Saturday, June 30, 2012

Zombies Beware!

I'm in the middle of reading Mad Ogre's Uprising USA and then I see this!

A great job by Oleg, Linoge, and WizardPC! I don't know which is cooler - the Saiga Shorty or Linoge's sideburns.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Well, This Is A Shock...Not

The Department of Justice announced today that they will not prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder. I know that is a shock to everyone that they won't prosecute their own boss. I guess they have forgotten that they took an oath not to Eric Holder and not to Barack Obama but to the Constitution.

"Eagle Scouts: Merit Beyond the Badge "

Cam Edwards had an interview earlier this week with Prof. Byron Johnson of Baylor University. Johnson and his colleagues with Baylor's Program for Prosocial Behavior just finished a two year study funded by the John Templeton Foundation that measured the effects of being in Scouting as well as being an Eagle Scout. In the interview with Cam, Johnson says that he was somewhat surprised by the differences in terms of leadership, civic engagement, and other issues between those who have attained the rank of Eagle Scout, those who participated in Scouting, and everyone else.

The full study can be downloaded here. It should be noted again that this study was not started by the Boy Scouts nor was it funded by them.

Prof. Johnson's research was presented this week at the Heritage Foundation. A longer and more detailed video presentation on his work can be found here.

While this study concentrated on the Boy Scouts, it would be interesting to see follow-on studies examine the impact of being in the Girl Scouts and if earning the Gold Award produced similar results to earning the Eagle.

I was both a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout in my youth. At one time I think I held the record in my troop for being the oldest Tenderfoot. However, once I made the decision to get off my duff, work hard, and stay involved with the Scouts, I did earn my Eagle. I actually have my Eagle with the Bronze Palm and am a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow (Tali Tak Taki 70 Lodge). For those of you with experience in Scouting, this will mean something. For the rest, it means I got my act together. I found Scouting to be a very valuable experience and hope boys nowadays continue to enjoy the fun times and great learning experiences it offers.

And In Truly Important News...

It is authoritatively reported today by People Magazine - a sister publication to Fortune Magazine, I might add - that Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are getting divorced.
“"This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family," Holmes's attorney Jonathan Wolfe told People. "Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest."

Cruise's rep tells PEOPLE: "Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children. Please allow them their privacy."

Presumably the couple are residents of California which is a community property state. This means all income earned during the marriage is presumed to be community property and will be split 50/50 under the dissolution of the marriage. Not that I have any love for Tom Cruise whom I consider rather creepy, but I do wonder whether he had Katie Holmes sign a pre-nup agreement before jetting off to that Italian castle for their Scientology wedding. If not, not only is he creepy but he is dumb.

Comment Of The Day No. 2

The following comment is from the comments on Peggy Noonan's weekly column in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Obama Has a Good Day". It was posted by a Glenn Morris.

Never underestimate People who go to war over a beverage not as good as coffee.

Tea, Healthcare. What's the difference.

It's all tyranny.

All I can say is "well said, sir!"

Pre-Attack Indicators

I just read an interesting article from They are a site dedicated to law enforcement officer training and safety. The article I read was by Lt. Jim Glennon and discussed the indicators or tells that someone is about to attack. While it is written with the law enforcement community in mind, I think much of it applies to the rest of us.

Glennon identified a number of pre-attack signs including targeted glances, clenching of hands or teeth, and eye blinks.

The whole article can be found here. Of course, no amount of knowledge about indicators is worth anything if you are oblivious to what is going on around you.

Sorry Heath, This Doesn't Cut It

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) is usually a reliable vote on Second Amendment issues and is one of the leaders of the Blue Dog Democrats. He decided not to run for re-election earlier this year. His Chief of Staff, Hayden Rogers, is the Democratic nominee for the seat and was endorsed in the primary by the NRA-PVF. Rogers will face the winner of the Republican run-off primary.

Yesterday, Shuler was one of the 67 no votes on H. Res. 711 which is the contempt citation for Attorney General Eric Holder. He released this to press explaining his vote.
“Today the House of Representatives proved once again that dysfunction and partisanship rule the day. The vote to hold Attorney General Holder in Contempt of Congress after the Department of Justice released the requested information demonstrates that Congress has lost touch. While I strongly believe that the Department of Justice should fully cooperate with Congress to ensure transparency in the “Fast and Furious” operation, this motion lacks an enforcement mechanism to make it anything more than politically motivated. Further, I am disappointed that though an agreement could have been reached, the Majority has opted to use this vote as a fundraising mechanism to rally the base. It is no wonder I have opted to retire.”
I'm sorry but I have to raise the BS flag on this. The Department of Justice did NOT release the requested information prior to the vote. The DOJ has given the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approximately 7,600 documents out of an estimated 140,000 (or even larger 250,000 documents according to some sources). If Mr. Shuler considers this releasing the requested information, he is sorely mistaken.

If there is a problem with the enforcement mechanism, it is only because a) the US Attorney for the District of Columbia is a Democrat and b) the Republican leadership does not want to use their inherent contempt power to arrest Holder.

As to his impending retirement, with four years in the NFL and six in Congress, we should all be so lucky to get the retirement checks he'll be getting for 10 years of work.

So, Heath, this BS Flag is for you!

BS Flag gif

Grassley On Contempt Vote

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had this to say about the House finding Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress.
The House of Representatives today voted to enforce a subpoena to obtain records on Operation Fast and Furious by holding the U.S. attorney general in contempt of Congress. Sen. Chuck Grassley began investigating the circumstances of the death of border patrol agent Brian Terry 18 months ago after whistleblowers came to him with concerns. Grassley made the following comment on the House action.

“When a person dies in service to his country, and his own government may have contributed to his death, covered up evidence about the circumstances, or both, the survivors’ families and the American people have a right to know the truth. That was the case with Pat Tillman, and it’s the case with Brian Terry. The government should own up to any policies and practices that led to the harm of Mexican citizens as well. Those who don’t seem to want the truth or accountability default to accusations of political motivation against those seeking answers. Remember, the Justice Department insisted there was no gun-walking, then retracted that statement and reversed itself. The Justice Department is proven unreliable on this topic. The only way to try to get an accurate, complete account of what happened to Agent Terry and why is to obtain every possible record and account of the facts. We can only draw fair, informed conclusions from the complete facts. The fulfillment of the House’s pursuit of complete records from the Justice Department is necessary. Without it, we might never know what happened to Agent Terry. That can’t stand.”

Wayne LaPierre On The Contempt Vote

Wayne LaPierre of the NRA spoke with Ginny Simone and Cam Edwards of NRA News about the vote to find Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress. Among the topics he touched upon were the claim that this was all the NRA's doing, the Fortune Magazine article by Katherine Eban, and the mainstream media's response to Operation Fast and Furious.

Comment Of The Day

Dave Hardy at Of Arms and the Law blog has an interesting post about the contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder. Though not used since 1934, the House could send its Sergeant-at-Arms out to arrest Holder and then have the trial in the Capitol.

