Unintended Consequences Of A Coming Investigation

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about one of the unintended consequences of the formation of a commission to study voter fraud. This would be funny if it were not so consequential.

The article reports:

Several county clerks in Colorado said they’ve seen hundreds of people withdraw their voter registrations following the state’s announcement that it would comply with President Trump’s voter fraud commission.

In Denver, a spokesperson for the Denver Elections Division said 180 people have withdrawn their registrations in the county since Monday, according to a Denver Channel report.

In Arapahoe County, which contains the city of Aurora, at least 160 people have withdrawn their registrations since July 1.

The counties normally see fewer than 10 withdrawn registrations in similar time frames.

There is nothing I can add.

One Example Of Why ObamaCare Needs To Be Repealed Immediately

The following excerpts are part of a Department of Health and Human Services Report from the Office of the Inspector General. The report states, “Colorado Did Not Correctly Expend Establishment Grant Funds For Establishing A Health Insurance Marketplace.” The report can be found on the Internet here.

The mission of the Office of Inspector General (OIG), as mandated by Public Law 95-452, as amended, is to protect the integrity of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) programs, as well as the health and welfare of beneficiaries served by those programs. This statutory mission is carried out through a nationwide network of audits, investigations, and inspections conducted by the following operating components:

Office of Audit Services

Office of Evaluation and Inspections

Office of Investigations

Office of Counsel to the Inspector General

The report explains why the agency did the review–the review was part of a series of reviews of establishment grants for State marketplaces across the Nation. You can read the details if you choose, but the details are not what is important here–what is important is that the Federal and State governments never work as well as the free market.

This is the list of what the review found:

1. The Colorado marketplace did not expend $9,678,635 of Federal establishment grant funds in accordance with Federal requirements. Specifically, the Colorado marketplace:did not adequately document $4,398,333 in costs that it charged to the establishment grants;

2. charged the establishment grants $4,504,799 for unallowable hardware and software operational support and maintenance contract costs whose periods of benefit occurred after December 31, 2014;

3. improperly transferred costs totaling $312,449 from one establishment grant to another without demonstrating that these cost transfers were performed to correct bookkeeping or clerical errors;

4. did not efficiently and effectively administer establishment grant funds totaling $463,054 consisting of improperly awarded executive and employee bonuses, overpayments to subgrantees, unallowable promotional giveaway items, excessive and unreasonable tips, vendor rebates that were received but not credited to the establishment grants, and unallowable social activities;

5. drew down establishment grant funds that it did not immediately use;

6. entered into contracts with consultants and other contractors that did not conform to Federal and State requirements and the Colorado marketplace’s own policies on contract administration, including approval procedures and required contract information; and

7. engaged in a number of procedures and practices that, contrary to Federal requirements and cost principles and, in some cases, to the Colorado marketplace’s own  policies, (1) required the use of personal credit cards to purchase equipment, supplies, and services for the marketplace, (2) permitted self-approval of purchases on behalf of the previous executive staff, (3) permitted incomplete and inadequate disclosure of possible conflicts of interest, (4) did not properly document inventory of equipment, and (5) allowed the use of establishment grant funds to purchase equipment for a previous Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who kept it for personal use when the CEO left the organization.

These findings were caused by a lack of adequate stewardship of Federal funds. Specifically, the Colorado marketplace had not developed, finalized, and implemented policies and procedures to ensure that it expended and accounted for establishment grant funds in accordance with Federal, State, and Colorado marketplace requirements.

This is a chart showing the bonuses given:

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about this report today.

The article concludes:

Later in the report, the IG explains that this was spent on a holiday party, with “cake, punch, holiday cards, and decorations.” Why the Colorado exchange felt it necessary to charge the federal government for those expenses will be one of the more interesting explanations we’ll hear … if we ever do hear it. At any rate, such expenses are explicitly prohibited from federal grants, as the IG points out in the report.

The whole report is damning for the arrogance of the bureaucracy when it came to spending federal grant money, especially on a flop like ObamaCare. One has to wonder just how many other states have used their federal grant money in such a cavalier manner, and for little purpose in the end.

It might be a good idea to note at this time what the planned future of ObamaCare actually was. Had Hillary Clinton been elected as President, the Democrats in Congress would have acknowledged that ObamaCare had failed and suggested a single-payer (read that ‘government run’) healthcare program similar to what Canada and the U.K. have to replace ObamaCare. When Donald Trump was elected, things got complicated for the Democrats. As I write this, they are fighting to preserve ObamaCare long enough so that it can fail and be replaced by single-payer healthcare. Hopefully the Republicans will not let that happen and will repeal ObamaCare quickly.

Let’s get the government out of healthcare.

 

 

 

 

Voter Fraud Has Been Here For A While

On Thursday, CBS4 in Denver posted an article about an investigation of voter fraud that they did in Colorado.

The article reports:

“We do believe there were several instances of potential vote fraud that occurred,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams after reviewing the CBS4 findings. “It shows there is the potential for fraud.”

