ABC News has amazingly bad piece on Multiple victim public shootings

The piece on 20/20 last night was really amazingly biased. The main point was to show that having a gun in a multiple victim public shooting would provide no benefit. One student in a class was given a gun. Most viewers probably wouldn't notice that the one student with a gun was seated in the same seat in each experiment so that the attacker (a firearms expert who taught the use of firearms to police) knew which person in the class was the threat to him. If you watch carefully, you will see that the attacker shoots the instructor and then instantly turns the gun on the student with a gun. Possibly there are two seconds between when the first shot is fired and the gun is turned on the armed student. Giving a trained firearms expert the drop on either complete or moderately trained individuals is not a fair test. The attacker (firearms expert) knew who was the student in the classroom that was armed. This defeats the entire purpose of concealed handguns. If you have 50 people in a room and the attacker doesn't know which student might be able to defend himself, that is a big advantage. In the rushing around and confusion, the student with a gun who is unknown to the attacker has an advantage, but that advantage is turned into a disadvantage in this experiment. They might have well have dressed the one student in a police uniform.

The show also tries to tie the Virginia Tech tragedy to closing the gun show loophole even though the killer there didn't get his guns from a gun show. The show even asks "what has been fixed" since the attack and uses a man, Omar Samaha, to buy guns who lost his sister in the attack. Here is something that I have written before on gun shows. (As a side note, New York Mayor Bloomberg will be joining Omar Samaha this week in Virginia to push for the gun show regulations. A copy of the ad is here.)

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Fox News: Obama’s Education Policy Gets an ‘F’

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:

Teacher unions are ecstatic. It is only April and President Obama has already delivered most of their many wishes.

The “stimulus” package gave teachers large salary increases. And over the pleading of D.C.’s mayor and residents, Obama will phase out the voucher system for poor D.C. residents. Now public school teachers and administrators in the District of Columbia do not need to worry about trying to improve, as the competition was wiped out by the stroke of a pen.

Poor D.C. parents no longer have a chance to send their children to private schools such as the ones the Obamas send their own children to.

And it is a protectionism that has a real cost. A new U.S. Department of Education study released last Friday confirms what the parents and children in the program knew: children who had received vouchers since the spring of 2004 had learned the equivalent of 1.5 to 2 years more learning than those students who had stayed in public schools.

Furthermore, Obama’s budget blueprints passed by the House and Senate last week will increase the demand for unionized teachers by expanding the trend for more public schooling that was already in the “stimulus” package — with adding on pre-kindergarten classes as well as lengthening both the school day and the school year. . . . .

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The share of suicides with guns in DC before and after the handgun ban

Note that the ban went into effect in the beginning of 1977.

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Higher Prices, Lower Sales: It works even for music

If you understand that demand curves slope downward, you will understand all of economics that it is worthwhile to understand. Apple iTunes Music Store had to raise the price of some individual tracks as part of an agreement with the music industry. Guess what? The songs that increased in price, songs that tend to be the most popular, saw their rankings on iTunes fall. Billboard has the story here:

Two days after the Apple iTunes Music Store raised prices on some individual tracks, there was evidence the increases have hurt the sales rankings of songs given the higher $1.29 price.

While it is difficult to say with certainty whether a price increase had resulted in less revenue, rough estimates reveal slight, negative changes in chart position would result in a positive change in revenue. The changes in chart position between Tuesday and Thursday, however, clearly show that higher prices had forced many songs to cede chart position to lower-priced songs.

On Wednesday, one day after the price increase, the iTunes Top 100 chart had 40 songs priced at $1.29 and 60 with the original $0.99 price point. The $1.29 songs lost an average of 5.3 places on the chart while the $0.99 songs gained an average of 2.5 chart positions.

Seven of Wednesday’s $1.29 songs had been priced at $0.99 on Tuesday (there were 33 songs priced at $1.29 on Tuesday morning). Those seven songs lost an average of 1.9 chart positions from Tuesday to Wednesday; one of them gained ground, eight lost position and one remained the same. The remaining 33 songs priced at $1.29, whose prices went unchanged from Tuesday to Wednesday, lost an average of 7.7 chart positions.

