6/23/2017

Amazon review of new book claiming that James Buchanan was a racist and thus trying to tar conservatives who have similar views as racist

I rarely put up book reviews that I have posted on Amazon.com, but this new book. "Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America," so incenses me that I wanted to put a link here.  The claim is essentially that since Buchanan supported school choice that was a way of hurting blacks in public schools.  It is bizarre that so many liberals have absolutely no idea what motivates people on the other side of the debate.  I hope that this review gets listed at the top of the reviews on this book.

My newest piece at Fox News: "Why our heated political rhetoric will only get worse, not better"

My latest piece at Fox News starts this way:
Some hope that the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others last Wednesday will lead to more civility in politics.  It’s clear that the attack was politically motivated — the Democratic shooter even carried a hit list of Republicans.  The political viciousness has been everywhere. 
While some will blame the violence on the grotesque picture of Kathy Griffin holding the President’s severed head or a play where the president is being stabbed to death, this Sunday Jill Abramson, the former chief editor of the New York Times, told CNN that it was “President Trump and the congressional leadership on the Republican side [who] are extremely divisive.” 
But all these discussions miss something more fundamental that is driving all this, and, unfortunately, the viciousness isn’t likely to abate. 
One reason that previous generations didn’t treat their presidents with similar levels of hated is because so much is at stake today.   As government has grown, so too have the stakes.  This simple point explains everything from increases in campaign spending to increasingly heated judicial confirmations.  It explains why political discourse has grown generally more vicious. 
Two baseball teams playing in the seventh game of the World Series are probably going to play a lot harder than two teams competing in August with no chance of making the playoffs. In the same way, as the size and scope of the federal government increases, interest groups will spend more on elections in an effort to influence the levers of government. 
If federal spending still amounted to two percent to three percent of GDP — as it did a century ago — people likely wouldn’t care as passionately about election outcomes.
In the Journal of Law and Economics in 2000, I studied spending on gubernatorial and legislative races from 1976 to 1994.  The growth of state governments could explain almost 80 percent of the increase in campaign spending over those years. . . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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6/22/2017

Newest piece the New York Daily News: The shooting of Steve Scalise is an argument for concealed-carry reciprocity

My newest op-ed in the New York Daily News discussing what we can learn from the public shooting in Alexandria, Virginia yesterday morning.
Although he was seriously wounded, it is a lucky thing that Rep. Stephen Scalise made it to baseball practice on Wednesday morning. Due to his position as majority whip, armed Capitol Hill Police accompanied Scalise. This security detail saved the lives of his House colleagues and two senators. 
As Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), told WWJ radio in Detroit, “The only reason — the only reason — why any of us walked out of this thing: By the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover. Because we were inside the backstop and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit. Every single one of us.” 
Many Republican representatives have concealed handgun permits from their home states, but carrying in the District of Columbia is illegal for all but a select few D.C. residents. The attack occurred in relatively gun-friendly Virginia, though that is irrelevant to a representative going directly between baseball practice and Capitol Hill.
Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) thinks that he has a solution: allow congressmen to carry in D.C. if they have a permit to do so in their home state. Of course, congressmen still aren’t likely to be carrying guns while out in the field, practicing baseball. 
And what about their staffs? Why limit concealed carry only to congressmen?
Other Republican lawmakers are proposing nationwide reciprocity bills for all permit holders. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) is introducing such legislation this week. Reciprocity would make life simpler for permit holders who travel. 
It’s not easy for a truck driver to avoid troublesome state and city gun laws as he drives across the country with valuable merchandise. He can quickly run into trouble in “may issue” states such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois or California, which give out few permits and require applicants to demonstrate sufficient “need.” Or imagine a single woman driving across state lines at night, hoping that her car won’t break down along the highway. 
For most of the country, reciprocity is already a fact of life. The average state allows people with concealed handgun permits from 32 other states to travel freely. But the eight “may issue” states and D.C. pull down that average; only one of those eight states, Delaware, recognizes permits from any other state. 
Only about 100 people in all of D.C. have concealed handgun permits. To even have a chance of getting a permit, an applicant has to be able to point to a specific threat. That’s something that even Scalise may not have been able to do before Wednesday’s attack.
There’s no good reason not to issue permits much more generously. Permit holders are extremely law-abiding, losing their permits for firearm-related violations at rates of thousandths of one percentage point. 
Some say that we should just rely on the police to protect us. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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6/17/2017

