Democrats break one of their few promises


Will Semi-automatic guns be banned in Canada?

I don't know if these resolutions will be adopted by the Canadian Liberal Party, but the fact that they want to ban semi-automatic guns is very disappointing. (Of course, the fact that they were already banned for hunting is disappointing.) It would be nice if there were some evidence that could be provided that the registry system has been used successfully to solve crime.

Resolution #42: Automatic and Semi-automatic Weapons

WHEREAS automatic and semi-automatic weapons are illegal for hunting purposes; and

WHEREAS automatic and semi-automatic weapons do not support the hunting culture found in all parts of Canada;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to support legislation to eliminate the personal use of automatic and semi-automatic weapons. . . .

Resolution #47: Gun Control
WHEREAS the cancellation of the gun registry is part of the Conservative Party's program; and

WHEREAS the Conservative government has started to slash into the registry by ending requirements to register long guns; and

WHEREAS police forces have continually supported the gun registry and spoken out against efforts by the Conservative government to weaken or end it; and

WHEREAS the continued support of police forces for a total gun registry is a strong indication of the capacity of the current system to reduce the harm caused by guns; and

WHEREAS certain dangerous weapons are not found on the current list of illegal weapons; and

WHEREAS it is necessary to continue to effectively control the possession and use of guns;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada take the necessary steps:

1. to counter the efforts by the Conservative government to end or reduce the scope of the current gun registry that was enacted by parliament several years ago;

2. to review the classification of guns so that semi-automatic weapons be classified as an illegal weapons; and

3. to enact more severe laws to better control the possession and use of guns. . . . .

Bizarre Behavior of Imams on US Airways Flight

This Washington TImes article included a couple of facts that I hadn't seen in earlier discussions:

The passengers and flight crew said the imams prayed loudly before boarding; switched seating assignments to a configuration used by terrorists in previous incidents; asked for seat-belt extensions, which could be used as weapons; and shouted hostile slogans about al Qaeda and the war in Iraq.

Flight attendants said three of the six men, who did not appear to be overweight, asked for the seat-belt extensions, which include heavy metal buckles, and then threw them to the floor under their seats.

Robert MacLean, a former federal air marshal, expressed the fear yesterday that the situation "will make crews and passengers in the future second-guess reporting these events, thus compromising the aircraft's security out of fear of being labeled a dogmatist or a bigot, or being sued." . . . .

Also note this:

The imams left their assigned seats shortly before takeoff in violation of the rules . . . .

This is supposedly an overreaction by the passengers and the airplane crew? If so, I don't know what would be. I suppose that there is a small chance that this wasn't a deliberate provocative act, but it surely is reasonable to ask these gentlemen to leave the plane until everything can be checked.


Polls in a totalitarian society

Reminds me of the polls that I had seen from the former Soviet Union. Unfortunately, I think that election outcome in Venezuela will end up the same way as Soviet Union's election. The margins won't be as big, after all you can't completely ignore the size of the crowds, but the result will be the same.

But Venezuela's opposition calls those polls skewed, not just by the small samples, and their Chavez sponsorship, but the failure of U.S.-based pollsters to control for Venezuela's "fear factor," which keeps Venezuelans from revealing their true opinions out of fear of reprisals.

After all, oil workers have been directly threatened with firing by Venezuela's energy minister and Chavez has warned them to go into exile if they fail to vote for him. Other officials have suggested balloting won't be secret. . . . .

"National gun-buying background check system crashes"

This is a real and important cost of the system. Could you imagine running any business where you would randomly have to shut it down at different times? The frequent random crashes during the Clinton administration stopped after Clinton left office, but they still occur from time to time.

The FBI says its computer system that quickly screens gun buyers' backgrounds for criminal activity has crashed several times over the past two days.

An FBI spokesman says a technical glitch had the system on the blink for up to a half-hour yesterday and today, potentially allowing buyers to purchase firearms without being screened. He says the problem is being worked on and called it "a performance issue that we've never encountered before."

The FBI says it gets between 30 and 50,000 requests for background checks on a daily basis and usually can process them within 30 minutes.


"Concealed weapons in the wilderness"

"Army Lawyer on use of shotguns in combat"

Rich Griffiths sent me the following note:

The October 1997 issue of the Army Lawyer has an interesting legal review of the use of shotguns by the US military. Especially germane to civilian firearm laws is the discussion of the effectiveness of shotguns versus assault firearms and submachine guns at close quarters.


Page 20:

"...British examination of its malaya experience determined that, to a range of thirty yards (27.4 meters), the probability of hitting a man-sized target with a shotgun was superior to that of all other weapons. The probability of hitting the intended target with an assault rifle was one in eleven. It was one in eight with a submachine gun firing a five-round burst. Shotguns had a hit probability ratio twice as good as rifles..."

It seems to me that many assault weapon and handgun bans, and other firearm laws are based on implicit theories of lethality derived from the media rather than actual empirical evidence of lethality and effectiviness of firearms in combat.


Congratulations to Javier Abedini

"Lieutenant 1º Javier Abedini, superior technician in forense ballistics" is the new chief of Scientific Police of Carmen of Patagones. Javier is a very interesting guy and someone who I have corresponded with over the last couple of years. As best as I can make out, this is Argentina's version of CSI in the United States, containing agents with a variety of skills including two doctors. For those interested, more information can be found here

Kansas "Gun permit requests fall below forecast"

It is only below "forecast" for those who look at what happens in other states and don't take into account differences in training requirements, fees, and where you can use the guns. Kansas with an 8 hour training requirement is longer than most states and the $150 fee for a four year permit is well above what the fee is on average in other states. Indeed the fee is one of the highest in the country. I also agree that things will pick up some once the law goes into effect.

1) So far, the attorney general’s office has received nearly 3,600 applicants for gun permits under the law enacted this year at the rate of about 40 a day, said Chuck Sexson, director of the Concealed Carry Handgun Licensing Unit in the attorney general’s office.

He said about 2,600 permits have been approved and the rest are going through the approval process, adding that none have been rejected.

“I think at the beginning we were projecting 20,000 to 25,000 in the first couple of years based on other states. I don’t know what might hold folks off from applying,” Sexson said. “It’s probably less than we had anticipated when we started. Maybe it’ll increase as we get closer to January.” . . .

It would be nice if there were some learning curve on these predictions.


It must be global warming: Rare Icebergs floating further north, first reported arctic gull visiting Southern California, November snow in Florida

Ohio concealed handgun permit holder stops robbery

Cleveland police said a suspected robber tried to hold up a barber shop Wednesday night, only to find the barber was armed. The attempted robbery happened at Ray & Wendell's Barber Shop on East 125th Street and Buckeye Avenue, NewsChannel5 reported.

Ray Williams and his customers said they cooperated as the suspect took their wallets and jewelry. However, Williams acted fast to protect his business and customers. He spoke exclusively to NewsChannel5.

