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So Mueller is really scraping the bottom of the barrel here...

He's filing two charges against Michael Flynn of "lying to investigators". As a political matter, these charges are a nothingburger, and Mueller has found nothing related to Russian collusion with Trump to influence the elections in months of investigating. It's certainly not the OMG Russians stole the election he was supposed to be investigating.

It's only significant insofar as Flynn testifies against people in the administration as a result of the plea deal. And while I'm sure Mueller would love to get some nice, juicy testimony about people higher up, let's remind ourselves that Flynn lasted about a month as National Security Advisor and was fired by the Trump administration for the very same lies he has now pled guilty to, lies which the FBI has already investigated and determined to be without intent to deceive, declining to file charges. That was Comey doing the declining, by the way, before he was fired for gross incompetence and being a political hack for the other party.

Wed Dec 06 00:09:38 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller must go

Front Page Magazine Mueller must go. This circus must end. And a real investigation must be conducted of the Obama administration’s eavesdropping on Trump officials and members of Congress. Both the DOJ and the FBI require urgent housecleaning. That is the only meaningful result of the Muller investigation.

Either you drain the swamp. Or the swamp drowns you.

Endorsed.

Wed Dec 06 00:09:33 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sigh. Journalism is dead.

The HillA group of people were part of the drafting process, using a red pen on Comey's statement before he publicly came forward, another U.S. official familiar with the matter told CNN.

No one "used a red pen" on anything. The collaboration happened over email. Using a red pen is a metaphor, not a fact.

Wed Dec 06 00:08:03 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity advances

BloombergThe House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday voted 19-11 for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would amend the federal criminal code to allow the concealed transport of handguns across state lines, so long as both states allow it. States will not be able to impose their individual requirements for a concealed carry license on armed travelers from other states.

It's been a long time since we had a real chance to advance gun rights on a national level. We had a pair of good Supreme Court decisions, and a few in federal courts that at best did not suck. We have to go back to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005 to get a legislative advance, and that was really just playing defense against the courts. Before that, there was the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act which traded a ban on newly manufactured automatic weapons for a number of minor improvements and reforms to the Gun Control Act of 1968. (It was a bad trade, in my opinion).

If Congress manages to actually pass it, we will move the ball forward. That would be nice, even if the legislation ends up having some flaws.

That said, it's possible the Republican leadership will attempt to combine the reciprocity legislation with NICS legislation. Why? Well, likely they will need some Democrat support to get past a filibuster in the Senate. Whether the compromise is worth it will depend on exactly what's in the NICS bill. We'll have to watch it closely.

Mike McDaniel has more on both issues.

Mon Dec 04 22:31:40 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Politico suggests Chelsea Clinton should run for the Senate in Arkansas

They have got to be kidding.

Mon Dec 04 15:48:51 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI agent who interviewed Clinton on email server sent anti-Trump texts

Daily CallerThe text messages showed Strzok and Page reacting with anti-Trump sentiments to certain news events, including the presidential debates.

He was the FBI’s lead investigator on the Clinton email investigation, so much so that he interviewed the former secretary of state on July 2, 2016.

Days later, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that he would not be recommending charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information on her private email server.

Remember how odd that interview was? How she wasn't sworn in, was allowed to bring in her lawyers (who were also subjects of the investigation)? How no one bothered to video the interview?

Oh, and he also interviewed Michael Flynn, who recently pled guilty to lying in that interview about perfectly legal foreign policy activities conducted as part of Trump's transition team.

So in other words, this one agent and his fellow agent / mistress (possibly working with others as yet unrevealed) both managed to clear Hillary Clinton of her email server problems and hang a couple felonies on a Trump administration transition team member.

UPDATE: He's ALSO the one who signed the documents to open the Russian investigation and who softened Comey's gross negligence to extremely careless. And Mueller concealed it for months in the face of Congressional demands, then Congressional subpoenas, and very nearly to the point of a contempt citation (scheduled to be drafted today, if the FBI and DOJ have not complied).

Mon Dec 04 15:01:47 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

State Dept claims Trump's tweets threaten middle-east riots

Remember how the State Department, under Clinton, tried to blame the Benghazi attack on internet videos? It seems that employee is still on the job, and pre-blaming non-existent middle-eastern rioting at US embassies on Trump's tweeting of anti-muslim internet videos.

Thu Nov 30 19:23:32 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Late stage socialism

In Venezuela, which used to be an oil-rich nation, socialism has transformed riches into shortages and tanks into crowd control devices.

Sun May 07 09:35:16 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that Russian collusion again...

