Obama and Biden Flip-flop on Homosexual marriage

During the vice presidential debate Biden was quite clear:

FILL: Let's try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?

BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.

The bottom line though is, and I'm glad to hear the governor, I take her at her word, obviously, that she think there should be no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple and a committed heterosexual couple. If that's the case, we really don't have a difference.

On the Ellen DeGeneres Show this week Biden said:

Biden congratulated DeGeneres on her recent wedding to actress Portia de Rossi, and said that he opposes the amendment.

“If I lived in California, I would clearly vote against Prop 8,” he said. . . .

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Story for reason for Ohio state government checks on "Joe the Plumber" crumbling

The Columbus Dispatch is gradually taking apart the claims for why there were checks on computer data regarding "Joe the Plumber."

State employee says she was ordered to check out Joe the Plumber
Friday, October 31, 2008 10:21 PM
The Columbus Dispatch
Vanessa Niekamp said that when she was asked to run a child-support check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher on Oct. 16, she thought it routine. A supervisor told her the man had contacted the state agency about his case.

Niekamp didn't know she just had checked on "Joe the Plumber," who was elevated the night before to presidential politics prominence as Republican John McCain's example in a debate of an average American.

The senior manager would not learn about "Joe" for another week, when she said her boss informed her and directed her to write an e-mail stating her computer check was a legitimate inquiry.

The reason Niekamp said she was given for checking if there was a child-support case on Wurzelbacher does not match the reason given by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Director Helen Jones-Kelley said her agency checks people who are "thrust into the public spotlight," amid suggestions they may have come into money, to see if they owe support or are receiving undeserved public assistance.

Niekamp told The Dispatch she is unfamiliar with the practice of checking on the newly famous. "I've never done that before, I don't know of anybody in my office who does that and I don't remember anyone ever doing that," she said today.

Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland and Jones-Kelley, both supporters of Democrat Barack Obama, have denied political motives in checking on Wurzelbacher. The Toledo-area resident later endorsed McCain. State officials say any information on "Joe" is confidential and was not released. . . .

Jones-Kelley has revealed that her agency also checked to see if Wurzelbacher was receiving welfare assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes. "Joe the Plumber" has said he is not involved in a child-support case.

About 3 p.m. on Oct. 16, Niekamp said Carrie Brown, assistant deputy director for child support, asked her to run Wurzelbacher through the computer. Citing privacy laws, Niekamp would not say what, if anything, was found on "Joe."

On Oct. 23, Niekamp said Doug Thompson, deputy director for child support, told her she had checked on "Joe the Plumber." Thompson "literally demanded" that she write an e-mail to the agency's chief privacy officer stating she checked the case for child-support purposes, she said.

Thompson told her that Jones-Kelley said Wurzelbacher might buy a plumbing business and could owe support. Thompson said he replied that he "would check him out."

Niekamp, 38, a senior child-support manager, said she never heard any discussion of politics amid what her supervisors told her about the checks on Wurzelbacher.

Worried about her $69,000-a-year job and potential criminal charges, the 15-year state employee said she went to Inspector General Thomas P. Charles on Oct. 24. She has seen employees fired, and dismissed one herself, for illegally accessing personal information in support cases. Niekamp, a registered Republican, said politics played no role in what she told investigators.

The e-mail that Niekamp said she wrote was not among records provided today to The Dispatch in response to a public-records request. Nor did the agency, as required by state law, say it withheld any records. . . .

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Woman fatally shots rapist who broke into her home

A dramatic self-defense story in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Cops: Cape Girardeau woman kills man who returned to rape her second time
By Heather Ratcliffe
An intended rape victim shot and killed her attacker this morning in Cape Girardeau when he broke into her home to rape her a second time, police said.

The 57-year-old woman shot Ronnie W. Preyer, 47, a registered sex offender, in the chest with a shotgun when he broke through her locked basement door. The woman told police he was the same man who raped her several days earlier. Officials do not intend to seek charges against her.

