8/21/2014

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

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.


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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8/20/2014

How to put an end to joy rides by parking valets: "New Corvette will record every move a valet driver makes"

This is one tempting car to drive.  But valets aren't going to be taking any joy rides with these Corvettes.  From the LA Times:
Attention valet drivers: Don’t get frisky with the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette -- big brother is watching. 
General Motors is offering next year’s model of the famous sport coupe with a data recorder that captures video, audio and driving data from the vehicle when switched into a special “Valet Mode.” 
The Vette’s owner can come back from dinner and check out if the valet was testing the sports car’s 3.8 second zero to 60 mph time. The car will have recorded data such as speed, engine RPM, which gears have been used and the highest level of g-force incurred on that joy ride to the parking garage. . . . 
A video of driving hanky panky will be captured by a high-definition camera, which records the driver’s point-of-view through the windshield. Audio of any other hanky panky will be caught by a microphone in the cabin. It all can be viewed or heard instantly on the Corvette’s 8-inch color touchscreen when the car is parked, or downloaded to a computer. . . .

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8/19/2014

The new Democrat US Senate candidate looks to be pretty anti-gun, especially for Montana


This Republican ad using Amanda Curtis' own words seems to be pretty damning (more of her videos are available here).  Did the Democratic nominating committee actually look into this candidate before they nominated her?  I guess the question is whether she will drag down other Democrats who are running for office in Montana.

Here is some more information on her.
[Montana Shooting Sports Association] tracked 24 gun-related votes cast by Curtis in the Montana House last session.  Curtis voted anti-gun on 23 of 24 opportunities.  For that, she scored a miserable 2.6%.  A 59% score would have earned her an "F" on gun issues.  She is well below F-, if there is such a thing.
Curtis  voted:
NO on a bill to encourage manufacturers to move to Montana and create new jobs if those manufacturers make firearms (HR5).
NO on two bills to protect hunters' hearing by allowing sound reduction for hunting (HB205 & HB27).
NO on a bill to prohibit the university system from suspending the Montana Constitution (HB240).
NO on a bill to allow investigators working for public defenders to carry firearms for self defense (SB133).
NO on a bill to exempt from criminal “disorderly conduct” charges a hunter who fires a shot at a deer or elk (even the Governor disagreed with her on this bill) (HB446).
NO on a bill to allow people located inside city limits the same ability for self defense as those outside city limits (HB304).
NO on a bill to allow a person eating at a restaurant that serves beer to provide for his or her self defense (HB358).
NO to medical privacy for gun owners (even the Governor disagreed with her on this bill) (HB459).
NO to preventing newspapers from publishing the private information about people who have been issued a concealed weapon permit by the local sheriff (the Governor disagreed with her on this bill too) (SB145).

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Even the New York Times notes that Obama's unilateral decision making is drawing all the lobbyists to the White House

Big surprise here.  If the president has all the poser because he can make laws on his own, why should lobbyists bother with Congress.  From the New York Times:
. . . the process of drafting what will likely be the only significant immigration changes of his presidency — and his most consequential use of executive power — has been conducted almost entirely behind closed doors, where lobbyists and interest groups invited to the White House are making their case out of public view.
Mr. Obama’s increasingly expansive appetite for the use of unilateral action on issues including immigration, tax policy and gay rights has emboldened activists and businesses to flock to the administration with their policy wish lists. It also has opened the president, already facing charges of executive overreach, to criticism that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, with the potential to reward political backers at the expense of other interests, including some on the losing side who are threatening to sue. 
“We look at what they’ve been doing with executive action and are deeply concerned, and have focused a lot of our energies on how we can roll back these things,” said Geoff Burr, the vice president of federal affairs for Associated Builders and Contractors, whose member companies do 60 percent of federal construction jobs. 
Mr. Burr said an executive order issued by Mr. Obama last month that would block companies with a history of workplace violations from receiving federal contracts had prompted his group to contemplate “the virtues of a litigation strategy.” . . .
Apparently, Obama thinks it is OK for him to unilaterally make these changes because he is now talking to others about his changes.
White House officials say Mr. Obama has been inclusive as he looks to wield his authority, reaching out to an array of lawmakers, experts and business leaders for a wide range of perspectives to inform his plans for executive actions. . . .

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8/15/2014

Video of Michael Brown robbing convenience store. This is not a very nice guy. Believable that he would get into fight with police.