One of his commenters has this to say:

Holding Holder in contempt of Congress. Well deserved.

Obama claiming executive privilege over documents he denies ever seeing. Astonishing.

Holder having his arrogant perjurious ass thrown in the Capitol jail. Priceless.

Though the House could legitimately do this, I tend to agree with Sebastian that Speaker Boehner would never have the cojones to do this.  I have been sorely tempted more than once to send him a set of these.

GRNC Recommendations For The NC Runoff Primary

The Grass Roots North Carolina Political Victory Fund issued four recommendations for the upcoming July 17th runoff primary.

US House District 8 Republican primary: GRNC-PVF recommends you vote for SCOTT KEADLE for Congress. Keadle earned GRNC’s highest 4-star evaluation and will be a leader in defending your rights. Keadle has a long history of bucking the “establishment” GOP and will represent you, not the status quo.

US House District 9 Republican primary: GRNC-PVF recommends you vote for ROBERT PITTENGER for Congress. Pittenger built a 100% pro-gun voting record in the NC Senate, earning GRNC’s highest 4-star evaluation (****). Opponent Jim Pendergraph (GRNC 0-star) claims to be a Second Amendment supporter. But during his tenure as Mecklenburg County Sheriff, he obstructed pistol permits and refused to sign Form 4s for Title II firearms.

US House District 11 Republican primary: GRNC-PVF recommends you vote for MARK MEADOWS for Congress. With a perfect 100% on GRNC’s gun rights candidate survey, Meadows earned GRNC’s highest 4-star evaluation (****) and has made defense of the Second Amendment a pillar of his campaign.

NC Senate District 41 Republican primary: GRNC-PVF recommends you vote for JEFF TARTE for NC Senate. Through his actions as mayor of the town of Cornelius and his GRNC candidate survey, Tarte earned GRNC’s highest 4-star evaluation and has vowed to sponsor pro-gun legislation once elected. He has also promised to buck Senate leadership if necessary to advance the cause of gun rights – something which has proven painfully necessary in the recent session of the legislature.
Early voting began yesterday and July 10th is the last day to request an absentee ballot in writing. For more information on Early Voting Sites, go to this website. It should be noted that Early Voting Sites are not always open five days a week.

CCRKBA On The Vote For Contempt

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms issued statement last night saying that the vote to find Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress was "necessary for justice to be served."

The full statement is below:
BELLEVUE, WA – The historic 255-67 vote by the House of Representatives to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to provide documents relating to the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious was “necessary for justice to be served,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.

Holder repeatedly did not comply with a subpoena issued last October by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Instead, he successfully appealed to President Barack Obama to claim executive privilege at the last minute in an attempt to shield the documents from Congressional review.

“As the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the nation, the attorney general is not above the law,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb declared. “It should not have come to this. Eric Holder should have complied with the subpoena. If he had cooperated fully with the Fast and Furious investigation from the outset, none of this would have been necessary and he knows it.

“The only conceivable reason that Holder and the Obama administration do not want to turn these documents over,” he said, “is that they contain damning evidence of either incompetence or complicity, or both.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised,” Gottlieb continued, “that Holder’s Democrat cheerleaders tried to portray this as a witch hunt, and tried to blame the Bush administration, but their arguments do not wash. This is about the rule of law and finding the truth about a horribly mis-managed gun trafficking operation, the murder of an American Border Patrol agent and what appears to have been a cover-up by the Department of Justice.”

CCRKBA had urged gun owners to contact their congressional representatives in support of the contempt vote.

“We are proud,” Gottlieb noted, “of the 17 Democrats who joined the Republican majority on this vote. This was not about partisanship, but accountability and transparency. Fast and Furious has a body count, and so long as people provide cover to the attorney general, the blood is on their hands.”

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In Contempt, Contemptible, and Highly Contemptible

Holder - In Contempt of Congress

The Noes - Contemptible





Bishop (NY)



Braley (IA)



Connolly (VA)













Green, Gene








Larsen (WA)



Lofgren, Zoe






Miller (NC)

Miller, George


Murphy (CT)


Pastor (AZ)




Rothman (NJ)

Ryan (OH)

Sanchez, Loretta






Smith (WA)



Thompson (CA)




Wasserman Schultz



The Walk-Outs - Highly Contemptible




Bass (CA)


Bishop (GA)

Brady (PA)

Brown (FL)






Carson (IN)

Castor (FL)



Clarke (MI)

Clarke (NY)








Davis (CA)

Davis (IL)








Frank (MA)




Green, Al





Hastings (FL)






Jackson (IL)

Jackson Lee (TX)

Johnson (GA)

Johnson, E. B.





Larson (CT)

Lee (CA)


Lewis (GA)





McCarthy (NY)












Pingree (ME)


Price (NC)








Sánchez, Linda T.




Scott (VA)

Scott, David





Thompson (MS)



Van Hollen




Wilson (FL)



Grassley Eviscerates Fortune Magazine Claims

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) doesn't think much of the Fortune Magazine article by Katherine Eban. He released a memo to reporters and editors today that savages it. Given that Sen. Grassley was the first person in Congress to take Project Gunwalker seriously, he is more than a little pissed off at this 11th-hour "Empire Strikes Back" attempt to denigrate the investigation.


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Fortune magazine piece on Fast and Furious
Da: Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Fortune magazine piece on Operation Fast and Furious is problematic in several respects. Sen. Chuck Grassley began investigating the circumstances of the death of border patrol agent Brian Terry 18 months ago after whistleblowers came to him with concerns. The following statement is from Grassley’s office. Supporting documents are available here.

“The Fortune piece conspicuously ignores the most important fact in this case: ATF encouraged cooperating dealers to sell guns to known traffickers. That fact is key to understanding how ATF made a strategic choice to track the guns instead of stop them. The central claim of the article, that there was nothing ATF could have done to stop the illegal sales, is simply incompatible with the evidence. If it is true that ATF could not interdict and seize weapons due to legal hurdles beyond its control, then ATF had no business telling gun dealers to go ahead with the sales.

“The Fortune article asks the reader to believe that sworn statements by whistleblowers who put their careers on the line to expose the truth for Brian Terry’s family are merely conspiratorial fabrications for the sole purpose of getting back at their boss. It asks the reader to believe that the ATF Director, the Attorney General, the White House, and Congress all fell victim to the fabrication and completely misinterpreted or misunderstood the thousands of pages of documents that corroborate the whistleblower allegations. The Justice Department retracted its previous denials of those allegations last December 2. If the Fortune article is accurate, the Justice Department’s December 2 retraction would itself be a false capitulation under political pressure aimed at protecting senior DOJ officials at the expense of ATF field office personnel in Arizona.

“The Fortune article inexplicably credits the self-serving statements of the supervisors in Arizona responsible for overseeing Fast and Furious. There is no explanation as to why, given their obvious motive to claim there was no gun-walking to save themselves from criticism and punishment. That’s why the written records, the interviews on the record, and obtaining and weighing all evidence is so important. We can only draw fair, informed conclusions from the facts.”

