By a 48 to 23 percent margin Americans say that there is too much regulation rather than too little, gap up dramatically from 2008

A new Gallup poll shows that Americans are more likely to think that there is too much regulation than too little.  In 2008, 38 percent thought there was too much regulation and 27 percent thought that there was too little.  Now that gap has grown to 48 to 23 percent.

Even Democrats are slightly more likely to say that there is too much regulation compared to 2008, though during the Bush administration they were more likely to think that there was too much regulation.


Rome, Maine: Man wearing ski mask and brass knuckles killed after breaking into home

From Boston.com:
Maine State Police say a man was shot to death in the town of Rome as he was attempting a home invasion. 
Police said 44-year-old Christopher Dennison of Livermore Falls was wearing a ski mask and brass knuckles as he broke into a mobile home on Foss Hill Lane on Saturday night.
Police said the homeowner, 48-year-old Richard Duffy, shot Dennison after a brief altercation with him in the living room. 
. . . Dennison died from multiple gunshot wounds. 
Duffy and his teenage son were not hurt, and there was no indication that Duffy knew Dennison. . . .


New recall effort in Colorado against State Senator Evie Hudak, control of Colorado state senate hangs in the balance

A new recall effort in Colorado has just started against Democratic State Senator Evie Hudak.  They have just over 8 weeks to get the necessary signatures, but the people behind this effort are the same ones who spearheaded the two successful recent recalls in Colorado.  

Compared to the other two state Senators who were recalled, this district is not overwhelmingly Democratic, but actually pretty balanced.

SD19 - Hudak (D) - 48%-45% (48%-46%) Unfortunately this district changed little, Democrats tried a couple different ways to shore up Evie Hudak, but Carrera was having none of it, it remains Westminster/Arvada and a pure tossup seat for an incumbent who barely won in 2008, not ideal to say the least. . . .
By contrast: 
SD3 - Giron (D) - 56%-39% (56%-39%)  Same as before, Pueblo and Pueblo West, 44% Hispanic, safe Democratic. . . .
SD11 - Morse (D) - 52%-41% (50%-42%) The Democratic stronghold in El Paso County, this district takes in almost every Democratic precinct there is.  The Commission's local Republican member Bob Loevy agreed that Dems deserve one seat, and this is it! . . .
In case you don't remember, Senator Evie Hudak was the one who reprimanded Amanda Collins during her testimony before the Colorado state legislature (see about 2:18 into the video).  From Investors Business Daily:
. . . Collins was raped at gunpoint in a University of Nevada-Reno parking garage in October 2007. Nevada law prohibited her from carrying a gun on the campus, but her attacker had one. She was raped 50 feet away from the campus police department office. Her attacker was James Biela, a serial rapist who raped two other women and murdered another. 
He attacked her at gunpoint in a gun-free zone. At the time of the attack, Collins had a concealed weapons permit but not her firearm due to university policies prohibiting carrying concealed weapons on campus. Just such a gun-free zone policy is why the Aurora, Colo., shooter chose the theater he did. 
As she ended her compelling testimony, she asked the committee, "How does rendering me defenseless protect you against a violent crime?" 
In response, Democrat Sen. Evie Hudak lectured her that "statistics are not on your side." She said that Collins had rudimentary training in martial arts, yet the rapist overpowered her and therefore could have taken her gun if she had one. . . . 
Collins told the condescending Hudak, "I know without a doubt in my mind, at some point, I would have been able to stop my attack by using my firearm. He already had a weapon of his own; he didn't need mine." 
Salazar had pompously responded to Collins' story and advocacy of armed defense by saying, "It's why we have call boxes; it's why we have safe zones; it's why we have the whistles; because you just don't know who you're gonna be shooting at." 
Women, Salazar opined, "couldn't possibly know if they are in danger. And you don't know if you feel like you're gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop ... pop around at somebody." . . . .
From the Denver Post:
In her Tuesday statement, Hudak said: "Amanda was reflecting on her experience and asked the committee if having a gun would have made her safer. I realize now it was a rhetorical question. Amid this emotional testimony, my goal was to share research data about the increased danger of having a gun in an assault." 
Collins on Tuesday said Hudak's comments were shocking and disturbed her deeply.
"I had a hard time falling asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about what she said to me," Collins said. 
After the hearing, Hudak apologized to Collins, but Collins questions the senator's motive for doing so. 
"I don't know how genuine it really was," Collins said. . . . 
BTW, Hudak's statistical claim is completely wrong.
"I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun," Hudak said during the hearing. "And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you." . . .
The National Crime Victimization Survey clearly shows that having a gun is the safest course of action for victims confronted by a criminal and that is particularly true for women and those who are weaker physically.  The claim people will have their guns used against them is usually based on a misreading of police data.  It is often pointed out that up to 13% of officers who are killed are killed with their own gun (it is also as low as zero percent).  There are a couple problems with that: 1) The right comparison isn't the percent of officers who are killed who are killed with their own gun. The comparison should be the percent of officers who are assaulted who are killed with their own guns.  Take the numbers for 2009.  Out of 57,268 officers who were assaulted, one was killed with his own gun.  If you look at assaults with injuries, it is still just one out of 14,985 assaults.  2) Police have a much more difficult job than civilians.  If you take a concealed carry course, the point is that you have a gun to keep the criminal away from you.  Police can't just brandish a gun and watch the criminal run away.  They have to be willing to come into physical contact with the criminal and that is where the real problems arise.

