California judge: Teacher tenure and layoff laws are unconstitutional

Gavel

Huge news:

Los Angeles (CNN) — A California judge ruled as unconstitutional Tuesday the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws, saying they keep bad teachers in the classroom and force out the good ones, the plaintiffs said.

The ruling was hailed by the nation’s top education chief as bringing to California — and possibly the nation — an opportunity to build “a new framework for the teaching profession.” The decision represented “a mandate” to fix a broken teaching system, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.

The Los Angeles County court ordered a stay on the decision, pending an appeal by the state and the teachers union, the plaintiffs said.

Reforming teacher tenure and firing laws is a hotly debated issue in American education, and the California case is being watched nationally — evidenced by a statement by Duncan immediately after the court ruling.

Reformers say firing a bad teacher is almost impossible because of tenure laws and union protections, but teachers and their unions argue school boards and their firing criteria have unfair, overtly political standards.

The teachers union is, of course, vowing an appeal. But if this is upheld at higher levels, it’ll be fascinating to see what repercussions it will have on other states where Republicans are battling Democrats in an effort to reform broken education systems – as is the case here in NC.    More school children might, I dunno, start learning more instead of just being a warm body occupying a desk just barely making it by from grade to grade. Wouldn’t that be great?

Former CLT Mayor Pat Cannon (D) to plead guilty to federal corruption charge

Patrick Cannon and Anthony Foxx

Then-Charlotte City Councilman- Patrick Cannon (l) and then-Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (now Obama’s Transportation Secretary) in happier times. Image via PraiseCharlotte.com

Via The Charlotte Observer:

Patrick Cannon is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to a federal public corruption charge that carries up to a 20-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.

According to court documents released to the public early Monday, Cannon will appear in federal court at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer. At that time, he will plead to one count of honest services wire fraud, an umbrella charge commonly used in cases where public officials take kickbacks or bribes, documents say.

The charge basically means the 48-year-old Democrat used his mayoral and city council posts for illegal gain, depriving city residents of his “honest services” as their elected representative.

Cannon did not answer the door at his house Monday morning. Asked why his client had agreed to plead guilty rather than fight the charges in court, attorney James Ferguson said Monday morning that he could not comment.

Honest services fraud is one of the three corruption charges leveled against Cannon at his March 26 arrest. At the time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office accused him of accepting almost $50,000 in bribes. In exchange, Cannon promised to use his office to assist real estate deals pitched by undercover FBI agents posing as out-of-town investors.

[…]

According to the new document, Cannon is accused of soliciting and accepting a series of bribes from a Charlotte businessman, identified as “Businessman #1,” whose adult entertainment club was in the path of the Blue Line Extension through north Charlotte.

Welcome to the culture of corruption – Charlotte, NC style.  Perhaps Cannon’s new nickname should be “Strip Club Patrick.”

Read the Twitter reaction to reports of Cannon’s expected plea here.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Let’s videotape all gun sales in our city

Rahm Emanuel

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

When the stench of fascism is in the air, you know Chicago mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel can’t be too far away:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced a proposal Wednesday that would require all gun sales in the city to be videotaped, as part of a plan to allow gun stores back in Chicago under very tight restrictions.

The measure, which would also ban gun stores near schools and parks, was introduced Wednesday at a city council meeting without discussion. It was then referred to the council’s Public Safety Committee.

A vote on the proposal has not been scheduled.

The move comes in response to a January federal court ruling that deemed Chicago’s longtime ban on gun stores unconstitutional. The court gave the city six months to approve store restrictions while lifting the ban, setting a deadline of July 14 for the new plan.

The Democratic mayor’s plan, which is likely to be controversial, would aim to significantly limit any gun dealer who wishes to operate in the city. Emanuel’s proposal would also require a 72-hour waiting period for purchasing handguns and a 24-hour waiting period for rifles and shotguns.

Dealers would then be able to sell only one handgun per month, per buyer. Store records would also be subject to quarterly audits.

And here’s your quote of the day – on the same topic:

On Tuesday, Emanuel told a downtown hotel ballroom full of police officers that the new rules are “a smart, tough and enforceable way to prevent illegal guns in the city of Chicago.”

“Now that we’re required to allow gun sales within the city limits, we do it in a way that does not undermine our public safety goals,” said Emanuel, speaking at the police department’s annual awards ceremony.

How long has he been mayor of the murder capital of America again? “Safety goals” under the leadership of of Mayor Emanuel will likely always fall short because, like a typical elected liberal Democrat, he believes the “solution” to gun violence – which is the major driving force behind the crime problem in Chicago –  is to keep innocent, law-abiding people who simply want to protect themselves disarmed while the thugs who mean to do them harm obtain guns in whatever way they can – legal or not.

Infuriating.  But, sadly, the cycle continues.

Correcting preconceived notions about guns in the aftermath of the #UCSB murders

Facts

Facts matter.

