CBS 5went undercoverin a California gun show to look for guns that violated the state's strict gun laws, but the only people breaking any rules were the CBS investigators. The investigation centers on thebullet button, a small button that allows users of semi-automatic rifles to quickly change magazines using a cartridge or similar tool. Under California law, assault rifles that have detachable magazines are illegal in conjunction with other parts. The bullet button allows gun owners to quickly reload and change magazines, but without using an illegal detachable magazine. At it's core, it's a simple matter. California made something illegal, so gun owners complied and found a different method to enjoy their rifles with the convenience of a quick reload. Things got a bit ironic, however, when CBS took a camera into a gun show. They didn't find any guns with illegal detachable cartridges, but the news crew was breaking rules left and right. As it turns out, there are "No Camera" signs all throughout the gun show, and gun show representatives announced "No picture taking during the show" frequently throughout the day. "Hypocrisy" is the word that we're looking for, here . . .
Harvard won't say who the Native American Indian Faculty member is
Harvard claims that they have one American Indian faculty member, but they won't say who it is. What is the point of that? Isn't the point of having minority appointments so that students can use them as guidance? Back in 1996 the Harvard Law School pointed to Warren as their American Indian professor. An article in the Harvard Crimson made a not of her as such. From the Boston Herald:
Harvard Law School lists one lone Native American faculty member on its latest diversity census report — but school officials and campaign aides for Elizabeth Warren refused to say yesterday whether it refers to the Democratic Senate candidate. . . . Harvard Law’s 2011 diversity report does not indicate who the Native American professor is. And the school refused to say whether it’s Warren. . . . .
So what impact is all this having on the campaign? Again from the Boston Herald:
Elizabeth Warren’s stumbling efforts to douse the firestorm surrounding her claims of being a Native American minority have raised concerns among local and national Democrats who are questioning her campaign’s competence. “There’s nobody watching this that doesn’t think she’s in big trouble,” one well-known Massachusetts Democrat said. . . . Some national political experts had much stronger words for Warren’s conflicting explanations about why she listed herself as a minority in university directories. “This takes her biography into a bizarre dimension,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “It has derailed the effort to define Warren in a voter-friendly way.” Sabato also said that Warren’s claim that she didn’t list herself as a minority to gain an employment advantage is not believable.
“This is what happens when candidates don’t tell the truth,” he said. “It’s pretty obvious she was using (the minority listing) for career advancement.”. . . .
New rules for adoptions or foster children in Virginia
My research shows that such mandatory rules will make families less safe. Accidental guns deaths involving children are very rare, when they do occur they don't involve the child firing the gun, and the locks make it difficult for people to use the guns defensively. The new Virginia rules are available here:
R. Possession of any weapons, including firearms, in the home or independent
living arrangement shall comply with federal and state laws and local ordinances. 1. Any firearms and other weapons shall be unloaded and stored with the
weapon's safety mechanisms activated in a locked closet or cabinet. 2. Ammunition shall be stored in a locked location separate from the
weapon. 3. The key or combination to the locked closet and cabinet shall at all times
be maintained out of reach of all children in the home.
So why did the unemployment rate fall to 8.1% in April?
If you look at the BLS Household Survey (the data used to calculate the unemployment rate), the number of people employed fell by 169,000. The number of unemployed fell by 173,000. But the number of people "Not in the Labor Force" soared by 522,000. The unemployment rate can fall either by people getting a job or by them no longer looking for work and thus removing themselves from the labor force. Those not in the labor force rose by three times the amount of those getting jobs.
The unemployment rate has fallen by 0.9 percentage points in the seven months since September, but during that same period while employment has gone up by 1,758,000, the number of people "Not in labor force" has gone up by 2,206,000.
While the actual number of jobs has now grown by about 1 percent during the Obama recovery, the average for the other recoveries since 1970 has been about 7 percent.
Here is an interesting discussion on the politics of the economy:
The trend since the late 1970s is available here. Given that global temperatures have been rising since that point it makes me wonder why they picked that starting date. But in any case, since 2000, the level of Arctic sea ice has remained at about the same level.
