What Are The Odds?


One of the members of the Democrat Presidential Nomination Clown Posse has radical gun control as a cornerstone of his platform.I’m not sure how broad his definition of “assault weapons” is, but let’s pretend there are 15 million weapons that would be covered by reenacting the 1994 ban list. Let’s also assume that the average owner has a couple such weapons. That would mean that there are around 7-1/2 million people armed with such firearms. For the purpose of this thought experiment, let’s further assume that the compliance rate with such a ban would be comparable to compliance with the Connecticut registration requirements enacted after the Newtown school shooting or the New York SAFE Act. That would leave “assault weapons” in the hands of over 7 million freshly-minted felons.

Even if Swalwell tried to use all of the federal civilian police agencies, conscripted all the state and local civilian police agencies, used the federal naval forces (Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard), and found away around the Posse Comitatus Act to use the Army and Air Force to enforce such a ban, his force would be outnumbered roughly two-to-one. And that’s probably being generous in Swalwell’s favor. It might be that when push came to shove, many in law enforcement and the military might side with the Second Amendment and refuse to enforce what they saw as an unconstitutional law. (We’re seeing such resistance to state laws by sheriffs in several states and even prosecutors in rural New York counties.) Also, many people who own guns not covered by the ban might side with the resistance, pushing the odds further against a successful ban.

Of course, Swalwell may think that he could make his ban work. Given the federal government’s track record enforcing Prohibition and its performance in the War on Drugs, I wouldn’t bet that way. OTOH, neither Elliott Ness nor the DEA was willing to use nukes.

Hmmm.

Democrats v. Barr


Those of us who live in the DC area can listen to WCSP-FM, the radio station operated by C-SPAN. Yesterday, I had the Barr hearing playing in the background while I was working. It went pretty much as I expected with the Democrats on the committee grasping for straws that might be found in Mueller’s just-released letter complaining about the Attorney General’s initial summary of his report not having a desirable effect on press coverage.

Meh.

Of all the pixels spilled commenting on the Democrats’ behavior, David French’s piece over at NRO may have the best analysis of their real dilemma.

Opinions about Donald Trump are remarkably consistent. While there are significant events that might move the needle between now and the election — a recession, a bungled foreign crisis, irrefutable evidence of major crimes — public opinion is largely set, and each new incremental revelation of dishonesty, impulsiveness, or incompetence simply doesn’t move the needle. If Bill Barr had released Mueller’s summaries instead of his own memo, we’d be having exactly the same debates, impeachment would be just as implausible (and imprudent), and Trump’s approval rating would be unchanged. Trump’s public standing is one piece of stability in our otherwise unstable times.

And it’s driving the Democrats even more crazy.

Better, Faster, Cheaper—Choose Two


That phrase is a rule of thumb that encapsulates a Real Word limitation faced by engineers. When trying to optimize performance across multiple considerations, at least one of them will wind up having to be compromised in order to maximize the performance of the others. It’s clear that whoever wrote Democrat presidential candidate Robert O’Rourke’s climate change plan didn’t understand that Reality requires such trade offs.

Here are a couple of examples of his nonsense.

Strengthen the clean air and hazardous waste limits for power plants and fuel economy standards that save consumers money and improve public health, while setting a trajectory to rapidly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles …

If the vehicles are going to be zero-emission (tail pipe only), then that’s theoretically possible by switch to electric motors, but such a change has the possibility of creating a terrific hazmat problem related to the recycling and/or disposal of the noxious materials in worn out batteries. If the the vehicles are going to be truly zero-emission, then all forms of combustion used to provide the energy in the mining and processing of raw materials and used to build the vehicles will have to be eliminated. Given that systems such as blast furnaces for steel making run 24/7/365, wind and solar power can’t carry that load. Does this mean more nuclear plants? Higher prices? What?

