Judge strips Mel Gibson of his guns

As the article in the NY Post makes clear, the claim that Gibson actually threatened Grigorieva seems questionable.

A Los Angeles judge has ordered Mel Gibson to hand over his lethal weapons -- on the same day a photo was released of what Gibson's gal pal claims is her with busted front teeth courtesy of Gibson.
According to the ruling made at Thursday's secret court hearing, the psycho screen star must surrender all the firearms he owns, as the nasty custody battle he's waging with his Russian baby mama, Oksana Grigorieva, continues, RadarOnline reported yesterday.
"Judge Scott Gordon made the ruling, and Mel will be required to submit a declaration with the court within 24 hours of Thursday's hearing proving that he has done so," a source told the Web site.
Gibson -- a Hollywood pariah thanks to his recorded racist rants -- allegedly used a gun to threaten Grigorieva in a violent domestic confrontation in January.
He reportedly waved a gun in her face after hitting her and raged, "I will show you how to get out of here fast!"
Despite the order to hand over his guns, Thursday's hearing went relatively well for the "Mad Max" star. . . .
Yesterday, TMZ.com reported that observers in the court said that Judge Gordon decided that Mad Mel was no threat because of a sworn statement made to the court by his soon-to-be ex-wife, Robyn, who said he never hit her or acted in a violent way toward their seven children.
The statement particularly resonated with Gordon because he is a former domestic-violence prosecutor who believes that if a man is violent with one woman, he's likely to be violent with all the women in his life, the Web site said.
Robyn made the court statement even though the unhinged actor had left her to be with the younger Russian beauty. . . .


The cost of regulation: Cell phone towers

Cell calls are frequently dropped in San Francisco. This little tidbit came from Apple's press conference on Friday.

[Steve Jobs] said that Apple is constantly asking about reception in San Francisco and the surrounding bay area, but that AT&T is caught up in the "long process" of trying to get new towers approved.

When AT&T wants to add a new cell tower in Texas, Jobs said, it takes about 3 weeks. But adding a new cell tower in San Francisco has an average turnaround time of 3 years.

"Not all of us want cell towers in our backyard, but we all want good reception," Jobs said. "(AT&T has) tried to make them look like banana trees, but still, it's a problem."


Obama thinks that the Federal government should subsidize lawsuits

Given all the other work that the Obama administration is generating for lawyers with their health care and financial regulation bills, you would think that Obama had already given them enough money. Well, just in case the lawyers needed more help:

The nation's trial lawyer group, the American Association for Justice, revealed Tuesday that it expects the U.S. Department of Treasury to soon give its members a tax break on contingency fee lawsuits.

The tax break could be similar to proposed legislation that didn't make it through Congress last year. That proposal, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., would have allowed attorneys to deduct fees and expenses up-front for filing contingency fee lawsuits.

John Bowman, the Director of Federal Relations for the AAJ, said in response to a question from a state delegate regarding recruiting new members that an administrative order from the Treasury Department could come as soon as tomorrow, sources told Legal Newsline.

The Treasury Department cautioned the AAJ not to go public with the information yet, according to Bowman, sources also said.

Last year, an opinion piece from the Washington Legal Foundation criticized Specter's bill.

"If Sen. Specter's proposed modification of the Internal Revenue Code succeeds, the federal government will, for all intents and purposes, share in the cost and risk of bringing the initial litigation," it says.

"Under current and certainly potential future tax laws, this could be as much as 40 percent of the cost of bringing litigation." . . .

So much for raising taxes on the wealthy. Apparently, it is just some of the wealthy that taxes should be raised on.


$50,000 penis pump for illegals?

I guess that this gives new meaning to the notion of stimulus spending. There will probably be a few more anchor babies in the US. From Fox News Radio:

A Minnesota town is outraged over reports that an illegal immigrant was implanted with a penis pump – paid for by taxpayers.

Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate said the expense to taxpayers was more than $50,000.

“It’s shocking,” he told FOX News Radio. “It’s certainly disturbing as well. You know it’s not going to set well with the public at large.”

Scott County Attorney Pat Ciliberto wants to know how an illegal immigrant was able to obtain tens of thousands of dollars in medical assistance.

“There’s no logical argument for why that should have been approved,” Ciliberto told the Shakopee News. “I don’t know how many illegal aliens are getting emergency medical assistance for such a procedure.” . . .


