Government subsidies keep being thrown away on green investments

Apparently, Delaware and the federal government have a lot of extra money to throw away.  From Fox News:
Delaware taxpayers appear to be getting soaked twice under a deal in which the Democratic governor loaned $21.5 million to a hybrid electric carmaker to set up shop in the state. The company has yet to produce a car in Delaware, and taxpayers are footing the electric bill for the idle plant.  
The deal was enthusiastically announced in 2009 by Gov. Jack Markell and Vice President Biden -- formerly Delaware's senior senator -- as a way to bring as many as 2,500 green jobs to the state. But California-based Fisker Automotive Inc. has since suffered a series of setbacks that have compounded its shaky financial situation.  
"It has not worked out the way he had envisioned," Markell spokeswoman Cathy Rossi acknowledged Monday in a statement to FoxNews.com. "We didn't know and couldn't have known about the underlying technical and financial problems."  
Delaware reportedly has paid at least $400,000 in utility bills since about April, when Fisker halted operations and laid off dozens of workers at the 142-acre, Wilmington-area facility. Markell staffers told The News Journal the payments are part of the grant deal and necessary to at least keep Fisker's small-scale operation on life support. . . . .  
However, in February the U.S. Energy Department stopped disbursements on Fisker's $529 million loan because the company purportedly failed to meet production and sales goals on its electric plug-in sedan, the Karma.  . . .

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Connecticut considering publicizing names of gun permit holders

Apparently, some haven't learned much from the problems created by the Journal News in New York (see also here).
The names and addresses of about 170,000 handgun permit holders in Connecticut, now kept confidential by law, could be made public under a proposed bill that pits gun owners against would-be reformers in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 Newtown school massacre. 
The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, co-chairman of the legislature's public safety committee, would make public the names and addresses of permit holders under Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act — and would reverse lawmakers' decision to protect that personal information from disclosure nearly two decades ago. 
Dargan's bill already has stirred debate, well before next Wednesday's opening of a five-month General Assembly session that is expected to be dominated by gun-control issues after 20 first-graders and six adult staff members were killed Dec. 14 by gunman Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza, 20, shot himself as police arrived; he had killed his mother at their Newtown home earlier. . . .

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"Chicago Has Tough Gun Laws, But Leads Nation in Gun Violence"

Fox News is doing a great job on reporting on the gun issue these days.
Last year, the city hit 506 homicides, and this year, killings again are stacking up at a rate faster than one a day. 
“I’ve had eight cops shot in the last year and a half that I’ve been here," McCarthy said. "Somebody’s got to do something about it besides putting ourselves [Chicago police officers] in harm’s way." 
He and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are in sync in their push for new gun laws and are getting support from state lawmakers in Springfield. The Public Health Committee of the state Senate rapidly approved bills that would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines during the lame-duck session. 
The legislation is moving quickly, riding a wave of emotion triggered by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The timing is in keeping with the stated philosophy of Emanuel that we should use times of crisis to mobilize people and demand change. . . . . 
However, McCarthy acknowledged aiming at assault weapons misses the mark when dealing with Chicago’s gang violence. The weapon used is generally a handgun and rarely is it purchased through legal channels. McCarthy wants to target straw purchasing, which is when legal gun buyers will purchase a weapon and then let it loose in the illegal market. . . . .

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"Woman hiding with kids shoots intruder" and "Homeowner Confronts Naked Intruder Choking Pet Rottweiler"

From Loganville, Georgia:
A woman hiding in her attic with children shot an intruder multiple times before fleeing to safety Friday. 
The incident happened at a home on Henderson Ridge Lane in Loganville around 1 p.m. The woman was working in an upstairs office when she spotted a strange man outside a window, according to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said she took her 9-year-old twins to a crawlspace before the man broke in using a crowbar. 
But the man eventually found the family. 
"The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he's staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver," Chapman told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh 
The woman then shot him five times, but he survived, Chapman said. He said the woman ran out of bullets but threatened to shoot the intruder if he moved. 
"She's standing over him, and she realizes she's fired all six rounds. And the guy's telling her to quit shooting," Chapman said. . . .
Note that this woman had to fire her gun five times to stop the attacker and even then she still had to threaten him with more shots.  Fortunately, she had a gun that put another bullet in the chamber after each shot.  Could you imagine what would have happened if she used a gun where she had to manually reload after each shot?

