It all depends on what the word "Defense" means

Spreading the cuts over more of the government will at least make the pain a little easier. Personally, I think that the Republicans got taken here. Both the defense cuts and the cuts to Medicare providers are done the way that the Democrats like to cut things. This has left the Democrats holding all the cards. From The Hill newspaper:

A supercommittee failure would trigger at least $500 billion in cuts to national security spending, but there is no consensus on just where they will be made.

Lawmakers included the automatic cuts in the debt ceiling deal as an incentive to get Congress to agree to shave at least $1.2 trillion from the deficit.

But the language also gave policy makers plenty of leeway.

The cuts do not begin to take effect until January 2013, which gives Congress a full year to adapt them before they are implemented. There are also disagreements over language in the debt deal, which have led to different interpretations over what could be cut.

All of this has led to predictions of huge lobbying fights on K Street and the halls of Congress, as well as dire warnings over the consequences of the cuts for both the nation’s security and economy.
“I don’t even want to contemplate what will happen next year,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) said in a telephone interview.

“I’m really trying to head it off now,” King said. “It’s going to be lobbying, political, regional, ideological, philosophical — the whole range of divisions are going to be there.”

House Armed Services Committee aides interpret the debt-ceiling deal’s mandatory cuts as putting only the Defense Department in the cross hairs. But House Foreign Affairs aides said the provision groups the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and all international affairs spending with the defense budget, meaning they could also face cuts.

One former congressional aide said the flap reflects a longtime debate in Washington about just what falls under the national defense spending umbrella. . . .


Should food stamps be used for fast food?

How much further could food stamps go in providing food if people had to use them at grocery stores to buy basic food? If you buy already prepared food, you pay more. Should taxpayers pay to have the food prepared or just to provide the food? It is amusing that Democrats who want to make it impossible for people to spend their own money at fast food places have no problem letting food stamps be spent there. Sen. David Vitter is pushing this reform:

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., joined last week with three other conservative GOP senators to propose caps on means-tested federal social welfare programs. It would require that funding for food stamps and 76 other federal welfare programs be capped at pre-2007 levels by 2015 or when unemployment falls below 7.5 percent, whichever comes sooner.
It would require that food stamps be limited to essential foods such as milk and bread, as the senators said the program was originally envisioned, not, as it is in four states -- California, Florida, Arizona and Michigan -- for purchases at fast-food restaurants.
"One of the most significant substantive accomplishments coming out of the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress was welfare reform," Vitter said. "But as significant as this reform was, we are overdue to renew welfare reform efforts and make additional gains because the welfare state has grown enormously since then -- even factoring our recession." . . .

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Balanced Budget Amendment fails in House

Unlike 1995 when the Amendment passed the House with the support of 72 Democrats, only 25 Democrats voted for the Amendment this time. Democrats are obviously much more liberal than they were in the mid 1990s. From the AP:

The 261-165 vote was 23 short of the two-thirds majority needed to advance a constitutional amendment. Democrats, swayed by the arguments of their leaders that a balanced budget requirement would force Congress to make devastating cuts to social programs, overwhelmingly voted against it.
Four Republicans joined the Democrats in opposing the measure. . . .
The House passed a similar measure in 1995, with the help of 72 Democrats. That year, the measure fell one vote short of passing the Senate. This year, only 25 Democrats supported the proposal. . . .


Gun-toting grandmother with concealed handgun permit stops two men who tried robbing her

From the Sun Herald in the Biloxi-Gulfport ares of Mississippi:

Phyllis Gigl said two alleged robbers messed with the wrong person when they conspired to steal her purse and she pulled a .380-caliber handgun out of a holster in her pants and pointed it their way.
She had a message for the suspects today: “You messed with the wrong grandmother.”
Gigl, 61, said she and her husband started carrying the same type handgun about a year ago to protect themselves from incidents such as the one that occurred to her Wednesday night outside the U.S. 90 Walmart.
Gigl was loading groceries into the back of her vehicle when one of the suspects came up from behind and started trying to wrestle Gigl’s purse from her hand. In a matter of seconds, she said, she had her gun out and was poised and ready to do what she had to do to protect herself and her belongings.
“When it happened, it was scary,” she said this morning. “I didn’t know if the guy had a gun or a knife.” . . .