In the first incident, the woman heard glass breaking in her basement about midnight on Saturday. She went to leave the house, and the man attacked when she opened the front door. He punched her in the face and then forced her into a bedroom, where he raped her, said H. Morley Swingle, prosecuting attorney in Cape Girardeau County.

The victim reported the crime to police, and her landlord repaired the broken window.

She was home alone again Friday about 2:15 a.m. when Preyer broke the same basement window. The victim was awake watching television, when Preyer switched off the electricity to her house.

She tried to call 911, but couldn't because the power was off. She got a shotgun and waited as the man began banging on the basement door. She fired when Preyer came crashing through the door. When Preyer collapsed, the woman escaped and went to a neighbor's home, where she called police. Officers, who arrived within a minute, found a bleeding Preyer stumbling away from the house. He was taken to St. Francis Medical Center, where he died several hours later.

Swingle said the victim identified Preyer as the attacker in both incidents. Preyer, of Jackson, Mo., had wet caulking from the recently repaired basement window on his clothing when he was shot.

"I will not be filing any sort of charge against this 57-year-old woman, who was clearly justified under the law in shooting this intruder in her home," Swingle said.

Thanks very much to Anthony Troglio for this link.

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William Ayers dedicated a 1974 book to Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Kennedy's murderer, and his most recent book to a long list of cop killers

Note that Ayers and Obama served on two boards together: the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2001 and the Woods Foundation from 1993 to 2002. For the first five years with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Obama served as chairman of the board and handled its fiscal matters. Ayers was the Chicago Annenberg Challenge’s founder and he served as the chairman of the foundation’s other body that set education policy. This first book was published in 1974, while Obama was on a board with Ayers and shortly before they started working together at the Annenberg Challenge foundation. Ayers last book, Fugitive Days, is dedicated to a long list of people who have killed police officers. Just as a reminder, here is my recent piece on the false statements linking Obama and Ayers. As I have argued before, Ayers regularly made statements about his radicalism during the 1990s.

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Zogby Poll Puts McCain ahead by one percentage point

You can find a summary of Zogby's most recent poll here:

Half of Zogby's current national poll average was taken after Obama's infomercial ... and here are his preliminary findings.

No evidence that Obama benefited from the infomercial.
Obama's support dropped 1.1%, McCain's gained 0.8%.
The last day of polling had McCain winning 48% to 47%. Zogby cautions us to wait until tomorrow to see if McCain really has traction.
Pollster John Zogby: "Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. "Obama's lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls. If McCain has a good day tomorrow, we will eliminate Obama's good day three days ago, and we could really see some tightening in this rolling average. But for now, hold on."

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The GopTrust.com's ads that are running in swing states

These are hard hitting themes. Anyway, you can find more of a discussion of their ads here.

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Appearing on Jason Lewis' radio show at 7:05 ET

I will be on Jason Lewis' radio show on KTLK in Minnesota in an hour.

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Talk to students at the University of Virginia Law School

Here is an MP3 of a talk that I gave to students at the University of Virginia last week.


Obama purges reporters from newspapers that endorsed McCain

The Drudge Report writes this:

The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states -- and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president!

The NY POST, WASHINGTON TIMES and DALLAS MORNING NEWS have all been told to move out by Sunday to make room for network bigwigs -- and possibly for the inclusion of reporters from two black magazines, ESSENCE and JET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Despite pleas from top editors of the three newspapers that have covered the campaign for months at extraordinary cost, the Obama campaign says their reporters -- and possibly others -- will have to vacate their coveted seats so more power players can document the final days of Sen. Barack Obama's historic campaign to become the first black American president. . . .

This should concern everyone. The Washington Times has this follow up:

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign decided to jettison The Washington Times, the New York Post and the Dallas Morning News from the Democrat's campaign plane, insisting the expulsions were due to lack of seats and not because all three newspapers endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain for president.

The campaign said it ran out of room on Mr. Obama's Boeing 757 because more reporters and photographers from his hometown newspapers -- the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times -- were coming aboard, as well as reporters from black-oriented magazines Ebony and Jet and the candidate's wife, Michelle Obama, and her Secret Service bodyguards.

