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DC emergency concealed carry licensing legislation

The good news is, DC will try to pass legislation allowing concealed carry. The bad news is, it's going to be may-issue show-cause legislation that is probably functionally identical to the earlier laws:

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier would issue permits to carry weapons under the new regulations, and applicants would have to demonstrate that they require a firearm because of a specific danger.

Under previous law, businesses could hire security guards who would then be licensed to carry a firearm while on the job, and if I recall correctly, business owners who had a registered firearm (of which there were very few) could keep it at their business location, if they had cause -- such as handling a lot of money or jewelry, etc. Under this sort of regime, "I am an ordinary person afraid of criminals" is not usually considered good cause.

If this legislation passes, DC will continue to have a de-facto ban on concealed carry, but will have an easier time defending their law in court.

2014-09-18 14:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BATFE collecting racial data on gun purchase forms

Form 4473, the BATFE form for collecting data on gun buyers supposedly for the purposes of running a background check, has been amended to include fields for the race of the buyer. Since the purpose of the form has nothing to do with race -- background checks are pretty much color blind -- there's a legitimate question about why that data is being collected. I can think of a couple possibilities.

First, it's possible they are being honest and intend to use the data to distinguish between buyers of similar names and ages but different races when conducting background checks. How useful is the data for that purpose? We can't really know what the BATFE is seeing internally, but unless the dealers are being asked to verify the racial heritage of their customers, it could actually make things worse -- if the John Doe with a felony is white, and the John Doe data on the form says John Doe is black but otherwise identical, how does that improve the situation?

Second, strange as it seems, this could be an actual act of racism; the BATFE could be intending to focus more resources on investigating minority gun buyers for straw purchases and gang affiliations. While the Obama administration is obviously not going to support that as a policy, the BATFE is an agency with a fairly recent history of actual, honest-to-god, racism.

Third, and most likely, is that the Obama Administration intends to use the data at some point in a political attack on the firearm industry. When banks started collecting racial data on people applying for mortgages, the resulting information was rapidly used to file lawsuits alleging racial discrimination in who received the loans. It didn't matter that the loan decisions were generally made on the basis of financial information and documents rather than race; because the outcome was racially disproportionate, therefore the process had to be racist. It will be hard to argue that a federal background check is racist, but maybe they think that they can claim dealers are discouraging minorities people from buying firearms.

It could be as simple as adding one more thing that dealers have to check when filling in the form, and thus more opportunities to harass them.

Hat tip to SaysUncle for the link.

2014-09-18 13:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Brady Bunch suing retailers who sold ammunition to Aurora murderer

I'm sure none of the retailers are happy they sold him anything he used on the day of the massacre, but that doesn't make them legally liable for it. This is pretty much a hail-mary pass thrown at the end-zone by the Bradys. They seem to want background checks or a mental health examination of some kind on ammunition, large magazines, and "body armor" (which as I recall turned out to be a load-bearing vest, nothing more) over the internet.

The only problem is that ever since Reid eliminated the filibuster for judicial appointments, Obama has been busy stuffing the courts with judges he likes. So the end zone is filled with receivers ready to advance the gun control ball.

The end goal here is probably to try to pressure the defendants to settle for money and/or publicity concerns.

2014-09-17 12:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI recognition program now operational

This is one of those computing technologies that is inevitably going to be developed and deployed to some degree, and the question of how oppressive the final result is will depend entirely upon how widespread the use becomes. If the technology is limited to identifying people arrested on other evidence, no problem; if it is used to identify (or attempt to identify) everyone a police officer sees or interacts with, using a dashcam or wearable bodycam as an input source, it could be a nightmare.

2014-09-17 11:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Benghazi documents whitewashed to protect Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. UPDATE: Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff allegedly present at after-hours document review.

The person blowing the whistle on this Clinton cover-up effort is one of the people they tried to blame for the security problems. They will, of course, say that he is merely a disgruntled employee making things up. But he has a remarkably detailed account with names and locations for someone who is making things up, and those people can be called to testify under oath. They won't all plead the 5th.

2014-09-17 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Guns for me, but not for thee

Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft, has donated $500,000 to an anti-gun ballot initiative in Washington State. And it turns out he is the typical sort of anti-gun bigot who personally owns a collection of military hardware while seeking to make felons from ordinary people owning rifles and handguns. And yes, that collection of military hardware includes things like a tank, a Soviet SCUD missile, and an artillery piece. Plus. one assumes, armed guards.

