TeeJaw Blog

Disgusting Police Violence

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, September 30, 2010, 10: 31 PM

From More Adventures In Police Professionalism by Radley Balko:

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson recently awarded Barron Bowling $830,000 for the beating he suffered at the hands of DEA Agent Timothy McCue. McCue and Bowling got into an accident in Kansas City, Kansas, after which McCue emerged from his car, gun drawn, and beat the leaving hell out of Bowling. McCue, the DEA, and officers at the Kansas City police department then conspired to cover up the beating, leaving Bowling to face charges of leaving the scene of an accident (understandable, given that he was getting beaten at the time), and assaulting Agent McCue with his car. Witness statements incriminating McCue for both the accident and the beating were lost or destroyed, as were photos of the damage McCue did to Bowling’s face.

The good news: At least one of the Kansas City police officers has since been disciplined. He was investigated by Internal Affairs, forced into early retirement, lost his retirement health insurance, and lost part of his pension.

The bad news: Only one of them was disciplined. Oh, and he happens to be the cop who exposed the coverup.

These sorts of incidents are frightening because it shows it can happen to anyone.

Claire Berlinski On Why Margaret Thatcher Matters

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, September 30, 2010, 4: 40 PM

The video of Glenn Reynolds interview of Claire Berlinksi at PJTV is well worth watching. It’s about 12 minutes. Berlinski wrote There is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters. I read it when it was first published and I couldn’t recommend it more. If you like Margaret Thatcher (how could you not?) you will love this book, which is now available in paperback. It is good, good, good.

Britain was a mess in 1979 when Margaret Thatcher became prime minister. She advocated for a return to free markets not only because free markets are more efficient, but because free market capitalism is morally superior to state-run socialism. Britain flourished under Thatcher’s privatization of industry. Even today, while it is sinking again no one is advocating the nationalization of industry. That change has stuck, thanks to Margaret Thatcher.

Gloria Allred Has Done Meg Whitman a Favor

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, September 30, 2010, 1: 10 PM

Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is after Meg Whitman for firing her housekeeper when she learned the housekeeper is illegally in the United States. Allred gave a press conference showing a tearful women who apparently is the former housekeeper. This is, of course, an Allred stunt to help Jerry Brown and hurt Whitman’s chances to become California’s next governor. It’s probably going to backfire, and end up helping Whitman’s campaign.

Allred doesn’t have a legal theory for winning the case, but that doesn’t matter because she’s using the housekeeper as a pawn in an attempt to dim Whitman’s political lights. If it works, then it’s mission accomplished and the housekeeper will probably be deported to Mexico or whatever Central American country she comes from.

The facts of the matter make it likely that Whitman will benefit from this. When Whitman fired hired this housekeeper several years ago she was the CEO of eBay. As a CEO of a large corporation she knew that she had to avoid breaking any laws to protect her company and her shareholders, so she required paperwork to show that the housekeeper was in the country legally. Proper looking documents were provided and the housekeeper was hired. But recently the housekeeper admitted to Whitman that she had lied to get the job and that she is an illegal alien. Whitman promptly fired her.

In firing her house keeper, Whitman was merely complying with the law. Had she attempted to cover up the fact that she was knowingly employing an illegal, she would have been breaking the law. So Allred is suing Whitman for complying with the law. That usually doesn’t work, but that’s not Allred’s goal here anyway.

Whitman has the savvy and the money and the time to get her story out before the election. Gloria Allred will probably drop the case in a few days, or end up looking like a fool. Maybe both. That would not be anything new for her, she pulled a similar stunt to try to prevent Arnold from winning the governorship in “Cally-fornia.” It didn’t work, she made an ass of herself, and this will end about the same.

By the way, Whitman was paying her housekeeper $23 an hour. This housekeeper will regret ever meeting up with Gloria Allred.

Obituary of Mr. Unsworth of Rome, Georgia

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 12: 18 PM

One can get a glimpse of human mortality make a connection of sort with those who have passed into it by visiting cemeteries and reading obituaries. Lives that are gone leave their larger legacy on those who knew them, or to the world if they happened to be famous, at least until the fame is forgotten. For the rest of humanity their lives touch the future by the inscriptions they leave in stone for us to read, and the obituaries that are written when they die.

I think retired police officer Donald Unsworth of Rome, Georgia left a legacy of sort with this obituary, which must have been written by someone who truly understood him, and cared. I found this at Rossputin.

Colorado Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Maes A Fired Cop

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 11: 20 AM

Republican candidate for governor of Colorado Dan Maes was fired from the Liberal, Kansas police force in 1985 for revealing confidential information about a criminal investigation to his girlfriend. It was her family that was being investigated for running an illegal bookmaking operation. The Denver Post printed the story yesterday.

