Boots & Sabers

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Who is the real outsider?

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week:

The Wisconsin Republicans held their convention this past weekend. State political conventions are usually fairly lively and fun for those who attend, but utterly boring for those looking in from the outside. It is a time for party loyalists to reconnect with friends, revel in philosophical debates with people who think about such things, and advocate for elected and party leaders. It is only during important election years that anyone outside of the party pays any attention with opponents looking for “gotchas” and loyalists looking for direction.

 

The most anticipated and interesting event from this year’s state Republican convention was the result of the party endorsement vote. Every four years, the delegates of the convention will vote to endorse a primary candidate for governor. In order for the party to endorse a candidate, 60% or more of the delegates must vote for the same candidate.

 

The party’s endorsement is not just about bragging rights. It carries with it official party support with financial and logistical support for the endorsed candidate. Party members are free to support and work for whichever candidate they choose, but the party itself cannot support a primary candidate without that candidate being endorsed by the convention delegates. In recent memory, there has always been a strong front-runner for the Republican ticket well before the convention, so the convention delegates have used the endorsement vote as a mechanism to rally support for the chosen candidate. For example, in 2006, Mark Green and Scott Walker were battling for the nomination, but Walker dropped out in March and the Republican convention that year was more of a campaign rally for Green than anything else.

 

This year is different. With expectations high that the Republican candidate will have a strong chance of winning the governorship against incumbent Tony Evers, there is a sporty race for the Republican nomination. This cast a new importance on the party endorsement, but with a reversed polarity.

 

Many voters who always vote Republican or might lean that way this year are fed up with politicians. There is a strong feeling, stoked by traditional anti-government groups and egged on by the Trump wing of the party, that we need to throw all the bums out and elect political novices to office. That feeling is justified by the poor performance of our entire political establishment and rooted in our American tradition of amateur governance.

 

In this environment, the party endorsement is viewed by many as a negative. When the people want an outsider, the endorsement of a political party is political poison. How can a candidate be an outsider if the party establishment, as represented by the delegates of a formal convention, have endorsed that candidate?

 

Rebecca Kleefisch has been the GOP front-runner for months and, until Tim Michels entered the race, was widely expected to receive the Republican Party’s endorsement. Since entering the race, Michels has been flooding the media with commercials touting him as an outsider. Michels is wrangling over the title of “outsider” with Kevin Nicholson, who has been positioning himself as such for years. Timothy Ramthun might actually be the biggest outsider, even though he is an elected member of the state Assembly, as he runs on the fringe issue of overturning the 2020 election. Kleefisch, not to be out-outsidered, reminds people that she was an original outsider who challenged and beat the party favorite to get the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor (true).

 

So who is the real outsider? Frankly, who cares? It is a stupid distinction by which to decide for whom you will vote. Instead of bickering over who is the outsider, or the real outsider, or the super outsider, or the out-there outsider, we should cast our vote for the person who most shares our values and who is most likely to be effective in governing by those values. Values matter. Ideology matters (see: Biden administration). Backbone matters. Leadership matters. Execution matters. The insider-outsider continuum is meaningless.

 

For the record, nobody won the Republican party’s endorsement, so I guess all of the candidates are outsiders.

Most Americans Do Not Want Stricter Gun Laws

I was kind of shocked to see this on CNN.

Perhaps the best way to understand the public mindset on the gun control debate is to look at Gallup polling from earlier this year. The survey asked a simple question and a follow-up: Are you satisfied with the nation’s gun laws? And if you’re unsatisfied, do you want stricter or looser gun laws?

 

This year, only 36% of Americans said they were dissatisfied and wanted stricter gun control laws. Sixty-one percent were either satisfied (41%), dissatisfied but wanted less strict laws (13%) or dissatisfied and wanted no change (7%).

 

These numbers do shift somewhat from year to year, but the “dissatisfied and want stricter gun laws” opinion has never been a majority one this century.

