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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]

If Obama can disqualify his opponents, so can we

A week ago, Maness, a Tea Party-backed retired Air Force colonel, informed the Louisiana secretary of state of inconsistencies in Landrieu’s residency status. The Washington Post looked into the issue and found she listed her parents’ home in New Orleans to qualify for the ballot, but listed her home on Capitol Hill in Washington as her home address.

Of course, the flaw in this ointment is that by the time we have learned to file residency challenges, Obama supporters have escalated to filing (pathetically false) indictments.

2014-09-02 15:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The thing that bothers me about police...

A blogger I read regularly, who if I recall correctly is an ex-police-officer, has posted an analysis of why Michael Brown (of Ferguson fame) was initially stopped. I'm not going to disagree with any of the legal analysis, just comment on some elements that I find distasteful.

He posts the jaywalking statutes and indicates that Brown could have been lawfully arrested for violating them, and then continues:

Most people don’t understand that if they’ve received a traffic citation, even for speeding, they’ve been arrested. The police allow people to leave upon signing a promise to appear simply as a matter of convenience. It would be too time-consuming to make a physical arrest of every speeder, taking them to jail for booking, and the public wouldn’t stand for it..

When the public wouldn't stand for something that is technically happening already, except that the police don't enforce it with the full vigor of the law, it is an indication that the law is not in accordance with the consent of the people, and that should be sufficient grounds to change the law.

I doubt anyone has any real issue with police making real arrests for real crimes, such as driving recklessly (including while drunk), putting other people at risk, and so on. But stopping people because they are going a few miles an hour faster than some idiot politician in Washington DC thinks is safe for a road in Timbuktoo is wrong. (And no, I haven't gotten a speeding ticket in years, thank you).

The jaywalking thing is similar. It's BS. It's an excuse to hassle people. There's certainly some realm of walking-in-the-street that is worth a conversation about safety, but color me skeptical that the conversation was actually about that.

It was about "Let's hassle these people walking in the middle of the street to see if they look guilty about something"; perhaps there was no basis for it at all, or perhaps the report from the store came in the officer heard it and decided that walking down the middle of the street and matching the description of two people who had just robbed a store was worth making a stop. I don't have a problem with the latter. But the former is annoying.

If the only reason the officer stopped Brown and his friend was for walking in the middle of the road or walking in the road against traffic, he may have been technically and legally justified in making the stop, but he was not morally justified.

Read more for the rest of the analysis, where even bigger problems show up.

(Read More...)

2014-09-02 14:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Washington Post finally reports on voter fraud...

... noting that some people may have voted twice in 2012, crossing state lines from Maryland to Virginia. Of course, they still missed the important details.

It's not the occasional person who votes in two states that really bothers me, although that can certainly add up if enough people do it. The really troublesome part is that an insecure system opens the door to fraud on a massive scale.

2014-09-02 13:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI domestic terror threat assessment supposedly omits islamic terror

The FBI’s most recent national threat assessment for domestic terrorism makes no reference to Islamist terror threats, despite last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and the 2009 Fort Hood shooting—both carried out by radical Muslim Americans.

Also despite the rise of ISIS and continued reports of public threats issued from within the US, and Judicial Watch claiming to have information from within law enforcement that islamic terror groups are planning attacks on the southern border.

I don't think that the FBI's threat assessment does not include islamic terror threats. I think those threats have been censored from the report so they do not affect the elections negatively for Obama's party.

It's not like there aren't other threats, though:

An alternative assessment section in the report warned that radical black activists could “reinitiate violence at the historically high levels seen for the movement during the 1970s, when bombings, assassinations, hijackings, and hostage-takings occurred.”

“Such a scenario could occur as an extreme response to perceptions of devolving racial equality or perceptions of racially-motivated police brutality, or racially-biased injustice, oppression, or judicial rulings,” the report said. “Indicators include increased weapons procurement, reports of sophisticated plots, and development of an explosives capability.”

And then Ferguson happened. It's almost like someone was trying to bring about that result.

