Michael Barone has two interesting points this week on the election

Michael Barone discusses many reasons why this election is different from past ones:

Another way this election has been different from any other since 1960 is that neither money nor the thing it mostly buys -- television advertising -- has made much difference. Obama has been a prodigious fundraiser, raising unheard of sums over the Internet. But his money advantage didn't enable him to close the deal and beat Hillary Clinton in Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania or Indiana. . . .


But about 80 percent of this lead -- between 130 and 140 delegates -- came in caucuses, where the enthusiasm of his followers and the inexplicable failure of the Clinton campaign to mobilize hers gave him big victories.

If Clinton had contested these caucuses in small states or if the Democrats had winner take all rules, Clinton would likely be the Democrat nominee right now.


On "Bradley Effects" and Reverse "Bradley Effects"

There appears considerable debate over whether people are falsely saying that they will vote for or against Obama because of social pressures to tell pollsters certain answers. The "Bradley Effect" was named after LA Mayor Tom Bradley's race for governor in California where apparently many people told pollsters that they would vote for him even though they didn't actually plan on doing so. I am sure that we will be hearing a lot of this discussion this year, but so far the evidence isn't clear. The mistakes seem to be going both ways and it could simply be random errors in the polling. Politico has the story here:

Some observers saw evidence of the Bradley effect right out of the gate this year in New Hampshire. While surveys were close to the mark on the Republican side, polls for the Democratic primary showed Obama with a steady lead over Hillary Rodham Clinton in a contest he eventually lost 39 percent to 36 percent. The average margin of polls taken up until a day before the election projected an 8-point Obama lead.

Exit polls showed that Clinton narrowly edged Obama among voters who made up their decision on Election Day, suggesting that the discrepancies between pre-election polls and the actual vote couldn’t be explained away by a last-minute flood of Clinton support.

Others saw the Bradley effect at work in the Rhode Island primary in early March, where Clinton’s 58 percent to 40 percent victory was also notably wider than expected — the RealClearPolitics polling average showed a margin of 9.7 percent.

In states with larger black populations, such as North Carolina and South Carolina — where polls had Obama leading by 9 points, when he actually won by 28 — there’s even been talk of a reverse-Bradley effect, whereby Obama’s support was underreported in pre-election polls.

Yet for all the worry surrounding the Bradley effect, there is still considerable debate over whether it is a significant cause of polling error — or even a real one at that.

Skeptics point to a number of other elections featuring black candidates where the phenomenon hasn’t surfaced, the most recent of which is the 2006 Tennessee Senate race between Democrat Harold Ford and Republican Bob Corker. In that election, polls showed Corker with a 12-point lead over the African-American Ford just three days out. Ultimately, though, the election margin proved razor thin. . . . .

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Will the voters be facing a constitutional ballot issue on Homosexual Marriage in November?

The WSJ's Political Diary has this today by John Fund:

Barack Obama is unlikely to be pleased by the court's decision. He will recall how the issue of judicial interference with the political process bedeviled John Kerry's 2004 campaign after the high court in Mr. Kerry's home state of Massachusetts legalized gay marriage. Anti-gay marriage initiatives eventually passed that year in nearly a dozen states.

In California, the issue is guaranteed to be a hot political topic this fall. More than 1.1 million signatures have already been collected to put a measure on the November ballot that would change California's ban on gay marriage from a statutory provision to a Constitutional clause. Putting their preferences into the state Constitution is the last recourse of the state's citizens against being dictated to by the state's Supreme Court.

Public opinion seems fairly clear. In 2000, 61% of California voters approved a statutory ban on gay marriage while also leaving open a chance for other legal protections to be extended to gays. The measure, Proposition 22, passed in all but four Bay Area counties and even won a third of the vote in San Francisco.

Supporters of gay marriage assert that public attitudes have shifted since 2000, but they seem unwilling to test that belief through the democratic process. . . .

Obama announces his support for the California court's decision here. As I have written before, if the courts are going to take away voters' ability to decide these issues, I don't see where the courts can draw a clear line between different types of marriages. If they allow homosexual marriage, the would presumably have to allow polygamy, if they are going to be logically consistent. It might be that the courts don't care about being logically consistent. However, I think that Fund has it exactly right in that supporters of homosexual marriage are unwilling to test their beliefs that voter support has swung in their favor.