PJMediaSen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) says that so far, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has seen no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump's campaign aides and Russian officials.

On Wednesday, Feinstein and other members of the committee were briefed at CIA headquarters about the investigation into Russian meddling.

Susan Rice needs to appear before Congress and explain herself.

If she refuses, she should be reminded that it is not a voluntary appearance.

Make her plead the 5th, and then refer her to a special counsel for prosecution. The DOJ clearly cannot be trusted.

Fri May 05 11:51:24 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Motive is easy

Of Arms and the LawAn FFL has sent me a notice alleged to come from H&K (in Germany) saying that it has ceased supplying the domestic US market as of May 1, owing to some general BS, and asking the FFL to respond to a survey giving his location and how many various types of H&K arms he has sold (period of the sales not specified). The response is to be mailed to H&K at Str. 1, 78727 Oberdorf aN. The FFL enclosed an image of the alleged notice.

It sounds like BS to me, although I cannot figure out a motive.

If I had to guess, and assuming it was genuine, I would guess that lawyers have been nosing around H&K and found a judge willing to compel information disclosure like that. That sort of data sounds exactly like what a crusading lawyer would ask for in order to get around the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

So the lawyer demands to know how many guns individual dealers are selling, and then will probably try to use a high number of evidence of negligent entrustment or something like it against the dealer.

The bit about not supplying the US market I have no idea.

Fri May 05 09:41:30 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton staffer threatened IRS audit

Daily CallerHillary Clinton’s Department of State aides allegedly threatened a South Asian prime minister’s son with an IRS audit in an attempt to stop a Bangladesh government investigation of a close friend and donor of Clinton’s, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group learned.

A Bangladesh government commission was investigating multiple charges of financial mismanagement at Grameen Bank, beginning in May 2012. Muhammad Yunus, a major Clinton Foundation donor, served as managing director of the bank.

Remember when Obama joked about using the IRS to target his enemies?

Remember when Obama actually used the IRS to target his enemies?

Remember when Obama held the people responsible for the targeting accountable? No, I don't either.

Here, we have strong evidence that Hillary's staffers and aides at the State Department used threats of IRS audits against US residents to pressure foreign nations.

Thank god that corrupt bitch lost.

Tue May 02 09:24:56 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Nazis in Portland

Power LineOne of the staples of Portland, Oregon—”Portlandia” to TV viewers— is the annual Rose Festival, now in its 82nd year, and it has for several years now featured a kickoff parade, akin to the Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1 every year. But this year’s parade, scheduled for this weekend, has been cancelled. The reason: It was going to include—gasp—Republicans! And this is too much for the hardened left, which threatens to shutdown the parade by violent means if it includes Republicans. And the city of Portland has caved.

The Nazis are not the people marching peacefully. The Nazis are the people threatening violence to prevent others from marching peacefully.

Fri Apr 28 11:46:18 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

But we can trust the government not to abuse their access...

Judicial WatchThis week Campa resigned as chief of the Marshall Police Department, according to a local newspaper story that quotes him saying “I have made the decision to step aside to pursue other opportunities that have developed.” The article says Campa wouldn’t elaborate on the opportunities. It also reveals that Campa is under investigation by the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) for inappropriately monitoring officers’ vehicles and chastising employees that speak out against his administration. Sources tell Judicial Watch Campa practiced similar management skills in El Paso. The TMPA represents more than 24,000 local, county and state law enforcement officers across Texas and the association was in the process of obtaining records that apparently could be detrimental to Campa. The abrupt resignation will end the TMPA investigation, a north Texas representative reveals in the news article.

Apparently we can't trust the police not to illegally spy on each other, why would we trust the government not to spy on us?

Fri Apr 28 10:46:18 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Iran deal released nuclear arms importer

PJMediaThe biggest fish, though, was Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, who had been charged with being part of a conspiracy that from 2005 to 2012 procured thousands of parts with nuclear applications for Iran via China. That included hundreds of U.S.-made sensors for the uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran whose progress had prompted the nuclear deal talks in the first place.

The more we learn about the deal, the less we like it.

Since it was never properly ratified by the Senate, it is not binding. Trump should remind the Iranians of this at an opportune time.

Fri Apr 28 09:46:18 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch scandal updates on IRS and BATFE

Judicial Watch is suing for documentation on how the IRS handles document preservation, under the theory that they will take any opportunity they can to destroy records. Specifically, Judicial Watch wants to know about the IRS policies and procedures for records retention, any changes to those policies and procedures since 2010 (and we know already that there were some, and even some in which Lerner was involved), and any communications about preserving or retaining those records. So far, the IRS is lending credence to the Judicial Watch hypothesis by ignoring their FOIA request, thus resulting in the suit.

