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LFC's Photo LFC 08 August 2019 - 03:42 PM

A Utah Republican tries to defend guns at a town hall and it doesn't go well.


Tensions reportedly boiled over at Republican Rep. Chris Stewart’s town hall event on guns in Utah on Wednesday.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the event “turned wild” as soon as the first question about gun safety was asked in the wake of two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.


Soon, the event devolved into a shouting match about President Donald Trump’s possible role in inciting the shootings, Second Amendment rights and gun control. The congressman restored order temporarily by threatening to walk out unless the 80-person audience at the North Salt Lake City Hall was more civil.

But the yelling, and sometimes crying, often reemerged. Even after the meeting, several audience members continued arguing loudly with each other, while others offered hugs to comfort those who were upset.

“Then why did you vote no to condemn racism?” constituent Jamie Carter asked, referring to Stewart’s vote against condemning President Donald Trump’s remarks about four minority congresswomen.

“By your question, you’re implying I’m a racist,” Stewart replied.

“She did not!” people in the audience shouted back.

“Could we all agree that racism is wrong and should be condemned?” Stewart asked, trying to calm the crowd. “Could we all agree that violence regardless of the reason should always be condemned?”

Someone in the audience noted that Trump seems to incite racism.

“The president of the United States, as far as I know, hasn’t shot anyone,” Stewart argued.

“Charles Manson never shot anyone either,” a man yelled at Stewart.

pnwguy's Photo pnwguy 08 August 2019 - 05:40 PM

 LFC, on 08 August 2019 - 03:42 PM, said:

Extra bonus points for using the Charles Manson comparison. I'd buy that guy in the crowd a beer, but that's not always easy to do in Utah.

Except for this fine producer

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LFC's Photo LFC 09 August 2019 - 09:43 AM

 pnwguy, on 08 August 2019 - 05:40 PM, said:

Extra bonus points for using the Charles Manson comparison. I'd buy that guy in the crowd a beer, but that's not always easy to do in Utah. Except for this fine producer

That beer has been out for a long time. It was out when the Salt Lake Winter Olympics took place and the brewer was advertising on big billboards in the areas. I remember that the Utah state government was going nuts trying to figure out how to get them taken down before the international community arrived. No dice. I couldn't find it with a quick Google search but at the time they had a second ad line. They had a big bearded guy with each of his arms around the shoulders of two women and a six-pack in each hand. Beneath that it said "Bring some home to the wives." I guess they decided that one might be a bit too "in your face" for Utah.

LFC's Photo LFC 09 August 2019 - 10:08 AM

Meanwhile at Walmart a man was arrested for doing nothing that the NRA says should be illegal. Will they come out and defend him and his Second Amendment rights or continue in their hypocrisy? (Nary a peep from them about the black man shot by a police officer because he had a valid concealed firearm, told him about it, and did everything correctly and by the book. Hmmmm.)


A man in his 20s, outfitted with weapons, body armor, military-style fatigues and more than 100 rounds of ammunition, was arrested Thursday after causing a mass panic at a Walmart in Missouri.

According to local CNN affiliate KYTV, no shots were fired but the man was filming himself walking around the store with his phone.

A manager pulled the fire alarm to evacuate the store, and an off-duty firefighter detained the man until police arrived.

“All we know is the fact that he walked in here heavily armed with body armor on, in military fatigues and caused a great amount of panic inside the store. So he certainly had the capability the potential to harm people,” Springfield police lieutenant Mike Lucas told KYTV. “And then obviously what’s happened in Texas and Dayton and all that kind of stuff in the last seven days — that’s on everybody’s mind.”

Walmart has reacted to the gun crisis ... by removing violent video game displays. [insert facepalm here]


In the wake of one mass shooting and the threat of another in its stores this week, Walmart has made the courageous decision to remove violent video game displays — but not actual guns — from its stores.

“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment,” Tara House, a Walmart spokeswoman, said in a statement obtained by USA Today.

LFC's Photo LFC 09 August 2019 - 10:23 AM

Is the NRA's grip slipping in the face of one mass shooting after another? Trump and the Republicans are trying to figure that out. They may be becoming more of a liability than a help. Trump is sniffing the political winds.


President Trump has privately directed White House aides to look into what he might be able to do via executive action on guns in Congress is not able to reach a bipartisan solution, the New York Times reported.

It’s one of several options the President has been mulling behind-the-scenes in recent days, since the two shooting massacres over the weekend that left more than 30 people dead. Trump’s reportedly been in contact with National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre, who has already indicated publicly that he wouldn’t support any legislation that “unfairly infringes” on gun owner’s right. According to the Times, in the call, Trump was testing whether the NRA’s “clout in blocking gun legislation is ebbing.”

