Department of Homeland Security seizes Land Rover over EPA regulations? Is this really possible? Unfortunately, yes.

The video from Fox News is available here.


Have you ever wondered why Rotisserie chickens are so cheap? They actually cost less than a chicken that you could buy to fix yourself

Megan McArdle deserves a hat tip for pointing to this article by Cat Vasko:
A couple of years ago, I got it into my head that I wanted to roast a whole chicken, just because. I wandered around my local Ralphs for a few minutes looking for poultry that hadn't already been turned into individually shrink-wrapped meat units before asking for help. The gentleman I flagged down blinked a few times at my question. "Um," he answered finally. "You know we have chickens for sale up at the front of the store that have already been cooked, right?" 
I bought the raw chicken anyway. I took it home, rubbed it in butter and herbs, shoved a lemon half up its butt, and roasted it low and slow for the majority of the day. It turned out okay. For all the work it took, it certainly wasn't notably better than a store-bought rotisserie chicken, and with the other ingredients factored in, it cost significantly more. Right now, an uncooked chicken at Ralphs runs you $9.87, but a rotisserie chicken is $6.99; at Gelson's, you'll pay $8.99 for a cooked chicken or $12.67 for the raw version; and at that beloved emporium of insanity Whole Foods, a rotisserie chicken is $8.99, while a whole chicken from the butcher counter is $12.79 ... per pound. . . . 
Even Whole Foods' notoriously inflated prices don't offset that level of production. Instead, much like hunters who strive to use every part of the animal, grocery stores attempt to sell every modicum of fresh food they stock. Produce past its prime is chopped up for the salad bar; meat that's overdue for sale is cooked up and sold hot. Some mega-grocers like Costco have dedicated rotisserie chicken programs, but employees report that standard supermarkets routinely pop unsold chickens from the butcher into the ol' rotisserie oven. . . .


Obama administration spies on Americans and now they are forced to admit they are spying on US Senators

Outrageously, the CIA engaged in surveillance of Senate emails.  When they were caught they "demonstrated a lack of candor about their activities."  Democratic Senators have "lost confidence" in Brennan, but is Obama talking about firing Brennan?  No. There is no criticism at all coming from the White House.  It makes it look as if President Obama has no problem with what the CIA did.  From Fox News:
The director of the CIA, offering a rare apology, has acknowledged an internal probe's findings that CIA employees in the Executive Branch improperly spied on the Legislative Branch by searching Senate computers and reading staffers' emails earlier this year.  
According to a declassified CIA inspector general's report, CIA officers improperly accessed Senate computers, read the emails of Senate staff, and exhibited a "lack of candor" when interviewed by agency investigators. The document, released Thursday by the CIA, is a summary of an internal CIA investigation -- which prompted CIA Director John Brennan to abandon his defiant posture in the matter and apologize to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders. 
Brennan also has convened an accountability board that will investigate the conduct of the CIA officers and discipline them, if need be. 
But the admission already has led to fierce recriminations from Senate lawmakers. 
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said he has "lost confidence" in Brennan, and urged the administration to appoint an independent counsel to investigate. . . .


Democratic party turnout in primaries is down more than the turnout for Republicans

While Republican turnout is down 1.4 percentage points, the turnout rate for Democrats is down by 2.6 percentage points.  I guess that I would like to see a regression that accounted for whether races were contested, but this is suggestive.  From The Hill newspaper:
And GOP operatives note that in other states soon facing a vote, like Tennessee next week, early voting is on the rise — an encouraging sign they see as indicative of Republican enthusiasm this fall. An operative engaged in House races pointed in particular to GOP turnout in the special election in Florida’s 13th District, when more than 40 percent of Republicans went to the polls, as evidence of strong enthusiasm from their party. 
The survey also showed that Democrats suffered a higher drop-off from 2010 than Republicans. Democratic turnout went from 8.7 percent of eligible voters in 2010 to 6.1 percent this year. Republican turnout dropped from 9.6 percent in 2010 to 8.2 percent.
McDonald said that’s largely because most of the action has been taking place on the other side, and that Democrats will tune back in once there’s a reason to. 
“We haven’t really seen Democrats have a reason to be interested in the election yet, because we’re not close to the fall election and their primaries haven’t been contested,” he said. 
Still, Democratic base constituencies become disinterested during the midterms at higher rates than GOP-leaning groups, which is why Democrats have a tougher fight to get their voters out this fall. . . .



