Paul Ryan still thinks he can be the party of amnesty
I can understand that it's tough to look a criminal in the eye and say she has to leave the country along with her family or go to jail. But perhaps it might help if Paul Ryan remembers that he's talking to criminals, not voters.
Well, the truth is they probably are voters, but that just makes them criminals twice over.
1) When an individual IRS employee ran across an application from one of the targeted groups, he was supposed to forward that application "to Washington", where IRS legal counsel would supposedly figure out how to handle the cases in a uniform way.
2) In fact, those cases disappeared into a black hole where nothing ever came out -- except for invasive and intimidating questionnaires about what groups prayed about and inappropriate requests for website passwords.
3) Wilkins runs the IRS legal counsel office. He is a political appointee who met with Obama just a few days before targeting began. He testified to Congress that he "did not recall" any of the events of the targeting scandal.
4) Wilkins also runs document production to Congress, because that function is also handled by the legal counsel office. This makes it easy for him to stay several steps ahead of the investigation.
In my opinion, Koskinen's job was to know as little as possible and tell Congress even less. He was the matador's red cape, distracting Congress and what little press were paying attention. Wilkin's job was to know everything -- since his office ran the targeting operation -- and get rid of the evidence. He appears to have been broadly successful.
With Wilkin's resignation from his position after the election of a new president, the IRS scandal mostly comes to an end. Koskinen is and remains a distraction for as long as he is useful in that role, but the real architect has left office with a minimum of public awareness and no penalties whatsoever.
If they lose their lock on the black vote, the Democratic party is finished for however long it takes them to find a replacement. To win, they have to somehow protect their 9-1 vote ratio among black voters; even getting "only" 2/3rds the black vote means they lose a lot more than they are already. And they are right to be nervous.
With no more influence to peddle, there's nothing for this so-called charity to sell anymore. In a just world, this would make it more difficult to explain to the FBI what the Clinton Foundation was selling anyway. After all the need for charitable work doesn't change when you lose an election.
Judicial Watch: Gun used in Paris terrorist attacks came from Fast and Furious
That's the Bataclan theater attack that killed 130 people total.
Realistically, it would be silly to claim that without one firearm, obtained from one misguided (at best) government program, the attack would have been prevented or the casualties reduced. I'm not claiming that. These are terrorists. They will manage to get firearms and other weapons from many possible sources. No single source is deterministic.
And yet, there are people in law enforcement and in government who have escaped accountability for the laws they violated with their bloody scheme to promote gun control.
Washington State Attorney General proposes assault weapons ban
His own claimed benefit for this legislation is obviously invalid. Under the law he proposed, even if it had been in effect and the murderer denied the chance to purchase an "assault weapon" with a standard magazine holding over ten rounds, the murderer would still have a semiautomatic rifle with a ten round magazine. He would be able to shoot his three dead victims three times each, with one bullet let over to wound the last, without even stopping to reload. So this is a failure even on the most basic level, at least if the goal is what he claims it is.
Of course, the real goal is something else. It's what I think has been driving the gun control movement for a while -- ever since they gave up serious hope of being able to push national gun control legislation through Congress. Simply put, they want to make the states they control (and as many battleground states as they can) inhospitable to gun owners. They know how to kill the gun culture in blue states; they do it by passing laws to harass us, drive us away, and make gun ownership an activity that puts you in legal jeopardy.
If they can do that in purple states, they can drive away enough gun owners to make them blue states. And I think that's basically what's going on here.
Dallas News reports on the Travis County DA seeking indictment of a Texas State Representative on a variety of ethics charges. At first glance, I assumed it was the crazy Texas DA with yet another political indictment that would damage a career and eventually turn out (after years and millions spent on appeals) to be baseless. It may still be that -- the investigation seems based on the allegation the representative was asking staffers to run personal errands, which seems improper but trivial -- but the story went out of its way to avoid mentioning the party affiliation of the person being investigated and potentially indicted.
The Blaze has an article about how Obama and Clinton staffers are desperately trying to find jobs in DC and failing. At the end of the article is a button to rate the story with a selection of emojis that include options for "Happy", "Bored", "Sad", "Angry", and "WTH?".
I am pleased to report that as of the time I read the story, "Happy" was winning with 87% of the vote.
There is in fact such a thing as a solution worse than the problem
and this is one of them. Can't we just have a common sense solution where deep-blue liberal cities can't make absurd bathroom policies to pander to small minorities of aggressively gender-confused constituents, and the federal government can't use the issue as an excuse to deny federal funds to red states, and then we just shut up about it and get on with our lives?
"Insurance reforms" could be anything, and most states already have subsidized high-risk pools, but "reduced mandates for basic policies" is a long way from eliminating the individual mandate. And this is what the Republicans are starting with?
... is to pardon criminals, and release terrorists. This is unlikely to end well for Americans, but then, Obama has never considered himself to be one of them. And while he keeps saying that he's focusing on pardoning non-violent drug offenders, the fact that he's releasing terrorists at the same time does not make me comfortable about his definition of non-violent.
There's been a whole lot of talk about repealing Obamacare, which is good. There hasn't been a lot of talk about what, exactly, it would be replaced with. It's good that these things have been disconnected from each other, because I don't trust the Republicans not to "replace" it with something that's almost as bad but better disguised. So I say repeal but do not replace Obamacare. There may be small, specific policy improvements we can make to encourage a freer market and lower costs, but let's examine each such proposal on its own merits after repealling Obamacare..
Obama awards himself a distinguished public service medal
This is so narcissistic it's embarrassing even for those of us who didn't vote for the idiot. Who awards themselves a medal and thinks it's meaningful?
Now, to address Nikki's comments: Yes, Clinton and George W Bush both received the same award. No, Obama probably did not explicitly order his Secretary of Defense to issue the medal. Neither point makes it any less silly. I don't know that any of those presidents deserved such a medal for the quality of their service, and frankly, my first thought when I saw the story was to search for whether the medal comes with any sort of honorarium, special privileges, or financial income stream to its recipients. That would have at least provided a real reason for an outgoing president to want the award. (I didn't find one, which doesn't mean it doesn't exist).
UPDATE: Odds are this is a case of mental illness, rather than true jihad. But if you go to the FBI and tell them you are hearing voices telling you to commit terrorist acts of violence, and then later on you commit acts of terrorist violence, it still counts as a "known wolf" problem, even if you aren't actually communicating with ISIS.
National concealed carry reciprocity legislation introduced
Notably, the legislation includes provisions for "2nd Amendment Carry" states that do not require a permit. There are some federalism concerns, but I view this as a civil rights issue and analogous to national recognition of a drivers' license. That said, citizens from, say, Arizona who show their driver's license in New York when stopped by police... well, let's just say I hope our test cases have deep pockets, a clean record, and a very calm demeanor under stress.
It's worth noting that this legislation isn't necessarily a good thing. It may have unintended consequences. One catch, aside from the federalism issue, is that the legislation provides national reciprocity for any state that has a permit system at all. That leaves an obvious way out. If New York doesn't like giving people from flyover country the right to carry a firearm, it can stop issuing permits to its own citizens, resulting in a reduction of rights not an increase in rights.