AWR Hawkins writes: A CNN/ORC poll embargoed for release until the start of Obama’s gun control town hall shows that a majority of Americans oppose the use of executive actions for gun control.
According to CNN, 54 percent of Americans said “no” when asked, “Do you favor or oppose Obama using executive orders to implement [gun controls]?” When asked if they believe Obama’s gun executive gun controls will be effective, 57 percent of Americans said they will not.
This is the same assessment the New York Daily News gave of Obama’s executive gun controls when they observed that the key component of the controls was an expansion of the frequency of background checks. Read the rest of this entry »
And why didn’t Sharpton comply with tax and campaign filing requirements?
Jillian Kay Melchior writes: As Al Sharpton ran for mayor of New York City in 1997 and for president in 2003, fires at his offices reportedly destroyed critical financial records, and he subsequently failed to comply with tax and campaign filing requirements.
The first fire began in the early hours of April 10, 1997, in a hair-and-nail salon one floor below Sharpton’s campaign headquarters at 70 West 125th Street. From the start, investigators deemed the fire “suspicious” because of “a heavy volume of fire on arrival” and because many of the doors remained unlocked after hours, according to the New York Fire Department’s fire-and-incident report.
“The 1997 fire occurred five days before Tax Day and, the New York Post reported, ‘just after Sharpton announced that he would open his financial records.’ After the fire, Sharpton said he would seek an extension because crucial financial records had been destroyed.”
As the fire crept upward into Sharpton’s headquarters, it destroyed nearly everything, including computers, files, and campaign records, the Reverend’s spokesperson at the time told Newsday, adding that “we have lost our entire Manhattan operation.” But a source knowledgeable about the investigation tells National Review Online that Sharpton’s office was mostly empty, and that the damage was not extensive.
Top city officials, including then-mayor Rudy Giuliani, said initial suspicions centered on the hair-and-nail salon, not on Sharpton’s campaign, Newsday reported. The fire department sent the case as an arson/explosion investigation to the New York Police Department. By the time of publication of this report, the NYPD had not provided the records requested by National Review Online on December 16, 2014, but it confirmed that the investigation had been closed without an arrest.
FDNY’s report references a “flammable liquid,” and firefighters’ photos of the scene show traces of an incendiary puddle. Another photo captures what appears to be a singed rag that someone is holding next to a fuse box, perhaps because that is where it was found. But a 2003 Newsday article says “the 1997 fire started when a curling iron overheated in an adjoining beauty parlor.” NRO could find no other sources referencing a curling iron as the cause, and the fire department’s reports make no mention of it, either.
As the mayoral campaign continued, Sharpton missed tax and campaign disclosure deadlines.
The 1997 fire occurred five days before Tax Day and, the New York Post reported, “just after Sharpton announced that he would open his financial records.” After the fire, Sharpton said he would seek an extension because crucial financial records had been destroyed. It’s unclear whether that extension was granted.
“During the campaign, Sharpton criticized his opponents for having a ‘penthouse mentality,’ calling one a ‘limousine liberal.’ But while his competitors had voluntarily released their income-tax returns to the media, Sharpton had not even filed his yet, much less publicly disclosed them.”
In July 1997, Sharpton also missed the deadline to file his personal financial-disclosure forms with the New York City Conflict of Interests Board, violating a legal requirement and risking a fine of up to $10,000. He said the destruction of records in the fire had prevented him from filing. When Sharpton finally filed a year later, in July 1998 — months after the November 4, 1997 elections — he paid a $100 late fee. It’s unclear what information his filing did or did not contain; in accordance with Section 12-110(f) of the administrative code, the board shredded Sharpton’s financial-disclosure forms more than a decade ago.
