They have granted 8 and denied 11 out of 69 applications so far, and have certified 6 trainers. This is a victory for gun rights, but DC's rules for obtaining a license are so strict that legal challenges are likely to continue.
New Mexico court rules switchblades not protected by the 2nd Amendment
The most important thing to know about this case for most of us, who don't carry switchblades in New Mexico, is that there appears to be a circuit split between the 9th and 10th federal districts on knife rights. That makes a Supreme Court ruling on the issue more likely.
This is a big deal if the FDIC actually has the authority to enforce it. The letter to banks will counteract the pressure to close accounts of politically-disfavored businesses, and more importantly the requirement to make recommendations in writing will provide for an evidence trail in cases where accounts are actually closed due to government regulatory pressure.
I do find myself with some uncomfortable questions, though.
First, obviously this doesn't address past issues. Second, it won't stop people from giving "advice" and not putting it in writing. It may discourage it, but it can't stop it. Third, Operation Chokepoint has generally been described as a joint operation with the Department of Justice. The details aren't known, but FDIC doesn't necessarily have authority over everyone involved.
Admission of wrongdoing sounds like lawsuits can and should be filed pronto.
This is big news, and I wonder if -- like with the IRS case -- an internal investigation is driving the desire to get out in front of the news cycle with this.
Government monitoring gun shows with license plate readers
The only thing I have to add to this is that it is no longer a hypothetical situation. Between satellites, drones, automated license plate readers, financial monitoring of credit card transactions, the paper 4473s, NICS, and NSA monitoring of communications activity (including email, telephones, and web traffic) the government could compile a list of gun owners and match that list to a high-confidence list of what firearms they owned with relatively little effort. It wouldn't be serial numbers, but probably close enough for the cop on the raid to ask you where the AR-15 you bought last year is and why you didn't turn it in.
Confirmed: Justice Department has an operational database of guns and cars
That's the "car" part of the database. Put it together with other databases, such as state lists of concealed-carry permit licensees, and you can find out if a particular car is likely to have a gun, as happened to this Florida resident driving through Maryland. We know their motivations are centered around guns because they originally intended to deploy this around gun shows:
It seems clear this is a fully operational gun-registration program that purports to be about cars and has been kept mostly secret until now.
If your memory for European news items goes back a couple years, you will recall that Greece has been pretty much in perpetual debt crisis for at least 5 years or so, and has already been rescued multiple times by bailouts from the other European nations using the Euro as their currency (mostly Germany).
The results there make it clear: Democracy will last until the people realize they can vote themselves money from other people -- in this case, from other nations. That lasts until other nations stop giving them money; then comes hyperinflation, as the democratically-elected leaders print money instead; and finally a complete economic crash as people bring wheelbarrows full of cash to buy a loaf of bread.
Utah makes vehicle seizure mandatory for lack of insurance
What was once a voluntary mandate applied by officer discretion to those obviously operating outside the law is not a mandatory part of a traffic stop, and will most likely be applied to anyone whose insurance paperwork is even a few days out of date.
We think that drugs cause addiction, but there's credible scientific evidence that says that isn't so. People with miserable lives who have nothing but the drugs to enjoy become, and stay, addicted. People with happy lives do not, even if -- for medical reasons -- they are forced to use a drug for pain relief temporarily.
What does this mean on a policy level? You can't mandate human connection and a happy, fulfilling life as a government policy. But I do think a lot of our current laws pretty much ensure that anyone who has ever gotten in trouble with the law will have an unhappy, unfulfilled life; and that is exactly the environment that would drive them to return to drug addiction.
This sounds like reasonable legislation to me, and would probably have some positive impact in anti-gun states, but not much impact considering the differences from existing federal law are minor and anti-gun states often feel free to ignore the existing federal law anyway. It's better than nothing, but is it worth the political capital?
It actually took me a little bit of thought to decide on that adjective. My first thought was shocked; but I'm hardly surprised by the Obama administration's incompetence and mendacity anymore. Sometimes I am horrified by it, sometimes I am infuriated by it; most of the time I am resigned to it. But this particular instance needed a new word for emphasis.
I can understand the president feeling slighted by Congress inviting Netanyahu to speak. Foreign policy is traditionally the president's realm, but if he was intent of keeping it that way he should make more of an effort to avoid screwing it up. So feeling slighted is understandable. A competent president might make the argument that Congress receiving Netanyahu without the President's involvement is unconstitutional, but this president doesn't seem to care about that and is evidently incapable of making that argument coherently even when it would be to his advantage.
Having a temper tantrum in the media about it, however, is definitely not. That's just childish.
Worse is the announcement that the Israeli intelligence service (Mossad) is supposedly against sanctions on Iran and at odds with Netanyahu on that topic. If true, this would be the sort of thing you bring up in a private meeting with the other head of state, to avoid political embarrassment. But of course, the point here was to cause political embarrassment in order to hurt Netanyahu's chances in upcoming elections. Which is another thing that experienced diplomats try to avoid doing, because if the gambit fails they have just pissed off a sitting head of state.
Of course, Netanyahu has lots of reasons to be pissed at Obama already, so maybe this was a cheap shot.
But the worst part?
The worst part is knowing that our president, AND all of his advisors, are stupid enough collectively to believe they can announce that the Israeli intelligence agency disagrees with the Israeli head of state without that intelligence agency immediately issuing a press release to the contrary. I mean, that is the instant, obvious, effective response in their national interest, even and especially if that response is true.
In fact, the response from Mossad was so swift, so accurate, complete with transcripts of the conversations in which the claim was supposedly made, that I am convinced it cannot be that simple and obvious. No, I think this was a setup. I think the claim that Mossad disagreed with Netanyahu was a deliberate leak, a petty revenge on a petty man, and Obama took the bait like a... chickenshit.
I just want to get the above on record: gun control groups do not care if anyone is actually prosecuted under any of their laws. They are content, it seems, with having those laws in place to intimidate law-abiding citizens who might engage in legal conduct with firearms.
On the other side of the spectrum, a police department using mug shots taken from their actual arrests as training targets is also really, really stupid. The pictures are real people who the officers might well encounter on the street some day. Even if not, surely there's some reputational damage and an implied threat when you are talking about specific, identifiable individuals who did not agree to the use of their images (or indeed to their images being taken at all).
Can't we just agree not to do stupid stuff on either side?
Government's role in housing crisis covered up by government
I'm curious about why he didn't talk at the time and why he's talking now.
I'm also curious why a book released 10 days ago already has almost 60 one-star reviews, many posted just a day or two after the book's release, most with no other posted reviews and a very strong dislike of banks.
I get that the typical reader of the New York Times probably has absolutely no memory of, say, high school chemistry. My own memory of high school chemistry is shaky enough, but I know how to use google to remind myself of things I am interested in. And I get that the typical New York Times reader is probably more interested in knowing that a comet smells like rotten eggs and urine than knowing that the comet possibly has hydrogen sulfide, and there's way too much stuff in urine to be able to guess what "smells like urine" means.
But why couldn't they just... put the chemistry in a footnote or something? Or at least link directly to the actual results that indicate that the comet surface is organic rich?
If you control the question, you control the answer
There's no option for "Fuck you", but you can bet I would say that to the person reading me the survey questions anyway; it might get back to the administrators that way. Though they would probably do it by computer these days, and computers aren't capable of realizing something is wrong when everyone they give a survey to responds with something vulgar.