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Jake Tapper on Obamacare and Gruber

2014-11-29 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

The Stupidity of the American Voter

The Smallest Minority has three of the Gruber videos and a nice piece of his own from before he started his blog.

It's not that American voters are stupid. It's that politicians lie to them.

2014-11-29 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

IRS Scandal Coverage

2014-11-28 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Ex-CNBC anchor told to shut up about Obamacare flaws

2014-11-28 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

An artificial emergency

It was the second time in recent months that Ohio law enforcement officers responded to 911 calls by concerned citizens, and then shot and killed people holding airguns with three seconds of arriving on scene, allowing them no time to process and respond to officer commands. Neither John Crawford nor Tamir Rice had committed a crime. They’re no less dead because of it.

Bearing Arms has shooting video from the Ohio 12-year-old with airgun incident. It looks like police didn't give themselves time to do anything BUT shoot the person.

It used to be that the goal of a police officer going into a situation like that was to resolve it peacefully.

2014-11-27 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Inspector General identifies 2,500 potential links to Obama's White House

In a shocking revelation, the Treasury Inspector General has identified some 2,500 documents that “potentially” show taxpayer information held by the Internal Revenue Service being shared with President Obama’s White House.

What does "potential" mean in this case? We don't know much more than what the Inspector General's office told Cause of Action:

My client wants to know if you would consent to a motion pushing back (in part) TIGTA’s response date by two weeks to December 15, 2014. The agency has located 2,500 potentially responsive documents and anticipates being able to finish processing 2,000 of these pages by the December 1 date. It needs the additional two weeks to deal with the last 500 pages to determine if they are responsive and make any necessary withholdings. We would therefore like to ask the court to permit the agency to issue a response (including production) on December 1 as to any documents it has completed processing by that date, and do the same as to the remaining documents by December 15. I note that the court’s remand was for a “determin[ation],” which the D.C. Circuit has recently explained can precede actual production by “days or a few weeks,” but we would prefer to simply agree on a date for turning over any of the remaining 500 documents that may be responsive.

The original FOIA request was for documents sharing taxpayer information with the White House. I don't think we can fairly assume that all 2500 potentially responsive documents actually are responsive; for all we know, the people handling the FOIA response simply searched for emails between IRS addresses and White House addresses. But even so, that's 2,500 potential felonies; it's hard to believe that, given what we know was going on with Lerner and her department, that none of those thousands of documents contain anything improper.

Between this and the Inspector General's recent discovery of 25,000 missing Lerner emails from backup tapes that IRS Commissioner Koskinen repeatedly claimed under oath could not possibly contain any Lerner emails, we may be about to see things heating up quite a bit in DC.

2014-11-26 17:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Is it possible to de-politicize the IRS?

The Daily Caller has found a man with a plan to depoliticize the IRS.

Frankly, I'm not convinced the IRS can be depoliticized, and I don't think changing the IRS Commissioner is going to matter a whit. The problem is that the bureaucrats are more than willing to put their thumb on the scale, and the only solution to that is cutting off the thumbs. Figuratively.

2014-11-26 16:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Home Depot may need to do background checks on nail guns...

... along with anyone who transfers (sells, rents, loans) flare guns in Washington State, all thanks to I-594. Or maybe not.

Part of the point of passing complex laws governing normal behavior with firearms is to put people in legal jeopardy for innocent actions, and make gun owning a legally hazardous thing to do.

2014-11-26 15:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Renewable energy sources not feasible

Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible.

Read the whole thing to understand the problem, and the solution.

Note too that there is no reason we shouldn't pursue improvements in energy efficiency. Making efficient use of a limited resource is reasonable.

2014-11-26 14:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

How Ironic...

It turns out that the Reverand Al Sharpton's organization is a 501(c)4 "social welfare" group. You know, the one that's been in the news recently for owing millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. Anyone think Al is non-political? Anyone think the IRS has been scrutinizing his group's activities the way conservative groups were scrutinized? I doubt it.

2014-11-26 13:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Huge trove of Fast and Furious documents released

A total of 10,112 documents, comprised of approximately 42,000 pages, were disclosed to Judicial Watch in the new production. The documents are being posted and most are now available on the Judicial Watch Internet site at http://www.judicialwatch.org/fast-furious-documents-released/.

