Though Donald Trump’s presidential victory represents the greatest opportunity for policy changes that have widespread impact, there were many unexpected wins at the state and local levels. The National Rifle Association won in nearly every race where it invested money.
The NRA spent more than $30.3 million in the presidential race, up from just over $12 million in 2012. $19.7 million of that went to opposing Hillary Clinton and $10.6 million went to supporting Donald Trump, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission documents by the Center for Responsive Politics. The group invested another $20 million in six Senate races and won five of them.
Hillary Clinton’s defeat comes after she staked out the most aggressive gun control positions for a major party candidate in modern memory.
“She has been more forceful on guns/gun lobby than any other person who ever seriously ran for president,” one of Clinton’s advisers wrote in an email posted by WikiLeaks in October. “Certain members of the dem caucus [sic] were freaking out about [her gun positions.]”
Audio first published in October 2015 by the Washington Free Beacon showed Clinton telling donors privately that she believed the Supreme Court was “wrong on the Second Amendment.” When asked about her opposition to the court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision at the final presidential debate, Clinton claimed she was concerned about protecting toddlers from unsecured guns but did not reverse her position.
Just two weeks after audio of Clinton’s comments on the Supreme Court was published, she endorsed an Australian-style mandatory gun buyback scheme at a public rally. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE 8:32 a.m. (PT): Authorities say they have recovered a rifle at the scene of the Cascade Mall shooting. The suspect is still at large, and a manhunt is underway. At this time, police do not have a name or positive identification on the suspect. Early descriptions based on witness accounts described the suspect as “Hispanic”; however, the race of the suspected gunman has not been confirmed by authorities.
Police say the suspect appeared to enter the mall without a weapon, and walked into a Macy’s approximately ten minutes later with a rifle. There, the suspect fired multiple times and killed four women at the scene (one man died of his injuries at Harborview Medical Center). Read the rest of this entry »
In a series of swing-state appearances this week, Mr. Clinton struck back at criticism of the family foundation, by turns sarcastic and almost pleading.
At last, Bill Clinton could not help himself.
He paced the stage during a speech on Tuesday in North Carolina, holding his microphone close. He raised his left index finger. And at once, the meandering address turned sharply, and without prompting, to his charitable foundation, a magnet for criticism in recent weeks.
“We live in a Snapchat-Twitter world,” Mr. Clinton lamented, tilting his head theatrically — a septuagenarian embracing his age, decades after reveling in saxophone cool.
“It’s so much easier,” he said, “just to discredit people and call them names.”
For Mr. Clinton and his extended circle, this election has at times felt like a campaign devised to discredit the former president and call him names.
And after more than a year of uncharacteristic restraint — a notable shift from eight years ago, when his simmering instincts often burdened Hillary Clinton’s first presidential run — Mr. Clinton seems to have had enough.
“Did I solve every problem? No,” he told a crowd on Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. “Did I get caught trying? You bet.” Read the rest of this entry »
Justice Scalia was referred to as a “conservative” justice, but his judicial philosophy was about ahdering to the Constitution.
Source: National Review
‘I will have to shoot you before election day’
Alex Pappas reports: The co-chairman of the Colorado Springs American Civil Liberties has resigned after being criticized for a Facebook post that said to supporters of Donald Trump: “If you are voting for him, I will have to shoot you before election day.”
“The ACLU of Colorado does not condone the recent personal Facebook post of regional volunteer Loring Wirbel.”
The Daily Caller drew attention to the posts on Loring Wirbel’s Facebook account this week.
— ACLU of Colorado (@ACLUofColorado) December 11, 2015
The ACLU of Colorado tweeted Friday that it “has accepted Loring Wirbel’s resignation as chapter representative to our state board.”
“The ACLU of Colorado does not condone the recent personal Facebook post of regional volunteer Loring Wirbel,” the group said. Read the rest of this entry »
…Ridgway has been convicted of 49 murders that spanned nearly 20 years. Ridgway’s transfer to the federal prison in Florence, Colorado came to light in June but prison officials did not give a reason.
