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Terror attack in New York City

Details here. The media will blame this on Trump's announcement about recognizing Jerusalem. It's not a reason, it's an excuse.

Update: He's an immigrant. He's been here since 2011 (under Obama) and is a "legal permanent resident". Originally from Bangladesh. He was captured wearing a suicide vest.

Mon Dec 11 15:53:44 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Meuller probe focusing on period between Jan 26th and Feb 13th

Note that this time period is entirely after the election and even after the inauguration. The source in the story also claims:

The HillSpecial counsel Robert Mueller is investigating why it took Flynn 18 days to resign after the president was briefed on Yates’s caution to McGahn, the report said.

Two individuals confirmed to NBC News that the investigation appears to be focused on President Trump potentially obstructing justice during that timeline.

Sources told NBC News that it looks like Mueller wants to know if Trump directed Flynn to lie to officials.

So in other words, we have...

The ONLY thing they have in this case is Mike Flynn over a barrel with his family and children on the line. That's it. They are desperately hoping either Mike Flynn says Trump told him to lie, or Trump fires Meuller in disgust so they can claim that was obstruction of justice. Or maybe Trump pardons Flynn, and they call that obstruction instead.

It's a political hit job, and it needs to end. I just don't see how it can be ended without detonating.

Mon Dec 11 09:34:19 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A lot of bias in a lot of text messages from a very special agent

Daily CallerThe Justice Department is sifting through 10,000 text messages involving the FBI agent who was kicked off of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation for making anti-Trump comments.

10,000 text messages over several months? That's a LOT of messages, from just one (or at most two, if you count both sender and recipient) of Meuller's very special agents. It suggests obsession.

For context, I've been blogging here for somewhere over 12 years. I have roughly 10,000 posts. A post is a bit more work than a text message, but the timeframe is a lot shorter, too, and you can't really count basic conversational chatter as "anti-Trump" for something like this.

The exact details of the count are not clear, but it is obvious that there is a lot of bias here, and it seems quite likely that the other investigations related to Trump or Clinton that this agent participated in are likewise tainted. It's also possible the anti-Trump text messages are only a smokescreen to cover up something worse this agent did that caused him to be effectively fired from the Meuller investigation.

Another thing that's clear: Meuller's investigation is irredeemably compromised by political bias and conflict of interest. Half his lawyers donated to Democrats. None of them donated to Trump. Some of them previously represented key members of the Clinton team in the FBI investigation of Hillary's email server.

Mon Dec 11 03:55:23 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI admits to special treatment for Clinton investigation

CNSNewsSix Republican members of Congress held a press conference today and called for an investigation of the FBI's policies in applying "special" treatment to some of its investigations, including that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her use of a personal computer server and her deletion of thousands of government emails.

The congressmen, in a statement, noted former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe's remarks that the bureau's investigation of Clinton's misuse of a personal email server was "referred to as 'special'" and that "the decision was made to investigate it at HQ with a small team."

McCabe's wife ran for office in 2016 and received at least half a million from a Clinton associate while McCabe was running the "special" investigation into Clinton's email server.

Mon Dec 11 03:25:45 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Credit where due

USA TodayWhen running for president 25 years ago, Bill Clinton promised to “support Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.” President George W. Bush criticized Clinton for not following up on that commitment, but then W failed to make good on his too. During Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, he stated that, “we should move our embassy to Jerusalem” but never recognized the city as the capital once he was elected.

The difference now, whether one loves or hates Trump, is that people across the political spectrum are going berserk because he is moving to fulfill his campaign promise on this issue after the three previous presidents lied about it to win office.

A politician who keeps his campaign promises is rare. Not keeping them is how you get Trump.

Mon Dec 11 03:25:32 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

CNN gets lied to by two sources in a coordinated fashion and shrugs it off

Sure, they corrected their story eventually, but what they were trying to sell as a bombshell revelation of Trump collusion with Russia during the campaign turned out to be nothing of the sort. The confusion was all based on the date of an email -- September 4th versus September 14th -- and CNN had two sources confirm the date. Turns out they were both lying.

Both of them?

The same lie?

If that wasn't a conspiracy to get CNN to run the story, what else could it be?

In response, CNN updates the story and eventually (6 hours or so later) publishes a correction. Notice what they didn't do?