It's funny how it is always the billionaires who can afford personal tanks, cruise missiles, and artillery who want to make it more difficult for ordinary people to defend themselves.

2014-09-17 09:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House legislation to block IRS personal email use

"No officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service may use a personal email account to conduct any official business of the government," the bill reads.

It's a one-sentence piece of legislation, and it's completely useless, because the one sentence in the law provides no enforcement mechanisms. It's already the case that government employees are supposed to avoid using personal email for official business, and if for some reason they have to, they are supposed to forward copies of their email to their work account. They won't do that if they are trying to hide what they are doing, and why should they stop trying to hide it if there are no penalties?

2014-09-16 13:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Voter fraud allegations in Georgia

“Preliminary investigation has revealed significant illegal activities, including forged voter registration applications, forged signatures on releases, and applications with false or inaccurate information,” Kemp wrote in the memo.

The group being investigated is linked to the Democrat Senate candidate, Michele Nunn, in that state. I would say this is a sign of desperation, but it's really not; it's business as usual.

2014-09-16 12:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

If you are running for US Representative, do not fly the Mexican flag

If you want support from Mexican immigrants, that's one thing. You can talk about how you will support them with your policies. Don't fly another country's flag in a parade, though; you're running for an elected office in our country, not theirs, and if they are still citizens of that other country, they can't vote for you.

2014-09-16 11:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Comcast refuses to allow anonymity services

Via Borepatch comes a report that Comcast refuses to allow use of Tor on its network, and has interrogated a customer using it in the course of demanding that they stop using it.

This sort of thing disgusts me, and it's why, as much as possible, I run my own services. I'm not going to trust my ISP with anything more than shuffling bits from A to B and back, and I'm going to encrypt those bits as much as reasonably possible.

2014-09-16 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Military cyberwar techniques used to search every computer in Washington State

Wow. Just... wow.

Agent Logan’s search did not meet the required limitation. He surveyed the entire state of Washington for computers sharing child pornography. His initial search was not limited to United States military or government computers, and, as the government acknowledged, Agent Logan had no idea whether the computers searched belonged to someone with any “affiliation with the military at all.” Instead, it was his “standard practice to monitor all computers in a geographic area,” here, every computer in the state of Washington….

Every. Single. Computer.

As standard practice.

The court did overturn the conviction, but that's hardly enough to repair the harm to every single resident of Washington State, never mind every single resident of every other state where this is also occurring as a matter of "standard practice." People who were never convicted, never accused, never suspected, and never did possess anything illegal, but had their computers searched illegally and secretly anyway.

Credit to Instapundit for the link.

2014-09-16 09:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Who are the 5 new IRS employees with missing email?

Here is a list of the affected employees:

Julie Chen has a hard drive crash on June 12th, 2012. That is well after investigations began. No data was recovered, and apparently no effort was made. She is one of the Cincinnati employees blamed for the scandal. This failure should be considered highly suspicious.

Nancy Heagney had a laptop failure on November 6th, 2012. This is also well after investigations began, and she is another Cincincati employee. Her original laptop may be recoverable, so we will see what happened there.

Justin Lowe, technical advisor to Tax Exempt Orgs Commissioner, lost data in June 2011, the same month and year Lerner lost her data. Highly suspicious.

Judy Kindell, technical advisor to Lois Lerner as Director of Exempt Organizations, had a hard drive failure in July 2010. That's at the height of the actual targeting operation, but almost a year before Lerner's drive failed in June 2011 (mere days after she received a letter indicating Congressional interest in the issue). What's interesting is that this is listed as an approximate date; unless there is documentation about this failure, it's possible she is misremembering the date. It she puts the failure at July (it is easy to remember what season something happened, because of weather cues), but is wrong about the year, it would be within a month after Lerner's failure and the start of the coverup.

Finally, Ron Shoemaker, who appears to be an IT manager, had his computer crash in March 2011. That's a few months before Lerner's crash and the letter she received. It's certainly questionable, but the timing -- ie, before Lerner received the letter from Rep Camp -- means it could just be coincidence.

2014-09-15 15:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Does the IRS cover-up break any laws in itself?