It appears that Maes also tried to lie his way out this, claiming on his website that he had been an undercover agent with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, which was not true.

The termination letter from the Chief of Police in Liberal, Kansas also accuses Maes of having knowledge of the illegal bookmaking operation being conducted by his fiance’s family members and failing to report that to the police department. The illegal activity was later discovered from independent sources, Maes was interviewed and warned not to reveal to his fiance the existence of the investigation of her family members. Then he made statements to her from which she became aware of the investigation.

Needless to say, the Liberal, Kansas police department, similar to every other police department on the planet, has regulations prohibiting any of its officers from revealing confidential information to anyone and requiring them to report to their department any knowledge they have of illegal activity that would ordinarily trigger an investigation.

This is a disaster for the Republican party in Colorado. Maes tanked in the polls with only 15% of those polled indicating they will vote for him. That’s a number barely greater than the number of people who believe Elvis is still alive and riding around the Southwest on a Harley. If Maes doesn’t get 10 percent of the vote in the upcoming election Republicans will become a minor party in Colorado, meaning that GOP candidates’ names won’t be on top of the 2012 ballot alongside Democrats.

The only honorable thing for Maes at this point is to drop out of the race. Of course, this whole debacle could have been avoided if the GOP establishment in Colorado had not forced through the candidacy of Scott McInnis who lost the primary due to his multiple ethical transgressions which quite predictably came to light during the primary campaign, elevating Maes to be the GOP nominee. David Harsanyi wrote a brilliant column in The Denver Post last July 15th explaining how the GOP establishment in Colorado undermines grass-roots conservatives and loses elections in the process.

It must be said that the Colorado GOP establishment truly laid an egg this time.

Below are the 1985 letter from the Chief of Police in Liberal, Kansas informing Dan Maes of his firing from the police department; Maes’s letter of appeal of the Chief’s decision, and the Liberal City Manager’s letter to Maes denying his appeal, Click each link for full pdf file:

maes_liberal_kansas

Maes_Appeal

Maes_Dismissal_Notice

Prosecutorial Injustice in the Criminal Justice System

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 4: 04 PM

In 1978, Curtis McGhee and Terry Harrington were convicted of murdering a retired police officer in Pottawattamie County, Iowa and sentenced to life in prison. Twenty-five years later, the release of new files in the cases revealed that prosecutors had fabricated the testimony of a lead witness at their trials and failed to disclose evidence about an alternative suspect to the defense. The Iowa Supreme Court vacated Harrington’s sentence, and McGhee pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for time served. Both prisoners were freed.

In December 1984, Raymond Liuzza, a prominent businessman in New Orleans, was killed outside his home. Three weeks later, a college student, Jay LaGarde, was a victim of an attempted armed robbery in his car. In January 1985, John Thompson, along with his co-defendant Kevin Freeman, was arrested and charged with the Liuzza murder. When Thompson’s photograph appeared in the newspaper following his arrest, the father of the LaGarde wondered whether this was the man who had robbed his son three weeks earlier. The father contacted the district attorney’s office, and Thompson was charged with armed robbery.

The prosecutors decided to use the armed robbery charge to the their advantage in the murder case. They switched the order of the trials so they could secure a conviction for armed robbery and use it against Thompson in the murder case. Based solely on the weak identification by LaGarde, Thompson was convicted of attempted armed robbery and sentenced to 49½ years in prison. Unbeknownst to Thompson and his attorneys, the district attorney’s office possessed blood evidence that would have exonerated him of the robbery.

Three weeks after the armed-robbery trial, Thompson was tried and convicted of the Liuzza murder. The prosecutors’ strategy of obtaining an armed-robbery conviction worked as planned. Thompson, who was accused at trial of selling the murder weapon and the victim’s ring, was effectively precluded from taking the witness stand to explain what really happened—that he had bought the ring and gun from the real killer, Kevin Freeman. Freeman, meanwhile, was free to testify without contradiction that he saw Thompson shoot Liuzza and that he (Freeman) fled the scene. The jury convicted Thompson of the murder.

At the penalty phase, prosecutors argued that Thompson was already serving a near-life sentence for the armed robbery and urged the jury that the only way to punish him for the murder was to execute him. The jury sentenced Thompson to death.

