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Will The Supreme Court 
Fall Into A Political Thicket?
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by George Will 
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Stepping Back From the Crime Scene
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by Michael Swartz:  As is their practice after a shooting with casualties on a mass scale, leftists are blaming the guns for the behavior of a man who obviously lost sight of the commandment, “You shall not murder.” And while we mourn the victims, the mainstream media seems preoccupied with the possibility of multiple shooters and the need to ban “bump stocks.” Many folks have also lost sight of the big picture: Statistically, we’re at far greater risk in a hospital than at a public concert like Sunday night’s Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.

          One statistician, in fact, concluded that the gun control measures being proposed would be rather ineffective in addressing the problem. Leah Libresco, who is described by The Washington Post as “a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site,” came to this realization as part of a large effort by her former employer — something FiveThirtyEight reminded us of this week — to analyze all 33,000 deaths by firearm in a particular year. She makes the case that “bump stocks,” bans on so-called “assault rifles,” and even gun buybacks would do little good when the largest portions of gun deaths involve their usage as “suicide machines” or as a method for young gangbangers to settle scores.
          “But, but,” stammers the Left, “look at how little gun violence there is in Australia — a place where certain types of guns were confiscated under penalty of law two decades ago after their own mass shooting.” While it’s true that no significant mass shootings have since occurred in Australia, a 2016 study by three Australian researchers found the data was inconclusive regarding the effects of the gun buyback: “Following enactment of gun law reforms in Australia in 1996, there were no mass firearm killings through May 2016. There was a more rapid decline in firearm deaths between 1997 and 2013 compared with before 1997 but also a decline in total nonfirearm suicide and homicide deaths of a greater magnitude. Because of this, it is not possible to determine whether the change in firearm deaths can be attributed to the gun law reforms.
          Moreover, as Corey Iacono of the Foundation for Economic Education points out, another study that used the adjacent island nation of New Zealand — where there are fewer restrictions on guns — as a control found that both had roughly the same decline in mass shootings. “Gun control advocates have built their entire case about Australian gun control on lazy data analysis, or perhaps no data analysis at all,” argues Iacono. “If anything, Australia proves the complete opposite of what advocates of gun control want.
          He added, “A national gun confiscation scheme which reduced the civilian firearm stock by an astounding twenty percent and nobody can seem to find any clear evidence it caused a meaningful effect on the firearm murder rate? That’s not only embarrassing, it goes against everything they believe about the nature of the relationship between guns and murder rates.
          Then, when we consider this longstanding fact that more guns have yielded less crime, leftists’ case really begins to unravel. Not that they’ll stop shouting from the rooftops about it anyway — their newest cause is to repeal the Second Amendment. Our response? Molon labe.
          The leftist viewpoint — shared, apparently, by the New York Times’ token “conservative,” Bret Stephens — doesn’t come close to meeting the smell test. Stephens’ anti-gun prejudices lead him to use faulty numbers, including counting five years’ worth of murder statistics to give himself a number that finally exceeds the annual toll in auto accidents. Even at this emotion-driven moment, this is all the gun-grabbers have.
          Should we remind them yet again that stridently anti-gun Europe, whose elites would love to see our pesky Second Amendment consigned to the dustbin of history, suffers more mass shootings on a statistical basis than the U.S. does? Europe’s restrictions don’t allow a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with one. As we often point out, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Stephen Paddock reportedly spent about 11 minutes firing at the crowd before a security guard finally made it to his room. Local police were even further behind.
          In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, Congress will certainly feel pressured to “do something,” with the most likely outcome a feel-good ban on bump stocks. Even the NRA doesn’t have a problem considering that, and a Republican lawmaker already has the bill set to go.
          Despite the statistics that have shown a trend toward more security, our government cannot make us perfectly safe — though armed citizens certainly have made us safer. Even if the government took away all the so-called “assault weapons,” deranged individuals bent on causing mass casualties would find a way to do so. One need look no further than the 85 people mowed down last year by a jihadi with a truck in Nice, France.
          Incidents like these are a problem of evil. Instead of debating the repeal of the Second Amendment — which was, after all, placed in the Bill of Rights as a check against a tyrannical government having all the firepower — we should be discussing the lack of self-control that our culture seems to encourage. There are still many laws on the books that extend the command of “you shall not murder,” and perhaps the first order of business should be to restore a much-needed respect for life.  ~The Patriot Post

