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Of all the utterly STUPID....

So one of my Senators (the older, stupider, RINO-ish one) is sending out a poll to all of his constituents. Or perhaps it's all of his constituents who have given him a piece of their mind on Obamacare repeal or some other subgroup. His poll has two yes or no questions:

1. Do you support the American Health Care Act, which could replace Obamacare? (yes/no)

2. If no, would you support the American Health Care Act with additional amendments? (yes/no)

So how can any rational person respond to this poll?

I support repealing Obamacare, which this legislation sort of does. I don't support replacing Obamacare with something that's basically the same plus a few tweaks, which also describes this legislation. I'd like to know why we can't just do step one REPEAL THE WHOLE BLOODY THING and step two DISCUSS POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS. Instead Congress seems intent on keeping the parts that don't work while continuing to increase government regulations (including price controls) over the health care industry rather than actually addressing problems with a free market approach that has a chance of actually working.

And then the next question -- would I support the legislation "with additional amendments"?

WHAT AMENDMENTS?

I have no idea what "additional amendments" I'm supposed to be considering here. Amendments could make it worse. They could make it better. Judging by how the Senate operates, they could replace the whole bill with something that declares the moon is made of green cheese. I mean, I sort of get the intent of the question -- they're trying to find out if I really hate the bill because I don't want to repeal Obamacare, or if I really hate the bill because it sucks but a few small changes might get me on board because I really do want to repeal Obamacare.

Which I suppose is a good sign. It tells me the Senate Republicans are getting a lot of negative comments about the repeal bill and are shocked, surprised, confused, scared, trying to figure out what's going on -- do they hate repeal or do they hate this specific bill because it sucks and we need to do better? But seriously. Seriously. This is a guy whose career depends on understanding what the public (in his state) wants him to do. And this is the best fucking pair of poll questions he can come up with? This pair of idiotic, incoherent incomprehensible poll questions?

2017-03-20 11:28:52.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Remington responds to 60 Minutes

RemingtonOn February 19, 2017, 60 Minutes broadcast a segment about Remington Arms Company, LLC and two tragic incidents which occurred in 2011. In narrating the details related to each incident, 60 Minutes omitted and misrepresented key facts which would have allowed the viewer to have an accurate and complete understanding about each. For example, 60 Minutes knew but did not disclose that both of the rifles in question were examined and tested by forensic scientists employed by each state’s crime lab and were found to be in proper working order. Remington provides this response to offer a more complete record of the relevant facts and a comprehensive overview of the incidents described in the story, and the recall which was at the center of the story.

Countering fake news with the truth.

2017-03-20 10:55:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump must keep his promise to repeal Obamacare

Kurt SchlictehrThere are a thousand plausible-sounding excuses for not repealing Obamacare. There is one reason why you must – because you said you would, over and over again. The media is going to tell you that you can’t – it’ll wheel out a nonstop conga line of whiny deadbeats afflicted with the sadz because people who actually work for a living are going to stop having to subsidize their effort-free lifestyle. When it does, ask the first question the rest of us would ask: “Well, does Freddie Freeloader have a cell phone? How about a big screen? Is there an Xbox in his apartment? Because if so, then what Freddie really wants is not for us to pay for his health insurance. He could pay for that if he wanted. He wants us to pay for his toys, and the normals are sick of sweating so that some shiftless couch-tater doesn’t have to.”

It's perhaps not quite that simple. The big screen TV and the XBox are one-time expenses and health insurance is a recurring, and increasingly expensive, one. But I can't blame young, healthy, and poor people for wanting someone else to pay for their health insurance, especially when the deductibles are so high the insurance never pays out. Those people are being abused by Obamacare to fund the people who aren't healthy.

It's going to take more to fix the problems in the health care system than a halfhearted Republican wimp-out.

2017-03-20 09:55:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lyndsey Graham is an idiot

The HillSen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says the Senate will stall on confirming President Trump’s deputy attorney general if the FBI refuses to provide evidence of wiretaps against Trump.

“Congress is going to flex its muscle here and you see that all over the place,” Graham said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today.”

“We’ll hold up the deputy attorney general’s nomination until Congress is provided with information to finally clear the air as to whether or not there was ever a warrant issued against the Trump campaign.”

Graham is, in theory, a Republican. But he's threatening to hold up confirmation of a Republican nominee in order to demand answers from the FBI that that nominee has a presumed interest in using his power and authority to obtain, and leave in power the people who are presumably doing the stalling.

What I suspect this actually means is that Lyndsey Graham is a senile old coot who can't remember which side he's supposed to be on. Can we primary his ass already?