So, what laws does the IRS scandal cover-up effort break?

Any number of federal criminal statutes might apply to these facts, including Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1343—Wire Fraud; Section 1503—Influencing officer generally; 1505—Obstruction of proceedings before department, agencies and committees; and Section 1519—Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations. Sections 1343 and 1503 are also predicate offenses for the federal Racketeering Statute, Section 1961, which provides that a “pattern of racketeering activity” can be proved by committing two predicate acts. These statutes are punishable by terms of imprisonment varying from five to twenty years.

Assuming any of these actions were deliberate, and can be proven to be deliberate, people will be going to jail for a long time. And Lerner's pleading the 5th makes it really difficult for her to argue against deliberate destruction of her records. A court can't construe her plea as being a negative inference, but the pattern of destruction of records is clear and obvious now.

2014-09-15 14:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

MSNBC poll finds 83% favor kroger shoppers with handguns

Online polls are of course notoriously unreliable and subject to all sorts of unintended (and sometimes intended) bias, but they can sometimes provide useful data by accident. In this case, the poll tells us that the people who are moved to express an opinion by a gun control question are 83% more likely to be pro-gun. That doesn't mean the whole population reflects that 83%, but it means the percentage of the population who will vote on a gun question is strongly pro0-gun -- and that means that making gun control an issue at the polls will be a losing proposition for gun control supporting politicians.

Probably the best success anti-gun politicians can hope for is for the gun control issue to stay out of the news so they can take actions in secret.

2014-09-15 13:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Appeals court hears arguments to shut down NSA database

What struck me from this article on the hearings was a quote:

Senior Judge Robert Sack asked if the prudent thing might not be to wait. "Might we not say—great, we agree with you, but there's other litigation going on," he said. "We want to let the Supreme Court have a kick at the ball. Does it make sense to say, here are our views—and then wait until the DC Circuit speaks, and the Supreme Court has an opportunity to speak? Before actually making an order, an injunction? Suppose we're wrong, and someone blows up a subway train?"

Support the court here issues an injunction (which the NSA will probably ignore), and then someone blows up a subway train? Well, then we have one less subway train, but we have our fundamental freedom from an invasive government back, in theory at least. It's brutal math, but we should not submit to totalitarian government in order to provide a false promise of security.

And then of course there was the argument that the court should not act because other courts, or the Supreme Court, or even Congress, might act. Well, Congress isn't going to shut down the NSA database this year (or probably ever).

2014-09-15 12:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Benghazi security told to stand down during attack

Five security operators responsible for guarding the CIA station in Benghazi, Libya insist they were told to “stand down” the night of the deadly 2012 attacks, arguing the order prevented them from likely saving the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and others.

The claim is being made in 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi to be released this week. The idea that a stand down order was given is not new, of course, but I think this is the first time that the people actually on the ground have published their accounts.

2014-09-15 11:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Misconduct at Department of Justice not punished

A recent FOIA act request has revealed an Inspector General's report detailing

The most shocking example is a sexual harassment case involving an FBI agent who sought sexual relationships with his direct subordinates (9), other FBI agents (8 more), and 29 other women using his government-issued Blackberry, but there is also a case of embezzlement and two cases of bribery that were not prosecuted.

In 80 cases detailed in the report, 27 had evidence of possible criminal wrongdoing, and none of them were prosecuted. The report covers the 2010-2014 time period, which I will note is all from the Obama era. There appears to be a roughly 7% decline in prosecution of public corruption cases under Obama (34% prosecuted under Obama, 41.6% prosecuted under Bush). That's after a case is established and investigated.

2014-09-15 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A study in contrasts

Turns out the same prosecutor who is charging Shaneen Allen with a felony crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison for not knowing that her concealed carry license was not valid in New Jersey is the same one who is giving pro football player Ray Rice a pass on knocking out his wife. An honest mistake that harmed no one is being punished 10x more severely than an actual act of violence.

The problem here is that the laws in New Jersey assume that if you have a firearm with you while outside of your home, you are a criminal and intend to use that firearm to commit murder.

2014-09-15 09:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Breitbart News targeted for audit

In the current climate, this looks really, really political. There is precedent for public critics of the IRS and of Obamacare being audited. As far as I can tell, the audits seem to be applied to people who get a small amount of attention in the news for their policy positions, but are not continually in the news -- meaning they have little ability to direct public attention to abuse once their 15 minutes of fame is up.

