Currently Browsing: Politics
Feb 5, 2016
Joe Huffman has a story, which is a follow up from his previous story about OSHA possibly abusing workplace rules. It is based on someone who works at a major ammo company, talking about how OSHA is demanding warning labels on ammunition:
Then a couple years ago OSHA approached them and said, in essence, “You need to put warning on all your products because indoor range employees are at risk from exposure to lead.”
The lead issue is probably the biggest threat to shooting out there right now. Remember, Obama’s executive orders told every agency to look into ways to screw us. Has OSHA found a way? Or are they merely following the bureaucrat’s creed:
Feb 2, 2016
There’s really only one thing I care about in the 2016 election and that is the composition of the Supreme Court. I also wouldn’t mind someone who’s willing to put Putin, Iran, and the Chinese in their places and hopefully avert some damned fool thing that ends up starting World War III. But the Supreme Court is my top issue.
What we’re seeing is a three way race between Cruz, Trump, and Rubio. I don’t honestly think any of the other candidates stand a chance. At some point, either Cruz or Rubio will likely need to drop out to overcome Trump. The other candidates should do us all a favor and drop now.
The problem I’ve had with Trump is that I don’t know what I’m buying. Who would Trump put on the Supreme Court? Maybe his sister, who is a presiding federal judge in the 3rd circuit? I don’t know much about her judicial philosophy. Maybe she’d be fine. But Trump has been all over the map on so many issues, I really don’t know how he’d govern, or who he’d pick.
Not being a Trump supporter, I’m pleased to see that he may in fact be over-polling. It’s one thing to tell a pollster that you support Donald Trump, but Trump has not been building a ground operation. His campaign has been relying strictly on earned media. Trump’s media game is stellar, but you need foot soldiers on the ground to get butts to the polls or caucuses. Iowa is one state though, and its caucus system plays against candidates without a ground game more than the systems in other states. I would not count Donald Trump out of the race by far. There’s a lot of lessons to learn from Trump that the GOP is totally ignoring, but that’s another post.
I believe both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio would put better candidates on The Supreme Court than any of the other front runners in both parties. I think Marco Rubio has more raw political talent, but I’m not sure his style is suited to the times. He’d be a great “good times” candidate, but these are not good times. As for Cruz, Charles C.W. Cooke had the linguistic kill shot on Ted Cruz for me: “midwest vacuum cleaner salesman.” He’s the obnoxious nerdy kid who kissed the teacher’s ass in class and who everyone wanted to punch after school. I might agree with him on more issues, and he may be less “establishment,” but demeanor matters to low-information voters, and Cruz’s demeanor is what I worry about. I don’t see Cruz fundamentally altering the electoral map. Rubio might have a shot.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t have any accomplishment in her life other than marrying well. I’ve said this before, but she doesn’t have enough political talent to get elected dog catcher on her own. Bill’s coattails got her to where she is. That’s why she nearly got schlonged by a kooky old socialist from Vermont in Iowa, and will definitely get shlonged in New Hampshire. I’m rooting for Bernie. I remember being pleased as punch when Obama started to knock of that 2nd rate hack of a candidate in 2008. Even after eight years of Obama, I’m not sure I was wrong to be pleased. Bernie might be a kooky old socialist, but he does not greatly offend me. He’s talking about the things people care about. He’s great on the stump, and knows how to work a crowd. If he won, I think as a President he’d be entirely ineffective — less so than even Obama. Hillary knows where bodies are buried, so she’d be a far more hazardous nominee than kooky old Bernie.
Jan 27, 2016
In Pennsylvania, there have traditionally been a lot of extralegal requirements for Licenses to Carry Firearms (LTCF) implemented by county Sheriffs, with the City of Philadelphia being the most notorious of the offender. The rest of the ring counties were often pretty non compliant as well. Bucks County had a number of extralegal requirements. I want to say there was a psychological evaluation (or something pretty draconian like that) imposed at one point (this is before I lived here), until a local activist challenged the requirement. Up until pretty recently, the county was overcharging for LTCFs. Bucks County is now following the law. Delaware County used to illegally call references, including employers, until it was pointed out to them that disclosing information about an LTCF application crime, and my understanding is that they no longer do this. Montgomery County has continued with extralegal requirement to get local police sign-off, but now it seems that may be at an end too.
We’re slowly getting there.
Jan 23, 2016
While I can’t say as I’d vote for the man, I heartily encourage Michael Bloomberg to run for president as an Independent. Especially if he’s going to self-fund. All of my political enemies should have an expensive and impossible hobby.
Jan 20, 2016
Looks like the Mexican police found a Barrett M99 in .50BMG El Chapo’s hideout, which was linked to the Fast and Furious program where ATF allowed guns to be sold to Mexican drug cartels. That scandal is the gift that just keeps on giving, isn’t it? Except it’s a gift no one wanted. I’ll forgive the nonsense of a bolt-action .50BMG being used for taking down helicopters (I suppose with a lucky shot, you could) since this is from a British paper.
Federal officials said they are investigating how many of the weapons found at El Chapo’s hideout originated in the U.S., and where and how they were purchased.
Any bets on whether they’ll find more F&F guns? It sadly does not surprise me that no one has gone to jail for this.
Jan 19, 2016
Martin Luther King on Marxism:
“This deprecation of individual freedom was objectionable to me. I am convinced now, as I was then, that man is an end because he is a child of God. Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as means to the end of the state; but always as an end within himself.”
