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IRS to start notifying victims of social security fraud

The HillThe Internal Revenue Service will start notifying victims of employment-related identity theft in a shift of policy following criticism from Congress.

"We’re still working out the details of the policy change to advise people of possible misuse of their Social Security number, and we will have more details to share in the near future," the IRS said in a statement.

Note that what they don't say is even more important than what they do say.

The problem is that people in the country illegally use illegally-obtained social security numbers to (fraudulently) prove their work authorization, and then file their taxes using Taxpayer Identification Numbers.

The IRS is making this announcement most likely because existing federal law requires disclosure of identity theft incidents; other organizations and agencies routinely disclose such incidents and usually offer identity protection services for a period of time after the incident. This is what the IRS is saying they will start doing. It's an improvement.

What they are not doing, and should be, is notifying the employers that the social security number used to obtain the job was fraudulent.

2016-04-29 12:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Cruz names Fiorina as VP pick

I was never a big fan of Cruz's just-announced VP pick, but as a VP at least some of my concerns are ameliorated. I see the motivations here as being twofold: to change the subject from Tuesday's election results, and to attract California voters who Cruz desperately needs. (California being where Fiorina ran for Senate and won the Republican primary). Neither motive really impresses me much. Fiorina lost the general election for Senate and doesn't bring much else to the ticket aside from generally compatible policies.

That said, I don't have any real objections. Rand Paul is probably more useful in the Senate. Rubio or Kasich would be too establishment. Carson already endorsed Trump. Scott Walker might have been a good choice, but can't bring California delegates in the primary when Cruz needs them. Of such compromises are presidents sometimes made and legacies sometimes lost.

2016-04-29 11:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

House passes email privacy act

TechDirtThe push to reform ECPA -- the Electronic Communications Privacy Act -- have been going on basically as long as this site has been in existence (i.e. nearly 20 years). There are lots of problems with ECPA, but the big one that everyone points to is that it considers any communication that's on a server more than 180 days to be "abandoned" and accessible without a warrant. That perhaps made some amount of sense back in 1986 when the law was written, because everything was client-server and you downloaded your email off the server. But in an age of cloud computing and webmail it makes no sense at all. Still, the IRS and the SEC really, really liked the ability to use ECPA to snoop on people's emails.

In the past few years, Congress has kept supporting reform, but it always dies when some part of the administration complains and tries to block it. And yet, each time it enters Congress, it gets more and more sponsors. And, finally, the full House has voted to pass the Email Privacy Act.

Apparently, the vote was unanimous (with 14 abstentions).

This likely means that some sort of deal has already been struck in the Senate. Before you celebrate, though, that "deal" could very well be that the Senate will gut the bill, or just drop it on the floor, or even that Obama will pocket-veto it on his way out the door. When both parties in Congress are unanimous, it means that we, the people, are the mark.

2016-04-29 10:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Bill Nye the Fascist Guy advocates for throwing climate deniers in jail


Throwing your political opponents in jail has long been a favorite tactic of the left. Ask yourself if you really want to be associated with people who believe in jailing their political opponents.

And that position is actually a step down from blowing them up.

2016-04-29 09:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

What about Cruz on the Supreme Court?

PJMediaCruz could be of vastly more service to his country on the high court, where his influence could be felt for decades, instead of running for White House, where his limitations as a candidate are hindering him from successfully challenging the frontrunner. If Trump offers him a Supreme Court nomination in lieu of Cruz's dropping out, should he take it? Would he?

I think Cruz would do an excellent job in Scalia's seat, but I'm skeptical about whether Trump would keep a promise to nominate him and even more skeptical that the Senate would be willing to confirm him, given the (frankly undeserved) antipathy even members of Cruz's own party have demonstrated.

I don't think Cruz should drop out in return for this promise, but if Trump made the promise absent any quid pro quo it would go a long ways towards making me feel better about Trump as a candidate.