2014-09-12 15:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Inspectors General claim stonewalling by DoJ, EPA

I'm not surprised the DoJ is stonewalling. Holder has been doing that practically since he took office. The EPA also has a long history of obstruction within this administration and prior administrations. But this administration is so corrupt that even the Inspector General of the Peace Corps is complaining about being stonewalled while conducting investigations. The friggin' Peace Corps is stonewalling!

2014-09-12 14:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Balko on Police Militarization

2014-09-12 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

White House knew about missing Lerner emails for months

Now we know how the White House found out about the missing emails before Congress did. It was supposedly a casual conversation between friends. Right, whatever. This was a backchannel heads-up to the White House, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if this was the IRS' way of telling the White House that the evidence had been destroyed, so the WH should clean out its email systems too. And they had two months to do just that before anyone else knew anything.

Both parties involve in this casual conversation are lawyers who have an ethical and professional responsibility to maintain the privacy of client information, even leaving aside whatever government rules apply to information being prepared in response to a Congressional subpoena.

2014-09-12 09:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senate moves forward with attempt to stifle free speech

The amendment from Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) would authorize Congress and the states to regulate and limit fundraising and spending on federal candidates. It would also prohibit the Supreme Court from reversing any future campaign finance legislation passed by Congress.

To understand why this is a problem, just imagine campaign finance regulations that permit no money to be spent on campaigns by non-incumbents. Or Republicans. Or Democrats. And no Supreme Court review of any of that.

I'm assuming this isn't even going to pass the Senate with 2/3rds majority, much less the House. But that it is even being seriously proposed and advanced by the Democrat leadership in the Senate is open tyranny.

2014-09-11 14:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The appearance of impropriety

The standard the Department of Justice is supposed to adhere to when conducting investigations is to avoid even the appearance of impropriety; that is, you are supposed to avoid doing things like appointing someone who has made significant political donations to a candidate for president to investigate a scandal potentially involving that president. In refusing to appoint a special prosecutor and instead placing Obama donor Bosserman in charge of the DoJ "investigation" into the IRS scandal, the DoJ has created an appearance of impropriety. And they have now been caught going further than that in attempting to coordinate with minority members of the House Oversight committee to spin the release of certain IRS scandal documents.

They got caught when they called the majority member staff by accident.

There is presently no proof -- but also no serious doubt -- that this coordination is an ongoing thing rather than an attempt to set it up for the first time.

Now, if the DoJ is going to releease documents, there's probably nothing outright illegal about coordinating their release for political purposes, because politicians live and breathe politics. It does, however, present the appearance of impropriety when the DoJ is coordinating leaks concerning an active investigation they are supposedly conducting independently.

(Read More...)

2014-09-11 13:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reaction to Panera Bread anti-gun statement: 85% negative

People don't like it when you give in to bullies. This should be a lesson to other companies targeted by the Demanding Mommies on this issue. If you give in, most people don't like it, even if you are careful not to change actual policies. That's because the press release and public request has messaging value even without a change in policy; Shannon Watts (Demanding Mommy In Chief) knows that, it's why she wants the press release in the first place, and the people know it too.

Of course, the criminals don't listen to press releases, or policy changes for that matter.

Commercial establishments should follow state law on the matter, because that's the best way to stay out of a controversy.

2014-09-11 12:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Can the President declare war?

From The Hill:

While Obama told the House and Senate leaders he would welcome congressional action that demonstrates a unified front, the president told the bipartisan group “he has the authority he needs to take action against (ISIS) in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address,” according to the White House.

I imagine he's basing this on existing authorizations for use of military force in Iraq, but even if Obama has a legal argument, it sets a bad precedent to allow a president to recommence military actions without returning or involving Congress. And I say that while thinking that ISIS is an excellent example of an attempt to set up a terrorist state that needs to be squashed like a bug as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, Obama's ability to get an additional authorization through Congress is hampered by the fact that he is a barely-competent demogogue whose skill at actual politics that involve working with other people is nonexistent.

2014-09-11 11:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Third installment of Atlas Shrugged movie opens this weekend

But in only about 300 theaters. The prior installments have been.... watchable... for fans of the book, and are not recommended for anyone who isn't already a fan of the book. Which is not exactly high praise.