A similar trend was seen the following day. The 53 songs priced at $0.99 rose an average of 1.66 places on the chart; 24 rose on the chart, 18 dropped and 11 remained even. The 47 songs priced at $1.29 lost an average of two chart positions; 11 rose on the chart, 27 dropped and nine remained even. Ten of the $1.29 tracks were priced at $0.99 the day prior and they lost an average of 12.4 chart positions. A number of the tracks with a Tuesday-to-Wednesday price increase that gave up chart position were from Rascal Flatt’s Unstoppable (and one track from Unstoppable dropped off the Top 100 altogether). . . .



"The Obama White House spews climate hysteria"

The Washington Times has this editorial. I think that it has a lot of interesting information.

Not even the sky is the limit to crackpot environmental theories these days. On Wednesday, presidential science adviser John P. Holdren told the Associated Press that it might be necessary to blow pollution into the atmosphere to shield the sun's rays and stave off global warming. His hyperbole is even scarier than his science. According to Mr. Holdren, the planet is in so much trouble that it is like a "car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog." Not only is the world at a "tipping point," but we also face "really intolerable consequences" if drastic action isn't taken immediately.

The hysterics could be humorous if so much were not at stake. Mr. Holdren's humble recommendation is to try to engineer the world's climate. One idea is to manufacture a giant artificial volcano big enough to envelope the world with its ash cloud. Behind all this weird science are government plans that will cost billions of dollars. Already, President Obama has proposed a radical cap to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 80 percent, which White House staffers have estimated could cost the economy as much as $2 trillion over the next eight years alone.

Mr. Holdren is a habitual harbinger of doom, . . . .

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Pelosi tells ABC's Good Morning America: "We want registration"

Dave Workman has the story here:

Roberts: Under the Bush administration, you pretty much said the ball was in their court when it came to reinstating the ban. Now, it's a Democratic President, a Democratic House. So, is the ball in your court where this is concerned?
Pelosi: Yes, it is. And we are just going to have to work together to come to some resolution because the court, in the meantime, in recent months, the Supreme Court has ruled in a very- in a direction that gives more opportunity for people to have guns. We never denied that right. We don't want to take their guns away. We want them registered. We don’t want them crossing state lines...

See also this from the Washington Times:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, announced last week that she wants to register guns. Her next move will be to try to confiscate them.

The speaker picked a television show with a viewership of 4.6 million to float the Democrats' coming gun-control push. Questioned on ABC's "Good Morning America" about the prospect of new gun-control laws now that "it's a Democratic president, a Democratic House," she responded, "We don't want to take their guns away. We want them registered."

Politicians and bureaucrats routinely claim that registration helps solve crimes. If a registered gun is used in a crime and left at the crime scene, registration supposedly lets the police trace the gun back to the criminal. Though this turn of events might work on fictional TV crime shows, it virtually never occurs in real life. Criminals' guns are rarely left at crime scenes. When guns are left behind, it usually is because a crook has been seriously injured or killed and the police are poised to catch him anyway. . . . .

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New Montana gun bill likely to be signed into law

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle has this:

• Allows anyone who feels physically threatened to use deadly force, rather than flee or call the police, providing that the person is where he is legally.

• Allows most people to openly carry a firearm and brandish it if they are threatened with bodily harm. This section of the bill states specifically that it does not affect the ability of the Board of Regents to regulate weapons on Montana campuses.

• Allows people to shoot home intruders if they “reasonably” believe it is necessary to prevent being harmed, or to prevent a felony from being committed.

• Prohibits law enforcement from destroying firearms.

• Prohibits landlords and hotels from preventing their tenants or guests from having a gun.

• Stipulates that if a person claims self defense in a criminal trial, the state has the burden to prove otherwise. . . . .


Gallup says that support for gun control is the lowest in 50 years

Gallup has this.

PRINCETON, N.J., April 8 (UPI) -- Gun-control law support in the United States is at an all-time low, a Gallup Poll survey taken before last week's massacre in Binghamton, N.Y., indicates.