Fortune is a business magazine and ought to concentrate on business issues. Any credibility they may have had on business issues is now suspect in my opinion. If they are willing to put their name and reputation on Eban's piece of junk research, what does that say about anything else they publish?

From The Highly Reputable Al Gore Network

The Al Gore Network - or as it is more properly known, Current TV - ran with the 11th hour "Empire Strikes Back" article by Katherine Eban of Fortune Magazine which stated gunwalking never intentionally happened. It appeared on The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur.

I suggest just skimming through the video as it is enough to make one puke. However, the gun prohibitionists were Tweeting the link to this like crazy last night as if it were the gospel truth. I guess when you are grasping for straws....

Mike Vanderboegh had this to say about the Fortune Magazine story and its author Katherine Eban:
There was much excitement at MSNBC today about a CNN/Fortune magazine hit piece on John Dodson entitled: The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal. We've known this was coming for a while. The author, a long-time Clintonista contacted every body she thought she could milk for dirt on John starting sometime last October. She was given access to internal ATF documents, all selectively arranged to make the case which Katie Pavlich subjects to some deconstruction here: Fortune Magazine Tries to Tell The "Truth" About Fast and Furious, Fails Miserably

Of course you have to give the Evil Empire credit, they timed the release beautifully. I grew concerned earlier today when I was told that wavering Dems were having the article waved under their noses and were being warned that "it was all a lie so don't vote for contempt." However, my sources on and near the Hill dismissed the reports, saying no one believed that it would get any traction. Said one, "They waited too long. If they had done this six-months ago, they might have crafted an alternate storyline, but then the Committee could have had the time to debunk it as well." Another said, "This won't survive the publication of the contempt Report tomorrow."
One thing I do wonder is whether Katherine Eban was given access to documents that have been withheld from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. I wouldn't put it past this DOJ to do something like that.

House Resolution 706

House Resolution 706, if passed, authorizes the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce its subpoenas in its investigation of Operation Fast and Furious.

 H. Res. 708 from the Rules Committee sets the ground rules for the debate on H. Res. 706 and will limit debate to 50 minutes equally divided, allows no points of order, and will only accept one motion to refer it back to committee. The last part also states that only Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is allowed to make that motion. This resolution from the Rules Committee also allows for consideration of the report from the Oversight Committee, House Report 112-546, that would find Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress.

H. Res. 706 states:
H. RES. 706

Authorizing the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain subpoenas.


June 26, 2012

Mr. ISSA submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules


Authorizing the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain subpoenas.

Resolved, That the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is authorized to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings in any Federal court of competent jurisdiction, on behalf of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to seek declaratory judgments affirming the duty of Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, to comply with any subpoena that is a subject of the resolution accompanying House Report 112-546 issued to him by the Committee as part of its investigation into the United States Department of Justice operation known as `Fast and Furious' and related matters, and to seek appropriate ancillary relief, including injunctive relief.

Sec. 2. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform shall report as soon as practicable to the House with respect to any judicial proceedings which it initiates or in which it intervenes pursuant to this resolution.

Sec. 3. The Office of General Counsel of the House of Representatives shall, at the authorization of the Speaker, represent the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in any litigation pursuant to this resolution. In giving that authorization, the Speaker shall consult with the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group established pursuant to clause 8 of rule II.
House Report 112-546 is the 270 page report that outlines the case against Eric Holder and is the recommendation that he be found in Contempt of Congress. The Executive Summary of the report states:
The Department of Justice has refused to comply with congressional subpoenas related to Operation Fast and Furious, an Administration initiative that allowed around two thousand firearms to fall into the hands of drug cartels and may have led to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent. The consequences of the lack of judgment that permitted such an operation to occur are tragic.

The Department's refusal to work with Congress to ensure that it has fully complied with the Committee's efforts to compel the production of documents and information related to this controversy is inexcusable and cannot stand. Those responsible for allowing Fast and Furious to proceed and those who are preventing the truth about the operation from coming out must be held accountable for their actions.

Having exhausted all available options in obtaining compliance, the Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee recommends that Congress find the Attorney General in contempt for his failure to comply with the subpoena issued to him.

Quote Of The Day

Today is the day that the House of Representatives will probably vote to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It is also the day in which the Supreme Court will issue its ruling on the validity of ObamaCare. Jim Shepherd of The Outdoor Wire is calling this Big Thursday. With regard to Holder and the mainstream media's play on his role in Project Gunwalker, he had this to say:
The "spinning" on that is already underway. Mainstream media is characterizing the fight between the Justice Department and the House committee charged with oversight of that agency as a test of the lobbying prowess of the "gun lobby" (that's the NRA, Gun Owners of America, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and they myriad of other local and state organizations).

It decidedly is not. Sorry, it's just not, and no amount of spinning will make that wish come true. It's an investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing by officials who swore an oath to enforce our laws, not selectively ignore or violate them with impunity.

Mainstream media just refuses to accept that, and refuses to let their viewers, readers or listeners hear it reported as such. Instead, it's been diminished and characterized as just another political cat fight.

It's not about ideology. It's not about guns. It is not a liberal/conservative, black/white or red/blue debate. It's about justice - for all- including the people supposed to be equally enforcing the law.

Maybe that's why some people are nervous at the thought of laws being equally enforced.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jason Chaffetz On Contempt Vote Tomorrow

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) was interviewed today by Fox's Megyn Kelly about the vote scheduled for Thursday on the contempt of Congress resolution for Attorney General Eric Holder. He said that he expects the vote to occur around 5 pm EDT tomorrow and that he sees there is no way of avoiding it.

He acknowledged what we have known or suspected for a long time that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee already has copies of documents, memos, and emails given them by whistleblowers that implicate the political leaders of the Department of Justice. The purpose of the subpoena is to confirm the authenticity of the documents and allow them to be entered into the record.

The accompanying article estimates that approximately 20 Democrats will also vote to hold Holder in contempt. Other estimates that I've read are as high as 35 so we really won't know until the votes are tallied.

Jay Carney Takes The Press And Americans For Idiots

Jay Carney, President Obama's Press Secretary, must think both the press and the public are idiots. Listen to his explanation of how Obama learned of Operation Fast and Furious.

The full text of what he said, courtesy of Breitbart, is below:
"I would only say broadly that the idea behind that thinking suggests that there was some grand plan behind the Fast and Furious program when, in fact, everyone knows the President did not know about this tactic until he heard about it through the media; the Attorney General did not know about it. The tactic itself was employed by the previous administration in a different operation. This was a field office tactic that was flawed. And when the Attorney General learned about it, he took action to ensure that it was no longer used, and he directed the Inspector General at the Department of Justice to investigate."
How could Obama learn of Operation Fast and Furious from the media when they have avoided reporting it - Sharyl Attkisson and William LaJeunesse excepted - like the plague? It was only this past week that NBC even let the words "fast and furious" touch Brian William's lips.