They are requesting help in crowdsourcing the analysis.

2014-11-26 11:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Judge may hold DC in contempt of court for restrictive carry licensing

A federal judge is weighing a request to hold the District in contempt of court for enacting new gun laws that are so restrictive as to be out of compliance with his order to allow for concealed carry in the city.

During a hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. asked the city and the plaintiffs fighting the regulations for additional filings on whether the city should be considered in contempt of his order that officials develop a licensing scheme “consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

The 2nd Amendment applies to everyone, not just those "under a specific threat". We'll see if a judge agrees. The attorney in this case is Alan Gura, who argued and won the Heller case that brought the 2nd Amendment to DC roughly 6 years ago, and has won other gun-rights cases since.

If Gura wins this case, which seems likely to me, it will likely require shall-issue concealed-carry licensing in all 50 states and federal territories. Other requirements, like training, may remain in place, though I wouldn't be surprised if the court rules that training must actually be available at reasonable time and cost. (Currently, there are no approved instructors).

2014-11-26 10:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Rule of Law

See, your libertarian tendencies, while very real, are frequently superfluous when it's your ox being gored. That's not an accusation, far from it, it's the most human of tendencies. As a conservative, however, my philosophy is rooted in the belief that what makes the US system work is the adherence to the rule of law in all cases. The civil rights movement came about to force southern culture and social mores to conform with the law. You like to claim that gay marriage is a new civil rights movement, but it's not. The civil rights movement was a force to uphold the law, the gay marriage movement seeks to overturn by fiat laws that it doesn't like. It's OK that you don't like the law, and it's fine that you seek to change it. There are democratic methods (referendums) and legislative methods (laws) to do that. What isn't fine is to impose your will on everyone else just because they disagree with you. There are processes to be followed, when those processes are shortcutted, the entire system of rule of law is undermined. This is a perfect contrast. You can't be enthusiastic about fiat rulings when they benefit you and aghast when they harm you. That attitude is what will destroy the entire system. Adherence to the rule of law is the only thing standing between us and anarchy, and anarchy always evolves into totalitarianism. You're on the right track with regards to your political philosophy, but you really need to think it through. I'll leave you with one final thought. All of this should be important to you, personally, because you are a black lesbian. If blind pursuit of short term goals achieves them at the cost of destroying the larger societal structure, and we fall into totalitarianism, what then? Can you name one totalitarian regime in history that has been kind to minorities or homosexuals? I can't think of any. Can you?

Read the whole thing.

2014-11-26 09:29:25.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Vote Fraud in Colorado

Remember when it was concerning that Joe Salazar’s representative basically gave her blessing for an undercover James O’Keefe and his friends to commit voter fraud? This is why. Today, our sources tell us that allegedly a Denver Police Officer ballot with a signature cure turned up in Adams County. The only problem? The officer is saying he did not vote. Our source up north is further saying that many showing up on the cured list have moved away. What is going on in Adams County?

This is why Democrats put in mail-in voting in Colorado as soon as they were in power there; voting by mail makes vote fraud trivial. It doesn't mean you can win all elections, but it's a huge thumb you can put on the scale if you don't mind cheating.

2014-11-25 13:42:35.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

If Obama doesn't like your plan, he will pick a new one for you

“Here’s a Friday Obamacare news-dump for you: In a 300-page regulatory proposal released late this afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is considering changing Obamacare’s auto-renewal rules so that, within the health law’s exchanges, instead of being automatically renewed into your current health plan, you’d be moved into the lowest cost plan from the same service tier. . . . It’s not just auto-reenrollment. It’s auto-reassignment. Basically, if you like your plan, but don’t go out of your way to intentionally re-enroll, the kind and wise folks at HHS or state health exchanges might just pick a new plan—perhaps with different doctors, clinics, cost structures, and benefit options—for you. And if you want to switch back? Good luck once open enrollment is closed. There’s always next year. A hassle? Maybe. But have faith: They know what’s best.”

Yet another surprise released on Friday, along with all the other document dumps.

2014-11-25 09:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Flying Stingrays

We've heard about ground-based Stingray devices that collect cell phone information by pretending to be a cell tower. Police have been using those devices, and hiding their use from the general public and even from judges in specific criminal cases. Now, though, the program is being stepped up: DoJ is refusing to confirm or deny (which means confirmed, of course) that there is a program to mount Stingray devices on light aircraft in flight over major metropolitan areas.