My take on the previous recalls is available here.


More bizarre zero tolerance: School suspends 8-year-old from playing with pretend "invisible gun"

Another example of government schools trying to indoctrinate children to be afraid of guns, though possibly the government schools don't want children to emulate being police officers.  From Fox News:
An 8-year-old Florida boy was suspended from school after using his finger as a pretend gun while playing cops and robbers with his friends. 
Jordan Bennett was suspended for a day after administrators at Harmony Community School in Harmony, Fla., said the gesture was an act of violence, WFTV.com reported.
His mother, Bonnie, told the station she's concerned that her son may labeled violent with a suspension now on his academic record. 
"He had nothing in his hand. It was a finger gun, a pretend gun," Bonnie Bennett said. "He didn't threaten violence. He didn't utter words that were inappropriate. He made a sound and used his fingers and that was it." 
School district officials told the station its code of conduct prohibits students from playing with invisible guns. Bonnie Bennett believes there are more effective ways the district could have disciplined her son. . . .


Shutdown is cutting government spending by only 17 percent -- above level it was before Obama became president.

From the Washington Examiner:
"Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue. This figure assumes that the government pays amounts due on appropriations obligated before the shutdown ($512 billion), spends $225 billion on exempted military and civilian personnel, pays entitlement benefits for those found eligible before the shutdown (about $2 trillion), and pays interest costs when due ($237 billion). This is about 83 percent of projected 2014 spending of $3.6 trillion." . . .
By the way, cutting the projected $3.602 trillion in spending for 2014 by 17% would leave government spending at $2.990 trillion.  The year before president Obama became president government spending was at $2.983 trillion (see Table B-78).  It is only a 13% cut in spending from the $3.455 trillion in FY 2013.  Is the world really about to end if government spending was temporarily just a little higher than it was at the end of the Bush administration?

Of course, population has grown by about 3.99 percent since 2008 (to about 316.236 million in 2013 from 304.094 million in 2008) and prices have gone up by about 7.7 percent (index at 231.89694 in August 2013 (obtained by linking this series with the newest BLS numbers) and was at 215.303 in 2008).  So if you adjust for population growth and inflation, spending after the cut is $2.652 trillion -- that represents a 10 percent cut in real per capita government spending from what it was in 2008.

Given that during the presidential debates in 2008 Obama claimed that government spending had been increasing too much, this shutdown might be getting government back to the level of government Obama said he supported when he first ran for president.  From the Second presidential debate in 2008:
When George Bush came into office, our debt -- national debt was around $5 trillion. It's now over $10 trillion. We've almost doubled it. 
And so while it's true that nobody's completely innocent here, we have had over the last eight years the biggest increases in deficit, spending, and national debt in our history. And Sen. McCain voted for four out of five of those George Bush budgets. 
So here's what I would do. I'm going to spend some money on the key issues that we've got to work on. 
You know, you may have seen your health care premiums go up. We've got to reform health care to help you and your budget. 
We are going to have to deal with energy because we can't keep on borrowing from the Chinese and sending money to Saudi Arabia. We are mortgaging our children's future. We've got to have a different energy plan. 
We've got to invest in college affordability. So we're going to have to make some investments, but we've also got to make spending cuts. And what I've proposed, you'll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he's proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I'm cutting more than I'm spending so that it will be a net spending cut. . . . .
BTW, for those interested in a handy place to get data here is a good source


