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Thousands of new Lerner emails found

The HillAn inspector general investigating the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups has found thousands of emails from Lois Lerner, the agency official at the center of that controversy, according to committees involved in the probe.

Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA) said it found roughly 6,400 emails either to or from Lerner from between 2004 and 2013 that it didn’t think the IRS had turned over to lawmakers, the congressional committees said. The committees have yet to examine the emails, aides on Capitol Hill said.

Now, to see what's actually in the emails.

The only unfortunate part of this is that the Inspector General did not immediately turn over the raw emails to Congress. There has been ample time for the IG to scrub anything pointing directly to Obama or the White House. If the email release includes such examples, we'll know it wasn't scrubbed despite the delay. If the email release instead paints a rosy picture of nothing to see here, we will always be left wondering what they left out.

Since there is a substantial chance that prominent Senators and House leadership members are implicated in at least encouraging the targeting, there is more than one potential source for a coverup effort.

2015-04-29 14:07:33.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Obama's grandmother makes pilgrimage to Mecca?

GatewayPunditUS President Barack Obama’s paternal grandmother Sara Omar went to Makkah to perform the Muslim pilgrimage of Umrah, according to a report by ArabianBusiness.com.

If true, this lends a lot of weight to certain rumors about Obama's true religion.

2015-04-29 12:50:30.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Fundamentally transforming immigrants into voters for 2016

PJMediaNaturalization plus mobilization is the explicit aim of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.” Multiple sources at DHS confirm that political appointees are prioritizing naturalization ahead of the 2016 Presidential election.

Empirical voting patterns among immigrants from minority communities demonstrate that these new voters will overwhelming vote for Democrat candidates. If the empirical rates of support for Democrats continued among these newly naturalized minority voters, Democrats could enjoy a electoral net benefit of millions of new voters in the 2016 Presidential election.

Obama's immigration goal has always been to secure new voters for the Democrat party.

2015-04-29 11:50:30.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

IRS deliberately cut customer service funds

TaxProfDuring the 2015 tax-filing season, the IRS provided what its own Commissioner described as “abysmal” customer service, blaming skyrocketing wait times for telephone and in-person assistance on agency budget cuts. The IRS even called budget cuts “a tax cut for tax cheats.” But a close review of the agency’s spending shows the IRS deliberately cut $134 million in funding for customer service to pay for other activities. Spending decisions entirely under the IRS’s control led to 16 million fewer taxpayers receiving IRS assistance this filling season. Other spending choices, including prioritizing employee bonuses and union activity on the taxpayer’s dime, used up resources that otherwise could have been used to assist another 10 million taxpayers.

This is very similar to the Washington Monument strategy that Obama has employed in the past: when threatened with budget cuts, make your cuts in the most annoying, most visible locations possible, and then complain loudly about how the budget cuts are making people suffer. Other people, of course. People not you. Because people might remember that they cut your budget so that you would suffer, the emphasis needs to be on the suffering of innocent third parties.

2015-04-29 10:50:30.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Seattle cops hire pesky programmer to block public records requests

Ars TechnicaA local programmer and prolific public records requester has been hired by the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to work on redacting and automating data release to the public. After being hired, Clemans apparently withdrew his pending public records requests, including one filed in February 2015 that asked for nearly every Washington state government e-mail ever.

Well, that's one way to get a job, I suppose.

2015-04-29 09:50:30.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Widespread secret warrentless stingray usage

Daily CallerA detective’s court testimony Monday revealed that Baltimore law enforcement is spying on residents at an incredible rate without a warrant — and doing their best to hide it.

Detective Michael Dressel testified that Baltimore law enforcement have used “sting rays”–devices that can track personal cell phone data and location–without court orders, The Baltimore Sun reports. Police said they have used sting rays 4,300 more than times since 2007.

This particular case is in Baltimore, but I've seen other stories from all over the US. I have no particular problem with stingray use so long as the police obtain a warrant first and only extract information from the targeted phone. But that's not how the stingray devices work; they collect everything in the vicinity including individuals completely unrelated to the investigation.

Mind you, a competent encryption infrastructure would render all of this moot. Let's get one in place already.

