Knock Knock: What’s the Difference Between the Democratic Party and Socialists?

Read Jay Nordlinger‘s commentary here.

 National Review Online


Celebrating 50 Years of Medicaid & Medicare

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 writes: This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, the healthcare entitlement programs that together cover 125 million Americans and last year cost nearly a trillion dollars.

When these programs were created back in 1965, no one ever thought they would get this big or cost this much. Congressional budgeters at the time thought Medicare, the healthcare program for the elderly, would cost about $12 billion by 1990. The actual cost that year was $90 billion.

We should have seen it coming. After all, it didn’t take decades for actual Medicare and Medicaid costs to overrun projections. That pretty much happened right away. In 1965, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicaid, the jointly funded federal-state program originally meant to cover the poor, would cost $238 million in its first year. It actually cost more than $1 billion. By 1971, Medicaid spending had reached about $6.5 billion, blowing away all previous estimates….(read more)

TheFederalist.com


OUT: Apple Watch. IN: Implantables

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‘ It might sound like something you’d see in a science fiction movie, but my prediction is that in the next three to five years, implantable devices will become about as normal as wearing the latest watch.’

Bijan Khosravi writes: That is right, the implantable. In the past decade of tech innovation, connectivity has been the name of the game. Call your friend in the middle of the night in Antarctica. Facetime with your sister on vacation in India. Talk about the movie you saw with friends in London. Anything is possible with the push of a button and now with the Apple Watch, you can do it all with the twist of a dial. But this is just the beginning of what Silicon Valley has in store for us in the name of connectivity. We’re about to enter the next level of high tech innovation – connecting with yourself.

And the most efficient and accurate way to do that is with the next wave of sensor based smart devices – those you can implant into your body. It might sound like something you’d see in a science fiction movie, but my prediction is that in the next three to five years, implantable devices will become about as normal as wearing the latest watch.

The movement into an era of implantables is already in full swing with wearables and attachables like FitBit. These are just the first generation of gadgets that go beyond monitoring and measuring your body movements. Startups like Thync are pushing the envelope with their neurosignaling patch that uses low voltage electrical currents to alter a person’s mood and energy. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Bill Cosby Tried to Ban Me From TV’

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Mannie Holmes reports: Singer Janis Ian has added her voice to the many who are speaking out against Bill Cosby since numerous sexual assault allegations have come out against the comedic icon.

“Cosby, seeing me asleep in the chaperone’s lap, had made it his business to ‘warn’ other shows that I wasn’t ‘suitable family entertainment,’ was probably a lesbian, and shouldn’t be on television.”

Ian penned a Facebook post this week, sharing her own story about her personal experience with Cosby.

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“I have a personal stake,” she wrote, linking to the recent New York Magazine cover story in which 35 Cosby accusers told their stories. “No, I was not sexually bothered by Bill Cosby. We met because he was curious about me.”

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She wrote that her story began when her hit, “Society’s Child,” dominated the charts when she was only sixteen years old. She then made an appearance on the variety show “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” Due to months of being on the road and the controversy surrounding “Society’s Child,” Ian said she was exhausted at the show’s taping.

“I needed to sleep. So I fell asleep in my chaperone’s lap. She was earth motherly, I was scared. It was good to rest,” she wrote.

[Read the full story here, at Variety]

Shortly after the taping, Ian was informed that she had been blackballed from appearing on television. Read the rest of this entry »


Report: New Apple TV to be Unveiled in September, but Without Expected TV Subscription Service

tim-cook-apple-tv

The Apple TV is also expected to gain Siri voice search support in its update this fall, as well as more on-board storage.

Chance Miller reports: According to a new report from BuzzFeed News, Apple is currently planning to unveil its refreshed Apple TV in September. The company had originally planned to unveil the device at WWDC this summer, but scrapped it from the event at the last minute. A September unveil has seemingly been expected since the announcement was pulled from WWDC.

“It was reported in the past that the device will not feature support for 4k content, as Apple feels there is not a large enough market for the feature at this time.”

