- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wait, they want this old M-1? Firearms collectors are livid over President Obama’s new executive action that bans the re-importation of military surplus firearms by private buyers and sellers. Vice President Joseph R. Biden delivered the news, framing it as a “common sense” measure.

Collectors, competitors and historic re-enactors are caught in the crossfire, says Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a Washington state-based grass-roots group. Specifically, the action will prevent recovery of thousands of military-surplus M-1 Garand rifles prized by the historically minded, Mr. Gottleib says, noting that the rifles were loaned or donated to South Korea decades ago.

“This is an outrage, and the only people being hurt are law-abiding citizens. If there were any doubt about the level of anti-gun extremism in the Obama administration, this announcement just put those doubts to rest,” declares Mr. Gottlieb, stressing that pending legislation — the “Collectible Firearms Protection Act” sponsored by Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming Republican — would remedy the situation.

“This new prohibition will have far-reaching effects on all kinds of curio and relic firearms. Such firearms have considerable historic significance and value to American firearms aficionados, and there is no evidence that such firearms have ever been favored by criminals,” Mr. Gottlieb says.

“And Joe Biden is likely to have real trouble pandering himself as a reasonable gun owner when he decides to run for president in 2016, because gun owners will not forget his involvement in this prohibition,” he adds.


Where are the high-profile conservatives this weekend? A small battalion surfaces in the Sunshine State for the Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” at a splashy resort in Orlando. Everyone will bask in the glories of limited government and free market thinking, no doubt.

Among the many luminaries on the podium: Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson; Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Scott of Florida; commentator Michelle Malkin; radio hosts Dana Loesch and Lars Larson; Fox News host Greg Gutfeld; plus American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks; PJTV’s Bill Whittle; and David Horowitz, founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


Author Dinesh D’Souza, one of the driving forces behind the surprise blockbuster documentary “2016: Obama’s America” has announced that the film’s esteemed producer Gerald Molen protested the treatment of the film by the Academy Awards committee, which denied it an Oscar nomination. Mr. Molen pointed out those who vet films for nominations were “led by three well-known progressives, notably that uber-liberal, Michael Moore,” Mr. D’Souza writes in TheWrap.com.

“I was most gratified to learn that in their recent elections, academy voters decided to oust Moore from his position as a decider of which documentaries should make the cut for Oscar contention. This is a great victory for the American people and the first glimmer of hope that future academy voting will look less like a North Korean election.”


We’re touchy-feely on a global level. Several large scale “happiness” indexes have emerged in recent years from the United Nations and other sources, measuring the quality of life and national well-being, among many things. Cute, but not necessarily productive. A new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute challenges the idea of using feel-good happiness indices that aggregate emotional fare for political purposes.

“The idea is that if governments attach significant value to this happiness research and data, they could formulate policies that would attempt to maximize aggregate happiness,” say authors Blake Taylor and Iain Murray. “The first step toward this central planning approach to happiness would be to supplement or replace traditional economic performance measures, such as gross domestic product with one that focuses on subjective well-being.”

Should America worry? Uh, yeah. The authors note some states also have started down this path by putting forward a “Genuine Progress Indicator” that attempts to gauge the citizen success. See the eight-page analysis here: Cei.org; check under the “studies” heading.


“The few, the proud, the Marines” and “The majority, the lemmings, the Democrats.”

— Two bumper stickers spotted on the same car by Inside the Beltway reader Robert Bubniak, in Annandale


Certainly “The Review Group” would make a good title for a novel, perhaps the kind that Brad Thor writes. But this is the real review. President Obama quietly has met with a five-man “Review Group,” with a big capital R and G.

They are “a high-level group of experts to review our intelligence and communications technologies,” White House press secretary Jay Carney reports in an exquisitely worded statement, this following ongoing hubbub over NSA surveillance practices, metadata and other matters.

The new team consists of Richard Clarke, former national security adviser to former presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; Michael J. Morell, former acting director of the CIA; Geoffrey Stone, University of Chicago law professor and author; Cass Sunstein, Harvard University law professor and former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; and Peter Swire, Georgia Institute of Technology business professor who also served as chief counselor for privacy in the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration

They bring “immense experience in national security, intelligence, oversight, privacy and civil liberties,” explains Mr. Carney, adding that the team will advise Mr. Obama how to employ “technical collection capabilities in a way that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while respecting our commitment to privacy and civil liberties.” The due date for the Review Group’s review: Dec. 15.


For rent: Two-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, West 109th Street, New York City. Hardwood floors, exposed brick, high ceilings, walk-in closet. Third floor walk-up. $2,495 a month. Historic information: “Was Barack Obama’s home during his junior year at Columbia University the future president lived in the pre-war home with a roommate, sharing a monthly rent of just $360.” The listing agent is Citi Habitats; more information at Zillowblog.com, under “Eye Candy.”


65 percent of Americans say the U.S. should not send military troops to “aid rebels in Syria.”

49 percent say the U.S. should not provide weapons to Syrian rebels.

41 percent say the U.S. military should not stage any airstrikes to aid Syrian rebels.

39 percent say the U.S. government does not have a responsibility to prevent Syria from using chemical weapons; 31 percent say the U.S. has a responsibility; 31 percent are unsure.

11 percent say the U.S. should send troops to Syria.

Source: A YouGov/HuffPost poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 26 and 27.

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