Heather Ginsberg - Megyn Kelly Refuses to Use Ft. Hood Shooter's Name
Posted: 4/3/2014 1:50:00 PM EST

During last night’s Kelly File, news was still trickling in from Ft. Hood. In what many people may consider a controversial move, Megyn Kelly and her team decided not to use the shooter’s name throughout the broadcast.

“Authorities are identifying the shooter. If you are interested you can get his name on other show, like the one that preceded this one and online but we have decided not to name these mass killers here as a policy here on the ‘Kelly File.’ Too often it is infamy they seek, and we decline to help,” she said at the top of her show.

Two representatives who appeared on the show also avoided using the suspected shooter’s name out of respect for Kelly’s policy. Additionally, Sean Hannity, whose show comes on after Kelly’s, refrained from using the suspected gunman’s name.

The topic of whether to name shooters has been a long debated one, in which families of victims often say it gives attention to the wrong people and takes away from those who were lost. Others say that this is not necessarily something for the news people to decide, it is their job to report what’s happening.

I say kudos to Mrs. Kelly. Although we still aren’t sure of motive in this case, why give him a moment of airtime for taking his life and others. Check out the clip below and decide for yourself!

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Sarah Jean Seman - GOP Rep. Stockman Urges House to Repeal Gun Ban on Military Bases
Posted: 4/3/2014 1:20:00 PM EST

The grievous shooting at Fort Hood Wednesday claimed three innocent lives and left 16 wounded—the deaths occurred in a gun-free zone due to former president Clinton’s 1993 policy to disarm soldiers on military bases.

The attack at Fort Hood lasted 15 minutes before military police arrived and exchanged fire with the shooter who then shot himself, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Only the most out-of-touch radical would try to disarm soldiers,” Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) noted in a press release. He urged House members Thursday to repeal the ban and support his “Safe Military Bases Act.”

This is the third mass shooting on a military base in five years, and it’s because our trained soldiers aren’t allowed to carry defensive weapons. Anti-gun activists have turned our military bases into soft targets for killers.

Only the most out-of-touch radical would try to disarm soldiers. It’s time to repeal this deadly anti-gun law before it creates another mass killing. This is another tragedy created by anti-gun activists. If members of Congress are protected by loaded automatic weapons in the Capitol they have no right to deny that right to trained soldiers on base.

In 1991, just six miles from Fort Hood, we suffered a mass shooting at a Luby’s cafeteria of civilians who by law had to leave their guns in their cars. Texas responded to this tragedy by passing a concealed carry bill allowing civilians to defend themselves in public. It’s time for Congress to allow soldiers to defend themselves on base before this happens again.

Stockman’s bill would repeal two military gun control regulations and nullify any additional provisions which prohibit trained military personnel from carrying “officially issued or personally owned firearms on military bases.”

It would also bar the Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of military departments from reinforcing these types of regulations and bar the President from issuing an executive order.

As Emily Miller wrote in 2009 after the first Fort Hood shooting:

It is hard to believe that we don’t trust soldiers with guns on an Army base when we trust these very same men in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Clinton’s deadly rules even disarmed officers, the most trusted members of the military charged with leading enlisted soldiers in combat.

What will it take for legislators to understand that allowing individuals (particularly highly trained military serviceman) to protect themselves is the surest way to promote safety and save lives?

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Katie Pavlich - Contempt Vote For Lois Lerner Could Come Next Week
Posted: 4/3/2014 1:00:00 PM EST

Last month when former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner pled the Fifth for a second time and refused to answer questions about inappropriate targeting of conservative groups under her watch, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa threatened to hold her in contempt.

Now, sources tell National Review's Eliana Johnson that a contempt vote could come from the Committee as early as next week.

A committee aide tells National Review Online the panel will “make an announcement on the contempt process for Lois Lerner sometime today,” and a GOP congressman confirms that committee chairman Darrell Issa has indicated the vote will take place “next week.”