"Guy came in with a ski mask and a gun and told everybody to give him their money and their wallets and jewelry, watches," Williams said. "As soon as he turned his head, you know what I'm saying, I just pulled out my gun and started firing."

The suspect is a 47-year-old Cleveland man who is being treated for his gunshot wound at Huron Road Hospital.

Police hope Williams' action sent a message to other robbers. . . .

For other comments on the story please see this discussion by Mike Kinsey.


Soros campaign finance regulations allow his money to dominates political campaigns

Campaign finance regulations and the increase in negative campaigning. I would have written up this piece differently, but I believe that the general bottom line is correct.

Many of us feel the loss was due to what I call "McCain-Soros."

Ever since the passage of McCain-Feingold, money has poured into organizations such as MoveOn.org, which in turn demonizes Republicans, painting a portrait of them as the incarnation of evil. The ads have had as their goal one thing: leaving a sour taste in the mouth of the electorate over anything Republican, conservative or religious. It has worked. The soft Republican, such as Sen. Lincoln Chaffee, went down with the tough Republican, such as Sen. Rick Santorum.

These ads, paid for by George Soros, Peter Lewis and other multi-millionaire leftists are the direct result of, and have been made possible by, the passage of McCain-Feingold, which opened the door to unlimited spending by left-wing fat cats on behalf of liberal candidates and causes. Until its passage, contributions were, basically, limited to the political parties and candidates themselves, but with a cap. Until the passage of McCain-Feingold, a cap was placed on how much Soros could underwrite in his lust for power and influence. . . .

The purpose of the ads is not to illuminate their political positions. It is to destroy the Republican candidate and officeholder, the persona of the conservative. Through osmosis -- after a five year daily barrage of ads on radio, TV and in newspapers -- it appears to have worked.

Republicans, on the other hand, don't begin serious campaigning until the month before the election and have never learned the Goebbles technique so familiar, and comfortable, to Democrats: demonize the person, demonize the group. Do so every day, until respectable people find it offensive to be associated with, let alone vote for, such terrible people. The Muslims are doing it against Israel, against Jews, and they are indeed swaying Europe, prevailing. . . .

New York Times tells those in national parks to find a ranger for protection

The New York Times berates Senator George Allen for putting up a bill that would allow concealed handgun permit holders to carry guns with them in Federal parks. Not surprisingly, the NY Times' solution is more money:
If Americans want to feel safer in their national parks, the proper solution is to increase park funding, which has decayed steadily since the Bush administration took office. To zealots who believe that the Second Amendment trumps all others, the parks are merely another badland, like schools and church parking lots, that could be cleaned up if the carrying of private weapons were allowed. . . .

So how many park rangers does it really take to protect people from wild animal attacks or people who threaten to harm them? If police, who are important in fighting crime, almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred, what would park rangers do regarding a bear attack. Here are two very quick examples:

A northern Idaho baby sitter shot and killed a 422-pound black bear that broke into a backyard where three toddlers were playing. . . .

A Baker County grand jury says an Idaho man acted in self-defense when he shot a man who was headed straight for him in an all-terrain vehicle. Fifty-two-year-old Marvin Sauer of Boise shot Vancouver, Washington resident Everett Durst, in the leg following a Labor Day dispute near Phillips Reservoir. . . .


Airbus: How governments build airplanes

Only a government owned operation would build a product with these types of considerations. The problem is, as the article points out, that the losses that Airbus is suffering may mean that it has neither jobs nor product in the end.

The contribution of the United Kingdom taxpayer alone towards the A380 programme is £530 million. In return for that, Broughton in North Wales and Filton near Bristol get to make the wings. But it also means that each completed set of wings has to make a remarkable journey to the final assembly site in France by way of container ship, river barge and specially adapted road trailer. With the main fuselage having to travel from Germany and the tailfin from Spain, no wonder Christian Streiff, the man who was drafted in to head Airbus in July, commented that there must be a simpler way.

Streiff will be hoping President Chirac wasn't right at the launch of the A380 when he said: "This veritable ocean liner of the sky will go down in history like the Concorde." . . .

This shows how hard it is to fix the problems:

If France has the upper hand in the EADS boardroom, Germany fears it could be forced to bear the brunt of any cut-backs.

The Toulouse-based Airbus believes it must fund the development of its proposed A350 extra wide body (XWB) passenger aircraft to help meet the challenge from a resurgent Boeing.

The British government is expected to be asked to provide some launch aid for the A350 because of Airbus's extensive UK interests. The company employs 12,000 people in the UK, mostly making aircraft wings. However, any launch aid is likely be linked to promises that Airbus does not cut back its UK manufacturing sites. . . .


What causes disease?

Scientists have discovered a dramatic variation in the genetic make-up of humans that could lead to a fundamental reappraisal of what causes incurable diseases and could provide a greater understanding of mankind.

The discovery has astonished scientists studying the human genome - the genetic recipe of man. Until now it was believed the variation between people was due largely to differences in the sequences of the individual "letters" of the genome.

It now appears much of the variation is explained instead by people having multiple copies of some key genes that make up the human genome.

Until now it was assumed that the human genome, or "book of life", is largely the same for everyone, save for a few spelling differences in some of the words. Instead, the findings suggest that the book contains entire sentences, paragraphs or even whole pages that are repeated any number of times.

The findings mean that instead of humanity being 99.9 per cent identical, as previously believed, we are at least 10 times more different between one another than once thought - which could explain why some people are prone to serious diseases. . . .

News media systematically leaving out defensive gun use from story (Ohio)

According to the Dispatch account, when attacked, Miles "tried to block the bat with his arm, then was struck in the leg and went down. The attacker also hit Miles' dog before Miles pointed the gun at him. The attacker said something to Miles and left, he said." WCMH 4 reported that he was "told to drop the lawsuit" against a Pennsylvania businessman.

While the Dispatch story acknowledged that "Miles has a permit to carry a concealed weapon", this fact was omitted from the Associated Press account of the story, which has been posted on WCMH 4's website and read in their TV news coverage of the attack. News stories featured by TV news stations WBNS 10 and NewsCenter 6/28. also omitted the fact that Miles defended himself with a legally concealed firearm.

This incident is noteworthy since it is the first known case of a defensive handgun use by a citizen with a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) in central Ohio (a radio personality with a CHL was working as a security guard was also involved in an incident, but that was in the scope of his armed employment).

When the TV news stations were called for comment, WBNS 10 reporter Angela An explained that an editorial decision had been made by the producer to omit the defensive handgun use portion of the story. She explained that it was not worth mentioning because defensive handgun use is so common in Columbus and that anyone could verify this by "asking any police officer".

WCMH 4 stated that they were unaware that a gun was used to stop the shooting or that a person with a CHL was involved. They were referred to the Dispatch article and said that they "would look into it." NewsCenter suggested we speak with reporter Carol Luper, but calls were not returned. . . .

Thanks to Chad Baus for sending this to me.