Since his conviction in 2004, the 66-year-old Ridgway has lived in virtual isolation at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, where he’s serving a life sentence without parole.
Source: Q13 FOX News
Kimberley A. Strassel writes: When a government official (think Hillary Clinton) uses a private email account for government work (think Hillary Clinton) and then doesn’t turn over records (think Hillary Clinton), the public has to wonder why. For an example of that why, consider Thursday’s federal-court subpoena of Phillip North.
“Government workers don’t use private email because it is ‘convenient.’ They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal.”
The North story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but it is a useful tale for clarifying exactly why we have federal records and sunshine laws. You see, government workers don’t use private email because it is “convenient.” They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal. Let’s be clear about that.
“Records show that EPA officials, including Mr. North, had no intention of letting the process get that far. They set about to ‘pre-emptively’ veto the mine, before Pebble could even file for permits.”
Mr. North was, until a few years ago, a biologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, based in Alaska. Around 2005 he became enmeshed in reviewing the Pebble Partnership’s proposal to develop a mine there. Mr. North has openly admitted that he was opposed to this idea early on, and he is entitled to his opinion. Still, as a government employee his first duty is to follow the law.
“But for the EPA to so flagrantly insert itself into the process, it needed cause. This is where Mr. North and his private email come in.”
In the normal course of law, Pebble would file for permits and the Army Corps of Engineers would get the first say over approval. The EPA has a secondary role. But records show that EPA officials, including Mr. North, had no intention of letting the process get that far. They set about to “pre-emptively” veto the mine, before Pebble could even file for permits. But for the EPA to so flagrantly insert itself into the process, it needed cause. This is where Mr. North and his private email come in. Read the rest of this entry »
Prosecutors have said the jury was divided on the sentence, with 11 favoring death and one favoring life without parole. Under Colorado law, jurors must be unanimous to impose the death penalty, so Holmes automatically got a life sentence.
Sadie Gurman reports: James Holmes was an angry quitter who gave up on life and turned his hatred into murder and mayhem against innocent victims in a Colorado movie theater, the judge said Wednesday before formally sentencing him to life in prison.
“We know that is very, very hard for people to see. We cannot feel the depths of your pain. We can only listen to everything you have expressed, and we pray for you…We are very sorry this tragedy happened, and sorry everyone has suffered so much.”
— Arlene Holmes
Samour contrasted Holmes’ bloody assault with the compassion of a juror who voted for a life sentence instead of the death penalty. And he noted the trial was fair, even if some victims were disappointed that Holmes didn’t get the death penalty.
“It is almost impossible to comprehend how a human being is capable of such acts.”
— Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr.
Samour formally sentenced Holmes to life in prison without parole for the murders of 12 people. He also was sentencing Holmes to more than to 3,200 additional years for attempted murder and an explosives conviction.
The judge had no other sentencing option on the murder charges after a jury earlier this month did not unanimously agree that Holmes should get the death penalty. Samour issued his sentence after two days of testimony from survivors of the attack, including first responders.
“Jurors rejected Holmes’ insanity plea, convicting him of murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 others when he opened fire on a packed theater in suburban Denver on July 20, 2012.”
But he first spent more than half an hour defending the integrity of the justice system and disputing complaints that the trial was a waste of time. He noted the proceedings gave family members an opportunity to tell the world about their slain loved ones and provided survivors the chance to talk about their ordeal.
“I believe in the system. I said that before, and I’ll say it again. I believe in the system.”
— Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr.
Samour disputed some victims’ suggestion that Holmes would have an easy life behind bars, noting prison is harsh and restrictive.
More than 100 victims and survivors testified this week about the searing physical and emotional scars the 2012 shooting has left. Read the rest of this entry »
Christopher Monfort Sentenced to Life in Prison for Halloween 2009 Murder of Seattle Police Officer Timothy BrentonPosted: July 23, 2015
It took a King County jury about one hour to decide that Christopher Monfort should spend the rest of his life in prison for killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween night 2009.