Twenty-nine percent of Americans asked said they favored banning possession of handguns by private citizens, the smallest approval percentage since Gallup first asked the question nearly 50 years ago, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said Wednesday in releasing the results.

The latest results are from the latest installment of Gallup's annual crime survey, conducted in October. The pollster said it was unclear what, if any, impact last week's shooting spree in which 14 people, including the gunman, died could have on the gun-control issue.

The October survey found 49 percent of respondents said they want laws on firearms sales to be stricter than they are now. Eight percent said gun laws should be made less strict and 41 percent said laws should remain as they are now.

Since October, several high-profile shooting sprees have occurred, including the incident in Binghamton. On Christmas Eve in California, a man dressed as Santa Claus killed nine guests at a house party while in March, a gunman killed 10 people at an Alabama home, including several members of his family. . . . .

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CNN comes off the tracks on gun issue

Some how the notion that Obama wants restrictive gun laws is considered untrue by CNN (I suggest that they look here). In any case, CNN's rant against all things "right wing" can be seen here.


The problems with a one world currency

The Washington Times has this piece:

The Group of 20 gave a nod to the idea of a single world currency last week, and other countries such as China are pushing it because they no longer trust the United States to restrain itself from printing too much cash and debasing the dollar. While we share China's concerns about the danger of Washington over-printing money, there are numerous reasons to avoid a global currency. . . . .

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Scare Tactics on Climate Engineering

I think that all this is just to terrify people.

The president's new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth's air.

John Holdren told the Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed. One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays. Mr. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.

"It's got to be looked at," he said. "We don't have the luxury of taking any approach off the table."

Mr. Holdren outlined several "tipping points" involving global warming that could be fast approaching. Once such milestones are reached, such as complete loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, it increases chances of "really intolerable consequences," he said.

Twice in a half-hour interview, Mr. Holdren compared global warming to being "in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog." . . . . .

It reminds me of the solutions proposed during the mid1970s when the fear of global cooling was all the rage.

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972. . . .

such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers

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So much for Obama's promise to eliminate earmarks

Congressmen don't to find requirement that they post their earmark requests much of a burden. Apparently, the earmark process isn't over.

Dozens of House members have buried their earmark requests on their official Web sites, technically complying with a new rule -- but just barely.

The half-hearted effort comes after members were required to post earmark requests online - with details about the recipient, amount and purpose.

The Hill newspaper reported that while some lawmakers are making a genuine effort to advertise their earmarks, dozens have not. The newspaper reported that many requests could only be found by scrolling through different categories and looking in hard-to-reach digital spaces.

Taxpayers for Common Sense has been tracking the Web sites and said 64 lawmakers had not established any accessible links to their earmarks more than 72 hours after the deadline. They noted that 31 members do not request earmarks.

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If short selling was incorrectly forcing down stock prices, someone could make a lot of money

If you knew that short selling was forcing down a stock price below its true value, what would you do? You would buy the stock and make some money. Here is my test: if those pushing the regulations are so smart, they should be making a lot of money. Anyway, this from the WSJ.

While it appears likely that the agency will adopt some restrictions after the 60-day comment period, the details remain uncertain, as the SEC still must winnow down a menu of ideas due to Republican concerns. There are three Democrats and two Republicans on the commission.

The proposals were largely welcomed by banks, which had been pleading with the SEC to rein in short selling. The American Bankers Association called Wednesday's move "balanced and reasoned" and predicted action will limit "downward stock spirals and restore investor confidence."

James Chanos, a short seller who runs a New York hedge fund, warned against "ill-conceived government intervention" in markets. "Proposals to inhibit short selling have the effect of limiting [a] vital market-based antidote to corporate fraud and speculative bubbles," he said.

The proposals are the first of SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro's tenure. During the meeting she didn't take a specific position on the proposal.

