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An interview with Ted Cruz

2015-04-19 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another case of unabashed astroturf

Moms Demand used trick photography to inflate the number of people that showed up to their protest. Let's not forget that the person Bloomberg hired to run the group is a professional PR figurehead. What amazes me is why Bloomberg keeps paying for it when it doesn't seem to be, you know, fooling anyone.

2015-04-19 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Free Range Kids arrested again

Fox DCTwo Maryland children who got national attention as the "free range kids" because of their parents' decision to let them roam alone were taken into custody again Sunday by Child Protective Services.

They were within 1/3rd of a mile from their home. If that's "neglect", I was neglected as a child and my parents should have been arrested for it.

There will be a lawsuit.

2015-04-19 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ben Carson is not convincing me on guns

He gave a speech to the NRA convention recently in which he said he was extremely pro-Second Amendment.

But in 2013 he said something different.
National Review
In a March 2013 interview with Glenn Beck, Carson said, “I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it.”

And in explaining the difference, he said:

National Review
“This isn’t any evolution of my views, just that I’ve learned how to express myself,” he said, to a seemingly sympathetic chuckling from the audience. “I assumed everyone knew what I was talking about when I was saying something ..."

Nice try, Ben, and we appreciate the effort, but here's the thing.

You were wrong in 2013. You said you wouldn't want someone to have a semi-automatic weapon in the midst of a lot of people because it might fall into the hands of a crazy person. That suggests you don't support 2nd Amendment rights for those living in urban areas. And if you don't support 2nd Amendment rights for everyone, it's not really a right, is it? Worse, your wording suggests you don't understand what semi-automatic means in a firearm context. Hint: It doesn't mean machine gun. One bullet per trigger pull, just like a revolver.

And then you said, in 2015, that you did not change your views. Even though from what you are saying, it does sort of sound like you are changing your views, or rather, trying to pretend your new pander is the truth while your old views, probably those you still hold in your secret heart, are not.

We had a guy with a similar opinion once. His name was Zumbo, and he called AR-15 rifles "terrorist rifles" and didn't approve of people hunting with them. He lost his job for it, but he went out and he learned and he made his way back into the community because he admitted his error and honestly changed his views.

Ben, we don't like being lied to, and we're good at spotting it when it happens. You need to be honest with us if you want us to consider you. And that means admitting that you said something stupid and explaining how and why you changed your opinion.

2015-04-19 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS is back to meddling in elections again

They are investigating one of Cruz's big donors, and have been for 6 years, which puts them right smack in the middle of the early targeting time line.

It looks to me like the company is complying with the tax law while donating money to candidates the IRS doesn't like after being investigated for 6 years without being charged. Sound familiar?

New York TimesRenaissance was also able to increase returns by borrowing large sums of money, but the practice eventually caught the attention of Washington and government agencies. Last year the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accused Renaissance of using complex financial structures that allowed it to underestimate how much it owed the Internal Revenue Service by $6 billion.

Because clearly there's no question of an ulterior motive for such an investigation.

2015-04-18 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner volunteered to take blame, pushed IG to back off

She volunteered to take the blame, but when called before Congress, she took the 5th instead. And emails recently released indicate Lerner was pressing the IG to change the targeting conclusion in its report and trying to argue that delaying a group's application did not itself constitute discriminating against that group. It would be one thing if Lerner was simply seeking to protect her subordinates; but her continued, repeated emphasis on hiding things from Congressional investigators and educating employees on the "harm" that can come from full disclosure to Congress is strong evidence that Lerner knew what she and her employees were doing was wrong and would be discovered by Congress if they investigated. She sought repeatedly to instruct and train employees to conceal information, in these new emails seeking a training program, and in earlier emails seeking to ensure that the IRS instant messaging system was not archived and was thus safe.

This. combined with her taking the 5th before Congress, constitutes substantial evidence of a guilty conscience. The repeated emphasis on avoiding disclosure bolsters the argument that she deliberately destroyed her hard drive to avoid the disclosure she feared.

And so far, she has gotten away with all of it.