Democrats and Campaign finance

The Disclosure Act attempts to provide rules on companies that it doesn't require of unions doing the same thing, and it is generating some strong opposition from Republicans.

Even John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was the namesake for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that was partially overturned by the Supreme Court, is a strong opponent of the DISCLOSE Act.

McCain told POLITICO there isn't a single Republican senator who would support the legislation as it stands now, calling the bill "a bailout for the unions." McCain said the issue has been raised in several caucus meetings and he says fixing the campaign finance system is important, but he sees the Democratic version of the DISCLOSE Act as partisan. . . .

In other news, Biden was fined for violating campaign finance laws.

The Federal Election Commission has penalized Vice President Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign $219,000 for accepting over-the-limit contributions and a deeply discounted flight on a private jet owned by an embattled New York hedge fund, as well as for sloppy record-keeping. . . .

It found that the campaign accepted an illegal corporate contribution in the form of a round-trip flight between New Hampshire and Iowa in June 2007 for three people (it does not indicate if Biden, then a senator from Delaware, was among the passengers) on a private jet owned by GEH Air Transportation, LLC. Federal Aviation Administration records show that GEH Air Transportation is owned by the Clinton Group, a New York hedge fund controlled by George E. Hall.

Biden for President (BFP) reimbursed GEH Air Transportation, LLC $7,911 for the flight – the estimated cost of first-class airfare for three on a comparable commercial flight. But the FEC determined that the flight should have been reimbursed at a charter rate of $34,800.

FEC auditors concluded: "By failing to pay a charter rate, BFP received an in-kind contribution of $26,889 (the $34,800 owed less the $7,911 paid) from GEH,” which would be illegal, since corporations are barred from contributing to federal campaigns. Biden’s representatives “indicated that they agreed with the finding and would write a check for $26,889 to the U.S. Treasury,” the auditors wrote.

Neither Biden’s spokeswoman Alexander, nor Biden’s campaign lawyer or treasurer could immediately answer questions about Biden’s relationship with Hall or whether Biden was on Hall’s corporate plane during the flight in question.

A major Democratic donor who has contributed more than $180,000 to Democratic candidates and causes since 1999 (including $19,000 to Biden’s various committees), Hall’s firm has been implicated — but not charged — by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in a New York state pension fund kickback investigation into a joint venture that paid the Clinton Group $750 million in state funds. . . .


The Washington Post explains why it has ignored the Obama DOJ dropping the Black Panther case

The Washington Post explained the complete lack of coverage this year until Thursday on the Black Panther story this way:

"National Editor Kevin Merida, who termed the controversy "significant," said he wished The Post had written about it sooner. The delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat, he said."


Obama attacks Republicans as party of rich

Class envy and class warfare is the continued way of attack for Obama, even though he is happy to be in bed with plenty of liberals (e.g., Soros, Google).

President Barack Obama stepped up criticism of Republicans on Saturday for blocking jobless aid, hammering home a Democratic election year attack line that casts the opposition as the party of the rich.

"Too often, the Republican leadership in the United States Senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress. And that has very real consequences," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

Senate Republicans have used the filibuster, a procedural hurdle demanding 60 votes in the 100-member chamber, to block at least three Democratic initiatives to extend unemployment insurance. Republicans cite the need to curb government spending amid a record budget deficit.

"Think about what these stalling tactics mean for the millions of Americans who've lost their jobs since the recession began. Over the past several weeks, more than two million of them have seen their unemployment insurance expire," the president said. . . .

Put aside Obama's broken promise of "pay go," which is all the Republicans have asked for on the unemployment extension. Take one unintentional example from Politico:

Google boss Eric Schmidt is one of the nation’s most politically active business leaders — a man who uses the cachet of the company he leads, as well as his own charisma, to build strategic alliances in the Obama administration and on Capitol Hill.

Schmidt, 55, grew up in Washington and returns frequently to visit his mother, who still lives in Northern Virginia. Those trips often double as chances to meet with President Barack Obama, chat with staffers at the Federal Communications Commission and meet with top lawmakers.

Schmidt’s newly formed friendships in town have helped transform Google from a D.C. outsider into an Obama administration darling with growing clout in policy circles.

But the company’s increasing influence is at risk of a Washington backlash from politicians and competitors, some of whom said Google’s vast reach is raising privacy, antitrust and other concerns. . . .

