Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown lobby group gets nailed by NRA in Nevada

I don’t know why people mess with the NRA. They are probably the best political lobbying and direct action group in the world.  You take them on at your peril.

Michael Bloomberg is currently expending millions trying to do just that, taking the NRA on at their own game…and losing. He clearly has much to learn.

His latest defeat is in Nevada where Everytown campaigned heavily against pro-gun law changes. The NRA smashed them.

Say goodbye to handgun registration in and around Las Vegas, Nevada. On Monday, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 175, abolishing Clark County’s “blue card” handgun registration system while ushering in a host of other pro-gun changes to state law.   Read more »

The NRA should just give Obama a life membership

Barack Obama is the world’s greatest gun salesman, it is getting beyond a joke now.

Breitbart reports on the surge of concealed carry permits:

Concealed carry permit applications are surging in states like North Carolina, as they have been surging nationally under Obama, “amid safety fears.”

For example, in North Carolina’s Buncombe County, the number of permits issued in 2014 were up “101 percent” from 2010.  And this county-level jump is in line with a national jump under Obama, whereby the number of concealed carry permit holders rose “136 percent” across the United States between 1999 and 2014.

According to the Citizen-Times, the reasons behind the surge in NC are based on both politics and safety. While Republicans like state Representative Jacqueline Schaffer (Dist. 105) are pushing to lessen the restrictions on law-abiding gun owners in NC, Democrats keep fighting back, pressing to keep as much gun control in place as possible.   Read more »

A very important article on the public school benefits of Charter Schools

Eva Moskowitz writes in the Wall Street Journal about the positive impact of charter schools…and shows clearly the much improved outcomes for children/families.

This is the sort of stuff the teacher unions don;t want you to hear.

Upon his re-election in 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein offered the free use of underutilized school facilities to a bumper crop of charter schools opening that year—including my first. Fueled by this policy, charter-school enrollment in the city grew from 11,000 to almost 70,000 by the end of Mr. Bloomberg’s second term in 2013, and my one school grew to 22.

As the founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools—free public schools open to all children in New York City through a random lottery—I’ve seen firsthand how allowing “co-location” with district schools has helped charter schools and their students thrive. Success Academy currently has 32 schools spread across the Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens boroughs and recently was granted approval from our chartering authority, the State University of New York, to open 14 more.

Three-quarters of our students are poor enough to receive subsidized lunch, and 94% are children of color. Our students have excelled. They not only rank in the top 1% in math and top 3% in English among all state schools, but they take top honors in national debate and chess championships. They compete in ballroom dancing, soccer and track and field.

The unions can’t possible deny those stats…but they do, and they continually try to destroy a system that is clearly working.

Critics charge, however, that the academic successes posted by our schools and other charters result from cherry-picking the best students—and that since the harder-to-educate students are dumped in district schools, any academic gains by charters are offset by losses in district schools.

It is now possible to evaluate that claim.

New York City has 32 community school districts. The availability of free facilities in some of them has spurred rapid charter-school growth, while in others, the absence of such facilities has thwarted it. As a result, charter enrollment varies widely, from nearly half of students in the Central Harlem district to none at all in other districts.

This divergence, much like Germany’s division after World War II into a free-market West and a Communist East, has created perfect conditions for a real-world experiment. We can examine the 16 districts where charter school enrollment is highest (charter-rich districts) and the 16 districts where it is lowest (charter-light districts) and see how their relative rankings, based on their results on statewide English and math proficiency exams, changed between 2006 and 2014.

Of the 16 charter-rich districts, 11 rose in the rankings. And of the eight among those 16 with the highest charter enrollment, all rose save one. The district that jumped furthest, rocketing up 11 spots between 2006 and 2014, was District 5 in Central Harlem, which has the city’s highest charter-school enrollment (43%).

And what about the 16 charter-light districts? Thirteen fell in the rankings, and not one rose. For example, District 12 in the Bronx, which in 2006 ranked higher than Central Harlem, now ranks 13 spots lower. District 29 in Queens, which in 2006 ranked 15 spots higher than Central Harlem and has fewer poor students, now ranks lower.

