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IRS officials knew about political targeting long before they revealed it

Judicial WatchIt was not until much later that MARKS saw information that [Redacted] was only looking for Tea Party cases…. The BOLO [Be on the Lookout] showed that at various points the criteria called for “Tea Party” name, and then later the ideology…. She told him [Miller, on May 3, 2012] that Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity. When MARKS told MILLER this, he threw his pencil across the room and said, “Oh shit.”

To my mind this establishes a couple of interesting points. First, it demonstrates that some officials in the IRS knew the targeting was going on much earlier than they admitted to it, and knew it was wrong, and yet allowed it to continue. Whether relatively low-level employees would initiate and continue such a program in the absence of management directives to do so seems unlikely. Second, it suggests to me that any non-tea-party names added to the BOLO lists after the activity was discovered were added as part of the cover-up, to disguise the political nature of the initial BOLO lists. Third, it destroys any attempt by the media or the political actors to minimize the situation. As Miller put it, this was an "oh shit" moment for any honest IRS management who found out about it.

It also doesn't exonerate any of the management involved. Some people may be able to point to these documents to demonstrate their surprise and dismay when they learned of what was going on, but the collective response appears to have been a coverup rather than a frank admission of problems and application of punishment. And despite the massive destruction of evidence involved in hiding Lerner's email trail from the public, we still have a number of juicy tidbits that suggest she was the organizing force behind the targeting all along, and actively sought to keep it secret. There are more quotes in the document linking the targeting efforts to Holly Paz.

And as a bonus, it appears that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman likely misled Congress; he has been informed about the development letters sent to tea party groups before that point.

2016-07-29 11:49:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Democrats erase 2nd Amendment from party platform

ReasonLike the 2004, 2008, and 2012 platforms, the latest version calls for various new gun controls, including extension of the federal background-check requirement to all gun transfers, expansion of the criteria that disqualify people from owning guns, re-enactment of a federal "assault weapon" ban, and repeal of the federal law that protects gun suppliers from civil liability based on criminal use of their products. But unlike those earlier platforms, this year's does not so much as mention the Second Amendment.

That the Democrats have become (again) a party of gun control should be obvious at this point. They aren't even pretending anymore.

2016-07-29 10:49:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Wikileaks has a huge trove of emails from the Democratic National Committee

CBS San FranciscoWikiLeaks released over 20,000 emails on Friday allegedly sent from the accounts of U.S. Democratic National Committee officials, including dozens of off the record media correspondence.

Some of the most interesting emails to read are those exchanged by DNC staffers as they decide how to respond to media inquiries, and then their off-the-record and deep background responses to numerous national media outlets. The emails contained off the record correspondence with reporters at the Washington Post, Politico, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

The media and the Democratic Party aren't just sleeping together; they've bought the house and are living in it.

And multiple anti-Trump protests were revealed as having been orchestrated by the DNC.

2016-07-29 09:49:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bernie's free college isn't free

2016-07-27 11:33:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Munich killer was probably a terrorist after all

It turns out he was an 18 year old Iranian immigrant who has been living in Munich for longer than two years. That's not proof of motive, but it's very suggestive.

2016-07-27 11:04:18.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The IRS seems to think they are above the law

Yale Journal on RegulationUnder the Congressional Review Act, the effective date of so-called “major” regulations must be delayed to give Congress a chance to veto them via a joint resolution. Major regulations are generally those that would have a $100+ million effect on the economy. See 5 USC 804(2)(A). See also 5 USC 804(2)(B) & (C) (providing other categories of major rules). However, as discussed in recent news stories, the White House and the IRS have signed a memo that exempts tax regulations from the CRA’s definition of a major rule. The IRS apparently believes that tax regulations merely implement statutes and thus do not have a significant effect on the economy. Consequently, they do not require congressional review.

The IRS seems to think they are above the law, and under this president at least they seem to be right.

2016-07-25 12:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Dem Rep Elijah Cummings participate in the IRS scandal?

