News of the Week for Mar. 24th, 2013

 

News of the Week for Mar. 24th, 2013

 

Gun Rights

Six myths about the law that bans gun lawsuits
Since the Newtown massacre various gun opponents, law professors and commentators have decried the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a 2005 law that broadly protects gun dealers and manufacturers from being sued when the firearms they sell are later used in crimes. Writers in the Washington Post, Slate, the Huffington Post and The Atlantic assailed PLCAA as a Congressional giveaway to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and an obstacle to gun safety efforts.

Meet John Hickenlooper, now-endangered Democratic Governor of Colorado.
By the way: all of this takes effect on July 1, 2013. Plan accordingly, Coloradans.
I’m calling Gov. Hickenlooper endangered for a reason: he just made a rather poor life choice. You see, the fellow bowed to pressure from East Coast liberals and signed into law today an effective firearms ban masquerading as a “high capacity magazine ban.” John Hickenlooper is apparently just self-aware enough to realize what problems this is going to cause him down the line: “[Hickenlooper] said his office later today will release a “signing statement” to try to explain how the bills, particularly one that limits ammunition rounds, should be interpreted.”

The Epic Gun Control Testimony You’ve Been Waiting For: ‘The Constitution Did Not Guarantee Public Safety, It Guaranteed Liberty’
How do Connecticut residents feel about the crackdown on the Second Amendment? Well, there are people from both sides making passionate arguments on the issue, however, one gentleman last week was able to make a particularly persuasive case against more gun control and in favor of the U.S. Constitution

Suing the Gun Grabbers
NRA mulls suing Colorado over gun bills as state think tank announces suit

Colo. governor to sign landmark gun bills
Exactly eight months after dozens of people were shot in a suburban Denver movie theater, Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign new restrictions on firearms in Colorado, signaling a historic change for Democrats who traditionally shied away from taking on gun control in a state where owning a gun is as common as owning a car in some rural areas.

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

The Great Green Con no. 1: The hard proof that finally shows global warming forecasts that are costing you billions were WRONG all along
No, the world ISN’T getting warmer (as you may have noticed). Now we reveal the official data that’s making scientists suddenly change their minds about climate doom. So will eco-funded MPs stop waging a green crusade with your money? Well… what do YOU think?

Germany Calling Off Green Unicorn Hunts
Germany is planning to cut many of its flagship green programs. Funding for these policies relies heavily on the sale of carbon emissions certificates under Europe’s cap-and-trade system, but the price of carbon in that system has flatlined. Der Spiegel reports

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

Group Appointments With Doctors: When Three Isn’t A Crowd
More doctors are holding appointments with multiple patients, a trend some say may help ease a forecasted shortage of physicians.

VA Hospital Scandal Points to Madness of Single-Payer Health Care
Advocates of single-payer have long pointed to VA hospitals as examples of how a single-payer, government-run health care system can work in America. But this NYT story on a whistleblower’s letter complaining about a “pattern of problems” at one Mississippi VA hospital paints a much less appealing portrait of these institutions

Health Insurers Warn on Premiums
Health insurers are privately warning brokers that premiums for many individuals and small businesses could increase sharply next year because of the health-care overhaul law, with the nation’s biggest firm projecting that rates could more than double for some consumers buying their own plans.

War & Terror

 

Syria rebels, regime blame each other for first alleged chemical weapons attack
The Syrian government accused rebels of firing a chemical weapon for the first time on Tuesday in the north of the country, killing at least 25 people in the war-torn Aleppo province. Rebels quickly denied the report and accused regime forces of firing a chemical weapon on a long-range missile.

The search continues for two Czech women abducted in south-west Pakistan
The Czech Republic has intensified diplomatic efforts to try to secure the release of two Czech women kidnapped in south-west Pakistan last week. No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction or asked for a ransom. Although the Pakistani authorities are working on the case, previous kidnappings in the troubled province suggest it may take weeks to find them.

8 Stories of Heroism from the Iraq War
The United States invaded Iraq ten years ago today—on March 20, 2003—a conflict in which 4,486 U.S. service members gave their lives and more than 32,000 were wounded. The Washington Free Beacon has put together eight stories of tremendous acts of heroism performed by U.S. service members in Iraq—though there are hundreds more stories of heroism, bravery, and kindness shown by those who served in Iraq, as well as by those Americans who have served in the ongoing war in Afghanistan (and the 68,000 Americans who are serving in Afghanistan today).

Virus vial missing from Galveston lab

Officials say a vial containing a virus that can cause hemorrhagic fever has gone missing from a research facility in Galveston, but say there’s no reason to believe there’s a threat to the public.