2015-04-28 12:50:30.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

NLRB soliciting union legal opinions on collecting dues from non-members

Washington Free Beacon via Bill QuickThe National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) put out a call for legal briefs on Wednesday asking labor law scholars to weigh in on whether unions should have the ability to extract dues payments from non-members. The announcement drew immediate criticism from right to work activists.

With, I note, no legislation change to justify the new power. Presumably this is a sue-and-settle scenario where Obama's friends will sue Obama, and Obama will order the government to settle on favorable terms that establish a legal precedent allowing the National Labor Relations Board to compel non-members to pay dues under some BS legal theory. And then that legal precedent will, in theory, be binding on future administrations, because it's a legal settlement rather than a regulatory change.

2015-04-28 11:50:30.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

So, the Daredevil series on Netflix

It's out and watchable. I enjoyed it, but I'm a Daredevil fan.

Good points:
It's reasonably faithful to the comic origin.
They hit the religious theme heavily, which the comics also did.
The whole first season is basically an origin story, and in doing that, they use one of Daredevil's really early costumes from an iconic version of his origin story -- so I recognized that and it was nice.
Jess the baby vamp from True Blood has the leading female role. Very good job.
The actor playing Matt Murdock is not someone I recognize, but also does a good job in both the acting scenes and the fighting scenes.
Fisk's actor came off well. His character development suffered due to script,
There's a one-liner setup for Electra.
There's a couple more one-liners for Iron Man and Thor.
Stick shows up.
The fights are brutal, and this is character-appropriate.
There is one ninja.

Bad points:
There is ONLY one ninja.
Script was pretty clumsy, and worse as time went on... but did have some good moments.
They blew a fair bit of their budget in the early episodes, which damaged their ability to break things and use fancy effects in the later episodes.
The budget allowed for one stock criminal to get beat up for information regularly. Just one. The same one.

In some ways I thought the low-budget for sets and such was appropriate. Daredevil is not about exotic locales or fancy gadgets. It's about a few blocks in New York -- poor blocks, filled with people at the bottom of the social and financial ladder, and their struggle to stay afloat while those on top try to sink them.

If they can find a scriptwriter for Season 2 who can keep the right tone while remembering that lines on television do not need to fit into a speech bubble, they have a real hit on their hands.

2015-04-28 10:50:30.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

181 Democrats who back a dictatorship

Roll CallA group of 181 Democratic members of the House weighed in on the legal fight over immigration on Monday, telling an appeals court that the executive branch has the authority to make the policy changes that President Barack Obama announced in November.

That's every House Democrat saving only 7.

2015-04-28 09:50:30.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

California passes ban on .45 caliber ammunition

National Report via John LottThe California Legislature has passed a controversial Assembly Bill that creates a ban on the future sale and ownership of all .45 ACP ammo. The bill states that the ban on the popular ammunition is in effect immediately, however does include a 60 day grace period prior to state law enforcement enforcing the ban.

I can't even work up proper outrage over this anymore. I suppose the governor might not sign it. Ya'll in the land of fruits and nuts might want to call him or something.

National Report via John LottJoshua Lancaster, a spokesperson from the office of Governor Jerry Brown, made the following statement to the press, “The time to make clear cut changes surrounding our current gun laws is here. The ban on this unnecessary ammunition is a major step towards a safer society for our children. There are no obvious or justifiable reasons for one to own or use semi-automatic handgun ammunition of that caliber, if 9mm and .40 S&W rounds are sufficient for our police force to protect us with, they are sufficient for any private citizen’s personal protection."

I'm surprised there hasn't been more outrage over this. Maybe it's an april fool's joke that I discovered late? It can't possibly pass 2nd Amendment muster, can it? If you can't ban a firearm in common use, surely you can't ban ammunition in common use for over a hundred years?

UPDATE: I was right to be skeptical, though I didn't find the time to check it out more thoroughly until later.

2015-04-28 03:56:16.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Law Enforcement opposes Oregon gun control

Sheriff Hanlin via Gateway Pundit“What I fear most is that we are going to create criminals, and specifically felonious criminals, out of some of our most ordinary, normal, law abiding citizens. Furthermore, I don’t know how I can, at least in my county, begin to try to enforce this law. Our budget is continuously shrinking to the point that there are times when we have a difficult time simply responding to domestic disturbances, vehicle crashes, the ordinary calls for service that happen every day. And to expect local law enforcement to run down and do an investigation into whether or not a private individual has conducted a background check is nearly impossible.”