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It is amazing how distorted the attacks on Newt Gingrich have been over his first marriage

The story was a horrible story about Newt telling his wife while she was dying of cancer in the hospital that he wanted a divorce. Only problem is that it is simply false on many, many counts. Much of the media has gotten this story wrong. This interesting piece here is from the Seattle Times:

. . . while the thrust of the story about his first divorce is not in dispute — Gingrich's first wife, Jackie Battley, has said previously that the couple discussed their divorce while she was in the hospital in 1980 — other aspects of it appear to have been distorted through constant retelling.

Most significantly, Battley wasn't dying at the time; she is alive today. Nor was the divorce discussion in the hospital "a surprise" to Battley, as many accounts have contended. Battley, not Gingrich, had requested a divorce months earlier, according to Jackie Gingrich Cushman, the couple's younger daughter. Further, Gingrich did not serve his wife with divorce papers on the day of his visit (unlike a subpoena, divorce papers typically aren't "served").

Gingrich's marriage to Battley had been troubled for years before it dissolved 31 years ago, both parties have said. Battley, seven years older than Gingrich, had been his high-school math teacher in Columbus, Ga. They began dating after he graduated and were married in 1962, when Gingrich was 19 and a freshman at Emory University in Atlanta.

The marriage grew contentious, and the couple spent years in counseling. In spring 1980, Gingrich left her, Battley told The Washington Post in 1985. Around this time, the couple told their children, then 16 and 13, they intended to divorce, Cushman wrote in a syndicated column in May (none of the family members nor Gingrich would comment for this article).

The hospital visit took place that summer, several months into their separation. Battley, then undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, had had two prior surgeries, and Gingrich's visit occurred a day after a third operation at Emory Hospital, in which doctors removed a benign tumor, according to Cushman. . . .

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Some useful data on who owns European, US and Japanese Debt

The BBC has this useful interactive website that provides lots of data on the subject.

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More on the most transparent administration ever

Whether one thinks that Kagan should rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare, it is hard to see why anyone would defend the Obama administration withholding this information on what cases that she worked on. From the WT:

Top Republican senators said late Friday the Justice Department has been stonewalling their request for more information on Supreme CourtJustice Elena Kagan, and said her previous work as solicitor general “may satisfy both requirements for recusal” from the upcoming health-care case.

The senators, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are demanding Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. comply with requests for more documents about Justice Kagan’s role in planning the administration’s defense, and said unless he provides the information it could undermine confidence in the court’s eventual ruling on the case. . . .

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At least some Swiss Cantons didn't grant women the right to vote until 1990

From a BBC article:

However, Appenzell is a deeply devout and conservative canton - it only granted women the right to vote in 1990 - and the influx of naked hikers has offended many local people, she adds. . . .



Judge with death threat advised by police to get a concealed handgun permit

So what do the police recommend you do when you receive a threat? From The Columbian newspaper:

A reported death threat has prompted a Clark County judge to exercise his second amendment rights.

Following the alleged threat more than two weeks ago, Clark County Superior Court Judge John Wulle has started carrying a concealed .380-caliber Walther PPK most places he goes — except the courtroom. Wulle secures the gun in a locked box when he gets to work, though he still has the holster on his hip under his clothes during the day.

The judge took the precaution on the recommendation of several deputies, he said. Wulle also consulted Clark County Sheriff Garry Lucas, who told him that if he wanted to carry a gun, he should obtain a concealed weapons permit. The judge already owned a gun and said he’s trained to use it.

”All the people in security told me I should. I’ve received these threats before, and I was concerned for my family,” Wulle said Thursday.

