Massachusetts

Media Using Boston Bombers to Revive Gun Control Debate

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Well, that didn’t take long. The media is already pointing out that the Tsarnaev brothers, who are suspected of planting the bombs at the Boston Marathon and getting involved with a shootout with police, were not licensed to own firearms:

The two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, who police say engaged in a gun battle with officers early Friday after a frenzied manhunt, were not licensed to own guns in the towns where they lived, authorities said on Sunday.

In the confrontation with police on the streets of a Boston suburb, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were armed with handguns, at least one rifle and several explosive devices, authorities say.

But neither brother appears to have been legally entitled to own or carry firearms where they lived, a fact that may add to the national debate over current gun laws. Last week, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to expand background checks on gun purchases, legislation that opponents argued would do nothing to stop criminals from buying guns illegally.

Let’s hold on just a second here. The Tsarnaev bothers didn’t legally obtain the firearms used during a shootout with police in a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. For example, Massachusetts has banned so-called “assault weapons” and has limited magazines to 10 rounds (similar proposals failed last week in the United States Senate). Massachusetts also prohibits anyone under the 21-years-old from owning a handgun. Dzhokhar, who was apprehended on Friday evening, was 19.

Recapping Super Tuesday

If you’re like me, you went to bed before the Alaska, Idaho, and North Dakota results started to tricke in. It wasn’t hard to see at that point that last night was a good night for Mitt Romney, though he didn’t deliver the “knock out” punch to end the race quickly. We’re probably going to see this thing drag out between he and Rick Santorum for at least the rest of this month.

Had Romney won in Tennessee, it would be a different story. However, exit polls showed that socially conservative voters came out pretty strong in that state. Additionally, Romney’s win in Ohio was very close. So while he may get to claim the state and it certainly helps with momentum, it shows that he is still just getting by.

Santorum is going to keep trucking. As he said last night, he won a few states and got “silver medals” in others. His biggest issue is money. While his team says they’re willing to take the race all the way to Republican National Convention in Tampa in August, he may not have the resources to get that far.

Of course, Santorum’s biggest obstacle isn’t Romney, it’s Gingrich. Conventional wisdom says that if Gingrich drops out that Santorum will be the beneficiary. That’s probably true, but only to a certain extent. Gingrich was defiant last night, but the writing is on the wall. He’s not going to win, especially after five last place finishes. Yes, he won Georgia, but he didn’t get the 50% needed to take all of his home state’s delegates.

Ron Paul’s strategy of focusing on caucus states hasn’t panned out the way his campaign had hoped. Granted, Paul was strong in several states last night, but he still doesn’t have a win in either a caucus or a primary. But as we’ve said before, Paul’s support has grown substantially since his run four years ago and he can no longer be ignored by Republicans.

Massachusetts Governor criticizes Tim Thomas for skipping White House event

Tim Thomas sure stirred up a hornet’s nest, didn’t he?  The Boston Bruin’s goalie made a personal decision to not meet President Obama.  He said his piece on Facebook about why he decided to forego the meeting.  Fair enough. Of course, Governor Deval Patrick seems to feel that Thomas was lacking “courtesy and grace”:

Governor Deval Patrick struck a disappointed tone today as he commented on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas’s decision not to attend a White House event earlier this week honoring the Stanley Cup champions.

“He’s a phenomenal hockey player and he’s entitled to his views, but it just feels to me like we’re losing in this country basic courtesy and grace,” Patrick said.

I didn’t think much of President Bush’s policies – two wars on a credit card, prescription drug benefit that we couldn’t afford, deficit out of control – but I always referred to him as ‘Mr. President.’ I stood when he came in the room,” Patrick said in his monthly appearance on the “Ask the Governor” segment on WTKK-FM.

“There are rules to live by so I don’t want to make more of this than is deserving. I guess I’d prefer to pay more attention and offer more commentary when there are acts of grace as opposed to the reverse,” he said, moving onto the next topic.

Interesting.  Please note the part in bold.  Obviously, Thomas simply must have said something horrible. Luckily, we can go to the tape, so to speak…or at least Thomas’ Facebook page.  There, Thomas says this:

RomneyCare provided public aid to undocumented immigrants

Mitt Romney has been hitting his key opponent, Rick Perry, relentlessly for his decision to allow undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition in Texas. Romney even made the issue into a campaign ad:

The former Massachusetts governor has stated that the educational benefits offered by the state of Texas act as an incentive to draw more undocumented immigrants across the border:

“You put in place a magnet — you talk about magnets — you put in place a magnet to draw illegals into the state, which is giving $100,000 of tuition credit to illegals that come into this country. And then you have states, the big states of illegal immigrants are California and Florida. Over the last 10 years, they’ve had no increase in illegal immigration. Texas has had 60 percent increase in illegal immigrants.”

