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Senate Dems set deadline on highway legislation

The HillSenate Democrats are giving Republicans 45 days to negotiate a long-term highway funding extension.

And while they aren’t ruling out supporting another short-term fix when funding runs out at the end of July, they suggest it will be difficult to get such a measure through the Senate.

“The bottom line is we’re asking them to meet our timetable. If they don’t meet this timetable, it will be very hard for us to do another short-term extension,” Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, told reporters Tuesday.

Completely ignoring the substance of the legislation, why are the Democrats setting the deadlines and making the timetables? I thought the Republicans won a substantial majority last election.

2015-07-06 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Peruta case to be heard en banc

No Lawyers -- Only Guns and MoneyWhen an unnamed judge on the Ninth Circuit - widely assumed to be Judge Thomas - called sua sponte for an en banc rehearing of the case, it wasn't good news. Both the plaintiffs and the defendants were required to submit briefs arguing either for or against an en banc rehearing. The decision on whether to call for the rehearing was dependent upon the vote of the majority of the active judges on the circuit. Given the overall liberal nature of this circuit, I guess we should not be surprised by the rehearing.

The Peruta case is the California shall-issue concealed-carry case that, if you recall, make the 9th Circuit shall-issue for a while. Sort of. Not living there, I don't know exactly how it worked out, but I recall at least one sheriff voluntarily went shall-issue and others were pretty open about it already.

I think, if we follow the template set by the Left on gay marriage, the right procedure to protect our civil right to bear arms in California is:

1) Everyone run out and get a concealed carry license while the shall-issue policies remain in place. The decision doesn't overturn issued licenses and some county sheriffs went shall-issue voluntarily; it may take time for them to change policies back, or they may just go on as normal.

2) When sheriffs start denying licenses again, get a group of people who were denied licenses and have them sue on equal protection grounds given that other people with identical reasons (ie, self-defense) were granted.

Or, of course, just wait for the Supreme Court to take a case, but it's nice to have favorable outcomes to point to.

2015-07-05 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A step forward in transparency

Ars TechnicaIn what appears to be the nation's first, the Seattle Police Department is launching the SPD BodyWornVideo channel. At its core, the channel is confirmation that the surveillance society has gone mainstream—perhaps too mainstream.

Details aside, putting body camera footage up on the web for public view by default rather than waiting for public interest to focus on a specific case is a step forward. Are there privacy implications? Sure. But I think those can be addressed, and it will be useful to experiment with doing so.

2015-07-05 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How Congress botched the IRS probe

Wall Street Journal via TaxProfCongressional oversight has devolved into a series of show hearings after which nothing happens. No one gets fired for lying. No changes are made in the functioning of the agencies. No programs are defunded. Congress issues subpoenas that are ignored, contempt citations that aren't enforced, criminal referrals that go into Justice Department wastebaskets.

There are a lot of ways that Congress botched the probe, but they all pretty much boil down to accepting excuses rather than aggressively acting to obtain the necessary information within a reasonable time period. Remember, there are still groups waiting for the IRS to act on their applications: the targeting did not stop while the investigations were stonewalled. It just went underground.

2015-07-05 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Florida Carry filing lawsuit over police harassment

The Gun WriterFlorida Carry Inc. and member George Freeman filed suit Friday against five Tampa police officers, one police sergeant, the Tampa Police Chief, the city’s mayor and the city itself over the June 13 detention, search and trespassing of Freeman, who was fishing at Tampa’s Ballast Point Pier.

If the law says something is legal, it needs to actually be legal, not something the police can stop and harass you about.

2015-07-05 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Requests for correspondence between IRS and Dem Congressmen still not fulfilled

Fox NewsWashington Republicans said this week that their requests to the IRS for correspondences between the agency and congressional Democrats remain unfulfilled after two years, raising questions about whether the Obama administration is trying to withhold information for a third-straight election cycle.

It's clear that the Obama administration is hoping that if they just drag this out long enough the Republican investigators will give up and go away. Considering how long they are trying to delay this, there must be some pretty awful stuff in those records.

2015-07-04 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kroger rejects demands from Bloomberg's mommies

BreitbartDuring a March 25 appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman said the retail food chain will not comply with the demands of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, especially as those demands touch on changing store policy to disarm open-carry customers in states where openly carrying a gun in Kroger is legal.

It's rare to get an actual statement telling the Demanding Mommies to buzz off. Usually they get ignored, or a placating letter that doesn't actually change policy. Thanks, Kroger, for making your position clear.

