Americans are in a panic. Crowds throng gun shows and shops. Blue-chip companies fast-forward next year’s dividends to this year. Investors cash out profits, estate planners report a rush of people trying to beat higher inheritance taxes and lobbyists line up for favors. What these people share is the goal of avoiding or benefitting from government actions. More than ever, the “invisible hand” of free markets is being replaced by the visible hand of bureaucrats. The political class is the new master of the universe. If this were being staged in a theater, the national epidemic of expectation
Reaction to threats by Senator Dianne Feinstein and others to ban certain weapons and severely restrict ownership of guns generally has caused a run on gun stores, as is widely reported. Less reported is the run on ammunition, leaving ammunition inventories down 93% since election day. So reports Traction Control blog, Plunge! Ammunition Levels Less Than 10% of Pre-Election Levels: Ammunition Stock levels have fallen by more than 90% from the pre-Election Day levels. Less than 10% remains available. Available Ammunition links will be updated throughout the day.
A federal judge in California has rejected the Obama administration´s effort to use secret arguments and evidence to defeat a lawsuit relating to the so-called no-fly list designed to keep suspected terrorists off of airline flights. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup turned down a motion by the Justice Department to dismiss former Stanford student Rahinah Ibrahim´s lawsuit against various federal government agencies over her reported inclusion on the no-fly list as well as an incident in September 2005 where she was barred from taking a flight from San Francisco and detained for a couple of hours.
Former House majority leader Dick Armey says he took an $8 million consulting deal in return for leaving the conservative organization FreedomWorks because the group was "dishonest" and because he "couldn´t leave with empty pockets." The arrangement, he says, will allow him to "never have to work again forever." In an interview with ABC News as he was winding down his Wii Fit workout, Armey spoke frankly and at length about his dispute with FreedomWorks, his eyebrow raising consulting contract, and the strategy of the Republican Party.
If you’re just now entering the "fiscal cliff" conversation—the name given to automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1, a leftover from 2011´s dismal debt-ceiling debate—count yourself lucky. For the unfortunate few entrenched in the scramble to keep us from tumbling over, it’s been a taxing (no pun intended) ride. As midnight Monday approaches, here’s a look at the key players, what they want, and why their dissenting desires have brought us to the brink. 1. President Obama Wish list: Higher taxes on the wealthy, stimulus spending, limited cuts to entitlements
WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama is urging the Illinois General Assembly to legalize gay marriage in his home state as lawmakers are poised to take up the measure as early as this week in Springfield. "While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday. "As he has said, his personal view is that it´s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so.
Anytime a party suffers an unexpected defeat, there are two general responses: assigning blame and planning a better strategy for next time. After Jimmy Carter in 1980 was — in the words of CBS News’ Bob Schieffer — “whomped” by Ronald Reagan, Democrats went through both reactions. As would be expected, the Reagan victory caused much debate in Democratic Party circles about how to respond. (Mostly every Democrat except Jimmy Carter’s inner circle agreed that Democratic mistakes had greatly helped Reagan.)More traditional Democrats like Walter Mondale believed that Reagan’s victory was largely due to national anger
The fallout from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan is still going on, and now it’s affecting some United States military members. A group of sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan – who participated in rescue efforts during the disaster – are going to court saying that Tokyo Electric Power Company lied about the dangers posed by leaking radiation and have exposed the Americans to irreparable future damage. Eight US Navy sailors are suing Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for hundreds of millions of dollars over allegations
Washington can be a cruel and unforgiving place. Want a friend? Harry Truman once said. Get a dog. Or maybe he didn’t say it. But it’s a good point: In this town, nobody gets a free pass from the press, the pundits and the pols. Nobody, that is, until Hillary Clinton. At the end of her tenure as secretary of state, she alone has emerged virtually unscathed — the lone superstar of the president’s first term. A recent poll has her numbers well above the president’s and exceeded only by you guessed it — her husband, Bill.