2016-04-28 12:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Remind me which party has the majority in the Senate again?

Washington TimesHot air still rules on Capitol Hill, where senators voted Tuesday to restore millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for windmills, in a signal that Congress is still eager to pick winners in the emerging renewable-energy sector.

A sizable number of Republicans joined most Democrats in backing the subsidy for research on wind energy which, while small in terms of dollars, is considered a major symbolic test of Congress’s commitment to having alternative energy sources be part of the mix, even if they aren’t economically viable on their own yet.

Because at times like this, I really can't remember.

Washington Times“This program is indispensable to the success of wind energy in the United States,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, the Oregon Democrat who led the push to restore $15.4 million in funding for 2017, boosting the total wind energy subsidy in the energy spending bill to $95.4 million. “This is an evolving industry with great potential to assist us with clean energy, and moreover a program that can affect the economy of rural America.”

The fact is, if you have to subsidize something, it isn't a success. Windmills are not reliable producers of energy -- both because the wind doesn't always blow and because the windmills break down. That means you need much more backup capacity to ensure a steady supply of energy. And it means the windmills are not cost effective. Not even close.

2016-04-28 11:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Waco update: Carlos Ghigliotti's report

I believe I've seen the details of this report in some of the later documentaries about the Waco massacre, but David Hardy brings a personal anecdote about the reaction of the Congressional staffers to his report.

If I was a conspiracy minded man, I'd wonder about that heart attack.

2016-04-28 10:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Colorado Democrats block repeal of standard capacity magazine ban

No LawyersThe House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee voted on the bill last night. The first vote was on a motion to send the bill to the House floor for consideration by the full House. This was defeated on a party line 4-5 vote. Then the committee voted 5-4 to postpone consideration of the bill indefinitely. This means the bill is dead for all practical purposes.

Coloradans can thank Committee Chair and House Majority Whip Su Ryden (D-Arapahoe), Rep. Mike Foote (D-Boulder), Rep. Dianne Primavera (D-Boulder/Broomfield), Rep. Max Tyler (D-Jefferson), and Rep. Susan Lontine (D-Denver) for this bill's defeat. These five were good little minions for Mike Bloomberg and did as they were told. I'm sure the criminal element, especially home invasion specialists, were pleased with this result. As to your average, law-abiding, tax-paying Colorado gun owner, that is another story.

It's always easier to block something from passing than it is to repeal it once passed. That's one reason among many that we tell our legislators not to "compromise", with the only major exception that turned out well for us being the assault weapons ban sunset date.

2016-04-28 09:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

California wants your guns

Shall Not Be Questioned quoting the Firearms Policy CoalitionAuthored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the bill massively expands a controversial law that has only been in place for 4 months. At present, current law permits family members and peace officers to petition a court, in secret, in order to restrain an individual from possessing firearms. AB 2607 compounds this measure by adding, to the list of qualified petitioners, employers, coworkers, mental health workers, and employees of a secondary or postsecondary school.

Secret courts denying fundamental constitutional rights without any semblance of due process. This isn't just a 2nd Amendment issue; this legislation impacts the 4th and 5th amendments directly and chills the 1st.

2016-04-27 12:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

CONFIRMED: ISIS has terror cells in major European nations

Washington Free BeaconU.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned Tuesday that the Islamic State terrorist group has jihadist cells in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy.

CNN reported that Clapper confirmed to reporters during a media breakfast that ISIS has underground cells similar to those used by militants who carried out the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels.

Let unstated by Clapper is that the FBI has active investigations into ISIS cells in all 50 states in the US and at least one cell positioned in Mexico close to the US border to smuggle in operatives.

2016-04-27 11:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Clinton server admin cooperates with DOJ but declines to testify to Congress

Washington Free BeaconPagliano declined to testify before the committees even after he was granted immunity by the Justice Department and has been cooperating with the FBI in its investigation into Clinton’s email setup.