2015-07-04 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Massachussetts court rules stun guns not protected by 2nd Amendment

I haven't had a chance to read the decision yet. I don't see any way it could possibly make sense, however.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

2015-07-04 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Man Who Exposed Obamacare

The Daily SignalRich Weinstein is the single person considered most responsible for exposing one of the biggest blows to the Affordable Care Act’s image: a series of videos in which a key Obamacare architect discusses the “stupidity of the American people” and how that helped get the bill passed.

The article has more in-depth information on the problems with Obamacare than the usual "The American people are stupid" summary.

2015-07-04 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

2016: Rick Perry semi-officially in the race

Legal Insurrection has the details. I'm going to take a wait and see approach here.

2015-07-03 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama blames Obamacare on Republicans

Washington ExaminerHe reminded Republicans that some of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act — most notably its individual mandate to buy coverage — were once supported by some conservatives, although its Medicaid expansion and some other big parts of the law stem more from liberal thought.

An "individual mandate to buy coverage" is "conservative" only if the alternative is a complete government takeover of the health care system, ie, single-payer... AND the "conservative" is a Massachusetts liberal.

Washington Examiner
"The Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it," he said.

I think we can take this to mean that Obamacare has jumped the shark.

Of course, he will still veto any changes.

2015-07-03 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner email backup tapes were deleted on the night shift

TaxProfDespite a subpoena order to provide documents, IRS employees working night shifts demagnetized the contents of Lerner’s’ computers, according to the inspectors general. They said Koskinen failed to inform the employees about the May 2013 subpoena order to preserve the documents.

Nothing says a sneaky, deniable operation like the night shift deleting the backup tapes. If it was a normal procedure, the day shift would have done it.

2015-07-03 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary clearly not in the loop as SecState

One of the released emails from her private server says:
Reason"I heard on the radio that there is a Cabinet mtg this am. Is there? Can I go? If not, who are we sending?"

Clearly, Obama valued her input into his policy discussions appropriately. But this email is still kind of pathetic.

2015-07-03 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The states play surveillance games, too

Ars TechnicaThe New York Police Department (NYPD) will soon have the ability to track stolen or wanted cars even if they are well outside of the five boroughs.

The NYPD is set to sign a $442,500 deal over three years with Vigilant Solutions to subscribe to the company’s massive private automated license plate reader (ALPR or LPR) database, according to a recent contract awards hearing. The database reportedly contains 2.2 billion records.

So, does this database include just the stolen or wanted cars (what exactly makes a car "wanted" to the NYPD?), or will it include an entry for every time one of the scanners saw any license plate, stolen or not?

I think we need a constitutional amendment to restrict the government's ability to aggregate data. If you want to have your police force look for a particular license plate, that's fine. If you want to have a list of license plates to look for, with appropriate probable cause requirements, that's fine. If you want to have a computer with a camera watch for license plates on the list, I'm OK with that.

But if the computer keeps a historical database, and all the other computers in the country contribute those observations to a single national database, then you have created a surveillance state. The only place I can think of to draw the line is at the point of history and aggregation. (I'm open to better ideas). Until we find a way to draw and enforce that line, things are only going to get worse.

2015-07-02 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another case of unjust asset forfeiture

Daily Signal“The government has a financial incentive to broadly apply the forfeiture laws,” Johnson said. “When an agency like the IRS takes money under the forfeiture laws, that money goes back into the pockets of the agency and it’s available to the IRS to fund law enforcement activities without appropriation from Congress. It’s a powerful incentive for law enforcement to abuse civil forfeiture laws.”

It is, in fact, an end run around the Congressional power of the purse, both the spending power and the taxation power. In the case that prompted this story, the man will get his money back. But that's the exception, not the rule.

2015-07-02 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Japan building a new warship

The American InterestA 24,000-ton helicopter carrier has formally entered the fleet of Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) on Wednesday…

Just in time for World War III. Or IV, depending on how you count the Cold War.

2015-07-02 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Completely, utterly transparent...

A political "journalist" (aka a Democrat operative with a byline) has three reasons that the public hates political journalism (ie, him). Two of them are completely wrong. The second one is mildly interesting.

Hot AirHis second suggested reform is to Go easy on the spouses. Again, I suppose the places where this occurs are not the most shining moments for reporters, but does anyone honestly think that’s the worm at the core of this rotten apple? Tagging the spouses of candidates may not be pretty, but it’s hardly a driver of this discussion.

