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Kansas passes Constitutional Carry; Governor's signature still needed, so send encouragement

Shall Not Be QuestionedIf you live in, near, or have some relationship to Kansas, be sure to contact Governor Brownback to ensure we get a signature here. Remember, Bloomberg tried pretty hard to stop Constitutional Carry in Kansas, and it would be an awful shame to get this far and fail because the Governor didn’t hear from enough of us. If a signature is forthcoming, Kansas will join Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Arkansas to become the sixth state to pass Constitutional Carry.

Make sure the governor knows which way the wind is blowing. Politely, please.

Fri Mar 27 15:01:59 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Harry Reid retires; endorses Schumer to replace him as Senate Minority Leader

Washington ExaminerHarry Reid endorsed Chuck Schumer to succeed him as Senate minority leader after he retires in 2016.[Link added]

The Democrats are going full gun control.

Never go full gun control.

2015-03-27 14:59:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legislation to end online anonymity advancing in multiple states

TechdirtA few weeks ago, we wrote about Florida's proposed law, which would require any website that hosts audio or video to reveal their name and address. This could have disastrous consequences for whistleblowers or anonymous critics. In the US, the Supreme Court has long recognized the importance of protecting anonymity as a part of the First Amendment, but this bill does away with that completely, just because the movie and music industries think it's necessary to stop piracy (even though it won't do that). Unfortunately, it appears that despite widespread criticism, the Florida bill is expected to move forward this week. If you happen to live in Florida, the EFF has set up a tool to help you alert your elected representatives to why such a bill is a terrible and unconstitutional idea.

You can try to stop the Florida version. It's too late in Tennessee. There's another effort in California.

These idiots need to stop trying to destroy the internet.

2015-03-27 14:48:35.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rubio seeks gun rights votes by repealing DC gun laws

Washington PostTwo high-profile Republicans in Congress, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), have introduced legislation that would undo the District’s gun laws, which are among the strictest in the nation.

I have mixed feelings about this one. Yes, DC should have reasonable gun laws. That should go without saying. This legislation would undoubtedly improve them. However, there are benefits to dragging DC kicking and screaming into gun rights by a succession of court orders, too; the city government is such an easy target that it's almost better to just get the courts to keep striking down laws and making favorable precedents until we get to something acceptable. (and THEN Congress can improve on the results...)

Also, Rubio's motives on this one are pretty transparent. He wants to shore up his gun rights support before announcing a run for president, since Cruz just announced and Cruz is in position to sweep the field from a gun rights perspective. While making the effort is nice, Rubio's legislation isn't going to do much to help him compete with Cruz on that front, especially when an Obama veto is basically inevitable.

2015-03-27 14:40:23.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Scott Walker wobbling on amnesty?

Wall Street Journal via Legal InsurrectionWisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told a private dinner of New Hampshire Republicans this month that he backed the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and to eventually become eligible for citizenship, a position at odds with his previous public statements on the matter.

Mr. Walker’s remarks, which were confirmed by three people present, vary from the call he has made for “no amnesty”—a phrase widely employed by people who believe immigrants who broke the law by entering the country without permission shouldn’t be awarded legal status or citizenship.

…“He said no to citizenship now, but later they could get it,” said Bill Greiner, an owner of the Copper Door. Ken Merrifield, mayor of Franklin, N.H., who also attended, said Mr. Walker proposed that illegal immigrants should “get to the back of the line for citizenship” but not be deported.

Actually, it's worse than "wobbling"; it's an accusation, verified by three of the people present and denied by Walker, that he's saying one thing in his public speeches and another thing to the private audience at expensive fund raising events. It is exactly the kind of pathetic, cowardly two-faced betrayal that politicians are famous for.

If Scott Walker supports amnesty, let him say so. If he thinks he needs to express something more complicated than a yes or a no, let him do that (but understand that a lot of people are going to take anything that isn't a "no" to mean "yes"). However, whatever your position on immigration -- and, frankly, anything else, but immigration is the hot-button issue for politicians telling the people one thing and voting for another right now -- do not lie to us.

You get no trust, no second chances, no oh-I-changed-my-mind on this issue, Scott. You tell us what you really think and then, if elected, you act on that. There is no trust left. None.

