Joe Biden claims that five Senators want to change their votes on background checks

Joe Biden keeps pushing on gun control.  It is amazing that Biden claims that there are five Senators who want to switch their vote on background checks when they need to pick up six votes to have Reid bring up the bill again (the original vote was 54 to 46).  As of right now it is a claim that he will never have to prove.  From Politico:
. . . Speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Las Vegas, Biden said the 45 senators who voted to block the background checks deal brokered by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) have seen “the bottom fall out” of their approval ratings. 
Biden said, as he did Tuesday during a gun violence event at the White House, that he has been fielding calls from senators interested in signing on to some kind of gun control measure. On Friday he offered slightly more specific detail about the number of senators and the difficult path ahead for gun control legislation. . . . 
“I’ve had at least five senators call me and say, ‘Can’t we do something about this?’” Biden said. “The calculus has changed, and so we’re in an effort to try to work out how we can provide another opportunity for those who voted no to change their vote. We all know that’s the hardest thing in politics, to change your vote. That’s why we’ve got to get a rationale, another reason why this could be done by changing the specifics of the legislation.” . . .


"Is Michael Bloomberg Using City Resources For His 'Mayors Against Illegal Guns' Group?"

Even with $27 billion in wealth, Bloomberg has to depend on taxpayers to subsidize his gun control efforts.  The Ace of Spades has this discussion available here.
It turns out I didn't even have to look that closely, because the mayorsagainstillegalguns.org domain is registered to the city of New York. As you can see there, the registrant name is "NYC DoITT", which is the New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications. . . .


Texans equally divided on letting concealed handguns be carried on college campuses

Given the political biases of the UT and the Texas Tribune, these results are actually pretty positive.  From the Texas Tribune (a UT/TT poll):
Allowing faculty, staff and students to carry concealed handguns on college campuses is supported by 46 percent of Texas voters and opposed by 48 percent. . . .

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Obama IRS gives Union-tied group special treatment

Obama's "Organizing For Action" apparently wasn't the only liberal group that got special favors from the IRS.  From Fox News:
. . . Florida Watchdog has obtained a copy of ROC's tax exempt acceptance letter, dated June 1, 2010, and approved by Robert Choi, director of exempt organizations at the Cincinnati office of the Internal Revenue Service.
The Cincinnati office is blamed for much of the harassment and delay tactics incurred by conservative groups applying for similar tax exempt treatment, which is no fault of ROC.
What is of concern, according to a coalition of restaurant owners and workers calling itself the Restaurant Opportunities Center Exposed, is the multi-state "union front" continues to slip by the watchful eye of the IRS.
"It does raise the question of whether they're receiving a pass because they're ideologically in line with the administration. But we'll have to see if the IRS will now investigate. We've presented them with some pretty strong documentation of lobbying and we've juxtaposed that with filings the IRS already has in their possession," said Mike Paranzino, communications director for ROC Exposed. 


Obama administration made it very difficult for media to get info on the IRS

Remember Obama's promise in 2009 to have the most transparent administration ever?  Well, from using secret email accounts to evade reporting requirements to now adding new rules to make it harder to get public records for documents, the Obama administration is doing what it can to hide information. From Fox News:
Even as the freshly minted Obama administration was pledging a "new era of open government" in 2009, officials were quietly adding new rules that had the potential to slow down public requests for documents. 
Those rules, detailed in memos reviewed by FoxNews.com, could even trip up present-day efforts to dig into the IRS' practice of targeting conservative groups. The rules detailed in the memos largely emanated from the Treasury Department and, specifically, the IRS.
"It would seem to repudiate this notion that this is going to be the most transparent government in history," said Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, the group that first obtained the memos. 
The memos follow reports about the administration's use of private email accounts, and coincide with ongoing debate about government transparency -- particularly with recent disclosures about widespread surveillance programs. . . .

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Gun control group counts terrorist killed by police as victim of gun violence, so what is new? Gun control advocates count mass shooters as victims

I have often complained to the media after these mass shootings that the number of people "killed" includes the killers themselves.  To me, it had always implied a very disturbing equivalency between the victims and the killers.  From Fox News:
A gun control group that sought to raise awareness to their cause at a New Hampshire rally by reading off the names of 4,500 people killed by firearms since the Connecticut school shootings drew jeers when they included the name of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, according to a report. 
Supporters of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns movement held the rally on Tuesday, in Concord. And while it is true that Tsarnaev was shot by police -- and then run over by his fleeing brother -- during a gun battle four days after carrying out the deadly terror attack, several in attendance questioned including him as a "victim" of gun violence, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. 
“He's a terrorist,” several gun rights protesters in attendance shouted, according to the paper. . . .
In addition, they also include suicides in their inflated numbers.  Is a suicide, where people would find some other way to commit suicide, the same as a murder?  Is it really that necessary to inflate their numbers?

