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2016: Rick Perry semi-officially in the race

Legal Insurrection has the details. I'm going to take a wait and see approach here.

2015-07-03 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama blames Obamacare on Republicans

Washington ExaminerHe reminded Republicans that some of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act — most notably its individual mandate to buy coverage — were once supported by some conservatives, although its Medicaid expansion and some other big parts of the law stem more from liberal thought.

An "individual mandate to buy coverage" is "conservative" only if the alternative is a complete government takeover of the health care system, ie, single-payer... AND the "conservative" is a Massachusetts liberal.

Washington Examiner
"The Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it," he said.

I think we can take this to mean that Obamacare has jumped the shark.

Of course, he will still veto any changes.

2015-07-03 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner email backup tapes were deleted on the night shift

TaxProfDespite a subpoena order to provide documents, IRS employees working night shifts demagnetized the contents of Lerner’s’ computers, according to the inspectors general. They said Koskinen failed to inform the employees about the May 2013 subpoena order to preserve the documents.

Nothing says a sneaky, deniable operation like the night shift deleting the backup tapes. If it was a normal procedure, the day shift would have done it.

2015-07-03 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary clearly not in the loop as SecState

One of the released emails from her private server says:
Reason"I heard on the radio that there is a Cabinet mtg this am. Is there? Can I go? If not, who are we sending?"

Clearly, Obama valued her input into his policy discussions appropriately. But this email is still kind of pathetic.

2015-07-03 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The states play surveillance games, too

Ars TechnicaThe New York Police Department (NYPD) will soon have the ability to track stolen or wanted cars even if they are well outside of the five boroughs.

The NYPD is set to sign a $442,500 deal over three years with Vigilant Solutions to subscribe to the company’s massive private automated license plate reader (ALPR or LPR) database, according to a recent contract awards hearing. The database reportedly contains 2.2 billion records.

So, does this database include just the stolen or wanted cars (what exactly makes a car "wanted" to the NYPD?), or will it include an entry for every time one of the scanners saw any license plate, stolen or not?

I think we need a constitutional amendment to restrict the government's ability to aggregate data. If you want to have your police force look for a particular license plate, that's fine. If you want to have a list of license plates to look for, with appropriate probable cause requirements, that's fine. If you want to have a computer with a camera watch for license plates on the list, I'm OK with that.

But if the computer keeps a historical database, and all the other computers in the country contribute those observations to a single national database, then you have created a surveillance state. The only place I can think of to draw the line is at the point of history and aggregation. (I'm open to better ideas). Until we find a way to draw and enforce that line, things are only going to get worse.

2015-07-02 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another case of unjust asset forfeiture

Daily Signal“The government has a financial incentive to broadly apply the forfeiture laws,” Johnson said. “When an agency like the IRS takes money under the forfeiture laws, that money goes back into the pockets of the agency and it’s available to the IRS to fund law enforcement activities without appropriation from Congress. It’s a powerful incentive for law enforcement to abuse civil forfeiture laws.”

It is, in fact, an end run around the Congressional power of the purse, both the spending power and the taxation power. In the case that prompted this story, the man will get his money back. But that's the exception, not the rule.

2015-07-02 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Japan building a new warship

The American InterestA 24,000-ton helicopter carrier has formally entered the fleet of Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) on Wednesday…

Just in time for World War III. Or IV, depending on how you count the Cold War.

2015-07-02 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Completely, utterly transparent...

A political "journalist" (aka a Democrat operative with a byline) has three reasons that the public hates political journalism (ie, him). Two of them are completely wrong. The second one is mildly interesting.

Hot AirHis second suggested reform is to Go easy on the spouses. Again, I suppose the places where this occurs are not the most shining moments for reporters, but does anyone honestly think that’s the worm at the core of this rotten apple? Tagging the spouses of candidates may not be pretty, but it’s hardly a driver of this discussion.

Has there been a big problem tagging the spouses of politicians for criticism lately? Not that I've noticed. But there's about to be when 2016 gets moving, so this is clearly battlespace preparation for Hillary 2016, given who she's married to and what he's gotten up to. It's so transparently this, rather than some sort of sincere moment of self-examination, that the original author should quit his job and ask Microsoft for a job selling Windows.

