Gallup Poll Shows "Record-Low Support for Stricter Gun Laws"

Gallup notes:

"Compared with views in 2000, each major demographic or attitudinal subgroup has shown a shift toward a more pro-gun stance on the question about whether gun laws should be more strict or less strict."

There survey indicates that gun ownership rose slightly in late 2007 (when it reached a peak of 44 percent) and then has fallen slightly to 42 percent in 2009. The percent of households that own a gun has been at about 30 percent since the end of 2005.

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Zero tolerance: two-inch pocket knife in car may derail Eagle Scout's Life

How nutsy can these rules be? This incident occurred in Albany, NY.

High school senior Matthew Whalen is the kind of student any parent would want.

He's an Eagle Scout, on the honor roll, taking Advanced Placement classes, and never been in trouble with the law. He's received commendations from the City of Troy and the Boy Scouts of America for saving a woman's life, and this past summer, he completed Army basic training. All of it was accomplished before the age of 17.

"I'm just trying to do what I can while I can," Matthew says.

His goal is to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a dream since he was in grade school.

"I have a first-grade yearbook that says I want to be driving tanks in the Army," Matthew says. "I mean, this is something that I know I've always wanted to do."

But the dream could be in jeopardy, thanks to a two-inch pocket knife that officials at Lansingburgh Senior High School found in Matthew's locked car last month. The pocket knife was a gift from his grandfather, Robert Whalen, who's the Hoosick Falls Police Chief. Matthew says he kept the knife in a side compartment and never tried showing it off or threatening anyone with it. Instead it was a part of the survival kit that was his car.

"My car is designed in a way that if I ever broke down, I'd be OK," Whalen explains. "I have a sleeping bag. I have bottled water. I have an MRE. I believe it's better to be prepared and not need it than need it and not have it."

Matthew says school officials approached him on Sept. 21, asking if he had a weapon on him. When Matthew answered he did not, he says the officials asked if he had a knife in his car. Matthew said it was a pocket knife, and took officials to his car when asked. He also turned over the pocket knife when asked. . . .

Cub Scout suspended for bringing an eating utensil to school. The poor boy faces 45 days in reform school. The video from Fox News is here.

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Global Warming Advocates are Having to Explaining Why Temperatures Haven't Go Up For a Decade

From the BBC:

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.
But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.
And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise. . . .

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If one only lived in Nevada -- not all states are equal when it comes to the health care bill

Kimberly Strassel has this in the WSJ:

A central feature of the Baucus bill is the vast expansion of state Medicaid programs. This is necessary, we are told, to cover more of the nation's uninsured. The provision has angered governors, since the federal government will cover only part of the expansion and stick fiscally strapped states with an additional $37 billion in costs. The "states, with our financial challenges right now, are not in a position to accept additional Medicaid responsibilities," griped Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

Poor Mr. Strickland. If only he lived in . . . Nevada! Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is worried about losing his seat next year, worked out a deal by which the federal government will pay all of his home state's additional Medicaid expenses for the next five years. Under the majority leader's very special formula, only three other states—Oregon, Rhode Island and Michigan—qualify for this perk, on the grounds, as Mr. Reid put it recently on the Senate floor, that they "are suffering more than most." . . .

Note that with the exception of Nevada where Reid is a Senator all the other three states are states where both the Senators are Democrats.

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The Pill Makes Women More Attracted to Less Rugged Men

From the New York Daily News:

It gave women control over their own sex life, their fertility, their everything, it seems.

But now the Pill, the modern miracle of the 1960s, is being blamed in part on women's changing taste in men.

London's dailymail.co.uk reports that scientists have discovered in a new study how the hormones in the oral contraceptive suppress a woman's interest in masculine men and make boyish men more attractive.

The change may only occur for a handful of days each month but, given that the pill has been around for 40 years, it has more than likely been highly influential.

Consider the shift in tastes from rugged, manly stars of the 1950s and 1960s such as a young Sean Connery, Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen to the heartthrobs of recent years. The 1990s brought you good-looking men with great, well proportioned facial features such stars such as Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt.

Now, pretty boys such as Zac Efron and Chace Crawford are the sex symbols du jour. . . .

It is not new that scientists have known that a woman's taste in men changes over her menstrual cycle.

During the few days each month when women are fertile - the time of ovulation - they tend to prefer masculine features and men who are more assertive.

But research has shown that on days when women are not fertile, their tastes swing towards more feminine, boyish faces and more caring personalities.

If women are taking the Pill, however, they no longer have fertile days, which means they do not experience the hormonal changes that make them more attracted to masculine men. . . .

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Some reaction to Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize

From the London Times:

Gasps echoed through the Nobel Hall in Oslo yesterday as Barack Obama was unveiled as the winner of the 2009 Peace Prize, sparking a global outpouring of incredulity and praise in unequal measure. . . .