New Mexico's experience with giving illegal aliens driver's licenses

With California giving illegal aliens driver's licenses, it might have been helpful to have studied the impact in other states before adopting it yet.  From the LA Times:
California is home to nearly one in four immigrants who live in the U.S. without legal status. The state can learn a lot about potential problems from New Mexico, which has issued more than 90,000 driver's licenses to foreign nationals since 2003, said Demesia Padilla, that state's secretary for taxation and revenue. 
"It's been a disaster," Padilla said. "We have had a lot of identify fraud." 
The state has broken up fraud rings that used false addresses and fraudulent lease and utility documents to obtain driver's licenses for immigrants who live in other states, she said. . . .



How can Obama justify his demand that states shutdown state parks?

So what if the federal government covers some of the costs of state parks?  Can't the state governments make up their own minds about whether they want to temporarily cover the difference?  On top of all this, the House Republicans (and some Democrats) have already passed a spending bill for the nation's parks, but Democrats in the Senate won't allow a vote on it.  Well, at least one governor has ignored Obama's demands on closures.  From The Hill newspaper:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is defying orders from Washington, D.C., to close down several state parks that receive federal funding. 
Despite receiving a closure directive from the National Park Service, Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has decided instead that parks partly funded by the federal government would stay open to the public.  
In the wake of this week's federal government shutdown, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also placed barricades by a boat launch on the Mississippi River because it was on federal land. Wisconsin’s natural resources agency reopened it.  
State officials said they had legal authority to remove the barricades at the boat landing because of an agreement Wisconsin has had with the federal government since 1961.  
"We respect the magnitude of the process the federal government has had to undertake to close its properties and certain activities on properties they own and manage," Wisconsin's Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp told department employees in an email obtained by The Hill. . . .


Might Gov. Christie's decision to put the Senate election on a different date help some Republicans?

Christie's decision to have the US Senate election on October 16th makes it more likely that the Democrats will take the Senate seat because Christie being at the top of the ballot won't be there to help.  Of course, the Senate race would also bring more Democrats to the polls and help out on other races if it were held in November.  The trade off may then be a weaker US Senate candidate, but a better chance of picking up the state legislature.  If so, the polls are divided on whether this going to work.  The Senate race looks like it is getting close (though whether it is close enough is the question), and the polls discussed below indicate that they won't be able to take the state houses.  We will soon see who is right.

From Business Week:
As New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leads his opponent by as much as 34 percentage points in his bid for a second term, some Democrats say they’re worried that votes for the incumbent Republican will trickle down the ballot. 
At stake may be control of the legislature, where all 120 seats also are up for grabs. Christie’s dominance over state Senator Barbara Buono, the Democratic candidate for governor, is giving hopes to Republican lawmakers that they could make inroads after being out of power for the past decade. 
Republicans would need to win nine seats to take over the Assembly and five for the Senate. Democratic control has stymied Christie’s efforts to reshape the state Supreme Court, which has ruled against some of his spending cuts. Though polls suggest Christie’s coattails won’t be long, Democrats say he may be able to swing enough of the races to shift power. . . . . 
Adding to Buono’s struggles was Christie’s decision to call a special Oct. 16 U.S. Senate election for the seat held by Frank Lautenberg, a five-term Democrat who died in June. That timing keeps the popular Democratic candidate in that race, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, off the November ballot and denies the opposition party any chance of its own coattails. . . . .



If a Republican had made this comment by Senator Reid, his career would be severely damaged or over

From The Hill newspaper:
“If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?,” Bash asked. 
“Why would we want to do that?,” Reid shot back. “I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.” . . .
Reid's comments are very clear.  He is saying either the spending will be on everyone or no one, and that kids who were dying from cancer were not important enough to save.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sought to clarify comments he made in a testy exchange with a reporter on Wednesday, after conservatives pounced on what they portrayed as a serious government shutdown gaffe. . . .



More Obama hyperbole on the impact that the shutdown will have on the economy

JOHN HARWOOD: You mentioned calm. Wall Street's been pretty calm about this. The reaction I would say, generally speaking, has been, "Washington fighting, Washington posturing, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah." Is that the right way for them to look at it? 
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: No, I think this time's different. I think they should be concerned. And-- I had a chance to speak to-- some of the financial industry who came down for their typical trip. And I told them that-- it is-- not unusual for Democrats and Republicans to disagree. That's the way the founders designed our government. Democracy's messy. 
But when you have a situation in which-- a faction is willing potentially to default on-- U.S. government obligations-- then we are in trouble. And if they're willing to do it-- now, they'll be willing to do it later. One thing that I often hear-- is, "Well, Mr. President-- even if they're being unreasonable, why can't you just go ahead and-- do something that makes them happy now?" And I have to remind people-- 

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Interview on Fox News Live: Is the push for gun control over?