The reported beating in Gainesville of a white man by a group of black men who yelled “Trayvon” before the attack last week resonated on the Internet on Tuesday, though police locally were still hoping for someone to come forward with information about the assailants. . . . Gainesville police said they consider the beating Saturday to be “racially motivated” and apparently done in retaliation for Martin’s death. The 27-year-old victim, who was described by police as “visibly intoxicated,” said he was walking home on Southwest 23rd Terrace after a night out at midtown bars when, at about 2:45 a.m., a vehicle pulled up to the intersection with Southwest 32nd Place. According to a police report, the victim said “five to eight black males, unknown age or description, jumped out of the vehicle at the intersection and told (him) he was walking too slow and then started yelling, ‘Trayvon.’ ” The victim said he was punched in the face and fell to the ground, where he was “struck numerous times in the face.” He estimated the attack lasted five minutes. The men got back in the vehicle and headed north on 23rd Terrace, which runs between Archer and Williston roads. . . .
A teen charged with a hate crime in Oak Park says he attacked and beat up his victim because he was angry about the Trayvon Martin case. Alton Hayes III, 18, of Oak Park, is charged with attempted robbery and aggravated battery. He is also charged with a hate crime. Hayes and his 15-year-old alleged accomplice are African-American, while the victim is white. The Oak Park-River Forest Patch reportsaround 1 a.m. April 17, Hayes and the Chicago boy walked up behind the 19-year-old victim in the 1600 block of North Kenilworth Avenue in Oak Park. Police say Hayes and his accomplice and pinned the victim’s arms to his side, police said. Hayes then picked up a large tree branch, pointed it at the man and said, “Empty your pockets, white boy,” police said. The two allegedly rifled through the victim’s pockets, then threw him to the ground and punched him “numerous times” in the head and back before running away, police said.After being arrested, Hayes told police he was upset by the Trayvon Martin case, and said he beat the victim up because he was white, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. . . .
A white Alabama man’s brutal beating by a mob is not being investigated as a hate crime, despite eyewitness reports that one of the assailants referenced Trayvon Martin during the attack. The attack on Matthew Owens, 40, is currently being investigated as an assault, said Ashley Rains, public information officer for the Mobile Police Department, to Fox News. Owens, of Mobile, remains in serious condition after cops say about 20 African-American adults showed up at his home Saturday and beat him with chairs, pipes, brass knuckles and paint cans. Owens’ sister and another witness say that as the group left, one assailant said: “Now that’s justice for Trayvon” following the assault. . . . Furious neighbors say that no matter what was said, the attack had nothing to do with Martin. . . .
A 78-year-old Ohio man says he was a victim of a hate crime when he was severely beaten by group of youths -- who allegedly said "this is for Trayvon," referring to the unarmed black Florida teen killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer. The man, Dallas Watts of East Toledo, told police he was walking home Saturday afternoon when he was confronted by six youths, both white and black, ages 11 to 17, FoxToledo.com reports. One of the youths allegedly said "take him down." Watts said he told the youths, "Why me? Remember Trayvon." He told FoxToledo.com that he meant it in a "peaceful way," since he had nothing to do with the Florida killing. But police suggest the youths may have misinterpreted Watts' words as threatening. "[Get] that white [man]. This is for Trayvon ... Trayvon lives, white [man]. Kill that white [man]," the boys are quoted as saying in a police report cited by the Toledo Blade. . . .
. . . on the weekend of March 24th and March 25th at least seven white people were brutally beaten by mobs of blacks in Grand Rapids, MI. Five of the victims filed police reports. At least two other victims exist, and there are probably others. The local media has refused to report the cruel attacks and the authorities are resisting any serious charges. I talked with one of the victims, 37 year old Jacob Palasek. He is a full time student and does computer work part time. He was attacked by a wolf pack of thugs on the corner of Sixth Street and Broadway in Grand Rapids, Michigan just after midnight on March 25th. The location is a mix of stores, offices, and residential neighborhoods. Jacob lives near where he was attacked. As he was walking to his apartment, he saw three black males loitering. One was on a bicycle. The suspect on the bicycle rode up beside him. Suddenly the thug smashed him in the side of the head with a chain. He was hit two or three more times in the head with the chain before he broke loose and ran to the nearest home. He knocked on the door, hoping the owner would call the police. All three of the black males then attacked him on the porch. They yelled “this is what you deserve you white piece of shit.” Jacob was hit in the head with the large chain more times. Jacob broke free again and hid behind a dumpster. The attackers initially chased him, but broke their pursuit and walked away. There were some cars driving by and the thugs may have thought a driver was calling 911. All seven known victims were attacked within about six blocks of where Jacob was attacked. The victims were in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Some of the victims were attacked during the day in broad daylight. . . .