2014-11-24 18:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Obamacare was designed to do what Obama promised it wouldn't do

At a town hall meeting where he campaigned for health care legislation in 2009, President Barack Obama pledged to voters that he did not want any tax on health insurance plans he perceived as wastefully generous to ever impact average Americans. But in recent comments by one of the men who helped draft the legislation, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, that is not only precisely what will happen -- but that was the intention of the tax.

More Gruber fallout.

2014-11-24 17:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

A tax on global warming deniers

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley made national news last year when he fought to pass and signed a tax bill that levied a tax on Marylanders, businesses and churches for the amount of “impervious surface” they have on their property.

Though the O’Malley administration calls it a “fee,” it is commonly called the “rain tax” throughout the state. It is wildly unpopular and the promise to fight to repeal the tax was a large factor in Maryland electing Republican Larry Hogan governor this month.

Now Prince George’s County is offering a way for churches to avoid paying the tax, which is estimated to be an average of $744 per year for them — preach “green” to their parishioners.

So far 30 pastors have agreed to begin “‘green’ ministries to maintain the improvements at their churches, and to preach environmentally focused sermons to educate their congregations” to avoid being hit with the tax, The Washington Post reports.

In other words, the Left will tax you... unless you agree to proselytize for their causes, in which case they will forgive the tax.

I don't see how this can possibly pass First Amendment muster, because it is the definition of viewpoint discrimination. It's also pretty much exactly what the IRS was doing to Tea Party groups, except enshrined in legislation rather than in secret policies. Those of you voting Democrat because those blue-haired Republicans want to censor your hip tunes, it's time to wake up and smell the Earl Grey.

2014-11-24 16:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Yeah, about the IRS finding those 30,000 missing Lerner emails...

... let's just bear in mind that it wasn't the IRS who found the emails. If it was up to the IRS, we still wouldn't have any of them. The Inspector General found the emails by searching backup tapes that the IRS refused to search. The Inspector General is also an executive branch agency run by the President and his appointees.

We may never know what has been sanitized from those backup tapes.

2014-11-24 15:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

China, other nations can shut down power grid at will

“Rogers said he believed China along with ‘one or two’ other countries had the capability to successfully launch a cyber-attack that could shut down the electric grid in parts of the United States,” the report noted. “U.S. adversaries are performing electronic ‘reconnaissance,’ on a regular basis so that they can be in a position to attack the industrial control systems that run everything from chemical facilities to water treatment plants.”

This is what we get when the NSA is more interested in evesdroping on our own population than protecting us from foreign nations.

2014-11-24 14:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Jay Leno backs out of SHOT show speech

Jay Leno was supposed to be the headliner at the NSSF's State of the Industry Dinner at the SHOT Show. Under intense pressure from the gun prohibitionists, he cancelled his appearance.

This is a sad example of a man caving to pressure from the left to SHUT UP rather than give a talk at a gun industry event.

I can't agree that it's all a plan to destroy the gun culture, though. It's not. It's a plan to destroy any possibility that any opposition to the progressive left has validity or popularity.

The response is the same, though. We need to borrow a page from the people who are winning in GamerGate: we aren't going to sit down, we aren't going to shut up, and we are going to punch back -- politically -- twice as hard.

2014-11-24 13:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Obama issues executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants

I'm not going to say much about this, other than to note that it happened as it was expected to happen:

President Obama announced an expansive new set of executive actions in a prime-time address Thursday that the White House says will give legal status and work permits to 5 million immigrants in the United States illegally.

At first glance, it's a relatively limited amount of overreach. He's not trying to offer citizenship, just temporary deferral of deportation (with an exception for criminals). It's Obama refusing to faithfully execute the laws, but not Obama purporting to grant a benefit that the law does not provide, at least so far as I can tell. That doesn't mean it's not a harmful action, though.

For example, it means people can stay in the country and keep voting illegally (if they were already, of course), but it doesn't transform those votes into legal votes. It might encourage people who think they are now legal residents to think they are now legal voters, though. And the people who take advantage of this will get legal id which they can present when voting, which means the voter rolls have to be cleaned more thoroughly to make sure that non-citizens with valid ID are prevented from voting.