The alleged threat came Oct. 31, when Vancouver police Sgt. Mike Davis was investigating a domestic violence harassment report and telephoned the woman who made the report. During the conversation, the woman’s male friend — who has no connection to the domestic violence report — made a threat against the judge over the phone, said Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp. . . .

Thanks to Ken Mott for sending me the link.

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How does the media cover Democrat and Republican connections to

Rush Limbaugh has this:

Have you heard of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac? You know, I didn't know much about 'em until this news of Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich had a consultancy deal there, was paid, what, a million, $1.2, 1.3 million to consult. Why, you woulda thought that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, why, nobody ever heard of 'em until Newt became associated with them. But how about the fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac paid Franklin Raines $90 million? How about this guy Jim Johnson that ran that place for a while that walked out of there with over $20 million? Jamie Gorelick got something like $26 million . . . . And of course there's Barney Frank . . . . The media never reported any of that, wasn't interested at all, but now you've got Newt in a consultancy deal and all of a sudden Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are bad things. But up until Newt got involved, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, why gloriously helping people into homes and buying up mortgages and so forth. It's just amazing how the media is suddenly interested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


Some of the higher education institutions that allow permitted concealed handguns on campus

The list is available here.











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House close to securing votes for balanced-budget amendment

From The Hill Newspaper:

"It is definitely a steep hill to climb to get two-thirds of the members of the House," Rep. Goodlatte said on C-SPAN.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said Wednesday morning that Republicans almost have enough votes to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution this week, but are not quite at the 290-vote mark needed for passage.

"It is definitely a steep hill to climb to get two-thirds of the members of the House," Goodlatte said on C-SPAN. "We're close, but we're not there yet." . . .


Obama bans target practice shooting off of public lands

Despite what US News notes, this is not the Obama administration's "first major move" to impose limits on firearms. Here are a few cases where the Obama administration has made major moves.

Gun owners who have historically been able to use public lands for target practice would be barred from potentially millions of acres under new rules drafted by the Interior Department, the first major move by the Obama administration to impose limits on firearms.

Officials say the administration is concerned about the potential clash between gun owners and encroaching urban populations who like to use same land for hiking and dog walking.

"It's not so much a safety issue. It's a social conflict issue," said Frank Jenks, a natural resource specialist with Interior's Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres. He adds that urbanites "freak out" when they hear shooting on public lands. [Read about the subpoena issued as a result of Operation Fast and Furious.]

If the draft policy is finally approved, some public access to Bureau lands to hunters would also be limited, potentially reducing areas deer, elk, and bear hunters can use in the West.

Conservationists and hunting groups, however, are mounting a fight. One elite group of conservationists that advises Interior and Agriculture is already pushing BLM to junk the regulations, claiming that shooters are being held to a much higher safety standard than other users of public lands, such as ATV riders. . . .



Concealed carry debate in the House of Representatives today

The final vote in the House was 272 to 154, with 43 Democrats voting for the bill. A Fox News article is available here.


"Last Man Standing" TV Show and Guns

An amusing clip from the show is available here.

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Obama promised not to interfere with business decisions

Now we have this revelation about Soyndra. From the Washington Post:

The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show. . . . .

The new e-mails about the layoff announcement were released Tuesday morning as part of a House Energy and Commerce committee memo, provided in advance of Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s scheduled testimony before the investigative committee Thursday.

Solyndra’s chief executive warned the Energy Department on Oct. 25, 2010, that he intended to announce worker layoffs Oct. 28. He said he was spurred by numerous calls from reporters and potential investors about rumors the firm was in financial trouble and was planning to lay off workers and close one of its two plants.

But in an Oct. 30, 2010, e-mail, advisers to Solyndra’s primary investor, Argonaut Equity, explain that the Energy Department had strongly urged the company to put off the layoff announcement until Nov. 3. The midterm elections were held Nov. 2, and led to Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“DOE continues to be cooperative and have indicated that they will fund the November draw on our loan (app. $40 million) but have not committed to December yet,” a Solyndra investor adviser wrote Oct. 30. “They did push very hard for us to hold our announcement of the consolidation to employees and vendors to Nov. 3rd – oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.”