Fri Mar 27 12:45:28 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

GOP budget demonstrates how inept the GOP leadership is

The HillRepublicans began to unify around a House GOP budget proposal released Tuesday that would cut spending by $5.5 trillion over the next decade and balance in nine years.

When I'm done throwing up, I'll laugh. Balancing the budget in 9 years is as good as never balancing the budget at all, which is exactly what this budget will do. The budget must be balanced each and every year. Spending today with the promise of spending cuts tomorrow never works.

Not that the Democrats are going to cooperate, but with majorities in both the House and the Senate and the Democrats having helpfully set a precedent for disregarding the filibuster rule already, a balanced budget for the next two years should be an easy win for the GOP. Except that the GOP is led by idiots, cowards, and squishes.

Fri Mar 27 12:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FCC Inspector General investigating internet rules process

The HillThe inspector general for the Federal Communications Commission has opened an investigation into the agency’s process for writing new rules for the Internet, according to the House Oversight Committee.

“It’s my understanding that it’s not an audit, not an inspection, but its an actual investigation,” committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said at the conclusion of a hearing with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The Inspector General system appears to be the only thing in Washington capable of actually investigating wrongdoing. The IRS won't investigate itself and neither will the DOJ.

2015-03-27 11:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump preparing to run for President

Gateway PunditAmerican businessman, investor and TV personality announced he will not renew his contract for his popular show “Apprentice.” Trump will also launch a presidential exploratory committee.

Come on. This is not a serious candidate. After watching his performance pretending to run for president in earlier elections, I concluded that his goal was to steal media attention and donations from the serious candidates while distorting the positions of the party in a way that would harm the party as a whole in the general election.

We can't keep him from running, but we don't have to take him seriously, and we should not.

2015-03-27 10:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Germanwings mass-murder pilot converted to Islam?

Speisa (translated from German) via Gateway PunditAll evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of "radical", ie. devout Muslims , or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder. As a radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert was staying often, it can be assumed that he - as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York - received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.

FOX News InsiderGRN’s Alan Hall reported on tonight’s “On The Record” that police searched Lubitz’s apartment and found something of “significance,” but they would not say what it is. Authorities say it is not a suicide note.

I predicted this. As yet the report is unconfirmed, and it is likely the governments involved will try to keep this element under wraps as long as possible. But the truth is the truth.

2015-03-27 09:23:21.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fracking Earthquakes

Reuters via Irons in the FireThe magnitude 5.5 April 9, 1952, earthquake centered near El Reno affected most of Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas. Damage from the 10:30 a.m. CST earthquake was not extensive, but many people in the epicentral area were alarmed, some to near panic. Portions of chimneys fell in El Reno and Ponca City (intensity VII). Bricks loosened from a building wall and tile facing of commercial buildings bulged at Oklahoma City. Also, plate glass windows were shattered in the business district of El Reno. The total damage amounted to several thousand dollars. Aftershocks were felt on April 11, 15, and 16, July 16, and August 14; an earthquake that was felt (IV) at Holdenville and Wewoka on October 7 apparently was unrelated to the April 9th event. Homes and buildings shook and some persons were awakened (V) at El Reno from the April 16th shock, which occurred 5 minutes after midnight. Felt reports were also received from Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Union City.

In the old days, people blamed such things on the anger of the gods, and I can see why. The earth shakes for hundreds of miles around with no visible cause. You can't deny that it happened, everyone felt it. Everyone was doing something, even if just sleeping, when it hit; each one of them has a possible explanation for why their behavior angered the gods. How could they possibly figure out what was really going on? And why would they do that, when the effort spent on such explanations would inevitably prove useless?

It's much easier to blame the earthquake on the local earth god. Or thunder god. Or just God, a remarkable improvement in efficiency that eliminated the cognitive effort of trying to appease a different god with different rites for every possible phenomenon and replaced it with a single god to appease for everything by being nice rather than mean. In terms of freeing up cognitive resources for useful tasks, monotheism was brilliant.

Of course, that God eventually fell out of fashion because he demanded people behave in useful, productive, and unnatural ways that took effort and discouraged hedonism. Some people decided to replace God with the State, and others decided to replace God with Gaia. The latter are now busy blaming the earthquakes on fracking and devising rituals and taboos to appease their new earth god.

History may not be repeating itself exactly, but it's certainly rapping.