On Breitbart Radio to discuss terrorism and gun ownership in Europe

Dr. John Lott talked to Raheem Kassam, Breitbart London Editor-in-Chief, about how private gun ownership might prevent or help terrorist attacks.
(Tuesday, June 13, 2017,  8:40 AM)

Breitbart.com has a very detailed set of quotes from the interview (Breitbart London also has a discussion here).
Lott said recent terrorist attacks demonstrate “the need for private gun ownership, and also for the police to be armed.”
“You look at places like the concert attack in November 2015 in Paris. You had eight off-duty police officers who were there at the concert hall. At the time, it was illegal for off-duty police officers in France to carry. One can only imagine how that situation might have turned out differently if even a couple of the officers had been armed,” he said. “Last year, France changed its policies to allow off-duty police officers to be able to go and carry.”
“You go and rely on police, even armed police, to be able to go and guard different possible targets that might exist, you’re asking them to do an almost impossible job,” Lott contended.
“Having somebody in uniform there is akin to having somebody with a neon sign saying ‘Shoot Me First.’ When you look at the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, or you look at cases like Orlando in the United States, or Istanbul on January 1st this year, the first people who are killed in those types of attacks are the people who are in uniform. They’re the ones that the criminals know, or the terrorists know, are armed,” he noted.
“Having people with concealed carry not only makes it safer for the citizens there, but also makes it safer for the officers who are guarding the place, because if a terrorist is going to go and try to shoot the person in uniform first – because they know that person for sure is armed – if there’s others who are armed maybe behind them or to the side, or some other place, it makes them reveal their position. That makes it possible for one of the people with a concealed carry permit to try to take them out,” he explained.
“Look at the policy responses after the London attacks that we just had, or after Paris. The normal reaction is just to go and put more police on the street. In Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attack, the response was to put 10,000 troops on the street. Well, even if they put 100,000, or even if they put 200,000 – first of all, not all of them are on duty at any point in time. There’s no way you can cover all of the possible targets,” said Lott.
Kassam asked the difficult question of whether relaxing gun laws would make it easier for radicals to arm themselves.
“It probably makes it easier for them to get guns, but the thing you have to understand is that when you go and you ban guns, the people who are most likely to obey those rules are going to be the most law-abiding citizens that are there,” Lott replied. “Look at the attacks you’ve had in France. They’ve used machine guns. It’s illegal, basically, for the vast majority of people to even own semi-automatic guns, and yet it didn’t stop the terrorists from being able to get automatic machine guns over there.”
“The point is that you have lots of good people out there, relatively few bad ones, even when you’re talking about the people who are being radicalized,” he continued. “The thing is, there’s no way the police can cover all of the possible targets that are there. Allowing people with permitted concealed handguns takes away the strategic advantages that these terrorists have.”
“If you put a couple of police officers or even multiple police officers in front of a possible target, the terrorists can either kill them first, wait for them to leave, or pick some other target. Israel has learned this the hard way. Israel, who was having terrorist attacks even before they became a country,” Lott observed.
“During the Forties, the Fifties, the Sixties, the early Seventies, their response was to go and put more military, more police on the street. What they eventually realized is that no matter how much money they spent, there was no way for them to cover all of the possible targets there. That’s when they began to allow civilians to be able to go and carry in the early 1970s,” he explained.
“The thing with having permitted concealed handguns is that the terrorists don’t know who they have to worry about. They don’t know when they go and attack somebody whether it may be somebody behind them or to the side that may be able to go and stop them. It completely changes how they pick targets to go and attack,” said Lott.
“As far as the solutions go, I think there’s a broad range of things, but what you have to do is take away the strategic advantage that these types of terrorists have, and that is to allow a lot more response – which is to allow civilians to be able to go and carry, as well as arming police,” he stressed.
“In the United States, we have about 600,000 police for 320 million civilians,” he noted. “And again, not all of them are on duty at any given point in time, maybe 20 percent or so. Even if you were to increase it tenfold, the number of police in the United States, there’s no way that you could cover all of the possible targets that are there. I don’t know how else, other than to allow civilians to be able to carry, you can possibly cover all of the possible targets.”