Other campaign staff said space was tight because TV network news celebrities were joining the trip and the HBO documentary film crew recording the final leg of his historic run for a project by actor Edward Norton joined the plane Friday.

"Unfortunately, demand for seats on the plane during this final weekend has far exceeded supply, and because of logistical issues, we made the decision not to add a second plane," Obama campaign senior adviser Anita Dunn said. "This means we've had to make hard and unpleasant for all concerned decisions about limiting some news organizations and in some cases not being in a position to offer space to news organizations altogether."

The campaign said The Times reporter will be off the plane as of Sunday. Separately, the campaign also denied a request from a Times photographer who has traveled on the plane previously.

I would be interested in someone computing the probabilities that this decision was random. I don't know the number of reporters on a plane, but, say, 75 percent of the press seats are held by media that have supported Obama. The probability that you would get three organizations thrown off that were all on the other side is only 1.6 percent. If 80 percent of the press seats were held by the media, the probability would be only 0.8 percent.


Transcript of debate for “Intelligence Squared U.S.” on the question: Do Guns Reduce Crime?

You can read the transcript here. I think that the debate went well. When the audience from NYC was asked at the beginning of the debate if they thought that more guns meant less crime the ratio was 13 percent in favor, 60 percent against. After the debate it was 27 percent in favor, 64 percent against. Thus we technically won the debate because we got more people to switch to our side than the reverse.

Here is one of the bizarre discussions during the debate. This is the way that John Donohue had described reknowned criminologist James Q. Wilson.

The lone dissenter was someone who was not an econometrician, who admitted in his dissent that he wished he knew more econometrics, and who had previously testified as an expert witness on behalf of the [INAUDIBLE] NRA.

My response was this:

But the point is, what James Q. Wilson, who’s this hack that you were referring to, and I think a lot of people would regard James Q. Wilson as probably the top criminologist in the country, he was the person who was dissenting on this.

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Americans want divided government

Will this be enough to help McCain/Palin push over the top? Rasmussen Reports has this new poll:

As Election Day 2008 approaches with the prospect of a Democrat in the White House and Democratic control of the Congress, only one-third (34%) of U.S. voters think rule by one political party is better for the country.

Forty-five percent (45%) say it’s better if the White Houseand Congress are each run by a different political party, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided. . . .

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Don Kates on where the legal challenges to gun control go from here

Don Kates sent around the following email.

It is axiomatic that the way to have courts adopt a legal theory is to approach them with a sympathetic case. A fortiori, the way to get a legal theory REJECTED is to couch that theory in terms of an unappealing case – and the less appealing a case, the less likely your theory to be adopted.

From that perspective the argument for trying to apply Heller in the CCW context is clear – and the argument against an "assault weapon" case is even clearer. The two issues are like night and day.


Some 40 states now automatically issue CCWs to all qualified applicants ("shall issue"). The criminological evidence on the results is divided 10-8: 10 studies say shall issue has substantially reduced crime; 8 studies say that it has had no effect. There is but one study – and that highly criticized – which says shall issue has increased crime.

So the criminological evidence is overwhelmingly good. To this must be added the fact that no one can or does defend the arbitrary and/or corrupt way CCWs are issued in CA, NYC and the few other jurisdictions that have discretionary CCW issuance. The anti-gun crowd believes there should be no CCW issuance. But neither they nor anyone else defends the arbitrary and/or corrupt way CCWs are issued in CA, NYC and the few other jurisdictions that have discretionary CCW issuance.

The possibilities of CCW litigation after Heller are very promising. See APPENDIX hereto.


As different from the CCW issue as night is from day. A few people (comparatively) like AWs and want them. Everybody else loathes them and regards those who like them as either deluded or crazy. Nor does it matter that the people who loathe them are all

misinformed. If you could get them to sit still for an hour of technical explanation you might convince some of them. But you can’t get them to do that; and what you get out of trying is that they dismiss you as deluded or deranged.