2014-09-02 12:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obamacare website cost almost $2B?!

I build websites for a living. Building a functional, secure website for ANY purpose should not cost two billion dollars. Costs to actually run the business might, but this is just the website itself. The cost is shocking enough, but that they spent that much money and didn't manage to launch something functional is horrifying.

2014-09-02 11:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

14 seconds from knock and announce to a dead body

The defendants assert that Officer Gregg Lee checked to see whether the door was locked, knocked on the door and announced the officers' presence, and then waited several seconds for the occupants to respond before Officer Todd Edwards breached the door. ... But the plaintiffs pointed out that only 7.194 seconds elapsed between the detonation of the second stun grenade, which was thrown from the rear of the house, and the detonation of the third stun grenade, which would have been thrown by the front entry team after breaching the door. ... Because a stun grenade takes 1.5 seconds to detonate, the plaintiffs argued, the front entry team had only 5.694 seconds to open the screen door, check to see whether Terebesi's door was locked, knock, announce, wait for a response, breach the door, look inside the room, and then throw a stun grenade.

The court denied official immunity.

2014-09-02 10:43:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

$1 million donation to gun control ballot measure by Gates

You can't buy grass roots, but you can buy astroturf.

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

Early Check Out

2014-08-31 16:55:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Republic of Bill

2014-08-30 16:57:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

An attempt to ban body armor

HR 5344, the laughably titled “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” is nothing more or less than attempt ban Level III and higher body armor that can defeat most common rifle ammunition, such as the steel plate armor sold by AR500 Armor* and other vendors.

Body armor is not a weapon and can't actually hurt anyone. It is only, and solely, a protective device meant to save lives. Why on earth would anyone want to ban body armor?

2014-08-30 12:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning

According to Judicial Watch:

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

The scary part is, Mexico is almost as much of a failed state as the regions ISIS has been taking control over in the middle east. If they can get a foothold there, it's possible they could take and hold territory against the Mexican government. They could not survive extended engagement with our own military, but the whole point of being a terrorist group is to avoid extended engagements. Against a hapless administration, it could be Vietnam all over again -- except with terrorists conducting covert cross-border operations and retreating to refuge in Mexico.

We are going to get hit again. I don't see how we can stop it. Or no, that's not true. I think Obama has checked out and will not bother trying to stop it. Mark Levin on his radio show has been openly speculating the Obama isn't even bothering to read his intelligence briefings. At best, that's willful ignorance and a resulting paralysis; at worst, Obama hopes a terrorist attack on the US will create a useful crisis which he can take advantage of.

2014-08-30 11:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another Illegal Mayor arrested, this time for harassment

Note that harassment, in this case, includes not only threats to "punch someone right in the mouth", but actually knocking someone over bar stools. No wonder he doesn't want citizens to have guns. They might be able to defend themselves against him.

2014-08-30 10:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

If they don't live in your state...

... then they aren't representing you.

2014-08-30 09:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

They must be the same real killers that OJ is looking for

Legal Insurrection is reporting on a Rasmussen poll. His take is related to whether the Department of Justice is motivated by politics. I have a somewhat more pessimistic take:

This distrust of the feds carries over into views of a planned new federal database to track “misinformation” and hate speech on the social media site Twitter. Thirty-five percent (35%) believe the federal government will use the database to go after real criminals, but 53% believe it will be used to monitor law-abiding citizens instead. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.

We're talking about a federally-funded research project (on which I have previously commented) to track political "misinformation" and "hate speech" on twitter. Obviously, it will -- and almost certainly is intended to -- have a chilling effect on free speech. But the interesting thing here is the response to the poll; 35% of respondents believe the government will use the database to go after "real criminals", and 12% are not sure. I commend the 12% for admitting to being clueless, but the 35% who think the DoJ will go after real criminals?

There are no "real criminals" on twitter spewing "political misinformation" or "hate speech" on twitter. That is because speech is not a crime, and cannot be a crime under the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

There are no real criminals.