More on Obama's Anti-gun views

The source for this next statement is here:

In 2003, Obama Voted In Support Of Legislation That "Would Have Banned Most Of The Privately Held Hunting Shotguns, Target Rifles, And Black Powder Rifles" In Illinois. "[I]n 2003, Obama voted in support of SB1195, which, if passed, would have banned most of the privately held hunting shotguns, target rifles, and black powder rifles in the state. If the ban was enacted, law enforcement officials would have been authorized to forcibly enter private homes to confiscate newly banned firearms." (Illinois State Rifle Association, "ISRA Blasts Candidate Obama On His Record Of Hostility Toward L aw-Abiding Firearm Owners," Press Release, 8/24/04)

-- SB 1195 Caused Furor; Would Have Banned Shotguns, Muzzleloaders.
"The gun furor basically revolves around Senate Bill 1195, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Antonio Munoz. It would ban shotguns with a bore of .50 caliber or more, the net result, according to numerous interpretations, being to outlaw a variety of shotguns, and even muzzleloaders." (Lew Freedman, Op-Ed, "Hunters Need Not Worry--Yet," Chicago Tribune, 4/19/03)

UPDATE: Paul Huebl pointed to this ad here:

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Thank You: Website surpasses 1 million unique visitors yesterday

Sometime early yesterday morning the one millionth unique visitor visited this website. Over all there have now been over 1.625 million page hits. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit this site and read the various postings and op-eds that I have written. Your time is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Firearms Microstamping: They pass these laws without adequately studying them?

Science Daily has an interesting report on microstamping (putting an identifying mark on ammunition fired from a gun). There are many issues that were not addressed by the report. For example, what is the actual benefit from such markings? It is one thing to be able to sometimes read these markings. It is quite another that they actually catch criminals in real life use. The report has some interesting notes such as this:

Codes engraved on the face of the firing pin could easily be removed with household tools, Beddow found.


A well functioning market?: Has speculation broken down?

CNN Money had this note today:

Nearly everyone agrees that speculators have always been essential to a functioning market and that oil prices could be much higher without them.

What's harder to understand - and widely debated among buyers and sellers of oil futures - is the effect new speculators flowing into commodities from big-money funds like university endowments, pensions, and indexes are having on oil markets.

Some say they're good. In addition to limiting demand, they make it easier to sell oil contracts and create a larger market where prices are less susceptible to big swings following individual trades - known as liquidity in financial speak. This camp says $130 oil is justified since demand is rising faster than supply.

Others say big-fund money is making it harder for traditional oil speculators to do their job. This camp says big funds distort traditional models used to predict prices and think $130 oil is a bubble ready to pop.

Traditionally, a futures speculator bets on the direction of commodity prices and then guarantees that commodity at that price to a client. This removes some of the risk - and greases the wheels of commerce. . . .

The issue here is that if you had the price go up simply because of some people who didn't know what they were doing bidding up the price of oil, the experts would sell short oil stocks and help force down the price now.



The Pros and Cons of Steroid Use

After a long discussion of those who want to ban steroid use in sports, Sarah Kellogg has this quote:

But not everyone is convinced dozens of cases in pro sports are worth changing the laws of the land, or even requiring mandatory testing for adults and teens. “We go and watch sporting events because of the amazing feats these guys are able to perform,” says John Lott Jr., the author of Freedomnomics and a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland. “If they’re able to do a bit better job with performance-enhancing drugs, then these athletes should be able to make the choice. They take risks all the time. We pay to watch them take those risks. Why are we interested in legislating against these risks but not against others?”

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Don't hold your breath on this one

Will there be the same outrage over Obama's use of the cross as there was for Huckabee? I haven't seen any yet:

The words across the top read, "Faith. Hope. Change." Obama is pictured at a church pulpit, with a large illuminated cross in the background. A quote at the bottom reads, "My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want, but I won't be fulfilling God's will unless I go out and do the Lord's work."

