Sunday, July 21, 2013

DEBT ROITt: Coming To a City Near You

Townhall.com ^ | July 21, 2013 | Paul Jacob

Detroit, Michigan, may be the nation’s only large city to have sported three distinct pronunciations: the original French, du-TWAH; the 19th century American, deh-TROIT; and the more recent and homegrown DEE-troit. A fourth may soon evolve: DEBT-troit.
The City of Detroit owes to creditors $18 billion that it cannot pay back. Most of the debt is owed to those who provided loans to the city by buying its bonds; next in line are the nearly 30,000 retired and still working city employees owed billions collectively in future pension benefits, which are woefully underfunded.
Detroit has been ailing for decades, losing more than a million residents as it slipped from the nation’s fourth largest city and a vibrant economic engine to the 18th largest and a financial basket-case. You will find, littered across the town, over 70,000 abandoned homes, one for every ten remaining residents.
Some suggest the city never really recovered from the 1967 riots. That would make 46 years of non-recovery.
A federal bailout saved General Motors and Chrysler, but no bailout appears in the offing for the Motor City itself: last week its state-appointed emergency manager went to court to declare that Detroit was belly up — the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.
Sure, it might be easy for folks far away from Detroit to brush this story off their shoulders or to simply mutter, “Poor Detroit,” as if their own cities were immune to such outrageous fortune. Sadly, however, the truly frightening thing about the failure of America’s once great Motor City isn’t merely a decades-long slog of big government programs and promises gone awry. What is more scary, because it is more relevant to most of us, is that our own cities are currently embracing the same stupid policies and employing politicians making the same unfunded promises.
Last week, Moody’s Investor Services downgraded the bond ratings of two major cities, neither named Detroit.
“Chicago likely will have to pay more to borrow money after Moody’s downgraded the city’s credit rating and says the outlook for the future is negative,” reported WLS-TV, the city’s ABC affiliate. “Moody’s Investors Service lays the blame squarely on the city’s large and growing pension liabilities.”
Moody’s found the city had only 22 percent of the assets needed to meet its obligations. In 2012 alone, Chicago shortchanged its annual required pension contribution by more than a billion dollars.
Also last week, WLWT in Cincinnati told Southwest Ohio viewers that “Moody’s Investor Services has downgraded the bond rating for Cincinnati under a new formula that takes into account cities’ pension responsibilities.”
In an editorial earlier this year, the Cincinnati Enquirer warned readers, “The city of Cincinnati, as of the end of 2011, owed $728 million more in pension costs than it has paid for. That’s more than twice as much as the city takes in each year in income taxes.”
Having a bond rating reduced isn’t quite bankruptcy, admittedly, but Mike Shedlock with SitkaPacific Capital Management is certainly not alone in concluding: “There is absolutely no way Chicago, Oakland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, LA, Houston, and numerous other cities can meet pension obligations without a major restructuring of promises.”
The easiest way to restructure may be through bankruptcy. So expect more of them.
And in your town? Your state?
Research by Professors Robert Novy-Marx at the University of Rochester and Joshua Rauh at the Stanford Graduate School of Business looked at the pension commitments state and local governments had already made and then calculated how much your taxes would have to go up to pay for those unfunded promises. The professors found that, “on average, a tax increase of $1,385 per U.S. household per year would be required, starting immediately and growing with the size of the public sector.”
And, then, continuing to pay that annual sum for the next 30 years.
That’s only the average, though. “New York taxpayers would need to contribute more than $2,250 per household per year over the next 30 years,” according to the research. “In Oregon, the amount is $2,140; in Ohio, it is $2,051; in New Jersey, $2,000.”
The point is not simply to lament the size of the hole being dug through this ubiquitous system of promising benefits, while refusing to actually pay for them. The point is to (1) recognize there is a hole, a really big one, and (2) to stop digging.
For until we get a handle on this problem, the size of the financial pit will continue to grow and get more dangerous.
We can blame the politically powerful public employee unions for pushing for unsustainable benefits. But what worker doesn’t want higher pay and better benefits?
On the other hand, we can blame our elected officials for agreeing to benefit packages they weren’t honestly willing to pay for. But then, we elected those officials.
The solution is obvious: Don’t allow our governments to make promises they cannot keep. While the law requires that those workers who have earned pension benefits receive those benefits, no law says we have to continue an unsustainable system that could lead to bankruptcy.
Move new government workers to the same retirement system used by most American workers: a defined-contribution 401k-style program. Let cities and workers negotiate over how generous an employer match to such retirement savings should be made, just as they bargain over salary and other conditions of employment. But whatever contribution is promised by a city or state government must be legally required to be paid in full every pay period.
With the credit-worthiness of our politicians, let’s stick with pay-as-you-go.
After all, Detroit isn’t a model city to emulate — no matter how you pronounce it.