Solyndra has become a rallying cry for Republicans who argue Obama used his clean energy initiative to steer valuable loans to benefit his friends and donors. Argonaut is a private equity firm of George Kaiser, who advised his investor deputies on how to approach the White House to help Solyndra with its financial problems. . . .

The House Energy and Commerce Committee report is available here.

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House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer flip flops on balanced budget amendment

Hoyer can no longer support a balanced-budget amendment because of the deficits under Bush? There are so many ways that statement doesn't make sense. Do reporters just laugh when politicians make these statements? The vastly bigger deficits under Obama don't matter? The fact that deficits are bigger now make a balanced-budget amendment less desirable? From The Hill Newspaper:

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer argued Tuesday that his current opposition to a balanced-budget amendment is perfectly consistent with his past support for similar legislation.

The Maryland Democrat said the political environment was much different in 1995, when he voted in favor of amending the Constitution to require Congress to balance its books each year. He blamed Republicans in the White House and Congress for since adopting "irresponsible" policies that he said make such an amendment unworkable now.

"What I said in 1995 I absolutely agree with today," Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol. "Unfortunately, I did not contemplate the irresponsibility that I have seen fiscally over the last nine years, or eight years, of the Bush administration and Republican leadership of the House and the Senate, and this last few months where Republicans took America to the brink of default." . . .


Newest piece at Fox News: "What's Wrong With Making It Easier to Carry a Gun Across State Lines?"

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:

Congress is expected to vote Tuesday on whether concealed carry gun licenses should be treated the same way we treat driver's licenses for cars. With 245 co-sponsors in the House, the only question is whether there are the 290 votes necessary to override President Obama's veto.
For decades, treating licenses for guns like those for cars was something that gun control advocates wanted.
In his 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore promised: "We require a license to drive a car in this nation in order to keep unsafe drivers off the road. As president, I will fight for a national requirement that every state issue photo licenses [for handgun buyers]. We should require a license to own a handgun so people who shouldn't have them, can't get them."
Handgun Control Inc., as well as its later incarnation as the Brady Campaign, has pushed licensing plan since the 1970s. But what would this actually mean for gun control? After all, what does a driver's license let you do?
You don't need a driver's license to drive a car on private property, merely on public roads. And once you get a license, you are allowed to drive any car on any public road anywhere in the United States. You are responsible for obeying the different traffic regulations in different states, but as long as you do, you are fine. . . .


"Akron Woman Scares Off Sex Offender with Gun"

Woman's warning shot scares away rapist.

Shirley Bennett, of Akron, says she never wanted a gun in her house when her children were growing up. Three years ago, however, she decided to get a concealed carry permit after someone attempted to break into her apartment.

It is a decision she believes paid off on Thursday.

While stopping at a Wilbeth Road bank in Akron to make a deposit, Bennett says she was approached in the parking lot by a man who, at first, asked for directions.

"By the time I was ready to get in my car, he was behind me and started hitting me, and pushed me into my car, and I tried to fight him off the best I could, but I knew he was overpowering me," said Bennett, whose .38 special was in the center console.

"I kind of got my right hand behind me, and inside the center console, and got my hand on my gun. I pointed it at the floor originally, he had a hold of my arm, I said, 'I have a gun. Don't make me use it,' " Bennett told Fox 8 News.

Bennett says the man continued forcing himself in the car. She told police that, during the attack, he kept making sexually suggestive comments to her.

As the struggle continued, Bennett says she was not able to straighten out her arm to point the gun at her attacker.

"He was trying to get himself in the car, and the passenger door was open, and I just reached out the passenger door and shot straight up in the air," she said.

The shot chased the man away. . . . .