My message to Jay Carney is that we just are not as stupid as he thinks.

Contempt Vote On Holder Will Be Bi-Partisan

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has expressed his belief a number of times that the vote to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress will be bi-partisan. He is correct.

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), who represents parts of Salt Lake City and all of eastern Utah, confirmed to the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday that he will be voting to find Holder in contempt.
Matheson, D-Utah, announced his position Tuesday, joining House Republicans, such as Utah Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, who have railed against Holder’s reaction to the congressional probe into the Justice Department’s "Fast and Furious" operation. One of the lost guns was later used in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

"It just compounds the tragedy when both sides play politics instead of releasing the facts. The Terry family, the public and Congress deserve answers," Matheson said. "Sadly, it seems that it will take holding the attorney general in contempt to communicate that evasiveness is unacceptable."
Matheson faces a strong challenge this fall from Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love in the newly formed 4th District. Love has attracted a lot of attention (and money) as she is conservative, Republican, and African-American. If Love is elected, she will become the first black Republican woman in Congress.

UPDATE: There is also this from House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) who says that there will be Democrats voting to find Holder in contempt because the NRA is scoring the vote. Thanks to Mike Vanderboegh for this link.

Even In New Jersey The Second Amendment Applies

On Friday, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in New Jersey overturned the trial court in a case involving the denial of a firearms permit and ordered the return of Justin Blasko's firearms absent any new disqualifying events. They made their decision on Second Amendment grounds.

Mr Blasko's troubles started when his apartment's building superintendent entered to fix his air conditioner and saw "assault weapons" along with other stuff including a four foot alligator. The super called police and they entered the apartment, seized his firearms, and issued him a summons for the alligator, a snake, and a leg-hold trap. They also filed a complaint that he had an illegal assault weapon.

Blasko entered a Pre-Trial Intervention program and the charges were eventually all dismissed. Moreover, the state later acknowledged that the alleged "assault weapons" were not in fact assault weapons as covered by NJ law. Following the dismissal of the charges, Blasko requested his firearms back.

The Superior Court in Passaic County denied Blasko's request and ordered him to surrender his Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. They also permitted the State of New Jersey to sell his seized firearms and ammunition. The trial judge said that because Blasko's firearms were "in plain view, accessible to a third party" his conduct was contrary to the public health, safety, and welfare which is a disqualifying factor for gun ownership in NJ. It should be noted that Mr. Blasko's apartment was in a building that had locked access and that only the super had a key with which to enter his apartment (with prior notice and permission).
[T]he police report shows that Blasko kept his firearms in an extremely negligent and unsafe manner because he kept dozens of unsecured firearms and abundant ammunition in plain view in his apartment. . . . [He] chose to store these items in this manner knowing that his apartment was never truly "locked" since the building superintendent had a master key that he was permitted to use (or give to a maintenance worker to use) at any time even if [he] was not home. [He] in fact signed an agreement which permitted such access.
The Appellate Division examined all the instances that allowed for the forfeiture of firearms in NJ based upon negligent conduct. They found that Mr. Blasko's past behavior and conduct did not rise to the level of negligence as needed by the law to seize his firearms.
The facts at hand present none of the circumstances found in the prior authorities to result in disqualification under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(5). No weapon was discharged as found in Cunningham; no possession of narcotics occurred as cited in Sbitani; no domestic violence, drunkenness, or criminal conduct while intoxicated (assault, hit and run, and DWI) existed as relied upon in Freysinger, or a disregard of the gun laws as found in Osworth. Here, after eliminating the erroneous finding that Blasko possessed an assault rifle, the remaining facts 13 A-3848-10T2 underpinning the trial judge's conclusion Blasko was disqualified under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(5) were that he owned a significant arsenal of weapons, which were strewn haphazardly in his small studio apartment.
The court then examined whether New Jersey law required Mr. Blasko to keep his firearms locked up in a safe or with other devices such as a trigger lock. More importantly, they examined this in the context of the US Supreme Court's rulings in Heller and McDonald. They concluded safe storage laws did not apply to Mr. Blasko as he was neither a commercial enterprise nor did he have minor children. They also concluded that based upon the Heller decision he was allowed to have his firearms accessible.
Despite a preference for the safe storage of weapons with safety locks, we conclude a law abiding adult, living alone without children, who openly leaves weapons in a locked apartment, insufficiently supports a finding of conduct contrary to the interest of the public health, safety or welfare pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(5). See Heller, supra, 554 U.S. at 635, 128 S. Ct. at 2822, 171 L. Ed. 2d at 683 (holding "the District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment.
Mr. Blasko's attorney was well-known gun law attorney Evan Nappen. More on the case can be found here. Nappen notes that this is the first time a higher court in New Jersey expressely applied the Second Amendment to a gun seizure case. This is definitely a win for gun rights in New Jersey and it was made possible by the careful building of Second Amendment case law by Alan Gura and others.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Another Second Amendment Lawsuit Filed In California

The Second Amendment Foundation, the CalGuns Foundation, and the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees have filed suit in US District Court against Alameda County, California due to the county's use of a zoning law to present a gun shop from opening. They are joined in the suit by John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga and Gary Gamaza who had attempted to open a gun shop there.

The County of Alameda requires that all gun shops be 500 feet away from the nearest residence, liquor store, or school. The location chosen by the businessmen above had met that standard until the county changed how it measured the distance. Alameda County Board of Supervisors made this change after the gun shop had been given a condition use permit and a variable by the local Board of Adjustment. In doing so, the supervisors negated the variance that had been issued by the Board of Adjustment.

I have served on my local Board of Adjustment for over 18 years and am the current vice-chair of the Board. The actions by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to change the ordinance after the fact and nullify the variance is most unusual. As boards of adjustment are quasi-judicial bodies, appeals of their decisions are usually made in the local Superior Court.

Below is the joint press release on Teixeira et al v. County of Alameda et al.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The County of Alameda’s zoning law requiring that gun stores be located 500 feet away from residential properties is not rational and cannot withstand any form of constitutional scrutiny, argues a new federal civil rights lawsuit filed yesterday in San Francisco, California. Businessmen John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga and Gary Gamaza are joined by the Second Amendment Foundation, The Calguns Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees as plaintiffs in the case. They are represented by attorneys Donald Kilmer of San Jose and Jason Davis of Rancho Santa Margarita.

The complaint describes how plaintiffs Teixeira, Nobriga, and Gamza had actually been granted a Conditional Use Permit and variance for the property on which they intended to open a gun store until the variance was revoked by the Alameda Board of Supervisors. “John, Steve, and Gary did everything right. They had their paperwork in order,” said attorney Donald Kilmer. “Their store was moving forward, things were going great, and then they were blindsided by the County long after putting money, labor, and time into opening their store. That’s a serious due process problem for the County.”