Thanks to Peter K for this link.

Another story is here.

Of the bizarre home break-in stories that have happened recently, this one tops the list so far in 2013. Early Wednesday morning, a Miami homeowner reportedly awoke to find a naked intruder attempting to choke his pet Rottweiler. 
The peculiar fracas happened at around 5 a.m., police said, when the sleeping homeowners were startled awake by their dogs barking. The homeowner got up to investigate the noise, only to find a naked man attempting to choke one of the dogs. 
"The homeowner attempted to get this individual's attention," Miami Police spokesman Willie Moreno told NBC 6 in Miami. "He immediately jumped onto the owner and started fighting with him. 
At this point the homeowner, armed with a shotgun, reportedly fired it, shooting the intruder in the leg, and then held him until police arrived. . . . .
According to police, the shooting was "justified." . . .



Crook says Newspaper map of gun owners shows where they risk getting shot helps criminals

From Fox News:
Reformed crooks say the New York newspaper that published a map of names and addresses of gun owners did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade. 
The information published online by the Journal-News, a daily paper serving the New York suburbs of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, could be highly useful to thieves in two ways, former burglars told FoxNews.com. Crooks looking to avoid getting shot now know which targets are soft and those who need weapons know where they can steal them. 
“That was the most asinine article I’ve ever seen,” said Walter T. Shaw, 65, a former burglar and jewel thief who the FBI blames for more than 3,000 break-ins that netted some $70 million in the 1960s and 1970s. “Having a list of who has a gun is like gold - why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns? . . .
UPDATE: From Fox News "Inmates using newspaper's gun owner map to threaten guards, sheriff says"
Law enforcement officials from a New York region where a local paper published a map identifying gun owners say prisoners are using the information to intimidate guards.Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco, who spoke at a news conference flanked by other county officials, said the Journal News' decision to post an online map of names and addresses of handgun owners Dec. 23 has put law enforcement officers in danger.
"They have inmates coming up to them and telling them exactly where they live. That's not acceptable to me," Falco said, according to Newsday.
Robert Riley, an officer with the White Plains Police Department and president of its Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, agreed.
"You have guys who work in New York City who live up here. Now their names and addresses are out there, too," he said adding that there are 8,000 active and retired NYPD officers currently living in Rockland County. . . .
UPDATE 2: Newspaper published list where they were told that 25 percent of names and addresses on the list were incorrect.  A very large percentage of those with permits for guns were police officers or correction officers.  Requests for gun permits have tripled, so people don't want to be on target as a gun-free target.

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With Megyn Kelly on Fox News

Coulter discusses my work with Landes on Hannity

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"Releasing names of gun permit holders endangers public, New York county clerk says"

It is nice to see that this county clerk was willing to say the obvious, that telling who doesn't have a gun makes them easier targets for criminals.  From Fox News:
A New York county clerk justified his refusal to release the names and addresses of handgun permit holders to a newspaper, saying it would give stalkers and thieves a convenient roadmap to target potential victims -- and determine whether they have a gun. 
"This certainly puts my public in danger," Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant said Thursday following a news conference in which he was backed by the county executive and other elected officials. 
The Journal News, which serves New York City's northern suburbs, sparked an outcry last month when it published clickable online maps with the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester counties. . . . 
"First of all, it tells criminals who doesn't have a gun," he said. "It gives a burglar or it gives a thief a map." . . .


Record Gun Sales in November and December; A helpful breakdown of the composition of NICS checks

This information is available here (you can make the charts bigger by clicking on them).  The record sales in December were up 39 percent from their already high levels in November and November was up 24 percent from October.  Sales were also 50 percent from the previous December and November's were up 31 percent from the previous November.  Indeed, each month in 2012 set records for that month.  Records being broken even before the Newtown shooting.

