#GunControl: Violent weekend in Chicago sees 60 shot, 9 dead

Crime scene tape

ABC News reports that the Independence Day holiday and weekend in Chicago turned out to be a violent, deadly one for nearly 70 people:

Independence Day celebrations were marred by multiple shootings in Chicago that reportedly left at least nine dead and 60 injured.

The first fatal shooting occurred around 2:30 a.m. Friday, kicking off a violent weekend for the city.

Corey Hudson, 34, was killed after a car pulled up and someone inside shot him and a friend on the street. According to ABC News station WLS-TV in Chicago there were also three police-involved shootings on July 4th alone. At least one suspect involved in one of those shootings was killed.

The most recent shootings occurred Sunday night, according to WLS-TV.

They city has been actively combating gang and shooting violence in recent years after a bloody year in 2012, when it was the only city in the nation to record more than 500 homicides.

[…]

The Chicago Tribune updated its tally of Chicago shooting victims today, bringing up the total of those shot to 1,129 so far this year. According to the Tribune, there were 2,185 shooting victims in Chicago last year.

Don’t expect any widespread outrage, any national conversation on this story, no in-depth reporting, no marches from gun-control fanatics like “Moms Demand” – because the Chicago murders don’t fit their narrative.  The city of Chicago, under decades of Democrat rule, has some of the absolutely strictest gun laws – the exact types of laws that gun control zealots salivate over – in the country, and yet for years it’s had one of the worst, in some years THE worst, rate of violent crime involving guns.  It’s a sad commentary on exactly what types of viciousness and lawlessness unconstitutional gun laws can lead to, and one that deserves a vigorous discussion – but we won’t see it any time soon, because gun rights advocates are typically relegated to the back of the bus on this issue, viewed as “heartless” and “lacking compassion” … all because they know the truth (and aren’t afraid to speak out about it) about how tight gun control laws only lead to more innocent people being hurt or killed by thugs who don’t give a damn about the rule of law.

Move along here, nothing to see, etc … :(

Did Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) threaten a presidential coup d’etat?

**Posted by Phineas

Hypocrite

Lackey

The topic was immigration, both the current crisis at the border and the Democrats’ desperate desire to have the House pass the comprehensive amnesty bill already approved in the Senate. You can read the whole thing at PJM, but I think the senior senator at Illinois might want to walk this part back:

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) piled on. Noting that a year has passed since the Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill with broad bipartisan support, he urged House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring a similar bill to the floor.

“I don’t know how much more time he thinks he needs, but I hope that Speaker Boehner will speak up today,” Durbin said. “And if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”

“Borrow the power,” Dick? Pray, under what authority would the president, to whom the Constitution assigns no lawmaking power (that’s your job, Dickie-boy), “borrow” the power to “solve the problem,” that is, to make law? What you mean is that he would unilaterally seize the power and abuse his administrative authority and prosecutorial discretion (even more than he already has) to create a new immigration reality (and millions of new Democratic voters, you hope) by fiat. By ukase. By his will, alone.

You call it “borrowing power,” Dick.

A rational person, on the other hand, and not some fawning courtier of a liberal fascist, calls it what it is: dictatorship.

Resign, Dick. You’re a disgrace to your oath of office.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

EPA tells Congress it, too, can’t provide emails due to “hard drive crash”

What

Shaking my head.

Beyond pathetic, beyond believable (hat tip):

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the IRS share a problem: officials say they cannot provide the emails a congressional committee has requested because an employee’s hard drive crashed.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.

“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy said. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”

The revelation came less than two weeks after IRS officials told Congress that Lois Lerner, the official at the center of the controversy over the targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups, also suffered from a hard drive crash that makes it difficult to comply with records requests.

The committee suspects that Phillip North, who worked for the EPA in Alaska, decided with his colleagues to veto the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay in 2009, before the agency even began researching its potential impacts on the environment.

Committee staffers have been trying for about a year to interview North, but he has been in New Zealand and refuses to cooperate, they said.

“We have tried to serve a subpoena on your former employee and we have asked for the failed hard drive from this Alaskan individual who now is in New Zealand, and seems to never be returning,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, said Wednesday.

Emails provided by the committee show that EPA told congressional investigators about the hard drive crash months ago. But McCarthy said she only told the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about the problem Tuesday.