During the campaign, Sharpton criticized his opponents for having a “penthouse mentality,” calling one a “limousine liberal.” But while his competitors had voluntarily released their income-tax returns to the media, Sharpton had not even filed his yet, much less publicly disclosed them, Newsday noted. Read the rest of this entry »
George Will writes: Intellectually undemanding progressives, excited by the likes of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) — advocate of the downtrodden and the Export-Import Bank — have at last noticed something obvious: Big government, which has become gargantuan in response to progressives’ promptings, serves the strong. It is responsive to factions sufficiently sophisticated and moneyed to understand and manipulate its complexity.
Hence Democrats, the principal creators of this complexity, receive more than 70 percent of lawyers’ political contributions. Yet progressives, refusing to see this defect — big government captured by big interests — as systemic, want to make government an ever-more-muscular engine of regulation and redistribution. Were progressives serious about what used to preoccupy America’s Left — entrenched elites, crony capitalism, and other impediments to upward mobility — they would study “The New Class Conflict“, by Joel Kotkin, a lifelong Democrat.
The American majority that believes life will be worse for the next few decades — more than double the number who believe things will be better — senses that 95 percent of income gains from 2009 to 2012 went to the wealthiest 1 percent.
“The fortunes of those Kotkin calls ‘the new Oligarchs’ are based ‘primarily on the sale of essentially ephemeral goods: media, advertising and entertainment.'”
This, Kotkin believes, reflects the “growing alliance between the ultra-wealthy and the instruments of state power.” In 2012, Barack Obama carried eight of America’s ten wealthiest counties.
“In 2013…Houston had more housing starts than all of California.”
In the 1880s, Kotkin says, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s railroad revenues were larger than the federal government’s revenues. That was the old economy. This is the new: In 2013, the combined ad revenues of all American newspapers were smaller than Google’s; so were magazines’ revenues. In 2013, Google’s market capitalization was six times GM’s, but Google had one-fifth as many employees. The fortunes of those Kotkin calls “the new Oligarchs” are based “primarily on the sale of essentially ephemeral goods: media, advertising and entertainment.”
“Since 1945, government employment has grown more than twice as fast as America’s population. The Founders worried about government being captured by factions; they did not foresee government becoming society’s most rapacious and overbearing faction.”
He calls another ascendant group the Clerisy, which is based in academia (where there are now many more administrators and staffers than full-time instructors), media, the nonprofit sector, and, especially, government: Since 1945, government employment has grown more than twice as fast as America’s population. The Founders worried about government being captured by factions; they did not foresee government becoming society’s most rapacious and overbearing faction. Read the rest of this entry »
Gun Range Poison Scare Story Conveniently Appears 2 Weeks Before Election Featuring Billionaire-Funded Gun Control Initiative I-594Posted: October 20, 2014
“Drafted under the guise of preventing crime and funded almost solely by elitist billionaires with a proud background of stifling the Second Amendment, I-594 is an 18-page document that does nothing but impose heavy legal burdens on law-abiding gun owners and serious penalties for violations. These anti-gun billionaires believe that they can buy your rights out from under you, and I-594 is their attempt at doing so. I-594 will do nothing to make the people of Washington any safer, but will instead create bureaucratic hurdles that could turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals simply for exercising their constitutional rights….” (read more)
THE WASHINGTON COUNCIL OF POLICE & SHERIFFS OPPOSES INITIATIVE 594
The Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs, the state’s oldest and largest law enforcement organization opposes Initiative 594. WACOPS represents more than 4500 active duty police and sheriffs deputies. Click here to read WACOPS position paper on Initiative 594 (read more)
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has released a one-minute digital video as part of it’s online campaign to defeat Washington State Ballot Initiative 594. The video, titled I-594 Will Not Make Washington Safer, features Seattle resident Anette Wachter, “The 30 Cal Gal” blogger and U.S. Long Range Rifle Team member.
In the video, Wachter explains, “I-594 wastes scarce law enforcement resources on something that will not make Washington safer. And it will turn many law-abiding citizens into criminals for simply exercising their constitutional rights.”