The cases of dead men and women casting ballots ranged from El Paso County in southern Colorado to Denver and Jefferson County. CBS4 discovered the fraudulent voting by comparing databases of voting histories in Colorado against a federal death database.

The CBS4 investigation has triggered criminal investigations in El Paso and Jefferson counties along with a broad investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

State voting officials have explained that they can only remove people from the voting lists if the name, address, etc., are a perfect match.

The article illustrates the problem of voter fraud:

Out of approximately 2 million votes cast in Colorado’s last election cycle, 8,000 ballots were not counted when signatures did not match. The importance of finding and weeding out fraudulent votes is underlined by the 2002 election in Colorado’s 7th Congressional district. That race was decided by 121 votes out of more than 175,000 that were cast. In Ohio in 2010, a tax measure passed by just two votes.

Following the CBS4 investigation, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office reviewed the CBS4 findings and confirmed at least 78 dead voters remained eligible to vote. Lynn Bartels, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office, said county clerks were notified and told to immediately remove those 78 names from voter rolls. Bartels said “It’s not clear why” those dead citizens were still being listed as eligible voters.

Chuck Broerman said what CBS4 found “undermines our system. It does dilute your vote in a small way.”

Williams said measures implemented in 2015 should reduce the number of dead voters casting ballots in Colorado, but he noted that the CBS4 investigation indicates further measures might be necessary.

“It’s not a perfect system,” said Williams, “It is impossible to vote from the grave legally.”

Voter ID is necessary to prevent this sort of voter fraud. We live in a society where identification is required for many basic activities–cashing a check, opening a bank account, buying cigarettes or alcohol, filling some prescriptions, entering federal buildings, boarding an airplane, and others. It is time to require a picture ID to vote. That is the only way the votes of honest Americans will count.

 

Why Should We All Have To Play By The Same Rules?

On Friday The Washington Free Beacon posted a story about a group in Colorado that was working toward a $12 an hour minimum wage.

The article reports:

Colorado Families for a Fair Wage, which obtained the signatures needed to place a measure requiring a $12 minimum wage on the November ballot, paid many of its petition handlers less than $12 an hour, according to paperwork filed with the state and obtained by in the Washington Times.

“According to a circulator and wage report filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office by proponents of increasing the minimum wage, 24 of the workers collecting signatures to get on the ballot were paid less than $12 an hour,” the Times reported. “The report was obtained Keep Colorado Working, the opposition campaign, in an open records request.”

Colorado Families for a Fair Wage is a coalition of liberal groups, including prominent labor unions, such as the AFL-CIO and American Federation of Teachers. The group denied the allegations that it failed to pay its employees adequate wages following the Washington Times report, blaming “clerical errors” in campaign filings for the gap in pay.

“Every person working on the minimum wage ‘$12 by 2020’ ballot initiative has earned a minimum of $12 an hour and more because it’s crucial that the paychecks of Colorado working families can cover housing, food and other basics, campaign manager Patty Kupfer said in a release. “We included pay policy language in our office policy document to specifically ensure that every worker would earn at least $12 an hour.”

The group said it will file amended paperwork with the secretary of state’s office to reflect that it paid all of its workers at least $12 an hour.

How embarrassing. Either they paid their workers less than the minimum wage they were working toward or the people they paid the proposed minimum wage were not competent enough to do their job right. Either way it’s embarrassing.

There is something being overlooked here, and I don’t know why. The minimum wage was never intended to support a family or an individual living on their own–it was intended to provide a gateway into the workforce to enable people to learn the real basic job skills–showing up on time, respecting authority, being curteous, and other basic fundementals. So what happened? Unions discovered that if the minimum wage increased, the unions could bargain for higher wages for their members. Note that the Colorado Families for a Fair Wage includes prominent labor unions. Because much of the American public does not understand the purpose of the minimum wage, the fact that raising the minimum wage significantly will put small businesses out of business and cause employees to lose hours or jobs is not considered by most people.

There is also the aspect of illegal immigration. As long as America has thousands of illegal immigrants who are willing to work under the table for below minimum wage, raising the minimum wage is going to do more harm than good. One of the problems in the battle to close our borders to illegal immigration is that the U. S. Chamber of Commerce is a major campaign contributor to politicians (particularly Republicans). The Chamber of Commerce is an organization of businessmen. These businessmen like the fact that illegal immigration is a source of cheap labor. As long as the Chamber of Commerce continues to pour money into political campaigns, our illegal immigration problem will continue. That is the way Washington currently works. Until people are elected to office at all levels who are not part of the current system and not interested in becoming part of the current system, illegal immigration will continue and because unions contribute heavily to Democratic campaigns, the minimum wage will probably be raised past the point where it makes economic sense. That is where we are.