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Do environmentalists understand that if you make bicycling take a long time fewer people will do it?

This is pretty funny. Environmentalists want everyone to bicycle to work, but if you make it unattractive enough, not that many people will do it. From CBS Denver:

Bicyclists in Boulder may have to watch how fast they coast. The City Council is considering an 8 mph speed limit for cyclists in certain locations.

The council will consider the speed limit proposal at next week’s meeting. In the meantime, the ordinance has some cyclists pedaling their opposition.

“The biking community wants to have consistent laws around the state. People travel from city to city every day,” said Bicycle Colorado Executive Director Dan Grunig.

Grunig has been hearing mutterings of a bike speed limit in Boulder for a few months. The speed limit would only apply when cyclists are pedaling through a crosswalk. . . .

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Kagan's email exchanges over Obamacare

Will Kagan recuse herself from the Obamacare case? I doubt it, but new information came out this week on her activities on the legislation.

In the email titled "Re: fingers and toes crossed today!" she wrote: “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing."

In another email marked “Health care litigation meeting" she had this:

The subject line on the of Perrelli’s 6:11 p.m email was: “Health care litigation meeting.”

“It sounds like we can meet with some of the health care policy team tomorrow at 4 to help us prepare for litigation,” Perelli wrote in this email. “It has to be over there. Can folks send me the waves info (full name, SSN, DOB) of everyone that should attend as soon as possible? WH wants it tonight, if possible. I know we won’t get everyone’s in tonight.

“Also,” Perrelli continued, “we need to think about the key issues/question for the agenda. [Language redacted] tops my list, but I know there are others.”

At 6:18, Katyal forwarded this email to Kagan. “This is the first I’ve heard of this,” Katyal told Kagan. “I think you should go, no? I will, regardless, but feel like this is litigation of singular importance.”

One minute later—at 6:19 p.m.—Kagan responded to Katyal: “What’s your phone number?”

Three minutes after that, Katyal sent Kagan his phone number and the email chain ended. . . .

A related article is available from The Hill newspaper.

Democrats on Capitol Hill are worried that the Supreme Court will rule against President Obama’s healthcare reform law.

Over the last couple weeks, congressional Democrats have told The Hill that the law faces danger in the hands of the Supreme Court, which The New York Times editorial page recently labeled the most conservative high court since the 1950s.

While the lawmakers are not second-guessing the administration’s legal strategy, some are clearly bracing for defeat. . . .

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Updates on Wisconsin Concealed Carry Law

More than 30,000 people have applied for a concealed handgun permit.

Agency officials estimate they've received 30,420 applications between Nov. 1, when the law took effect, and Wednesday. They've approved 3,689 applications and printed 3,287 permits over that span. . . .

There is some evidence of a significant increase in gun sales.

MADISON, Wis. (WHBL) - Sales of hand-guns have gone up steadily in the days after Wisconsin's new concealed weapons law took effect.

In northeast Wisconsin, shop owner Dan Gussert has seen a 25-percent jump in handgun sales since November first when the concealed carry law took effect. And the state Justice Department has had a 42-percent increase in calls to the hotline that gun dealers must use before they can sell weapons to prospective buyers. Gussert, who owns stores in Green Bay and Suamico, says most of his recent sales were for compact pistols -- the lighter weapons that can easily fit in a pocket-or-purse. Gussert says his sales have actually gone up since the concealed carry law was passed in the spring. . . .

See also this story available here.

Sales of small guns are up. That's what Dan Gussert, owner of Gus’s Guns in Suamico, said he and other gun dealers are seeing because of the Wisconsin’s new conceal-carry law. . . .

At least one officer from Wisconsin isn't concerned about the training requirements.

It's no longer a requirement to have four hours of training before receiving a concealed carry permit in Wisconsin, according to JSOnline.com, but one Sussex lieutenant isn't worried.

