Yep, I called it!



Rather than Deal With Health-Care Reform, Doctors Mull Early Retirement


Published March 27, 2013


American doctors are increasingly concerned about changes already implemented or coming to the health-care system, and some are opting to retire sooner than planned.

Deloitte’s 2013 survey of U.S. physicians found 57% doctors view changes in the industry under the Affordable Care Act as a threat, and six in 10 physicians report it’s likely that many will retire earlier than planned in the next two to three years. This trend could cause more widespread issues in the health-care system that is already coping with doctor and nurse shortages in some areas of the country.

The survey found these numbers to be fairly uniform among all doctors regardless of age, gender or medical specialty.

Fifty-seven percent also say the practice of medicine is in jeopardy, because the “best and brightest” may not consider a career in medicine under new requirements of the reform.

New Jersey-based family physician Marc Mayer, blames the new electronic medical records requirement under the reform as pushing doctors into retirement early. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates practices use electronic medical records to reduce paper work, increase communications and cut costs and errors starting Oct. 1 2012.

“Those one and two-person practices with doctors in their late 50s and early 60s may think it’s too daunting of a change and retire early,” he says. “If they don’t do all of those [required] things, they will be looking at a drop in income.”

Jane Orient, executive director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, says the group has been surveying its members on early retirement and other topics for the past decade and has seen similar responses since the implementation of health-care reform. However, she says the economy will play a bigger role on how many doctors exit their practice.

“Some are looking at concierge models, some doctors will go work for hospitals because they just can’t cope with the crushing load of new regulations,” Orient says.

Physicians also report a decrease in take-home pay from 2011 to 2012 in the Deloitte survey, attributing the haircut  to ObamaCare. More than half of respondents saw a 10% or less decrease in their paycheck in the past year. Half forecast that physician incomes will fall dramatically in the next one to three years. Sixty-eight percent of solo physicians report being more likely to have their incomes will fall than those in practices with two to nine physicians (51%) or those with more than 10 physicians (44%).

ObamaCare proposes to save money by “squeezing doctors’ ability to make money,” says Orient.  Right now, about 50% of what doctors make goes to overhead costs, she adds, so a 10% cut in fees at doctors’ offices equates to a 20% cut in profits.

“A lot of our doctors are [concerned about profit loss] and say these threats and cuts are draconian. The requirements are impossible and if you combine that with the fact that a frightening proportion are aged 55 and older, many could retire if they wanted to,” she says.

Mayer’s practice, the Avenel-Iselin Medical Group is a patient-centered medical home, and has been able to participate in both Medicare and private commercial insurance programs. In 2013 and 2014, the law requires states to pay PCPs 100% of Medicare payment rates for services.

“They are paying us for care management fees, and we are now being paid for primary care physician services that we have always done but were never paid for.”


‘Unintended Consequences’ of ObamaCare

ObamaCare weighs in: CVS tells employees to reveal personal health info — or pay up



Update from Magpul’s FaceBook page


Apparently Gov Hickenlooper has announced that he will sign HB 1224 on Wednesday. We were asked for our reaction, and here is what we said:

We have said all along that based on the legal problems and uncertainties in the bill, as well as general principle, we will have no choice but to leave if the Governor signs this into law. We will start our transition out of the state almost immediately, and we will prioritize moving magazine manufacturing operations first. We expect the first PMAGs to be made outside CO within 30 days of the signing, with the rest to follow in phases. We will likely become a multi-state operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected. We have made some initial contacts and evaluated a list of new potential locations for additional manufacturing and the new company headquarters, and we will begin talks with various state representatives in earnest if the Governor indeed signs this legislation. Although we are agile for a company of our size, it is still a significant footprint, and we will perform this move in a manner that is best for the company and our employees.

It is disappointing to us that money and a social agenda from outside the state have apparently penetrated the American West to control our legislature and Governor, but we feel confident that Colorado residents can still take the state back through recalls, ballot initiatives, and the 2014 election to undo these wrongs against responsible Citizens.

Guns Suppliers To Leave Anti-2nd Amendment States

Regarding LEO Sales

March 1st, 2013


Back in 1990, when I was deployed in Desert Shield and Desert Storm as a Marine grunt, some companies prioritized me items for my M16 for shipping that I purchased with my own funds.  After getting out and forming Magpul in 1999, I established the same priority policy for Military and Law Enforcement, due to the requirements of their profession.