Financial institutions blame hedge funds and others for driving their stocks lower, particularly during bouts of market volatility such as the one last fall around the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The SEC already has taken action to restrict "naked" short selling, in which traders sell stock they haven't borrowed. Defenders said short selling helps investors hedge their bets and adds liquidity to the market.

In recent weeks lawmakers in Congress have pressured the SEC to restore the "uptick rule," which originated in the Depression and was eliminated in 2007. Under that rule, a short sale can only happen when the last sale price of a stock was higher than the previous price. It was meant to prevent a rush of short selling that drives a stock lower. . . . .


The impact of the bailout on The Masters golf tournament

Rush Limbaugh has this:

RUSH: Augusta National. The Masters is this week. I have lots of friends who go there. I have lots of friends who take tour groups of people there for the week and go out and watch the practice rounds and so forth. A lot of people in the Augusta area, Martinez, they go to vacation for a week and rent their homes. Their home rentals are down. People are afraid to take their jets into Augusta National 'cause they think the media and other spies are gonna be out there trying to find out who flew in during these times and was there a CEO on board. It's just absurd what is happening. You want stimulus. That's the kind of stimulus everybody needs, and that's the kind of stimulus that's being curtailed because of the people engage in that are being intimidated. Their taxes are slated to go up.

These aren't corporate jets being taken down to Augusta, but simply the media attacks on people with private jets.


First GM's CEO and Board of Directors are replaced with Obama followers, and now this might be happening for banks

This is a depressing story.

A congressional panel overseeing the U.S. financial rescue suggested that getting rid of top executives and liquidating problem banks may be a better way to solve the economic crisis.

The Congressional Oversight Panel, in a report released yesterday, also said the Treasury may be relying on too rosy an economic scenario to guide its $700 billion bailout, and declared that the success of the program after six months is “mixed.” Three of the group’s members disagreed with at least some of the findings.

“All successful efforts to address bank crises have involved the combination of moving aside failed management and getting control of the process of valuing bank balance sheets,” the panel, headed by Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren, said in its report.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has revamped the Troubled Asset Relief Program to focus on injecting capital into banks and removing up to $1 trillion in illiquid securities from their balance sheets via public-private investment partnerships. The government is also working to unfreeze credit markets through a Federal Reserve program that provides loans to investors in some asset-backed securities. . . . .

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Obama: The great divider

Interesting piece in today's Washington Times:

President Obama is becoming the most divisively partisan president in history. At this point, he has less bipartisan support than former President George W. Bush after the Florida recount or former president Bill Clinton, whose first months in office were marred by missteps over gays in the military and the 51-day Waco, Texas siege that killed 74.

After a little more than two months in office, Mr. Obama has created the widest partisan gap in America since pollsters started measuring this in the 1960s. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, 88 percent of Democrats approve of the job he's doing, but only 27 percent of Republicans give him a thumb's up. That means the partisan gap is 61 percentage points. A Rasmussen survey shows that those who strongly disapprove of Mr. Obama have almost doubled. Only 16 percent strongly disapproved of the president on Jan. 21, the day after his inauguration. By Sunday, that number had jumped to 30 percent.

Mr. Obama's partisan gap is particularly jarring when compared to Mr. Bush's bumpy start. With the contentious 2000 Florida recount fresh in Democrats' minds, the partisan gap in April 2001 was 51 percentage points. Amid that controversy, Mr. Bush was enjoying nine percentage points more support among Democrats than Mr. Obama is now getting among Republicans. Mr. Clinton was no darling to Republicans, but his partisan divide was 45 percentage points early in his first year. And before that, former President George H.W. Bush had a gap of only 38 percentage points at the same stage in his presidency. . . . .

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"Obama looks at climate engineering"

This reminds me of the suggestions during the 1970s that coal dust be spread over the polar ice caps to help cause them to melt. Of course, back then the concern was a new global ice age.

The president's new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth's air.

John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed. One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.

"It's got to be looked at," he said. "We don't have the luxury of taking any approach off the table."

Holdren outlined several "tipping points" involving global warming that could be fast approaching. Once such milestones are reached, such as complete loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, it increases chances of "really intolerable consequences," he said.