2017-03-19 11:14:39.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch sues for info on tarmac meeting between Clinton and Lynch

TownHallGovernment watchdog Judicial Watch has issued a lawsuit to the Department of Justice seeking information about the June 27, 2016 meeting between former President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch on her private plane in Phoenix. As a reminder, the meeting took place in secret just days before the FBI announced a non-indictment for former Secretary of State and Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of top secret information on a private email server.

That the DOJ is still refusing to release information in response to FOIA requests on this matter means there are still Obama/Clinton partisans within the agency.

2017-03-19 10:14:39.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The State Dept is still resisting disclosure of Obama-era records

Rex Tillerson needs to find out whose ass to kick. But then, he's likely already pretty busy.

2017-03-19 09:14:39.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Saving money and enhancing freedom

Trump solicits a proposal to reorganize the executive branch, and the Bayou Renaissance Man suggests consolidating armed law enforcement into a much smaller number of agencies. That would be a good start.

2017-03-17 11:33:04.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Obama use British Intelligence to spy on Trump?

Daily WireWhile the American Intelligence Community (IC) plays "not us" when it comes to claims that the Obama Administration spied on President Trump (when he was both a candidate and President-elect), Fox News has learned that in order to avoid a paper trail, fingerprints, and pesky little details like the Bill of Rights, President Obama circumvented all of that by requesting the British spy on Trump.

This is an interesting claim. However, I think it's also something of a distraction. While this basic structure is in place -- the various intelligence agencies have long cooperated with each other to avoid the legal restrictions on spying on their own citizens pretty much exactly as described -- there are aspects about the previous reporting on the Trump wiretapping story that don't add up. For example, there have been multiple sources reporting on applications to the FISA court and to other more normal courts for surveillance involving Trump. Doing an end-run around us law by going to the British wouldn't need such warrants, so why then file for the warrants? Would British intelligence, faced with a request to do an end-run around US law concerning a candidate for President, actually comply or gracefully decline?

I'd like to think the Brits would gracefully decline such a request, but the existence of the FISA warrants and denied applications suggests that the Obama administration didn't go the British route. And if someone is leaking information saying they did, it seems more likely that the leaker is trying to suggest a purportedly legal path to obtaining the leaked information as an alternative to the obviously illegally abuse of our own national security infrastructure and court system.

But the existence and disclosure of the warrants and denied applications for warrants says otherwise. So this is a smokescreen. For rational observers, though, the exact path doesn't matter: Obama used the intelligence agencies to try to influence the outcome of a presidential election. That's the bottom line, and it's worth than anything Nixon ever did.

There's one other thing that's worth mentioning:

Daily WireIn other words, according to these sources, Obama tapped into a wiretap that is already in place on pretty much all of us, including Trump and his team. It is only accessed, though, when there is a specific request from someone like the President of the United States. Napolitano also explained that the law allows the President to legally do this to anyone he wants for any reason he wants. No warrant required.

There may be legal fictions that claim to allow this conduct. The Fourth Amendment does not allow it, and any judicial decisions that claim otherwise are corrupt.

There's a saying that seems to apply here. "How many legs does a calf have, if you call a tail a leg?" "Four. Calling a tail a leg does not make it so." And calling a violation of the Fourth Amendment legal does not make it so.

And I'll put one other thing up for emphasis. "It is only accessed when there is a specific request from someone like the President of the United States." I call bullshit on that. It's accessed by the NSA continually for everything from investigating terrorists overseas -- their proper function -- to checking up on potential girlfriends ("LOVEINT"). Claiming that there has to be a specific request from the president is another attempt to downplay the broad-based nature of the surveillance.

2017-03-17 10:33:04.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump orders review of vehicle emissions regulation

The HillPresident Trump will formally order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week to review whether one of its car emissions regulations should be scaled back.

This is worth celebrating, because the review will likely result in significant changes to one of Obama's ticking time bombs: the EPA's regulation of "greenhouse gas emissions" from vehicles. That's regulation of carbon dioxide, a natural part of Earth's atmosphere that is relatively harmless to humans and animal life, and forms a vital part of what plants need in order to survive. The use of the word "emissions" is designed to make you think of this gas as a harmful, poisonous substance. It's not. It's an inevitable byproduct of burning gasoline to move the car, and the only danger this gas presents to humans is the basic global warming argument. In other words, if you emit too much of this gas, a bunch of idiots think the average temperature of the Earth will increase by one or two degrees. Probably. In a few centuries from now. And their short term predictions aren't coming true, so scratch that "probably" right out. They're basically selling you a chicken little doomsday to scare you into following their religious dictates.

