11/21/2014

FBI expands gun background checks to Indian tribal lands

It would be interesting to know whether the Obama administration actually had the power to make this change.  None of the media coverage on this change explains why neither the Clinton or Bush administrations had previously made this expansion and why it took six years until the Obama administration made this change.  From The Hill newspaper:
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is expanding background checks for firearm sales on sovereign Indian reservations as part of the Obama administration’s push to reduce gun violence around the country. 
Under new regulations, tribal law enforcement agencies will be allowed, though not required, to access the FBI’s criminal background check system before issuing gun licenses on reservations.  
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, created by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, gives law enforcement agencies information about criminals who are prohibited from owning guns. But previously tribal police didn’t have access to this database. . . .

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Going to give a talk on gun control near Waco, Texas

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11/19/2014

The disaster of Taxi cab regulations in NYC, so few cabs that the medallions are $1m and the impact on service really shows

I was in NYC yesterday to give a talk, and I had to get a taxi cab twice.  Once to go to the Grand Hyatt (traveling from 7th Ave & 28th St. to 109 E 42nd St, about 1.3 miles) and then another mile trip.  On the first leg of the trip, I flagged down several cabs, but I was told that the drivers were unwilling to travel to the hotel.  They wanted to go someplace else.  If I had said one of the airports, they would have been happy, but that isn't where I wanted to go.  On the second leg of the trip, it took  40 minutes waiting for a cab.  Now this second trip was at 5 PM, so I wasn't too surprised, but I had a big box of books and it was raining.  I have never previously run into so many cab drivers who simply refuse to take a ride because they apparently know that they can shop around until they get a bigger fare.

Yet, there are so few cabs that taxi medallions are now over $1 million each.  Can't they have enough cabs so that the price of medallions would only be at, say, $500,000?

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11/15/2014

More evidence that Obama doesn't have a clue about basic economics: Impact of the Keystone XL pipeline on gas prices

President Obama doesn't seem to understand that there is a worldwide market for gasoline.  If you lower the price in Europe, it will lower the price in the US.  Oil companies will ship gasoline to the place where they can get the higher price and they will keep doing that until the prices in all the places are the same.  From Bloomberg:
“Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it will be sold everywhere else,” the president said yesterday during a visit to Yangon, Myanmar. “It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.” . . .

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Big increase in Federal undercover operations over recent years: Agents being used by at least 40 different agencies

From the NY Times:
The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show. . . . .
At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing as tax preparers or accountants or drug dealers or yacht buyers, court records show. . . .
“Done right, undercover work can be a very effective law enforcement method, but it carries serious risks and should only be undertaken with proper training, supervision and oversight,” said Michael German, a former F.B.I. undercover agent who is a fellow at New York University’s law school. “Ultimately it is government deceitfulness and participation in criminal activity, which is only justifiable when it is used to resolve the most serious crimes.” . . .
But many operations are not linked to terrorism. . . . 

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11/13/2014

Vote fraud in Colorado

Story developing at Colorado Peak Politics:
Remember when it was concerning that Joe Salazar’s representative basically gave her blessing for an undercover James O’Keefe and his friends to commit voter fraud?  This is why.  Today, our sources tell us that allegedly a Denver Police Officer ballot with a signature cure turned up in Adams County.  The only problem?  The officer is saying he did not vote.  Our source up north is further saying that many showing up on the cured list have moved away.  . . . 

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Despite gun control advocates spending millions on the Barber/McSally congressional race in Arizona, McSally appears to have won

With Gabrielle Giffords' gun control organization spending at least $1.5 million and launching what even the liberal Arizona Republic labeled as “base and vile" ads, Republican Martha McSally appears to have run the congressional race by 161 votes.  There will be a recount, but the vote counters don't think that the result will be changed.

