Tag Archives: New York Times

Bush Is Not To Blame For The Mortgage Crisis

Obama is constantly blaming Bush for everything. And the media are happy to give Our Imperious Leader a pass when he lies.

The truth is that in 2003 Bush tried to avoid the housing meltdown but was obstructed by people like Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd and the Black Caucus, who wanted to continue extending mortgages to people who would be unable to repay them.

Check out this article in the New York Timesdated September 11, 2003.

New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

By Stephen Labaton

Published: September 11, 2003

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10– The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.

Read more at the New York Times.

I wonder how things might have been different had wisdom prevailed.

Chicago on the Potomac

You and I have just witnessed one of the most corrupt legislative sessions in American history. Now we have learned that one of the key “experts” pushing ObamaCare was also bought and paid for!

The New York Times has exposed Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at M.I.T., as having published an article on their Op-Ed page supporting ObamaCare without disclosing that he had an ongoing consulting relationship with HHS.

The Times noted that Professor Gruber had signed a contract obligating him to reveal such relationships. It would have been impossible for him to “forget” his consultancy – he had nearly $400,000 worth of lucrative contracts with HHS at the time!

Firedoglake revealed last Friday that the Obama Administration has paid Gruber more than $780,000 in TAX DOLLARS to make the public case for health care reform!

Jonathan Gruber’s work has been extensively cited by the White House, Members of Congress, and the media continuously since ObamaCare came onto the scene, but NOT ONCE did anyone in the administration disclose he was on their payroll!

The Jonathan Gruber revelation is just the latest public exposure of the graft and dishonesty which has characterized the way the Obama/Pelosi/Reid power axis has advanced ObamaCare. Given what we know, can you imagine what else is under the table?

Just before Christmas, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid systematically bought off every Democrat member of the Senate who could possibly derail his crucial cloture vote. When all the “bribes” were handed out, Reid had the required 60 votes to choke off debate in the middle of the night.

The congressional leadership and the Obama White House arm twisters have literally drug our nation down to the level of a cheap banana republic! They know their popular support is plummeting. They have become desperate and will stop at nothing.

Honest Americans have been nauseated as we have learned:

** Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) received $300 million in extra federal spending for her state in what critics derisively called “The Louisiana Purchase.”

** Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) accepted a deal exempting his state from new Medicaid costs and several other long-term perks. Nelson’s purchase has been dubbed the “Cornhusker Kick Back.”

** Many other bribes and “special provisions” affected the states of Vermont, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Michigan, Florida, and Connecticut.

But perhaps most painful of all, we have watched a smug Harry Reid justifying his corrupt acts by suggesting it is every senator’s DUTY to get pay-offs for their votes!

“If they don’t have something in it important to them, then it doesn’t speak well of them,” Reid said in a post-cloture interview. So much for the integrity of the United States Senate!

If you wondered why Harry Reid rushed his 2,074-page bill and its 383-page “Manager’s Amendment” through in the middle of the night with just hours to read them, then here’s at least one answer…

On page 1,020, the tyrannical Senate majority insists that no future Congress can repeal or otherwise amend the section on “Independent Medical Advisory Boards.”

You will probably remember that socialists mocked Governor Sarah Palin for calling such independent boards “death panels.” Yet Governor Palin was correct in her assessment – what else would you call boards with the power to grant or deny life-saving care using some pseudo-scientific “cost-benefit” formula?

Carefully hidden away in Reid’s version of ObamaCare is a section that gives these boards far more power and permanence than the Constitution allows to ANY government entity!

Congress has NO authority to force every American to carry insurance coverage,

Congress has NO authority to fine employers whose policies do not have the mandated coverage.

MUST continue to make Congress hear our voice!

Let’s BURY Congress in protest over this endless procession of dirty tricks.

ObamaCare is more vulnerable than ever due to the recent sordid revelations of bribery and scandal.

Americans nationwide are expressing OUTRAGE at this overt manipulation and total lack of integrity. Reid, Pelosi and Obama have proven they will do anything to get this government takeover of our medical industry.

The socialists need to understand that WE HAVE NOT GIVEN UP!

If Reid loses one vote in the Senate or Pelosi three or four in the House, then ObamaCare will not pass!

Below you will find the information you need to contact the leaders of Your America:

To find your Senator, click here.
To find your Representative, click here.