When The Truth Doesn’t Matter

Truth seems to be taking a back seat in some major political discussions lately–Katie Couric‘s gun documentary did some creative editing and the State Department edited a press briefing that was to be saved as an historical archive. In both cases, the idea was to promote a point of view that was contrary to the truth. The gun documentary was supposed to show how easy it was to obtain a firearm, and the editing of the press briefing was to erase the fact that negotiations with Iran on the nuclear deal started long before there was a ‘moderate’ president of Iran. Just for the record, the president of Iran is not the person who is actually in charge. The group that is currently ruling Iran is essentially the same group of people that took over in 1979.

Yesterday The Independent Journal Review pointed out another problem with the gun documentary. People unfamiliar with gun laws who watched the documentary might have missed this, but Dana Loesch, a 2nd Amendment advocate, noted the following:

In an interview shared by Ammoland TV, Soechtig (Stephanie Soechtig, also involved in the production of the show) discusses the making of the film and notes the following:

“We sent a producer out and he is from Colorado and he went to Arizona and he was able to buy a Bushmaster and then three other pistoles without a background check in a matter of four hours. And that’s perfectly legal.”

Except it isn’t. Legal, that is. When Soechtig sent a producer to Arizona from Colorado specifically to acquire firearms, she could have actually broken two federal laws:

  • Interstate transfer: for a purchaser to acquire a firearm outside their state of residence – in this case, Colorado – the transfer must go through a licensed firearms dealer in the purchaser’s state of residence [18 U.S.C 922(a)(3); 27 CFR 478.29].
  • Straw purchase: one individual may not make the purchase of a firearm in someone else’s name [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5)].

By Soechtig’s own admission, she sent a producer across state lines with instructions to purchase a firearm on her behalf (violation of straw purchase laws). And unless her producer is also a licensed firearms dealer, it’s likely that interstate transfer laws may also have been violated.

Loesch called on the ATF to investigate, noting the irony that people criticizing law-abiding gun owners were actually the ones violating gun laws already on the books.

It is interesting that those fighting to undo the 2nd Amendment do not understand the laws surrounding it. The 2nd Amendment was put there to protect the rights of Americans to own guns. We can argue about the current regulations surrounding the 2nd Amendment, but generally speaking, the safeguards are there to prevent criminals and unstable people from acquiring firearms. The right of law-abiding Americans to buy guns is part of the Constitution. It needs to be upheld. What was done in Katie Couric’s gun documentary is simply another example of the media trying to mislead the American people. We need to be smart enough to know when we are being lied to. Also note that many of the people trying to take away the guns of Americans have armed bodyguards. Another example of a law for thee, but not for me.

 

Some Consequences Of Legalizing Marijuana

On April 30, the American Academy of Pediatrics posted a story on their website with the following information:

A new study to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting found that one in six infants and toddlers admitted to a Colorado hospital with coughing, wheezing and other symptoms of bronchiolitis tested positive for marijuana exposure.

The study, “Marijuana Exposure in Children Hospitalized for Bronchiolitis,” recruited parents of previously healthy children between one month of age and two years old who were admitted to Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHC) between January 2013 and April 2014 with bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the smallest air passages in the lung. The parents completed a questionnaire about their child’s health, demographics, exposure to tobacco smoke, and as of October 2014, whether anyone in the home used marijuana. Marijuana became legal in Colorado on January 1, 2014.

Of the children who were identified as having been exposed to marijuana smokers, urine samples showed traces of a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana, in 16 percent of them. The results also showed that more of the children were THC positive after legalization (21 percent, compared with 10 percent before), and non-white children were more likely to be exposed than white children.

The findings suggest that secondhand marijuana smoke, which contains carcinogenic and psychoactive chemicals, may be a rising child health concern as marijuana increasingly becomes legal for medical and recreational use in the United States, said lead researcher Karen M. Wilson, MD, MPH, FAAP, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and section head at CHC. Most states with legal marijuana do not restrict its combustion around children, she said.

Smoking pot around your children is not any healthier than smoking cigarettes around your children. Back in the days of dinosaurs when I grew up, parents thought nothing of smoking around their children. I grew up in a blue haze and married a smoker. From the time I was little until the time my husband quit smoking, I had chronic sinus problems. Since I now live in a pretty much smoke-free world, I very rarely get sinus infections. Also, the number of colds my children had decreased noticeably after my husband quit smoking. Second-hand smoke, regardless of its source, is simply not healthy.

On May 10, Today reported:

…A new report by the American Auto Association (AAA) has found that the percentage of drivers who are high on pot during fatal accidents in Washington State more than doubled between 2013 and 2014.

In Washington, only looking at crashes in which at least one driver tested positive for active THC, there were 40 fatalities in 2010, compared to 85 in 2014, according to AAA estimates. However, a large number of drivers were not tested for THC or did not have available blood test results, so THC-related fatalities could be much higher, the report notes.

The AAA report focused only on Washington state, while legalized the sale and possession of marijuana in 2012. It did not track driving while high fatality trends in Colorado, which also legalized pot that in 2012.

But with marijuana on the ballot to become legal in more states, AAA researchers fear that the numbers will rise more sharply.

Is this where we want to go?

The Pig Book Summary Is Out

Every year Citizens Against Government Waste puts out a Congressional Pig Book Summary. The book summarizes the wasteful spending by Congress.