National

 

First sale doctrine survives Supreme Court
Dead tree books have kept one of their few advantages over e-books, with the US Supreme Court upholding the first sale doctrine, which states that the publisher’s exclusivity over a book ends with its purchase.

The Perpetual Campaign: How Obama’s Left-Wing Partisans Plan to Invade and Destroy Texas
Texas and California stand as similar states heading in very different directions. Both are territorially large and boast large urban centers and robust high-tech industries. Both are racially diverse. Both have extensive coastlines and large energy and agribusiness industries. Both share borders with Mexico and have outsized economies. If either California or Texas were their own country, they would rank in the global top 20 and outmuscle most other countries on earth.

Study of Men’s Falling Income Cites Single Parents
The decline of two-parent households may be a significant reason for the divergent fortunes of male workers, whose earnings generally declined in recent decades, and female workers, whose earnings generally increased, a prominent labor economist argues in a new survey of existing research.

Principal cancels Honors Night in exchange for all-inclusive assembly
An Ipswich principal is in hot water with some parents after he reportedly canceled the middle school’s Honors Night.

New Report: 48 Percent of First Children Born to Unwed Mothers
Calling it “The Great Crossover,” a report by academics and social activists shows that for the first time in history the median age of American women having babies is lower than the median age of marriage – 25.7 and 26.5, respectively.

Amazing Video: Toddler Stops Breathing at the Grocery Store and Is Saved by Stranger
A toddler in an Australian grocery store suddenly stopped breathing over the weekend. Fortunately, the story has a happy ending thanks to a quick-thinking, prepared stranger.

Detroit pension attorney, ex-trustee indicted for bribery
Prosecutors say Zajac, Stewart were involved in kickback scheme; Zajac’s attorney denies allegations

Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees
Freedom of expression or cultural disrespect on Cinco de Mayo?

Young Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage Fight On
They hear that their cause is lost, that demographics and the march of history have doomed their campaign to keep marriage only between a man and a woman. But the young conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage — unlike most of their generation — remain undaunted.

Five ex-officials from Bell, California, convicted in corruption trial
Five former elected officials from the scandal-plagued California city of Bell were convicted on Wednesday of misusing municipal funds by collecting exorbitant salaries in a case that drew national attention as a symbol of public corruption.

Brown University’s workshop on gay sex will segregate participants by race
Students at Brown University will host a workshop called “Protect me from what I desire,” which purports to help gay minority students resist their same-sex attractions to white people.

Voting Early and in More Than One State
North Carolina’s State Board of Elections is referring evidence to prosecutors that five people appear to have voted in both North Carolina and in Florida. The information the board is passing on wasn’t gathered by government officials, but by a private watchdog group called the Voter Integrity Project.

Higher Ed bubble in two charts
Past due student loans multiply

School closings in Chicago coincide with planned wave of union action
Yesterday the Chicago Public Schools announced 61 school building closures, including 52 elementary schools, due to a $1 billion budget deficit. This is the largest closing in the district’s history, and the reaction from the teachers union has been swift.

98 arrested in rally on Vegas Strip; workers protesting stalled talks with Cosmopolitan casinoBy HANNAH DREIER Associated Press
Throngs of workers blocked traffic on the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday in a demonstration against the Cosmopolitan casino that ended with the arrest of nearly 100 protesters.

Rahm Emanuel to Close 54 Chicago Schools in Poor Neighborhoods
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office indicated Thursday he plans to close 54 elementary schools in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods because Chicago public schools face a $1 billion shortfall.

EMails Show Prop. 8 Judge Sought Ted Olson’s Advice On Whether to Attend Supreme Court Argument on Gay Marriage
Vaughn R. Walker, the judge who struck down Proposition 8, California’s gay marriage ban, sought Ted Olson’s opinion regarding whether Walker should attend next week’s Supreme Court arguments on the gay marriage cases. Olson was one of the lawyers who successfully persuaded Judge Walker to strike down Proposition 8 after a trial held in 2010.

LGBT-themed books included in California public schools’ reading list
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender literature are included in the California Department of Education’s newest reading list for students K-12 that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender literature, prompting complaints from critics who say a leftist agenda is being pushed on kids, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

 

Economy
& Taxes

 

The extraordinary thing is that there hasn’t yet been a bank run across the Mediterranean
It is irrational to start a bank run, Mervyn King once observed, but rational to join one. It remains to be seen whether the EU has irrationally started one with its expropriations in Cyprus; but there is no question that it is rational for anyone with a bank account in the Mediterranean eurozone states to join in.