And even McConnell is using his thin rubbery lips to mouth a bit of what would have been heresy quite recently. Of course with the NRA in turmoil and found to be Russian shills he may just be giving up on them as a conduit for Russian support. But don't cry for Mitch and the GOP. You know they have plenty of avenues for the acceptance of Russian money. Meanwhile Pelosi is kicking at them hard. Good for her!


Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has speculated that discussion about red flag laws and background checks will be “front and center” when the Senate reconvenes — at its regularly scheduled time.

McConnell has refused calls to bring the Senate back early to work in response to the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, despite pleas from Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has given up on him altogether and is imploring President Donald Trump directly to avail himself of his constitutional power to convene the Senate so members can vote on a House-passed background check bill.

“Mr. President, we have an opportunity to work in a bipartisan way to pass gun violence prevention background checks,” she wrote in a Thursday letter. “However, Leader Mitch McConnell, describing himself as the ‘grim reaper,’ has been an obstacle to taking any action.”

D. C. Sessions's Photo D. C. Sessions 09 August 2019 - 11:53 AM

 LFC, on 09 August 2019 - 10:08 AM, said:

Meanwhile at Walmart a man was arrested for doing nothing that the NRA says should be illegal. Will they come out and defend him and his Second Amendment rights or continue in their hypocrisy? (Nary a peep from them about the black man shot by a police officer because he had a valid concealed firearm, told him about it, and did everything correctly and by the book. Hmmmm.)

How about the man shot dead in a Wal-Mart by police for carrying the air rifle he was going to purchase?

Oh, wait -- there was some kind of difference there. Can't quite put my finger on it, though.

LFC's Photo LFC 09 August 2019 - 01:03 PM

I guess it all worked out the way the NRA and the gun nuts think it should.


A gunman remains at large after opening fire on rush hour commuters in Houston — and killing two people.

The unidentified man fatally shot two people with a long rifle similar to an AR-15, police said, and drove away after another person fired shots at him, reported KHOU-TV.

Everything can be solved with more guns.

AnBr's Photo AnBr 09 August 2019 - 11:11 PM

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golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 11 August 2019 - 01:14 PM

The media should spend more time on this sort of story. The horrific damage a bullet causes. It ain't like the Westerns, the cop shows, or the medical shows.

JackD's Photo JackD 11 August 2019 - 03:44 PM

It's not just the guns; it's also the ammunition.

AnBr's Photo AnBr 11 August 2019 - 06:02 PM

 JackD, on 11 August 2019 - 03:44 PM, said:

It's not just the guns; it's also the ammunition.


LFC's Photo LFC 14 August 2019 - 11:50 AM

Typical of a corrupt and criminal political organization the NRA is trying to accuse the prosecutor's office of a political motivation. I love the smell of desperation in the morning.


The National Rifle Association thinks it can bring down New York Attorney General Leticia James’s investigation into the gun group with not the Second, but the First Amendment, a court filing shows.

In a little-watched lawsuit against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the NRA has propounded dozens of requests for documents to state regulators with a view towards James’ office.

The requests support a longshot, yet aggressive, allegation from the NRA that it’s been targeted by New York state for political reasons.

The gun group brought the lawsuit last year against Cuomo and other top New York state officials, telling a federal judge that it was the victim of a “political vendetta” organized by Albany.

The “vendetta” in question relates to Carry Guard, an insurance policy that the NRA promoted, which covered gun owners who had killed or maimed someone in self-defense. Critics referred to the program as “murder insurance” and launched a campaign for various states to open investigations into the program.

William Brewer, outside counsel for the NRA, told TPM in a statement that “Government officials can express viewpoints on matters of public concern, but when the state crosses the line from persuasion to coercion, the First Amendment comes into play.”

“Our client believes that defendants’ communications to those they regulate, urging them to sever ties with the NRA, is an abuse of government power — and reflects pure viewpoint discrimination,” Brewer added.

The New York State Department of Financial Services opened an investigation into the service in October 2017, which led to the policy’s broker and administrator, Lockton, to discontinue its involvement. The next year, Cuomo himself issued a statement urging New York businesses to “weigh [the] reputational risk of business ties to the NRA.”

The NRA responded by suing Cuomo.

LFC's Photo LFC 14 August 2019 - 05:19 PM

Pelosi is going after McConnell on his burying the House passed gun control bills. She tossed in "Moscow Mitch" for fun. I didn't realize that it had been coined by Joe Scarborough.


Looks like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has jumped on the “Moscow Mitch” bandwagon.

