NYDN: New Yorkers feel afraid and isolated, turn to weapons for self defense

So do New Yorkers feel safer right now with gun control?  Sounds pretty scary.  From the New York Daily News:
When night falls in the Rockaways, the hoods come out.Ever since Sandy strafed the Queens peninsula and tore up the boardwalk, it’s become an often lawless place where cops are even scarcer than electrical power and food. Locals say they are arming themselves with guns, baseball bats, booby traps — even a bow and arrow — to defend against looters.
Thugs have been masquerading as Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) workers, knocking on doors in the dead of night. But locals say the real workers have been nowhere in sight, causing at least one elected official — who fears a descent into anarchy if help doesn’t arrive soon — to call for the city to investigate the utility. . . .
“We booby-trapped our door and keep a baseball bat beside our bed,” said Danielle Harris, 34, rummaging through donated supplies as children rode scooters along half-block chunk of the boardwalk that had marooned into the middle of Beach 91st St.
“We heard gunshots for three nights in a row,” said Harris, who believed they came from the nearby housing projects. . . .
A very similar discussion is available at the UK Daily Mail.
Under protection: A warning message seen written on a door to keep away looters in a street in Freeport, Long Island as they try to return to normalcy following the hurricane


How Democrats used to use Patronage in Tennessee to generate donations to the party

This is an amazingly explicit discussion of how the Democrats in Tennessee used the power of government spending to get donations for the party.  From the Washington Post:
Tennessee Democrats, who’d watched their conservative voters drift to the GOP, finally lost the state House in 2010. That had been a financial lifeline for Democrats, since the legislature has broad powers over patronage. 
“That pretty much was the end,” said Cheek, the executive committee member. “Because we have nothing left. In the other low points, we had the Election Commission, we had the Building Commission. . . . If you wanted to get state deposits into your bank, those were all ours. And that’s where you’d raise your money.” 
Losing those powers “really kicked the props out from under the financing of the party,” Cheek said. . . .
Hat tip to Larry White for pointing to this link.


Watch how kids react to having their candy redistributed, the future "one percenters"?

For some reason people let the government do things that they would never think is justifiable if they did it.



194,000 jobs, 14.7 million more people on food stamps

There are 194,000 more people are at work now than in January 2009, but our population has grown and there are now 8,822,000 more working-age people.  There is another comparison that should also be made: "During his time in office, 14.7 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Over that same time, only 194,000 jobs were created — thus 75 people went on food stamps for every one that found a job."  This is from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

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Transcript of the latest debate in the UK Parliament on gun control

A transcript of the debate on Wednesday night is available here.  Thanks to Derek Bernard for this link.  As he points out in a note, no one in this debate mentions: "The most important and fundamental reasons for ownership of firearms by the public are self-defence and as a bar to dictatorship – many statements made it clear that only serious sporting applications and vermin control are acceptable “good reasons” for having a gun."

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So how well have the ADP employment numbers predicted those for the BLS?

The numbers in the chart are in thousands.  Over this period, the ADP numbers were greater than the BLS's for 35 months and less then them for 41.  On average, the ADP numbers have been less than the BLS's by just 747 people.  Starting this month, ADP has hired a different person to provide their monthly predictions on total employment as reported by the BLS.  We will see how well Zandi does.

Here are the monthly ADP employment numbers broken down by firm size.  Only firms with between 1 to 19 employees seem to have completely rebounded.  The next best showing seems to be firms with 20 to 49 employees.  Those with 50 to 499 seem to have been hammered the most.



So did tax rules the threat of the coming tax changes result in Star Wars 7 being made?

More evidence that taxes matter.  From Market Watch:
Disney will buy LucasFilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock, the two companies announced Tuesday. By cashing out now, experts say the filmmaker spared his family the need to pick up the pieces of his empire after he’s gone. . . , 
That Lucas struck a deal in 2012 may be no accident either, advisers say. Long-term capital gains tax from the sale of assets held more than one year are taxed at a rate of 15% for investors in the 25% income tax bracket or above (Lucas’s level), and zero for investors in the 10% or 15% bracket. Those rates are set to jump to 20% and 10%, respectively in January. “He probably wanted to take advantage of the lower rate on long-term capital gain while it’s certain,” says Bill Smith, managing director at CBIZ MHM, a national accounting and professional services provider. . . .

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Smoking gun cable found leading up to Benghazi attack

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the status of the cable is that I really believe, having read it, that it is the smoking gun warning here. You've got this emergency meeting in Benghazi less than a month before the attack. At that briefing, the people are told that there are 10 -- 10 -- Islamist militias and al Qaeda groups in Benghazi. 
The consulate cannot sustain a coordinated attack and that they need extra help. And this information goes directly to the office of the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. So again, you're got the culpability of the State Department. This is a very specific warning that they are in trouble, they need help and they see an attack on the horizon.
Supposedly, the Obama administration refused to send support to help out the Ambassador in Bengahazi because they were trying to get help from the 17th February Brigade, which was supposed to be protecting our embassy.  
HERRIDGE: It's very detailed. There can be no doubt that this is really a cry for help from the people on the ground. They also talk at length that they think the 17th February Brigade -- this is the Libyan militia that's supposed to be friendly to the United States that's really tasked with being the police force in Benghazi, has been infiltrated by our enemies. 
It says the 17th February Brigade is not sharing information with the Americans anymore. So that's us. And we had information right after the attack that this brigade just kind of melted away during the attack. They were nowhere to be found. . . . 

