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Motion to Proceed to the Reid Gun Control Bill PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 11 April 2013 14:19

Prepared Floor Statement of Senator Chuck Grassley

The Motion to Proceed to the Reid Gun Control Bill

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mr. President, earlier I met with families from Newtown, Connecticut to discuss the legislation we are currently debating.  It was emotional and difficult for all of us.  I thank them for sharing their stories of their loved ones and their concerns with me.

At the meeting, they called for a debate on the legislation, a debate we are having. Nonetheless, Mr. President, we are in the unusual position of being asked to take a leap into the unknown.  We are being asked to vote to proceed to an uncertain bill.  That bill is not even the bill that we would likely consider if the motion to proceed were successful.  The language on background checks would change.  We have not seen the actual new background check language.  But we are being asked to proceed to the bill anyway.

What we do have is a summary of the proposed background check language.  That summary raises questions. For instance, the summary states that the background check language applies to sales at gun shows and online.  Is a background check required if someone sees a gun at a gun show, then proceeds to purchase the gun outside the gun show, maybe even in a parking lot?  What if someone at a gun show trades but does not sell a gun?

And it applies beyond gun shows.  If a private person advertises a gun, then the transfer would have to go through a licensed dealer, at a price.  So if someone takes out an ad to sell their gun in the local Farm Bureau newsletter or in their church bulletin, they would have to find a licensed gun dealer to conduct a background check before sale could go through.  That is quite a limitation on private sales and ownership of guns.  And it takes time in many places in this country to find that gun dealer to conduct that background check.

The summary is not specific: which private sales would be exempt from the bill’s background check requirements?  The summary states that background checks are “required for sales at gun shows and online while securing certain aspects of 2nd Amendment rights for law abiding citizens.”  That should cause everyone concern.  If the background check language secures “certain aspects of 2nd Amendment rights,” then what aspects of 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding citizens does it not secure?

The summary says that the new language exempts “temporary transfers.”    What is the difference between a “temporary” and a permanent transfer?  How would a law-abiding citizen know whether the transfer would be considered to be “temporary”?  What if the person making the transfer thought at the time it was made that the transfer would be temporary but later decides that it should be for a longer time?

And the summary claims that it will close the “gun show and other loopholes.”  What “other loopholes”?  We should be skeptical about what rights could be infringed based on that claim.         It is important to understand that there is no such thing as a “gun show loophole.”  Under existing law, background checks are required for gun purchases from a federally licensed firearms dealer.  This is true whether the purchase is made at a gun show or any other location.

Also, under existing law, gun purchases made through someone who is not a federally licensed firearms dealer do not require a background check.  This is true whether the sale is made at a gun show or not.  Whether a sale is made at a gun show is therefore irrelevant to whether a background check is required.

There is one rule for sales from licensed dealers and another for private sales.  But under the new language, not all private sales will be treated the same.  Some private sales will require background checks and others will not.  That distinction will create, not close, a loophole.  No longer would all private sales be treated the same.  Some private sales will require background checks and others will not.  There will be political pressure then to say that all private sales should be covered – universal background checks in other words.

And we heard testimony in the Judiciary Committee, and the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice has written, that universal background checks can be enforced only if gun registration is mandated.

Now it has been said on the floor recently that background check legislation cannot lead to gun registries because federal law prohibits that.     But current federal law can be changed.  And the language currently before us requires recordkeeping, a step toward registration.

Although the sponsor of that language said that the bill expressly provided that no registry could be created, the bill contains no such language at present.  The sponsor was misinformed about his own bill.  He admitted that the current background check language was not yet ready for consideration and needed clarifications that so far have not been forthcoming.

We should have answers to these and other questions before we should proceed to the bill.

And we should be wary of going to a bill when various senators have announced their intention to offer amendments to that bill that in my judgment raise serious constitutional questions under the Second Amendment.

Mr. President, how can we responsibly proceed to a bill that contains language that even its sponsor admits is not ready for consideration?

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National Foster Care Month in May PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 11 April 2013 14:16
Former State Ward Observes National Foster Care Month in May
She’s Helping Launch a Program to Replace Trash Bags with New Duffel Bags

We have some positive changes to applaud as the nation observes National Foster Care Month in May, says former foster child Margaret Iuculano.

