeanors of Planned Parenthood and why the 501(c)(3) should be defunded.

According to Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., Planned Parenthood exploits women and their babies, as evidenced in the recent videos.

“Take a look at those body parts in the petri dish. Take a look at them,” Harris said. “You can identify what parts they are if you took a biology course. Those are human parts.”

“Women are betrayed in Planned Parenthood clinics,” Harris continued. “The war on women is occurring in Planned Parenthood clinics every day.”

In 2013 alone, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions, and 94 percent of its pregnancy services were abortions. In just three years, from 2011-2013, almost 1 million abortions were performed by Planned Parenthood.

Furthermore, according to Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 annual report, 41 percent of Planned Parenthood’s total revenue is derived from taxpayer funding.

Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the words of the Declaration of Independence remain intact today and that Americans should question whether Planned Parenthood is supporting their values.

“There can be no liberty and pursuit of happiness if there is no life,” Carson said. “Why don’t they [Planned Parenthood] spend their time trying to save human life?”

“I would encourage every American to watch these videos,” Cruz said. “There is no ambiguity in what we’re seeing.”

Additionally, the Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu said the videos expose the truth of Planned Parenthood’s actions as baby trafficking.

“Planned Parenthood has now been caught red-handed in baby organ trafficking, endangering women by changing abortion methods to procure intact organs, possibly violating the partial-birth abortion ban,” Grossu said. “Why are we funding such a depraved organization with our hard-earned taxpayer money? This must stop. Enough is enough.”

Why the Media Should Ignore Planned Parenthood’s Advice and Report on Undercover Videos - The Daily Signal

Why the Media Should Ignore Planned Parenthood’s Advice and Report on Undercover Videos

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harkness / Diana Stancy / Genevieve Wood /

In the case of the unfolding scandal involving the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, much of the mainstream media have fallen for the old line, “Nothing to see here.”

And now we find out perhaps one reason why is that Planned Parenthood has hired a major crisis PR firm to make sure the news media stay on the sidelines of what is clearly a newsworthy story.

According to Politico:

The group circulated a memo to reporters and producers late Monday that discouraged them from airing the undercover videos, arguing that they were obtained under false identification and violated patient privacy.

Those patients’ privacy should not be further violated by having this footage shared by the media,’ the memo reads.

Here’s the problem: as anyone who has watched the third video knows, there are no patients shown in the video.

No, what Planned Parenthood would presumably like to keep private are the scenes of a lab technician dissecting a baby’s body parts in a pie dish. They would prefer you not hear the laughter of a Planned Parenthood medical assistant as she exclaims that the tissue they are looking at gets “five stars.”  (That can be heard and seen at 9:48 in the third video.)

They would prefer you not hear the comments made by a Planned Parenthood doctor in the video, who, when discussing the costs of individual fetal organs and tissue, says, “I think a per item fee works a little better, just so we can see how much we can get out of it.” (That can be viewed at 10:41 in the video.)

They also don’t want people to see the documents from a biomedical company that some Planned Parenthood affiliates have partnered with that advertises the “financial profits” that can be gained by working with them and that expressly states they “fiscally reward[] clinics.” (You can see these documents at 1:38 in the video and hear them being discussed at 3:09.)

They are hoping you won’t see the Planned Parenthood doctor from an earlier video featured here again, haggling over the price for fetal body parts as she jokes, “I want a Lamborghini.” (That little gem can be found at 5:45 in the video.)

And they certainly don’t want people to see the tiny little arm, the hand and five fingers of a dismembered almost 12-week-old unborn baby in the pie dish. (It is hard to view, but you can do so at 10:22 in the video.)

So, yes, Planned Parenthood is concerned about privacy. Its own.

I thought news organizations wanted to expose cover-ups. Usually, when there is even a hint of scandal, reporters are knocking down the door to get answers. But apparently they are a little less interested in investigative journalism that could bring down one of the sacred cows of the left.

And if the media blackout wasn’t enough, now a California court has issued a temporary restraining order to prevent any more videos featuring employees of the lab seen in this third video from being released to the public.

You know what that means—Planned Parenthood and the lab clinics it has been teaming up with are fearful of further exposure of their supposedly legal activities. And that’s the crux of the matter—if they have nothing to hide, what’s the big deal?

Thankfully, the mainstream media is not what it used to be, and we the people have tools we didn’t use to have. No fat-cat PR firm is going to intimidate me from sharing this story and these videos with friends and neighbors. I hope you’ll do the same.