My discussion about how the push for gun control is likely to intensify (available here). 

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Add solar panels and lose your home in a fire

Solar panels are not close to being cost effective since the energy savings won't offset the capital costs of the panels, but now there might be a new bigger cost: some real difficulties for firefighters.  My guess is that this will show up in higher insurance premiums for buildings with solar panels.  From Fox News:

Firefighters across the nation are alarmed at the prospect of battling blazes in buildings topped with solar panels, which can create new risks of roofs collapsing, an inability to gain footing and even potential electric shock. 
Two recent fires involving structures decked with solar panels have triggered complaints from fire chiefs and calls for new codes and regulations that reflect the dangers posed by the clean-energy devices. A two-alarm fire last week at a home in Piedmont, Calif., prompted Piedmont Fire Chief Warren McLaren to say the technology “absolutely” made it harder on firefighters. Weeks earlier, in Delanco, N.J., more than 7,000 solar panels on the roof of a massive 300,000-square foot warehouse factored into Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt’s refusal to send his firefighters onto the roof of a Dietz & Watson facility. 
“We may very well not be able to save buildings that have alternative energy,” New Jersey’s Acting Fire Marshall William Kramer told The Star-Ledger. . . .


So much for letting German firms hire the best managers

From Bloomberg:

Germany’s Social Democrats are preparing a demand for equal distribution of jobs for women as part of a coalition deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding to the party’s list of requirements going into talks this week. 
The SPD women’s group, which represents 42 percent of the seats won by the party in the Sept. 22 elections, plans to push for half of all SPD government and parliamentary posts to be held by women. It also aims to demand binding legislation to get more women into management positions at top German companies. . . . .

After predictions that Arctic Sea Ice would disappear by 2013, significant increase in ice cover

Given that the world is still relatively cold compared to the average temperature over the last 1 billion years, I would expect that global temperatures would tend to rise.  Still it is interesting to see how wrong the predictions about Arctic Sea ice have been.  From Fox News:
About a million more square miles of ocean are covered in ice in 2013 than in 2012, a whopping 60 percent increase -- and a dramatic deviation from predictions of an "ice-free Arctic in 2013,"the Daily Mail noted
Arctic sea ice averaged 2.35 million square miles in August 2013, as compared to the low point of 1.32 million square miles recorded on Sept. 16, 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. A chart published Sept. 8 by NSIDC shows the dramatic rise this year, putting total ice cover within two standard deviations of the 30-year average. 
Noting the year over year surge, one scientist even argued that "global cooling" was here.
"We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped,” Anastasios Tsonis of the University of Wisconsin told London’s Mail on Sunday. . . .  
"[An ice-free Arctic is] definitely coming, and coming sooner than we previously expected,“ Walt Meier, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md, told LiveScience last month. “We're looking at when as opposed to if.” . . .

At about 1:21 into this clip, Michael Mann claims:
We are seeing that in the Arctic right now.  We are seeing that Arctic Sea ice is retreating at a schedule that is decades ahead of what the models were projecting.  We are actually seeing changes unfold faster than what we were expecting. . . .
Mann is basically setting up straw men in his whole presentation, but I am focusing on one here because of the recent news on the Arctic Sea ice sheet. 


"CNN Tries & Fails To Use ObamaCare Exchange: This Isn't Like The iPhone"

Obama says that this is just like the glitches with the iPhone. 
CNN Reporter: "My iOS 7 works.  I just sent someone an email.  It works.  With this I couldn't even sign up."



Child's career choice: government or private sector?


Obamacare exchanges vulnerable to hackers, use them at your own risk

If it wasn't bad enough that Obama is giving access to our private information to community organizers, now we have warnings that hackers are going to get easy access to our info.  Of course, there were earlier warnings about this security threat.  From Fox Business:
Security firm McAfee warned Tuesday that hackers are likely to take advantage of the rollout of ObamaCare exchanges this week by launching phishing attacks aimed at stealing personal information. 
Phishing attacks are designed to dupe users into revealing credit-card numbers or other confidential data by delivering phony links or attachments in emails and messages on social media sites. 
“I can say with a high degree of certainty that they will come. We live in a world where people look at compelling events and look to do something malicious. This is just the nature of the beast,” said Gary Davis, vice president of global consumer marketing at McAfee, which is owned by Intel (INTC). 
Like natural disasters or other major events, consumers searching for information about the new health-care exchanges are likely to be willing to disclose personal information in the coming weeks. . . .