And yet, 35% of the people responding to the poll are so absolutely fucking clueless that they respond approvingly to a suggestion that the federal government police the internet to punish people saying mean things in direct contravention of the founding principles of our nation and the literal written law of our Constitution.

2014-08-29 18:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Stupid feminists

I've written before about my experiences trying to tell feminists complaining about "rape culture" that the law in the US allows them to carry a gun, which is very effective at preventing rape. The response was usually an incoherent temper tantrum about how men should be taught not to rape and women shouldn't have to pay attention to the world around them in order to be safe. (Newsflash: is world. Is not safe.) Now, someone has invented nail polish that changes color if your drink has a date-rape drug in it.

And feminists are opposed to it, because empowering women with the option to test their drink for a date-rape drug contributes to rape culture or something.

The loud crashing noise is me banging my head against the wall. Repeatedly.

2014-08-29 17:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Do gun control supporters care about saving lives?

No, they want gun owners dead.

And teachers appear to want their students dead.

Remember, this is the party of "tolerance".

2014-08-29 16:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Holder arranging political payoffs in bank settlements

Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder's record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.

Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation's largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.

This is absolutely blatant corruption and abuse of power to funnel money to political supporters in advance of a tough election. If you read further in the article it's clearly not the first time Holder has pulled this trick. I didn't report on it at the time, but my sources were showing large amounts of money being funneled to various fake-religious groups to "supply housing for unaccompanied minor illegal immigrant children". Billions of dollars in money being almost literally thrown at shady characters operating under false pretenses. And when they run out of public money they start extorting it from private businesses.

This makes me so furious I hardly know how to express it.

2014-08-29 15:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A live recording of a SWAT raid in progress

What I find interesting is that the very first thing they do when they find out their raid is being streamed live over the internet is turn the camera over and ask him how to stop the recording. What do the police have to hide? Aside from looking like idiots for raiding a guy playing a video game, anyway. (Can't even really blame them for that if they got a fake 911 call). But the immediate impulse to disable the recording device is mighty suspicious to me.

2014-08-29 14:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Russia officially invades the Ukraine

I knew this was coming. The only thing that could stop it would be Obama growing a spine.

2014-08-29 13:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A very telling difference

While discussing "tax inversion", a corporate merger designed to transfer ownership of the newly created merged corporation outside of the United States, allegedly for tax purposes, 3 Boxes of BS has an excellent quote:

I find it more than hypocritical that so many people are interested in securing the borders — IF the company or people are leaving America for a better place or for more money.

A free society, with both economic and civil liberty, has to build a fence to keep people out. A totalitarian society, on the other hand, has to build a fence to keep people in.

Right now, we're in transition from one to the other. People without money are coming in. People with money are leaving.

2014-08-29 12:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner's blackberry destroyed after investigators interviewed her

Thomas Kane, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for the IRS, wrote in the declaration, part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the IRS, that the BlackBerry was "removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012."

"We had already talked to her. Our personal staff and Oversight Committee staff had sat down with Ms. Lerner and confronted her about information we were getting from conservative groups in the state of Ohio and around the country," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News.

People need to go to jail for this. And whatever physical hardware remains available that might possibly hold copies of the relevant information needs to be physically seized so that it is not under the control of the IRS itself.

2014-08-29 11:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Whistleblower on IRS backup files

But Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents other conservative groups suing the IRS, cited a whistleblower who bolsters Judicial Watch's interpretation.

"I received information from a former Department of Homeland Security official who had security clearances. He just retired in April," Mitchell said. "He contacted me and he contacted Judicial Watch and some members of Congress and said there is backup material."

Without hearing him describe in detail what he knows, it's hard to tell exactly how big a story this is. But if there really is still backup material that really does contain the Lerner emails, and possibly other material, that would be very big indeed. Conversely, the whistleblower might be speaking only about the known backup systems, which the IRS claims recycled their tapes every 6 months.

But the fact that a whistleblower felt the need to come forward about this suggests that he may have specific information and details that the IRS is reluctant to disclose.

2014-08-29 10:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Government by Unicorn

An interesting point of view on people who imagine that government is benevolent.