Tennessee up to 471,882 permits in July 2014, Michigan at 558,403, Utah at 550,663, and Florida at 1,290,362

Click on above screenshots to enlarge them.  It is pretty amazing that just seven states now have a total of just seven states account for over 5 million concealed handgun permits.  Indiana has had about a 13 percent increase in the number of permits in just 9 months.

latestAfter about 6mnths or noted otherwise
Texas708,048584,85021%Change from 2012 to 2013

UPDATE: The number of permits in Lenoir County, NC has gone up 1,000% percent in 10 years.
The presence of crime is causing concealed weapons permits to rise. In the last 10 years permits have gone up 1000% in Lenoir County.
"They're applying for a concealed weapons permit because they want to be able to protect themselves and they want to be able to protect their families." Sheriff Chris Hill said.
In 2008, 210 people applied and in 2013 it jumped to more than 800 applicants. . . .
UPDATE: Illinois now has seen about 84,000 permit applicants.  Presumably almost all will have their permits approved.  Still many fewer than the unrealistic prediction of 300,000 by the state police.

UPDATE: From the West Virginia Associated Press: It looks as if West Virginia has about 126,514 permits that were issued over the last five years and that there were large changes in the number of permits issued in 2012 and 2013.  That would represent quite an increase from 92,000 active permit holders in 2011.
In 2009, county sheriffs’ departments issued 11,160 permits allowing residents to carry concealed handguns in most public places. In 2013, that number had jumped to 44,981.The largest increase was from 2012 to 2013, when the number of permits issued annually increased by more than 15,000, up from 29,712 in 2012.
Those numbers, compiled by the West Virginia State Police, are only the permits issued each year. A permit is valid for five years, so the total number of West Virginians licensed to carry concealed handguns is much higher.
While some may have been revoked or surrendered, a total of 126,514 permits were issued in the five years including 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. . . .

Minnesota permits by county



A look at the types of things Lois Lerner called conservatives while writing on her government email account

If Lerner called conservatives these things on her government email account, imagine what she might be writing on her personal account.  But you would think that a government official would be somewhat circumspect in writing something down in a permanent form for others to see.  However may be she knew that these emails wouldn't be permanent!  From the WSJ:
newly discovered email shows that former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner once referred to conservatives as "---holes," according to new documents released by House Republicans.In the November 2012 email exchange, Ms. Lerner also suggested that conservative "crazies" could threaten the nation's future.
Her comments came in a wide-ranging email conversation, apparently with a friend or family member, while Ms. Lerner was traveling in England. At one point Ms. Lerner wrote that she overheard two women saying the U.S. had bankrupted itself and is "going down the tubes."
"Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP," the person conversing with Ms. Lerner responded. "The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to."
"Great," Ms. Lerner replied. "Maybe we are through if there are that many ---holes." The word used by Ms. Lerner is redacted, with the first three letters blacked out.  . . .
Ms. Lerner adds later: "So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists [sic]. It's our own crazies that will take us down." . . .


