Sexist Bloomberg Gun Control Ad Unintentionally Makes A Case For Gun Ownership

The latest frightful television ad from Everytown for Gun Safety — the new iteration of Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group — features an angry man bursting through his ex’s door to shoot the mother and haul away their toddler son. 

Giving fresh credence to the evergreen saying that, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away, the unarmed woman in the video reaches for the phone to call 911. That’s not exactly stopping power, so the guy shoots her anyway — fade to black.

That’s obviously not the message Everytown was trying to send when it published the video on Monday. “Tell Senator [fill in the blank]: Stop gun violence against women.” 

That’s the message Everytown was going for; it’s the one that takes over the screen as the bad guy fires the gun. It’s an ambiguous message, and the Internet wasted no time in pointing out that the woman in the ad was, herself, the best hope in this scenario for stopping the “gun” violence against her.

“The video by Everytown for Gun Safety is intended to show the dangers of guns in the hands of domestic abusers,” wrote MyFox New York Wednesday, “but the victim, a woman, is seen helpless because she has no gun to protect herself.”

The four female co-hosts of ABC’s daytime talk show “The View” spent some time talking about the ad Tuesday, and, remarkably, three of them walked away from the piece with a different perspective than Everytown intended: “Get a gun in your home!” as co-host Sherri Shepherd put it.

Here’s Shepherd after viewing the ad:

The flipside is when I was at my home and the alarm went off, and I ran to my son’s bedroom and Jeffrey was crying, and I realized all I had to protect me and somebody coming around that corner was a daggone wicker trash basket. And I said to myself and everybody said to me, “well get a bat.” You got one chance to use a bat and if they take it away — “Get pepper stray.” You know how close they got to get to you, if you use pepper spray? You got one of these? [makes a gesture like she’s holding a gun and makes a sound of cocking a gun] They’re not gonna come near you and your child! So when you’re standing there, and you don’t know how to protect your child? Get a gun in your home!

Hosts Jenny McCarthy and Juliet Huddy shared similar experiences from their own lives that led them to the same conclusion. ABC’s Lara Spencer played the odd woman out, insisting that guns are too dangerous to keep in a home with children. Both McCarthy and Shepherd told Spencer, “I used to think like you.”

The other noteworthy thing about the Bloomberg ad — and it’s a feature common to much progressive propaganda that seeks to level the playing field by taking away freedoms and opportunities — is its implicit sexism, as well as its implicit assumption that people are passive victims until the state comes to their rescue. 

“Stop gun violence against women.” If — when confronted by a snorting, irrational man who lacks the character to check his own proclivity to use muscle against her — an unarmed woman is indeed the weaker creature, then a gun is exactly what places her on equal physical ground. And it allows her to be an active agent in determining the safety of herself and her family. Isn’t that a message worth sending?

YouTube user Dan Troop, commenting on The Washington Free Beacon’s posting of the segment, summed it up nicely:

Looks like Bloomberg ignored an important consideration — women aren’t as dumb as he thinks they are. This PSA will, if anything, convince women that the only protection and defense they can count on is self-protection and self-defense and that the best tool for that job is a firearm.

Median Wealth Of U.S. Households Plummeted By One-Third In The Past 10 Years

In the past decade, the wealth of the median household in the United States has dropped by an average of one-third, according to a recent study published by the Russell Sage Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit research organization.

The group concluded that the median worth of American households has declined from a high of $98,972 in 2007 to $56,335 in 2013. For the 10-year period between 2003 and 2013, that figure dropped from $87,992 to $56,335 — about a one-third decrease.

The brunt of the loss has occurred since 2007, and it’s hit the bottom economic demographic the hardest.

From the study summary:

Through at least 2013, there are very few signs of significant recovery from the losses in wealth experienced by American families during the Great Recession. Declines in net worth from 2007 to 2009 were large, and the declines continued through 2013. These wealth losses, however, were not distributed equally. While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth.

Net worth is a measure of the value of a household’s assets against its debts: stocks, land and homes compared with what a household owes to own these assets free and clear. Home values, which are closely tied to the net worth of middle-class families, have been particularly affected over the past decade.

“While stock prices rebounded relatively quickly after the collapse in 2007, housing prices did not,” the report states. “As a result, the median of wealth not held in real estate declined by about only $6,900 between 2007 and 2013, compared to a decline in median total net worth of about $42,500. Affluent households are more likely than other households to hold stocks and have large portfolios, which allowed them to benefit from the gains in the stock market.”

