Chris Muir’s Day by Day Cartoon for Monday nails it as to who is really calling the shots in Virginia.
I guess that is what Northam will be doing this afternoon – shuffling out there like a good boy for the media.
The pantheon of lies include the check is in the mail, I’ll respect you in the morning, and I’m from the government and I’m here to help. Thanks to Shannon Watts, we can add another one to that list.
In an email to the Demanding Mommies as reported by Mother Jones, she wrote:
Watts said that Bloomberg’s entry into the race would “ensure gun safety remains front and center during the 2020 election season” but affirmed that nothing would be asked of its volunteers to support Bloomberg’s candidacy. “We are a single issue organization—but none of us live single issue lives,” Watts wrote. “I want to be clear that it is entirely your choice regarding how you spend your volunteer time in this election and which candidates you choose to support. Elevating the voices of all gun sense champions is part of what you do every day, and that should continue.”
Yeah, right. Tell me another one, Shannon. Without Bloomberg’s money backing you, Everytown, and the Demanding Mommies, you would be just another out of work PR executive who snagged a rich husband.
Move over Tom Steyer. There is another narcissist Democrat billionaire who wants to be President.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said he would join the Democratic presidential race despite facing a tough path to the nomination in a crowded 2020 field.
Mr. Bloomberg’s advisers have been drawing up plans to build his campaign staff, intending to focus on the delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, which vote on March 3.
Many of the Democratic candidates have invested fewer resources in those states than in the first few nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
The primary beneficiaries of Bloomberg’s largess would seem to be advertising executives and political consultants as he plans to spend big.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg plans to spend over $100 million on his campaign.
Ahead of his announcement, Mr. Bloomberg said he would spend $100 million on digital ads against Mr. Trump and another $15 million to $20 million on registering new voters.
He had also begun assembling a big staff for his campaign-in-waiting that was working out of the offices of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which oversees the former mayor’s charitable giving, according to a person familiar with the matter.
While the many media stories on Bloomberg’s presidential run mention his wealth, none so far mention gun control. However, Bloomberg himself does list that as one of the issues he will address in his campaign. It is number three on the list on his campaign website.
With all the money that Bloomberg plans to spread around, perhaps the gaggle of corrupt MAIG mayors will seek some of it in return for campaign support. That way then they can stop indulging in public corruption like the former mayor of Baltimore.
When CBS Sunday Morning was announcing their stories this morning, I must admit I rolled my eyes when I heard they were interviewing Ed Stack of DICK’S. Thanks to Dianna Muller, it was more balanced than I anticipated.
The story had interviews by CBS’s Lee Cowan with Stack, Dianna Muller, and Michael Bloomberg. Dianna provided a great counter-point to Stack and Bloomberg. It should be noted that Stack is pushing his new book, It’s How We Plan the Game, which is being published by another division of the company that owns CBS.
Then there was this quote that must have executives with NSSF thinking someone is finally getting the language right:
The “it” he’s talking about is the AR-15, a lightweight semi-automatic modern sporting rifle similar to the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre. He ordered all of them be removed from every Dick’s Sporting Goods store across the country.
While Cowan did link it to the Newtown murders, he didn’t call it an “assault weapon” or “assault rifle”. That in and of itself is remarkable nowadays.
His interview with Dianna was quite good. As you can see if you watch the video, it included footage of her shooting as well as other women from A Girl and A Gun at an event in Kentucky.
When asked why she has an AR-15, she said this:
Muller has become a high-profile spokesperson for the gun rights movement. She’s testified on Capitol Hill about carrying a firearm, specifically an AR-15.
That’s the very rifle that Dick’s is no longer selling.
Cowan asked, “Is it a fair question to ask why you need a gun like that?”
“No,” Muller replied.
“This rifle, and any other rifle, kills fewer people than hammers and blunt objects every year, according to FBI statistics,” she said, “so it doesn’t make any sense to me that this is going to solve the problem that we are having.”
Her worry is the same that the National Rifle Association has voiced for a long time: if one gun like the AR-15 is demonized, then all guns may soon follow.
“It leads me to believe that there’s going to be another tragedy with a different gun, that they’re going to come after the next gun,” she said.
“This is the slippery slope?” Cowan asked.
“Until it’s all gone.”
The story ends with Stack being somewhat coy about his future plans for firearm sales at DICK’S. He said it was under “strategic review.” As I noted on Friday, his company is selling eight of their Field & Stream stores to Sportsman’s Warehouse. I would not be surprised to see the remainder either sold or shut down.