Stunner: Three of the four women on "The View" support gun ownership for protection


JENNY MCCARTHY: “People who would definitely disagree with the NFL ruling is a gun safety group that is trying to pressure Republican senators to support gun restriction laws for domestic abuser with a brutal PSA. Now, warning, get your kids out of the room. Because this is pretty disturbing. Take a look.”
[Everytown for Gun Safety Ad]
MCCARTHY: “Right? Effective, Lara?”
LARA SPENCER: “I would say highly effective. I mean so upsetting. Very strong message. And-“
SHERRI SHEPHERD: “For not getting a gun? For, for having gun safety?”
SPENCER: “Well right, but that’s, that’s the catch here.”
SHEPHERD: “Can I tell you, can I tell you the flipside of that. And that is absolutely so disturbing, but the flipside is when I was at my home and the alarm went off, and I ran to my son’s bedroom and Jeffery was crying, and I realized all I had to protect me and somebody coming around that corner was a daggone wicker trash basket. And I said to myself and “Everybody said to me, well get a bat.” You got one chance to use a bat and if they take it away. “Get pepper stray.” You know how close they got to get to you, if you use pepper spray? You got one of these? [makes a gesture like she’s holding a gun and makes a sound of cocking a gun] They’re not gonna come near you and your child! So when you’re standing there, and you don’t know how to protect your child ? Get a gun in your home!”
JULIET HUDDY: “Well I was gonna say when I was in my In my early twenties I had a stalker. A lot of people have that situation whether they are on TV or not on TV. And I remember feeling so vulnerable. And I just remember constantly going to sleep at night wishing that I could go over and grab my dad’s gun. You know? And keep it behind my bed. You know the knife? The butcher knife in the kitchen wasn’t gonna work for me. You know?”
SPENCER: “I have two kids. I would never want a gun in the house.”
MCCARTHY: “I’ve been in circumstances like Sherri where, you know people tried to break in and I’m with my son going, “I wish I had something to protect myself with.””
SHEPHERD: “I think that’s the thing when you’re standing there and if you’ve ever been in that situation where you have children and you go what do I have?”
MCCARTHY: “I used to think like you.”
SHEPHERD: “I used to think like you too. When you’re sitting there going-“
SPENCER: “What changed you?”
MCCARTHY: “That happened to me. They were trying to get in and I felt out of control and I had a child, and I was thinking to myself I wish I had a gun and I wish, you know, I have it very well protected now. There’s no way. Locked up.”
SHEPHERD: “Locked up, go to the gun range, know how to use it. There was a man who broke into a woman’s house. She was up in the attic. She had her two twins. He, as soon as he put his face in the attic she shot him. I betcha he’ll never try to break into that woman’s house again.”
MCCARTHY: “Long story short, don’t come at me and Sherri’s house!”  



Great speech by Congressman Thomas Massie: "Day 3 - Washington Under Siege"

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My newest piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Armed doctor saved lives"

My newest piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer starts this way:
On Thursday afternoon, Dr. Lee Silverman undoubtedly saved many lives. Using a handgun, the Delaware County psychiatrist stopped what both police and the district attorney described as a certain mass killing at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. 
The attacker, Richard Plotts, is a convicted felon, which bans him from legally owning a gun. But Pennsylvania's universal background check law did not stop him. Neither did the hospital's signs banning guns. 
The proposed federal law on expanded background checks that President Obama continually pushes is similar to Pennsylvania's and would not have stopped Plotts either. Indeed, it is hard to see how it would have stopped any of the other mass shootings during his presidency. 
At Mercy Fitzgerald, caseworker Theresa Hunt was killed when Plotts opened fire during a regularly scheduled appointment with Dr. Lee Silverman. Fortunately, the doctor had his own gun and returned fire, hitting Plotts three times and critically wounding him. 
After firing all the bullets in his gun, Plotts still had 39 bullets on him, bullets that he could have used to shoot many other people. Silverman's three hits, however, made it possible for two other hospital employees to tackle the wounded attacker and secure his .32-caliber revolver. Plotts has since been charged with murder and attempted murder. 
Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux was clear: "Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives. ... Without that firearm, this guy [Plotts] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition." . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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Median Household Income still much lower today than it was when the recession ended!

Click figure to enlarge.  The original figure is available here.

It is one thing to say that the economy is worse than before the recession hit.  It is another to say that we are lower now than when the "recovery" started.

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