In a clear swipe at his predecessor, George W. Bush, the committee praised the “change in the international climate” that the President had brought, along with his cherished goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. . . .

The Nobel Peace Prize is a notoriously difficult award to predict, but yesterday's decision was clearly a political choice, with three of the past six peace awards going to Bush adversaries. . . .

George Stephanopoulos said it all when he reported.

"I spoke to two key White House aides who got the word earlier this morning. Both thought that they were being punked."

It is pretty funny when two top WH aides don't even initially take the claim that Obama just one the prize seriously.

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In August there were 2.4 million job openings and 4.27 million people who quit, retired or were laid off

The labor market is getting worse, not better.

The number of job openings declined in August, the latest sign that while the economy may be recovering, it isn't rebounding fast enough to get sidelined employees back to work.

There were 2.4 million job openings in August, down from 2.41 million in July and the lowest level since the Labor Department started tracking the data in December 2000. In August 2008, there were 4.65 million job openings.

Job separations outpaced new hires in August. The report showed that roughly 4.27 million people quit, retired or were laid off in August. . . .

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Thom Hartmann debates economist John Lott

Thom is a host on Air America so we have spirited, though civil, discussions.

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"LOTT'S NUMBERS: Comparing American Health Care to Other Countries"

The newest piece starts off this way.

We spend one-and-a-half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren't any healthier for it.

-- President Obama in his address to a joint session of Congress on health care on September 9, 2009.

If you were seriously ill, what country would you want to be in? That seems like the simple question for comparing health care in different countries. But the numbers being offered by the administration aren't any more useful in answering that question than they were about comparing the cost of health care across countries. . . .

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US Bishops opposing Democrats Health Care Reform

For a discussion on their opposition see this.

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Kevin Jennings "Links" Him To NAMBLA

Here is a detailed discussion of Harry Hay, who was a leader in the NAMBLA movement.

From the Washington Times on Sunday:

On Oct. 25, 1997, at a conference for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Mr. Jennings stated, "One of the people that's always inspired me is Harry Hay." The late Hay was a "gay-rights" activist most notorious for supporting the North American Man Boy Love Association. In 1983, speaking in support of NAMBLA, Hay claimed: "[I]f the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what 13-, 14-, and 15-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world." . . .

Hannity and Stephanopoulos debate Jennings here.

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Kevin Jennings raised in White House Press Briefing

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
October 5, 2009

Q: Robert, The Washington Times editorial headline, "Obama's lewd schools czar." Your response?

MR. GIBBS: I think -- I don't have anything on that right now.

Q: Is the President unconcerned about Kevin Jennings' salute of Harry Hay, who publicly praised NAMBLA?

MR. GIBBS: I'm happy to talk to you about this. I don't have anything on this right now.


Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
October 1, 2009

Q: On a different subject, the right went after Van Jones for statements that he had made in the past. He lost a job. This guy Yosi Sergant at the National Endowment of the Arts was their next target. He lost his job. Now conservatives are going after Kevin Jennings at the Department of Education for what they say is, I don't know, facilitating -- I can't tell what it was -- but anyway, something bad. (Laughter.) It was facilitating statutory rape. And I'm wondering, first of all, if you guys -- are you aware of this latest campaign? Do you have anything substantive to say about what they are saying about this guy, Kevin Jennings, and when does -- what do you think of this hop-scotching from appointment -- Obama appointment to Obama appointment?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I think the Department of Education had a statement on this. I would point you to that. I think there are many good people from every political persuasion that seek to serve their country and serve in government. I think it's a sacrifice, but one that people do voluntarily because they love their country.

I think it's a shame to watch what they do -- I think it's a shame -- I hope that as people watch, they'll match up some of the actual truth to what is being said on some of these occasions and start to provide a little reality check to some of what's going on.

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Are Americans Bigger Risk Takers?


Comparing the US to Europe in Five-year Cancer Survivor Rates

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Do countries that are rated as having better health care systems by the World Health Organization do better with curing cancer?: No

Please click on figure to make it larger.


Illinois Supreme Court says that it is legal in Illinois to have an unloaded gun in the center console of a car

The Illinois Supreme Court decision can be read here.


Kevin Jennings' inconsistencies pile up

Obama's elusive 'safe schools czar': Kevin Jennings' inconsistencies pile up

Kevin Jennings hasn't come clean. There are still many unanswered questions about how he handled a high-school sophomore who he said confessed to a homosexual relationship with an older man.

On Friday, Brewster came forward and gave a statement to Media Matters, a group with clear partisan ties to Democrats, in which the former student corrected Mr. Jennings' statement of his age and denied any sexual relationship. That, CNN and the Obama administration claim, is the end of the controversy.