“The facts in this case are outrageous,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “In the fall of 2010, Gamaza, Nobriga, and Teixeira formed a business partnership with the intention of opening a gun store in Alameda County. When they began the process of getting permits to open their shop, they were advised of a requirement that gun stores not be located within 500 feet of any school, liquor store or residence.

“After carefully measuring distances between the shop’s front door and the front door of the nearest property,” he continued, “they found that they were well beyond the 500-foot limit. But then the county changed the measurement requirements.”

The City of Sunnyvale recently conducted a study that showed gun stores had no correlation with area crime. “The right to buy firearms is just as much a protected part of the Second Amendment as the right to buy books is protected under the First Amendment,” said Calguns Foundation chairman Gene Hoffman. “Just like we saw in the Nordyke case, Alameda County continues it's long-running effort to undermine the fundamental civil rights of it's citizens to purchase firearms that they have a right to buy.”

According to the lawsuit, the county allowed an objection to the businessmen’s permit to be filed even though the deadline had passed for such objections and the West County Board of Zoning Adjustments had voted to approve a conditional use permit and allow the gun store to operate. “The outcome of this lawsuit may very well have far-reaching implications for firearms dealers not just in California, but across the United States,” noted co-counsel Jason Davis. “Hopefully we can address these issues for dealers once and for all.”

“Alameda County has a long track record of denying Second Amendment Rights to its residents, even those enumerated in our Constitution,” explained Cal-FFL president Brandon Combs. “We’ve seen over and over again how local rules like those Alameda County adopted are sold to municipalities by anti-gun extremist groups like New York Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence, Brady Campaign, and other Joyce Foundation-funded spinoffs.”

“They want to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution, but that’s simply not going to happen on our watch. We will make sure Americans have a neighborhood gun dealer to sell them the tools they need to defend themselves from violent attackers.”

The case is captioned as Teixeira, et al. v. County of Alameda, et al. The docket and filings as they become available can be viewed at

Crime On Campus

I received an email yesterday from CollegeStats.Org about crime on college campuses. I was a little skeptical until I read the article in question.

It was fair and made excellent use of graphics to get the point across that the number of targeted assaults on college campuses has more than doubled from when I was in college in the 1970s until now.The article breaks down where you are more likely to be attacked and with what weapon.

From CollegeStats.Org

The author of the article then examined the status of bills in ten states that would allow students or faculty to have a firearm on campus. I found the article well written and full of useful information.

You can find the full article on campus crime here.

H/T Shanna Houston

Sunday, June 24, 2012


A reader reported that he got this from Symantec's Norton Antivirus when visiting my blog.

The reader also reported that he got this when visiting John Lott's blog.

I must say I'm a bit disconcerted about this. It is not like I'm paranoid or anything but I wonder if this is a new thing aimed at either conservatives or gun bloggers. If you follow Twitter, you know that there has been a campaign to report certain conservative Twitter users such as Dana Loesch's husband Chris as a spammer in an effort to block them.

ADDENDUM: If you use a Norton product and you are getting the fraud warning, please let me know at jpr9954 AT gmail dot com. I'd like to keep track of this. If you are getting this from any other product, please try and capture a screen shot of it.

UPDATE: This gets weirder and weirder. I just ran the blog URL through Symantec's SafeWeb and it reports "OK". Laura below who uses Norton products is having no problems.

What's Next For The Fast And Furious Investigation

Rep. Darrell Issa made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows today. In addition to ABC's This Week, Issa appeared on both Fox News Sunday and NBC's Meet The Press. His message was consistent across all the shows - he didn't want it to come to this, he just wanted to know the answers to the questions they posed, and that the investigation would continue.

The Fox News Sunday appearance is below. It also featured Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who is the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Cummings repeated the usual nonsense about this being a witch hunt.

It was a bit surprising the even NBC News has finally noticed Operation Fast and Furious after ignoring for some many months. On Meet the Press' Political Roundtable, the panel included NBC's Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Politico's Jonathan Martin, and Rep. Issa. I must admit the desire to slap the smirk off of David Gregory's face more than once in his interview with Issa. Chairman Issa is a much more patient man than I am and can handle the nonsense from some of NBC's questioners without getting riled.

"You Can't Play Liar's Poker" - Darrell Issa

Rep. Darrell Issa was the lead guest on ABC's This Week. Issa was interviewed by Jake Tapper who was sitting in for regular host George Stephanopoulos.
Issa outlined this morning that before the House committee he leads voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, he tried to reach an agreement with Holder.

“They came with nothing. Not even an offer in a form of a piece of paper. What they said orally was ‘we will brief you. We will then give you the information we believe supports that briefing, but you have to first agree to dismiss your subpoenas and your contempt,” said Issa. “You can’t play liar’s poker when you’re looking for who killed somebody, when you’re looking into this kind of a crime, and when you’re looking into the cover-up. Remember, it was deny, delay, and recuse.”
On the issue of gunwalking that happened during the Bush Administration, Issa acknowledged that it was wrong then and it's wrong now. He did go on to point out that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had requested and received plenty of information from Attorney General Eric Holder on prior gunwalking. However, he said it was like a small child getting caught in a lie over some incident and then saying "my brother did it too." It doesn't excuse the young child and it doesn't excuse the current Department of Justice of its complicity in walking guns to the narco-terrorists.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

They're Back!

In honor of the White House's claim of executive privilege, Sean Sorrentino is bringing back his Gunwalker T-shirts. You can go here to order them.

I have my shirt as does the Complementary Spouse. Shouldn't you have one, too?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Alternate Suggestion

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has introduced S.3304 which would rename a number of Federal buildings. Included in the buildings to be renamed is the ATF Headquarters in Washington, DC.

The LA Times reports:
Congressional legislation has been introduced to name the bureau's D.C. headquarters the "Eliot Ness ATF Building’’ after the agent whose battles with bootleggers and mobsters in Prohibition-era Chicago inspired the book, movie and TV series "The Untouchables.’’

The naming really had nothing to do with the Fast and Furious operation, which has become the subject of a congressional investigation. It's included in a broader bill, introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate committee that oversees federal buildings.
It is reported that Acting Director B. Todd Jones is wholly in favor of this move by Sen. Boxer.
ATF spokesman Drew J. Wade called the proposed name "wholly appropriate and fitting."

The agency's acting director, B. Todd Jones, came to the ATF with a "keen understanding of the bureau's rich history and contributions to public safety and federal law enforcement," he said. "As such, Mr. Jones determined to see the ATF headquarters building named after one of its own."
The dissident agents at don't think too much of this aggrandizing move. They come up with an alternative name in honor of another famous (or infamous) ATF employee.
Many of us disagree. It would be far more fitting, proper and descriptive to name ATF Head quarters the "Russell Vander Werf Building" to memorialize ATF management and commemorate Vander Werf's sterling (all night) performance in Metairie, LA, December, 2009. Not "The Untouchables", but "The Touchables".
Mr. Vander Werf was the ATF manager who was arrested for installing a "glory hole" in the door to his motel room. 