HOW MICHAEL BLOOMBERG IS TWISTING THE GUN CONTROL DEBATE IN THE EVERGREEN STATE WASHING-CON
BY DAVE KOPEL
One way scam artists make money is by peddling mislabeled goods. The label on the can says “Wild Alaskan Salmon,” but what’s really inside is codfish from a filthy breeding pen in China, plus some food coloring.
Selling mislabeled goods is illegal, but there’s nothing illegal about mislabeled laws. Michael Bloomberg knows that difference, and he is exploiting it.
[Also see I-594 UNENFORCEABLE by Scott Brennan]
Right now in the state of Washington, Bloomberg is pushing a November ballot measure that is promoted as being about background checks for private sales. But it is really a law to criminalize most gun owners, including those who never sell guns. If passed, the deceptive Bloomberg ban for Washington state is then going to become the national model, to gradually be imposed on gun owners nationwide.
Bloomberg plans to run a similar ballot measure in Oregon in 2015 and in a dozen or more states in 2016. One of them is Nevada, where the 2016 campaign is already in progress. Bloomberg’s Nevada operation calls itself “Nevadans for Background Checks” and is operated by Melissa Warren, the managing partner at the Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations & Government Affairs lobbying firm.
Bloomberg and his minions claim they are just promoting background checks on private sales. But as usual, they are lying.
One way to tell that Bloomberg is selling a mislabeled law is to read the actual proposal. In this case, it is 18 pages long. It would only take a couple of pages to require background checks on private sales of firearms, if that were all the law did.
Instead, the law is a comprehensive scheme to criminalize the normal use of firearms, thus turning most gun owners into criminals, from whom firearms can be confiscated. Read the rest of this entry »
…The intended message, presumably, is: “We need to keep guns out of the hands of violent men with restraining orders.”
Does this ad succeed in conveying that message? Charles C. W. Cooke doesn’t think so.
“What the video ends up doing instead is demonstrating a) that people who are willing to abduct children and shoot women in the face are not likely to follow the laws (the victim already has a restraining order out against her assailant, which frankly doesn’t seem to be doing much); b) that the victim would have been better off with a gun in her hand than with a phone connected to the police department; and c) that, firearms being a great equalizer between men and women, any rules that make it difficult for potential victims to get hold of guns (and make no mistake: Everytown supports them all) put vulnerable people in danger…”
For the New York Times, The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and dashing the hopes of health advocates who have urged state and local governments to curb the consumption of drinks and foods linked to obesity.
“exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority”
In a 20-page opinion, Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr. of the New York State Court of Appeals wrote that the city’s Board of Health “exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority” in enacting the proposal, which was championed by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Judge Pigott wrote that the complexity of the proposal and its reach into the everyday lives of millions meant that the City Council ought to address it instead…(read more)
For The Daily Caller, Chuck Ross reports: CNN has drastically revised a claim it made, which was based on a graphical map from a pro-gun control group, which purportedly showed that 74 school shootings have occurred in the U.S. since the Sandy Hook massacre in Dec. 2012.
“CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Oregon – a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school.”
The news outlet circulated the graphical map, which came from the group Everytown for Gun Safety, after a shooting that occurred Tuesday at a high school in Oregon which left two dead, including the 15 year-old gunman.
Everytown for Gun Safety, which is backed by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, headlined their graphic “School Shootings in America Since Sandy Hook,” suggesting that the shootings it listed had a link of some kind to Sandy Hook — in which Adam Lanza killed 26 people at an elementary school.