The new information creates as many questions as it answers. . . .

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Germany's unemployment rate is lower than US's and falling

For decades Germany had a higher unemployment rate than the US. Well, not any more.

German unemployment fell in September, official data showed on Wednesday, but without signalling a general improvement for the biggest European economy, experts said.
The raw unemployment rate, the headline figure in Germany, fell to 8.0 percent, the Federal Labour Agency reported, and the seasonally-adjusted rate dipped for the the third month running to 8.2 percent.


Pelosi's funny response to Harry Reid putting his arm around her shoulder


Copy of Baucus Health Care Bill

A copy of the Baucus mark up can be seen here. The CBO's estimate on costs is here.

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Kevin Jennings on school indoctrinating kids to be heterosexuals

Kevin Jennings: "We all know what is really promoted in our schools: heterosexuality . . . . Kids are abusively, aggressively recruited to be heterosexuals in this country."

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Hypocrisy has often been claimed to be the worse crime, that is the reason that conservative politicians who do immoral things are treated worse

So what about David Letterman? A list of politicians Letterman has attacked for sexual missteps includes:

Gov. Eliot Spitzer
Sen. David Vitter
Sen. Gary Hart
Gov. Mark Sanford
former presidential candidate and Senator John Edwards
Congressman Mark Foley

From Fox News:

Turns out David Letterman doesn't just live on a TV show. He also lives in a glass house, where for years he's hurled comedy zingers at misbehaving politicians, even as he brashly engaged in hanky-panky of his own.

In March 2008, Letterman was taking potshots at Eliot Spitzer, then governor of New York, who was embroiled in an investigation into a high-end prostitution ring.

"It's so sunny and bright outside that, earlier today, Eliot Spitzer came out of a brothel squinting," Letterman cracked in a monologue.

But in Spitzer's case, he didn't stop at lampooning. During an indignant rant, he called for the scandalized governor to step down.

"I mean, can you imagine," said Letterman, "if this happened to me how fast they'd have my ... (backside) out of here?"

Unlike Spitzer, who resigned, Letterman seems secure in his job as host of CBS' "Late Show," nearly a week after his bombshell revelations of having had sex with women on his staff (a disclosure prompted by an alleged $2 million blackmail threat against him).

But in light of his acknowledging past "creepy" behavior, it's kind of creepy to revisit a joke such as this one from a March 2008 show: "Let me ask you a question. Do you think it's too soon to be hitting on Mrs. Eliot Spitzer?" . . .

UPDATE: Here is an interesting discussion on Letterman from the UK Daily Mail.

Oooh, I enjoyed seeing David Letterman squirm as he confessed, on air, to having had sex with young women on the staff of his late-night chat show. This is the man, remember, who made a career out of lambasting Bill Clinton.
Two memorable examples spring to mind: ‘Now we hear that Monica has sued the President for $1,000,002.50. That’s one million for pain and suffering and $2.50 for dry cleaning.’
And: ‘I really have to hand it to the White House. Around here we can’t even get the interns to work the copy machine.’
Letterman’s confession was prompted by an extortion attempt, and although he admitted his actions had been ‘creepy’, his whole stance smacked of victim-hood. Had he really done anything wrong?
The four young women, one of whom would become his wife, were, after all, willing participants in the affairs. . . . Two of these women were in their 20s. . . .
Stephanie Birkitt, his former lover and assistant, had described herself as Letterman’s best friend. . . . ‘[Birkitt] was not punished but rewarded with a recurring on-air starring role, despite the fact that she wasn’t funny or charming.’ Miaow! . . .
And what about the other women who were passed over for ‘on-air starring roles’ because they refused his advances, or weren’t considered young and pliable and attractive enough? . . .

Apparently, Letterman was more recently than thought still having an affair with one of his staffers. The person who tried to blackmail Letterman was supposedly upset because his girl friend was still in love with Letterman. It isn't obvious from this how recently Letterman was still seeing this woman.


"Many" Congressmen Do What Rangel Does on Disclosure Forms

The TPM has this:

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said on Morning Joe today that she doesn't think Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) should step down as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee because of an ongoing ethics committee investigation for alleged offenses including not reporting income on tax and financial disclosure forms and renting apartments at below-market value (Here's TPMmuckraker's most recent rundown of the allegations.) Waters also suggested that Rangel may not be alone in the House in failing to properly fill out disclosure forms. . . . .

"I wanna tell you, there are many members who if you go back over all of their records over the years, you're going to find that there are disclosures that were not made."

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Democrats providing government money to illegals

Nonunion workers being forced to contribute to a union pension fund

From the Washington Times:

Delivering on President Obama's promise to boost the labor movement, the administration has announced a $35 million federal construction project in New Hampshire that requires union representation for the workers and forces nonunion employees to pay dues and contribute to a union pension fund.

