Cops Arrest Kids For Following Coach’s Orders To Wait At Bus Stop

After police in Rochester, New York threatened to arrest three Edison Tech High School athletes who were dutifully waiting for a bus their coach had scheduled for them, the kids didn’t know where to turn. They knew the bus was coming, but they had police telling them their presence at a public bus stop was obstructing the flow of pedestrian traffic while they waited.

If they followed the cops’ orders, they’d miss the bus and, in all probability, be chewed out by their coach. If they followed their coach’s instructions, they’d be arrested. And if they did obey the cops and disperse, where would they even go?

According to WROC,  the three boys were among several basketball teammates last week who’d been instructed by their coach, Jacob Scott, to wait for a school bus that he’d arranged to come pick them up for a scrimmage at a local high school. “There was no school that day and their coach had arranged for a pick-up at a central meeting spot,” the report states.

The kids attempted to explain to the police that their options were kind of limited, and that their presence was the product of adult supervision under the aegis of the public school system, but the police began putting people in handcuffs as coach Scott (who’s also a guidance counselor in the Rochester school district) arrived at the scene.

Scott said he pleaded with the officer to let the boys go, saying he was supervising them.

“He goes on to say, ‘If you don’t disperse, you’re going to get booked as well,'” Scott said. “I said, ‘Sir, I’m the adult. I’m their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?'”

Scott said a sergeant showed up and backed up his officer.

“One of the police officers actually told me, if he had a big enough caravan, he would take all of us downtown,” Scott said.

The original report on the incident doesn’t make an issue of the students’ race, but subsequent reports, as well as readers’ comments, are filled with righteous indignation over the presumption that the cops would never have treated white kids the way they treated these black students.

Maybe they would have; maybe they wouldn’t. Big deal: what happened happened. The police are adhering to form by standing by their original actions, while every representative of the school district involved in the case is denouncing the cops’ actions – not by playing the race card, but on the merits.

“I think the charges should be immediately dropped and I think the district attorney’s office should be stepping in and looking at these kinds of matters,” said school board member Mary Adams, who attended the students’ arraignments.

A trial is scheduled for Dec. 11.

Double Whammy: Obamacare Might As Well Be A Minimum Wage Hike For Businesses — In Addition To The Real One He’s Supporting

President Barack Obama is on board with fellow Democrats who want to raise the National minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. But even if he doesn’t get his way, the President has already effectively laid the same financial burden on employers, without benefiting actual employees, thanks to Obamacare.

The White House made it known last month that Obama supports a big jump in the mandatory minimum wage, from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10, with future changes tied to the rate of inflation.

That outstrips even Obama’s own earlier ambitions to see minimum wage raised to $9 per hour, as he set forth in his State of the Union address earlier this year. But that ambition has been outdone by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representative George Miller (D-Calif.), who have introduced the $10.10 proposal in separate, but similar, bills in each chamber of Congress.

Not addressed in either of those measures is the fact that, so far as many employers are concerned, the minimum wage might as well be $10.10 — or higher — for all but the smallest of business owners employing full-time workers. In a revealing study released Nov. 22, The Heritage Foundation took a look at Obamacare’s economic impact on nationwide businesses forced to offer revised healthcare plans that meet the law’s new minimum coverage standards.

What did The Heritage Foundation find?

The government has already effectively raised the minimum wage above $10 per hour — without benefiting workers. President Obama’s health care law requires employers to offer full-time employees health benefits that meet certain “minimum standards” criteria. Otherwise, they pay a penalty. In 2015, this mandate will raise the minimum productivity necessary to hold a full-time job to $10.30 per hour. Employers will lose money if they hire employees who produce less than this amount.

The President now proposes raising the national minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Coupled with the employer penalty and existing taxes, this would raise the minimum cost of hiring a full-time worker to $12.71 per hour. Employers would respond by eliminating jobs and cutting workers to part-time status, making it significantly more difficult for unskilled workers to get ahead.