 

The reason I like the question is because it gets at the intensity of feelings about the gun debate. Most people are generally fine with our country’s gun laws (to the degree that they are satisfied) or want them to be less strict.

Biden Responds to Shooting by… *checks notes*… Cracking Down on Police?

You can’t make this up.

The executive order signed by Biden will create a new national database that contains records of federal officer misconduct, including convictions, terminations, de-certifications, civil judgments, resignations and retirements while under investigation for serious misconduct.

It also requires all federal law enforcement agencies to revise use-of-force policies, banning chokeholds and restricting the use of no-knock warrants — two tactics that were widely criticized following the deaths of Floyd and Taylor.

Schumer Bellows for More Gun Laws But Won’t Postpone Vacation

Typical. It soooooo important, but despite Democrats won’t even bother postponing their long weekend to actually do anything. Good, but typical.

Schumer said he is willing to work with Republicans, but acknowledged that no gun bill is imminent and that the chamber would likely depart Thursday for its Memorial Day recess as scheduled.

And get the framing of the filibuster by the lefty reporters.

“Americans can cast their vote in November,” he said, despite the fact that Democrats already control both chambers of Congress and the White House. Because of current Senate rules, most legislation cannot pass without 60 votes due to the legislative filibuster, which was historically used to block civil rights legislation.

No Lifeguards. Two Solutions.

All of southeast Wisconsin is struggling to find lifeguards to staff their various swimming areas. Two of the most conservative areas of the state are taking radically different directions to solve it.

West Bend, via the Washington County Insider.

Last week the West Bend common council voted 5-2 (with alderwoman Tracy Ahrens absent) to seek bids on what it would cost to fill a portion of Regner Park Pond to turn it into a 3-foot wading pond. The early cost estimate was about $100,000.

Waukesha, via Fox6.

Waukesha County Parks beach swimming season will open with Swim at Your Own Risk (SAYOR) hours at six beach locations on Friday, May 27. There will be no lifeguards staffed at any beaches this season due to the labor shortage.

West Bend wants to pour taxpayer money into the pond and eliminate it as a swimming hole. It would take much more money to reverse the decision and dredge the pond again when and if lifeguards are available again. (At the rate of inflation, it might be cheaper to actually fill it with dollar bills instead of sand, but that’s a different discussion.)

Waukesha takes the simple and free approach that respects citizens as competent people who can be responsible for themselves.

West Bend’s approach is something I would expect from Milwaukee or Madison.

Waukesha’s approach is something I would expect to see in… well… West Bend.

Get it together, West Bend. Be more like Waukesha.

Who is the real outsider?

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

Rebecca Kleefisch has been the GOP front-runner for months and, until Tim Michels entered the race, was widely expected to receive the Republican Party’s endorsement. Since entering the race, Michels has been flooding the media with commercials touting him as an outsider. Michels is wrangling over the title of “outsider” with Kevin Nicholson, who has been positioning himself as such for years. Timothy Ramthun might actually be the biggest outsider, even though he is an elected member of the state Assembly, as he runs on the fringe issue of overturning the 2020 election. Kleefisch, not to be out-outsidered, reminds people that she was an original outsider who challenged and beat the party favorite to get the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor (true).

 

So who is the real outsider? Frankly, who cares? It is a stupid distinction by which to decide for whom you will vote. Instead of bickering over who is the outsider, or the real outsider, or the super outsider, or the out-there outsider, we should cast our vote for the person who most shares our values and who is most likely to be effective in governing by those values. Values matter. Ideology matters (see: Biden administration). Backbone matters. Leadership matters. Execution matters. The insider-outsider continuum is meaningless.

 

For the record, nobody won the Republican party’s endorsement, so I guess all of the candidates are outsiders.

Biden Rattles Saber Regarding Taiwan

Two concerns

President Joe Biden said Monday that the United States would intervene militarily if China attempts to take Taiwan by force, a warning that appeared to deviate from the deliberate ambiguity traditionally held by Washington.