In the aftermath of the horrific stabbings and shootings at the hands of deranged University of California at Santa Barbara student Eliot Rodger that left 6 dead (not including the murderer) and 13 injured, National Review writer Charles C.W. Cooke provides some much needed clarity on the talking points being thrown around by predictable knee-jerk reactionaries:


From USA Today:

Rodger stabbed to death three roommates at his apartment before starting his shooting spree, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown at a news conference.

“It was a pretty horrific crime scene,” Brown said of the murder scene at the apartment.

After slaying his roommates, Rodger went to a sorority house and knocked loudly on the door, Brown said. No one answered. He then shot three women outside the house, killing two and injuring the third, the sheriff said.

Twice deputies engaged him in gunfire, the first time wounding him in the hip as he drove, Brown said. The rampage ended after the young man exchanged fire with deputies and hit a bicyclist before crashing into parked cars.Rodger then fired on random people at multiple other locations nearby over a 10-minute period, police said.

“It would appear he took his own life at this point,” Brown said.

Thirteen people were injured — eight from gunshot wounds, four from being hit by his car and one who suffered a minor injury whose exact cause was not clear yet, Brown said.

Brown added that Rodger had three semi automatic handguns–a Glock 34 and two Sig Sauer P226s– as well as more than 400 rounds of ammo when he died.

The suspected shooter purchased all his firearms legally. They were registered to him.


Ezra Klein, not exactly a rock-ribbed conservative, unwittingly assisted Cooke on the inevitable cries of “we need more gun control!” coming from the left and their allies in the mainstream media:


Not exactly what gun control zealots wanted to hear. Cooke continued:


As I wrote on Twitter this morning, it’s easy to pile on and knee-jerk react in the era of “insta=reax” to what happens in the world. I’m just as guilty of it as the next person. Few people seem to take the time to carefully read and analyze the existing available information on any given developing situation before spouting off, which leads to a lot of irresponsible garbage being written – like the Daily Kos’ lengthy, ridiculous (not to mention shamelessly politically opportunistic) diatribe about how Elliot Rodger’s deadly rampage was the fault of all alpha males aka conservative men. As Cooke demonstrated, the opposition (us) needs to be better than that and come at the various (and typical) arguments tossed out for consumption armed with the facts rather than emotionalism. Sympathy for the victims and their respective families is understandable, necessary as part of the healing process – but regurgitating old, tired emotional arguments that have little to no merit for the sake of scoring cheap political points in an attempt to influence policy in the wrong direction is most definitely not.

Chilling: Reid would back Constitutional amendment limiting free speech

Senator Harry Reid

His photo doesn’t appear next to the word ”fascist” in the dictionary, but it should.

He’s not just losing it. He has LOST it. Via BuzzFeed:

WASHINGTON — Frustrated by the “sewer” of modern American political campaigns, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday said that he would bring a constitutional amendment to the floor granting Congress the ability to set strict new limits on campaign contributions, warning he will force multiple votes if necessary to pass the measure.

“When I came to Congress, when you got money you had to list who you got it from, what their occupation was, address, and phone numbers if you had it. Then I saw things change. In 1998, [former Sen.] John Ensign and I ran against one another and we spent about $10 million in Nevada,” Reid told BuzzFeed during an interview in his Capitol office.

[…]

Things had changed for the good, he said, by 2004. “I felt so clean and pure with McCain-Feingold, which had come into being, it was wonderful. We were back where we should have been,” he said.

Then the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United ruling, Reid said, opening the flood gates to hundreds of millions of largely unregulated money to SuperPACs. “It was as if I had jumped into the sewer … it’s awful what has happened.”

Although a number of Democrats, most notably New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, have talked about passing a constitutional amendment to re-impose campaign finance restrictions, Reid had not been one of them — until now.

[…]

“It’s been tried before, we should continue to push this and it should become our issue. That really puts the Koch brothers up against it. We believe and I believe that there should be spending limits. We’re going to push a constitutional amendment so we can limit spending because what is going on today is awful,” Reid vowed, indicating that he’ll bring Udall’s measure to the Senate floor soon.

“We’re going to arrange a vote on it. We’re going to do it until we pass it because that’s the salvation of our country.”

Here’s a little tip: It’s not going to pass.  Absolutely positively will not. Has no chance. Reid is showboating here, hoping that not even his supporters grasp the full depth of what he is advocating – basically a Constitutional amendment that would limit the free speech of American citizens simply because they oppose the Democratic party’s agenda.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey breaks it down:

This is a scream of impotence, in more ways than one. First, SJ-19 has no more chance of passing out of Congress than does a bill amending the Constitution to forbid abortion. It takes two-thirds of both chambers of Congress (Article V) to send an amendment to state legislatures, and Reid won’t get to 60 in the Senate. The House won’t address it at all. Furthermore, it’s doubtful that even a majority of state legislatures would take it up; more of them are Republican than Democrat, and they’ve seen the malicious prosecution that results when putting this much power in the hands of partisans in the executive branch. Wisconsin just provided an excellent example of that.

So this is just cheap political theater in an attempt to demonize two particular donors who just happen to oppose Reid’s agenda. Democrats are about to climb onto that bandwagon that proclaims that Americans can’t be trusted to discern political arguments and that the governing class should decide who gets to participate in politics. If that’s the only strategy Reid has left for the midterms, well … Democrats are in bigger trouble than we realized.