Hat tip to Borepatch.

2014-08-29 09:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bill Quick finds a real gem

Crist is the bright-orange Florida politician who ran against Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination to the Senate. Crist lost the primary, and later he switched parties. He is now a Democrat, and he said this about his prior record:

Crist said the strong showing is a sign that Democrats believe in him. “Frankly, I think I was on their side when I was in the other party,” he said as he prepared a victory speech. He said a friend once told him, “Charlie, you’ve been a Democrat your whole life, you just didn’t know it.’ Well, now I know it.”

And the Republicans wonder why their party's base is pissed at them and keeps running primary challengers?

It's not like Crist was the only person to do this, either. Arlen Specter did something very similar. Other Republicans remain within the party and vote the other way when it suits them. It adds up to a party that isn't trusted by their base.

2014-08-28 17:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Forbes summarizes recent firearms rights cases

Hours later a mainstream reporter next to me in the press section gasped, “Oh no,” when Justice Anthony Kennedy hinted that he believed the Second Amendment to be an individual right while asking the government’s attorney a question.

Pretty revealing anecdote, but the rest of the article is a summary of things that, if you read this blog, you have already seen. Good to send to people who don't read the gunblogs, though. Hat tip to Of Arms and the Law on this one.

2014-08-28 16:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

California giving drivers' licenses to illegal aliens

Why do Democrats want illegal aliens to have drivers' licenses so badly?

Brown has made California a sanctuary state by signing the Trust Act, giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. He has also expanded financial aid to illegal immigrants by signing the California DREAM Act. Nieto reportedly thanked state officials for embracing foreigners, citing measures that extend state benefits to immigrants.

Because if you have a drivers' license in California, you can move to another state and get a new driver's license from that state pretty easily -- at least that was my experience. And if the state you move into happens to be a red state with a voter id law, well, you can probably vote with your new ID. Not legally, no, but how many states are diligent about cleaning their voter lists of non-citizens with drivers' licenses who check the box on their voter registration form that says they are citizens?

I'm betting very few if not none.

2014-08-28 15:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama Admin claims no new backups disclosed

I reported earlier that Judicial Watch had been told by a DoJ lawyer that Lerner's emails were recoverable from backup tapes, but that doing so would be "too onerous" for an FOIA request.

This would obviously be a bombshell revelation, and was reported as such.

The administration's side of the story is that the backup tapes referred to are those that have been previously reported as being recycled every six months:

The official said DOJ lawyers were only referring to tapes backing up IRS emails that were routinely recycled twice a year before 2013, when the investigation into the Tea Party controversy began.

“There is no newly divulged back-up system that was not previously known about,” the official said. “Government lawyers were simply referring to the back-up system at the IRS that Commissioner Koskinen had already disclosed.”

Problem: "onerous" is a word that means "difficult and unpleasant work", not "impossible" work. The task may be "onerous", but it can still be completed. If you are a lawyer defending the IRS in this situation, and want to retain even a shred of a good reputation, you need to be very careful in what you say. Top officials at the IRS ahve previously testified that these backup tapes didn't exist; then they had been recycled; then they had been written over with new data... and now, well, "they are too onerous to search" is another change. What was once impossible has now become merely difficult and annoying and likely to be embarrassing.

I won't deny that restoring from a data recovery system backup will be a significant task, possibly even an onerous one. But that's why we have backup systems. And if restoring from those backups is possible -- even if difficult -- now, it was surely possible when Koskinen, Kane, and others testified that the emails were lost permanently.

To put it another way, a federal agency does not get to tell Congress what the agency will provide in response to a subpoena. Congress issues, and the agency must comply. No matter how onerous.

At this point, we need someone outside the executive branch to take physical possession of the backup tapes and apply whatever possible techniques they can to recover them. Spend millions if necessary. Billions is not unreasonable. Come back for more when you run out. Take the money from the IRS budget for Star Trek videos, bonuses and IT services they clearly aren't using.

