Left-Leaning BuzzFeed Points Out Gun Control Stupidity

Thanks, BuzzFeed, this is what we’ve been trying to tell the lefties all along. To answer your question, though: Law-abiding citizens who find themselves staring down the barrel of a thug’s gun in cities like Chicago where liberal politicians have made owning guns for self-defense nearly impossible.

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Here’s the video:

Via Chicago Tribune:

Charges have been filed against one of two men who were beaten back by a store owner during an armed robbery in Logan Square this week.

Cornell Mack, 53, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and discharge of a firearm, police said.

He and another man walked into the Quizhpe’s Gifts and Sports in the 2200 block of North Western Avenue Tuesday afternoon and held up Luis Quizhpe and his brother-in-law Luis Ernesto Aucaquizhpe at gunpoint, according to police.

The Usual Suspects

Ardent supporters of the 2nd Amendment’s “shall not be infringed” stipulation rejoiced when Senator Rand Paul and his Constitutionalist Republican allies vowed a fit of filibusters against any Senate attempts at new gun-control legislation. But another group of Republicans, the usual suspects, has sided with the Democrats, moving Thursday to clip the wings of those wacko birds.

Following the addition of a bipartisan compromise on new gun legislation presented by Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.)  that would extend background check requirements to gun shows and Internet firearm purchases Paul’s filibuster threat was neutered in a procedural vote.

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Credit: DAILYPAUL

Sixteen Republicans sided with Senate Democrats to give the legislation which would burden law-abiding gun owners and expand a paper trail that could conceivably be used to put together a national database of gun owners.

Here are the Republican Senators who don’t mind the prospect of Democrat gun-control success:

  • Lamar Alexander of Tennessee*
  • Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire*
  • Richard M. Burr of North Carolina*
  • Saxby Chambliss of Georgia *
  • Tom Coburn of Oklahoma*
  • Susan Collins of Maine*
  • Bob Corker of Tennessee*
  • Jeff Flake of Arizona
  • Lindsey Graham of South Carolina*
  • Dean Heller of Nevada
  • John Hoeven of North Dakota*
  • Johnny Isakson of Georgia*
  • Mark S. Kirk of Illinois
  • John McCain of Arizona*
  • Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania*
  • Roger Wicker of Mississippi*

The Senators with an asterisk beside their name also recently attended swank dinners with the President either in March or this week during which Obama implored them to once again allow the GOP to buckle and give Democrats wiggle room on billions in new taxes.

McCain remains notable for his disregard of any truly conservative ideas from his Republican colleagues. And in recent months Graham is guilty of backing several Obama-pushed projects, like new gun restrictions, a tax increase and the immigration reform that could bring at least 11 million low-skill illegal immigrants — and their relatives — into the country.

These guys truly bring new meaning of keeping friends close and enemies closer.

IRS Can Read Your Email Without A Warrant

The Internal Revenue Service claims that it has the right to read the private emails, text messages and other electronic communications without a warrant because, the agency claims, Americans have no reasonable expectation of online privacy.

The revelation comes from a Freedom of Information Act request for information pertaining to the IRS policy for conducting investigations of tax crimes. In a 247-page response, the IRS provided a vague answer to the question of whether it conducts warrantless searches of email inboxes and other electronic communications, which erred on the side of “yes.”

The outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) distinguishes between email that is stored on an email provider’s server for 180 days or less and requires a warrant for searches and email that is older or has been opened and does not require a warrant for searches.

In 2010, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in United States v. Warshak that the government must provide obtain a warrant for any search; but the IRS doesn’t specify whether it follows the ruling.

From the American Civil Liberties Union:

The documents the ACLU obtained make clear that, before Warshak, it was the policy of the IRS to read people’s email without getting a warrant. Not only that, but the IRS believed that the Fourth Amendment did not apply to email at all. A 2009 “Search Warrant Handbook” from the IRS Criminal Tax Division’s Office of Chief Counsel baldly asserts that “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.” Again in 2010, a presentation by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel asserts that the “4th Amendment Does Not Protect Emails Stored on Server” and there is “No Privacy Expectation” in those emails.