2015-04-18 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Democratic party is filled with historical illiterates

Times of IsraelIn short, we didn’t ask who he voted for — there was some hope that he might be a Libertarian — but, in the fall of 2008, the facts seemed quite clear: He was going with John McCain and Sarah Palin. My sister, I feared, might follow suit.

And so I took to the computer. In an email entitled “Politics” — which I reread this week for the first time in the wake of the nuclear framework deal agreed upon in Lausanne, a deal that has left me with the clammy feeling of anticipated betrayal — I spoke about the horrors of the American prison system and the plague of racism that continue to rot America from the inside; I spoke about drugs and how only people of color are incarcerated for using and dealing them, while people like George W. Bush and every other person I knew in college was free to pull bong hits, take acid, and boil ‘shrooms to his or her heart’s content. I think I spoke about African-American role models and education and gay rights. I even told her to read Frederick Douglass.

Maybe your sister and her husband took that advice. Frederick Douglass was a Republican, like most of the abolitionists. Douglass was also an elector for the state of New York in support of Ulysses S Grant, who wrote Reasons for being a Republican, which I have included below the fold.

For those gun owners who are found of the parable of the three boxes, and especially for those gun control activists who think gun owners are racists, Wikipedia claims that saying originated with Douglass:

WikipediaIn a speech delivered on November 15, 1867, Douglass said: "A man's rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box. Let no man be kept from the ballot box because of his color. Let no woman be kept from the ballot box because of her sex."

And I hope the feminists are paying attention, because the same person who cites Frederick Douglass in support of Democrats also has this to say about women:

Times of Israel"Something could happen to McCain. In walks the moose hunter.”

Such respect for the female governor of a state and Vice Presidential candidate.

I'm glad that Obama supporters are starting to consider that Obama may be wrong, now that it's too late. Is it too much to hope for that they take a closer look at how the history of their party compares to their professed ideas, and stop discounting people who care about the rights enshrined in our Constitution as moose hunters?

In all honesty, I can respect a man who would rather bet on an untried first-term Senator than McCain. McCain was a known mediocrity. Romney was a known squish. But anyone paying attention could understand that Obama was a known quantity even before his first term, and by his reelection campaign, it was plain as day what he wanted.

(Read More...)

2015-04-18 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why are liberals so intolerant?

ReasonUM has indeed proven to be a hostile place for at least one Muslim student: Omar Mahmood, whose off-campus apartment was vandalized last December by a trio of women who pelted his door with eggs and left him hateful messages because they didn’t appreciate a satirical column he'd written mocking trigger warnings and microaggressions.

Who perpetrated this act of intimidation against a Muslim student? It was Khalil herself, according to Mahmood, whose account is supported by the testimony of other students, video footage, and emails obtained by Reason.

This is definitely a pattern. And if you look at the perpetrator's campus activities, she is clearly a future leader of the Democrat party.

On the gun control side of things, I've often noticed that the people who complain the most about the horrible things that people would do if they had a weapon at a bad moment in their lives and lost their temper... are often the people who have a problem restraining their temper in the first place. It never occurs to them that other people don't have quite the same issues remaining in control of their temper; instead they assume everyone else is prone to irrational, impulsive, violent behavior the same way they are.

2015-04-18 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Can Hillary escape her past?

National ReviewCharles Krauthammer said Hillary Clinton would face several challenges in a presidential campaign, but may struggle to escape her past most of all.

She can't escape her past, but apparently she can delete it.

2015-04-17 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Army loses transgender suit, ordered to pay up

Judicial WatchIn the order issued this month the EEOC writes that Lusardi was harassed because superiors used “male pronouns” after he identified as a woman and “referred to her using these male signifiers on at least seven occasions.” The Army also violated Lusardi’s rights by refusing to let him use the women’s bathroom, the EEOC asserts. The document includes testimony from an Army official explaining that Lusardi was assigned a single-user executive restroom because other female employees would feel “extremely uncomfortable having an individual, despite the fact that she is conducting herself as a female, is still basically a male, physically.”

I would say that you can avoid this kind of thing by declining to hire crazy people, but they seem to avoid showing the crazy until after they are hired, and it's probably illegal to discriminate against crazy people in hiring too.