They didn't burn their sources for lying to them. So they don't really mind all that much, do they?

CNN needs to be asked to explain this story.

Mon Dec 11 02:50:46 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Synagogue firebombed in Sweden by over a dozen masked terrorists

More details here.

Sun Dec 10 22:50:03 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Delaware Supreme Court strikes down gun control laws

Instapundit has more. In other news, I can't tell you much more about the case because the Washington Post has now put the Volokh Conspiracy behind their paywall.

Sun Dec 10 09:37:34 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Personnel is policy

It's time the Department of Justice got some new personnel.

Fri Dec 08 09:16:35 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judge who took Flynn's guilty plea recuses himself from sentencing

The HillThe judge who took a guilty plea from President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn last week has recused himself ahead of a sentencing hearing.

Not answered: why? And why recuse yourself only from the sentencing portion, not earlier?

To those who are trying to read tea leaves, the recusing judge was appointed by Obama, and the incoming judge was appointed by Clinton.

UPDATE: The judge was serving on the FISA court when the warrant to surveil Carter Page was issued, and he may have been involved in surveillance of Michael Flynn. (Both possibilities are based on his presence on the court and timing). Is that enough to warrant recusal? Possibly.

The timing is also interesting. He didn't recuse himself when Flynn was before his court to plead guilty. He waited until, all of a sudden, the news was filled with revelations that almost all of the FBI agents and lawyers involved in Meuller's probe were (ethically, at least) disqualified by their bias. Does he have something in his closet he was afraid was about to come out? Did someone offer a motion to recuse in the case?

Fri Dec 08 09:16:35 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Wray refuses to say whether Steele dossier was used for FISA warrant

If he's refusing to say, then the answer is yes.

Thu Dec 07 16:07:37 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another top DOJ official demoted over involvement in Trump dossier

Fox NewsA senior Justice Department official was demoted this week amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump “dossier,” the department confirmed to Fox News.

He met with the author of the dossier during the campaign, and the founder of Fusion GPS (the firm that was hired to compile it, and in turn hired Steele) almost immediately after the election. He has since been disciplined for misconduct, presumably related to the Trump dossier and those meetings.

Thu Dec 07 16:07:33 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Economic Illiteracy in Fantasy

Just a brief comment on a quote from a fantasy novel (otherwise good, so far):

Vorantor also wore an earring made of a square-cut ruby that could feed a family of ten in Thalessa for a month, and that made me dislike him more.

Why would such a demonstration of wealth make anyone dislike him more? OK, realistically, humans are irrational and emotional, and that's all that you need to explain a character's reaction like this. It's not even uncommon. But when you really think about it?

The earring won't literally feed anyone for any length of time. You can't eat it.

In order to feed anyone with it, you would have to sell it, to someone rich enough to afford it and wear it as an ostentatious display of wealth to offend plucky thievish characters.

In order to make it, you need to employ people as miners (unskilled laborers, lower class) to extract gemstones and the gold or silver necessary to manufacture a setting. Then a craftsman to cut the gem, make the setting, and put them together (skilled labor, middle class). Between the craftsman, his family, and the miners and their families, that earring has probably already fed ten people for a month.

Moreover, now that the earring exists, what would be accomplished by the buyer not wearing it? He could sell it, and take money from another rich individual, and feed those 10 people for another month. But if he did so, that other rich individual wouldn't be interested in buying a new earring since he would have the one he just bought, which might put the miners and craftsman out of work. Oops!

It simply doesn't make sense to hate the rich for being rich, and specifically, for using their wealth in ostentatious displays -- because those ostentatious displays are paid for with real money that supports the people who make them.

There are, of course, cases where such displays of wealth are worthy of criticism. Mostly, those cases apply to situations where an individual's wealth comes from oppressing people he governs, generally through taxation or slavery, or acquiring wealth by force or fraud.

In the oppressive government case, it can be argued that the wealth is not truly earned, and that the people's wealth should be spend on something less frivolous like, say, a road, or a fire brigade, rather than personal possessions and status markers. In such cases the public gets the benefit of the labor as well as the economic effects of paying laborers.

In the case of wealth acquired by force or fraud... well, the character in question is an admitted thief, so shouldn't be throwing stones.