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11/12/2014

Maryland Democratic Governor Prevented Police from answering legislature's gun control questions, so much for claim that Democrats listen to experts

From Fox News:
. . . McCauley says, and has sworn in an affidavit in federal court for the unsuccessful suit seeking to invalidate the law, that he was told by the administration not to answer questions from lawmakers about the law's effectiveness in curbing gun crime or stopping mass shootings.  
According to his affidavit from this spring's court case, the retired trooper was asked during a State House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, where he was called to testify, if the ban would have an effect on crime in Maryland.  
"As I began to respond, I was commanded by Shanetta Paskel, the Deputy Legislative Officer for the Office of Governor Martin O'Malley, not to answer the delegate's question," McCauley said in court papers.  
The trooper said he acquiesced to her request because he believed she was his superior in the administration. But, had he been able to answer, he said he would have told the delegate that the banned firearms are almost never used in crimes in the state -- less than 5 percent involve them -- and that it would have no effect on mass shootings since stricter mental health protections were more important. . . .

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Question: Did Chinese agree to global warming agreement because it doesn't change anything or because they know that with Republicans controlling the Senate no treaty will be approved?


The promise of 20% of energy from non fossil fuels actually requires a slower growth rate for those sources than has been true up until now.  Meanwhile, the US has agreed to a dramatically greater reduction in carbon emissions.
As part of its plan, the U.S. said Wednesday it would double the average pace of its carbon-dioxide reductions after 2020, eyeing an overall reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions of between 26% and 28% by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. . . .
But the agreement requires that the Senate pass the UN Treaty.  It seems extremely convenient for China to make this agreement immediately after Republicans take control of the Senate.  It is unlikely that an agreement would have been ratified with the Democrats in control, but with the Republicans there, it will allow Obama to attack them when the treaty is defeated.

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GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy educates professor about voter ID laws

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MSNBC host questions Hillary Clinton's moral compass



At 2:57 into the video MSNBC host, Krystal Ball, asks what it is that Hillary Clinton believes:
Hillary Clinton is meeting right now with David Plouffe trying to “define a rationale for her candidacy.”  After decades in public life she apparently still needs a strategist to tell her what she is all about. . . .

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11/11/2014

It turns out that even a diehard gun control advocate state Senator carries a concealed handgun for protection

An anti-gun state Senator in Missouri was caught carrying a concealed handgun with her at a protest in Ferguson Missouri.  There is obviously no problem with her carrying, though in this case she was drunk, but it is interesting how she understands the benefit of having a gun for self protection.  From KMOV:
Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed had a gun in her possession at the time she was arrested Monday night outside the Ferguson Police Department, according to Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson. 
Nasheed declined comment about the having the weapon, but did tell News 4 she has a concealed carry permit. A Ferguson police officer said Nasheed was carrying a fully-loaded 9mm handgun and additional rounds of ammunition. . . .  
Nasheed was formally charged with Failure to Obey Lawful Order of Police and Manner of Walking in the Roadway.  She was released from St. Ann jail before 11:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. . . .

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Gun control advocates think that smart guns will allow them to control where guns can be used, they are in for a rude shock

(Click on figure to enlarge.)

Marcos Portnoi and Chien-Chung Shen at the University of Delaware have a new paper entitled: "Wireless-Delimited Secure Zones with Encrypted Attribute-Based Broadcast for Safe Firearms"
From the abstract:
This work presents an application of the highly expressive Attribute-Based Encryption to implement wireless- delimited Secure Zones for firearms. Within these zones, radio- transmitted local policies based on attributes of the consumer and the firearm are received by embedded hardware in the firearms, which then advises the consumer about safe operations. The Secure Zones utilize Attribute-Based Encryption to encode the policies and consumer or user attributes, and providing privacy and security through it cryptography. We describe a holistic approach to evolving the firearm to a cyber-physical system to aid in augmenting safety. We introduce a conceptual model for a firearm equipped with sensors and a context-aware software agent. Based on the information from the sensors, the agent can access the context and inform the consumer of potential unsafe operations. To support Secure Zones and the cyber-physical firearm model, we propose a Key Infrastructure Scheme for key generation, distribution, and management, and a Context-Aware Software Agent Framework for Firearms. 
The notion is that instead of controlling gun sales, WiFi signals could be used to turn guns off in certain areas.  But does anyone think that criminals can't get around this?  Either by using a traditional gun or disabling the electronic safety on their gun.  In addition, if criminals get ahold of these Wifi signals that disable gun, it might allow them to disarm their victims before the criminals attack them.