 

The White House quickly downplayed the comments, saying they don’t reflect a change in US policy. It’s the third time in recent months – including during a CNN town hall in October – that Biden has said the US would protect Taiwan from a Chinese attack, only to have the White House walk back those remarks.

 

During a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, Biden was asked if the US would be willing to go further to help Taiwan in the event of an invasion than it did with Ukraine.

First concern, I am not convinced that this is good policy. Our historic commitment to Taiwan is important and has been a stabilizer in the region for almost 70 years. If we do not defend Taiwan, then we are likely to see Japan and Korea rapidly rearm since they can’t rely on American support against a Chinese threat. This could lead to a much wider conflict. But there are a lot of layers of supporting Taiwan before we get to committing American lives to their defense.

Second concern, is anyone else concerned by the statement, “It’s the third time in recent months… that Biden has said the US would protect Taiwan from a Chinese attack, only to have the White House walk back those remarks.” If the president does not set foreign policy, who is? Why is the “White House” (read: nameless functionaries) determining our nation’s foreign policy instead of the president?

Evers fails to act to stem rise in violent crime

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week.

Two facts have become very clear this election year. First, crime is a huge priority for Wisconsinites. Second, crime is not a priority at all for Gov. Tony Evers.

 

Since Tony Evers took office, crime — particularly violent crime — is way up in Wisconsin. Reviewing the crime statistics compiled by Wisconsin’s Department of Justice tells a tragic story. In comparing 2018 (the last year before Evers took office) to 2021 (the last full year), there were 82% more murders in Wisconsin, 16% more aggravated assaults, and 111% more vehicle thefts.

 

Even more tragic, while murders were up by 82%, arrests for murder were only up 15%. And while aggravated assaults were up by 16%, arrests for aggravated assaults were down by 4%. We have more violent crime, and we are arresting fewer of those violent criminals.

 

The vast majority of the rise in crime is coming from Milwaukee. The crime in Milwaukee made national news last Friday when 21 people were shot near the Deer District after the Bucks game. The violence prompted the Bucks to cancel the planned watch party in the Deer District for game seven of the series. Sadly, such violence is only slightly worse than what has become a normal weekend night in Milwaukee. It would be easy to dismiss the crime in Milwaukee. After all, citizens of the city of Milwaukee made it clear in the last mayoral election that they are unconcerned with the crime. They had a clear choice to elect a pro-law enforcement crimefighter and picked the other guy instead. But Milwaukee remains an economic and cultural nexus of the state. What happens in Milwaukee impacts all of Wisconsin. Despite the rising crime that is eating the core of Wisconsin’s largest city and spreading to other communities, Evers has made it clear that fighting crime is not a priority. After each heinous crime, Evers tweets the requisite sympathies and admonitions to behave, but does nothing.

 

After a monster with a history of violent crime and racist online rants was freed on $1,000 bail in Milwaukee two days before careening through the Waukesha Christmas Parade killing six and injuring dozens, Evers shared the appropriate sentiments and did nothing. Evers did not even admonish Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm for recommending a trivial bail, nor did he use his power as governor to remove Chisholm from office. Chisholm’s office has a history of coddling violent criminals, but Evers supports Chisholm’s policies.

 

After the shootings in Milwaukee last week, Evers once again took to media outlets to express his sorrow and outrage. And once again he is not acting to make any changes to keep it from happening again. Evers’ lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, who is also running for U.S. Senate, tweeted about the need for gun control — the old hobby horse of totalitarians throughout modern history — without even bothering to give any specific policy prescriptions.