2014-09-11 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DoJ hiding former employee linked to IRS scandal

“Despite notifying [Oversight and Government Reform] Committee staff that the [Justice] Department no longer employs Mr. Strelka, the department has refused to assist the committee in speaking to Mr. Strelka directly,” Jordan wrote. “The department’s efforts to prevent the committee from learning Mr. Strelka’s whereabouts suggest the department has cause for keeping him from speaking with the committee.”

Stelka was for a time the DoJ lawyer defending the IRS against FOIA lawsuits related to the IRS targeting. He was previously a member of the IRS exempt organizations division, reporting to Lerner and maintaining a relationship with her after he left to work for the DoJ, and had been asked to "be on the lookout" for a Tea Party organizations while he was working for the IRS.

He is no longer working for the Department of Justice, and Congress now wants to talk to him, but the DoJ is refusing to provide any contact information. What possible legitimate reason could they have for not providing any?

None; the only purpose can be to delay the investigation as long as possible.

2014-09-11 09:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

There can be only one

The Second Amendment Foundation has taken the quickening of the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Whether the soul of both organizations will live on as one remains to be seen.

Personally, I think the JPFO organization was a valuable voice for saying things that were not politically correct, but should have been. The decision to merge was a somewhat controversial one, but it sounds like this was a situation where not many alternatives were available. All we can do at this point is hope for the best.

2014-09-08 15:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Open Carry advocate acquited in jury trial

Army veteran Michael Keoughan, arrested in January while open carrying in Andrews, Texas, was found not guilty by a six-member jury this week.

This seems like the right outcome. Police charging a man for carrying a shotgun and black powder revolver peacefully and openly in Texas (where doing both things are legal under the letter of the law) for disorderly conduct is a clear and blatant attempt to get around the open carry laws. Merely being armed is not "disorderly" if those arms are not threatening anyone.

2014-09-08 14:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Democrats still claiming IRS abuse was unbiased

They can't defend the indefensible, so they pretend it didn't happen even as more emails disappear.

What concerns me is that the Senate Democrats have backed the IRS to the hilt. It seems likely they are doing that because they were involved in pressuring the IRS to take action; more concerning, though, is the implication that if that defense is successful, such abuse will not only continue but grow worse. The Democrats appear to have abandoned the principle of a neutral civil service entirely.

2014-09-08 13:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Radley Balko explains how the system keeps poor people poor

Part of the problem with a regulatory state like ours is that it gets in the way of people at the lower end of the economic ladder. You can't drive unless you can afford car insurance, registration, and a car that will both run and pass safety inspections. These are sensible regulations. But if you don't have those things, you can't drive to your job in order to make money so that you can pay for them. It's a catch-22 unless you can find a way to bootstrap yourself, something most parents can do for their children... unless their parents are also caught in a similar trap.

2014-09-08 12:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Demanding Mommie has restraining order, possesses firearms anyway

Erika Quinn who described herself as a Moms Demand Action leader for Oklahoma, was ordered by the courts to remain 300 yards or more away from the children named in the order, as well as surrender any and all firearms that she may own.

The ironic thing here is that while Erika Quinn has been calling for stronger background check laws on behalf of Moms Demand Action, she appears to have had a restraining order taken out against her... and possessed firearms, possibly in violation of that order, but certainly in violation of the position of her organization.

2014-09-08 11:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that Democrat War on Women rhetoric

Two issues dogged Taylor. First, in 2011, Taylor, in his capacity as district attorney, decided in response to a ten percent budget cut, to stop prosecuting misdemeanor cases that involved domestic battery and violence against women. That created an outcry among Kansas women’s groups. Then the next year, Taylor and the District Attorney’s office were hit by gender and race discrimination suits, several of which remain unresolved.

Taylor is the nominee of the Democrat party for the Senate seat in Kansas.

2014-09-08 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Oral arguments in NSA telephony case

Ars Technica has an article about the arguments. C-Span has the arguments themselves.

