Saturday, June 25, 2016

Not Just Eileen Boone Doing the Right Thing

Kudos to the Senators from Maine, too.

Collins and the junior senator from Maine, independent Angus King, who also co-sponsored the legislation, practice a pragmatism that caused a Democratic colleague to ask Sen. King: “Is there something in the water in Maine that gives people common sense?”

No, that's probably not it. I wish it was though. We could use a shipment here in the upstate NY region. 

This is classic Senator Collins, working her colleagues with calm persuasion, facts, and analysis, looking for common ground on one of the country’s most contentious issues. She is, say senators on both sides, a highly respected bridge-builder at a time when Washington is at a defining moment on divisive gun politics.

Take a look at her record, Elise. 

The NRA graded her at C+ in 2012. Similarly, the anti-tax group Club for Growth gave her a 37 percent lifetime score in 2013 – the lowest of any Republican senator. Yet in 2014, she soared to reelection for a fourth term, her constituents rewarding a conscientious legislator who last year cast her 6,000th consecutive vote.

With anti-endorsements like that, she's a Republican I might actually vote for. Maybe the only one in the country. 

Collins vows to keep working on this issue. “I never give up,” she said after coming off the Senate floor. The shortfall shows a Congress in need of more people like Collins, often described as one of the last Republican moderates on the Hill, says former Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, a storied bridge-builder himself.

“I hope [she’s] not a dying breed,” says the senator, who lost in the primaries to a tea party candidate in 2012.

I hope not, as well. I'm afraid that along with the dodo, the Northeast liberal Republican will fade into extinction or transform into independents a la James Jeffords. 

Today in Corporations Doing Good

Unbesmirching the image of corporations as evil, soulless behemoths is Eileen Howard Boone. How dare she?

The social responsibility part of corporate leadership started as a side job and blossomed into an entire career.

So, it pays the rent. Jokes aside, I just wanted to link to the story. I remember when CVS mad the decision to remove tobacco from their stores. Applauded it then and now. It was nice to see this article on the woman responsible. 

Earlier this year, the pharmacy chain launched “Be the First,” a $50 million joint venture with a number of other organizations aimed at driving down rates of smoking and tobacco use. The initiative follows the company’s decision to remove tobacco products from its shelves in 2014. 

Thanks Ms. Boone and CVS for doing the right thing despite the costs. Could you talk to the folks in Congress?

Still, shareholders took some convincing. “$2 billion isn’t something where you go, ‘Whew, OK,’ ” Howard Boone says, pitching her voice up and out in a vocal shrug. “But it helped pave the way with better alliances with our partners and providers.”

And it lent CVS more credibility as a health-care company. “It’s a business function,” she continues. “We’re trying to support our long-term growth, and when we’re doing it in a socially responsible way, it really benefits the company and stakeholders.”

Guns Abroad, Today Germany

The German gunman who took hostages in a theater was "disturbed." Undoubtedly. That's a prerequisite for such an action, I suppose. He did not have an "Islamist motive." That's reassuring.

What really interested me was the German approach to gun policy. The NRA does not have a strong foothold there from all appearances.

In Germany, anyone younger than 25 has to pass a psychiatric exam before he or she is allowed to apply for a gun license. After that, applicants must wait a year, pass tests, and explain why they want a firearm. Once the license is approved, gun owners must be included in a national registry. 

Since 2009, the year a young man who had dropped out of high school fatally shot 15 people and himself, gun owners may be required to take psychiatric tests if they display erratic behavior. Police can also make home visits to be sure owners' weapons are properly stored, although owners do not need to divulge where the keys are, according to the LA Times. 

Yes, I can just see that all passing in Congress

Tough gun control laws in Germany that were rigorously tightened after two ghastly school shootings in 2002 and 2009 have helped cut the number of firearm killings in half to about 50 a year, according to experts.

Germany, where gun ownership had already been treated as a privilege rather than an inherent right, made it even harder to own a firearm.

And they sing praises to Odin that they have no second amendment. 

The Scots Have Such a Way With the English (or is it Scottish) Language

If it's not Scottish it's crap and if it's Trump it's crap. Ummm, weaselheaded fucknugget or do you prefer witless fucking cocksplat?

Thanks, Shaw.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Can You Believe It's Not True?

Here's a story from yesterday's Daily News.

The buy one/give one program, dubbed “Share the Safety,” promised to donate guns to “statistically under-armed Americans — from homosexuals to the elderly.”

The incredibly elaborate website for the campaign includes links to the NRA and Smith & Wesson websites alongside pictures of smiling people armed with handguns, and others draped in the American flag.

The site encourages visitors to “buy a gun, give a gun to an American in an at-risk neighborhood.”

Here's the link to the spoof site. It looks incredibly real. And with the NRA, why would you not think that it wasn't?