A Google news search of "Obama cross religion Huckabee outrage" comes up with zero hits, but I assume that there are probably other combinations that I am missing. I couldn't find anything on it at the DailyKos.

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Obama's Newest Gaffes on Foreign Policy

ABC News has the story here:

"We don't have enough capacity right now to deal with it -- and it's not just the troops," Obama, D-Ill., told a crowd in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Obama posited -- incorrectly -- that Arabic translators deployed in Iraq are needed in Afghanistan -- forgetting, momentarily, that Afghans don't speak Arabic.

"We only have a certain number of them and if they are all in Iraq, then its harder for us to use them in Afghanistan," Obama said.

The vast majority of military translators in both war zones are drawn from the local population.
Naturally they speak the local language. In Iraq, that's Arabic or Kurdish. In Afghanistan, it's any of a half dozen other languages -- including Pashtu, Dari, and Farsi.

No sooner did Obama realize his mistake -- and correct himself -- but he immediately made another.

"We need agricultural specialists in Afghanistan, people who can help them develop other crops than heroin poppies, because the drug trade in Afghanistan is what is driving and financing these terrorist networks. So we need agricultural specialists," he said.

So far, so good.

"But if we are sending them to Baghdad, they're not in Afghanistan," Obama said.

Iraq has many problems, but encouraging farmers to grow food instead of opium poppies isn't one of them. In Iraq, oil fields not poppy fields are a major source of U.S. technical assistance. . . .

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A little bit more consumer choice in Chicago: Foie Gras Ban Lifted

Chicago City Council Overturns Foie Gras Ban:

Dining on foie gras — a delicacy of duck and goose liver — will soon be legal again in Chicago.

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday repealed its controversial two-year-old ban on the gourmet dish, drawing dissent from animal rights activists who consider foie gras cruel because the geese and ducks are force-fed to make their livers bigger . . . .

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Georgia's concealed handgun law amended to allow guns in parks, restaurants

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the story here:

Georgians with carry licenses will be able to tote their concealed guns on public transportation, in restaurants that serve alcohol and in state parks under legislation signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday. . . .

The gun bill debate was among the hottest and most strongly lobbied measures of the 2008 session. Perdue said last week he expected the issue to wind up in court, no matter what he decided.

For two years, it prompted a collision of Republican constituencies, as lawmakers debated the rights of gun-owners and the ability of landowners to control their property. A veto by Perdue would have guaranteed a third year of fighting in the Legislature.

House Bill 89 was passed by the General Assembly in the final hours of the 2008 session. As in the year before, most of the debate on the measure had concerned a provision to permit employees to keep guns in vehicles parked on corporate parking lots. . . .

The fear of this new law is exactly the same concerns raised before the original concealed handgun law. I assume that they will also go away very soon.

Here is a op-ed opposing the ban.

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Polar Bear listed as a threatened species

It is too bad that the Interior Department didn't include the data from this year and that they accepted the claim that the ice losses are expected to continue (the ability of these climate models to predict the future should be viewed as quite dubious). In addition, if Kempthorne really believes that this listing isn't going to be used for global warming, he really should get some advice from other people. Fox News has this:

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species Wednesday because of the loss of Arctic sea ice but also cautioned the decision should not be viewed as a path to address global warming.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne cited dramatic declines in sea ice over the last three decades and projections of continued losses, meaning, he said, that the polar bear is a species likely to be in danger of extinction in the near future. . . .

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When anything goes wrong (or when he gets caught) Obama blames a staffer

Jake Tapper at ABC News has this (read link for all the details):

"The original estimate was based on, I asked my staff to find what monies they attributed to Rezko, and this was the figure given to me," Obama said.

So, for those keeping track at home, that's ten instances of Obama publicly blaming his staff for various screw-ups.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!

(You of course could also add Austan Goolsbee, Samantha Power, Gordon Fischer, and retired Gen. Tony McPeak.)

That would be 14. We will continue to keep track.

And for the record, yet again, let me state that I find Sen. Obama's staff unfailingly competent and polite, courteous and efficient, and I once again express my regret that Sen. Obama does apparently not feel the same way.

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Programmers or Serial Killers?