Police Commissioner: ‘I Want To Have Discretion Over’ Who Can Have Guns In Boston

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans took advantage of his time before the city’s public radio audience last week to explain his support for a State legislative measure that would allow local police to decide who can or cannot be licensed to own long guns. As his quoted remarks make clear, it all boils down to a simple feature: control.

The Democratic-tilted State Senate voted 28-10 last week to strip language in a gun bill already approved by the House that would have granted local police forces the discretionary power to determine who can obtain long guns. It’s a power local police already have over those who choose to inform the State of their desire to obtain a handgun.

Police issue firearms identification cards (FIDs) to people who’ve passed a background check. In the case of handguns, Massachusetts law currently allows local police to deny a carry permit to someone who’s been issued an FID — if the police indicate a concern for how that person might use the gun. The Senate rejected a provision that would have included long guns in the police dragnet.

Evans sat for a phone interview last Wednesday with two sympathetic broadcasters from public radio juggernaut WGBH, expressing his disappointment with the Senate’s decision and urging legislators to reconsider:

A lot of times we know background information on people that, you know, whether they’ve been involved in domestic incidents or, you know, some mental issues, you know based on the totality of circumstances sometimes we can say ‘deny’ — and if we don’t get this legislation in, you know, people can go down and we have no say in them getting an FID card.

… A lot of people do not have criminal records, obviously, but there’s other issues going on in their lives that we’re aware of, and based on the knowledge we have, I think we should be able to determine the suitability of who should possess a gun, especially here in the city.

… There has to be restrictions because people should have a legitimate reason for possessing them.

… For the most part, nobody in the city needs a shotgun; nobody needs a rifle, and I don’t know a lot of people who are into hunting who — being lifelong residents — would actually want that who lives in the city, but, especially here in the city I want to have discretion over who’s getting any type of gun, because public safety is my main concern and, as you know, it’s an uphill battle taking as many guns off the street right now without pumping more into the system.

After the Massachusetts Senate stripped the language, Democratic Governor Deval Patrick aligned with Evans and the other police chiefs pushing for the expansion of police powers over FID licensing to include long guns. “I side with the police chiefs who were here yesterday and the law-enforcement officials, that the House version is the stronger of the two,’’ he said the day after a gun control rally at Beacon Hill.

Watch A Reporter Ask Whether Obama Administration Shaped Its Impeachment Talking Points Around A Democratic Fundraiser

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest started talking to reporters about the possibility that the Republican-majority House of Representatives would get serious about bringing articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama.

That same weekend, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched an email-based fundraising blitz, sending out eleven iterations of messages to donors all based on one central theme: rallying against the GOP’s impeachment threat.

The timing was serendipitous, and the alarmist effort reportedly has been more successful than the DCCC’s other moneymaking tactics so far in this midterm election cycle.

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl followed up on that coincidence Tuesday, asking Earnest whether he had coordinated with the White House to make sure the words he spoke in his official capacity on Friday would serve the party’s fundraising efforts.

Earnest had a hard time with the question, telling Karl he hadn’t collaborated with the DCCC to craft a partisan message – at least “not that I’m aware of.”

“You mean you don’t know if you’ve coordinated, or if you didn’t?” Karl pressed. “…Within hours [of your comments] the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting out fundraising emails quoting what you said – with a red alert: the White House says impeachment’s a real possibility…”

Earnest went on to deny such a collaboration…kind of. He equivocates better than Jay Carney, but, like his predecessor, he isn’t telling anyone anything they don’t already know.

Senate Climate Change Resolution Blocked By GOP Lawmaker

A Democrat-led attempt to weave anthropogenic climate change into the political backdrop for future Congressional legislation failed to achieve a vote Monday, after Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) blocked the measure.

Inhofe objected to the resolution, which – according to the Democratic Senate web page – expresses “the sense of the Senate regarding global climate change.”

That sense, of course, is that climate change poses a risk to the Nation. “All we wanted to say in this resolution is climate change is happening,” said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) “We can’t afford to sit around here debating whether climate change is real.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who submitted the resolution, said the goal was to establish a common assumption about the reality and the effects of global warming, from which the Senate could proceed as it takes up future climate change-related measures. “We know we have a problem,” said Klobuchar.

But Inhofe, who has a history of questioning the policy significance of climate change, maintained that “we” do not know that we have a problem, and that there’s not as much global political consensus on the matter as the measure’s supporters wanted to reach in the Senate.

“What we should be doing is learning from the international community. Just last week, Australia repealed its much-hated carbon tax, the same thing that’s been promoted right now – either cap or trade or tax on carbon,” he said.

