More trouble for Senator Joe Lieberman from Bill Clinton

Not quite riding to the rescue. Bill Clinton is going to campaign for Lieberman this week. At first it seemed as if Clinton was riding in to save his old friend (someone who has been his friend since law school). Well, it turns out that Bill Clinton is following Hillary on how to deal with Lieberman after the primary. That is they both will support the Democratic nominee, whoever it is. My question is whether in the long run it is better for Lieberman that Clinton simply not come to campaign for him this week. After all, won't it come back to hurt him more with Democratic voters in the general election to keep reminding them that other major democrats, even the ones who supported him during the primary, left him during the general election?

The poll results were not the only bad news for Mr. Lieberman yesterday. A spokesman for Bill Clinton said the former president will support the winner of the Democratic primary, even if it's not Mr. Lieberman.
"He's known Senator Lieberman for over 30 years and while he doesn't agree with him on every issue he thinks he has been a good senator, has the right position on most key Democratic issues and is going to work to help him win the primary," Jay Carson told the Election Central blog. "However, he respects the primary process and will support the candidate that wins the Democratic Primary and work to help that candidate win."


Close race could determine passage of right-to-carry law in Wisconsin

There are only two states that still ban citizens carrying concealed handguns, Wisconisn and Illinois. Twice in the last few years Wisconsin came with in a vote or two of overriding Democratic Governor Jim Doyle's vetoes, and in both cases the veto was upheld because one or two assembly Democrats switched their votes during the override. If Green wins this extremely close race, right-to-carry will pass (depending on a couple of state assembly races it might pass anyway).

The Badger State’s gubernatorial race is almost even, according to the latest poll by Strategic Vision. 43 per cent of respondents would support incumbent Democrat Jim Doyle, while 42 per cent would vote for Republican challenger Mark Green.

A mid-July poll by Rasmussen Reports gave Doyle a six-point edge. . . .

Concealed handgum permit holder stops knife attack

Brandishing the gun stopped even a crazy person from attacking. Just a question: when a worker shoots a couple of people in the workplace, it is national news. Here we have eight people stabbed, but where is the national coverage? I did a Google news search on "Marcel Ingram" name (the attacker) at 9 PM, but couldn't find a single news story on the incident.

8 Grocery Employees Stabbed in Tennessee
Associated Press Writer
July 21, 2006

A knife-wielding grocery store employee attacked eight co-workers Friday, seriously injuring five before a witness pulled a gun and stopped him . . .

Cope said he grabbed a 9mm semiautomatic pistol from his pickup truck when he saw the attacker chasing the victim "like something in a serial killer movie."

"When he turned around and saw my pistol, he threw the knife away, put his hands up and got on the ground," Cope told The Associated Press. "He saw my gun and that was pretty much it." . . .

"He just kept saying, 'I'm insane. I wish I was never born' and that kind of stuff," Cope said. . . .

Thanks to Dan Gifford for sending this link to me.

Amusing reasons for why people are fatter

The bottom line is that we are getting fatter because we are wealthier, living longer, and obsessed with doing healthy things such as not smoking.

--Comfortable temperatures: When you’re too hot or cold, your body uses energy to warm you up or chill you out. Make the temperature controlled and comfortable and you lose the calorie-burning bonus. (Since 1978, the number of homes with central air conditioning has increased more than 30 percent.)
-- Fewer smokers: It’s no secret that smoking increases metabolism. The question is: What can you do that also revs up your metabolism that doesn’t kill you?
-- More medications: “Many medications, including antidepressants, anticonvulsants and steroid hormones cause weight gain, either by water retention or increased appetite,” explains Ruth DeBusk, Ph.D., R.D., geneticist and registered dietitian in Tallahassee, Fla. and author of "It’s Not Just Your Genes."
-- Population changes: America is growing older and becoming more ethnically diverse, particularly among the Hispanic-American population. Both of these groups, people over the age of 35 and those of Hispanic descent, have above average rates of obesity.
-- Older birth moms: Women are waiting longer to have children. Studies show that an adolescent girl’s risk of becoming obese increases by 14 percent for every five-year increment in maternal age.
-- Prenatal influences: Overweight moms, and those with gestational diabetes, have been linked with bigger babies. In fact, one study found that over-fed pups produced heavier pups than a control group, and the heft persisted for two subsequent generations.
-- Natural selection: According to scientific theory, overweight people out survive their leaner counterparts because they can draw more energy from fat stores. “This might have been true in earlier times, when feast-or-famine was the norm and our hunter-gatherer ancestors physically worked hard to get food,” says DeBusk, “but not today in a time of plenty.”
-- Overweight people procreating: No rocket science here. When two overweight people have kids, their children are more likely to experience weight challenges than a child conceived by skinny people.

