Remember when Net Neutrality was supposed to prevent ISPs from making content deals with Netflix?
The idea was that such deals were somehow anti-competititve, rather than two parties coming to a mutually-acceptable agreement -- Netflix paying to deliver its bytes faster and the ISP being paid to upgrade its systems along a particular path or provide caching. End result: customers get better Netflix streaming, and everyone is happy. But for some reason, some people seemed to think that would be a bad thing and wanted the government to regulate the internet to prevent it.
Well, now the FCC has released it's rules for the internet, and the Netflix-type deals will be allowed... maybe... possibly... if the regulating agency gets enough boodle in the process to approve your deal.
So, to sum up: in return for giving the FCC the power to do all manner of political intimidation and speech suppression in the only medium which the ordinary person can speak to a broad audience, we didn't even get the Net Neutrality that people thought they wanted. Instead, we got what we always get when politicians get involved: legalized bribery.
Hillary turns over 300 Benghazi emails, but there are gaps...
Of course no such "stand-down" order is in the emails Clinton provided. The point of having a private email server is that you don't have to turn over the email in which you ordered that your subordinates be abandoned to die. Assuming she even emailed such an order; it would be more cautious to use instant messaging or a telephone call, or even a verbal order in person.
There's a reason movies always have the questioning subordinate asking for his orders in writing, after all.
The truth is, we don't know who issued the stand-down order, but we're pretty sure one got issued. It could be Obama issued the order. And we're also interested in how the idea that the whole thing was about a youtube video got started.
So, we have definitely caught Mrs. Clinton evading the standard record-keeping processes and, when caught, lying about her practice of emailing people at their government addresses to try to mitigate the problem...
In other words, the Obama administration leaked a description of a carefully selected subset of the emails to the press in order to create the right impression prior to any actual release to the public. Note well, the New York Times did not see the emails. Not even some of the emails. Someone read them a description of the emails, from which they drew the intended points: "no coverup! but Hillary did not cc her emails properly!" which conveniently exonerates the Obama administration while damaging Hillary's coronation expected campaign.
But she writes emails about her daughter's wedding and yoga poses? Please.
It's not that she isn't a verbose correspondent, it's that an email from her that says "Please print" a forwarded article is safe to release, and almost nothing else is.
2016: Why I could support Ted Cruz for President in 2016
Ted Cruz is expected to announce that he is running for President on 3/23/15. This shouldn't surprise anyone who has been paying attention. As a candidate, Cruz has both positives and negatives, but due to his relatively short time on the national scene, he also has a lot of unknowns to fill in before he can be taken seriously as a candidate for President.
Let's get the negatives out of the way first. Like Barack Obama, Cruz will be running for President before his first term in the Senate is complete. He will be doing so with limited legislative accomplishments (due more to his minority party membership and Obama's veto than anything that reflects upon him personally). Unlike Obama, however, he has significant experiences before running for Senate to draw upon, including a distinguished legal career and arguing the famous 2nd Amendment Heller case before the Supreme Court.
In his short time in the Senate, however, Cruz appears to have managed to piss off the Republican Establishment by being a pain in their collective asses. In some ways this is a plus; I certainly like candidates who annoy the establishment. But it does mean that he may have burned bridges with potential allies and crippled his ability to fundraise. We will have to see how this one plays out.
The final negative is that Cruz is sort of occupying a political void right now. He's staked out a number of firmly conservative positions on various issues, but he's also left a lot of ground open where he hasn't said much or taken any sort of position at all. I didn't even realize notice this until I started writing this post, and found myself with a few bits of red meat and almost nothing else. Maybe he's openly trying to emulate Obama's blank slate nature, or maybe he's just not brought up a lot of the minor issues because they didn't seem relevant. Either way, more information is going to be needed as the campaign speeds up.
One thing that I would be interested in, and have never seen effectively answered: why does Bloomberg, as a person, care about gun control? He lives in something fairly close to gun control utopia, he has gazillions of dollars to pay armed security guards to protect him from the disarmed serfs who surround him, he doesn't appear to be angling for political office for himself any longer, I don't know of anyone he's lost that would make it a personal crusade. I can't see how he gets money or power from funding gun control politics. So why does he care?