Killing the Golden Goose...Walmart!

Townhall.com ^ | July 21, 2013 | Rich Tucker


Whether or not you shop at Wal-Mart, you’ve already benefitted from the mega-retailer’s ceaseless efforts to cut prices. A 2005 studyfound that the nationwide expansion of the store had driven down everyone’s cost for food-at-home, commodities and overall consumer products. Competition among retailers drives down prices for all shoppers.

Meanwhile, by one estimate, Wal-Mart saved consumers at its stores a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2006. And that was several dozen price cuts ago. But you need to live near one to benefit directly. And in our nation’s capital, many residents could be denied the opportunity to shop at Wal-Mart, because the city’s government has decided to try to “help” residents by targeting that company.

On July 10, the D.C. City Council passed a bill called the “Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013.” Columnist Charles Krauthammer says the measure is “almost like a bill of attainder” because it’s so narrowly aimed. It says that “retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger” would be forced to pay a minimum wage of $12.50 per hour, as opposed to the $8.25 that’s the minimum wage everywhere else in D.C.

The law also only applies to new stores, so it’s a perfect example of crony capitalism: existing retailers such as Target and Home Depot are benefitting from the D.C. government’s ability to limit their competition. Unions benefit too. Any unionized retailer, such as Giant or Safeway, would be exempt from the new law.

The Act passed as Wal-Mart was building three new stores in D.C. and planning an additional three. “The LRAA would clearly inject unforeseen costs into the equation that would create an uneven playing field and challenge the fiscal health of our planned D.C. stores,” the company’s regional general manager warned in The Washington Post before the vote. “Wal-Mart will not pursue stores at Skyland, Capitol Gateway or New York Avenue if the LRAA is passed.”

If the planned stores are indeed shelved, the city would lose hundreds of potential jobs along with the downward price pressure that having a Wal-Mart nearby creates. And because the planned stores are in low-income areas, it’s the poor who would be harmed the most if they’re not built.

Some don’t see it that way, though. “The question here is a living wage; it’s not whether Wal-Mart comes or stays,” council member Vincent Orange said before the vote. Of course, a “living wage” is a fluid concept in a city that’s famously filled, especially this time of year, with unpaid and underpaid interns.

Wal-Mart will keep on making money, with or without any presence in the District. Likewise, the city council will continue to pass laws. It’s D.C. residents who will suffer. “Something is always better than nothing, then work your way up,” city resident Kevin Brown told The Washington Post about opportunities at the proposed Skyland location. “People are looking forward to that Wal-Mart, they really are.” Cronyism means they can look forward to higher prices and lower wages, instead.

Ed Schultz: “Thanks to a lot of Republican policies, [Detroit] is now filing for bankruptcy”

hotair.com ^ | 7/21/13 | Erika Johnsen

We’ve got another one, ya’ll. I thought Melissa Harris-Perry’s utterly illogical talking point about Detroit serving as an example of what “Republicans would impose on us” was bad, but this… Do you think that maybe he actually believes what he’s saying, or that he’s just straight-up lying through his teeth because there is literally no good way to spin Detroit’s fiscal collapse as anything other than the inevitable conclusion of a total progressive utopia without peddling outright falsehoods? Because, according to Mr. Schultz — and stay with him here, because there’s a good chance you might not have realized this — Detroit’s ruin was actually the end result of a conservative utopia. Is your mind blown, or what?
(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...

Mood turns somber for Democrats in 2014 contest for Senate control

The Hill ^ | July 21, 2013

President Obama talked earlier this year of a Democratic takeover of the House, but instead his party is now in danger of losing the Senate. The latest blow to their hopes of keeping the upper chamber came from former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D),who opted out of a race to replace retiring Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
----
That party seems likely to lose seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia, where it cannot find find strong candidates.
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...