Here is an explanation of how programs are chosen for the honor of being in the book:

The projects in the 2016 Congressional Pig Book Summary symbolize the most blatant examples of pork. As in previous years, all items in the Congressional Pig Book meet at least one of CAGW’s seven criteria, but most satisfy at least two:

  • Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
  • Not specifically authorized;
  • Not competitively awarded;
  • Not requested by the President;
  • Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
  • Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
  • Serves only a local or special interest.

Some examples:

$10,000,000 for high energy cost grants within the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The RUS grew out of the remnants of the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Electrification Administration (REA) of the 1930s. The primary goal of the REA was to promote rural electrification to farmers and residents in out-of-the-way communities where the cost of providing electricity was considered to be too expensive for local utilities. By 1981, 98.7 percent electrification and 95 percent telephone service coverage was achieved. Rather than declaring victory and shutting down the REA, the agency was transformed into the RUS, and expanded into other areas.

…$60,000,000 for construction of research facilities at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). According to the legislation, the funding is to initiate “the design and renovation of its outdated and unsafe radiation physics infrastructure in fiscal year 2016.” Though the legislation does not designate a location for the funding, NIST’s Radiation Physics Division operates facilities in Boulder, Colorado, and Gaithersburg, Maryland.

…$1,150,800,000 for 28 earmarks for health and disease research under the Defense Health Program, which is a 7.8 percent increase in cost over the 27 earmarks worth $1,067,115,000 in FY 2015. Former Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) November 2012 report, The Department of Everything, pointed out that the DOD disease earmarks added by Congress mean that “fewer resources are available for DOD to address those specific health challenges facing members of the armed forces for which no other agencies are focused.” According to the report, in 2010 the Pentagon withheld more than $45 million for overhead related to earmarks, which means those funds were unavailable for national security needs or medical research specifically affecting those serving in the military.

These are only a few examples from the book. The book is available online or to download. The next time Congress complains that it cannot cut the budget, take a look at this book.

I Never Thought Of Toxic Waste Spills As Ironic, But…

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about the massive spill of toxic mine tailings into the Animas River in Colorado. The EPA estimates over 1 million gallons of mining waste was dumped into the river. This sounds like an obvious example of a careless big corporation only interested in profits–only it isn’t.

The article reports:

The wastewater released contains heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum, Ostrander said. The EPA is preparing a plan to sample private water wells along the Animas River valley to test for contamination, including mercury contamination, he said. . .

By Friday morning, the plume of orange had made its way downstream and was eight miles from the northern border of New Mexico, the EPA said in an emailed statement.

I’m sure the EPA will be very quick to fine the guilty party, or will they?

The article reports:

The EPA says it was using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine on Wednesday morning when it accidentally released an estimated 1 million gallons of mining waste into a creek.

Whoops.

I Am Sure This Is Logical Somehow

Breitbart.com is reporting today that in Colorado a baker can refuse to bake a cake decorated with a Bible verse for Christians and face no consequences, but will face discrimination charges for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Amazing.

The article reports:

Christian activist Bill Jack has denounced a decision by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which found Azucar Bakery in Denver not guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake adorned with Bible quotes condemning sodomy.

Last March, Jack went to Azucar Bakery and requested two cakes to be decorated with biblical messages.

“I requested two cakes, each in the shape of an open Bible. On the first cake I requested on one page, ‘God hates sin — Psalm 45:7,’ and on the facing page, ‘Homosexuality is a detestable sin — Leviticus 18:22,’” Jack said.

Jack also said:

On the second cake I requested on one page, “God loves sinners,” and on the facing page, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us – Romans 5:8.” I also requested a decoration of two groomsmen holding hands with a cross in the background with a ghostbusters symbol over it to illustrate that such a union is unacceptable biblically.

On Good Friday, the Department of Regulatory Agencies handed down its decision that refusing such a request did not constitute discrimination.

I suppose we could debate that the Bible verse cake was offensive to the baker, but wasn’t the gay wedding cake offensive to the Christian baker? If the man requested to bake the Bible cake has the right to refuse to bake that cake, then the man who is requested to bake a cake for a gay wedding also has the right to refuse. The law either applies to everyone, or it is not a just law.

At some point people need to realize that when one person’s right is taken away, it gives the government permission to take away all of our rights.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences

I wish the people who make our laws would think through the impact of those laws before they pass them.

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted a story about one of the results of the legalization of marijuana use in Colorado.

The article reports:

An informal survey of 500 people at a Denver homeless shelter reveals that 30 percent of new inhabitants came to Colorado because of the state’s legally available marijuana.

“The older ones are coming for medical (marijuana), the younger ones are coming just because it’s legal,” Brett Van Sickle, director of Denver’s Salvation Army Crossroads Shelter, told the Associated Press.

That particular shelter has more than doubled its staff to care for the new out-of-towners.

What in the world are the benefits of this law? A 30 percent increase in homelessness does not help anyone.