The only practical effect the regulation being reconsidered will have is that car manufacturers will have the chance to make the case that lighter, more efficient, more expensive cars are not a good idea. Oh, and that lighter, more efficient cars are not actually possible while still making things that look and act like cars.

Unless we all want to end up driving motorcycles to work, we need to make sure the vehicle efficiency standards are reasonable. We need to make sure they are possible. We need to make sure we don't bankrupt the manufacturers by forcing them to make a ton of Volts and Priuses when people want to buy trucks.

In short, we need to stop interfering with the free market. Let manufacturers make what they think people want rather than what the government demands. Let people buy what they actually want, or as close to that as the manufacturers can figure out and produce. Let the EPA stick to regulating actual pollution rather than chicken-little greenhouse gas fantasies. Or maybe turn that part over to the individual states and let the EPA's budget be spent on deficit reduction.

2017-03-17 09:33:04.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

AG Sessions may bring in outside counsel to investigate previous administration

Hugh HewittWell, I’m going to do everything I possibly can to restore the independence and professionalism of the Department of Justice. So we would have to consider whether or not some outside special counsel is needed. Generally, a good review of that internally is the first step before any such decision is made.

One of the specific things Sessions mentioned he wanted to investigate was the IRS scandal. I had previously figured that was pretty much dead -- all evidence buried. But the recent discovery of 7000 more related files suggests there may be something more to find.

If it was up to me, I'd appoint one independent counsel per scandal. One for Fast and Furious, one for the IRS, one for abuses of intelligence resources for political advantage, and so on. Pay them hourly for a fixed number of hours over the course of, say, 2 years. Set the rate based on the number of convictions they achieve.

Normally, I'd be a little bit leery of prosecuting previous administrations. But there's a difference between criminalizing political disagreements and overlooking blatant violations of the law. If the Obama administration was allowing criminals to smuggle guns across the border, that's criminal behavior. If they are using the IRS to persecute and harass political opponents, that's illegal behavior. If they are wiretapping political opponents in an effort to swing the next presidential election, that's criminal (and indeed, tyrannical) behavior. If they are abusing intelligence apparatus to sabotage the transition to a new administration, that's criminal behavior.

They should not be allowed to get away with it.

2017-03-16 11:34:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The New York Times wants you to resist the internet

It's a silly premise. Resist a communications technology that is revolutionizing pretty much everything we do as a species? Why? How?

Isn't it the Times that mocks conservatives for standing athwart history yelling "Stop!"?

But that's not the part of the article I wanted to point out. You see, the author makes a few points that are perhaps more revealing than they intended.

NYTimesBut there are also excellent reasons to think that online life breeds narcissism, alienation and depression, that it’s an opiate for the lower classes and an insanity-inducing influence on the politically-engaged

By insanity-inducing, they mean Trump, presumably. I would point to the hordes of social justice warriors engaged in self-harm, fits of hysteria, and false reports of hate crimes as a better example. The sane people this election cycle are those who don't get their news from the Times.

But more important than that -- who popularized the phrase "opiate of the masses?" Yep, that's an original Marxism.

And how will they achieve their internet-free utopia where the only source for news and information on current events will be newspapers like them?

NYTimesSo a digital temperance movement would start by resisting the wiring of everything, and seek to create more spaces in which internet use is illegal, discouraged or taboo. Toughen laws against cellphone use in cars, keep computers out of college lecture halls, put special “phone boxes” in restaurants where patrons would be expected to deposit their devices, confiscate smartphones being used in museums and libraries and cathedrals, create corporate norms that strongly discourage checking email in a meeting.

Yeah, they'll just ban it. You're going to make internet use illegal? confiscate property? prevent people from being attentive to their business requirements? with force of law?

Come back to me when you've repealed the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments and suppressed the resulting civil war.

2017-03-16 10:34:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Confirmed: FISA warrant was in fact issued

PJMediaAccording to an explosive new report in Circa News Wednesday night, a FISA court warrant was granted to federal investigators in October of 2016 as part of an overall Russian hacking investigation.

Investigative journalists Sara Carter (formerly of the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, and The Blaze) and John Solomon (formerly of the the Washington Post, the Washington Times, and AP) spoke to sources close to the investigation who have been "watching in horror" at the politicization of intelligence since the election, and wanted to set the record straight.

In addition to the FISA warrant in October, the FBI obtained a separate warrant that same month to look into a computer server tied to then-candidate Donald Trump's businesses in Trump Towers (but not located in Trump Towers). According to the report, the feds used traditional investigative techniques to examine allegations of computer activity tied to two Russian banks and there had been no intercepts of Trump’s phone or emails.