The report goes on to corroborate much of what we reported earlier this year. The refreshed Apple TV is expected to be slimmer than the current-generation device and will feature Apple’s new A8 chip. Read the rest of this entry »


Jason Alexander Arrested: ‘Law & Order’ Director Charged with Child Porn Possession

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Natalie Stone reports: Law & Order director Jason “Jace” Alexander was arrested Wednesday in New York on child pornography charges, according to the Westchester County District Attorney.

Alexander, who lives in Dobbs Ferry, was charged with felony counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child after allegedly file-sharing “illegal and obscene performances of sexual conduct by children less than 17 years of age.”

According to the press release from the DA’s office, the office began its investigation July 24 after determining that the IP address associated with the illegal activity was assigned to Alexander’s home.

Dobbs-Ferry

July 29, 2015 — Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Jason Alexander (DOB 04/07/64) of 42 Bellair Dr., Dobbs jasonalexanderFerry, New York, was charged today by Felony Complaint with:

  • one count of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class “D” Felony,
  • one count of Possessing an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child, a class “E” Felony,

for possessing and file-sharing illegal and obscene performances of sexual conduct by children less than seventeen years of age.

On July 24, 2015, an investigator from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office downloaded child pornography from an IP (internet protocol) address in Westchester County.

The District Attorney’s Office began its investigation and pursuant to a subpoena, it was determined that the IP address was assigned to the defendant’s home.

A search warrant was subsequently executed at the defendant’s home address.

A forensic examination of computers and external hard drives removed from the location revealed digital files of children who are less than sixteen years of age engaged in child pornography.

The defendant was arraigned in Dobbs Ferry Village Court.

Bail was set at $10,000 cash. Read the rest of this entry »


Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s Managing Editor During University of Virginia Rape Hoax Catastrophe, Suddenly Unemployed

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The magazine commissioned an analysis of the article by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and its report in April cited failures at every stage of the reporting process. After the report was made public, Rolling Stone retracted the article.

The magazine has since been the target of lawsuits from an assistant dean at the university and by three members of the fraternity at the center of the article, who filed a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday.

(read more)

The New York Times


Political Warriors Black Robes? Poll: Negative Views of Supreme Court at Record High

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68% of Conservatives Identifies Court as Liberal

Following major, end-of-term rulings on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, unfavorable opinions of the Supreme Court have reached a 30-year high. And opinions about the court and its ideology have never been more politically divided.

“Seven-in-ten Americans (70%) say that in deciding cases, the justices of the Supreme Court ‘are often influenced by their own political views.’ Just 24% say they ‘generally put their political views aside. when deciding cases.”

Currently, 48% of Americans have a favorable impression of the Supreme Court, while 43% view the court unfavorably. Unfavorable opinions of the court, while up only modestly since March (39%), are the highest recorded since 1985.

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted July 14-20 among 2,002 adults, finds that 7-29-2015-12-42-28-PMmost of the increase in unfavorable views of the Supreme Court has come among Republicans.

“Most Americans (54%) say that the Supreme Court has the right amount of power, while 36% say it is too powerful.”

Just 33% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the court, while 61% have an unfavorable view. Since March, the share of Republicans viewing the court favorably has fallen 17 percentage points (from 50% to 33%), while the share with an unfavorable impression has jumped 21 percentage points (from 40% to 61%). Republicans’ views of the Supreme Court are now more negative than at any point in the past three decades.

“Only about one-in-ten (7%) thinks the court has too little power”

In contrast, Democrats’ views of the Supreme Court have become more positive since March, though the change has not been as dramatic. Currently, 62% of Democrats have a favorable impression of the court, up from 54% four months ago.

There also has been a major shift in how Americans, especially those at either end of the ideological spectrum, view the Supreme Court’s ideology. The share of the public saying the current Supreme Court is liberal has doubled since March, driven by changing attitudes among Republicans, particularly conservative Republicans.

Overall, 39% of the public views the court as middle-of-the-road, 36% as liberal and 18% as conservative. The share saying the court is liberal has increased from 26% to 36% over the past few months and stands at its highest point in surveys dating to 2007. There has been a ten-point decline in the number saying the court is conservative (18% today, 28% in March), while the share saying it is middle-of-the-road is little changed (39% now, 38% then).

Opinions about the court and its ideology have never been more politically divided

Currently, 68% of conservative Republicans say the current Supreme Court is liberal – up 20 points since 7-29-2015-12-25-38-PMMarch and by far the highest percentage since 2007. About a quarter of conservative Republicans (24%) say the court has a middle-of-the-road approach and 5% see it as conservative.