Fairfax County (Virginia) Police Want to Ban Permitted Concealed Handguns from Police Stations

Fairfax County, Virginia officials are trying to get a ban on carrying weapons into police buildings. (I live in the county.) The inspiration:

"Michael Kennedy, a mentally ill 18-year-old, drove behind the police station in Chantilly last May and fired more than 70 shots with several weapons. Two officers died from gunshot wounds."

First of all, the main problem with these kinds of laws -- "gun-free zones" -- is that they're more like "sitting duck zones." Criminals know no one will be armed there, so a disproportionate number of multiple-victim shootings actually happen in them.

The exception with a police station, of course, is that there is "armed security" all over. I would guess this kind of situation is basically unheard of, so banning civilian guns there won't hurt the law-abiding. That's why I don't care much if the law passes.

However, look at the case that inspired it. The shooting happened outside the building. This law wouldn't have prevented the attack, even if the mentally ill man bent on killing cops had obeyed it. . . .

Thanks to Robert VerBruggen for sending me this post from his blog.

Global Warming Alert: Snow hits Central Florida in November

I remember that a couple of years ago Gore was blaming the very cold temperatures on global warming, so I figured that this was additional proof of global warming. At least it is occuring in the middle of November and not waiting until some obvious month such as February to occur.

Snow Reported In Central Florida

POSTED: 4:19 pm EST November 21, 2006
UPDATED: 10:37 pm EST November 21, 2006
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Snow flurries were reported in Seminole, Orange, and Volusia Counties Tuesday night. We even saw some snow at Channel 9's Orlando studios.

The last time it snowed in Central Florida was reportedly January 24, 2003. Before that, it hadn't snowed since 1989.
A blast of cold air is moving into the state this week, state emergency officials said.

Wind chills may drop into the 20s in parts of north Florida and high temperatures may only reach the 60s as far south as the Keys on Wednesday, state meteorologist Ben Nelson said. . . .

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Which pollsters did best?

Are you interested in seeing how accurate the different polling organziations were in this past election the WSJ as a nice website here.

Mason-Dixon wasn't able to correctly predict two Senate races, and exactly nailed the percentage in one race.
Rasmussen wasn't able to correctly predict two Senate races, and exactly nailed the percentages in 3 races.
Zogby wasn't able to correctly predict one Senate race, but didn't exactly nailed any races.
SurveyUSA wasn't able to correctly predict three Senate races, but didn't exactly nailed any races.

Breathalyzers standard in all new cars?

Wow, things are really getting out of control here. My guess is that it is the threat of litigation that is forcing the auto makers to consider this move. What about the cost to everybody else in terms of time? What about problems when we have yet another part that can malfunction?

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is asking automakers to join the fight against drunk driving. An average 13,000 people are killed in car accidents each year while a driver involved was legally drunk. . . .

But many of the major automakers are talking about taking it one step further and making breathalyzers standard for all new cars. . . .

"No Jail For Elderly Driver In Market Crash"???

An 89-year-old man whose car hurtled through a farmers market, killing 10 people, was let off on probation Monday by a judge who said he believed the defendant deserved to go prison but was too ill. . . .

The judge noted that Weller had enough control of his vehicle to avoid cars and trucks within the farmers market.

"Mr. Weller chose to steer into the people, plowing into the crowd and literally launching bodies into the air as his car sped 2½ blocks," the judge said. The judge also called Weller's apologies hollow. . . .

"I believe the courts have to be practical as well as principled," the judge said. "I don't see any purpose of sending Mr. Weller to jail or prison. It wouldn't do anybody any good." . . .

What? Isn't this guy even confined to his house? Isn't his driver's license revoked? No good? Wouldn't the penalty at least discourage other people from doing this type of crime? How about higher insurance requirements?


Criminal charges for self-defense in New Zealand: Dangerous gun lock laws

What are you supposed to do when someone is threatening to attack you with a machete? Call the police and hope that they arrive in time? Should the victim here have behaved passively and given the crazy guy with a machette the guns that he was demanding?

Greg Carvell, 33, is a firearms dealer and father of two.

He is facing a criminal charge after he shot and wounded a man inside his father's shop.

The man, 29-year-old Ricky Beckham, allegedly entered the shop brandishing a machete, demanding a gun and making threats to kill.

Carvell and shop manager Bruce Motley were in the office at the time working on orders.

"He [Beckham] was waving [the machete] around in the air saying 'I'm going to kill you'," says Motley.

Carvell says he reacted the only way he could. He grabbed a semi-loaded pistol kept in the office drawer and repeatedly demanded Beckham put down the machete.

He eventually shot him in the stomach.

"Then when he [Beckham] started screaming 'give men the guns or I'll kill you' and then he come at Greg and Greg fired. [Greg] lowered his gun deliberately from his chest area to a place where he was going to wound him," says Greg's father and shop owner Ray Carvell.

Ray Carvell, who was not on the premises at the time, believes the ramifications of inaction would have been much greater.

"If he [Beckham] did get out there and he started killing people with these things...it would be terrible. I couldn't live with myself if this happened I can tell you that now," he says.

Motley also believes Greg did the right thing.

"I don't see he had any other option to do what he did otherwise probably both of us would have been sliced up...No doubt at all," he says.

Now almost four months later Greg Carvell faces a criminal charge, which if proven in court carries a possible prison sentence of up to four years.

He faces a charge under the Firearms Act, not for the shooting, but for unlawfully possessing the firearm which was used in the shooting. . . .


Oh never mind, horror stories about the Antarctic ice caps melting aren't true

It goes to show you the problems with extrapolating out from short term trends:

Wingham et al. report that "overall, the data, corrected for isostatic rebound, show the ice sheet growing at 5 ± 1 mm year-1." To calculate the ice sheet's change in mass, however, "requires knowledge of the density at which the volume changes have occurred," and when the researchers' best estimates of regional differences in this parameter are used, they find that "72% of the Antarctic ice sheet is gaining 27 ± 29 Gt year-1, a sink of ocean mass sufficient to lower [authors' italics] global sea levels by 0.08 mm year-1." This net extraction of water from the global ocean, according to Wingham et al., occurs because "mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica." . . .

Contrary to all the horror stories one hears about global warming-induced mass wastage of the Antarctic ice sheet leading to rising sea levels that gobble up coastal lowlands worldwide, the most recent decade of pertinent real-world data suggest that forces leading to just the opposite effect are apparently prevailing, even in the face of what climate alarmists typically describe as the greatest warming of the world in the past two millennia or more.

Senior Democrat Congressman Calls for Reinstating Military Draft

A senior House Democrat said Sunday he will introduce legislation to reinstate the military draft, asserting that current troop levels are insufficient to sustain possible challenges against Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

Rangle seems to have the notion that it is easier (read "cheaper") to expand the military with a draft. What he fails to understand is that while direct government expenditures will be lowered, you will be taking workers away from jobs where their value added to society is higher. You don't want to draft a surgeon who can earn $250,000 a year. People are paying him that much because they value what he produces so highly. The draft will make the country poorer. If you are worried that the size of the military is too small and you aren't getting enough recruits, increase their pay.


