Sen. Ted Cruz Questioning Chuck Hagel in Confirmation Hearing

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Just for the heck of it, here’s John McCain questioning Chuck Hagel as well.

Feds identify 2nd Amendment activists as terrorists in Ohio drill

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What is wrong with people today? Anyone who believes in the 2nd amendment is a terrorist? They have everything backwards. Oh, that’s right, it’s coming from Homeland Security according to the aritlce below.

On Thursday, the Ohio National Guard 52nd Civil Support Unit descended upon the sleepy berg of Portsmouth to run a mock disaster drill. In this case, they practiced their response to the potential release of a chemical, biological or radiological weapon.

The exercise was overseen by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. In addition to the National Guard, local police and fire departments were also involved.

While such terror drills have become somewhat commonplace since the 9/11 attacks, this one included a telling and rather frightening twist…

WSAZ reported: “The make-believe scenario is timely. Two school employees who are disgruntled over the government’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, plot to use chemical, biological and radiological agents against members of the local community.”

Angry yet?

No?

Then see what this public official had to say…

Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison told the Portsmouth Daily Times:

“I think sometimes we tend to think of terrorism as just international terrorism. What’s the likelihood that’s coming to Portsmouth, Ohio? Most people think it’s not very likely. But we forget that there’s a lot of domestic terrorism. There’s organizations and things that go on within the United States that can be every bit as devastating as the international terrorism is.”

Really?

Where would someone get such an idea?

Perhaps, from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano who has described gun owners and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as potential terrorists.

In April 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

The report claimed that “rightwing extremism” is not limited to religious and racial hate groups but extends to “those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”

“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” said the report.

That’s right…according to the Obama administration anyone who believes that babies should be protected are just as dangerous as al Queda.

Read the entire DHS report…

Of course, if Napolitano was truly interested in stopping threats to the homeland, she could direct National Guard units to the U.S./Mexican border and stop the flow of illegal aliens, drug smugglers and human traffickers coming into this country country every single day.

However, it is painfully obvious that the Obama administration feels more threatened by men and women who have sworn an oath to protect this nation from tyrants, as well as by Americans who simply exercise and refuse to relinquish their Constitutional rights.

Every American, regardless of their political affiliation should be wary of any president who seems to view our founding principles with such disdain.

Examiner

Raisin Farmers Have Constitutional Rights Too

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And you don’t think there is too much government regulation?

Long-time California raisin farmers Marvin and Laura Horne have been forced to experience firsthand the costs that America’s regulatory state imposes on entrepreneurs, especially innovative members of the agriculture industry.

No longer do farmers enjoy the ancient right to sell their produce and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Indeed, Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture exemplifies the extent to which all property and business owners are made to suffer a needless, Rube Goldberg-style litigation process to vindicate their constitutional rights.

The fishermen Mark Levin refer to are in this article here:

In this case, the USDA imposed on the Hornes a “marketing order” demanding that they turn over 47% of their crop without compensation.  The order—a much-criticized New Deal relic—forces raisin “handlers” to reserve a certain percentage of their crop “for the account” of the government-backed Raisin Administrative Committee, enabling the government to control the supply and price of raisins on the market.  The RAC then either sells the raisins or simply gives them away to noncompetitive markets—such as federal agencies, charities, and foreign governments—with the proceeds going toward the RAC’s administration costs.

Believing that they, as raisin “producers,” were exempt, the Hornes failed to set aside the requisite tribute during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 growing seasons.  The USDA disagreed with the Hornes’ interpretation of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and brought an enforcement action, seeking $438,843.53 (the approximate market value of the raisins that the Hornes allegedly owe), $202,600 in civil penalties, and $8,783.39 in unpaid assessments.  After losing in that administrative review, the Hornes brought their case to federal court, arguing that the marketing order and associated fines violated the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause.

After litigating the matter in both district and appellate court, the government—for the first time—alleged that the Hornes’ takings claim would not be ripe for judicial review until after the Hornes terminated the present dispute, paid the money owed, and then filed a separate suit in the Court of Federal Claims.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit proved receptive to the government’s reversal.  Relying on Williamson County v. Hamilton Bank (1985)—the Supreme Court case that first imposed ripeness conditions on takings claims—the court ruled in a revised opinion that the Tucker Act (which relates to federal waivers of sovereign immunity) divested federal courts of jurisdiction over all takings claims until the property owner unsuccessfully sought compensation in the Court of Federal Claims.  In conflict with five other circuit courts and a Supreme Court plurality, the Ninth Circuit also concluded that the Tucker Act offered no exception for those claims challenging a taking of money, nor for those claims raised as a defense to a government-initiated action.

The ruling defies both law and common sense.  It stretches the Supreme Court’s ripeness rule beyond its moorings and it forces property owners to engage in utterly pointless, inefficient, and burdensome activities just to recover what should never have been taken in the first place.  Having filed an amicus brief that supported the Hornes’ successful petition for Supreme Court review, Cato has again joined the National Federation of Independent Business, Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, and Reason Foundation on a new brief that urges the Court to affirm its plurality decision in Eastern Enterprises v. Apfel (1998), which held that an unjustified monetary order is inherently a taking without just compensation.  Any ruling to the contrary imposes a pointless burden on property owners, particularly when the government initiated the original proceeding.

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New England fishermen say new regulations may lead to collapse of the industry

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Minutes after New England fishery managers took a vote that cast doubt on the historic industry’s future, the prospects most clear to Gloucester fishermen Paul Vitale were his own.