RETIRE WHERE? Here are some possible choices:


You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where...
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You've experienced condensation on your buttocks from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!
OR
You can retire to California where...
1. You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
6. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought.
OR
You can retire to New York City where...
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
3. You think Central Park is "nature."
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
5. You've worn out a car horn. (ed. note if you have a car).
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.
OR
You can retire to Minnesota where...
1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for casserole.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.
OR
You can retire to the Texas where...
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. "Y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3. "He needed killin" is a valid defense.
4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.
5. Everything is either "in yonder," "over yonder" or "out yonder." It's important to know the difference, too.
OR
You can retire to Colorado where...
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and so he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.
OR
You can retire to the Midwest where...
1. You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"
OR
FINALLY You can retire to Florida where...
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people. 

Why Is Obama Trying to Start a Race War?

Right Side News ^ | 7/20/2013 | Staff

Perhaps because there is a disappointing lack of widespread "burn-baby-burn-and-bust-me-some-cracker-heads" outbreaks across the country, the President chose to make a surprise speech today. That is, the occasion was a surprise, but the speech was the usual narcissistic insertion of himself into the story in order to generate a crisis.
The man loves crises but mostly all he's managed to create are scandals. And they go on and on. So he needs the race riots he keeps begging for.
So now we have a disgraceful and profoundly disrespectful 'spontaneous' speech about how he and Trayvon are soul mates. Trayvon Martin was a throw-away kid. He'd been suspended from school numerous times and was headed to a life as a petty criminal. He lived among various relatives because no one wanted him from Day One.
Obama, on the other hand, was – and remains – a child of privilege. Though he and his groomers have done their best to erase the man's past, we know he went to private schools until he hit Columbia. And his way was paid through private Harvard Law School, though we have little to no access to his records there or to his writings before his ascent to the White House. There is a short recording somewhere of an interview when he was a state senator.
Ah, Breitbart has it. An interview from 2001 and it's every bit as bad as remembered:
A snip from that interview:
“If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court.I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution…”
Imagine that. The Supreme Court needs to break free of the original constraints. Keep that sentiment in mind as you watch him try so very hard to push us back into cultural chaos. If he can succeed, then all the scandals and failures of his reign will be ignored. After all, it’s hard to read the news when all you have is the light of burning cars.
Fox News has the full text of Obama’s whine. For sure there are You Tube videos popping up of the full bore I, I, I, my, mine, me but it won’t be posted here. Reading his words is enough to tell what he’s up to: a deliberate attempt to incite the black minority in this country as he pretends to an identification with a black teenager he wouldn’t have given five minutes’ of his precious time were Martin still alive, still jivin’.
Sundance remains the best source for the inside skinny on what is being engineered here. He knows who Trayvon Martin really was and he has collected every jot and tittle from the Federal and State Zombies since the beginning of The Scheme. If he says that President Trayvon Obama is injecting himself into this story “to insure that racial tensions explode” you can take that to the bank:
We have meticulously outlined how the Eric Holder Department of Justice was used last year to subvert the traditional law enforcement mechanisms in Sanford Florida. Specifically how the Civil Rights Division, led by recently confirmed for Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, used the Community Relations Service, to assist the civil rights law firm of Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks.
These are Obama’s czars, in cahoots with Obama and Holder, leading a huge assault on this country. The media has long since caved, they won’t stop him. Law enforcement? Not bloody likely. Judicial restraints? Just look at the level of corruption in the office of the Attorney General of Florida. The woman has been unleashed and many more folks besides Zimmerman are going to feel the lash of her whip.
Here’s some more behind-the-curtain-lever-pulling:
The DOJ/CRS dispatched Atlanta based division head Thomas Battles to coordinate protests against the Sanford law enforcement community. Thomas Battles coordinated several groups to assist in the campaign. Local Organizing for America (OFA) leaders were paired with local NAACP leaders, and the Community Relations Service led, fully indoctrinated students called, “Dream Defenders” were used as unwitting foot soldiers. We outlined the Federal engagement, and several other sites have outlined the local Dream Defenders engagement. Fully connecting all the dots to show the ideological alignment. A coordinated Astroturf campaign top to bottom.
Normally, a visit to Twitter would be in order to see what people are saying. But this is far too dispiriting for chat.
Pray that we survive the power of the vile hatred in evidence at the White House. For those of you who don’t pray, please keep your fingers crossed for our country.
This may well be a turning point. If this evil plan works, there won’t be a way back. Obama burns bridges; he has no skill at building them and doesn’t want to learn.