The same policy has been in place for 13 years now and has never been an issue until a few days ago. I do not support the idea that individual police officers should be punished for the actions of their elected officials. That said, I understand the concerns that some have with Law Enforcement officers getting special treatment while at the same time denouncing second amendment rights to another citizen in the same state.


With the fight in Colorado right now we do not have time to implement a new program, so I have suspended all LE sales to ban states until we can implement a system wherein any Law Enforcement Officer buying for duty use will have to promise to uphold their oath to the US Constitution – specifically the second and fourteenth amendments – as it applies to all citizens.


Richard Fitzpatrick

President/CEO – Founder

Magpul Industries

This is how the liberals think government should act.

Funny, the liberals adored Chavez. Just take a look at the type of oppression those liberals supported. Why would they not think to run the United States the very same way if given a chance????

Venezuela’s opposition ground down by Chavistas

By FRANK BAJAK | Associated Press – 22 hrs ago

  • Venezuela's acting President Nicolas Maduro gestures to people at the opening of the Ninth International Book Fair of Venezuela (Filven) which pays tribute to late President Hugo Chavez at the Teresa Carreno theater in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The picture at bottom left is of independence hero Simon Bolivar. Maduro announced on March 5 that Chavez had died, after a nearly two-year bout with cancer. He was 58. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)View PhotoVenezuela’s acting President Nicolas …
  • A man rests next to a graffiti that reads in Spanish, "Is of the patriots," next to a stencil mural of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 14, 2013. Venezuela's acting president said Wednesday that it is highly unlikely Hugo Chavez will be embalmed for permanent viewing because the decision to do so was made too late and the socialist leader's body was not properly prepared on time. Chavez died on March 5. The decision to preserve his body permanently was announced two days later. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
    A man rests next to a graffiti …

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The people tapped by Hugo Chavez to carry on his socialist revolution seem to be improvising the rules of governing as they march toward what most Venezuelans consider certain victory in a mid-April vote to replace the late president.

Chavez’s designated successor, Nicolas Maduro, and his ruling clique have repeatedly circumvented the constitution and exploited their monopoly on power to all but crush an opposition already crippled by years of government intimidation.

The odds are so stacked against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles that he has compared his run to being “led to a slaughterhouse and dropped into a meat grinder.”

Long before Chavez succumbed to cancer, Capriles and his supporters were already maligned and harassed, legally and financially, by the government, say human rights and press freedom analysts.

Now, they say, the repression is reaching new levels as the president’s heirs step up attacks to compensate for their lack of Chavez’s political acumen, charisma and moral authority.

Liliana Ortega, director of the COFAVIC human rights group, says the government acts with “military logic: You are loyal to me to the end. One small criticism, and you’re my enemy.”

The government has vilified Capriles as a “fascist” conspiring with U.S. putschists against the homeland. It hauls opposition leaders into court on criminal corruption charges. And it has impoverished Capriles’ campaign by wielding tax investigators against donors, the opposition says,

Venezuelans learned Monday that the owners of the last remaining TV channel critical of the government were selling the channel, under what they described as government coercion. And on Wednesday, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol announced the arrest of a 53-year-old woman for sending “destabilizing” messages on Twitter. He offered few details, and the woman could not be located.

All this as the Chavista leadership choreographs Maduro’s succession, dipping into a treasury fortified by revenues from the world’s largest oil reserves and wielding a state media machine that takes control of all airwaves at will.

“It is classic consolidation of power in a crisis,” said Adam Isacson, security analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America. “There was always an effort to at least put a patina of legality on what was being done. There was always a process. There’s not much of a process now.”

Information Ministry spokesman Oscar Lloreda said he doubted there would be a comment from the government about its tactics. “I don’t think there is a spokesman interested in responding to those accusations,” he said.

The improvisation began when the Supreme Court, stacked with Chavez loyalists, said the president’s new term could begin as scheduled although he wouldn’t be sworn in on Jan. 10 as specified by the constitution. Chavez was in Cuba at the time, battling a respiratory infection after his fourth cancer surgery.

After the president’s March 5 death, Maduro was sworn in as acting leader, Chavez’s wish for the man he named vice president after defeating Capriles in October by a 12-point margin.