2015-03-27 09:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Agent who covered up Fast and Furious appointed new ATF director

American ThinkerAccording to outgoing Director Jones's sworn testimony of April 2, 2014 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Mr. Brandon was the person who determined disciplinary punishments for all of the ATF personnel involved in Fast and Furious. Brandon was "the ultimate decision maker." Director Jones confirmed that Thomas Brandon did not fire a single person for participation in Fast and Furious.

I'm reminded of an old saying... "Treason doth never prosper, for if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

2015-03-27 09:10:14.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

GOP and Democrats unite to spend money, again

I can explain why the GOP decided to do this now.

They want to get the "doc fix" they pass every year in place permanently under Obama, so they can blame him for it, and take the issue off the table in future budgets.

The problem is, their supporters want them to cut the fucking spending, not increase it. Only 34 Republicans voted against it.

I've been in the third-party wilderness before on matters of principle. When Obama first ran for office, I thought opposing him was important enough to try to work within one of the major parties for a while. Now, that major party holds 2/3rds of government and is, if anything, worse now than when a divided House and Senate managed to vote for sequestration, which at least managed to reduce spending a little bit.

What is it going to take to change things?

I'm hopeful that Cruz will help, but he's just one guy.

2015-03-26 16:59:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Admitted members of the American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention

That's a gun control group that is ashamed to list its members openly, but since some of them have helpfully provided quotes for media use, I am beginning to build a list:

Brian Kavanagh (New York)
Jose R Rodriguez (Texas)
Renny Cushing (New Hampshire)
Barbara Bollier (Kansas)
Stacy Newman (Missouri)

I will try to keep this list up to date if more members reveal themselves.

2015-03-26 12:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

This is why the Middle East can't have nice nuclear arms

Transcript of Friday prayers by MEMRI"Oh nation of Islam, listen to the advice. You are our nation. Oh army of Pakistan, you are a nuclear army. Why do some generals, who have the ability to change history with one swift blow, refrain from doing so? They have nuclear weapons."

Because, inevitably, they would use those weapons. So far, the generals in Pakistan have resisted temptation. But how long will that last with their religious leaders openly calling for nuclear jihad?

2015-03-26 11:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

I do not think those words mean what you think they mean

Ars TechnicaIn his prepared remarks, Wheeler said, "There were no secret instructions from the White House. I did not, as CEO of an independent agency, feel obligated to follow the President’s recommendation. But I did feel obligated to treat it with respect just as I have with the input I received—both pro and con—from 140 Senators and Representatives. Most significantly of all, we heard from nearly four million Americans, who overwhelmingly spoke in favor of preserving a free and open Internet."[Emphasis added]

When those Americans wrote to the FCC requesting the preservation of a free and open Internet, they meant that the government should keep it's damn hands off.

2015-03-26 10:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

I'm not a coffee drinker...

... which will make boycotting Starbucks over this racetogether idiocy quite painless.

2015-03-26 09:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Germanwings airplane crash had one pilot locked out of cockpit

Ace of SpadesA senior military official involved in the investigation described very smooth, very cool conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

"The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer," the investigator said. "And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer."

He said, "You can hear he is trying to smash the door down."

They aren't releasing the audio from the black box, but they are willing to describe it, and what they describe sounds like a terrorist attack. They also aren't releasing the names of the pilots, and of course officially denying any connection to terrorism, which they always do... especially when it really is terrorism. It all adds up to an obvious conclusion. And there have been a number of other planes going mysteriously missing lately, too.

The sad truth is the authorities will deny the terrorism whenever they possibly can. But it does not change the truth.

2015-03-26 00:34:54.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

White House office declares itself immune to FOIA

Western JournalismAs of Tuesday, the White House Office of Administration will no longer have to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The White House contends this move is consistent with court rulings.

USA Today reported Monday that a notice is being entered into the Federal Register based on what the White House is describing as “well-settled legal interpretations of the Office of Administration’s status under Federal law and Executive Orders, including the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, and Executive Order 13526.”

In other words, while Hillary has to play games with running her own email servers to keep her emails out of public view while serving in public office, Obama can just pick up his pen and make it so.