Mark Johnson (R-NC) is the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of North Carolina. When he beat incumbent June Atkinson in 2016, he became the first Republican elected to that position in over 100 years. In his role as Superintendent of Public Instruction, he has control over the public schools in the state including their policies and their curriculum.
Despite being a Republican, Johnson has always been somewhat suspect in my estimation. When the Republican receives a donation from Michael Bloomberg, I am suspicious. I wrote in 2016 about how this made me feel wary of him. I found it interesting that Bloomberg contributed $5,100 to him and nothing to Democrat June Atkinson who was a strong supporter of Common Core. Bloomberg’s daughter Emma also contributed another $100 to Johnson. I noted that contributions like this come with implicit strings attached.
Johnson started to show his true colors back in 2018 when he opposed allowing teachers with the requisite training from being armed. Johnson said at the time, he wanted firearms on campus restricted to “these trained, uniformed law-enforcement professionals who courageously choose a career protecting citizens from violent threats.”
As bad as that was, it wasn’t too far out of the mainstream even for a Republican. His latest move, on the other hand, involves partnering with anti-gun group Sandy Hook Promise to set up an anonymous reporting system. The system will involve a mobile app with the tips monitored by volunteers with Sandy Hook Promise.
NC State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced today that the state education agency has contracted with Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) to provide a statewide Say Something Anonymous Reporting System in the 2019-20 school year. The Say Something program, including an anonymous mobile tip app, is a school safety program designed to change and save lives by teaching students, educators, and administrators how to recognize the signs and signals of those who may be at risk of hurting themselves or others and to anonymously report this information through the mobile tip app, the website or the telephone crisis hotline.
“Students play a critical role in helping to keep schools safe,” Johnson said. “They may see and hear concerns that adults need to know about but may be reluctant to report it. With the Say Something program, middle and high school students will better understand what warning signs to look for and when and how to report important tips through an app. Making this app available will be an important part of our efforts to make schools safer.” “We are proud and eager to work with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to train students across the state to ‘know the signs’ of potential violence and report them to a trusted adult via the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “With these comprehensive violence prevention systems in place, North Carolina schools will be safer, protecting millions of lives and empowering youth to be upstanders in their communities.”
Through the Say Something program, students, parents, educators and others can download the app and share school safety concerns with school administrators and school resource officers at schools, who will respond appropriately. More than 5,100 schools nationwide are currently using Sandy Hook Promise’s anonymous reporting system. North Carolina will be the second statewide partnership for Sandy Hook Promise, with implementation of an anonymous reporting system that will encourage student participation in protecting themselves and their peers.
According to the Raleigh News and Observer, the 2018 state budget allocated $5 million to fund the project. It is estimated that it will cost about $650,000 per year to run it. While the release from Johnson and Sandy Hook Promise wasn’t explicit about this, the N&O reports that the “command center” will be staffed by Sandy Hook Promise and not local NC law enforcement.
An anonymous reporting system with no connection to local law enforcement is an invitation for abuse. I see a lot of kids getting back at other teens for imagined slights, I see “swatting“, and I see innocent people getting killed. This is “pre-crime” brought to the schools of North Carolina and civil liberties be damned. That is what Michael Bloomberg bought with his pocket change.
Just like Chinese water torture, I think we are in for a series of NRA articles from The New Yorker detailing self-dealing, lavish spending, accounting irregularities, nepotism, and sweetheart deals at the National Rifle Association. The latest episode was released yesterday and is entitled, “An Internal Memo Raises New Questions About Self-Dealing At The N.R.A.”
The article starts off describing a one and a half page memo from the NRA’s accountants to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The memo details a range of “questionable transactions and business arrangement” involving several of the NRA’s top vendors and executives. This memo, unlike earlier leaks, does not go into the Ackerman McQueen issues but rather deals with other items that were found to be irregular. These include reportedly payments made to former CFO Woody Phillips’ “significant other”, cumulative rent of $1.8 million paid for a house to be used by Associated Television International and owned by ATI’s president, and to their fund-raising contractor Membership Marketing Partners.
The memo goes on to question management overrides and approval of housing expenses for certain upper executives.