But hating someone simply for an earring? That's wrong. And thinking that, somehow, that earring could feed people by not existing? Also wrong. To the extent that it can feed people, it has already fed them.

Aside from the opportunity cost of not spending the money on producing something of a more useful nature, which no one is under any obligation to do with their personal wealth, there's not anything to criticize here.

Thu Dec 07 09:41:23 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So there was a bit of an unscheduled hiatus...

A really, really brief one, just a blip really, when the blog was down for about 9 seconds months. Blink and you missed it. I figure I owe my readers, if I have any left, an explanation.

(Read More...)

Thu Dec 07 09:41:23 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A preference for ignorance

Daily CallerConnecticut Rep. Jim Himes is the only Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence other than Rep. Adam Schiff, the panel’s ranking minority member, to review intelligence files showing former White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice “unmasked” aides to President Donald Trump during his transition to the Oval Office, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

The apparent lack of interest among the remaining seven Democrats on the intelligence panel is in striking contrast to their earlier vocal demands that they see the documents after committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes disclosed he had read them at the White House complex.

This is old news now, but it's still worth pointing out with the Supreme Court looking at a case related to government access to cell phone location data. Democrats have been remarkably uninterested in their president's abuses of power.

Both Trump Justice Gorsuch and Obama Justice Sotomayor questioned the government's position closely in that case. Where was Sotomayor when Obama was in office?

Thu Dec 07 09:41:23 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI obtained grand jury subpeonas to investigate Clinton email handling

PJMediaJudicial Watch on Thursday released new State Department documents that reveal for the first time that during the Clinton email investigation in 2016 the FBI convened a grand jury to investigate Hillary Clinton. According to a top FBI official, investigators were still unsuccessful in their attempts to obtain archived copies of Clinton's old emails.

So, first off, anyone you see arguing that this means the FBI found no "there" there is an idiot or a partisan: they didn't actually obtain the emails they sought.

What makes me wonder is what about all the other possible alternatives sources for that email data? They were blocked by the email service provider's retention period policies (which, remember, Clinton sets herself since it's her server). Did they go back to that grand jury when they obtained email copies from Huma and Anthony Weiner's home computer? Or was this supposed to show they did everything they could and gosh darn it the Clintons are just too good at destroying evidence?

Goodness gracious, I'm glad she isn't President.

And isn't it funny how this grand jury (convened during the presidential campaign) was not widely reported? We learned about it only about 6 months after the election. When Mueller convened a grand jury to investigate Trump we learned about it immediately.

Thu Dec 07 09:41:23 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bias in Journalism

The Hill"Half of American voters believe that members of the Trump campaign colluded with the Russia to interfere in the election, according to new data from Quinnipiac University."


Alternate formulation: "Democrats believe members of the Trump campaign colluded with the Russia [layers and layers of editorial oversight!] to interfere in the election, despite absolutely no evidence that this actually happened."

Thu Dec 07 09:41:23 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Strategist or Saboteur?

The HillA former strategist for Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) and Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign said Wednesday that he donated to Alabama Democrat Senate nominee Doug Jones.

That might explain why Kasich didn't get anywhere in the Republican presidential primary, and why McCain's run for president lost. Besides, both of them are practically Democrats; it doesn't surprise me that their campaign manager would donate to one.

Thu Dec 07 09:41:23 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

German government wants to revive totalitarian surveillance state

The LocalGermany’s Interior Minister wants to force tech and car companies to provide the German security services with hidden digital access to cars, computers, phones and more, according to a media report from Friday.

The RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reported that Thomas de Maizière had written up a draft proposal for the interior minister conference, taking place next week in Leipzig, which he has called “the legal duty for third parties to allow for secret surveillance.”

This is, of course, the sort of thing a police state would contemplate -- as Frau Merkel should know very well, having earned her political chops as a politician in East Germany, back when East Germany was a Soviet client state. And of course, before that, it was Nazi Germany. Quite a long history of totalitarian dictatorship there, and Frau Merkel is no stranger to it.

The sad part is that we aren't that far off ourselves. The NSA already has access to your phone and anything you communicate with it, as well as anything your computer sends or receives over the internet. They can get to your car if they need to. Mostly they don't need to, because you already have your phone in your pocket.