The Obama Administration would doubtlessly counter that workers will see a direct benefit, in the form of insurance that doesn’t carry lifetime limits or bar coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. But it isn’t the Obama Administration that’s bearing the brunt of the cost increase necessitated by those kinds of guarantees; it’s the private sector — the profit-seeking capitalists who are exposing themselves to the kinds of risk the government hides behind. They’re the very same people Obama famously told weren’t solely responsible for building the Nation’s infrastructure:

If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

But that “somebody else” is not the government; it’s other people who’ve earned money of their own. The government takes from the private sector, producing nothing of its own save for fiat money that exists only as long as people believe it does. The government reapportions, rearranges and fabricates.

Here’s more from The Heritage Foundation:

Obamacare requires many employers with 50 or more employees to offer qualifying health coverage to their full-time workers. This health coverage is expensive. In 2015, it will add $2.24 per hour to the cost of employing a worker with single coverage. Those that do not provide coverage face a fine of $2,000 per employee per year (after the first 30 workers) that comes out of after-tax dollars. This equates to a $3,279 increase in pre-tax payroll costs — $1.64 per hour. The Administration has delayed the mandate’s implementation until 2015. When it takes effect, it will increase the cost of hiring unskilled workers.

These costs are on top of other government mandates. Businesses must also pay the minimum wage, the employer share of payroll taxes, and unemployment insurance (UI) taxes. Normally, businesses defray these costs by reducing workers’ wages by an offsetting amount. However, employers cannot reduce the pay of minimum-wage employees, so they must pay these payroll costs themselves or forgo hiring.

We drive on roads, house our inmates and educate our children (sort of) within a public infrastructure paid for by redistributed private wealth. Now Obama wants us to acquiesce to the same concept in the health insurance realm by forcing employers, who expose themselves to all the risk of the marketplace, to take on an immense increase in the price threshold to procure hired help. And then he wants to add insult to very real financial injury by forcing them pay at least that much more money in real wages.

Obama’s fiscal policy sets new superlatives for the expression “double whammy.”

White House: Food Stamps Grow The Economy; Conservatives Want To Starve Children

The White House posted a special Thanksgiving message to all Americans last week, using the traditional turkey day graphical motifs and autumnal colors. But the message wasn’t one of gratitude – it was one of progressive guilt.

According to the infographic, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which has enrolled 16 million new dependents since President Barack Obama took office, has been an economic boon for the Nation.

In fact, according to the White House’s math, SNAP has actually yielded $9 for every $5 in food stamp money spent at grocery stores, and has even secured full-time employment for a theoretical 8,900 people…sort of.

“It’s estimated that an additional $1 billion in SNAP benefits supports an additional 8,900 to 17,900 full-time equivalent jobs – including 3,000 farm jobs,” the White House offers.

The infographic doesn’t, however, provide a diagram or footnote to indicate the role “an additional $1 billion in SNAP benefits” plays in clarifying the meaning of that sentence. And surely we don’t have 3,000 farm jobs that would die off as soon as Republicans are done emaciating the bloated Farm Bill – right?


It says a lot about the real state of the economy when the White House can declare, without irony, that food stamps are “boosting the economy right now.”

Of course, there can be no progress without guilting the stingy into giving up their share. And so, according to the Obama Administration, House Republicans are trying to scorch the Earth by taking 4 million people (there’ve been 16 million new enrollees in the past five years, remember?) off the dole.

“Legislation passed by House Republicans would cause nearly 4 million Americans to lose access to SNAP next year. For decades, Congress has authorized SNAP in a bipartisan fashion through the Farm Bill. They don’t have to do it in a way that hurts children, seniors, veterans, and vulnerable families.”

For decades, Congress also passed sweeping, transformative legislation in a bipartisan fashion, too. But that was before the Obama/Harry Reid regime.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Has Its Share Of ‘Illegal’ Mayors

The New York Post recently pointed out an interesting fact about Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), the gun control project started by outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino: Some of its members haven’t fared so well in staying on the right side of all the other laws they’re sworn, as mayors, to uphold.