2015-03-25 12:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ted Cruz and the IRS

Washington PostWell, sorry to say it, but someone has to collect the money that keeps our government up and running, funding everything from Medicare to the military. The IRS is a cash-flow-positive agency, collecting an estimated $255 for every $1 appropriated to it, and dumping it would vastly widen existing government deficits. This is something fiscal conservatives, Cruz included, presumably already know. Yet the view that the IRS’s budget should be minimized, and perhaps zeroed out entirely, is peculiarly popular on the right.

Yes, someone will need to collect taxes as long as there is a government that needs taxes in order to operate. That doesn't mean that the current IRS and its huge bureaucracy, abusive rules, excessive powers, absurd fine print, and vast industry of hangers-on and enablers who write the software to enable ordinary people to possibly, hopefully, pay their taxes under penalty of perjury without filling out any of the 50 or so pages of forms incorrectly.

And it certainly doesn't mean that the current agency, which demands all of the above from us while penalizing those whose politics do not comport with Washington DC groupthink, should be the agency to do that collection.

And it absolutely does not mean that we should put up with being harassed and delayed and oppressed for our political views while the government that is supposed to serve the people weaponizes the tax collection system in an effort to coerce the people.

Obviously, abolishing the IRS would need to involve also replacing it with something to collect taxes. It doesn't mean that the replacement must be the same as the current IRS. It doesn't mean that the system has to be the same. Because taxes and a tax collection system are considered necessary does not mean that we must settle for the current system.

There are alternatives to a tax code that squeezes the working man while putting loopholes in place at the top and the bottom. The flat tax, the fair tax, a national sales tax, all with appropriate constitutional amendments to ensure they are not abused. We have many options for reform that do not depend on the IRS.

Yes, abolishing the IRS is a drastic action to take. But the events of the last presidency have demonstrated that it is also a necessary action.

Washington PostIf Cruz’s beef with the IRS is instead about whether it has misused its power in the way it enforces congressionally set tax law — an allegation he’s also made repeatedly — more oversight is the solution, not getting rid of the country’s key tax-collection agency altogether. Otherwise, he’ll have a hard time collecting his Senate salary, let alone a presidential one.

More oversight is the solution? More oversight? The IRS investigation has dragged on for years while the IRS lied and stonewalled and refused to turn over documents. Multiple Congresses have convened committees to explore the corruption and abuse of power -- and been able to get nowhere. The IRS executives who broke the law retire with full benefits and enjoy their pensions and bonuses while pleading the 5th amendment before Congress and the President refuses to prosecute the contempt citations Congress has issued.

If the current IRS scandal has demonstrated anything, it is that Congressional oversight of the IRS is completely, utterly ineffective.

The IRS must be abolished.

2015-03-25 11:32:38.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Putin issues nuclear threat

Gateway PunditPutin emerged from the shadows after a ten day absence today and told reporters Russia was ready to use nuclear weapons to secure Crimea.

I don't know if that's just bravado and machismo to distract from his brief absence, or if he's serious. Either way, it's a bad sign.

2015-03-25 11:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ted Cruz and the Flat Tax

ForbesShould Cruz continue to profess the desire for a flat tax, the Democratic opposition will be downright jubilant, as they will be able to further the perceived economic divide and distrust of Republican candidates by explaining that the institution of a flat tax will increase the tax burden of many lower and middle-class taxpayers while immensely benefitting the wealthy.

The truth is that a flat tax is fundamentally superior to the current progressive tax system for a number of reasons. Functionally, right now, the poor get actual benefits paid to them from the tax system through the Earned Income Tax Credit along with various other credits and deductions, and of course leaving out the actual benefit programs for food, housing, unemployment, and so on. These people are incentivized to vote for higher taxes on everyone else, taxes they do not have to pay.

On the other end of the spectrum, some corporations with political connections and those who inherited their wealth also pay little or nothing in taxes, through the use of clever accounting, special tax loopholes inserted by politicians they helped elect, and the simply fact that taxes are based on income rather than consumption -- and they are wealthy enough to have effectively no personal income because they are wealthy enough that they do not have to work. These people have little incentive to reduce the taxes they aren't paying personally anyway.

The people in the middle, however, those who are working to secure an income for themselves and their families, those who are not yet rich but working hard to become rich; these people pay through the nose to a tax system that penalizes them more the harder they work.

