Archive for Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 2:25 pm – Page 2

There goes another GOP talking point... this time on immigration.


no talking points

That big ol' super liberal President Obama has been way too easy on undocumented immigrants and so frustratingly lax on the ol' border fence security thing, hasn't he? We need to spend more on enforcement or all of them "illegals" will start crawling under, bursting through, and climbing over the very tall, electrified, barbed wired wall into our very own grassy, pool-laden, hammocky, swing set-filled back yards! STAT!

Why, before you know it, some taco restaurant will start selling "witty and comical" “How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant” t-shirts! Oh wait.

Sorry, just a moment. I'm hearing something in my imaginary earpiece. What? None of that is in the least bit true? (Except the t-shirt debacle.) Oh noes! What will conservatives have to kvetch about now?

L.A. Times:

A report released this week says that the U.S. government spends more on immigration enforcement than all other federal law enforcement combined. That should help silence Republican lawmakers who have steadfastly insisted that the Obama administration is doing too little to combat illegal immigration. [...]

[T]he number of people detained by federal officials nearly doubled from about 200,000 per year in 2001 to close to 400,000 in 2011, according to the study by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Washington-based think tank. [...]

In reality, the number of agents assigned to patrol the border has nearly doubled over the last seven years, even as the number of immigrants attempting to enter the United States illegally appears to be at a near 40-year low. [...]

The administration has done what it can administratively; now it's time for federal lawmakers to provide a true legislative fix for a badly broken system.

Agree or disagree with all or part of the Obama administration's immigration policies-- and they are not perfect-- he has managed to make a mockery of the Republican Faux Complaint Machine. Too bad it still won't get them to turn it off.


Quickie- Trump releases birth certificate to Bill Maher, demands $5M



Doesn't seem to be iron clad proof to me, need something more like a dna test. (Tell me that pic doesn't look like an angry orangutan!)

Donald Trump has placed himself in the middle of another controversy involving a birth certificate—this time his own.

In a letter obtained by Yahoo News, the real estate mogul and de facto leader of last year's "birther" movement against President Barack Obama sent a copy of his New York City birth certificate to comedian Bill Maher, who earlier this week made a Trump-like demand to see it.

On Monday's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno," Maher said he would donate $5 million to the charity of Trump’s choice (Maher suggested Hair Club for Men, among others) if the "Celebrity Apprentice" host could prove he is not the "spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan." Maher was mocking Trump's much-publicized announcement in October that he would donate $5 million to charity if Obama would release his college records.

On Tuesday, a lawyer for Trump sent the letter to Maher with the birth certificate attached, asking the "Real Time" host to make good on his late-night offer:

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Richard Blanco: First Latino, Gay Man Selected as Inaugural Poet



This president sure is full of firsts.

There has not been another inaugural poet like Richard Blanco.

Out of the five people selected to read an original poem at a presidential inauguration, the 44-year-old Blanco will be the first Latino, first gay man, and youngest person to serve the role. The presidential inaugural committee officially announced the choice of Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles, on Wednesday.

"Even though it's been a few weeks since I found out, just thinking about my parents and my grandparents and all the struggles they've been through, and how, you know, here I am, first-generation Cuban-American, and this great honor that has just come to me, and just feeling that sense of just incredible gratitude and love," he said in an interview with NPR.

Renowned poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou has previously served the role. In the next 11 days, Blanco will write an original poem and recite it at the public inauguration ceremony on Monday, Jan. 21.

"It is an honor to have Richard Blanco in our second inauguration," Obama said in a statement. "His contributions to the fields of poetry and art have paved the way for future generations of writers. Richard's work is well-suited for an opening that will celebrate the strength and diversity of our great country."


2009 university study: Gun owners 4.46 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession.


gun cartoon sales surge

Yesterday I posted "Mother of 9 year-old killed in Tucson shooting demands a plan to end gun violence; Giffords, Kelly launch anti-gun lobby campaign." It's gratifying to see a common sense movement take shape... finally. Rachel Maddow discussed that very thing here:

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I also posted the eye-opening "VIDEO: Here’s proof that carrying a gun won’t protect you in a crisis." It's worth nine minutes of your time, believe me.

Today a friend linked me to a study that concluded that gun owners are 4.5 times more likely to be shot than people not in possession of a firearm.

Via the American Journal of Public Health:

Objectives. We investigated the possible relationship between being shot in an assault and possession of a gun at the time. [...]

Results. After adjustment, individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 (P < .05) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Among gun assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, this adjusted odds ratio increased to 5.45 (P < .05).

Conclusions. On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.

Not enough for you? The Harvard School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and and Arthur Kellermann--of Rand Health and Emory School of Medicine-- all did similar studies with similar goals that resulted in ...ta-daa!... similar results!

For example, an excerpt from Johns Hopkins:

When states expand firearm prohibitions to high-risk groups, and adopt comprehensive measures to prevent diversion of guns to prohibited persons, fewer guns are diverted to criminals, and there is less violence. [...]

[P]oliticians who want to correct flaws in our current laws, which enable dangerous people to get guns, could do so knowing that there is broad support for those policies, the reforms are constitutional, and the policies would enhance public safety.

And from Harvard:

1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review).

Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries.  Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

And Kellerman:

Kellermann states that as an emergency room doctor, he noted that the number of gunowners injured by their own gun or that of a family member seemed to greatly outnumber the number of intruders shot by the gun of a homeowner... On net, a firearm in the home represents a greater risk overall than the protection it may offer against intruders, either indirectly or by discouraging potential assaults.

There are studies and more studies, both sides claiming the truth is on their side. But when it comes to common sense gun safety, it seems obvious that erring on the side of prevention while still allowing people to own non-military weapons and lower capacity gun magazines among other rational, reasonable suggestions is the way to go.

Nobody is taking away gun ownership rights. Nobody is knocking on your door to yank your firearms away and trample on your rights. And as Rachel Maddow noted, if the military actually turned against its fellow U.S. citizens, well, we'd be way past the point where personal weapons could or would be very effective.

One more thing. This post from a few days ago was heartening: Pres. Obama willing to take on NRA, special interests via executive action on gun safety measures.

And it was confirmed today by Veep Joe: Biden: Obama exploring executive orders to combat gun violence.