In addition, the memo drew attention to “senior management override of internal controls,” which led to violations of “accounts payable procedures” and “HR policy,” including “hiring of staff without HR knowledge.” It names four executives who, at the time, were receiving “reimbursement of expenses relating to apartments and living expenses beyond HR Policy Manual stipulations and on a permanent basis.” The N.R.A.’s accountants added that there was “no contract to support the reimbursement request,” which the four individuals continued to claim as a “relocation expense.” The executives named include Doug Hamlin, the N.R.A.’s executive director of publications; Eric Frohardt, the director of education and training; Joe DeBergalis, the executive director of general operations; and Josh Powell, LaPierre’s chief of staff.
Andrew Arulanandam, the N.R.A.’s managing director of public affairs, said that the organization “has, at times, made such accommodations for employees who travel extensively for their jobs.” He added, “The practice of providing such accommodations is approved by N.R.A. leadership and is not uncommon for an organization the size of the N.R.A.”
Powell is the person responsible for bringing in CarryGuard while Eric Frohardt is the former Navy SEAL whom Powell installed as director of education and training and director of training for CarryGuard. Frohardt still lives in Colorado where he owns a range and other businesses according to his LinkedIn page. It is my understanding from those who would know that Frohardt is flown in at the NRA’s expense to work 3-7 days a month. While I have the utmost respect for Frohardt’s service to the nation, 12 years as a Navy SEAL does not make one an expert in training civilians in the legal use of a firearm.
As to Josh Powell, the memo to the Audit Committee mentions his multiple conflicts of interest including the hiring of his dad to do photography for the NRA and his wife, Colleen Gallagher, was hired by a top NRA fund-raising vendor McKenna and Associates. It gets worse.
The N.R.A.’s accountants completed their memo in mid-July. Around this period, the N.R.A.’s new C.F.O., Craig Spray, had to temporarily step away from his role at the organization to deal with a health matter. Someone would need to take his place as the organization’s chief manager of financial activities. According to an internal N.R.A. communication, in July, 2018, Powell was appointed acting C.F.O. for about three weeks, placing him in charge of the accountants who documented his conflicts of interest.
I won’t get into the other issues with regard to Powell other than to say his departure from the NRA would help the organization. Placing him as the senior strategist to work with outside counsel William Brewer on New York litigation is a disaster in the making.
I would be remiss if I didn’t note that a lot of the research on the NRA’s problems come from Bloomberg’s The Trace and they did help with The New Yorker articles. I have a theory as to how they are gathering this information. I think Michael Bloomberg and his associates have hired a corps of private investigators whose job it is to find former NRA employees who have left because they were disgusted with the self-dealing and other financial issues. I can’t think of any other way that they could be gathering this inside information unless it was being funneled to them by Ack-Mac.
One way or another the NRA will get its house in order. It can be done either by the Board of Directors or it will be done for them by the State of New York, the Internal Revenue Service, and other outside agencies. Far better that the changes come from within than from without. It can be controlled and managed to make the organization stronger, bigger, and more diverse.
My fear is that new officers of the NRA – Carolyn Meadows, Charles Cotton, and Willes Lee – and much of the Board are such stalwart Wayne LaPierre supporters that they will go along with the status quo (ante bellum) to the NRA’s detriment. Ignoring it is not going to make it go away and will only make matters worse. That, however, is the most probable outcome as things stand now.
The official attendance at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis was approximately 81,000. This is about 6,000 less than last year’s meeting in Dallas. I will say I had no trouble getting about on the floor nor in the hallways of the Indiana Convention Center.
Now to more important statistics.
At the Meeting of Members on Saturday, William Satterfield, chairman of the Elections Committee announced the statistics for the 2019 NRA Board of Directors election.
2,452,893 ballots were bound in the official magazines of the NRA
145,920 ballots received back
141,101 ballot were valid
4,819 were invalid
Ballots that were deemed invalid for a variety of reasons. Among the reasons enumerated by Mr. Satterfield were arrival after the April 7th cutoff date, more than 25 candidates marked, no candidates marked, and some were actually prior year ballots. I think he said there was even one ballot from 2009.
When you do the math, you are left with the conclusion that most members eligible to vote – Life members and 5-year continuous members – don’t give a big rat’s ass who serves on the Board. The response rate for just returning the ballot was 5.94% and the response rate for a valid ballot was 5.75%.
That is pathetic. Moreover, it is scary. Think what could happen to gun rights if Michael Bloomberg just spent a few million bucks on advertising to run a slate of stealth (or Manchurian) candidates. With the proper slate and modern ad targeting, it would be possible to take over the organization in as little as two years. Whether it could be kept secret for that long is another matter.