Twice in a half-hour interview, Holdren compared global warming to being "in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog."

At first, Holdren characterized the potential need to technologically tinker with the climate as just his personal view. However, he went on to say he has raised it in administration discussions. . . . . .

Among the solutions proposed during the mid1970s when the fear of global cooling was all the rage are these.

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972. . . .

such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers

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Test case for Castle Doctrine Law in Kentucky

My own guess that this are one of those cases where the prosecutors say that the person being attacked should have done more before using a gun. The Castle Doctrine law was supposed to be set up precisely to deal with these cases, and that is why this case should help educate some of these prosecutors.

ELIZABETHTOWN – Putting a 2006 law that attorneys say lacks precedence and guidance to the test didn’t take long in the prosecution of a married mother of four who is charged with killing her estranged boyfriend at her home last year.
During Tuesday’s arraignment of Angie Ricketts, the 32-year-old former girlfriend of Eric West, whom she is accused of shooting Sept. 29 at her Howevalley home, defense attorneys said Ricketts defended herself by firing two pistol rounds to West’s face and chest during what they say was an assault against her.
It took six months before a grand jury reviewed the case Kentucky State Police detective Matt Johnson compiled against Ricketts.
A grand jury last month returned an indictment on a murder charge against her and Ricketts was jailed for the first time since West’s death.
Prosecutors say they’re confident Ricketts committed murder, but defense attorneys speak of equal confidence that she did not.
“There was a crime committed,” attorney Shane Young said to Hardin Circuit Court Judge Ken Howard during the arraignment. “But the crime was against her. There were visible injuries … You have a right to defend yourself.”
Lead investigator Johnson said a single small bruise was found on Ricketts’ arm the night of West’s killing. He said that bruise was not inflicted by West.
In defending Ricketts’ firing the weapon and in support of his request for an unsecured bond for his client, Young referenced the relatively new state law adopted in 2006 since dubbed the “shoot first law.” The law allows use of deadly force when threatened by a burglar or assailant.
Tuesday’s mention of the law was of no surprise to those trying to punish Ricketts.
The same day Ricketts killed West, Kentucky State Police Post 4 spokesman Steve Pavey alluded to the “shoot first” law when explaining to reporters why no arrests were made.
“With the new law that went into effect a couple years ago, we have to prove this was anything other than justified,” Pavey said. “The burden of proof is on the state.” . . . .

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"Out-of-wedlock births hit record high"

The rates of out-of-wedlock births is buried in the piece. I don't understand why the rates aren't the center piece are not the focus rather than simple raw totals (after all, the total US population is growing over time), but this piece is still noteworthy.

What she said about cultural differences and expectations might help explain some of the numbers. Other data released last month showed the percentage of unwed mothers differs from race to race. While 28 percent of white women gave birth out of wedlock in 2007, nearly 72 percent of black women and more than 51 percent of Latinas did. . . .


Camille Paglia unloads on Obama

Remember that Camille Paglia supports Obama so this is friendly advice, but this still fairly biting.

But we all know how little executive experience Barack Obama has had. He was elected for his vision and his steady, deliberative character, not his résumé. For better or worse, Obama is learning as he goes -- and surely most fair-minded people would grant him reasonable leeway as he grows into the presidency, one of the hardest jobs in the world.

At a certain point, however, Obama will face an inescapable administrative crux. Arriving at the White House, he understandably stayed in his comfort zone by bringing old friends and allies with him -- a team that had had a fabulous success in devising the hard-as-nails strategy that toppled the Clintons, like crumbling colossi, into yesterday's news. But these comrades may not have the practical skills or broad perspective to help Obama govern. Like Shakespeare's Prince Hal ascending the throne, Obama may have to steel his heart and banish Falstaff and the whole frat-house crew.