 

In each of Evers’ budgets, he failed to offer any policy initiatives to reduce crime. Instead, under the label of “criminal justice reform,” Evers proposed spending more money on education and training for crooks in jail. He campaigned on closing the juvenile facilities of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake, but four years later, they remain open waiting for a better solution for Wisconsin’s young criminals. Evers is consistent in advocating to legalize marijuana as a means of reducing crime, but such policies are more about appeasing college kids and crusty hippies. Nowhere in Evers’ budgets is there anything designed to lock up more criminals, empower law enforcement, or compel district attorneys and judges to conduct themselves with the rigor and vigor that justice and victims deserve.

 

Safe behind the walls of his taxpayer-provided mansion with armed guards escorting him wherever he goes, Governor Evers has consistently demonstrated disinterest in the explosion in violent crime that is wrecking lives and destroying the quality of life in the state. Wisconsin needs a new governor who cares more about victims than criminals.

Wisconsin GOP Does Not Endorse for Governor

Huh.

MIDDLETON, Wis. — Wisconsin Republicans voted Saturday not to endorse anyone for governor ahead of the GOP primary in August, with former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch falling just short of the 60% needed to get the nod — and cash — that comes with winning the party’s official backing.

 

It marked the first time delegates have not endorsed a candidate for governor. Many activists, and one of Kleefisch’s rivals, had argued for not endorsing anyone, saying it would fracture the party.

 

[…]

 

Kleefisch got 55%, while “no endorsement” got 43% on the final ballot. The other candidates were all in the single digits.

I’m not there, so I don’t have a personal feel for the mood of the delegates. Judging from comments on social media, Michels and Nicholson supporters were pushing for no endorsement because they knew that their respective candidates could not win it. I don’t know what Ramthun’s supporters were up to. In the end, no other candidate was strong enough to deny Kleefisch the endorsement, but there were enough people who did not want to risk fracturing the party.

What does it mean? I think that Michels and Nicholson miscalculated. They are both running on the “outsider” ticket and are trying to paint Kleefisch as the “insider.” But by managing to deny her the endorsement, Kleefisch doesn’t appear to be the insider that they are trying to portray her as. Meanwhile, Kleefisch has still demonstrated strong support from core Republicans with a solid 55% showing. Michels and Nicholson would have been better off pushing to get Kleefisch the nomination (quietly, of course), so that they could hang it like a millstone around her neck during the election. As it is, they helped muddy the insider/outsider dynamic.

There is the practical matter that the endorsement brings with it official support from the Republican Party including money and party resources. But given Kleefisch’s strong support, she’s likely to get all the help she needs anyway from the state and county party functionaries.

 

Hillary Directed Misinformation Campaign to Steal Election

Well, well

Hillary Clinton personally approved leaking to the media information alleging a connection between Donald Trump and a Russian bank in 2016, which the campaign itself had not fully confirmed, according to testimony Friday by Clinton’s campaign manager.

 

Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign chief, said in federal court that as the campaign against Trump heated up in the late summer and early fall of 2016, Marc Elias, who was then a lawyer with the Perkins Coie law firm and served as the campaign’s top legal adviser, told Mook that “people with expertise” in cyberactivity had briefed the campaign on data alleging links between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Russian financial institution with ties to the Kremlin.

 

Mook’s testimony for the first time puts Clinton in the middle of a leak to the news media that ultimately blew up in the campaign’s face. The FBI quickly determined that the purported connection between the Russian bank and the Trump Organization was implausible, and Michael Sussmann, Elias’s then law partner who brought the claims to the FBI, has since been indicted by Justice Department special counsel John Durham on charges he lied to the bureau’s general counsel to hide his connection to the Clinton campaign.

 

The account from Mook came on the fourth day of the trial of Sussmann, a cyber and national security law expert who worked at Perkins Coie in 2016. The closely watched case is widely seen as a major test for Durham, the longtime U.S. attorney in Connecticut who had been initially appointed by Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, to investigate alleged wrongdoing by the FBI and other federal agencies in the course of their investigation into alleged Trump-Russia ties.

Politicos Frustrated with Wisconsin Conservative Activists

Heh.