Liberal Democrats now generally view the current Supreme Court as middle-of-the-road; in March, most saw the court as conservative. Currently, 49% of liberal Democrats say it is middle-of-the-road (up from 31% in March). Three-in-ten (30%) say it is conservative, down from 56% in March. And 17% say the court is liberal, about double the share who said this in March (8%).

Perceptions of the court’s ideology have changed less among those closer to the middle of the ideological spectrum. Moderate and liberal Republicans’ continue to be divided: 42% see the Supreme Court as middle-of-the-road; 40% say it is liberal and 13% say it is conservative. A plurality of conservative and moderate 7-29-2015-12-26-53-PMDemocrats (43%) continue to say it is middle-of-the-road.

The change in independents’ views of the Supreme Court’s ideology mirrors the shift among the public: 41% say it is middle-of-the-road, little changed from 38% in March; 36% see it as liberal (up 11 points) and 18% say it is conservative (down 10 points). The share of Republican-leaning independents who say the court is liberal has risen from 38% to 54%. Just 23% of independents who lean toward the Democratic Party say the same, up a modest seven percentage points since March.

Other findings

Little Change in Views of Same-Sex Marriage, Affordable Care Act. In contrast to opinions about the Supreme Court, views on two issues that were the subject of its high-profile rulings – same-sex marriage and the 2010 health care law – have shown little change. Currently, 54% of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 39% are opposed. In May, before the Court’s ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, 57% favored and 39% opposed same-sex marriage. The public is divided over 7-29-2015-12-26-37-PMthe 2010 health care law: 48% approve of the law and 49% disapprove. In February, 45% approved of the health care law and 53% disapproved.

Few Think Supreme Court Justices Set Aside Their Political Views. Seven-in-ten Americans (70%) say that in deciding cases, the justices of the Supreme Court “are often influenced by their own political views.” Just 24% say they “generally put their political views aside” when deciding cases. The belief that justices are swayed by their own political views spans partisan and demographic groups. The survey also finds that a majority of the public (56%) says the court should consider the views of most Americans when deciding cases; 39% say they should not be influenced by public opinion.

Supreme Court Not Viewed as ‘Too Powerful.’ A majority (54%) says the Supreme Court has the right amount of power, while 36% think it has too much power; 7% say it has too little power. Republicans (45%) are more likely than Democrats (32%) or independents (33%) to view the court as too powerful.

Supreme Court Favorability

Partisanship, ideology and religious affiliation are all factors in views of the Supreme Court. In addition, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage and the 2010 health care law have starkly different opinions about the Supreme Court.

By a 63% to 28% margin, those who favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court. By almost an identical margin (63% to 30%), those who oppose same-sex 7-29-2015-12-26-04-PMmarriage have an unfavorable impression of the court. The association between views of the court and opinions on same-sex marriage is far stronger than in the past.

Opinions of the court among those who approve and disapprove of the 2010 health care law are similarly divided (61% of those who approve of the law have a favorable opinion of the court, compared with just 33% of those who disapprove). Supporters and opponents of the law were less divided last year, but were similarly split following the court’s 2012 term, in which it ruled the law was constitutional.

Since March, the plunge in the Supreme Court’s favorability among Republicans has largely come among conservatives. Just 27% of conservative Republicans have a favorable impression of the Supreme Court. Four months ago, nearly half (48%) did so. Among moderate and liberal Republicans, there has been a smaller, nine-point decline in positive views of the court (45% now, 54% then). Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES HE DID: Kentucky Man Shoots Down Drone Hovering Over His Backyard

William H. Merideth

‘If you cross that sidewalk onto my property, there’s going to be another shooting.’

 reports: The way William Merideth sees it, it’s pretty clear-cut: a drone flying over his backyard was a well-defined invasion of privacy, analogous to a physical trespassing.

“Are you the son of a bitch that shot my drone?”

Not knowing who owned it, the Kentucky man took out his shotgun and fired three blasts of Number 8 birdshot to take the drone out.