Two weeks have passed since reporters Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami - friends to me and many others at the newspaper - were attacked on a Saturday night as they drove home from a show at the Attucks Theatre. They had stopped at a red light, in a crowd of at least 100 young people walking on the sidewalk. Rostami locked her car door. Someone threw a rock at her window. Forster got out to confront the rock-thrower, and that's when the beating began. Neither suffered grave injuries, but both were out of work for a week. Forster's torso ached from blows to his ribs, and he retained a thumb-sized bump on his head. Rostami fears to be alone in her home. Forster wishes he'd stayed in the car. . . . Forster and Rostami's story has not, until today, appeared in this paper. The responding officer coded the incident as a simple assault, despite their assertions that at least 30 people had participated in the attack. A reporter making routine checks of police reports would see "simple assault" and, if the names were unfamiliar, would be unlikely to write about it. In this case, editors hesitated to assign a story about their own employees. Would it seem like the paper treated its employees differently from other crime victims? . . . Forster and Rostami wondered if the officer who answered their call treated all crime victims the same way. When Rostami, who admits she was hysterical, tried to describe what had happened, she says the officer told her to shut up and get in the car. Both said the officer did not record any names of witnesses who stopped to help. Rostami said the officer told them the attackers were "probably juveniles anyway. What are we going to do? Find their parents and tell them?" The officer pointed to public housing in the area and said large groups of teenagers look for trouble on the weekends. "It's what they do," he told Forster. Could that be true? . . . Police spokesman Chris Amos said officers often respond to reports of crowds fighting; sirens are usually enough to disperse the group. On that night, he said, a report of gunfire in a nearby neighborhood prompted the officer to decide getting Forster and Rostami off the street quickly made more sense than remaining at the intersection. The officer gave them his card and told them to call later to file a report. The next day, Forster searched Twitter for mention of the attack. One post chilled him. "I feel for the white man who got beat up at the light," wrote one person. "I don't," wrote another, indicating laughter. "(do it for trayvon martin)" . . . Forster and Rostami, both white, suffered a beating at the hands of a crowd of black teenagers. . . .
Now it comes out that in this Norfolk, Va. case the police originally listed this as a hate crime.
A witness told deputies he heard someone screaming for help and saw two men pull the victim from his vehicle. He said he watched as one man held the victim and the other beat him in the head with a hammer. After they dragged the victim into the woods, the men drove away in his sport utility vehicle, which was later found abandoned about a half-mile away on Garbo Jack Lane. Investigators got a break in the case Thursday, when a tip to Crimeline named Bender and gave the street name of the second suspect. On Friday, investigators learned Israel's fingerprints had been found both inside and outside of the victim's vehicle. The witness was shown photo lineups and picked out Bender and Israel as the men he saw beating the victim. He said Bender was the man wielding the hammer. . . .
The two attackers are black and the victim is white, but that isn't what is interesting here. I haven't been able to confirm the following claim here in a solid news source, but if true, this would be important:
Shortly following Rev Al Sharpton’s Anti-George Zimmerman rally in Sanford, FL, two Sanford teens, enraged by hate and racism at the rally, decided to burglarize, terrorize and beat a white man to near death with a hammer. . . .
As we reported in March, Al Qaeda claimed that Fox News Channel was their least-favorite news outlet, for it “falls into the abyss … and lacks objectivity,” adding that they’d like to see the network “die in her anger.” I’m surprised Fox News hasn’t made promotional commercials based on the laudable distinction of being the terrorist organization’s most-hated network. In a series of letters released today, an Al Qaeda author revealed himself to be an amateur media critic, saying that MSNBC was “neutral” before some controversial firings . . .
With the leading French presidential candidate calling for higher taxes, this warning is unlikely to be heard. From the NY Times:
Ahead of crucial elections in France and Greece, Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, warned governments on Thursday that opting for the “easier road” of raising taxes to fill public coffers would not solve Europe’s problems. Mr. Draghi said it was understandable that governments would be tempted to raise taxes “under extreme urgency,” but he emphasized that “past the urgency, this should be corrected,” especially in a European environment with “a high level of taxation.” . . .
A Wikipedia page exploring the historical significance of the word “Forward” as a socialist rallying cry has made it the subject of dueling snarks from assorted would-be Wiki editors and vandals. Within hours of the Obama campaign’s slogan unveiling, the online page had its first edit since November 2011. ”Forward is the official slogan of the Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012,” the simple entry read. But nothing in Wiki-land is simple, especially when the name “Barack Obama” is sandwiched between references to “Avante!, organ of the Portuguese Communist Party” and “Voorwaarts!, organ of the Communist Youth Movement (Netherlands).” Apples and oranges, a persnickety editor claimed around 1 a.m. Tuesday: “The Obama campaign is not a publication, socialist or otherwise.” And with the click of a mouse, the Obama connection disappeared — for nearly 14 hours, at least. . . . The next edit seemed earnest enough. . . . . Within four minutes, that, too, was gone. “Obama’s campaign slogan,” another editor sniped, “is irrelevant to an entry on Forward as a generic name for socialist publications.” . . .