More Zero Tolerance: Bizarre case of 7th grader suspended for a tiny trinket gun

From Fox News' Red Eye, School officials say 2-inch trinket violated zero tolerance policy (video available here).


Obama EPA head doesn't fire employee who stole $900,000 from government

From Politico:
The former senior EPA adviser who stole $900,000 from taxpayers while posing as a CIA agent pleaded the Fifth on Tuesday morning — shortly before House members expressed outrage upon learning that he’s still due to get his government pension. . . . 
Both Republicans and Democrats on the panel called themselves dumbfounded by the news. 
“Still month after month the American taxpayers are going to pay” Beale, said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). He said he wants to see EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy come before the committee to answer for why she didn’t immediately fire Beale after becoming aware that he was receiving unearned bonuses and had stayed on the payroll even after holding a retirement party. 
“What does it take to actually get fired in this federal government?” Chaffetz railed. . . .

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Firm with history of "Rampant fraud" is hired by Obama adm to be major player in signing people up for Obamacare

Fraud would prevent a company from getting defense department contracts, but apparently it is OK for Obamacare.  Indeed, possibly it is desired because Obama at least wants it to look like there is demand for the new benefits.  From the New York Post:

Rampant fraud on a New York City contract last year didn’t stop a major nonprofit from landing a slew of federal contracts to sign people up for ObamaCare. 
Seedco, a New York-based community-development organization, was sued by the federal government for faking at least 1,400 of 6,500 job placements under a $22.2 million federally funded contract with the city. 
Eighteen months later, the feds and Seedco are teaming up again, this time to help medical-insurance seekers maneuver through the maze that is the Affordable Health Care Act. 
When ObamaCare’s open-enrollment period starts Tuesday, among the frontline agencies will be Seedco, which is partnering with dozens of agencies, such as the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Food Bank for New York City and the Chinese American Planning Council, in each of the five boroughs.
The national nonprofit has also lined up federal contracts with agencies in Georgia, where it has a $2.1 million contract, and Tennessee, where it has a $1.2 million contract. . . . . 


White House thinks it can tell the press this and still not be blamed for shutdown: "Not giving an inch is seen as best strategy for win at White House"

From The Hill newspaper:

There was no shadow of doubt at the White House as the clocked ticked down to midnight Monday. 
Officials suggested that a refusal to negotiate over funding the government was the winning strategy. 
White House officials expressed confidence they wouldn’t have to back down in the slightest, while aides close to Obama, former administration officials and top Democratic strategists who confer with the White House say the chances of them negotiating with Republicans are slim to none. . . .

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7 of the richest 10 members of Congress are Democrats

The Fiscal Times has the list available here.


"12 Weapons that Changed Everything"

The Fiscal Times has this list of "12 Weapons that Changed Everything." 


Comments on piece on gun control at CNN

Here is a piece that CNN recent ran as well as some comments that I have on the piece.

Gun lunacy rides high in America

By John J. Donohue, Special to CNN
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Fri September 13, 2013