A final execution date was set for May 20, 1999. Just weeks before the execution, Thompson’s attorneys independently discovered one of many pieces of evidence that had not been produced to the defense at the time of the original trials: a crime-laboratory report addressed to one of the prosecutors. The report revealed that blood from Jay LaGarde’s pant leg— which prosecutors knew came from the perpetrator— had been tested at the prosecutors’ request and determined to be type “B.” John Thompson’s blood is type “O.” This evidence completely exonerated Thompson of the armed robbery.

After Thompson’s attorneys discovered a mountain of other evidence that exonerated Thompson of the murder, none of which the prosecutors had ever made available to Thompson’s original attorneys as they were required to do by law, Thompson also won a new trial on his murder conviction. At the conclusion of evidence, in which Thompson testified and all the newly discovered evidence that the first jury never got to see was presented, the second jury deliberating for only 35 minutes before delivering a not guilty verdict.

Thompson spent 14 years in solitary confinement while on death row. A civil jury has awarded him $14 Million against the state of Louisiana, One Million Dollars for each year he spent in solitary.

Last week USA Today published the results of a six-month investigation into prosecutorial misconduct. What they found has been described as a pattern of “serious, glaring misconduct.”

While the John Thompson, Curtis McGhee and Terry Harrington matters were prosecutions in the States of Louisiana and Iowa, the USA Today investigation was focusing exclusively on the federal criminal justice system. Reason Magazine’s Radley Balko says,

The … problem is that we have a federal criminal justice system that can be so easily manipulated in the first place. The number of federal laws reaches well into the thousands, and it’s growing. Many are so broadly written they allow prosecutors to ring just about anyone they please up on federal charges. This creates a system driven by politics, not justice. It makes criminals out of all of us, making actual enforcement of the law arbitrary and corruptible. Worse, every incentive for a federal prosecutor pushes in the direction of winning convictions, with little if any sanction for crossing ethical and legal boundaries in the process. It’s a system that’s not only ripe for abuse, but that actually rewards it.

Lawyers and Bar Associations are quick to say that a prosecutor is not supposed to simply seek as many convictions as possible, because he or she has a duty that other lawyers arguably do not — to seek justice. Public Choice Theory, for which James Buchanan won a Nobel Prize in economics, shows the folly of believing any such thing. Says Balko,

[P]ublic choice theory teaches us that public servants act in their own interest in the same way private sector workers do. There’s nothing transformative about working in a DA’s office as opposed to, say, a white shoe law firm. You don’t shed self-interest to become purely noble and altruistic once you’re sworn into office. If anything, prosecutors should be given more scrutiny and oversight than other members of the legal profession. Private lawyers at best can influence courts and government officials to move money around. Prosecutors put people in prison and, in some cases, send defendants to their deaths. When they cheat, there ought to be consequences.

Just 38% Of Voters Say They Would Vote To Re-Elect Obama In 2012

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Monday, September 27, 2010, 8: 47 AM

According to the latest POLITICO / George Washington University Battleground Poll.

    A significant majority of voters are considering voting against President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, expressing sour views of his new health care law and deep skepticism about his ability to create jobs and grow the sluggish economy…

To be fair, voters need to learn that no president can create any job other than a government job. However, any president can destroy jobs and prevent new ones from being created. No skills required.

Coates Testimony Reveals Justice Department Policy Never to Prosecute Voting Rights Violations When Victims Are White

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Saturday, September 25, 2010, 1: 08 PM

Former Justice Department Prosecutor Christopher Coates revealed in his testimony yesterday before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that the Obama Justice Department policy is to never bring prosecutions under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 whenever the perpetrators are race or language minorities and the victims are white. It was this policy which led to the dismissal of the Justice Department’s case agains the New Black Panther Party, after the case had already been won in court, for intimidation of white voters at a Philadelphia polling place in the 2008 general election.

Coates testimony also revealed that it is Justice Department policy not to enforce the federal law that requires counties to periodically update their voter registration lists to purge the names of voters who have died or moved away, if the majority of voters in that particular county is made up of race or language minorities.

Keeping peoples names on the voter registration list after the die or move away makes voter fraud easier.

The full text of Coates testimony is here.

The Tea Party Explained

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, September 23, 2010, 11: 21 AM

J.R. Dunn at The American Thinker:

The organization of the Tea Parties, and the effects produced by that organization, are emergent properties, rising out of nowhere with no planning, forethought, or external input, coming into being solely as a result of the exploitation of the available technological substrate by individuals and small groups. And yet this movement has shaken American society and has gone a long way toward overthrowing the reigning political superstructure. This is an astonishing chain of events, one that deserves a lot more analysis than it has yet received.