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Bloomberg’s astroturf counter to the 5 million member NRA lies about shootings

Michael Bloomberg’s astroturf organisation, Everytown,  set up to counter the 5 million member NRA has been busted telling whopper sized lies about school shootings. The anti-gun group created a list of 74 supposed school shootings in the last 18 months and pimped it to a compliant media who spread the message. The problem is, only 15 are actually are what most people would call “school shootings”. The rest are a collection of suicides, gang activity or domestic incidents.

After the failure of his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group to sway public opinion in favor of more gun control, Michael Bloomberg announced earlier this year that he would be funneling at least $50 million to a new, “grassroots” organization now called Everytown For Gun Safety with the hope of “outmuscling” that scourge of civilized society, the National Rifle Association, and their ill-begotten political influence (because of, you know, their five million official members and millions more sympathizers). In what is only Everytown’s latestdisplay of choosing deliberate exaggerations, lies, and scare tactics over honest conversation, the group recently updated their running list claiming that there have now been at least 74 school shootings just since the massacre at Newtown in December of 2012, which a HuffPo editor then helpfully mapped out:

 

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Why the NRA keeps on winning

The NRA never loses a fight…it is a brave politician who wants to go against them.

For a start they usually rinse you and secondly it will cost them a great deal of hooter.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty posed a pointed question from the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting this weekend: Why do gun-rights supporters win when other conservative causes lose?

And in fact over the past 20 years, gun advocates have scored an astounding string of successes:

  • All 50 states now issue concealed-carry permits to allow approved gun owners to carry firearms into public places. In many states, permit holders may carry guns even into bars and non-TSA-patrolled areas of airports.
  • In 2008, gun advocates persuaded the Supreme Court to overrule a century of precedent and redefine the Second Amendment not as a right of state governments to form militias but as an individual right to acquire private firearms.
  • Gun advocates persuaded Congress in 2004 to let lapse the Clinton-era ban on assault rifles. In the mid-1990s, they voted to halt government research into the public-health effects of gun ownership when that research yielded uncongenial evidence.
  • No crime or atrocity, not even the massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has checked the strong trend of U.S. public policy to make ever more lethal weapons ever more easily available to ever more people, including people with histories of domestic violence.

So congratulations to the NRA: mission accomplished!

Even more impressive, this string of victories was scored as gun ownership in America tumbled. Only about one-third of American households now own a gun, compared to about one-half in 1973. Much of this decline can be traced to the fading of hunting as an American pastime. Only about 6 percent of Americans hunt even once in a year. That’s just slightly more than the number who attended a ballet performance: 3.9 percent.

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Bloomberg gets it and is prepared to put his money where his mouth is

There is a saying that no one wins taking on the NRA.

They regularly rinse candidates and deploy their considerable resources against politicians who seek to impinge of the rights of all Americans to keep and bear arms.

But Michael Bloomberg is going to give it a crack at taking on the NRA…and spending $50 million to do it. He at least understands the daunting task, though I suspect his $50 million will be ineffective against the campaigning prowess of the NRA, who in all likelihood will use this declaration of war as a fundraising drive and pick up even more cash.

Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually out muscle the National Rifle Association.

Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.

“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the N.R.A. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”

He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”  Read more »

Charter schools are working, but New York’s mayor wants to stop them

Labour, the Greens and the teacher unions all hate charter schools.

They can produce no evidence to support their claims, they just hate them because they do not like the challenge to the hegemony and control of the unions in our schools.

The same irrational opposition is also evident overseas.

OF THE 658 schools in Chicago, only 126 are charter schools—publicly funded but independently run and largely free of union rules. Fifteen more are due to open this year. More notable, though, is that four of the most recently-approved charters are in areas where the city recently decided to close 49 public schools—the largest round of such closures in America’s history.

