Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Susan Rice: Donald Trump ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ for Appointing Steve Bannon to NSC
by Charlie Spiering 29 Jan 2017
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice lashed out against President Donald Trump for appointing his senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon to the National Security Council.
“This is stone cold crazy,” she wrote on Twitter after highlighting a tweet calling Bannon a “Nazi.” “After a week of crazy. Who needs military advice or intel to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK?”
Rice, Obama’s former ambassador to the United Nations and National Security adviser, has not held back her criticism of Trump, especially after he decided to elevate Bannon.
“Chairman of Joint Chiefs and DNI treated as after thoughts in Cabinet level principals meetings,” she wrote on Twitter. “And where is CIA?? Cut out of everything? Chair of Joint Chiefs & DNI are after thoughts in Cabinet level principals mtgs. And CIA?? Cut out of everything?”
Bannon was an officer in the Navy for seven years, and was the executive chairman of Breitbart News before joining the Trump administration. Breitbart News, which was founded and is edited and staffed by Jews, is openly pro-Zionist and Pro-Israel.
Rice was the point woman for spreading the Obama administration’s talking points on the Sunday shows after the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, including the falsehood that the attack was sparked by an internet video.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to Rice’s message, calling it “clearly inappropriate language from a former ambassador” during an interview on ABC News’ “This Week.”
“When you talk about the missteps made by the last administration, with all due respect, I think Ambassador Rice might want to wait, let and see how we handle this,” he said. “Because I think so far they’ve got an expert team of folks that have come in to understand the national situation — our intelligence systems and how to modernize.”
George Stephanopoulos is the anchor for This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and married to Alexandra Wentworth.
Note: Ian O. Cameron was an executive producer for This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and is married to Susan E. Rice.
Susan E. Rice is married to Ian O. Cameron, was the former U.S. ambassador to United Nations, White House national security adviser for the Barack Obama administration, a director at the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank), and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution (think tank).
Open Society Foundations was a funder for the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank).
George Soros is the founder & chairman for the Open Society Foundations, and was the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society.
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the Brookings Institution (think tank), and the Children's Defense Fund.
Thomas R. Pickering is a director at the Atlantic Council of the United States (think tank), a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution (think tank), was the chairman of review board that investigated the 2012 attack on U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2013, a United Nations U.S. ambassador, and a U.S. ambassador for
Sidley Austin LLP is the lobby firm for Israel.
Michelle Obama was a lawyer at Sidley Austin LLP, and the first lady for the Barack Obama administration.
Barack Obama was an intern at Sidley Austin LLP, and the president of the Barack Obama administration.
Newton N. Minow is a senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, and a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
R. Eden Martin is counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, and the president of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Commercial Club of Chicago, Members Directory A-Z (Past Research)
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Mellody L. Hobson is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and a contributor for the ABC News.
George Stephanopoulos was an anchor for the ABC News, is the anchor for This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and married to Alexandra Wentworth.
Alexandra Wentworth is married to George Stephanopoulos, and a director at the Children's Defense Fund.
Posted by Sam and Bunny Sewell at 1:45 PM
Sunday, January 29, 2017
By Frank Miniter | Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Few would care if the “smart gun” debate was only about the emergence of proven, reliable guns theoretically capable of recognizing an “authorized” person. Most gun owners would shrug and say that if it makes someone feel better to have the uncertainty of a battery put into an otherwise proven mechanical device—a tool that’s designed to save their life—that it’s their money and life.
But the American free market is not a given in this debate; rather, gun control’s clammy grip is all over this technology. Anti-freedom politicians and groups like to frame this as a debate over “gun safety,” even as they see “smart gun” technology as a means to ban guns as we know them. They even see this technology as an opportunity to insert bureaucrats’ wagging fingers into the innards of our firearms.
Still, even though the “smart gun” is being wielded as a political weapon by those opposed to the American peoples’ Second Amendment-protected freedoms, opposing “smart gun” technology overall would seem to be a stand against freedom in the marketplace. That is why the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for firearms manufacturers, have long since published statements on their websites clearly stating that they are not opposed to “smart guns,” but are opposed to laws that make such unproven technology mandatory.
The trouble is, given the so-called “mainstream” media’s ignorance of guns and their well-documented left-of-center political leanings, it has been difficult to get this very simple point articulated honestly to the American people.
