Ninth Circuit: Yes, the second amendment still exists
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that states cannot circumvent the 2nd amendment by making it illegal to carry weapons openly while also making it illegal to conceal them. According to the court, they can do one, but not the other.
As obvious as this sounds, the state of California was trying to do exactly that, essentially removing a person’s right to bear arms.
From the WSJ:
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Second Amendment endows the right to carry a gun outside the home. The opinion comes days before the Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to review two other cases that ask the question of whether the right to “bear arms” extends beyond the home.
The California-based appeals court, in a 2-1 ruling authored by Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, delved into American history, from the Founding Era forward, and found support for the notion that “bearing arms” means carrying a gun in public:
So concludes our analysis of text and history: the carrying of an operable handgun outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense, though subject to traditional restrictions, constitutes “bear[ing] Arms” within the meaning of the Second Amendment.
The case comes from San Diego County, which, according to state law, requires residents to show “good cause” for carrying a concealed handgun. Personal safety alone does not qualify as good cause. The question for the court was whether the requirement infringes on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.
Read the Rest (H/T: AoSHQ)
While I am pleased with the decision, I don’t like some of the language it contains. For instance, the decision begins to define restrictions and uses phrases like “self-defense.” But none of these things are in the second amendment at all.
As we do from time to time, let’s review the 2nd amendment:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
It’s unambiguous. The point of the 2nd amendment is not self defense (although that is an added benefit), it is for protection against tyranny. People have the right to own weapons and bear them.
3:47 pm • 13 February 2014 • View comments
New IRS rule: Businesses are not allowed to say that they laid off employees because of Obamacare
It could be stated, without hyperbole, that this should be considered outrageous by every American, regardless of political leanings. Hidden in all the hullabaloo surrounding the unconstitutional move by President Obama to literally rewrite existing law by picking and choosing how he will enforce it, is the fact that the IRS will now require businesses to swear, under threat of perjury, that any downsizing they might have had to do throughout the year was not due to Obamacare…even if it was. Un. Be. Lievable.
From Fox News:
Is the latest delay of ObamaCare regulations politically motivated? Consider what administration officials announcing the new exemption for medium-sized employers had to say about firms that might fire workers to get under the threshold and avoid hugely expensive new requirements of the law. Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. How will the feds know what employers were thinking when hiring and firing? Simple. Firms will be required to certify to the IRS – under penalty of perjury – that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs. You can duck the law, but only if you promise not to say so.
Read the Rest
Let’s sum this up. Obamacare forces individuals and companies to provide costly health insurance for their employees. Any company not doing this will be penalized, er, “taxed” for non-compliance. This mandated insurance purchase, which has already begun for individuals, was supposed to have already started for companies too, but was unconstitutionally delayed twice by Obama (remember, he’s not a king. He doesn’t get to even change a misplaced comma in a law passed by Congress).
The problem, however, is that the administration knew for a fact (it is an unavoidable fact) that businesses were going to adjust their hiring and firing to minimize the damage done by the new Obamacare penalties and regulations just like they do for every other government regulation and tax. And since companies that employ between 50 and 99 people will be exempt from the penalty for another year, they have a huge incentive to keep the number of people they employ at under 100. In other words, if a company employs 99 people, they would be crazy to hire anyone because they would then be subject to all the regulations, taxes and other red tape that accompanies Obamacare. Similarly, if a company employs, say, 106 people, that company has a massive incentive to fire 7 people in order to get its number of employees below the arbitrary 100 mark.
Businesses must consider taxes and regulations when making financial decisions. This should be obvious to even the most economic illiterate among us. But here’s the rub, the Obama administration doesn’t want Obamacare blamed for the high unemployment rate and lingering sluggish economy…even though it IS to blame. So they came up with a wonderfully awful plan to avoid this: don’t allow businesses to say that Obamacare was the reason they fired/did’t hire employees…even if it was the reason. If this isn’t totalitarianism, I don’t know what is. The government hands down burdensome regulations to companies and forces them to lie about how it affects them. Joseph Stalin himself couldn’t have thought of a better solution to this problem.
I honestly don’t know how even the most ardent Obama supporter could possibly defend this.