The Result Of Doing The ‘Popular’ Thing

Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. They are reaping in tons of revenue as a result, but what is the actual cost? Today The Daily Signal posted an article about seven negative results of the legalization of marijuana.

The article lists some of the negative impacts of legal marijuana:

1. The majority of DUI drug arrests involve marijuana and 25 to 40 percent were marijuana alone.

2. In 2012, 10.47 percent of Colorado youth ages 12 to 17 were considered current marijuana users compared to 7.55 percent nationally. Colorado ranked fourth in the nation, and was 39 percent higher than the national average.

3. Drug-related student suspensions/expulsions increased 32 percent from school years 2008-09 through 2012-13, the vast majority were for marijuana violations.

4. In 2012, 26.81 percent of college age students were considered current marijuana users compared to 18.89 percent nationally, which ranks Colorado third in the nation and 42 percent above the national average.

5. In 2013, 48.4 percent of Denver adult arrestees tested positive for marijuana, which is a 16 percent increase from 2008.

6. From 2011 through 2013 there was a 57 percent increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits.

7. Hospitalizations related to marijuana has increased 82 percent since 2008.

This information is from a new report by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area entitled “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact.”

Do you love your children enough to oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use?

 

Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean That It Is Safe

I will admit I really don’t know much about marijuana. I never smoked it, and the only contact I have ever had with a heavy marijuana user was a high school student who probably changed his life for the worse because of his marijuana use. It didn’t kill him, and he didn’t move on to other drugs, but it definitely impacted his life in a negative way. He was a very smart and gifted person who I don’t believe ever even approached his potential. Eventually he became a Christian and put the drugs behind him, but I am convinced that they took a heavy toll.

There are debatable risks of marijuana, and there are some risks that are not debatable. Newsbusters posted an article yesterday about the fact that less than 10 percent of legal marijuana is tested for substances that may be harmful. Some of the things that have been found when marijuana has been tested are molds, mildew, e-coli.

The article reports:

Reporter Barry Petersen talked to a biologist who tests pot. After asking her what could be in the newly legalized drug, Gennifer Murray responded, “We have found molds, mildew, e-coli.” She informed, “…What you can die from is contaminated cannabis.”According to Murray, less than ten percent of legalized marijuana in the state is tested.

Why are state legislators so anxious to put the people of their states at risk by legalizing marijuana? It really doesn’t make sense.

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Upside Down Logic At Work

On Wednesday Bill Bennett and Christopher Beach posted an article at Politico about the legalization of marijuana. The article points out the contradiction of a liberal philosophy that wants to legalize marijuana while banning large sodas, sugary foods, trans fat, smoking tobacco, etc.

The article points out:

In his recent New Yorker interview, President Obama remarked, “I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.” But then he added, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” Of the legalization in Colorado and Washington—never mind the unresolved conflict between state and federal law—he said, “it’s important for it to go forward.”

Got that? The same president who signed into law a tough federal anti-cigarette smoking bill in 2009 now supports marijuana legalization.

The article concludes:

What explains this obvious paradox? Do these liberals think that marijuana is somehow less harmful than a Big Gulp soda or a bucket of fried chicken? It’s hard to believe that’s the case, given the vast amount of social data and medical science on the dangers of marijuana.

Marijuana is destructive, particularly when used by teenagers. Does the people who want to make it legal believe teenagers will not be able to get it and smoke it? That hasn’t worked real well with either cigarettes or alcohol. Most of us probably know a teenager who used pot and paid a price later on–either in his ability to learn, moving on to other drugs, or side effects from some of the things added to the marijuana. Are we willing to make this drug easier for teenagers to obtain? This sounds like a bunch of 60’s hippies who are finally in control wanting to mainstream their counterculture. This is not good for our children, and it is not good for our society.

 

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One Answer To School Shootings

Gun control hasn’t worked real well. Most of the mass shootings that have occurred in this country in recent years have been in gun–free zones. For some reason, gun-free signs don’t seem to stop criminals. The theater in Colorado that was shot up was chosen because it was gun-free–the killer know that he would not meet opposition there. The shooting at Arapahoe High School recently ended quickly because there was someone there who had a gun and knew how to use it.

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted the story:

On December 15th Breitbart News reported that an armed guard saved students’ lives when Karl Halverson Pierson began firing his shotgun inside Arapahoe High School.

As more details emerge, it has become evident that the guard — a county deputy resource officer — did this by running toward the shooter in a way that ended the entire incident in 80 seconds.

…On the way into the library the officer directed students to “get down” and let everyone know he was a “county deputy sheriff.”

Said Robinson, “We know for a fact that the shooter knew that the deputy was in the immediate area and while the deputy was containing the shooter, the shooter took his own life.”  

This incident lasted 80 seconds. At Sandy Hook Elementary, where there was no armed guard, Adam Lanza had approximately four unimpeded minutes to carry out his evil intent.

I hate the idea that it is necessary to have armed people in our schools. However, I hate the idea of innocent young people being shot for no reason even more. I don’t like this solution, but I haven’t seen a better one that is as successful.