I wanted to wait until some evidence was in about the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.  However, after watching this video of a robbery that Michael Brown committed shortly before he was shot by police, I find it credible that Brown could instigate a fight with a police officer.  This is one big guy who was very belligerent.  Whether he also attacked the police officer isn't clear at this point, but I would find it quite plausible that he did.

More commentary from a former federal prosecutor on this new video is available here.

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In attempting to distance herself from Obama, Hillary Clinton leaves herself all over the map on Syria

Is Hillary Clinton willing to say anything and take any position to win the presidency?  She keeps trying to portray herself as a moderate when she previously supported Obama's position.  From Fox News:
For a moment, Hillary Clinton appeared to draw a clear distinction with President Obama on foreign policy, after telling The Atlantic that the “failure” to help moderate Syrian rebels allowed extremists to flourish
But her comments both before and after that interview have left unclear what the former secretary of State’s views actually are on the crisis.   
Two years before her Atlantic interview, Clinton suggested to CBS News that arming a moderate faction in Syria was not “viable.” And since her critical comments of the Obama administration’s policy were published, the ex-secretary has phoned the president to clarify her remarks. According to reports of the call, the message was: no hard feelings. . . . . 
“This is such a blatant display of Clinton inauthenticity. It's breathtaking,” Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Wednesday. “She did finally appear to say something that she believes and then, of course, retracted.”  . . . 
Clinton tried to take the sting out in advance of Wednesday's party, saying it was not a hard choice to call the president on the heels of her Syria comments and they'd "absolutely" hug it out. “We agreed we are committed to the values and the interests and the security of our country together,” Clinton said. “We have disagreements, as any partners and friends, as we are, might very well have. But I'm proud that I served with him and for him.” . . .

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8/13/2014

Concealed carry permit holder uses gun to defend himself against three gang members, fatally shoots one of them

From the Orlando Sentinel:
An armed Lakeland man killed a 14-year-old gang member in a shootout Wednesday evening after both drew guns and opened fire, according to the Lakeland Police Department. 
At 7:49 p.m., Smith and two unidentified companions began taunting Canteen in the courtyard outside his Oregon Avenue apartment before the teen drew an handgun, a witness told police. 
Canteen also had a handgun and, according to Canteen, the teen began shooting at him first, striking him several times in the "upper extremities," police spokesman Sgt. Gary Gross said in a report. 
Canteen said he returned fire, striking the teen "numerous times." 
This was not the 5-feet 8-inch tall, 130-pound teen's first brush with violence. State records state he was a convicted felon arrested twice since age 12 for armed robbery with a gun, once for battery on a public or school employee and once for burglarizing a home. . . .
The Orlando Ledger has some useful information on Smith and his family.
. . . Wednesday's incident was not the first shooting to affect Davion Smith and his family.
Records show he was arrested in November 2012 following a shooting at the Lakeland farmers market in which a 79-year-old man was wounded. Davion Smith and six other teens were each charged with armed robbery and attempted murder, the Polk Sheriff's Office said at the time.
Smith's brother, 15-year-old Bayshawn Kelly, who is also a documented gang member, was shot in April this year during a gang-related drive-by shooting, police said. Kelly was hit in the arm and back, but recovered.
A few weeks later, Kelly was arrested on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm stemming from a separate drive-by shooting, police said.
Smith's cousin, 15-year-old Shyhiem Morris, was wounded in a drive-by shooting in early May. At the scene of that shooting, Patricka Smith told The Ledger that she didn't understand all the violence among Lakeland's teens. . . .
Here is later Ledger article from August 12th with Smith's mother explaining that Davion's arrest record didn't involve anything serious.
Davion's mother, Patricka Smith, said she knows her son wasn't perfect, but he didn't deserve to die.
Davion, who was known as DayDay, was a star on the football field and always had a smile on his face, his family said.
He was one of five children and was generally respectful, his mother said.
He had a few problems in school and had been arrested before, but Patricka Smith said none of it was serious. . . . 
Having read a lot of these cases, if Canteen was not a concealed handgun permit holder, that information would surely have been released within five days of the shooting. 

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Sheriff David Clarke wins re-election by 4% despite major campaign spending by Bloomberg and other left wing groups

Michael Bloomberg put $150,000 into the Milwaukee Sheriff's race.  In response, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson urged Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary.  Well, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, David Clarke was beating Chris Moews by 52 to 48 percent.  As someone who respects Clarke, this is great news.