https://patriotpost.us/articles/51717

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Dobbs, Fitton – Outraged Corrupt GOP 
Handed Reins Of Witch Hunts To Dems
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{rickwells.us} ~ Lou Dobbs welcomed Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch to his program for a discussion of the insufferable boobs leading the Senate Intelligence Committee’s “fishing expedition and witch hunt”... and other traitors operating openly under the GOP label. Dobbs begins with a statement that “Watching Warner and Burr is so painful, because they think they’re fooling someone when they’re carrying out a political action, not one of oversight of the intelligence community, which is their primary charge, as the intelligence community is struggling to defend whatever assets we have left in cyberspace.” Dobbs doesn’t overstate the pathetic display put on by Senators Burr and Warner, which clearly looked like an attempt to offer excuses and buy themselves more time for their witch hunt to continue. Both of the crooked, bumbling jackasses were clearly engaged in a political hit and trying to make it look like a legitimate function of their positions...  https://rickwells.us/dobbs-fitton-intel-control-dems/
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Shaffer, Furman – 3 Clues Need Close 
Attention In Las Vegas Investigation
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{rickwells.us} ~ Tony Shaffer and Mark Furman join Martha MacCallum to discuss the evolution of the case surrounding the massacre in Las Vegas... Shaffer notes there are three clues that Las Vegas Sheriff Lombardo has put out there which he believes we need to pay very close attention to. The radicalization statement of a couple of days ago, a “spontaneous utterance” about this issue, has not been resolved or addressed. He says that secondly, “they’ve announced a global investigation now ongoing for people who may have been involved and helped him.” Shaffer says, “That talks about a network, that means there’s something, either a criminal network or a terror network, but there’s something else there. And third, to the other point of the fact now that they’ve clearly said, there’s evidence, and they know more than they’re saying for obvious reasons.”... https://rickwells.us/shaffer-furman-3-clues-las-vegas/
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Pulosi Brain Drained – Freezes Up, 
Can’t Babble, Words Just Won’t Come Out
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{rickwells.us} ~ We’ve all heard that a mind is a terrible thing to waste, and in Nancy Pulosi’s case, that was true even before hers stopped working... It never worked properly, as her leadership position in the communist Democrat Party has shown over time, but the dysfunction is now becoming something she can no longer hide. It’s like a police officer pulling someone over and asking you if they’ve had anything to drink tonight. The response, whether it be a semi-truthful “Yes sir, officer, only a couple of beers” or a lying “No, sir – I’m just a little tired,” the slurring of the words is going to be what answers the question. She can try to pretend she’s maintaining but reality is giving her away... https://rickwells.us/pelosi-brain-drained-freezes-up/
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Flanked By Top Military Leaders, Trump Comments “Calm Before The Storm”
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{rickwells.us} ~ Whether the purpose was to inject uncertainty or fear into the minds of our adversaries from the standpoint of strengthening his negotiating position... an actual statement of imminent military conflict or something else, the words of President Trump were unsettling. At a reception for top military officials, President Trump said to the media and photographers during  a groupphoto, “You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be the calm before the storm.” A reporter asks him, “From Iran,  on ISIS or what? Another asks, “What storm Mr. President?” as he says, “We have the world’s great military people in this room, I will tell you that. And we’re going to have a great evening. Thank you all for coming, thank you.”..https://rickwells.us/military-trump-calm-storm/
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Kimmel's Clueless Condemnation
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by Thomas Gallatin:  Is Jimmy Kimmel looking to start his own religion with his expressed ability to look into the hearts and minds of people and enter into judgment against them? Or does he merely have his sights set on running for head of the Democratic National Committee? Tuesday evening he followed up his Monday evening emotion-filled rant against Republicans and their support of the Second Amendment. Kimmel decided to climb even higher up that self-righteous ivory tower of his to rain down contempt upon those who dared criticize him for his immediate politicizing of the atrocity in Las Vegas the night before. Kimmel blasted:
          They say it’s inappropriate to be talking about it because it’s too soon. Well, maybe it’s too soon for you because deep down inside you know, in your heart, you know you bear some responsibility for the fact that almost anyone can get any weapon they want. And now you want to cover yourself until the storm of outrage passes and you can go back to your dirty business as usual. But it’s not too soon for us, because we’re Americans, and last time I checked, the First Amendment is at least as important as the Second Amendment.