The constitution says the National Assembly speaker should instead become interim leader if a president-elect dies before taking the oath of office. But no matter. The high court decision saying Chavez’s term had already begun let the government swear in Maduro.

Another Supreme Court ruling, issued during Chavez’s state funeral March 8, ratified Maduro as acting president.

The opposition screamed. The government ignored them.

At the swearing-in, more improvisation. Maduro claimed the armed forces’ allegiance to a din of applause. He pumped a fist in the air as the state TV camera turned to Defense Minister Diego Molero, who reciprocated the gesture from the gallery.

A state TV channel had already announced via Twitter that the military was with Maduro, ignoring a constitutional mandate of political neutrality for the armed forces.

On Monday, another display of ruling party hubris: Maduro registered his candidacy on the terrace of the National Electoral Council, a nominally impartial body, while its chairwoman presided under a huge poster of Chavez reading “Maduro, from my heart.”

The crowd of red-shirted Chavistas was thick. Capriles didn’t show to register, sending two representatives instead.

Capriles had complained Maduro was using Chavez’s body as a political prop, and his campaign later said he was emailed that morning a photograph of a hand pointing a gun at a TV screen bearing Capriles’ image.

Chavez long ago turned the criminal justice system into a tool for exacting political vengeance, said COFAVIC’s Ortega, who for a decade has had a detail of bodyguards ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

While Chavez could rely on his famous powers of persuasion to consolidate control, Maduro’s ruling circle lacks the panache.

“There is a blurring of constitutional mandates right now,” said Miguel Tinker Salas, a Latin American studies professor at Pomona College in California. “Maduro does not have the charisma, and the connection that Hugo Chavez had historically with the population.”

In February, authorities briefly detained the pilots of a loaned private plane that had brought Capriles back from a family visit to New York, with officials searching the plane up and down, people close to the candidate said on condition of anonymity due to the matter’s sensitivity.

And no sooner had Capriles announced his candidacy Sunday than Maduro was on the air, accusing him of seeking to provoke violence and suggesting he could face criminal charges for insulting Chavez’s family.

Capriles accused the government of repeatedly lying to create false hopes that Chavez would recover and bolster its own political ambitions. He even suggested it may have lied about the timing of Chavez’s death.

The government has in recent years forced dozens of critics into exile but the opposition only identifies a handful of people as “political prisoners.”

One is a judge, Maria Lourdes Afiuni, whose freeing of a banker jailed for alleged currency violations enraged Chavez in 2009. He had her thrown in jail and she remains under house arrest. The U.N. calls her a political prisoner.

Capriles aide Leopoldo Lopez, who faces government charges of influence peddling in a 15-year-old case, calls the strategy pinpoint persecution, a “selective strangling” of the leadership.

Although Venezuela’s high inflation, food shortages and rampant crime provide ample ammunition for criticizing the leadership, a hard political reality is that the opposition can’t match the enormous resources the government wields to win over voters, including a flurry of state TV channels that deluge the public with hours of fawning video of Maduro handing out free government housing and praying for the late leader.

Capriles’ campaign, meanwhile, is nearly destitute, carrying nearly $1 million in debt from the last campaign, said his campaign finance director, Rafael Guzman.

Although Venezuelan law allows businesses and individuals to freely make political contributions of any amount, the Chavista government persecutes people who donate to opposition candidates as if they were breaking the law, Guzman said.

“Here in Venezuela, it is basically a crime to do opposition politics,” he said.

If big companies contribute, tax authorities immediately jump on them and begin auditing for accounting irregularities, he said. “So we don’t even go to big companies,” he said.

One company that wasn’t afraid was Globovision, the last TV channel standing that’s been critical of the government.

On Monday, owner Guillermo Zuloaga told employees he had sold it to a businessman apparently friendly with the government.

“We have been harassed by the state’s institutions, in a completely polarized country, opposing an all-powerful government that wants to see us fail,” Zuloaga wrote.

The sale is to go through immediately after Venezuelans cast their ballots for a new president April 14.

Globovision’s journalists are hurt, but hard-bitten.

Delvalle Canelon, host of the Sunday show “Hello, Venezuela,” recalled constant physical and legal harassment that got so bad Globovision took to routinely sending journalists into pro-Chavez zones with helmets and flak jackets.

Information scarcity has been another issue.

