John Lott Blog

Remember Filegate? Where the Clinton's promised everyone that they had only accidentally been looking through FBI files on Republicans?

From William Safire:
Remember ''Filegate''? Three years ago we learned that the White House had been regularly pulling the files from the F.B.I. on hundreds of Republicans -- ostensibly for security clearance, but including hundreds of former Reagan and Bush appointees never being considered for jobs.  Even Clinton partisans shuddered at shades of an ''enemies list.'' White House spokesmen dismissed it as a ''bureaucratic snafu,'' caused by a Secret Service that couldn't keep its lists straight. Suspicion fell on D. Craig Livingstone, a Democratic advance man unqualified for his sensitive security post. Because some Clinton appointees had drug problems in their pasts, White House operatives may have felt that a supply of political mud was needed to drive off potential critics.  The F.B.I. admitted wrongdoing in being so complaisant, apologized and said it would never again ship files over without proper paperwork. But it was obviously not qualified to investigate White House abuse of its files; Janet Reno asked for independent counsel, and the matter was assigned to Ken Starr, who had an organization up and running. . . .Now we supposedly have 4 sources of information used by FBI to launch spying on Trump during the election. The Hill newspaper's John Solomon claims: "All 4 Dossiers Used to Launch the FBI Investigation Against Trump Will Trace Back to the Clintons."

All this makes one wonder what the Clintons did with all that earlier information.

New York City Police ignore 1,526 ICE detainers for criminals

From Fox News:
New York City police ignored all 1,526 requests from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain undocumented immigrants for up to 48 hours last year, a top NYPD official said Wednesday.  . . . The number of requests for 2017 was nearly 20 times higher than the 80 the department received over the previous year. Chernyavsky said the department responded to just two of ICE's 2016 requests because those immigrants had federal arrest warrants.  
Under New York City law, prisoners can only be handed over to ICE if they've been convicted of one of 170 crimes and federal officials present a warrant. . . .

Remember predictions that higher sea levels were causing islands to disappear?

Smithsonian in 2004: "Global warming threatens to swamp a small island nation"
PBS 2005: "Tuvalu: That Sinking Feeling: Global warming, rising seas"

According to PBS all the scientists agreed with this:
The scientific consensus is that global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions and other "greenhouse gases" is causing rising sea levels around the world. Climate change experts predict that over the next hundred years the sea level, on average, will rise between six inches and three feet.
If so, Tuvalu is doomed, and many coastal areas around the world will be submerged.
Which is why the 9,000 inhabitants of Tuvalu have become this century's version of the canaries in the coal mines, and why FRONTLINE/World reporter Elizabeth Pollock ventured to these remote coral atolls south of the Equator. Is Tuvalu drowning?
On a Fulbright scholarship, Pollock spent a year in the South Pacific, making a documentary with her husband about the effects of global warming. . . .Now 2018 Phys.org: "'Sinking' Pacific nation is getting bigger: study"

Note that because of erosion islands tend to get smaller over time.  Unless there is continued volcanic activity, wave action and erosion from rain will cause islands to disappear, yet, this island is getting bigger.

In any case, even if island was disappearing because of higher sea levels, wouldn't it have been a lot easier for people to move than change the rest of the world?

Media bias on NBC's Chicago PD: telling permit holder threatened by gang members to leave his gun at home, when he doesn't he is killed



NBC's shows real bias when they have a segment on this small business owner having a concealed handgun permit holder. With gang members threatening the small business owner, the police officer tells the permit holder to leave his gun at home.  The small business owner doesn't follow instructions and he is killed by the gang members.  The last part of the segment focuses on the permit holder's gun laying next to his dead body.

How stocks prices around the world soared after Trump's election on November 8, 2016

People know how US stock prices soared immediately after President Trump was elected.  That is easy to explain because of the prospects of lower taxes and regulatory reform.  But more amazing is how stock prices around the world increased at the same time.  So many think that economics is a zero-sum game.  That was is good for the US is bad for the rest of the world.  And, surely, lower taxes in the US will increase investment in the US at the expense of what happens in other countries.  But fewer regulations and lower taxes in the US have apparently meant a more productive world economy. 
Click on figure to enlarge it.