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6/16/2017

Talk is Cheap: Few liberal faculty members actually leave their universities when concealed handguns allowed on campus

Dr. John Lott joined the Greg Garrison Radio Show to discuss the fact that almost none of the liberal faculty leave the universities when permit concealed handguns are allowed on campus.  Despite all the fears about bad things that might go wrong, faculty talk isn't backed up by their actions.

(Wednesday, May 31, 2017, from 11:05 to 11:30 AM)

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On the Dave Elswick Show in Little Rock, Arkansas: Would changing UK's gun control laws help stop terrorist attacks

Dr. John Lott talked to Dave Elswick on his radio show about whether gun control laws contributed to the terrorist attacks and deaths from those attacks in the UK and Europe.

(Monday, June 5, 2017, 3:35 to 4:00 PM)

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6/15/2017

On the Greg Garrison Show: Reminiscing about appearing on the show for 20 years about guns and other issues

Dr. John Lott talked to Greg Garrison on his last week as a radio host on WIBC radio in Indianapolis.  In the brief interview, Dr. Lott, Greg Garrison, and Todd Meyer covered everything from guns to economics.

(Thursday, June 8, 2017, 11:19 to 11:27 AM)

Audio available here.

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On the Financial Survival Network to discuss "Is Campus Carry a Danger?"

Dr. John Lott joined Kerry Lutz about predictions that allowing permitted concealed handguns on college campuses will drive faculty members away from those schools.  Lott talked about the general concerns regarding guns on campus and gun-free zones.

(June 7, 2017)

Audio available here.

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6/14/2017

At Fox News: "Scalise shooting and knee-jerk calls for more gun control - here we go again"

Dr. John Lott's newest piece at Fox News on the tragic attack this morning in Alexandria, Virginia starts this way:
Before the facts were even known about Wednesday morning’s 7 AM shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, gun control advocates were already calling for more stringent laws. 
■ David Frum, senior editor for the Atlantic, called for background checks, gun licensing and registration, long gun permits, limits on magazine size, and restrictions on open carrying of guns. 
■ Windsor Mann, a columnist for USA Today, blamed “easy access to deadly weapons.” 
■ Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe blamed the attack on “too many guns” and immediately called for more gun control. 
We don’t even know yet whether these laws could conceivably have made any difference in preventing this attack. And Frum is already correcting his posts for misstating Virginia’s gun control laws. 
After each mass public shooting, President Obama would call for expanded background checks on private transfers of guns  — even though not one of the shootings would have been prevented by such a law.  Indeed, not a single attack since at least 2000 would have been stopped. 
“News” coverage of these events also shows the same knee-jerk biases for more gun control.  Guns are often referred to as “assault weapons” even if they function exactly the same as a hunting rifle.  Nowhere do the news reports mention whether an attack occurred in a gun-free zone. They never examine the thought process of attackers who want defenseless victims. 
One thing is clear.  As Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., told WWJ radio in Detroit, “The only reason—the only reason—why any of us walked out of this thing: By the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover. Because we were inside the backstop and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit. Every single one of us.” 
It is a lesson that we have seen over and over again.  The longer that it takes for a good guy with a gun to arrive on the scene, the greater the carnage. 
Since only congressional leadership has personal security, Fox News anchor Jon Scott speculated today that the shooter “did not expect someone to return fire.” . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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On the Steve Gruber show to discuss vehicles being used in terrorist attacks

Dr. John Lott talked to the Steve Gruber about vehicles being used to commit terrorist attacks.  These attacks where vehicles are used as a weapon to kill at least 4 people are still relatively rare, though they are becoming more frequent. One thing that stands out is that 80% of these mass public attacks were committed by Radical Muslims.