“We haven’t had access to government sources in years.”


Associated Press writers Jack Chang, E. Eduardo Castillo, Fabiola Sanchez and Christopher Toothaker contributed to this report.

First Pope from the Americas

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio named new pope

Published March 14, 2013

Read more:


Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected by his peers Wednesday as the new pope, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas.

He chose the name Francis, drawing connections to the humble 13th-century saint who saw his calling as trying to rebuild the church in a time of turmoil.

As the long-time archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests. In choosing a 76-year-old pope, the cardinals clearly decided that they didn’t need a vigorous, young pope who would reign for decades but rather a seasoned, popular and humble pastor who would draw followers to the faith and help rebuild a church stained by scandal.

Groups of supporters waved Argentine flags in St. Peter’s Square as Francis, wearing simple white robes, made his first public appearance as pope.

Chants of “Long live the pope!” arose from the throngs of faithful, many with tears in their eyes. Crowds went wild as the Vatican and Italian military bands marched through the square and up the steps of the basilica, followed by Swiss Guards in silver helmets and full regalia.

Francis appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica just after a church official announced “Habemus Papum” — “We have a pope” — and gave Bergoglio’s name in Latin.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening,” he said to wild cheers before making a reference to his roots in Latin America, which accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s Roman Catholics.

Francis asked for prayers for himself, and for retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose surprising resignation paved the way for the conclave that brought the first Jesuit to the papacy.

“You know that the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome,” Francis said. “It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth. Thank you for the welcome.”

In one of his first acts as pope, Francis on Thursday morning planned to visit Benedict at the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.

American Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Wednesday night at the North American College, the U.S. seminary in Rome, that Francis told fellow cardinals following the conclave that made him pope: “Tomorrow morning, I’m going to visit Benedict.”

The visit is significant because Benedict’s resignation has raised concerns about potential power conflicts emerging from the peculiar situation of having a reigning pope and a retired one.

Bergoglio has shown a keen political sensibility as well as the kind of self-effacing humility that fellow cardinals value highly, according to his official biographer, Sergio Rubin. He showed that humility on Wednesday, saying that before he blessed the crowd he wanted their prayers for him and bowed his head.

“Good night, and have a good rest,” he said before going back into the palace.

In a lifetime of teaching and leading priests in Latin America, which has the largest share of the world’s Catholics, Francis has been known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.

Like other Jesuit intellectuals, Bergoglio has focused on social outreach. Catholics are still buzzing over his speech last year accusing fellow church officials of hypocrisy for forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

Francis, the son of middle-class Italian immigrants, is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed. Bergoglio often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina’s capital.

He came close to becoming pope in 2005, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out of the running in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Dolan gave an inside glimpse into the drama of the conclave in his talk at the American seminary.

When the tally reached the necessary 77 votes to make Bergoglio pope, Dolan said, the cardinals erupted in applause. And when he accepted the momentous responsibility thrust upon him — ”there wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” the American cardinal recounted.

After the princes of the church had congratulated the new pope one by one, other Vatican officials wanted to do the same, but Francis preferred to go outside and greet the throngs of faithful. ”Maybe we should go to the balcony first,” Dolan recalled the pope as saying.

In choosing to call himself Francis, the new pope was linking himself with the much-loved Italian saint from Assisi associated with peace, poverty and simplicity. St. Francis was born to a wealthy family but later renounced his wealth and founded the Franciscan order of friars; he wandered about the countryside preaching to the people in very simple language.

He was so famed for his sanctity that he was canonized just two years after his death in 1226.

St. Francis Xavier is another important namesake. One of the 16th century founders of the Jesuit order, Francis Xavier was a legendary missionary who spread the faith as far as India and Japan — giving the new pope’s name selection possibly further symbolic resonance in an age when the church is struggling to maintain its numbers.

Francis will celebrate his first Mass as pope in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday, and will be installed officially as pope on Tuesday, on the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the universal church, according to the Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

Lombardi, also a Jesuit, said he was particularly stunned by the election given that Jesuits typically shun positions of authority in the church, instead offering their work in service to those in power.

But Lombardi said that in accepting the election, Francis must have felt it “a strong call to service,” an antidote to all those who speculated that the papacy was about a search for power.