Presumably because of my work in crime, Janet Fallon sent me this test here.

I suppose that I had some advantage in taking this test because I recognized two of the serial killers and I had a vague recollection of a third.

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Why Blacks should care more than whites about stopping crime

The 2006 FBI UCR report is here:

"Concerning murder victims for whom race was known, 50.2 percent were black, 47.1 percent were white, and the remaining victims were from other or unknown races."

"Data from single victim/single offender incidents showed that 93.2 percent of black victims were murdered by black offenders, and 82.9 percent of white victims were murdered by white offenders."


University of Colorado at Boulder setting aside money specifically to hire a conservative academic

The Denver Post has the article here:

Mr. Peterson's quest has been greeted with protests from some faculty and students, who say the move is too — well, radical.

"Why set aside money specifically for a conservative?" asks Curtis Bell, a teaching assistant in political science. "I'd rather see a quality academic than someone paid to have a particular perspective." Even some conservatives who have long pushed for balance in academia voice qualms. Among them is David Horowitz, a conservative agitator whose book "The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America" includes two Boulder faculty members: an associate professor of ethnic studies who writes about the intersection of Chicano and lesbian issues, and a philosophy professor focused on feminist politics and "global gender justice." While he approves of efforts to bolster a conservative presence on campus, Mr. Horowitz fears that setting up a token right-winger as The Conservative at Boulder will brand the person as a curiosity, like "an animal in the zoo." We "fully expect this person to be integrated into the fabric of life on campus," replies Todd Gleeson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Boulder is far from the only campus to recognize a leftward tilt to the ivory tower. National surveys have repeatedly shown that liberals dominate faculties at most four-year colleges.

Anne Neal at NRO notes:

Universities should never hire faculty members on the basis of their beliefs. They should always make hiring decisions on the basis of candidates’ professional qualifications.

That is a fine thought, but that is in fact what universities do all the time. How do you get schools away from this bad equilibrium that they are in? I don't think that was is proposed for Colorado would do that because you need to hire people who are in a department, that is where other hiring will be occurring.

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Threats to service dog forces student to leave school

So why wasn't the student who made the threats removed from the school? Here is the story:

A St. Cloud State University student in a teacher-training program at Technical High School left the school in late April because he says he feared for the safety of his service dog.

The school district calls it a misunderstanding, and officials there say they hoped Tyler Hurd, a 23-year-old junior from Mahtomedi who aspires to teach special education, would continue his training in the district.

Hurd said a student threatened to kill his service dog named Emmitt. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has seizures.

The seizures, which can occur weekly, are from a childhood injury.

The dog has a pouch on his side that assists those who stop to help Hurd.

Hurd said he was unable to finish his 50 hours of field training at Tech. The university waived the remaining 10 hours, he said. He plans to do his student teaching outside a high school setting. . . .

The threat came from a Somali student who is Muslim, according to Hurd, St. Cloud State and school district officials.

The Muslim faith, which is the dominant faith of Somali immigrants, forbids the touching of dogs. . . .


"Cooler Waters, Not Global Warming, Behind Tornadoes"

It is not warmer air per se that causes tornados or hurricanes, it is the differences in temperatures that create those storms. Here is a meteorologist explaining the issue.

Global warming alarmists have frequently attributed extreme weather incidents to manmade global warming, but an NBC Weatherplus.com meteorologist burst “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams’s bubble May 12 when he said recent tornadoes are actually thought to be caused by cooler waters.

“[I] talked to three people, casual conversation today, all of them smart saying, ‘I don't know, we must be doing something to our Earth.’ So, once and for all, what’s going on here?” Williams asked meteorologist Bill Karins in an interview about tornadoes that have ravaged parts of the southern United States.

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Democrats ignoring House rules

Jed Babbin has this story:

In the midst of this bizarre episode -- in which the US House of Representatives is made to look and function as if it were some banana republic’s parliament -- Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) is heard scolding the House Parliamentarian, John Sullivan, who is objecting to the Democrats’ abuse of House rules and procedures. Hoyer is heard shouting, “We run this House, not the Parliamentarian.”


Podcast of my interview with Gordon Liddy today on Oil Speculators

You can listen to the interview here.