There are more quotes at the link.

2015-04-27 12:58:38.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Clinton foundation to refile at least 5 years of tax returns

Reuters via Jammie Wearing FoolsHillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

Of particular note: For three years, beginning in 2010, the foundation reported zero funds received from governments, both US and foreign. But it continued to receive tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments during that time. How will be explained as an honest mistake rather than an attempt to hide potential conflicts of interest? I'm sure they will come up with something.

2015-04-27 11:58:38.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Lott rounds up cases of concealed-carry preventing crimes

John LottThis past Friday, an Uber driver with a permitted concealed handgun stopped what likely would have been a mass public shooting. Police arrived on the scene quickly, but the Uber driver had still already taken care of the situation before they arrived.

That case got a lot of publicity because it's in Chicago which until recently banned firearms entirely, never mind allowing concealed carry. But there are lots more. Read the whole thing.

2015-04-27 10:58:38.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Mitch McConnell introduces legislation to reauthorize warrentless surveillance

Ars TechnicaThe Republican from Kentucky introduced the legislation (PDF) late Tuesday that would allow the once-secret program, authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act, to continue through 2020. McConnell invoked a rule that bypasses the usual committee vetting process, enabling the bill to go directly to the Senate floor, where a vote has not been scheduled.

McConnell needs to go. He is not helping.

2015-04-27 09:58:38.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Rubber-hose cryptography

Ars Technica"I'm going to f—ing break your face if you don't tell us where the f— money is," Cascioli recalled one officer saying. Another allegedly urinated on some of his possessions. The government claims that the officers also roughed up Cascioli, punching him in the stomach. According to Cascioli and the indictment, Liciardello told them to "do whatever they had to do to get the password."

Out on the balcony, Cascioli says officers Norman and Walker lifted him up by each arm and leaned him over the balcony railing.

But last week, one of the cops who had done the threatening took the witness stand to corroborate Cascioli's account. Jeffrey Walker, who was arrested in an FBI corruption sting back in 2013, admitted that he and another officer had in fact leaned Cascioli over his balcony to elicit the password.

It's a lot more trouble to set up a system with an "I am under duress" password, but it's beginning to sound like it might be worth it.

2015-04-26 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Supreme Court rules that police may not delay a traffic stop to wait for a search

Yahoo NewsThe Supreme Court said Tuesday that police may not extend an ordinary traffic stop to seek evidence of crimes unrelated to the offense that prompted officers to pull a vehicle over.

At first glance, this is a blow struck against police abusing traffic stops to pressure victims into consenting to a search instead of waiting hours for the police to bring a drug dog up to the car, where the handler will signal the dog to alert and the car will be torn apart on the shoulder of the road and left for the victim to put back together and drive away hours later. The facts in this case included a delay of less than 10 minutes and the police still lost. So, in theory, they aren't allowed to make you wait for a drug dog.

In practice, officers will claim they smelled marijuana while they were writing the ticket and business will continue as usual.

2015-04-26 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

IRS to monitor political actiivity of churches without disclosing rules

National ReviewSo the IRS, acting with the whole power of government behind it, seems to be saying it can monitor and presumably punish churches for the content of their sermons, but the churches can’t know exactly if, how, and why they are being monitored.

In other words, churches will be expected to adhere to rules for political activity that they aren't allowed to know. After all, if we don't know what the rules are, we can't call the IRS out for their political bias in enforcing those rules, and churches can't take proactive steps to comply with the law. After all, you cannot rule an innocent man; instead, one makes so many rules for every possible kind of activity that no man can successfully follow them all. The power and pick and chose who to prosecute from a national of criminals becomes supreme.

2015-04-26 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

SWAT raids for ordinary legal political activity in Wisconsin

Patterico describes the problem. I've seen reporting on this before, and it should be much bigger news than it currently is. But it seems most news organizations are content to wait to see if any actual charges surface before looking into whether the raids were justified.

If it was news organizations getting raided, I doubt they would be quite so patient.