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WBAL's Ron Smith explains why he thinks that Pelosi is so upset with Robert Gibbs' remarks about Republicans possibly winning the House

From the Baltimore Sun:

One can certainly understand why Speaker Pelosi is agitated. Few people willingly cede power, and she certainly wants to cling to hers, the perks of which include luxury air travel to and from her California home, not to mention her new San Francisco office (for which we taxpayers are footing a more than $18,000-per-month rent), nicer digs in the Capitol and the ability to kick butt and take names any time she chooses. . . .

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New piece up at Fox News: Obama's Financial 'Reform' Doesn't Fix Anything

My new piece starts this way:

The 2,319 page financial regulation bill that just passed Congress is filled with vague, complicated language.

Some language will weaken our financial system and make it less efficient.

Other language appears to mandate racial and gender employment quotas in dozens of Federal agencies.

In the name of making sure that there is not another financial crisis, the bill does nothing to address what caused the mortgage problems created by government regulations that forced banks to make risky loans that they didn't want to make.

It does nothing to rein in the $400 billion in losses created by government entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

What Democrats don't understand is how everyone from farmers to small and large companies use derivatives to decrease their risks. When a farmer plants his crops in the spring he has to worry about what the price of his crops will be when they are harvested in the fall. If prices plummet before the harvest occurs, farmers face real financial peril. So farmers sell a portion of those crops even before they plant them. They know what price they will get and they greatly reduce their risk. That is what a derivative is. . . .

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New piece up at Fox News: Obama's Financial 'Reform' Doesn't Fix Anything

More on Obama's Executive Order on Abortions not being of any use

Jake Tapper has the story here.

the Obama administration had approved $160 million for Pennsylvania to set up a “high risk” pool for individuals with pre-existing conditions who had been uninsured for the previous six months.

The language in the Pennsylvania solicitation for that plan, however, seemed to suggest abortions could be covered.

While the solicitation said that “elective abortions are not covered,” it also stated the plan would include “only abortions and contraceptives that satisfy the requirements” of a number of Pennsylvania statutes -- including one stating that abortions can be provided by physicians who determine in “his best clinical judgment, the abortion is necessary ... in the light of all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age) relevant to the well-being of the woman. No abortion which is sought solely because of the sex of the unborn child shall be deemed a necessary abortion.” . . .

UPDATE: Just a reminder of who relied on this promise in their votes for the health care bill.

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A nice discussion of just some problems that will be created by the new financial regulation bill

Derivatives are evil. Well, go ask some farmers why they use them.

Farmer Jim Kreutz uses derivatives to soften the blow should the price of feed corn drop before harvest. His brother-in-law, feedlot owner Jon Reeson, turns to them to hedge the price of his steer. The local farmers' co-op uses derivatives to finance fixed-price diesel for truckers who carry cattle to slaughter. And the packing plant employs derivatives to stabilize costs from natural gas to foreign currencies. . . .

But it's the derivatives portion—the part of the bill aimed directly at Wall Street—that might end up touching most lives in rural America.

The new law requires most derivatives transactions be standardized, traded on exchanges, just like corporate stocks, and funneled through clearinghouses to protect against default.

Faced with intense lobbying, Congress partially exempted businesses that use derivatives for commercial purposes. So, farmers and co-ops probably won't face new collateral requirements, for instance—although there remains a dispute over that section of the bill. Those that trade derivatives on regulated exchanges, such as the Chicago Board of Trade, are less likely to see immediate impacts than those conducting private over-the-counter deals, which will face federal regulation for the first time. The goal is to make such deals transparent.

The question for these farmers is whether such rules will make hedging more expensive. Some say new requirements on big players will create higher costs for small players, including the cash dealers will have to put aside to enter into private derivatives transactions. Some brokers think restrictions on big-money banks and investors will drain the amount of money available to the everyday deals farmers favor. . . .

Here's how Mr. Kreutz does it: Say in early summer he sees that the price for a Chicago Board of Trade futures contract on corn for delivery later in the year is $3.56 a bushel. If he likes the price, and wants to lock it in, he calls AgWest and sells a futures contract for 5,000 bushels. The futures contract is a derivative in which the price for corn is set now for exchange in the future, though no kernels will change hands. Instead, when the contract nears expiration, Mr. Kreutz and the buyer of his contract will settle—in effect—by check.

