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- Anti-NRA Ebola Theme Infect… by Glenn At New…
In the weeks since we last reported on media attempts to tie NRA to the Ebola crisis because of our opposition to the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy as surgeon general, the anti-gun echo chamber has continued to promote this absurd line of argument. Absent most of the coverage is a forthright discussion of NRA’s legitimate concerns with the nominee, or any evidence that Murthy himself has a singular ability to effectively handle the nation’s Ebola response.
NRA opposes Dr. Murthy’s nomination for the very reason that he has a history of exploiting his status as a medical practitioner to advance a purely political agenda of extreme and unproven gun control measures. In January 2013, Dr. Murthy signed two letters sent from his organization Doctors for America (formerly Doctors for Obama) to Vice President Joe Biden and Congress, advocating for stringent gun controls. The letter to Congress advocated for a ban on popular semi-autos and their ammunition, limits on ammunition purchases, firearm owner licensing, and a mandatory waiting period of at least 48 hours. The letter also expressed a desire to leverage the resources of the Centers for Disease Control to provide data for gun control efforts. Such proposals are of obvious import to gun owners. Moreover, as surgeon general, Dr. Murthy would have the ideal platform to direct the nation’s public health apparatus towards redefining firearms ownership as a disease, a tactic that Congress has curbed with funding limits since the 1990s, but one President Obama hopes to reinvigorate.
Oddly, many of those lamenting Dr. Murthy’s stalled nomination in the media take for granted, without evidence, his unequaled capacity to competently manage the Ebola outbreak, or convey vital information to the American public. Worse, the baseless media presumptions are echoed by some two dozen members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who are using the Ebola outbreak as a pretext to urge the Senate to confirm Dr. Murthy’s nomination. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has organized a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) insisting that the pair take action to “confirm [Dr. Murthy] as soon as possible.”
Should Murthy have critical information to convey on the illness, one would suspect that various news outlets would be eager to spotlight the high-profile nominee’s thoughts on the matter. Yet the strongest evidence that Dr. Murthy would have little to contribute on the topic has come directly from the White House. Obama had the opportunity to engage Dr. Murthy in the Ebola response by appointing him, without the need for Senate approval, as Ebola Response Coordinator (the so-called “Ebola Czar”). There is no indication that Obama ever considered Dr. Murthy for the position. Instead, the president chose Ronald Klain, and attorney and former chief of staff to the vice president with no medical training.
A cynic (or maybe just a realist) might even conclude that 37-year-old Dr. Murthy’s primary qualification for receiving the nomination as surgeon general in the first place was his political activism on behalf of Obama. This included Murthy’s activism for Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and during heated legislative battles such as those over health care reform and gun control. Murthy’s credentials as a leading authority on Ebola, if indeed he has any, are considerably less well documented.
Yet even before Murthy gained fame as Obama’s unlikely pick for America’s top doctor — chosen at an age when most physicians are still struggling to establish their practices and pay off medical school loans — he was offering his unsolicited “expertise” on gun control in correspondence to America’s leaders. Should he likewise care to offer his musings on combating Ebola, he presumably remembers the addresses of the White House and Capitol and will chime in accordingly.
- Outgoing AG Eric Holder Cit… by Glenn At New…
As Eric Holder’s disastrous reign as attorney general comes to a close, he counts among his and his anti-gun administration’s biggest failures the inability to further restrict American’s Second Amendment rights. Considering his track record (we’re still dealing with the ramifications of the infamous Fast and Furious debacle, among other things), that’s saying something.
Anti-gunners have long used the tactic of exploiting tragedy to further their agenda, and in that regard, Holder continues steadfastly to stick to the script. As reported in the Washington Times, Holder said in a recent CNN interview that “the inability to pass reasonable gun safety laws after the Newtown massacre is something that weighs heavily on my mind.” Holder further said, “the thought that we could not translate that horror into reasonable — I mean, really reasonable gun safety measures that were supported by the vast majority of the American people is for me something that I take personally as a failure.”