Most of the closed schools served poor black children, and were in parts of the city with a shrinking population. The city government argued that these schools were under-used, and that closing them would save $233m that could be reinvested. So it has been: in new science labs, computers, wireless, libraries, art rooms and air conditioning in the charters that took in children from the closed schools.

Charters have worked well in Chicago. Most parents like them, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Board of Education are behind them. The Noble Network, which already runs 14 charter high schools, has just been given permission to open two new ones. Around 36% of the 9,000, mostly poor, children enrolled with Noble can expect to graduate from college, compared with 11% for this income bracket city-wide.

A 2013 study by Stanford University found that the typical Illinois charter pupil (most of them in Chicago) gained two weeks of additional learning in reading, and a month in maths, over their counterparts in traditional public schools. One city network of charters, Youth Connection, is credited with reducing Chicago’s dropout rate by 7% in a decade. Overall, however, the city’s public schools are in a sorry state: 51,000 out of 240,000 elementary-school pupils did not meet state reading standards in 2013.

Some will always argue that charters cream off the brighter children and leave sink schools, deprived of resources, behind. The teachers’ unions hate charter schools because they are non-unionised. So they remain a rarity nationwide, with only 5% of children enrolled in them. But a PDK/Gallup poll last year found that 70% of Americans support them. Small wonder: a study of charter high schools in Florida found that they boosted pupils’ earning power in later life by more than 10%.  Read more »

Teacher Unions, same the world over…scum

The head of the teachers union in New York is boasting that he will anoint the next mayor and is preparing to go to war in the mayoral election by spending large amounts doing that.

This year’s mayoral race is one of the most chaotic in decades, with more than seven Democratic hopefuls fighting for slivers in a primary that is expected to turn out fewer than 600,000 voters. With the primary still wide open, Mr. Mulgrew believes that his union has the power to crown the new king or queen.

“We’re not about picking a mayor,” Mr. Mulgrew told Politicker last week at George’s, a diner near the union’s lower Manhattan headquarters. “We’re about making a mayor, making the winner. And that’s what we’re gonna to do.”

For the past four years, the UFT has been working to build up an army of volunteers, pollsters and operatives. By the union’s count, its endorsements will deliver more than 230,000 members, when retirees, family members and others who live in members’ homes are included. The union is also planning to spend in the mid to high seven figures on the race, according to a source familiar with the organization’s finances.  Read more »

Bad news for anti-smoking zealots

The anti-smoking wowsers want to end smoking and one of their tools suggested is massive tax increases…problem is it won’t work.

“IF IT were totally up to me, I would raise the cigarette tax so high the revenues from it would go to zero,” thundered Michael Bloomberg back in 2002. New York city’s combative mayor has since raised cigarette taxes several times. The effect has been limited, so he wants to try something new. He recently proposed to outlaw discounting cigarettes and displaying them openly in stores.

Whether these measures will be approved—and help—remains to be seen. But Mr Bloomberg may well be right to push for more bans. A new paper by Abel Brodeur of the Paris School of Economics, based on extensive surveys in America, suggests that bans on smoking are not just effective but actually make smokers happier. By not allowing them to light up in restaurants and bars (as New York already does), governments give weaker-willed individuals an excuse to do what they otherwise cannot: stop smoking. As an additional benefit, bans also seem to make spouses of smokers happier.  Read more »

Send fat bastards out to sea

Despite Bloomberg’s loss in court over his ridiculous soda ban he and the city are trying to appeal the court decision. But perhaps there is a better way:

Bloomberg is a true believer in the lifesaving consequences of his health agenda, and his smoking ban did indeed sweep the country. Yet his soda measure is so obviously ineffectual symbolism that it has a whiff of imposing his will for the sheer sake of it.

The city’s lawyers argued in court that the Board of Health could hand down the new soda rule because it has broad powers to fight disease. But there is a difference between an outbreak of a deadly communicable disease that has people dropping in the streets and excessive soda consumption. If someone drinks a 32-ounce Cherry Coke next to you at a movie theater, it doesn’t make you sick.  Read more »