10:47 am • 13 February 2014 • View comments
Income equality? Media says “bow down” to Michelle Obama in her $12,000 dress
If there’s one thing that I can’t stand, it’s hypocrisy. So, when Michelle Obama shows up to a White House party with France’s socialist President Francois Hollande wearing a $12,000 dress. Well, that just doesn’t fly.
Consider how much time the Obamas have spent in the last year alone talking about “income inequality.” And now consider the fact that this White House state dinner was paid for by you, the taxpayer. It’s hard to even know where to begin!
One would think our vigilant media would pounce on such obvious double standards, right? Not really…
Here’s CNN oohing and aahing over Michelle’s dress:
What about CBS? Nope…they’re just fawning over her too. Washington Post? Nope. Double nope.
How about the folks over at NBC? Here’s NBC News’s White House producer Shawna Thomas:
"#Bowdown"? Seriously? There’s some objective journalism for you!
It must be easy for NBC producers to tell us to “bow down” because that’s what they do to the Obamas every day.
10:30 am • 12 February 2014 • View comments
Attorney General Eric Holder says he will step down later this year
Near the core of the Obama administration’s corruption is Attorney General Eric Holder, who has overseen scandals and debacles since day one of his tenure. In an interview over the weekend, Holder says he is planning on stepping down later this year.
from Washington Times:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will step down this year, he said in an interview with the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin in the magazine’s Feb. 17 edition.
In a feature article, Mr. Holder said he plans on staying in his position “well into” the year.
Last November, Mr. Holder, the first black attorney general, told CBS News he didn’t have “any plans” to step down.
read the rest
I cannot help but wonder why Holder is now considering stepping down. Is there yet another scandal brewing which he expects to soon come to light? That hasn’t moved him before.
Since becoming the Attorney General under Barack Obama, Eric Holder has been at the helm of such scandals as:
12:32 am • 12 February 2014 • View comments
Surprise! 100% of non-profit groups targeted for IRS audits were right-leaning
Last time I checked, the White House is still calling the IRS targeting a “phony scandal.” They had better come up with a new line because the IRS targeting scandal just got bigger. Not only has the IRS been targeting new applications for non-profit organization, they’ve been targeting established non-profits as well…and 100% of them are conservative-leaning groups.
A Republican House committee chairman said the Internal Revenue Service targeted tax-exempt conservative groups for audits, widening the scope of GOP ire over the agency’s oversight of political activities.
House Democrats pushed back, saying Republicans were seeking to use the IRS controversy to score political points with their conservative base in an election year.
The IRS has been under scrutiny since an inspector general’s report last May found that the agency had targeted conservative groups for lengthy and heavy-handed review of their applications to become tax-exempt organizations under section 501(c) 4 of the tax code. The controversy led to significant management shakeups at the IRS and generated a slew of congressional investigations, some of which are still going on.
On Tuesday, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) said his committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS also singled out established conservative tax-exempt groups for audits.
“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s,” Mr. Camp said in a statement. “At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.”
read the rest
The IRS is corrupt to the core. At this juncture, Conservative lawmakers would be wise to begin openly advocating the complete abolishment of of the IRS.
12:23 am • 12 February 2014 • View comments
CNBC Host Joe Kernen calls Al Gore a “Charlatan” and a “villain”
Sometimes the truth stings, but it’s nice to hear somebody over at the NBC family of networks is telling the truth about Al Gore.
Most of the media may be convinced by Al Gore-style climate alarmism, but CNBC’s Joe Kernen isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Joe Kernen, co-host of “Squawk Box” called the inclusion of Former Vice President Al Gore on CNBC’s list of “Top Leaders, Icons and Rebels” both “stupid” and “ludicrous.” His Feb. 11, comments came after fellow co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin suggested that CNBC ought to include Gore on their “First 25” list for his contribution to global warming awareness.
Kernen went even further, suggesting that if Gore would be included only if the list allowed for “charlatans and villains on there” and “as long as we put Ken Lay and some of the others. “
He added “Madoff’s got to be on there too,” although he clarified that he was not “equating” Gore to these criminals.
Bernie Madoff, a prominent hedge fund manager, was arrested in 2008 for a massive “Ponzi scheme” estimated at $50 billion dollars. In addition, Ken Lay was the CEO of Enron Corporation and was convicted of six counts of conspiracy and fraud in 2006 for his role in the company’s corrupt financial practices.