The Obama Agenda: The Fall of America Through Orchestrated Crisis by Liz Blaine

NewsrealBlog ^ | June 13, 2010 | Liz Blaine

Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are deliberately and unapologetically engaging in economic sabotage; simultaneously targeting numerous sectors of the American economy using orchestrated systemic crisis in an effort to overwhelm the U.S. economy and effect the destruction of capitalism and America from within.
By using the Cloward-Piven Strategy to promote economic and social change through the exploitation of misfortune, national crisis and disorganization the Left is advancing government as the tool for reorganization. Their tactics and intended consequences include:
• Strategically planned "crises" to systematically takeover private industry.
• Flooding government with impossible financial burdens until the debt becomes unsustainable.
• Destruction of the middle class and sustained unemployment through "bailouts" and "stimulus" packages promoted as "revitalization of the American economy."
• Devastation of the housing and financial system through the continued requirement of subprime mortgages to low-income Americans who have little to no hope of repayment
• Expansion of federal powers over states and individuals.
• Expansion of the powers of the Executive.
• Overloading electoral systems with successive tidal waves of new voters.
• Complete control over the media through "net neutrality" and the "reinvention of journalism"
• Promoting social unrest and violence.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsrealblog.com ...

Documents Detail the Department of Justice’s Role in Organizing Trayvon Martin Protests

PJ Media ^ | July 10, 2013

Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents proving that the Department of Justice played a major behind-the-scenes role in organizing protests against George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was on trial for second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the DOJ on April 24, 2012. According to the documents JW received, a little-known DOJ unit called the Community Relations Service deployed to Sanford, FL, to organize and manage rallies against Zimmerman.

Among JW’s findings:

March 25 – 27, 2012, CRS spent $674.14 upon being “deployed to Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”
March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 “in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.” March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, FL “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida.”
March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”
April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”
April 11-12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.” – expenses for employees to travel, eat, sleep?
JW says the documents it obtained reveal that CRS is not engaging in its stated mission of conducting “impartial mediation practices and conflict resolution,” but instead engaged on the side of the anti-Zimmerman protesters.
On April 15, 2012, during the height of the protests, the Orlando Sentinel reported, “They [the CRS] helped set up a meeting between the local NAACP and elected officials that led to the temporary resignation of police Chief Bill Lee according to Turner Clayton, Seminole County chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.” The paper quoted the Rev. Valarie Houston, pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church, a focal point for protestors, as saying “They were there for us,” after a March 20 meeting with CRS agents.
Separately, in response to a Florida Sunshine Law request to the City of Sanford, Judicial Watch also obtained an audio recording of a “community meeting” held at Second Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford on April 19, 2012. The meeting, which led to the ouster of Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee, was scheduled after a group of college students calling themselves the “Dream Defenders” barricaded the entrance to the police department demanding Lee be fired. According to the Orlando Sentinel, DOJ employees with the CRS had arranged a 40-mile police escort for the students from Daytona Beach to Sanford.
“These documents detail the extraordinary intervention by the Justice Department in the pressure campaign leading to the prosecution of George Zimmerman,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “My guess is that most Americans would rightly object to taxpayers paying government employees to help organize racially-charged demonstrations.”
Organizing such protests falls well within both President Barack Obama’s and Attorney General Eric Holder’s wheelhouses. Obama was a “community organizer” in his career prior to elective politics, a position that uses protests and street theater, along with threats, to obtain concessions from businesses and other political opponents. Holder has accused America of being a “nation of cowards” for not discussing racial issues enough. He also described black Americans as “my people” during a congressional hearing.

CDC: Armed Victims Less Likely to be Harmed by Attackers

Newsmax ^ | Jul 20, 2013 | Greg Richter

A $10 million government report on gun violence ordered by President Barack Obama has concluded that people who are armed are less likely to be harmed by their attackers.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order in January calling for the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Recent, highly publicized, tragic mass shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo..; Oak Creek, Wisc. and Tucson, Ariz., have sharpened the American public's interest in protecting our children and communities from the harmful effects of firearm violence," according to the report.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...