This is why the article was written. That's it; full stop; no other reasons need apply.

2015-07-02 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Since the media is so busy distracting us with gay marriage...

I will take a moment to point out that Greece appears ready to default on its debt, possibly resulting in leaving the European Union, and Puerto Rico's governor has announced that it cannot repay it's own debt.

The latter is a US territory.

Ladies and gentlemen, the black swan is working with a vocal coach and practicing the aria.

2015-07-01 13:06:09.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Alan Gura on felon in possession litigation

He makes excellent points.

2015-07-01 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The war on women is really about money

InstapunditThe most remarkable aspect of the recipient list, however, is the apparent lack of any grants to groups that focus on preventing rape or sexual assault. The names of recipient organizations drive this conclusion. A single grant to Planned Parenthood is as close as NEO seems to come to funding sexual health or safety. And, yet, the “Take Action!” cry from “The Hunting Ground” states that NEO ensures “that your tax-deductible donation supports student-led campaigns, public education, policy reform, and prevention approaches.” Wouldn’t that goal best be ensured by an organization with an established track record on sexual assault? There are many of them out there.


Gosh, if they actually tried to do something about the things they spent so much time complaining about, they might not have anything to complain about... and then who would give them money?

2015-07-01 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why the lynching stopped

Sheriff Clarke"Well, as the NRA and other groups started to want to use me as a symbol of the Second Amendment" — a black voice — I started reading up. I became fascinated. What really struck me was the black tradition of arms... I thought, Wow! This isn’t the black history I grew up reading about.

"Instead, what jumped off the pages was the reason the Klu Klux Klan became near-extinct. Once blacks were able to arm themselves to protect against kidnapping and lynching, things really began to change in terms of black freedom.”

Free men are armed for their own defense. Men who can defend themselves are free to speak their mind on other issues.

2015-07-01 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS gift tax reform legislation introduced in the House

Town HallCongress should act to protect citizens of all political persuasions from similar politically-motivated targeting in the future. Thankfully the House Ways and Means Committee is currently working on legislation that would help. The bill prohibits the IRS from applying the federal gift tax to contributions to tax-exempt organizations.

The IRS wants to take your money when you receive it and when you spend it.

Why?

Because the government thinks they can spend it better than you can.

They have forgotten who they work for.

2015-07-01 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS Targeting still going on

CommentaryThe story notes that this contradicts new IRS director John Koskinen’s claim that the agency “completed” its set of recommendations to get the corruption under control. As of this week, it’s still taking place. What this means in practice is that these groups, some of which applied several years ago, are still in limbo, unable to proceed. The point is to destroy the groups by bankrupting and suffocating them. Politico quotes a former IRS official using the agency’s term for this: “death by bureaucratic delay.”

The key here is not only the ideological targeting aspect. Karl Rove makes an obvious target, and the other groups still being delayed are probably just cover to prevent the IRS from being accused of blocking only Rove, an even more transparently political move. However, the failure to decide is just as important. If the IRS were to approve or deny the applications, the respective organizations could move on or adjust their business model. So long as they are kept in limbo, they are effectively paralyzed. And from Obama's perspective, that's even better than a denial. After all, deny Rove's rather well-funded group and he's likely to bring the issue up in court. It's much easier to defend the idea that you haven't made up your mind yet.

2015-06-30 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Arms on Campus: A Texas proposal and Colorado's history

Texas is considering a law allowing for concealed carry on campus, which prompts the Volokh Conspiracy to look at Colorado's history on that issue. Spoiler: Concealed carry licensees are extremely law abiding.

2015-06-30 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI disrupts ISIS plot to attack military base in US

Washington Post via Instapundit“Authorities arrested an Illinois Army National Guardsman after he attempted to travel to Libya and fight with the Islamic State as well as the soldier’s cousin who was plotting to attack a U.S. military installation and kill scores, federal prosecutors announced Thursday. Hasan Rasheed Edmonds, 22, and his cousin Jonas Marcel ­Edmonds, 29, both of Aurora, Ill., were charged with conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.”