Note that I say all this as a lawyer who has been involved in AW litigation for nearly two decades. The history of AW litigation is an absolute disaster. Until AW litigation occurred, Connecticut, Colorado, Ohio and Oregon had RKBA provisions in their constitutions. As a result of AW litigation in those states their respective supreme courts bent over backwards producing unprincipled theories in order to uphold AW bans. As a result of those decisions any legislative body in those states can now enact any anti-gun law it wants with a fair degree of confidence that that law will be upheld under whatever unprincipled theory was used to uphold the AW ban. (In Oregon the ban was upheld by an intermediate appellate court whose decision might not be honored by the Oregon S Ct in a future case – unless that future case involves an AW ban in which event the ban will be upheld.)

As this is written it appears that Obama will be elected. If so, we can anticipate that Heller will be disavowed just as soon as Obama gets to appoint a justice to succeed one of the five man majority in Heller. That may not be all that soon. But if the court accepts cert. on an AW ban case it may well reverse or discredit Heller right now on its own w/o any Obama appointments. And if an AW case gets to te court after an Obama appointment it will surely do so.


[The following is part of a memorandum I wrote on this subject recently.]

The recent Heller decision1 establishes that the Second Amendment gives every law abiding, responsible adult a right to possess arms in the home. That decision recognizes that government has the power to condition the Second Amendment right on the applicant obtaining a permit – which must be granted as a matter of right to every law abiding, responsible adult. Although Heller did not involve carrying a gun, the Second Amendment right is to "keep and bear arms" and Heller does establish: that the Amendment’s rationale is self-defense; and that the word "bear" means carrying a gun. It is not clear that the Second Amendment right is to bear a handgun concealed rather than openly. But this distinction is irrelevant given California law. That prohibits openly carrying a loaded gun without a license issued by the local sheriff. Except in a few small-population counties the sheriff’s authority is only to issue a license to carry concealed, not a license to carry openly. Under these circumstances all law abiding, responsible adult applicants have a constitutional right to be issued a CCW license.


Clint Eastwood has new movie in December with a Defensive Gun Use

A clip of Eastwood's new movie can be seen by clicking here.


The Campaign and the Gun Control Issue

While Simon is a strong Obama supporter, he might be right a question that I have wondered about. In any case, it is something that I hope the voters understand themselves.

On guns, McCain misses the mark
By Roger Simon
Chief Political Columnist
October 29, 2008

Guns are a potent force in American politics ... But has McCain really exploited this? ... considering that the McCain/Palin ticket is now battling for its life in small town and rural America, you would think the McCain campaign would be out there talking about guns every day.

From the Washington Times.

Gun owners fret Obama White House
Voting bloc has 'deep-seated' concerns
By Jennifer Harper
The Washington Times
October 30, 2008
Quoting Richard Pearson
Executive director
Illinois State Rifle Association
"If the economy is down, and gun sales are up, it shows you just how deep-seated the concern is out there about the situation. Most gun owners at least until recently have been misled by Senator Obama. Though he claims to be an advocate for the Second Amendment, his voting record in the Illinois Senate says otherwise. He voted for a bill that would ban nearly every hunting rifle, shotgun and target rifle owned by Illinois citizens ... His campaign has done a good job burying his take on firearms."

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So why wasn't the boy's father so embarrassed that he couldn't show up at the neighbor's dorr

I wish that I had a degree in electrical engineering. It would be nice to know who is taking my yard signs.

Shawn Turschak of Chapel Hill was tired of someone stealing McCain-Palin campaign signs from his yard.

So the man with a degree in electrical engineering hooked up a third sign to a power source for an electric pet fence Monday. Turschak also put up a surveillance camera.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Tuesday, a 9-year-old boy with an Obama-Biden sign grabbed the McCain-Palin sign and got a jolt.

The boy's father, Andrew Noble, then showed up at the Turschak's door, upset his son had been shocked. Soon an Orange County sheriff's deputy also showed up at the Turschak's home.

