TriggerFinger


Ballot question: Should California be split into three states?

Western JournalOne of several proposals aiming to split California into multiple smaller states has reportedly reached an important new goal thanks in large part to the efforts of its billionaire champion.

According to a press release this week, the CAL 3 initiative surpassed the number of signatures needed to present the measure to voters in this year’s election. If state officials determine the documents are genuine, it would then qualify as an initiative to be added this November.

The answer depends heavily on how exactly the split works. It makes sense to split the state into three states with population mixes such that they are politically competitive, rather than millions of urban illegals ruling over farmers. It doesn't make sense to give the same Democrats now in power 4 more Senators from one-party states.

Sun Apr 15 09:38:58 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IG: McCabe is a leaker and a liar

J Christian AdamsThe report from the Department of Justice inspector general on Andrew McCabe is out. It concludes that McCabe repeatedly lacked candor and leaked materials to the Wall Street Journal that he was not authorized to leak. All of this comes on a day when President Trump pardoned Scooter Libby after his conviction for lying, citing evidence that Department of Justice prosecutors withheld evidence from a witness that affected her testimony.

So, McCabe lied to Comey about leaking to the Wall Street Journal, then lied to INSD agents investigating the leak under oath, then lied to the IG about those prior lies. In addition, the IG says McCabe wasn't authorized to leak the information in the first place.

The IG is referring the report to the FBI, which will likely do nothing.

Sun Apr 15 09:38:58 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judge rules DACA recipients don't actually need to obey the law

Judicial WatchFor the second time in a few years, a federal court has ruled that illegal immigrants can sue American employers that refuse to hire them because they require workers to be U.S. citizens or legal residents (green card holders). The latest blow to the rule of law was delivered by an Obama-appointed federal judge in south Florida, who handed a powerful open-borders group a huge victory in a case accusing a major U.S. company of discriminating against an illegal immigrant.

This ruling appears to be in direct violation of actual law.

Sat Apr 14 09:14:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Leaks from Cohen's illegally raided privileged files start

This one isn't even about Trump; it's a $1.6M payment to a playboy model who claims she was impregnated by a Republican donor, not official or candidate.

The funny thing is, Mueller seems to think leaking this will help him. It will only confirm that his team is leaking -- and violating attorney-client privilege for uninvolved parties without even the fig leaf of campaign finance law to cover them.

Sat Apr 14 09:14:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Facebook admits to collecting medical data on everyone

Politico"You're collecting medical data, correct, on people who are on the internet, whether they're Facebook users or not?" Rep. Cathy Castor (D-FL) asked. "Congresswoman, yes," Zuckerberg said in an uneasy tone, before she cut him off.

Medical data is protected by the HIPPA law with significant and dire penalties for exposing it. There should be a class-action lawsuit based on that admission.

Fri Apr 13 09:53:26 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller warrants on Cohen mentioned Trump repeatedly

CBS NewsThe FBI search and seizure warrants executed against President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen mentioned President Trump's name several times, sources familiar with the documents tell CBS News' Jeff Pegues. Sources who've seen the warrants told Pegues it appeared to them that the real target of the raids was Mr. Trump. One source called it a "search and destroy mission."

Of course Trump is the real target, but admitting it in the search warrant might offer attorney-client privilege protections for the information. Of course, that won't matter when Mueller leaks it to the press, or writes his impeachment report.

Fri Apr 13 09:53:26 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dershowitz calls on Rosenstein to be recused

Daily Caller“If I were a lawyer for Donald Trump, and I am not, I am just saying what I would say about anybody, I would be making a motion in front of a judge,” he explained. “First I’d make it in the Justice Department, to recuse Rosenstein. Then I’d make it in front of a judge. You cannot be a prosecutor and you cannot be a witness in the same case.”

This is the most effective way out of the trap I've seen yet. Figure out who comes after Rosenstein, make sure they aren't worse -- make some personnel changes if necessary -- then ask Rosenstein to recuse himself on the grounds that he signed one of the FISA warrants on the Trump campaign and when he refuses, take it to a judge.

Fri Apr 13 09:53:26 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

From cashless to gunless

American ThinkerCashlessness in surprising ways gives vast power to government. Days ago, for example, liberal Democrat and New York State comptroller Thomas J. DiNapoli, who controls where the state invests its $209.1-billion pension fund, sent out a letter. It went to institutions that control our credit cards – Visa, MasterCard, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, American Express, Discover Financial Services, and others.

Is this what's behind the financial industry's abandoning guns?