Sara Jean Green reports: A King County jury has spared the life of Christopher Monfort for killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween night 2009.
After deliberating for only about one hour, the jurors sentenced Monfort to life in prison without parole Thursday afternoon in a crowded Seattle courtroom. Members of Brenton’s family and Monfort’s mother were seated in the courtroom when the verdict was read.
“This jury worked exceptionally hard for a very long time and were asked to answer a profound moral question. The facts of this case called out for the jury to consider the full range of punishment options under state law. Our entire community should be grateful to these citizens for their service.”
— King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg
Many had speculated the quick verdict signaled jurors had voted for death, the only other possible sentence for aggravated murder.
After the verdict was announced, Monfort said “I’m happy about that.”
One male juror, who declined to give his name, said, “Now that the trial is over, I don’t think there’s really anything to say, other than it really was a horrible incident filled with sadness, regrettable in every way. I’m very glad the jury was unanimous in all the verdicts that we gave.”
Matt Brenton, Timothy Brenton’s brother, said his family had no expectations before the jury’s verdict was announced.
“Now that the trial is over, I don’t think there’s really anything to say, other than it really was a horrible incident filled with sadness, regrettable in every way. I’m very glad the jury was unanimous in all the verdicts that we gave.”
— Unidentified male juror
“More than anything, no matter what decision they came to, it was the right one for them and we respect it and thank them for their sacrifice,” he said.
Monfort’s mother, Suzan Monfort, said she was flabbergasted by the verdict.
“I’m very relieved and I don’t believe in the death penalty for anyone, or for my son” she said.
The verdict marks the second time in the past two months that King County prosecutors have failed to convince a jury to sentence a high-profile killer to death. In May, a split jury spared the life of Joseph McEnroe, who killed six members of his ex-girlfriend’s family on Christmas Eve 2007. That jury deliberated for 3 ½ days.
King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg issued the following statement Thursday afternoon: “This jury worked exceptionally hard for a very long time and were asked to answer a profound moral question. The facts of this case called out for the jury to consider the full range of punishment options under state law. Our entire community should be grateful to these citizens for their service.”
The jury of six men and six women convicted Monfort on June 5 of aggravated first-degree murder and three other felonies, rejecting his insanity defense, after hearing nearly four months of testimony in the trial that began in late January. Read the rest of this entry »
The jurors who convicted Holmes took more time than expected to decide whether prosecutors passed the first legal test for a death sentence.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Jury in the James Holmes Colorado theater shooting trial reached a verdict in the first phase of sentencing on Thursday. Jurors unanimously decided the death penalty can be considered for Holmes and will move on to the next phase of sentencing.
“Prosecutors said they proved several of the required “aggravating factors” in these murders beyond a reasonable doubt: That Holmes harmed an outsized number of victims when he opened fire at the midnight Batman movie premiere; that he killed a child, and that the attack was particularly heinous.”
They said capital punishment is justified because Holmes murdered a large number of victims; caused a grave risk of death to others; committed murder in a heinous, cruel or depraved manner; and laid in wait or ambush.
One factor jurors said prosecutors did not prove was that Holmes intentionally killed a child, but the other “aggravating factors” ensure that jurors will continue to consider whether he should die for his crimes.
The jury only had to find one of those aggravating factors valid in order to make Holmes eligible for the death penalty.
Prosecutors still must clear two more hurdles before Holmes can be sentenced to die.
Jurors began weighing on Wednesday whether Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, who killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a movie theater three years ago, deserved to die.
The jury rejected his claim that he was legally insane when committed the crime, but also had to consider the extent of his mental illness against the enduring pain and heartache that he caused.