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The long term (may be permanent) damage Obama has done to investigative reporters

The big problem here is that once a government shows that it is willing to break its own rules, even if it says that it had good reasons, how will anyone who sees a government abuse ever come forward and tell the press?  This is time where we will never be able to get back to where we used to be.  From the Associated Press:

The US government's secret seizure of Associated Press phone records had a "chilling effect" on newsgathering by the agency and other news organizations, AP's top executive said Wednesday. 
"Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us," AP president and chief executive Gary Pruitt said in a speech to the National Press Club. 
"In some cases, government employees we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone. Others are reluctant to meet in person ... This chilling effect on newsgathering is not just limited to AP.
"Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me that it has intimidated both official and nonofficial sources from speaking to them as well." . . .

From Politico:
Associated Press president Gary Pruitt on Wednesday slammed the Department of Justice for acting as “judge, jury and executioner” in the seizure of the news organization’s phone records and he said some of the wire service’s longtime sources have clammed up in fear. 
Pruitt said the department broke its own rules with the seizure, which he said was too broad, and by failing to give the AP notice of the subpoena. Pruitt questioned the DoJ’s actions concerning the subpoena — had the DoJ come to the news organization in advance, “we could have helped them narrow the scope of the subpoena” or a court could have decided, he said. 
“There was never that opportunity,” Pruitt said during a speech at the National Press Club in D.C. “Instead the DoJ acted as judge, jury and executioner in private, in secret.” . . . . 
Note that the government has gone after James Rosen, Sharyl Attkisson, and William Lajeunesse.  Three of the best investigative reporters.  The AP also apparently posed a problem.



Obama's "Organizing For Action" quickly granted tax exempt status, also granted retro active status

With conservative groups taking years to get approval, the IRS gave Obama's group approval at amazing speed and did so retroactively.  From Breitbart.com:
the group’s 990 filings for 2008 and 2009 were submitted to the IRS on May 30, 2011, and its 2010 filing was submitted on May 23, 2011.
Lerner signed the group’s approval [pdf] on June 26, 2011.
It is illegal to operate for longer than 27 months without an IRS determination and solicit tax-deductible contributions. . . . .


Very few people show up the Obama orchestrated gun control rallies

From Breitbart.com:

Last week, Obama's political action arm, Organizing For Action, held rallies throughout the country advocating for stricter gun laws. Their rallies drew small numbers as seen here and here.  
We can thank the vigilant San Bernardino Sun for putting a spotlight on perhapsthe smallest of the rallies. . . . 
"The protest drew three members of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit group that supports President Barack Obama's agenda, to the National Orange Show Events Center." . . .



Democrats are trying to destroy IRS investigation

The way investigations work is that you start with lower level people and figure out a set of facts that you are certain about.  You then move to the next level up the chain to see whether you can catch them in inconsistencies when you interview them.  Catching people who have lied under oath creates leverage that can then be used to get additional information out of those individuals and so on up the chain of command.  By Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) making public the initial interviews he makes it possible for those higher ups to know how to tailor their stories to prevent from being caught up in any inconsistencies.  If the media had any integrity, they nail the Democrats for trying to destroy this investigation. Unfortunately, I am far from convinced that the media is really explaining exactly how releasing all these transcripts damages the investigation.  From The Hill newspaper:
A senior House Democrat on Tuesday defied Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) by releasing a full transcript from the congressional investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. 
The more than 200 pages released brought few revelations, but represented an escalation in the increasingly bitter battle between Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the Oversight panel’s ranking member. 
Issa had warned Democrats that releasing a full transcript would be “reckless,” and said Democrats were trying to shut the door on the Internal Revenue Service investigation by providing a “roadmap” for other officials who might be interviewed. 
“Americans who think Congress should investigate IRS misconduct should be outraged by Mr. Cummings’s efforts to obstruct needed oversight,” Issa said in a statement after the transcripts were released. . . .


Environmentalists excited: It takes 63% longer to fly a single-seat solar plane from Cincinnati to DC than to drive

The fastest route for cars between Cincinnati and Dulles International Airport (IAD) outside DC is hardly a straight line.  But despite that disadvantage the new solar plane that environmentalists are excited that a solar powered plane that can hold nothing more than the pilot took 14 hours and 4 minutes.  The car, which you could load down with all sorts of cargo, would take 8 hours and 37 minutes.  To put it differently, the solar plane took 63 percent longer to make the trip -- non-stop, not a very fun trip.  The trip apparently averaged 30.9 miles per hour over the 435 miles (not exactly the "around 40 mph" noted in the article).  Can the AP do division to check out the facts that they are given?  Possibly environmentalists simply don't value people's time.  From the AP:
. . . Solar Impulse's website said the aircraft with its massive wings and thousands of photovoltaic cells "gracefully touched down" at 12:15 a.m. EDT after 14 hours and four minutes of flight from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dulles in Washington's Virginia suburbs. . . . 
It's the first bid by a solar plane capable of being airborne day and night without fuel to fly across the U.S, at speeds reaching about 40 mph. The flight originated from San Francisco via Arizona, Texas, Missouri and Ohio onward to Dulles with stops of several days in cities along the way. 
Organizers said in a blog post early Sunday that Piccard soared across the Appalachian mountains on a 435-mile (700-kilometer) course from Cincinnati to the Washington area, averaging 31 mph (50 kph). It was the second phase of a leg that began in St. Louis. 
The plane, considered the world's most advanced sun-powered aircraft, is powered by about 12,000 photovoltaic cells that cover its enormous wings and charge its batteries during the day. The single-seat Solar Impulse flies around 40 mph and can't go through clouds; weighing about as much as a car, the aircraft also took longer than a car to complete the journey from Ohio to the East Coast. . . . .