I have an alternate suggestion for Sen. Boxer and Acting Director B. Todd Jones as to names. I think the ATF HQ should be named after another Federal law enforcement officer who lost his life in the course of duty - Brian A. Terry. It would be a constant reminder to all ATF Special Agents, managers, and employees of what happens when they seek to influence gun control policy and then f@%k it up by letting guns walk.

Gun Rights Organizations React To Contempt Resolution

The National Rifle Association and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms have both released statements backing the actions of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on a contempt citation for Eric Holder.

From the NRA-ILA:
Fairfax, Va. – The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform passed a resolution recommending that the House find Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. in contempt of Congress by a 23 to 17 vote.

“The NRA fully supports this contempt resolution,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. “The American people – including millions of NRA members and tens of millions of NRA supporters – deserve the truth, and we will support any effort that leads us to that truth.”

The Committee’s report thoroughly details the immediate reasons for the resolution: the Justice Department’s open defiance of legitimate demands for documents that are needed for oversight and investigation of one of the most disastrous episodes in the history of federal law enforcement.

Since taking office, Attorney General Holder has seized on the deadly violence in Mexico to promote more gun control. He perpetuated the lie that “90 percent” of firearms used in Mexican crime come from the U.S. and he called for resurrecting the 1994 Clinton gun ban; and to justify the illegal multiple sales reporting scheme, which amounts to gun registration for honest Americans who buy long guns in southwest border states.

There is little doubt that the White House used the Fast and Furious program to advance its gun control agenda. The White House actively sought information from the operation to support its plan to demand reporting of multiple rifle sales by the nearly 9,000 federally licensed firearm dealers in border states.

“The NRA’s support of this resolution was not undertaken lightly. Eric Holder and the Justice Department owe it to the American people to produce the truth,” concluded Cox.

A letter to Chairman Issa from Chris Cox can be found here:

From the CCRKBA:
BELLEVUE, WA – President Obama’s claim of executive privilege to prevent Congressional access to documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious smacks of monumental hypocrisy and looks like an attempt to cover blood on the administration’s hands, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

It did not prevent the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from voting 23-17 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

“In a March 2007 interview with Larry King on CNN, then-Senator Barack Obama complained about a ‘tendency’ on the part of the Bush administration to ‘hide behind executive privilege’,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb recalled. “Now we must find out what is in those documents that the White House wants to hide from the American public.”

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been investigating Fast and Furious since March 2011. Guns linked to the operation are also linked to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and untold numbers of Mexican citizens.

“Today’s action by the White House creates the strong suspicion that the Obama administration is trying to hide from the fact that they have blood on their hands,” Gottlieb observed. “That’s not rhetoric; we’re talking about the deaths of countless Mexican citizens and especially a dead federal officer. Fast and Furious has given us a verifiable body count.

“There is evidence that those involved in Fast and Furious thought it could bolster calls for additional gun control,” Gottlieb said. “If that’s accurate, it demonstrates a callousness that goes beyond the limits of human decency. It is imperative that that the American public knows all the facts of this case prior to the election. The people responsible for this disaster must be held accountable, and that will not happen so long as the administration continues to stonewall, and hiding behind executive privilege suggests that Holder and the president have no intention of coming clean.”

House Republican Leadership Schedule Contempt Vote

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) released a statement yesterday that the vote on the contempt citation for Attorney General Eric Holder will be held next week. The resolution to find Holder in contempt has been amended to reflect the claim of executive privilege and may be amended more before the final vote.
“Despite being given multiple opportunities to provide the documents necessary for Congress’ investigation into Fast and Furious, Attorney General Holder continues to stonewall. Today, the Administration took the extraordinary step of exerting executive privilege over documents that the Attorney General had already agreed to provide to Congress. Fast and Furious was a reckless operation that led to the death of an American border agent, and the American people deserve to know the facts to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. While we had hoped it would not come to this, unless the Attorney General reevaluates his choice and supplies the promised documents, the House will vote to hold him in contempt next week. If, however, Attorney General Holder produces these documents prior to the scheduled vote, we will give the Oversight Committee an opportunity to review in hopes of resolving this issue.”

Issa Interview After The Contempt Vote

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was the lead guest on Fox's On the Record with Greta van Sustern last night. He discussed in detail the contempt citation for Attorney General Eric Holder, the executive privilege claim, and other items related to Operation Fast and Furious.

Of note was that Issa was not notified of President Obama's decision to claim executive privilege on the subpoenaed materials until about 10 minutes before the 10am meeting was to begin. It came to him in an 8-page document from the Attorney General's office. As to the claim of executive privilege itself, Issa said the White House was either trying to create an executive privilege that doesn't exist or that has a loosely held meaning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Condolences to David Codrea and his family on the passing of his father this morning. David's father had been ill for some time. Nonetheless, nothing really prepares one for the loss of a parent.

Also keep Mike Vanderboegh in your prayers as well. He went in the hospital on Monday for what was scheduled to be an out-patient procedure to place a stent in his esophagus. The out-patient procedure turned into an overnight stay and I'm still not sure if he has returned home yet.

It is a cruel twist of fate that the two citizen journalists who broke the news of Operation Fast and Furious were not able to participate in today's events. Without their groundbreaking work and their introduction of certain whistleblowers to Congressional investigators, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee would never have voted to hold Eric Holder in contempt. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their tireless work on this scandal. We should also keep them and their families in our prayers during this trying time for both families.


The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee just voted 23 in favor and 17 opposed to send the contempt citation of Eric Holder to the full House of Representatives. They voted, as expected, along party lines.

As a reminder, it only takes one house of Congress to vote in favor of a contempt citation.

Epic Rant

Rep. Trey Gowdy was in fine form this morning at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's business meeting to discuss the contempt citation for Attorney General Eric Holder. His summation of the case against Holder was excellent and was forceful.

You knew it was going to be good when you saw the slight glimmer of a smile on Chairman Darrell Issa's face when he recognized Gowdy.

"Bring The Bull Moose Party, Bring The Whigs" - Trey Gowdy

One of the more memorable parts of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting today was this from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) where he took the Democrats's call for bringing in officials from the Bush Administration and ran with it.

Richard Milhous Obama?

The Drudge Report has this mash-up on their home page regarding the Obama Administration's invoking executive privilege.

It should be remembered that while two Federal LEOs and an estimated died as a result of Operation Fast and Furious that no one died as a result of Watergate.

Grassley On The Assertion Of Executive Privilege

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has responded forcefully to the White House's claim of executive privilege for the documents involved in Operation Fast and Furious. He says it now raises even more questions.
Senator Chuck Grassley made the following comment about the President’s action today claiming executive privilege in response to congressional oversight of the government’s Fast and Furious gun-walking program. The congressional investigation began with Senator Grassley’s inquiry into whistleblower allegations that the government had allowed the transfer of illegally purchased weapons found at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The Department of Justice denied the allegations to Senator Grassley for 10 months before being forced to withdraw its denial in face of evidence to the contrary.