(Tuesday, June 8, 2017, from 6:45 to 6:53 AM)

Audio available here.

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On the Matt Garrett Show about Guns on College Campuses

Dr. John Lott talked to Matt Garret on the giant 50,000 watts KOKC about the debate over allowing permitted concealed handguns on college campuses.

(Thursday, June 8, 2017, from 6:05 to 6:30 PM)

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6/13/2017

Truckers push for national reciprocity for concealed handgun permits

Here is an interesting article from trucks.com:
While there is no national law prohibiting truckers from carrying properly permitted firearms, it’s still a questionable practice. Myriad city, county, state and trucking company policies make it nearly impossible for truckers to legally carry firearms in their trucks. 
That leaves drivers who choose to bring a firearm on the road caught between complicated state and local laws, and their fear of being attacked while alone and far from help. 
“You have a very deep need for national reciprocity so that our rights for self-defense get extended across the United States,” said Evan Nappen, an attorney in Eatontown, N.J., who concentrates on firearms and weapons law. “Most civilians are not as concerned with this issue, but this is drivers’ living.” . . .

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On the Larry Elder Show to discuss the plagiarism claims lodged against Sheriff David Clarke

Dr. John Lott appeared on the Larry Elder Show to discuss the claims that Sheriff David Clarke plagiarized his master's thesis at the Naval Post Graduate School.

(Friday, June 9, 2017, 6:35 to 6:40 PM)
Audio available here.

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On KTLA's Sunday Morning News makers: What about people and police not being armed to protect themselves in Britain and France?


Dr. John Lott talks to KTLA's news director Larry Marino about whether people in Europe would be better able to deal with terrorists if gun control laws were changed.  Lott also talked about the history of gun control in the UK as well as gun-free zones at concerts and football stadiums.
 (Sunday, June 11, 2017)

audio available here

6/12/2017

In The Hill Newspaper: "The threat of radical Islam is not new, but what will we do?"

Dr. John Lott has a new piece at The Hill newspaper that documents what a large percentage of terrorist attacks are committed by radical Muslims.  The piece starts this way:
It was yet another example of Muslim terrorists killing people. President Trump in his tweets over the last couple days has pushed against the London mayor's claim that there is “no reason to be alarmed” and the need for “extreme vetting” of those from seven high-risk countries.
Let’s be clear, the vast majority of Muslims live their lives in peace and are great neighbors. But that can’t take away from radical Muslims being overwhelmingly responsible for long-term violence that has been occurring around the world.
Bombs, like the Manchester attack, are much more commonly used in terror attacks outside of the United States. Between 2014 and 2015 there were 1,761 terrorist bombings around the world that claimed the lives of at least 4 people.
Even though the motives aren’t known for 17 percent of the attacks, at least 80 percent are committed Muslims radicals.
From 2009 to July 2014, Russia saw 0.24 annual deaths per million from bombings with four or more fatalities.
Muslim extremists committed all of these attacks. That rate is 2.7 times higher than the death rate from mass public shootings in the United States.
In Belgium in 2016, an airport and subway bombing killed 31 people and wounded 180. The 2004 Madrid train bombing took the lives of 192 and injured about 2,000.
While the London-type attack with a vehicle where at least 4 people have been killed is still relatively rare around the world, since 2000, 80 percent of the 10 such attacks involved Islamic extremists. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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In The Hill Newspaper: "How the media got it wrong on Sheriff David Clarke plagiarism accusation"