The limits of academic freedom when it comes to discussing Homosexuality

Crystal Dixon, associate vice president of human resources at the University of Toledo, was suspended for writing an op-ed that questioned whether there was significant discrimination against Homosexuals. As op-eds go, my impression is that it is a pretty mild one. Those interested can read it here. The piece makes two points.

I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are "civil rights victims." Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman . . . . thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle evidenced by the growing population of PFOX (Parents and friends of Ex-Gays) . . . .


Economic data is irrefutable: The normative statistics for a homosexual in the USA include a Bachelor's degree: For gay men, the median household income is $83,000/yr. (Gay singles $62,000; gay couples living together $130,000), almost 80% above the median U.S. household income of $46,326, per census data. For lesbians, the median household income is $80,000/yr. (Lesbian singles $52,000; Lesbian couples living together $96,000); 36% of lesbians reported household incomes in excess of $100,000/yr. Compare that to the median income of the non-college educated Black male of $30,539. The data speaks for itself. . . . .

Possibly the worst thing that she may have done is mention God and that she is religious.

To me the most important point in her defense is that she did not identify her position as being that of the university. She did not even identify her current position at the university. She only mentioned that she was a graduate of the University of Toledo. Surely the first point is surely a common claim. I have no idea whether the numbers in the second point are true, but the objection isn't that they were wrong.

One point to consider: If she had written a piece say the opposite, what would have happened to her? Even if she had listed her affiliation at the university, nothing would have happened.

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New Op-ed up at Fox News: Defending Speculators

You can read the entire piece here:

With oil prices closing above $125 a barrel of oil on Friday, angry politicians are blaming the higher prices on everything from speculators to greedy oil companies. Last week some Democratic Senators demanded “urgent action . . . to adequately investigate whether speculators are driving up prices.”

Democrats are proposing to protect the American people from “greedy oil traders who manipulate the market.” Senator Barack Obama wants price gouging by oil companies to be a federal crime.

Everyone wants lower prices, but many politicians seem unable to understand that speculators actually smooth out wild swings in prices. Speculators make profits by buying oil when the price is low and selling it when it is high, and doing that protects consumers. Tensions rose last week because of Venezuela financing Columbian terrorists. Columbia looked like it might retaliate and send troops into Venezuela, the world’s sixth largest oil exporter. . . .

More on the recent tensions between Columbia and Venezuela can be seen here.

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Neighbor protects store owner from robber

The story is here:

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 News) ―
A Fort Worth businesswoman was almost robbed at her shop, but a neighbor comes to her rescue. In the end, the man suspected of the crime is shot and killed.

Chong Im Randle, who friends call Angel, described her conversation with the would-be robber. "I say you not to shoot. Okay, you kill me I'm going to heaven. You go to jail." . . .

Randal says 45-year-old Richard Lane wore a mask when he broke into Happy Donuts around 1:30 a.m., with what looked like a rifle. He stole money from the cash drawer, beat Randal up and tried to steal her car.

"I grabbed my telephone," Randal explained. "He said, don't call police. I say I gotta do something."

Meanwhile her neighbor, 54-year-old Stanley Livingston, heard the commotion next door, grabbed his shotgun and ran over to help. That's when Lane allegedly pointed his gun at Livingston, who fired one shot killing the robber.

Randal, who says this morning's robbery was the second in two weeks, is grateful her neighbor was there. "If my neighbor no come, what is gone happen? I might die."

The video can be seen here. It is even better than the write up.

Thanks very much to Scott Davis for sending me this link.


Quotes of the Day from the WSJ's Political Diary

"The presumptive Democratic presidential candidate's politics were born in Chicago. Yet [Barack Obama] is presented to the nation as not truly being of this place, as if he floats just above the political corruption here, uninfected, untouched by the stain of it or by any sin of commission or omission.... My argument is not with him -- but with the national political media pack that refuses to look closely at what Chicago is.... Why is Obama allowed to campaign as a reformer, virtually unchallenged by the media, though he's a product of Chicago politics and has never condemned the wholesale political corruption in his home town the way he condemns those darn Washington lobbyists"
-- Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass.