The path to Wenchi leads along the rim of an extinct volcano. It winds through banana plantations and brier patches, with wild marjoram growing rampant along the edge. (snip) The children in Wenchi have no opportunity to attend school, because the nearest school is too far away or their parents prefer to send them out to fetch water or into the fields, where they watch the cows in the morning and the goats in the afternoon. But what if these children, who, like their parents, can neither read nor write, were provided with a computer? And if
AN UNEMPLOYED man who robbed a bookie of $1,000 at knife point and also used stolen credit cards to cheat retailers of nearly $43,000 was jailed for eight years and ordered to be caned 12 times today. Ong Bee Han, 35, pleaded guilty to committing the robbery on Aug 29, 2010, with Low Soon Kwee and Ho Tze Wei. Low, 38, has been sentenced to four years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane while Ho, 36, is still at large. Ong was first charged for the robbery offence on Nov 12, 2010. While on bail,
There has been only one conviction out of over 600 cases of rape reported to Delhi Police this year even as crime against women has been on the rise in the national capital. As many as 754 accused were arrested in the 635 cases reported to Delhi Police between January and November, the highest in past five years, Union home ministry data said. Of these total accused, only one was convicted while 403 were facing trials, investigations were pending against 348 and two others were discharged. A total of 572 rape cases were reported to Delhi Police last year
Hollywood actress Jane Fonda lobbied the British Government to intervene and stop the 1981 hunger strike, newly released files reveal. The two-time Oscar winning star sent a telegram to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher urging her to grant the prisoners political status. (snip) The telegram, dispatched to Downing Street, is also signed by her then husband Tom Hayden, a US social and political activist. It states: “Please save the lives of the hunger strikers by granting them political status. “The sanctity of human life must override any political considerations.” The 1981 hunger strike triggered one of the worst crises of the
In a legal argument formally presented in federal court in the case of Hobby Lobby v. Kathleen Sebelius, the Obama administration is claiming that the First Amendment—which expressly denies the government the authority to prohibit the “free exercise” of religion—nonetheless allows it to force Christians to directly violate their religious beliefs even on a matter that involves the life and death of innocent human beings. Because federal judges—including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor—have refused to grant an injunction protecting the owners of Hobby Lobby
Washington — In the final presidential debate, President Barack Obama declared to the American people with unflinching certainty that sequestration “will not happen.” Two months later, the Jan. 1 deadline is looming, with no debt reduction deal in sight. Now what? How quickly and deeply will these automatic defense budget cuts totaling about $500 billion over the next decade hit troops, Defense Department civilians and contractors? And how much will they hurt? (snip) For example, the number of flight hours that pilots get for regular training and the number of live-fire exercises for ground forces could be reduced. Maintenance of
The free market operates by offering incentives to consumers to change their behavior. Cutting prices, advertising and developing new products redirect the public’s impulses in a natural, painless way. The government, on the other hand, has no passion or patience for this sort of thing. Words like “must,” “shall,” and “mandate” pepper the texts of laws like Obamacare. The incandescent light-bulb ban, which goes into effect in March, is another case in point. The bulbs aren’t officially banned, just artificially obsolete. As part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Congress mandated that light bulbs have 25 percent
Rev. Jesse Jackson appeared on CNN on Friday where he was pressed to defend Chicago’s strict gun control laws following the city’s 500th homicide, 87.5 percent of which are gun-related, this year. Jackson said that Chicago, unlike Newtown, has no gun culture – Newtown, Connecticut, having several gun ranges whereas Chicago has none. He also said that the pressing issues of poverty, unemployment and the lack of a sense of mobility in America’s urban centers are the root causes of gun violence. Jackson was asked to defend Chicago’s gun ban, given the staggering rates of gun violence in
State Police arrested a female friend of a crazed upstate firefighter shooter yesterday for allegedly buying him the guns he used to kill two smoke eaters during a Christmas Eve attack. Dawn Nguyen, 24, a former neighbor of William Spengler Jr., allegedly purchased a .223 Bushmaster AR-15 and a 12-gauge shotgun for the wild-eyed manic in 2010, knowing full well that he couldn’t buy the guns himself because he was a convicted felon. Spengler picked out the weapons himself and went to the sporting goods store with Nguyen when she bought him the guns, said US Attorney William Hochul.