Daily HeadlinesCleta Mitchell, who is representing True the Vote, has filed an ethics probe against Elijah Cummings on February 6th (2014) with the Office of Congressional Ethics . Last fall, True the Vote started receiving 8 and 9 page letters from Cummings, claiming he was conducting an investigation of their organization as part of the House Oversight Committee. One problem. The House Oversight Committee is only allowed to investigate government agencies. Going after a private citizen is illegal.

Mitchell wants to find out if Cummings is responsible in part or completely for the harassment of Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote. After Cummings launched his “investigation” , Engelbrecht had her business audited twice, her personal taxes once, two visits from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a surprise visit from OSHA, seven visits from the FBI.

Last week, emails were released to the committee that showed that Cummings was working with Lois Lerner, which is why he attempted to scuttle the investigation into the IRS, immediately as soon as it was announced.

Interesting. Also interesting is why these emails are only being released now.

2016-07-25 11:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

If you were wondering what happened to that Malaysia flight that disappeared...

New York MagazineNew York has obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.

The name of the pilot is suggestive of his motive. We will likely never know for sure.

2016-07-25 10:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A possible alternative...

Nick Selby quoted at View From North Central IdahoRichmond developed an innovative, controversial program: They identified the 50 people most likely to shoot someone and engaged with them, even paying them to participate.

The city provided career help, training, resume writing and health care. It asked people what they feared and helped them create plans to mitigate those fears.

Critics called it “paying gang members not to shoot people.” It was more than that. And it worked.

From 2007 to 2012, the city experienced a 61 percent reduction in homicides.

I'd have some serious questions about the data on this program and how it was collected and analyzed. The conclusion seems very much too good to be true, especially given how similar programs in California trying to address gang membership have proven to be corrupt. Even taking the claim at face value, it begs the question of alternative solutions focusing on those same people: rather than pay them and enroll them in special programs, have they committed crimes for which they can and should be arrested, charged, convicted, and imprisoned? Wouldn't that also significantly reduce the risk of them shooting someone?

2016-07-25 09:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary's missing emails

PoliticoThe media has spent a lot of time parsing through the Clinton emails that already have been released—compiling lists, looking for specific names or discussion of particular issues. But they ought to pay more attention to the holes. Bob Woodward has declared that Hillary Clinton’s email scandal “reminds me of the Nixon tapes.” He’s right. In that case and here, it’s not what’s in the record that’s most troubling. It’s what’s not there.

This is a really good point. We know -- know -- that Hillary made a determined effort to scrub her emails before turning them over, and that that was the whole point of having her separate email server. Yet the media is pouring over the emails she felt were OK to release. Yes, they are informative about the Benghazi scandal, and demonstrate that Hillary is willing to lie to the public with a straight face to give her party and herself political cover. This shouldn't surprise anyone. But we should also be asking the question "What did Hillary delete, and why did she delete it?"

The FBI may know, if they were able to recover emails from the servers they seized. But they don't seem inclined to do anything about it.

2016-07-24 12:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

If they thought their gun control laws actually worked...

Washington TimesThe California state Senate voted 28-8 Wednesday to exempt itself from the pointless gun-control laws that apply to the rest of the populace. Legislators apparently think they alone are worthy to pack heat on the streets for personal protection, and the masses ought to wait until the police arrive.

... they would be willing to live by them.

2016-07-24 11:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI agents think a deal was struck at the tarmac summit

New York Post“FBI agents believe there was an inside deal put in place after the Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton tarmac meeting,” said one source.

Remember, half the bodyguards there -- the ones surrounding Lynch -- are FBI agents. The other half are Clinton's SS, of course. There may well have been FBI agents in a position to hear what was discussed. Of course, the Obama administration has an answer for that:

New York PostIn an unusual move, FBI agents working the Hillary Clinton email case had to sign a special form reminding them not to blab about the probe to anyone unless called to testify.

This is over and above their normal obligations to keep investigations confidential, and it's clearly intended to intimidate anyone offended by the blatant corruption.