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The most popular state attractions are all privately run and owned places

(Click to enlarge, though the picture will be pretty blurry.)

#1: Mall of Americas: 40 million
#2: Times Square, NY: 37 million
#3: Las Vegas Strip: 30 million
#4: Faneuil Hall Marketplace: 20 million
#5: Walt Disney World: 17 million
#6: Disneyland: 14.7 million

Others
Navy Pier (Chicago): 8.6 million
San Antonio River Walk: 5.1 million
French Quarter (New Orleans): 5 million
Grand Canyon: 4.4 million
Independence National Historical Park: 4.1 million
Yellow Stone National Park (Wyoming): 3.1 million

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Obamacare architect openly talks about how Democrats lied to voters about what was in the Obamacare bill


Jonathan Gruber: This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure that CBO did not score the mandate as taxes.  Score the mandate as taxes and the bill dies.  OK, so it was written to do that.  . . .
Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.  Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever. But basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.
And you know it is a second best argument.  Look, I wish Mark was right we could make it all transparent, but I would rather have this law than not. . . .
Certainly there is voter ignorance, but Gruber's admission that they purposely hid information from voters is maddening.  Sometime voters are wrong, though Gruber seems to think that is the common state of things, but in this case I believe that voters were smarter than this economist.  But the open lying about what was in the bill is amazing.

For more on Jonathan Gruber see these posts.

UPDATE: Jon Gruber now says that he just misspoke when he made the above comments.
"The comments in the video were made at an academic conference," Gruber said on "Ronan Farrow Daily." "I was speaking off the cuff. I basically spoke inappropriately. I regret having made those comments." . . .  
On Tuesday, Gruber said he only meant that much of ObamaCare's financing was done through the tax code, calling that more "politically palatable" than other means.
"That was the only point I was making," he said. . . . .
People can watch the above video themselves and judge whether Gruber simply wasn't speaking clearly. 

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11/10/2014

Suicide bomber at Nigerian school kills 47 and injures 79

There are obviously many different ways to kill a large number of people.  This attack is deadlier than any attack in the US.  From the WSJ:
A suicide bomber on Monday blew himself up during a school assembly in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 47 people and showing how an Islamist insurgency is apparently drawing young, radical and educated people to its ranks. 
The explosion took place shortly after a morning assembly began at the Government Senior Science Secondary School in Potiskum in Nigeria’s northeastern Yobe state, said Nigeria Police Spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu. He reported 79 injured, in addition to 47 dead. . . .

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What should people do when the police can't be there to protect them?: With grand jury decision due soon in Ferguson, gun sales surge

From CNN:
Lately, Dan McMullen has been bringing an extra gun to his office in Ferguson, Missouri. 
McMullen runs Solo Insurance on West Florissant close to where looting and vandalism briefly broke out in early August after a police officer shot to death teenager Michael Brown. 
"I bring an extra gun now only because it has a bigger magazine," McMullen says. He began carrying it after tensions increased in the area following the shooting. He says he would never use it to protect his business, but he would use it to save his life. 
"So maybe I get trapped here or something and have to have a John Wayne shootout," McMullen says before interrupting himself, smiling. "That's the silly part about it: Is that going to happen? Not a chance. But I guess, could it? I'm the only white person here." 
McMullen is particularly cautious now, as all of Ferguson and much of the nation waits to see whether a grand jury will indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting. Though the grand jury has until January to issue its ruling, the prosecutor's office has said a decision could come in mid-November. . . .

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What has Obama done to Democrats in state legislatures? Prior to 2008 to after 2014

With Obama as president Republicans have more than doubled the number of state legislatures that they control.  Interestingly, the 2012 election didn't slow this trend.