"Obama has run a brilliant campaign. He has won over many white voters by making them proud to vote for a supremely educated and capable man who, at his best, makes race a secondary concern. It is not inconsistent, unfair or unsavory to point out, at the same time, that Obama has been growing weaker over the months in his ability to win all but black voters. Nor am I necessarily suggesting that white voters are drifting from him because of his race -- as opposed to judgments about the content of his character or candidacy. This is about facing facts. And history will reflect poorly on Democrats if they believe it is virtuous to ignore race in the name of nominating the first black candidate for the White House - even if it means giving the Republicans a better chance to once again walk away with the big prize of the presidency"
-- Juan Williams, a political analyst with NPR and Fox News, writing in the New York Daily News.


Only one 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court this term

The AP has the story here:

This could be the Supreme Court term, one court watcher joked recently, that Justice John Paul Stevens remembers he is a Republican.

A 1975 appointee of President Gerald Ford, Stevens is regarded as the anchor of the court's liberal wing. But he has joined with his more conservative colleagues in three high-profile cases that defied predictions they would showcase deep ideological divisions on the court.

Last term was marked by an unusually high number of 5-4 decisions, and many experts believed this term's notable cases would produce similar outcomes.

But the biggest cases decided so far _ upholding lethal injection procedures, photo identification requirements for voters and Texas' treatment of a Mexican on death row _ have had six or seven justices, including Stevens, in agreement on the outcome.

Just one case has been decided by a 5-4 vote. Two others split 4-4 with a justice not participating. Another was 5-3.

Taking stock of the court with half its decisions still to come is a bit like wrapping up a sporting event at halftime. So far, however, Stevens' voting pattern and the lack of 5-4 decisions stand out. . . .


A copy of the program that my son Maxim pitched to ABC can be seen here

The video can be seen here or here.

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Open Gun Carrying in Virginia Restaurants

The Washington Times has the article here:

The patrons at Champps in Reston, an upscale restaurant and bar chain, were eating ribs and drinking beer on a recent Saturday when customer Bruce Jackson stood up and made an announcement: He was armed, and so were dozens of other patrons.

The armed customers stood up in unison, showing off holstered pistols. Mr. Jackson said a word or two about the rights of gun owners to carry firearms in Virginia, then thanked everyone for his or her attention and sat down.

And the diners returned to their burgers and Budweisers.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) organized the dinner at Champps to prove a point: that the presence of armed customers in Northern Virginia restaurants would elicit little more than shrugs. . . .

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Bob Barr to announce today that he is running for President as a Libertarian?

Bob will surely be making a big personal sacrifice to do what he thinks is right, but, despite my dislike of McCain, I think that Newt is correct here and I think Obama is the most dangerous left-wing candidate that has ever been put up by the Democrats.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Times yesterday that "Bob Barr will make it marginally easier for Barack Obama to become president. That outcome threatens every libertarian value Barr professes to champion." . . .

The Libertarian Party says it "is on track to achieve ballot access in at least 48 states."

If he wins nomination at the Libertarians' May 22-26 national convention in Denver, it could financially burden his law practice and consulting firm in Atlanta, while enlivening discussion at organizations with which he has been associated, including the American Conservative Union, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association. . . .

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Cell Phone Used to stop a crime

Fox News has a story here:

A fast-thinking woman used her cell phone to call police after she was abducted from a Target parking lot in Colorado Springs, it was reported.

According to MyFoxColorado.com the woman was hit on the head with a brick, bound with tape and thrown into the back seat of her car.

Colorado Springs Sergeant Mark Comte said the woman was able to make the call when her kidnapper left her alone in the car.

She didn't know where she was but was able to describe her car and surroundings, it was reported.

Police were able to locate her by honing in on the cellular tower transmitting her calls. . . .

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Obama's problems with Jewish voters who care about Israel

The Washington Times has some info here:

On Friday, Mr. McCain criticized Mr. Obama for advocating unconditional talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who last week called Israel a "stinking corpse" which is doomed to disappear. In October, Mr. Obama attacked then-Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for supporting a nonbinding Senate resolution declaring Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization — which it manifestly is. (The resolution passed the Senate 76-22 in September, winning the votes of almost half of Senate Democrats.)