2016-07-24 10:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A few modest proposals

Glenn Reynolds at USA TodayEveryone talks about global warming, but nobody does anything about it. At least, the people who talk about saving the planet the most seem to have the biggest carbon footprint. But I have some ideas for fixing that.

Read the whole thing to learn how to save the planet.

2016-07-24 09:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mossberg leaves Connecticut for Texas

Welcome back to America.

2016-07-21 09:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

MA AG unilaterally expands assault weapons ban

TownhallWith most of the media attention on the Republican National Convention (Melania Trump’s speech)—the Massachusetts Attorney General seems to have decided to unilaterally rewrite the state’s gun laws. The attorney general is targeting so-called copycat assault weapons (their words not mine) and would force manufacturers to stop making them and gun dealers to stop selling them. The law goes into effect July 20. Those who have bought the firearms being targeted prior to that date will be allowed to keep them.

Of course, you had better be able to prove that you bought prior to that date if you want to try to use that defense. And there's no help for people who bought their firearms out of state (where they were perfectly legal) and then decided to move to Massachusetts. And then there's the whole issue of the AG changing how the existing law is enforced without actually, you know, changing the existing law.

Suffice it to say there are lots of problems here and this action will likely be challenged in court. That said, if Clinton wins in 2016, the ultimate conclusion of the appeals process is certain.

The Democrats seem to think that gun control is a winning issue again, and god help us if they're right.

2016-07-21 09:04:03.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Corruption at the Clinton Foundation

Daily CallerClinton Foundation officials have ignored virtually all of the “best practices” urged by good governance organizations for public charities, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, but it's important to point out the corruption and keep pointing it out until it cannot be ignored.

2016-07-20 09:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

An interesting reversal of cause and effect

Instapundit quoting MarketwatchA shortage of medical supplies means infants and other sick patients are dying of treatable illnesses. Soldiers guard empty grocery store shelves. Inflation is so bad, the government has had to order bolivars [currency unit] by the planeload.

Inflation is what happens when you have more and more money chasing (roughly) the same amount of goods. As more money enters circulation, it buys less and less. How does that additional money keep getting created? Generally, when the government decides to pay their bills by printing money instead of collecting money.

The astute may have noticed that our government has been doing the same thing for a while now.

2016-07-19 09:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Socialist or fascist?

Thomas SowellWhat President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Sowell spells it out. A lot of people these days don't seem to understand what socialism and fascism really are, because our educational system has been busily redefining history to suit the prejudices and politics of the professors.

It's impressive, really. Obama really does qualify as the three major enemies of America all at once: he is a communist by ideology, a fascist by political necessity, and a Muslim by childhood upbringing.

2016-07-16 10:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Polling on the email question

ABC News A majority of Americans disapprove of the FBI's recommendation not to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime over her handling of email while secretary of state, and a similar number in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say the issue leaves them worried about how she would handle her responsibilities as president if elected.

Most also say the email controversy won't affect their vote in the presidential election. But 28 percent say it leaves them less likely to support her, versus 10 percent who say it makes them more likely to do so.

"Most also say the email controversy won't affect their vote"? That sounds disturbing until you actually look at how it breaks down.

It seems obvious the Democrat party have generally drunk the Hillary koolaid. They are voting for Hillary even if she is found in bed with a live girl AND a dead boy. But the same category also applies to Republicans, who are reluctant about Trump as their nominee but would vote third party rather than vote for Hillary. So figure the "most" category includes both major parties whose opinions won't change and you get to "most" pretty easily.

What's really puzzling me is the 10 percent who say the email controversy leaves them more likely to support Hillary. What the fuck are they thinking?

2016-07-16 09:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Coup attempt in Turkey

The military is claiming to have seized power from Erdogan. It's not clear which side will come out on top, and it's not clear which side the US should favor, if any. Erdogan took power as a supposed moderate Turkish nationalist but has been moving more and more towards Islam. In Egypt a military coup turned the Muslim Brotherhood out of power, something that seems like a positive step. One thing we can be sure of: this will shake things up in the region.