From DUIs to misdemeanor endangerment charges (involving guns) to plea deals for Federal bribery indictments, the mayors of MAIG don’t always do their part to preserve the group’s squeaky-clean public reputation.

From the Post:

The latest of the legally challenged is Mayor Gordon Jenkins of Monticello, NY. Last week, he was arrested for driving under the influence and for literally punching a police department clock, which forced cops to handcuff him to a chair.

He’s not alone. Over in Spring Valley, Mayor Noramie Jasmin was arrested for accepting bribes from an FBI informant in April. In Marcus Hook, Pa., Mayor James Schiliro was arrested for reckless endangerment after firing a handgun inside his home during a drunken argument.

Down in Gainesville, Fla., Mayor Craig Lowe was charged with a DUI after being found asleep at the scene of a car accident. Meanwhile, other MAIG members from Hartford to Detroit have found themselves facing prosecutors over charges that include felony corruption, assault and attempted sex crimes with a child.

In order, those last three include:

Felony corruption: Former Hartford, Conn., Mayor Eddie A. Perez was convicted three years ago  of receiving a bribe, being an accessory to the fabrication of evidence, conspiracy to fabricate evidence, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny by extortion and criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny by extortion.

Assault: Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded no contest to assaulting or obstructing a public officer in 2008 as part of a larger plea deal that also saw him resign from office and plead guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice.

Attempted Sex Crimes With A Child: In 2010, former Racine, Wis., Mayor Gary Becker got three years in prison following a sensational scandal in which he was arrested after agreeing on the Internet to meet a child for sex at a Milwaukee mall. Becker was charged with attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age, possession of child pornography, child enticement, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, attempt to expose a child to harmful material and misconduct in office.

NFL Won’t Air Gun Manufacturer’s Super Bowl Commercial

The NFL has rejected a paid Super Bowl commercial from firearm manufacturer Daniel Defense, even though the spot appears not to violate the league’s policy on weapons advertising because the commercial in question makes no mention of firearms. The commercial would have aired during Super Bowl XLVIII in February.

According to Guns & Ammo magazine, the commercial was designed with the advertising policies of many television markets in mind, and does not portray the use of weapons or feature any of the company’s products. Rather, it focuses on family protection. Its only visual representation of weaponry is a brief silhouette of the company’s DDM4 rifle as the commercial fades out.

From Guns & Ammo:

The NFL’s Advertising Policy addresses several Prohibited Advertising Categories, including guidelines for ads featuring alcohol, video games, movies, prescription drugs, and, of course, firearms.

The firearms portion of the NFL’s Prohibited Advertising Categories states:

“5. Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g., outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons.”

According to these guidelines, Daniel Defense’s Super Bowl commercial does not violate NFL policy for two reasons:

Daniel Defense has a brick-and-mortar store, where they sell products other than firearms such as apparel.

The commercial itself does not mention firearms, ammunition or weaponry.

Since the silhouette of the rifle seemed to be the sticking point, Daniel Defense told the league it would replace the image of the weapon with one of the American flag, or with a quote from the 2nd Amendment.

No dice — the NFL flatly rejected that offer, too.

But the league did allow this ad, bought by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, to air in targeted markets during the Super Bowl last year:

A Third Colorado Senator Throws In The Towel Over Gun Control: Hudak Resigns Instead Of Facing Voter Recall

Democrat Evie Hudak watched in September as Colorado voters sent two of her party colleagues in the State Senate home. Like them, Hudak had supported gun control legislation earlier this year that left many Coloradans angry — angry enough to force two successful recall votes against prominent Democratic supporters of the law.

Hudak, herself the target of a petition to hold a recall vote, would have learned on Dec. 3 whether the petition had gathered enough signatures. But she evidently saw the writing on the wall: On Wednesday, without waiting for the petition to be submitted, she resigned her Senate seat.