CNN and various other media outlets used the graphic in news segments. Read the rest of this entry »
Sacré Bleu! De Blasio’s Doomed Imitation of French President François Hollande a Potential Nightmare for New YorkersPosted: January 7, 2014
Gotham’s new mayor sounds like François Hollande, and he risks similar results
Nicole Gelinas writes: In his inaugural address last Wednesday, New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, promised to “commit” the city he now leads “to a new progressive direction.” As Gotham embarks on a “dramatic new approach,” he promised, “the world will watch as we succeed.” De Blasio should be watching the world instead—particularly France. The policy prescription that brought de Blasio to office—higher income taxes on New York’s wealthy—is exactly what French president François Hollande proposed to win his own post nearly two years ago. Since then, Hollande’s approval rating has plummeted to record lows for a French leader. French citizens have grown tired of symbolic anti-rich gestures; they want real solutions to real problems.
Hollande, who won office in May 2012, was one of the first leftist Western politicians to benefit from two global trends after 2008: disillusionment with incumbent politicians and dismay at income inequality. Hollande’s opponent and predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, was well settled in office during the economic collapse of 2008—a toxic place to be for any Western leader. But Sarkozy, like former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, was also practically a cartoon embodiment of the second target of anger. Sarkozy was the “bling-bling” president who outfitted the presidential jet with a top-of-the-line oven so that he could eat gourmet food in the air, the president who traded in his (second) wife for a model-turned-singer-turned-movie-star, the president who loved hanging out with the world’s 1 percent on yachts and private beaches. In expelling a sitting head of state for the first time in three decades, the French made it clear that they wanted change.
But victory came almost too easily. Hollande didn’t have to put forward any serious policy proposals to win. France’s problems were straightforward and remain so: persistent deficits, caused not by the economic crisis but by ever-growing retirement costs; plus high unemployment, caused by high taxes and heavy social mandates on employers—including the near-impossibility of firing a permanent worker. Hollande had little to say about these issues. Instead, his plan was simple:tax the rich. He increased top-bracket income taxes from 41 percent to 45 percentand imposed a temporary two-year levy of 75 percent on income above 1 million euros. In his inauguration speech, he said that “to put France back on her feet, in a fair way,” he would “discourage exorbitant income and remuneration.” Though he acknowledged France’s intractable problems, the closest he got to a solution was to say that “Europe needs projects.”
George Will: “There’s Nothing Better for Conservatism Than Periodic Examples of Untrammeled Liberalism”Posted: January 6, 2014
Oh, there’s nothing better for American conservatism than periodic examples of untrammeled liberalism. Lyndon Johnson after 1964 had huge majorities in Congress, had his way. Republicans won five of the next six and seven of the next nine presidential elections. Let him have his way in New York City, and let people see what happens. There are more than 130 contracts with public employees’ unions that’ve been held in abeyance until Mayor Bloomberg got out of there, because they assumed that de Blasio and his compliant, not to say supine city council, will go along with anything they ask for. I give him three years and people will be begging for a return to something else.
Will Bill de Blasio tackle New Yorkers’ real problems or undo the achievements of his predecessors?
Aaron M. Renn writes: Alexis de Tocqueville’s 1856 The Old Regime and the Revolution has recently become a surprise bestseller in China, setting off a minor flurry of news stories in the West. This lesser-known Tocqueville work suggests that improvements in society can be a prelude to revolution: “Evils which are patiently endured when they seem inevitable become intolerable when once the idea of escape from them is suggested. The very redress of grievances throws new light on those which are left untouched, and adds fresh poignancy to their smart: if the pain be less, the patient’s sensibility is greater.” Whether reform will lead to revolution in China remains to be seen, but closer to home, the rise of leftist New York City mayor Bill de Blasio might offer a test of the hypothesis.
New Yorkers, including the middle class and even the poor, have seen their overall welfare improve so much under the mayoral tenures of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg that the city’s remaining problems, which are formidable, now may seem less tolerable. Thus de Blasio was able to gain critical traction in the mayoral campaign with his “two cities” theme, holding the Bloomberg administration responsible for the city’s high levels of inequality—even as Bloomberg has governed in many ways as a “progressive.” He raised taxes and went on a massive spending spree—total spending rose by more than 70 percent on his watch—on everything from schools to parks to streets. Per pupil spending on schools grew 73 percent under Bloomberg, and teacher salaries grew 40 percent, even as test scores were mostly stagnant and polls found parents saying the schools got worse under his administration. Bloomberg also toed the progressive line on gay marriage and gun control and pledged to make New York the “world’s greatest, greenest city.” His attempt to ban the Big Gulp was perhaps the best example of his progressive vision of better living through more regulation.