The most current version of the IRS handbook states expressly that the agency still concedes that it isn’t required to obtain a warrant in order to search emails older than 180 days.

The ACLU sent similar requests for information about warrants and electronic communication to the FBI and the Justice Department, but no reply has been received.

Currently, Congress is working on updating the ECPA in order to secure Americans 4th Amendment rights in electronic communications.

Intelligence Report: North Korea Has Likely Inaccurate Long-Range Missile Capability

As North Korea continues to threaten an attack on the United States, a Defense Intelligence Agency report indicates that the Hermit Kingdom probably has nuclear warheads deliverable by ballistic missiles. According to the document, those weapons may have the capability to reach the United States.

A photo of a long-range missle launcher is displayed at the North Korean embassy in Beijing
A photo of a mobile, long-range missile launcher, which has alarmed the Pentagon. Credit: UPI

From the report, which was distributed to senior, “DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles however the reliability will be low.”

The DIA admonition that “reliability will be low” is a reference to North Korea’s previous failed attempts to produce and launch projectiles that were accurate.

Meanwhile, South Korean intelligence officials say that the North is poised to launch up to five missiles from its eastern coast as a part of a non-threatening military drill. The intelligence officials do not believe that the launches pose any threat to South Korea, Japan or the United States and are part of a holiday to celebrate the birthday of the late Kim il Sung.

“There is no threat,” said Xu Guangyu, a senior military analyst in Beijing. “The grandson is using the missiles to salute his grandfather and celebrate his power.’’

Fed Officials Are In Disagreement And Don’t Know What To Do

Recent Federal Open Market Committee releases illustrating what top Federal Reserve officials feel are the central bank’s best next steps have had a familiar message for several months: The officials are gridlocked between continued money printing and stopping stimulus. The split of opinion says more about the future of the economy than any economist could hope to.

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet now tops $3 trillion, making some of the central bank’s policy makers a little antsy about the economic monster they have created. It has seemingly now become clear to some Fed officials that the economic benefit of monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds, combined with near-zero interest rates, is outweighed by the inflationary risk.

But there is no clear word on when the Fed intends to jam the gears of inflationary policy, only the noncommittal suggestion that the central bank should do so “relatively soon.”

The most recent FOMC report, released early by accident yesterday, make it very clear that members of the central bank have no way of knowing what the real impact of its recent policy has been, how the economy will react to its continuance or the economic implications of reversing course, even partially, at this point. “A few” members think stimulus should stop, “a couple” think the Fed should double down and “a few” think it should trickle off slowly.

To put it bluntly, Fed officials are about to get slapped by Adam Smiths’ invisible hand.

The King And His Court: 5 Ways Presidential Pastimes Illustrate Why You Should Be Madder Than Hell

The Presidential Administration has gone to great lengths to attempt to impact everyday Americans with budget cuts resultant of the Federal bureaucracy’s own mismanagement. That’s a sign of how the United States is engaged in a battle of “us and them” like never before, which is a point that cannot be stressed enough.

White House tours are shut down, the Blue Angels are grounded, lowlier Federal workers are losing money and community-based programs are having their budgets slashed. This is only a partial representation of where the “cuts” are having an impact, but notably so, as the aforementioned consequences affect average Americans visiting the Nation’s capital, airshow goers, middle-class government workers and local communities. They affect the class that includes you and me.

It is nothing new — and certainly no secret — that there is another class of American citizen to which the bureaucratic system ascribes far more value and, thus, allows far greater protection and liberty. American royalty, like never before, is on full-on display and not just because of sequester.

Here are some examples.

Even American liberty hater Piers Morgan can’t ignore President Barack Obama’s lavish taxpayer-funded vacations — taken, no less, as Americans are being economically crippled by the President’s incompetence and unaccountability.

 


 
The President and his family must have different preferences of vacation destinations; the Obama daughters are also incredibly well traveled at the taxpayers’ expense. The girls enjoyed a spring break trifecta recently: Hawaii, Aspen and the Bahamas, all in one month.
 

 
And when he isn’t on vacation or advocating for government spending increases and gun laws, the President is hanging out with high-profile entertainers. He often does so during luxurious banquets at the White House that American proles are no longer permitted to visit.
 