Maybe it would work to say "I hired a man named John, not a woman named Tamara. When John stopped showing up for work, he was fired."

2015-04-17 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A day in the life of a small business

The Air VentNot that this cost individually would even scratch the surface of the taxes we pay. Also not that that matters to most readers. What we are experiencing at the very rare size private company we are, is immoral from a government and tax standpoint. The system is designed to resist success for manufacturing in particular. The tax and regulation load is so dramatic that I cannot find the words to explain. All you need to do to see the truth is to look around at which country USED to be #1 in manufacturing, and now has so little manufacturing. Of course, most of us simply look to what happened today, rather than what happened over time to the macro-economy.

Read the whole thing.

2015-04-17 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House Panel demands environment group's communications with EPA head

Washington ExaminerA House committee investigating the destruction of more than 5,000 official cellular telephone text messages by the Environmental Protection Agency wants a major nonprofit activist group to provide copies of all its communications with Gina McCarthy, the agency's chief, on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline... Prior to issuing the subpoena, the panel was told by the environmental agency that McCarthy had received only one text message dealing with official business. That message was from Karpinski and complimented McCarthy on her comments about Keystone. McCarthy responded by telling Karpinski that she doesn't use text messaging for government business.

It's mainly news because Congress has apparently caught on to the fact that officials in Obama's administration are quite willing to withhold their communications on any pretext or no pretext at all. It also sheds some light on the "dark money" issue the left keeps yelling about:

Washington ExaminerKarpinski's group has received nearly $90 million in 1,056 contributions since 2000 from liberal philanthropies and individuals, including the Tides Foundation. Tides pioneered the use of an umbrella foundation of wealthy individuals wishing to remain anonymous to funnel millions of dollars in "dark money" to their favored causes.

The Tides Foundation funds radical left wing organizations.

2015-04-17 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch documents reveal Lerner knew targeting criteria might raise questions

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch today released a new batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents, including an email from former IRS official Lois Lerner in February 2012 asking that a program be set up to “put together some training points to help them [IRS staffers] understand the potential pitfalls” of revealing too much information to Congress. The documents also contain a Lerner email from 2013 in which she says she is willing to take the blame on some aspects of the scandal. She also indicates that she “understands why the IRS criteria” leading to the targeting of Tea Party and other opponents of the President Obama “might raise questions.”

In other words, what Lerner was angry about was her subordinates in Cincinnati putting things into emails and documents that were discoverable to Congress and looked bad... in other words, angry they got caught. She was perfectly fine with what they were actually doing, targeting political opponents of the President.

Lerner email via Judicial WatchWe are all a bit concerned about the mention of specific Congress people, practitioners and political parties. Our filed folks are not as sensitive as we are to the fact that anything we write can be public–or at least be seen by Congress. We talked with Nan [Downing – Director of EO Examinations] and she thought it would be great if R & A could put together some training points to help them understand the potential pitfalls, as well as how to think about referrals.

In other words, her subordinates are writing about specific Congresspeople and political parties in connection with the targeting. Are they saying things like "Senator X asked me to shut this group down" or "Representative Y is supported heavily by this group"? That would certainly be very embarrassing for the IRS and Congress, as well as clearly illegal. And Lerner's emphasis is not on behaving properly but on making sure nothing is written down that can be found out by Congress.

2015-04-16 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome

Patterico“In reviewing the exam results, the city discovered that the test had an adverse impact on minorities, in particular, on black, Hispanic and female candidates,” Mayor David Martin wrote to the Board of Finance on Thursday. “The results showed that 3.8 percent of black candidates, 20.8 percent of Hispanic candidates and 6.2 percent of female candidates passed the exam, a statistically significant difference from the 36.4 percent rate for Caucasian candidates.”

It might just be possible that the differences in test scores are the result of individual differences rather than a biased test. Mind you, it's also possible the test could be biased somehow. I'm no expert on fireperson testing. But I'd want to see some specific sources of test bias and an explanation of how that bias is improper before I agreed to throw out the existing test and replace it at much time, trouble, and expense.