The FBI quickly concluded that "the computer activity in question involved no nefarious contacts, bank transactions or encrypted communications with the Russians."

I'm not convinced here. There's a lot of frantic backpedaling going on as people realize that they may be out on a legal limb for conducting politically-motived surveillance. They're desperately trying to spin their way out of trouble.

I'm convinced that something happened, but I'm not convinced it was all done in proper order with appropriate authority and apolitical motivations.

The simple fact that people are admitting FISA warrants were issued suggests that something beyond just using the NSA's global email archives and pen-register traces took place. And it invalidates the theory that the transcripts of conversations with the Russian ambassador were the product of tapping the Russian ambassador alone. Surely there's already a policy of spying on foreign agents in place; that wouldn't need a new warrant.

Something is rotten here.

2017-03-16 09:34:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that voter fraud by illegal aliens that doesn't exist...

Electoral StudiesOur exploration of non-citizen voting in the 2008 presidential election found that most non-citizens did not register or vote in 2008, but some did. The proportion of non-citizens who voted was less than fifteen percent, but significantly greater than zero. Similarly in 2010 we found that more than three percent of non-citizens reported voting.

Three percent of the admitted 10-12 million illegal aliens is a lot. If the real number is more like 30 million, that's even more. How many races had margins of victory around 3%? A lot.

Hat tip to Clayton Cramer.

UPDATE: OK, the above math is obviously not quite correct. 3% of illegal aliens voting doesn't mean 3% of the vote totals consists of illegal alien votes. Still the point should be obvious. There are enough illegal aliens voting to swing close elections.

2017-03-15 11:04:16.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did DOJ aid terror suspect in attempt to influence campaign?

Fox NewsFederal lawmakers are investigating the possibility that senior Department of Justice officials interfered in a terrorism probe involving a refugee just prior to the November election in an effort to deny campaign momentum to Donald Trump, Fox News has learned.

Obama has always been willing to risk American lives for political advantage. It is disgusting.

2017-03-15 10:04:16.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How to fix Obamacare

Kurt SchlichterStep One: Repeal Obamacare. Put a stake through its heart and leave its head on a pike. So maybe the Democrats won’t vote for a replacement. Good. They’re the party of trough-gorging welfare cheats, not us. It’s their constituents who want the free stuff – yours are the sheep these bums shear. No Obamacare replacement is their problem. See how long the Dems can play the obstruction game with their freeloading voters screaming “Gimme!”

Step Two: Stop trying to plan everything. We can do it ourselves. Lift the regulations and let us buy whatever coverage we want from whatever state we want. Operate under the general principle that every American adult is expected to pay for his own healthcare. Most importantly, stop trying to ameliorate the consequences of bad decisions. If you want to have fewer bad decisions, the very best way to achieve that lofty goal is to let bad things happen to stupid people.

That's pretty much it. There are a lot of little tweaks I'd throw in, like making sure people can get tax credits on individual policies to match the way employer-based policies work, or ending both sets of tax credits. But those are minor improvements. The one thing the Republicans absolutely must deliver before 2018 is repeal of Obamacare. "Replacement" can go fuck itself.

2017-03-15 09:04:16.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A sympathetic immigrant DREAMer beheads his mother

PJMediaICE officials have confirmed that a North Carolina teen who has been charged with chopping off his mother's head with a butcher knife is in the United States illegally.

Oliver Funes-Machado, 18, is originally from Honduras and is accused of repeatedly stabbing his 35-year-old mother in their Zebulon home Monday. He allegedly beheaded her and then walked outside, holding her head in one hand and the knife in the other as he waited for Franklin County deputies to arrive. He was the one who called 911.

He's here because he loves America like he loves his mother.

2017-03-14 11:26:13.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama deliberately sabotaged Trump transition

Daily CallerAccording to The Times, Obama White House officials waged a campaign to procure, save and disperse classified intelligence regarding Trump associates’ contacts with Russians.

The campaign also involved curtailing the Trump team’s access to highly classified information and of lowering classification ratings on other information about the ongoing Russia investigation so that it could be more widely shared across the government.

According to The Times’ sources, the Obama officials waged the campaign out of fear that the Trump administration would cover up or destroy some of the information.

Bear in mind, as you read the above, that the New York Times is relying on anonymous Obama Administration sources to allege serious crimes (arguably treason) against Trump associates and ideally use them to paint Trump himself with the same brush. Yet no one has specified what those crimes are, other than talking to official Russian representatives about policy matters without actually saying or doing anything improper. Democrats (in the Senate, as well as in the Clinton campaign) were conducting similar meetings. This is, basically, diplomacy 101: meet with the foreign ambassadors you will need to conduct national business with.