2014-08-28 14:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Patterico reacts to Lerner's destroyed Blackberry

His reaction, summarized? "Convene a grand jury, please." Being employed as a prosecutor in California (though speaking as a private citizen blogger rather than in an official capacity), he knows when grand juries are appropriate.

2014-08-28 13:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Can the police seize your house over $40 of drugs?

Don't bet your house they can't, because they can and they will. And remember, they aren't charging you with anything. They are charging your house. Your house does not have due process rights.

2014-08-28 12:44:35.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Speaking of media bias...

... in a report on a local school district allowing trained teachers to carry firearms (and posting signs advertising that decision):

guns blazing...pack heat...shoots straight...the long arm of the law...Gun-toting teachers


I fully support school districts that allow teachers to do this. I am less sure about the wisdom of posting signs advertising it. If nothing else, it invites political controversy over an issue that could be handled with a quiet change of law.

Come to think of it, perhaps "inviting political controversy" is why the school district put up the signs. The people in charge of the school district are likely less gun-friendly than the legislators.

2014-08-28 11:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DOT rules proposal requires vehicles to broadcast location, direction, and speed

Are the possible safety benefits from such transmission worth the fact that the police will be able to issue speeding tickets with a radio on the side of the road and absolutely no human involvement? Or simply automatically track who is near a particular point?

I promise you this will be a privacy nightmare. When you enable automated data collection, you change the whole game.

2014-08-28 10:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS attorney in ethics office accused of lying

This isn't directly related to the targeting scandal, as far as I can tell, but when one of your lawyers working in your ethics office faces disbarment -- for the layfolk, that's losing your license to practice law -- over misuse of client funds from before the IRS hired her... well, you start to wonder about how committed to honesty and ethical behavior the agency is.

UPDATE: More details about the case.

2014-08-28 09:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What exactly does metadata mean, anyway?

I've already discussed how it means that the NSA will scan the content of your emails for key words. But the NSA apparently considers your cell phone location data to be "metadata" it can access without a warrant, too.

The big issue is again what the heck we mean by "metadata." NSA officials and defenders have been downplaying the word ever since Snowden's leaks began, trying to convince us all it's just basic, non-private info. But one of the documents The Intercept has published shows that the NSA has added 25 additional forms of "metadata" past what used to be traditionally accepted: phone numbers called, what time and what length of calls and the like. The new description of metadata includes everything from unique cellphone codes, passport and flight records, visa application records, and cellphone location data.

To the NSA, metadata means "We don't need a warrant" and that's about it.

And then there's the question as to whether this massive expansion in metadata gathering is being used not to fight terrorists but to help secure domestic crime convictions through "parallel construction" processes, secretly sharing this info with local law enforcement agencies

After 9-11, Congress passed the Patriot Act (the first of many such pieces of security legislation) with the promise that it would only be used against terrorists. Rather than keep that promise, they lied to courts, judges, and the people.

2014-08-27 12:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Privacy? What privacy?

Court documents allege the officers then used a police-issued computer to look up the women they found appealing in a confidential law enforcement database that connects to the DMV and state and federal records.

They "could" face felony charges, but I will believe that when I actually see the indictments.

2014-08-27 11:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Once is coincidence...

With incredible disregard for the law and the Congressional inquiry, the IRS admits that this Blackberry “was removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.” This is a year after her hard drive “crash” and months after the Congressional inquiry began.

We have a huge number of unlikely coincidences piling up. Lerner is notified of a Congressional investigation via Rep Camp's letter of inquiry; almost immediately her hard drive crashes, destroying her email archives for over two years. The hard drive containing those emails cannot be repaired, though data recovery experts suggest that perhaps it should have been recoverable. That crash happened within two weeks of Camp's letter.

Thus far, we're only into the realm of the unfortunate and unlikely. But it gets better.

(Read More...)

2014-08-27 10:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS conflict of interest

House Republicans charged the IRS with a conflict of interest on Monday, insisting that a government lawyer that represented the agency previously took part in the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative groups.