Thu Dec 07 09:41:23 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House vote on national concealed carry expected today

John Richardson has more.

UPDATE: It passed.

Wed Dec 06 13:33:35 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Russian Collusion

I remember when a prominent American politician colluded with the Russians to influence the results of a presidential election. It happened in the 1980s, when Democrat Ted Kennedy contacted the Russians in an effort to prevent Ronald Reagan's re-election. It happened again in 2016, when Hillary Clinton paid Russian intelligence officials through the law firm of Perkins and Coie and the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to lie about Trump in order to manufacture a pretext for Obama to abuse our own and allied intelligence agencies to wiretap the Trump campaign.

Fortunately, both attempts failed.
Categories Fair Elections

Wed Dec 06 03:07:20 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

NSA employee pleads guilty to storing classified documents at home

A former National Security Agency employee admitted on Friday that he had illegally taken from the agency classified documents believed to have subsequently been stolen from his home computer by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

[The defendant] pleaded guilty to one count of willful retention of national defense information, an offense that carries a possible 10-year sentence.

This is, essentially, what Hillary Clinton did. She stored classified documents on her server, removing them from the secure systems and making them vulnerable to hacking attempts. (Not that the official servers are automatically invulnerable, but they at least have competent IT staff trying to protect them). The defendant in this case appears to have had no ill intent, but they charged him anyway and he pled guilty anyway.

What makes his case any different from Hillary's case?

Only Hillary's political influence and connections.

Wed Dec 06 03:07:12 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DACA gaining steam in the House?

Immigration advocates are increasingly optimistic that a deal can be reached in the House before year's end to provide permanent protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally.

Both Democrats and Republicans point to a flurry of working groups and bipartisan discussions on a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as signs that a majority of House members want to see legislation on the floor and would vote for it.

So, let me get this straight.

Both Boehner and Cantor were too weak on the immigration issue to retain their leadership positions in the House. Then we had a presidential election in which the Republican party ignored a crowded field, many of whom were historical advocates of DACA amnesty, in favor of a non-politician and business/media figure who made the immigration issue and his hard-line position on it the center of his campaign. And he won the nomination.

In the election he faced someone who openly advocated for more immigration and amnesty, Hillary Clinton. Again, he made immigration one of the major issues of the campaign. And he won again. His party, moreover, retained control over both the Senate and the House.

And his party intends to ... pass amnesty?

On what planet does this make sense?

(Obviously, a planet in which the Republican party no longer controls the House and Senate following the 2018 elections. Just saying.)

Wed Dec 06 03:06:55 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Politically-biased FBI agent heavily involved in Clinton, Trump investigations

Washington ExaminerStories in both the Washington Post and New York Times on Saturday reported that Peter Strzok, who played a key role in the original FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia matter, and then a key role in Mueller's investigation, and who earlier had played an equally critical role in the FBI's Hillary Clinton email investigation, was reassigned out of the Mueller office because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with a top FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair. Strzok was transferred to the FBI's human resources office — an obvious demotion -- in July.

The Post reported that Strzok and Page exchanged text messages that "expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton."

Because of course we can trust these blatantly biased employees to do a professional job investigating the subjects of their biases.

Wed Dec 06 03:06:47 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The FBI scrambled to cover up Clinton, Lynch tarmac meeting

Then the FBI told us flat-out that it couldn’t find any records. And we now know that was flat-out untrue. Because, in responding to another one of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, the Justice Department gave us heavily redacted documents that showed there were additional documents tucked away at the FBI headquarters.

Now we know why the FBI played shell games. The documents show that FBI officials were concerned solely about the leaking of details of the tarmac meeting. None of the documents show top agency officials cared one whit about the propriety of the meeting itself, but only about who blew the whistle on the covert tête-à-tête.

It's amazing that we're almost a year into a Trump administration and we're still uncovering scandals and coverups from the previous administration. It seems obvious that the FBI has become thoroughly politicized and untrustworthy. The same applies to the intelligence agencies who willingly wiretapped the Trump campaign (never mind the American people in general, they've been doing that on a bipartisan basis for years).

How do we restore these agencies and institutions to something that can be trusted? Is that even possible?

Wed Dec 06 03:06:40 CST 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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