Grassley comment:

“The assertion of executive privilege raises monumental questions. How can the President assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the President exert executive privilege over documents he's supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. The questions from Congress go to determining what happened in a disastrous government program for accountability and so that it's never repeated again.”

NRA Will Score Contempt Vote On Holder

In a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chris Cox of the NRA-ILA indicated that the NRA will be using the vote on the contempt citation for Eric Holder to evaluate candidates. They also said that they support the contempt citation for Holder.
The American people - including millions of NRA members and tens of millions of NRA supporters - deserve the truth about these issues, and we will support any effort that leads us to that truth. This is an issue of utmost seriousness and the NRA will consider this vote in future candidate evaluations.

Issa About The Failed Meeting

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was interviewed by Greta van Sustern of FoxNews about the abortive meeting with Eric Holder yesterday. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be meeting in a few minutes to consider a contempt citation for Holder.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New York State Assembly Passes B.S. Law

The New York State Assembly passed A.1157-B - the microstamping law - today by a vote of 79 to 52. If passed by the State Senate it will go into effect in 2014. While they contend the cost to firearms manufacturers of the implementing microstamping will be minimal, industry sources disagree strongly.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) released this statement on its passage.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, and Codes Committee Chair Joseph Lentol today announced passage of the Crime Gun Identification Act of 2012 that would require all new semiautomatic handguns sold in New York State, by 2014, to be microstamped with a unique code which is transferred to shell casings when the gun is fired.

"Microstamping is a technological advancement that will not only help law enforcement officials investigate gun-related crimes, but will also act as a prevention tool to combat gun trafficking and reduce gun violence across New York," said Silver. "Gun violence has caused great harm to many in our communities. This legislation would help law enforcement to bring the perpetrators of these violent crimes to justice and offer some measure of closure to the victims of these heinous acts. I commend Assemblywoman Schimel for championing this effort and all my colleagues for supporting this important public safety measure."

Microstamping ensures that when a gun is fired, information identifying the make, model and serial number of the gun is stamped onto the cartridge as numbers and letters
. This technology allows law enforcement to trace firearms through shell casings found at crime scenes, even if the gun is never found. This crime-fighting tool will provide law enforcement with rapid leads at crime scenes and will provide evidence to help investigate, arrest, and convict more criminals of gun-related offenses.

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, sponsor of the measure (A.1157-B), said, "This is the fifth year that I have sponsored and debated microstamping legislation, which has passed our house each year. In this session, the Assembly included a microstamping measure in our budget proposal, but regretfully, it was not included in the final state budget. As we wait for the state Senate to act on this bill, brave law enforcement officers are being struck down by gun fire and innocent victims continue to be wantonly murdered. We can't catch their killers because they fire anonymous bullets. I urge the state Senate to put the public's safety above the interests of extremists in the gun lobby and pass this important crime-fighting measure."

"This legislation will prove invaluable," said Lentol. "Not only will this bill help to bring closure to victims and survivors of gun violence, it will also deter illegal gun traffickers from supplying violent criminals with weapons. I strongly urge the state Senate to take action on this important measure."

Silver and Schimel noted that this bill will not place any restrictions on lawful gun ownership or impair access to the lawful purchase of weapons. The certification process called for in the bill is entirely industry based. The manufacturers of semiautomatic handguns will incur minimal costs to adopt this technology.
The technology is unproven,  it will be expensive for manufacturers to implement, and it can be easily defeated by either filing the firing pin or by scattering other cartridges at crime scenes. In other words, gun control advocates in the State Assembly have just passed a feel-good measure that will not have an impact on crime, will not track criminals, and will increase the cost of gun ownership. As to the last item, that is if firearms manufacturers even bother to sell semi-auto pistols in New York. This is probably the true goal - though unspoken - of the bill's sponsors.

GunPoliticsNY has more here.

Contempt Vote Will Continue As Scheduled

Attorney General Eric Holder met at 5pm today with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) along with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to discuss the production of certain documents related to Operation Fast and Furious in an attempt to stave off the vote on the contempt citation. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to vote on a contempt citation for Holder for failing to produce subpoenaed documents.

The only thing that could postpone or stop the vote on the contempt citation would be for Eric Holder to deliver a subset of the documents requested by the committee. As of the 5pm meeting, he hadn't done that and indicated in the meeting that he wasn't prepared to produce them.

The following is the statement from Chairman Issa on the meeting and the contempt vote.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa made the following statement after his meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder:

“I had hoped that after this evening’s meeting I would be able to tell you that the Department had delivered documents that would justify the postponement of tomorrow’s vote on contempt. The Department told the Committee on Thursday that it had documents it could produce that would answer our questions. Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents. The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation.

“While I still hope the Department will reconsider its decision so tomorrow’s vote can be postponed, after this meeting I cannot say that I am optimistic. At this point, we simply do not have the documents we have repeatedly said we need to justify the postponement of a contempt vote in committee.”
While Issa is still holding the door open for postponing the vote on contempt it appears to be closing fast. If his description of what Holder said is accurate - and there is no reason to believe it isn't - then Holder just thumbed his nose at the Committee again. I think all that Holder accomplishes with his stonewalling is to unite the Committee's Republicans.

UPDATE: Sen. Chuck Grassley didn't think much of Eric Holder's decision to continue withholding the documents.
“The Attorney General wants to trade a briefing and the promise of delivering some small, unspecified set of documents tomorrow for a free pass today. He wants to turn over only what he wants to turn over and not give us any information about what he’s not turning over. That’s unacceptable. I’m not going to buy a pig in a poke. Chairman Issa is right to move forward to seek answers about a disastrous government operation.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

Restaurant Carry Still Delayed In NC

While the North Carolina State Senate ponders (and ponders) HB 111 - the restaurant carry bill - another restaurant was robbed. Grass Roots North Carolina just sent out another alert about it last night.
They choose to block important legislation while restaurant patrons and employees
continue to be victimized

News released on Friday, June 15, 2012 reports that several local and surrounding Fayetteville area restaurants have been hit in a string of robberies in the past 30 days. On Friday, surveillance video was released showing the suspects clearly wielding handguns during the most recent robbery at a Fayetteville Hardee's Restaurant on June 1st.

Had this crime happened while you were having dinner with your family at your favorite restaurant, would state law have prevented you from legally protecting yourself and your family?

While criminals continue to ignore laws and endanger the lives of citizens in restaurants around the state in crimes conducted regularly, Senator Phil Berger and the Senate Republican leadership have intentionally blocked HB 111 for no other reason except cowardice. They have decided that Democrats might just say bad things about them during the upcoming election cycle if the bill is passed. Instead of honoring their promises to law-abiding gun owners who helped put them in power, they have decided that they are too busy to deal with the bill on the Senate floor in the form of a vote.

Enough is enough!