 
Those entertainers, for their relationship with the President, can get the laws worked around in their favor. While lowly average Americans are strictly (and stupidly) forbidden from visiting Cuba except on academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips,  Beyonce and Jay-Z spent their fifth wedding anniversary there… for educational reasons.
 

 
In other travel news, Vice President Joe Biden recently traveled to Paris with a healthy entourage for a night. The trip cost you $585,000 for the hotel stay alone. But if you think that is ridiculous, you’re a small person.
 

Obama Budget Plan Released

President Barack Obama’s much awaited budget proposal was released Wednesday; unsurprisingly, it calls for nearly $300 billion in increased Federal spending on government make-work projects, coupled with $800 billion in tax hikes over the next 10 years.

To sweeten the deal for Republicans, the budget calls for $1 trillion in cuts throughout government and even targets Social Security for the first time.

“Our economy is poised for progress, as long as Washington doesn’t get in the way,” Obama said in announcing his budget plan.

The President described his plan as “a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth.”

Republicans like House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have expressed discontent with the President’s proposal because it does little to change the Federal spending status quo. But some pundits, noting how the GOP previously caved on tax hikes, aren’t so sure how serious the party is about defeating the Democrat proposal.

Obama is slated to dine with a dozen rank-and-file Republicans at the White House Wednesday evening.

Ron Paul: Hey, Teachers, Leave Those Kids Alone

Ron Paul may have left the House of Representatives, but the libertarian icon is far from done working to bring more Americans to the cause of liberty. The former Congressman’s latest audience, however, will not be legislators on Capitol Hill or crowds of voters; rather, Paul is taking small government ideology to the segment of the American population that many a politician has termed “our future.”

At a time when the debate over the amount of government intrusion in schools is continually a hot topic, Paul has launched his own home-school curriculum for students whose parents want to avoid having their children educated to Federal standards.

Not only does the curriculum offered up by the politician-turned-polemicist offer parents the benefit of protecting children from government indoctrination in the schoolhouse, but it also provides an alternative curriculum that promises to provide “education in liberty like no other.” While offering courses of study for K-12 students in the basics, Paul’s program of study also includes some things government-run schools often leave out (mostly to keep the population from being educated enough to understand the folly of allowing government total control over anything).

A quick overview of some of the materials provided on the Paul Curriculum website makes clear that students will be enlightened by the ideas of great Austrian economists and encouraged to be self-made citizens as well as vocal defenders of liberty. Alongside reading, writing and arithmetic are lessons on starting a home-based business and creating a successful social media presence.

Historian and Economist Gary North, the program’s director of curriculum, put it simply that the educational track is designed to “teach the Biblical principle of self-government and personal responsibility” and give students the tools to recognize threats to their rights.

“Students will be exposed to thinkers they would never encounter in a government school. They will know history and economics better than anyone their age,” libertarian political and economic powerhouse Lew Rockwell writes in an opinion piece about the program for The Daily Bell.

North notes on the curriculum website that accreditation is not in the cards for the program of study, saying: “It is a sign of the almost overwhelming surrender of parents to the state that the parents, while saying they are fleeing from the state’s schools, desperately want to use a curriculum that is accredited by the state. They are terrified of their own ability, meaning their inability, to teach their own children. They have no confidence in themselves. They do not have confidence that they can look at a curriculum, and then decide whether that curriculum is good or bad. The state has completely bamboozled them.”

But, given the idea behind the Paul curriculum, lack of government approval will likely not provide much of a turnoff for liberty devotees. And any indication that the course of study may be half-baked is quickly put down by reports that Paul has been thinking about and working on the curriculum with the help of libertarians like economist, author and historian Thomas Woods since 1971.

Paul also offers something government run schools never will: a guarantee.

From the website:

Membership in this program comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.

If at any time, a student or a paying parent thinks that this site’s program is not worth the money, he can cancel and get a full refund. This is good for a full academic year, plus one month: ten months. All he has to do is send an email asking for the refund on the day he cancels.

I want everyone who signs up for this curriculum to be to happy. I am confident that most students will see the value of it. But no one can please everyone, as I discovered in Congress. So, I want everyone to know that I bear 100% of the financial risk.

