Big government

Colorado enacts ‘red flag’ law to seize guns from those deemed dangerous, prompting backlash

Colorado became the 15th state on Friday to adopt a “red flag” gun law, allowing firearms to be seized from people determined to pose a danger — just weeks after dozens of county sheriffs had vowed not to enforce the law, with some local leaders establishing what they called Second Amendment “sanctuary counties.” The law didn’t receive a single Republican vote in the state legislature, and has led to renewed efforts from gun-rights activists to recall Democrats who supported the measure. In a fiery and lengthy statement on Facebook on Friday, Eagle County, Colo., Sheriff James van Beek slammed the law as a well-intentioned but “ludicrous” throwback to the 2002 film “Minority Report,” and outlined a slew of objections from law enforcement. Van Beek charged that the law treats accused gun owners like “criminals,” discourages individuals from seeking mental health treatment, and ignores the reality that “a disturbed mind will not be deterred by the removal of their guns.” Noting that cities with strict gun laws still experience high murder rates, van Beek asserted: “By removing guns from someone intent on committing suicide or murder, we still have the danger of someone who may be unbalanced, now, angrier than before, and looking for another means … explosives, poisons, knives, car incidents of mowing down groups of unsuspecting innocent.” Colorado’s law, approved by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, allows family, household members or law enforcement to petition a court to have guns seized or surrendered based on a showing that someone poses a danger under the “preponderance of the evidence,” a civil standard which means that the defendant is more likely than not to be a threat. “In other words, there is just over a 50/50 chance of accuracy,” van Beek wrote, noting that someone’s guns could be seized even without a mental health professional making a determination of any kind. “Like the flip of a coin. Couldn’t that apply to just about anything a person does?” A subsequent court hearing could extend a gun seizure up to 364 days, and gun owners can only retain their guns if they meet a burden of demonstrating by “clear and convincing evidence” — a much higher standard — that they are not in fact a threat. Gun owners, van Beek said, are “guilty until proven innocent” under this framework. Minority Republicans in the legislature had unsuccessfully tried to shift the burden of proof to the petitioner.

…which, of course, is how it oughtta be.  This new law is brazenly unconstitutional.  Anyone charged under this is guilty until proven innocent, which is totally contrary to how our criminal justice system operates.  It is pure fascism.  When Hitler rose to power in the late ’30s in Germany, one of the first things he did was enact gun confiscation of citizens.  This “red flag” law is simply another form of anti-2nd Amendment, unconstitutional, gun confiscation that has NOTHING to do with metal health issues.  That’s all a phony front and a false pretense, and the Dems in Denver know this.  Some enterprising journalist oughtta ask Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) how it feels being a Nazi.  Yeah.. that term is perfectly, an historically, accurate used in this sense.  Jared Polis is acting like Colorado’s Hitler.  I double-dog dare ANY member of the dominantly liberal mainstream media to actually do their job, and ask that fascist tool that question on camera.  Wouldn’t it be rich to see his pompous ass try to tap dance around that?  If you’re here in Colorado and want to buy gun, ya better get out there and do so now, while ya still can..and buy things like ammo in cash ONLY.  Kudos to Sheriff James van Beek, and other sheriffs in Colorado, who refuse to enforce this fascist nonsense.  For more, click on the text above.

Wealthy Americans flee high-tax states, take billions with them: ‘Tax the rich. The rich leave’

The real estate market in some of the richest pockets of the Northeast is flooded with sellers, as homeowners try to unload gorgeous properties — and their high tax rates. There also is evidence that Americans are not just moving to smaller homes in town but fleeing high-tax states altogether as they search for more frugal digs. “Tax the rich. Tax the rich. Tax the rich. The rich leave,” New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, lamented in February as he announced an anticipated revenue plunge in the Empire State. “And now what do you do?” The population of New York and other high-tax states has posted a demonstrable decline in recent years, sparking a debate on whether there are limits to how much the taxman can squeeze from residents. The issue is particularly acute as the April 15 income tax filing deadline approaches — the first since the Republicans’ tax overhaul capped the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted on federal returns. The $10,000 limit has left governors in high-tax states steaming and has sent Democratic politicians scrambling to try to offer breaks to the same wealthy Americans they usually demand pay their fair share. “It is having a big impact,” said Chris Edwards, tax policy director at the Cato Institute. “There was migration before, but there has always been disputes about the causes with the data. Now I suspect a lot of people are just getting fed up.” Mr. Edwards’ data shows a net outflow in 2016 of almost 600,000 people from the 25 highest-tax states to the 25 lowest, and they took with them roughly $33 billion in income. For the 2018 tax year, the combined state and local tax bill that won’t be deductible comes to $323 billion, according to the Treasury Department’s estimate, and that whopping total will be borne by fewer than 11 million taxpayers. Most of the affected taxpayers are higher earners who already pay most of the nation’s income taxes. The cap on state and local tax deductions affects only those who itemize their returns, which in the past accounted for 27% of filers, according to the IRS. When Republicans pushed through the tax changes in late 2017, they suggested that high-tax states could cut their own taxes, thus saving residents the pain. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, tried. He proposed a bill to try to reduce taxes for retirees because many have been leaving over high tax bills. Democrat-led states, meanwhile, attempted quirky workarounds, such as giving wealthy taxpayers an option of paying some of their taxes as charitable contributions, thus offering a break to offset the cap on state and local tax deductions. The IRS said it would reject those maneuvers. Migration is one sure way to dodge the hit. The median home price now in Summit, New Jersey, is $868,200 but tops $1.3 million in Darien, Connecticut. Just how many people avail themselves of that option, however, is not clear.

