On abolishing the death penalty

Kurt Sheidegger at Crime and ConsequencesIf the death penalty is abolished on Tuesday, the campaign to abolish life without parole begins on Wednesday.  We don’t have to speculate about that.  We have already seen it with the 17-year-old murderers.

Liberals can somehow erase from their minds any vision of the victims of barbaric murderers. The victims are gone never to be seen again. The murderer is right here and visible. He’s in handcuffs or behind bars so he’s no longer an immediate threat. Liberals can’t see past that. They sympathize with real-bad-awful-heinous-monster killers. It’s weird.

For example, this:

Ninth Circuit Voids AZ Death Sentence:  A divided panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the death sentence of a brutal Tuscon murderer.  Madison Alder of Cronkite News reports that the Court’s two-judge majority lead by Judge Stephen Reinhardt announced that all of the lower courts which had reviewed and rejected murderer Robert Douglas Smith’s claim that he was intellectually disabled during the murder were wrong, and that a low IQ test in 1964 proved that Smith was too retarded to have been responsible for the kidnapping, rape and grisly murder of 29-year-old hitchhiker Sandy Owen.  Subsequent tests found that Smith had a near normal IQ.  After raping her twice, Smith initially tried unsuccessfully to strangle Owen to death,  then held her down while an accomplice stabbed her several times, which also failed to kill her.  Smith then tried to break the woman’s neck.  She was finally killed after they crushed her head with a rock.

Sympathy for the killers, none for the innocent victim. Head screwed on backwards syndrome. A biting dissent by Judge Consuelo Callahan who has her head correctly screwed on. I hope AZ takes this to the Supreme Court because Judge Stephen Reinhardt is the most reversed judge in America.  The murder took place 35 years ago! Complete system breakdown is what this is.

Phyllis Schlafly turns against Rubio

UPDATE: Mickey Kaus, The Rubio Menace — “You can count on the combination of President Rubio and Speaker Ryan to quickly pass an amnesty bill that (like the Gang of 8) contains only the most chimerical guarantees of new enforcement measures. Marco Rubio is a state-of-the art K-Street kill shot, a sudden existential threat. We may have only a few days to recognize this.”

Schlafly unloads on Rubio: “He betrayed us all”

In 2009, Marco Rubio was a plucky challenger for the open Senate seat in Florida, taking on incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. Though Rubio was trailing in the polls, one leading conservative activist thought he had real potential and vowed to help him.

“When Marco Rubio ran for the Senate in Florida, I think I was the first one to endorse him,” said Phyllis Schlafly. “I made a trip down to Florida in 2009 just for the purpose of helping him.”

But Schlafly, a legendary conservative activist, author and WND columnist, now says she is bitterly disappointed by Rubio’s record.

“Once he got elected, he betrayed us all,” she told WND. “He said he was against amnesty and against the establishment. And once he got in, right away, he became an agent of the establishment. And now, of course, he’s big for amnesty and letting all the illegal immigrants in. He betrayed us a number of times on that issue.”

Schlafly said she was startled at the magnitude of Rubio’s “betrayal” on amnesty.

“It was so public,” she said.

“He’s a lackey for the establishment now,” she said. “There’s no question they’re picking up as Plan B – or maybe Plan C in this election cycle, or whatever we’re on now – but he certainly is an establishment agent.”

It’s well known that Rubio is disenchanted and unhappy in the Senate and has a poor attendance record. Why does he or anyone else think he’ll find happiness as President? And if he doesn’t what sort of president will he be? We’ve just suffered through two terms of a president who despises his own country, doesn’t take his job very seriously, plays golf most of the time and takes vacations that cost taxpayers $45 million.

Why would we want another president who probably won’t like the job once he gets it? And be a lackey for the GOP establishment? This election is a chance for grassroots conservatives to dislodge the establishment from the leadership of the Republican party, but only if they don’t blow it by electing Marco Rubio.

Citi: World economy seems trapped in ‘death spiral’

The global economy seems trapped in a “death spiral” that could lead to further weakness in oil prices, recession and a serious equity bear market, Citi strategists have warned.