Despite Holder’s assertion of Americans’ support for more gun control laws, in December 2013–a year after Sandy Hook–a CNN poll showed that support for gun control had dropped by six points since January of that year, and that a majority of Americans opposed stricter gun laws. Meanwhile, even the president and vice-president themselves acknowledged that nothing that had been proposed would “fundamentally alter” the chance of another mass casualty event or “stop every act of violence and evil.” In other words, the proposals did not seek to address what really happened on that awful day. Rather, they merely sought to use the heartache it caused to advance a pre-existing agenda to, as Holder once said, make gun owners “cower” like shamed smokers and to “just really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
Holder’s “disappointment” serves as another reminder that those who would trample our rights remain determined to push their gun control agenda and will exploit any occasion to do so. They don’t care that polling data contradicts them or that past experiments with the same type of legislation have failed. For them, the real goal is restricting firearm ownership in America.
It’s disturbing, but not surprising, that Holder’s biggest disappointment as attorney general is his failure to further restrict Americans’ Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. As he resigns his post, Holder’s contempt for the Second Amendment will likely continue, but at least he will no longer be acting upon that contempt as the country’s chief law enforcement officer.
- Woman Posts Yard Sign to “O… by Glenn At New…
Few of the anti-gun movement’s positions are as self-defeating and mean-spirited as the impulse to “out” others for the choices they make about their Second Amendment rights. Most of them try to justify prying into this private activity under the mismatched rubric of the “public’s right to know,” as if private individuals become public figures merely for the exercise of a fundamental right. In recent years, newspapers have published databases of Right-to-Carry and pistol permit holders, feigning interest in “public safety.” Yet their true motivations were more candidly illustrated recently by the comments of D.C. Councilmembers at a public hearing on D.C.’s new concealed carrying permitting law. “Who cares about the confidentiality of a gun owner? We don’t want it … ,” Councilwoman Yvette Alexander said, arguing to make permit holder information public. Fellow Council member David Grosso — who also expressed his preference for “no guns at all” in the District — concurred: “[A]t least we’ll all know who it is, and we can treat them differently ….”
In fact, such tactics are so counterproductive to public safety that even law enforcement officials from anti-gun jurisdictions have opposed the release of gun owner data, including most recently District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier. Making the anti-gunner’s hypocrisy even more transparent, they claim on the one hand to support stringent storage requirements and “lost or stolen” reporting mandates in order to diminish the effects of firearm theft. Yet at the same time, they call for making firearm ownership or licensing information public, in effect providing criminals with a roadmap of which homes do (and presumably don’t) contain guns, so they can plan their predations accordingly.
Now, according to ABC affiliate KAAL-TV, Kimberly Edson of Savage, Minn., has taken the impulse to “expose” gun owners in her community to a disturbingly personal level. When Edson discovered that Matthew Halleck, a former Parent Teacher Student Association president and father of two, drops his children off at school while lawfully carrying a concealed firearm, she sprang into action.
Edson initially called the police to report that Halleck was carrying a firearm near the school, but was enlightened by law enforcement officials that Halleck was well within his rights. The officious Edson then responded by surreptitiously taking a photo of Halleck walking with his child, blowing it up to poster-size, and crudely pasting it on a yard sign displayed in her front lawn. The photo is accompanied by a caption that states: “This man carries a loaded gun around your children every day.”
When interviewed by KAAL, Edson justified her actions by stating, “Since we don’t have a way to stop him, we felt it was important to notify the neighborhood and the parents that there is an armed man in their presence.” Displaying a narcissistic disregard for the rights and choices of others in a pluralist society, Edson added, “I have a responsibility to help create the kind of community I want to see.”
Edson’s professed concerns are particularly absurd when one considers how unremarkable Halleck’s actions are. According to census data, along with right-to-carry permit statistics from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, on average, nearly one out of every 20 Minnesotans over the age of 21 is licensed to carry a concealed firearm.
Further, the elementary school in question is located in a densely populated residential neighborhood. Polling data suggests, meanwhile, that nearly half of American homes contain firearms, so several of the homes in the neighborhood surrounding the school likely contain firearms as well. Additional data showing “Personal safety/Protection” as the number one reason for Americans to own guns suggests that some of those firearms might even be loaded and ready for immediate use.