The jurors who convicted Holmes took more time than expected to decide whether prosecutors passed the first legal test for a death sentence. Read the rest of this entry »
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Jurors convicted Colorado theater shooter James Holmes on Thursday in the chilling 2012 attack on defenseless moviegoers at a midnight Batman premiere, rejecting defense arguments that the former graduate student was insane and driven to murder by delusions.
The 27-year-old Holmes, who had been working toward his Ph.D. in neuroscience, could get the death penalty for the massacre that left 12 people dead and dozens of others wounded.
Jurors took about 13 hours over a day and a half to review all 165 charges. The same panel must now decide whether Holmes should pay with his life.
The verdict came almost three years after Holmes, dressed head-to-toe in body armor, slipped through the emergency exit of the darkened theater in suburban Denver and replaced the Hollywood violence of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” with real human carnage.
His victims included two active-duty servicemen, a single mom, a man celebrating his 27th birthday and an aspiring broadcaster who had survived a mall shooting in Toronto. Several died shielding friends or loved ones. Read the rest of this entry »
LAUREL, Md. — Nola Taylor Redd reports: With less than 24 hours to go before NASA’s New Horizons probe makes its close flyby of Pluto, scientists are already learning more about the dwarf planet than ever before, including the fact that it is bigger than previously thought.
New Horizons’ latest views of Pluto have shown the dwarf planet to be 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers) across, making it the largest body in the icy Kuiper Belt at the edge of the solar system. The observations also confirmed the presence of a polar ice cap on Pluto, and measured three of the dwarf planet’s moons.
“Pluto is not disappointing,” said principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, during a NASA briefing here today (July 13).
As New Horizons closes in, the spacecraft made the most precise measurements to date of Pluto’s size using methods similar to those employed by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft. The new diameter of the dwarf planet makes it larger than fellow Kuiper Belt denizen Eris, which is 1,445 miles (2,326 km) in diameter.
Previous estimates for the size of Pluto had put its radius at 1,430 miles (2,301 km). But Pluto now stands as the undisputed king of the Kuiper Belt.
“This settles the debate about the largest object in the Kuiper Belt,” Stern said. Read the rest of this entry »
CCC: Conceal Carry in Church: Charleston Shooting Prompts Gun-Rights Supporters to Call for More Concealed-Carry at ChurchesPosted: June 23, 2015
“At a time when religion is under attack and we have the government every day running God out of the public square, churches have become the targets of opportunity for deranged people. Particularly if they assume that folks are not armed.”
Murray had already shot and killed two people in the parking lot when he burst into the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Before he could pull the trigger again, however, the 24-year-old shooter was gunned down by Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard with a concealed-carry permit.
That was eight years ago, but even though Ms. Assam was credited for saving as many as 100 lives that day, a dozen states continue to restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in churches — including South Carolina. Read the rest of this entry »
“It’s terrifying. It’s frightening. It’s a situation where you are trying to be as safe as possible but when you hear over the radio that an officer is down, it’s the worst thing you can possibly hear.”
— Littleton police Lt. Trent Cooper
An FBI agent was wounded Friday afternoon while trying to serve an arrest warrant at a Littleton motel.
The agent was taken to Swedish Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
Littleton police, SWAT officers and other law enforcement personnel were still surrounding the Essex House Motel in the 5300 block of South Santa Fe Drive at 6:15 p.m., about two hours later.
At 6:20 p.m., police were preparing to send a robot into the second-story room, since they had been unable to make contact with the suspect since the shooting at 4:15 p.m.
Officials said they were waiting for a federal warrant to enter the motel, which could take a couple of hours.
Littleton police Lt. Trent Cooper said the suspect fired two shots at law enforcement agents, hitting the agent in the leg. The officers fired no shots, he said. Read the rest of this entry »
DALLAS (AP) — Music legend Willie Nelson is jumping into the movement to commercialize marijuana and plans to roll out his own brand of cannabis that he intends to make “the best on the market.”
The singer-songwriter announced in a statement Monday that Willie’s Reserve will be grown and sold in Colorado and Washington, two states where recreational use of the drug is legal.