Now we learn, via the LA Times, that the healthcare reform that Governor Romney ushered in during his tenure in Massachusetts, colloquially referred to as RomneyCare, contained a provision that provided public aid to undocumented immigrants:

The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance.

Thoughts on Scott Brown

I suppose I wouldn’t be much a of a political blogger if I didn’t comment on the Scott Brown election. It’s certainly the hottest topic in politics today and will have implications on policy and action in Washington until November. In order to take a closer look at the real story behind the election, I’ll turn to the data. Rasmussen Reports conducted exit polling last night and I’ve broken down some of the results in the table below.

Source: Rasmussen Reports

Why a Republican Resurgence is Good for Everybody

At the White House website, the biography of Bill Clinton illustrates the successes of his administration, most notably:

During the administration of William Jefferson Clinton, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well being than at any time in its history.

It’s true. The Clinton years were some of the most prosperous years that the United States has ever seen. Was that the result of massive government spending and initiatives? Of course not. Clinton’s first major initiative - health care reform - failed, resulting in a Republican takeover of Congress and Clinton shifting to rhetoric such as ”the era of big government is over.”

The actual successes of the Clinton years were very right wing ones - welfare reform, free trade agreements and a robust innovative economy fueled by the ingenuity of software entrepreneurs. Spending was down, and Bill Clinton left office with a huge surplus. This was certainly the result of a lack of spending from the federal government, a foreseeable result of having two diametrically opposed political parties in power at once. The fact that the low-spending Clinton years (years in which the government actually shut down for nearly two months) resulted in economic prosperity, while high deficit eras like the pre-war terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Bush-Obama years resulted in depression and recession, makes one of the strongest cases for libertarianism.

Podcast: MA Senate Race, Airport Security, Council of Governors, Guest: Pete Eyre

Jason and Brett broke from the traditional news discussion this week, as they talked with Pete Eyre, former Crasher-In-Chief at Bureaucrash, and currently working with the Future of Freedom Foundation, discussing political philosophy while also touching on a few news stories from the week:

MA Senate: Can Scott Brown and Republicans Finish the Drill?

It’s coming down to the wire in Massachusetts. Scott Brown and Republicans can sense victory. While Martha Coakley and Democrats are scrambling to fix a terrible run campaign and a serious flawed and unappealing candidate.

Coakley, who is trailing Brown in her own internal polling, continues to make gaffes. Embarrassingly calling baseball great Curt Schilling, who is campaigning for Brown, a Yankee fan. For those of you not up on baseball, Schilling pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 2004 to 2007 and led them to World Series victories in 2004 and 2007 (who forgets the infamous bloody sock?). A huge mistake in the heart of the Red Sox Nation.

Schilling responded:

I’ve been called a lot of things… [b]ut never, and I mean never, could anyone ever make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn’t know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could.

Masschusetts Senate Special Election Polls

In analyzing the data from the latest polls coming from Massachusetts with regard to the upcoming special election on January 19th, I have some things to note.

  • Rasmussen polled 500 likely voters on January 4, releasing their results the following day.
  • The Boston Globe polled 554 likely voters January 2-6, releasing their results this morning.
  • Public Policy Polling polled 744 likely voters January 7-9, releasing their results last night. (full .pdf of the results available there)

Beginning linearly with the commencement of the polls, the Boston Globe began first, though it concluded on the 6th. It was not released until this morning, but I think that its results were not influenced by Rasmussen’s numbers, as Rasmussen conducted their poll in the midst, releasing the results toward the end.  They also included Joe Kennedy as an option, whereas neither of the other polls did.  Who knows why it took the Globe four days to release their results, but I think for the time their polling spanned, it is likely accurate.

Elizabeth Warren’s hypocrisy exposed: She hates corporate welfare, except for when she doesn’t

Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the darling of the political left. They can’t get enough of her. The Massachusetts Democrat’s willingness to take on corporate special interests, especially Wall Street and big banks.

But Warren’s anti-big business populism only goes so far. She recently came out in support of the reauthorization of the Export Import Bank, the controversial New Deal-era agency known for issuing taxpayer-backed loans to politically-connected big businesses. Unlike Warren, it’s conservatives that are trying to end the Bank’s brand of cronyism.

The Club for Growth released a nearly 3-minute video this week exposing Warren’s hypocrisy, pointing out that Ex-Im represents is exactly the type of corporate welfare that the Massachusetts Democrat should be against:


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.