State party Chair Paul Farrow says the engagement he’s seeing from the grassroots is unlike anything he’s seen before.

 

It’s just some of them have forgotten all the conservative priorities GOP lawmakers delivered on pre-2016.

 

There’s been noticeable grumbling among some GOP activists over the last couple of years about the “establishment” and “Madison Republicans” over things that range from election integrity to the party’s endorsement process in statewide races.

 

Farrow told WisPolitics.com in a new interview previewing this weekend’s state convention that many of those frustrated with the party didn’t get active until 2016, when Donald Trump was on the ballot for the first time. They’ve also forgotten things like Act 10, right-to-work, concealed carry and photo ID that got done before they got active.

I don’t completely disagree. We got a lot done in those heady years of 2011-2016. We should remember and appreciate it. I was there. So were a lot of other conservative activists.

BUT.. 2016 was SIX years ago, And politics is not about what you’ve done. It’s about what you are going to do. Farrow and other Republicans are still looking to be rewarded for their hard work of SIX years ago. And many of those same Republicans who championed the conservative reform revolution of the Walker area have changed. They have become complacent, lazy, or outright institutionalized in Madison.

AND… Farrow and others should be spending less time reminding the base about what they have done and more time listening to the base about what the base wants them to do next.

Evers fails to act to stem rise in violent crime

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

Two facts have become very clear this election year. First, crime is a huge priority for Wisconsinites. Second, crime is not a priority at all for Gov. Tony Evers.

 

Since Tony Evers took office, crime — particularly violent crime — is way up in Wisconsin. Reviewing the crime statistics compiled by Wisconsin’s Department of Justice tells a tragic story. In comparing 2018 (the last year before Evers took office) to 2021 (the last full year), there were 82% more murders in Wisconsin, 16% more aggravated assaults, and 111% more vehicle thefts.

 

Even more tragic, while murders were up by 82%, arrests for murder were only up 15%. And while aggravated assaults were up by 16%, arrests for aggravated assaults were down by 4%. We have more violent crime, and we are arresting fewer of those violent criminals.

 

[…]

 

After the shootings in Milwaukee last week, Evers once again took to media outlets to express his sorrow and outrage. And once again he is not acting to make any changes to keep it from happening again. Evers’ lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, who is also running for U.S. Senate, tweeted about the need for gun control — the old hobby horse of totalitarians throughout modern history — without even bothering to give any specific policy prescriptions.

 

In each of Evers’ budgets, he failed to offer any policy initiatives to reduce crime. Instead, under the label of “criminal justice reform,” Evers proposed spending more money on education and training for crooks in jail. He campaigned on closing the juvenile facilities of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake, but four years later, they remain open waiting for a better solution for Wisconsin’s young criminals. Evers is consistent in advocating to legalize marijuana as a means of reducing crime, but such policies are more about appeasing college kids and crusty hippies. Nowhere in Evers’ budgets is there anything designed to lock up more criminals, empower law enforcement, or compel district attorneys and judges to conduct themselves with the rigor and vigor that justice and victims deserve.

 

Safe behind the walls of his taxpayer-provided mansion with armed guards escorting him wherever he goes, Governor Evers has consistently demonstrated disinterest in the explosion in violent crime that is wrecking lives and destroying the quality of life in the state. Wisconsin needs a new governor who cares more about victims than criminals.

Regents Bring California Values to Wisconsin’s Flagship Campus

Disgraceful.

(Reuters) – Jennifer Mnookin, the longtime dean of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, has been named the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Officials announced her appointment Monday, saying she will take over the top administrative post at the state’s flagship public university on Aug. 4. Mnookin has led UCLA’s law school since 2015, during which time the school has expanded student financial aid, increased fundraising and student diversity, and added several academic centers.

Abort Democrat policies, not babies

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week:

The issue of abortion had been simmering on the back burner of the midterm election as the nation awaited the Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. After the egregious breach of trust and decorum when someone leaked the draft ruling, the issue may still be on the back burner, but it is boiling over.

