Maybe the details are vague, but this one seems silly. Is it a change to the Senate rules? If so, they can change the rules back with 51 votes, as Reid has already demonstrated. Is it meant to be a budget rider to restrict the administration? Then why does it have to come back to the Senate for a 2/3rds vote? Is it supposed to require Senate authorization by individual vote to spend money on gun control projects that aren't already authorized by legislation? This is already the case. And if it's already authorized by legislation, it's not new... this proposal seems like a confused mess to me. Maybe I need more details.
Useful for people whose guns contain ivory, which is maybe a few thousand people with very expensive firearms. Not a bad idea, given that the administration is in fact cracking down on ivory in all sorts of stuff, but not exactly a sweeping rejection of gun control. I suspect Lamar Alexander has a rich donor with an antique ivory gun collection.
This is more like it, except the part about barring a national firearms registry should already be part of federal law. Did someone slip a change through when we weren't looking?
The latter part refers to Operation Choke Point, and would actually be very helpful. But important questions to ask: Does it have a penalty clause? Can private individuals or corporations sue the government for damages resulting from Operation Choke Point, especially punitive damages?
Has she ever successfully held elective office before? No? And she worked for McCain in the campaign he lost to a baby Senator with a habit of voting "present" and launched his campaign from the house of an admitted (but not convicted) domestic terrorist?
Not interested. Not even as VP.
But she's welcome to split the RINO vote, I suppose.
Iran military endorses nuclear EMP attack on United States
Yes, and their nuclear program is only for peaceful applications.
Irons in the Fire suspects that Obama would consider that a great opportunity to surrender:
I can't really argue with that; I suspect that's exactly how Obama would react. ANd he wouldn't be wrong about all of it. We would have a lot of bodies to bury and infrastructure to rebuild, so sending soldiers over to fight Iran would be a pointless waste of time when we could just turn them into a sheet of radioactive glass from here by pushing a few buttons and then get on with he rebuilding process.
Vermont activist admits to being a Bloomberg stooge
Well, ok, not Bloomberg specifically. But when presented with a proposed change to a background check law during a public hearing, the lobbyist for Gun Sense Vermont said "We need to get national expertise on this before we can approve it."
National expertise from a supposedly local "grassroots" group? Smells like astroturf to me. As, in fact, most efforts to push gun control are.
It's instructive to read the recommendations contained in reports like this and notice how they would have little actual impact on anything, besides their obvious goal of spreading leftist values by government force. And, amazingly, they blame Lanza's murderous actions on the "stigma" of mental illness.
The conclusion they fail to reach is a simple one. People who have a history of violence will often have violence in their present and future. This is not always the case; there's always a first act of violence, and some people do manage to reform. However, if you're looking for the most effective predictor of criminal behavior, looking at that individual's past history of criminal behavior is your best bet.
Trying to keep ordinary, non-violent citizens from defending themselves against violent attack has absolutely nothing to do preventing those violent attacks in the first place, because you are dealing with people who have significant differences in behavior and relatively little overlap.
Google wants to split high-tech immigration from other changes
The problem with Schmidt's proposal is that it is blatantly self-serving. It is good for him and his company -- good because it allows him to import lower-paid workers who are tied to his company rather than compete with other companies to hire Americans at pay rates commensurate with their skill and engineering knowledge. And it's good for politicians because Schmidt will donate a fraction of the money he saves by replacing American engineers with foreign indentured servants who will be kicked out of the country if they quit their jobs to take one that pays better.
Since Hillary was not exactly helpful in providing a text format for her letter admitting to wiping her emails, I ran the letter through OCR and provide it for you here, below the fold, as text. I haven't tried to reformat it. Be aware there is an attachment that provides the original request sent to her as well.
The formatting is neither my fault nor Hillary's fault. It's due to the OCR conversion. I may try to clean it up at some point.