For more, click on the text above..

Oops: Maxine Waters grills banks on student loan crisis even though feds took over in 2010

House Financial Services Committee chairwoman Maxine Waters was brought up short Wednesday after she targeted banking chiefs over the student loan crisis, even though the federal government took over student lending in 2010. At a hearing featuring a panel of seven bank CEOs, Ms. Waters ticked off figures on student loan debt and defaults, then asked, “What are you guys doing to help us with this student loan debt? Who would like to answer first? Mr. Monahan, big bank.” Bank of America chairman and CEO Brian Monahan replied, “We stopped making student loans in 2007 or so.” Ms. Waters replied, “Oh, so you don’t do it anymore. Mr. Corbat?” Said Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat: “We exited student lending in 2009.” She then turned to James Dimon, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO, who explained, “When the government took over student lending in 2010 or so, we stopped doing all student lending.” At that point, Ms. Waters changed the subject, saying, “Thank you. What about small business?” Conservatives chided Ms. Waters for the apparent blooper, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee saying the exchange shows that “she knew nothing about student loans.” Fox host Maria Bartiromo tweeted that Ms. Waters “had no idea the government took over student loans.” Maxine Waters appears to not know that the government nationalized students loans 10 years ago despite chairing a committee that regulates the banks..

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is an agenda-driven, black racist, extreme-liberal, spectacularly incompetent moron.  And to think her aides didn’t even properly prep her..  She made a fool of herself today.  It’s a beautiful thing!  For more on this article, click on the text above.

Remember Solyndra? Loss of taxpayer millions now seems forgotten, expert says

It’s been exactly ten years since the Solyndra solar power company accepted a loan of half a billion taxpayer dollars that would never be repaid. Now one industry expert says he’s not sure any lessons have been learned in the years since. On March 20, 2009, then-Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced Solyndra would be the recipient of a $535 million loan from his department under the Obama administration’s revamped loan guarantee program. Solyndra used the money, along with hundreds-of-millions more from private investors, to build a new facility where it would be mass-producing its easy-to-install cylindrical solar “panels.” The whole thing lasted about two years. The ill-fated energy company had initially asked President George Bush for cash under the loan guarantee program, which was created to help companies working with clean energy technologies that might be considered too risky for private investors. But it wasn’t until President Obama launched his sweeping stimulus spending plan that Solyndra’s application was approved, launching the California company to poster-child status despite what were apparently growing concerns about its long-term (and even short-term) viability. Those concerns were reportedly being relayed to the White House in the run-up to President Obama’s highly publicized visit to Solyndra headquarters, which was scheduled just six months before the 2010 midterm elections. Congressional investigators later uncovered information indicating that Solyndra was planning on laying off some of its employees ahead of the midterms, but waited due to pressure from the White House. By the end of August 2011, little more than a year after hosting a presidential visit, Solyndra had filed for bankruptcy. And the writing was on the wall much earlier. In Feburary 2011, the Department of Energy had restructured its loan and included terms that guaranteed private investors would be repaid before the government in the event the company went under. Adding to the anger among Republicans over what was perceived as a politically-charged loan process was the fact that one of the private investors backing Solyndra was a well-known Obama fundraising bundler, George Kaiser. A little more than a week after the company announced it was going bankrupt, the FBI conducted a surprise raid and agents were seen carrying crates upon crates from Solyndra HQ in Fremont, Calif. A 2015 Inspector General report found that Solyndra had over-inflated the value of some of its contracts, with some clients apparently receiving goods at a discount despite indications they would be paying full price. Some of the clients they had been counting on wound up bailing due to the availability of much cheaper technologies from China. Either way, the IG report indicates that “the investigative record suggests that the actions of certain Solyndra officials were, at best, reckless and irresponsible or, at worst, an orchestrated effort to knowingly and intentionally deceive and mislead the Department.” The IG admits that there were signs the government might have missed some obvious red flags, while critics have argued those red flags were more likely overlooked intentionally. The loan guarantee program that helped Solyndra get off the ground, however briefly, still exists today, and taxpayer dollars are still being shelled out to energy companies of all types. The solar industry itself also doesn’t seem to have suffered much, with a recent industry report predicting the number of installed solar projects would more than double by 2021. Tom Pyle, an energy industry expert who led the Trump presidential transition team on energy, says the program’s ongoing existence despite the lessons learned from the Solyndra debacle shows that government has no business backing private energy companies, whether they’re solar or not. “Even though President Trump has submitted very responsible budgets, including eliminating the loan program, Congress continues to fund it… even more generously,” Pyle said. And when he considers the prospects of our energy future under proposals like the Green New Deal, Pyle says the lack of knowledge becomes all the more obvious. “The bottom line is the Green New Dealers want to impose massive government control of our energy resources, and infuse billions of our taxpayer dollars into doubling down on the Solyndras and those projects,” Pyle says. “So there aren’t lessons being learned here, they’re going the opposite way.”