(CNN) -- Just when one might have thought that lunacy over gun policy in the U.S. cannot be exceeded, think again.
 In the wake of the Newtown massacre, Colorado adopted a universal background check system and a modest restriction on the size of high-capacity magazines. This was good news for everyone except gun sellers who don't want the sales to felons and the insane to dry up (and those who think what for most purchasers would be a five-minute background check is too much of an imposition). 
NOTE: This is inaccurate.  Virtually everyone who has been stopped with background checks was a law-abiding citizen.  What is evidence there that either background checks or limits on magazine size have reduced any type of crime rates?  There is none. 
Since gun sellers call the shots at the NRA, the lobbying group launched an effort to punish Colorado legislators who stood up for public safety over gun seller profits. Now, two thoughtful Colorado legislators have been recalled and the NRA is crowing at having exercised its muscle once again.  
Other states are trying to up the ante. Only last week, Iowa highlighted the nonsense by offering concealed carry permits to blind individuals.  
This week in Missouri, by the thinnest of margins -- only 1 vote in the state Senate -- the legislature failed in its effort to make that state a haven for gun toting felons and lunatics by overriding the governor's veto of a bill designed to thwart any form of federal gun regulation, including background checks, and even trying to make it a crime for federal agents to enforce these laws. 
NOTE: There were no federal laws banning felons from getting guns until the 1960s.  No states had these laws until the 1920s. 
The claim that the state can unilaterally decide to nullify federal law is so preposterous that even the strongest of gun advocates with some understanding of Supreme Court precedent acknowledge its invalidity. 
NOTE: Up until the New Deal and Supreme Court decisions such as Wicker in 1942, the notion that the Federal government could even have the types of gun laws that are being discussed wouldn't even have occurred to most lawyers. 
Indeed, Robert Levy, who personally funded the litigation designed to convince the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment, which begins "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state," had nothing to do with a well-regulated militia has recently conceded that the Missouri stunt flouts the very Constitution that its supporters claim to uphold.  
Even Levy's concessions fall on deaf ears in the legislatures of Kansas and Montana, where the idea of state nullification of federal gun laws seems eminently reasonable -- despite the clear language of the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, which states, the "Constitution and the Laws of the United States ... shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."  
While Iowa is merely highlighting the absurd laxity of gun laws in this country, the damage will be slight since most blind Iowans will have the good sense not to possess or discharge firearms.  
NOTE: 42 states have made similar alterations to their laws. Can you point to any problems that have arisen? 
But the overheated rhetoric flowing from the NRA crowd during the Colorado recall and from Missouri (and similarly inclined states) is dangerous for at least two reasons.  
NOTE: What exactly was the overheated rhetoric from the NRA?  If you want examples of overheated rhetoric by Democrats with claims of racism and voter suppression, try here and here.  
First, it undermines our democracy when voters act based on false and misleading views about the actual content of state and federal laws. Second, similar hyperbolic rhetoric after the passage of the federal background check system and the (now elapsed) federal assault weapons ban galvanized the unstable gun zealot Timothy McVeigh forward with his scheme to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City.  
NOTE: McVeigh was motivated by Federal background check system and assault weapons ban? Try Waco and Ruby Ridge.  For example, here is a discussion from CBS's "60 Minutes."  
The NRA can succeed in its efforts to punish legislators who stand up for positions its own president once specifically advocated and push for clearly unconstitutional laws by recklessly fooling voters into believing that federal gun laws are tyrannical. In fact, federal gun restrictions are so lax that the U.S. overwhelmingly dominates the world in the number of guns held by private citizens -- and also among rich countries in its rate of gun deaths from murder, suicide, and accidents.  
NOTE: This probably relies on bogus data from the Small Arms Survey.  
Just the other day, a child killed herself with her father's gun while camping in Yellowstone National Park. Law-abiding citizens with guns have to recognize their obligations to prevent the types of tragedies that occur on a daily basis in the U.S. when lawfully owned guns are used, intentionally or inadvertently, to kill and maim others.  
NOTE: Obviously tragedies such as this child's death occur, but the question is the net effect from gun ownership.  If the father had used the gun to protect the child from a mountain lion, would Donohue be writing about that?    
One needs to accommodate the interests of legitimate gun owners if sensible gun laws are to be passed, but gun owners must also take responsibility -- first, by not being duped by NRA deceptions to advance the economic interests of gun merchants, and second, by taking every effort to ensure that their guns do not contribute to the mayhem.   
NOTE: In my past debates with with this author, he has defended gun bans in DC and Chicago.  But where are the deceptions by the NRA?  Where is the evidence that the NRA takes the positions that they do because of the "economic interests of gun merchants" and not because they believe in their positions.  Why does Donohue consistently continue to engage in this type of rhetoric?


There should be a split between public and private sector unions. Is it finally coming to the surface?

Unions such as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have recently left the public sector union dominated AFL-CIO.  Even the AFL-CIO is acknowledging that Obamacare is forcing employers to change full-time jobs to part-time ones.  Bigger government and higher taxes might help public sector unions, but it will help put private sector unions out of business.  From the WSJ:
"One of the tectonic shifts in politics right now is the separation between some fiscal conservative Democrats and public-sector unions," says Pete Peterson, executive director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University. Mr. Peterson points to battles in California cities between Democratic mayors and public labor groups over government budgets and worker benefits. . . .