Has there been a big problem tagging the spouses of politicians for criticism lately? Not that I've noticed. But there's about to be when 2016 gets moving, so this is clearly battlespace preparation for Hillary 2016, given who she's married to and what he's gotten up to. It's so transparently this, rather than some sort of sincere moment of self-examination, that the original author should quit his job and ask Microsoft for a job selling Windows.

This is why the article was written. That's it; full stop; no other reasons need apply.

2015-07-02 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Since the media is so busy distracting us with gay marriage...

I will take a moment to point out that Greece appears ready to default on its debt, possibly resulting in leaving the European Union, and Puerto Rico's governor has announced that it cannot repay it's own debt.

The latter is a US territory.

Ladies and gentlemen, the black swan is working with a vocal coach and practicing the aria.

2015-07-01 13:06:09.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Alan Gura on felon in possession litigation

He makes excellent points.

2015-07-01 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The war on women is really about money

InstapunditThe most remarkable aspect of the recipient list, however, is the apparent lack of any grants to groups that focus on preventing rape or sexual assault. The names of recipient organizations drive this conclusion. A single grant to Planned Parenthood is as close as NEO seems to come to funding sexual health or safety. And, yet, the “Take Action!” cry from “The Hunting Ground” states that NEO ensures “that your tax-deductible donation supports student-led campaigns, public education, policy reform, and prevention approaches.” Wouldn’t that goal best be ensured by an organization with an established track record on sexual assault? There are many of them out there.

Gosh, if they actually tried to do something about the things they spent so much time complaining about, they might not have anything to complain about... and then who would give them money?

2015-07-01 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why the lynching stopped

Sheriff Clarke"Well, as the NRA and other groups started to want to use me as a symbol of the Second Amendment" — a black voice — I started reading up. I became fascinated. What really struck me was the black tradition of arms... I thought, Wow! This isn’t the black history I grew up reading about.

"Instead, what jumped off the pages was the reason the Klu Klux Klan became near-extinct. Once blacks were able to arm themselves to protect against kidnapping and lynching, things really began to change in terms of black freedom.”

Free men are armed for their own defense. Men who can defend themselves are free to speak their mind on other issues.

2015-07-01 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS gift tax reform legislation introduced in the House

Town HallCongress should act to protect citizens of all political persuasions from similar politically-motivated targeting in the future. Thankfully the House Ways and Means Committee is currently working on legislation that would help. The bill prohibits the IRS from applying the federal gift tax to contributions to tax-exempt organizations.

The IRS wants to take your money when you receive it and when you spend it.


Because the government thinks they can spend it better than you can.

They have forgotten who they work for.

2015-07-01 09:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS Targeting still going on

CommentaryThe story notes that this contradicts new IRS director John Koskinen’s claim that the agency “completed” its set of recommendations to get the corruption under control. As of this week, it’s still taking place. What this means in practice is that these groups, some of which applied several years ago, are still in limbo, unable to proceed. The point is to destroy the groups by bankrupting and suffocating them. Politico quotes a former IRS official using the agency’s term for this: “death by bureaucratic delay.”

The key here is not only the ideological targeting aspect. Karl Rove makes an obvious target, and the other groups still being delayed are probably just cover to prevent the IRS from being accused of blocking only Rove, an even more transparently political move. However, the failure to decide is just as important. If the IRS were to approve or deny the applications, the respective organizations could move on or adjust their business model. So long as they are kept in limbo, they are effectively paralyzed. And from Obama's perspective, that's even better than a denial. After all, deny Rove's rather well-funded group and he's likely to bring the issue up in court. It's much easier to defend the idea that you haven't made up your mind yet.

2015-06-30 12:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Arms on Campus: A Texas proposal and Colorado's history

Texas is considering a law allowing for concealed carry on campus, which prompts the Volokh Conspiracy to look at Colorado's history on that issue. Spoiler: Concealed carry licensees are extremely law abiding.

2015-06-30 11:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI disrupts ISIS plot to attack military base in US

Washington Post via Instapundit“Authorities arrested an Illinois Army National Guardsman after he attempted to travel to Libya and fight with the Islamic State as well as the soldier’s cousin who was plotting to attack a U.S. military installation and kill scores, federal prosecutors announced Thursday. Hasan Rasheed Edmonds, 22, and his cousin Jonas Marcel ­Edmonds, 29, both of Aurora, Ill., were charged with conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.”

The left likes to bitch and whine about how society treats the "other". Occasionally, I like to remind them that the "other" would very much like to kill, torture, and maim us.

Our options to respond to that are somewhat limited.

Experiments suggest that singing Kumbaya will not work.

2015-06-30 10:03:45.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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