How convenient, eh? @redsteeze on Twitter quips:


And not just the “most tech savvy”, but also the most open, honest, transparent administration in HISTORY – of course that depends on your definition of “transparent”, however. As to “honest and open”, well, sure … if you discount the lost emails, the deliberate firings/reprimands of Inspectors Generals they don’t like, the IRS targeting over conservative groups, the way they get around the whole “visitors log” thing by arranging meeting with lobbyists just down the street from the White House, etc …

In related news about the EPA, welcome to bizarro world: EPA Employees Told to Stop Pooping in the Hallway

Egyptian court sentences Christian to 6 years “for contempt of religion”

Egyptian Christians

Image via democracyandsociety.com.

The Associated Press reports that an Egyptian Christian has been sentenced to six years prison time by an Egyptian court because he “insulted Islam” on Facebook:

A court convicted an Egyptian Christian to six years imprisonment for blasphemy and contempt of religion on Tuesday.

The Luxor court issued its verdict against Kerolos Ghattas, 30, after his arrest earlier this month for posting pictures deemed insulting to Islam on his Facebook page.

Ghattas’ arrest sparked fears of sectarian conflict in his village, where unidentified assailants have hurled molotov cocktails at shops owned by Christians. Local authorities beefed up security in the village on Tuesday.

The verdict can be appealed. Egypt has witnessed a rise in the number of cases of Coptic Christians — estimated as 10 percent of the population — over the past three years.

On Monday, another Christian journalist — a convert — was sentenced to six years in prison over his coverage of recent sectarian strife.

I’m curious to see what the various “COEXIST” factions think about these two disturbing cases. Well, not really …

Member of Team Clinton bans conservative news outlet from U of Ark archives

Bill and Hillary Clinton

All about image.

Disturbing:

A Hillary Clinton donor who serves as dean of the University of Arkansas libraries has banned the Washington Free Beacon from the school’s special collections archives, after the news outlet published revealing stories about Hillary Clinton based on documents available at the university library.

The ban came days after the Free Beacon ran a story about Clinton’s 1975 defense of a child rapist that drew from audio recordings available at the University of Arkansas library’s special collections archives.

However, the ban was not mentioned in a June 16 email to this reporter from Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations at the university.

“Congratulations on another fine mining expedition into the University of Arkansas Libraries archives,” Voorhies wrote.

“I appreciate you raising the profile of the University of Arkansas Libraries special collections,” Voorhies concluded his email, while asking for advanced notice prior to future stories.

“I expect there is more you will find in coming months,” he said.

Library dean Carolyn Henderson Allen informed editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti in a June 17 letter that the library had “officially suspended” the Free Beacon‘s research privileges.

That’s not even the half of it. Make sure to read the whole thing. The lengths the Clinton Protection Racket will go through to try to protect Bill and Hillary – especially Hillary, at this point, boggles the mind. Deeply disturbing. What else are they trying to hide?  You can bet this won’t be the last time the Beacon shines a light on them.

And to their credit, the Free Beacon isn’t backing down – as can be seen from their front page which has several huge Clinton stories  “above the fold” this morning.  Their response to Allen can be read here. Bravo.

Efficient as ever, Hillary Clinton attacks 1st and 2nd amendments in one sentence

**Posted by Phineas

Tolerance

Hey, why only gut one amendment in the Bill of Rights when you can trash two at the same time? It’s a progressive win-win!

During a televised town hall, Hillary Clinton was asked about guns, and said that the viewpoint held by gun-rights advocates “terrorizes” the majority of Americans.

The town hall, broadcast live on CNN on Tuesday, closely resembled a commercial for Clinton’s new memoir, “Hard Choices.”

(…)

“We cannot let a minority of people – and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people – hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” said Clinton.

Get that? Not only are you allowed to own firearms only at the sufferance of the State, but you are not even allowed to hold a point of view that differs from the majority opinion, presumably as long as that majority happens to agree with the progressive statist position.

And “terrorizes?” Really, Hillary? I’m not allowed to hold the opinion that the natural right to self-defense allows me and all other Americans to arm ourselves and that the Bill of Rights recognizes that unalienable right against government power, because said opinion might make your neighbors in Chappaqua get the vapors? How weird. In all my reading about the American Founding and our constitutional settlement, I never ran across the part that talked about how we have free speech as long as it isn’t scary. I don’t recall Voltaire saying “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, as long as it does not offend the majority.”