This video is not expressly about the Tea Party but tells what the Tea Party is about in one-minute:

We hear the T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party activists described as people who are “angry.” Some who make that claim are using the word “angry” to mean “seething with rage.” But seething is not a word that comes to mind for anyone without an axe to grind and who has attended a Tea Party rally or paid even a modicum of attention. The Tea Partiers are ordinary Americans showing the world how a civilized people conduct a revolution without mobs, bombs or violence. The Tea Party represents a wonderful example of “We The People” peacefully petitioning our government for a redress of grievances, a sacred right protected and guaranteed by the First Amendment. Tea Party protesters are angry only in the sense of being annoyed and fed up with the way politicians talk a good game on the campaign trail but act solely in their own self interest once elected.

The Tea Party may be the most fed up with the liberal anti-American attitudes so prominent in the Democrat party but they are probably almost as fed up with the Republican establishment that has failed to offer a distinctly different approach to the Democrats and has been content when in power to govern as the “liberal-light” party. At least at the National level the Republican party has a long history of being led by politicians who don’t mind being in the minority so long as they get invited to the right cocktail parties and get to play golf with big wig Democrats who run everything. The 1994 revolt first promised to change all that but quickly retreated and can now be seen as a mere glimpse of what might have been. A flash in the pan that failed, mostly because its leaders (Newt Gingrich) didn’t prove capable of a proper follow through after a few brilliant maneuvers.

The 1994 revolution that failed was the politicians leading the people. The Tea Party is different. This time it is the people leading the politicians, some of them kicking and screaming, into the future. It is a historic moment. We do indeed live in interesting times.

An essential fact about the Tea Party is that it will not become a third political party. If that were the case politicians would not be so frightened by it. Rather, the Tea Party dissidents understand that we are a two-party system and that they must, in order to win, take over and change the existing structure of the Republican party. This scares the daylights out of Republicans who have already seen many of their old guard lose primaries to Tea Party backed candidates (Lisa Murkowski, Mike Castle, Bob Bennett, etc.) In times past people who were disenchanted formed third parties not to win elections but to force one of the existing parties to support their objectives. The Tea Party seems, rather organically without any definite leadership, to understand the limitations of that approach and is trying not just to get reluctant chieftains to support an agenda they naturally oppose. This is rather a movement to replace RINOs with true conservatives who are genuinely dedicated to smaller government and lower taxes.

This extremely well-done video by The Knoxville News Sentinel of Knoxville, Tennessee is well worth watching by anyone wanting a better understanding of the Tea Party Movement:

DA Throws Out 79 DUI Cases Due To False Police Reports

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, September 23, 2010, 12: 45 AM

Fox40 News in Sacramento reports:

Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully announced Friday morning that she is dismissing 79 criminal cases, mostly DUI cases in which a former Sacramento Police officer falsified reports.

The dismissal of the cases in a result of a lengthy investigation of over 200 cases of arrests made by former Sacramento Police officer Brandon Mullock. Mullock resigned from the police department on August 27th. He was initially placed on administrative leave in January after being arrested for brandishing a weapon while off-duty after getting in an argument with someone on 9th St. and J St . Mullock later plead guilty to disturbing the peace.

During the course of the investigation of Mullock, discrepencies were discovered in several DUI reports made by Mullock and police forwarded their case to the District Attorney’s office which lead to the dismissal of the 79 cases today.

This is becoming a common thing. Lawrence Taylor at DUI Blog says:

Drunk driving is one if those crimes which is highly susceptible to falsifying evidence. This is because the offense is highly dependent on the cop’s own observations and opinion. Typically, proving “driving under the influence of alcohol” depends upon the officer’s testimony of such symptoms as weaving on the highway, odor of alcohol on the breath, flushed face, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, poor balance, staggering when walking, etc. Usually, there are no other witnesses to contradict these “observations”; certainly, no one will believe the accused.

The only evidence that can contradict the officer is a blood or breath test. However, this is easily avoided: the cop simply claims that the arrested citizen “refused” to submit to testing. This results in higher criminal penalties — and avoids any evidence contradicting the officer’s damning observations and opinion of intoxication.

The motive? Fulfilling quotas, overtime pay for testifying in court, promotions for high numbers of arrests, gaining awards in personnel files from MADD, etc

MADD even has a name for cops that write lots of DUI’s: DUI Super Cops.

DUI laws and enforcement policies are not about getting drunks off the road; they are not about making the highways safer from drunk drivers. If that were the case chronic drunks and recidivists would be the main focus of the laws and enforcement policies. They aren’t. The focus in on social drinkers who happen to be over the unreasonably low legal limit, but not over by much. These people figure hardly at all in alcohol-related car crashes. They are essentially harmless and hapless victims of a national hysteria fueled by sanctimonious posturing at MADD and the greed of politicians and bureaucrats who reap the enormous profits to be had from generating as many DUI convictions as possible.