During a speaking engagement at a Democratic event Wednesday in Springfield, Illinois, Pelosi referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as “Moscow Mitch” — a nickname originally coined by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough in light of McConnell’s efforts to block election security legislation in the Senate — for blocking a series of legislation passed by the House earlier this year.

“We sent our legislation to the Senate,” Pelosi said, recounting bills passed by the House that include measures raising the minimum wage, reforming elections and expanding health care. “Moscow Mitch says that he is the ‘grim reaper.’ Imagine describing yourself as the ‘grim reaper,’ that he’s going to bury all this legislation.”

According to the Washington Post, Pelosi also used the event as an opportunity to urge the Senate to pass a pair of bills approved by the House in February designed to strengthen background checks for gun buyers.

“We’ve been waiting since February, and now public sentiment must weigh in to save lives,” Pelosi said.

McConnell previously called himself the “grim reaper” to describe his role in killing Democrats’ legislation.

When the Post asked for comment Wednesday regarding Pelosi adopting the “Moscow Mitch” nickname, a McConnell aide pointed to the Senate majority leader’s comments on the Senate floor in response to Scarborough and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who referred to McConnell as a “Russian asset.”

“I don’t normally take the time to respond to critics in the media when they have no clue what they’re talking about, but this modern-day McCarthyism is toxic and damaging because of the way it warps our entire public discourse,” McConnell said during a speech in which he defended his record on Russia.

Shorter McConnell: "WAAAAHHH! McCarthyiiiiissssssmmm!!!"

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D. C. Sessions's Photo D. C. Sessions 14 August 2019 - 06:00 PM

 LFC, on 14 August 2019 - 05:19 PM, said:


“I don’t normally take the time to respond to critics in the media when they have no clue what they’re talking about, but this modern-day McCarthyism is toxic and damaging because of the way it warps our entire public discourse,” McConnell said during a speech in which he defended his record on Russia.

It was as though millions of irony meters cried out in agony and then were silent.

AnBr's Photo AnBr 14 August 2019 - 06:04 PM

 LFC, on 14 August 2019 - 05:19 PM, said:

I didn't realize that it had been coined by Joe Scarborough.

Yep. https://www.realclea..._democracy.html

AnBr's Photo AnBr 15 August 2019 - 09:15 AM

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LFC's Photo LFC 15 August 2019 - 11:34 AM

The CEO of Walmart sounds like he's doing some damage control. Bold mine.


Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said on Thursday that he supports a debate over reauthorizing the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban after a series of mass shootings left more than 30 people dead earlier this month, including an incident at a Walmart store.

In an statement, McMillon said he and his company encourage moves to strengthen background checks and “remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger.”

“We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness in keeping weapons made for war out of the 3 hands of mass murderers,” the CEO said.

Walmart, which currently sells hunting rifles, used to sell semi-automatic rifles up until 2015.

Under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004 under the Bush administration, it was illegal to manufacture certain firearms and supplementary features that could make a firearm into a military-style weapon.

I wonder if he understands that Republican made it impossible for the CDC to use money to do just that.

LFC's Photo LFC 15 August 2019 - 12:24 PM

AIPAC isn't the only group that's all about the Benjamins. Never let a good massacre go to waste when there's a buck to be made.


In the wake of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, gun control groups moved quickly to press Americans to support new restrictions on firearm ownership.

Facebook was immediately awash with ads from activist groups for and against gun control—but also ads from sites marketing concealed carry permit packages looking to make a quick buck off a freshly horrified public.

Organizations such as Sandy Hook Promise and Everytown for Gun Safety dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads alone in the wake of the massacres, which together took 32 lives.

If observers expected prominent gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association to mount equally vigorous advertising campaigns, they were surprised. The other side of the gun policy divide on the world’s largest social media platform was dominated not by Second Amendment advocacy groups, but by companies seeking to sell gun-themed merchandise and concealed carry certificates.

A half-dozen of those Facebook advertisers offer semi-official “courses” that its customers can use for applications in some states to carry concealed weapons. Together, those six pages spent about $170,000 on Facebook ads from Aug. 4, the day after the El Paso shooting and the day of the shooting in Dayton.

“SURGE!” declared one of those advertisers, dubbed Concealed Online, in a recent post on its public-facing page. “Concealed Carry is going through the roof in Washington State, especially in the wake of El Paso & Ohio!” The page’s ads direct to a sign-up website that urges visitors to get their concealed carry certificates “before new waiting period laws,” citing federal legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases.