This information is available here.  About 37 percent of the handgun and long gun sales are for handguns.



UK's crime rate much higher than US's

From the UK Daily Mail, England's violent crime rate is about 80 percent higher than the US's.
Britain has a higher crime rate than any other rich nation except Australia, according to a survey yesterday.The chances of having your car stolen are greater in England and Wales than anywhere else in the developed world, it said.
The international crime report was published as Tony Blair prepared to unveil plans to tackle persistent offenders.
The Prime Minister - who will next week become the first serving premier to visit a British prison when he launches his law-and-order package - said the crackdown would target the 100,000 worst offenders who are responsible for the bulk of crimes.
He is to announce a £700million programme - described by senior government sources as 'very radical' - in a bid to win back the initiative in the law and order debate in the runup to the general election expected in May.
According to the figures released yesterday, 3.6 per cent of the population of England and Wales were victims of violent crime in 1999 - second only to Australia, where the figure was 4.1 per cent.
Scotland had a slightly lower rate of violence, at 3.4 per cent.
In the U.S., only 2 per cent of the population suffered an assault or robbery. . . .

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Remember that in 2008 Obama promised to cut "net government spending," to make government smaller

Remember also that the stimulus was supposed to be temporary?  Will Obama ever return government spending back to where it was when he became president, let alone to where he said it should be when he became president?
And I believe there's further unnecessary spending in government that we can eliminate. But we can't simply cut our way to prosperity. Cutting spending has to go hand in hand with further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individual can take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans and we can't keep cutting things like basic research and new technology and still expect to succeed in the 21st century economy. So we're going to have to continue to move forward in deficit reduction but we have to do it in a balanced way, making sure that we are growing, even as we get a handle on our spending. . . .

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White House says that Obama will go for gun control and immigration this month

Denny's restaurant in Belleville, Illinois denies police service because they are carrying guns

I guess that I have obviously heard of restaurants denying permit holders entry, but forbidding service to police?  Doesn't Denny's realize that many restaurants actually give police free meals precisely because they like to have the police there in order to ensure that the restaurant is protected.  That is really pretty crazy.
Belleville police have less than a sunny-side-up view of a local Denny's.
The police chief there banned his officers from the eatery while on duty after several detectives were told they couldn't carry their guns in the restaurant, but Denny's says the incident stemmed from a misunderstanding.
The scramble of events began about 10 a.m. Tuesday when five Belleville detectives went into the Denny's at 1130 South Illinois Street, ordered food and began to eat.
Belleville Capt. Donald Sax said restaurant manager David Rice then approached and told one of the detectives that a diner had complained about seeing one of the detectives carrying a gun.
Even though the detective told Rice all at the table were police officers, Rice insisted the detectives take their guns back out to their cars, Sax said.
According to Sax, Rice then told the officers that it is company policy to allow only uniformed officers to carry their guns into a restaurant and that a sign on the door stated that policy. . . .
Thanks as always to Mr. Troglio for the link.


New piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "The facts about gun bans"

My newest piece at the Philadelphia Inquirer starts this way:
With horrible tragedies fresh in everyone's mind, including Newtown, people are understandably wondering what can be done to prevent yet another tragedy. Alas, the mainstream media have already concluded that more gun control must be the answer. 
Passions run high on both sides. As of Thursday morning, more than 80,000 Americans had signed a White House petition asking that CNN anchor Piers Morgan, a vocal proponent of banning guns, be deported. Another petition urging the White House to "Keep Piers Morgan in the USA" had generated 4,500 signatures. Meanwhile, the Brits have launched their own petition demanding that Morgan not come back to England. The petitions are pretty silly, but they are a reflection of the divide over the gun issue. 
Unfortunately, the beliefs are just so strongly held that some prominent hosts of news programs, such as Morgan, refuse to accept facts, and go so far as to conjure up their own numbers when reality isn't to their liking. All this makes for a pretty confusing show, with viewers hearing one side say murders rose and another saying that they fell. 
Take one of my five debates on CNN after the Newtown attack. This particular discussion, involving Piers Morgan and Christiane Amanpour, was not unusual. . . .