By fall, when Mr. Kreutz is ready to deliver his crop to the local co-op, the market price might have fallen by 50 cents. He'll sell his actual corn for that lower amount. But he'll make up the difference through his financial hedge. (Mr. Kreutz buys a new futures contract at the lower price to make good on his earlier promise, making up the 50 cents.) In all, he'll have hit the price target he locked in earlier in the year, minus brokerage fees.

If the price rises during the summer, as it did during the food crisis two years ago, Mr. Kreutz has to pony up extra cash for his broker—a margin call—to maintain his positions. He recoups that by selling his actual corn at a higher price, but has to take a loss to meet the futures contract he signed earlier in the year, missing out on a windfall but ultimately meeting his target price.

Mr. Kreutz does this type of operation dozens of times a year, hedging about 70% of his 345,000-bushel corn harvest. . . .

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NRA draws the line on Elena Kagan

ABC News has this piece on NRA saying that it will watch Senator's votes on Elena Kagan.


Obama's DOJ: Places that don't enforce laws against illegal immigrants OK, states that do are not

The whole legal argument being advanced by the Obama administration about AZ upsetting the fine balance over Federal law doesn't make sense. But there is the notion of the supremacy of federal law, and sanctuary cities are violating that legal rule, not Az with its new law. From the Washington Times:

The Obama administration said this week that there is no reason to sue so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to cooperate with federal authorities, whereas Arizona's new immigration law was singled out because it "actively interferes" with enforcement.

"There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law," Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., told The Washington Times. "That's what Arizona did in this case."

But the author of the 1996 federal law that requires states and localities to cooperate says the administration is misreading it, and says drawing a distinction between sanctuary cities and Arizona is "flimsy justification" for suing the state.

"For the Justice Department to suggest that they won't take action against those who passively violate the law --who fail to comply with the law -- is absurd," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and chief author of the 1996 immigration law. "Will they ignore individuals who fail to pay taxes? Will they ignore banking laws that require disclosure of transactions over $10,000? Of course not." . . .


New piece up at Fox News: What Al Franken's Election Tells Us

This is from my new piece up at Fox News:

For those who claim that vote fraud isn't a problem, Al Franken's election to the Senate demonstrates not only that vote fraud exists but also that it can alter elections and indeed the laws of the country.

Murderers, rapists, and robbers may not be the people we want providing the crucial votes that determine what America's laws should be.

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Obama administration starts tax-funded abortions under Obamacare

It is one thing to support abortion. It is something quite different to force those who think that abortion is wrong to pay for it.

The Obama administration has officially approved the first instance of taxpayer funded abortions under the new national government-run health care program. This is the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned about when Congress considered the bill.

The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new "high-risk" insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March.

It has quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of pro-abortion Governor Edward Rendell under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.

The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the sweeping health care legislation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.

"The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we've discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee. . . .

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Stimulus funds pay for movies, trip to water park

Our tax dollars hard at work.

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found that some of the stimulus money given to North Carolina schools was spent on movie tickets and a water park trip – “a potentially unallowable use of these funds,” the GAO said in a recent report.

The GAO also found that two North Carolina school districts failed to obtain multiple bids or price quotes for Recovery Act procurements as required for purchases exceeding $5,000.

The GAO said Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools gave $38,400 of Recovery Act (stimulus) funds to the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem in 2009 for a summer enrichment program for students. According to the school superintendent, the school district’s money was to be spent only on teachers’ salaries.

But the GAO found that in addition to paying a total of $17,270 in teacher salaries, stimulus funds given to the Housing Authority also paid for field-trip-related expenses, including tickets for movies, a water park, fast food, and other entertainment.

“For example,” says the report, “activities for students included a trip to the movie theatre to see movies entitled Ice Age (for K-5 graders) and Terminator (6-12 graders) for a total of $405.50 and a trip to a water park, Wet and Wild Emerald Point, for $961.23 (including food and locker rentals).” . . .


Obama administration violating lobbying pledge

Did Google help shape net neutrality from within the Obama administration?