The push to “do something, anything,” has nothing to do with preventing deaths.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Earlier in the year, as the gun-control movement tried clumsily to transform an abomination into a cudgel, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker distilled its problem into a single sentence. “Nothing proposed in the gun-control debates would have prevented the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Parker contended plainly, “and everybody knows it.”
This was abundantly clear at the time, and it is even more so in retrospect. And yet I must nitpick ever so slightly with Parker’s excellent contention, for it is missing the crucial word “almost.” Almost everybody knows it. The public seems to know it. Legislators seem to know it. But, judging by the abundance of vexed anniversary columns, a significant cabal of journalists and activists have never got the message. A year later, their cry is as it was at the outset: Why won’t we act?
Yesterday, Michael Bloomberg delivered a speech in which he utilized what I have come to regard as the Newtown Template. Having established the tragedy in the audience’s mind — December 14 “will mark a very somber anniversary,” Bloomberg noted, correctly — he went on to claim that “unlicensed sellers of firearms” were “illegally flooding the Internet with weapons,” causing “a massive online, unregulated, second-hand firearms market that threatens public safety.” Then, for good measure, he took a swipe at the government for “doing nothing.”
He wants a $720,000 security detail, and doesn’t want you to have guns
Kelly is a longtime, vocal supporter of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-Second Amendment policies. Kelly appeared on the Daily Show this year, and nodded up and down every time host John Stewart spewed propaganda about gun control and punch-lines that ridiculed America’s law-abiding gun owners.
Kelly said that commonly-owned, semi-automatic rifles “should be eliminated.” He railed against handguns and blamed other cities and states for New York’s problems.
De Blasio’s victory wouldn’t be possible without Giuliani’s successes and liberals’ short memories.
Taxi Driver: Scene where Travis describes his nights, and how he thanks god for the rain.
The Big Apple’s Left Turn
Jonah Goldberg writes: The new mayor of New York City is a Red Sox fan. According to the rules of the New York I grew up in, I’d expect to see the Hudson turn into a river of blood and Zabar’s to close owing to a locust infestation before that happened.
But if de Blasio’s remarkable rise proves anything, it’s that the rules can change. A liberal’s crazy liberal, de Blasio still waxes nostalgic about the noble struggle of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, for whom he raised money in the 1980s. He violated the ban on travel to Cuba for his honeymoon with his formerly gay wife, and he often talks as if he’s handing out literature in Union Square for the left-wing New Party, for which he used to work.
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) – A sweet almost maple syrup-like smell in the air was being reported in portions of Manhattan, Queens and New Jersey on Wednesday morning.
It is not clear where the aroma was coming from. Read the rest of this entry »
Awr Hawkins writes:
The founders of Basic Freedom Defense Fund (BFDF) and Pueblo Freedom & Rights announce they are now pursuing the logical next step in Colorado–the repeal of the draconian gun laws supported senators John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) and Angela Giron (D-Pueblo). Read the rest of this entry »
Rich Lowry writes: Michael Bloomberg is the mayor of New York and a media mogul who weekends in Bermuda and whose net worth is an estimated $27 billion. Victor Head runs a plumbing business with his brother in Pueblo, Colo.