Noble says his son just wanted to see how the sign was put together. Turschak says the boy intended to swap out the signs.

Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass said he doesn't plan to file charges.

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Right before the election the Dems are now saying that only those under $150,000 will get tax cut

From the NY Post:

"Senator Obama has made a lot of promises. First, he said people making less than $250,000 would benefit from his plan.

"Then, this weekend, he announced in an ad that if you're a family making less than $200,000 you'll benefit - but yesterday right here in Pennsylvania, Senator Biden said tax relief should only go to 'middle-class people' - people making under $150,000 a year.

"At this rate, it won't be long before Senator Obama is right back to his vote that Americans making just $42,000 a year should get a tax increase."

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Gun sales on the rise in Florida


Untracable donations to Obama's campaign

This is pretty outrageous:

Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed.

Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited. . . . .

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New Op-ed up at Fox News: Is Obama a socialist?

My newest op-ed starts off like this:

Is Barack Obama a socialist? A Marxist? It is hard to believe that question could even be seriously asked of a major party political candidate.

Nevertheless, there have been a few times that voters have gotten a glimpse of Obama in unguarded moments. Glimmers that remind one me of the leftwing academic who I had run into a number of times while we were both at the University of Chicago Law School. . . .

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Limited posts over the next few days

I will be in New York City for two debates. Intelligence squared is putting a debate on Tuesday night at Rockefeller University. On Wednesday at 4 PM, I will be doing a debate for the Federalist Society at NYU Law School.


Lorne Gunter: "Gun bans don't prevent murder"

Lorne Gunter has this piece in today's National Post:

There is no one more persistent than a liberal with a bad idea. He knows his intellectual and moral superiority make him infallible, so he easily convinces himself there is nothing wrong with his idea; it is the world that is mistaken Even the facts cannot be the facts when they disagree with his idea. So he forges ahead against all reason, attempting to remake the world until it accepts he was correct all along.

Which brings me to the subject of gun bans. As useless as bans have proven, liberal politicians will raise the subject over and over. Thankfully new, unconnected reports from Statistics Canada and Chicago once again point out the futility of banning guns as a way of lowering crime.

This week, Chicago took over as murder capital of the United States. There are several cities that have higher murder rates per 100,000 population, but no city with more total murders.

Even with a population of just over 3 million, Chicagoans can expect more murders -- 500 -- in their city, than in New York (400 murders and 5 million population) or Los Angeles (300 murders and 3.8 million people).

Chicago is also the gun-confiscation and voluntary hand-in capital of the U. S. Over the past decade, Chicago police have confiscated or had surrendered to them an average of 10,800 guns per year. Chicago has also had a complete ban on handgun sales and possession since 1982.

How come there are so many handgun murders and so many confiscations in the Windy City if handguns are banned? . . .


Is Obama a socialist?



A very funny TV segment from Boston Legal on self defense

You can listen to the piece by clicking here.

Thanks to Steve Ruden for sending this to me.

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Why did Ohio public officials start pulling various records for "Joe the Plumber" after the 3rd presidential debate?

ABC NEWS has this story:

The Columbus Dispatch reports that "state and local officials are investigating if state and law-enforcement computer systems were illegally accessed when they were tapped for personal information about 'Joe the Plumber,'" the nickname of Joe Wurzelbacher.

"Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on Wurzelbacher's driver's license or his sport-utility vehicle was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times shortly after the debate. Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department. It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver's license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business." . . .

"In light of all of the allegations that are going on all over the country of voter fraud," Giuliani said, "to have this revelation also it seems to me to be something that is of really great concern to all of us."

"All Joe the Plumber did is ask a question," Giuliani said, giggling. "That should not open American citizens to having -- if this happened -- their private records probed because of some sort of political retribution. And if this is the way an Obama administration is going to conduct itself, the American people should know this before the fact."

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Biden gets a fairly tough interview from a TV station in Florida

There are so many incorrect statements made my Biden in this interview it is hard to even no where to start.

"There is no relationship" between Obama and ACORN.

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