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Whoops!

On Friday Hot Air reported that the auction for leases for the development of wind and solar farms in the western United States did not go as planned.

The article reports:

The nation’s first federally run auction for a chance to develop solar power projects on public lands was a bust.

No bidders showed up for the auction by the federal Bureau of Land Management, which was held Thursday in Lakewood.

“We did not have any bidders come to the sale and we did not receive any sealed bids on the sale,” BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said. …

“The BLM had received interest in developing the sites, that’s why we moved forward,” she said. “It’s hard to say why we didn’t have any bidders.” …

“We will evaluate today’s auction as we look at future opportunities to offer lands in Solar Energy Zones for development, both in Colorado and other Western states,” the statement said.

Maybe there were no bidders because at the present time the technology for both wind and solar has not proven to be economically profitable. The sad part of this is that at the same time the government is holding these auctions with no takers they are blocking oil leases on government land. The oil boom in the west is almost entirely on private land–the government is not allowing the leases on government land. So what we have is the government selling leases of questionable value on government land while blocking the leases that might actually help the economy and lower unemployment. In what universe does that make sense?

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Holding Elected Officials Accountable

Yesterday’s Denver Post reported that two Colorado state senators have been recalled after the voters objected to their stand on gun rights. Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron are the first Colorado state lawmakers to be recalled.

The article reports:

Coloradans … sent a clear message that politicians who blatantly ignore their constituents will be held accountable,” said Dustin Zvonek, state director of Americans for Prosperity. “Perhaps this will serve as a lesson that one-party rule in Denver doesn’t give the majority license to take things to extremes or run roughshod over the values and rights of Coloradans who just happen, for the moment, to be in the minority.”

“Tonight is a victory for the people of the state of Colorado, who have been subject to the overreach of a Democrat agenda on guns, taxes and accountability to the people,” said Tim Knight, Founder of the Basic Freedom Defense Fund and the “father” of the recalls. “Since day one, they said it couldn’t be done. Tonight, this is a victory for the people of Colorado, and we share this victory with them.”

Democrats control the Senate, the House and the governor’s office. Even with Morse and Giron leaving, Democrats retain a one-seat majority in the Senate.

All Americans need to learn from this. Hold your elected officials accountable. If they do not represent you, vote them out of office.

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Sometimes There Really Is A Cost To Ignoring The Constitution

The Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution states:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

What part of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” do many of our current lawmakers not understand?

I know you can twist the words in ninety directions to attempt to change what they say, but the words are pretty straightforward. Anyway, a state is about to pay a price for choosing to ignore those words.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article yesterday about a new gun law about to be signed by Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado. The bill limits magazine capacities. The executives at Colorado-based Magpul, a company that manufactures high-capacity magazines, has announced that if the Governor signs the bill they will leave Colorado for friendlier venues and take hundreds of jobs with them. Two legislators from the State of Pennsylvania have already put out the welcome mat for the company.

The article reports:

A Colorado-based magazine manufacturer said it would leave the state if the new restrictions were passed, taking hundreds of jobs with it. Democrats tried to ease the concerns from Magpul Industries, saying the company can still manufacture higher-capacity magazines if they were sold out of state.

Waller blasted Democrats on that amendment, saying it was hypocritical because they are telling the company “you can sell (magazines) at any other place where any of these tragic shootings have happened.”

Waller called the exemption “a monumental inconsistency in their thought process.”

What was the message here? Colorado won’t allow people to purchase high-capacity magazines because that will supposedly decrease violence, but they’re happy to export them to other states? One can’t blame Magpul for failing to trust Democrats to leave that loophole open for very long, not after their demonstration of hostility to Magpul’s industry.

I will admit that I don’t know why anyone needs a high-capacity magazine, but when the government starts limiting something it never seems to know where to stop. From what I have heard from people who know, high-capacity magazines jam easily and are actually not as deadly as lower-capacity magazines in many cases. At any rate, this law is an infringement–something the Second Amendment says is not allowed.

We need more Americans like the executives of Magpul who are willing to stand up for what they believe.

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The First Casualty Of An Election Campaign Is The Truth

The alternative headline for this article is “Do They Really Think We Are That Stupid?” I understand that the political debate can get pretty heated, but it’s time to back up, take a deep breath, and think about what we believe. If every American would do that, there would be no need for bogus campaign ads.

Speaking of bogus campaign ads…John Hinderaker at Power LIne posted an article today about a campaign ad done by the Obama Campaign. In the ad, a number of women claiming to be Republicans express their dislike for Mitt Romney. The video is called “Republican Women For Obama.” I have no problem believing the ‘for Obama’ part–it’s the ‘Republican Women’ part I have trouble with.

The article at Power Line reports:

...The ad is surprisingly ineffective, but it is also dishonest. At least one of the women who pose as “Republican women for Obama” is a long-time Democrat. Her name is Maria Ciano, and BuzzFeed finds that she has been a registered Democrat in Colorado at least since 2006.