Or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Cornhusker Kickback

‘It’s not a special deal,” Ben Nelson told the New York Times of the special deal that converted him into the 60th Senator for ObamaCare. “It’s a fair deal. Some people said I was getting money for Nebraska. That’s wrong. I was just getting rid of an underfunded federal mandate. There’s nothing sleazy about it. I cracked the door open for other states.”

Under the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the federal government will pay all of Nebraska‘s new Medicaid costs forever, while taxpayers in the other 49 states will see their budgets explode as this safety-net program for the poor is expanded to one out of every five Americans.

In addition to violating the most basic and universally held notions of what is fair and just,” the AGs wrote last week to the Democratic leadership, the Article I spending clause is limited to “general Welfare.” If Congress claims to be legitimately serving that interest by expanding the joint state-federal Medicaid program, then why is it relieving just one state of a mandate that otherwise applies to all states? In other words, serving the non-general welfare of Nebraska—for no other reason than political expediency—violates a basic Supreme Court check on the “display of arbitrary power” that was established in 1937’s Helvering v. Davis.

Obviously Congress treats different states differently all the time, via earmarks and the like, but in this case there is simply no plausible argument for some kind of “general” benefit. The only state that gains from special treatment for Nebraska is Nebraska—and this actively harms all other states, which will have fewer tax dollars for their own priorities while effectively subsidizing the Cornhusker state.

The 12 Attorneys General are all Republicans, but as it happens their complaints are echoed by the liberal states of New York and California. In a December letter Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger lamented that ObamaCare would impose the “crushing new burden” of as much as $4 billion per year in new Medicaid spending in a state that is already deeply in the red. And in a Christmas Day op-ed in the Buffalo News, New York Governor David A. Paterson protested the almost $1 billion in new costs as well as the “unfairness of the Senate bill” when “New York already sends significantly more money to Washington than it gets back.”

The reality is that national taxpayers have subsidized New York and California’s social services for years because Medicaid’s funding formula rewards higher state spending. That spending helps explain why these two states, plus New Jersey, are in such budget fixes today. But we welcome Mr. Paterson’s discovery that redistributing income via progressive taxation is harmful.

“The final bill must provide equitable federal funding to all states,” Mr. Paterson insisted, and in that sense Mr. Nelson may be right about his opening the political door. As Democrats merge the House and Senate bills, they may extend the 100% Nebraska deal to all states to shut them up, assuming they can rig the budget math. Of course, that gambit would harm either medical providers, given that state Medicaid reimbursement rates are well below even Medicare’s, or Medicaid patients, as more doctors and hospitals simply drop those patients.

We recognize that mere Constitutional arguments won’t deter the political juggernaut that is ObamaCare. But no one should be surprised when Americans wonder if this unprecedented federal intrusion into their lives violates our nation’s founding principles.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703580904574638301273467422.html

Are Americans Fed Up With Health Care Reform?

A coordinated campaign to hide scientific information about climate change appears unprecedented. Could it wind up costing us trillions?

Science depends on good quality of data. It also relies on replication and sharing data. But the last couple of days have uncovered some shocking revelations. Computer hackers have obtained 160 megabytes of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. These e-mails, which have now been confirmed as real, involved many researchers across the globe with ideologically similar advocates around the world. They were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global warming claims. The academics here also worked closely with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Professor Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit, and Professor Michael Mann at Pennsylvania State University, who has been an important scientist in the climate debate, have come under particular scrutiny. Among his e-mails, Professor Jones talks to Professor Mann about the “trick of adding in the real temps to each series…to hide the decline [in temperature].” Professor Mann admitted that this was the exchange that he had and explained to the New York Times that “scientists often used the word ‘trick’ to refer to a good way to solve a problem, ‘and not something secret.'” While the New York Times apparently buys this explanation, it is hard to see the explanation for “to hide the decline.”

And there is a lot more. In another exchange, Professor Jones tells Professor Mann: “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone” and “We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.” Professor Jones further urges Professor Mann to join him in deleting e-mail exchanges about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s controversial assessment report: “Can you delete any e-mails you may have had with Keith re: [the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report]?” In another e-mail, Professor Jones told Professor Mann and Professor Malcolm Hughes at the University of Arizona and Raymond S. “Ray” Bradley at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst: “I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!