A release explaining Willie’s Reserve says it reflects Nelson’s appreciation for “the many varieties and range of the plant’s qualities.” Read the rest of this entry »
AWR Hawkins. reports: While Oregon Democrats stood with Gabby Giffords and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to push expanded background checks on April 1, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer stood for the law-abiding citizens whom the checks will target by describing the gun control push as “borderline treasonous.”
Palmer also made clear that if the Democrats pass the measure there is zero chance of his office enforcing it.
Breitbart News previously reported that the push for expanded background checks in Oregon is being spearheaded by state (D-Eugene). His efforts are strongly supported by the Brady Campaign and Giffords.
Giffords, in particular, believes every potential gun purchaser should have to pass the same background check her attacker passed to acquire his firearm, which the same background check Jerad and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Aaron Ybarra (Seattle Pacific University), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), and many, many others passed to get the guns they used in their crimes. Read the rest of this entry »
Investigation: Possible Clue, Motive? ‘My wife is a Cheater’ Seen Spray Painted on Colorado Home after Early Morning Explosion, FirePosted: March 10, 2015
ARVADA, Colorado — The words ‘my wife is a cheater’ were clearly visible in spray paint on the outside wall of a home that exploded in a fireball early Tuesday outside Denver Colorado.
Investigators told KDVR-TV they were looking for a man in connection with the fire, but declined to comment further on who he is or whether the graffiti was connected to the explosion.
Officially the cause of the fire is under investigation. Read the rest of this entry »
After a Voyage of More than 3 Billion Miles, NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft is Ready to Begin Exploring PlutoPosted: January 23, 2015
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft recently began its long-awaited, historic encounter with Pluto. The spacecraft is entering the first of several approach phases that culminate July 14 with the first close-up flyby of the dwarf planet, 4.67 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) from Earth.
“We’ve completed the longest journey any spacecraft has flown from Earth to reach its primary target, and we are ready to begin exploring.”
— Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado
“NASA first mission to distant Pluto will also be humankind’s first close up view of this cold, unexplored world in our solar system,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “The New Horizons team worked very hard to prepare for this first phase, and they did it flawlessly.”
The fastest spacecraft when it was launched, New Horizons lifted off in January 2006. It awoke from its final hibernation period last month after a voyage of more than 3 billion miles, and will soon pass close to Pluto, inside the orbits of its five known moons.
“NASA first mission to distant Pluto will also be humankind’s first close up view of this cold, unexplored world in our solar system. The New Horizons team worked very hard to prepare for this first phase, and they did it flawlessly.”
— Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division
In preparation for the close encounter, the mission’s science, engineering and spacecraft operations teams configured the piano-sized probe for distant observations of the Pluto system that start Sunday, Jan. 25 with a long-range photo shoot.
The images captured by New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) will give mission scientists a continually improving look at the dynamics of Pluto’s moons. The images also will play a critical role in navigating the spacecraft as it covers the remaining 135 million miles (220 million kilometers) to Pluto.
“We’ve completed the longest journey any spacecraft has flown from Earth to reach its primary target, and we are ready to begin exploring,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Read the rest of this entry »
Many of the state’s marijuana users have stuck with the untaxed or much-lesser-taxed pot they get from black market dealers or unregulated medical dispensaries
“Every grower I know has got surplus inventory and they’re concerned about it. I don’t know anybody getting rich.”
— Cannabis farmer Scott Masengill
A big harvest of sun-grown marijuana from eastern Washington last fall flooded the market. Prices are starting to come down in the state’s licensed pot shops, but due to the glut, growers are — surprisingly — struggling to sell their marijuana. Some are already worried about going belly-up, finding it tougher than expected to make a living in legal weed.
“It’s an economic nightmare,” says Andrew Seitz, general manager at Dutch Brothers Farms in Seattle.