Obama's staffing problems are blatant -- from that bleating boy of a treasury secretary to what appears to be a total vacuum where a chief of protocol should be. There has been one needless gaffe after another -- from the president's tacky appearance on a late-night comedy show to the kitsch gifts given to the British prime minister, followed by the sweater-clad first lady's over-familiarity with the queen and culminating in the jaw-dropping spectacle of a president of the United States bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia. Why was protest about the latter indignity confined to conservatives? The silence of the major media was a disgrace. But I attribute that embarrassing incident not to Obama's sinister or naive appeasement of the Muslim world but to a simple if costly breakdown in basic command of protocol. . . . .


Donations to Ed Rendell raise some real questions

The WSJ has this discussion here.

Rather, what's at issue is the fact that the civil action against Janssen is being prosecuted on behalf of the state by Bailey, Perrin & Bailey, a Houston law firm. And it turns out that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's Office of General Counsel was negotiating this potentially lucrative no-bid contingency fee contract with Bailey Perrin at the same time that the firm's founding partner, F. Kenneth Bailey, was making repeated campaign contributions totaling more than $90,000 to the Democratic Governor's 2006 re-election bid.

Janssen's motion seeks to invalidate the contingency-fee arrangement and lays out a detailed timeline of Mr. Bailey's political contributions and the subsequent actions of the Governor's office. Here it is in part:

- On February 23, 2006, Mr. Bailey contributed airplane travel valued at $9,200 to Governor Rendell's re-election campaign.

- On March 3, 2006, Mr. Bailey contributed $50,000 to the Rendell campaign.

- On May 12, 2006, Mr. Rendell's office submitted a "request of delegation" to the state Attorney General, a Republican, that would allow the Governor's office to handle the case against Janssen.

- On May 24, 2006, the request was granted.

- On June 30, 2006, Mr. Bailey contributed $25,000 to the Democratic Governors Association (which gave Mr. Rendell more than $1 million for his campaign in 2006).

- On August 14, 2006, Mr. Bailey signed a no-bid contingency-fee contract with the state.

- On September 15, 2006, Mr. Bailey contributed airplane travel valued at $6,900 to Mr. Rendell's campaign.

- On October 23, 2006, the Governor's Office of General Counsel mailed the contingency fee contract to Mr. Bailey.

- On October 30, Mr. Bailey contributed another $25,000 to Mr. Rendell's campaign.

- On February 26, 2007, Bailey Perrin filed the initial complaint against Janssen on behalf of the state. . . . .

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Do these guys understand that there is a net loss from this behavior?

While a particular group of workers might be able to gain something from this destructive behavior, when a lot or all workers do this the overall gain to workers is more than offset by the increased inefficiency of running the firms. Reuters has this:

Almost half of French people believe it is acceptable for workers facing layoffs to lock up their bosses, according to an opinion poll published on Tuesday.

Staff at French plants run by Sony, 3M and Caterpillar have held managers inside the factories overnight, in three separate incidents, to demand better layoff terms -- a new form of labor action dubbed "bossnapping" by the media.

A poll by the CSA institute for Le Parisien newspaper found 50 percent of French people surveyed disapproved of such acts, but 45 percent thought they were acceptable.

"They are not in the majority ... but 45 percent is an enormous percentage and it demonstrates the extent of exasperation among the public at this time of economic crisis," Le Parisien said.

On March 31, billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault was trapped in a taxi in Paris for an hour by staff from his PPR luxury and retail group who were angry about layoffs. Riot police intervened to free him.

Le Parisien found that 56 percent of blue-collar workers polled approved of bossnappings while 41 percent disapproved. Among white-collar workers, 59 percent were against the practice while 40 percent thought it was acceptable. . . . .

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Conviction of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens set aside: So where does the Senator go to get his job back?

This is really an amazing prosecutorial abuse.

A federal judge set aside the conviction of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and appointed a special prosecutor to investigate possible criminal-contempt charges against federal prosecutors who the judge said repeatedly withheld evidence from defense attorneys.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said, "In 25 years on the bench I have never seen anything approach the mishandling and misconduct I have seen in this case."

He appoined Wahington lawyer Henry Schuelke to investigate six prosecutors who handled the case. . . . .

My previous post was here.