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“It was just right there. It was hovering, I would never have shot it if it was flying. When he came down at my girl’s room, and came with a video camera right over my back deck, that’s not going to work. I know they’re neat little vehicles, but one of those uses shouldn’t be flying into people’s yard and videotaping.”

“It was just right there,” he told Ars. “It was hovering, I would never have shot it if it was flying. When he came down at my girl’s room, and came with a video camera right over my back deck, that’s not going to work. I know they’re neat little vehicles, but one of those uses shouldn’t be flying into people’s yard and videotaping.”

William Merideth Mug shot

William Merideth Mug shot

“We have a lawyer and there’s a court date and then there’s going to be a hearing. It’s not going to stop with the two charges against me, which I’m confident that we’ll get reduced or get dismissed completely.”

Minutes later, a car full of four men that he didn’t recognize rolled up, “looking for a fight.”

[Read the full story here, at Ars Technica]

“Are you the son of a bitch that shot my drone?” one said, according to Merideth.

“The people that own the drones and the people that hate guns are the only ones that disagree with what I did.”

His terse reply to the men, while wearing a 10mm Glock holstered on his hip: “If you cross that sidewalk onto my property, there’s going to be another shooting.”

The men backed down, retreated to their car, and waited for the police to arrive.

 “Now, if I’d have had a .22 rifle, I should have gone to jail for that. The diameter of those things are going to come down with enough force to hurt somebody. Number 8 birdshot is not. Number 8 is the size of a pinhead.”

“His only comment was that he hoped I had a big checkbook because his drone cost $1,800,” Merideth added.

“The bottom line is that it’s a right to privacy issue and defending my property issue. It would have been no different had he been standing in my backyard. As Americans, we have a right to defend our rights and property.”

The Kentuckian was arrested Sunday evening in Hillview, Kentucky, just south of Louisville and charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. He was released the following day. The Hillview Police Department did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment. Read the rest of this entry »


Officials Still Don’t Know What Caused a 75-Foot Tree to Fall at #Kidspace in #Pasadena. Two Critically Injured.

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Robert Holguin, ABC7, via Twitter


NOW WHAT DO WE DO? Americans Have Completely Stopped Signing Up for #Twitter

LiberalsDestroyEarth

Twitter must look abroad for ever-important user growth

Twitter on Tuesday posted second quarter earnings of $0.07 per share, beating expectations of $0.04 per share. That good news sent Twitter’s stock up over 4% in after-hours trading early Tuesday afternoon.APPROVED-non-stop-panic

But Twitter’s full earnings presentation reveals something else interesting about the service: Americans have pretty much stopped signing up for it.

The number of new American Monthly Active Twitter Users has been gradually getting smaller for a while now, even flatlining once before at the end of last year. Now that’s happened for a second time, with no new U.S. user growth from Q1 2015 to Q2 2015:

screen-shot-2015-07-28-at-4-09-47-pm Read the rest of this entry »


Seattle-Area Erotic Espresso Stand Torched by Man on Bicycle, Police Search for Arsonist

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LACEY — Police are asking for the public’s help in finding an arsonist that allegedly smashed an espresso stand window, threw an incendiary device and lit the stand on fire.

http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/fire-set-lacey-espresso-stand/nm4pM/

Around 4 a.m. July 22, an arson occurred at the Bongiorno Brew Espresso stand in the 4900 block of Lacey Boulevard, Lacey police said. According to cops, the suspect rode up to the stand on his bicycle, shattered a window and lit a prepared incendiary device.

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The suspect then tossed the device inside and took off, police said….(read more)

Q13 FOX News


True Crime Writer Ann Rule Dies

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Rule, who went to work briefly at the Seattle Police Department when she was 21, began writing for magazines like ‘True Detective‘ in 1969. She has published more than 1,400 articles, mostly on criminal cases.

True-crime writer Ann Rule, who wrote more than 30 books, including a profile of her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy, has died at age 84.

Scott Thompson, a spokesman for CHI Franciscan Health, said Rule died at Highline Medical Center at 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Rule’s daughter, Leslie
ruleRule, said on Facebook that her mother had many health issues, including congestive heart failure.

“Rest in peace to our beloved true crime author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule.”

— Rule’s publisher, Simon & Schuster

Rule passed peacefully and was able to see all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren before she died.