Is Elizabeth Warren serious about her explanation for why she classified herself as an American Indian in Law School Directories?
The reporter's question here is such a softball. I have a hard time believing that the reporter is at all serious. How does someone with 1/32nd American Indian ancestry really list enroll as being a member of a tribe? How do they list themselves as being an Indian? Warren's claim that she didn't expected any affirmative action gain from her listing and that she just did it to meet other people with tribal roots is bizarre. Again, I am 1/32nd American Indian and it has never crossed my mind to list myself down as American Indian.
In the youtube videos below a couple of points have come out. 1) That she is 1/32nd Indian may be questionable because the ancestor was apparently not in the Cherokee census. 2) Warren used to claim that she was a descendant from the Delaware tribe, not Cherokee.
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, fending off questions about whether she used her Native American heritage to advance her career, said today she enrolled herself as a minority in law school directories for nearly a decade because she hoped to meet other people with tribal roots.
“I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off,” said Warren.
The Harvard Law professor argued she didn’t use her minority status to get her teaching jobs, and slammed her Republican rival U.S. Sen.Scott Brown for suggesting otherwise. . . .
As to her attacks on Scott Brown, all he has done is say that he isn't going to get involved in all this.
Some other videos
James Taranto on the issue.
High cheek bones?
This is her answer after 5 days?
Apparently it isn't clear that she is 1/32nd Indian. Apparently, Warren originally claimed that she was part of the Delaware tribe, not Cherokee.
. . . Van Hollen, speaking inside the Department of Justice room where the permits are printed, said no problems have been reported since the law went into effect six months ago, refuting arguments made by “doomsday people” concerned about legalizing the carrying of concealed weapons. Van Hollen, who holds the first permit issued by the state, said he firmly believes that people ought to be able to defend themselves and the law empowers law-abiding citizens. But he said it may be impossible to know whether the new law has deterred any crimes from occurring. “I don’t know that it’s safer and I don’t know that it’s less safe,” he said when asked about the impact of the law that went into effect in November. . . . The agency had estimated 125,000 permits would be issued in the first year, but after it was issuing the 100,000th one Friday. . . .
Is there really a conspiracy in how the jobs numbers are put together? In the past, I have expressed doubt in such claims, but the odds of such consistent errors seems to be becoming more and more remote (see here). From the WSJ:
An intruder who was shot in the leg by the man whose Fenton-area home he broke into has been charged with burglary and two gun charges. A man, 59, said he was sleeping at 2 a.m. Tuesday when he awoke and saw a burglar with a handgun in his home, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The man then pulled out his own handgun and fired two shots. The burglar fled. . . .
Florida Governor Rick Scott shots down Tampa's mayor request to ban guns at Republican Convention
Well, if the city has already banned water guns from being near the Republican convention, I would think that would have taken care of any potential problems. From Reuters:
. . . Citing Second Amendment protections in the U.S. Constitution, Scott told Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn that conventions and guns have co-existed since the nation's birth and would continue to do so during the four-day event beginning August 27. "It is unclear how disarming law abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law," the Republican governor said in a letter on Tuesday. Local officials need Scott's permission to enact the temporary restrictions . . . Florida has some of the most lenient gun laws in the United States and by some counts leads the nation in gun ownership, with about 6.5 percent of all adults licensed to carry a concealed weapon, state records show. New applications for concealed gun permits have quadrupled since 1998. In a letter to Scott, Buckhorn said the Tampa City Council had banned a host of items from the area surrounding the convention facility, a list that includes water guns . . . .
For months, the Obama administration has told American voters that the nation had turned the corner on a stagnant recovery. Job creation picked up in December, January, and February, averaging a decent if unspectacular 217,000 jobs added monthly during that period. . . .
In their book Debacle, John Lott and Grover Norquist compare the Obama recovery to that of the 1982 recovery under Ronald Reagan. The double-dip 1980-81 recession was longer and produced higher unemployment than that of the so-called Great Recession, and it followed a decade of stagnation, “stagflation,” high interest rates, ill-considered wage and price controls, and energy shocks. Yet in the 29 months that followed the 1982 recovery, the American economy expanded jobs by 8 percent. In contrast, the Obama recovery in the same period only grew jobs in the US by 0.25 percent: . . .
