Jackson, MS: "Would-be robber bets potential victim won't have gun" and loses

From the Clarion Ledger in Mississippi:
A alleged would-be robber took a gamble outside a north Jackson motel Friday morning, betting a potential victim, a guest at Motel 6, wouldn't have a gun.
The guest did though and shot the alleged robber, reported WLBT.
. . .  the man, who left the motel's premises after being shot, was picked up by an ambulance later at Pines, an apartment complex on Watkins Drive.
The report stated the failed robber approached the motel guest asking for a cigarette. When the guest said he didn't have any, the other man walked away before turning back around with a gun in his hand pointed at the victim and reportedly saying, "Betcha ain't got one of these."
The guest, whom WLBT reported is a contractor from the Gulf Coast, is not facing charges at this time, though the case will be presented to a Hinds County grand jury. . . .

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Really, seriously? Harry Reid Claims Dems Don't Have Billionaire Backers

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): But what else should we expect? The decisions by the Supreme Court have left the American people with a status quo in which one side’s billionaires are pitted against the other side’s billionaires. Except one side doesn't have billionaires. We must undo the damage done by the Supreme Court’s recent campaign finance decisions.
Steyer brothersMichael Bloomberg and George Soros are among some of the billionaires who are throwing a lot of money behind Democrats.  Can the media really keep a straight face on this one?


Collecting articles on the Justice Department's Operation Choke Point

A House panel says the Obama administration is using the Justice Department to target and “choke out” businesses it finds objectionable, from gun dealers and payday lenders to drug paraphernalia sellers and porn merchants.
The administration is using an anti-credit card fraud effort dubbed Operation Choke Point to go after legitimate businesses it deems “high-risk,” says a staff report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. . . . .
“Operation Choke Point is the Justice Department’s newest abuse of power,” Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and committee chairman, said Thursday. “If the administration believes some businesses should be out of business, they should prosecute them before a judge and jury. By forcibly conscripting banks to do their bidding, the Justice Department has avoided any review and any check on their power.”
The Washington Times has reported that several gun retailers have been dropped by their banks as a result of the operation — the most recent being Powderhorn Outfitters, a sporting goods shop in Hyannis, Massachusetts, which was dropped last week by TD Bank after a 36-year business relationship. . . .
A Missouri congressman . . . Blaine Luetkemeyer wants to choke off funding for “Operation Choke Point.”
“What it does is goes after an entire industry whether it’s obeying the law or not. And that’s just wrong,” Luetkemeyer said of the initiative in an interview with The Daily Caller.
The Republican lawmaker’s amendment was successfully attached to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill which passed a vote in the House late Thursday.
The amendment comes on the heels of a staff report issued Thursday by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The report claims that “Operation Choke Point has forced banks to terminate relationships with a wide variety of entirely lawful and legitimate merchants.”
This happens because the anti-fraud initiative, which is operated by the Department of Justice which works in conjunction with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, forces banks to more closely monitor their business relationships with companies in industries deemed “high risk.”
Banks can suffer “reputational risk” by failing to spot fraudulent practices.
This has had a chilling effect in forcing banks to be overly cautious in who they do business with, says Luetkemeyer.
“They are operating legally, and yet Operation Choke Point is not there to go after the bad actors, which I support them doing,” he said, adding, “the problem I have with Operation Choke Point is it goes one step further.”
Luetkemeyer said that gun sellers, ammunition sellers, coin dealers, tobacco sellers, career repair service providers and many other businesses have been wrongly ensnared because of the initiative’s overreach. . . .
AWR Hawkins has some discussion on these issues here



Absolutely devastating contrast between Obama's bragging about “Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat" and what has happened

If you like to see a video with some of Obama's bragging claims about his victories against Al Qaeda with what has actually happened, the beginning of this video with Obama's quotes is worth a look.

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Even leftist Al Hunt says "Optics Are Terrible" With Clinton's Death Tax Hypocrisy


Privatize currencies?: It is being seriously talked about

Private companies providing currency have a much better incentive to keep price levels constant.  But it is unlikely that governments will want to give up the power to earn seigniorage (the difference in value between what the currency can buy and the cost of making it -- so a $50 bill may only cost a few cents to make, it buys $50).  Some system of taxation might allow governments to extract that seigniorage, though government taxation might go well beyond that amount.  The UK Guardian has an interesting article:
The UK should privatise the pound and replace it with a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, according to a paper published Wednesday by the free-market Institute of Economic Affairs. 
Kevin Dowd, a professor of finance and economics at Durham University, says that although bitcoin isn't the first example of private money, it is the first that governments can't shut down. Therefore, he says, authorities should admit that it's here to stay, and allow competition on a level playing field between all alternative forms of money. 
That might include allowing taxes to be payed in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and dogecoin, or even fully privatising the pound, selling off the right to mint the currency to the highest bidder. 
"Let's suppose that bitcoin became a very prominent currency," Dowd told the Guardian. "[To ensure a level playing field], the government itself would accept bitcoin in tax payments. So, in effect, the government should not be favouring its own currency, or any particular currency, through any of its unique powers. Nor have regulations against them. 
"The natural analogy is with some of the old, bad, monopolies like British Gas or British Telecom. Telecom is a very good example: for a long time, we had a government monopoly, which stifled innovation, and the service was poor. Once that got opened up, competition opened, new innovation prospered, and we got all sorts of innovation that we couldn't possibly anticipate, and we're a lot better off for it." . . . .