Prior to the 2008 election
Republicans in control of 14 legislatures (15 with Nebraska, which is technically non-partisan but is actually controlled by Republicans)
Obama's election in 2008 had impact on the number of legislatures controlled by Republicans, but Democrats did pick up four legislatures.



Prior to the 2010 midterm election (data from NCSL.org)
Republicans in control of 14 legislatures (15 with Nebraska, which is technically non-partisan but is actually controlled by Republicans)

After the 2010 midterm election
Republicans in control of 21 legislatures (22 with Nebraska).

Prior to the 2012 election
Republicans in control of 26 legislatures (27 with Nebraska)



After the 2014 election
Republicans in control of 30 legislature  (31 with Nebraska)
To put it differently, while Democrats controlled 23 legislatures prior to 2008, they now control 11.  Over that same time Republicans went from 14 to 30.

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11/07/2014

Newest piece at the Wall Street Journal: "It’s Shocking How Little Was Spent on the Midterms"

My newest piece in the Wall Street Journal, co-authored this time with Brad Smith, starts this way:
The “most expensive election in history.” Our democracy is being “bought and sold.” This election, “debased by money, shames us all.” These are some of the recent expressions of outrage about what the Center for Responsive Politics estimates to have been $3.67 billion spent for federal offices during the 2014 midterms.  
Two days before the election on “Face the Nation,” CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked viewers to name one item whose costs have gone up as much over time as campaigns. That’s easy. While campaign spending soared to $3.67 billion this year from $1.6 billion in 1998, federal government spending rose 5% faster, to $3.9 trillion from $1.65 trillion.  
It is logical that these expenditures have gone up in tandem. The bigger the federal government, the more is at stake, and the harder politicians and special interests fight to see who gets to control it. If the federal government were still the 2% to 3% of GDP that it was a century ago, people likely wouldn’t care as passionately about the outcome of most elections. 
In the Journal of Law and Economics (2000), John Lott, one of the authors here, studied gubernatorial and state legislative campaign expenditures from 1976 to 1994. After accounting for such factors as the number of contested races, how close the elections were, and how closely divided control of the legislature was, his research showed that almost 80% of the increase in campaign spending for state offices was explained by changes in the size of state governments. States with the fastest-growing budgets saw the biggest increases in campaign expenditures. . . .

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Newly elected Texas Gov Greg Abbott affirms support for open-carry

From My San Antonio:
Attorney General Greg Abbott affirmed his support for allowing Texans to openly carry handguns at his first press conference after being elected governor.  
“Throughout the campaign I announced my support for open carry in Texas,” said Abbott when asked about the issue at the Texas Capitol.  
Abbott said Texas is one of only a handful of states that doesn't allow open carry of handguns. . . .
Who knows how honest the Democrats' gubernatorial candidate in that race, Wendy Davis, also said that she supported open carry.  From Politico:


The Wild West tradition of openly carrying your six-shooter on the street has long been banned in Texas under state law. But the next governor could change that. 
Rising Democratic star and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has joined her top Republican rival in supporting a proposed "open carry" law. It would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to wear a pistol on their hip, in full view, while in public. . . . 
I am skeptical of the benefits of open carry for reasons that I have detailed before.  Still, passage of the law has one benefit, it will presumably stop those people who are openly carrying long guns into public places.  Hopefully, open carry advocates will realize that it is best for them to lay low and not create more of a ruckus until the legislation gets passed and then that they will openly carry only handguns, which is what I understand that they have been wanting all along.

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So why were the polls so incredibly wrong?: Huge bias in favor of the Democrats

What was supposed to be an easy Democratic victory in Maryland ended up being a Republican landslide win by nine percentage points.  In Illinois the Democrat was supposed to win, but the Republican won easily.  In Kansas what were supposed to be a couple close races turned into Republican comfortable victories for the Senate and governorship.  In Virginia, a race that no one thought would be remotely close turned into a late night nail biter and still isn't quite over.  Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky was supposed to be fairly close to Mitch McConnell, but it turned into a 15 percentage point tidal wave against her.