The article then goes on to list some of the ‘likes’ the woman has listed on her Facebook page. Did they honestly think no one would check? Ms Ciano’s mother is also featured in the ad, and research on her indicates similar political views.

There may be some Republican women who support President Obama. I am not aware of any, but they may exist. It is a shame that the Obama campaign chose to use women who lied rather than searching for women who actually support them. There must be at least one out there.

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The Next Step In Obamacare

On August 1, business owners must change their health insurance offerings to include abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization services.

Heritage.org reports today:

But for many employers, offering the types of services required under the HHS mandate violates their consciences. It conflicts with their deeply held religious beliefs. And the government is telling them that doesn’t matter—what’s more, it’s telling them that their beliefs are inconsequential, and they must pay.

Just last Friday, a judge in Colorado gave one business’s owners the first glimmer of hope that their religious freedom may survive this attack.

On Saturday I reported the story of Hercules Industries (rightwinggranny.com). The owners of the company went to court because the mandate to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization services violated their religious beliefs. The court has halted the implementation of that part of Obamacare that would violate the religious beliefs of the company’s owners until the  court case is settled.

The article at Heritage.org reports:

How did it come to this? During the legislative battle over Obamacare, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously said that Congress would need to pass the law to see what was in it. She was right about one thing: Obamacare as it passed was not fully formed. The law gave unprecedented new powers to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fill in countless details, directing the ways Obamacare would affect all Americans. With this law, Congress handed over immeasurable authority to HHS. And Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been hard at work trying to convince Americans that this is all in their best interest.

There is no reason to believe it will end here, which is why it is vital to halt this attack on religious freedom as quickly as possible. As Ludvigson explains, this first HHS mandate “raises significant questions about what more Obamacare will require on other matters of deeply personal religious and moral significance, such as prenatal care, end-of-life issues, and parental authority for minors’ health decisions.”

More than 50 plaintiffs—for-profit and non-profit alike—have gone to court against the HHS mandate. In winning an injunction that prevents the mandate’s enforcement on its business while the case goes to trial, Hercules has demonstrated the strength of the religious liberty challenge to Obamacare.

If we value our religious freedom as Americans, we need to vote for people in November who will repeal Obamacare.

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A Chance That The First Amendment May Be Upheld

There is a possibility that the First Amendment (free speech, religious freedom, etc.) may actually be upheld in the courts. The Blaze reported yesterday that a Federal court has upheld a lawsuit against the controversial contraception mandate, filed by Catholic-owned employer Hercules Industries.

On Wednesday I posted an article about Hercules Industries and their right to reflect their religious beliefs in their corporate policies. The Justice Department denied them that right and they have appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Colorado.

LifeNews.com reports:

A federal court issued an order Friday that halts enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against a Colorado family-owned business while an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit challenging the mandate continues in court.

…Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys obtained the first-ever order against the mandate on behalf of Hercules Industries and the Catholic family that owns it. The administration opposed the order, arguing, contrary to the U.S. Constitution, that people of faith forfeit their religious liberty once they engage in business.

The decision only applies to the company, and the court emphasized the ruling did not apply nationwide.

This is good news. Federal judges had dismissed two other lawsuits against the contraception mandate. The decision of the Tenth Circuit to hear this case will eventually bring this matter before the Supreme Court regardless of what the ruling by the Tenth Circuit is.

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Introducing Common Sense Into Environmentalism

Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted a story with some background information on the recent fires in Colorado.

The article reports:

Robert Zubrin, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and President of the aerospace engineering research and development firm Pioneer Astronautics, blamed environmentalists for the spread of these fires.

“They facilitated the spread of fire by keeping people from logging, adding firebreaks, and using pesticides,” he said.

Zubrin wrote a book on this subject, Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, which he will present today at the American Enterprise Institute.

Zubrin recently wrote that climate change does not explain these fires. “The culprits here … have not been humans, but Western Pine Beetles,” he wrote, which turned “over 60 million acres of formerly evergreen pine forests into dead red tinder, dry ammunition” for fires.

One of the things that would prevent this type of wildfire would be permitting logging in these forests to clean out the dead trees and underbrush.

Mr. Zubrin further stated:

Logging as part of a program of rational forest management” could decrease the risk of fire by “thinning out mature trees that are the pine beetles’ major targets,” and creating “gaps between forests, to act as firebreaks and beetle-breaks,” he said.

If “you turn that wood into furniture, it doesn’t turn into CO2,” Zubrin said. Green activists “don’t care if a billion tons of wood turns into CO2,” so long as people are not responsible.

Environmentalists, of course, dispute this claim, stating that the Western Pine Beetles are doing the job of thinning the forests. Just for the record, I would like to note that the beetles are not doing a very effective job.

Anthony Moore, Owner of the Independent Log Company, has stated:

“We do a firebreak on all jobs,” he said. As part of his logging, Moore even clears out landing zones for helicopters and action zones for firefighters.

“We care for the forest just as much as the environmentalists,” he said. “I was born and raised on the mountains. They are my kids’ future and the public likes to see them.”