Quote OTD is from Rep. Rick Nolan from Minnesota, courtesy of Charles Pierce

"I represent rural communities in northeastern Minnesota. Everybody in my neighborhood has shotguns and deer rifles—including me. I'm proud to strongly support the Second Amendment. But the fact is, when you're out duck hunting, you can only have three shells in your gun. Why? To protect ducks! That's right—we put limits on guns to protect ducks. So why can't we do the same for our elementary schoolchildren? For our friends and neighbors in places of worship? For our families who want to catch a Friday night movie? For our LGBTQ community who just want to go out for some fun and dancing and a night of revelry on a Saturday night? Surely they deserve the same concern and safety that we afford to ducks." 

Meanwhile, here's my congresswoman, Elise Stefanik, on the whole thing. She finds the protest distasteful. 

In response to a Post-Star inquiry about the sit-in, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, said Thursday, “I am a legislator, not a protester.”

The full statement, which was emailed to The Post-Star by Stefanik spokesman Tom Flanagin and attributed to the congresswoman, further emphasized her focus on “commonsense results” to address both terrorism and gun violence.

“I ran against Washington dysfunction and will continue working on behalf of my constituents to find commonsense solutions through the legislative process,” she said.

She called the Orlando shooting that spurred the Democrats’ sit-in “a tragedy and a terrible reminder that the threat of terrorism on our homeland remains very real.”

“As a strong Second Amendment advocate, I believe there are legislative solutions we can agree on that protect civil liberties and constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, and keep guns out of the hands of terrorists,” she said.

When in doubt always bring up terrorism and commonsense results. What commonsense results have come out of the House?

At one point overnight, the two sides nearly came to blows after Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, approached the Democrats and yelled, “Radical Islam!”

 At least she's not Louis Gohmert.

Stefanik also said she will continue to work to “reform our nation’s mental health system, which is why I am a cosponsor of the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.”

I'm sure the Gohmert family will appreciate that. 

Couple of Good Cartoons From Steve Sack

I went looking for this one because I saw it in the Post Star.


This one was nice, as well. 


Thank you, Mr. Sack. As always, please don't sue me. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Accidental Vigilantes

I can understand that John Cramsey is emotionally upset over the death of his daughter to heroin. Ths story is still a little off, though.

She added that she believes the trio accidentally brought along the arsenal found in the truck in their haste to help. 

What did they accidentally bring?

holland tunnel guns, holland tunnel weapons

Police said they seized a shotgun, an AR-15 style rifle and handguns, along with goggles, tactical gear, ammunition and knives, according to NBC New York. An ammo-box labelled “Shoot your local heroin dealer” and a bag with the label “firearms instructor” were also in the vehicle, photos released by the Port Authority show. Other tactical gear had the word “police” written on it. One of the gun magazines seized had the word “’merica” on it and another said “United We Stand.”

They also found 2,000 rounds of ammunition, Port Authority police said.

Now, they were on their way to "rescue" a girl in a heroin den. And:

Police additionally found a marijuana pipe in the car and three prescription drug pills.

I suppose that's all just medicinal, though. Here is Lyn Baker, a partner in Enough is Enough.

Lyn Baker, the co-founder of the Enough Is Enough group, told the New York Daily News she and Cramsey help get people into treatment for addiction.

“He’d be the spotlight person,” she told the Daily News. “He’s very charismatic, always has the right words to say. I would be the one to do placement.”

Baker explained on Facebook that she usually handled the behind the scenes work, while Cramsey carried out the rescues.

She told The Daily Beast she is just a housewife trying to help people with addictions, and a lawyer friend told her she is also likely to face investigation.

Baker told The Daily Beast she noticed Cramsey hadn’t been sleeping and his missions became more extreme.

“About a week ago, he started posting very cryptic posts,” she said. “He felt like he was superman, like he could go and save these people. And I had told him I was stepping away from the group.” 

She's stepping away from the group? Yes, that's probably a good idea. He sounds like someone I would not want to see armed, for his own safety and that of others. For good measure, he has the government interfering with his business, a shooting range. Yes, all of that is surprising.

During a sampling period on Nov. 13, OSHA said safety officers observing and instructing clients in the range area were exposed to continuous noise at 326 percent of the permissible daily noise exposure.

In addition, OSHA said, range safety officers were exposed on average to 0.69 milligrams of inorganic lead per cubic meter of air, which is almost 14 times the OSHA permissible exposure limit of 0.05 milligrams per cubic meter of air.

For these alleged hazards, OSHA said it placed Higher Ground Tactical in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to Occupational Safety and Health Act obligations by willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations. 

He needs therapy and not of the shooting kind. This is not going to end well.

Hat's off to this family, though.

Family members set to inherit a stockpile of guns and ammunition, worth millions of dollars, plan to destroy the weapons "to send a message," their attorney Daniel Brookman told ABC News today.

"They want these instruments of death to be destroyed," Brookman said. "They don’t want these weapons out on the street."

Yes, get rid of them before someone accidentally brings them across state borders.