Klobuchar said she plans to bring the resolution up for a vote again because, according to The Hill, she feels the Senate “looks ‘silly’ for ignoring scientific agreement.”

Hillary Clinton Invokes George W. Bush To Distance Herself From Obama Administration

In another indication that Hillary Clinton is laying the groundwork for a 2016 Presidential run, the former first lady made an affirmative connection with the Administration of President George W. Bush Sunday — further distancing herself, in the process, from the festering public perception of fellow Democrat, former employer and current President Barack Obama.

Appearing on CNN, Clinton insinuated she doesn’t think much of the way Obama advocates his idea of American exceptionalism to the rest of the world, telling Fareed Zakaria that American ideals, under Obama, are being “taken for granted.”

Democracy has triumphed. This is the end of history. That was so short-sighted. And now we are in this period where we have to go back out and sell ourselves. It’s not to be taken for granted. What do we stand for and how do we intend to lead and manage? How do we try to enlist the rest of the world in this struggle between cooperation and order and conflict and disorder, which is really at the root of so much that’s going on today. And I don’t think we’ve done a very good job of that.

Sounds like she pines for the days when Presidents understood their role as evangelists for America. Citing an example of a President “selling” America to the rest of the world, Clinton pointed to our outreach in sub-Saharan Africa. But, in spite of Obama’s focus on helping to develop Africa’s national economies with U.S. dollars, it wasn’t Obama’s leadership she had in mind — it was Bush’s:

You know, George W. Bush is very popular in sub-Saharan Africa. Why? Because of PEPFAR, the President’s emergency program for AIDS relief. Whether you agree or disagree with a lot of what else he did, and I disagree with a lot of it, I am proud to be an American when I go to sub-Saharan Africa and people say I want to thank President Bush and the United States for, you know, helping us fight HIV/AIDS. You know, we spend a lot of money and a lot of time and effort trying to be influential around the world when I think we would be able to succeed more effectively if we were clearer about who we are and what we stand for and the values that we hold, obviously tempered by experience and the competing interests that we face.

She didn’t elaborate on her understanding of what America’s values are, or which of them the President should be promoting abroad. But she did make it clear that should she campaign to become President, she’d rather be mentioned in the same sentence with a Republican nemesis than the unpopular Democratic incumbent whose nominal support will only damage her chances.

Professors Compare Silicon Valley’s Labor Shortage Myth, Labor Surplus Reality

A group of U.S. policy professors wrote an opinion piece that appeared Sunday in USA Today, taking on Silicon Valley’s corporate leadership for propagating the false argument that America needs more liberal immigration laws to supplement a severely understaffed tech-sector economy.

The group, which includes economics, public policy, computer science and planning professors from major U.S. universities, challenged the claims of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and even President Barack Obama — all of whom have justified the need to relax immigration standards by outlining the dearth of homegrown workers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.

“This claim is echoed by everyone from President Obama and Rupert Murdoch to Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates,” the professors wrote. “Yet within the past month, two odd things occurred: Census reported that only one in four STEM degree holders is in a STEM job, and Microsoft announced plans to downsize its workforce by 18,000 jobs.”

That observation makes for a logical, if anecdotal, counterargument to the likes of Zuckerberg and Obama. But the authors press further, offering a step-by-step deconstruction of the Silicon Valley position — one that is now pressuring Congress and the White House to expand the guest worker and green card programs for STEM-qualified foreign nationals.

The group prefaces its observations with a significant disclaimer: “As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry’s assertions of labor shortages.”

Then the writers offer facts:

If a [STEM labor] shortage did exist, wages would be rising as companies tried to attract scarce workers. Instead, legislation that expanded visas for IT personnel during the 1990s has kept average wages flat over the past 16 years. Indeed, guest workers have become the predominant source of new hires in these fields.

Those supporting even greater expansion seem to have forgotten about the hundreds of thousands of American high-tech workers who are being shortchanged — by wages stuck at 1998 levels, by diminished career prospects and by repeated rounds of layoffs.

The facts are that, excluding advocacy studies by those with industry funding, there is a remarkable concurrence among a wide range of researchers that there is an ample supply of American workers (native and immigrant, citizen and permanent resident) who are willing and qualified to fill the high-skill jobs in this country. The only real disagreement is whether supply is two or three times larger than the demand.

But why would the tech industry misrepresent the facts about the domestic labor market from which it draws its talent?

The tech industry’s promotion of expanded temporary visas (such as the H-1B) and green cards is driven by its desire for cheap, young and immobile labor. It is well documented that loopholes enable firms to legally pay H-1Bs below their market value and to continue the widespread age discrimination acknowledged by many in the tech industry.