In an interesting twist the Jesuits were expelled from all of the Americas in the mid-18th century. Now, a Latin American Jesuit has been elected head of the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church.

Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke poured out a few minutes past 7 p.m., many shouting “Habemus Papam!” or “We have a pope!” — as the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica and churches across Rome pealed.

Elected on the fifth ballot, Francis was chosen in one of the fastest conclaves in years, remarkable given there was no clear front-runner going into the vote and that the church had been in turmoil following the upheaval unleashed by Benedict’s surprise resignation.

A winner must receive 77 votes, or two-thirds of the 115, to be named pope.

For comparison’s sake, Benedict was elected on the fourth ballot in 2005 — but he was the clear front-runner going into the vote. Pope John Paul II was elected on the eighth ballot in 1978 to become the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.

Bergoglio’s legacy as cardinal includes his efforts to repair the reputation of a church that lost many followers by failing to openly challenge Argentina’s murderous 1976-83 dictatorship. His own record as the head of the Jesuit order in Argentina at the time has been tarnished as well.

Many Argentines remain angry over the church’s acknowledged failure to openly confront a regime that was kidnapping and killing thousands of people as it sought to eliminate “subversive elements” in society. It’s one reason why more than two-thirds of Argentines describe themselves as Catholic, but fewer than 10 percent regularly attend mass.

Under Bergoglio’s leadership, Argentina’s bishops issued a collective apology in October 2012 for the church’s failures to protect its flock. But the statement blamed the era’s violence in roughly equal measure on both the junta and its enemies.

“Bergoglio has been very critical of human rights violations during the dictatorship, but he has always also criticized the leftist guerrillas; he doesn’t forget that side,” Rubin said.

Bergoglio’s own role in the so-called Dirty War has been the subject of controversy.

At least two court cases directly involved Bergoglio. One examined the torture of two of his Jesuit priests who were kidnapped in 1976 from the slums where they advocated liberation theology. One accused Bergoglio of effectively handing him over to the junta.

Both men were freed after Bergoglio took extraordinary, behind-the-scenes action to save them — including persuading dictator Jorge Videla’s family priest to call in sick so that Bergoglio himself could say Mass in the junta leader’s home, where he privately appealed for mercy. His intervention likely saved their lives, but Bergoglio never shared the details until Rubin interviewed him for a 2010 biography.

Rubin said failing to challenge the dictators was simply pragmatic at a time when so many people were getting killed, and attributed Bergoglio’s later reluctance to share his side of the story as a reflection of his humility.

Bergoglio also was accused of turning his back on a family that lost five relatives to state terror, including a young woman who was 5-months’ pregnant before she was kidnapped and eventually killed in 1977. The woman’s child, who survived, was given to an “important” family.

Despite written evidence indicating he knew the child had been given away, Bergoglio testified in 2010 that he didn’t know about any stolen babies until well after the dictatorship was over.

Unlike the confusion that reigned during the 2005 conclave, the smoke this time around has been clear: black during the first two rounds of burned ballots, and then a clear white on Wednesday night — thanks to special smoke flares akin to those used in soccer matches or protests that were lit in the chapel ovens.

The Vatican on Wednesday divulged the secret recipe used: potassium perchlorate, anthracene, which is a derivative of coal tar, and sulfur for the black smoke; potassium chlorate, lactose and a pine resin for the white smoke.

The chemicals are contained in five units of a cartridge that is placed inside the stove of the Sistine Chapel. When activated, the five blocks ignite one after another for about a minute apiece, creating the steady stream of smoke that accompanies the natural smoke from the burned ballot papers.

Despite the great plumes of smoke that poured out of the chimney, Lombardi said, neither the Sistine frescoes nor the cardinals inside the chapel suffered any smoke damage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Overstepping their elected power?

Bloomberg… what a freakin’ idiot this guy is! Its none of his damned business what people eat or drink. Since when do elected officials know how best to run someone’s life? This ass of a politician needs to be thrown from office.


State judge halts Bloomberg ban on large sugary drinks in New York City

Published March 11, 2013

A New York judge is forcing the Bloomberg administration to take a big gulp — striking down its groundbreaking and controversial limit on the size of sugary drinks in New York City shortly before it was set to take effect.

Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling wrote in his opinion that the rules are “arbitrary and capricious,” applying to only certain beverages and only certain stores.