Mike Bloomberg, billionaire, former mayor of New York City, erstwhile potential Democrat candidate for President, and funder of all things gun control put out this tweet yesterday evening.
Thank you to every @MomsDemand volunteer here in North Carolina for your leadership. State by state, we’re making progress to pass laws that will save lives, and you all deserve a lot of credit for that. pic.twitter.com/Ni0GmtFK4r
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) December 19, 2018
Yes, thank you for your continued support of a Jim Crow era law, the pistol purchase permit system, that was intended to keep African-Americans, union members, and Republicans disarmed.
Yes, thank you for your support of red flag laws that turn Due Process on its head and that will get innocent people killed.
Yes, thank you for making our schools less safe by your continued opposition to any policy that would let trained teachers and administrators carry firearms to protect the students under their care.
Yes, thank you for supporting efforts to introduce even more government interference into private affairs by demanding universal background check.
Yes, thank you for all you do to make North Carolina a less safe place for ordinary, law abiding Tar Heels and more safe for criminals who, by definition, ignore the law.
There is plenty more for which we can thank the North Carolina contingent of Moms Demand Action but saving lives isn’t one of them.
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Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will probably be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. I say probably because there are some Democrats that are opposed to her and the aging leadership. She, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and James Clyburn (D-SC) are all in their 70s. However, while this group of dissidents might prevent Pelosi from getting the requisite number of votes (218), it is doubtful they will win in the end.
In a story in the Washington Examiner about Pelosi’s campaign for Speaker and the battle her allies are waging on her behalf was this:
As the leadership fight escalates, Pelosi’s lined up endorsements from former President Barack Obama — who called Pelosi “one of the most effective legislative leaders” on Tuesday — and key advocacy groups that helped Democrats retake the majority. Progressive groups, gun control organizations, unions, reproductive rights groups like NARAL Pro-Choice and more have thrown their weight behind Pelosi’s speaker bid.
“Do you really want to make enemies out of these groups?” said (Rep. Jan) Schakowsky, adding later, that the fight “is not just inside baseball, this has enormous ramifications for how we successfully move forward to pass an agenda that’s going to help people.”
The Brady Campaign and Shannon Watts have all formally endorsed Pelosi for Speaker. Moreover, Michael Bloomberg who “invested” over $100 million in this election cycle to get Democrats elected has worked closely with Pelosi and shared office space with her super PAC.
What does this mean for gun owners?
It should be obvious – expect gun control to be on the Democrats agenda in the House from day one of the new Congress. Pelosi has a constituency to repay and she will. I fully expect that bills will be introduced that will contain every gun control measure that you can think of and some that we haven’t. Moreover, these bills will get a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee and most will pass in the House. Furthermore, the Hearing Protection Act, national reciprocity, and even provisions for use of Pittman-Robertson funds to construct shooting ranges are dead.
Our only hope for stopping these infringements will be the Senate which remains in Republican hands. Even then, there are some Republicans who might vote for things like red flag laws or bans on bump fire stocks. Fortunately, the filibuster is still alive when it comes to bills passing the Senate and it still will require 60 votes to invoke cloture. Therefore, if you haven’t contacted your two Senators or Senator-elect, you better do it now and put opposition to gun control on their radar.
The Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” will epitomize the next two years when it comes to the fight for gun rights.
I read a story this morning from the local NBC station in San Francisco. It detailed how the prohibitive gun laws in California and especially San Francisco made trafficking in stolen and/or illegal guns a very lucrative business. That comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog or has any knowledge of the Prohibition Era.
The story contained this gem. Let’s dissect it to see what’s wrong with it.
Roger contacted NBC Bay Area following a joint investigation with the non-profit journalism organization The Trace, which found more than 20,000 guns across the country that were previously reported stolen were later recovered by police in connection to crimes.
Stolen guns used in crime? That makes sense as guns are stolen to be sold or traded to other criminals who are probably already prohibited persons. Guns are a tool of the trade for armed robbers and home invaders and they will do what is necessary to obtain them.
Roger? Nope that was just the fake name used by the criminal for the story. He’s now in a witness protection program.
The non-profit journalism organization The Trace? Ah, there’s the problem with the statement. While its tax status is irrelevant, calling The Trace a “journalism organization” is one hell of a whopper. It is the Bloomberg-funded media propaganda arm that masquerades as journalism. Funding for it also came from the Joyce Foundation and Seattle anti-gun billionaire Nick Hanauer. Following the money always will lead you to the truth.