This thing is not only bringing near ruination to reputations, driving records, insurance rates, and numerous other largely unknown (except to DUI lawyers and their unfortunate clients) collateral consequences to people who have done no more than have a couple of drinks at a restaurant or dinner party, and who would have harmed no one if they had been allowed to continue on their way home.

About That Deficit Obama Says He “Inherited”

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 11: 28 AM

In February, 2010 Obama made the following remarks, which have been repeated in speech after speech since then:

Ten years ago we had a budget surplus of more than $200 billion with projected surpluses stretching out toward the horizon. Yet over the course of the past ten years the previous administration and previous Congresses created an expensive new drug program, passed massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and funded two wars without paying for any of it, all of which was compounded by recession and by rising health care costs. As a result, when I first walked through the door the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion with projected deficits of eight trillion over the next decade.

That is a lie.

In his CNBC Townhall speech this past Sunday Obama said, “when I arrived…I had a $1.3 trillion deficit wrapped in a bow, waiting for me at the Oval Office.”

Still lying.

Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democrat Party. They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush got tough on spending increases.

For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009. Let’s remember what the deficits looked like during that period:

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

The truth is that Obama inherited a deficit that was largely the work of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, that he voted for, and that his administration acted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20, 2009.

h/t aviatorbuss

A Tale of Government Making A Mess With Sharp Teeth And A Long Tail

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 10: 40 PM

Government Intervention Gone Awry

A few years ago, officials in Brooklyn, New York came up with a seemingly brilliant idea to deal with the rat-infestation problem in their borough: release opossums into the neighborhood to eat the rats. Once the rat population disappeared, officials surmised, the opossums would have nothing to eat and would disappear as well.

Like most ham-handed government efforts at social engineering, this one backfired: the opossums showed no interest in the rats, taking instead to rummaging through trash for food. Meanwhile, they procreated like mad. Result: Brooklyn is now overrun with rats and opossums.

Lovely.

Something similar happened on all the islands of Hawaii [about 100 years ago] when some genius’ brought in mongoose to eat the rats in the pineapple and sugar cane fields. Rats are nocturnal, mongoose aren’t. Most if not all the islands are now overrun with mongoose, which can be vicious, and of course, the rats are still there as well. Captain Cook brought the rats [unintentionally]; maybe that’s why the natives killed him.

Obama Insider Talking Out Of School?

Posted in barack Obama, Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 1: 35 PM

Michael Kennedy at Chicagoboyz says:

Roger Simon has links to a series running on another blog that is alleged to consist of interviews of a White House insider in the Obama administration who has become disenchanted. The interviewee is, of course, anonymous and there are doubts about the authenticity but it rings true to me.

Kennedy posted excerpts of the parts he found most interesting here. The whole interview is in three parts.

Part One is — The President is Losing It

Part Two is — The President Needs To Grow Up

Part Three is — What The Hell Have We Done?

You may have trouble getting into those sites. They were experiencing heavy traffic when I posted this. There are lots of pieces of the interview at Chicagoboyz if you can’t get into the source.

Here is an excerpt from Part One that I found interesting:

Can he win in 2012?

    Oh – absolutely. Who else campaigns as well as Barack Obama? Nobody. What politician is more loved and supported by the media? Nobody. I don’t see the Republicans offering up a candidate as powerful as Obama. I mean Sarah Palin? Really? Obama would defeat her by a 20 point landslide! Romney? The Republicans will enjoy these midterm elections, but 2012 is Obama’s year if he chooses to run again. As a president, Obama has many flaws, but as a candidate, he is near flawless.

But would another four years of an Obama presidency be the best thing for America?

    (Long pause) Now that is a much more interesting question right there, and a question I think more and more Democrat Party insiders are asking themselves these days, myself included. I am going to come right out and say it – No. Obama is not up to the job of being president. He simply doesn’t seem to care about the work involved. You want to know what? Obama is lazy. He really is. And it is getting worse and worse. Would another four years of Obama be the best thing for America? No it would not. What this country needs is a president who is focused on the job more than on themselves. Obama is not that individual. I actually hope he doesn’t run again. Looking back, as much fun as the campaign in 2008 was, Hillary Clinton should have been the nominee. Hillary was ready to be president. Obama was not ready. He had never lost a campaign. Everything was handed to him. He doesn’t really understand the idea of work – real, hard, get your heart and soul into it work. And frankly, that is very disappointing to a whole lot of us…

This is sure interesting and I agree that it rings true, but it has not been authenticated, if that is even possible. We don’t know who the “insider” is and we don’t know exactly who he or she was talking to. Readers will have to decide for themselves, after reading the whole thing, whether this is real or a hoax. If it is a hoax, the hoaxer sure knows a lot about the Obama campaign and the Obama administration.