          Three things. First, no one has stopped or prevented Kimmel from exercising his First Amendment right to freedom of speech, as attested to by the fact that he is still freely speaking on his own TV show about what he’s feel so passionately about, no matter how misguided, illogical and flat out false it may be. No one even called for his free speech rights to be taken away. That’s what his campus leftist fanboys do.
          Second, if it wasn’t for the protections afforded by the Second Amendment he obviously hates so much, he wouldn’t be enjoying that First Amendment. Freedom, Mr. Kimmel, is never free. People fought hard to win that freedom you so flippantly malign.
          Finally, rather than actually focusing on those directly impacted by this atrocity by offering emotional comfort and encouragement, and rather than seeking ways to promote good will and healing and unity, Kimmel instead chose to promote division. He chose to stand on the bodies of the victims in order to condemn his fellow Americans who had absolutely nothing to do with this mad man’s massacre. In his politically correct self-righteous superiority, he judged his fellow citizens, declaring them guilty — for believing in and defending Liberty. Mr. Kimmel, this is why you should have waited to speak, because all you have done is sow greater division.  ~The Patriot Post

https://patriotpost.us/articles/51691

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Will The Supreme Court 
Fall Into A Political Thicket?
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by George Will 
{investors.com} ~ On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments tempting it to plunge into an impenetrable political thicket. It will consider a lower court's ruling that, if allowed to stand, will require the judiciary to determine whether and when partisanship in drawing electoral districts — something as old as the Constitution — is unconstitutional. And courts will wrestle repeatedly with cases requiring them to decide how to decide how much partisanship is too much.

It is instructive that the phrase "partisan gerrymandering" — the drawing of district lines by one party to disadvantage the other — is a redundancy. It has been since 1812, when Massachusetts Democratic-Republicans, serving Gov. Elbridge Gerry, created a district resembling a salamander. By then, the practice was old hat for New York, which had been hard at it since 1788, the year the Constitution was ratified.

The practice has recently become hotly disputed. This is partly because Republicans control 66 of 98 partisan state legislative chambers, and both the legislatures and governorships of 26 states. A challenge to Maryland's redistricting by Democrats is percolating in the judicial system. And it is partly because some members of the political science professoriate, which is as ideologically monochromic as academia generally, are inventing metrics that supposedly provide objective standards for identifying partisanship that is unconstitutionally excessive.

For several decades, federal courts produced redistricting plans for Wisconsin after decennial censuses because the Legislature could not agree on any. In 2010, however, Republicans won control of both houses of the Legislature and the governorship and produced a redistricting plan. In 2012, they won 60 of the 99 state Assembly seats with 48.6% of the statewide vote, and in 2014 they won 63 seats with 52% of the vote. However, under the court-devised plan in the previous decade, in five elections the Republicans won an average of 55.2 seats with an average of 49.1% of the statewide vote. This is partly because under requirements of the Voting Rights Act, Milwaukee's "majority-minority" districts were protected. And it is partly because Democratic voters, in Wisconsin and nationally, are inefficiently distributed, disproportionately concentrated in cities and college towns, such as Milwaukee and Madison. This is why in 2012, Barack Obama carried 27 congressional districts with at least 80% of the vote, whereas Mitt Romney carried only one that lopsidedly.

The 12 plaintiffs against the Republican plan have three problems, each fatal. First, they are contesting the entire statewide plan rather than their individual districts. So, they are asking the court to change its traditional standards for "standing" to sue, which require persons to demonstrate a "particularized injury" — in this case, that the configurations of their individual districts somehow unconstitutionally devalue their votes. The lead plaintiff is a retired University of Wisconsin professor whose Assembly district in Madison has voted Democratic by an average of 67.2% in the last five elections. This does not sadden him. What does — his supposed injury — is that the statewide plan diminishes his chances of enjoying a Democratic majority in the Assembly.

Second, until 31 years ago, the court held that the inevitable political component of redistricting plans is a non-justiciable "political question" properly consigned to the political (elected) branches. In 1986, the court said a political gerrymander could conceivably be justiciable, but it has never discovered what Justice Anthony Kennedy terms "a manageable standard."

Third, the plaintiffs want the court to plunge the judiciary into unending litigation involving dueling professors who will cherry-pick concocted metrics to serve as standards. Tuesday's arguments will illustrate why Wisconsin warns about a "social science hodgepodge." Plaintiffs will argue that an "efficiency gap" (the difference between all the loser's votes and the surplus of votes in excess of those the winner needed for victory divided by the total number of votes cast) that exceeds 7% — a figure plucked from the ether — is presumptively unconstitutional. By this metric, one-third of all legislative redistricting maps in 41 states over 43 years were impermissibly partisan.

Using partisan social science, the plaintiffs are asking the court to find in the Constitution a hitherto unnoticed requirement for proportional representation. Justice Felix Frankfurter perhaps anticipated this.

When in 1962 the court first intervened in states' redistricting practices, it propounded only the simple and neutral principle of "one person, one vote" — districts must be numerically equal. Nevertheless, Frankfurter dissented, having warned in 1946 against even entering "this political thicket." He worried that someday the court might be drawn ever-deeper into the fraught business of fine-tuning political processes. Unless the court is careful, that someday could arrive Tuesday.
 

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