This brings us to where we are right now. The gun companies you are familiar with don’t see a lucrative market for these products and are loath to begin the political two-step with the anti-gun movement on this issue. Nevertheless, “smart guns” are being developed, as a number of small companies—many of which haven’t ever made guns before—are putting research and development dollars into them. Many of these companies seem to view possible political mandates as a win-win for them, which, of course, is a gross misunderstanding of the American gun owner.
With all that going on, protecting our freedom means helping more people learn the truth about this potential, so-far-unproven technology. The good news is that, as the NRA has proven again and again, good, old-fashioned American freedom is always a winning argument—if you can get the truth out.
To do that, here are five things you need to know.
The American free market is not a given in this debate; rather, gun control’s clammy grip is all over this technology.
1. The Threat Is Real Given the rhetoric from the anti-gun movement on this topic, it’s not just some conspiracy theory for you to worry that some in the government would, if they could, make it illegal for gun dealers to sell anything but “smart guns.” After all, this has already happened. In 2002, “The Childproof Handgun Bill” was signed into law in New Jersey. The law stipulates that when “smart gun” technology becomes available in the American marketplace, within three years all new handguns sold in the state must be so-called “smart guns.” Such a mandate would, by definition, be a massive gun ban, as all handguns currently available would be illegal to sell.
The media has finally started acknowledging this. Even a “60 Minutes” story reported by Lesley Stahl last November admitted it. In fact, enough people in the media are finally reporting that this law has helped to impede this technology that Stahl asked the New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader, Loretta Weinberg (she was an original sponsor of the New Jersey bill), about the law’s unintended consequences. Weinberg said she would consider repealing the law, but added she’d only do this on the condition that the NRA agreed not to impede “smart gun” development. Talk about a disingenuous and very loaded political condition!
When Stahl asked, “If the law were completely repealed, do you think that the gun lobby would then let this go forward?” Weinberg said, “No.”
Obviously, the political opportunism from some anti-gun politicians hasn’t yet been tempered with reason.
Meanwhile, New Jersey’s “smart gun” mandate has prompted gun owners to oppose the sale of “smart guns” in the United States. Gun owners opposed two attempts, for example, to sell the German Armatix iP1 “smart gun” in California and Maryland because such sales would have triggered the New Jersey gun-ban law.
2. The “Smart Gun” Debate Isn’t About Gun Safety People who know little about firearms might now ask: Why not mandate that a new safety measure be put on every gun sold? Stahl, for example, compared smart gun mandates to mandatory seatbelt laws.
First of all, it’s not possible. There are thousands of different gun makes and models sold today in many different sizes and actions to consumers, who buy what fits their individual needs or wants. No new and likely patented technology is going to fit all of those old and new designs.
Also, batteries go dead, temperature or moisture can harm electronics and many “smart gun” designs, such as Armatix’s iP1, require that a person wear a watch, bracelet or other device. Who wants to look for a ring or watch while in the throes of a home defense situation?
The known facts, coupled with likely future scenarios, show that one consequence of such a mandate would be making good people less safe.
Stahl tried to counter these basic realities by speculating. In her “60 Minutes” story, Stahl said, “Smart guns could curtail the number of suicides, and cut down on the resale of stolen guns, estimated to be 230,000 every year. What good is a gun no one but the owner can fire? And they would help on-duty cops.”
Actually, the so-called “smart guns” now in development wouldn’t necessarily stop criminals from repurposing guns or even stop those who wish to commit suicide. All they would need to do is steal the ring or bracelet as well. Or they could remove the electronic impediment built into the “smart gun.” Guns are basically simple mechanical tools. Removing the “smart gun” technology and enabling the firearm likely wouldn’t even take advanced gunsmithing skills.
Also, reporters like Stahl, and the “anti”-movement in general, seem to be completely ok with the fact that none of these “smart guns” have been proven to be reliable or even safe. They haven’t even been vetted in the marketplace, as they are being prevented from entering the marketplace by threats of mandates from anti-gun politicians and groups.
America’s 1st Freedom Guns & Gear Editor Frank Winn is one of the few people to ever test the Armatix pistol, having done so last May (see his full report here). His conclusions:
· Since the Armatix pistol is only chambered in .22 Long Rifle, its utility for self-defense, even if it were reliable, is questionable.
· The pistol initially required a full 20 minutes to pair with the watch, even with the aid of an it pro trained in its use. Without pairing, the Armatix functions like any other handgun, capable of being fired by anyone.
· Once paired, a “cold start” still requires a minimum of seven push-button commands and a duration of 12 seconds before the gun can be fired.