Jennifer Granholm: Anti-self-defense Governor forced to sign bills because of tight upcoming election

Opinion polls and facing a tight re-election battle force Michigan Democratic Governor Granholm to sign self-defense bills, but I can only imagine what will happen if she wins re-election and no longer has to worry about re-election, I assume that she will presumably revert back to her normal behavior on guns.

Armed citizens who shoot in self-defense would gain legal protection from civil lawsuits and criminal charges under six bills signed Thursday by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The bill-signings produced barbs between Granholm and a Republican senator who backed the bills.

The legislation, promoted by gun-rights activists, clarifies when a person can use deadly force in self-defense during break-ins, carjackings and other potentially violent crimes -- even in incidents away from the person's home. Local prosecutors still could bring criminal charges if they believe someone was wrongly shot in the name of self-defense. But convictions will be very difficult, said Sen. Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt, a leading advocate for the new laws.

"This gives the homeowner and people who use firearms to protect themselves an added measure of security against the criminal element," Cropsey said. While Cropsey praised Granholm for signing the bills, he accused her of acting out of election-year politics rather than personal support.

"Her natural constituency is the antigun crowd," he said of Granholm. "She knows the polling data supporting this is so high, she'd be nuts to veto it." . . .

When Granholm was state attorney general, I had a quasi debate with her at a conference on guns put on by Wayne State University, and it was very clear that she felt very strongly in favor of gun control. She was very strongly against the then proposed concealed handgun law, though it is possible that she has learned that the law worked out much better than she believed and I know that she claims that to be the case. Given my brief interaction with her, I have my strong doubts about that. It is my recollection that

Thanks to Matthew Ledyard for sending this to me.

"Former Congressman Sues Mayor Bloomberg"

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr filed a $400 million lawsuit against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday, claiming Bloomberg's attempt to crack down on gun dealers was "careless, willful and clearly illegal."

The lawsuit, filed in Cobb County Superior Court, came in response to a federal lawsuit filed by Bloomberg in May alleging that 15 firearm brokers in five states, including Georgia, were "rogue gun dealers."

Bloomberg ridiculed the lawsuit as a publicity stunt, telling reporters he was thrilled his name is associated with the other side of the fight: "Hopefully they get the spelling right."

Bloomberg recently went to Georgia and discussed gun control with the mayor of Atlanta, who is part of his coalition of mayors against gun violence.

Barr's lawsuit alleges that Bloomberg made misleading statements to the national media that were defamatory toward Smyrna, Ga., gun dealer Adventure Outdoors.

"We didn't start this fight. They did," Barr told a cheering crowd in Marietta's city square. "But we intend to finish it and win." . . .


Latest numbers show very small additional 2% increase in violent crime in UK

Increasing crime driving increased gun sales

Lieberman having more trouble in Connecticut

From today's Political Journal:

Today's Quinnipiac poll confirms private polling and shows Mr. Lamont surging ahead of the three-term incumbent, 51% - 47%. That's a whopping 19-point swing from Quinnipiac's last poll only six weeks ago, which showed Mr. Lieberman with a 55% - 40% lead. And this is from a poll that's been very kind to the senator. Rasmussen Reports' June survey had Mr. Lieberman ahead only 46% - 40% and was taken at the same time that Quinnipiac pegged Mr. Lieberman's lead at 15. . . .

With the primary fast becoming a lost cause for Mr. Lieberman, the question is whether he can get things turned around in time for the fall. Assuming he loses on August 8th, the senator will likely still lead in the post-primary polls. Right now, both Quinnipiac and Rasmussen have him ahead in a three-way race, by 24 points and 15 points, respectively. But Mr. Lamont will probably get a huge boost from a win in the primary, and Mr. Lieberman will be burdened with the baggage of a humiliating primary rejection. . . .

If he loses the primary, I can only imagine what Lieberman will feel like when Democratic Senators, such as Clinton, come and campaign for te Democratic nominee.