Kernen expressed skepticism in global warming and in its importance to the business community. He criticized climate change models, saying “at this point, the data is not going the models’ way.” In fact, even some climate alarmists have admitted that their models are failing.
read the rest
Charlatan is just about the nicest thing we can say about Al Gore around here. We’ll keep the rest to ourselves because this is a family-friendly website.
4:05 pm • 11 February 2014 • View comments
California doctors confused after finding their names on the Obamacare exchange website
Many doctors in California were shocked to find their names listed on the Obamacare state exchange website. The website lists many physicians as accepting Obamacare plans who have no plans to do so.
After KPIX 5 ConsumerWatch revealed confusion over which physicians are accepting patients under Covered California, some doctors who did not want to accept patients on the exchange said they were surprised to find out they were on the exchange’s list of providers.
Last week, KPIX 5 reported on Covered California enrollees who found many doctors on the insurance exchange’s list wouldn’t accept them as patients. As a result of our report, Covered California removed the list of doctors from their website.
Independent physicians across California say they can’t afford to participate in Covered California’s insurance plans because the reimbursement rates are too low, and they say they don’t have the clout doctors with larger medical groups have to negotiate higher rates. They also warn that could mean a shortage of doctors in areas largely served by independent physicians.
Dr. Marie President is one of those doctors unhappy with reimbursement rates. The Redwood City internist said she was surprised to even find herself on a provider list published on the Covered California site. “We were astonished because we hadn’t signed anything yet,” President told KPIX 5.
Additionally, she says the reimbursement rates offered under the state’s plan aren’t realistic. Taking patients under those circumstances isn’t practical, President said. “We can’t, or we’ll be out of business.”
read the rest
Obamacare is such a wasteland of stupidity and mistakes. What else would you expect from government run health care?
3:54 pm • 11 February 2014 • View comments
John Boehner caves yet again…plans to give Obama another debt ceiling increase.
I cannot for the life of me understand how John Boehner still has a job. Republicans would be hard pressed to find a worse leader for the House of Representatives.
Caving into President Barack Obama’s demands for a “clean” debt ceiling increase, Republicans in the House of Representatives agreed on Tuesday to advance legislation that extends U.S. borrowing authority for a year with no strings attached.
The move marked a dramatic shift from the confrontational fiscal tactics House Republicans have used over the past three years, culminating in last October’s 16-day government shutdown.
It came after the collapse of House Speaker John Boehner’s latest plan to link an increase in the $17 trillion borrowing cap to a repeal of planned cuts to military pensions.
Although Boehner called the decision a “disappointing moment”, it sets aside a difficult and divisive issue through the 2014 congressional elections in November and clears the way for Republicans to focus their campaign efforts on the rocky launch of Obama’s health care reform law.
read the rest
John Boehner is the worst. He goes to bed every night dreaming of new ways to betray his constituents and please Obama.
2:59 pm • 11 February 2014 • View comments
Pentagon illegally ordered Bin Laden death photos destroyed after Judicial Watch filed FOIA request
There is new information coming to light about the raid on Bin Laden’s compound that is sure to raise eyebrows and renew the controversy over the secrecy surrounding the photos of Osama Bin Laden.
A newly-released email shows that 11 days after the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, the U.S. military’s top special operations officer ordered subordinates to destroy any photographs of the al-Qaida founder’s corpse or turn them over to the CIA.
The email was obtained under a freedom of information request by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. The document, released Monday by the group, shows that Adm. William McRaven, who heads the U.S. Special Operations Command, told military officers on May 13, 2011 that photos of bin Laden’s remains should have been sent to the CIA or already destroyed. Bin Laden was killed by a special operations team in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
McRaven’s order to purge the bin Laden material came 10 days after The Associated Press asked for the photos and other documents under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Typically, when a freedom of information request is filed to a government agency under the Federal Records Act, the agency is obliged to preserve the material sought — even if the agency later denies the request.
The Special Operations Command is required to comply with rules established by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that dictate how long records must be retained. Its July 2012 manual requires that records about military operations and planning are to be considered permanent and after 25 years, following a declassification review, transferred to the National Archives.