GOP investigators have found emails from the lawyer in question showing he received at least one of the "Be On The Lookout" emails concerning the Tea Party. The conflict of interest, on the other hand, was big enough to force that lawyer to be removed from the case.

It's useful to remember that the IRS has been represented in the Z Street case by a lawyer who may well have been personally involved in the scandal, and would have a motive to defend himself by hiding evidence rather than defend the agency and the public by exposing the truth.

Similarly, the person handling DoJ's response to Congressional Oversight on the IRS matter appears to be friends with Lerner and a political activist for Democrats:

The Chairmen also expressed concern in their letter that Nicole Siegel, current employee of the Office of Legislative Affairs, which is charged with the Department’s response to congressional oversight of the Department’s interactions with Lerner and the IRS, appeared to have maintained a close relationship with Lerner and previously worked for a political action committee to assist political fundraising for Democratic candidates.

That's troubling on both counts. An honest investigation would not be riddled with conflicts of interest. That this investigation has practically every significant figure compromised in at least one way suggests that it is closer to a cover-up than an investigation.

This is on top of the inherent conflict of interest in the Department of Justice investigating conduct that the DOJ itself was directing. Remember that the DoJ requested the list of tax-exempt organizations from Lerner; it says now that the DoJ did nothing with those files for years, but why did it request them and who instructed the DoJ employee who made the request to do so? That information has yet to be released.

The DOJ also appointed a Obama donor to run its investigation of the IRS.

Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson has more.

2014-08-27 09:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another small step in the right direction

The Volokh Conspirecy has details about a 2nd Amendment ruling striking down a law banning guns in places that sell alcohol.

It's probably important to note that this doesn't do anything about laws banning the consumption of alcohol while armed. That remains a bad idea, and possibly (depending on your jurisdiction) against the law. This decision is be focused on things like parking lots, gas stations, and grocery shopping, and dicta in the decision appears to indicate appeal is unlikely.

It's also interesting that the law that was struck down tries to create a consent to search merely by entering any place where alcohol is sold or consumed. That's probably unconstitutional on entirely separate grounds.

2014-08-26 17:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Three steps to bringing police accountability back

This attitude is more dangerous than a Bradley, and the main danger of giving police military equipment isn't that they'll be well-armed, but that it fosters a war-zone mindset. The notion of unaccountable power is what does the real harm. A recent Washington Post column by an LAPD officer saying "If you don't want to get shot, Tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you," illustrates the problem.

Read the whole thing.

2014-08-26 16:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

I was wondering when this would come up

So, the American people appear to have thought over the issue and decided that terrorists are no longer sufficient justification for the government to violate the constitution's 4th Amendment by spying on everyone. The government, having absolutely no intention of stopping the spying, went in search of a new justification, and now they will start floating trial balloons.

Today's trial balloon is Ebola.

Dear NSA: The answer is still no.

At risk of trivializing the issue, I'm tired of the NSA raping my cellphone.

2014-08-26 15:44:35.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fox News interviews Judicial Watch about IRS emails

2014-08-26 14:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FedGov to create twitter hate speech and misinformation database

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

Note that they are specifically focusing on political activity.

I'm not sure that this is illegal -- perhaps through a chilling effect argument? -- but it is for damn sure scary.

And yeah, you can insert that up your database and SQL it around for a while.

2014-08-26 13:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

This is not going to end well

A new group calling itself the Huey P. Newton Gun Club launched armed self-defense patrols Wednesday with one stated purpose: to protect Dallas neighbors from police.

The problem is, these people are not reacting to a real problem of racism -- they are reacting to political incitement by Democrats desperate to boost black turnout in the midterm elections and preserve control of the Senate.

I won't argue that people of all races have the right to bear arms in self-defense. And, yes, that includes the police when it is necessary. But is it necessary?

The open-carry march with rifles is fine. I don't think this part of the story is necessary or safe:

At one point, the march went to Elaine's Restaurant on Martin Luther King Boulevard, where demonstrators piled rifles on tables as they ordered cold drinks and food.