This commentary was updated to include news about the temporary restraining order on future videos.

15 Beautiful Stories Behind the Trend #UnplannedParenthood - The Daily Signal

15 Beautiful Stories Behind the Trend #UnplannedParenthood

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harkness / Diana Stancy / Genevieve Wood / Samantha Reinis /

Pro-life supporters took to Twitter on Wednesday to reveal their personal stories regarding adoption, pregnancy and choosing life.

Playing off of the name “Planned Parenthood,” the social media hashtag #UnplannedParenthood is filled with many people sharing their stories of deciding against abortion, even in the midst of difficult times, and celebrating that decision years later.

I was 22. She was 19. Neither of us ready to be parents. But we got ready. Fast. And got Blessed. Abundantly. #UnplannedParenthood

— P Henry Martin (@PHenryMartin) July 29, 2015

Me and my mom when she was 16. She chose life against other “advice” #unplannedparenthood

— Mrs Seel (@littleflowr) July 29, 2015

We were 14 and scared but we did it and we stayed together. 25 years later, married, 6 kids,2 grandkids! #blessed #UnplannedParenthood — Annette Martinez (@annettenart) July 29, 2015

Was told 5 month old boy in GA, I never knew existed, was my son-a few weeks before I deployed. #unplannedparenthood — Johnny (Joey) Jones (@Johnny_Joey) July 29, 2015

My parents weren’t married & were substance abusers when they found out about me. They chose me over an easy life. #UnplannedParenthood — Baylee Young (@bayleestarrlyn) July 29, 2015

i was 16. they said she would “ruin my life” she made it worth living. she saved me. #UnplannedParenthood — ?omaholic² (@mastermatriarch) July 29, 2015

As a child who was adopted by my awesome parents, I’m loving this: #UnplannedParenthood. Life is not a mistake.

— Sarah Rumpf (@rumpfshaker) July 29, 2015

#UnplannedParenthood Had a mountain of debt. We could’ve made “the other choice,” but we said no. She just turned 4. — Cardkillah (@Cardkillah) July 29, 2015

Had my oldest at 20, ex-husband wanted me to abort. Raised him alone for 8 years, flat broke. Would 100% do it again. #UnPlannedParenthood — Denise Russell (@DRussell76) July 29, 2015

#UnplannedParenthood at 21 I got pregnant after only seeing my now husband for a week. He’s our whole world <3 — Liz Kari (@LizKari55374) July 29, 2015

#UnplannedParenthood is a blessing. My blessing just turned 19 on Sunday. Best son ever. — TheRealTerri (@CantBelieve10) July 29, 2015

#UnplannedParenthood is why I left law school. Best decision ever! — LLMajer (@LLMajer) July 29, 2015

I can’t read the #UnPlannedParenthood posts without weeping. This is why abortion must be abolished: there should be 57 million more stories — Charles E. Holsworth (@CeHolsworth) July 29, 2015

One of my favorites. Deaf and has Down’s. Glad his parents chose life, he brightens mine. #UnplannedParenthood — E. (@deaf_erin) July 29, 2015

Twitter shows me the worst of humanity on display regularly. It’s disheartening. But then Twitter shows me #UnplannedParenthood. Amazing. — Dougiefresh (@Thefoulfellow) July 29, 2015

How Rich Corporate Elites Are Lobbying Lawmakers to Crush Marriage Advocates - The Daily Signal

How Rich Corporate Elites Are Lobbying Lawmakers to Crush Marriage Advocates

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harkness / Diana Stancy / Genevieve Wood / Samantha Reinis / Ryan T. Anderson /

What do you do when you can’t persuade the American people to embrace your values?

You use government coercion to impose those values on people. And you get rich corporate elites to lobby government on your behalf.

That’s what’s taking place right now in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage.

Last week, Democrats in both houses of Congress introduced a bill they call the “Equality Act.” This bill adds the phrase “sexual orientation and gender identity” to more or less every federal law that has protections on the basis of race.

If the bill ever became law, the government would treat ordinary Americans who believe we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other in marriage, as if they were racists.

The Human Rights Campaign, the LGBT activist group behind the bill, has been trumpeting that “Corporate Giants Announce Support” for the bill. That’s right: “corporate giants” want the federal government to coerce and penalize mom-and-pop flower shops because they have a different set of cultural values.