This is becoming a trend. Lerner did it, and now Clinton's IT guy. The legality is questionable -- normally if you accept an immunity deal you can be compelled to testify -- but a bigger question is why these individuals would consider the FBI a friendlier audience than Congress.

2016-04-27 10:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Texas Governor explains the immigration lawsuit

Free BeaconAbbott, formerly the state’s longest-serving attorney general, told reporters Thursday morning that the lawsuit brought against the president by Texas and 25 other states is “framed under” the issue of immigration but in reality challenges Obama’s use of executive power to “unilaterally” rewrite laws.

“The lawsuit is about the fact that the president completely abandoned the Constitution to assume power he does not have and wrote law that he himself, as a constitutional lawyer, said he did not have the power to do,” Abbott said during a roundtable discussion at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

“The lawsuit is about the fact that, if the president wins this lawsuit, the Constitution as we know it has been completely rewritten and Congress no longer has any authority.”

The rule of law in this country is hanging on a likely 4-4 vote in the Supreme Court and the next justice.

2016-04-27 09:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Oklahoma passes constitutional carry

BreitbartOn April 20, the Oklahoma Senate voted 37-9 to pass legislation recognizing that the Second Amendment is a sufficient open carry permit. The legislation, HB 3098, had already passed in the House by a vote of 73-15.

Progress, one state at a time.

Hat Tip to Sebastian

2016-04-26 12:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

California gun control legislation incoming

Sacramento BeeA California Senate committee advanced five bills Tuesday that its authors say will keep more firearms out of the hands of those who are not allowed to possess them and help reduce the threat of mass shootings.

The proposals, several of which were vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2013, return to the Capitol a contentious issue that advocates also aim to highlight in this year’s election with a ballot measure backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

As usual, the proposals range from completely ineffective to absolute BS. But that's OK, because the motive for the anti-gun crowd isn't actually to stop mass murders.

The proposals include licensing requirements for people who complete their own firearms, a ban on mail-ordering ammunition, a lost-or-stolen reporting requirement that will punish honest gun owners for being victimized by criminals, banning magazine-fed semi-auto firearms even harder since the first ban didn't stop people, and a bill forbidding possession of normal-capacity magazines including those previously owned.

While I was writing this post, I was thinking to myself: there are reasons I won't live in California. And it's not really hard to expand that list to other states. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, the obvious ones, and then there are a few on the list that might be tolerable but I'd have to read the laws carefully and consider whether I could put up with them or whether living in the state would be an unacceptable risk of being thrown in jail for having a firearm the government did not like.

And that led inexorably to the idea that gun control is a political filter. Not in the usual sense, where voters decide who to vote for based on the issue, but where politicians write laws that determine whether their political opponents are willing to tolerate living in their jurisdiction.

I have to suspect that laws like this are a major factor in turning certain states deep blue. The more gun control that California or New York pass, the more they drive gun owners out of the state. And even though they are pissing off voters rather than serving voters, they are also increasing their own reelection chances by essentially threatening people with jail time for remaining in their states.

That's why a robust 2nd Amendment is vital. It protects us from this kind of political extortion.

Hat Tip to Sebastian

2016-04-26 11:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

A recipe for disaster

Americans for Tax ReformAt a recent Town Hall in Ohio, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proudly stated that she was the only candidate with a policy to bring renewable energy “into coal country, because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

Obama promised the same thing, and he delivered. But do we really want candidates for President promising to put companies out of business? Do we really want to accept the lost jobs and the lost energy source? What will we replace those jobs and that energy with, and how will we pay for the new power plants?

2016-04-26 10:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Trump admits he's lying to voters

Associated PressDonald Trump's chief lieutenants told skeptical Republican leaders Thursday that the GOP front-runner has been "projecting an image" so far in the 2016 primary season and "the part that he's been playing is now evolving" in a way that will improve his standing among general election voters.