Hudak’s resignation means she will avoid the humiliating experience that Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron endured. Morse and Giron chose to fight voters’ recall efforts, both in the courts and on the campaign trail. Each had ardently supported gun control. Each was recalled on Sept. 10 and replaced by a Republican.

If Hudak had lost a recall vote, control of the State Senate would have flipped from Democratic to Republican. Hudak and the State’s Democratic Party leadership decided that avoiding that scenario was sufficient justification for her to resign.

From Fox 31 in Denver:

By resigning before the signatures are turned in, she assures that a Democratic vacancy committee will appoint her replacement, keeping the seat — and the senate — in the party’s hands, at least through November [2014], when her successor will be forced to win reelection.

State law says that an office-holder can resign up to five days after the Secretary of State deems signatures sufficient to force a recall election, but it’s possible a judge could disagree and allow an election to go forward.

Given their track record in court, Democrats decided not to take that risk.

Hudak did herself no favors in the political fallout that ensued following Governor John Hickenlooper’s signing of the gun control measures back in March. She seemed insensitive and out of touch with reality when she tried to redirect a rape victim who testified to the Senate that her ordeal would not have happened if she’d been allowed to carry a legal firearm on a college campus.

From the Denver Post:

Gun-rights activists in Colorado and nationally ripped Hudak for her inartful questioning of a rape victim during a hearing in March on a bill to ban weapons on campus. The woman told lawmakers that had she been permitted to use her concealed-carry permit and carry her gun on campus, the incident may have ended differently.

Hudak disagreed.

“I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun,” Hudak said, during the hearing. “And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.”

Of that comment, we wrote at the time:

It isn’t clear where Hudak got her numbers, but FBI statistics indicate that firearm use for self-defense outnumbers criminal firearm use 4-to-1. Of the 2.1 million times firearms are used in self-defense annually, 1.9 cases involve handguns and 10 percent involve women fending off sexual predators.

Also according to FBI numbers, there were an estimated 83,425 forcible rapes reported to law enforcement in 2011. Females age 16 to 24 have the highest likelihood of becoming the victim of rape — two to three times higher.

All The Ways Michelle Obama And Other Progressives Want To Ruin Your Thanksgiving

Tomorrow, as you’re sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal and catching up with your loved ones, perhaps you’d like to awkwardly disrupt the holiday with a partisan monologue about what a blessing Obamacare is.

At least that’s what Michelle Obama and an array of affiliated progressive groups want you to do. The First Lady is encouraging her husband’s supporters at Organizing for Action to bring up Obamacare to family members who’d rather be chowing down on turkey.

“As you spend time with loved ones this holiday season, be sure to talk with them about what health reform can mean for them,” she wrote OFA members in a fundraising note. “OFA has some tips to help get the ball rolling…Make a pledge to have a conversation with your family about health insurance this holiday season.”

She goes on to list 14 talking points for Obama supporters who want to leave one in the Thanksgiving punchbowl by talking about Obamacare while everyone else is trying to watch football.

Among her helpful hints:


Start early: Don’t wait until the last minute—be sure to start the conversation early!

Integrate the talk into family time: Take advantage of downtime after meals or between holiday activities to start your talk.


Make it personal: Be honest about your feelings and why this is important to you.

Be persistent, but keep it positive: Tell them you care about their health, and focus on the benefits that come from knowing that you have health insurance.


Get creative: Think about what matters to your family member. Make it memorable!

Find a quiet Place to Shop: You can start your conversation anywhere, but to shop for health coverage, you will want a more quiet, private place to make a phone call or use the internet.


Start by asking: “Have you thought about signing up for health insurance on the new marketplace?”

Offer to walk them through it: “Would you like to take some time with me to sign up right now?”

Ask them to make a plan, and commit to it: “When do you plan on signing up?”

Don’t forget to follow up: “Have you signed up yet?”