This sort of special interest rent-seeking has a name: cultural cronyism.

In “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” I explain how cultural cronyism has been the primary technique the Left has used to redefine marriage.

The basic idea is that LGBT activists couldn’t persuade a majority of citizens to vote to redefine marriage, so they got five unelected judges to redefine marriage for the entire country. Now, they’re using corporate giants to pressure lawmakers in D.C. to enact legislation that would eliminate any dissent.

>>> Download the ebook version of “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom” today! (Paperback will be available end of August, but can be preordered.)

It gets worse.

Remember the way that “corporate giants” attacked the Indiana religious freedom bill? That wasn’t a fluke. It was part of a well-coordinated, well-financed campaign to eliminate religious liberty protections. CNA reports:

A leader in LGBT grant-making has told business leaders that he wants to shut down the political fight for religious freedom exemptions in the U.S. within three years.

And these words are not empty rhetoric. A CNA investigation has found that millions of dollars have been poured into efforts to combat religious freedom exemptions in the United States.

Again we see business leaders who want the freedom to run their businesses in accordance with their values using the force of government to prevent other Americans from running their businesses, and schools, and charities in accordance with their values.

Indeed, the CNA report shows that one LGBT group gave over $275,000 to defeat religious liberty protections in Oregon.

As I recount in Truth Overruled, Oregon is the state where an evangelical baker was fined $135,000 for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

Public policy should not be the result of cultural cronyism.

Whatever you think about gay marriage, and regardless of whether you’d bake a gay wedding cake or not, all Americans should agree that the government should not be coercing bakers into violating their beliefs and fining them if they refuse.

The problem is that liberal activists have undone core elements of the American Founding.

The result is the overreach of progressive government and the administrative state, the sexual revolution’s elevation of desire over reason and the whittling of religious free exercise down to the freedom to worship. We need to counter all of these developments. Policy organizations, religious and civic organizations and legal organizations will have to play their roles in empowering the citizenry to reclaim their government and culture.

I offer a roadmap for these groups to follow in Truth Overruled.

Without a return to the principles of the American Founding—ordered liberty based on faith and reason, natural rights and morality, limited government and civil society—Americans will continue to face serious and perplexing challenges. The dilemmas faced by bakers and florists and charities and schools are only the beginning.

Young Couple Create Video Tribute for Baby Who Passed in Womb - The Daily Signal

Young Couple Create Video Tribute for Baby Who Passed in Womb

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harkness / Diana Stancy / Genevieve Wood / Samantha Reinis / Ryan T. Anderson / Leah Jessen /

When Billy Jack and Sara Brawner found out they were pregnant in November 2013, they were overjoyed.

Having previously endured a miscarriage, they found every moment of their pregnancy to be nothing short of a miracle.

Then, last summer, when Sara was 34 weeks pregnant with a little girl to be named Willa Rose, the unthinkable happened: the baby’s heart stopped beating.

“It was a Thursday, I remember,” Sara says in a newly released video that documents the couple’s loss. “I felt her kick around 9 or 10 in the morning, and I didn’t feel her kick for the rest of the day.”

our Willa girl has been dead for as many days as she was alive, and, for whatever reason, that’s really tough—especially for Sara. with much joy, we honor willa’s life and give thanks for the days we had with her and for the moments we got to hold her. and, also with much joy, i honor sara. i’m thankful and i’m made better having gotten to stand by and watch her over the past 68 weeks. she carried and grew Willa with such grace. she gave birth to Willa with such grace. and she grieves Willa’s death with such grace. where it’d make sense to be selfish, she gives. where it’d make sense to be fearful, she has faith. where it’d make sense to be bitter, she rejoices. aaaaand where it’d make sense to take credit for being a grade-A badass, she points to Jesus—quietly and humbly pointing, always. // #willarosebrawner

A photo posted by @billyjackbrawner3 on

The Brawners discovered that Willa Rose had passed, and Sara, who also goes by SK, delivered their daughter. They spent the seven hours they had with Willa Rose holding her, allowing friends and family to hold her, taking pictures and celebrating her short life.

A short while later, they hosted a funeral for Willa Rose.

“An unborn baby is a baby, and that is a life,” Sara says in the video produced by husband-and-wife cinematography duo The McKellars. “They have worth and value. Losing a child is so terrible and so hard.”

Sara and Billy Jack, or BJ, met at a small college in Colorado. After getting married and moving to Texas three years ago, they began dreaming of the family they would build.