More unintended suffering of animals from the Animal Rights movement

The New York Times has this:

Emaciated horses eating bark off trees. Abandoned horses tied to telephone poles. Horses subsisting on feces, walking among carcasses.

As the economy continues to falter, law enforcement officers in Kentucky and throughout the country are seeing major increases in the number of unwanted and neglected horses, some abandoned on public land, others left to starve by their owners.

The situation has renewed the debate over whether reopening slaughterhouses in the United States — the last ones closed in 2007 — would help address the problem. Some states, Missouri, Montana and North and South Dakota, for example, are looking at ways to bring slaughterhouses back.

An estimated 100,000 horses a year are shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, prompting Congress to consider a bill that would ban the sale and transport of horses for human consumption outside the country. But Arkansas, Georgia and eight other states are against such a ban, saying owners need affordable options for unwanted horses. . . . . .

“No one has to send a horse to a processing plant,” he added. “It’s just an option for horses that are unusable. And it’s much more humane than leaving them there to starve to death.” . . . . .


Most absentee ballots from Republicans in NY 20 Special election

Politico has this update.

So far, at least 6,780 absentee ballots remain to be counted, according to the New York Board of Elections special election count. Of those, 3,107 are from registered Republicans, 2,383 are from registered Democrats and 973 are from unaffiliated voters. . . .

According to the New York Board of Elections site, Tedisco has emerged with a 97-vote lead over Murphy . . . . .



Military veteran with concealed carry permit expelled for carrying a gun on WOU campus, student did this on purpose to create a precedent

The story is here:

SALEM, OR -- Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) just learned that Jeff Maxwell, the Western Oregon University (WOU) Student who was illegally arrested and subsequently suspended from school for carrying a concealed weapon was just told that he cannot attend ANY Oregon University.

Michelle Sandlin, admissions director of Oregon State University, told Maxwell today that he would not be allowed to attend OSU, even though they admitted him recently- after he was suspended by WOU.

Maxwell has a concealed handgun permit, and is permitted to carry a handgun according to Oregon Law, and the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. Western Oregon University has since withdrawn their charge against Maxwell for carrying a handgun, but came up with a trumped charge about his carrying a knife and having an unloaded hunting rifle in his locked vehicle. All charges were dropped by the Sheriff’s office as inappropriate, but WOU officials stand by their ruling and punishment of Maxwell.

Jess Barton, the Salem attorney retained by OWVA to represent Maxwell, who is a veteran Marine and member of the association, told OWVA’s executive director, Greg Warnock, that, “Oregon law affords Jeff Maxwell a full and fair opportunity to establish that WOU wrongfully suspended him based on his mere possession of items that ordinary and constitutional law deem lawful....” Barton, a seasoned appellate attorney is confident in winning the case for Maxwell. . . . .

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Montana Legislation Could Put State's Rights Before Court

Here is the story:

HELENA – Montana-made guns may form the basis for a court showdown over states' rights if the governor signs a bill to release some firearms in the state from federal regulation.

The proposed law aims to exempt firearms, weapons components and ammunition made in Montana and kept in Montana from federal gun laws. Since the state has few gun laws of its own, the legislation would allow some gunowners and sellers in the state to skirt registration, licensing requirements and background checks entirely.

"We'd like to just be able to make our own guns here in Montana and have the feds stay out of it," said Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, which helped draft the bill.

The real target, though, is the U.S. Supreme Court. And Marbut and others believe they can hit that mark with a simple Montana-made youth-model single-shot bolt-action .22 rifle. . . . .

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Obama 20 percent more polarizing that Bush, 36 more polarizing than Clinton

The Pew Center has this new poll:

For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama's job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president -- 88% job approval among Democrats -- and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%).

By comparison, there was a somewhat smaller 51-point partisan gap in views of George W. Bush's job performance in April 2001, a few months into his first term. At that time, Republican enthusiasm for Bush was comparable to how Democrats feel about Obama today, but there was substantially less criticism from members of the opposition party. Among Democrats, 36% approved of Bush's job performance in April 2001; that compares with a 27% job approval rating for Obama among Republicans today. . . . .

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