When the vote takes place, Lerner will more than likely face contempt charges. Keep in mind two votes will take place, one for criminal contempt and one for civil contempt. The civil contempt charge will be easier for the Committee to enforce. The Department of Justice is responsible for pursuing criminal contempt charges and we already know how that will go. A report produced by the Congressional Research Service breaks down the obstacles and the contempt process [bolding is mine].

Congress’s contempt power is the means by which Congress responds to certain acts that in its view obstruct the legislative process. Contempt may be used either to coerce compliance, to punish the contemnor, and/or to remove the obstruction. Although arguably any action that directly obstructs the effort of Congress to exercise its constitutional powers may constitute a contempt, in recent times the contempt power has most often been employed in response to non-compliance with a duly issued congressional subpoena—whether in the form of a refusal to appear before a committee for purposes of providing testimony, or a refusal to produce requested documents.
Congress has three formal methods by which it can combat non-compliance with a duly issued
subpoena. Each of these methods invokes the authority of a separate branch of government. First,
the long dormant inherent contempt power permits Congress to rely on its own constitutional authority to detain and imprison a contemnor until the individual complies with congressional demands. Second, the criminal contempt statute permits Congress to certify a contempt citation to the executive branch for the criminal prosecution of the contemnor. Finally, Congress may rely on the judicial branch to enforce a congressional subpoena. Under this procedure, Congress may seek a civil judgment from a federal court declaring that the individual in question is legally obligated to comply with the congressional subpoena.
A number of obstacles face Congress in any attempt to enforce a subpoena issued against an executive branch official. Although the courts have reaffirmed Congress’s constitutional authority to issue and enforce subpoenas, efforts to punish an executive branch official for non-compliance with a subpoena through criminal contempt will likely prove unavailing in many, if not most, circumstances. Where the official refuses to disclose information pursuant to the President’s decision that such information is protected under executive privilege, past practice suggests that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will not pursue a prosecution for criminal contempt. In addition, although it appears that Congress may be able to enforce its own subpoenas through a declaratory civil action, relying on this mechanism to enforce a subpoena directed at an executive official may prove an inadequate means of protecting congressional prerogatives due to the time required to achieve a final, enforceable ruling in the case. Although subject to practical limitations, Congress retains the ability to exercise its own constitutionally based authorities to enforce a subpoena through inherent contempt.

An official announcement about the contempt vote is expected this afternoon.
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Katie Pavlich - 2009 Ft. Hood Attack Survivor Wants Soldiers On Base Armed and Ready to Defend Themselves
Posted: 4/3/2014 12:00:00 PM EST

On U.S. military bases, only military police and security personnel are allowed to carry weapons. Yesterday during the second attack in five years at Ft. Hood, soldiers were forced to run from a violent and armed perpetrator killing their friends. They desperately climbed fences trying to get away until finally, after three people were killed and more than a dozen were wounded, a female military police officer confronted the man shooting with her own gun. As soon as he saw her draw her weapon, the perpetrator put his gun to his head and killed himself.

Now, survivors from the 2009 Ft. Hood attack and soldiers on base yesterday are calling for an end to the military's no weapons policy.

"When our soldiers are unarmed, they will find themselves in a situation like yesterday and in 2009," Sgt. Howard Ray, a survivor of the 2009 mass shooting in which 13 people were killed, told Fox News.

One source who was at the scene when the Fort Hood lockdown was ordered Wednesday also raised concerns about current DOD policy.

"When will they allow those who have concealed weapon permits to carry them on post?" the individual told Fox News. "We don't have a way to protect ourselves. ... We are all hostages on post."

Back in 2009 after the Ft. Hood shooting, legislation was introduced to end the policy, but it quickly died in the House.

Current Defense Department policy states, "The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried. Evaluation of the necessity to carry a firearm shall be made considering this expectation weighed against the possible consequences of accidental or indiscriminate use of firearms. DoD personnel regularly engaged in law enforcement or security duties shall be armed."