Rubio seeks gun rights votes by repealing DC gun laws
I have mixed feelings about this one. Yes, DC should have reasonable gun laws. That should go without saying. This legislation would undoubtedly improve them. However, there are benefits to dragging DC kicking and screaming into gun rights by a succession of court orders, too; the city government is such an easy target that it's almost better to just get the courts to keep striking down laws and making favorable precedents until we get to something acceptable. (and THEN Congress can improve on the results...)
Also, Rubio's motives on this one are pretty transparent. He wants to shore up his gun rights support before announcing a run for president, since Cruz just announced and Cruz is in position to sweep the field from a gun rights perspective. While making the effort is nice, Rubio's legislation isn't going to do much to help him compete with Cruz on that front, especially when an Obama veto is basically inevitable.
Actually, it's worse than "wobbling"; it's an accusation, verified by three of the people present and denied by Walker, that he's saying one thing in his public speeches and another thing to the private audience at expensive fund raising events. It is exactly the kind of pathetic, cowardly two-faced betrayal that politicians are famous for.
If Scott Walker supports amnesty, let him say so. If he thinks he needs to express something more complicated than a yes or a no, let him do that (but understand that a lot of people are going to take anything that isn't a "no" to mean "yes"). However, whatever your position on immigration -- and, frankly, anything else, but immigration is the hot-button issue for politicians telling the people one thing and voting for another right now -- do not lie to us.
You get no trust, no second chances, no oh-I-changed-my-mind on this issue, Scott. You tell us what you really think and then, if elected, you act on that. There is no trust left. None.
GOP budget demonstrates how inept the GOP leadership is
When I'm done throwing up, I'll laugh. Balancing the budget in 9 years is as good as never balancing the budget at all, which is exactly what this budget will do. The budget must be balanced each and every year. Spending today with the promise of spending cuts tomorrow never works.
Not that the Democrats are going to cooperate, but with majorities in both the House and the Senate and the Democrats having helpfully set a precedent for disregarding the filibuster rule already, a balanced budget for the next two years should be an easy win for the GOP. Except that the GOP is led by idiots, cowards, and squishes.
Come on. This is not a serious candidate. After watching his performance pretending to run for president in earlier elections, I concluded that his goal was to steal media attention and donations from the serious candidates while distorting the positions of the party in a way that would harm the party as a whole in the general election.
We can't keep him from running, but we don't have to take him seriously, and we should not.
I predicted this. As yet the report is unconfirmed, and it is likely the governments involved will try to keep this element under wraps as long as possible. But the truth is the truth.
UPDATE: The Weekly Standard suggests there's no evidence of an Islamic conversion, and the cited "news" site is opinion-only. That's hard to judge when you're relying on translations. I remain concerned by the possibility of an Islamic link, but we don't appear to have any hard evidence for it.
Crashing an airplane with 150 people on board into a mountain is evidence he was a murderous psychopath, and that's bad enough.
In the old days, people blamed such things on the anger of the gods, and I can see why. The earth shakes for hundreds of miles around with no visible cause. You can't deny that it happened, everyone felt it. Everyone was doing something, even if just sleeping, when it hit; each one of them has a possible explanation for why their behavior angered the gods. How could they possibly figure out what was really going on? And why would they do that, when the effort spent on such explanations would inevitably prove useless?
It's much easier to blame the earthquake on the local earth god. Or thunder god. Or just God, a remarkable improvement in efficiency that eliminated the cognitive effort of trying to appease a different god with different rites for every possible phenomenon and replaced it with a single god to appease for everything by being nice rather than mean. In terms of freeing up cognitive resources for useful tasks, monotheism was brilliant.
Of course, that God eventually fell out of fashion because he demanded people behave in useful, productive, and unnatural ways that took effort and discouraged hedonism. Some people decided to replace God with the State, and others decided to replace God with Gaia. The latter are now busy blaming the earthquakes on fracking and devising rituals and taboos to appease their new earth god.
History may not be repeating itself exactly, but it's certainly rapping.