State data show that licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of bud as of Thursday, but Washington’s relatively few legal pot shops have sold less than one-fifth of that. Many of the state’s marijuana users have stuck with the untaxed or much-lesser-taxed pot they get from black market dealers or unregulated medical dispensaries — limiting how quickly product moves off the shelves of legal stores.
“State data show that licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of bud as of Thursday, but Washington’s relatively few legal pot shops have sold less than one-fifth of that.”
“Every grower I know has got surplus inventory and they’re concerned about it,” said Scott Masengill, who has sold half of the 280 pounds he harvested from his pot farm in central Washington. “I don’t know anybody getting rich.”
“It’s the volatility of a new marketplace.”
— Randy Simmons, Washington State Liquor Control Board
[VIDEO] Guerrilla Filmmaker Reveals How Voter Fraud is Both Easy and Condoned in Colorado: James O’Keefe Strikes AgainPosted: October 22, 2014
James O’Keefe, the guerilla filmmaker who brought down the ACORN voter-registration fraudsters in 2010 and forced the resignation of NPR executives, politely disagrees. Today, he is releasing some new undercover footage that raises disturbing questions about ballot integrity in Colorado, the site of fiercely contested races for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and the governorship.
“We know people in other states with better integrity safeguards have cheated using the cover of these methods.”
— Secretary of State Gessler
When he raised the issue of filling out some of the unused ballots that are mailed to every household in the state this month, he was told by Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress, a liberal group funded by Democratic Super PACS.: “That is not even like lying or something, if someone throws out a ballot, like if you want to fill it out you should do it.” She then brazenly offered O’Keefe, disguised as a middle-aged college instructor, a job with her group.
The video of O’Keefe’s encounters with other operatives is equally disturbing. He has a conversation with Greenpeace employee Christina Topping, and suggests he might have access to unused ballots from people who have recently moved out of college fraternity houses. “I mean it is putting the votes to good use,” she responds. “So really, truly, like yeah, that is awesome.” Read the rest of this entry »
Premeditated: A new election law leaves the door wide open for abuse in hotly contested races
John Fund writes: Perhaps the most hard-fought Senate race this year will be Colorado’s showdown between Democratic senator Mark Udall and Republican congressman Cory Gardner. The RealClearPolitics average of polls in the race shows Gardner holding a lead of 1.3 percentage points. The outcome may determine control of the U.S. Senate, and the margin of victory could be less than the 11,000-vote margin by which Democratic senator Michael Bennet was reelected in Colorado in 2010.
[Also see: John Fund’s Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy]
But there is a significant difference in this year’s Senate race. In 2013, a new Democratic state legislature rammed through a sweeping and highly controversial election law and convinced Democratic governor John Hickenlooper to sign it. The law, known as House Bill 1303, makes Colorado the only state in the country to combine two radical changes in election law: 1) abolishing the traditional polling place and having every voter mailed a ballot and 2) establishing same-day registration, which allows someone to appear at a government office and register and vote on the same day without showing photo ID or any other verifiable evidence that establishes identity. If they register online a few days before, no human being ever has to show up to register or vote. A few keystrokes can create a voter and a “valid” ballot. Once a ballot cast under same-day registration is mixed in with others, there is no way to separate it out if the person who voted is later found ineligible. Other jurisdictions that have same-day registration, such as Washington, D.C., treat the vote as a provisional ballot pending verification. Colorado immediately counts the vote.
“We have uniquely combined two bad ideas, both of which open the door to fraud and error along with creating huge administrative headaches,” warns Republican Scott Gessler, Colorado’s secretary of state. Along with the liberal Denver Post (the state’s leading newspaper) and a few Republican clerks from the state’s largest counties, Gessler fought passage of the law.