It is unconscionable that as a policy all of our soldiers are "qualified" to carry a firearm overseas and on the battle field, but are left as sitting ducks when they are on their bases. How many people have to die defenseless on post until there is "a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried?" Texas Rep. Michael McCaul wants a change.

"We need to harden our military bases so this can't happen, and one possible way to do that is to allow our veterans and active-duty military ... to carry weapons," he told Fox News. "I guarantee if they had ... they could have stopped this guy almost immediately."

As a reminder, the gun free zone policy on our military bases dates back to George H.W. Bush and was further endorsed by Bill Clinton.
It appears this “gun-free zone” type policy can actually be traced back to Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56, signed into effect in February 1992 by Donald J. Atwood, deputy secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush.

The Directive was reissued in April 2011, two years after the first Ft. Attack, under President Obama's watch by Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III.

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Christine Rousselle - Second Lawsuit Filed Against Pro-Life Texas Law
Posted: 4/3/2014 11:30:00 AM EST

Abortion supporters in Texas will not quit. Pro-abortion advocates filed a second lawsuit today to overturn provisions in the recently passed law that require abortions to take place in an ambulatory surgical center and that mandate a doctor performing an abortion have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The lawsuit claims that the law places an expensive and undue burden on clinics to upgrade their facilities, and that roughly half of the existing 24 clinics in the state would be forced to close.

"We filed this lawsuit to stop the second-largest state in the nation from plunging millions of women back into the darkness and grave danger of illegal abortion that Roe v. Wade was supposed to end," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

Past attempts to overturn pieces of the law have failed. So far, no lawsuit has attempted to overturn the provision that bans abortion after 20 weeks gestation, when fetuses are generally considered to be capable of feeling pain.

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Daniel Doherty - Op-ed: Charles G. Koch Responds to Baseless Leftist Attacks
Posted: 4/3/2014 11:25:00 AM EST

The Left’s obsession with Koch Industries and the two brothers who founded it is almost surreal. Take, for example, the Senate Majority Leader. Virtually every time he speaks now he mentions the Koch brothers in some capacity, complaining incoherently about them and how they’re attempting to “buy America.” To accept his assertions at face value, in other words, is to believe that every problem in America is directly -- or tangentially -- related to Koch Industries. This is absurd.

Well aware of the Left’s crusade to soil the Koch brand, Charles G. Koch took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to defend himself and his company. In his piece, he assails collectivists as lacking real ideas, “[promising] heaven but [delivering] hell,” and resorting to “character assassination.” He also provides some important facts about his company that the Left will no doubt dispute -- and scoff at, too. Nevertheless, here they are:

Rather than try to understand my vision for a free society or accurately report the facts about Koch Industries, our critics would have you believe we're "un-American" and trying to "rig the system," that we're against "environmental protection" or eager to "end workplace safety standards." These falsehoods remind me of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Here are some facts about my philosophy and our company:

Koch companies employ 60,000 Americans, who make many thousands of products that Americans want and need. According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of our U.S.-based employees are union members.

Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our "commitment to a cleaner environment" and called us "a model for other companies."

Our refineries have consistently ranked among the best in the nation for low per-barrel emissions. In 2012, our Total Case Incident Rate (an important safety measure) was 67% better than a Bureau of Labor Statistics average for peer industries. Even so, we have never rested on our laurels. We believe there is always room for innovation and improvement.

Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.

In a sane world one would think that most rational observers could disagree with the Koch brothers’ political agenda without labeling them “un-American,” and a threat to our constitutional republic. After all, they provide tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and have been awarded hundreds of commendation awards by federal government agencies.

Apparently, though, demonizing conservative billionaires -- while giving progressive billionaires a pass -- is a more effective political strategy than debating Republicans on the issues.

This is why anti-Koch hysteria is now ingrained in our politics, and isn't going away anytime soon.

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Cortney O'Brien - Alabama Rep: If There's a Heartbeat, Ban Abortion
Posted: 4/3/2014 10:30:00 AM EST

It’s quite simple really. “A heartbeat is an indication of life.”