Benefits from Smoking

Fox News has a funny discussion here: Smoking increases testosterone and makes men more virile. Generally it is useful in preventing the onslaught of "Man'opause." The number one reason that men have less testosterone then their fathers is because of a decrease in smoking. Smoking thus helps increase memory, muscle mass, and a whole string of other things.

Man saved by his iPod nano

Sowell on Friedman

Please read Sowell's discussion of Friedman:

Milton Friedman was one of the very few intellectuals with both genius and common sense. He could express himself at the highest analytical levels to his fellow economists in academic publications and still write popular books such as "Capitalism and Freedom" and "Free to Choose" that could be understood by people who knew nothing about economics. Indeed, his television series, "Free to Choose," was readily understandable even by people who don’t read books. . . ..

It is hard to think about what this world would be like with out Friedman. Everything from vouchers to the negative income tax to ending the military draft to properly evaluating the impact of the FDA to even the withholding on income taxes is due to Friedman. Even more important is how Friedman taught people that economic freedom improves the quality of life.

Glenn Beck's "Exposed" on YouTube

Glenn Beck's "Exposed" on YouTube can be found here. It is well worth watching. I really wonder whether the Democrats would have actually lost seats in both the Senate and House if the news had covered these threats this way before the election.

CBS2 still fighting to find out about Chicago's mysterious missing murder count

Crimefilenews keeps us up to date Chicago's attempt to hide murders. CBS2 has more on the story: here. CBS's reporter Pam Zekman is one gutsy reporter. It is still amazing that the other reporters at this press conference have still not written anything on the story. The video at the CBS website is worth watching. The Police Supt. response to her questions are pretty entertaining, if sad.

Finally FDA Lifts Ban on Silicone Breast Implants

Fox News has a discussion of all the medical studies done on breast implants.

The AP has a less balanced discussion. In any case, it is one case where political correctness has lost out to science.

The government ended a 14-year virtual ban on silicone-gel breast implants Friday despite lingering safety concerns, making the devices available to tens of thousands of women who have clamored for them.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the silicone-gel implants made by Inamed Corp., now part of Allergan Inc., and Mentor Corp., the two California companies said. . . .

The action opens the implants to much wider use by women seeking to reconstruct or augment their breasts. Since 1992, the silicone implants had been available only as part of research studies.

Silicone-gel breast implants first went on the market in 1962, before the FDA required proof that all medical devices be safe and effective. Thirty years later, they were banned amid misgivings about their safety.

At the time, there were worries about a possible connection to a variety of diseases, including cancer and lupus. Alarming cases of ruptures added to the concern. . . .

There are a couple of issues here. Does the implant itself affect people's health? No. Surgery that requires putting people to sleep has some minimal risks, but so do lots of things in life. The question is whether people can make these decisions for themselves. Finally, let me note, I am not advocating that anyone has these implants, but I think that people should be able to make these decisions from themselves. Similarly, if people want to convince women not to do this surgery, more power to them. But convincing people not to do this and banning the surgery because of false claims of danger are two different things.

Here is a question. Why is it that some people think that women should be able to have an abortion without any restrictions, but those same people do not think that women should be able to make the decision over whether they can put something like a breast implant in their body? It would seem that they should feel even more strongly about letting women have breast implants than abortion. It is a cleaner question in terms of letting women do what they want with their own body since a fetus or baby or whatever one calls it, at least complicates the question to some degree.


Milton Friedman Dies

This is very sad. One of the dominate intellectual figures of the last century.

Ed Rendell: One week after the election, Rendell drops his campaign promises on increasing taxes

Rendell campaigned this fall on his record of cutting taxes. Never mind that he was the one who fought hard for tax increases. Note also that Rendell said during the campaign that he opposed an increase in the state gasoline tax:

August 29, 2006 . . . Gov. Ed Rendell said yesterday that he would not support an increase in the state gasoline tax to help raise $866 million to $2.2 billion to rebuild roads and bridges in Pennsylvania and get mass transit agencies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia out of debt. . . .

Well that was then. Now that the election is an entire week behind us, Rendell's opposition seems to have disappeared. The Philadelphia Inquirer ran this under the headline that "A taxing ride may be ahead for Pa.":

Nov. 14, 2006 . . .The commission's report recommends raising the state wholesale fuel tax by 11.5 cents per gallon - all or part it could be passed on to consumers - and hiking vehicle registration and license fees, although the amounts were not specified. That, coupled with $120 million in efficiencies, should net about $900 million more per year for roads and bridges, Biehler said. . . . He praised the commission's work, but stopped short of endorsing it. His spokeswoman, Kate Philips, said he intends use the commission's recommendations as a blueprint.

Another newspaper, the Pottstown Mercury, puts it pretty bluntly:
Nov. 14, 2006 . . .Don’t you feel like a jerk right about now for re-electing Rendell? This is the thanks you get? He is going to raise the gas tax and make you pay a higher mortgage. The Associated Press calculates the typical driver will pay $84 more a year to cover the higher gas tax and fee increases. The proposed realty transfer tax increase would add about $60 a year to a 30-year, $150,000 mortgage for homeowners, according to The Associated Press. . . .

Here is one question: Why isn't the media mentioning that during the campaign Rendell promised not to raise the gas tax?


Where is the news coverage on Chicago's missing murder count?

WBBM had two amazing stories on the Chicago police department reclassifying murders so that its murder rate would look lower. I can't find other news coverage on these amazing charges. Where is the news coverage in Chicago on this?

Past notes on this:
More on Chicago hiding murders to keep down official murder rate
A real scandal in Chicago's crime statistics


Is Chicago hiding murders to keep down official murder rate?

Why is it only WBBM-TV that is covering this case? The anchor correctly described this as "shocking." Whether it is incompetence or something intentional, it would appear to be newsworthy. I guess that we will see if the Tribune and Sun-Times cover this tomorrow.

"I think it's outrageous. It's dishonest it's deceiving the public," said Mary Powers of Citizens Alert.

Powers says she was shocked by CBS 2's disclosures that some cases are in limbo because of major disputes between the medical examiner's office and the police over how people died.

Take the case of Jeffrey Head found dead in his apartment in 2004.

"His hands was behind his back like this, and a plastic bag over his head," said the victim's brother, Earl Head.

Police officials say they believe Head killed himself attempting a form of sexual gratification.

But in this autopsy report the pathologist documents serious injuries including a fractured windpipe and hemorrhages on both sides of his head, injuries too severe to be self-inflicted.

The pathologist concluded Head died of strangulation and suffocation -- a homicide. It is a conclusion the police dispute.

"It's not right and they aren't doing their job as they should," said Earl Head.

Police officials deny it, saying Head's case and others were correctly classified by detectives as death investigations.

When asked if police carry cases as death investigations to keep the homicide count down, Michael Chasen, Deputy Chief of Detectives, said, "Absolutely not. They never hold a case to eliminate a homicide. We just don't do that." . . .