So are negros discriminated against when relying on Stand Your Ground laws?

johnrlott.blogspot.com ^ | 19 July, 2013 | John Lott

Here is a case that the liberal point to in arguing against Stand Your Ground laws. To me, assuming that the facts are accurate, it certainly looks like Marissa behaved properly and I have stated that before in interviews. From Salon.com:

On Aug. 1, 2010, Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three, with a master’s degree and no criminal record, was working for a payroll software company in Jacksonville. She was estranged from her abusive husband, Rico Gray, and had a restraining order against him. Thinking he was not at home, she went to their former house to get some belongings. The two got into an argument. Alexander says that Gray threatened her and she feared for her life. Gray corroborates Alexander’s story: “I was in a rage. I called her a whore and bitch and … I told her … if I can’t have you, nobody going to have you,” he said, in a deposition. When Alexander retreated into the bathroom, Gray tried to break the door. She ran into the garage, but couldn’t leave because it was locked. She came back, he said, with a registered gun, which she legally owned, and yelled at him to leave. Gray recalls, “I told her … I ain’t going nowhere, and so I started walking toward her … I was cursing and all that … and she shot in the air.” Even Gray understands why Alexander fired the warning shot: “If my kids wouldn’t have been there, I probably would have put my hand on her. Probably hit her. I got five baby mommas and I put my hands on every last one of them, except for one … I honestly think she just didn’t want me to put my hands on her anymore so she did what she feel like she have to do to make sure she wouldn’t get hurt, you know. You know, she did what she had to do.” And Gray admits Alexander was acting in self-defense, intending to scare and stop but not harm him: “The gun was never actually pointed at me … The fact is, you know … she never been violent toward me. I was always the one starting it.” Ultimately nobody was hurt. Nobody died. On May 12, 2012, it took a jury 12 minutes to find Alexander guilty of aggravated assault. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. . . .
One case doesn't prove discrimination. But if there is discrimination, it seems to me that the solution is to fix the discrimination, not to banThey go on to claim:
The Tampa Bay Times found that defendants claiming “stand your ground” are more successful if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty. Only 59 percent of those who killed a white person got off. The Urban Institute determined that in “stand your ground” states, when white shooters kill black victims, 34 percent of the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable. When black shooters kill white victims only 3 percent of the deaths are ruled justifiable. . . .
The Daily Caller aggregated the Tampa Bay Times numbers a little differently and came to this:
But approximately one third of Florida “Stand Your Ground” claims in fatal cases have been made by black defendants, and they have used the defense successfully 55 percent of the time, at the same rate as the population at large and at a higher rate than white defendants, according to a Daily Caller analysis of a database maintained by the Tampa Bay Times. Additionally, the majority of victims in Florida “Stand Your Ground” cases have been white. . . .
So I looked at the data and I think that the Daily Caller made a mistake. At least for decided cases, 69 percent of blacks who have claimed the Stand Your Ground law as a justification were not convicted (24 out of 35).
For whites, the percentage is actually lower. 62 percent of whites who claimed Stand Your Ground as justifying their actions were not convicted (40 out of 65).
For Hispanics, 78 percent successfully rely on the Stand Your Ground law (7 out 9 cases).
There are other ways to break things down.
In 78 percent of cases, whites who killed blacks were considered justified under Stand Your Ground. In 67 percent of the cases, blacks who killed whites were considered justified. While this is considered to be discrimination against blacks the difference is too small to be considered any where near to be statistically significant with this small sample.
In 59 percent of cases, blacks who killed blacks were considered justified under Stand Your Ground. In 65 percent of the cases, whites who killed whites were considered justified. Again, these are small differences.
Yet, just accounting for race doesn't account for other important factors, such as the facts of the cases. There is a lot of information in the files and some more careful empirical work would be useful.
Additional information: The Urban Institute also has a report on justifiable homicides (it received a lot of publicity such as here), but the problem is that it assumes that there is a consistent measure by the FBI of justifiable homicides. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Heavily Democratic and minority areas are less likely to record this data. So let's assume that blacks are more likely to use guns defensively in areas where there are more likely to be in heavily Democratic and black areas. If so, you will get a lot of defensive gun uses by blacks that won't be recorded as such because those jurisdictions simply don't record the data.