· While the gun holds a maximum of 11 rounds (10+1), the best our experts could manage was nine consecutive rounds without a failure to fire (and that happened only once). Three or four misfires per magazine were common, despite using various brands of ammunition.
· Although the Armatix has a decent single-action trigger, it has the worst double-action trigger we’ve ever tested, requiring more force than any other pistol we’ve fired.
· The pistol must be within 10 inches of the watch during “start up.” This slows and complicates the use of the pistol if one hand is injured or otherwise unavailable.
· All this malfunction comes at a high price: At $1,798 ($1,399 for the base pistol and another $399 for the enabling watch), it costs more than three times the cost of proven, reliable pistols like Glocks and Smith & Wesson M&Ps, made in true self-defense calibers.
Obviously, the market needs to be allowed to judge such technology without the interference of government mandates and other political threats. If ever perfected, there might be some small niches in the market that would be willing to try this emerging technology.
While the (Armatix) holds a maximum of 11 rounds ... the best our experts could manage was nine consecutive rounds without a failure to fire (and that happened only once).
Meanwhile, there are other real safety concerns. Might a new gun owner—someone who hasn’t taken an NRA-certified gun-safety course—decide to leave a “smart gun” sitting out because they think it can’t be fired? No experienced gun owner would give that kind of trust to even a mechanical safety or lock. It would be unfortunate if such technology led to gun owners ignoring proven gun safety rules.
3. Gun Rights Aren’t Impeding This TechnologyStill, many in the media are spinning the facts by reporting that gun-rights groups, not the threat of government mandates, are what is impeding the development of this technology. The Washington Post’s Michael S. Rosenwald, for example, wrote: “The National Rifle Association and other gun groups fiercely oppose smart guns.”
To be clear, the NRA opposes smart gun mandates, not the technology itself. Similarly, the NSSF’s senior vice president and general counsel, Larry Keane, told me that “most firearms manufacturers have been reluctant to invest R&D dollars in smart gun technology because gun control advocates want to make the technology mandatory. If that happens, new guns will become prohibitively expensive, which is part of what these groups want.”
Oddly enough, at least one anti-gun group actually opposes this technology. In a long list of criticisms of “smart guns,” The Violence Policy Center worried, in an internal background paper, that “[p]ackaged with a strong sales pitch, [smart gun] technology could penetrate new markets for a gun industry.” So this anti-gun group is worried that “smart guns” might make gun ownership more commonplace by making guns more acceptable to current non-gun owners? They actually list this as a reason to oppose this technology.
4. The Obama Administration Has Shown Its Anti-Gun Hand In April 2013, then-Attorney General Eric Holder said while testifying before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations committee: “One of the things we learned when we were trying to pass those common-sense reforms last year, Vice President [Joe] Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and talked about how guns can be made more safe by making them either though fingerprint identification, the gun talks to a bracelet that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon. It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights while at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things we see on a daily basis, where people, kids especially, are struck down.”
Though Holder’s rambling, ungrammatical response showed he didn’t have a firm grasp of firearms technology, like other gun control advocates he saw possibilities in using emerging technology to control guns. He realized that if “smart gun” technology were mandated, it could further impede the market and give the government the chance to put its regulatory fingers in the workings of every gun sold.
When Holder said as much during a behind-closed-doors meeting at the National Institute of Justice (the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice), W.P. Gentry, the president of Kodiak Arms and the developer of a “smart gun” called the Intelligun, told me, “I looked Holder right in the eyes and told him if he mandates my technology, I’ll burn it down. I told him I’d destroy my ‘smart gun’ technology before I let the government use it against the American people. Other gun manufacturers backed me up.”The president of Kodiak Arms and the developer of … the Intelligun, told me, “I looked Holder right in the eyes and told him if he mandates my technology, I’ll burn it down.
The president of Kodiak Arms and the developer of … the Intelligun, told me, “I looked Holder right in the eyes and told him if he mandates my technology, I’ll burn it down.
5. A Different Future For “Smart Guns” So that’s how the current debate over “smart guns” is being spun into a narrative that’s convenient for the anti-gun crowd. Until the spin is taken out of the debate and only the truth remains, this issue will likely continue to be caught in the teeth of anti-gun politics.
Still, there is an interesting side street to this debate that more people should be aware of. Until now the debate has mostly focused on the real threats and desires of how the anti-gun crowd would like to use such technology to infringe upon, or even take away, your right to bear arms. But what if coming gun technology were instead used solely as a way to keep the government honest?