Rules were written last month that obligated residents interested in carrying a concealed weapon to have the training. However, on Monday lawmakers overturned the minimum requirement meaning people could "pay to take courses that last just a few minutes," and then receive a permit, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.

Although some officers are outraged by the change, Lt. Jim Gumm of Sussex Police Services doesn't think this will be a major problem in the village.

"I’m not worried, and my reason for that is that police officers have a level of training that prepares us for that sort of thing," Gumm said. "We’re trained to expect the unknown, so I don’t think this will be any different for us as officers." . . .

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Getting a job after college is taking a long time

From the WSJ:

Among employed recent college graduates, just 69% landed their job within six months of graduation, according to a May report by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University in New Jersey. For those without a college degree, the lead time can be even longer, experts say, as college graduates snap up the few opportunities that their non-college-educated counterparts might otherwise have had. . . .

Despite that, so far students at colleges are apparently moving towards easier majors. From the WSJ:

But during her sophomore year at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Zhou switched her major from electrical and computer engineering to a double major in psychology and policy management. Workers who majored in psychology have median earnings that are $38,000 below those of computer engineering majors, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by Georgetown University.

"My ability level was just not there," says Ms. Zhou of her decision. She now plans to look for jobs in public relations or human resources. . . .

Time will tell if the poor job market persuaded more students to push into disciplines such as engineering and science. Although the number of college graduates increased about 29% between 2001 and 2009, the number graduating with engineering degrees only increased 19%, according to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Dept. of Education. The number with computer and information-sciences degrees decreased 14%. Since students typically set their majors during their sophomore year, the first class that chose their major in the midst of the recession graduated this year.

Research has shown that graduating with these majors provides a good foundation not just for so-called STEM jobs, or those in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, but a whole range of industries where earnings expectations are high. Business, finance and consulting firms, as well as most health-care professions, are keen to hire those who bring quantitative skills and can help them stay competitive. . . .

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Those evil corporations



Laziness as problem for the US not attracting new business?

Obama's solution of eliminating competition between the states to attract businesses will make it even harder to attract businesses. From Fox News:

President Obama said that the United States has gotten a "little bit lazy" when it comes to bringing in new businesses in to the states. He made the comments at a CEO summit as part of the APEC conference Saturday, when asked by Boeing CEO James McNerney about looking at the world from a Chinese perspective and what they might consider as impediments to investing.

Obama said it's important to remember that the U.S. is still the largest receiver of foreign investment in the world and things like stability, openness and innovative free market culture are attractive. He also said there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity - like stability, openness, our innovative free market culture.

"But we've been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We've kind of taken for granted -- well, people will want to come here and we aren't out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America, Obama said. . . .

"Because of our federalist system, sometimes a foreign investor comes in and they've got to navigate not only federal rules, but they've also got to navigate state and local governments that may have their own sets of interests. Being able to create if not a one-stop shop, then at least no more than a couple of stops for people to be able to come into the United States and make investments, that's something that we want to encourage," Obama said. . . .

Here are some recent similar statements by Obama.

In a speech last week at a fundraiser in San Francisco, the president said Americans have "lost our ambition, our imagination." In late September, he said that the country had "gotten a little soft." And at a DNC event in September, he said that Americans' "faith" that life would be better for their kids had been "shaken."

Here is an interesting collections comparing Carter to Obama on "malaise."

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Why it might become even more difficult to impasse really high tax rates on the wealthy

Not only is there competition between countries over tax rates, but new countries may soon be setting up. The more elastic the labor supply curve is, the more of a marginal deadweight loss that there is From Robert Frank at the WSJ:

Yet for the rich looking for a way out, Adams also has a solution: movable islands. With yachts already breaking the 500-feet length barrier, it’s not hard to imagine rich guys building what he calls “floating fortresses of awesomeness” free of taxation.

“Out at sea, you can declare your own sovereign state or form alliances with other island-vessels,” he writes. “Taxes would be a thing of the past. Any government-like decisions can be handled through a Facebook page. The only downside would be listening to Ron Paul nagging you to use Twitter instead to keep government small.”