Fri Apr 13 09:53:26 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Chilling

Marthe KentIf you put out a reg, it matters. I think that’s really where the thrill comes from. And it is a thrill; it’s a high… I love it; I absolutely love it. I was born to regulate. I don’t know why, but that’s very true. So as long as I’m regulating, I’m happy.

Why do some people get such a thrill from telling everyone else what to do?

Thu Apr 12 09:04:21 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What on earth is the FBI looking for?

So far, we have a lot of different rumors about what the FBI is looking for in the raid on Cohen's offices. I take this to mean that the FBI doesn't have any single thing they are actually looking for, and are just trying to cast the widest possible net and hope they catch something they can sell.

The latest thing they are claiming to be looking for is the Access Hollywood tape (or at least documents related to it). It's not clear if they are claiming Cohen paid someone, or tried to pay someone, to keep the tape off the air, or what exactly the alleged crime is. Since the tape did get aired, that seems like a nonstarter.

The Hill also mischaracterizes the content of the tape:

The HillThe agents wanted records related to the tape, in which Trump can be heard talking about grabbing and kissing women without their consent.

What he said was, quoting from memory, "You can grab them by the pussy and they just let you do it." (Emphasis mine)

That's certainly crude locker room talk and potentially grounds for sexual assault charges... except if they just let you do it it's called consent.

Thu Apr 12 09:04:21 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Paul Ryan will not seek re-election

Good. He's been a disaster ever since he signed on as McCain's VP candidate.

UPDATE: So, this makes me wonder why now? What happened recently that would cause Paul Ryan to make his announcement today?

Well, Mueller raided Trump's personal lawyer's residences and offices. That made a lot of news. But what does that have to do with Paul Ryan? Nothing obvious.

The other thing that happened is that Devin Nunes threatened contempt votes and impeachment proceedings if the FBI does not provide the "electronic communication" that initiated the Trump-Russia investigation today.

One of those things has a deadline that doesn't give Paul Ryan any time to think before he acts, assuming he wants to get his intended retirement out before some damaging information about him gets out.

So, yeah, I'm setting down a marker here. Something in the "electronic communication" damages Paul Ryan enough to make his re-election impossible.

UPDATE: So, Nunes got the document, with fewer redactions. I'll go one step further. Ryan is Speaker of the House. He's third in line for the presidency if something happens; he's arguably one of the three most powerful government officials around (with the other two being the President and the Senate Majority Leader). If the Obama FBI and DOJ were going to notify anyone in Congress about what they were up to with the Trump campaign, the list would pretty much have to include Ryan and McConnell.

I'm betting Ryan was one of the first people to be notified of the investigation, and that he approved it or at least did not speak up about it, and that the "electronic communication" reveals that.

That's all speculation based on the timing, but my bets are on the table.

Let's find out what the FBI has been hiding.

Wed Apr 11 10:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More leaks from National Security staff

The HillPresident Trump reportedly asked a CIA official why the agency didn’t kill a terrorist target's family during a drone strike.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that, after watching a recorded video of a drone strike in Syria in which officials waited until the target was outside of his family’s home, Trump asked, “Why did you wait?”

I couldn't care less about this, honestly. A military target is a military target. Yeah, it's bad for PR and I'd prefer to minimize civilian deaths. But when you hide your military among your civilian population, that's what happens. It's why wearing uniforms is taken seriously, among other things. But I do have an important question to ask.

Who in that room leaked it and deserves to be out of a job?

Wed Apr 11 09:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reparations and Redistribution

Real Clear EnergyFor years, compliance and legal settlements at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against corporate wrongdoers have funneled millions of dollars to nonprofit, ideology-driven organizations to promote their agendas.

That's how the Obama administration got around Congress having the power of the purse; he funneled money to his political allies by extorting it using the Department of Justice. Under Trump's EPA and Scott Pruitt, the gravy train has ended, and the left wants Scott out because he's just too effective.

What, did you think the cascade of negative stories all hitting at once was just coincidence?

Wed Apr 11 09:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Orin Kerr is misapplying the 4th and 5th Amendment

The setup: Kerr posted an argument that the 5th Amendment allowed police to compel an individual to reveal their encryption password (to a phone or computer) so the police could search it. A commenter responded that his analysis was legally correct but completely wrong, as it results in people having absolutely no privacy. The commenter is correct, but Kerr responds:

Orin Kerr at the Volokh ConspiracyI certainly appreciate that perspective. [ed: he doesn't; I've had this argument with him before] But I'd add a reminder that, in both cases, the government was required by the Fourth Amendment to get -- and in both cases did get -- search warrants based on probable cause before decrypting the devices.