“We’ve learned of thorns in roses. We’ve watched you learn to know them, too. And we pray your fear melts in the fragrance. And we thank God for you.” —A. Osenga // we’ll be celebrating our sweet Willa girl tomorrow at 6:30p at holly springs cemetery in martin’s mill. we’d love for anyone who can make it to come share this time with us. and please bring roses. // County Road 4403 & FM 1653 Ben Wheeler, TX 75754 United States A photo posted by @billyjackbrawner3 on

When Sara found out she was expecting, they moved out of their downtown loft and began construction on a suburban home away from the city, nestled in the woods and filled with stylized flea market finds—designed and ready for the baby they hoped to bring home soon.

They had planned for Sara to stay home with the baby while BJ took up work building homes with his father.

While the death of Willa is a grief they never could have imagined, the Brawners have found hope and joy in their faith. Christians, they believe Willa has caused a “sweetness” and a “unity” to blossom in their marriage.

“You’d think it would be a really hard memory,” BJ says. “But it was all truly sweet. We loved those days.”

“[Sara] grieves Willa’s death with such grace,” BJ added in a photo posted to Instagram.

we were getting pumped to share the news of baby Brawner no.4 but the sonogram shows that he/she isn’t growing. it’s easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves and to be resentful and to even feel numb; so our hope is that God would give us grace to mourn well the loss of this precious life, with hope and peace. // maybe the angriest i’ve ever been is a couple nights ago when sk was in a lot of pain and her doctor had us go the ER, fearing it might be ectopic (thankfully, it wasn’t). on our drive there, she got two phone calls from two different social workers asking us if we’d be willing to foster two different sets of siblings who’d been abused/neglected. since becoming foster parents, we daily (literally daily) get those kinda calls. these past couple months have been heavy because we’re constantly seeing how broken our world is. it’s a heavy thing to tuck someone else’s kid into bed in Willa’s room each night. because our world is broken, Willa is dead. because our world is broken, our little buddy isn’t living with his mom and dad. because we are broken, we struggle with anger and fear and selfishness and we tend towards thinking that we’re stronger and more important than we really are. but seeing the brokenness, in the world and in ourselves, makes us more ready and more hopeful for what’s to come, for when all things will be made new. and so we say come, Lord Jesus. and until then give us grace to believe you’ll come. (btw 1: sk is a baller. btw 2: it feels difficult to communicate this without looking like the victim or looking like the hero. we are neither. just like you, we are broken pieces that make up this broken world. just like you, we’re longing for things to be made right)

A photo posted by @billyjackbrawner3 on

This past weekend, the family celebrated “Willa Day.” They gathered with family and friends to eat, sing and “read words that point back to the goodness of God in the midst of heartache.”

In honor of Willa, the couple also raised money to cover medical costs for a friend’s child, who was born with a rare genetic disease.

Since losing Willa Rose, BJ and Sara have conceived and lost two more babies. The couple, along with their dog Lloyd, are currently fostering a little boy.

They hope to one day adopt.

Taliban Leader’s Death Could Strengthen ISIS - The Daily Signal

Taliban Leader’s Death Could Strengthen ISIS

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harkness / Diana Stancy / Genevieve Wood / Samantha Reinis / Ryan T. Anderson / Leah Jessen / Lisa Curtis /

The Afghan government has reported that Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar died at a hospital in Pakistan two years ago. The Taliban has not yet officially confirmed the reports, but most evidence points to their veracity.

There had been growing speculation over the last several months that Omar was dead since he had not been seen or heard from on video or audio recording for several years. Speculation about Omar’s death had already led to defections from Taliban ranks to ISIS, which is seeking to gain a foothold in Afghanistan.

If the news is confirmed, it will cause further disarray within the Taliban movement and lead to more defections to ISIS.

Terrorist groups in other parts of the world affiliated with al-Qaeda could also decide to switch their loyalties to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had late last year reaffirmed his allegiance to Mullah Omar. Without Omar, there will be questions about Zawahiri’s spiritual authority over the organization.

But just as the death of Osama bin Laden didn’t mean the end of al-Qaeda, it’s important not to mistake the same for the Taliban. The Taliban will continue to pose a formidable threat in Afghanistan.

They have been conducting a major offensive in all parts of the country over the last several months and nearly overran the northern city of Kunduz in April.