Set a first-ever, net-zero emissions by 2030 carbon budget for federal lands, stopping new fossil fuel leases, changing royalties to reflect climate costs, and accelerating renewables development and forestation …

More trees is not a bad idea per se, but I wonder if whoever wrote that understands that the principal reason there are now more trees in the industrialized world than there were two centuries ago is that the economy switched from burning wood (a renewable resource) to coal and natural gas (fossil fuels).

Maybe someone who thinks carbon dioxide is a pollutant should stop wasting his breath.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


A least a couple of the Democrats running for President have expressed support for allowing felons, including those still serving time, to vote. However, Pete Buttigieg, when asked about allowing terrorists to vote, simply said, “No.”

Protect Our Elections/EMPR was unavailable for comment.

Voting Rights for the Marathon Bomber


Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris have come out in favor of allowing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to vote from prison. Jim Geraghty notes over at NRO that position might be a tough sell in some parts of the country.

One of the underappreciated aspects of the 2020 primary is how many contenders have spent their lives in very liberal communities and states and have never had to calibrate their stances and rhetoric to appeal to voters in a place like Ohio, or Florida, or Pennsylvania. Kamala Harris had to appeal to voters in San Francisco and then California as a whole; Bernie Sanders had to appeal to voters in Burlington and Vermont. I suspect “restore the Boston Marathon bomber’s voting rights” would not be a popular rallying cry in much of the country.

Harris has hedged her proposal during followup questioning, saying that we needed to have a conversation on the subject. She added, “There has to be serious consequences for the most extreme types of crimes.”

Given Harris’ views on gun control, she may want to rethink her position. After all, when Tsarnaev was on the run, he was armed with a handgun, he was under 21, and he too young to be eligible for a gun license in Massachusetts. Carrying a gun without a license a serious crime in Massachusetts which would have required a one-year mandatory minimum sentence if he’d been tried by the state rather than the feds.

As the Initial Cloud of Dust Settles


We’re beginning to see commentaries by people who appear to have actually read the Mueller Report, and the bulk of them fall into two categories which I’m labeling I Told You So and Bitter Clinging. Here are examples of each.

First, Conrad Black in National Interest.

The Mueller Report, despite the best efforts of the chief author and his partisan investigative staff, is a bone-crushing defeat for the president’s enemies. There is not a whit of evidence that any American collaborated with any Russian to alter the results of the 2016 presidential election, and there is extensive evidence that the Trump campaign was the subject of enticements to collaborate and rebuffed all of them at all levels.

Now, Walter Shapiro in The Nation.

The Mueller report didn’t deliver the smoking gun of unrealistic liberal fantasies. (“The money is being wired to the Cayman Islands. Love, Vlad.”) But beyond making clear how close Mueller came to recommending the indictment of a sitting president for obstruction of justice, the report is brimming with tantalizing clues about the uncanny synchronization between the Trump campaign and the Russians—and may increasingly diminish the public’s confidence in giving the president another four years.

It’s not surprising that the two camps of interpretation are filled with mostly conservatives among the I Told You Sos and leftists among the Clingers. But I found it interesting that the more experienced leadership on The Left quickly realized that Mueller really had spent two years searching but had found no there there. Steny Hoyer, for example, remarked last week that impeaching the President was “not worthwhile.”

While Shapiro is correct in noting that the report contains things that aren’t helpful for Trump, and smart Democrats could use them as part of their 2020 campaigning, the report simply doesn’t contain a shred of evidence of any high crimes or misdemeanors. I suspect that Pelosi, Hoyer, and others with Bill-Clinton-era political experience will have their hands full trying to manage their colleagues who will want to spin the Mueller Report into articles of impeachment.

 

Another Elderly SWM


Breitbart reports that John Kerry is considering throwing his hat into the ring for the 2020 Democrat’s nomination for President. Kerry says that he’s waiting to see “what Joe is going to do,” suggesting that from his antique, establishmentarian point of view that Biden in the 800-lb gorilla among the Democrats.

He may not be wrong. Two elderly straight white males (Joe and Bernie) have dominated the polling so far, and none of the POCs, gays, or women have broken through to double digits yet.

Hmmmm.