Conservative criticisms of Miers' Nomination a conspiracy?
Yes, in her appearance this morning, Ratner claimed that the Republicans are "protesting too much" about Miers' lack of conservative credentials in a "concerted effort" [read "conspiracy'] to dupe Democrats into accepting her.
Said Ratner: "I think she is a stealth, very conservative candidate. I think they are raising this as a way of causing a lot of storm so liberals can say 'well, maybe she is not that bad' and I think this is a concerted effort to get her through." . . .
Republican Senators get an earful on Miers
Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas associate of Miers and her friend for 15 years, was the only speaker praising her during Tuesday's "morning business," though the leadership had hoped to fill that period with Miers boosters.
A footnote: President Bush had advised senators that his probable choice for the Supreme Court was federal Circuit Judge Consuelo Callahan of California. Bush touted Callahan's diversity as a Hispanic woman, but she is liberal enough to be recommended for the high court by Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer. . . .
Gun Crimes Committed with Unregistered Guns In Canada
The new Juristat study - a version of which reported over the summer that Canada's murder rate jumped 12% in 2004 after a three-decade slide - says that registration information on murder guns was "unknown" to police in more than half of homicides reported between 1997 and 2004 where the gun was recovered.
Gun registry opponents say that proves the registry - two years and more than a billion tax dollars later - is a failure.
"First, 65% of firearms homicides involve handguns. We've had a handgun registry for decades, so obviously it didn't work either," said Dennis Young, a researcher in the office of Conservative MP and registry critic Garry Breitkreuz.
"But look at who's actually committing murders. Two-thirds of murderers - and half of their adult victims - already had criminal histories. The federal government decided with the registry to go after law-abiding gun owners, when the people doing the killing are overwhelmingly criminals who'd never think to register their guns. What a waste." . . .
Brady Campaign tries to scare tourists in Florida
"Do not argue unnecessarily with local people," it says. "If someone appears to be angry with you, maintain to the best of your ability a positive attitude, and do not shout or make threatening gestures."
Florida's "stand your ground" law, which took effect Saturday, means that people no longer must attempt to retreat or defuse a threatening situation before using violence in order to later claim they were acting in self-defence. People already had that right in their homes, but the law now allows them to meet "force with force" in any place they have a legal right to be. . . .
Governor Jeb Bush has repeatedly pointed to a 34-year low in state crime statistics to demonstrate that Florida is not a haven for violence.
"It's pure, unadulterated politics," Mr. Bush said last week of the Brady Campaign's tactics. "Shame on them."
The Florida tourism industry, however, is taking the campaign seriously, with Visit Florida — the state's official tourism-marketing arm — issuing a statement calling Florida "a very safe and secure destination that excels in caring for its visitors."
Talk tomorrow at the University of Tennessee
The talk today at Vanderbilt was a lot of fun. About 80 people showed up and there was a nice discussion after the talk.
"The good guy finally wins for a change" 82-year-old protects himself with gun
The encounter between the would-be robber and retired businessman was brief. It ended with the gunman dead in the back seat of Zehner's car and Zehner himself -- bloodied and wounded from a shootout -- walking into the roadway and desperately waving a gun in the hopes that a sympathetic motorist would stop to help. . . .
Some people working near where the incident occurred were impressed with the way Von Zehner handled himself in a life-and-death situation.
"The old man killed 'em," Stephenson said, as if surprised by Von Zehner's response under pressure.
"The good guy finally wins for a change," said Shanna, a colleague of Stephenson's at the 7-Eleven store who didn't want to give her last name.
Thanks very much to L.J. O'Neale for sending this to me.
The Perfect Storm for Judicial Confirmations
George WIll on Miers
He has neither the inclination nor the ability to make sophisticated judgments about competing approaches to construing the Constitution. Few presidents acquire such abilities in the course of their prepresidential careers, and this president, particularly, is not disposed to such reflections.
Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that Miers' nomination resulted from the president's careful consultation with people capable of such judgments. If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers' name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists. . . .
Supreme Court Refuses To Block Lawsuit Against Gun Manufacturers
An appeals court had said that the District of Columbia government and individual gun victims, including a man who was left a quadriplegic after being shot in 1997, could sue under a D.C. law that says gun manufacturers can be held accountable for violence from assault weapons.
The high court had been asked over the summer to use the case to strike down the statute, which gun makers said interfered with their right to sell lawful products. . . .
Why does FEMA have against armed police officers?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's conduct code prohibits urban search-and-rescue teams from having guns.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon called the reaction from FEMA "stunning, unbelievable, bewildering and outrageous." . . .
Talk at noon tomorrow at Vanderbilt
Talk at noon today
Have Steroids Changed Baseball?
Art DeVany's paper is well worth downloading.
Survey on guns in the workplace
David Frum on Harriet Miers
I am not saying that she is not a legal conservative. I am not saying that she is not steely. I am saying only that there is no good reason to believe either of these things. Not even her closest associates on the job have no good reason to believe either of these things. In other words, we are being asked by this president to take this appointment purely on trust, without any independent reason to support it. And that is not a request conservatives can safely grant. . . .
But here is what we do know: the pressures on a Supreme Court justice to shift leftward are intense. There is the negative pressure of the vicious, hostile press that legal conservatives must endure. And there are the sweet little inducements - the flattery, the invitations to conferences in Austria and Italy, the lectureships at Yale and Harvard - that come to judges who soften and crumble. Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous, anxious personality. It is impossible to me to imagine that she can endure the anger and abuse - or resist the blandishments - that transformed, say, Anthony Kennedy into the judge he is today. . . .
What is a low poll rating for a politician?
A database maintained by the University of Rochester, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and George Washington University lists 3,261 gubernatorial polls since 1958. Only three governors had an approval rating below 15 percent - none in the past 15 years. . . .
Rob Texans at your own risk
Thanks very much to Gus Cotey for sending this to me.
Brady Campaign Attacking Florida over new gun law
Just imagine the body count at the Florida-Florida State game.
Our last foray into the ethos of the Wild West was in 1987, when we made concealed weapons available to the masses. But a funny thing happened.
Doomsday predictions about gun violence never materialized. . . .
See a copy of the new Brady Campaign ad here. My question is: when is the Brady Campaign going to start running ads against other states that already have the so-called Castle Law? For example, why not go after the state of Washington?