Someone At The NRA Has Gone Nuts

Posted in Government and Politics, Gun Rights by TeeJaw on Monday, September 20, 2010, 12: 56 PM

The NRA first said it would endorse Harry Reid’s re-election, but I understand the NRA has now reversed itself on that. But now the NRA has endorsed liberal Democrat Betsy Markey over conservative Cory Gardner for Colorado’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Somebody at the NRA must be losing their mind. Markey is a liberal Democrat who voted for Obamacare and has done nothing to support gun rights. Cory Gardner, on the other hand, is a solid conservative Republican who tried to improve freedom for gun owners in Colorado as a member of the House in the Colorado legislature. Based on his voting record in the Colorado House Gardner has an A+ rating from the NRA. Markey refused to return the NRA’s survey when she first ran for election two years ago, and as far as I know has no rating at all from the NRA.

What in the world is going on at the NRA? What are they thinking? Westword wonders if Markey threatened to shoot somebody.

Here is what former Colorado State Senator Mark Hillman says about the Markey endorsement in an email to his list of email subscribers:

CAPITOL REVIEW · By MARK HILLMAN · Sept. 20, 2010

To anyone who still believes the National Rifle Association cares more about protecting your Second Amendment rights than it does about kissing up to powerful politicians, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

For the NRA, the Second Amendment has become little more than an expedient tool for raising money, striking political compromises, and maintaining access to those in power.

This week, the NRA’s Political Victory Fund endorsed liberal Democrat Congresswoman Betsy Markey, who cares so deeply about the Second Amendment that she didn’t even bother to return the NRA’s survey when she first ran for Congress two years ago.

So why did the NRA cast its lot with Markey now?

It’s simple: the NRA likes to play it safe by backing incumbents, even those whose support of gun rights is as sturdy as a soggy role of toilet paper. When the NRA endorsed liberal Democrat Sen. Harry Reid, NRA lobbyist Chris Cox explained that its “long-standing policy … gives preference to incumbent candidates who have voted with the NRA on key issues.”

Let’s establish the gun rights credentials of the two candidates in this race.

Republican challenger Cory Gardner has repeatedly taken the lead on pro-gun rights legislation such as the “Make My Day Better” bill that would give business owners and employees the same right to defend themselves and their business property as they have to defend their home.

Based on Gardner’s voting record during five years in the Colorado legislature, even the NRA gave him an A+ grade.

On the other hand, Markey has done nothing courageous or noteworthy. The NRA’s flim-flam press release touts her co-sponsorship – that’s Beltway speak for “honorary cheerleader” – of a bill that she knows will never come to a vote in a Democrat-controlled Congress.

On the Second Amendment, Markey is no profile in courage. Her two actual “pro-gun” votes were meaningless throwaways, cast to gain political cover (which the NRA is now slavishly providing) after the outcome of the vote was no longer in doubt.

(Remember Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall voting to allow guns in national parks but only after obtaining permission from the Senate’s top gun-grabber, Sen. Charles Schumer? Markey’s votes were of the same lot – manipulative campaign fodder.)

Now, the NRA wants us to believe that if push comes to shove, Betsy Markey will “demonstrate her commitment to our Second Amendment rights” and betray Nancy Pelosi and the cadre of local liberal activists to whom she owes her election.

If you believe that, you’re a hopeless sheep.

Markey and the NRA were also allies on the DISCLOSE Act, which attacked the First Amendment rights of most Americans but conveniently carved exemptions for the NRA and labor unions.

Conservative columnist George F. Will explained, the NRA “told Democrats that it would not oppose DISCLOSE if the legislation exempts entities with a cynically constructed set of attributes that only the NRA has.”

Will described the NRA’s refusal to fight DISCLOSE as “intellectual ludicrousness and moral disarmament,” tantamount to arguing that the Second Amendment is sacred but the First Amendment is negotiable.

During my two terms in the Colorado Senate, the NRA regularly watered down gun rights legislation to garner unneeded Democrat votes rather to push for the best pro-gun legislation that could pass. At that time, Republicans held the majority and even a handful of Democrat legislators were solid on gun issues – without the NRA’s pabulum.

I understand that the NRA looks solely at gun issues and nothing else. But for gun owners who think for themselves, this race is a slam dunk. Cory Gardner has demonstrated his rock-solid credentials by fighting for gun owners and against the liberal majority at the State Capitol. Betsy Markey has said “me, too!” when it doesn’t matter.