In the True the Vote case, lawyers provided by the Department of Justice are still stonewalling even after Trump's election. Trump's appointees at Justice need to make some heads roll until behavior changes in this case. Or simply retain outside counsel, since Justice was itself involved with the targeting and is likely compromised. How likely is that? Trump doesn't even seem to know the IRS exists, aside from paying his personal taxes and bitching about being audited. We're not likely to see Trump pushing this issue personally, but if we can get the attention of someone lower on the totem pole, we might see something happen.

Judicial Watch is also pursuing records recording the BATFE's attempt to ban AR-15 ammunition as "armor-piercing".

Thu Apr 27 11:53:04 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that vote fraud that doesn't exist...

Free BeaconHundreds of illegal voters participated in the 2016 general election in North Carolina, according to a new report.

The post-election audit report, released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), an independent and bipartisan agency that oversees elections in the state, found hundreds of illegal votes, including votes cast by felons and non-citizens, double voting, voter impersonation, and irregularities that affected mail-in absentee ballots.

Over 400 cases of felons voting alone. About a hundred cases of non-citizens voting.

Thu Apr 27 10:53:04 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Work, Risk and Reward

The Abode of McThagThe correlation we have is that the massive spending engendered by LBJ and continued for the past 53 years have done nothing to reduce the poverty rate and that millions more people are living in poverty than were before we began this massive expenditure.

I'll throw my own causitive relationship in here. The rate was coming down from 1959 because the economy was expanding. The Economic Opportunity Act removed literally millions of able-bodied and capable workers from the labor pool and had a mainly deleterious effect on poverty because it established a floor to compare entry level work against.

Why get a job that doesn't pay substantially more than doing nothing? Especially when the money to not work was substantially reduced in response to any, reported, legitimate income.

I'll take this one step farther. If you can't improve your position in life by working a legitimate job for fear of reducing your welfare benefits, but you still want to improve your position in life, what career paths are open to you? Illegitimate ones. That means crime, whether theft, smuggling contraband (ie, drugs), or low-skilled under-the-table labor that isn't reported to tax agencies.

Sure, working in the criminal sector bears a substantial risk of being caught, convicted, and put in prison. But it also bears a substantial potential upside: successful criminals star in Hollywood movies or have careers as rap artists or get away with successful complex heists that result in billions of dollars in loot. No, not really, but that's what Hollywood sells as the upside to a life of crime. I happened to be browsing Netflix last night, and there must have been two or three separate file projects about a widow whose husband ran a drug business and how she had to take it over when he died. Two or three different ones just about that one scenario. Quite a few others about the more broadly viewed drug trade, even more about various heist movies, and so on.

Sure, on one level it's just entertainment. On another, what do the options and incentives look like for a man or woman on welfare considering what they can do to improve their lives? Work hard for years, keep their nose clean, go back to school to learn a skill (and what if their experience of the school system tells them they don't learn very well?), get a job (possibly hampered by criminal history), pay taxes... or make a few quick criminal scores and relax until you need to make the next few quick criminal scores?

The incentive structure is all screwed up.

Thu Apr 27 09:53:04 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that media bias that doesn't exist...

The HillU.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, an appointee of President Obama's, has been fired by the Trump administration. Murthy had been surgeon general since 2014 and his sudden departure surprised employees at HHS, The New York Times reported.

Trump to appoint his own choice to Surgeon General post.

Vivek Murthy is an anti-gun crusader who used his medical credentials to push gun control after promising the Senate during his confirmation hearings that he would not do so.

Wed Apr 26 11:28:26 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that media bias that doesn't exist...

The HillPresident Trump dined out at his Washington, D.C., hotel on Saturday night, his third trip there in as many months.

Trump eats at his own restaurant once a month.

Wed Apr 26 10:28:26 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that media bias that doesn't exist...

The HillAlmost half the respondents in a new poll say President Trump is off to a “poor start” in office.

Forty five percent of Americans in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released early Sunday said the president’s first 100 days in office have been “poor.” Fourteen percent said he’s off to a “great start” while 21 percent said it has been “good” and 19 percent said it was “fair.”

So let's put aside the massive, indeed unprecedented, arguably literally insane response from both the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) to Trump's electoral victory. Obviously such a temper tantrum will work up Democrat partisans and the media -- but I repeat myself again -- to a fever pitch of disapproval and disgust. That accounts for the 45% right there: they were stupid enough to vote for Hillary Clinton, so obviously they aren't happy.