Rule’s first book, “The Stranger Beside Me,” profiled Bundy, whom Ann Rule got to know while sharing the late shift at a Seattle suicide hotline.

“A lot of writers in her genre focused on the predators. That’s what made her special. She had a great empathy for the victims.”

— Rule’s daughter Leslie

“Rest in peace to our beloved true crime author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule,” Rule’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, Tweeted.

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Rule, who went to work briefly at the Seattle Police Department when she was 21, began writing for magazines like “True Detective” in 1969. A biography on her author website says she has published more than 1,400 articles, mostly on criminal cases.

[Read the full story here, at King5.com]

Rule has written more than 30 best-selling true crime novels, chronicling some of the most heinous murders. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Uber Drives the Left Crazy

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Why New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempt to protect a government-enforced cartel ran out of gas

L. Gordon Crovitz writes: Progressive New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Socialist Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgofound common cause on a shared threat while attending a recent climate-change conference at the Vatican. “The people of our cities don’t like the notion of those who are particularly wealthy and powerful dictating the terms to a government elected by the people,” Mr. de Blasio declared. “As a multibillion-dollar company, Uber thinks it can dictate to government.”

“Uber made the fight personal by adding a ‘de Blasio’ mode to its app, estimating how long the wait would be under the proposed law. Model Kate Upton tweeted in Uber’s support.”

But before Mr. de Blasio could return from Rome, he learned that people really don’t like when politicians try to take away their favorite app for getting around the government’s taxi cartel. The mayor was forced to drop his plan to limit Uber to a 1% annual increase in cars, far below the current rate.

Uber-crazy-WSJ

“Errol Louis wrote in the Daily News that ‘Mayor de Blasio is leaving N.Y.ers stranded—like a black man trying to hail a cab uptown.’”

It’s hard to see why Mr. de Blasio thought that would be good politics. Two million New Yorkers have downloaded the Uber app onto their mobile devices—a quarter of the city’s population and more than twice the number of citizens who voted for Mr. de Blasio. But it’s easy to understand why he views Uber as an ideological threat. A tipping point is in sight where big-government politicians can no longer deprive consumers of new choice made possible by technology—whether for car rides, car sharing or home rentals. Mr. de Blasio’s experience should encourage other politicians to sign up for innovation.

“You are dealing with a huge economic force which is consumer choice, and the taxi trade needs to recognize that…I’m afraid it is a tragic fact that there are now more than a million people in this city who have the Uber app.’”

— The Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson

Uber has become a wedge issue. The Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson, took the opposite approach from Mr. de Blasio. “You are dealing with a huge economic force which is consumer choice, and the taxi trade needs to recognize that,” he said recently. He told a gathering of taxi drivers in London: “I’m afraid it is a tragic fact that there are now more than a million people in this city who have the Uber app.” When cabbies objected that Uber drivers were undercutting their prices, Mr. Johnson replied: “Yes, they are. It’s called the free market.”

“Government-enforced cartels fall faster and harder to disruptive innovation than most businesses. When change comes, it is more dramatic than in industries that already have competition.”

Presidential candidates are divided as well. Hillary Clinton implicitly criticized Uber in her campaign speech on economic policy, saying the “so-called ‘gig economy’ ” is “raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like.” Read the rest of this entry »


Planned Parenthood Plagued by Abundant Resources, Controversial Public Statements

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(WASHINGTON) — The president of Planned Parenthood said her organization’s clinics never adjust the abortion procedure to better preserve fetal organs for medical research and that the organization’s charges cover only the cost of transmission to researchers.

Planned Parenthood has come under congressional scrutiny after the release of two stealthily recorded videos that showed officials discussing how they provide aborted fetal organs for research. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] First trailer for Former Gawker COO’s ‘Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine’ Documentary Released

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Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films today debuted the first trailer for the upcoming biographical film centered around Steve Jobs. “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” was originally premiered earlier this year at SXSW and is spearheaded by director Alex Gibney and executive producer Gaby Darbyshire, who is the former Chief Operating Officer of Gawker Media.

Darbyshire headed up Gawker legal when the media company’s subsidiary Gizmodo bought the iPhone 4 that was “left at the bar” and would have been at the center of the controversy that surrounded the subsequent firestorm with Apple and then CEO Steve Jobs. Read the rest of this entry »


Gun Production Has Doubled Under Obama

J-Edgar-Hoover-Seriously?