That strikes me as the fundamental dichotomy between individualism and statism.
Jan 18, 2016
Dave Hardy has a follow up article about his visit to the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock published in this month’s America’s First Freedom. This one is also well worth the read.
The Brady Campaign’s correspondence with the Clinton White House, revealed here for the first time, illustrates how well and persistently it has stuck with the agenda laid out by its first real leader. The goal is to make handgun ownership illegal: Along the way, remember that half a loaf is better than none, and if you have to, settle for just a slice. Take whatever you can get, and keep on asking for more. Anything that makes gun ownership more burdensome or risky is a step toward that goal.
I have linked this before in a news links post, but I would encourage you to read this very frank memo Dave found, from Jody Powell to George Stephanopoulos in 1994 speaking of the risks of pursuing the gun control agenda. In addition to the letter, it also includes gun control proposals that the previous version I linked did not include. I will quote from the letter:
In my humble estimation, the reason we never get the political benefit from gun control that the polls seem to promise is because our proposals are substantively weak. We have yet to propose anything that people believe will make any difference. The people who are generally for gun control don’t make it a voting issue because it has no real impact on their lives. On the other hand. the inconvenience and hassle of wading through another round with indifferent and incompetent bureaucrats and the fear that this is only the first step toward more radical measures are quite real to people who own guns. As much as I hate to say it, the NRA is effective primarily because it is largely right when it claims that most gun control laws inconvenience and threaten the law-abiding while having little or no impact on violent crime or criminals.
Read the whole thing. It’s quite an eye opener. The Clinton White House obviously went ahead with some of these proposals, resulting in the federal assault weapons ban in September of that year. Powell asked the Clinton Administration to consider carefully what the consequences could be of pursuing this agenda:
I support registration in principle. But two questions need to be asked. Are the people causing the problem going to comply voluntarily? If not, do you have a way to effectively enforce compliance? If the answer is “no” in both cases. consider whether the benefits are worth making Bob Dole majority leader.
And in 1994, Bob Dole would indeed became Senate Majority Leader. Obviously Powell supported many of these policies, but he understood the issue well, and tried to communicate the dynamic to the White House. The Obama Administration was a picnic in the park compared to the Clinton Administration. Unlike Obama, Clinton knew how to work Congress. Obviously Clinton did not achieve half of what he and the Brady Campaign wanted to accomplish, but he accomplished much much more than Obama.
Jan 18, 2016
Josh Prince has the story. This starts the clock ticking, causing the regulation to take effect on July 13, 2016. He has created a website called Fight ATF 41P. At this point, it appears that Prince’s initial analysis is still valid, and we didn’t have any surprises sprung on us between the rule published by ATF and in the Federal Register. There was a lot of discussion on this topic when it originally came up the other week, and many were disappointed that Form 1s and Form 4s could no longer be e-filed for trusts and corporations.
The reason we ended up with 41P in the first place is because so many people were using trusts to get around the CLEO signoff requirement that ATF was overwhelmed with processing trusts, since trusts had to be vetted to ensure there were no problems with it, and there often were. ATF had been saying in NRA’s Firearms Law seminar for a while that they were looking carefully at the CLEO requirement, including possibly eliminating it, to cut down on the number of trusts. Unfortunately for ATF, there’s also constructive possession issues with NFA items that is likely to cause trusts to remain popular. For these reasons, it can’t really be argued that use of trusts for NFA items is a form of “malicious compliance,” but it certainly has the same features. One of the key objections to 41P is that it’s not abundantly clear who responsible persons are. It’s probably wise advice to take the broad view there. I don’t see any reason not to replace one headache at ATF with another.
Jan 18, 2016
Early in the 20th Century, the Progressives ran through a slew of Constitutional Amendments, including authorizing an income tax, direct election of Senators, Prohibition, and Women’s Suffrage. Many conservatives are calling for a Constitutional Convention of the States, where Amendments would be directly proposed. We discussed this a few weeks ago in regards to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s proposals. Such a convention could provide an opportunity to clarify the rights protected by the Second Amendment, and make it clear to the courts the right is to be taken seriously. Now Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame has an article in USA Today talking about the idea of a new Constitutional Convention.
As I said, I have my doubts about Abbott’s proposals. I find many of them self-serving from a politician’s point of view. For instance, we shouldn’t make it harder for judges to strike down unconstitutional laws, which Abbott’s proposals would do.
Like Prof. Reynolds, I’m not quite ready to endorse the idea of another convention, but it’s starting to sound like it’s not such a bad idea. When you consider that any proposed amendments would still need to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, it doesn’t sound quite as dangerous as it could be if we just had to eat whatever came out of the sausage grinder.
What do you think? Should we emulate the progressives inaugurate our young century with a flurry of constitutional amendments?
Jan 12, 2016
After an enthusiastic day of promoting this #EmptyChair hash tag, President Obama makes one mention of “gun violence” in the State of the Union, and never even bothers to mention or explain the empty chair symbolism. If anyone was playing along with the drinking game, you could have gone all the way to double shots of Everclear for your “drink” and still only gotten a minor buzz. I was surprised.
I was surprised by how much of the SOTU was about him. He needed a third arm for all the time he spent patting himself on the back. I don’t know if the gun control folks ever feel like chumps, but if you don’t, you should, because you are. He doesn’t care about your cause. He doesn’t care about your loss. This is all about him, and you’ve been played.