Consumer Watchdog, a liberal nonprofit, used FOIA to obtain e-mails between White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin and his former colleagues at Google. McLaughlin was Google's head of global public policy and government affairs, up until he joined the White House.
Despite the job title, McLaughlin wasn't a registered lobbyist. Still, ethics rules created by an Obama executive order prohibit McLaughlin from "participat[ing] in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to" Google. But the e-mails show McLaughlin has been involved with formulating policy that directly affects Google, regularly trading e-mails with Google's "evangelist," and lobbyist.
The topic of net neutrality -- where the Obama administration and Google share a pro-regulation position that would profit Google -- appears repeatedly in McLaughlin-Google e-mails.
When one news report suggested the White House was backing away from the pro-Google regulations, Google Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf wrote a worried note to McLaughlin, asking, "Has there been so much flack from the Hill that you guys feel a need to back away?" . . .

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Bill O’Reilly goes through evidence on Black Panther Case

UPDATE: Megyn Kelly on New Black Panther Case

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TSA deploying scanners without testing them, no cost-benefit analysis

The health concerns don't seem to have been studied by the TSA. The gains of using these machines as the primary screening method don't seem to have been balanced off the delays that this causes. From USA Today:

Opposition to new full-body imaging machines to screen passengers and the government's deployment of them at most major airports is growing.
Many frequent fliers complain they're time-consuming or invade their privacy. The world's airlines say they shouldn't be used for primary security screening. And questions are being raised about possible effects on passengers' health.
"The system takes three to five times as long as walking through a metal detector," says Phil Bush of Atlanta, one of many fliers on USA TODAY's Road Warriors panel who oppose the machines. "This looks to be yet another disaster waiting to happen."
BODY SCANNERS: Concerns about privacy and health set off debate
The machines — dubbed by some fliers as virtual strip searches — were installed at many airports in March after a Christmas Day airline bombing attempt. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has spent more than $80 million for about 500 machines, including 133 now at airports. It plans to install about 1,000 by the end of next year.
The machines are running into complaints and questions here and overseas:
•The International Air Transport Association, which represents 250 of the world's airlines, including major U.S. carriers, says the TSA lacks "a strategy and a vision" of how the machines fit into a comprehensive checkpoint security plan. "The TSA is putting the cart before the horse," association spokesman Steve Lott says.
•Security officials in Dubai said this month they wouldn't use the machines because they violate "personal privacy," and information about their "side effects" on health isn't known.
•Last month, the European Commission said in a report that "a rigorous scientific assessment" of potential health risks is needed before machines are deployed there. It also said screening methods besides the new machines should be used on pregnant women, babies, children and people with disabilities. . . .


My newest Fox News piece: Guess What, Felons Favor Democrats

My newest piece starts this way:

A new study by the Minnesota Majority found that at least 341 convicted felons in heavily Democratic Minneapolis-St. Paul who voted illegally in the 2008 Senate race. And it looks quite likely that felons gave Franken his narrow Senate victory.

The six month vote recount in the Senate race was a torturous process. The morning after November 4, 2008 election, Senator Norm Coleman lead Al Franken by 725 votes. Correcting for typos cut Coleman’s margin to 215, and a recount by all the counties reduced it further to 192.

Once the state canvassing board had looked into the intent of voters and counted 953 previously rejected absentee ballots, the final total had reversed that count and handed Franken a 312 vote victory.

WIth this small number of votes separating the two candidates even just hundreds illegal voters can alter the outcome. By any measure, felons overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. . . .

The WSJ had this follow up story.

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Michelle Obama attacks "racist" elements in Tea Party

Here are some of Michelle Obama's remarks to the NAACP.

First Lady Michelle Obama brought renewed energy to the NAACP today, delivering the keynote speech at the annual convention one day before the nation's largest civil rights group is expected to condemn what it calls racist elements in the Tea Party movement. . . .

Tea Party members have used "racial epithets," have verbally abused black members of Congress and threatened them, and protestors have engaged in "explicitly racist behavior" and "displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically," according to the proposed resolution.

"We're deeply concerned about elements that are trying to move the country back, trying to reverse progress that we've made," NAACP spokeswoman Leila McDowell told ABC News. "We are asking that the law-abiding members of the Tea Party repudiate those racist elements, that they recognize the historic and present racist elements that are within the Tea Party movement." . . .

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Obama administration moving to regulate shower pressure

There is obviously no area of life that can't be regulated. The point here is that there is no externality even if what the government claims about energy use is true.