 

While the leaked ruling is a draft and not the final version, it does indicate that the Supreme Court has decided to reverse and strongly reverse the terrible Roe v. Wade ruling in the same virtuous spirit as Brown v. Board of Education. Justice Samuel Alito’s draft is a masterpiece of legal reasoning written in a strident prose designed to firmly correct the court’s 50-year injustice.

 

When the Supreme Court issues its ruling, and assuming that it will be to reverse Roe, it will not make abortion illegal or legal in the United States. Such a ruling will simply divorce the federal courts from making that decision for anyone and restore the issue to the elected branches of state government to decide. Roe was a massive usurpation of rights and responsibilities left to states in our federal Constitution and hopefully Dobbs will return the issue to the appropriate public policy forum.

 

Several liberal states have already passed laws legalizing abortion up to the point of infanticide. Other states have been increasingly restricting abortions. In both cases, states have been acting to ensure that their state laws will reflect the will of the people should Roe ever be overturned.

 

In Wisconsin, attempts to change abortion laws for the better or the worse have failed to make it into law. Consequently, should the Dobbs decision reverse Roe, Wisconsin’s current abortion law passed in 1849 will be in effect. That law makes it a felony to conduct or assist in an abortion in all circumstances except in the case that the mother’s life is at risk. For those of us who ardently oppose killing babies, the Wisconsin law is ideal. In a politically divided state like Wisconsin, we are in the minority. Public opinion polls for years have shown that a majority of people support abortion very early in a pregnancy with steadily declining support for abortion as the pregnancy progresses with late-term abortions being opposed by a strong majority of people. Should Roe be overturned, abortion policy will no longer be a theoretical policy plank in a party platform and Wisconsin’s elected officials will be responsible for their positions. Earlier this year, the Republicans failed to advance a bill that would have revise Wisconsin’s abortion statute to make abortion legal up until the point that the baby’s heartbeat is detectable. The abortion abolitionists and the secretly pro-abortion wings of the Republican caucus united to bottle up the bill without a vote. It may be an untenable position for Republicans to hold in the long term in a politically divided state. For the sake of the babies, let us hope that they can hold it.

 

While abortion policy is critically important to the thousands of babies who are murdered in Wisconsin every year, it is not as powerful a political issue as those on either side of the issue would like to think it is. There is a sliver of the electorate for whom abortion is the most important, and sometimes only, issue that decides their vote. Polls and electoral results in Virginia and Ohio seem to indicate that the anti-abortion single-issue voters outnumber the pro-abortion single-issue voters by a smidge. But either way, these voters tend to be extremely reliable voters and abortion stances are already strongly divided along party lines. There are a few pro-abortion Republicans left, but there are almost no anti-abortion Democrats to be found anymore. In other words, these voters were already very likely to vote, and their votes were already baked into the political projections.

 

If anything, Democrats are desperately hoping that a vigorous debate about abortion will distract some voters from the fact that Democratic policies are ruining our country. Runaway inflation not seen since the early 1980s is destroying our quality of life and erasing the economic gains of the middle and lower classes. Gas prices are through the roof. There are shortages of necessities like baby formula. Rising housing prices and interest rates are robbing young families of the dream of home ownership at the same time as rent is rising. Criminals are gutting neighborhoods.

 

If Democrats are hoping that a reinvigorated debate about abortion will save them from an electoral correction for their disastrous policies, they are mistaken. At the end of the day, most people care far more about themselves than they do about tiny innocent unwanted babies, but that is why abortion exists in the first place.

 

Biden’s Not a Mind Reader

I don’t think the man can read his own mind at this point. But seriously… this is leading?

President Joe Biden on Friday lashed out at critics as he defended his administration’s actions to relieve the infant formula shortage that has panicked parents worried about feeding their babies.