Here's the thing. The fourth amendment requires a warrant before government can break into your house and search your papers, or arrest you and search your pockets. If the government gets a warrant, it does not require you to give them the keys to your house. You're perfectly justified is refusing to help them search. They will then break into your house, causing all sorts of property damage to punish you for refusing to help, but you do not have to help, and it's generally wise not to help, because helping can be mistaken for consent.

In the case of an encrypted computing device, the police are unable to break in within your help. That's why they want to compel you to help. But their attempts to compel you to help fail by means of the 5th amendment as well. They are asking you to testify against yourself by providing them with your decryption password. They got a warrant, which authorizes them to take the physical device, but they need your help to open it. It's like a door they can't break down.

And they have no right to force you to help them.

Now that I've disposed of the substantial argument, let's consider Kerr's argument:

Orin Kerr at the Volokh ConspiracyIn the California case, the government had obtained a search warrant to search the suspect's house and to seize devices that contained child pornography. The issue before the court was whether the suspect could be compelled to help the government execute the warrant by unlocking the devices seized during the search. The Wisconsin case was similar. The government obtained a search warrant before it used the passcode to unlock the phone. The defendant moved to suppress the fruits of the warrant search.

He goes right to the favorite argument of statists and tyrants: save the children.

Why is this guy being given a platform on a supposedly libertarian blog again? I used to respect the Volokh crowd.

Wed Apr 11 09:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller investigating $150K to Trump, ignoring $13M to Clinton

Daily CallerThe special counsel’s office is investigating a $150,000 donation a Ukrainian businessman made to President Donald Trump’s charity in 2015, according to a new report.

The donation, from steel magnate Victor Pinchuk, pales in comparison to contributions he gave to the charity Bill and Hillary Clinton set up. The billionaire has contributed $13 million to the Clinton Foundation since 2006 and had access to Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not investigating The Clintons. Instead, he is conducting a broad investigation of Donald Trump, including the flow of foreign money into various Trump-controlled entities.

Of course he did. What else would you expect a partisan hack to do?

Wed Apr 11 09:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Corruption at the EPA

No, not under Scott Pruitt and Trump. Remember all of Obama's EPA screwups?

Wed Apr 11 09:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House Intel Chairman Nunes delivers 24 hour ultimatum

According to The Last Refuge, Congress will hold an impeachment vote if the "electronic communication" documents are not delivered in 24 hours. These documents are the ones that initiated the counterintelligence operation against Trump in July 2016.

I'm not sure I would read the interview as saying an impeachment vote will be held immediately, just that the process would start. But the word impeachment was in fact used. It appears to refer to FBI Deputy Director Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray.

Of course, there's probably no way the Senate convicts. But it might give Trump political cover to fire them.

UPDATE: Nunes says he got "a version" of the document he can use. Sounds like it's still redacted, but perhaps less so.

Wed Apr 11 09:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bank of America choses gun control

The HillA Bank of America executive announced Tuesday that the bank will stop lending money to companies that manufacture "military-style" rifles that are available for civilians to purchase.

Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chair, told Bloomberg TV that the bank doesn’t want to “underwrite or finance military-style firearms” and has told a number of gun manufacturers that it will no longer do business with them.

Bank elsewhere.

Wed Apr 11 09:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

MA court rules in favor of state semiauto ban

The FederalistOn Thursday, federal district court judge William Young upheld Massachusetts’ “assault-weapon” ban against a Second Amendment challenge brought by several individual plaintiffs, two firearm dealers, and the Gun Owners’ Action League. Young’s decision in Worman v. Healey represents the first time a court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Massachusetts statute. The Ronald Reagan appointee’s analysis follows the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ approach in Kolbe v. Hogan, in upholding Maryland’s ban of semiautomatic rifles and large-capacity detachable magazines.

How long can the Supreme Court ignore these cases?

Wed Apr 11 09:54:35 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another vehicle attack in Europe

Reuters A German man drove a van into a group of people sitting outside a restaurant in the old city center of Muenster in western Germany on Saturday, killing two of them before shooting himself dead, police and state officials said.

Even though they say "a German man", anyone with German citizenship could match that description. The man's first name does seem German, and authorities are alleging links to "far right" groups and investigating two other suspects who may have fled the scene. In addition to the 2 dead, 20 were injured.

Note that he had no criminal record, and was able to get a gun.

Tue Apr 10 09:02:07 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DOJ misses subpoena deadline

Washington ExaminerThe Justice Department missed a deadline to submit documents ordered in a subpoena by the House Judiciary Committee, aggravating Republicans who were eager to see documents on a variety of issues, including the agency’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., sent the subpoena to the DOJ two weeks ago, after the agency failed to respond to a request for the documents from Goodlatte and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., that was issued four months prior.