I don’t know anything about guns. I have no fascination with them, and no particular interest in them.Perhaps that stems from an incident when I was 12 years old and shot my best friend Stephen Folster in the base of the skull with a CO2 pellet gun that we were using to hunt sparrows in the now vanished woods on Filors Lane near Annie’s Snack Shack in Stony Point, N.Y. [SNIP]Guns, in other words, were not the problem; I was the problem.Which brings us forward 45 years to the raging debate about gun control that has ensued
CHICAGO — An Illinois state lawmaker who was considered a front-runner to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress ended his candidacy Saturday, saying he did not want the felony gun charges he is facing to detract from the important issues in the district. Democratic State Sen. Donne Trotter was arrested Dec. 5 when security screeners at Chicago´s O´Hare International Airport found an unloaded .25-caliber Beretta handgun and ammunition in his garment bag. He told officers the gun is for a job he has with a security firm and that he had forgotten it was in his bag.
With rebels advancing on the capital city of the Central African Republic, the U.S. has deployed about 50 combat troops to neighboring Chad to support the evacuation of U.S. Embassy personnel and American private citizens, President Obama notified Congress in a letter Saturday. Mr. Obama said he took the action "due to the deteriorating security situation in the Central African Republic and the potential threat to U.S. citizens." The evacuation of Americans from Bangui, Central African Republic, began on Thursday. The president said the troops, although equipped for combat, were deployed as a stand-by
It was designed to be the budget cut so painful, so indiscriminate, so downright mindless that even a gridlocked Congress wouldn’t allow it to happen. Now, it looks like it’s going to happen. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spent Saturday working on a last-ditch deal to spare the vast majority of Americans a dramatic tax increase on Jan. 1. But even if they reach a stripped-down agreement, aides in both parties have said it would be unlikely to address
As the day on which Sen. Dianne Feinstein´s (D-CA) "assault weapon" ban will be introduced draws closer, another troubling aspect of it has come to light – namely, that it will give new funding and expanded powers to the ATF for the purpose of registering all guns and gun owners in the country. In other words, in addition to banning "assault weapons" and handguns like Glocks, Sig Sauers, Smith & Wesson M&Ps, and H&Ks, the legislation will also empower the ATF to be sure every gun is placed on a government registry. The version of the legislation
I have fired guns only once in my life, on a stag party to the Czech capital Prague a few years ago when part of the itinerary included a trip to an indoor shooting range. For three hours, our group were let loose on everything from Magnum 45 handguns and Glock pistols, to high-powered ‘sniper’ rifles and pump-action shotguns. It was controlled, legal, safe and undeniably exciting. But it also showed me, quite demonstrably, that guns are killing machines. Rarely has the hideous effect of a gun been more acutely laid bare than at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut,
La Paz, Bolivia — President Evo Morales nationalized the Bolivian electricity distribution subsidiaries of the Spanish energy company Iberdrola in a public ceremony Saturday. Morales issued a decree allowing the takeover of shares in Empresa de Electricidad de La Paz (Electropaz) and Empresa de Luz y Fuerza de Oruro (Elfeo), which supply energy in this Andean nation. Soldiers guarded the installations of the electricity distribution companies, marked with signs reading: "Nationalized." In the ceremony at Bolivia´s government palace, Morales also announced the expropriation of an investment management company and a service provider belonging to the Spanish energy giant.
NEW DELHI — As protests grew in India on Saturday over the death of a young woman who was raped in New Delhi this month by several men in a moving bus, the police said six men accused of attacking her had been charged with murder. A police spokesman, Rajan Bhagat, said that if convicted of murder, the men could face the death penalty in the Dec. 16 attack, which shocked India because of its savagery, led to violent protests and prompted demands for improved protection for women as well as calls for the death penalty in rape cases.