Mr. Obama issued an executive order in the first weeks of his presidency that would make the requirement, known as a "project labor agreement" or PLA, the norm for all government contracts on large-scale construction jobs. The order is under review and a final rule is not expected for months, but that did not stop the Labor Department from rushing to use a PLA to build its new Job Corps Center in Manchester, N.H. . . .

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Timing for Chicago Gun Case before Supreme Court

David Hardy has this time line for the case.

Alan Gura has 45 days to brief, taking it to mid-November, then Chicago has 30, taking it to mid-Dec., then Alan gets a reply, taking it into January. Amici file 5-7 days after the party they support. Oral argument probably February or March.

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Even the Los Angeles Times says that the 2nd Amendment should be incorporated under the 14th Amendment to apply to the states

The application of the Bill of Rights should be done through a different clause than the due process clause. It should be done through: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." That said, it is great to see that the LA Times is arguing that the 2nd Amendment should be treated like the rest of the Bill of Rights.

In the Chicago case, the justices are considering whether the 2nd Amendment should be applied to the states by either the 14th Amendment's due process clause (which applies to "persons") or its privileges and immunities clause (which protects only citizens). The court should say yes, even as it reaffirms its assurance in its 2008 decision that government may still impose reasonable restrictions on the right to bear arms.

This is no time for the court to start picking and choosing when it comes to the Bill of Rights.

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"The Life of a Conservative Professor in Academia"

The American Thinker has a conservative professor's interesting piece on his experience for 40 years at the University of Maryland (his school isn't mentioned in the piece, but people can find this out quickly by searching on the internet). I never met Ron at the university, but I can personally attest to the fact that he made some differences at the margin. Here is just a small part of his essay:

My epiphany came about 20 years ago at the inauguration of a new campus president. In his acceptance speech, he said many things that seemed bizarre to me, but the comment I recall most vividly was his insistence that he would create a world-class university by building "excellence through diversity." His point seemed to be that by substantially increasing the number of minority and female faculty, staff and students (and consequently decreasing the number of white males), this would of necessity make us a great university.

I always thought that the best way to build a great university was to attract the brightest, most innovative and productive faculty and students -- regardless of their hue -- but I realized at that moment, as the applause for his idea rained down, how out of step I was. . . .


Calorie Posting Laws at NYC restaurants don't alter what people eat

Calorie posting laws in NYC haven't been altering what people eat. This might not be a big cost for large chains per dollar of food that they serve, but what about fancy "Foodie" restaurants? No change in today's menu because the food hasn't been tested yet for its calorie count. If you only serve food once as an experiment and you are a small restaurant, how can it pay to send the food off for testing? It will surely reduce innovation in food.

A study of New York City’s pioneering law on posting calories in restaurant chains suggests that when it comes to deciding what to order, people’s stomachs are more powerful than their brains.

The study, by several professors at New York University and Yale, tracked customers at four fast-food chains – McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken – in poor neighborhoods of New York City where there are high rates of obesity.

It found that about half the customers noticed the calorie counts, which were prominently posted on menu boards. About 28 percent of those who noticed them said the information had influenced their ordering, and nine out of 10 of those said they had made healthier choices as a result.

But when the researchers checked receipts afterward, they found that people had, in fact, ordered slightly more calories than the typical customer had before the labeling law went into effect, in July 2008.

The findings, to be published Tuesday in the online version of the journal Health Affairs, come amid the spreading popularity of calorie-counting proposals as a way to improve public health across the country.

“I think it does show us that labels are not enough,” Brian Elbel, an assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine and the lead author of the study, said in an interview. . . . .

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Numerical oddities in polling

A little knowledge of statistics can lead to some pretty exaggerated claims. It is hardly surprising that Nate Silver is involved. In any case, these odds have to be adjusted for the number of pollsters. I don't know how many there are, but let me give you a trivial example. Suppose that there were 5,000 pollsters (obviously not true, but I just want a simple example), what are the odds that at least one pollster would have this disparity in the odds of the second digit coming up 8 versus 1. Assuming that each pollster is making an independent estimate (which isn't really close to being true), you would be certain to find one pollster with that pattern of digits. If 50 pollsters, there would be a one in 100 chance. You can see a couple of minor adjustments have changed the odds from 1 in 83 million to 1 and 100.

Nate Silver, a political-numbers analyst who blogs at www.fivethirtyeight.com, then dived in. After gathering thousands of numbers from published Strategic Vision polls, he tallied how often percentage results ended with particular digits. For example, if a Strategic Vision poll question during last year's presidential election showed Barack Obama leading John McCain by 48% to 41%, Mr. Silver recorded the second digit of each percentage, in this case 8 and 1. Similarly, if a question about a Senate contest showed one candidate leading another 57% to 36%, the digits 7 and 6 were recorded.