The two clashed from a distance in the Colorado gun recalls, and Head gave the billionaire a righteous drubbing. The defeat of two pro-gun-control Colorado state senators in the recall elections sends a message that should be heard all the way back on the Upper East Side, and maybe even in Hamilton. Read the rest of this entry »
Tom Jensen of the Democrat-campaign affiliated polling firm, Public Policy Polling: “We did a poll last weekend in Colorado Senate District 3 and found that voters intended to recall Angela Giron by a 12 point margin, 54/42. In a district that Barack Obama won by almost 20 points I figured there was no way that could be right and made a rare decision not to release the poll. It turns out we should have had more faith in our numbers becaue [sic] she was indeed recalled by 12 points.” It’s a free country, and if PPP doesn’t want to release a result, they’re free to eat the costs and keep a survey result to themselves. But the rest of us are free to wonder just how “rare” it is for PPP to not release a poll, and what other results they’ve withheld from public release. Read the rest of this entry »
Brooke and two of CNN’s political commentators discuss an overridden bill that could pit feds against locals in Missouri. They also discuss the two pro-gun control state legislators who have been recalled in Colorado.
AWR HAWKINS writes: From the moment the recall effort in Colorado began, money started flowing in from out-of-state gun control proponents and influence flowed in from Chicago. It was all part of an effort to protect state senators Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) and John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) from being recalled.
And by extension, it was about protecting Colorado’s new gun control laws as well.
When the gun control measures were passed, and then signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper (D) on March 20, Coloradans in Giron and Morse’s districts felt hoodwinked. El Paso County Sherrif Terry Maketa said, “The two senators dismissed [their constituents’] opinions, literally said they did not want to hear from them,” thus setting the recall effort in motion. Read the rest of this entry »
THE FIX’s Sean Sullivan writes: Something pretty remarkable happened in Colorado on Tuesday night. John Morse, the Democratic president of the state Senate, was recalled from office. So was Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron.
Taken together, the losses arguably represent the biggest defeat for gun-control advocates since the push for expanded background checks failed in the U.S. Senate earlier this year.
Morse and Giron appeared on ballots Tuesday in the culmination of a recall campaign that largely shaped up as a referendum on the state’s recently passed gun-control laws, for which both Morse and Giron voted. Out of state money poured in on both sides. On one end, the National Rifle Association dished out six figures. On the other, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did too.
It’s not every day that you see an incumbent recalled from office, let alone someone as high-profile as a state Senate president. The message the defeat of Morse and Giron sends to legislators all across the country is unmistakable: If you are thinking about pushing for new gun-control laws, you could face swift consequences. Read the rest of this entry »
DAN CANNON writes: We’ve already reported that Colorado State Senate President, and one of the architects of Colorado’s anti-gun laws that were passed earlier this year has conceded his recall election and is OUT as state senator.
Now, it seems that Angela Giron, the rookie senator who was also a staunch supporter of the gun laws who was also facing recall is also OUT! Giron lost 56% to 44% add Morse lost 51% to 49%. Read the rest of this entry »
Things haven’t been this bleak for Colo Dems since 2002 blowout. is the GOP back.
— Lynn Bartels (@lynn_bartels) September 11, 2013
Altantic Wire – BRIAN FELDMAN – Colorado held recall elections on Tuesday night to decide whether or not to oust two Democratic state senators who supported stricter gun controls in the wake of events such as last year’s shooting in Aurora. State Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo are both being out up for a vote. This is is the first state senate recall election in the state’s history. Read the rest of this entry »
COLORADO SPRINGS — Two Colorado Democrats who provided crucial support for a slate of tough new gun-control laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in a recall vote widely seen as a test of popular support for gun restrictions after mass shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.
The election, which came five months after the United States Senate defeated several gun restrictions, handed another loss to gun-control supporters. It also gave moderate lawmakers across the country a warning about the political risks of voting for tougher gun laws. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: Colorado lawmakers lose recalls over unpopular gun-control law support , Second Amendment activists celebrate victoryPosted: September 10, 2013
DENVER (AP) — Voters ousted two Colorado Democratic lawmakers Tuesday in the state’s first ever legislative recall launched over their support for stricter gun laws after last year’s mass shootings.