[Order John Fund’s book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk“ from Amazon.com]
Wayne Williams is the clerk of El Paso County, which includes Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city. He says HB 1303 was sold as a way to “modernize” elections and increase turnout, but it’s fixing a system that wasn’t broken. In 2012, Colorado was among the top three states in the turnout of eligible citizens. Its number of registered voters that year climbed 13.7 percent, well above normal population growth. At the same time, the state’s online voter-registration system processed 250,000 changes submitted by voters, ensuring a more accurate and less duplicative record of the electorate. Read the rest of this entry »
First purchase of legal marijuana in Colorado, 2014
Astronauts go for a walk
A young Afghan woman shows her face in public for the first time after 5 years of Taliban Sharia law, 2001.
Republicans could win the midterms without fixing the party’s problems.
Charlie Cook writes: …Amy Walter wrote a piece about Republicans who worry privately that success in 2014 will leave their party with false hope for 2016: “Even though their party is poised to hold the House and has a good chance of winning control of the Senate, these Republican umbrella carriers aren’t smiling. They worry that success in 2014 will mask the real, structural problems that Republicans need to fix before 2016. Namely, that the party doesn’t stand for much more than standing against President Obama. As important, the GOP heads into 2016 with a brand that has been deeply tarnished and not easily repaired.”
“Republicans do great among those 65 years of age and older, and well among those between 45 and 64. However, they are getting crushed among those between 18 and 29, as well as losing 30-to-44-year-olds…”
This is so true. If Republicans do gain a Senate majority, which they may very well do in November, and manage to pick up eight or more House seats, it will be because of who they are not, not because of who they are. They aren’t in Obama’s party, and they aren’t in the party that unilaterally passed the Affordable Care Act, which, like the president, is unpopular. Republicans may win a bunch of races without measurably improving their party’s “brand” and without making any clear progress among minority, young, moderate, and female voters. The fact that midterm electorates are generally older, whiter, and more conservative than their counterparts in presidential elections exacerbates the difference between the world of 2014 and the one that will exist in 2016. The Republicans can win in 2014 without having fixed their problems. Read the rest of this entry »
Amid all the articles pimping the successful $2 million tax heist in Colorado, what’s often not mentioned is that this is less than the newly-minted state pot dealers claimed they’d pull in. Breitbart.com‘s William Bigelow offers this unwelcome measure of sobriety:
The bullish predictions about the revenue Colorado would accumulate from sales of recreational marijuana may have been quite premature. In February, Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget office estimated that recreational pot shop sales added to medicinal marijuana sales would approach $1 billion in the fiscal year beginning in July; the budget office suggested $134 million in tax and fee revenues entering state coffers.
But in January of 2014, Colorado only brought in $2 million from recreational pot shop sales, far short of what would lead to a successful prognosis from Hickenlooper’s budget office.
They go together—so long as the politics are left-wing
Adam Freedman writes: Mitch Daniels, the former Indiana governor and current Purdue University president, got himself in hot water back in October for giving a speech to a Minnesota think tank. Not that anyone objects to Daniels making speeches in general; indeed, it comes with being a university president. In this case, however, the venue for the speech was the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative organization. And in the eyes of Indiana’s cultural elites, that made all the difference.
The Lafayette Journal and Courier blasted Daniels for addressing the Center. Though the editors conceded that they didn’t know “the particulars of the speech,” they voiced concern that Daniels may have discussed what he had done as governor to “cut taxes and preserve state finances”—perhaps fearing that such talk would incite further outbreaks of fiscal responsibility.
[Order Freedman’s book: The Naked Constitution: What the Founders Said and Why It Still Matters from Amazon]
As it happens, the speech focused on nonpartisan themes such as “how to deliver basic services effectively, how to bring people together across political lines, the importance of civility in public discourse, and the centrality of social mobility,” according to Daniels. Not exactly red meat for the Tea Party. Even after Daniels issued an apology for accepting the engagement, his critics weren’t appeased. According to Bill Mullen, a hard-left professor of English and American studies at Purdue, it was inexcusable for Daniels to use the “platform” of a public university to talk about such incendiary topics as “lowering taxes”—clearly a partisan endeavor.
h/t Dana Perino
People are truly insane. http://t.co/fE8jO0da7u
— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) February 19, 2014