Larry Sabato:
"I want an investigation of the polls in Virginia," University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato told Fox News. "They were completely wrong, just as they were in Georgia. They were also way off in Illinois. And I could go on and on.
 From Nate Silver:
The Democrats’ complaints may have been more sophisticated-seeming than the ”skewed polls” arguments made by Republicans in 2012. But in the end, they were just as wrong. The polls did have a strong bias this year — but it was toward Democrats and not against them. 
Based on results as reported through early Wednesday morning — I’ll detail our method for calculating this in a moment — the average Senate poll conducted in the final three weeks of this year’s campaign overestimated the Democrat’s performance by 4 percentage points. The average gubernatorial poll was nearly as bad, overestimating the Democrat’s performance by 3.4 points. . . .  
Interestingly, this year’s polls were not especially inaccurate. Between gubernatorial and Senate races, the average poll missed the final result by an average of about 5 percentage points — well in line with the recent average. The problem is that almost all of the misses were in the same direction. . . .
A possible explanation is provided by Politico:
Republicans nearly swept the 10 Senate races rated as toss-ups by the Cook Political Report on Election Day, winning seven of the 10 outright – they lost New Hampshire, Alaska remains undecided and Louisiana is going to a runoff. 
To be sure, Republicans were favored to win back the Senate on Tuesday. They led in six of the 10 contested races – and hold the advantage in a seventh, Louisiana, in the runoff next month.
But it wasn’t that Republicans won so many of the most competitive races — it was how much they won by. . . . 
Republicans have long claimed that public polls, usually conducted by randomly dialing phone numbers rather than only contacting voters with a history of turning out in midterm elections, include too many people who won’t ultimately cast a ballot – a group that tends to lean Democratic. 
Those public surveys, they say, also weight, or peg, their demographic data to known Census parameters, ignoring historical trends of the midterm electorate – which is usually older and more white. 
“I think the media polls were dramatically off because too many media pollsters use Census weights,” said Republican consultant Brad Todd, whose firm, OnMessage Inc., conducts polls and creates TV ads for GOP candidates. “In a midterm electorate, using the Census as a reference point would have the same value as using a grocery list as a reference point.” . . . .
Nate Silver gave Republicans just a 15.6% probability of getting 54 seats in the Senate.


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11/06/2014

UPDATE: Republicans officially control 30 state legislatures (31 if you include Nebraska), Dems only 11

While Obama doesn't believe that he is responsible for the latest wave election, Republicans are more than happy to give him the credit (though presumably they would have preferred never having the damage done to the country to begin with).

To see how dramatic the change has been note that this change flips state legislatures that weren't flipped after the 2010 wave.  The new state legislatures controlled by Republicans are:

  • Colorado Senate (conceivable that Dems could still hold on after recounts)
  • Maine Senate
  • Minnesota House
  • Nevada Assembly
  • Nevada Senate
  • New Hampshire House
  • New York Senate
  • New Mexico House
  • Washington Senate
  • West Virginia House.
  • West Virginia Senate (after Democratic Senator Daniel Hall switched his party affiliation to Republican).
  • Legislatures: 30 R, 11 D and 8 split (Nebraska is technically nonpartisan, but is really controlled by Republicans so that would really make the total for Republicans at 31)
  • Chambers: 68 R, 30 D
  • Governors: 31 R, 18 D and 1 undecided (Alaska)
  • State governments: 23 R, 7 D, 18 divided and 1 undecided (Alaska)
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    Grocery Store Employee with concealed handgun permit shoots and kills armed man who made a disturbance

    From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
    An employee of Karsch's Village Market shot and killed a man who allegedly threatened him with a gun this morning . . . . 
    The man caused a disturbance in the grocery store at 1730 Old State Road M about 10:20 am., said Capt. Ron Arnhart.  The man appeared to be intoxicated. 
    Two employees followed the man to the parking lot in hopes of stalling him until deputies arrived so he wouldn't drive drunk.  
    The man pulled a handgun from his vehicle and pointed it at them, Arnhart said. One of the employees has a concealed-carry permit and had his own gun. That employee shot the man, who died at the scene, Arnhart said. . . .
    Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link. 