On Friday, Robert Malley, an Obama advisor, resigned from the senator's campaign as reports surfaced that he had met with the terrorist group Hamas. Last month, Hamas political advisor Ahmad Yousef said on WABC Radio in New York that he hoped Mr. Obama would be elected president. . . .

See also this.

ALI ABUNIMAH, a Palestinian activist from Chicago, insists that at least in the recent past, Obama wanted to see U.S. policy move in that direction.

"In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor," Abunimah has written. "On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

Abunimah says that as late as 2004, during his tough primary race, Obama praised him for his activism, and apologized, "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front."

The Obama campaign has disputed Abunimah's account, and there is no audio to back him up. But Abunimah has released a photo of Obama breaking bread with Edward Said, one of the leading anti-Israel intellectuals of the 20th century, at a 1998 Arab community event in Chicago.

Furthermore, Obama has ties with Rashid Khalidi, who currently serves as the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. Khalidi, who once served as a flak for Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, is an active proponent of the view that U.S. policy is too biased in favor of Israel.

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Thursday is the big day for whether government we will see all sorts of new government predictions to protect polar bears

With a growing number of Polar Bears and more bears than there were a 50 years ago, this seems like a hard sell, but we will have to see what the courts decided:

Thursday is the deadline set by a federal judge in Alaska for the Fish and Wildlife Service to decide whether the polar bear is a threatened or endangered species.

All the evidence shows the polar bear doesn’t need his help.

Environmental groups petitioned for such a listing and sued when a decision was not forthcoming by the deadline. They claimed that global warming had already diminished polar ice, would continue to do so and doom the estimated 23,000 or so bears to extinction by perhaps 2050.

If the bears were listed, the service would be obliged to designate “critical habitat.” The Endangered Species Act provides that each federal agency would have to ‘insure that any action authorized, funded or carried out by such agency is not likely to jeopardize any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification (our italics) of (critical) habitat of such species.” . . .

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Law and Order Actor arrested for accidentally carrying a concealed handgun through airport security

This guy's life may well be ruined for what is a simple mistake. However, he should have gotten a concealed handgun permit.

Los Angeles -- He's played a police officer on-screen and off, and now veteran actor Dennis Farina is on the other side of the law.

Farina was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport today when investigators say an unregistered handgun was found in his briefcase as he attempted to board an airplane. The gun was loaded at the time, police said.

Farina, 64, was described as "very apologetic and cooperative" by Airport Police as he was handcuffed at the United Airlines terminal, where he was booked on a flight to Chicago.

The actor told police he had driven in from Arizona to catch a flight to Chicago from LAX and that he had forgotten he had the gun in the briefcase. Farina, a former Chicago police officer, admitted he did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon at the time of his arrest, police said.

He was originally charged with a misdemeanor weapons charge and was taken to the LAPD Pacific station, and his bail was first set at $25,000. But the charges were then upgraded to a felony, as the .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol was not registered.

Farina was transferred to the LAPD Van Nuys station, which is equipped to examine persons under a doctor's care. The new bail figure was not available from LAX Police, and LAPD would not comment. . . . .

UPDATE: The LA Times has this:

Actor Dennis Farina arrested for bringing gun to airport
The former 'Law and Order' actor, who tried to board a flight at LAX with a handgun, tells police he forgot it was in his briefcase.
By Jean-Paul Renaud
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

May 12, 2008

Dennis Farina is a bum shot.

Still, Los Angeles International Airport police took no chances Sunday with the former "Law and Order" actor, who was teased for his poor shooting skills during his earlier career as a Chicago police officer.

Farina, 64, was booked in a felony case after LAX screeners found a loaded handgun in his briefcase as he prepared to board a plane.

The actor, who is often cast as a foul-mouthed mobster or cop, was contrite when he told airport police and FBI agents that he had forgotten he put the .22-caliber semi-automatic weapon in the case, authorities said. He spent most of the day in a Van Nuys jail and was released on $35,000 bail.

"He was apologetic and very cooperative, and he said he understood what was going to happen," said LAX Police Sgt. Jim Holcomb. . . .

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