The Obama administration claims to have thought these matters were serious enough that they feared a Trump coverup and distributed the "evidence" of his "crimes" to as many people within the intelligence community as possible, hoping that the "evidence" would be leaked to the press and cripple the incoming president. But when the Democrats were making similar contacts, this explanation doesn't hold water.

We're left with a desperate cover up. The Obama Administration used national security infrastructure -- wiretaps, hackers -- to try to put their thumb on the scale of the election. They failed. And now they are desperate to produce enough smoke to claim there was a fire all along and that makes what they did OK.

It's not OK, and the chickens will be coming home to roost, as someone famously said before being swept under the Obama bus.

2017-03-14 10:26:13.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Were you lying then, or are you lying now?

TownhallCoons: "There are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not Russian intelligence and senior Russian political leaders, including Vladimir Putin, were cooperating, were colluding with the Trump campaign at the highest levels to influence the outcome of our election."
[...]
"What I was trying to make clear, Chris, and I appreciate a chance to restate this, is that I don't have -- and I don't know of -- any conclusive proof, one way or the other."

Well, either he was lying to begin with, or someone committed a felony in informing him of national-security surveillance activities in violation of classification rules. Or, you know, he committed a felony in mentioning them publicly, if he was authorized to see them.

Frankly, I think he's lying now. I think the Obama administration was absolutely willing to make use of NSA and other surveillance assets to try to sabotage Trump and give Hillary the election.

2017-03-14 09:26:13.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Concealed carry reciprocity introduced in the Senate

National Shooting Sports FoundationU.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has introduced the NSSF-supported Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S. 446), a companion to the House of Representatives bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.). The proposed legislation, with 30 co-sponsors, would compel states to recognize concealed carry permits issued from other states that have concealed carry laws within their own borders – much in the same way a driver’s license is recognized. The bill aims to eliminate the confusion of varying state-by-state laws and provide protection for Second Amendment rights for permit holders.

It's time gun rights took the offensive.

2017-03-13 11:14:00.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Safe Streets employee accused of drug ties

BreitbartThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) claims an employee with Baltimore’s Safe Streets violence intervention program is tied to “a drug trafficking organization” associated with numerous shootings in the city.

These organizations are happy to see honest citizens disarmed, because they are full of criminals who prefer it that way.

2017-03-13 10:14:00.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senators request wiretap warrants

The HillSens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are requesting the Justice Department and FBI hand over any potential applications for a warrant to wiretap the Trump campaign.

"We request that the Department of Justice provide us copies of any warrant applications and court orders ... related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower," the two senators wrote in a letter to Dana Boente, the acting deputy attorney general, and FBI Director James Comey.

Glenn thinks there might not have been warrants at all. That's one possibility. Another is that the Deep State refuses to hand them over and pretends it never happened, or cites some technicality to avoid the specific terms of the request.

2017-03-13 09:14:00.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another fake hate crime

I have yet to see a real hate crime.

2017-03-12 11:56:04.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS discovers more Tea Party targetting documents

Washington ExaminerThe IRS has told a federal court that they've recently identified almost 7,000 more documents that could contain information on how the agency targeted the tax-exempt applications of Tea Party organizations or other conservative political groups starting back in 2010, according to a court document.

But IRS in the document would not commit to a timeline for releasing the documents.

Yeah, they "just now" "found" them. Coincidentally after William Wilkins, the Obama appointee responsible for running both the targeting and the cover-up operation, left the agency.

Maybe this will prompt Trump to fire Koskinen. Or maybe not. I'm not convinced Trump really gives a shit about the IRS scandal, since it never appeared on TV.

2017-03-12 10:56:04.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Two more victims of Fast and Furious guns

Judicial Watch learned that the government had multiple opportunities to stop the killers of ICE agents Victor Avila and Jaime Zapata. They were killed with Fast and Furious guns.

2017-03-12 09:56:04.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So this is what the tarmac meeting was really about

It wasn't just BJ Clinton getting assurances that the DOJ would clear his wife, it was AG Lynch informing BJ of the NSA "take" on Trump.

And it appears ex-Secret Service agent Dan Bongino has more to say about the Obama administration.

Personally, despite Bongino's comments, I'm not sure there are any physical wiretaps involved here. It's possible, to be sure, but the NSA has the national telephone infrastructure pretty well wired up without needing physical bugs and either the NSA or the CIA could have been targeting a server in Trump Tower for hacking.

2017-03-11 11:53:02.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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