If you’re an Obamacare evangelist who’s running up against a particularly quarrelsome conservative curmudgeon in the family, those talking points may not be enough. That’s why the Democratic National Committee launched the “Democrat’s guide to talking politics with your Republican uncle” website. evidently has the Republican demographic nailed, since it’s targeted at the opinionated geezers who collectively present the only ideological opposition to socialism’s forward progress in the U.S.

The site doesn’t just vouch for Obamacare, but covers all the bases in protecting Barack Obama’s cult of personality. Whether it’s immigration, Obamacare, climate change or the economy, offers the progressive cheat sheet that Obama’s foot soldiers can use to vindicate his Presidency.

So even if there’s a giant turkey waiting for your family on the table tomorrow, you’ll have an even bigger one on your hands if you’re related to someone crazy enough to take the First Lady’s advice.

Safe, Secure, Reliable: That’s Not Obamacare

Officials admitted late last week that Vermont Health Connect, the health exchange website that handles the State’s Obamacare enrollment, was breached by a user who was able to obtain private information about another applicant — including that person’s Social Security number.

According to The Associated Press, which reported on the security breach after learning the Health Connect website’s privacy advocate had warned Federal Medicaid officials about the incident, the person who was able to breach the site’s security evidently wished only to demonstrate that the site wasn’t robust enough to trust with one’s personal information.

The person whose information was improperly breached received a letter in the mail days after visiting the Health Connect website. Inside was a copy of the application for insurance coverage he’d submitted while on the website, along with a handwritten message on the outside of the envelope: “VERMONT HEALTH CONNECT IS NOT A SECURE WEBSITE!” The same handwritten message also appeared on the back of one of the enclosed pages.

The incident was originally reported to the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Oct. 17, but was confirmed after The AP requested — and obtained — a copy under Vermont public records law.

The commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access told the news agency the incident was the product of “unique circumstances” and represented the only security breach the site had experienced.

The commissioner, David Larson, had testified on Nov. 5 on the site’s general performance before the Vermont House Health Care Committee, assuring lawmakers at that time that no one’s private information had been breached since the site went live.

After news of the incident began reverberating throughout the Internet over the weekend, Larson wrote a letter apologizing for the lie to Committee Chairman Mike Fisher.

The State official overseeing the Vermont Health Connect health insurance exchange has apologized for not being fully candid when a legislator asked him during a committee hearing if there had been security breaches on the website.

“[I] should have instead also included in my response the facts of this single incident, and am sorry that my statements to the committee did not do so,” Larson wrote.

“I was asked about whether any security failures had occurred in Vermont Health Connect,” Mark Larson, commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, said of his testimony Nov. 5 to the Vermont House Health Care Committee.

“I responded that no situation had occurred where somebody’s private information had been breached,” he added in a letter of apology to the committee’s chairman, State Representative Mike Fisher. The letter was dated Sunday and made public Monday.

In a statement Monday, Governor Peter Shumlin (D) said he had been briefed on the security breach, which investigators said was neither intentional nor malicious. Shumlin criticized Larson for the misleading testimony.

“I take this incident extremely seriously. It is unacceptable to be anything less than fully cooperative and transparent with Vermonters and their elected representatives in the Legislature. I am tremendously disappointed in Commissioner Larson’s lapse of judgment in this matter,” Shumlin said. “This incident was promptly identified and resolved, and I was disappointed to learn that Commissioner Larson did not adequately disclose the circumstances of it when asked about this topic in committee earlier this month.”

Vermont’s health exchange has been one of the more successful efforts to enroll those eligible for care. The State said that by Nov. 10 it had signed up 3,500 people, about 12 percent of those expected to enroll, according to a study by Avalere Health cited by NBC News.

‘I Won’t Enforce It’: Pro-2nd Amendment Stance Helps New York Sheriff Dominate In Re-Election Bid

Back in May, one county sheriff pledged not to enforce the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, a bill that came early in the post-Newtown backlash of knee-jerk gun control legislation that swept through the Nation’s social progressivism outposts.