Of the many microscopic issues in which the Department of Energy (DOE) involves itself, one of the most ridiculous could be showerhead flow-capacity limits. In the name of conservation, a federal law limits the amount of water that can pass through a nozzle to 2.5 gallons per minute. The law was designed to limit both water and energy use related to pumping the water.

Until recently, a loophole that allowed multi-nozzled showerheads (with each individual nozzle meeting the flow-capacity limit) put this personal choice where it belongs: in the hands of consumers. Showerheads with three or even eight nozzles could be purchased by homebuilders to equip luxury bathrooms as long as the per-nozzle water-flow limit was followed. Regrettably, the DOE decided that alternatives to the standard showerhead could no longer be allowed and, in May, sought to close the legal gap. A redefinition of showerheads is expected.

Dictating the amount of water that is to be used in a shower has little bearing on energy policy and opens the door to far more invasive measures. If the DOE can limit the energy used in showering, it could just as easily involve itself in legislating how much energy any appliance can use, how long it can be used each day, or what kind of electronics can be sold.

This may already be a reality in some states. For example, the California Energy Commission adopted a law last November that makes more than three-fourths of televisions illegal for exceeding stringent energy use standards. The list of appliances that are currently under national or state energy standards includes microwaves, clothes dryers, audio systems—even dehumidifiers. . . .

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Copies of Chicago's new gun control law and registration forms

A copy of Chicago's new ordinance is here.
Here is the registration form.
Verification of permit forms is here.

Thanks to Neal Atkins for these links.

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Appearing on Coast to Coast AM tonight

I will be on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory for a few minutes in the news segment at the beginning of the 10 PM PDT/1 AM EDT hour tonight. We will be talking about the brand new Chicago gun control law that just went into effect today.

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81 percent of Americans believe that the 2nd Amendment means that "individuals have the right to keep and bear arms"

Apparently, a lot of liberals also must believe that there is an individual right to keep and bear arms.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Most people in the United States interpret their Constitution’s Second Amendment in the same fashion, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 81 per cent of respondents believe the Second Amendment means that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms.

The U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right "to keep and bear arms." Some American states have enacted their own gun control regulations, independent of existing federal legislation.

In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled—in a 5-4 decision—that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" is not limited to state militias and protects "the inherent right of self-defence." . . .

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." For you, personally, what does the Second Amendment mean?

That individuals have the right to keep and bear arms
That individuals do not have the right to keep and bear arms
Not sure
Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,001 American adults, conducted from Jun. 25 to Jun. 27, 2010. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

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New piece up at Fox News: Let's Face It, Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley Wants to Ban Guns, All Guns

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:

As always, gun control proponents say they merely want "reasonable" gun control laws. Yet, when listing the actual laws they favor, they go well beyond what most people would possibly consider "reasonable." Just look at the gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C. that local politicians and gun control organizations such as the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center have fought to protect.

Last Friday, just days after the Supreme Court struck down Chicago's handgun ban, Chicago enacted strict new gun control laws. These new restrictions surely do not seem "reasonable" but rather intended to make life as difficult as possible for those who legally want to own a gun. Among the regulations is a complete ban on selling guns in Chicago. Also five hours of training is required, which may seem reasonable, but that training is forbidden to take place within the Chicago city limits.

And the list of odd restrictions in Chicago goes on. . . .

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How long has Biden been Vice President?

This guy was unaware that there is a hold on airplane traffic when the president or vice president is taking off or landing at an airport. How could the VP be "oblivious" to the delays? People were apparently very angry about the delays.

Vice President Joe Biden held up airplane traffic for hours on Friday night at Los Angeles International Airport after an appearance on Jay Leno ‘s ‘Tonight Show,’ leaving restless passengers fuming.

A spokesman for the vice president said he was unaware of the FAA temporary flight restriction that stopped flights coming in, and delayed those going out.

“I know we didn’t ask for anything,” Biden’s spokesman James Carney told TheWrap. “There was no sign of any stoppage. And there shouldn’t have been one.”

Oh, but there was. Passengers were stuck for anywhere from 45 minutes to four hours as a result (including this writer), leaving many of them fuming. In one LAX terminal, flights on Horizon, Alaska and Virgin Air had three-hour delays.

“I sincerely hope that the vice president was oblivious to the number of lives he inconvenienced by deciding to land at LAX and his attempted humor on the Tonight Show,” said Will Roos, the owner of an environmental company GreenUp who was on his way back from a business trip in Sun Valley. . . .