The original discussion and links are here.

Chad cracks down on Illegal Firearms

Chad imposed a crackdown on illegal firearms on Tuesday as a state of emergency took effect to curb ethnic violence that has killed hundreds of people and fueled calls to send international peacekeepers to the region.

Chad's government imposed a state of emergency from midnight on Monday across large swathes of the central African country, including eastern zones where attacks on villages by armed raiders on horseback this month have killed hundreds.

African Union chairman Denis Sassou Nguesso, president of nearby Congo Republic, joined a chorus of demands for a U.N. force to protect civilians in Chad and Central African Republic from violence spilling over from Sudan's Darfur region. . . .

The state of emergency gave regional governors wide-ranging powers to ensure security, including a ban on unauthorized firearms. Chad shares with Sudan a warrior tradition and a history of violent clan warfare and carrying arms is common.

"Those illegally holding weapons of war, whoever they are, must immediately hand them over to the competent authorities. Those refusing will risk exemplary punishment," Prime Minister Pascal Yoadimnadji said in an address to the nation.

Aaron sent me this comment when he sent me this link.

The cycle continues: Outside UN member countries supply arms to warlords, civil unrest with some civilians managing to hold their own, confiscate the guns from the civilians, civilians slaughtered, blame the guns, blame not enough UN power. Sad. Pray for those on the ground in Chad.


I thought that Abramoff was a Republican Problem

NY Times just doesn't get it on Drug Price Controls

The problem isn't that the government can force down drug prices, the problem is that they will. Why even bother giving the drug companies a patten on the drug if the government can then force down the price?

There is no guarantee that government negotiators would do better. Medicare’s chief actuary concluded last year that the government would be unlikely to get bigger discounts, and the head of the Congressional Budget Office judged in 2004 that for most drugs that was true. . . .

"Lumpy" Lambert Foils Robbery with Pistol

Another example where the criminal runs away rather than fights when a citizen is able to defend themselves:

A Knox County commissioner known for his pro-gun stance says he aborted an armed robbery at his car dealership Saturday with the aid of his .380-caliber pistol.

Greg "Lumpy" Lambert, who represents the 6th District in northwest Knox County, said he was at Advantage Auto Sales on Clinton Highway early Saturday afternoon when a young man began acting suspicious while test-driving a 2005 Ford Focus. . . .

"I think we probably leveled our sights close to the same time," Lambert said. "I think I got a bit of a drop on him. I told him to drop his weapon, and he said he didn't want any trouble."

Stackhouse didn't ask for money or issue any demands, Lambert said. "I didn't give him a chance to," he said.

Lambert said he convinced the young man to lay down his weapon and then told him to leave the premises, but not before letting him know he'd probably "be arrested at some point."

Lambert said that Stackhouse, who left his driver's license inside the building, departed the property the same way he'd come - on foot.

"It was a tense situation, and a little scary," Lambert said.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office investigated the case, Lambert said, and Stackhouse was finally located early Sunday using information from his driver's license. . . .

A real scandal in Chicago's crime statistics

Crimefilenews has some amazing details on the city of Chicago apparently hiding the number of murders. The WBBM-TV story is entitled "Are Police Hiding Homicides to Make the CIty Seem Safer?" and is pretty hard hitting. WIth all the other corruption problems in Chicago have been bad, these corruption claims really hit home. Using a conservative approach and really just taking the most obvious cases, WBBM found 80 murders that the police reclassified as not being murders. The Medical Examiner said that the police claims reclassifying these murders as not being murders are simply involving: "The police are out of their area of expertise." The Anchors on the news show were right to say "this is just stunning." If this doesn't cause a national sensation, the press will really be in the tank for Daily.

I’m going to offer my thoughts about tonight’s WBBM-TV report questioning hidden homicides in Chicago.

The Chicago Police Department only turned over to WBBM-TV a handful of the 80 plus cases where the Medical Examiner’s records disputed the department’s conclusions. Perhaps a Federal Grand Jury should investigate the records that the department refused to turn over. Covering up murders if that's true are as bad as it could get. The potential implications here are beyond horrendous. . . .


"Mich. Supreme Court Weighs Requiring ID To Vote'

I hope that the logic of the claims over photo ID disenfranchising voters will be really questioned. There is no attempt to link up the people without ID to see if they would get IDs or whether they wouldn't vote even if they did have an ID. Those who don't have a driver license or other photo ID might not feel that they need one. Look at Mexico. You had a huge percentage of the population taking the time under very trying conditions to get a photo ID to vote when they had to do so.

. . . No form of identification is now required to vote in Michigan.

The high court has agreed to issue an advisory opinion requested by the Republican-controlled state House, which means both sides of the issue were argued by Attorney General Mike Cox's office on Monday.

Assistant Attorney General Susan Leffler said requiring photo ID is a small burden for voters who often are asked to show ID in their everyday lives. She argued that making those without an ID sign an affidavit isn't much to ask to help prevent fraud and ensure confidence in the electoral process.

"I can't imagine a less minimal burden," Leffler said.

But Assistant Attorney General Ron Robinson said the law, which he called a "wolf in sheep's clothing," could harm 350,000 registered voters who don't have a driver's license or state-issued ID card. The law would automatically subject voters without identification to a challenge -- an inconvenient and embarrassing delay, Robinson said.

"This is an extreme response to a problem that does not exist in Michigan," he said of the ID requirement.

In response to a question from Justice Michael Cavanagh, Leffler acknowledged there's no evidence of widespread voter fraud but rather a "concern" about it.

Some justices on the GOP-controlled court questioned whether voters having to submit affidavits would automatically be challenged under the law. Justice Stephen Markman also said lawmakers have wanted to give registered voters who don't have an ID a state-issued card free of charge.

"Is it too much of a burden to get a free ID card and remember to bring it to the polls?" Markman asked. . . .

Possible problem with voting machine

"The AP is reporting that Randy Wooten, mayoral candidate for Waldenburg Arkansas (a town of eighty people) discovered that the electronic voting system hadn't registered the one vote he knew had been cast for him ... because he cast it himself. The Machine gave him zero votes. That would be an error rate of 3%, counting the actual votes cast - 18 and 18 for a total of 36." . . .

"Poinsett County Election Commissioner Junaway Payne said the issue had been discussed but no action taken yet. 'It's our understanding from talking with the secretary of state's office that a court order would have to be obtained in order to open the machine and check the totals,' Payne said. 'The votes were cast on an electronic voting machine, but paper ballots were available.'"

Thanks to Jeff Koch for sending this to me. I am somewhat dubious about this, but it should be looked into further.

Testimony of Suzanna Gratia Hupp

Video of Suzanna Gratia Hupp testifying before congress. The quality of the picture is not the best, but if you haven't seen her testimony before, you have to see for yourself how powerful she is. I have seen her talk a few times, and she is always very powerful.