Eric Lichtenberg, president and founder of Lichtenberg Research and Design, who worked as a contractor on the Intelligun, brought up this point when I interviewed him for my book, The Future of the Gun. He said, “Think about this: A smart gun could theoretically prevent a bad guy from turning a cop’s gun on police officers. For that to happen this technology needs to prove itself enough for police officers to feel completely comfortable with trusting their lives with it—that could obviously take a long time and a lot more research.”
The downside is that anti-gun politicians and groups would surely insist that such technology be made mandatory for private citizens’ firearms. A Pandora’s Box worth of trouble might present itself then, as mandatory electronics could theoretically be used to track or even turn off anyone’s gun. That’s pretty sci-fi, but if anti-gunners are now demanding that an unproven, untested, currently unavailable, freedom-inhibiting, expensive and unrealistic technology—“smart guns”—now be made mandatory, they’d certainly view other technological advances with the same political opportunism.
Additionally, if “smart gun” technology was made mandatory, what would be the fate of the guns already owned by law-abiding Americans? Is it really much of a stretch to think that some politicians would attempt to make these “not-smart” guns illegal and subject to confiscation?
Of course, stubbornly opposing technological advances because they can be used nefariously is a stand against freedom in the marketplace. That is why the NRA doesn’t oppose technological advancements, but opposes only mandates and other infringements on our rights.
With all this in mind, this discussion is important to gun rights because in the coming years, in one way or another, some companies or governments are likely to move forward with this technology. When it comes, we have to be prepared for it. Otherwise, gun owners might find themselves behind the curve on a savvy, though very disingenuous, media campaign run by anti-freedom folks advocating for some type of technological control of our rights.
As a final thought, whatever the future of such technology placed in guns might be, one thing is sure—until our police forces, and even President Barack Obama’s Secret Service agents, feel “smart gun” technology has been tested enough to satisfy them, why should American consumers feel any different?
Lesley Stahl is a correspondent for 60 Minutes, and married to Aaron Latham.
Note: Diane Sawyer was a co-anchor for 60 Minutes, and a director at the Robin Hood Foundation.
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the Robin Hood Foundation, the Harlem Children's Zone, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and the Human Rights First.
George Soros was the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society, a benefactor for the Harlem Children's Zone, William D. Zabel was his divorce lawyer, is the founder & chairman for the Open Society Foundations,
Open Society Foundations was a funder for the American Constitution Society, and the Human Rights First.
Emma Bloomberg was the chief of staff for the Robin Hood Foundation, and is Michael R. Bloomberg’s daughter.
Michael R. Bloomberg was a donor for the Robin Hood Foundation, a benefactor for the Harlem Children's Zone, a contributor for the Americans for Responsible Solutions, is Emma Bloomberg’s father, the founder of Everytown for Gun Safety, a co-chair for the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and the founder of the Independence USA PAC.
Americans for Responsible Solutions is a “Gun Safety, Gun Control” PAC for guns.
Covington & Burling LLP was the lobby firm for the Americans for Responsible Solutions.
Eric H. Holder Jr. is a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, was a board member for the American Constitution Society, an intern at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and was the attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice for the Barack Obama administration.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and a “Gun Safety, Gun Control” federal regulatory agency for guns.
Everytown for Gun Safety is a “Gun Safety, Gun Control” group for guns.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a “Gun Safety, Gun Control” group for guns.
Independence USA PAC is a “Gun Safety, Gun Control” PAC for guns.
William D. Zabel was George Soros’s divorce lawyer, a trustee at the Foundation to Promote Open Society, and is the chair for the Human Rights First.
Mark A. Angelson was a director at the Human Rights First, and a partner at Sidley Austin LLP.
Michelle Obama was a lawyer at Sidley Austin LLP, and the first lady for the Barack Obama administration.
Barack Obama was an intern at Sidley Austin LLP, and the president for the Barack Obama administration.
James D. Zirin is a senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, and was a director at the Human Rights First.
Sigourney Weaver was a director at the Human Rights First, and Aaron Latham’s fiancé.
Aaron Latham was Sigourney Weaver’s fiancé, and is married to Lesley Stahl.
Lesley Stahl is married to Aaron Latham, and a correspondent for 60 Minutes.
Diane Sawyer was a co-anchor for 60 Minutes, and a director at the Robin Hood Foundation.
Emma Bloomberg was the chief of staff for the Robin Hood Foundation, and is Michael R. Bloomberg’s daughter.
Posted by Sam and Bunny Sewell at 1:52 PM