Accept no more attempts to dodge the issue by the Republican leadership in the Senate. They've passed the budget, they've worked hard in the current session and have announced that there is finally an official state "Livermush Festival", and now they have run out of excuses. Now is the time for the Senate Republican leadership to lead as they have promised.

We do not have the luxury of waiting for politicians to decide our fate. We do not have the time to be brushed aside, hoping that HB 111 will be taken to the Senate floor for a vote at a later time. Republican leaders must know that they have run out of places to hide and must bring HB 111 out of the Finance Committee where it is being held hostage. This Bill must go to a full Senate floor vote NOW!


* CALL PRESIDENT PRO TEM PHIL BERGER (919.733.5708) & RULES CHAIR TOM APODACA (919.733.5745): Tell them to send HB 111 to the Senate floor IMMEDIATELY!
* EMAIL ALL SENATE REPUBLICANS using the copy-and-paste email list and message below to deliver either the pre-written message or your own.
* CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR, whom you can find by going to:
* (Note: You will need your 9-digit zip, which can be found on your driver's license.)
* HELP GRNC DEFEND GUN RIGHTS: We are now reaching over 60,000 gun owners with every alert (like this one). This costs $500 per alert - serious money. Please join or contribute by going to:!

CONTACT INFO,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Suggested Subject: "More restaurant robberies: Will it take another death for Republicans to act?"

Dear Senate Republican:

Each passing day brings us news of yet another robbery or vicious killing in one or more of North Carolina's restaurants. While law-abiding, responsible gun owners are severely handicapped by state law in terms of protecting themselves, criminals continue to victimize patrons and employees of restaurants around the state at will.

You have promised me that you would support reasonable and common sense legislation that is designed to enhance my safety, and that of my family. HB 111 would do just that. Yet, you have chosen to delay the bill intentionally by sending it to the Senate Finance Committee where there is a good chance that it will die.

I urge you to reconsider this tactic and take HB 111 out of the Finance Committee and bring it to an immediate full vote on the Senate floor so it can then be moved closer to passage. Doing so will greatly enhance my ability to protect the lives of my family as well as my own.

I will be closely following your actions concerning HB 111 through the efforts of Grass Roots North Carolina, as well as keeping notes for the upcoming elections in November.


UPDATE: The Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that two men robbed a Sonic drive-in yesterday evening in Winston-Salem. The time to pass HB 111 is now.

UPDATE II: The State Senate Finance Committee is meeting today. The agenda lists a number of bills for consideration. However, HB 111 is not one of them.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

View From The Porch

I think my view from the porch this week is a little different than Tam's.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Down The Shore

As my friends in New Jersey and the Philly area might say, we are going down the shore. Or as we in the Carolinas might say, we're goin' to Myrtle as in Myrtle Beach, SC. Actually, we are going just south of there to Surfside Beach.

It is a family vacation and we'll have a house full of people. I think my count for tonight is around 16 with a high of around 20 sometime during the week. It will be organized chaos but a whole hell of a lot of fun.

As you might expect, the blogging this coming week will be hit and miss. I am bringing a handful of DVDs that I need to review including "Make Ready with Michael Bane - Concealed Carry" which arrived in the mail yesterday. You can expect a full review on that when I get back.

I think I have everything packed and ready to go. I have the rum (dark and light) for Tiki drinks, I have the good bourbon for toasting anniversaries, a few Aloha shirts, and my bathing suit. Sounds about right!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Those Damned Insurrectionists

Historian Walter Borneman has an article in today's Wall Street Journal on the War of 1812. Borneman is the author of "1812: The War That Forged a Nation". He is also the author of "The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King" which I am in the process of reading.

Borneman's article discusses Congress' declaration of war on Great Britain and the political fallout from it. Generally, it split along party lines with the Federalists being opposed to war and the Jeffersonian Republicans in favor of it.
While the war issue in 1812 was not rigidly defined along party lines, Federalists generally opposed the war while Jeffersonian Republicans (forerunners of Andrew Jackson's Democrats) favored it. Two years later, the most antiwar of the Federalists went so far as to convene at Hartford, Conn., and debate constitutional amendments designed to weaken the central government. Some insist that they debated outright secession.
What amuses me about this is that Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) considers himself one of the world's leading experts on James Madison and his political writings and thoughts. He is also of the firm belief that the Federalists never meant for the Second Amendment to protect an individual right to bear arms.

I wonder what Ladd would have to say about his collective right Federalists being, in his words, "insurrectionists". That, by the way, is the epithet that he and his boss Josh Horwitz throw at those of us who hold that the Second Amendment is both an individual right to keep and bear arms as well as a bulwark against a tyrannical government.

Mike Hits Another Homerun

Mike Vanderboegh of SipseyStreetIrregulars must be on the mend from his recent surgery and attendent health problems. He's just hit another homerun in the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. He's found definitive links between a murdered ICE agent and Operation Fast and Furious

Slain ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata who was killed in an ambush in Mexico in 2011 was the investigating officer into a seized shipment of firearms headed to Mexico. What makes this significant is that 50 out of the 80 guns seized were guns that walked due to Operation Fast and Furious. The Department of Homeland Security has long denied that Zapata had any connection to Operation Fast and Furious.
Congressional investigators permitted to view Department of Homeland Security documents related to the Fast and Furious operation have located and seen an Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Report of Investigation (ROI) from August 2010 describing 80 weapons seized in an arms smuggling interdiction between Phoenix, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas. Of these weapons, the majority (approximately 50) were noted to have come from Operation Fast & Furious in Arizona, purchased by Uriel Patino and Jacob Chambers. The ROI was written and signed by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Zapata, who was shot dead in an ambush at a fake roadblock in San Luis Potosí, Mexico on 15 February 2011. At the time of the report, Agent Zapata was assigned to the Laredo office.

Two of the weapons found at the murder scene were later traced back to Texas -- One was purchased in August 2010 near Houston on behalf of accused drug dealer Manuel Gomez Barba, and the other in October 2010 by a Dallas trafficking ring that included Otilio Osorio and his brother Ranferi. Much like Fast and Furious, both groups had been under ATF surveillance for many months, although ATF officials in Texas later denied that any gunwalking happened in their state. United State Senator John Cornyn has pressed Eric Holder and DOJ for details on any gunwalking in Texas. So far, he has been met with denials or silence.

The Department of Homeland Security, ICE and the Department of Justice have long denied that the case of Jaime Zapata had anything to do with Fast and Furious. The discovery of this ROI by Zapata, "puts the lie to that (expletives deleted) by Napolitano and Holder," according on source who spoke with this reporter on conditions of absolute anonymity.

Multiple sources including current and former employees of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have confirmed this explosive new revelation in the Fast & Furious investigation. Said one source, "I think (DHS) is covering up something big." He added, "I feel betrayed."
I wonder what Ms. Napolitano has to say about this. I've long considered her to be vying with Eric Holder for the bottom of the barrel in Obama's cabinet.