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    11/05/2014

    Wave election had impact far down the ballot. Republicans picked up a number of state legislatures


    For some perspective, note that this tidal wave comes on top of the 2010 wave.  One would have thought that the Republicans had already reached as high as they could after all the offices that they took in 2010.  But they actually have one more governorship than after 2010 and more state legislatures.

    Republicans have picked up Colorado state Senate (possibly the state House), Maine state Senate, Minnesota state House, New Hampshire state House, New Mexico state House, New York state Senate, West Virginia state House and a tie in the Senate, Obviously not all the results are in yet, but Republicans now control both houses of 28 state legislatures as well as the single house in Nebraska.  

    Even in Pennsylvania where Republicans lost the governorship (the only one that they lost), Republicans added 8 state house seats(119-84) and 3 senate seats (30-20).

    UPDATE: Add in both houses in Nevada and the Washington state Senate.  The NCSL has this summary:
    It appears that Republicans will have a net gain of between 350 and 375 seats and control over 4,100 of the nation’s 7,383 legislative seats. Republicans gained seats in every region of the country and in all but about a dozen legislative chambers that were up this year. . . .
    (Click on figures to enlarge.)



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    Four Black Republicans who won federal or statewide races yesterday

    Texas' 23rd congressional district: "GOP challenger Will Hurd appeared headed for a narrow upset victory over freshman Democrat Pete Gallego in a southwest border district that Republicans had made a national target"  Hurd won by a 49.8 to 47.7 percent margin.

    Utah's 4th congressional district: "In Utah, Mia Love became the first black Republican woman — and first Haitian American — elected to Congress."  Love won by a 50 to 46.8 percent margin.

    Senator from South Carolina: "South Carolina's Tim Scott on Tuesday became the first African-American senator to win election in the South since Reconstruction. . . .  Scott's win also made him the first African-American in U.S. history to be elected to both the House and the Senate."

    Maryland's new Republican Lt. Governor is Boyd Rutherford: "Boyd Rutherford was raised in a Democratic family in Democratic Northeast Washington, but the running mate of Republican Larry Hogan says he decided early on that the GOP was closer to his values. Rutherford, who is African-American, came to the conclusion that Democrats saw blacks as victims. 'I'm not a political and social victim, and I don't live my life that way,' he said. 'They maintain poverty. They keep people in place.'"

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    11/03/2014

    Faced with two armed robbers, restaurant owner with concealed handgun permit stops robbery and recovers money



    From the River Front Times in St. Louis:
    The owner of an Elicia's Pizza shot one, maybe both, of the gunmen who tried to rob the south St. Louis city restaurant early Sunday morning. . . . 
    Even with a weapon trained on him, the restaurant owner -- who has a valid concealed carry license, police said -- managed to retrieve his own gun and start firing at the robber at the cash register, striking him in the leg and buttocks. The suspect collapsed outside the restaurant trying to flee. . . .
    Thanks very much to Tony Troglio for alerting me to this story.

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    11/01/2014

    Newest piece at Fox News: “Hidden consequences of Washington State's gun background check Initiative 594”