It looks like Thompson's request worked.  The Milwaukee Sheriff Democratic Primary had 108,955 votes while Milwaukee Treasurer Democratic Primary had just 68,181 votes.  It could be that the difference in vote totals is simply due to the fact this was a much more contested race.  However, before those who support Clarke's policies celebrate too much, they should realize that there is a less sanguine explanation for this 40,774 vote difference between the two races.  If it was due to Republicans voting (assuming that some of the Republicans didn't also vote in the treasurer race), Clarke would have been crushed if only Democrats had voted. Indeed, if that were the case, Clarke would have lost 76 to 24 percent.  That is quite a reversal from Clarke's previous win in the Democratic primary 4 years ago when he won by 6 percentage points without the benefit of Republican cross overs.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discusses the vote breakdown in the city of Milwaukee, which is just a part of the county:
. . . In Milwaukee, Clarke won with a razor-thin margin over Moews, just 1% in Milwaukee wards, yielding him 50.4%, according to unofficial returns. Four years ago, Clarke rolled up almost 57%. 
In the city, Clarke did particularly well in predominantly African-American wards in Milwaukee that traditionally have voted heavily Democratic. There, Clarke ran up a 23% lead over Moews, our review of returns from areas with at least 66% black voting population showed. . . .
From Fox News:
The money from Bloomberg’s Independence USA super PAC was more than what Clarke and Moews spent on their entire campaigns combined. . . .
The city of Milwaukee had 599,164 people in 2013 and the county had 956,023.  However, it is slightly less lopsided than that as the city has a larger portion of its population under age 18.

The bottom line of all this is that people will be making a mistake to think that Bloomberg and others didn't make this a much tougher race than it should have been.  


Fox & Friends has this: "Pro-gun rights Milwaukee sheriff: 'Bloomberg made a huge miscalculation'"

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8/12/2014

How technology killed auto theft

Technology has made it very difficult to steal cars made after about 2000.  The old cars that can be stolen are not very valuable.  If it wasn't for old Hondas retaining some of their value, auto theft would be down even further.  From the New York Times:
. . . 1990, the city had 147,000 reported auto thefts, one for every 50 residents; last year, there were just 7,400, or one per 1,100. That’s a 96 percent drop in the rate of car theft. . . . 
The most important factor is a technological advance: engine immobilizer systems, adopted by manufacturers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These make it essentially impossible to start a car without the ignition key, which contains a microchip uniquely programmed by the dealer to match the car. 
Criminals generally have not been able to circumvent the technology or make counterfeit keys. “It’s very difficult; not just your average perpetrator on the street is going to be able to steal those cars,” said Capt. John Boller, who leads the New York Police Department’s auto crime division. Instead, criminals have stuck to stealing older cars. 
You can see this in the pattern of thefts of America’s most stolen car, the Honda Accord. About 54,000 Accords were stolen in 2013, 84 percent of them from model years 1997 or earlier, according to data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a trade group for auto insurers and lenders. Not coincidentally, Accords started to be sold with immobilizers in the 1998 model year. The Honda Civic, America’s second-most stolen car, shows a similar pattern before and after it got immobilizer technology for model year 2001. . . .
Making it hard to steal cars undoubtedly matters a lot, but the drop in auto theft from 1991 to 2000 or 2001 is much larger than the drop from 2000 or 2001 to 2012.  However, the percentage drop from 2001 to 2012 (46%) is somewhat greater than the drop from 1991 to 2000 (37%).


By contrast, larceny has continued to fall over that entire period, though the drop is very similar in the two periods (1991 to 2000 is 23% and 2001 to 2012 is 22%).  It at least raises the question whether most of this drop would have occurred anyway.

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Michael Bloomberg and other gun control groups target Milwaukee's Sheriff David Clarke

I have met Sheriff Clarke and I have had the chance to be interviewed by him on his radio show.  If Bloomberg's money makes a difference in this race, it is something that we will hear a lot about.  From Fox News:
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who through his political group has publicly committed to spending $50 million on gun-control politics in 2014 – has paid $150,000 to air a series of television ads targeting Clarke’s conservative pro-gun policies.
The money from Bloomberg’s Independence USA super PAC is more than what Clarke and Moews have spent on their entire campaigns combined.
Bloomberg spokesman Howard Wolfson told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that he decided to get involved in the sheriff’s race because it allowed him to shape policy on a local level.
“The issue of guns is one that (Bloomberg) cares an awful lot about and there’s a very clear contrast on that issue in this race,” Wolfson told the newspaper.
But Bloomberg isn’t the only person pumping cash into the primary.
The Greater Wisconsin Committee spent $400,000 on its own anti-Clarke ads.
Clarke, who is running as a Democrat but regularly aligns himself with conservative Republicans, spoke at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in April. The NRA, who calls Clarke a “rising national star,” has come to Clarke’s defense, soliciting donations from its members on his behalf and buying online ads for his re-election bid. . . .