"Furor over Study of Failed Aussie Gun Buy-Up"

The Australian Gun Buy-Up, like the Canadian gun registration program, is a monumental boondoggle, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars.

The New GUN WEEK, November 10, 2006, Page 1

Furor over Study of Failed Aussie Gun Buy-Up
by Dave Workman, Senior Editor

There is thunder Down Under in the wake of a study published in the British Journal of Criminology that asserts the
nearly $500 million spent on Australia’s gun “buy-up” precipitated by the 1996 Port Arthur massacre has had no measurable effect on that nation’s homicide rate.

At least part of the controversy swirls around the fact that the study’s authors, Dr. Jeannine Baker and Samara
McPhedran are members of gun organizations, a fact they reportedly disclosed up front to render moot any allegations that they were merely pawns of the gun lobby.

However, The Sydney Morning Herald noted, “The significance of the article was not who had written it but the fact it
had been published in a respected journal after the regular rigorous process of being peer reviewed.”

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, more than 600,000 firearms were taken in by the government, which at least
partly reimbursed their value to the unfortunate gunowners who had to surrender their firearms—primarily
semi-automatic rifles and pump shotguns—under gun laws passed after Martin Bryant went on a rampage, killing 35 people and wounding 18 others.

But Baker and McPhedran turned out what Don Weatherburn, director of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, called a study that was “well conducted and published in an internationally respected, peer-reviewed journal.”

“It would be unfair to accuse the authors of ‘cooking the books’ to achieve a certain result,” Weatherburn wrote in a Morning Herald Op-Ed article.

But Simon Chapman, a professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, said in a recent radio interview that the Baker-McPhedran research should not be taken seriously. Speaking to Daniel Hoare with Australia’s National Radio, Chapman insisted tougher gun laws are needed on the island continent.

“We need to look at tightening up gun laws on hand guns,” Chapman argued. “There has been a proliferation of handguns in recent years, but I think generally speaking, one can say that the gun law situation in Australia remains one of the toughest in the world. And that’s to the great disappointment of the gun lobby in Australia and internationally.”

But Baker, in the same report, fired back: “In 1996 we were told that taking the ... buying back those civilian firearms, off those licensed firearms owners would make society safer and it would reduce firearm deaths. The evidence isn’t there to support that.

“The whole point was we were looking at the National Firearms Agreement,” she said, “which was the turning point or the sort of pivot point that we were examining. In terms of mass murder, there have been mass murders since Port Arthur. They haven’t been with a firearm.”

Baker further observed, “If the money spent on gun control in 1996 had been spent on suicide prevention programs or mental health programs, we would have saved a lot more lives.” . . .

Thanks to Jack Anderson for sending this to me.

"Home Invasion Ends In Deadly Shooting"

With Dems in control, "high hopes" that Federal Assault Weapons ban will be renewed

Unfortunately, I think that this is correct. It was only through heroic efforts by Tom Delay in the House of Representatives that the Assault Weapons Ban was not renewed and allowed to sunset in 2004. Bush would have signed it. The Senate would have passed it. Now there is nothing in the way of passing this. Nothing that is except logic and the fact that there is not a single academic study showing that these laws at either the federal or state level have reduced violent crime rates.

At the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the leading gun-control advocacy group, President Paul Helmke has high hopes for the assault weapons ban — and he can list races where candidates backed by his group defeated those supported by the National Rifle Assn.

But Helmke, a former Republican mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind., acknowledged that his challenge was to convince Democrats that his cause was not "radioactive." Many Democratic strategists have come to believe that supporting gun-control laws alienates rural voters and many independents.

"Guns are a tricky issue," Helmke said. "But the elections show there's nothing to be afraid of." . . .

Thanks very much to Rich for sending this to me.

Legal right to arm oneself in jail?

This is a pretty weird judicial decision, but it also points out that EVEN INSIDE A JAIL you can not depend upon the police to always be present to protect you.

In a death penalty case involving the fatal stabbing of one prison inmate by another, Judge Pamela North instructed the jury that a person may arm himself "in reasonable anticipation of an attack."

After hearing that, the jury acquitted Robert McFarlin of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of Damon Bowie, who was stabbed five times on the sidelines of a basketball game at the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup.

McFarlin claimed he armed himself with a knife because he believed there was a "hit" out on him. The jury convicted him of the lesser crime of second-degree murder, which doesn't carry the death penalty.

We try to tread lightly in criticizing judges, who are vastly more knowledgeable about the law than we can ever be. But this is flat-out illogical. So now, no matter what prison rules say, it can be OK for jailed felons to carry weapons? . . .

Who should pay taxes?

From Dad29 in Wisconsin, we find that a state legislator in the state, who appears upset about the newly passed ban on same sex marriage, believes that:
"Erpenbach said he does not understand how the state can expect same-sex couples to continue paying taxes and being lawful citizens when they are denied protections and benefits afforded to married couples."

As Dad29 points out, this novel reasoning could apply to all sorts of rights that people feel that the government has taken away from them.


Utah Judge who disliked hunters defeated in election

Recently I had a couple of links to a Utah state judge who disliked hunters. Well, it turns out that Judge Lewis was defeated in her retention election (see also here). Apparently Judge Lewis is also facing other problems. She is apparently defeated in her retention election "under investigation for allegedly having reduced the sentence of a convicted child molester by 10 years."

Thanks to N.W. Clayton for sending me these links.


John Fund claims that there was probably significant vote fraud in Montana and possibly Virginia

More on ACORN and Vote Fraud

I have been making multiple posts on ACORN and the fraudulent voter registrations that it has been turning in. Well, here is something that John Fund had in the WSJ on this group:

The Democratic oak has grown, in part, from Acorn, a feisty, union-backed activist group. The organization says on its Web site that it "registered over 540,000 low-income and minority voters" and deployed over 4,000 get-out-the-vote workers for yesterday's elections. But after years of scandal involving its election efforts and misuse of government grants, Acorn is finally coming under scrutiny, with four of its Kansas City, Mo., workers under indictment for submitting false voter registrations. (As of this writing, all are at large.) Other states--including Pennsylvania and Maryland--are also conducting probes. Notes the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas City: "This national investigation is very much ongoing." . . .

Acorn boasts an annual budget of some $40 million . . .

St. Louis election officials were so inundated with bogus Acorn-generated voter registrants that they mailed a letter to 5,000 registrants, requesting the recipients to contact them. Fewer than 40 responded. Mr. Rathke attacked the officials as "slop buckets" and claimed they had "broken the law in trying to discourage new voters illegally."

City officials scoff at that. They say it's up to Acorn to explain why over 1,000 addresses listed on its registrations don't exist. "We met twice with Acorn before their drive, but our requests completely fell by the wayside," says Democrat Matt Potter, the city's deputy elections director. His election clerks were already putting in 13-hour work days and "dumping this on them isn't fair." In the past, several Democrats, including Mayor Francis Slay, have complained about bloated voter rolls leading to stolen votes. . . .