2014-09-08 09:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

President Coward

2014-09-06 16:07:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS says it has lost emails from 5 more employees

This makes a total of 25 people in the Obama administration who have lost emails subpeona'd by Congress just in connection with the IRS investigation, never mind all the others. And in other news, they aren't even trying to hide the coverup anymore -- when the Washington Post asked the IRS why they had destroyed Lerner's Blackberry instead of trying to recover data from it (after the Congressional inquiry had already begun, remember), the IRS had no explanation.

2014-09-05 19:05:11.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch has new IRS documents refering to a secret project

The documents announced by Judicial Watch contain an admission that the donor lists being demanded by the IRS from targeted organizations were necessary only as input to a "secret research project" of some kind rather than for the ordinary and lawful administration of tax law, and a belief from Lerner that the Congressional inquiries into the IRS were "dangerous".

“Again, Judicial Watch has uncovered more shocking emails from the IRS, forced out by a lawsuit and a federal court,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Now we learn the stunning news that Obama’s IRS had a ‘secret research program’ using illicitly-obtained confidential donor lists of conservative and Tea Party organizations that opposed President Obama’s agenda or reelection. With all this IRS abuse, it is no wonder Lois Lerner said that questions by Congress and others were ‘dangerous.’ And it is well past time that President Obama should be held to account about his repeated and recent falsehoods about his IRS scandal. Next up: Judicial Watch will ask Judge Sullivan for help in requiring the Obama IRS to stop its obstruction and disclose the no-longer-missing emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials.”

Keep in mind that Lerner was well aware of the risks of a Congressional inquiry. Regardless of whether her hard drive's failure was deliberate or natural, she has admittedly advised her subordinates to be careful what they put in writing and inquired about whether instant messaging within the IRS was subject to Congressional inquiry.

The stuff they have fought for years now to conceal from Congress, and that we are now seeing dribbled out in bits and pieces when they have no other choice, is the stuff that they were willing to put into writing. The stuff they talked about via instant messaging or on the phone or in person is likely much worse.

2014-09-05 14:59:07.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bloomberg buys astroturf attacking businesses

Bitter has details, but it amounts to a demand that companies targeted by the Demanding Mommies issue a press release that can be shown to politicians or Bloomberg will buy a large ad campaign against your company's preexisting gun policy of "follow the local laws and don't worry about it".

2014-09-04 15:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New Gun Announcement

Borepatch has the ad. I've been looking for one since they came out, but I can't even find a review copy! These things are harder to find than the Keltec KSG!

2014-09-04 14:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The threat level is rising

A Libyan airport has fallen into terrorist hand, along with several large planes. Some of the planes have a range covering up to 9000 miles. It's seven days till 9/11.

2014-09-04 11:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun dealer records confiscated in New York

Looks like a shop was selling "bullet button" guns and someone converted one back. The authorities confiscated his sales records at virtual gunpoint. Anyone who bought one had better figure out a course of action quick.

For an extra dose of stupid, the police did not want to physically return to his store to pick up the they records. They wanted the records emailed. Because that's secure.

And if you don't like it, shut up.

2014-09-04 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Verizon to pay almost $8M for violating customers' privacy

Note that it is paying that fine to the US government as a penalty for marketing to their existing customers using their personal information. So far, neither Verizon nor any other service provider has been required to pay a fine for allowing the US Government to spy on their customers for purposes far more nefarious than a marketing campaign.

2014-09-04 09:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner ignored complaints about union political expenditures

In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.

Lerner wrote, “We looked at the information you provided regarding organizations that report substantial amounts of political activity and lobbying expenditures on the DOL Form LM-2, but report little to no political expenditures on the Form 990 filed with the IRS.”

“We believe this difference in reporting does not necessarily indicate that the organization has incorrectly reported to either the DOL or the IRS,” Lerner concluded.

It's not a smoking gun of illegal activity, but it is further evidence of favoritism. Cracking down on conservative and tea party organizations while letting labor unions skate by without even a close examination is suggestive.

We're not likely to see a smoking gun email suddenly appear. We may get lucky with the backup tapes, but we know from her surviving emails that Lerner was careful what she put into writing.

What do we have, however, is compelling: a person of interest pleading the 5th, a public admission of fault with a planted question at a press conference to get ahead of an inspector general's report, a continually changing story, a shocking series of "accidents" resulting in the destruction of evidence from at least 20 different people, a pattern of delay and outright obstruction of justice by the officials in charge of the investigation, and a whole series of horror stories from victims of the abuse that remain unanswered.