Some analysts — including those at Citi — have turned bearish on the world economy this year, following an equity rout in January and weaker economic data out of China and the U.S.

“The world appears to be trapped in a circular reference death spiral,” Citi strategists led by Jonathan Stubbs said in a report on Thursday.

“Stronger U.S. dollar, weaker oil/commodity prices, weaker world trade/petrodollar liquidity, weaker EM (and global growth)… and repeat. Ad infinitum, this would lead to Oilmageddon, a ‘significant and synchronized’ global recession and a proper modern-day equity bear market.”

Obama says it’s George Bush’s fault.

Hickenlopper’s magazine ban is unconstitutional

Federal District Colorado Judge Marsha Kreiger didn’t agree but a new 4th Circuit case and cases cited therein clearly would. In Kolbe v. Hogan, a 4th Circuit case issued yesterday that challenges Maryland’s ban on AR-15 rifles and magazines holding more than 10 rounds, the court said:

Magazines holding more than 10 rounds are “common” and “standard.” There are more than 75 million of them in the United States. Indeed, “most pistols are manufactured with magazines holding ten to 17 rounds.” In fact, “Virtually every federal court to have addressed this question” has found that magazines over 10 rounds are in “common use,” and thus are covered by the Second Amendment.

That means strict scrutiny must be applied in determining whether a magazine ban is constitutional, at least for magazines in common usage. Hickenlooper’s ban applies to magazines holding more than 15 rounds, but as the court says most pistols use magazines holding from 10 to 17 rounds.  The Springfield Armory 9mm XDM pistol comes from the factory with 19-round magazines. The AR-15 rifle, the gun at issue in the 4th Circuit case, uses a 30-round magazine as the “common” and “standard” magazine for that rifle. Thus, these magazine are protected by the Second Amendment and a court must apply strict scrutiny to any law against them.

Strict scrutiny means it must be shown that the law addresses a compelling state interest and that  the legislature has chosen the least restrictive means to achieve that interest.  Hickenlooper admitted before he signed Colorado’s magazine ban that it probably would not do any good, and certainly would not have had any effect on James Holmes’ rampage at the Aurora theater.  He also said, “Well, it might do some good.” He was unable to specify just what good it “might” do.

By Hickenlooper’s own acknowledgement, Colorado’s magazine ban cannot even pass the rational basis test, the least restrictive Constitutional test court’s apply to legislation challenged as unconstitutional.  There is not even a rational basis for a law if the governor or the legislature cannot state how it will accomplish any legitimate goal of government. A law against spitting into the wind has more legitimacy than Hickenlooper’s magazine ban.

We need the name of the judge who did this

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Family members of a man killed by a drunk driver were in disbelief Wednesday when a judge sentenced the driver to just five years in community corrections and a year of jail time.

Robert McGhee, 59, had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit on Nov. 23, 2014 when he hit and killed a man. John Gilmore, 48, was walking home from his first night of work in Wheat Ridge when he was struck.

McGhee was found guilty of vehicular homicide last November.

McGhee could have been sentenced to 12 years in prison, but a visiting judge presiding over the case chose a far more lenient sentence that includes time in a halfway house and supervision, but likely gets McGhee out of jail in less than a year.

I believe I have read every story available on the internet about this ridiculously lenient sentence and I have scoured the local newspapers and I cannot find one story that names the judge who did this. Judges are not elected by the people in Colorado (they should be) but they do have to stand for retention by the voters the first year after appointment and every ten years after that. Voters seldom toss a judge out and that is because voters almost never know anything about a judge with which to formulate an opinion.  This is a travesty.

According to CBS4 news Robert McGhee has several prior DUIs. He will get his drivers license back at some point, or he will do like most recidivist drunks and simply drive without a license. If he then kills someone else the unnamed judge will be to blame.

If I really wanted to, I could find out this judge’s name. That’s not the point. Every voter should know his name.

For a social drinker who isn’t really drunk and would harm no one if allowed to go on his way, a DUI conviction is a personal disaster. It’s not just the fine and loss of driving privileges for three months. The collateral consequences are huge. In this case a recidivist drunk who killed someone gets only a little more disruption in his life. DUI laws are not really about getting drunks off the road.