    My newest piece at Fox News that starts this way:
    Let’s say a stalker is threatening a female friend of yours. She asks you if she can borrow your handgun. She is trained and has no criminal record. Should you loan her your gun? 
    If you live in Washington State, loaning her your gun may soon make you a criminal and will likely land you in prison. 
    Suppose you are a Boy Scout leader. Once a year, the scouts take a trip to a local farm where the boys earn their firearm merit badges. If you continue to stick with this annual ritual you may soon find yourself in prison. 
    Those two examples illustrate just a couple of the hidden consequences for ordinary citizens if Washington State voters pass Initiative 594 on Tuesday -- the biggest gun control initiative on any state ballot this year. 
    Gun control advocates are putting a huge effort into winning passage of the initiative. With $9.5 million from billionaires such as Michael Bloomberg, the initiative’s supporters are spending half as much as the NRA is spending on allpolitical campaigns and initiatives across the entire United States. 
    Yet, despite a huge money advantage, gun control advocates are still using totally inaccurate claims to make their case to voters. 
    Mark Kelly, who heads one of the organizations spearheading the initiative, made a very common claim for the initiative recently on CNN. He told host Jake Tapper: “right now 60 percent of all gun sales go–occur–with a background check. Why do we allow the 40 percent, the other 40 percent, to happen?” But even the normally anti-gun Washington Post has noted this claim is false and given it three out of four Pinocchios on its fact checker blog. . . .
    The rest of the piece is available here.

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    Media Matters' systematic removal of my responses from their website, also most of my responses to their attacks in one place

    I was going to post this in June this year when I thought that the Washington Post's Eric Wemple was going to run a story on this, but I put it off as I waited for him to run something.  In any case, here is the information that I was going to post:

    ORIGINAL POST:

    Media Matters' practices what I call hit-and-run journalism, where they make an attack and ignore any response that is provided.  I have tried over about seven years to put up comments on their website responding to these claims (often quotes out of context or deliberately misread data).  It appears to me that Media Matters wants to leave their readers with the impression that the other side never provides a response to their claims.  

    Media Matters has removed all sorts of comments that I have placed on their website (indeed, I never kept count, but it is a lot), even ones that involve me explaining to people why my eyebrows are deformed because of surgery that I had as a kid.  Here is one case recently where they made the mistake of removing my comments, but not the comments that responded to my original post.




    After Erik Wemple from the Washington Post contacted them about their removal of my comments, some recent ones reappeared.  In this screen shot you can see Media Matters putting back the links to my response to one of their attacks (in this case see the second comment from the bottom).




    Media Matters apparently told Wemple that my comments were removed because their readers had tagged them as offensive.  But Media Matters only very recently changed their system for putting up comments.  Prior to that they would have to approve someone twelve times before their comments would automatically be posted on their website.  The problem is that their screeners would virtually never let any of my comments through (surely not enough that I ever got close to the magic number of twelve).  This problem over many years had absolutely nothing to do with their readers supposed complaints.  In addition, Media Matters confirmed to Wemple that I had previously complained to them multiple times over the last seven years about them refusing to publish my comments.


    More information will be provided soon.  But you can see that I have long complained about Media Matters sanitizing its comment section.  Indeed, I have complained in person several times to people from David Brock on down at least 2008.  I have also made notes about this attempt to shield their readers from my responses on my website (see links below) as well as on Twitter.  A couple of my many responses to Media Matters posts on Twitter can be seen here.







    When Media Matters has attacked me, I would write up a response and post a link to the comment on their website.  Here are 23 times that I wrote up and posted, though I haven't gone through everything that I have written and I am sure that there were more responses.  Below I first show Media Matters' title and then a link to their claims and then my response.






    -- The NRA Encourages Its Members To Lie To Their Families At Thanksgiving







    My response and a Washington Post Fact Checker article available here.



    -- "Mother Jones and Media Matters bungle study on Mass Public Shootings" 







    Other responses to Media Matters by me:
    Media Matters, 'Stand Your Ground' and me 
    David Brock, Media Matters and gun control hypocrisy
    MEDIA MATTERS' POTENTIALLY LETHAL DISTORTIONS ON GUNS

    "Media Matter's dishonest attacks on Fox News" -- discussion here.



    Media Matters has also done everything from doctoring pictures of me (see here) to .

    Here is a response that I didn't post on Media Matters website.


    -- Fox's Bolling Inadvertently Advocates For Gun-Free Zones

    Here is a response that I tried posting about seven weeks after I sent Erik Wemple the original story.




    Finally, let me point to a column that Ann Coulter has on this general topic, where she takes on the claims that keep on calling me "Discredited." See Ann's column available here.

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