2015-04-26 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Brady attorneys withdraw from case under ethical cloud

NRA-ILAEarlier this week, the Brady Center's Legal Action Project attorneys Jonathan Lowy and Alla Lefkowitz withdrew from a Wisconsin lawsuit after inadmissible evidence was published on Brady’s website in violation of Wisconsin’s rules of professional conduct concerning trial publicity.

The scary part about this is that literally the only different between Wisconsin and Stalin's secret police is that the people were still at home after the midnight knock on the door, just a lot quieter, politically speaking. Wisconsin is apparently close enough to Siberia that no transportation was necessary.

We are just a few executive orders away from a police state as long as Obama remains in office. The police who participated in these raids need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and retire from law enforcement. Not only were the midnight raids by secret police on political opponents intended to intimidate and terrorize, the police carried them out without a peep of protest despite the clear and unambiguous violation of the first amendment to which they swore an oath to uphold.

2015-04-25 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Gun control effort to stop WalMart from selling guns fails

Washington TimesAn appeals court ruled Tuesday that Wal-Mart investors don’t have a right to try to stop the company from selling rifles or any other product those shareholders may think is socially destructive.

By investors, they mean an anti-gun group that bought a minimal investment specifically to try to force a vote, and which, if the tactic succeeded, they would presumably sell and move on to "invest" in another company for the same purpose. This decision basically restores business as usual.

2015-04-25 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Texas House passes open carry

Fox NewsThe Texas House of Representatives on Friday voted 96-35 to allow residents with concealed-handgun licenses to openly carry their guns in public in holsters. A similar open-carry measure passed the Texas Senate last month; the two open-carry bills must be squared before being sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has indicated support for the idea.

A step forward for Texas.

2015-04-25 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

It's the little things

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four“In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy.”

I always appreciated Picard's "four lights" interrogation episode on its own merits, but having seen this quote and being thus reminded, I suspect the choice of four lights for reality and five lights for submission was a deliberate reference to this passage.

2015-04-25 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

What do you do when the predictions are wrong?

CBS has a study claiming that 1 in 10 Americans have "anger issues" and access to guns, implying that this is an argument for gun control. The problem is, if their thesis was true, this would show up in 1 in 10 Americans being charged with murder or attempted murder. And it doesn't; their model is falsified by existing reality. In actual reality, the odds of a particular gun owner committed a violent crime with their gun is literally millions to one, and the concealed-carry folks are generally even more peaceful people than the general population.

If you are a scientist, or have even a vague grasp of the scientific method, you look at this and say "The model doesn't predict the observed results, so the model is bunk and must be scrapped."

If you are a Democrat, apparently you call for another law to stop the murders that aren't happening.

They do the same thing on the next ice age global warming climate change climate disruption. Their hysterical mental model is stronger than reality, for them.

2015-04-24 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Obama still working on gun control

ABC News"What we've done is to try to do as much as we could administratively to tighten up how background checks are run, to go after illegal drug runners," President Obama told ABC News's Dr. Richard Besser during a sit-down interview at Howard University. "But I will tell you that trying to get something through Congress has proven to be very difficult. And it's heart-breaking."

We know he's tried to get a few things through under the radar already, the real question is going to be what he's already gotten through that we haven't noticed yet. Particularly that bit about "administratively tighten up how background checks are run". He probably means the VA preemptively disqualifying people who need a financial advisor or the like.

2015-04-24 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Liberal Media Bias 101

National ReviewOne by one, the media covering the Republican presidential candidates attach some quickly assembled defining flaw to each candidate: “Rand Paul has a temper problem with the media”; “Ted Cruz is an unelectable extremist”; “Scott Walker’s lack of a completed college degree is likely to be a major problem.”

Notice how all the Republican primary candidates immediately, literally the day they announce, get nasty media shorthand attacks as their defining moment? Like it's almost coordinated? Remember journolist: it probably is coordinated. And while Hillary is not having an easy time in the media either, it's a) a far easier time than any of the Republicans, b) still pretty damn easy, given the sheer number and magnitude or her unforced errors, and c) coordinated by the President and his media team to knock Hillary out of the race early.

2015-04-24 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments
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