The left likes to bitch and whine about how society treats the "other". Occasionally, I like to remind them that the "other" would very much like to kill, torture, and maim us.

Our options to respond to that are somewhat limited.

Experiments suggest that singing Kumbaya will not work.

2015-06-30 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

People barred from possessing guns can still own them

Of Arms and the LawThe issue was whether a person convicted of a felony, who had previously turned in their guns, can after conviction sell or transfer their guns to someone not barred from possessing them.

Another step forward for gun rights -- and property rights.

2015-06-30 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obamacare security breach

Judicial WatchIn fact, just this week Judicial Watch obtained documents from the government that show a possible mass breach of the privacy of innocent Americans involving the disastrous Obamacare website (Healthcare.gov). The records, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), also reveal that top officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) knew of massive security risks with the healthcare website but chose to roll it out without resolving the problems.

You'll get your health care from the government, he said. It'll be secure, he said. You can keep your doctor, he said. You can afford it, he said.

He was lying.

2015-06-29 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Treason or Blackmail

It seems that the new Senate Majority Leader failed to replace Senate Parliamentarian MacDonough when he "took control" of the Senate after the 2014 elections. Now, MacDonough claims that Obamacare, which the Democrats had to pass using a technique called reconciliation with less than 60 votes, cannot be repealed through the same mechanism.

CNS NewsCNSNews.com asked Cruz, “Given that the Senate enacted Obamacare in a reconciliation measure that required only 51 votes, would you support repealing Obamacare with only 51 votes?”

“Absolutely,” Cruz responded. “If it can be passed with reconciliation, it can be repealed with reconciliation. And we need to use every procedural means possible to fight to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare.”


But McConnell doesn't want to do it:

The Hill via The Other McCainShe was appointed to her post by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2012 and is respected by both sides of the aisle.
McConnell told The Hill in 2012 that it wasn’t necessary to replace MacDonough if Republicans won the majority.
The Kentucky Republican has also refused to commit to using reconciliation on ObamaCare. Last fall, McConnell appeared to downplay expectations on a 51-vote strategy, telling Fox News that it would take 60 votes and a presidential signature to nullify the healthcare law.

In other words, McConnell doesn't want to repeal it. He just wants to run on repealing it. Forever.

And that means he's either betrayed the people who elected him, or is being blackmailed with NSA intercept data. Or both; it could easily be both.

Not that this is news. It's just nice to point out the details occasionally.

2015-06-29 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch files FOIA lawsuit seeking Lerner hard drive records

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch announced today that on February 18, 2015, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking “any and all records related to the destruction of damaged hard drives from IRS employee computers from January 1, 2010, to the present.” The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v Internal Revenue Service (No 1:15-cv-00237)). The lawsuit is part of an investigation into the Obama IRS’ claim that the emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials, who are being investigated for abuses of Obama’s political opponents, were contained on hard drives that were subsequently damaged and destroyed.

If Obama was a Republican, he would no longer be President. Judicial Watch deserves a big thank you for staying on this case.

2015-06-29 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Our partners in peace for the middle east are really doing an atom-smashing good job

While Obama negotiates with Iran to remove economic sanctions intended to prevent them obtaining nuclear weapons, the Iranian Navy is busy firing on ships traversing in international waters near their country and Saudi Arabia has decided to purchase nuclear weapons from Pakistan.

Because the Middle East does such a good job getting along with each other before they acquired doomsday weapons. And it's not like half the nations there are run by insanely rich sponsors of terrorism or anything.

2015-06-29 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Chicago police still running secret interrogation and detention facility

The GuardianAs three more people came forward detailing their stories of being “held hostage” and “strapped” inside Homan Square without access to an attorney or an official public record of their detention by Chicago police, officials and activists said the allegations merited further inquiry and risked aggravating wounds over community policing and race that have reached as high as the White House.

Let me just point out here that Chicago is Obama's home town and is currently run by Rahm Emanuel, one of Obama's chief henchmen. If there are issues of racism and community policing here, they can be laid squarely at the feet of the left. And while I can't speak to race, a secret detention center that doesn't allow those detained their normal civil rights is one hell of a "community policing" problem.