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8/10/2014

Police in Britain now regularly carrying guns, anti-gun activities upset, claim no benefit

From the BBC:
In a little-noticed move, a small number of police officers are now routinely carrying sidearms while on patrol in parts of the mainland UK. . . .
It's a sight that once would have been unthinkable. In this corner of the Scottish Highlands - an area with one of the lowest crime rates in the UK - the officers showing up to a relatively workaday disturbance are armed.
Although every police force has a firearms unit, for decades it has been an article of faith that in the mainland UK, almost uniquely among major industrialised nations, the police do not carry guns as a matter of course.
But with little fanfare at first, a policy of routinely allowing specialist officers to wear sidearms as they walk the streets of Scotland has come into being. . . .
Meanwhile, an anti-gun activist in Scotland opposes police carrying guns.  From the UK Daily Record:
. . . Dr Mick North lost his five-year-old daughter Sophie when killer Thomas Hamilton struck at her school.
The anti-gun activist has slammed Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House for suggesting armed bobbies could have stopped the massacre.
At a force summit in June, the country’s top policeman highlighted the mass murder of Sophie, her 14 primary 1 classmates and teacher Gwen Mayor as a reason why units should not spend “an extra five, 10, 15, 20 minutes” arming themselves.
Dr North said: “I can’t see how any armed police would have stopped Dunblane.
“It took 15 minutes until any police officer arrived at the school when the incident was all over in three minutes.” . . . 
Some notes: I agree that it is very doubtful that police could have arrived quickly enough to stop the attack at Dunblane.  But does that mean that there won't be a few other times when speed might save some lives.  Of course, my response is to speed up response time to these tragedies by getting rid of gun-free zones, not by disarming even police.  It is hard to see any benefits from having police being disarmed.

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Very interesting data from The Economist on prostitution prices

Clicking on the screen shot will enlarge the picture.  The Economist information is available here.  Prices tell us what types of characteristics in women that men like most.  The second slide probably tells us what women don't like to do and the prices make a lot of sense.  Oral sex without a condom is much more dangerous and less desirable than with a condom (similar for splitting out semen or swallowing it).  Having sex with multiple men is more work.  What seems most interesting here is that women charge less for "heavy" S&M than for just spanking.  Is this saying that female prostitutes prefer “heavy” S&M, which I would think involves much more work, over just spanking?  Possibly there are those out there who have more insights into this than I do.

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8/09/2014

Continued massive coverage of the Taylor Woolrich story: What happens when a woman is being stalked but not able to defend herself