Professor Jones complains to another academic: “I did get an e-mail from the FOI person here early yesterday to tell me I shouldn’t be deleting e-mails” and “IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on.” We only have e-mails from Professor Jones’ institution, and, with his obvious approach to delete files; we have no idea what damaging information has been lost.

Another professor at the Climate Research Unit, Tim Osborn, discusses in e-mails how truncating a data series can hide a cooling trend that would otherwise be seen in the results. Professor Mann sent Professor Osborn an e-mail saying that the results he is sending shouldn’t be shown to others because the results support critics of global warming. Time after time the discussions refer to hiding or destroying data.

Other global warming advocates also privately acknowledge what they won’t concede publicly, that temperature changes haven’t been consistent with their models. Dr. Kevin Trenberth, the head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and prominent man-made global warming advocate, wrote in an e-mail: “The fact is we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

There were also been discussions to silence academic journals that publish research skeptical of significant man-made global warming. Professor Mann wrote: “I think we have to stop considering ‘Climate Research’ as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.” Other emails refer to efforts to exclude contrary views from publication in scientific journals. Pat Michaels, a climate scientist at the Cato Institute, told The Wall Street Journal: “This is what everyone feared. Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for anyone who does not view global warming as an end-of-the-world issue to publish papers. This isn’t questionable practice, this is unethical.”

The New York Times argues: “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.” — This from the same news organization that regularly publishes classified government documents!

Yet, these e-mails were covered by England’s Freedom of Information Act and should have been released when they were requested. Hiding data, destroying information, and doctoring their results raise real questions about many American academics at universities such as Pennsylvania State University, University of Arizona, and University of Massachusetts at Amherst. When at all possible available data must be shared.

Usually academic research is completely ignored by the general public but in this case proposed regulations, costing trillions of dollars, are being based on many of these claimed research results. This coordinated campaign to hide scientific information appears unprecedented.

John R. Lott, Jr.is a FoxNews.com contributor. He is an economist and author of “Freedomnomics.”

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/11/24/john-lott-climate-change-emails-copenhagen/

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition

The Wikipedia page on the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition was repeatedly ripped out by an anti-gun cabal. I seems that Wikipedia has become politicized and manipulated by the Politically Correct.

Below is the content, minus all the references, about Mayor Bloomberg’s coalition. Please go to Mayors Against Illegal Guns Conservapedia page to see it all. http://www.conservapedia.com/Mayors_Against_Illegal_Guns

There are a lot of indictments and felony convictions for members of a “crime fighting” organization!

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition is a leftist political coalition of mayors from about 400 United States cities, with a stated agenda of “making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets.” The group was formed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The coalition’s CEO is Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

The majority of members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition are Democrats.

Criticism of Methods and Hypocrisy

Bloomberg has been sued for defamation by a Smyrna, Georgia gun dealer represented by former congressman Bob Barr.[1][2]

Indicted, convicted, and scandalized members

A substantial number of member of the coalition have been indicted in recent months, on felony charges. Here in the US, conviction of felony means the immediate loss of both the right to vote and the right to own a gun for the rest of one’s life. This is an organization that espouses doing away with “illegal guns”, yet a surprising number of their members have made choices in their lives that have set themselves on the path to being disenfranchised from ever owning a gun.

Personal character and integrity are prerequisites for anyone entering public office, to serve in an elected position of “special trust and confidence”, such as a mayorship. Abuses of that trust, gross lapses of integrity, and forays into criminal conduct are not tolerated in our society. If anything, elected politicians are held to a higher standard than the general public, and their actions are closely watched. For an elected official to become a criminal, when they themselves are entrusted to protect us from criminals is nearly the most heinous and unforgivable thing imaginable in a democratically-ruled republic. For some of these same individuals to continue to be considered members in good standing of a “crime-fighting” organization–and not even censured by the organization–has been criticized as being hypocritical.