It sounds like parody. But it might be more real than you think. Last year, I wrote about the poorly named but richly outfitted “WHY 58X38,” a 10,000-square-foot motorized island that was devised by Hermes and Wally Yachts.

There were no buyers for the $160 million vessel; it was just a concept. But for your money you would get an outdoor “beach,” a spa, dining room, music room, cinema, suites for 12 guests, lounge and library and pool. It had a top speed of 14 knots.

Even better is the new floating city called Utopia. The project, which is also just concept at this point, has 13 floors and stretches to more than 200 feet high. It has four helipads, its own dock, several swimming pools and as much space as a cruise liner. . . .


CBS plays favorites at Republican Presidential Debate

From The Hill newspaper:

Ron Paul's campaign was the first to cry foul after the debate, with his chairman, Jesse Benton, accusing CBS News of arrogance and of thinking they could choose the next president. Two hours later, Paul supporters received a message with the subject line "What a joke."

"Ninety seconds. That's how much of the first hour of tonight's GOP debate was given to Ron Paul. 90 measly seconds out of 3,600 seconds," wrote campaign manager John Tate.

But it was Michele Bachmann whose complaint came backed up by evidence that concerns about candidates’ being sidelined were raised even before the debate took place.

Just after the debate ended, Bachmann's campaign accused CBS News of deliberately keeping her questions to a minimum and planning a biased debate, with campaign manager, Keith Nahigian, reportedly calling CBS's newly anointed political director, John Dickerson, a "piece of s**t."

Bachmann's campaign sent reporters a screenshot of an email exchange that took place before the debate in which Dickerson said Bachmann wouldn't be getting many questions and the network should make plans to interview another candidate during a post-debate webcast. The email to CBS News staffers to which Dickerson had been responding included a note that Alice Stewart, Bachmann's spokeswoman, was included in the email chain, but Dickerson appeared not to have noticed.

"Okay let's keep it loose though since she's not going to get many questions and she's nearly off the charts in the hopes that we can get someone else," Dickerson wrote. . . .


Note on John Donohue's latest paper

Abhay Aneja, John J. Donohue III, and Alexandria Zhang have a new paper published in the ALER entitled: "The Impact of Right-to-Carry Laws and the NRC Report: Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy." Below is just a small portion of the correspondence that I have had trying to get the data for this paper. Many of the issues discussed in this paper, such as an index for cocaine use, are already used in the third edition of MGLC. The paper continually makes false claims about issues such as whether I have accounted for law enforcement or incarceration. Finally, I will make a very simple point: by throwing out the arrest rate variable, these authors create a truncation problem. Crime can't fall below zero no matter how effective a crime fighting effort is. There are lots of ways to deal with the truncation issue (count data, Tobit, etc), but these authors introduce this problem and they bias their results towards zero.  For those interested, a copy of the response that I put together regarding Donohue's paper can be found here.

This is an email that I have sent off this evening.

Dear John:

It is my understanding that your paper has now appeared in the ALER. It is very disappointing that you have chosen to delay providing the necessary data for 3.5 months until after your paper has been published.

What makes your delay especially disappointing are your allegations at the beginning of your conclusion asserting that I have provided flawed data to others so that you can not replicate various results. You make this claim without specifically explaining where those mistakes in the original data sets are, obviously putting a burden on me to sort through your data set and respond.

In sharp contrast to your approach, when you and your co-authors have asked that I provide you with data before my papers have been published, I have provided it within days of the request, and my papers were not attacks on your work. Your claims that you simply didn't understand my multiple requests or kept forgetting them just seems too clever by far.

Your unwillingness to cite or acknowledge or let alone respond to the third edition of my book that came out in 2010, which already anticipates many of your attacks, goes to your integrity as a researcher.

It is amazing that your paper can go from submission to publication faster than you can provide the data for the paper.