Edson could, of course, be strikingly ignorant (or willfully in denial) of the prevalence and purpose of lawful gun ownership in America. On the other hand, her actions could also simply lay bare a virulent bigotry towards gun owners devoid of any rational basis or legitimate concern for the safety of children.
As for Halleck, he hasn’t let Edson’s bizarre and un-neighborly behavior alter how he protects himself and his children. When interviewed by KAAL, Halleck called Edson’s sign “ludicrous.” Regarding the public debate over the choice to carry a firearm, he stated, “If it heightens the awareness for folks out there that are confident enough, and see the changes in the world to add an extra layer of protection, I encourage people to do it.”
- Members of Congress Ask Ins… by Glenn At New…
Coalitions of congressional representatives have issued letters over the past two Thursdays requesting internal investigators at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to examine Operation Choke Point (OPC) and any officials and staff involved in the program.
The effort, led by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), characterizes Operation Choke Point as “a DOJ-initiated effort that aims to force businesses, many of which are licensed and legally-operating, out of the financial service space and therefore, out of business.” Its targets include firearm and ammunition manufacturers and retailers.
Referencing the findings of a report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (which we reported on here), the letters charge DOJ with an “egregious abuse of power.” Specifically, they claim that the agency has exceeded its mandate and authority under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), the claimed basis for OPC. “There is no doubt in our minds,” the letters state, that FDIC and DOJ officials “have abused their authority” to advance personal and political agendas.
The first letter was sent on October 16 to Michael Horowitz, DOJ Inspector General, and Robin Ashton, counsel for DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility. It details evidence that DOJ officials, despite representations to Congress that OPC was focused on combating consumer fraud, knew the program was “forcing legally-operating businesses out of the financial services space.” The letter even quotes one DOJ lawyer as referring to this outcome as a “collateral benefit” of the program. It also refers to DOJ documents obtained by Congress that indicate senior staff had informed the attorney general himself that OPC was having a detrimental impact on legitimate businesses and causing banks to drop entire lines of business.
The second letter, sent on Thursday to FDIC acting inspector general Fred W. Givens , suggests that FDIC’s involvement in the operation conflicts with its “primary mission” to “protect the safety and soundness of our nation’s financial institutions.” This is because the operation forces “legitimate customers from banks, causing not only damage to those customers but also driving revenue from the banks themselves.”
The letter goes on to detail FDIC’s “troubling” connection to OPC through a list of “high risk merchants and activities” that the chief of FDIC’s Division of Risk Management Supervision claimed in a presentation to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council warranted “heightened scrutiny.” Such merchant categories included those engaged in firearm and ammunition sales. The letter recounts that FDIC provided no explanation to congressional investigators for the bases on which the businesses were listed or why illegal activities, such as Ponzi Schemes, were listed alongside legitimate businesses such as firearm sales and coin dealing. “It is beyond worrisome,” the letter states, “that DOJ’s radical interpretation and application of FIRREA … has been coordinated through and reinforced by FDIC staff.”
Thursday’s letter additionally explains how testimony provided by FDIC general counsel Richard J. Osterman at a July hearing of the House Financial Services Committee conflicted with correspondence from an FDIC regional director. Contrary to Osterman’s statements at the hearing insisting that the FDIC was not pressuring banks to sever relationships with disfavored types of merchants, the regional director’s correspondence stated that FDIC condemns relationships with specific industries. Additional evidence obtained by congressional investigators, according to Thursday’s letter, “clearly indicates that specific industries are targeted by Operation Choke Point” with “the assistance of FDIC examiners and senior officials.” The letter therefore concludes that “Congress has received false testimony from a senior FDIC official.”
Both letters ask the officials to whom they are addressed to keep Congress informed of their investigative efforts, to the extent possible. They also state that if the signatories do not hear from the investigators by November 12, 2014, they expect to meet with them in person to “directly express [their] concerns.”
The October letters are merely the latest attempts by members of Congress to shed light on and curb the abuses of Operation Choke Point. The NRA heartily supports these efforts and thanks the Rep. Luetkemeyer and his fellow signatories for pressing for answers on yet another scandal that continues to taint DOJ, even as attorney general Eric Holder prepares to exit his post.