2015-06-28 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dem Rep Watson Coleman wants to pass ammunition control

The Trentonian“There are plenty of ways we monitor the purchase of firearms but when it comes to ammunition, regulation seems to stop,” Watson Coleman said at a press conference Monday joined by local leaders at the Serenity Garden in Trenton, the first time she has proposed legislation in her district. “There is nothing keeping an individual intending to commit a large-scale atrocity from rapidly and anonymously stockpiling the needs to do so.”

I think the fact that she is proposing legislation in her district is an acknowledgement that it will never pass and that she is doing it for local political support rather than actually hoping it will pass Congress, or even for national media attention. This is strictly a pander-to-the-local-voters move.

That said, she's now on the record supporting:

The TrentonianThe legislation would require federally licensed ammunition dealers to confirm the identity of online buyers by verifying a picture I.D. in-person after a purchase is made. The bill would also require ammunition sellers to report sales of more than 1,000 rounds across five consecutive days to the attorney general if the individual is not a dealer, she said.

If she thinks this will actually stop mass shooters, she's nuts. Showing ID is easy and basically none of the people who have committed mass murder would have a problem doing that. (They might have a problem passing a background check, but her legislation would not require one, and there are ways of getting around the background checks for firearms that would work equally well for ammunition). Further, the only people she will catch with her 1,000-round notification requirement are serious shooters who go through that amount of ammunition regularly; someone planning a mass shooting can easily shock the nation and get on TV with under a hundred rounds. With careful aim they could do it with a 6-shot revolver and have a round left over for the suicide shot.

If it actually passes, the only thing this will accomplish is to provide the government with a list of people who shoot more than 1,000 rounds on a regular basis and don't mind the government knowing about it. The ones who do mind will be trivially able to stay off the list without breaking any laws.

Oh, and it will effectively shut down online ammunition says, which will create a whole new set of ways to annoy gun owners and make their hobby more expensive. Undoubtedly the data will also be fed into the government panopticon, too.

2015-06-28 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Felon-with-a-gun case tossed out on gun rights

The judge reasons that the defendant was not a violent felon. He was convicted previously of carrying a concealed weapon (the felony charge), and has some violent criminal issues in his past that did not rise to felonies.

I think this is probably the right call in this case. Misdemeanors, even violent ones, do not result in a lifetime prohibition on firearms possession. This is appropriate, because denying someone their right to defend themselves is a big deal. It seems that the only felony conviction in this case is for carrying a concealed firearm, not doing anything violently illegal with it. As such, the felony conviction would amount to a catch-22; he can't possess a firearm because he was once caught carrying a concealed firearm.

The decision is as-applied, meaning that the law in general stays in place; only this specific individual's case is thrown out.

We should probably be wary of anti-gun judges trying to throw out some questionable cases to troll for negative PR.

2015-06-28 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

2016: Why I oppose Mitt Romney for President

I sincerely believe that Romney is an intelligent, hard-working, and moral individual. In business he has experienced some success. In politics, particularly in Massachusetts, he has also experienced some success. If elected president, I believe he would do his best and, had he won in 2008 or 2012, we would not be facing the same problems today; in fact we would probably be much better off as a nation than we are now.

However, he did not win in 2008; he did not win in 2012; and running him in 2016 would be asking for the same result again.

Furthermore, while Romney may compare favorably to whoever the Democrats nominate, in his history and his campaigns he has repeatedly failed to inspire his party. Worse, he represents exactly the kind of establishment politics that will keep us on a steady course off the cliff. While I believe Romney is head and shoulders above Obama in terms of competence and moral virtues, his policies would likely favor gun control, expansion of government, and preservation of government control over health care and the economy.

Romney is well suited to be the Republican governor of a deep blue state. If the Democrats nominated him to run for President, I would applaud their return to some version of political sanity. If he chooses to run for Senate, as he has been rumored to be considering, he could do well depending on who and where. But he is the wrong man to run for President as a Republican in this environment. We need an inspirational change of direction, not a competent manager to continue the current trends.

2015-06-28 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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