Agreed 100%

Feds offer $1,000 to people willing to adopt an untrained wild horse or burro

The U.S. government is offering up to $1,000 to those willing to adopt an untrained wild horse or burro to combat the overpopulation of the animals in the open country. The “Adoption Incentive Program” comes from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), within the Interior Department. The incentive is part of an effort to “encourage more adopters to give a wild horse or burro a good home.” The bureau states online that the goal is to reduce the agency’s “recurring costs to care for unadopted and untrained wild horses and burros while helping to enable the BLM to confront a growing over-population of wild horses and burros on fragile public rangelands.” Both wild horses and burros are federally protected. Since 1971, when the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was signed into law, the animals have been considered “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” In accordance with the law, the animals are protected from “capture, branding, harassment, or death.” The $1,000 incentive is broken into two parts: those who adopt a wild horse or burro that’s eligible for a new home after March 12 can receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption, in addition to another $500 within 60 days of “titling the animal.” Officials said a $25 adoption fee will apply. Earlier this month, the government said they were seeking more private pastures for the overpopulation of wild horses. Over 55,000 more horses and burros live wild in the West than the roughly 27,000 the BLM says can thrive in harmony with the landscape. For those interested in the adoption of a wild horse or burro, visit the bureau’s website.

Greenpeace co-founder tears into Ocasio-Cortez, Green New Deal: ‘Pompous little twit’

Patrick Moore, the co-founder of the environmentalist group Greenpeace, ripped into New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the weekend as a “pompous little twit,” saying the Green New Deal plan she’s advocating is “completely crazy.” In a series of tweets, Moore argued Ocasio-Cortez, who has called for drastically reducing fossil fuel production, doesn’t realize what would happen across the world if the radical plan were implemented. “If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating,” Moore said in a tweet Saturday directed at Ocasio-Cortez. “You would bring about mass death.” Moore left Greenpeace after 15 years and is now critical of the group, later writing the book, “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist.” Greenpeace, years ago, distanced themselves from Moore and say he overstates his past affiliation with them. Referring to the New York Democrat as a “pompous little twit,” Moore said, “You don’t have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get food into the cities.” Moore also unloaded on her for calling climate change “our World War II.” “It’s her @GND that would be worse than WW2,” he said. “Imagine no fuel for cars, trucks, tractors, combines, harvesters, power-plants, ships, aircraft, etc. Transport of people & goods would grind to a halt.” In another tweet, Moore called the Green New Deal “so completely crazy it is bound to be rejected in the end.” He also referred to Ocasio-Cortez as a “garden-variety hypocrite,” in response to a New York Post story that said the Democrat frequently used gas-guzzling Uber and Lyft rides during her 2018 campaign instead of taking the subway station near her campaign office. “You’re just a garden-variety hypocrite like the others. And you have ZERO expertise at any of the things you pretend to know,” Moore said. Ocasio-Cortez responded to that story over the weekend saying she’s “living in the world as it is.” But she said that shouldn’t be “an argument against working towards a better future.”

What a weak response!  Kudos to Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, for calling AOC out like that.  Excellent!!    🙂

Food Stamp Usage Falls to 37 Million for First Time Since October 2009

Overall participation in America’s food stamp program fell to 37 million for the first time since October 2009, according to the latest statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The most recent USDA data revealed that 37,911,631 people received food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in December 2018, marking the lowest level of overall participation in the nation’s food stamp program in nearly ten years. The last time overall participation in food stamps reached this level was in October 2009, when 37,672,818 people were on the government dole, according to USDA data. Overall food stamp participation had consistently declined since 2013, when the Obama administration was in power and enrollment in the program reached its highest levels in American history. After 2013, SNAP enrollment plummeted once state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for a set number of hours per week to receive benefits. Food stamp enrollment dropped even further under President Trump’s administration partly because of the administration’s efforts to reform welfare programs like SNAP at federal and state levels of government and an improving economy spurred by Trump’s tax reform package. According to the latest USDA data, 4.2 million Americans have dropped off of the food stamp rolls during Trump’s presidency. President Trump also signaled that he is looking to limit dependency on welfare programs like food stamps even further.

Great news!!     🙂