When I cast my vote for Congress, it will be for the candidate I know I can count on. When I donate to groups that support my Second Amendment rights, it won’t be to the NRA.

The NRA has done other things lately that have angered gun owners and conservatives. Remember, the NRA first tried to stop Alan Gura from filing the Heller lawsuit that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court recognizing that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right. Later, after it saw that the case would likely succeed, the NRA got on board. Recently, the NRA has acted as if it deserves some of the credit for the victory in McDonald which established that the 2nd Amendment applies to the states. The NRA was not a party and did not finance that case. Rather it was the 2nd Amendment Foundation that carried the water. But the NRA has released public statements and paid advertisements that create the impression that the NRA played a key role in that case. These statements and ads fail to even mention the 2nd Amendment Foundation.

I won’t stop supporting the NRA nor will I encourage anyone else to do so. Were it not for the NRA we would have lost our gun rights long ago. The reason Canada, Britain and Australia have lost their rights is because they have nothing like the NRA. But clearly, something is currently wrong and must be fixed. Soon.

In Case You Missed Lisa Murkowski’s Whine Fest On CNN Yesterday

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Monday, September 20, 2010, 10: 05 AM

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah………

Murkowski says she is trying to represent the values of the people of Alaska. Psssst, Lisa. It wasn’t Jim Demint who decided you weren’t conservative enough. It was the Republican voters in the primary who decided that. They’re the people you claim to represent. They don’t want you representing them anymore. That’s why you lost. Get over it.

Murkowski comes across as angry and unattractive in this interview. That style probably won’t work with Alaska voters, except the ones attached to a teat on the combine. Candy Crowley does a terrific job with some tough questions. That’s unusual for CNN, hope she doesn’t get fired. Murkowski, being a RINO, is just the sort of Republican CNN likes, especially when they criticize other Republicans.

Scroll down to see also, “Murkowski Tries To Save The Combine,” below.

November Voters

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Monday, September 20, 2010, 8: 04 AM

What are they saying? I hear them saying…ENOUGH ALREADY!! STOP!

Murkowski Tries to Save The Combine

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Sunday, September 19, 2010, 4: 32 PM

The relationship between the Democrat and Republican parties in Illinois has been called the “combine.” It’s an alliance to make money off of the taxpayers. Lexington Greene says there is an Alaska version of the combine and Lisa Murkowski’s decision to run a spoiler write-in campaign is an attempt to save it:

Lisa Murkowski’s family, and her career, exist because of the Combine. Her interest is in preserving the existing game. She is preserving her stake and her family’s stake in a game they have benefitted from. There is no mystery about this at all. There is no need for psychiatry to understand why she is trying to stop Joe Miller. He threatens the game. It has nothing to do with the label “Republican.”

Check it out.

Democrats and Republican Establishment Misread the Tea Party Movement

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Sunday, September 19, 2010, 4: 12 PM

New York City Mayor Bloomberg calls the Tea Party Movement a “boomlet.” He tells The Hill:

In a wide-ranging interview published Saturday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg characterized the recent increase in Tea-Party rancor as a temporary development in American politics.

“I think these boomlets come along when the public is dissatisfied,” he told the New York Times. “There was a Ross Perot boomlet, there was a John McCain boomlet, there’s the Tea Party boomlet.”

Bloomberg may actually believe that, and I’m sure he fervently hopes he is right. As far as his town is concerned it may not even rise to the level of a boomlet. But in the real world it’s a phenomenon that neither Democrats nor establishment Republicans understand very well. The Tea Party is an awakening. It’s represents a change from rational ignorance of politics to rational engagement by voters across the nation. Just ask the question, “Who is the leader of the Tea Party Movement?” The answer is nobody. It’s spontaneous.

The Tea Party Movement is not a bunch of angry hicks as Mayor Bloomberg would like to think. Those who come out to Tea Party rallies, support conservative candidates in challenges not just to Democrats but also in primary challenges against establishment Republican favorites such as Mike Castle in Delaware, Bob Bennett in Utah, and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska are angry alright, but it is not anger that drives them. They are driven by their opposition to the policies of the old guard politicians who have been imposing big government unaccountable waste and fraud upon us for years. The Tea Party is simply showing the world how a civilized people conduct a revolution without guns, bombs, riots and mobs. The Tea Party is “We The People” in peaceful assembly petitioning for the redress of grievances, which is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic suggests that Obama, having failed in his attempt to demonize Rep. John Boehner, should use the Alinsky strategy on Sarah Palin in an attempt to link her social policies to the Tea Party. Doctor Zero hopes Obama will do just that since it will be another spectacular failure and more likely will give a boost the Tea Party, if it needed any. Palin’s most memorable statements have been on economics and politics more than social issues, which have not figured prominently in her speeches except maybe to ask the media to stop making rape jokes about her daughter.