Piled rifles on tables? Maybe that's just the reporter's choice of words. But honestly, it's interesting to see how the narrative shifts when the Left is doing this rather than the Right, isn't it?

The Dallas police get a compliment:

A Dallas police lieutenant and deputy chief were eating lunch in the restaurant at the time. They politely spoke to the demonstrators as they paid their bills. Chief David Brown issued a statement saying, "the Dallas Police Department supports the constitutional rights of all."

That's the right way to handle this situation. If the Dallas police are able to maintain their calm and respond in this entirely appropriate manner, I don't think there is a real epidemic of "police terror" in Dallas to worry about.

Most of my mixed feelings about this situation come from this part:

"We believe we can police ourselves and bring security to our community, ridding our community of black-on-black crime, violence, police terror, etc., etc.," Freeman said. Huey P. Newton Gun Club organizers hope neighbors will take up arms and join future patrols.

Armed inner-city patrols with a chip on their shoulder about "police terror"? That's a powder keg waiting for a match. And there are lots of "helpful" politicians with matches.

2014-08-26 12:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A refresher course on Democrat lawfare

Lawfare has been an ongoing tool of the Democrat party in attacking Republicans, of which the indictment of Rick Perry for using his line-item veto power as Governor of Texas is only the latest example. There are others:

  1. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

  2. Jack Ryan (Illinois Senate race in 2004 that launched Obama)

  3. Rep Tom Delay

  4. Senator Ted Stevens

  5. Governor Sarah Palin

  6. Governor Scott Walker

  7. Governor Chris Christie

  8. Governor Rick Perry

2014-08-26 11:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


IF HE WERE A REPUBLICAN, THIS WOULD LEAD THE NEWS: Reid apologizes for Asian jokes. You do have to wonder, though, what with the quotas under affirmative action, and the ethnic jokes, whether the Democrats really like Asians much.

Harry Reid is a racist Democrat. He's called Republicans racists for far less.

2014-08-26 10:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama Administration has something to hide on the illegal alien problem

To date, Grassley says his questions to HHS have gone unanswered. Among other queries, he asked for information about who the unaccompanied minors are being released to, the health issues facing the unaccompanied minors, and the decision to move millions of dollars away from service for legal refugees.

On June 25, Grassley requested HHS provide information on its contracts related to handling of the illegal immigrant children. That request, he says, went unanswered. He reiterated it in a letter on July 17, which specifically asked about non-profit BCFS.

It has been over six weeks since the initial request for information and over one month since the previous letter was sent. I have received neither answers nor responsive documents.

It's not clear what exactly they are hiding, but that's the point of trying to hide things.

2014-08-26 09:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama Admin claims it is not subject to the rule of law

They are claiming that the "constitutional responsibility to protect the lives of Americans" somehow trumps the specific laws prohibiting use of funds for prisoner transfers without 30 days notice to Congress.

They don't cite any specific constitutional language to support their claim, because there is none. The rule of law requires that everyone, including the President, follow the law. While there are some areas where the President has authority derived from the Constitution, the power of the purse rests with Congress.

And let's get fucking serious here. Obama did not notify Congress, as required by law, because he feared Congress would block the deal and possibly wanted to avoid paying a political cost. That's how little the rule of law means to the President; he'll ignore the law to avoid political inconvenience.

2014-08-25 18:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Foley rescue op delayed by Obama for 30 days

Anthony Shaffer, a former lieutenant-colonel in US military intelligence who worked on covert operations, said: “I’m told it was almost a 30-day delay from when they said they wanted to go to when he finally gave the green light. They were ready to go in June to grab the guy [Foley] and they weren’t permitted.”

When seconds count, the Obama Administration is only 30 days away.

I wasn't about to criticize the Obama Admin for trying to rescue Foley and failing. Attempting the rescue is the right thing to do if it's feasible, and any military operation has a chance of failure. But when it fails arguably because of a delay imposed by the political decision makers, and when the failure is due to a full month between the military giving the ready-for-mission and the decision to actually launch the mission... well, that's worthy of criticism.

2014-08-25 17:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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