Newest piece at Fox News: “Obama making up facts about guns”

My newest Fox News starts this way:
President Obama just can't seem to help himself. Over and over again, he makes exaggerated or false claims about guns and crime.  
Last year Obama kept asserting the bogus numbers such as “40 percent of all gun purchases take place without a background check.”  Besides the study being based on a tiny survey it was started before the Federal background check law went into effect.   
Moreover, the 40 percent figure referred to all transfers, not just sales, and the vast majority of transfers took place within families through gifts and inheritances. Then, for good measure, Obama added an extra 4 percentage points to increase the number from 36 to 40 percent. 
Unfortunately, this past Tuesday Obama was at it again.  He lamented: 
"My biggest frustration has been that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.  We are the only developed country on earth where this happens." 
Does Obama not consider Norway a developed country?  After all, Anders Breivik shot 69 people to death and wounded 110 others.  That attack holds the record for a single-person shooting spree.

Is Germany a developed country?  While the president focused on school shootings, he never acknowledged that two of the three worst K-12 school shootings have occurred in Germany since 2000, not in the United States.  These were: 
-- Erfurt, Germany on April 26, 2002: a former student killed 18 at a secondary school.

-- Winnenden, Germany, March 11, 2009: a 17-year-old former student killed 15 people, including nine students and three teachers. 
A partial list of mass shootings in Europe from 2000 to early 2010 is available here. 
Obama also claimed: "The idea, for example, that we couldn't even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you are going to buy a weapon you have to go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are so that you can't just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon makes no sense." 
Obama ought to try purchasing a gun himself. . . .



How Hillary Clinton has poorly treated Secret Service Agents

How someone treats low level people often tells you a lot about a person.  From the UK Daily Mail:
If Hillary Clinton runs, and wins the Presidential race in 2016, the Republicans won't be the only ones with trepidation. The Secret Service, who have tangled with Hillary since she became First Lady in 1993, will also be quaking in their lace-ups. Hillary has been known to hurl a book at the back of the head of one agent driving her in the Presidential limo accusing him of eavesdropping, forget her ps and qs by never thanking her protectors and lob profanity-laced orders when she just wanted the agents to carry her bags - a job not on agents' 'to do' list.'Stay the f**k away from me! Just f*****g do as I say!!!' she is quoted as saying to an agent who refused to carry her luggage in the book Unlimited Access by FBI agent Gary Aldridge. . . .
Emmett launches a stinging attack on the Clinton administration staff he used to protect - branding them arrogant and claiming that ex-First Lady Hillary Clinton was aloof.He tells how Hillary never said 'thank you' to agents . . . .


Obama administration moves to regulation cell phone navigation apps

Does anyone really think that the Obama administration is competent on designing cell phone apps?  People don't want apps that distract themselves from driving, but there are trade-offs people face in usefulness versus distraction.  Will the Obama administration care about usefulness?  From the NY Times:
Getting directions on the road from Google Maps and other smartphone apps is a popular alternative to the expensive navigation aids included in some cars. The apps are also a gray area when it comes to laws banning the use of cellphones or texting while driving. 
The Transportation Department wants to enter the argument. 
The department is intensifying its battle against distracted driving by seeking explicit authority from Congress to regulate navigation aids of all types, including apps on smartphones. 
The measure, included in the Obama administration’s proposed transportation bill, would specify that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the authority to set restrictions on the apps and later order changes if they are deemed dangerous, much the way it currently regulates mechanical features of cars. . . .



"Mass Shootings Have Long History"

A chart on how deaths from K-12 school shootings has changed over the past 23 years is available here.  From the Discovery Channel:
Although it sounds sadly modern, the account was published in the New York Times more than a century ago.
Dated April 10, 1891, the article described an elderly man firing a shotgun at children playing in front of St. Mary's Parochial School in Newburgh, N.Y.
"None of the children were killed, but several were well filled with lead," the report said.
More than a century earlier, on July 26, 1764, a teacher and 10 students were shot dead by four Lenape American Indians in Greencastle, Penn., in what is considered the earliest known U.S. mass school shooting.
Indeed, killing or trying to kill a mass of people is not a modern phenomenon. For as long as there has been history, there have been gruesome mass murders. . . .