Mr. Silver says he found that 8 showed up as a second digit 57% more often than 1 in Strategic Vision polls, instead of a following a more natural random pattern. The odds of that kind of discrepancy happening by chance alone, Mr. Silver wrote, was "millions to one against," a figure he later refined to 83 million to 1 when comparing the results with those of another pollster, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which had a more uniform distribution of digits.

This week, Mr. Silver brought in a physicist and commenter on his blog to calculate the probability, which shrank to 5,000 to 1 against, when removing what he said was an unproven assumption that each digit should appear equally often. Several mathematicians said the shift in odds doesn't diminish Mr. Silver's finding that the Strategic Vision numbers were unlikely to arise by a quirk of fate. . . .


Police mistake homeowner for bad guy, shot him and then try to cover it up

I consistently defend the police, but this at least appears to be really horrible. The police apparently did not know that the 911 call from the homeowner was being recorded while they tried to cover up what had happened.

A homeowner says a Phoenix police officer shot him six times in the back during a 911 home-invasion call, and the 911 tape recorded the officer's partner saying, "That's all right. Don't worry about it. I got your back. ... We clear?" The family says the officers were not aware that the 911 call was still recording as they spoke about covering up the shooting.
In their complaint in Maricopa County Court, Anthony and Lesley Arambula say an armed intruder "crashed through the front window" of their home on Sept. 17, 2008 and ran into one of their son's bedrooms.
Anthony, worried about his son who was still in his bedroom, says he "held the intruder calmly at gunpoint" and called 911.
Phoenix Police officers already in the neighborhood heard the crash of the Arambulas' window. When they approached the house, Lesley says, she told Sgt. Sean Coutts that her husband was inside holding the intruder at gunpoint. Lesley says Coutts failed to pass on that information to the two other officers.
Inside the house, the Arambulas say, Officer Brian Lilly shot Anthony six times in the back while he was still on the phone with the 911 operator - twice when he was on the ground.
The officers ran into the bedroom after Anthony told them, "You just killed ... you just killed the homeowner. The bad guy is in there."
The complaint states that Officer Lilly "admitted that it was only after Tony was laying, bullet-ridden, on the ground that he assessed the situation. The 911 tape continued to record what happened even after Officer Lilly unloaded his weapon into Tony, including Officer Lilly's post-shooting, one-word 'assessment': 'Fuck.'
"Tony believed he was going to die; the 911 tape records his plaintive goodbye to his family: '... I love you ... I love you.' Then Tony made what he believed was a dying request to the officers; he did not want his young family to see him shot and bloodied. Officers callously ignored his request and painfully dragged Tony by his injured leg, through the home and out to his backyard patio, where they left him bloodied and shot right in front of Lesley, Matthew and Zachary."
The Arambulas say the officers later dragged Anthony onto gravel, then put him on top of the hot hood of a squad car, and "drove the squad car down the street with Tony lying on top, writhing in pain."
According to the complaint, Lilly can be heard on the 911 tape telling Coutts, "We fucked up."
Lilly says on the tape that he did not know where Anthony's gun was when he shot him and that he "opened fire because he heard loud noises and saw someone who looked like he might be the 'Hispanic' male they were pursuing" before getting to the Arambulas' house, according to the complaint.
The complaint states: "Sgt. Coutts knew that officers has just shot up and likely killed an innocent homeowner and the husband of Lesley, with whom he had spoken before entering the home, instead of the armed intruder. Sgt. Coutts was quick to commence the cover-up of their terrible mistake. Sgt. Coutts asked Office Lilly where Tony's gun was at the time Officer Lilly had opened fire on Tony. Officer Lilly admitted that he did not know where Tony's gun was: 'I don't know. I heard screaming and I fired.'"
Lilly later told a police internal affairs investigator that Anthony had pointed his gun in his direction, "in the 'ready' position," the complaint states. But Anthony Arambula says he was facing away from the officers, who could not have even seen his gun.
The complaint continues: "Still not knowing that he is being recorded n the 911 tape, Sgt. Coutts interrupted Officer Lilly's admission and apology with his assurance that the cover-up would commence: 'That's all right. Don't worry about it. I got your back. ... We clear?'". . .

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Views of Stimulus vary dramatically by race

The Politico has this:

The poll, sponsored by New America Media, a corroboration of 2,500 ethnic media outlets, reported that less than 40 percent of whites, Hispanics and Native Americans said the stimulus has made the economy better, compared to 59 percent of African-Americans and 47 percent of Asian-Americans.