Patrick Donovan, receiver for Intermountain Resources, LLC, said of a beetle-killed tree: “It died, it stays in the forest—it’s fuel.”

Conservatives do not support dirty air and dirty water–what we do support is introducing common sense to environmentalism.

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Another Taxpayer Subsidized Solar Energy Company Goes Under

Today’s Daily Caller posted an article about Abound Solar, a Colorado green-energy firm that has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

The article reports:

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Abound Solar a $400 million loan guarantee in December 2010, funds that the then-three-year-old startup said it would use to compete with solar panel industry leader First Solar.

The company spent $535 million in loans guaranteed by the federal government before it failed. The article goes on to explain that Abound Solar was technically behind its competitors in the solar industry. Subsidizing inferior technology does not improve its quality, and it interferes with the ability of the free market to let the best technology prevail.

The best stimulus program would have been to give all taxpayers half of their income tax back! That would have stimulated the economy.

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We Need An Honest Election In 2012

 This article has two sources–GoLocalWorcester and Judicial Watch.

The article at GoLocalWorcester lists some basic facts about the integrity of recent elections and the impact of voter ID laws:

A study by the Colorado secretary of state found that nearly 5,000 noncitizens voted in Colorado’s closely contested 2010 Senate race.

According Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, after a photo ID law in 2008, the number of African-American voters has increased more than ten percent. Additionally, all voting demographics have grown at the rate of population growth. Moreover, prior to the passage, they investigated and penalized hundreds of people guilty of election and voter fraud every election cycle.

An article in the in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette tells us that of 1.3 million new registrations ACORN turned in 2008, election officials rejected 400,000. Do you suppose they caught all of the bad ones?

1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as active voters.

And in our City of Worcester, when the Worcester voter census was finally brought in compliance with state law in 2011, some 45% of voters were classified as “inactive”.

Judicial Watch reports:

As the presidential election approaches, the potential for voter fraud is dangerously high nationwide with nearly 2 million dead people still registered to cast ballots, about 3 million eligible to vote in two or more states and millions more that are inaccurate, duplicate or out of date.

The alarming figures were published this week in a report issued by the non-partisan Pew Center on States. It reveals that approximately 24 million active voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies. The problem, apparently, is an outdated registration system that can’t properly maintain records.

…Preserving the integrity of the election process has been a huge issue for Judicial Watch over the years. Just last week JW launched the 2012 Election Integrity Project to pressure states and localities to clean up voter registration polls in order to comply with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). A lengthy JW investigation of public records indicates that voter rolls in numerous states have more registered voters than voting-age population.

Among the states that appear to contain names of individuals who are ineligible to vote are Florida, California, Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana and West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Missouri. This month JW sent warning letters to election officials in Indiana and Ohio as well as letters of inquiry to Florida and California officials as part of the probe into their problematic voting lists.

Meanwhile, in its February 2012 newsletter, Judicial Watch reported that through records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), they have learned that there has been extensive communication between the Department of Justice and Estelle Rogers, a former ACORN attorney currently serving as Director of Advocacy for Project Vote. This close relationship is not healthy for our democracy or for our next election.

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The Day Of Santorum

The Daily Caller reports today on the victories yesterday by Rick Santorum in the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the non-binding primary in Missouri.

The article lists the numbers:

Returns from 83 percent of Minnesota’s precincts showed Santorum with 45 percent support, Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 27 percent and Romney — who won the state in his first try for the nomination four years ago — with 17 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich trailed with 11 percent.

It was closer in Colorado, where returns from all the precincts showed Santorum with 40 percent of the vote to 35 for Romney. Gingrich had 13, and Paul claimed 12 percent.

The results of yesterday’s caucuses are interesting for a variety of reasons. Santorum is the only ‘non-Romney’ who is still a viable candidate. He is not a perfect candidate (neither party has one of those), but it will be hard to find any significant ‘dirt’ on him. He is squeaky clean and although he has not always voted perfectly in line with the Tea Party, he is pretty close. But I think there is another reason for his success yesterday. When the Obama Administration declared war on the Catholic Church last week (courtesy of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius), I don’t think the President understood what the reaction of the Church and average Americans would be. Many non-churched Americans were offended by the ruling that Church organizations had to go against their religious convictions in providing healthcare services. Government (state) regulations have already driven the Catholic adoption services out of Massachusetts and several other states because of rulings that did not allow the agencies to follow their religious convictions. As abortion becomes less popular (as of May 2009 51% of Americans were pro-life and 42% were pro-choice), government funding of abortion (which is part of Obamacare) will be less popular. I think Rick Santorum has benefitted by Americans waking up and seeing what the Obama Administration is bringing us and deciding that he is the best candidate to undo the damage and stop what is happening.

Rick Santorum is not the perfect candidate (neither is anyone else), but he is consistent in what he believes and what you see is what you get. I find that refreshing. He has also avoided the nasty negative attacks that some of the other candidates have engaged in.

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