 

‘If we’d been better mind readers, I guess we could have,’ Biden said when asked if his administration should have acted sooner.

 

Biden was speaking at an event on community policing and said he would only speak on that topic before – somewhat grumpily – conceding to talk about formula shortages.

 

‘I’ll answer the baby from the question because all of a sudden it’s on the front page of every newspaper,’ he said.

Home Sales Down in SE Wisconsin

Ignore the positive talk from the Realtors. 3.4% decrease in inventory with a 8.2% decrease in sales means that the housing market is slowing. High prices and rising mortgage costs are having an impact and the market is correcting. It needs to happen.

The data released Wednesday by the GMAR says that sales of homes decreased by 8.2% in April compared to April 2021. All four metro Milwaukee counties were hit with Washington County seeing the most significant decrease of 28.3% in April, compared to one year prior. Waukesha County had a decline of 11.9%, followed by Ozaukee County at 11.5%. Of the four counties, Ozaukee County had the smallest decline at 2.8%.

“But no one should panic, because looking at the first four months of the year there were 5,658 units sold, the second most on record. Second only to 2021’s 5,730,” reads the report by Ruzicka. “In fact, much of 2022 will probably appear to be down compared to last year, because 2021 was an exceptionally wild year for residential real estate.”

What has been a major concern for the past few years is the number of home listings. Again, the first period of 2022 showed fewer properties listed for sale. GMAR reported that there were 7,342 listings during the first four months of 2022, which is a 3.4% decrease compared to the first quarter of 2021.

Federal Appeals Court Overrules California Gun Law

Good!

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic rifles to adults younger than 21 was unconstitutional.

 

In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the 2nd Amendment “protects the right of young adults to keep and bear arms, which includes the right to purchase them.”

 

The ruling reverses a lower court’s decision not to issue an injunction to block a 2019 state law that banned the sale of semiautomatic centerfire rifles to young adults, which the appeals court called a “legal error.”

 

“America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan D. Nelson, an appointee of President Trump, wrote for the appeals court. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”

 

 

More Pollution Leads to Fewer Hurricanes

Smog saves lives. If we could afford it, everyone should let their cars run in the driveways to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives.

Cleaner air in United States and Europe is brewing more Atlantic hurricanesa new U.S. government study found.

 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study links changes in regionalized air pollution across the globe to storm activity going both up and down. A 50% decrease in pollution particles and droplets in Europe and the U.S. is linked to a 33% increase in Atlantic storm formation in the past couple decades, while the opposite is happening in the Pacific with more pollution and fewer typhoons, according to the study published in Wednesday’s Science Advances.

 

NOAA hurricane scientist Hiroyuki Murakami ran numerous climate computer simulations to explain change in storm activity in different parts of the globe that can’t be explained by natural climate cycles and found a link to aerosol pollution from industry and cars — sulfur particles and droplets in the air that make it hard to breathe and see.

Inflation Up. Wages Down.

Let’s go Brandon. I would ask, what “economic expansion?” Did CNBC not see that the economy contracted in Q1?

Inflation rose again in April, continuing a climb that has pushed consumers to the brink and is threatening the economic expansion, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

 

The consumer price index, a broad-based measure of prices for goods and services, increased 8.3% from a year ago, higher than the Dow Jones estimate for an 8.1% gain. That represented a slight ease from March’s peak but was still close to the highest level since the summer of 1982.

Removing volatile food and energy prices, so-called core CPI still rose 6.2%, against expectations for a 6% gain, clouding hopes that inflation had peaked in March.

 

The month-over-month gains also were higher than expectations — 0.3% on headline CPI versus the 0.2% estimate and a 0.6% increase for core, against the outlook for a 0.4% gain.

 

The price gains also meant that workers continued to lose ground. Real wages adjusted for inflation decreased 0.1% on the month despite a nominal increase of 0.3% in average hourly earnings. Over the past year, real earnings have

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