The only thing I can think of is that gun control is a front to cover for what he really wants to pay politicians for. But that seems too much like a conspiracy theory.
In the end, it doesn't matter. He wants what he wants. We will stop him.
Second Amendment challenge to 1986 Hughes Amendment gun ban filed
I am concerned that this was filed too soon, before enough positive precedent was established, but otherwise I'm supportive. We have to fight this battle eventually.
Note that this challenge does not address the NFA rules for these items, it only addresses the ban on manufacturing new firearms. Any newly manufactured firearms would need to go through the same purchase process as the existing stock of such items requires.
Citizen's United wins access to Clinton passenger lists
This is coming from the New York Times, so clearly we haven't yet reached the point of "old news" on Clinton scandals. That said, this isn't related to Hillary's private server, just who was flying with her on trips and whether they were Clinton Foundation donors. If they were donors, it would be a possible case of pay-for-play access, though by itself only circumstantial.
The decision itself may signal a lack of patience with Clinton coverups and State Department's failure to be forthcoming. (Remember, whatever the State Department says now, they knew all along that Hillary did not have an email address on their servers and concealed that fact, responding to subpeonas and FOIA requests without admitting that they could not possibly have any of Hillary's emails.
Why does it matter that the drone videos were considered to have a "commercial use"? Even if you ignore the First Amendment implications of a ban on posting videos you recorded yourself, the only authority the FAA has to regulate anything derives from the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The Supreme Court's commerce-clause jurisprudence has been so awful that almost anything -- including growing wheat on your own farm for consumption by your own family and livestock -- can be, and has been, considered to have an impact on interstate commerce somehow. But the roots of the regularity authority live on in the FAA's absurd claims of commercial use when desperately trying to expand their authority.
And the government is ruining the economy by giving your job to an illegal alien, closing your local power plant, burning down your local businesses, and taxing the rest to death... so we're really looking at like 30% instead of three separate 10% categories.
Gowdy requests ClintonEmail.com server be turned over to neutral party
By now, the hard drives are sleeping with the fishes. But on a more serious note, there are enough questions about exactly what was running the email service for that domain that I'm not sure there was a physical server at the Clinton's house. It may have been an email service behind the Clinton's private domain, or multiple servers over the life of the system.
Still, the only way to find out is to make the demand and see what gets turned over. Short of sending the cops with a warrant to the front door, anyway. While that would be fun, I'm not sure it's warranted... yet.
So why is he leaving? Well, the professional sports job makes a nice sinecure to make sure the secrets stay Fast and Furiously secret, if you know what I mean and I think you do... but I'm betting the real reason he's out is has nothing to do with sports or spending more time with his family. The timing is too perfect. He's out because he fucked up Obama's ammo ban idea. The premature publication of the rules change before the public comment period made it vulnerable to a court challenge and once the news got out and the public started making noise, effective Congressional opposition was inevitable. He screwed this one up for the White House and it was time for him to go.
Reminder: A failed Lerner investigation at FCC has already flipped one Senate seat
Once such an investigation becomes public knowledge, the reputational damage it does it probably impossible to repair even if you are completely cleared of wrongdoing. That makes it an ideal political tool.
Oh, and "failed" in that the person was never convicted of anything despite years of trying. It succeeded in driving him out of politics.
But how serious an attempt is it? Obama's budgets are generally DOA in Congress anyway. So it's not like he's trying to sneak a provision into legislation that's likely to pass. It's more like Obama's throwing a hail-mary pass to the end zone and hoping that someone in Congress will borrow his IRS budget language and forget to add the rider.
The real takeaway from this budget is that Obama has not accepted the criticism of the IRS's efforts as inappropriately partisan and would like to get them started up again pronto. He is not contrite. He does not regret. He is pushing forward on every possible front, and waiting for someone to miss something so he can exploit the gap.