Bloomberg’s crusades mean more people will die
Question: What do the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union have in common? Answer: The determination to stop New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg from having his way with guns. The NRA defends the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. The ACLU defends the Fourth Amendment’s constraints on “stop- and-frisk.” Between the two, guns will remain on the street and more people will die.
The numbers are irrefutable. Last year, 419 New Yorkers were murdered, mostly by gunfire. In 1992, the figure was 1,995. That works out to approximately four fewer New Yorkers a day who were not killed by guns. Yes, crime has fallen across America, but nowhere has the drop approached New York City’s. Some of that is due to whiz-bang policing, computers and all that jazz. But some of it is due to stop-and-frisk. There are simply fewer guns on the street. (The New York Police Department estimates that in 1993, “as many as 2 million illegal guns were in circulation in New York City,” many of them imported from Virginia.)
Rightly or wrongly — a court will ultimately decide — the city’s stop-and-frisk program has collided with the Fourth Amendment’s injunction against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” More controversially, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin has ruled that the program is racial profiling at its most pernicious and that, too, is illegal. After all, of an incredible 4.4 million stops, an overwhelming number were of black or Hispanic men — and resulted in relatively few arrests. It did not seem to matter to the judge that an equally overwhelming number of both assailants and victims were also black and Hispanic men. Her gavel came down. The city was guilty.
Liberal commentators like to spotlight rifts in the Republican party and self-destructive fights among various flavors of conservatives. In this they often have legitimate raw material to work with.
But I haven’t seen so much introspection in those quarters when liberals do similar things. Case in point: Arkansas, where New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns is running ads against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, who voted against the Manchin-Toomey gun control proposal. These ads could hurt Pryor and, as Time’s Michael Scherer points out, reduce Democrats’ chances of holding onto a Senate majority in the 2014 election.
The chance of Bloomberg’s ads producing an Arkansas senator willing to vote for gun control measures is close to zero. This is a state which has become increasingly Republican in presidential elections since Bill Clinton has been ineligible to run – it went 51 percent-46 percent Republican in 2000, 54 percent-45 percent in 2004, 59 percent-39 percent in 2008 and 61 percent-37 percent in 2012. The only other state to trend Republican in those four elections is Al Gore’s Tennessee: the Clinton-Gore ticket held much of the Upper South for Democrats in the 1990s but has moved sharply away from them ever since.
Nevertheless liberals tried a similar gambit in Arkansas in 2010. Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln, up for reelection, riled the unions by coming out early against their card check bill. Again, there was no way an Arkansas senator was going to vote for that. But Lincoln got primary opposition from the more liberal Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, who lost by only a 52 percent-48 percent margin. Lincoln then lost the general election to Republican Rep. John Boozman by a 58 percent-37 percent margin, a crushing defeat for a two-term incumbent who was Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. There’s no reason to believe that Halter would have done substantially better.
Note that only 259,000 votes were cast in the 2010 Democratic primary. That’s barely half the 506,000 votes cast in Arkansas’s 1992 Democratic presidential primary–and that may understate the size of the state’s Democratic primary electorate 20 years ago since it was obvious that Clinton would win by a large margin. The Democratic base has shrunk greatly and in the process may have become somewhat more liberal–but that’s not likely to help Arkansas Democrats in the general election.
Mark Pryor, son of a former governor and senator, was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and may have been helped by the fact that the Republican incumbent had divorced his wife and married a former staffer. Pryor had no Republican opponent in 2008. Now it looks like his luck is running out and that his best option is to run against Bloomberg.
This is the funniest thing I’ve read since the election. Kurt Schlichter should be nominated for an award, for this essay, and conservatives candidates should pay close attention to this message. Ignore it at your peril, Republican hopefuls. Kurt’s on to something here.