Phyllis Schlafly on what judges are deciding for everyone these days


So what happened to the "Voting Machince Fraud"?

So how come the electronic voting machines are not an issue now? What happened to all the claims of them being used to steal elections? Weren't Democrats such as Pelosi raising concerns about these machines? Of course, her concern was that she would infer vote theft if her side did not take control of congress.

ACORN caught again putting in more false voter registration forms

How many elections have these guys affected? If they are not intent on fraud why do they spend so much time and effort putting in so many fraudulent forms?? There were a number of very close races in Delaware County.

Question: If your last name were Abortion would you name any of your children Alternative? Probably not! So a more pertinent question is this: If you saw the name Alternative Abortion on a voter registration form, complete with an address and a social security number, you’d be suspicious, right?

You’d think somebody was playing a tasteless joke. Or maybe even committing a crime, because that’s what fraudulently filling out a voter registration form is, a crime.

This one is currently under investigation by Delaware County District Attorney’s office, along with hundreds of other suspicious voter registration forms turned into the county voter registration commission.

Not dozens. Not scores. But hundreds!

"If not thousands," says county Solicitor John McBlain.

So far, the county has found more than 100 people who have told investigators and/or signed affidavits claiming someone wrongly tried to register to vote in their name. Another 542 registration forms were identified as having phony addresses and some 1,200 to 1,300 more also appear to be fraudulent.

What’s most interesting about this is that one organization submitted every single one of the near 2,000 registrations that are suspected or proven frauds.

That group is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, otherwise known as ACORN. . . . .

Bummer: higher taxes, a worse situtation in Iraq

Well, the Republicans took it on the chin, losing both the Congress and probably the Senate. My predictions were pretty bad. The Senate judicial confirmations are going to be going nowhere. The last two years of a President's eight years are pretty tough anyway, but with control switching to the Dems, Bush will get nothing. I can only imagine what the Supreme Court confirmation battles are going to be like if Stevens retires as is rumored.

The one thing that I want to see tomorrow is what will happen when the stock market opens. It should be a real test of policies. Does the market think that Republican policies have been good overall? Not so good on regulations, but presumably much better than the Dems on taxes and still probably much better than the Dems on regulations. I am assuming that the market did not expect the Dems to take the Senate. If that is correct, tomorrow should see a real change in values.

UPDATE: The market starts down about 45 points. Undoubtedly part of any discomfort that the market has with these results were already anticipated for the House. New information will change this, but the best guess of the impact of the elections is the initial reaction.

UPDATE 2: With Rumsfield resigning, I looked at the market again, and the DOW took a drop of slightly over 20 points from where it was then at.

Debate French Socialist Style


Who are well known people making political donations to?

New op-ed on Voter Fraud Claims

Brad Smith and I have a new op-ed up at National Review Online:

We have seen this before. In the 2004 elections, Democrats screamed that electronic voting machines in Ohio had been used to steal the election from Kerry. This weekend Nancy Pelosi claimed that Democrats will take control of the House as long as there is "an honest [vote] count."

Never mind that Democrats were almost uniformly in favor of forcing state and federal governments to spend billions of dollars replacing punch-card machines with touch-screen electronic voting machines after the 2000 election. Never mind that claims of a stolen election in 2004 were based on exit polls that even the presiding pollsters acknowledged were fatally flawed. Pelosi has now warned that if Democrats lose this vote, it will be because electronic voting machines were used to steal the election.

Election fraud is an important issue. But instead of improving the election process, Democrats’ regular claims of fraud may actually poison the political debate for years to come. A recent AP poll found that only 30 percent of blacks and 45 percent of Democrats claim that they are confident that their votes will be counted. For all voters, the number is only 60 percent. . . . .

Going out on a limb: Predicting Tuesday's results

Here are my election predictions. The Republicans are going to keep the House and the Senate. My guess is that the Republicans will lose 12 seats in the House and no more than 1 in the Senate. I would not be surprised that Republicans break even or even pick up one seat in the Senate. I think that Republicans will lose Ohio, but could pick up Michigan and even more likely Maryland. A Steele in Maryland win will make the evening a great one all by itself.

UPDATE: Well, I was wrong. It isn't much solace that there were a lot of very close races (e.g., the Senate races in Montana, Missouri, and Virginia). Just a switch of a few tenths of a percentage point in those three races would have meant a Republican loss of three seats. According to Sean Hannity, eighteen of the House seats were decided by less than 5,000 votes. Four or five were decided by less than a thousand votes. Well, in any case, I was wrong.


New Yorkers Respond to Mayor Bloomberg's Cutting Back on Concealed Handgun Permits

Rumors about Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' health

Who knows if this is even remotely true, though Sean Rushton has always struck me as a reasonably careful guy. If this is true and Bush does get to nominate a replacement, you haven't seen a confirmation battle as what you would see at that time:

For the past several weeks, there has been a rumor circulating among high-level officials in Washington, D.C., that a member of the U.S. Supreme Court has received grave medical news and will announce his or her retirement by year’s end. While such rumors are not unusual in the nation’s capital, this one comes from credible sources. Additionally, a less credible but still noteworthy post last week at the liberal Democratic Underground blog says, “Send your good vibes to Justice Stevens. I just got off the phone with a friend of his family and right now he is very ill and at 86 years old that is not good.” . . . .

Apparently these rumors have been floating around Washington for a little while now. If Chafee wins in Rhode Island, Republicans would probably need 52 votes to get someone through. That probably means that Republicans can't lose more than three seats tomorrow.


Pelosi claims that the only reason that Democrats might not win election is because of fraud in counting the votes

Election getting very close

A nationwide Pew Research Center survey finds voting intentions shifting in the direction of Republican congressional candidates in the final days of the 2006 midterm campaign. The new survey finds a growing percentage of likely voters saying they will vote for GOP candidates. However, the Democrats still hold a 48% to 40% lead among registered voters, and a modest lead of 47%-43% among likely voters.

The narrowing of the Democratic lead raises questions about whether the party will win a large enough share of the popular vote to recapture control of the House of Representatives. The relationship between a party's share of the popular vote and the number of seats it wins is less certain than it once was, in large part because of the increasing prevalence of safe seat redistricting. As a result, forecasting seat gains from national surveys has become more difficult.

I don't think that this election would be that close if more people saw this movie about what is at stake: Obsession: The Threat of Radical Islam.

Excellent Program on Fox News right now: Obsession

At 10 PM EST Fox News has on a program entitled: Obsession: The Threat of Radical Islam. A preview can be found here.
This is really an excellent show.

Talk at the University of Miami Economics Department on November 10th

This coming Friday I will be giving a talk at the University of Miami Economics Department on my research on Abortion and Crime with John Whitley. I usually wouldn't be giving a talk on a paper that is already accepted, but they were very interested in the topic.