Liberals, you should be ashamed of yourselves for wrecking Detroit

Coach is Right ^ | 7/21/13 | Kevin "Coach" Collins

Liberals you should be ashamed of yourselves for the misery and destruction you have forced on Detroit. Because of liberal policies Detroit, an American city that once was the very epitome of the benefits of capitalism, was once able to boast of the highest standard of living of any city in the world is now little more than a garbage heap people want to run from.

Today Detroit has roughly 700,000 people. In 1960 Detroit had 1.6 million people. They were auto workers and auto manufacturing executives. They manufactured things and traded an honest day’s work for a decent middle class salary. Then you took over, liberals. In 1962 the last Republican mayor left office. Your greedy unions swamped Detroit and all of a sudden every demand from every group was met. The debt you caused and the criminals you elected to run Detroit...

(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...

ACLU Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder

ACLU ^ 

We are writing to clearly state the ACLU’s position on whether or not the Department of Justice (DOJ) should consider bringing federal civil rights or hate crimes charges as a result of the state court acquittal in the George Zimmerman case. Even though the Supreme Court permits a federal prosecution following a state prosecution, the ACLU believes the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution protects someone from being prosecuted in another court for charges arising from the same transaction.

 A jury found Zimmerman not guilty, and that should be the end of the criminal case.

(Excerpt) Read more at aclu.org ...

Obama Won’t Save Detroit from Bankruptcy

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 20 July 2013 | John Semmens

Despite boasting during last Fall’s reelection campaign that he wouldn’t let Detroit go bankrupt, President Obama says he now has no plans to bail out the beleaguered city.

After decades of fiscally imprudent spending, the City is unable to pay its bills.

“I have to admit that when I first heard about the possibility I thought there was no way I could let that happen,” Obama said. “But as it’s been explained to me, the City can just default on its bonds and that debt will be wiped out. These bonds are mostly owned by rich people who don’t really need that money.”

Another factor justifying defaulting on the bonds according to the President is that “they were bought as a way to avoid paying taxes on the income. You see, interest earned on municipal bond is tax-free. So, in a way, these bond holders have been cheating the government out of its rightful share of their earnings for a long time. Canceling these bonds now helps even the score.”

Adapt to What?

American Thinker ^ | July 20, 2013 | Sierra Rayne

In the war of dumb ideas, both liberals and some corporatist conservatives have joined forces for a pincer movement on rational citizens by promoting the spending of large amounts of taxpayer dollars to deal with climate change. Mitigation, of course, is the concept that humans are altering the planet's climate through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and funds should be spent to reduce emissions and minimize anthropogenic climate change. Adaptation is the acceptance that the Earth's climate is changing, either from natural or anthropogenic forces (or both), and that rather than spend money trying to reduce man-made GHG emissions, it is more appropriate (for whatever reason: economic, social, etc.) to adapt to the changing climate rather than attempt to mitigate it. Liberals generally favor the former; corporatist conservatives the latter.
What is it all about? Money. Seeking ways to reduce GHG emissions via new technologies and approaches is big business. So is adaptation. The beneficiaries from the push for adaptation include governments, infrastructure contractors and suppliers, and the professional science, technology, and engineering associations that accredit those working on infrastructure projects -- and their members. Who are often the most vigorous promoters of adaptation? These same groups and individuals. Follow the money. An obvious suite of vested interests that cannot be relied upon to self-regulate.
My question to the climate adaptionists is as follows: adapt to what? Climates are always changing: always have, always will. There are many climate cycles on global, regional, and local scales -- undoubtedly a number of which we haven't yet discovered. Our current climate prediction capacities are woefully inferior on a global scale, and at the regional/local level, they are a scientific joke...
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