KGTV San Diego: "College student wants right to carry gun on campus"
Fox 5 San Diego: "Dartmouth student from San Diego wants to carry a gun on campus"
Red Alert Politics: "Darmouth College student advocates for concealed carry on campus"
KTOK 1000 Oklahoma: "Why David Boren et. al. Need to Re-think Their Gun Policies"
MyFoxChicago: "Ivy Leaguer with stalker may drop out over anti-gun policy"
The UK Daily News: "College student threatens to drop Dartmouth if the school does not allow her to carry a handgun on campus to protect herself from a 'stalker with a rape kit'"
Business Insider: "Dartmouth Won't Allow Student To Carry Gun For Protection, Despite A Man Allegedly Stalking Her For Four Years"
Fox 5 San Diego: "Dartmouth student from San Diego wants to carry a gun on campus"
China News: "美女学生长期遭老男人骚扰欲携枪防身遭校方拒绝 [The beautiful woman student suffers the old man to harass for a long time wants to take along the gun self-defense to suffer the school authorities to reject]"
The Blaze: "Ivy League School’s Response to Student Requesting to Carry a Concealed Handgun to Defend Herself From Dangerous Stalker"
NBC News in San Diego: "Dartmouth Student Seeks Right to Carry Gun to Protect Herself Against Stalker"
The Washington Times: "Stalked student may drop out of Dartmouth over no-guns policy"
Inquisitr: "Gun Control Rule At Dartmouth College Denies Taylor Woolrich Protection From Stalker With ‘Rape Kit’"
Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com: "Female Campus Carry Advocate and Dartmouth Student Details Stalking: "They Found a Rape Kit in His Car"
Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com: "Mother of Virginia Tech Victim Advocates For Concealed Carry on Campus
The Truth About Guns: "Dartmouth College Denies Stalker Victim Right to Armed Self Defense, Perpetuates #waronwomen"
Rare: "Dartmouth wouldn’t let this woman carry a gun to fend off her stalker"
Breitbart: "Dartmouth Student to "Drop out" unless she can carry gun to fend off stalker"
Newsbusters: "NBC Highlights College Student Fighting for Right to Carry Gun on Campus"
News World Today: "Dartmouth Won’t Allow Student To Carry Gun For Protection, Despite A Man Allegedly Stalking Her For Four Years"
Independent Journal Review: "Student Tormented By Stalker May Have To Drop Out Because College Won’t Allow Her To Defend Herself"
Georgia Newsday: "Stalked student will 'drop Dartmouth' for not allowing her a handgun"
The Examiner: "Female student not allowed to carry gun to protect self against predator"
NewHampshire.com: "Woman stalked by man, 67, caught with rape kit says she'll drop out of Dartmouth if not allowed to carry a gun"
MyFoxChicago: "Ivy Leaguer with stalker may drop out over anti-gun policy"
Voice of San Diego: "Student from SD Takes Stand on Carrying Gun"
BizPacReview: "College student stalked for 4 years makes impassioned plea to carry a gun for self-defense"
Campus Reform: "Dartmouth student denied concealed carry despite aggressive stalker"
Heavy: "Taylor Woolrich: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know"
Opposing Views: "Dartmouth Won't Allow Student To Carry Gun To Protect Against Stalker"
Red Alert Politics: "Darmouth College student advocates for concealed carry on campus"
KTOK 1000 Oklahoma: "Why David Boren et. al. Need to Re-think Their Gun Policies"
Los Angeles Times: "Dartmouth won't let woman carry gun to protect against accused stalker"
KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles: "Dartmouth College Student Denied Request to Carry Gun to Protect Against Alleged Stalker"
Texas GOP Vote: "Dartmouth College Puts Anti-Gun Ideology Above Safety of Stalked Female Student"
KFMB 760 AM: "San Diego student seeks gun permit from Dartmouth"
WRTV Channel 6 Indianapolis: "College student wants right to carry gun on campus"
The Daily Reporter, Greenfield, Indiana: "San Diego student seeks concealed gun permit from Dartmouth to protect against alleged stalker"
KERO ABC Channel 23, Bakersfield, California: "San Diego student seeks gun permit from Dartmouth College"
The Lompoc Record, Lompoc, California: "San Diego student seeks gun permit from Dartmouth"
Breitbart (revisited): "Dartmouth will not allow stalking victim to carry gun for self-defense"
DigiNews: "Women Against Feminism fight back"

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Canadian mail order guns from 1902 to 1975



The first ad is from 1902 and the second from 1975.  The ads are available here for many other years.  Mail order guns in Canada were available up until 1979.

A history of Canadian gun control is available here (1945-1977) and here (1867-1945).

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8/07/2014

Vice President Joe Biden refers to the "Nation of Africa"


Vice President Joe Biden's gaffes are so frequent the media doesn't cover them.

UPDATE:  Of course, there is always CNN that says that Hong Kong is in Brazil.

CNN Hong Kong in Brazil

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Why are women much more likely to think that we are in a recession and also believe that Democrats have the solution


After almost six years of Obamanomics, why is such an overwhelming majority of want more Democrat solutions.  What I would like to see is how these percentage compare to 2008, 2010, and 2012.  From the Wall Street Journal:

. . . This week's Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that women are more in sync with Democrats on a range of economic issues, including minimum wages and concerns about growing income inequality. With Republicans holding substantial advantages this year, the Democrats' appeal among women could provide a bulwark against a political drubbing. 
As members of the party that doesn't hold the White House, Republicans might ordinarily stand to gain most from the broad pessimism in the new poll that the nation is on the wrong track. But the poll found that women would prefer this fall's elections to produce a Democratic-controlled Congress, by a 51% to 37% margin—a 14-point gap. The reverse is true for men, who preferred a Republican Congress by 52% to 35%—a 17-point lead for the GOP. . . . .