This offer also applies to each of the courses, for which there is a fee. They also come with a 100% money-back guarantee. The same time limit also applies: nine months.

The Ron Paul Revolution, it seems, has only just begun.

GAO Report Reveals $95 Billion Worth Of Obama Administration Hypocrisy

A new report out from the Government Accountability Office, which highlights where executive branch agency programs are costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars in overlapping costs, demonstrates the Presidential Administration’s hypocrisy with regard to the Federal budget.

The findings of the GAO report that was issued on Tuesday show that while President Barack Obama and top Administration officials have made a point of making Federal cuts stemming from sequester impact the public in visible ways, they have repeatedly failed to reduce costs in places that would eliminate redundant expenses.

There is at least $95 billion in Federal overlap spending that could be reduced.

GAO identified 31 areas where agencies could make cuts in the name of efficiency; among them are 17 areas of fragmentation, overlap or duplication where multiple programs and activities exist. The report also points out 14 areas where opportunities exist to achieve cost savings or enhance revenue collections.

And though GAO has offered Federal officials 81 suggestions that would cut taxpayer costs if the Administration and Congress took the initiative, Americans probably shouldn’t hold their breath. Spending redundancies and suggestions noted in GAO reports for the past two years have gone largely unaddressed.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) highlighted the following findings from the report on his website:

  • 679 renewable energy initiatives at 23 federal agencies and their 130 sub-agencies cost taxpayers $15 billion in FY 2010.
  • 76 programs to prevent or treat drug abuse are spread across 15 agencies, costing $4.5 billion in FY 2012.
  • Three federal offices are involved in overseeing catfish inspections.
  • 159 contracting organizations in 10 different Defense Department components provide defense foreign language support. GAO estimates $50 to $200 million in potential savings by eliminating this duplication.
  • The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) offers 69 different language services. GAO found 23 instances of overlap involving 43 of these services, accounting for $149 million, or nearly 20 percent, of the BBG’s FY 2011 annual appropriations.
  • 21 programs, including eight tax expenditures, are in place to help students save for, pay, and repay the cost of higher education, annually costing $45 billion, $104 billion in financial loans, and $25 billion in lost revenue from tax spending.
  • Six programs to employ and train veterans are operated by two government agencies, which spent $1.2 billion in FY 2011 to serve 880,000 participants.  The GAO found, “Despite these efforts, the unemployment rate for veterans who have recently separated from the military is higher than that for other veterans and nonveterans.”
  • The Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) was established in 1950 and tasked with collecting and distributing certain reports.  Despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of these reports are now available online for free, NTIS continues to charge the public, and even other federal agencies, for these reports.  Even more, 95 percent of those on other websites, were available for free.  Making the government looking even more foolish, GAO explains, “The source that most often had the reports GAO was searching for was another website located at http://www.Google.com.”
  • The Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) was established in 1950 and tasked with collecting and distributing certain reports.  Despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of these reports are now available online for free, NTIS continues to charge the public, and even other federal agencies, for these reports.  GAO explains, “These results show that NTIS disseminates and charges for many reports that overlap with information that is available for free from federal agencies and other public websites.”  Over ten years ago, the GAO issued a report highlighting this clear overlap and government waste.  In a November 2012, GAO “estimated that approximately 621,917, or about 74 percent, of the 841,502 reports were readily available from one of the other four publicly available sources GAO searched.” Even more, 95 percent of those on other websites, were available for free.  Making the government looking even more foolish, GAO explains, “The source that most often had the reports GAO was searching for was another website located at http://www.Google.com.”
  • Six separate offices at the Department of Homeland Security are involved in research and development. In one example, “two DHS components awarded five separate contracts that each addressed detection of the same chemical. Moreover, DHS did not have the policies and mechanisms necessary to coordinate or track research and development activities across the department.”

Meanwhile, the $85 billion sequestration “cuts” are leading to furloughs for Federal workers, affecting the National Parks system, closing the White House to the public, grounding the Blue Angels and having other consequences designed to be noticed by the public at large.

Read the GAO report here.