The site includes a clock that’s counting down to Sept. 1, 2019, though it’s not clear what it claims is happening on that date. The website’s source code indicates that the clock previously counted down until election day and warned that “Democrats lead by 17 points and laws may change soon!”

Concealed Online is one of the biggest advertisers on Facebook, regularly eclipsing even prominent politicians and interest groups in its weekly spending on the platform even when mass shootings drop off of the evening news. In that sense, its spending in the week after the shootings was not out of the ordinary, but the language in the appeals themselves was tailored to hype a supposedly imminent post-massacre rush.

More notable, though, was the imbalance. Spending by Concealed Online and similar pages dwarfed that of pro-gun policy groups. Another six Facebook advertisers, including pages with names like the American Gun Association and 2A4LIFE, dropped about $50,000 in that time on ads promoting their retail businesses, where customers can buy gun safes, holsters, and Second Amendment-themed apparel.

LFC's Photo LFC 16 August 2019 - 10:48 AM

More NRA grift. Livin' like royalty on the money coming from rubes, marks, and Russians!


The NRA spent tens of thousands of dollars bringing hair and makeup artists around the country for the wife of its CEO, two sources told The Daily Beast. The expenses–which included plane flights and luxury hotel stays for the stylists–are bound to fuel an already-raging debate over what some see as a spendthrift culture in the NRA’s upper echelons. The NRA, meanwhile, called it a “non-story,” and said their ex-ad firm was responsible for any such expenses.

Susan LaPierre, the wife of longtime NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, is one of the gun organization’s many public faces, and co-chairs its Women’s Leadership Forum. She often speaks at that group’s annual gatherings for female NRA supporters. And for years now, the NRA has paid for a makeup artist and a hair stylist, both based in Nashville and plugged in to the country music scene, to do LaPierre’s hair and make-up at events around the country, according to two sources familiar with the arrangements.

The NRA Women’s Leadership Forum hosts many of its events in major metropolitan areas where local hair and makeup talent abounds. But because of LaPierre’s preference for the Nashville artists, the gun group has paid a premium to fly them around the country, and put them up in style.

That may be changing, though, as those expenditures have raised eyebrows within the NRA. According to one of the sources, the stylists were booked to provide hair and makeup services for LaPierre at its member gathering in Indianapolis this past April. But as media reports emerged with allegations of extravagant spending by the gun group, NRA officials worried the Nashville stylists’ presence could attract scrutiny. So they canceled on them at the last minute. Because the cancellation came so late, the NRA still had to pay their fees.

LFC's Photo LFC 19 August 2019 - 02:11 PM

Republican corruption arises as they desperately protect the NRA and their foreign donations. Moscow Mitch, Dana, Ryan, and Trump are likely just the tip of the GOP iceberg that gets Russian money (campaign and otherwise) laundered through various routes.


Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Friday slammed Republicans on the Federal Election Commission for blocking an investigation into potential Russian political donations to the National Rifle Association in 2016.

“It’s inexcusable that Republican commissioners would block an investigation into whether Russian money was funneled through the National Rifle Association to help President Trump,” Wyden told Newsweek in a statement. “The blatant partisanship is appalling, undermines our democracy and leaves us vulnerable to continued interference in 2020.”

The commission deadlocked on Friday on a vote to authorize a probe of the NRA, and specifically whether it illegally accepted donations funneled through Maria Butina, who’s since pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered Russian agent, or Alexander Torshin, the recently retired deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who worked with Butina.

Early last year, in response to an inquiry from Wyden, the NRA did acknowledge receiving foreign donations, including from Torshin to become a lifetime member, but it has asserted that none of the money was connected to a U.S. election.

Instead of investigating more thoroughly for itself, FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub said in a statement Friday, the commission and its lawyers “rel[ied] upon the NRA’s own internal review of its donations.” Weintraub described that as “hardly more thorough than searching a contributor list for the name ‘Vladimir Putin’ and calling it a day.”

The vote on further investigation was 2-2, with the commission’s two Republicans opposed.

“A foreign adversary interfered in the 2016 presidential election and the response from Republicans at every level, whether it be President Trump, congressional Republicans, or now the Republican appointees on the Federal Election Commission, has been to bury their heads in the sand or actively obstruct getting to the bottom of what happened,” Wyden said.

In her statement, Weintraub cited a January 2018 McClatchy report that, according to two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, “The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin [Torshin] illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency.”

“All our lawyers had to do was pick up the phone, call the FBI, and ask: Are you, in fact, investigating the Respondents for the violations alleged?” Weintraub wrote. “But when I suggested that the Commission instruct the OGC to do so, the Republican commissioners refused.”

“We still do not know the answer to this foundational, eminently knowable, question.”