Hey, Hillary? What about other minorities? Blacks in the 1950s and 1960s were of the opinion that they held the same natural and civil rights as other Americans and loudly demonstrated to demand those rights be honored. That surely scared the majority Whites at the time, so should Blacks have not been allowed to hold those opinions? I’m curious for your thoughts on the matter.

File this away for 2016, folks, should Lady Macbeth decide to run: it is the opinion of a leading candidate for President of the United States, who swears an oath to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution –including the Bill of Rights– that you are only allowed to express your own opinions as long as most people are comfortable with them.

Comforting, isn’t it?

h/t Bryan Preston

PS: Hillary is no outlier for her party: just the other day, President Obama was praising Australia’s draconian gun confiscation law. The simple truth is that the Left approves of the Constitution only when it is convenient to them.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Federal govt essentially attempting to force Washington Redskins to change name

Washington Redskins

Should they keep it or change it?

It was only a matter of time:

The Washington Redskins’ logo is disparaging and its trademark must be cancelled, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office wrote in a ruling Wednesday. [READ THE RULING.]

The Redskins will continue to be able to use the name, but the team will not have all the legal benefits afforded to it when it is registered with the federal government.

“Based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” read a ruling from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

“We lack statutory authority to issue rulings concerning the right to use trademarks,” the ruling continued.

The team can appeal the decision in court as it did in the past, and the trademarks will remain registered until after the review. The office made a similar ruling in 1992, but the U.S District Court for the District of Columbia reversed the board’s decision after a lengthy litigation process in 2003.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cheered the decision, going to the Senate floor to call for the team and its owner, Daniel Snyder, to end its use of the “racist” name.

“Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this, but it’s just a matter of time until he’s forced to do the right thing and change the name,” Reid said.

Reid has led a public charge against the Redskins name, most recently organizing a letter calling for the team to drop the name.The letter was signed by 50 Democratic senators.

[…]

The petition was brought by five Native Americans in the case Blackhorse V. Pro Football, Inc.

More from the left wing peanut gallery:

“Today’s actions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are in line with longstanding rules on the treatment of disparaging or offensive names,” Pelosi said in a statement. “While we respect the right to free speech, slurs have no right to trademark protections.

“The team that represents our nation’s capital should be a source of pride to all Americans. It’s long past time for the Washington football team to choose a new name.”

Frankly, it’s none of Congresses’ freaking business what the Washington Redskins call themselves, but because it’s the politically correct thing to do – and because apparently Democrats don’t have any issues more pressing than this (/sarc) to deal with, they threw their weight behind this case and are using every trick in the book short of political blackmail (and that’s debatable) to force the team to change their name.

No matter what side of the argument a person is on on this issue, the bullying and threats by Democratic members of the United States House and Senate should appall everyone, as should any attempts at mandating by force of law a private dispute over a non-life or death issue between two groups that could have been settled without government interference .  It’s a sad day in America when a issues like these that can and should be resolved or compromised on in the private sector by the two disagreeing factions is forcibly decided by the federal government – aided and abetted by Congressional bullies.   The death of common sense, and the demise of right and wrong, continues.

(Via Memeorandum)

The IRS says it has lost *two years* worth of Lerner emails. Seriously.

Lois Lerner

You can run, Ms. Lerner, but you cannot hide.

Unbelievable. Literally unbelievable:

he Internal Revenue Service claims to have lost two-years worth of emails between former IRS official Lois Lerner, who resigned under pressure for her role in the IRS targeting scandal, and outside agencies and groups.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) announced Friday that the IRS informed the committee it lost the emails, which the committee was seeking as part of its investigation into the targeting scandal, due to a computer crash in 2011.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the IRS said it went to “unprecedented efforts” to reconstruct Lerner’s emails, including searching emails of other officials, resulting in an additional 24,000 emails being provided to lawmakers.

But because of the crash, the IRS said it cannot produce emails between Lerner and the White House, Treasury Department, Justice Department, FEC, or other Democrat offices.