Obamacare enrollment down from 9.2 million last year to 8.7 million this year

Apparently not everyone is so thrilled by the system.  Note that this also just provides further evidence about how poorly the government is at predicting enrollment in the system.  From the Washington Times:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now says about 8.7 million people booked coverage on the federal website through Saturday, a drop from the roughly 8.8 million signups it reported last week, after the enrollment period officially closed on Dec. 15. The tally fell short of the 9.2 million who used HealthCare.gov last year, though Obamacare supporters cheered the numbers as a strong showing in the face of President Trump’s antipathy toward the law. Officials said the updated total for 2018 reflects the share of people who either canceled their plan selections at the last minute or dropped coverage after they were automatically enrolled for 2018. . . .

Newt Gingrich says that Republicans will win big at the polls this next November

If Newt is right, he has a chance to make a lot of money in the betting odds markets.
Newt Gingrich said Thursday that Democrats are headed for a major political upset in 2018, mostly due to the mainstream media’s dishonesty and the party’s inability to learn from its own mistakes. “The great political surprise of 2018 will be the size of the Republican victory,” the former Republican House Speaker wrote in a column for Fox News. “After members of the elite media have spent two years savaging President Trump, lying about Republican legislation, and reassuring themselves that Republican defeat was inevitable, the size of the GOP victory in 2018 will be an enormous shock.” Mr. Gingrich said the most glaring example of “fake news” is the media’s handling of the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which he said will be “the 2018 proving ground of media liberal bias and dishonesty.” “First, the media lied about the tax bill in an effort to convince most Americans their taxes would go up,” he wrote. “Then, the media took surveys of people who opposed the GOP bill based on the false information supplied by the media. Then, the media talked again and again about how unpopular the Republican plan was and how it was going to weaken Republican candidates in 2018. Then, the bill passed, and unsurprisingly, it turned out to be dramatically better for Americans than the elite media had described.” . . .The rest of the article is available here

Democrat voter registration totals declining in key states

I have seen an earlier story on Colorado, but this story in the Washington Times suggests that the phenomenon is more widespread.  Is this because states are scrubbing the voter roles?  Is it because of the push to reduce vote fraud?  Is it changing allegiances?
. . . The same trend is playing out in Florida, Pennsylvania and other battleground states where Democrats should have been growing their numbers in the age of Mr. Trump, but instead are stumbling. They have lost 12,000 registered Democratic voters in Arizona since the presidential election, bringing the number down to 1.2 million. Republicans have lost just 1,000 voters and stand at nearly 1.4 million in the state. . . . In Pennsylvania, Democrats held a registration edge of about 800,000 over Republicans — 4 million to 3.2 million — as of Dec. 18. But the number of registered Democrats is down 4.5 percent, while Republicans have lost 2.4 percent. In Florida, Democrats hold a registration edge, but their ranks also have also dropped at a faster rate. As of Oct. 31, the number of registered Florida Democrats dropped 1.9 percent from last year to about 4.8 million. The number of registered Republican voters fell 0.6 percent, to about 4.6 million. Nevada Republicans, meanwhile, have shaved Democrats’ edge from 119,000 voters in October 2016 to about 98,000 as of Dec. 1. Former Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican, said many registered Democrats are transient in nature and the changes might not necessarily be subtractions but shifts elsewhere. . . .Democrats in North Carolina lost 3,829 registered voters from February to September. Republicans gained 9,241 and Libertarians gained 1,468, but unaffiliated voters grew by 47,099 registered voters, according to a report from the Civitas Institute, a right-leaning think tank in the state. In Nevada, Libertarians gained about 700 voters compared with last year, even as thousands of Democrats and Republicans dropped off the rolls. . . . 

Seeking only publicity: New Bloomberg lawsuit to try an resuscitate their universal background check initiative

Three plaintiffs in Nevada are trying to resuscitate the universal background check initiative that barely passed last fall.  Yet, this lawsuit has virtually no chance of succeeding.  It is merely a lame publicity stunt by the Bloomberg people.  Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt explained the reason pretty simply:
And for these private transfers or sales, Nevada state law specifically requires that the background check must be performed by the FBI, not through Nevada’s Central Repository.  We understand that the choice to have the Act require that the check be run by the FBI and not through Nevada’s Central Repository was deliberate and specifically influenced by the intent of the Act’s proponents to avoid a state fiscal impact that could have made initiative less attractive to voters.The initiative won by less than 0.8 percentage points, and it is quite probable if they had to campaign that this initiative would have had substantial costs, it very likely would have lost.  In addition, the state of Nevada has already asked the FBI twice during the Obama administration, not just the one time that is indicated.  Nevada has already offered to contact a third time, but the lawsuit wants the state to convince the FBI to spend money that the Bloomberg people who drafted this initiative purposely didn’t try to have spent by the state.  It is a stupid lawsuit that is just done to get the type of publicity.