That sheriff, Tim Howard of Erie County, signed on to a lawsuit against the SAFE Act along with other New York sheriffs, and famously told The Buffalo News: “I won’t enforce it.”

Howard was up for re-election this year, and he faced two opponents in the general election in early November. But Howard’s stance on gun control resonated with Erie County voters. Here’s how The Buffalo News revisited Howard’s political arc after he won his third term in office:

Four words that he uttered at a news conference last May helped Timothy B. Howard win a third term as Erie County sheriff.

The words were “I won’t enforce it,” and Howard was talking about the SAFE Act, a controversial new state firearms law that has outraged gun owners.

The support of angry firearms owners helped the Republican sheriff to a big win Tuesday over his Democratic Party opponent, retired Sheriff’s Deputy Richard E. Dobson, and Sheriff’s Lt. Bert D. Dunn, a Law and Order Party candidate who lost the Democratic nomination in the September primary.

…Late Tuesday night, a jubilant Howard thanked his supporters and leaders of the Republican and Conservative parties for helping him win. He said people all over Erie County have thanked him for his stand on the gun issue.

“I did what I thought was the right thing to do,” Howard told The Buffalo News. “People in Western New York feel strongly about the Constitution and Albany’s misreading of it.”

The Erie County sheriff’s office is reportedly the largest local police force in western New York, with 1,000 employees and a budget that tops $100 million. Howard’s position at the center of the sheriffs’ collective rebuttal to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who pushed hard for the SAFE Act’s swift passage into law, has been a high-profile one.

Howard went a step further than many of his law enforcement peers in New York, filing an amicus curiae brief on behalf of New York sheriffs attached to the SAFE Act lawsuit. The suit, originally brought in Federal court by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, claims the law infringed on citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights. The suit is ongoing.

Howard never took a defiant position against the SAFE Act in his own county; he simply said he would not initiate any enforcement proceedings that would bring the State into an adversarial relationship with citizens who choose to violate it, because the Nation’s founding documents take precedence over subsequent laws that abrogate their instructions.

“The Constitution is the law of the land,” Howard said in May. “If you know it’s a violation of the Constitution, how can you enforce it? … I don’t think we’re going to suppress evidence; I just don’t think we’ll be actively pursuing it.”

Obama Wishes He Could Bypass Congress On Immigration (And Budgets, And Gun Control, And Everything Else)

President Barack Obama may be out on the rubber-chicken circuit to convince America he won’t attempt an end run around Congress to accomplish his agenda through executive fiat, but it’s visibly evident that’s a painful promise for him to make.

Here he is trying to get tough on a heckler Monday, whom he patently agreed with on immigration reform:

The heckler told Obama he could resolve the ongoing Congressional debate over immigration law because the President has the power, by executive order, to grant amnesty to illegal aliens living in the U.S.

“Actually I don’t. And that’s why we’re here,” Obama said. “…If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing them through Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a Nation of laws; that’s part of our tradition. And so, the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws. And what I’m proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you wanna achieve, but it won’t be as easy as just shouting.”

It’s not the first time the Obama Administration has wistfully daydreamed, out loud, about what Obama could do if only he were king.

“What I will say is that this is not the President’s idealized budget,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney back in April. “It is not what he would do if he were king, or if only people who supported his proposals were in Congress. It was what he believes is a fair and balanced approach to our deficit challenges.”

And it’s not as though Obama hasn’t resorted to the heavy-handed approach in the past. It’s just that, in the midst of an Obamacare meltdown that’s galvanizing some red-State Democrats against him, the likelihood of profound political blowback is far greater than it was, say, back in August, when the President passed two executive orders to close two gun control “loopholes.”

So he’s now paying lip service, even to his own supporters, to the truth that executive orders aren’t the answer. But what will happen if Democrats do well in 2014, or if Obama’s approval numbers climb back above 50 percent?