A judge who dislikes deer hunters

Small improvement in exit poll reporting

Given the damage that early election recalls have had on voter turnout (1980, 1996, and 2000), I really wish that there were no exit polls. With 25 percent of votes being done by absentee ballots this year, the potential for mistakes is greater than ever and 2004 was bad enough with Republicans apparently not telling exit pollsters how they voted. Quarantining exit polls until 5 PM eastern is fine, and it is still hours before polls close on the East coast and six hours or so before they close on the West coast. I understand the ratings benefit from a network that can call an election quickly and the exit polls may also provide some insight into why people vote the way that they do, but the costs seem very high (just look at the election troubles in Florida which likely would have been avoided if 8,000 plus Republicans had voted in the western Panhandle). The competitive issue between the networks would be solved if none of them used exit polls.

Exit-poll data will be under lock and key Election Day to help networks avoid the Bush-Gore debacle of 2000 - and prevent bloggers from trumpeting results before the polls close.

The crucial info - which could provide an early hint if a Democratic wave is in fact under way - will be squirreled away in a windowless New York office room dubbed the "Quarantine Room," the Washington Post first reported.

A media consortium established to track polling results has set up ironclad rules to prevent leaks to news-hungry Web sites like the Drudge Report.

Only two staffers from each of the TV networks and The Associated Press will be authorized to tear through the exit-poll data at the vote vault.

Those staffers will have to surrender their cellphones, laptop computers and BlackBerrys - it's the price of admission.

And they won't be able communicate with their offices until 5 p.m. . . .


Where is Nancy Pelosi?

Nancy Pelosi is AWOL?.

I normally wouldn't link to something that was noted on the Drudgereport, simply because so many people would have already seen it, this raises an important question. What mandate can Pelosi claim other than being against Bush?

Vote Fraud in Missouri?

Acorn, the liberal activist group that has registered millions of voters, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms to the Kansas City, Missouri, election board. But hey, who needs voter ID laws . . . .

Of course, the Missouri Supreme Court claimed that " There was no evidence of any voter impersonation fraud in Missouri since the general assembly enacted the previous version of section 115.427, which was passed in 2002 . . . ."

UPDATE: Amazingly there is now even another story of vote fraud in Missouri.
William Phillippe is one of 10,520 deceased citizens who remain registered to vote in Missouri, and one of 235 who — according to a state database created earlier this year — managed to cast a vote after death.

Dead people remain on the voter rolls of every county in Missouri. St. Louis County leads the state with 2,270 registered voters who are dead. Adair County has only one.

Some of those registered to vote died long ago. One, William Bennett of Kansas City, died in March 1972. . . .

So is anyone going to prosecute the people who used these deceased individual's identities?

Is it ever possible for the News Media to Report "Good" economic news without a "But"? At least not when there is a Republican administration

From Reuters

The unemployment rate fell in October to 4.4 percent from 4.6 percent in September. It was the lowest unemployment rate since 4.3 percent in May 2001 and was likely to fan concerns that labor markets are growing tight and could contribute to inflation pressures. . . . .

From the AP via Foxnews:

Workers' average hourly earnings climbed to $16.91 in October, a sizable 0.4 percent increase from September. That increase was bigger than the 0.3 percent rise economists were expecting. Over the last 12 months, wages grew by 3.9 percent.

Growth in wages is good for workers, but a rapid and sustained advance makes economists fret about inflation flaring up. That's not good for the economy or workers' pocketbooks, ultimately, because inflation can eat into everybody's buying power. . . . .

Have any of these guys ever heard about the monetarism? If the money supply and output are constant constant and some prices are rising, other prices will be going down and the overall price level will be unchanged. In this case wages are probably rising since productivity is rising, so if the money supply was constant, prices would fall. Obviously the money supply is rising, but it is the increase in the money supply (not the increased productivity of labor) that is causing prices to rise.

We must really be in the election silly season. From the New York TImes (this is so biased):

Jobs Statistics Report Offer Fuel for Both Sides

Published: November 3, 2006
Businesses reported adding just 92,000 workers to their payrolls in October, a sign that job growth is starting to slow, the Labor Department reported today. But the department also reported, based on its monthly survey of households, that the unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent, a five-year low.

The pace of job creation fell short even of the 138,000-a-month average pace of the last six months, the statistics show. Economists say that at least 150,000 new jobs are needed every month just to keep up with population growth.. . . .

Of course the New York Times failed to emphasize this (from AP):

Employers added 148,000 jobs in September, versus the 51,000 first reported. Payrolls grew by a robust 230,000 in August, stronger than the 188,000 slots previously recorded. . . . .

I guess that it would undercut their story line.

Bloomberg taking away concealed handgun permits from New Yorkers

The city should slash the number of people who are allowed to carry concealed weapons, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday.

"We've taken a look at it to see whether we couldn't have fewer," Bloomberg said. "I can tell you one thing: We will keep it to as a minimum as we possibly can."
Bloomberg added that he has asked Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to tackle the issue. . . . .

OK, Mayor name me one single case in NYC where a permit holder has caused a problem. The problem with NYC permits is that they are issued only to the most well to do people. 38,544 New York City residents have permits. Does Bloomberg ever bring up any evidence for his anti-gun positions?


Bob Casey doesn't get it

Will Bob Casey Jr.'s Senate campaign suffer for his defense of Kerry? With many Democrats calling for Kerry to apologize, Casey isn't one of them.

"John Kerry is not only a great leader for the Democratic party and a great U.S. senator, but he's a patriot," Casey said after a morning political rally in Allentown. "He said he botched a joke and I think that is the beginning and the end of it. He was talking about the president and I think he has every right to criticize this president."

Casey's comments came just hours before the Democratic candidate was scheduled to appear at a rally with Kerry in Philadelphia. Kerry canceled that appearance this morning. Kerry spokesman David Wade said in a statement that Kerry didn't want to "allow the Republican hate machine to use Democratic candidates as proxies is the distorted spin war." . . . .

John O'Neil sees it this way:
Bob Casey’s decision to stand with John Kerry and attempt to explain away this appalling statement represents a disgraceful disregard for our troops and their families. Not only should Mr. Casey apologize for his blind partisanship, he should forcefully repudiate John Kerry’s remarks and issue a statement of support to our men and women in uniform who are bravely serving in Harm’s Way.” . . . .


Going after Ann Coulter, Isn't this the same prosecutors who went after Rush Limbaugh?

This is amazing. I bet the number of previous prosecutions on the violation that they are considered against Ann Coulter is zero. I bet that they have never even seriously considered going after someone else on this. Of course, in Rush's case the same thing was true. They had never prosecuted a similar case previously, but that didn't stop the prosecutor from making an example of Rush. This is pretty scary when you have these politically motivated prosecutions.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has refused to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong precinct, so the case will probably be turned over to prosecutors, Palm Beach County's elections chief said Wednesday.

Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson said his office has been looking into the matter for nearly nine months, and he would turn over the case to the state attorney's office by Friday.

Coulter's attorney did not immediately return a call Wednesday. Nor did her publicist at her publisher, Crown Publishing.

Knowingly voting in the wrong precinct is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. . . . .