But just imagine if he had the votes in both chambers to do this.   Think about it.  And then imagine if the roles were reversed and this was a Republican engaged in this level of grandstanding, and how the media would howl with outrage that Republicans were taking their attempts at “silencing the opposition” to a “whole new frightening level.”

Honestly, I’ve always figured Reid to be a complete snake – but this shameless attempt at basically burning the First Amendment to the Constitution takes it to a whole new disturbing level, and should chill everyone to the bone … including even the people who vote for him time and time again to represent them in Washington, DC.  But I won’t hold my breath, because that would require a consideration of citizens other than themselves, as well as a recollection of the principles upon which this country was founded – and a majority of Nevadans have repeatedly demonstrated every time they vote to keep fascists like Reid in office how little they care about the devastating consequences of their vote, not just on their state, but the country as well.

(Hat tip: Memeorandum)

Rule of Law? Obama admin releases over 36,000 criminal aliens

**Posted by Phineas

Might as well throw it away

Might as well throw it away

Well, this should make us all feel oh-so-secure:

Here’s everything you need to know about immigration reform: last year the Obama administration released 36,000 criminal aliens into the United States population. The jailbreak was deliberate and included 193 murderers.

The Center for Immigration Studies obtained the information and released a report documenting the number and nature of the crimes committed by the aliens.

If 36,000 criminal aliens walking around your community wasn’t enough, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is aiming to make it even easier for aliens to be released from detention. That’s what the groups agitating for immigration reform are demanding. That’s what the groups are likely to get.

The 2013 jailbreak included rapists, kidnappers, arsonists, burglars, sex offenders, and car thieves. That’s merely for 2013.

The criminals that Obama administration policies set free are unlikely ever to be deported. Detained aliens facing deportation are highly unlikely to ever be deported once they are set free into the general American population. They don’t show up for their deportation hearings, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t have the manpower or money to hunt down tens of thousands of criminal aliens.

That’s a heaping helping of criminality the Obama administration just introduced into America.

As J. Christian Adams points out, this is just another example of how the administration, particularly its highly politicized Justice Department, sides with the law-breaker over the law-abiding. (For more good, by which I mean “infuriating,” examples, have a look at Mr. Adams’ “Injustice: exposing the racial agenda of the Obama Justice Department”)

And, far beyond merely siding with criminals and applying a racialist filter to the administration of justice, we seen more examples than I think any of us would care to remember of this administration’s cavalier lip service to even the idea of a genuine rule of law, of a law common to all: waivers and delays in the implementation of Obamacare granted with no authority; bondholders and pensioners cheated in the GM and Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings; Congress’ legitimate oversight authority treated with contempt; our tax agency used to harass law-abiding citizens seeking only to exercise their rights to participate in politics, and so many others.

We have a real problem in America when one side feels the rules just don’t apply to them, so long as they think they’re in the right.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Another 2nd Amendment win in California

**Posted by Phineas

"Crime stopper"

“Self-defense”

Okay, someone has put something in the water at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; this is the second ruling in a row where they’ve defended the right to bear arms in self defense against hyper-restrictive California laws. This time, they smacked down the Yolo County Sheriff:

Just weeks after striking down the San Diego County “good cause” requirement as burdensome to the exercise of the Second Amendment, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Yolo County, CA’s requirement that a concealed carry applicant “prove they face a threat of violence or robbery” before being allowed to carry a gun.

The Court in its new-found crush on the Bill of Rights found that the application of the “good cause” rule in Yolo “impermissibly” infringed the plaintiffs 2nd Amendment rights. While the ruling only applies to the county in question, it seems to me this is another wedge in the door that opens the way for a state-wide ruling.

Civil liberties — what a concept!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

It’s a shame the UK doesn’t have a death penalty

**Posted by Phineas

Lee Rigby, victim of jihad

Lee Rigby, victim of jihad

For these two brave knights of Allah blood-crazed jihadis richly deserve it:

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty on 19th December 2013 of killing 25-year-old soldier Lee Rigby, who had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Adebolajo, 28, was sentenced to a whole life tariff.

Adebowale, 22, was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

The pair were said to be shouting in the court room earlier, screaming “Allah hu Akbar” before they were removed by guards.

Judge Nigel Sweeney delayed sentencing in order to take account of a Court of Appeal ruling on the principle of jail terms for life.

Justice Sweeney said during the sentencing, “You have both gloried in what you have done.” He also stated that the two “butchered” Lee Rigby: “You, Adebolajo, concentrated on his neck. You, Adebowale, concentrated on his torso. What the two of you did resulted in a bloodbath”.

Adebolajo and Adebowale are Muslim converts who knew exactly what they were doing: waging jihad fi sabil Allah — “war for the sake of Allah” — in accordance with the Qur’an:

Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost. 

These murderers took Drummer Rigby from his wife and two-year old child, but will themselves live for decades at the British taxpayer’s expense. Doesn’t seem like justice to me.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)