“In Ohio, $3 million from a mortgage settlement the state won will help foster kids pursue higher education and expand court-appointed advocates. And in Florida, a new law is going to make it much easier for foster kids to do normal things like sleepovers with their friends and school field trips,” she says.

“In Nebraska, they’re close to boosting the pay for foster parents, which will mean the state can retain and attract more and better foster parents.”

But Iuculano, spokeswoman for Duffels for Kids (www.floridafapa.org/duffelsforkids),
and founder of Angels for Foster Kids, says that sometimes, it’s the smallest things foster children remember most.

“I was in foster care from age 11 to 16, when I aged out, and I was moved to 15 different homes in that time,” she says. “Every time I moved, I had to pack my few belongings in a black trash bag.

“When you’re already feeling abandoned, wondering whether anyone will ever want you or care about you, that trash bag seals it: No, they won’t. You’re a throwaway.”

While workplace groups and communities have banded together and charities have sprung up across the country to address this problem, more foster care children than not continue to cart their belongings in trash bags.

“There just hasn’t been enough,” Iuculano says. “And often, the organizations gather used luggage. I know the intention is good, but we’d like to give these children something brand new; something all their own.”

To that end, another positive to celebrate will be the first Duffels for Kids Walk, sponsored by the Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association on May 18 in Miami.

It’s the kickoff to the association’s drive to provide new duffel bags to every child in that state’s foster care system. As the program grows, its leaders hope to have new duffel bags for each child entering the system, Iuculano says.

Duffels for Kids will initially focus on Florida, but organizer LaShaun Wallace, who’s on the board of the National Foster Parents Association, hopes it will eventually go nationwide.

It’s in everyone’s best interests to protect the most vulnerable in our society, children without the protection of loving, caring families, Iuculano says.

“When you look at the numbers, you quickly see why we desperately need more positive changes to applaud,” she says.

These were compiled from various sources:

• In recent years, there have been more than 500,000 children in foster care nationally; per one annual count, 22 percent were available for adoption.
• In that year, 18 percent of children were adopted after waiting an average 42 months in foster care.
• More than half of the children who age out of foster care will be unemployed adults.
• Almost a third will be homeless.
• One in five will be incarcerated within two years.

To support Duffels for Kids by attending the walk or making a donation, visit the website.

Some of the supporters scheduled to participate in the May 18 walk include Esther Jacobo, regional director for Miami–Dade and Monroe counties for the Florida Department of Children and Families and Children's Trust board member; Dr. Kalyani Gopal, licensed clinical psychologist and author of "Foster Parenting Step-by-Step,” to be released in May, which tackles the day-to-day issues in raising foster children; and Sidarth Singh and Shifali Singh, siblings who founded the former Duffels for Angels – renamed Duffels for Kids -- and Aid for Change to provide duffel bags for foster children in Indiana.

About Duffels for Kids

Duffels for Kids is a new program coordinated by the Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association, which will coordinate distribution of new duffel bags with the help of the Department of Children and Families, private investigators, guardian ad litems and local foster parent groups. Caregivers will be able to request a duffel bag for a child by calling the state foster parent associations 800 line or request an online form.

 
Gov. Branstad denies ten applications for commutation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:34

(DES MOINES)  - Gov. Terry E. Branstad denied the following application for commutation:

Darrell Bizzett, age 64, committed his crime on September 1, 1970, in Woodbury County.  He is currently serving a life sentence for Murder – 1st degree.

Rodney Borushaski, age 40, committed his crimes on August 12, 1996, in Polk County.  He is currently serving two life sentences for Murder – 1st degree.

Raymond T. Freie, Jr., age 71, committed his crime on August 28, 1981, in Hancock County.  He is currently serving a life sentence for Murder – 1st degree.

Mark Greiman, age 51, committed his crime on July 27, 1998, in Cerro Gordo County.  He is currently serving a twenty-give year sentence for Robbery – 1st degree (85%).

Kevin Johnson, age 58, committed his crime on June 29, 1980, in Pottawattamie County.  He is currently serving a life sentence for Murder – 1st degree.

Ed Shaker Nassif, age 43, committed his crime on September 1, 1990, in Linn County.  He is currently serving a life sentence for Murder – 1st degree.