What about the rest?

Well, 14% say "great" start, 21% say "good" start. That's 35%. That covers the portion of the Republican base that actually liked Trump. Add the 19% who said "fair" start and you get 54%.

The headline should be Majority of voters think Trump's doing fine. Or maybe Nearly all who supported Trump in election say it was right thing to do. (In Texas, that's called the "Dance with him who brung ya" rule).

Wed Apr 26 09:28:26 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that vote fraud that doesn't exist...

Dallas NewsAbout three dozen voters in Grand Prairie reported that someone fraudulently used their names to request mail-in ballots, mirroring a pattern of recent complaints in West Dallas, the county's elections head said Monday.

A suspicious man has shown up in both places offering elderly residents "assistance" with their mail-in ballots, raising the possibility that he could tamper with the ballots, said Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole.

The man knocked on the residents' doors and in some cases identified himself as a Dallas County elections department employee there to help them with the mail-in ballots they had requested, Pippins-Poole said. But the residents who complained said they hadn't requested mail-in ballots.

But the Left keeps telling me that vote fraud is a myth!

Tue Apr 25 11:21:36 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Shots fired at skeptic scientists' office building

WattsUpWithThat has the details. Multiple shots fired from a handgun striking on the same floor of the building where a prominent climate science skeptic works. Not much is known yet.

Tue Apr 25 10:21:36 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Admission of ignorance

Chicago Sun TimesI write, often harshly, about The People of the Gun. I harbor a dim view of Second Amendment advocates. With each new shooting in Chicago, I have become more terrified of guns and the people who carry them. It’s time I actually met one.

So why should anyone pay attention to anything this person wrote about guns before this?

Tue Apr 25 09:21:36 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Idiots

National ReviewOn the second point, to understand legislative strategy, you must first understand legislative procedure. There are a series of procedural problems presented by the so-called “Byrd Rule,” which Yuval Levin explains here, and which precludes the Republican Senate majority from ramming through everything it would like without 60 votes — despite the fact that Obamacare was passed by the very 51-vote reconciliation procedure that now stands in Republicans’ way.

Can Republicans just ignore the Byrd Rule? In theory, they could limit or abolish the legislative filibuster, but that’s a drastic step with a lot of future downsides. And they can’t just unilaterally change the Byrd Rule itself, which derives from a statute (the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the father of the modern, out-of-control budget system) rather than just from Senate rules. In the Senate, even a single senator can raise Byrd Rule objections to any individual item in the bill, obtaining rulings from the Senate parliamentarian that can be overruled only by . . . 60 senators. Worse, even if violations of the Byrd Rule make it past the Senate, their statutory origin means that, at least in theory, they could be challenged in court.

The above is from a lengthy article that claims to be about how to repeal Obamacare. I tried to read the whole thing, but when I got to the above passage, my tolerance for stupidity ended.

The Democrats passed Obamacare through reconciliation. Therefore, Republicans can repeal it through reconciliation. The whole thing, not bits and pieces. It may be politically difficult, but increasing the political difficulty by insisting on respecting political hurdles the Democrats do not is just a way to lose.

The Byrd Rule (by which he means the filibuster) objection is likewise absurd. Yes, the "rules" require 60 votes on some issues. Yes, the Senate parliamentarian may rule that 60 votes are required. The Republican majority can then vote to overrule the parliamentarian with 51 votes, just as they did recently to put Justice Gorsuch on the bench. Collecting 60 votes is harder; collecting 51 votes is not as hard. Insisting on 60 votes is just another way to lose.

And what does the author recommend as a way forward?

Surrender.

National ReviewBut any path forward, to be politically viable, will probably require Republicans to swallow hard and continue having the federal government lay out more money than we would like, for longer than we would like, to subsidize health insurance one way or another for Groups B and C.

Why is it so hard to just repeal the whole damn thing -- like they have been promising since it passed -- and then try to pass specific reforms issue by issue? Why does everyone insist on a "master plan" for healthcare? Why can't we have a free market?

Mon Apr 24 11:43:25 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another terrorist attack in Paris

France 24A gunman killed one police officer and wounded two others before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Elysees in the heart of the French capital on Thursday evening.

The attacker was recently questioned by police before the attack.

Even if we can somehow use pervasive global surveillance to identify terrorists ahead of time, it does not help us if we cannot then do something ahead of time. The logical thing to do is to deport anyone (not already a citizen) who poses a terrorist threat.

The US has its own problems with not doing anything about the known wolves amongst us.

Mon Apr 24 09:43:25 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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