- The Origins of the National… by Glenn At New…
- MO police stock up on riot … by Glenn At New…
Missouri police have been brushing up on constitutional rights and stocking up on riot gear to prepare for a grand jury’s decision about whether to charge a white police officer who fatally shot a black 18-year-old in suburban St. Louis.
The preparations are aimed at avoiding a renewed outbreak of violence during the potentially large demonstrations that could follow an announcement of whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will face a criminal trial for the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown.
Police and protesters have repeatedly clashed since the shooting, which prompted a national conversation about race and police tactics. Images of officers in riot gear and armored vehicles confronting protesters have drawn widespread criticism.
Many protesters want Wilson indicted for murder. Grand jury proceedings are secret, but legal analysts say recently leaked information about Wilson’s testimony to investigators may be an attempt to prepare the public for the possibility that he might not be charged.
The decision could be made public within the next month.
- Gun Control Group Continues… by Glenn At New…
Forbes reporter Clare O’Connor says that gun prohibitionist Shannon Watts and a small number of her followers from the citizen control group Moms Demand Action will attempt to bully Kroger shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Cincinnati next Wednesday.
Members of local affiliates of the Michael Bloomberg-backed gun control groups Everytown and Moms Demand Action will be waiting near the supermarket chain’s Cincinnati headquarters on October 29th to confront investors and executives.
Kroger currently allows shoppers to openly carry guns in stores in states where the practice is legal. Everytown and Moms Demand Action activists aim to convince the retailer to change this policy, in line with other large chains like Starbucks SBUX +0.35% and Target TGT +1.14%.
Joining the gun safety groups will be a survivor of the 2011 Tucson massacre outside a Safeway SWY +0.15% supermarket, when eighteen people, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, were shot. Six were killed. (Giffords has since retired from politics and devoted her career to gun control advocacy; she and husband Mark Kelly launched the nonprofit Americans for Responsible Solutions.)
Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts will be on the scene in Cincinnati and hopes to compel Kroger executives to meet with her in person. The group, in partnership with billionaire Bloomberg’s $50 million Everytown project, has been petitioning the country’s largest supermarket chain for more than two months.
I fully expect that Moms Demand will “confront” Kroger with the same honesty that they “confronted” the National Rifle Association at that group’s annual meeting earlier this year… where they didn’t confront the NRA at all.
- Cuomo’s office tightl… by Glenn At New…
Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office four years ago promising the most transparent administration in history, but journalists and advocacy groups say his office tightly controls requests for public records on anything controversial and routinely delays or denies their release.
For decades, responding to requests under New York’s Freedom of Information Law was the responsibility of individual state agencies. Current and former state officials say that began to change a year into Cuomo’s administration, and now such requests are often routed through the governor’s legal counsel.
Travis Proulx, former communications director for the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, said the shift was a reaction to an embarrassing story – a 2011 New York Times series on abuse of the disabled in state care that was based largely on public records.
- Here’s A Map Of Where… by Glenn At New…
Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old doctor, is the first person found to have Ebola in New York City.
Since Spencer was rushed to Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, immediately after showing symptoms, health officials have been retracing his steps and working to identify anyone the patient may have come into contact with since returning to the United States from Guinea on Oct. 17.
As a member of Doctors Without Borders, Spencer had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea, one of the three West African countries hit hardest by the Ebola epidemic.
At a news conference on Thursday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers not be alarmed.
Ebola patients cannot spread the virus until they begin showing symptoms. Ebola is transmitted only through contact with an infected person’s blood or other bodily fluids, and not through casual contact.
- Pat Condell: How to be a ra… by Glenn At New…
Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs
Government intervenes at school taken over by Muslim radicals
Woman did not show her face at Heathrow airport
British schools where girls must wear the Islamic veil
Sharia courts “as consensual as rape”
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- Ray Ficara on “Repeal the SAFE Act&…Are they in the basement of the Gov's Mansion?
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- Greg Tabor on Bloomturd’s Departing Front…Well, Duh, anyone with half a brain could have told you that it wouldn't work!!!
- Greg Tabor on Trend toward stand your gro…Who else sleeps with a pistol under their pillow?? Mine's a .45, how about yours?
- Greg Tabor on The Second Amendment Only A…Well, Duh, money Rules, Peons eat shit.