I was interviewed on Ed's show yesterday (see starting at 1:01 into show).
Did the US Government handle the Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng case well?
A political activist under house arrest by the Chinese government makes a daring escape to the US Embassy. Publicly the Obama administration praises his bravery. Privately did they really pressure him to leave the US Embassy? CNN has this transcript of their interview with Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng:
Q: What prompted your change of heart [about leaving the US Embassy]? A: The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and promised to have people stay with me in the hospital. But this afternoon as soon as I checked into the hospital room, I noticed they were all gone. Q: Has the U.S. disappointed you? A: I'm very disappointed at the U.S. government. Q: Why? A: I don't think (U.S. officials) protected human rights in this case. Q: What would you say to U.S. President Obama? A: I would like to say to (President Obama): Please do everything you can to get our whole family out. Q: Is this your most urgent wish? A: That's right. Q: What has your wife told you after you escaped? A: (My wife) was tied to a chair by police for two days. Then they carried sticks to our home, threatening to beat her to death. Now they have moved into the house -- eating at our table and using our stuff. Our home is teeming with security -- on the roof and in the yard. They have installed seven surveillance cameras inside the house and built electric fences around the yard. Q: What did officials tell her if you didn't leave the embassy? A: They said they would send her back (to Shandong) and people there would beat her. . . .
It doesn't seem as if the Obama administration followed the expectations of others for this case. From the UK Guardian:
Jean-Pierre Cabestan of Hong Kong University said if Chen was at the embassy, the two governments would probably try to downplay the issue, at least until the end of this week's talks. "Then the Obama administration will try to find a solution that may not be asylum, but an assurance from Beijing that they will stop harrassing Chen; but if that does not work, asylum will eventually be granted," he said. Nicholas Bequelin, of Human Rights Watch, said it was unlikely that the Chinese government would accept Chen's demands for an investigation into his case. In the interim, Washington should offer to take Chen and his family to the US for "medical reasons". "If Beijing is not ready for that either, they should be ready to shelter Chen for a longer time, until a solution is negotiated," Bequelin said. . . .
Apparently, Chen was willing "to spend may years" in the US Embassy. Did the Obama administration put a lot of pressure on Chen to get him to change his mind?
The office of Vice President Joe Biden overruled State and Justice Department officials in denying the political asylum request of a senior Chinese communist official last February over fears the high-level defection would upset the U.S. visit of China’s vice president, according to U.S. officials. The defector, Wang Lijun, was turned away after 30 hours inside the U.S. Consulate Chengdu and given over to China’s Ministry of State Security, the political police and intelligence service. Wang has not been seen since Feb. 7 and remains under investigation. His attempt to flee China set off a major power struggle within the ruling Communist Party and led to the ouster of leftist Politburo member Bo Xilai and the arrest of his wife on murder charges. . . .
Here is a discussion from the WSJ that indicates that the US felt pressure to make a deal quickly. At least the US got a deal over cleaner burning cook stoves.
London’s Conservative mayor, Boris Johnson, is poised to win re-election today, providing Prime Minister David Cameron with some relief after more than a month of damaging headlines. Polls over the past week have shown Johnson extending his lead over Ken Livingstone, the former mayor who is running for the opposition Labour Party. That goes against a national trend that has seen Labour taking support away from the Conservatives. Labour is likely to gain hundreds of the 4,800 local-council seats being contested across Britain today. Support for the Conservatives has slumped to the lowest since the coalition government came to power two years ago. . . . The latest poll in London, carried out April 27-29, gave Johnson a lead of 56 percent to 44 percent over Livingstone in the decisive second round of counting, when second-preference votes from the five minor candidates are totted up. . . .
How Daley beefed up his pension payouts, taking a government job for a month to get an extra $50,000 a year in pension
Not bad pay. Get on the government payroll for a month and get another $50,000 a year for life for retirement. Daley's answer in this piece is just stunning. If he had to go on another payroll for another month while he was serving as Chicago's mayor, is he really serious in believing that anyone will believe that he didn't understand that he was gaming the system? From the Chicago Tribune:
Two years into his reign as Chicago's longest-serving mayor,Richard M. Daleytook advantage of the state's convoluted pension system to significantly increase his potential payout while saving $400,000 in contributions, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found. Daley, a former state senator, made it happen by briefly rejoining the legislative pension plan in 1991. He stayed there just one month before returning to Chicago's municipal pension fund, but the switches made him eligible for benefits worth 85 percent of his mayoral salary — a better rate than all other city employees receive.