“I’m bankrupt. That’s it,” said the 40-year-old father of three. “I’m all done. The boat’s going up for sale.”

The New England Fishery Management Council on Wednesday approved a year-to-year cut of 77 percent on the Gulf of Maine cod limit and 61 percent for Georges Bank cod.

The cuts come on top of a slew of other reductions, ranging from 10 to 71 percent, on the catch of other bottom-dwelling groundfish species, such as haddock and flounder.

Fishermen say now they’re staring at industry collapse because they’ve been left with far too few fish for most boats to make a living.

“We are headed down the wrong course here, of exterminating the inshore fleet, for no good reason,” said David Goethel, a New Hampshire fisherman and council member.

The cuts, in effect May 1, are expected to be backed by federal managers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA’s top federal fisheries regulator, John Bullard, acknowledged the reductions will be devastating. But he said the fish stocks are struggling and the industry’s steady, excruciating decline must be reversed.

“The first thing we have to do is put denial behind us,” he said.

The cuts hit an industry that was crucial to the nation’s early economy and remains imbued with the risk and romance of man versus nature — depicted in the famous “Man at the Wheel” statue in Gloucester of a fisherman facing the sea.

The new low limits reduce the cod catch to just a fraction of what it once was and prevent fishermen from landing more plentiful species, such as haddock and pollock. That’s because fishermen can’t pull up the healthier groundfish without catching too much of the cod that swim among them.

An economic analysis by the council projected that the cuts would reduce overall groundfish revenues by 33 percent, from about $90 million in 2011 to about $60 million in 2013. But fishermen said the projection is far too optimistic.

“It’s fantasy. … I mean, I’d rather go to Disney World. I’ve got a better chance of meeting Peter Pan,” said Goethel, who predicted the entire New Hamsphire fleet would be eliminated.

Fishermen have consistently disputed the accuracy of the science that drives regulation and that indicates the stocks are in bad shape. And they noted the industry has generally fished at or below levels recommended by science in recent years, but the advice has proven wrong.

California unable to disarm 19,700 felons and mentally ill people

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California authorities are empowered to seize weapons owned by convicted felons and people with mental illness, but staff shortages and funding cuts have left a backlog of more than 19,700 people to disarm, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.

Those gun owners have roughly 39,000 firearms, said Stephen Lindley, chief of the Bureau of Firearms for the state Department of Justice, testifying at a joint legislative hearing. His office lacks enough staff to confiscate all the weapons, which are recorded in the state’s Armed Prohibited Persons database, he said.

The gun owners typically acquired the firearms legally, before being convicted of a felony or diagnosed with mental illness. Each year, the state investigates and seizes the guns of about 2,000 people on the Armed Prohibited Persons list, Lindley said, but each year about 3,000 names are added to the list.

“Despite our best efforts, the bureau does not have the funding or resources to keep up with this annual influx,” he told the 15 assembled lawmakers.

The testimony showed how some of the state’s strict gun laws have been undermined by California’s budget problems. Lindley said it would cost $25 million to hire enough staff to clear the backlog within three years.

Democratic Sens. Mark Leno of San Francisco and President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento introduced a bill later Tuesday that would allow the Department of Justice to dip into funds collected when gun buyers pay a fee for background checks. There is a $20-million surplus in the account that could be tapped under the pair’s proposal, SB 140.

The extra money, which could help eliminate the backlog in as little as a year, “would be a very wise and worthy investment,” Steinberg said.

Lawmakers are considering a dozen proposals to curb gun violence after last month’s Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

LA Times

Sen. Cruz: The Janet Reno DOJ said the assault weapons ban was useless

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A study done by the Justice Department in 1999 analyzed the 1994 “Assault Weapons” ban and concluded it did nothing to reduce crime or shootings. The Justice Department stated, “The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun-murder incident or multiple-gunshot wound victims.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, criticized the Senate Democrats’ proposed assault weapons ban as a prohibition against “scary looking guns,” one that even the Justice Department (DOJ) has acknowledged does not limit gun violence.

“The proposed assault weapons ban is a singularly ineffective piece of legislation,” Cruz recalled, during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing  on gun violence today, a 1994 judgement from the DOJ. “That was the Janet Reno Department of Justice under President Clinton that said that the assault weapons ban was singularly ineffective. Under it, there has bee no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”

Hot Air

Leahy, Reid distancing themselves from assault-weapons ban

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Yesterday, the Washington Post noted how badly Dianne Feinstein’s assault-weapons ban was faring on Capitol Hill.  Today, it’s NBC’s turn.  Chuck Todd reported earlier this morning that even Patrick Leahy won’t support the bill (via the Weekly Standard):

The Hill reiterates that Reid won’t give it any public support, either.  He will only pledge to support legislation that “generally” addresses gun violence:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday declined to voice support for Democratic legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

Reid said he would bring gun-violence legislation to the floor and open it to a lengthy amendment process. But he declined to endorse the assault weapons ban introduced last week by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which has the support of the 2nd- and 3rd-ranking Senate Democratic leaders. …

He said he has told his colleagues he will do everything in his power to “bring legislation dealing with guns and violence, generally, to the floor.”

No one thought Reid would be excited to support a new assault-weapons ban.  He didn’t support the last one, and he’s been non-committal over the last several weeks even while his fellow Democrats have publicly demanded a new ban.  Leahy’s reluctance should probably not be surprising, either; Vermont has a lot of gun owners, and voters there support nearly unrestricted gun rights.

Hot Air

 

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