Last July, a draft report by the Pentagon’s inspector general first disclosed McRaven’s secret order, but the reference was not contained in the inspector general’s final report. The email that surfaced Monday was the first evidence showing the actual order.
read the rest
This series of emails raises so many questions about the assassination of Bin Laden. Sadly, the American press has made a habit of shirking it’s duty to hold the Obama administration accountable.
2:38 pm • 11 February 2014 • View comments
Who’s up for another unconstitutional Obamacare delay?
I know. Just when you thought that Obama couldn’t get more unbelievably lawless, he manages to step it up a notch. This time he’s decided (as if he has the Constitutional authority) to selectively implement the “law of the land” by delaying the employer mandate yet again. Umm, obvious question, if Obamacare is as awesome as he keeps claiming, why does he keep delaying parts of it?
From The WSJ:
Most employers won’t face a fine next year if they fail to offer workers health insurance, the Obama administration said Monday, in the latest big delay of the health-law rollout.
The Treasury Department, in regulations outlining the Affordable Care Act, said employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t have to comply with the law’s requirement to provide insurance or pay a fee until 2016. Companies with more workers could avoid some penalties in 2015 if they showed they were offering coverage to at least 70% of full-time workers.
The move came after employers pressured the Obama administration to peel back the law’s insurance requirements. Some firms had trimmed workers’ hours to below 30 hours a week to avoid paying a penalty if they didn’t offer insurance.
Read the Rest
This is not a good omen for Obamacare, obviously. The law is an epic failure (or success if you’re one of those looking to usher in single payer) that needs to be repealed.
But the fact (and it is a fact) that Obamacare is a complete disaster seems to have taken a back seat to the fact that Obama continues to lawlessly dictate as if he were emperor. I know this might be a difficult concept for some, but the president doesn’t get to write laws. He doesn’t get to change laws. He doesn’t get to selectively enforce laws. He doesn’t get to dictate what private citizens or private companies do. He doesn’t get to set our economic policy. He doesn’t get to regulate anything. He. Is. Not. A. King. Repeat that to yourself. Our founders could not have been more clear about this.
I encourage those with standing (which should be every US citizen, but seems to be arbitrarily limited to a certain few elected officials) to sue the administration over this. I understand that it will take time for it to make its way through the courts, but sitting around has gotten us exactly where we are now.
I also encourage those on the left, who support Obama and his policies, to denounce power-grabs like this. After all, the precedent is now set for the person who wins a popularity contest every fourth November to completely control every aspect of your life. What if they don’t think the way you do?
12:09 am • 11 February 2014 • View comments
WaPo reporter witnesses Christian being lynched by Muslim mob in Central African Republic
There is escalating violence in the Central African Republic, and a Washington Post journalist witnessed atrocities up close as a Muslim mob lynched and dismembered a Christian.
Polin Pumandele was killed about 9:30 a.m.
He was a Christian walking in a Muslim enclave, carrying wood to sell. In these tense days, that is enough reason to die in the Central African Republic. A Muslim mob confronted Pumandele, 23, on a side street and pushed him around. Then, they threw him into a ditch. At least one man stabbed him before his throat was slit.
As the slaughter unfolded, some of his killers ordered a Washington Post journalist witnessing the attack Sunday to leave. “Allez, allez — go, go, ” one yelled, wagging his arms menacingly.
Stationed nearby was a group of Burundian peacekeepers, ordered by the United Nations to protect civilians. But they didn’t know about the killing until some men — perhaps his killers — brought Pumandele’s mutilated body past them in a wheelbarrow. They dumped his body outside the Red Cross office across from the Burundian base. And just as swiftly, Pumandele was taken to the morgue, adding to the rolls of the dead in Africa’s latest war.
At least nine other people were killed Sunday in and around the area where Pumandele died, according to human rights activists and aid agencies. Christians killed Muslims. Muslims killed Christians. Shops were burned down. Houses were looted. Bodies were burned in streets, in front of African peacekeepers. Some tried to stop the looters; others looked the other way. In all, Sunday’s events were the latest sign of the mayhem in this besieged capital, reeling from one of the worst episodes of sectarian violence on the continent in recent memory.
read the rest
Obviously, there is violence on both sides in the CAR, but there are also innocent people trapped in the middle. Polin Pumandele was one such victim, slaughtered for the “crime” of being a Christian.