He was just 49 years old at the time. Even if Daley had never won another election, he could have started collecting a public pension at age 55 of $97,750 a year. Without the steps he took, his public pension benefits at that age would have been worth just $20,686. Of course, Daley went on to win five more elections, remaining ensconced on the fifth floor ofCity Hallfor the next two decades. When he retired last May, his pension benefits had grown to $183,778 a year — about $50,000 more than he would have otherwise received. Daley declined to be interviewed for this story.
His spokeswoman, Jacquelyn Heard, wrote in an email: "I can only assume that his pension was handled in the same manner that anyone's would be, given the length of service — nearly 40 years — in government." . . .
Daley apparently used public funds to pay off people.
The Tribune and WGN-TV already have detailed how Daley used the city's pension funds for political purposes. In 1991, the same year he secured his much larger pension, Daley's administration helped aldermen land a dramatic pension increase, providing them with benefits far exceeding those of the average city worker. The same legislation, rushed through the General Assembly on the last day of the session, also gave private labor leaders public pensions based on their much higher union salaries. Under Daley's watch, former Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon was given a one-day city job that allowed him to collect a public pension based on his $200,000 private union salary. . . .
At the very least, having composite figures in an autobiography makes it very difficult for anyone to check out Obama's claims. From Politico:
"None of this happened with Genevieve," Maraniss writes. "She remembered going to the theater only once with Barack, and it was not to see a work by a black playwright. When asked about this decades later, during a White House interview, Obama acknowledged that the scene did not happen with Genevieve. “It is an incident that happened,” he said. But not with her. He would not be more specific, but the likelihood is that it happened later, when he lived in Chicago. “That was not her,” he said. “That was an example of compression I was very sensitive in my book not to write about my girlfriends, partly out of respect for them. So that was a consideration. I thought that [the anecdote involving the reaction of a white girlfriend to the angry black play] was a useful theme to make about sort of the interactions that I had in the relationships with white girlfriends. And so, that occupies, what, two paragraphs in the book? My attitude was it would be dishonest for me not to touch on that at all … so that was an example of sort of editorially how do I figure that out?”" Broadway Books, a division of Random House's Crown Publishing Group, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. . . .
Handgun sales numbers are up, but it’s who’s buying them that may be surprising. National numbers show that women are quickly becoming some of the top customers at gun shops.
Certified handgun instructor Kathy Richardson said, “I’ve had more women in this past year than I have in the past years before.”
This isn’t just in Richardson’s class. Enrollment numbers are up nationwide. The National Shooting Sports Foundation shows gun stores reported a 73 percent increase in female customers. . . .
More on Elizabeth Warren claiming to me a Native American Minority
The claim is that new research claims that she is 1/32nd American Indian. In fact, I am 1/32nd American Indian, but I never, ever thought for a second of putting it down that I was a minority American Indian because of that. With her listing herself as a minority in the law professor directory and having listed that at the University of Texas, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard, does anyone possibly believe that she didn't know that universities were making a big deal about having a very rare American Indian on their faculty?
Discussing Stand Your Ground Laws on MSNBC this morning
Update: Media Matters has gotten upset with the media for the third time in eight days because of coverage that I have received. It appeared to me that Chuck Todd was alluding to Media Matters' attacks when he introduced me on the show, and I appreciate him having me on despite the fact that he must have known that they would attack his show also.
Interestingly, I have already dealt with many of the comments in this newest comment from Media Matters in my previous posts (here and here), but just as Media Matters won't allow me to put up responses on their website in the comment sections, they won't acknowledge my responses to their claims that I post on my website. It is interested to see how fearful Media Matters is of letting their audience know that there are responses to their claims.
Even more astonishingly, Lott then claimed that Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law has nothing to do with the controversy surrounding Trayvon Martin's death.
What I will say is that no matter whose story is right, the Stand Your Ground law isn't relevant to the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case. If George Zimmerman is right and the wounds on the back of his head that he was on the ground, Trayvon Martin was on top of him beating him, there was no place for him to retreat. And so the old defense, even if you had the rule that you have to retreat as far as possible, he still would have been able to act in self-defense there. And if the other side is right that somehow George Zimmerman provoked the attack, attacked Martin to begin with, then he wouldn't be able to rely on the Stand Your Ground law to protect him in that case either.
Lott is really burying his head in the sand on this one. The Sanford Police Department cited the "Stand Your Ground" law as the reason that Zimmerman was not initially arrested. Before he became George Zimmerman's lawyer, attorney Mark O'Mara appeared on a Florida local news program and suggested that Zimmerman's actions may have been legally excusable under "Stand Your Ground." Controversy surrounding the law has even led Republican governor Rick Scott to convene a taskforce to address concerns related to the 2005 legislation.