Among the overall sample of 1,000 respondents, 40 percent said the stimulus has made the national economy better.

“The American public currently believes that the stimulus package has not had a major impact on the national economy,” wrote pollster Sergio Bendixen in his analysis of the survey. “Only African-Americans believe that President Obama’s stimulus package ‘has made the economy better.’” . . .

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Obama gives audience white lab coats to give them the right look

150 doctors is a relatively small audience (there were over 300,000 doctors in 2003). From the NY Post:

WASHINGTON -- President Obama yesterday rolled out the red carpet -- and handed out doctors' white coats as well, just so nobody missed his hard-sell health-care message.

In a heavy-handed attempt at reviving support for health-care reform, the White House orchestrated a massive photo op to buttress its claim that front-line physicians support Obama.

A sea of 150 white-coated doctors, all enthusiastically supportive of the president and representing all 50 states, looked as if they were at a costume party as they posed in the Rose Garden before hearing Obama's pitch for the Democratic overhaul bills moving through Congress.

The physicians, all invited guests, were told to bring their white lab coats to make sure that TV cameras captured the image.

But some docs apparently forgot, failing to meet the White House dress code by showing up in business suits or dresses.

So the White House rustled up white coats for them and handed them to the suited physicians who had taken seats in the sun-splashed lawn area.

All this to provide a visual counter to complaints from other doctors that pending legislation is bad news for the medical profession.

"Nobody has more credibility with the American people on this issue than you do," Obama told his guests. . . .

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"Bernanke, Paulson misled public on bailouts"

Was this worse than the Fed and Treasury lying to Bank of America about how much trouble that Merrill Lynch was in? After all, if B of A wasn't forced to merge with Merrill Lynch, B of A wouldn't have been in that much trouble to begin with. From the Washington Times:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. misled the public about the financial weakness of Bank of America and other early recipients of the government's $700 billion Wall Street bailout, creating "unrealistic expectations" about the companies and damaging the program's credibility, according to a report by the program's independent watchdog.

The federal government last October loaned Bank of America and eight other "healthy" financial institutions a total of $125 billion - the initial payout from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP - in an attempt to avoid a series of major bank collapses that would push the sputtering economy into a free fall or depression. . . . .



Barack Obama "cancels" meeting with Dalai Lama

Whether one likes the Dalai Lama or not, whether one agrees with him or not, the reason for Obama "canceling" a meeting "to keep China happy" is a big mistake. You would think that this will cause some even in Hollywood to be upset. I am sure that Taiwan feels more secure.

The decision came after China stepped up a campaign urging nations to shun the Tibetan spiritual leader.
It means Mr Obama will become the first president not to welcome the Nobel peace prize winner to the White House since the Dalai Lama began visiting Washington in 1991.
The Buddhist monk arrived in Washington on Monday for a week of meetings with Congressional leaders, celebrity supporters and interest groups, but the president will not see him until after he has made his first visit to China next month.
Samdhong Rinpoche, the Tibetan prime minister-in-exile, has accused the United States and other Western nations of "appeasement" toward China as its economic weight grows.
"Today, economic interests are much greater than other interests," he said.
Mr Obama's decision dismayed human rights and Tibetan support groups, who said he had made an unnecessary concession to the Chinese, who regard the Dalai Lama as a "splittist", despite his calls for autonomy rather than independence for Tibet. The Chinese invaded in 1950, forcing the young leader to flee.
Sophie Richardson, Asia advocate for Human Rights Watch, said: "Presidents always meets the Dalai Lama and what happens? Absolutely nothing. . . .

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Democrat in NYC runs for City Comptroller based on his gun control record?

This was amusing. The Comptroller is a finance position, but gun control is always popular in NYC so why not go with that. Well, it apparently didn't work. GunPoliticsNY.com has this:

David Yassky is a former staffer to Charles Schumer. He’s the guy who actually wrote the Brady Bill. He moved up to the City Council where he continued to push for more gun control like strict gun dealer liability. Pat, Amy and Barry testified on behalf of NYSRPA in council hearings against these ideas. Yassky himself defended them on NRA News. Faced with term limits Yassky decided to run for City Comptroller. He has no background related to finance so he based his campaign largely on his gun control record. Both the Daily News and New York Times endorsed his campaign because of it. . . .

A double digit loss. Yassky gets 44.3% to Liu’s 55.7%.

Since he had to give up his Council seat to run for Comptroller he’s got nowhere else to go so he’s outta here. For the second time in as many weeks NYC Democrats have rejected the gun control candidate and their agenda and that will further marginalize the people and organizations who promoted them.

I am not sure that one can read too much into this, but it is amusing. Richard Aborn, another big gun control guy, apparently also lost his race to be Manhattan District Attorney.