Rubio also pushed the “Carson dropping out” story — Updated

This tweet appears at 6:29 PM Monday night

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 12.16.32 PM

The source of the Carson dropping out story was probably CNN with this tweet 40 minutes before that of Conrad Close:

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 12.19.14 PM

Looks like Ben Carson should be angry at CNN and not Cruz or Rubio. Carson did say he was going to Florida to change clothes but CNN must have conjured the rest of it on their own.

UPDATE:  UH OH, Was Marco Rubio Guilty in the Ben Carson Dropout Rumor?

The Day The Music Died

Fifty years ago today Rock and Roll icons Buddy Holly, 22, of Lubbock, Tex.; Ritchie Valens, 17, of Los Angeles; J.P. (Big Bopper) Richardson, 24, of Beaumont, Tex., were killed when their chartered airplane crashed into an Iowa corn field. Also killed was the pilot, Roger Peterson, 21, of Clear Lake, Iowa.

I have all the music ever recorded by these Rock and Roll giants on my iPod. I sometimes listen to it during my daily workout. I also have Don McLean’s “American Pie,” a tribute to the rockers who died that day. It was recorded by McLean 13 years after the day of the crash in 1959.

Here are two interesting blog posts today that provide detailed histories of “the day the music died.”

February 3, 1959: The Day The Music Died

50 Years After the ‘Day The Music Died,’ The Boy Finally Met His Father

Ted Cruz 1, Terry Branstad and Ethanol Lobby 0

Cruz wins Iowa despite opposition to ethanol subsidy.

Iowa governor Terry Banstad told Iowans last Tuesday they should defeat Ted Cruz because of his opposition to the ethanol subsidy. All the other Republican candidates were present at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit where Banstad was speaking. Governor Banstad labeled Cruz a “big oil” candidate whose victory would be “very damaging to our state.”

In the video in the previous post just below an Iowa farmer collared Cruz for being the “big oil” candidate. If you watched the video you saw how Cruz carefully and brilliantly dealt with the matter, explaining his position with aplomb and persuasion so that the farmer seemed to come around to Cruz’s position by the end of the exchange between them.

Chris Christie was sucking up to Governor Banstad just before the caucus night hoping for an endorsement. Christie got 1.8% if the vote last night. Donald Trump viciously attacked Cruz over his opposition to ethanol.  This was all understandable because until now every Republican candidate has assumed that if you don’t celebrate the ethanol subsidy you may as well forget about winning or even making a showing in the Iowa caucus.

Cruz actually is not against ethanol, only the mandate and the subsidy. He explains his position as wanting to simply create a level playing field among all sources of energy and to stop the government from spending taxpayers money to force them to buy ethanol. Under Cruz’s plan ethanol won’t go away, it will just have to compete in the free market with other sources of energy. Taxpayers would no longer be forced to guarantee profits to Iowa corn farmers. Most of the benefits go to large corporate farms anyway, not to the small family farmers. Apparently, this message appealed to the majority of Iowans who don’t themselves derive any benefit from the ethanol subsidy.

It’s an issue of fairness. Apparently, that sells in Iowa as well as anywhere else.

Iowa farmer confronts Ted Cruz on ethanol subsidy

This is amazing. Ted Cruz is first attacked for wanting to end the ethanol subsidy but converts the farmer to his side, shows great compassion for the plight of Iowa farmers. The last moments of this video will touch your heart.

The New York Times is dumber and more partisan that we thought

The New York Times is dumber than I thought. Yesterday, The New York Times editorial board called for transaction taxes on trading financial instruments. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders favor transaction taxes.

They are dumber than I thought.

Comedy writing at the New York Times. There are some days I wonder whether the editorial page of the New York Times is really just a training ground for deadpan comedy writers. Surely Leslie Nielsen and Lloyd Bridges at their faux-serious best in Airplane! can’t match the ironic hilarity of the Times editorial endorsements yesterday of Hillary Clinton and John Kasich.

Not just dumb, silly as well.