Dr. John Lott has a new piece in The Hill newspaper on the attacks directed at Sheriff David Clarke.  The piece starts this way:
When it comes to issues such as sanctuary cities, it is impossible to avoid controversy. When President Donald Trump appoints anyone to help oversee the issue, it will be controversial, especially if the appointment promises to be very effective one.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is scheduled to serve as an assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. He will be working at the Office of Partnership and Engagement, which coordinates outreach to state and local governments.
Clarke’s understanding of domestic law enforcement issues makes him the perfect candidate. He joins President Trump in opposing sanctuary cities and in supporting the creation of a wall on the U.S-Mexican border.
Not surprisingly, the long knives are out for Sheriff Clarke.
Even in the Trump administration, some are not happy with the choice. National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell are reportedly fighting hard to delay and reverse Clarke’s appointment before it becomes official.
Their argument?
CNN report that Sheriff Clarke supposedly plagiarized portions of his master's thesis on homeland security.
CNN focused on 23 short segments of his nearly 40,000-word thesis. Eighteen are mere sentence fragments; five are full sentences. CNN cites the supposedly standard definition of plagiarism: “If a passage is quoted verbatim, it must be set off with quotation marks . . . The length of the phrase does not matter. . . . even if only a few words are involved.”
But what Sheriff Clarke did was not dishonest. He footnoted each of these segments, citing the correct sources right on the same page.
Steven Brill, the founder of Court TV and a lecturer at the Yale English department, in 2007 told the Yale Daily News: “Plagiarism is when you steal someone’s words and you don’t attribute it to that person.” He went on to address the case of Ian Ayres, a professor at the Yale Law School, who copied large chunks of writing — even more than a couple of paragraphs at a time. “I don’t think it quite rises to that, because he is attributing what he’s saying to the person [in the endnotes]. His intent could not have been terribly guilty, because he provided neon signs … for anyone to figure out what he’d done.”
Ayres does list his sources in endnotes at the back of the book, though the sources are not directly linked to copied passages and the relevant source were sometimes at the end of a list. This hardly qualifies as “neon signs.”
By contrast, . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.
Walter Williams also has some comments on the attacks on Sheriff David Clarke.

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FINALLY! AN AUDIO EDITION OF MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME



Over the years, an audio version of "More Guns, Less Crime" has been requested many, many times.  Well, finally an audio version has been released (cheapest version at Barnes & Noble and it is also available at Amazon).
This joins audio versions of The War on Guns and Freedomnomics (which has an extensive discussion on crime) are also available.
Praise for "More Guns, Less Crime"
Milton Friedman -- "John Lott documents how far 'politically correct' vested interests are willing to go to denigrate anyone who dares disagree with them.  Lott has done us all a service by his thorough, thoughtful, scholarly approach to a highly controversial issue."
 
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The Wall Street Journal -- "A compelling book with enough hard evidence that even politicians may have to stop and pay attention. More Guns, Less Crime is an exhaustive analysis of the effect of gun possession on crime rates."
 
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Weekly Standard -- "Lott has gone so far beyond other scholars that his work deserves a central place both in future academic inquiry and in popular and political debate."
 
 
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Reason Magazine -- "An important new book by one of America's most resourceful and fearless econometricians."
 
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Business Week -- "Lott's pro-gun argument has to be examined on the merits, and its chief merits is lots of data.  . . . If you still disagree with Lott, at least you will know what will be required to rebut a case that looks pretty near bulletproof."
 
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National Review -- "By providing strong empirical evidence that yet another liberal policy is a cause of the very evil it purports to cure, [Lott] has permanently changed the terms of the debate on gun control....Lott's book could hardly be more timely."
 
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Booknews -- "Lott takes the position many have supported anecdotally for centuries that the best deterrent to crime is an armed populace. He backs up his argument with the FBI's yearly crime figures for every county in the U.S. over 18 years, the largest national surveys on gun ownership, and state police documents on illegal gun use."
 
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Kirkus Reviews -- "An intriguing and shocking look at crime, guns, and gun control policy. Lott (Law/University of Chicago) writes with a relentless distaste for conventional wisdom, such as the belief that most people are killed by someone they know. That category, Lott protests, is simply too large to be meaningful, and he takes to task the notion that concealed guns increase crime. To Lott's mind, citizens who carry concealed guns protect themselves against both friends and strangers and prevent the death of innocent citizens. Lott cites a host of cases where armed victims managed to outwit or kill their attackers. Common sense approaches like gun buyback programs or waiting periods for gun parchases, the hallmark of the Brady Bill, also seem useless to Lott. He draws on studies and data to suggest that an armed citizen is a safe citizen. Lott stresses that many western states like Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma have nondiscretionary handgun laws, and crime is significantly lower in those areas. Sure to raise questions and some controversy, and hopefully will draw attention to the complex issue of crime and potential solutions."