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Five year old boy kills 800 pound Alligator

Alligator came out of water and the boy got his gun and shot the alligator. Fox News has a discussion of what happened with the boy and his family. I am pretty sure that you wouldn't have seen this on another network.


Life expectancy in the US

If a baby in the US breaths and then dies after it has taken a breath, it enters into the mortality rate data. Other countries have stricter measures before a death is counted in those numbers. More interesting is the report that the US's high premature birth rate is do to the age of the mother and medical advances that help women get pregnant.

The rate of pre-term births is highest in Africa, where 11.9% of babies are born before 37 weeks of gestation. Poor nutrition, a lack of access to maternal care and a higher burden of infectious diseases are among contributors to the problem there, Dr. Howson says.

But Africa is followed closely by the U.S. and Canada, where the premature birth rate is 10.6%. In the U.S. alone, the rate has increased 36% in the past 25 years, the report says. Growing numbers of women who have babies after age 35 as well as the impact of assisted reproduction techniques that lead to more multiple births partly explain the trend in North America, the report says. . . .


Democrats Keeping Soldiers from Voting in Virginia?

From Redstate.com:

The Virginia State Board of Elections argued in their most recent filing that they have no legal obligation to send out military absentee ballots in a timely manner. Restated, the State of Virginia has argued in a federal court filing that they can legally send out absentee ballots to active duty soldiers the day before an election. Restated again, theDemocratic Chairwoman of the Virginia State Board of Election (appointed by the Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine, in his capacity as Virginia Governor) Jean Cunningham just claimed a legal basis for massively raising the barrier to voting for soldiers at war. . . .


New York Times rewrites its news articles

For a detailed discussion see Newsbusters here.

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Australian criminals getting guns from overseas

Apparently, Australian criminals are able to get guns from overseas.

Guns hold Sydney Hostage
By Gemma Jones, Political Reporter
October 05, 2009
The Daily Telegraph

GUN violence is so out of control there are three shootings a week in Sydney and neighbourhoods are living in fear.

The city's shooting capital is Fairfield, with 34 shootings and drive-bys in just two years to the end of June.

Exclusive statistics from the Bureau of Crime Statistics show there were 157 drive-by and illegal shootings between July 2008 and the end of June, up from 129 the year before.

Police investigated 29 shootings in the Blacktown local government area, 25 in Bankstown, 24 in Auburn and 20 in Liverpool. There were even 11 shootings in the heart of the city.

Opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher said NSW was awash with handguns, which were being imported from overseas and then traded on Sydney streets.

"Criminals are getting their hands on illegally imported firearms," he said last night. . . . .

Thanks to William Blake for sending me this link.


If this were a Republican president, Democrats would be screaming about all the people whose insurance benefits were running out

From the WSJ:

White House officials and Democratic leaders in Congress on Friday said they were weighing extending key elements of the economic-stimulus program as the nation grapples with a deteriorating job market.

Obama administration economists said they would like the enhanced unemployment-insurance program to extend beyond its Dec. 31 expiration date. They also want to maintain a program that offers tax credits to pay 65% of the cost of health insurance policies under the COBRA program, which allows laid-off workers to purchase the health plans they had through their previous employer. . . .

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New Report Places Main Guilt of Russian Invasion of Georgia on Russia

It is too bad that Georgia wasn't made part of NATO in time. Of course, the reason why Russia struck was to control the pipelines into Europe. The Wash Post story is here.

The results, released Wednesday in a lengthy report, won't please the hard-core partisans of either side. But they ought to be particularly disappointing to Mr. Putin and his apologists. Written by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, the report rejects Russia's main claims about the conflict, finds it guilty of sponsoring or tolerating human rights crimes, and asserts that any country that follows Moscow's lead in recognizing two provinces of Georgia as independent nations will itself be violating international law.

The report finds that "open hostilities" began with a Georgian attack on the capital of the rebel province of South Ossetia on the night of Aug. 7, 2008 -- an act that the United States rightly condemned at the time. But the mission also documented a long lead-up of provocative acts by Russia and its local allies in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moscow's claim that Georgia committed "genocide" and thus justified its invasion, the report says, was false; moreover, "much of the Russian military action went far beyond the reasonable limits of defense." The mission also confirmed that "irregular armed groups on the South Ossetian side that would not or could not be adequately controlled by regular Russian armed forces" committed violations of human rights law and possibly war crimes, including the ethnic cleansing of Georgians.

A year later, Mr. Putin's attempt to subjugate Georgia looks like one of his worse blunders. Only two other countries -- Nicaragua and Venezuela -- have recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Mr. Saakashvili remains in office, and relations between Russia and all of its other neighbors have deteriorated. Now even Mr. Putin's European Union advocates will be hard-pressed to defend his actions. . . .