Doctor Zero makes this point, striking in how well it rings true:

Obama would be making a deadly mistake by calling out Sarah Palin for a political cage match. Let me put this bluntly: virtually no one in America gives a damn what Barack Obama says about anything at this point. What could be more predictable, and less interesting, than Obama’s opinion on any given subject? Who wants to contemplate the economic wisdom of a guy who looted the Treasury for a trillion dollars, with less benefit than we could have achieved by stuffing hundred dollar bills into random cereal boxes? Who’s excited to hear about the next plan to convert taxpayer dollars into Democrat campaign funds? Who’s hungry for another hour of tedious excuses about permanently broken markets and the titanic dead hand of George W. Bush? Who wants a lecture on ethical business practices from the titular head of the party that gave us Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters? What use is another hollow foreign-policy speech from a man who sees no global adversary to rival the menace of Arizona? Even Obama’s supporters don’t hear anything he says any more. There’s nothing left to hear.

Indeed.

Crime Plummets As Gun Ownership Skyrockets

Posted in Culture, Gun Rights, Guns by TeeJaw on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 12: 07 AM

Americans purchased 14 million firearms in 2009, and crime continued to fall.

Good Night For The Tea Party, Sarah Palin, And Us

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 11: 14 PM

Mike Castle faced Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Republican primary for U.S. Senate today (Tuesday). O’Donnell won by 6 points. She is a solid conservative but also a political neophyte with no legislative experience, some bizarre behavior in her past, and is said to be 25 points behind Democrat Chris Coons who she will face in November. Castle, on the other hand, would have been the favorite to win the Delaware Senate seat for Republicans, but having lost the primary to O’Donnell he won’t get the chance. We are told that this is just awful because now the Democrats will surely keep the seat.

The Tea Party, and apparently Delaware Republican voters, say not so fast. Mike Castle is the quintessential RINO. He makes Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe look like conservatives. As a Congressman he voted to investigate George W. Bush for possible impeachment. He has worked with George Soros on some sort of political project. He really should be a Democrat and one wonders why he, and others such as Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, don’t just come clean and switch parties. At any rate, even if Delaware stays in the Democrat column, the voters seem to believe that is better than to have a liberal like Castle on the Republican side in the Senate spending every minute helping Democrats destroy America.

I think the Delaware Republican voters did the right thing in giving the Republican nomination to O’Donnell. They stuck their thumb right in the eye of the Republican old guard, and that in itself is a delight to behold.

She is 25 points behind Democrat Chris Coons. She was once about that far behind Mike Castle. She just might make up that 25 points between now and November. At any rate, it’s worth a try. Chris Coons is a complete left wing fruitcake. He is a radical socialist and marxist; in other words Obama would probably like to make him a czar of some kind. I’m betting even Delaware voters will be disgusted with him by November if O’Donnell, the Tea Party, and Sarah Palin can get the message out.

So I’m pleased with the outcome in Delaware and believe all conservatives should be. Winning should be looked at in the long run. Just keeping a Republican seat is not winning if you have to accept a RINO like Mike Castle to do it because in the long run he will confuse voters and undermine the conservative movement. When Republicans turn to the Mike Castles, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowes, John McCains, or Arlen Specters of this world they end up losing more than they hoped to gain because those sorry excuses for Republicans detract from the struggle to win the hearts and minds of voters and to make conservatism a force for good in America and in the lives of ordinary people.

In other good news Sharron Angle is one point ahead of Harry Reid in the latest poll, and Marco Rubio is the leader of the pack in Florida. Charlie Crist is in deep trouble, and I’m frolicking in schadenfreude. Heh.

UPDATE: Christine O’Donnell’s victory speech on Tuesday night [after the video starts you can click the x in the Google ad to get rid of it]:

UPDATE II: Castle will not endorse O’Donnell. Well, of course he won’t. She’s a conservative. Liberal RINOs despise conservatives. And typical of a Republicans establishment RINO, he’s a sore loser.

UPDATE III: Christine O’Donnell Gives The Republican Establishment A Thumpin’ by Byron York. “I think it’s time we showed the Delaware GOP that people with voting records like Castle’s need to be out of Congress,” said retired businessman Ed Heath a few moments after casting his vote in Bridgeville. “I think they’ve lost their way.”

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