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"President of Troy, Mo., bank pulls gun, nabs masked robber in parking lot"

Bank president catches robber
Sign from bank that allows concealed carry permit holders to carry inside the bank.

Long interesting story from Troy, Missouri.  Beginning of the piece from the St Louis Post-Dispatch:
David W. Thompson, the president of a Troy bank, was in his office Tuesday afternoon talking with a salesman about advertising when his receptionist buzzed him with an emergency.
"David, we've got a problem," she told him. . . .
Thompson, 58, followed the man outside, onto the parking lot, and locked the bank door behind him.
Thompson let the robber get to his truck — then Thompson pulled his personal handgun, a Colt .380, and pointed it at the robber's face before he could drive away, he told the Post-Dispatch.
"Sir, get out of the truck," Thompson remembers demanding. "You're not going anywhere."
And when the man put his hand in his jacket pocket, as if he had a weapon, Thompson scolded him again.
"You don't want to go there," Thompson implored. "This will end badly."
By that time, another bank official who also carries a concealed weapon had joined Thompson on the lot.
"Now you have two guns on you," Thompson said. "Don't try anything." . . .
Thanks as always to Tony Troglio for the link.

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CBS/NY Times poll gives Dems 5 percentage point greater turnout after w

A five point edge in Democrats produces a one percentage point lead for Obama.  Does anyone believe that Democrats are going to turn out in this rate compared to Republicans?  My guess is that Republicans are more reluctant than Democrats to talk to pollsters, particularly certain ones.  Remember the exit polls in 2004?



Rasmussen: Romney 279, Obama 243

On Oct 5, Rasmussen said Obama 271, Romney 267 electoral votes. Now Romney 279, Obama 243.


Amazing pictures of NYC from hurricane Sandy

Below are just a couple of the amazing pictures from Elite Daily.



Fiat moving Chrysler and Jeep production to China or Italy

Well, this comes at an awkward time for Obama, though I suppose that it would have been much worse before the debates or the Democratic National Convention.  It sure would have stepped on some Democratic talking points.  From Bloomberg News:
Fiat SpA (F) Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne set a target two and a half years ago to sell 6 million cars annually by 2014, a goal that analysts and industry observers at the time deemed impossible to achieve. They were right. . . . 
Fiat’s problems are bigger than many rivals’ because its troubled home country accounts for half its sales in the region. Its plants in Italy, where car sales are on pace to plunge this year to the lowest level in more than three decades, are running at 50 percent of capacity, far below the 80 percent threshold typically considered profitable. 
To counter the severe slump in European sales, Marchionne is considering building Chrysler models in Italy, including Jeeps, for export to North America. The Italian government is evaluating tax rebates on export goods to help Fiat. Marchionne may announce details of his plan as soon as Oct. 30, the people said. . . .

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Ann Althouse on how the Democratic Party lost bother Camille Paglia and her

Ann is informative as always.  She her discussion and the extended quotes from Camille Paglia available here.

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The distributional effects of getting rid the home mortgage deduction

This is another typical biased New York Times story on economics.  There is another simple reason that is ignored by the Times for why lower income people get a smaller benefit from these tax deductions: they face much lower tax rates.
. . . For those households, by the center’s calculations, the tax benefit of the deduction amounts to about 1.5 percent of after-tax income. By way of comparison, the value to households earning $40,000 to $50,000 is closer to 0.3 percent of after-tax income; for households earning $50,000 and $75,000, it is 0.7 percent. 
Why is this so? One reason is simply that people who have more money are more likely to have expensive homes and bigger mortgages. They may also have second homes, and under the current rules, mortgage interest may be deducted on those as well, up to a cap of $1 million in debt. 
The other factor is that the value of the subsidy increases along with your tax bracket.
For households in the 15 percent bracket, the tax benefit for every $1,000 of mortgage interest deducted is $150. That benefit rises to $350 for households in the 35 percent tax bracket. . . .
Yet, what this study shows (assuming that it is correct) is that a large portion of taxpayers would not lose very much from losing this deduction.

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Move to increase EU integration may reduce size of free trade zone

London's banking and financial services face a tough choice.  Stay inside the main EU integration and face stiff regulations that will make London uncompetitive in the world.  Leave the world and retain its competitiveness outside of Europe but face penalties that prevent European nations from using the London market.  From the New York Times:
Meanwhile, the emergence of an ever more clear-cut two-tier Europe, with much greater integration among the 17 euro zone nations on issues like banking and financial services, is putting a strain on Europe’s unified economic space, and could ultimately threaten London’s status as Europe’s financial capital.
“Deeper integration in the core would come with disintegration in the E.U.’s periphery and shrink the single market,” writes Sebastian Dullien in a separate paper, also for the European Council on Foreign Relations. In other words, it could undermine the one part of the European bargain that Britons actually seem to like. . . .

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Awesome Parody of Obama campaign's "First Time" video

Obama ad

Great response

I only wish that this video could get a fraction of the over 1.7 million views that the Obama ad has so far received.