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Obama administration can't account for how $619 billion was spent

Even by the Federal government standards, not being able to account for $619 billion is a lot of money.  From Fox News:
The Obama administration failed to properly account for how it spent nearly $619 billion, according to a watchdog audit of the main federal website meant to track where taxpayer money is going. 
The report from the Government Accountability Office picked apart the website USASpending.gov, and the agencies feeding information to it. 
The database of government spending and contracts was created out of a 2006 transparency law, but the GAO found it continues to have serious problems. The Department of Health and Human Services was the worst offender, during the 2012 period GAO examined. 
“Although agencies generally reported information for contracts to USASpending.gov, they did not properly report information on assistance awards, totaling nearly $619 billion,” the GAO reported. . . .

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By almost 2-to-1 vote, Missouri approves stronger constitutional protections to own guns

Bloomberg's gun groups claimed that this change would hurt safety in Missouri.  Voters overwhelmingly rejected the claims.  An explanation of the changes to the Missouri Constitution are available here at KFVS Channel 12:
Missourians voted to strengthen the state's gun rights law when they headed to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 5.  This ballot measure reads as follows:

"Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right?"
Currently, the U.S. Constitution grants American's the ability to keep and bear arms.
Missouri state law also protects that right.
 
Essentially, voters were asked to decide if this right to keep and carry guns should be an "unalienable right" just like American's rights to life and liberty. 
That would mean the right is impossible to take away and if it was challenged in court, this amendment would give Missourian's the highest level of legal protection.
Senator Kurt Schaefer, a supporter of the change, says if passed, Missouri would have the strongest gun rights in the country. . . .
The St. Louis Post has this discussion of the outcome of the vote:
And Amendment 5, reitervating the U.S. Constitution’s right to bear arms, won by almost 2 to 1. . . . 
The “right to bear arms” referendum (Amendment 5) will reiterate the U.S. Constitution’s similar guarantee, but with more specificity, making that right “inalienable.” Supporters argued it was needed because of attempts to restrict gun rights on the national level. 
Opponents argued that it would be an unnecessary duplication of the federal Constitution’s Second Amendment and that it could impede enforcement of reasonable firearms restrictions. 
After the vote, the group “Moms Demand Gun Sense in America” issued a statement warning: “Today Missouri voters approved a gun lobby-backed proposal that could gravely undermine public safety.” . . .

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8/06/2014

If you want to get the wealthiest billionaires to live in your state, get rid of the state income tax

The states without an income tax are


  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming


  • Apparently, Tennessee and New Hampshire are not really zero income tax states as they impose significant taxes on interest and dividend income (6% and 5%, respectively).  There is a list of the wealthiest person in each state available here.

    I ran two regressions: one with the wealthiest person in the state on a dummy variable for them not having an income tax and then the same thing for just the continental US.


    Both estimates show the same thing.  Not having an income tax raises the wealth of the wealthiest person by $16.8 billion and not having an income tax in the continental states raises the wealth of the wealthiest person by $21.3 billion.

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    Dartmouth Student Is Stalked for 4 Years, Wants Right to Carry Gun

    Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at  Wednesday, August 6, 12.27 PM
    Here is the first part of the story that was the lead up at Fox News:
    A 20-year-old Dartmouth student says she may have to give up her Ivy League dream and drop out of school because the prestigious college won't allow her to carry a gun -- to protect herself against a predator.
    Taylor Woolrich, a junior, says Dartmouth administrators told her they won’t let her carry a gun on campus, even though she lives in fear of a man who has been stalking her since she was a high school student in San Diego. 
    “It’s absolutely unfair,” Woolrich said about her attempts to have the school make an exception to its weapons ban. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with.”
    Woolrich was 16 years old and working in a San Diego café when she says a man came in to buy coffee and then kept returning throughout the day, staring at her for long periods of time and trying to flirt with her. The man, 67-year-old Richard Bennett, kept this up for days, she says, even sitting outside the store for an entire day and then following her home, demanding that she talk to him and saying he was “trying to protect her.” 
    She filed a restraining order, but it did little to keep Bennett away. Woolrich says he constantly harassed her during her first two years at Dartmouth, stalking her on social media and sending messages in which he “promised” to fly across the country to see her at college. 
    “I thought they were empty threats, but when I came home from school last summer, he was at my front door within eight hours of my plane landing,” she said. “That’s when I realized how serious it was.” 
    Woolrich and her family called the police, and Bennett was arrested. A search of his car uncovered a slip noose, a knife, gloves and other items. 
    Bennett is currently in jail in San Diego County, accused of violating the restraining order and felony stalking, as well as other charges. His next court date is Aug. 20. If convicted, his maximum sentence would be four years. 
    Woolrich says she inquired about obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon in California and learned that the minimum age to get one is 21, though exceptions can be made under special circumstances. She says the Sheriff’s Licensing Division told her she could qualify, and she learned the same exception can be granted in New Hampshire, where Dartmouth is located. 
    But Dartmouth administrators told her she was “absolutely not” allowed to carry a weapon on campus. She says she tried to plead her case and was told to speak with several campus officials, all of whom provided little to no help. 
    “There’s no option. There’s no one to go to. They don’t want to hear my case,” she said.
    Many colleges across the country have banned guns on campus to prevent mass shootings and accidental shootings by irresponsible or inebriated students. But the pro-gun rights Crime Prevention Research Center, in a study published on Monday, said there have been no reported problems or issues with college-age permit holders on campuses in the nine states –  Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin, Utah, Pennsylvania,Oregon, Mississippi, Kansas and Idaho – whose laws mandate that students and others be permitted to carry concealed handguns on public college grounds. 
    “There’s this fear about the possibility of students causing problems, but people talk about these things without actual examples,” the center’s president, John Lott, told FoxNews.com. “By far, the safest course of action is to carry a gun for protection, especially for female victims.” 
    “[Woolrich] has legitimate concern,” he added. “There’s only so much a restraining order can do.” 
    Woolrich says Dartmouth’s Department of Safety and Security told her that instead of carrying a gun, she should call campus security and arrange for an escort if she felt unsafe after dark. But she says she was often asked to justify her requests when she called, and security officers gave her a hard time for calling often. 
    “What they don’t understand is that it’s not enough,” she says. “Stalkers just don’t only show up after dark. Unless they have an armed guard in front of my dorm room, I'm not sure how safe I will be. I don’t think there’s much an unarmed guard can do.” . . .

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    8/05/2014

    New piece at the Daily Caller: "Why Legalizing Concealed Carry Is The Answer To Persistent Stalkers"

    Here is a piece that I had at the Daily Caller:
    Stalking victims often despair because they can’t control their own lives. They are forced to move, stay indoors, keep drapes closed, avoid posting on social media sites, and even change their cars. It’s almost like being held hostage. 
    Shall we tell women that they just have to put up with this? The answer is “no.” Women must be able to defend themselves. The most effective way of doing this is by using a gun. By the time the police arrive to enforce a restraining order, it is often too late. 
    One of us, Taylor Woolrich, has been living such a nightmare for over four years. It started when she was 16. Taylor was working at a café in San Diego when a 67-year-old man, Richard Bennett, came into the store for coffee. He kept coming back, staring at her for long periods of time and trying to flirt. He then would sit outside the store for the entire day. 
    It soon got much worse. He followed her around outside of work, demanding to talk and saying that he was “trying to protect [her].” 
    Right now, Richard Bennett is in jail a third time for violating his restraining order and will soon go to trial again. In June of this year, Taylor was shocked to discover how closely she was still being followed. It was late at night when she returned home to California from Dartmouth College on the East Coast. Early the very next morning, Bennett was at her door, wanting to talk. 
    Bennett was arrested and police searched his car. They discovered a “rape kit” including rope tied as slip noose, a knife, gloves, and other items. When police got a warrant, they found Taylor’s pictures all over Bennett’s house. They also found illegally obtained guns. . . .

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    8/04/2014

    Students for Concealed Carry Conference in Washington DC at the National Press Club tomorrow

    From the Daily Caller:
    Students for Concealed Carry is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising over 43,000 college students, professors, college employees, parents of college students, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that they enjoy virtually everywhere else. 
    The group will hold its third Students for Concealed Carry Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on August 5, 2014, from 12:00 noon–5:00 p.m. 
    The event will feature many distinguished speakers, including author and scholar John R. Lott Jr., a panel of women speaking of their experiences in gun-free zones on college campuses, an academic panel for legal analysis, military and police trainers, and state legislators from across the country. . . .

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