I do wonder if many of the low-income immigrants might not prefer to stay in the shadows, though. If they come out, they make themselves targets for potential deportation later, and -- as they are temporarily legal workers -- they must now be paid minimum wage, benefits or penalties under Obamacare, payroll taxes, income taxes... in other words, illegal immigrants can no longer rely on competing for jobs based on low wages to make up for other disadvantages (ie, poor english, etc).

In many cases, jobs that went to illegals before because those jobs were not economical under the minimum wage will now go to illegal illegals rather than Obama illegals because the jobs still aren't worth the minimum wage. I doubt the availability of government benefits will be viewed as worth the imposition of government taxes by those not used to paying them.

To the extent that this measure is taken advantage of by former illegals, competition for legal, minimum wage jobs will increase.

One point of personal concern to me:

A second hammer blow will be dealt by the president's unilateral increase in foreign worker programs for large corporations, including technology corporations. Currently, two-thirds of all new jobs in the IT industry are being filled by foreign workers — and yet the president wants to dramatically surge foreign worker admissions even further. This at a time when the Census Bureau tells us more than 11 million Americanswith science, technology, engineering and math degrees don't have jobs in those fields.

I have seen this personally. These visas are extremely damaging to the tech industry in the United States. Large companies that can sponsor these visas will rejoice at the availability of foreign temporary workers, effectively indentured, who cannot effectively negotiate for salary and benefits like an American worker can. And these workers do make enough to be a net tax positive.

These visas are not supposed to be issued when Americans are available who can fill the positions, but that requirement is a joke.

2014-11-24 12:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Ben Carson is definitely running for President

He's trying to walk back statements he made about guns that suggested he might favor a ban on semi-automatic firearms in urban areas. I appreciate that he's making the effort to walk them back, but disappointed that he has to walk them back in the first place. That said, whoever he has perched on his shoulder encouraging him to run for president has finally gotten the wording right:

Carson said that “under no circumstances” would he “allow a bureaucrat to remove any law-abiding citizen's rights for any kind of weapon that they want to protect themselves.”

If he were in a position of national leadership, Carson said he would seek to allow people to possess any kind of weapon they can legally buy, including “automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons.”

I hope that these statements are the result of someone close to him having a series of deep, philosophical discussions on the issue, and not a pollster feeding words into his mouth. I am not reassured by the fact that this article appears in the Bloomberg news service. If anyone might be willing and able to fund a stealth Republican gun control candidate for President, Bloomberg is at the top of the list.

With that in mind, I'll be following what Carson does in the leadup to 2016 with interest.

UPDATE: Looks like Carson may have misstepped again while commenting on Ferguson.

2014-11-24 11:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

The Lois Lerner Curve

I call this the Lois Lerner Curve. With few laws policing corruption, there’s a lot of it. Then, as law enforcement increases, corruption declines, down to point zero on the curve. Thereafter, however, additional laws result in more corruption, because citizens and bureaucrats alike become lost in the complexity and enforcement is unevenly applied.

The Lerner Curve is a specific example of this quote being applied:

“There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

It has already become practically impossible for an ordinary man to participate in politics without breaking laws. An ordinary citizen is practically limited to donating money to organizations or candidates with the money to hire specialized campaign finance lawyers. God forbid an ordinary, unapproved man or woman try to run for office; look what happened to Christine O'Donnel, for example.

2014-11-24 10:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Checking your privilege

In a Victimocracy, suffering is the exclusive privilege of the elites. No one else is allowed to suffer except them. No one else has ever been oppressed, has felt pain, been insulted, abused, degraded, enslaved and ground down into the dirt except the very people who are grinding you into the dirt now.

This rings a bell. In a discussion on another website, I remember arguing that the accomplishments of non-minority individuals were worthy of respect, even though those people -- myself included -- did not have to overcome horrible barriers and discrimination and racism. Hard work, intellectual effort, and long hours were involved in learning to be a professional software engineer. I am proud of that, and my career accomplishments. I can be proud of that without putting down someone else's accomplishments, and it's certainly not the same as "playing a game on easy mode", as John Scalzi once put it.

Being told to "check my privilege" and that nothing I have accomplished in my life is worth being proud of because I'm not a minority is racist.

And yes, people have told me those exact things.

2014-11-24 09:16:24.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments
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