Lott is correct that Zimmerman may unsuccessfully assert "Stand Your Ground" at trial. Or it is possible that Zimmerman will not use the defense at all. Or that he will use it and prevail. Only time will tell. But to claim that "Kill At Will" has not been "relevant" to the Trayvon Martin controversy is an act of willful blindness that serves to draw attention away from the legitimate debate surrounding the self-defense law.
Building on this point, Lott then claims that "the Stand Your Ground law doesn't allow you to provoke an attack, doesn't allow you to throw the first punch, it doesn't allow you to go and shoot someone in the back. You have to pass this reasonable person test that you're in direct threat, serious injury or death was going to occur." By suggesting that all shooters claiming immunity under "Stand Your Ground" face a thorough review into their actions, Lott is ignoring the fact that some of these shootings, even those that occur under dubious circumstances, are resolved without the shooter ever having to face a jury of his peers.
The quote that Media Matters reports from the interview gets most of my point across. What Media Matters doesn't understand is that the Stand Your Ground law covers self-defense of all types and what I was referring to was what had changed in the Stand Your Ground law relative to what was in the original law that required retreat when possible. The point is clear that the Stand Your Ground law added nothing new that allowed Zimmerman to claim self-defense that he couldn't already claim under the old law. Yet, instead of dealing with the logic of this point, Media Matters just asserts its point.
With Obama claiming that Romney wouldn't have made the call to take out bin Laden, there is a very useful piece in the Washington Post. The whole piece is interesting, but this is important to remember:
With some trying to turn bin Laden’s death into a campaign talking point for Obama’s reelection, it is useful to remember that the trail to bin Laden started in a CIA black site — all of whichObama ordered closed, forever, on the second full day of his administration — and stemmed from information obtained from hardened terrorists who agreed to tell us some (but not all) of what they knew after undergoing harsh but legal interrogation methods. Obamabanned those methodson Jan. 22, 2009. . . .
Even General Motors Co.'s Lordstown, Ohio, complex, long known for its money-losing small cars and its bad labor climate, is running 24 hours a day, with more than 4,000 workers churning out hot-selling Chevy Cruze compacts.
But here in Moraine, the GM assembly plant closed for good. Despite being one of GM's most productive and cooperative factories, Moraine was closed following the company's 2007 labor pact with the United Auto Workers union. Under a deal struck by the UAW during GM's bankruptcy two years later, Moraine's 2,500 laid-off workers were barred from transferring to other plants, locking them out of the industry's rebound.
The trouble with Moraine: Its workers weren't in the UAW.
"We did everything we could to keep that plant open and keep our jobs," said Mitchell Wood, a 44-year-old father of two who used to attach tailgates onto sport-utility vehicles at Moraine. "But in the end, we didn't have a chance, not being in the UAW."
The plight of Moraine workers highlights the extraordinary role played by the UAW during the near-collapses and bankruptcy reorganizations of GM and Chrysler Group LLC. That role remains a political flash point today. Democrats have cast President Barack Obama and the UAW as saviors of America's auto industry. Republicans call the help a taxpayer-funded giveaway to the president's union allies. . . .
Obama administration continues its stonewalling of Fast & Furious documents
Here is the question. What is so damaging in the Fast & Furious documents that the Obama administration wants to fight so publicly over not giving out documents? So much for the most open administration in history. From CBS News:
House Republicans investigating the Fast and Furious scandal plan to pursue a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder, senior congressional aides told CBS News. The resolution will accuse Holder and his Justice Department of obstructing the congressional probe into the allegations that the government let thousands of weapons fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The citation would attempt to force Holder to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents related to the probe, which has entered its second year. For months, congressional Republicans probing ATF's Fast and Furious "Gunwalker" scandal - led by California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, have been investigating a contempt citation. They've worked quietly behind the scenes to build support among fellow Republicans, since it could ultimately face a full House vote. CBS News has confirmed that House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, was provided a 48-page long draft by Issa, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. . . .
The Obama administration has stonewalled Congress on the issue, refusing to reply to subpoenas from House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa. Out of 80,000 pages worth of documents Issa has lawfully subpoenaed, the DOJ has only provided about 6,000 or 7,000 pages to Congress. The DOJ has, however, given all of those documents to its internal investigator, the inspector general. . . .