The number of pistols made has nearly tripled during the Obama administration, which could reflect more people turning to firearms for personal protection.

Tim Devaney writes: Gun production has more than doubled over the course of the Obama administration, according to a new report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“The ATF report confirms what we already know, that Barack Obama deserves the ‘Gun Salesman of the Decade’ award. People have been rushing to buy firearms because they’re afraid that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights.”

— Erich Pratt, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America

The manufacturing boom has come in the face of the president’s push to expand background checks and place new restrictions on guns in the wake of high-profile shootings like the recent mass-killing in Charleston, S.C., and the 2012 massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

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Pistols are the most popular type of gun, accounting for 4.4 million of the firearms made in 2013, according to the report. Meanwhile, gun manufacturers produced 3.9 million rifles and 1.2 million shotguns.

The numbers paint a picture of gun owners who are concerned about new restrictions on their Second Amendment rights, activists say.

“President Obama has been relentless in his attacks on the Second Amendment, and it’s not shocking people are frightened and want to protect themselves. He’ll stop at nothing to strip people of their constitutional rights to self-protection.”

— National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws at Amazon]

“The ATF report confirms what we already know, that Barack Obama deserves the ‘Gun Salesman of the Decade’ award,” said Erich Pratt, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America. “People have been rushing to buy firearms because they’re afraid that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights.”

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“President Obama has made it very clear he wants to strip away our gun rights, so people are going out and purchasing more firearms and ammunition.”

— Joe Neville, director of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights

The ATF’s annual firearms commerce report tracks the number of guns manufactured in the United State, which provides an indication of gun sales around the country.

“The gun lobby seizes on those fears and uses scare tactics and doomsday rhetoric in order to sell more guns.”

— Mark Prentice, spokesman for Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun safety group run by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords

[Order Emily Miller’s book “Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

[Also see – Editorial: Americans Seem to Embrace Idea of More Guns, Less Crime]

The number of guns manufactured increased by 18 percent during the George W. Bush administration, while the Clinton administration actually saw a 9 percent reduction. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Matt Jacobson and Tanya Rivero Discuss Maine Lobster Flavor & Fishing Rules

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative executive director Matt Jacobson and WSJ’s Tanya Rivero discuss the highly lucrative Maine lobster market and efforts to maintain future fishing sustainability.

"This represents a complete collapse of our aquatic immigration system"

“Sustainability?”


Mystery Man Found Decomposing In Car Had More Than 1,200 Guns, Cash, Underwater Car

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – An attorney said Wednesday that the body of a mystery man was decomposing in his car in the tony Pacific Palisades neighborhood in Southern California for nearly two weeks before he was found by authorities on July 17.

Inside his home, detectives discovered more than 1,200 guns, scopes, 6.5 tons of ammunition, bows and arrows, knives, machetes and $230,000 in cash.

They also found eight of the 14 vehicles registered to the man stashed across Los Angeles, including a Toyota SUV designed to drive underwater.

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Who the man was and how he came to accumulate the arsenal and vehicles are questions authorities are still trying to answer.

Veteran defense attorney Harland Braun represents the man’s fiancée Catherine Nebron and identified him as Jeffrey Alan Lash.

That’s also the name coroner’s officials are working with and they’re in touch with a relative to try to officially identify the body, said Craig Harvey, chief of investigations for the coroner’s office.

Lash and Nebron were together for 17 years and she believed him when he told her that he worked as an undercover operative for multiple unnamed government agencies, Braun said.

Body-of-man-decomposed-in-car

“The story itself sounds totally crazy but then how do you explain all this?” Braun said. “There’s no evidence he was a drug dealer or he stole these weapons, or had any criminal source of income, no stolen property, all the stuff you’d look for.” Read the rest of this entry »


Oddly, Planned Parenthood Videos Attract Attention from the Department of Justice

Gold-Plated-Lamborghini-Aventador-LP700-4-@-Miami-International-Auto-Show

“I’m aware of those matters generally from the media, and from some inquiries that have been made to the Department of Justice, and again at this point we’re going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time.”

— Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Peter Sullivan reports: Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday her department is going to review all information surrounding the controversial videos of Planned Parenthood officials taken by an anti-abortion group.

“I’m aware of those matters generally from the media, and from some inquiries that have been made to the Department of Justice, and again at this point we’re going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time,” Lynch said when asked about the videos at a press conference.

DOJ-PP-Hill

Republican members of Congress have been calling on the DOJ to investigate whether Planned Parenthood is in violation of the law after the first video, showing members of the group discussing fetal tissue, surfaced.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and ten other Republican senators sent a letter to the DOJ on Wednesday requesting an investigation. They say that Planned Parenthood could have violated laws that ban profiting off the sale of fetal organs. Read the rest of this entry »


White House Lets Guard Down, Accidentally Agrees to Fly U.S. Flag at Half-Mast to Honor Marines Killed in Tennesee Shooting

White-House-w-Fence

Breaking news from CNN’s Jake Tapper: President Obama has ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the four Marines and one Sailor killed in the recent systemic assassinations in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The news came just a few hours after Tapper fact-checked Donald Trump’s email blast to the media noting that Trump had ordered all flags at Trump properties around the country to be flown at “half-mast.” So, just to be sure: even Donald Trump ordered flags lowered before President Obama did?

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@TheLeadCNN @jaketapper What took so long?

— Winningest (@winningatmylife) July 21, 2015

@TheLeadCNN took him long enough

— Jim Polk (@JimPolk) July 21, 2015

Read the rest of this entry »


The Democratic Party’s Uber Panic

uber-crashes-panic

The latest target is Uber, the app-based ride-sharing service that since its launch in San Francisco just five years ago has expanded to more than 300 cities across the globe.

William McGurn writes: It is an axiom of modern American life: Offer a new service that is wildly popular with the public, and sooner or later you will find yourself labeled an enemy of the people.

The latest target is Uber, the app-based ride-sharing service that since its launch in San Francisco just five years ago has expanded to more than 300 cities across the globe. Here in New York, Uber is now locked in combat with the city’s progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio. In a Sunday op-ed for the Daily News, Mr. de Blasio said he aims to freeze Uber’s expansion until his regulators can figure out how best to block any attempts to “skirt vital protections and oversight.”

[Also see – Bill de Blasio Bonds With Mayor of Paris Over Uber Crackdown]

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo meets with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at City Hall in New York, May 30, 2014. Anne Hidlago is on a two-day visit to New York.      EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo meets with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at City Hall in New York, May 30, 2014. Anne Hidlago is on a two-day visit to New York. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

“It is not surprising there is growing opposition to the Mayor’s bill because try as they might, Mayor de Blasio can’t pretend protecting taxi owners is progressive.”

— Uber spokesperson

 writes:

…A spokesperson for Uber pointed to Democrats, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric AdamsCongresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Comptroller Scott Stringer, who support Uber’s growth.

“It is not surprising there is growing opposition to the Mayor’s bill because try as they might, Mayor de Blasio can’t pretend protecting taxi owners is progressive,” said the spokesperson. “The odds have been stacked against us by rushing the bill through the council, but it’s getting harder and harder for the Mayor to explain why he’s against creating 10,000 jobs and protecting reliable rides in communities outside Manhattan.” …(more)

NYObserver

The mayor’s call to arms comes only days after Hillary Clinton used her big speech on economics to sound a similarly dismal note. Though she didn’t mention Uber by name, the Democratic Party’s leading contender for the 2016 presidential nomination fretted that while the “gig economy” may be “exciting” and “unleashing innovation,” “it is also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”

Hard questions that Mrs. Clinton no doubt intends the government to answer, even if those answers end up making Uber and others like it less exciting and less innovative.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Republican presidential candidates are having fun with all this. Marco Rubio, who last year sided with Uber over regulators in Miami, accused Mrs. Clinton of trying to “regulate 21st-century industries with 20th-century ideas.” Jeb Bush pointedly traveled by Uber for his visit to Thumbtack, a Silicon Valley startup. Meanwhile, Rand Paul says he would like our government to adopt the Uber model—more information and customer ratings—while Ted Cruz says his campaign will be as disruptive of politics-as-usual as Uber is of old business models. Read the rest of this entry »


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