“The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of this rule,” he wrote, complaining of “uneven enforcement even within a particular City block, much less the City as a whole.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city plans to appeal, calling the ruling “clearly an error.”

“If we are serious about fighting obesity then we have to be honest about it and courageous about tackling it,” Bloomberg said. “We believe it is reasonable and responsible to draw a line.”

But Tingling said the city’s Board of Health went beyond its authority, and effectively would be “limited by its own imagination” if left unchecked.

“The portion cap rule, if upheld, would create an administrative Leviathan and violate the separation of powers doctrine,” by straying into territory that should belong to the elected City Council, not the board appointed by Bloomberg, Tingling wrote.

That, he wrote, “has the potential to be more troubling than sweetened beverages.

In the wake of the ruling, the American Beverage Association said the decision provided a “sigh of relief to New Yorkers and thousands of small businesses in New York City that would have been harmed by this arbitrary and unpopular ban.”

The city Board of Health approved the measure in September. Championed by Bloomberg, it follows on other efforts his administration has made to improve New Yorkers’ eating habits, from compelling chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus to barring artificial trans fats in restaurant food to prodding food manufacturers to use less salt. 

The city has said that while restaurant inspectors would start enforcing the soda size rule in March, they wouldn’t seek fines — $200 for a violation — until June.

Soda makers, restaurateurs, movie theater owners and other business groups sued, asking a judge to declare the measure invalid. In February, they asked Tingling to bar the city from enforcing the regulation while the suit played out.

City officials have called the size limit a pioneering move for public health. They point to the city’s rising obesity rate — about 24 percent of adults, up from 18 percent in 2002 — and to studies tying sugary drinks to weight gain. Care for obesity-related illnesses costs government health programs about $2.8 billion a year in New York City alone, according to city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

The supersize-drink crackdown will “have significant public health effects, and the sooner that happens, the better,” city lawyer Mark W. Muschenheim said in court in February.

Critics said the measure is too limited to make a meaningful impact on New Yorkers’ waistlines. But they said it would take a bite out of business for the eateries that have to comply, while other establishments still will get sell sugary drinks in 2-liter bottles and supersize cups.

Beverage makers had expected to spend about $600,000 changing bottles and labels, movie theater owners feared losing soda sales that account for 20 percent of their profits, and delis and restaurants would have had to change inventory, reprint menus and make other adjustments, according to court papers.

“These are costs which these businesses are not going to be compensated for,” and the money will be wasted if the court ultimately nixes the law, James E. Brandt, a lawyer for the American Beverage Association and other opponents, told the judge in February.

Critics also said the restriction should have gone before the elected City Council instead of the Bloomberg-appointed health board. The city says the panel of doctors and other health professionals had both the authority and expertise to make the decision. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more:

Another Stupid Obama Move


Who Ordered Release of 2,000 Detainees?


As the Obama Administration spun nightmare scenarios over the impact of sequester cuts, it was revealed that Homeland Security had released from custody illegal immigrants who were charged with crimes. The White House said these actions were taken in expectation of the looming cuts, but dismissed concerns, saying just “a few hundred” criminals were released. The Associated Press, however, reported late Friday that 2,000 detainees had been released, with another 3,000 planned to be released this month. Who ordered the releases?

The White House has stated that they were not informed of the decision to release the criminal detainees. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also demurred when asked about the releases, “detainee populations and how that is managed back and forth is really handled by career officials in the field.” Napolitano told ABC, “do I wish that this all hadn’t been done all of a sudden and so that people weren’t surprised by it? Of course.”

The problem with plans to release 5,000 detainees is not that it was done suddenly or took people by surprise. The problem is with the plan itself and the fact that it was apparently made without senior management involvement. One would expect that a decision to release more than 16% of criminal suspects held by the Department would rise above “career officials in the field.”

If a local law enforcement agency is facing budget cuts, the Chief of Police or Sheriff doesn’t have the authority to simply release criminal suspects in custody. He or she would at least have to go before a judge and request that the Judge offer the suspects a bail hearing.

There are more questions that Congress needs to investigate, beyond who specifically ordered the detainees release. What other authority do “career officers in the field” have before informing HQ of their decisions? Did these officers notify local law enforcement that they were releasing the criminal suspects? By what process did they decide whom to release? What steps are they taking to keep track of the detainees?