AG Sessions appointed an outside-of-DC attorney to oversee the process. Whether that helps or hurts remains to be seen.

I'm of two minds: I think all this should be released as soon as possible, but I don't want that to interfere with the process of investigating and bringing criminal charges against the people who did it.

Frankly, I'm afraid we're not going to get either, despite Huber.

Tue Apr 10 09:02:07 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Federal gun confiscation law to be introduced

BreitbartRep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) used an April 2 Fox News Live appearance to announce that she is preparing to introduce legislation to create a federal law allowing firearm confiscation orders.

From the description, this is basically something similar to a domestic violence restraining order, except without the "domestic" part. The DV restraining orders already have due process problems because they are often issued unopposed in cases like a divorce, and they don't allow for police confiscation in most cases -- it's usually up to the recipient to make other arrangements for temporary storage in anticipation of the order being lifted. A federal law enabling confiscation-first-due-process-later orders will likely lead to no one getting their property back, and it won't stop cases like Parkland where the FBI failed to do their job and the local police also failed to do theirs.

Tue Apr 10 09:02:07 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller raids Trump's lawyer

New York TimesThe F.B.I. on Monday raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.

There's a couple problems here.

First: What's the connection to Russian interference in the 2016 election? None -- absent conspiracy theories like a Russian thug threatening "Stormy Daniels", or Russians funding the payoff to help Trump, there's no Russian connection. There may be an election connection -- the media has been arguing the payoff is a campaign finance crime or something -- but not a Russian connection. But Mueller's gone way off the reservation on this already, so why stop now?

Second: This is Trump's lawyer. Attorney-client privilege?

Mind you, anything negative about Trump that Mueller finds in his fishing expedition will leak, even if it gets thrown out of court later, that won't matter for purposes of public opinion and/or impeachment proceedings.

Bottom line: this is Mueller trying to force Trump to fire him, so Trump can be impeached for obstruction of justice after the 2018 midterms and the Democrats take the House as they anticipate.

What's Trump's best response? I got nuffin. I think this is yet another attempt to make headlines out of nothing by Mueller, but the trap is still effective; firing Mueller leads to charges of obstruction, not firing him leads to the pressure from things like this increasing infinitely. Mueller deserves to be fired, but is it worth the political cost? How else can he be made to go away?

Finally, note the timing. We're about to see the IG report on FISA abuse drop. Will these headlines compete? Is Mueller also trying to suggest that there's something to the whole investigation in order to defend against the anticipated IG report?

UPDATE: CNN has some "questions" fed to them by leakers. They are supposed to tell us that there's something suspicious about the whole Stormy Daniels thing. Instead, they tell us that Mueller has nothing on Trump besides the Stormy Daniels thing. And the Stormy Daniels thing is nothing. It's not connected to Russia, connecting it to the campaign is a stretch, and arguing for impeachment based on it is a non-starter. This is a tissue-thin excuse to raid Trump's lawyer's files and correspondence hoping they find something useful. That's all.

Mon Apr 09 16:42:47 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Anti-gun terrorism

No LawyersThis past Monday a shooting range in Trinity, North Carolina was hit with arson. The Triad Active Shooters Klub - TASK - had their shooting benches and three out of five shooting line shelters destroyed by fire. Randolph County Fire Marshal Erik Beard says the fire was intentionally set.

Luckily no one was hurt.

Mon Apr 09 09:01:41 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Previously missing CDC employee found dead by drowning

TIMEThe body of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee who mysteriously vanished almost two months ago was recovered this week from a river in Atlanta, police said Thursday.

Timothy Cunningham, a 35-year-old Harvard-educated leader within the nation’s health protection agency, was found dead late Tuesday night in the Chattahoochee River, which runs near his home, police said Thursday. A medical examiner identified his remains and said the cause of death was drowning.

Police said there is currently no indication that foul play was involved, and there were no signs of trauma on his body to indicate he died of anything but drowning.

“Barring new information coming forward, we may never be able to tell you how he got into the river,” Major Michael O’Connor of the Atlanta Police Department said at a press conference on Thursday. “We just don’t have those answers at this time.”

Not sure what to make of this. His going missing (and presumably, his death) coincided with a couple incidents of white powder mailed to government officials. Is there a connection? They did seem to stop shortly afterward. I think they caught someone for one of the attacks (the fake one, where it was just ordinary powder) but in the other attack people actually got sick. Is there a connection? Who knows?

Sun Apr 08 09:16:16 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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