11:45 am • 10 February 2014 • View comments
Florida legislature advances bill to prevent school children from being punished for pretend guns
Last year, we saw a wave of the stupidest “zero-tolerance” disciplinary actions by school officials that one can even imagine. There were punishments for pencil guns, Lego guns, guns on tshirts, and even Pop Tarts chewed into the vague shape of a gun.
Finally, some lawmakers with half a brain in Florida are moving a bill that would prevent school children in Florida from being disciplined for pretending to shoot a gun.
A bill backed by the National Rifle Association that lawmakers said would add “common sense” to zero-tolerance policies for guns in public schools sailed through a House education panel on Wednesday.
The measure (PCB KTS 14-02) by House Judiciary Chairman Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, would prevent children from being disciplined for simulating a gun while playing or wearing clothes that depict firearms.
Baxley called the measure “the pop-tart bill” — a reference to a widely reported news story about a Maryland 7-year-old who was suspended from school last year for chewing his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun.
“Obviously we don’t want firearms brought to school in a backpack,” Baxley said. “But we were definitely having some over-reactions.”
read the rest
What is shameful is that legislatures even need to spend time drafting measures like this, but it takes hard work and dedication to peal back the liberal, anti-gun, zero tolerance, politically correct web of insanity.
11:21 am • 10 February 2014 • View comments
IRS to take as much as $10,000 from US Olympians who bring home the gold
Even as US athletes prepare to put their best performances on the line in the hopes for Olympic gold, IRS agents are preparing to pounce on the winners and take a big chunk of their earnings.
As 230 U.S. Olympic athletes gear up to compete in the 2014 Winter Games, the only thing colder than the slopes at Sochi is the fact that any prizes awarded by the U.S. Olympic Commission (USOC) will be taxed by the IRS. Many Americans don’t realize that the U.S. taxes income earned abroad, and as such even the winnings of Olympic athletes are subject to the reach of the IRS.
The USOC awards prizes to U.S. Olympic medal winners: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. Relative to each athlete’s income tax bracket, some top earners such as Shaun White could end up paying over a third (39.6 percent) of their winnings to the IRS.
Additionally, because the U.S. is one of only a handful of developed countries that tax income earned abroad, it is likely America’s competitors will not be subject to such a tax. Taken together - the tax on Olympic athletes and the tax on income earned abroad - it can be said the U.S. has officially “earned the Gold” for having one of the most backwards and illogical tax codes in the world.
read the rest
Congrats Olympians! You just won gold! Now pay up!
10:55 am • 7 February 2014 • View comments
44% of US companies considering dropping insurance coverage of current workers due to Obamacare
If you receive health insurance benefits through your job, it might be a good idea to start looking for other alternatives. According to a study by Duke University, 44% of US companies are considering dropping the health insurance plans of their current employees as a direct result of Obamacare.
From The Washington Examiner:
Adding to a devastating CBO report of how Obamacare could damage the economy, a Duke University survey of top companies found that 44 percent are considering reducing health benefits to current employees due to Obamacare, confirming the fears of millions of American workers.
In its December survey of chief financial officers around the country, Duke also found that nearly half are “reluctant to hire full-time employers because of the Affordable Care Act.”
And 40 percent are considering shifting to part-time workers and others will hire fewer workers of fire some to avoid the costs of the program.
What’s more, they said in the study, “One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.”
Without the law, the CFOs told Duke that they would hire more full-time workers.
Read the Rest
This is devastating, folks. Seriously devastating.
It’s amazing to think that there are still those who don’t believe that Obamacare is and has been devastating to the economy.
The law that was supposedly designed to reduce the number of uninsured, will most definitely increase it. How’s that for irony?
12:31 am • 7 February 2014 • View comments
Pro-abortion Obama at Prayer Breakfast: “killing the innocent…the ultimate betrayal of God’s will”
This excerpt from Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast starts with the irony of the President (who is currently fighting in court with the Catholic Church and other Christian groups) decrying the encroachment on religious freedom in other countries. The clip ends with Obama condemning the taking of innocent life as “the ultimate betrayal of God’s will.”
Here’s the video:
For those who are unaware, President Obama openly advocates zero restrictions on abortion, including partial-birth abortions and even infanticide of newborns who survive botched abortions.
1:16 pm • 6 February 2014 • View comments