Toledo, Ohio: Woman with gun stops man who was kicking down her front door at 4:45 AM

From ABC Channel 13 in Toledo, Ohio:
Tense moments in the early morning hours, as a woman carrying a gun confronts a man trying to get into her home. 
The attempted home invasion happened on the 1900 block of Loxley near Upton, just before 5 a.m. Thursday. 
It proved Betty Collins is a woman who stands her ground - with a gun in her hand.
"I said, 'Get on the ground.' and he got on his knees. I said, 'no, put your face in the dirt and you're gonna stay there.'," recounted Collins. 
The past two mornings, she says, someone has stolen items from her car. 
This morning, she says someone was trying to get into her house. . . .  
Collins says wearing shoes and shorts - no shirt, and at 4:45 in the morning, he started heading toward her house, then started kicking the door, trying to get inside. 
"I screamed as loud as I could, 'get off my porch. I have a gun. I will shoot you.' And he stayed at the door," explained Collins. "I'm like, 'Get off my porch. I have a gun. I will shoot you.' He didn't move, so I opened the door and there he was standing 5 inches from the barrel of a loaded .357." . . .


May the force be with you: "MIT, Harvard scientists accidentally create real-life lightsaber"

From Fox News:
In a reported first, researchers at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a newfangled technology that theoretically could be used to construct an actual lightsaber. 
Until now, photons, or the mass-less particles that constitute light, were thought to not interact, but rather simply pass through each other, just two beams of luminescence during a laser-light show. 
But according to the Harvard Gazette, scientists at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms have improbably coaxed photons into hardened molecules you could, in fact, whack against each other in, say, a Bespin-based duel-to-the-death resulting in one person, sadly, losing a hand. . . .


When will the Obama administration bring a case against places that prevent blacks from buying guns

It costs over $500 to license and register a handgun in DC, but that isn't a problem.  A free ID in North Carolina is a problem.  BTW, there are no free IDs given out for people to go through the background checks to buy guns.  From Politico:

The Justice Department will file suit against North Carolina on Monday, charging that the Tar Heel State’s new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls violates the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against African Americans, according to a person familiar with the planned litigation. . . . .


Putting some numbers behind Obama's broken promise: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

There are two reasons that Americans will lose their current health plans even if they are are happy with them.  Either because the companies have stopped offering insurance or Obama's regulations have changed the policies so that they are no longer what people originally liked.  I have previously noted that a lot of policies, particularly the cheapest ones, have gone up a lot in price.  Here is some information from five states where insurance companies have left the business.  From the Daily Caller:
1) California: 58,000 will lose their plans under Obamacare. The first bomb dropped in California with a mass exodus from the most populated state’s Obamacare exchange. Aetna, the country’s largest insurer, left first in July and was closely followed by UnitedHealth. Anthem Blue Cross pulled out of California’s Obamacare exchange for small businesses as well. 
Fifty-four percent of Californians expect to lose their coverage, according to an August poll
2) Missouri: Patients of the state’s largest hospital system — which spans 13 hospitals including the St. Louis Children’s Hospital — will not be covered by the largest insurer on Obamacare exchanges, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield. Anthem covers 79,000 patients in Missouri who may seek subsidies on Obamacare exchanges, but won’t be able to see any doctors in the BJC HealthCare system. 
3) Connecticut: Aetna, the third largest insurer in the nation, won’t offer insurance on the Obamacare exchange in its own home state, where it was founded in 1850. The reason? “We believe the modification to the rates filed by Aetna will not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans and meet the service expectations of our customers,” said Aetna spokesman Susan Millerick. 
4) Maryland: 13,000 individuals covered by Aetna and its recently-purchased Coventry Health Care won’t be able to keep their insurance plans if they want Obamacare subsidies on the exchanges. Aetna and Coventry canceled plans to offer insurance in the exchange when state officials wouldn’t allow them to charge premiums high enough to cover costs. 
5) South Carolina: 28,000 people were insured by Medical Mutual of Ohio, SC’s second-largest insurance company, until it decided to leave the state entirely in July due to Obamacare’s “vast and quite complex” new regulations. Company spokesman Ed Byers said Medical Mutual’s patients would be switched over to United Healthcare plans instead. . . .
The Daily Caller has information for five other states.



Interview on Alan Colmes' radio show

Economist John R. Lott Jr. dives into the gun debate and talks about his new book "Dumbing Down the Courts" (video available here).

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