Four current and former members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition are currently under felony indictments, five others were recently convicted of felonies, one indicted member died of a heart attack before completion of his trial, and one member was recently convicted of a violent misdemeanor. The indicted and convicted members and former members include:

  • Former Mayor Gary Becker[3] of Racine, Wisconsin is under five felony indictments for child pornography, attempted child sexual assault and child enticement.[4] He resigned after pleading not guilty and being released on bond.[5] His location is currently being monitored electronically, as he awaits a trial scheduled to begin in October, 2009.[6]
  • Former Mayor David Della Donna[7], of Guttenberg, New Jersey was indicted under a Federal extortion and mail fraud charges.[8] He was convicted in 2008[9] and sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison.[10]
  • Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted in 2009 on twelve counts[11], comprising four counts of perjury, two counts of misconduct, three counts of theft, and three counts of fraudulent misappropriations.[12] The felony theft charges stem partly from incidents in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 in which she allegedly misappropriated gift cards intended for the poor and used them for personal purchases.[13][14] Dixon’s trial, originally scheduled for September 8, 2009, was postponed to November 9, 2009.[15]
  • Mayor Jerramiah Healy was convicted for obstruction of justice in 2007[16] and more recently was implicated in the corruption sweep in New Jersey involving the sale of body parts and money laundering. In all, 44 individuals were indicted. (Healy was named as “JC Official 4″ and implicated, but was not indicted, in the probe.)[17][18][19]
  • Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was indicted, arrested, and convicted. and subsequently jailed for 99 days. Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two felony obstruction of justice charges stemming from his efforts to cover up an extramarital affair. He also pleaded no contest to charges of assaulting a police officer attempting to serve a subpoena on a Kilpatrick friend in that case.[20] The charges and allegations (not all against Kilpatrick himself) were of marital infidelity, conspiracy, perjury, corruption and murder.[21] Following Kilpatrick’s conviction, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms called on Kilpatrick to resign from the Coalition.[22]
  • Mayor Larry Langford was investigated in 2007 by the SEC on corruption charges. In 2008 a lawsuit was filed against him for illegally accepting $156,000 in cash and benefits. On December 1, 2008, Larry Langford was arrested by the FBI on a 101 count indictment[23] alleging conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns[24] in connection with a long-running bribery scheme.[25][26][27] His trial date was postponed to October 2009, and the trial venue moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.[28]
  • Deceased Mayor Frank Melton at the time of his death was under felony indictment on civil rights charges.[29] (He died before a scheduled re-trial, following a mistrial.) In 2006, Melton pled guilty to a firearms charge, stemming from a raid (in which he was armed with a concealed pistol) on a suspected crack house. Melton conducted the extra-official Buford Pusser-style raid without a warrant to “bust up” a duplex apartment, accompanied by a group of youths that were not sworn law enforcement officers. That same event led to Melton’s civil rights indictment. In November 2006, he pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges: carrying a gun in a park and in a church, and carrying a concealed weapon.[30]
  • Mayor Eddie Perez was indicted on bribery, fabricating evidence, and conspiracy to fabricate evidence felony charges.[31] Perez turned himself in to state police, stating that he had a lapse in judgment but did nothing illegal, and vowed that he would not step down as Hartford’s mayor.[32] He was arraigned on September 8, 2009.[33] His trial date was postponed to November 2009[34], and then to February, 2010.[35] On September 2, 2009 Perez was again arrested, and additionally charged with first-degree larceny by extortion, stemming from a no-bid parking lot deal, unrelated to the other corruption charges.[36] He again proclaimed that he would stay in office, despite these new felony charges.[37]
  • Former Mayor Samuel Rivera, of Passaic, New Jersey was convicted of corruption, influence peddling, and extortion charges.[38][39] In August 2008 he pled guilty,and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.[40]
  • In 2008, former Mayor Will Wynn was convicted of Class C misdemeanor, for a choking assault on a man who had crashed a party.[41]

Five current members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition have been troubled by scandals that involved firearms:

  • As New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg came into office, he inherited a chronic firearms permit favoritism scandal from his predecessors that still remains an unresolved issue. Writing in the New York Sun, attorney David Kopel observed: “The problem is acute in New York City. Celebrities, the ultra-wealthy, and the politically influential get carry permits. But many of the people who need them the most — such as stalking victims, or crime witnesses who have been threatened by the criminal’s friends — often do not.”[42] There are currently only about 36,169 permits to keep firearms in private homes in New York City, with the majority issued to retired police officers. Of these permit holders, only 2,516 are more liberally licensed for concealed carry outside their homes. The issuance of permits is discretionary in New York City, per Penal Law 400[43]. (It is considered a “may issue” locality, unlike the “shall issue” policy used for concealed carry in most other localities.) Despite “tight” restrictions on “demonstrated need or special danger”, a who’s-who list of celebrities, billionaires[44], entertainers[45], professional athletes[46], and politicians[47] has somehow managed to get firearms permits. This list includes New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, publisher Michael Korda, and talk show host Howard Stern.[48] In 2007, The New York Post reported that gun license holders include financier Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Queens district attorney Richard A. Brown, Westchester County district attorney, Janet DiFiore, music executive Tommy Mottola, chief executive of Marvel Comics, Isaac Perlmutter, radio show host Don Imus, lawyer Barry Slotnick, lawyer Raoul Felder; publisher Robert Forbes, the cab-driving political activist Fernando Mateo, former new York Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (recently indicted for fraud), actor Robert De Niro, actor Harvey Keitel, film producer Martin Bregman, cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder, and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler.[49][50] All of these individuals have retained their gun licenses under Bloomberg’s “tough on guns” administration. The New York Post noted: “Television news anchor John Roland, who let his license lapse in 2006, got his gun permit back in 2007.”[51] A surprisingly high number of celebrities have concealed carry permits, rather than the more common “keep at home” (premise) permits. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Bloomberg asked Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly to look at the issue, and added: ‘If you want a gun permit, you should have to really show that your life is in danger, and that having a gun will protect you, will improve the chances of you surviving.'”[52] But despite Bloomberg’s publicly-stated concern, there have been no announcements of any celebrity gun permits being rescinded, or any reforms to prevent favoritism, cronyism, bribes, or other abuse of discretion in license issuance. With a city population of 8.3 million, the 36,169 gun permit holders represent just .043% of the population and the 2,516 concealed carry permit holders represent a scant .003% of the population.
  • Mayor Richard M. Daley has been criticized for the city of Chicago’s long-standing practice of providing armed bodyguards for a number of city politicians, including city clerk James “Jim” Laski. In the city clerk scandal, Daley was shamed into removing the perk of the armed bodyguards for the clerk. The Chicago Sun-Times reported: “The decision was made almost immediately after Laski became the first elected official to be caught up in the Hired Truck scandal. But Daley insisted that the bribery and extortion charges against Laski were not the trigger. It was the fact that, until this week, Laski had not been showing up for work.”[53] Laski was later convicted of taking $48,000 in bribes and received a two year sentence.[54] Former Mayor Eugene Sawyer, City Treasurer Judy Rice and Alderman Edward M. Burke, chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee still have armed bodyguards.[55]
  • Mayor Gerald Jennings of Albany, New York was implicated in a scandal regarding the alleged illegal purchase of 52 machine guns.[56] It is unclear whether the weapons were purchased for departmental use or for the use of private individuals. Weapons were delivered to Police Department addresses but apparently paid for with private funds. The Department has not produced a list of weapons, their location, the names of the individuals who purchased them, or their disposition or destruction. At least one later turned up, illegally for sale to the public, in an area gun store. The police officer who sold the gun to the store has testified that he bought it from a Police Union official who was also the Department’s armorer.[57] The current Chief of Police is the fifth appointed by Jennings.[58] The case is still open.[59]
  • Following the illegal seizure of firearms in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin settled a lawsuit and had a permanent injunction issued prohibiting Nagin or any New Orleans employee from confiscating any lawfully possessed firearm and ordering the return of hundreds of illegally confiscated firearms. (They had been confiscated at Mayor Nagin’s order.).[60] Nagin’s administration has also been troubled by reports of improprieties with the police department evidence rooms, where guns were stolen, guns were allowed to rust, and $200,000 in cash was stolen.[61][62]
  • Mayor Bill White‘s administration has been embarrassed by an ongoing scandal involving guns stolen from the Houston Police Department’s evidence room. In January 2009, the Houston Chronicle reported: “For months, maybe years, people with criminal backgrounds had access to secure areas of the police station, including a property room from which 30 guns disappeared within six months, according to internal police documents. The documents, obtained by the Houston Chronicle, indicated that lax security created an environment ripe for theft. No one has been charged in the gun thefts, although police suspected telephone repairmen who admitted stealing other items, and a temporary employee who had access to the property room while awaiting trial on aggravated robbery charges.”[63][64]