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Fiscal Cliff deal increases deficit, increases taxes for 77 percent of taxpayers, and gives out lots of tax breaks for Democratic supporters

From The Hill newspaper:
The Senate deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" will add roughly $4 trillion to the deficit when compared to current law, according to new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). 
The CBO determined Tuesday that the package, hammered out late Monday evening by Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would — over the next decade — come with a $3.9 trillion price tag. . . .
This will give Obama something to brag about.  From Bloomberg:
The budget deal passed by the U.S. Senate today would raise taxes on 77.1 percent of U.S. households, mostly because of the expiration of a payroll tax cut, according to preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington
More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said. A 2 percent payroll tax cut, enacted during the economic slowdown, is being allowed to expire as of yesterday. . . .
Some of the politically favored wealthy got some benefits.
And it seems Hollywood's rigorous backing of President Barack Obama and his Democrat peers in the waning months of 2012 paid off. 
Section 317 of the freshly approved legislation includes an extension for "special expensing rules for certain film and television productions." Congress first enacted production tax incentives favorable to the domestic entertainment industry in 2004, and extended them in 2008, but the deal was meant to expire in 2011. . . .
Other winners include:
  • $331 million for railroads by allowing short-line and regional operators to claim a tax credit up to 50 percent of the cost to maintain tracks that they own or lease.
  • $222 million for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through returned excise taxes collected by the federal government on rum produced in the islands and imported to the mainland.
  • $70 million for NASCAR by extending a “7-year cost recovery period for certain motorsports racing track facilities.”
  • $59 million for algae growers through tax credits to encourage production of “cellulosic biofuel” at up to $1.01 per gallon.
  • $4 million for electric motorcycle makers by expanding an existing green-energy tax credit for buyers of plug-in vehicles to include electric motorbikes.


Errors in Huffington Post discussion on gun control

Paul Heroux has this as part of his post up at the Huffington Post:
Economist John Lott likes to point out that wherever there has been a gun ban we have seen crime increase. Lott has specifically made the point concerning England's 1997 gun moratorium. Unfortunately, this example is a little loose with the statistics. In some countries where an increase in gun homicides followed a gun ban, it was part of an already rising trend, as it was in England. In other cases it followed the ban. In short, there is no causal relationship; the relationship is spurious. Additionally, Lott also said that he did not accept that the US is the leader in gun homicides in the developed world. This flies in the face of the facts
If you want to see how wrong Mr. Heroux is about this claim on how murder rates changed after the UK handgun ban see the figures available here.
Lott has also noted that the common denominator of the recent mass shootings is that they all occurred in a gun free zone. This implication is that the shooters targeted the zones because they were gun free. This can't and won't be proven, and it is unlikely anyway. First, we know that students all over America carry guns to schools every day, so schools are not really gun free. Second, Fort Hood is a military base with lots of guns, and Virginia Tech is a university with its own police force. Third, there is more reason to believe that the recent mass shootings targeted the people at the locations because of who they were, not because of where they were. The presence or absence of a gun ban is spurious. . . .
There are 41 right-to-carry states.  What gun-free zones mean places where law-abiding citizens are not allowed to carry concealed handguns.  The ban is with respect to law-abiding citizens, not police.  Yet, with Fort Hood, soldiers are actually forbidden from carrying around guns on army bases (see here for a discussion). As to the claim that "the recent mass shootings targeted the people at the locations because of who they were, not because of where they were" please see this article.



Dianne Feinstein on wanting to ban guns

When discussing the federal assault weapons ban, Senator Dianne Feinstein said on CBS-TV's 60 Minutes, February 5, 1995: "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here."

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Ann Coulter on the NRA's Wayne LaPierre

The Daily Caller discussion on Ann Coulter discussing Wayne LaPierre's appearance on Meet the Press a week ago is available here.