“The IRS has made unprecedented efforts in connection with this effort, producing more than 750,000 pages of documents to help complete the investigations,” the agency said in a statement. “In total, the IRS’s efforts to respond to Congress have involved more than 250 IRS employees working more than 120,000 hours at a direct cost of nearly $10 million.”

In a statement, Camp called the disclosure—more than a year into the committee’s investigation—“completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’ response to congressional inquiries.”

Camp also called for an investigation by the Department of Justice and the IRS Inspector General.

Scott Johnson at Power Line shares an intriguing email a Department of Justice lawyer sent to him in response to the ridiculous claims that the email loss was the result of a “computer crash”:

I’m a DOJ lawyer, so you obviously cannot use my name or any identifying information. But the idea that a “hard drive crash” somehow destroyed all of Ms. Lerner’s intra-government email correspondence during the period in question [2009-2011] is laughable. Government email servers are backed up every night. So if she actually had a hard drive fail, her emails would be recoverable from the backup. If the backup was somehow also compromised, then we are talking about a conspiracy.

Yes, friends, I do believe we have a genuine conspiracy to hide the truth on our hands.  In the “most open, transparent administration evah …”  The various investigations into what happened just got a lot tougher but nevertheless need to continue to be relentless until they get to the bottom of not just the wrongdoing behind the wrongful targeting of Tea Party groups – but the cover-up as well.

Read much more here.

Report: VA “paused” sending teams to help poor-performing hospitals

VA hospital

VA hospital

Via the Wall Street Journal/Fox News:

The Department of Veterans Affairs suspended a program that sent teams of doctors and monitors to try to improve its worst-performing facilities for approximately two years, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal, citing agency doctors and internal records, reported that the visits were “paused” beginning in early 2011. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, the head of the agency’s quality and safety program, said the VA had begun to revive the program about a year ago.

The Journal report specifies seven VA hospitals that have consistently received a rating of one star out of a possible five from the VA since at least 2011. Those hospitals are located in Augusta, Ga.; Little Rock, Ark.; Providence, R.I.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; and Puget Sound (Seattle), Wash. The star rating system measures hospitals according to key performance standards, including death rates among acute-care patients and among patients suffering from congestive heart failure and pneumonia. Length of stays and readmission rates are also taken into consideration.

It is not clear why the agency halted the visits, though the Journal report cites current and former VA doctors who claim that top managers of the agency played down the utility of basing the ratings system on specific medical outcomes.

Dr. Clancy claimed to the Journal that each of the hospitals with the poorest rating “has gotten at least one visit in the last year or year and a half.”

In related and equally disturbing news, The Hill reports that nearly 60,000 – that’s 60,000 – had to wait at least 90 days to see a doctor, and an additional 63,000 didn’t receive an initial appointment at all over a 10 year period:

The White House on Monday came under increased pressure to launch a criminal probe of the Veterans Affairs Department after an audit found more than 100,000 veterans were kept waiting for medical care.

The audit uncovered evidence of widespread tampering of documents at Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics, with schedulers receiving direction from their superiors to use “unofficial lists” to make the waiting times for appointments “appear more favorable.”

The audit found more than 57,000 veterans waited at least 90 days to see a doctor, and an additional 63,000 people over the past decade never received an initial appointment at all.

Republican leaders in Congress called the findings a “national disgrace” as members of both parties demanded the Justice Department prosecute the officials responsible.

“The Department of Justice should get off the sidelines and start actively pursuing charges where applicable to the fullest extent of the law,” said Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

In the Senate, 11 Democrats joined 10 Republicans in urging an “effective and prompt” investigation by federal authorities. The leaders of the push — Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) — said criminal charges shouldn’t wait on the results of a VA inspector general (IG) investigation that will be released in August.

“The spreading and growing scale of apparent criminal wrongdoing is fast outpacing the criminal investigative resources of the IG, and the revelations in the interim report only highlight the urgency of involvement by the Department of Justice,” the senators wrote.

Make sure to read the whole thing.  I don’t know whether to cry or scream – or both. Our veterans put it all on the line, literally – they most definitely do not deserve this when they come home.

.@BarackObama’s political philosophy explained in one tweet – by him

King Obama

Image via Salon.com

I think this rather says it all, don’t you?


Emphasis on “will do whatever I can without Congress” – which he does an awful lot these days. Who needs a stinkin’ Congress anyways? 8-|