For example:
If the fireman test requires you to lift and carry a mannequin weighing 200lbs, a lot more men will pass that part of the test than women. Is it biased? Not really; the standard is the same, but inherent gender differences are going to make it harder for women to pass. Should we lower the standards to allow more women? Or do we want emergency responders to be the best possible emergency responders even if that means there are more men than women carrying people out of burning buildings?

On the other hand, if candidates are being tripped up by test questions on the average velocity of a swallow in flight, those test questions can probably be safely discarded.

The point is that waving the percentage around is insufficient. You have to actually prove the there is improper bias rather than simply picking the best people for the job.

2015-04-16 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Many state governments confiscating and destroying guns

They do the confiscating following a domestic violence restraining order or mental health issue, and then refuse to return the guns when the owners resolve the charges. Or, they charge storage fees more than the value of the gun; or they destroy the guns and bet that the legal fees to recover their value just aren't worth it. Many of the states are relying on a Department of Justice letter requiring that owners prove their ownership through registration records or receipts, but most states don't have registration systems and won't honor receipts given at the time of confiscation. The result is, once confiscated, most guns are never returned.

Fox News“People keep forgetting the right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment, is protected by the U.S. constitution, and private property is protected under the Fifth Amendment,” Kilmer said. “Government cannot take property without just compensation and due process. The great thing is that when it comes to guns, you get protection under both amendments.”

Except anti-gun states honor neither amendment in this case. The courts will have to apply pressure until police departments shape up.

2015-04-16 10:57:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reason on Net Neutrality

An in-depth look at the problems.

2015-04-16 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why did Slager think he could get away with it?

Daily PunditI don’t know everything that happened, but I know what it looks like happened, and that raises a question for me: Why on earth did this cop think he could get away clean from a back-shooting murder under the color of law?

Leaving aside the fact that there was someone there with a camera, which Slager probably did not notice until after the fact, why would Slager think he could get away with shooting someone 8 times in the back while they were running away?

I suspect in large part it's because he wasn't thinking. There seems to have been a fight, and the officer appears to make the decision to draw and fire even as the victim is making the decision to run. It takes time to recognize that the threat has ceased. The result is tragic, possibly even justified if the victim had struggled for the officer's taser and the officer had fired during the fight, but not premeditated.. and definitely not justified once the victim is running away.

2015-04-15 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS agents horrify their own families

ReasonSchickel says the political attacks made his job more difficult and potentially more dangerous. Throughout his career, he dealt with antigovernment tax avoiders in Arizona, but once the Tea Party scandal broke, his encounters with otherwise law-abiding ranchers became more hostile. “I used to work Tombstone,” he says. “They hate the IRS down there. It’s a hard enough thing to drive out, bang on somebody’s door, and make a legal demand on them for money. It’s even harder when the person is wearing a gun on his hip and says, ‘I saw on TV that you people are discriminating against the Tea Party.’ That’s when I decided, the hell with this!”

See, this is the thing. The law is almost entirely a matter of cooperation. We don't go through our lives paying taxes, obeying traffic laws, and without murdering everyone around us because there are police who will step in and prevent such actions. We follow the law because, mostly, everyone agrees that the law is a rough approximation of the right thing to do, and that it's generally to our benefit to follow it so that everyone else does also. One of the assumptions built into that social model is that the law will be enforced impartially; that it doesn't matter if a police officer likes you personally or not, you will be safe from him if you follow the law.

The IRS is now widely considered to have violated that rule of impartial behavior, and that means people are that much less inclined to cooperate with them. Since there's no way the IRS can audit everyone, and documents are filed voluntarily, without cooperation our tax system becomes a lot more difficult to manage.

2015-04-15 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The outcome of the Emerson case

Shall Not Be QuestionedI also didn’t know it was still possible to raise due process issues in Misdemanor Crimes of Domestic Violence. Years ago, I can’t remember the case, Lautenberg Amendment was challenged on ex post facto grounds and lost. I thought that was the end of that. But apparently not completely, when seeking grounds to get a conviction set aside by the courts.

I remember Emerson lost on this because the 5th Circuit determined that the due process involved in a restraining order was "minimally" sufficient, but that wasn't an ex post facto case.