… IT industry leaders have spent lavishly on lobbying to promote their STEM shortage claims among legislators. The only problem is that the evidence contradicts their self-interested claims.

The tech sector’s motivation to devalue the asking price for entry into its skilled labor force is, at the end of the day, understandable. The profit motive will propel a business to make money by saving money, when possible, until market forces stabilize the practice or until the industry runs up against a legal barrier.

The more problematic question, though, is why the Obama Administration, along with some House members now considering the tech sector’s recommendations, are so receptive to Silicon Valley’s call for a cut-rate workforce — a workforce whose market value tightens in inverse proportion to the loosening of U.S. immigration policy.

Update: Police Footage From The Night New Mexico Cops Failed To Find Drugs In A Man’s Rectum – Even After A Forced Digital Probing

Late last year, we told you about the ordeal of David Eckert, the New Mexico man who endured a hellish night of anal probing and forced anesthesia because the Deming, N.M. police officers who stopped him really, really wanted to believe he was concealing drugs (he wasn’t). His story was similar to that of another New Mexico man, Timothy Young, who had needlessly endured the same treatment – at the same hospital.

Reason TV has released a brief video edit of Young’s ordeal, cobbled together from police camera footage and a sit-down interview with Young after the fact.

“The dog’s not gonna hit on your vehicle?” one officer asks Young early in the search.

“I don’t know what the dog is gonna do – If you want it to, I guess it could,” Young – evidently aware that police dog searches sometime have a way of going wrong – replied.

Even though Young was not in possession of any drugs, Gila Medical Center – which conducted the forced anal probe (and had also conducted a forced colonoscopy in the Eckert case) – sent him a bill for the service. Young sued everyone involved, and is now (so far) $925,000 richer after receiving a judgment from Hidalgo County, N.M.

Thousands Of Pentagon Workers With High Security Clearances Owe $730 Million In Back Taxes

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit has discovered a city’s worth of Pentagon employees who have two things in common: they’re all eligible for high-level security clearances, and, during the period for which the report was conducted, they all owed the government a combined $730 million in back taxes.

The GAO audit found that, from among the 5 million government employees and non-government contractors cleared to access sensitive information, approximately 83,000 Pentagon workers eligible for such a clearance also owed the government delinquent tax money. The report covered a five-year period between 2006 and 2011.

According to a breakdown of the report published Monday at The Hill, 26,000 of the Pentagon employees recognized by the audit actually held security clearances. Their delinquency amounted to $229 million.

“About 4,800 of the 83,000 employees had IRS liens against their property, and 23,000 were subject to wage garnishment and other IRS collection tactics,” The Hill observed.

It’s not currently against the law for the government to retain employees – even employees entrusted with sensitive and confidential information – who can’t be trusted to render unto Caesar. The GAO advised, though, that awarding security clearances to people who’ve skipped out on their Federal tax bill “poses a potential vulnerability.”

The Pentagon isn’t the only government entity with an employee tax-dodging problem. You may remember an April report that revealed the IRS itself had awarded $1 million in bonus pay to more than 1,000 employees who had “substantiated Federal tax compliance problems.”

Congressman Returns U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Award Over Chamber’s Pro-Amnesty Stance

Frustrated over the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens living and working in the United States, Congressman Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) handed back an award the organization had bestowed on him earlier this year.

Bentivolio, along with many other sitting Congressmen, received the Chamber’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award in March — an honorific that goes to elected leaders on the same policy page, more or less, as the Chamber. But Bentivolio, after considering the implications of the Chamber’s amnesty position as tens of thousands of illegal immigrants flock to the Nation’s southern border, decided last week to give the award back.

He apparently had a lot on his mind, because he lit into the Chamber with a fury.

“The U.S. Chamber is in the pocket of Communist China and big companies seeking cheap labor in the United States,” Bentivolio’s office said in a statement explaining the move. “We think it is morally repugnant for the chamber to pursue, as a matter of public policy, initiatives which exploit the poor and oppressed, just so they can keep labor costs down for their fortune 500 member companies.”

Bentivolio’s chief of staff further torched the Chamber last Thursday, telling The Daily Caller “they call it the Spirit of Enterprise award, not the Spirit of Free Enterprise award. Crony Capitalism is alive and well at the Chamber of Commerce.”

Bentivolio, who’s serving his first term in Congress, may be looking for a political lift as he heads into a late summer primary against a party challenger who’s polling 22 points ahead, has the support of the GOP establishment, and has outspent Bentivolio 20-1.

That doesn’t change the message his award give-back sends, though. At least Michigan voters know where he stands.