Presumably, the Department wanted to make a political point about the effect of budget cuts. At some point, however, public safety has to trump politics. The Administration’s cavalier approach to the sequester is dangerous.

Two edged sword cuts both ways.

Company will move if Colorado approves gun control

ERIE, Colo. –  Unnoticed amid dozens of tract homes in the Denver suburbs, a nondescript industrial building is suddenly in the middle of the gun control debate in Colorado.

The company, started in an ex-Marine’s basement in 1999, is in a standoff with Colorado Democrats who want to restrict the size of ammunition magazines after mass shootings in a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school. Magpul has issued lawmakers an ultimatum potentially worth millions: Pass the bill, and the business will move.

It’s a bold threat from a company that, by its founder’s admission, has distanced itself from politics.

“The people who wrote the bill didn’t even know we existed in the state,” said Richard Fitzpatrick, the founder and president of the company, one of the country’s largest producers of magazines and other firearm accessories for gun enthusiasts, law enforcement and the military.

The warning from Erie-based Magpul underscores the political pressures Democrats are weighing as they advance the strictest gun-control measures lawmakers have ever considered in a state that still prides its frontier spirit. Other gun-control proposals include universal background checks, a ban on concealed firearms on campuses, and holding assault-weapon sellers and owners liable for shootings.

Opponents need only three Democrats in the Senate to vote no against the magazine proposal to defeat it, and two have already said they won’t support the bill. But most Democrats are not budging.

“When you have the means available to you at every single corner to commit a horrendous act, we will continue to see what we’ve seen, which is the status quo, where unfortunately gun violence and violence in general is prevalent in our communities,” said Democratic Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, who will be considering the magazine bill on Monday in the Judiciary Committee. The bill has already passed the House, and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has promised to sign it.

The bill would make it a crime to have magazines that can carry more than 15 rounds, with a stricter limit of eight for shotguns. People who own larger magazines now would be allowed to keep them.

As the debate unfolds, states have made overtures to Magpul, including offering to pay their moving costs. The company won’t name the states, but Wyoming and Texas have expressed interest in netting the $85 million the company projects it will spend in Colorado next year in payments to suppliers, subcontractors and service providers. Magpul said the move would also impact its 200 employees, plus an additional 400 who work for suppliers and subcontractors.

“It’s not so much, `Oh, these people are making something that’s going to cost Colorado lives.’ We truly believe this bill will do nothing. It’s a feel-good measure,” Fitzpatrick said. “But these (workers) will be directly affected.”

Fitzpatrick said the bill’s requirement that all magazines have serial numbers adds enough production costs to make it worth leaving. He also said smaller magazines can be easily connected to each other — magazines can be hooked up to make a 60-round magazine, for example — and the company fears it would legally liable if people were to do that.

Democrats have tried to ease Magpul’s fears, amending the bill to make clear that the company can still manufacture magazines of any size, as long as they’re sold only out-of-state, to the military or law enforcement.

Republicans who oppose the restrictions argue Democrats are sending mixed messages about gun control to keep a company in Colorado.

“It’s being hypocritical. These things are either bad or they’re not,” said Republican Rep. Brian DelGrosso.

Magpul argues that limiting magazine sizes will not reduce gun violence, and that criminals will find ways around laws, including going to other states to buy larger magazines. Magpul officials note that some of their products sometimes end up in California, which limits magazine sizes to 10 rounds.

“The solutions that people want to bring up are hardware solutions,” said Magpul Director Duane Liptak. “And they want to talk about this physical piece of equipment that’s not inherently evil. It’s not inherently good. It’s a tool like anything else. It can be used for good, and it can be used improperly by people who have evil in their hearts.”

Supporters of the proposals say Magpul is bluffing and that a move would prove too costly.

“I don’t think Magpul is about to pull out,” said Bill Hoover, 83, whose grandson AJ Boik was among the 12 killed in the theater shooting. “It’s going to cost them a bundle of money.”

Fitzpatrick said his company is serious.

“It’s not really a threat. It’s a promise,” he said.

Sens. Lois Tochtrop and Cheri Jahn are the two Democrats voting against the bill. Both say they don’t believe it addresses the main problem — mental health — and Tochtrop also cited Magpul’s potential departure.

“I think we really need to address that problem. Look at the cause, not the tool,” Tochtrop said.

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