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6/08/2017

20 Ohio Counties likely to be without any insurance plans next year on the Obamacare marketplaces

As we have previously posted, many counties in TennesseeMissouri, and other states will have significant portions of their state without insurers in the Obamacare system.  Now a similar announcement for Ohio.  From Business Insider:
Anthem on Tuesday announced it would not participate in the individual health-insurance exchanges in Ohio for the 2018 plan year. That could leave 20 counties in the state without any plans on the marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare. 
In a statement to Business Insider, Anthem cited "continual changes in federal operations, rules, and guidance" as its primary reason for exiting the marketplaces. . . .

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5/14/2017

Sock puppets taken to an entirely new level: 'click farm' of 10,000 phones that give FAKE 'likes'

The UK Daily Mirror has some amazing footage of 'Click farms" that distort what people see on the web.
Footage has emerged of a giant "click farm" that uses more than 10,000 mobile phones to give product ratings and pages on social media websites phoney "likes". 
Companies reportedly pay thousands to get their apps more likes by using services like this massive plant offers. 
This covert clip in China shows rows and rows of like-making machines all wired to other devices in a factory. 
And there are said to be thousands more phones in the same building all made for the same  . . . .
Sharyl Attkisson also has a closely related video here.


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5/12/2017

Nevada Democratic Senator wants racial and gender quotas for hiring staff

Should hiring be based on merits or race?  Should the balance be for each Senator's office or by party or for the Senate as a whole?  Will Asians not be a protected class?  If you think that there should be quotas for staff, should we have quotas for the Senators?  From Fox News:
One of the U.S. Senate's newest members is proposing to shake up the chamber by mandating "diversity" quotas for everything from staffs to committees. 
A proposal by Nevada’s freshman Democratic senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, could mimic efforts in corporate America. Large companies across the country, particularly those in Silicon Valley, have been under intense pressure to hire more minorities. 
Cortez Masto thinks it should be a Congressional priority, too. 
“We should be mandating diversity in our committees, mandating diversity in our hiring practices, mandating diversity throughout the United States Senate,” Cortez Masto told the podcast Women Rule. “You just have to walk in the room and look at the Senators that are there — the 100 Senators, right? You could see the lack of diversity.” . . . 
“This is obviously the outgrowth and natural conclusion of what’s going been on for a long time outside Capitol Hill,” said Professor John Eastman of Chapman University. “This is exactly what the 1964 Civil Rights Act said we cannot do, but we know that this is the way the law has nevertheless been applied throughout the rest of the country. So, why not hold the Congress to the same rules that apply to everyone else so the politicians can see the absurdity of it?” . . .

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5/04/2017

Counties around the US where Obamacare no longer has any insurance companies

Not only is the problem seen in Tennessee, but it looks like Iowans could lose it for almost their entire state. From USA Today:

Medica, a Minnesota-based health insurer, released a statement suggesting it was close to following two larger carriers in deciding not to sell such policies in Iowa for 2018, because of instability in the market.
“Without swift action by the state or Congress to provide stability to Iowa’s individual insurance market, Medica will not be able to serve the citizens of Iowa in the manner and breadth that we do today. We are examining the potential of limited offerings, but our ability to stay in the Iowa insurance market in any capacity is in question at this point,” the company’s statement said.
Medica’s move comes on the heels of announcements last month that Aetna and Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield are pulling out of Iowa’s individual health insurance market. Those are the only three choices for individual health insurance in most areas of the state this year. . . .
If Medica leaves, that will mean that 94 of the 99 counties in Iowa will have no insurer for their Obamacare exchange.



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