2015-04-15 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Liberal Media Bias for Hillary

Huffington PostHillary Clinton's campaign team held an off-the-record dinner Thursday night in Washington, D.C., for roughly two dozen journalists and staff members at John Podesta's house, according to sources familiar with the matter... Podesta, the campaign chairman and a seasoned cook, made a pasta with walnut sauce for the dinner guests, which included reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, McClatchy, Reuters and several major TV networks.

A Huffington Post reporter attended the dinner, but did not discuss it with this reporter.

Let's play the substitution game. If George W Bush or one of his chief staffers invited two dozen journalists and staff members to have dinner at his house, would it not be a conflict of interest for them? Wouldn't they be criticized for accepting the invitation?

2015-04-15 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senate about to surrender treaty power to Obama

BreitbartDefying threats of a presidential veto, critics of the Iran deal reached a bipartisan compromise on Tuesday that will allow the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act–the “Corker-Menendez bill”–to proceed to a vote with a veto-proof two-thirds majority. The White House has backed down, fearing the embarrassment of a veto override on a key foreign policy issue. Yet the conditions that critics of the Iran deal had to accept will, in fact, make the deal easier to pass in its current form.

Rather than considering the Iran deal as what it is, a treaty which requires the Senate's consent by a two-thirds majority, the legislation will instead require the Senate to vote to impose sanctions on Iran if it disapproves of any deal the President reaches. Instead of holding an up-or-down vote on the treaty, if this legislation passes -- at this writing, it passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously -- the deal will be considered in effect unless and until the Senate, and possibly the House as well, vote to reimpose sanctions. Such a vote would require a majority of the House, a majority of the Senate, plus 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster, and 67 votes to overcome a veto... instead of Obama needing to convince 67 Senators to vote yes for his treaty to have any effect whatsoever.

In short, the Senate has surrendered the treaty power to Obama if it passes this legislation.

Contact your Senators. Tell them to oppose this legislation. Tell them why, because many of them have been told by their leadership that this legislation limits Obama rather than enables him. Demand an up-or-down vote on any agreements Obama purports to make with Iran, with two-thirds of the Senators present concurring in order to pass, and demand your Senator vote NO.

Why should you demand a NO vote, aside from the whole surrender of Constitutional powers to the President issue?

BreitbartIndeed, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Barack Obama might consider signing a version of the bill that makes it “the one and only mechanism for codifying precisely what the Congress’s oversight is into this matter.” (The other compromises were the removal of language requiring the president to certify that Iran is not engaging in terror, and a shortened timeframe for Congress to review the final Iran deal once it had been reached and submitted.)

If we cannot demand that our negotiating partner in this purported agreement stop committing acts of terrorism against us, how can we possibly trust them to honor this agreement?

UPDATE: Marco Rubio and Rand Paul are both on the Foreign Relations Committee, meaning they both voted yes on this. Cruz is not.

2015-04-15 09:06:18.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Maine trending towards Constitutional Carry?

Bangor Daily NewsSen. Eric Brakey, an Auburn Republican serving his first term in the Legislature, is bullish about rolling back restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in Maine, despite several similar efforts that failed in recent years.

His bill, LD 652, would make Maine the fifth state to establish “constitutional carry” — a universal right of all legal firearm owners to carry concealed handguns on their person or in their vehicles. The bill has a whopping 96 co-sponsors, more than half the state Legislature, including leaders from both parties.

There's a poll on the story, so go vote.

I am, frankly, shocked and disappointed that Texas is still inching towards open carry and Maine is within shouting distance of Constitutional Carry!

2015-04-14 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Erdely have a prior fake-rape story?

Red State thinks they found one.

2015-04-14 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

From the mouths of babes

Ace of SpadesChelsea was on the phone with friend when the agent walked in. "Oh, I've got to go," she said. "The pigs are here."

The agent didn't appreciate that, Payne recalled, and tried to explain to Chelsea that he was just doing his job, which was "to stand between you, your family, and a bullet."

Chelsea replied: "Well, that's what my mother and father call you."

Even wiping your email server can't hide the skeletons in the network closet.

2015-04-14 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Breaking: Romulan queen tests new tricorder on strange earth food.

Why I'm not voting for Hillary

2015-04-14 09:59:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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