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US lets totalitarian countries have more control of the internet

This looks bad for freedom of the internet. If China controls the domain names that are in Chinese and if they can limit access in China to those domain names, the Chinese can remove the domain name for anyone who puts up information that they don't approve. Possibly I am missing something, but this seems pretty serious.

After complaints about American dominance of the internet and growing disquiet in some parts of the world, Washington has said it will relinquish some control over the way the network is run and allow foreign governments more of a say in the future of the system.

Icann – the official body that ultimately controls the development of the internet thanks to its oversight of web addresses such as .com, .net and .org – said today that it was ending its agreement with the US government.

The deal, part of a contract negotiated with the US department of commerce, effectively pushes California-based Icann towards a new status as an international body with greater representation from companies and governments around the globe.

Icann had previously been operating under the auspices of the American government, which had control of the net thanks to its initial role in developing the underlying technologies used for connecting computers together.

But the fresh focus will give other countries a more prominent role in determining what takes place online, and even the way in which it happens – opening the door for a virtual United Nations, where many officials gather to discuss potential changes to the internet. . . .

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Sociobiology for why women want Sex

The discussion is here.

Meston and Buss have interviewed 1,006 women from all over the world about their sexual motivation, and in doing so they have identified 237 different reasons why women have sex. Not 235. Not 236. But 237. And what are they? From the reams of confessions, it emerges that women have sex for physical, emotional and material reasons; to boost their self-esteem, to keep their lovers, or because they are raped or coerced. Love? That's just a song. We are among the bad apes now. . . . .

"People just assumed the answer was obvious," Meston says. "To feel good. Nobody has really talked about how women can use sex for all sorts of resources." She rattles off a list and as she says it, I realise I knew it all along: "promotion, money, drugs, bartering, for revenge, to get back at a partner who has cheated on them. To make themselves feel good. To make their partners feel bad." Women, she says, "can use sex at every stage of the relationship, from luring a man into the relationship, to try and keep a man so he is fulfilled and doesn't stray. Duty. Using sex to get rid of him or to make him jealous." . . .

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Was there a second student that Kevin Jennings gave bad advice to?

The Washington Times has a very long piece on Kevin Jennings that starts this way.

The Obama administration isn't adequately vetting important presidential appointees. When it was exposed that former "green jobs czar" Van Jones believed in crazy conspiracies about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it was questionable whether anyone had even bothered to Google individuals before they received presidential appointments. In that case, the White House strategy was to refuse to answer questions and hope interest faded away. That approach worked for most of the media, which carried water for President Obama's scandal-plagued pick. Stonewalling scandal is not what Americans were expecting from an administration that promised to usher in an "unprecedented level of openness in government." Instead, a pattern of presidential obfuscation is developing.

For more than a 1 1/2 weeks now, The Washington Times has tried unsuccessfully to get the Obama administration to answer questions about the controversies surrounding Kevin Jennings, the president's "safe schools czar." On Wednesday, Mr. Jennings released a five-sentence statement regarding his knowledge about the sexual abuse of a high school sophomore named Brewster when he was a teacher at the teenager's school. After repeated denials and backpedaling, Mr. Jennings finally halfheartedly admitted this week that perhaps covering up sex between an adult and a high school student might not have been totally appropriate. "I can see how I should have handled this situation differently," he said.

This week's meager statement answered no important questions . . . .

This is how the press at the White House briefing asked about the Kevin Jennings case. This is the extremely weak, almost apologetic, questioning that Robert Gibbs got this last week on the Jennings case.

Q On a different subject, the right went after Van Jones for statements that he had made in the past. He lost a job. This guy Yosi Sergant at the National Endowment of the Arts was their next target. He lost his job. Now conservatives are going after Kevin Jennings at the Department of Education for what they say is, I don't know, facilitating -- I can't tell what it was -- but anyway, something bad. (Laughter.) It was facilitating statutory rape. And I'm wondering, first of all, if you guys -- are you aware of this latest campaign? Do you have anything substantive to say about what they are saying about this guy, Kevin Jennings, and when does -- what do you think of this hop-scotching from appointment -- Obama appointment to Obama appointment?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I think the Department of Education had a statement on this. I would point you to that. I think there are many good people from every political persuasion that seek to serve their country and serve in government. I think it's a sacrifice, but one that people do voluntarily because they love their country.

I think it's a shame to watch what they do -- I think it's a shame -- I hope that as people watch, they'll match up some of the actual truth to what is being said on some of these occasions and start to provide a little reality check to some of what's going on.

Q But some in your camp would say that it's -- the White House has the power to stop it simply by no longer pushing these guys out of their positions. Is there any truth to that?

MR. GIBBS: I think in previous occasions that you mentioned are people that resigned on their own volition. . . . .

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