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The Gun Control Debate on Sunday Morning Talk Shows

From the Hill newspaper:
President Obama on Sunday said he would make gun control a priority in his new term, pledging to put his “full weight” behind passing new restrictions on firearms in 2013. 
“I'm going to be putting forward a package and I'm going to be putting my full weight behind it,” said Obama in an interview aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I'm going to be making an argument to the American people about why this is important and why we have to do everything we can to make sure that something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary does not happen again.” . . .
From the LA Times:
. . . . Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) clashed sharply over Feinstein’s proposal to ban military-style assault weapons.“The question comes, what do we do about the growing sophistication of military weapons on the streets of our cities?” Feinstein said. . . .
Feinstein has proposed a prohibition on the type of semi-automatic rifles used in the Newtown shooting and other recent mass killings, adding that her bill would be much tougher than the loophole-ridden assault weapons ban in place from 1994-2004. Assault rifles already in circulation would remain legal, but the owners would have to register them and become licensed. Her bill also would ban high-capacity magazines.
Limiting guns is precisely the wrong answer, Graham responded.
Crime is at record lows in part because guns are more widespread than ever, he said. He endorsed the proposal by the National Rifle Assn. to put armed guards in every school. He said he owns an AR-15, the type of semi-automatic rifled used by Adam Lanza in the Newtown school shooting.
“What she is proposing is a massive intervention,” Graham said. “Gun sales are up, and crime is down.  You’re not going to be able to stop mass murderers with no criminal record just by taking my AR-15 and making me pay $200 and get my fingerprints and say I can’t buy another one.
"The best solution to protect children is to have somebody there to stop the shooter, not get everybody’s gun in the country." . . .
Howard Kurtz notes how differently David Gregory interviewed Wayne LaPierre and Obama.
He pressed Barack Obama on a few points in the president’s appearance this morning, designed to seize control of the media narrative one day before the fiscal cliff deadline. But this was not the armed-and-dangerous Gregory we saw last week when he faced down NRA chief Wayne LaPierre. . . .
Asking about Obama’s line that the Republicans don’t like saying yes to him, the host asked: “What is it about you, Mr. President, that you think is so hard to say yes to?” (No soul-searching followed as Obama gave a programmatic answer.) Once he had exhausted his cliff questions, Gregory moved on to second-term priorities, bringing up guns: “You know how hard this is. Do you have the stomach for the political fight for new gun control laws.”
There were also questions on Benghazi and the nomination for secretary of State, with Gregory asking: “Do you feel like you let your friend Susan Rice hang out there to dry a little bit?” . . . 
UPDATE: Claim is that Feinstein's gun control bill will be introduced on January 22nd. From Feinstein's website on January 5th. Links to highlighted material here and here.

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Some media coverage of the gun debate

Here are actually a couple of the more civil discussions.  From Gil Spencer in the Delco County Times:
Pro-gun and Second Amendment advocates were invited on TV news shows, not just to have their views challenged but to be personally insulted, mocked and accused of murder. 
NRA president Wayne LaPierre, was declared “The Craziest Man on Earth” on the front page of the New York Daily News. 
Mild-mannered college professor John Lott, author of “More Guns, Less Crime” was shouted down and declared a liar by CNN’s Piers Morgan. 
Another New York newspaper, the Journal News, printed the names and addresses of every licensed gun owner in their coverage area, ostensibly so that their gun-fearing neighbors could take adequate steps to protect their children. 
And then a funny thing happened. Gun owners decided they weren’t going to take it anymore. At least, they weren’t going to take it lying down. . . .
On the other hand, David Frum makes a big deal out of what was undoubtedly a joke by some people who just wanted to let out their frustrations.
Militant exponents of the Second Amendment have put 80,000 signatures on a petition to deport CNN host Piers Morgan because they disapprove of the way he makes use of his rights under the First. The irony is almost too obvious to ridicule. Yet these are dark and daunting times. All of us can use any laugh we can get. So let's ridicule away. Please submit your entry in the comments below or via Facebook.

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