The message, delivered behind closed doors in a private briefing, is part of the campaign's intensifying effort to convince party leaders Trump will moderate his tone in the coming months to help deliver big electoral gains this fall, despite his contentious ways.

I was afraid of this from the beginning, and it seems I was right.

2016-04-26 09:48:49.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

We still have the right to free speech in California

Washington Free BeaconCalifornia regulators’ attempts to compel a conservative nonprofit group to turn over a list of its major donors is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

For now, at least.

2016-04-25 12:34:32.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

No relationship between firearms and homicide or suicide

Gun Free ZoneTaking into consideration all figures, no relationship can be established between the number of firearms and the total number of homicides and suicides: where there are more firearms, the total number of homicides and suicides is not consistently higher or lower, and vice versa.

This should be simple common sense. People who want to commit suicide tend to find a way. Firearms are only one means of doing so. But it's nice to have evidence to counter the gun control argument.

Hat Tip to Sebastian

2016-04-25 11:34:32.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Hillary's corruption

CNBCIt's not just Wall Street banks. Most companies and groups that paid Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to speak between 2013 and 2015 have lobbied federal agencies in recent years, and more than one-third are government contractors, an Associated Press review has found. Their interests are sprawling and would follow Clinton to the White House should she win election this fall.

Thoroughly corrupt, and leading her party's primaries for president.

2016-04-25 10:34:32.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Virginia governor allows felons to vote by executive order

Washington PostGov. Terry McAuliffe will allow more than 200,000 ex-cons in Virginia to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election, one of the biggest actions taken by a state to instantly restore voting rights. The governor called the instant restoration of rights to these Virginians the natural next step to his incremental streamlining of a process that has already given 18,000 nonviolent felons their rights back. With the signing of Friday’s executive order, McAuliffe eliminated the need for an application for violent felons who had completed their sentences up to that moment.

Doing this by executive order seems problematic, but if framed as a use of the pardon power (I assume the Virginia governor has such a power) than it might perhaps be legal. Still, felons in general are probably not the best voters. It is certainly preferably to have a process for restoration of rights (including firearms rights) in place, but it also seems appropriate to consider each case individually to examine whether they have become a responsible member of society or continued their life of crime.

The political motivations for this move are obvious: transforming the electorate into one that can elect Hillary Clinton president.

UPDATE: There are arguments that McAuliffe doesn't have the constitutional authority to do this.

2016-04-24 11:09:58.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

A matter for concern

CBSNewsFederal law enforcement investigators are searching in at least three states for more than 500 pounds of explosives stolen from a CSX train, CBS News has learned.

CBS News Justice Department and Homeland Security correspondent Jeff Pegues reported a law enforcement source says the amount stolen has authorities concerned that the explosives could fall into the wrong hands.

500 pounds of explosives is a lot.

2016-04-24 10:09:58.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

War Room

2016-04-24 09:09:58.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Benghazi coverup confirmed

Washington Free BeaconState Department officials removed files from the secretary’s office related to the Benghazi attack in Libya and transferred them to another department after receiving a congressional subpoena last spring, delaying the release of the records to Congress for over a year.

I'm sure that moving the files was just a coincidence. Like destroying the backup tapes that had Lois Lerner's email.

2016-04-23 12:46:32.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

40 minutes of Bill Whittle

Read or watch the whole thing.

2016-04-23 11:46:32.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Obama's Supreme Court nominee's papers blocked from public review

National Law JournalThe executors of the papers of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr. are blocking public access to the justice's file on high court nominee Merrick Garland, who clerked for Brennan in 1977 and 1978. The file, along with other documents relating to law clerks, case histories and correspondence, are part of the closed portion of Brennan's collection that will not be opened to the public until July 2017, the 20th anniversary of Brennan's death.

When the nominee's papers are blocked from public review, it usually means there's something either embarrassing or politically inconvenient in them.

2016-04-23 10:46:32.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments
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