The news of Omar’s death could eventually facilitate peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, however. The first round of official talks was held in Muree, Pakistan, on July 7, and the second round was scheduled for this Friday.

The talks were viewed as a first step by Pakistan to meet Afghan government demands for Islamabad to use its influence with the Taliban leadership to facilitate Afghan reconciliation.

The Republican Congressman Applauded by Planned Parenthood - The Daily Signal

The Republican Congressman Applauded by Planned Parenthood

Natalie Johnson / Kate Scanlon / Kelsey Harkness / Diana Stancy / Genevieve Wood / Samantha Reinis / Ryan T. Anderson / Leah Jessen / Lisa Curtis / Kate Scanlon /

Rep. Richard Hanna was the only Republican candidate in 2014 to accept funds from Planned Parenthood.

The third-term congressman from New York’s 22nd District—which runs from the Pennsylvania border to Lake Ontario—received $2,823 from Planned Parenthood during his last election.

The Daily Signal recently published a list of candidates who took funds from the embattled organization, which is facing federal and state investigations for its role in the alleged sale of aborted fetal body parts.

Hanna has voted against legislation that would have cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

“For me it’s a very personal thing,” Hanna said in a 2012 interview with Syracuse’s Post-Standard. “I think you’ve watched a number of things come up recently, like the proposal to defund Planned Parenthood. And I’ve gotten to feel that I owed it to my friends in the Republican Party to stand out a little bit and say, ‘Everybody doesn’t feel the way you feel.’”

Hanna has been praised by Planned Parenthood on several occasions. He even accepted an award from the organization in 2012.

According to Planned Parenthood, the organization presents its “prestigious” Barry Goldwater Award “to an outstanding elected official who has acted as a leader within the Republican Party to protect women’s reproductive rights across the United States.”

On Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s website, Hanna is listed as the 2012 recipient of the award.

In a statement following Hanna’s GOP primary victory in 2014, Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said:

Richard Hanna’s victory shows that Republican voters will elect leaders who support women’s health. Allowing women to make their own personal health care decisions is at the heart of independence and freedom. That’s what Richard Hanna has made clear throughout his time in Congress and throughout his primary campaign against his extreme and out-of-touch opponent, Claudia Tenney.

He’s not alone. The majority of Americans—across party lines—agree that decisions about reproductive health care should be left between a woman and her doctor—without government intrusion.

The Daily Signal reached out to Hanna’s office to ask if he would join his Republican colleagues in calling for an investigation into Planned Parenthood in light of recently released undercover video showing senior executives at the organization discussing the sale of fetal organs. The Daily Signal also asked if Hanna would return the funds he received from Planned Parenthood pending the results of that investigation.

A spokeswoman for Hanna did not return our multiple requests for comment.

One of Hanna’s constituents forwarded an email he received from Hanna’s office in response to his concerns about Planned Parenthood:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding Planned Parenthood. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, recent videos have revealed the disturbing way that some Planned Parenthood officials discuss the details of their operations. The callous and ugly tone and detached emotional nature of the video has renewed discussion of the federal funding of this organization.

I personally oppose abortion, and I have consistently supported the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions. It is clear that the vast majority of American taxpayers do not want their money spent on abortions, and I agree. Additionally, it is vitally important that we ensure that all medical practices and procedures within the United States comport with the laws and morals that we, as a nation, stand for.

Should the House consider legislation related to Planned Parenthood, I will keep your comments and concerns in mind. While I am sure you may not agree with every vote I cast representing you, you will always know my rationale for the decisions I make on the House floor. I am committed to open government and transparency, which is why I post updates from Washington and explanations for final passage votes on each House bill on Facebook at

Earlier this year, Hanna was the only Republican to vote against the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

“I have been a consistent supporter of women’s rights and health care organizations in upstate New York that aid women, especially those most vulnerable in our community. While I personally oppose abortion, individuals should be free to make that very difficult and personal decision without heavy-handed government involvement,” Hanna said in a Jan. 22 statement.

“This legislation goes beyond the Hyde Amendment to create new financial penalties, red tape and paperwork requirements,” he said. “These are government barriers for small businesses and individuals who would choose to provide their employees or themselves with health plans that include abortion coverage.”

“I continue to oppose spending federal tax dollars on abortion, but this legislation goes too far in finding new ways to insert government influence into personal and employer health care decisions best left to families and consumers,” Hanna added.

The House passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act in January in a 272-179 vote.