Seasonal adjustments are starting to have huge problems and produce misleading information. From the Washington Post:
. . . Without adjusting for seasonal differences, the survey of prices in 20 metropolitan areas fell to its lowest level since the housing market downturn began. But analysts pointed to bright spots hidden in the data — and some ventured that the housing market may have finally found its low. . . . . the existing inventory of new homes for sale had fallen sharply since a year ago. The inventory of homes, measured in the number of months they would take to sell, stood at 5.3, down from seven a year ago, according to an analysis by the High Frequency Economics consulting firm. Inventory is considered a key sign of future housing investment. Through March, sales technically fell, to 328,000, but only because the sales figures reported by the Commerce Department in February were adjusted sharply upward, from 313,000 to 353,000. Without that adjustment, the March data would have registered a 4.8 percent increase. . . .
Google Street View cars collected information on an extra-marital affair
The Obama administration let Google off the hook for this? From the Washington Post:
A Google engineer knowingly created software that would collect sensitive personal information about people without their knowledge, according to an un-redacted version of a federal investigative report. In a full version of a Federal Communications Commission report, an engineer shared e-mails with other Google officials indicating the company could collect “payload data,” including e-mail addresses and text messages through a program to collect location-based software from residential and business Wi-Fi networks. The company released the full contents of the report, which was heavily redacted by the FCC, except for the names of its employees. The report, supplied by Google, concluded that the company’s actions do not violate FCC or federal eavesdropping rules. The agency recently fined the company $25,000, however, for being uncooperative in a two-years-long investigation. A separate investigation by the FTC resulted in no fines and was closed in 2010. . . . In the report, the FCC cited an analysis by French regulators over a sample of Google’s data collection: 72 e-mail passwords, 774 distinct e-mail addresses and, for example, “an exchange of e-mails between a married woman and man, both seeking an extra-marital relationship with first names, e-mail addresses and physical addresses.” . . .
Over a sample? I would like to know how large of a sample that involved. It is pretty clear that the entire amount of collected information is much larger. It would like to know how big it is.
Obama attacks and completely misquotes two Republican congressmen
Democrats object strongly to the Republicans paying for the lower student loan interest rates with cuts to Obamacare and Republicans object to imposing new payroll taxes on some small businesses earning more than $250,000. But even the Washington Post had a hard time with Obama's claims of what the Republicans were arguing:
Two Republican members of Congress are striking back at President Obama for personally targeting them in recent speeches about keeping student loan rates low. Both claim Obama misrepresented them in citing comments suggesting they oppose keeping student loan rates at 3.4 percent, rather than allowing them to revert to 6.8 percent on July 1. It is somewhat unusual for a sitting president to single out individual rank-and-file members of the opposition party for criticism and scorn in public speeches, and both rejected his comments Thursday. . . . On Monday, Obama mocked Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) . . . for saying that those with student debt are sitting on their butts having opportunity dumped in their lap. “I’m going to quote this because I know you guys will think I’m making it up,” Obama said at the University of North Carolina. “She said she had ‘very little tolerance for people who tell me they graduate with debt because there’s no reason for that.’” But Obama dropped a few words from Foxx’s comment on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show. Foxx told Liddy she had “very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that” — apparently limiting her comments to those who take on large amounts of debt for school. . . .
Obama also went after Missouri's Todd Akin:
At the University of Iowa, Obama said, “You’ve got one member of Congress who compared these student loans — I’m not kidding here — to a ‘stage-three cancer of socialism.’” “Stage-three cancer? I don’t know where to start. What do you mean? What are you talking about? Come on. Just when you think you’ve heard it all in Washington, somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end,” he said. . . . [In fact] Asked about the student loan issue, Akin slammed the government for taking over college loans in a 2009 bill. “America has got the equivalent of the stage-three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in,” he said. “So first, to answer your question precisely, what the Democrats did to get rid of the private student loans and take it all over by the government was wrong. It was a lousy bill. That’s why I voted no. The government needs to get its nose out of the education business.” . . .
“With all due respect, the President misquoted me. I was not saying that student loans are a cancer. I referred to the policies where there is a government takeover of private industries.
“This is most evident in the government takeover of U.S. healthcare, the government takeover of student loans and the government’s attempts to shut down U.S. energy.
“I suspect the President was given a misquotation of what I actually said, but I am sure we have a fundamental disagreement on the role of government and what constitutes socialism regarding current public policy.” . . .
Amazed how lucky I am that I have had jobs where I could just think about whatever I wanted to think about. I have published over 90 articles in academic journals. I received my Ph.D. in economics from UCLA in 1984.