Cyprus Parliament Rejects European Bailout Proposal: Calls Germany’s Bluff
Just as we predicted yesterday, the Cyprus bailout vote has not passed parliament in a move that was merely there to force Germany’s bluff.

Elizabeth Warren cherry-picked $22 per hour minimum wage number
Guess which she picked from $9.22, $10.01, $10.52, $12.25, $15.34, and $21.72

Online sales tax to be attached to Senate budget
Lawmakers are again trying to attach an online sales tax to larger legislation they consider more likely to pass.

Cyprus banks to remain shut until Tuesday amid bailout crisis
Banks in Cyprus will remain closed until Tuesday as the country tries to avert financial meltdown after rejecting the terms of a controversial bailout, turning instead to Russia for help.

US Begins Regulating BitCoin, Will Apply “Money Laundering” Rules To Virtual Transactions
Last November, in an act of sheer monetary desperation, the ECB issued an exhaustive, and quite ridiculous, pamphlet titled “Virtual Currency Schemes” in which it mocked and warned about the “ponziness” of such electronic currencies as BitCoin. Why a central bank would stoop so “low” to even acknowledge what no “self-respecting” (sic) PhD-clad economist would even discuss, drunk and slurring, at cocktail parties, remains a mystery to this day. However, that it did so over fears the official artificial currency of the insolvent continent, the EUR, may be becoming even more “ponzi” than the BitCoins the ECB was warning about, was clear to everyone involved who saw right through the cheap propaganda attempt. Feel free to ask any Cypriot if they would now rather have their money in locked up Euros, or in “ponzi” yet freely transferable, unregulated BitCoins.

Cyprus Officially Passes Capital Controls Into Law
While it is unknown if the Cypriot parliament will agree to, and enact into law, the Troika-demanded deposit haircuts, after the shocking vote of mutiny against Merkel earlier this week that saw not one politician vote for the Europe suggested deposit tax levy (and even the ruling party abstained), a vote which will once more take place tomorrow, moments ago Cyprus became the first Eurozone country to officially implement governmental capital controls into legislation.

 

International

1771–2013: The Era of the Free Press in Britain
Before I saw this morning’s news, I happened to be in the midst of Tom Stoppard’s fine trilogy of plays, The Coast of Utopia, about the different lives of such 19th-century Russian revolutionary intellectuals as Alexander Herzen and Mikhail Bakunin.

IMF head Lagarde’s flat searched in Bernard Tapie probe
French police have searched the Paris apartment of IMF chief Christine Lagarde, as they investigate her role in awarding financial compensation to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.

 

Opinion

Explaining The Minimum Wage To Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren
My Arguments In Favor of a $50/Hr Minimum Wage (/sarcasm)

Beware of the New Elites
James Carville famously kept the 1992 Clinton campaign on message with the simple refrain, “It’s the economy, stupid!” That’s just as true for politicians today as it was two decades ago.

We Must Have A Law

The Republican ‘Autopsy’
The RNC’s report bears an eerie resemblance to establishment Republicanism c. 1945.

Men in Decline Means More Single Moms
A new study conducted by economist David H. Autor, and reported in the NYTimes, analyzes how and why men have started to lag behind the fairer sex, and what that means for marriage.

Howard Zinn’s influential mutilations of American history

Conservatives Must Build a ‘Bite Me’ Coalition
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.

GOP needs a scientific revolution
Democratic pollster Pat Caddell touched off a prairie fire of grassroots rage at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference with a passionate speech claiming widespread corruption in the ranks of Republican consultants. Rush Limbaugh fanned the flames, arguing that establishment players are ideologically soft, and more interested in approval from the D.C. cocktail set and making money than in political victory.

Misogyny’s New Home Online
Technological innovation has had a tremendous impact on our lives.

Republicans live in interesting times
The estimable Noemie Emery chides the “conservative wing” of the GOP for making “excuses, excuses” for the fact that the Republican Party hasn’t been nominating candidates for president more to its liking. The excuse offered is that “The Establishment met at the Country Club on alternate Tuesdays to undermine all the upcoming Reagans.” The reality, says Emery, is this.

How Do We Win Arguments in a Fragmenting Culture?

Can Republicans close the pop culture gap?
Recommendation Number 13 on the Republican Party’s recently released list of demographic outreach priorities is to “Expand our presence on more pop culture oriented outlets to ensure our message is reaching all voters.” A few years ago, I might have scoffed at this recommendation. The electorate, I thought, became serious enough during high presidential election season to make sure it reached the message of presidential candidate’s in traditional ways e.g., watching debates, viewing ads, and checking mainstream outlets. If anything, it seemed to me, an over-emphasis on pop culture outlets might backfire by undermining the seriousness of a candidate for president.

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