Alabama Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin is the owner of that beautiful and true statement. She introduced the fetal heartbeat bill, which would require doctors to check for a heartbeat and would ban abortion if one is detected. Her proposed legislation, along with two other anti-abortion bills, have passed the Alabama House and are now going to the Senate for a vote.

Here’s a bit about the other abortion-restricting bills up for debate:

The Senate Health Committee approved three abortion-related bills Tuesday, including the fetal heartbeat bill. One bill would set stricter standards for girls under 18 getting abortions. Another would require women seeking an abortion because of lethal fetal anomalies to be advised of the availability of perinatal hospice services.

Do any of these proposals seem radical? All these legislators are asking is to save lives. Unfortunately, this kind of legislation has been stymied before. When the GOP-controlled legislature in North Dakota tried to pass a fetal heartbeat bill last year, the judge ruled it unconstitutional, arguing it violated that precedent set in Roe v. Wade. I applaud Rep. McClurkin and her colleagues for not letting that decision hinder their own efforts.

Predictably, pro-choice activists and abortionists in Alabama are complaining these bills intrude into medical care, ban most abortions in Alabama, and because the bill includes a sentence of one to 10 years in prison for those who violate the heartbeat, could turn those who perform abortions into criminals.

But, some could argue they are criminals already, performing the most inhuman and inhumane practice in the country. What other kind of procedure could have produced such monsters as this? Hopefully these bills in Alabama become as real as the unborn babies they're intended to rescue.

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Guy Benson - Oh My: Audit Finds Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud in North Carolina
Posted: 4/3/2014 10:25:00 AM EST

This looks like a very big deal (via WNCN):

State election officials are looking into thousands of cases where registered voters may have voted in two states or after their reported death. A report presented Wednesday by Elections Director Kim Strach to the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee said 81 voters have a voter history later than the date of their death. The audit further identified 13,416 deceased voters on voter rolls in Oct. 13. The audit showed 155,692 registered North Carolina voters whose first and last names, dates of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number match those of voters registered in other states, but who most recently registered or voted elsewhere. A total of 35,750 voters with matching first and last names and date of birth were registered in North Carolina and another state, and voted in both states in the 2012 general election. Another 765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number were registered and voted in the 2012 general election in North Carolina and another state...A total of 28 states participated in the crosscheck, leaving data missing from 22 other states.

According to this audit by the North Carolina Elections Oversight Committee, at least 81 dead people have been voting from the grave, and more than 35,000 people with matching full names and dates of birth voted in both North Carolina and another state in the 2012 general election. To put that number in context, Barack Obama carried North Carolina by fewer than 15,000 votes in 2008. Double voting, needless to say, is a crime. Furthermore, state officials were only able to cross check their rolls and voter activity records with 28 other states, leaving loads of potential data missing. The above news story ends with statistics that partisan deniers would typically use to dismiss the entire notion of voter fraud:

In 2012, nearly 7 million ballots were cast in the general and two primary elections. Of those 6,947,317 ballots, the state Board of Elections said 121 alleged cases of voter fraud were referred to the appropriate district attorney's office. That means of the nearly 7 million votes cast, voter fraud accounted for 0.00174 percent of the ballots.

Those statistics may be convincing to someone who hadn't just read the rest of the article. Several weeks ago, we highlighted a 2012 report out of Florida in which a local reporter took it upon himself to use a single, extremely narrow method to ferret out voter fraud. By cross-referencing Florida's voter rolls with jury duty cards on which people had checked a box declining to serve due to their non-citizen status, the NBC correspondent pinpointed nearly 100 ineligible voters in his county alone. Several admitted on camera to (a) not being US citizens, and (b) voting in US elections. "I vote every year!" one woman boasted. Last week, the California State Senate voted to suspend three Democratic members, one of whom was recently convicted of eight felonies, including multiple counts of voter fraud. Yet the "myth" of voter fraud remains solidly ensconced within the Left's political catechism. Voter fraud undeniably exists. The extent to which it exists remains unclear, as the stunning results of North Carolina's audit demonstrate. Voter ID laws reflect common sense, are constitutional, and are overwhelmingly popular. I'll leave you with the Democrat Party Chairwoman openly celebrating a court decision that halted a Republican-initiated effort to purge a swing state's voter rolls of ineligible and non-citizen voters. She tweeted this hours before the North Carolina story broke:

Democrats want "more participation, not less" -- even if that increased participation results in fraud that undermines our electoral system, apparently. I wonder why?