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The Driver

Mike Lee Prepares to Buck Leadership, Fight to Defund Obamacare

Townhall.com ^ | July 21, 2013 | Derek Hunter


The Obamacare disaster is coming. Sure, the president is delaying or dismissing parts of it because they’ve proved either unmanageable or unworkable in the legally allotted time to set them up, but the most invasive and damaging aspects are still coming. But there is a chance to stop them in their tracks, IF Republicans have the courage to do it.
That “IF” is in caps because if there’s one thing Republicans haven’t been showing much of in the last decade it’s courage. When they controlled government completely under President Bush, they acted like Big Government liberals. When liberals took over government completely in 2009, Republican leadership found their spine…at least rhetorically.
But since 2011, when Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, Republican leadership had some teeth to act on those words, they seem to have turned vegetarian.
Thankfully, with that new Congressional class of 2011, there came new members of Congress who refused to check their spine at the beltway. These members aren’t interested in the “go along to get along” t-shirt sloganeering that permeates D.C.’s “now that I’ve been elected I must do everything I can to get reelected” permanent political class and are willing to risk everything to do what’s right.
One of them, Utah Senator Mike Lee, has never been a “go along to get along” guy. Never elected to anything before winning a bid for the Senate in 2010, Lee came to Washington without baggage. He had no long-standing relationships with lobbyists or fundraisers, no chits to repay. He was just a man who’d had enough.
After defeating an incumbent Republican in a primary, his election was pretty well assured as a Republican in Utah. That freed Lee from glad-handing and promise making during a contentious general election and allows him now to stand on that all too rare commodity on Washington—principle.
Lee sees the Obamacare train wreck barreling down the tracks, as do all members of Congress, but he’s not only free to talk about it, he’s willing to talk about it. And, more importantly, he’s willing to do something about it.
The federal government hasn’t passed a new budget in more than three years. In the absence of a budget, it has been operating on what is called a “continuing resolution,” occasional votes to keep funding government on a temporary basis, usually months at a time.
Republican leadership could use this to demand much needed reforms, spending cuts and/or any number of important changes in the way the federal government does what it does. But the extent to which they’ve used this, the most powerful arrow in their quiver, has been limited and embarrassingly ineffective. Lee has had enough.
Taking to the floor if the Senate Wednesday, Lee laid out a plan to block implementation of all of Obamacare. Just as importantly, he laid out a moral argument for doing so.
Seizing on President Obama’s arbitrary ignoring of parts of its own law, he said:
“We knew Obamacare would be unaffordable. But now we know it’s also going to be unfair. It is fundamentally unfair for President Obama to exempt businesses from the onerous burdens of his law, while forcing American families and individuals into Obamacare’s unsound and unstable system. It is unfair to protect the bottom lines of Big Business, while making hardworking Americans pay the price through higher premiums, stiff penalties, cut-backs in their hours, and job loss. It’s unfair to give businesses more time to figure out complex rules and regulations but force everyone else to figure out equally complex mandates and requirements. This administration has chosen to put its own political preferences and the interests of various government cronies ahead of the American people.”
His use of the word “fair” is important because it is reclaiming a favorite of Democrats, one they use to justify nearly every intrusive, expensive and unconstitutional action they’ve taken. But Lee wasn’t done.
“Republicans in Congress must now stand up for the individuals and families who do not have the money, lobbyists, and connections to get this administration’s attention,” he continued. “And we should do so using one of the few constitutional powers Congress still guards—its power of the purse. As long as President Obama selectively enforces Obamacare, no annual appropriations bill or continuing resolution should fund further implementation of the law.
“In other words, if the president won’t follow it, the American people shouldn’t fund it.”
In that last line, Senator Lee unleashed what should become the Republican mantra from this day forward.
In the absence of elected Republican Congressional leadership action, Lee isn’t waiting for someone to act, he’s ready to be that someone.
On my radio show Friday, Senator Lee said there is a “growing appetite” for blocking all funding for Obamacare implementation, thereby stopping it in its tracks, among Republicans in Congress. He said unequivocally that he will not vote for a continuing resolution that contains any money for implementing Obamacare and will “utilize every procedural mechanism at (his) disposal” to block any money for it. He has “13 or 14 Senate Republicans” willing to join him and expects that number to grow steadily. There’s also a similar movement starting in the House.
While it’s sad that only “13 or 14” Republican Senators are on board so far, there is still time before the next vote on a continuing resolution. But, as Lee told me, this will be the last continuing resolution vote, the last chance to stop it, before it becomes law and that train wreck happens. (Listen to the whole interview here.)
If Republicans had leadership in leadership positions in Congress, this would have already happened. It’s the biggest leverage Republicans have and leadership has never used it, never really threatened it. Senator Mike Lee is not only threatening it, he’s promised to do all he can make it happen. Hopefully “leadership” will recognize real leadership when they see it and, for once, follow its example.