Resignations from the coalition

Announced resignations

Twelve mayors that had been members[65] have withdrawn from the organization, claiming either that they were misled about the group’s anti-gun platform, or that they were enrolled in the coalition without their knowledge.[66][67][68] They are:

In her resignation letter, Mayor Patricia Shontz of Madeira Beach, Florida wrote, “I am withdrawing because I believe the MAIG is attempting to erode all gun ownership, not just illegal guns. Additionally, I have learned that the MAIG may be working on issues which conflict with legal gun ownership.” She added, “It appears the MAIG has misrepresented itself to the Mayors of America and its citizens. This is gun control, not crime prevention.”[78]

In his resignation letter to Bloomberg, Mayor Harry Moore stated: “It is simply unconscionable that this coalition, under your leadership, would call for a repeal of the Shelby /Tiahrt amendment that helps to safeguard criminal investigations and the lives of law enforcement officers, witnesses and others by restricting access to firearms trace data solely to law enforcement. How anyone, least of all a public official, could be willing to sacrifice such a law enforcement lifeline in order to gain an edge in suing an industry they have political differences with is repugnant to me. The fact that your campaign against this protective language consisted of overheated rhetoric, deception and falsehoods is disturbing.”[84]

The resignations of Kevin Jackson and Jared Fuhriman left the state of Idaho completely unrepresented in the organization, and Alaska with just one representative mayor. Since Mayor Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City left office, it has also left Utah unrepresented. Mayor Kathy Taylor of Tulsa, Oklahoma has announced that she will not seek re-election[85], and as of September, 2009, her name has been removed from the coalition’s roster. This also leaves Oklahoma unrepresented. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors there are 1,201 cities in the US with a population of 30,000 or more that are headed by mayors.[86] Several of the mayors in the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition represent even smaller towns and cities–particularly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which are disproportionately represented.

Legislative Initiatives

With the stated goal of reducing the number of straw purchase of guns, the coalition has favored new legislation to require mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns.[87] As of September, 2009, seven states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island) and the District of Columbia have laws criminalizing failure to report lost and stolen guns to law enforcement. Several other states and local governments are working to pass similar laws.[88] Critics counter that straw purchases are already illegal, and hence mandatory theft and loss reporting laws are redundant.[89]

Former prosecuting attorney C.D. Michel analyzed mandatory reporting laws, using one in Ventura County, California as an example: “Ironically, the ordinance cannot be used against the real bad guys. No law can compel lawbreakers to report themselves. So a straw purchaser who legally buys a gun cannot be compelled to report that he resold it illegally. And since it wasn’t actually lost or stolen, he hasn’t violated the ordinance. Similarly, if a felon prohibited from possessing a gun illegally possesses one anyway, and it is lost or stolen, he can be prosecuted for having the gun in the first place, but cannot be prosecuted for failing to incriminate himself by reporting the loss. Enforcement of these ordinances places prosecutors in a precarious legal and ethical position. Say a straw-purchaser’s gun is recovered at a crime scene and traced back to him. If he lies to police claiming his gun was “stolen” when he really sold it on the black market, will we nonetheless prosecute him for something he did not do (fail to report the “stolen” gun — which wasn’t actually stolen) but to which he “confessed”? Ethics and legality aside, securing a misdemeanor conviction for failing to report a theft (that never occurred) likely prohibits prosecuting the straw purchaser for the more serious felony black market sale or for making a false statement to police. Perhaps worse, gun owners who truly are burglary victims must now hesitate to speak with police if their stolen gun is recovered at a crime scene. If the gun owner failed to report the loss at all, or on time, she faces possible criminal prosecution if she cooperates with police investigating the recovered gun. She should remain silent, get a lawyer and seek immunity first. Legal representation may also be appropriate when a gun is first discovered missing. The owner can be prosecuted if the theft is not reported within 48 hours of when the owner “should have known” the gun was missing. Proponents have made clear they believe “responsible” gun owners should know where their gun is at every single moment and “should know” a gun is gone immediately. And the fear of prosecution will encourage those who miss the 48-hour window not to report the loss at all. Effectively, these ordinances place the legitimate gun owner in jeopardy of prosecution for becoming a victim of a crime. In light of these liabilities, gun-rights groups and the criminal-defense bar have begun advising gun owners — who would ordinarily be happy to assist police with their investigation — that they need a lawyer if they are contacted by police.”[90]

http://www.conservapedia.com/Mayors_Against_Illegal_Guns

Wall Street To Securitize People’s Deaths?