Unfortunately, much of the news coverage is missing these points.

In The Hill: Background checks on Truck rentals? "The best way for New York to enhance public safety? More guns"

In a new op-ed in The Hill I discuss the debate over what will stop attacks with vehicles, such as the one this week in New York City.  With an attack that had been planned for over a year, the notion that you are going to be able to keep a killer like Sayfullo Saipov from renting a vehicle just isn't serious.  Here is the beginning of my piece.
On terrorism, we often are fighting the last war. And sometimes the supposed solutions have nothing to do with preventing future attacks. They just give the appearance that politicians are doing something. The terror attack on Tuesday in New York City left eight dead and eleven injured after a rental truck was used to plow down people on a bike path. We are just fortunate that the killer ran into a school bus and was unable to continue his plan to hit more pedestrians on the Brooklyn Bridge. The NYPD immediately pointed out that it had repeatedly instructed the 148 truck rental businesses in the area on how to identify suspicious customers. But the businesses faced an impossible task. Politically correct politicians want businesses to screen for dangerous people, but those same politicians would be the first to object to anything that remotely smacks of racial profiling. Take Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-N.Y.) public address a few hours after the attack. He avoided mentioning anything that might usefully identify such an attacker, saying only that those who target New York oppose “freedom and democracy.” He refused to mention radical Islam. And he implicitly criticized President Trump for wanting to screen people from countries where we have trouble even confirming a person’s identity. This might be only the first successful mass killing with a vehicle in the US, but it is more common in other countries. Muslims only account for six percent of Europe’s population, but they are responsible for over 80 percent of vehicle attacks in Europe since 2000. Twenty-four percent of the people in the world are Muslims, but they carry out 78 percent of the world’s vehicular terror attacks. Telling truck or car rental companies to screen for suspicious people isn’t a serious counter-terror measure. Even an explicit criminal background check wouldn't have stopped the killer, Sayfullo Saipov, from renting a car. Are rental companies supposed to succeed where these checks would fail? In any case, why stop at just rental companies? Saipov already had a car. Even if he didn’t have a car or a truck, couldn’t he buy one? Saipov just needed enough money to put down the initial deposit. It’s not as though he was planning on being around to make the payments. This guy pretty clearly wanted to commit “suicide by cop.” Flashing his pellet gun at the police, he must have known that they’d have no choice but to shoot. What happens if someone like Saipov buys a truck from a private individual? Are we going to have so-called universal background checks on private transfers of vehicles between individuals? It’d be a lot of trouble and expense, and it wouldn't save lives.
Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blasio’s solution to these attacks is “more police everywhere.” Police are extremely important, but they can’t guard every inch of New York City and be instantly present to stop an attack. There are just too many targets, not to mention too many crowded sidewalks and bike paths. Cuomo, De Blasio and many others even used the truck attack to push more gun control laws. Nicholas Kristof, a columnist at the New York Times, talked about an assault weapon ban. Cuomo and De Blasio lauded New York’s gun control laws. But with the killer planning the attack, politicians need to realize that stopping determined killers from getting weapons is an almost impossible task. The question is what do we do when we can’t stop killers from getting weapons. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

Democrat Ralph Northam has no problem with shocking ad showing Gillespie supporter running down minority kids


The video is available here to watch.

There is too much division in America these days, and politicians have in many cases worked to exacerbate those divisions. But this Dem campaign ad in the Virginia Gubernatorial election is particularly disappointing. Unfortunately, when questioned about it, the Democrat Gubernatorial candidate's campaign had no problems with this add. From the Washington Post:
. . . A Northam campaign spokeswoman expressed no misgivings about the Latino Victory Fund ad. “Independent groups are denouncing Ed Gillespie because he has run the most divisive, fear mongering campaign in modern history,” said Ofirah Yheskel. “It is not shocking that communities of color are scared of what his Trump-like policy positions mean for them.” . . .

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