Temporary flight restrictions are common when the top officials in the country travel. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown confirmed the flight stoppage, but could not give a reason for it other than standard safety practice. She could not confirm how many flights were delayed or for how long. . . .


If the Democrats can't estimate how much Obamacare will add to the IRS's budget, how can they seriously estimate the other health care cost changes?

It should be clear that these were just guess about the health care costs and in many cases (such as the IRS) they didn't even hazard a guess. Now it is clear that even the Democrats who wrote the bill say that they don't know (or won't say) how much the IRS enforcement will cost.

A warning that federal tax officials will need more congressional funding to administer the Democrats’ health reform law has rekindled the partisan debate over its cost effectiveness.

Senior Republicans have said for months that the new responsibilities required of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the legislation would saddle the agency with billions of dollars in additional costs — expenses not accounted for in the bill.

A Wednesday report from the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), an independent watchdog within the IRS, backed those claims, finding that the agency currently lacks the resources to take on the new duties. …

“Before ObamaCare passed, [Minority Leader John Boehner] and others warned that it would require an army of new IRS agents,” Boehner (R-Ohio) spokesman Michael Steel said in an email. “Democrats denied it. Now we know the truth. . . .

The office of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, echoed that, saying Friday that funding and staffing levels won’t be decided until the IRS comes up with an implementation strategy.

“Until those factors are determined,” a Finance aide said in an email, “it’s premature to specify what the IRS will need, and certainly premature to infer the IRS won’t be able to handle it.” . . .

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Democratic Governors running against Washington?!?

Talk about balancing acts! How do you blame Washington DC for your problems when the Democrats absolutely dominate the Presidency and both houses of Congress? These Democratic Governors are giving it a try.

Democratic governors facing grim budget choices, lingering unemployment and angry voters are pointing a finger at their colleagues in Democratic-controlled Washington to explain this year’s toxic political climate.

Few will fault President Barack Obama directly for their party’s plight heading into the fall midterm elections, but the chief executives gathered here for the National Governors Association (NGA) meeting believe the Congress and White House have made an already difficult year worse. . . .

“I think the bottom line is they’re not seeing the jobs that should have came from it,” said West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, explaining why voters in his state were dissatisfied with the massive spending bill. “Are we just protecting government or are we really stimulating the economy? Maybe it’s too early too tell.” . . .

“They may have oversold the job creation part of it,” observed Ritter, whose 2006 election heralded a Democratic resurgence in the Mountain West and whose decision not to run for re-election this year has illustrated the party’s declining fortunes in the region.

“They’re not satisfied with the pace of job recovery that they expected when the Recovery Act was passed,” he said of his state’s citizens. “Whether the President of the United States inherited this situation or not, he’s now owning it. For the federal government, this administration and the Congress to have not delivered [jobs] more quickly has become the problem.”

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire said Democrats are paying a political price now in part because there was a failure to convey the economic urgency that necessitated the massive spending bill. . . .

“I’m disappointed in Washington,” said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. “We can’t have Herbert Hoover economics coming out of some of the members of Congress. They don’t understand how you fight a recession. The federal government has to run a deficit in recessionary times because we’ve got to get out of the ditch.” . . .

“We’re not Washington,” said Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, who is facing a difficult re-election race for a second term. “In Iowa, we have a balanced budget, . . .

UPDATE: Another Democratic governor is heard from.

Tennesee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, says his party must be more centrist

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 9, 2010; 5:30 PM

The nation is on a "disastrous fiscal track" and Democrats must deal with it more directly or risk "huge" political consequences, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) said in an interview here Friday. . . .

But he was blunt in saying that his party has not been successful in expanding on its 2006 and 2008 victories and must move toward the center in order to win back support of independent and moderate voters.

Bredesen called the new health-care law "a missed opportunity," saying Democrats would have been better off politically if they had been able to put together bipartisan reform. He said efforts by a small, bipartisan group of governors to offer ideas for doing so were rebuffed by Congress.

The governor's comments reopened a long-standing schism within the Democratic Party between its liberal and centrist wings. Centrists held sway through much of Bill Clinton's presidency but the energy shifted to progressive and grassroots activists during George W. Bush's eight years in the White House. . . .

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