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What Republicans might do when they get control of the Senate if Democrats trigger Nuclear option

From The Hill newspaper:
Senate Republicans are threatening to use the nuclear option to repeal ObamaCare and make other major legislative changes if Democrats use it to confirm judicial nominations. 
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a former member of the GOP leadership close to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has assembled an agenda Republicans would pursue with the nuclear option if they retake control of the upper chamber. 
It includes repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act, converting all federal education spending into school vouchers and scholarships to middle-income and low-income children, opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and repealing the estate tax. . . . 


Obama defends NSA spying on Americans as "transparent," respecting "privacy"

Possibly the NSA spying on Americans can be rationalized by the need to provide security.  But that claim is quite different than saying that the operation was "transparent" and that it respected Americans' "privacy."  Could someone please explain to me how the spying on Americans was "transparent" if it wasn't even public knowledge that it was occurring?  If it was "transparent," what new information could Snowden have possibly revealed?  I am not even sure how it was "transparent" to the secret court that oversaw this operation since there was no alternative viewpoint provided to the court, no adversarial debate where information could be produced that called into question Obama administration claims.  An adversarial approach would be more likely to reveal to the judges information that the Obama administration might not have offered to them on its own.  From Fox News:
. . . Obama also defended the National Security Agency spying programs and called them "transparent."
“That’s why we set up the FISA court,” he said, referring to the secret court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that authorizes two recently disclosed programs: one that gathers U.S. phone records and another that is designed to track the use of U.S.-based Internet servers by foreigners with possible links to terrorism. . . .
As to the claim that this respected people's privacy, could someone please explain how keeping track of who you talk to, how long you talk to them, and where you are when you make the calls respects people's privacy?
Obama, who repeated earlier assertions that the programs were a legitimate counterterror tool and that they were completely noninvasive to people with no terror ties, said he has created a privacy and civil liberties oversight board. . . . 


Vote Fraud in Indiana

From Fox News:
. . . The plot successfully faked names and signatures on both the Obama and Clinton presidential petitions that were used to place the candidates on the ballot. So many names were forged -- an estimated 200 or more -- that prosecutor Stanley Levco said that had the fraud been caught during the primary, "the worst that would have happened, is maybe Barack Obama wouldn't have been on the ballot for the primary." . . . 
In court, former longtime St. Joseph County Democratic Chairman Butch Morgan, Jr. was sentenced to one year behind bars, and is expected to serve half that, as well as Community Corrections and probation. Former St. Joseph County Board of Elections worker and Democratic volunteer Dustin Blythe received a sentence of one year in Community Corrections and probation, which means no jail time. . . . 



The Obama administration believes everyone will still be buying gasoline powered cars despite massive government subsidies, so why are they spending this money

Here is an amazing claim that despite all the massive government subsidies and regulations, almost all the cars being sold two decades will now will still be powered by gasoline.  I have have little fiath in such long term predictions, but the amazing thing is that prediction comes from the Obama administration.  Even they believe that with all their massive subsidies, everything will still be gasoline powered.  From the Detroit News:
The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that even in 2035, more than 99 percent of cars and trucks sold will still have internal combustion engines. . . .
Here is a little more from the piece:
. . . . But a good look at the latest advances in the gasoline-powered engine —and those on the horizon — jars this opinion, and the surge in U.S. oil production from shale drilling further refutes the idea that conventional engines are old technology. 
Already powering more than 230 million cars in the United States, internal combustion engines have the potential to become substantially more efficient, while providing economic and environmental benefits that extend well beyond the money consumers save at the pump. 
Imagine if your car uses advanced computing to control fuel injection far more precisely than before, improving the fuel efficiency of big cars by more than 15 percent. Or what if your car is able to knock another 30 percent off fuel consumption — and corresponding greenhouse-gas emissions — by partly cooling hot exhaust gas before it is pumped into the engine? . . . 
Don’t expect all of these technological advances in next year’s models, but automakers expect to hit their fuel economy targets over the next decade, rising from about 32 miles-per-gallon today to about 51 by 2025. Importantly, they are achieving technological breakthroughs with the internal combustion engine on their own, without the government subsidies that support the development of electric vehicles. For now, the most cost-effective technology changes in the near term are improvements in conventional cars — advanced internal combustion engines and diesel engines — that will reduce our energy consumption and enhance energy security. . . .

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