One Man’s Thoughts Has Moved To

http://www.patriotthoughts.com

You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2009/09/15/wall-street-to-securitize-peoples-deaths/

Thank You, Vytautas

Buffett: We’re Going to Be Crushed Under a Mountain of Debt

The greatest American investor of all time has finally hit the panic button about the tremendous mountain of debt Obama and the Democrats are piling up.

Last year, Warren Buffett says, we were justified in using any means necessary to stave off another Great Depression.  Now that the economy is beginning to recover, however, we need to curtail our out-of-control spending, or we’ll destroy the value of the dollar and many Americans’ life savings.

Some not-so-fun facts from Buffett’s editorial August 19th in the New York Times:

  • Congress is now spending 185% of what it takes in
  • Our deficit is a post WWII record of 13% of GDP
  • Our debt is growing by 1% a month
  • We are borrowing $1.8 trillion a year

$1.8 trillion is a lot of money. Even if the Chinese lend us $400 billion a year and Americans save a remarkable $500 billion and lend it to the government, we’ll still need another $900 billion.

So, where’s it going to come from?  Most likely the printing press.  And, ultimately, Buffett says, that will destroy the value of the dollar.

No government, or central bank, is bigger than the bond and currency markets. Foreign bondholders aren’t going to sit idly by while any government … even the government of the U.S. … openly decides to trash its currency by printing it with reckless abandon. And they aren’t going to sit by while the government manipulates prices higher.

Failed President Supports Failed Gun Ban

In an opinion piece published in the New York Times on April 27, former president Jimmy Carter — who did his darnedest to undermine the Second Amendment when he was in the White House — asked, “What Happened to the Ban on Assault Weapons?”

The answer is, the same thing that happened to Jimmy Carter.  After one of the most unsuccessful presidencies in U.S. history, Mr. Carter couldn’t get enough votes to be reelected.  Similarly, once Congress realized that gun control supporters had exaggerated the role of “assault weapons” in crime, they couldn’t get the votes necessary to extend the ban past its 10-year “sunset” date.

There was no particular reason to think that Mr. Carter would fail as president before he took office, but there was every reason to think that the gun ban would fail to reduce crime.  Before the ban was imposed, NRA repeatedly pointed out that the much-maligned semi-automatics were used in only a very small percentage of crime.  After the ban was in effect a few years, a study mandated by Congress reached the same conclusion, setting the stage for the ban’s demise.

NRA also pointed out that the things that caused a gun to be defined as an “assault weapon”—such as a flash suppressor and adjustable-length stock—were not essential to the gun’s basic operation.  One anti-gun group, the Violence Policy Center, eventually conceded on this point, but other gun control supporters, Carter apparently among them, still stick to their original, erroneous assumption.

Mr. Carter said he supports the right to firearms for hunting, and on that point we’ll take him at his word. However, as the Supreme Court reiterated in District of Columbia v. Heller last year, the Second Amendment protects the Right to Keep and Bear Arms primarily for defensive purposes.

Mr. Carter tried to dismiss the concern that “assault weapon” legislation threatens the right to arms.  But in addition to adversely affecting the defensive use of firearms, “assault weapon” bills introduced the last few years have proposed to ban many more types of firearms than the 1994 law did, including semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action rifles used by millions of hunters like Mr. Carter.

Most outrageously, Mr. Carter, or whoever ghost wrote his piece, claimed that the only reason anyone would want an “assault weapon” would be to murder police officers, schoolchildren and co-workers.  The millions of good Americans who own these guns deserve no such insult and, frankly, it is beneath the degree of dignity we expect from a former president.

In any event, the insult is without merit.   That’s proved by the fact that while the number of Americans who own so called “assault weapons” has risen to an all-time high, the nation’s murder rate has decreased to a 43-year low.  Contrary to the catchy propaganda line about the guns being “on the streets,” they are more commonly found in the homes of honest citizens throughout the country.

http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=4826