By switching to a flat tax, the incentives across the political spectrum will be corrected. The IRS can be largely eliminated, along with its horrible bureaucracy and repressive rules and political bias. The incessant political desire to trade favors in the tax system for campaign donations will be reduced. The tax preparation industry can be eliminated. People can do their taxes on a postcard -- add up your income for the year, calculate 10% (or whatever the number is) of that, and send it in.

A poor man may send in $1000 from his income of $10,000. Does that seem too much? Surely he will receive more than that in government benefits even without the various tax credits he used to receive, and he can always vote to lower his taxes along with everyone else's taxes.

A hard-working individual may send in $10,000 from his income of $100,000. Does he need the money less than the poor man? Perhaps, but he is already paying 10 times more and receiving fewer government benefits.

A high-earning figure like a celebrity or CEO may bring in $1,000,000, but they will pay $100,000 rather than claiming their latest film didn't make any money because it was all hidden in shell corporations that lost money on paper, and they won't be able to avoid the taxes by employing their family and friends in a tax-exempt charity that just happens to pay for its executives to travel, play golf, and get good PR.

That's what fair looks like. Everyone pays the same rate.

There's a reason they call the current income tax system "progressive".

2015-03-25 11:06:38.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reminder: BATFE still planning ammo ban

The BlazeBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director B. Todd Jones told the Senate on Thursday that it has not given up its effort to create a framework for deciding which ammunition might have to be banned in the United States, and said his agency would reassess how to do that after it reads tens of thousands of comments it received over the last few weeks.

I am convinced that the ATF backed off on the ammo ban for one reason and one reason only: the premature publication of the rules change, which would have been easily challenged in court. They published the rule by accident, or without realizing they needed to follow procedures; and then they rushed to get a comment period for the change and hoped no one would notice that the publication predated the comment period. When Katie Pavlich noticed, they had to back down and arrange a proper comment period. But they will be back.

The Blaze“We’re going to take the input in,” Jones told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday. “We’re not going to move forward without analyzing the nearly 90,000 comments from all spectrums, with a sense of figuring out how we do this rationally and [in] a common-sense way that first and foremost for us protects our law enforcement officers in compliance with LEOPA.”

... and the above is the BATFE director establishing that he is going to have an open comment period and follow it and actually pay attention to the comments and consider them as input... before he reaches the same decision he reached before.

The thing is... the rational, common-sense way to do this that takes into account the 90,000 comments from all spectrums... is to not do it. But that option is clearly not acceptable to the gun control fetishists in the Obama Administration,

2015-03-25 10:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton Foundation may have raised $170 million from foreign sources

CBS NewsThe foundation has raised at least $42 million from foreign governments – and according to an analysis by CBS News – at least $170 million from foreign entities and individuals.

It's fine for the ex-president Clinton to raise money from foreign sources to feed into his foundation, but it's somewhat more problematic for the husband of the current Secretary of State and potential future president to do it. Illegal? Arguable; I don't know the details of the ethics rules but giving large gifts to government officials is generally frowned upon. Politically, of course, it feeds the narrative of Clinton corruption.

2015-03-25 09:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's deficits after 6 years in office more than total debt of all prior presidents

Gateway PunditAt the end of 2008, the accumulated total of all US Deficits for all administrations since 1789 was $5.3 Trillion. For the six years 2009 through 2014, the Obama Administration has racked up an impressive $6.3 Trillion in deficits which are now more than all of the accumulated deficits before he took office.

Sadly, I must also point out that the budget is a joint effort between the House and the Senate. In 2010, Republicans took the House, and in 2014, Republicans took the Senate. The party, as a whole, is therefore complicit in the unprecedent debt and deficit levels during Obama's presidency. The deficit and the debt are bipartisan issues and it seems neither party is willing to address them.

2015-03-24 12:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

We live in constant fear of upsetting the White House

Washington Free BeaconIn government emails that AP obtained in reporting about who pays for Michelle Obama’s expensive dresses, the National Archives and Records Administration blacked out one sentence repeatedly, citing a part of the law intended to shield personal information such as Social Security numbers or home addresses.

The blacked-out sentence? The government slipped and let it through on one page of the redacted documents: “We live in constant fear of upsetting the WH (White House).”

Tyranny is like that.

2015-03-24 11:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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