There are some small positive signs:
HaaretzSoldiers also took control of TRT state television, which announced a countrywide curfew and martial law. An announcer read a statement on the orders of the military that accused the government of eroding the democratic and secular rule of law. The country would be run by a "peace council" that would ensure the safety of the population, the statement said.

If the coup is an attempt to restore the "democratic and secular rule of law" that sounds like a move away from Islamism, but words are cheap. Only time will tell who comes out on top, and whether those words were sincere.

UPDATE: The coup has failed, with strong arguments being made that it was a false-flag operation to give Erdogan a chance to seize even more power.

2016-07-15 19:04:38.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

21 injured in peaceful protest

PowerLineHundreds of Black Limes Matter rioters shut down Highway 94, a major interstate that connects Minneapolis and St. Paul, for several hours last night. The rioters bombarded police with chunks of concrete, pieces of rebar and other hard objects, injuring 21 police officers. One policeman suffered a broken vertebrae when a concrete block was dropped on his head from above. Around 100 rioters were arrested.

This is what the media habitually calls a "peaceful protest" to distinguish it from events where someone kills 5 police officers and wounds 7 other people. I understand the latter events are usually referred to as "workplace violence" now.

2016-07-15 12:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Merkel admits her refugee policy used to bring in terrorists

Reuters"In part, the refugee flow was even used to smuggle terrorists," Merkel told a rally of her Christian Democrats in eastern Germany.

I suspect it's too late to back down from this policy to avoid the fallout, but you never know for sure.

UPDATE: Muslim refugee attacks passengers on train with axe.

2016-07-15 11:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dallas sniper not the first or last to be motivated by BLM protests

USA TodayAuthorities in Tennessee say a man who opened fire on a highway in Tennessee targeted police officers and others because he was troubled by incidents involving black people and law enforcement officers.

Investigators say Scott killed one person and wounded three others, including a police officer. Scott had two guns early Thursday morning when he shot at a motel in Bristol, Tennessee, and then shot indiscriminately at several passing cars. When he was confronted by police, he fired at the three officers who responded.

I don't think that BLM protests necessarily bear the blame for the violent actions of people like this (or the Dallas murderers), because we deal with and respond to individuals not collective groups. But it is clear that people are being agitated, and the (currently) four individuals detained in Dallas suggests that there might be more to the problem than the occasional lone wolf. So do the ambush of police officers in Georgia, the highway shooter in Tennessee, and another shooting of a police office in Missouri.

2016-07-15 10:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rep Bob Dold received millions from Bloomberg and introduced gun control bill

Washington Free BeaconRep. Bob Dold (R.,Ill.), one of the Republican congressmen introducing a gun control bill on Friday, received millions of dollars in support from Michael Bloomberg’s gun control PAC. The Independence USA PAC, which was founded by Bloomberg in 2012, supports candidates who support stricter gun control laws. The PAC has been funded entirely by Bloomberg since its inception, according to Federal Election Commission records, and has supported just a handful of candidates who are mostly Democrats. Rep. Dold, however, has received nearly $3 million in backing from Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC.

Bloomberg can spend millions to buy legislators and all we can do is vote.

Voting will simply have to be enough.

2016-07-15 09:35:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Terrorist attack with truck kills 73

CNNAt least 73 people were killed Thursday night when a large truck plowed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, the Nice prosecutor's office said, according to French media.
The driver pointed his tractor-trailer into the crowd and accelerated, mowing bodies over. The driver was shot to death, authorities said.

This sure looks like a terrorist attack to me, but there aren't enough details yet to say anything for sure. No indications of firearms or explosives, just a large truck and a crowd.

My sympathies, again, to the people of France who have suffered another horrific attack.

UPDATE: Lots of reports now that the truck had firearms and grenades.

UPDATE: Attacker identified. You can probably guess his first name. As for how he got the firearms (!) and grenades (!!) in France (which has strict gun control like most of Europe, and was still in a state of emergency since the last terrorist attack there) despite a record as a "career criminal", well, the Saudis funded a mosque in Nice that opened just two weeks ago. Maybe there's a connection there.

2016-07-14 19:01:50.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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