Omaha to allowed concealed handguns

Omaha will allow people to carry concealed handguns. The recently passed concealed handgun law in Nebraska allowed local jurisdictions to opt out and ban carrying in their jurisdiction. So far only Kearney, Nebraska is banning concealed handguns. My prediction is that in a couple of years after people are allowed to carry concealed handguns that even Kearney will change its mind.

Movie on "Radical Islam's war against the west"

Here is a link to what looks to be an interesting movie. It is disappointing that so few people can cause so much trouble.

Bush Vetoes Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research

The media often discusses this as being opposed to science (Bush "vetos stem cell research" without reference in the title to the federal funding), but I view it as solely an issue of federal funding. The current rules do not stop researchers from spending nonfederal money on such research. If the benefits are as large as some people claim, it is not obvious why subsidies are necessary. In general, it is very hard to keep politics out of government research funding, that is true for medical research as it is for other areas. When people put their own money on the line, they are more likely to make the right decision on whether there is a real return from those research investments.

A national voucher program?

Well, this is great, but it would have been nice if they had pushed this a couple of years ago. I never understood how someone could oppose competition in education. Is there any other field, such as cars or food or entertainment or computer programs or health care, where customers would be better off just having the government supply the product? Is there really any explanation for why is education so different? There is a strong argument not to have the federal government involved in local educational decisions, but if it is already involved, why not use some of that money to engender competition?

With Education Secretary Margaret Spellings joining them in a show of support, Congressional Republicans proposed Tuesday to spend $100 million on vouchers for low-income students in chronically failing public schools around the country to attend private and religious schools.

The legislation, modeled on a pilot program here, would pay for tuition and private tutoring for some 28,000 students seeking a way out of public schools that fail to raise test scores sufficiently for at least five years.


Mexicans generally believe the election results

Banning Cigarettes, Now Cooking Oil. Is banning Ice Cream really far behind?

Does what we like to eat matter at all? Can people make any trade-offs of risks for other benefits? Will hang gliding or parachuting be banned because of the risks, with no weight given by the government to the excitement people get from doing those activities? This is a pretty sad state of affairs.

Edward M. Burke, who has served on the Chicago City Council since 1969, . . . is pressing his colleagues to make it illegal for restaurants to use oils that contain trans fats, which have been tied to a string of health problems, including clogged arteries and heart attacks.

If approved, nutrition experts say, the ban will be the first in a major city, following the lead of towns like Tiburon, Calif., just north of San Francisco, where restaurant owners have voluntarily given up the oils. In truth, while the proposal’s prospects are uncertain, Chicago officials have been on a bit of a banning binge these days in what critics mock as City Hall’s effort to micromanage residents’ lives in mundane ways.

The aldermen voted in April to forbid restaurants to sell foie gras. They have weighed a proposal to force cabbies to dress better. And there is talk of an ordinance to outlaw smoking at the beach.


John Fund: Ronnie Earle's Circus continues

John Fund at Political Diary has more on Prosecutor Ronnie Earle's political prosecution of Tom Delay. Ronnie Earle's explanation for why he can't reveal how much money he has spent trying to go after Delay is pretty funny.

But as the case approaches a trial, it's looking increasingly shaky, as are Mr. Earle's latest explanations as to why he has to keep secret the amount of taxpayer money he has expended on it.

In an effort to block newspapers from getting that information, Mr. Earle filed a lawsuit this month arguing that his expenditures are exempt from Texas's open records law. "The requested records, if released, would reveal the mental impressions and legal reasoning of prosecutors regarding trial preparation and trial strategies in several pending criminal cases," Mr. Earle, a Democrat, says in the lawsuit. "Such premature revealing of often sensitive and sometimes life-threatening information could adversely effect public safety."

Legal analysts scoff at suggestions that merely releasing the amount of money Mr. Earle has spent in his Captain Ahab-like pursuit of Mr. DeLay would jeopardize anything other than Mr. Earle's diminishing reputation as an objective prosecutor.

John Fund: The "New New Hillary"

John Fund at Political Diary has some very interesting details on Hillary Clinton's campaign strategy for the presidency. She is picking up issues such as making it illegal to burn the American flag, that she things are not important, but will provide significant cover for her broader liberal agenda. Like John, I worry that by picking some high profile conservative hot button issues for protection she could slip by and get elected president.

. . . . Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic consultant who worked with the former first lady on her 2000 Senate campaign, says Senator Clinton is pursuing the ultimate swing voters, "a group of several hundred thousand culturally conservative white males, largely Catholic, who live in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Someone who carries all of those states in 2008 is likely to become president."

Greg Sargent of the liberal Nation magazine puts it more directly: "She's taking her husband's small-issue centrism -- its trademark combination of big but often hollow gestures toward the center, pragmatic economic populism and incremental liberal policy gains -- and remaking it in her own image, updating it for post-9/11 America with an intense interest in military issues."

The effort is all directed at reintroducing the senator to people who harbor suspicions of her that date back to the Clinton presidency. "People have gained a more complete view of Hillary in the Senate than they had when she was in the White House," says Mandy Grunwald, a Hillary adviser. "People are getting past the cartoon version of her and seeing that she's culturally moderate and sensitive to rural and small-town America."

. . . don't be surprised if she continues to be surprisingly good at winning over audiences with speeches that give no indication that her voting record back in Washington ranks an average of 95% from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action.

Alphecca says that you have been warned

Estimating the cost of terrorism and the benefits from deterring it

An interesting paper from Nicole and Mark Crain:

In this paper we estimate the macroeconomic consequences of terrorism using panel data for 147 countries for the period 1968-2002. We examine the levels of economic output, as opposed to growth rates in economic output, and include an estimate of the cost of unanticipated terrorist events. The analysis covers nearly 12,000 terrorist acts, and the results provide a foundation to compute the costs of terrorism and the benefits of anti-terrorism activities.

To preview a few of the results, we find that the number of terrorist incidents and casualties from terrorist attacks have a substantial impact on economic performance. For example, if Germany deterred one terrorist incident (reducing its historically average rate from 19 to 18) the GDP gains would be $1.6 billion (in 2003 dollars). In the Philippines, a reduction from 9 to 8 incidents would increase its GDP by an estimated $122 million. As we describe in detail, these estimates of the GDP gains from deterrence depend on the extent of terrorism in a particular country because the impact of terrorism on GDP is not linear. These estimates of the economic gains from marginal reductions in terrorism provide a threshold against which a country’s expenditures on anti-terrorism can be weighed.

Awarding $1 million randomly to someone who votes

A really dumb idea.

A proposal to award $1 million in every general election to one lucky resident, chosen by lottery, simply for voting — no matter for whom — has qualified for the November ballot. . . .

It would make more sense to simply divide $1 million by the number of voters and give each person their share. GIven that there are apparently about 2 million voters, give everyone 50 cents. The only people that you are going to attract with this million dollars are fairly unusual risk takers. Why try to primarily attract those types of people?


An example of why the Electoral College is Good

If Mexico had an electoral college, there would not be any possible reason to recount all the votes in the entire country. Even though the overall total was close, the PAN party candidate overwhelmingly carried the states in the northern part of the country and the PRD candidate generally carried Mexico city and the southern states. Could you imagine if it were necessary that we had to recount the ballots for the entire country in 2000 and not just the ballots in Florida?

A leftist candidate claiming fraud robbed him of the presidency led hundreds of thousands of marchers through Mexico's capital Sunday to demand a vote-by-vote recount in the tight election apparently won by his conservative opponent. . . .

Felipe Calderon, of President Vicente Fox's conservative National Action Party led by about 244,000 votes in the official count after the July 2 election.

It is fine for New York Judges to Keep Guns Under Their Robes While They are On the Bench

Another example of where an anti-gun jurisdiction recognizes how useful guns are in protecting people:

NEW YORK Jul 15, 2006 (AP)— It's one way to assure order in the court.

The New York state Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics has ruled that it is permissible for judges to pack a pistol beneath their robes while on the bench.

"From an ethical standpoint, there is no prohibition … barring you from carrying a firearm while performing your duties on the bench," the committee said in a decision published in this week's New York Law Journal.

Judges would have to comply with existing laws to bring a gun into court.

The committee was asked by one of the state's 3,400 judges whether it was "ethically permissible" to carry a pistol into the courtroom. And though it ruled in favor of pistol-packing jurists, the committee warned that judges must "be patient, dignified and courteous" to those appearing before the bench and behave in "a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary." . . . .