2014-09-03 12:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why the DoJ cannot be trusted to investigate the IRS

It’s highly unlikely the Department of Justice will issue criminal referrals resulting from the IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservative organizations for extra scrutiny. After all, one surviving email from Lois Lerner to Nikole Flax, then Chief of Staff to acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, said the “DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond [to the Tea Party], but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs.”

The targeting idea, it seems, did not originate with Lerner but President Obama’s mafia consigliere, Attorney General Eric Holder. Lerner, however, wanted to increase the firepower of the government juggernaut by bringing in the Federal Election Commission. “There are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for [Tea Party tax-exempt] c4s,” said Lerner.

Because the Department of Justice was involved in the targeting as well.

Who could possibly be powerful enough to coordinate political targeting efforts at the DoJ, IRS, FEC, and other agencies?

2014-09-03 11:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ye bloody gods, I am out of patience with this

So some artist has posted a picture of a mother hugging her son. The son has his hands up. Both are black. The caption says "No one should have to teach their children this [meaning the hands-up-don't-shoot posture] in the USA." The artwork is of course referring to the shooting of Michael Brown, who was certainly not a child and judging by the autopsy results, probably did not have his hands up when he was shot. But that's not the point.

The point is that I've seen this sort of thing before. I remember an article from a few months or maybe a little over a year back that was written by a black columnist on the subject of the Trayvon Martin shooting. (This is a more recent column on the same subject) The column was lamenting the need that black parents have to teach their children, when interacting with police, to be polite, and obedient, and damned near servile ("Yes sir officer sir whatever you say sir I am not resisting sir") when interacting with a police officer.

The columnist was horribly sad, and blamed racism for the fact that he had to have "the talk" with his kids, especially his sons, about how to submit to a police officer so they don't get shot.

I thought it was horribly sad too, but I was with him all the way to the point where he started to blame racism for the whole thing. Because while I am caucasian, not black, and do not have the life experiences of a black man growing up, that columnist, being black, likewise does not have the life experiences of a white man growing up. And thus, I can be pretty sure that he doesn't know that I got the same damned talk about obeying the police that he did.

Be nice to the officer. Be very, very polite. Do what he tells you, unless you think he's likely to just kill you right there. Even then, it's probably a good idea to do what he tells you because if you resist he's legally justified in shooting you right there.

And this artist is making the same mistake.

It's not racism, people. Everyone gets "the talk". The police will shoot you dead on the spot if you resist, and even if you beat the rap you won't beat the ride. They don't care what race you are. If you twitch the wrong way when an officer is having a bad day, "officer safety" takes precedence over your life whether it is a white life, a black life, a brown life, a yellow life, a red life, or a purple life.

2014-09-03 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Which authors influenced your political philosophy?

Lots of people note Heinlein as a major influence. He certainly was on me; The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress was pretty important in my developing political philosophy. I'll also name Daniel Keys Moran, who is a lesser known author with a very different, but still fundamentally libertarian, perspective.

2014-09-03 09:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

I remember when people in government were called public servants

... now, they seem to think they are public masters.

They are using facial recognition software to record and identify everyone who attends a music festival and refusing to inform the public about what they were doing or release any records about it after the fact. I don't care what they think they were doing, the public has a right to know about it and a reasonable expectation that the police won't be videotaping them attending a musical event. Private individuals, like the people putting on the event, might be; police are different.

On the federal level, they are refusing to release the criteria for the federal no-fly list. What that means is, they can pick someone -- anyone -- and ban them from flying, for any reason or no reason at all, with no due process, no appeal, and no way to even know what could get you on the list, much less how to get off the list.

This sort of thing makes me sick.

2014-09-02 18:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Say, what is the Department of Homeland Security threat level again?

Oh, that's right. They replaced the simple color-code system with a web page that hasn't been updated since 2013 and displays no alerts.

Meanwhile, google tells me that the threat level is rising.

2014-09-02 17:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Vote buying... with cocaine?!

A developing federal investigation has brought up allegations that a Hidalgo County Commissioner paid for votes with bags of cocaine while other politicians paid for votes also with cash, cigarettes, marijuana and beer.

Well, I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense. Everyone involved has a huge incentive to keep their mouths shut.

2014-09-02 16:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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