Dee Jay Radeke, age 49, committed his crime on May 31, 1991, in Linn County.  He is currently serving a life sentence for Kidnapping – 1st degree.

Robert C. Richey, age 68, committed his crime on May 8, 1996, in Bremer County.  He is currently serving a life sentence for Murder – 1st degree.

Arthur Rogers, age 40, committed his crimes January 27, 2000, in Scott County.  He is currently serving two twenty year sentences for Robbery – 2nd degree (85%).

Richard T. Steltzer, age 69, committed his crime on February 6, 1979, in Warren County.  He is currently serving a life sentence for Kidnapping – 1st degree.

 

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Loebsack Statement on the Postal Service Canceling Plan to End Saturday Delivery PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:25

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced that they would be canceling their plans to end Saturday delivery.

“The announcement by the Postal Service that it has canceled its misguided plan to end Saturday delivery is good news for the people of Iowa. Saturday delivery is important to Iowa’s economy, seniors and small businesses.  Now it is time for Congress to do its job and act to give the USPS the tools necessary to avoid this situation in the future.  The USPS would not be in the financial situation it is today if it had not been required to pre-pay retirement funds, which no other agency or business is required to do.  I will continue to push for commonsense legislation that will responsibly restore USPS’s fiscal solvency while protecting Iowan’s access to postal services ”

Loebsack is a cosponsor of legislation, which would address the USPS’s financial needs without the upheaval and job loss.  He has urged leadership on multiple occasions to address postal reform as soon as possible and is currently a cosponsor of H. Res. 30, which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the UPSP should continue with its 6-day mail delivery service.

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In the Battle of the Sexes, Men aren’t Doing So Well PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:24
Author Offers 3 Tips to Level the Playing Field

The headlines would be comical if they weren’t so sad – and numerous.

“YOUNG WOMAN SCAMS LOVE STRUCK ELDERLY MAN OUT OF $200,000” (Elk Grove, Calif., January 2013)

“Just Google and you’ll find all kinds of news stories about men who willingly give up their cash, their luxury cars, even an ex-wife’s diamond ring,” as in the Elk Grove case, says Charles D. Martin, author of “Provocateur,” (www.provocateurbook.com), a novel about smart, beautiful women and the power they wield over men.

“As men, we never like to admit that we may be outsmarted by a woman – but the truth is, it is happening all the time!”

And it’s getting worse, for men.

“Women are far outpacing men in numbers of college degrees. They now outnumber men, earning almost 60 percent of college degrees,” Martin says. “And while that doesn’t necessarily make them ‘smarter’ than men, it sure does add to their advantage.”

In addition women have other (obvious) advantages.

“In the presence of a sexy woman, men lose their ability to think or act rationally,” Martin says. “That’s an enormous advantage for women! Men do not realize that it is women that are in charge of the mating process.”

How can men level the playing field? Martin has some suggestions:

• Recognize the predator – and the prey. If you are an older gentlemen, particularly one with some status or affluence and a young, attractive woman comes on to you … be on guard. She probably has nefarious, not amorous, motives. Keep your pants zipped and your wallet stowed until you are totally persuaded that her affection for you is genuine.

• Remember, they don’t have to be young to be dangerous. The woman arrested in the Elk Grove, Calif., case was 30 years old. There are also recent news stories about a 54-year-old woman stealing more than $85,000 from a 93-year-old man, promising him a “big payoff.” In another case, a 45-year-old woman had a 60-year-old man paying for her elective surgeries, limousines, even a $1,000 dog. She was arrested in December. “They may be moms or grandmoms, but they’re still women,” Martin says.

• Even if you are happily married, you are still vulnerable. Beware the “perfect storm,” which occurs as a man ages and tries to hang on to his virility, just as his high school sweetheart is also showing signs of wear. That makes him vulnerable to a younger female with ulterior motives. If a sexy woman comes on to you, get away fast.  These “Provocateurs” can get the best of you in a nanosecond.

About Charles D. Martin

Charles Martin runs a hedge fund, Mont Pelerin Capital, LLC, and serves on the investment committees of prominent universities. An established business writer, his first novel focuses on the intrigue that often exists between alpha females that take on – and conquer – dominant males. Martin lives with his wife in a coastal town south of Los Angeles.

 
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