From: John Donohue
Date: Friday, November 11, 2011 Friday, November 11, 2:20 PM
To: John Lott
Cc: John Donohue , shavell@law.harvard.edu, emorri@law.columbia.edu
Subject: RE: Response to Donohue

Sorry for the delay. I had asked my RA to put it up on my bepress web page and he had told me it was up. see email below. If not there by Monday, let me know.

All best,


John J. Donohue
C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305
650 721 6339
650-723-4669 (FAX)
650 575-7166 (cell)

all best,


. . .

From: John Lott [mailto:johnrlott@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 5:14 PM
To: John Donohue
Cc: John Donohue; shavell@law.harvard.edu; emorri@law.columbia.edu
Subject: Re: Response to Donohue


My emails are perfectly clear. Reread the October 21st email for a recent request. It is my understanding that Carl Moody has also had correspondence making the exact same requests.

This information is particularly crucial in this case since you claim that you can't replicate previous results. I have made repeated data requests since August 4th. Steve and Ed have now seen several of my requests themselves.

You ask someone to write a comment, but you delay for months the information that is necessary to write such a comment. Your delaying tactics are simply unacceptable. When you and your co-authors have asked for data, I have provided it within days, not well after several months.


On Thursday, November10, 2011, at Thursday, November 10, 9:27 AM, John Donohue wrote:

My apologies. I didn't realize. Can you re-send any outstanding questions?

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 10, 2011, at 3:38 AM, John Lott wrote:


It has been three weeks since my last email and I have yet to receive any response from you on getting the rest of the needed information. Are you planning on providing this information or are you going to wait until after your paper has been published? These delays are really inexcusable.


Begin forwarded message:

From: John Lott
Subject: Fwd: Response to Donohue
Date: Friday, October 21, 2011 Friday, October 21, 11:22 AM
To: John Donohue
Cc: shavell@law.harvard.edu, emorri@law.columbia.edu


I have finally received part of the data for the paper (thank you), but I have not received everything. I still need the "do" file. It is my understanding that Carl Moody has also asked for this, but that he has not yet received it either. I look forward to receiving it soon. Thank you.


. . .

Begin forwarded message:

From: John Lott [mailto:johnrlott@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 4:21 AM
To: John Donohue
Subject: Re:

Dear John:

Please provide me the data for your ALER paper or tell me where I can obtain it.


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Obama administration gives huge profit rate to Democratically owned pharmaceutical company

The Los Angeles Times has an amazing story about how the Obama administration, over the objections of Health & Human Services staff, broke all the normal guidelines for giving out a contract to develop a new drug. Bizarrely, an administration that constantly attacked greedy companies gave the no-bid contract gave the company a huge profit rate on the drug.

. . . . Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor. . . .

Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a "sole-source" procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation's biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government's specialists had earlier said was reasonable, according to internal documents and interviews.

Once feared for its grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of 1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific institute and the U.S. government. There is no credible evidence that any other country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox.

If there were an attack, the government could draw on $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine it already owns to inoculate the entire U.S. population and quickly treat people exposed to the virus. The vaccine, which costs the government $3 per dose, can reliably prevent death when given within four days of exposure. . . .

"We've got a vaccine that I hope we never have to use — how much more do we need?" said Dr. Donald A. "D.A." Henderson, the epidemiologist who led the global eradication of smallpox for the World Health Organization . . . .

Negotiations over the price of the drug and Siga's profit margin were contentious. In an internal memo in March, Dr. Richard J. Hatchett, chief medical officer for HHS' biodefense preparedness unit, said Siga's projected profit at that point was 180%, which he called "outrageous."

In an email earlier the same day, a department colleague told Hatchett that no government contracting officer "would sign a 3 digit profit percentage."

In April, after Siga's chief executive, Dr. Eric A. Rose, complained in writing about the department's "approach to profit," Lurie assured him that the "most senior procurement official" would be taking over the negotiations. . . .