UPDATE - A Virginia election official is arguing with me on Twitter, contending that the apparent double voting *may* be the result of clerical errors. That certainly may account for some of the 36,000 apparent double votes -- but all of them? Even if 90 percent of that figures is due to something other than fraud, that still leaves 3,600 illegal votes. How many illegal votes are acceptable?

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Carol Platt Liebau - What About Government's Complicity in "Government Motors" Scandal?
Posted: 4/3/2014 9:50:00 AM EST

As its own new leader has acknowledged, there is no excuse for General Motors' failure to recall cars with faulty ignition switches, especially as it knew about the defect over a decade ago. No doubt the car company will pay a heavy price -- in terms of its public image, in terms of its stock price, and in terms of the civil (and possibly criminal) penalties it might face.

But what about the government's complicity in this debacle? Why isn't anyone in the press talking about that? Isn't preventing these kinds of events what we're paying (plenty of) tax money for the government to do?

Indeed, evidence was available to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration beginning as early as 2005 that there were problems with GM Cobalts. So why was nothing done?

Note the contrast between the treatment of (unionized) GM and that of (non-unionized) Toyota. The Obama administration was plenty willing to open a highly publicized investigation into Toyota in 2010.

Two exit observations:

(1) This is illustrative of the problem with government that gets too big: No president is able effectively to keep an eye on all the sprawling bureaucracies that result, and they get handed over to a variety of bureaucrats. When the federal government starts doing too much that it shouldn't do, it diverts time, resources, and attention from competently doing the things it should do (like seeing about auto safety).

(2) More disturbingly, why was the government willing to talk down Toyota, while remaining mum about General Motors? Why did the government "pressure" Toyota into a recall, while GM was left to go on its merry way? Was it because GM was at that point "Government Motors" and the administration didn't want to endanger its own politically-risky investment -- thus creating a conflict of interest between its responsibilities as national safety monitor and as major investor? It would, after all, have been difficult for the President to brag about "saving" GM as part of his 2012 reelection "success story" if the public realized the company had been knowingly permitting Americans to drive unsafe cars.

Perhaps it's all a big, innocent mistake -- just more government incompetence as usual. But the press should be reporting on it. And Americans should realize, again, that it's an object lesson in why the government never has any business owning business.

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Katie Pavlich - Economic Impact, Jobs in Firearms Industry Nearly Doubles Since 2008
Posted: 4/3/2014 8:25:00 AM EST

New numbers released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation show the economic impact of the firearms industry has nearly doubled in the past five years, giving a much needed boost to local, state and national economies.

“We have seen dramatic, unprecedented during peacetime growth in the firearms and ammunition industry that is the direct result of consumer demand for our products in the last five years,” NSSF president and Chief Executive Officer Stephen L. Sanetti said in a statement. “While our nation’s overall economic recovery has been slow since 2008, our industry has been a true bright spot, increasing our direct workforce by nearly half, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $47,700 in wages and benefits. Supplier and induced jobs* were also increased by about half since 2008, even as we increased federal tax payments by 93 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 83 percent and state business taxes by 77 percent.”

In 2008, the total economic impact of the firearms industry was $19.1 billion. Five years later, this number has increased by 97 percent to $37.7 billion in 2013. Further, according to the report, the total number of full-time jobs rose from more than 166,000 to more than 245,000, a 48 percent increase since 2008.

You can read the entire report here.

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