Who the hell is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to presume that he has a say in what I or any other American chooses to drink? Of course, the answer for any self-respecting citizen is that he has no such say, and the proper response to him and his legion of petty fascist fan boys is the suggestion that they pucker up – and I will politely decline to identify what they should kiss.
It’s a sad commentary that the once boisterous, independent, take-no-guff New Yorker of the past has been replaced by a gutless, cowardly supplicant eager to obey the commands of whatever pint—sized potentate occupies Gracie Mansion. Back in the day, a real New Yorker would look that tiny troll in the mayor’s office in his beady little eyes and laugh, “Hey Mikey, I got your Big Gulpright here.”
These bossy snobs are getting out of hand, and it’s time to push back – hard. Besides being the American thing to do, resistance to this creeping liberal totalitarianism is a huge opportunity for conservatives.
Obedience to arbitrary authority is counter to everything that America stands for. We didn’t reluctantly cede a tiny bit of our personal sovereignty to the government so a bunch of know-it-all twerps could tell us what to eat, what to smoke, what to do and how to live. We did it to allow them the ability to keep order, which they have manifestly failed to do, and to perform a few basic governmental functions, which they have likewise failed to do.
So, a government that has failed to adequately perform the few discrete tasks which it should be performing now wishes to do a bunch of other things which it has no business doing in the first place, and which it will inevitably do badly and thereby cause even more problems than existed in the first place.
It’s time to say “No,” and our rejection of this obnoxious governmental overreach has the potential to create a new coalition that could up-end the status quo.
Real conservatives detest the idea of a government so big and intrusive that it feels free to interfere with such basic liberties as choosing what to eat. And they also hate the idea of a government so big and intrusive that it feels that it is within its rights to, say, blow up American citizens within the United States because it, well, thinks blowing them up is a good idea.
It’s all part of the same unearned hubris. The notion that some government functionary can tell you what you can drink or not drink based on his notion of what’s good for society is not so far from the notion that he can decide who lives or who dies based on his notion of what’s good for society.
Sadly, the enablers of these uppity functionaries aren’t just the usual liberal nanny-staters. You have putative Republicans conceding that “Well, I guess sugar is really bad…”, as if it matters whether high fructose corn syrup is the devil’s brew or an elixir from the Fountain of Youth. They should never reach the question of whether sugar is good, bad or indifferent; the mere posing of the question is antithetical to everything a real conservative believes. It’s none of their damn business.
Moreover, the appalling argument that “Well, we all have to pay for obesity” itself accepts the flawed premise that “we all” have any business paying for anyone’s health care. I’ve researched the Constitution pretty thoroughly and have been unable to find anything about me shelling out my dough to subsidize some couch-dwelling slacker’s doctor visits.
Maybe the enumerated power to do so is dwelling behind some penumbra or emanation, but it seems like making that argument accepts the idea that government ought to be in the health care business in the first place. And if the fact that the Constitution says nothing about doing so isn’t enough to show why it shouldn’t be, the idea that because the government does so gives it the right to micromanage our lives is itself ample reason to reject that hateful notion.
Soft-drink makers, restaurateurs and other businesses are suing to block the city’s move to end the sale of super-sized, sugary drinks in many eateries.
The American Beverage Association and others sued the city Friday. City officials had no immediate response.
The city Board of Health approved the unprecedented regulation last month. It would stop restaurants, cafeterias and concession stands from selling soda and other high-calorie drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.
The rule is set to take effect in March.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls it a reasonable, promising way to curb obesity.
The lawsuit says the unelected health board shouldn’t be telling people how much soda to drink. The suit also says the rule “burdens consumers and unfairly harms small businesses.”
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (kmov.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (ktvb.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (kansascity.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (seattletimes.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (bostonherald.com)
- Soda Industry Sues NYC Over Sugary Drink Limits (wibw.com)
- Industry sues over NYC crackdown on sugary drinks (sfgate.com)
- Soda industry not sweet on NYC ban, sues city to block it (nj.com)