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American College of Physicians comes out as anti-gun

Declaring that a majority of its members "favor mandatory background checks, mandatory registration of all firearms, and bans on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and armor-piercing bullets," the ACP basically regurgitated the administration's gun control wish list. Putting yet another spin on the ever-expanding universe of "assault weapons," the group called for "banning the sale and manufacture for civilian use of firearms that have features designed to increase their rapid killing capacity (often called "assault weapons" or semi-automatic weapons) and large capacity ammunition (sic) and retaining the current ban on automatic weapons for civilian use."

Not that this is a surprise to anyone, but the Left seems to have a fetish for the imaginary authority of white coats when pushing their petty tyrannies.

Notable here is that these people, who wish to present themselves to the public as gun safety experts, say things like "large capacity ammunition", believe that automatic weapons are banned for civilian use (they are restricted, but not banned), and want to ban all semi-automatic weapons (basically, everything that isn't a hunting rifle; and they'll be back for those as soon as they can call them "sniper rifles").

2014-04-18 09:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another explosion at an ammunition plant

One person is dead and three others injured after an explosion at an ammunition plant west of Nashville Wednesday afternoon. The incident happened at 3:45 a.m. at Rio Ammunition on Highway 230 in McEwen, about 55 miles west of Nashville in Humphreys County.

There have been other explosions at ammunition manufacturing facilities recently, enough so that I'm beginning to be concerned about enemy action. So far as I know there's no actual evidence to suggest that in this case, and given the ammunition markets lately I wouldn't be surprised if the constant demand is putting a strain on the workers and equipment, but caution and awareness seems warranted.

2014-04-17 12:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The plot to destroy America

The implications of today’s email disclosure are stunning and terrifying.

Lois Lerner intended to use her position atop the IRS’ tax exempt approval office to coordinate the prosecution of political speech. The Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder had at least tentatively bought into that. The Federal Elections Commission was being roped in as well. Lerner’s emails prove that beyond doubt.

Democrats in Congress were involved. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) appears to have led the anti-constitutional attack on free speech in the House. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) led it from the Senate.

Read the whole thing.

I have, occasionally, held off on saying that the emails, both from Lerner and others, released so far constitute proof of illegal acts. That is a legal point; I am hardly an expert on tax laws or IRS investigations. I do not know that anything Lerner appears to have done in the emails released so far constitutes a technical violation of IRS regulations for which she can be held accountable in court. There are a number of actions which appear questionable, and much action that is implied by the emails released but for which we have no direct evidence.

The moral question is much easier. If what Lerner has done is not already illegal under existing IRS regulations, she should be charged under Section 242 of Title 18.

Once charges are filed, she will have an incentive to tell us who was coordinating the efforts outside the IRS.

2014-04-17 10:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The first Connecticut militia rifle confiscation from a non-criminal

After shooting a squirrel...

[An ordinary citizen] was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and three counts of possessing large-capacity magazines, according to a police press release...

Police said they also found an unregistered assault rifle, as well as three large-capacity magazines, in Toigo’s home. Both the firearms and the magazines were taken, the release said.

Nielsen said the assault riffle [sic] was not the gun Toigo shot the squirrel with.

So, a guy shot a squirrel in his yard. Not necessarily a great decision, from a safety perspective, but not necessarily a bad one either -- it all depends on the local conditions. It not like squirrels are game animals; in my area they are probably classified as nuisance wildlife. Police then charged him with a whole book of charges for that single act, which is absurd in itself, and then searched his house to obtain his unregistered militia rifle and magazines.

How did they know to search his house? Did they use a secret registration list? The background check database? Did they get a warrant? Because "search incident to arrest" doesn't cover a search of someone's house if they aren't in the house.

This stinks to high heaven.

2014-04-17 09:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bloomberg to fund another gun control group

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will spend $50 million this year to build a nationwide grassroots network on gun control in a direct challenge to the National Rifle Association, The New York Times reported.

The new lobbying group, called Everytown for Gun Safety, will encompass other gun control groups funded by Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the report said.

$50 million is a lot of money. But so far, the Bloomberg efforts have failed to deliver actual votes.

Also, isn't it funny how the Democrats don't seem to mind his spending, even while they rail against the libertarianish Koch brothers?

2014-04-16 15:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A good idea

A Republican congressman from Texas has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would stop the government from paying Attorney General Eric Holder's salary. Rep. Blake Farenthold's "Contempt Act" would prohibit any federal employee who has been found in contempt of Congress from getting a taxpayer-funded paycheck.

It could also effect Lerner, if her pension counts. But the Senate will never pass it.

2014-04-16 14:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Morris says Reno threatened Clinton over Waco

"Now, to be fair, that's my supposition. I don't know what went on in Waco, but that was the cause. But I do know that she told him that if you fire me, I'm going to talk about Waco."

Whatever she was going to talk about was obviously enough that she kept her job despite being "hated" by her boss.

In a way, it's a reverse of how I usually think about Clinton and Obama. Generally, Clinton is perceived as competent but corrupt, whereas Obama is perceived as ideologically driven but inept. Yet, when faced with a particular type of crisis, Clinton pressed on at the cost of burning children alive, and Obama backed off.

The really interesting question, of course, is what would Reno have said? Aside from the obvious -- something tying one or both of the Clintons to Waco -- what exactly?

Because if Hillary runs for President, that's suddenly a lot more relevant than a 1992 fire in Texas would seem to be.

2014-04-16 14:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Take with a grain of salt, and consider the source

"If you see some Middle Eastern guy come in, you don't have to be so worried about that. What we're really looking for are people talking about being sovereign such as sovereign citizens or people talking about big government," the agent reportedly stated.

In other words, pretty much anyone buying a gun who doesn't work for the government is suspicious, unless they are a young middle-eastern male.

2014-04-16 13:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Emails show Lerner coordinated with FEC,DoJ about prosecuting her political targets

According to new IRS emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner contacted the Department of Justice in May 2013 about whether tax exempt groups could be criminally prosecuted for "lying" about political activity.

Another smidgen of corruption exposed.

Note that the emails were retrieved via a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, not any of the House committees supposedly investigating this.

2014-04-16 13:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The core problem with the IRS and tax-exempt organizations

The IRS Commissioner says:

"I think we have to take all of that into consideration," Koskinen told the weekly video newsmaker series. "There are very thoughtful comments and concerns, and one of the questions that has evoked a lot of comment is, once you define what political activity is, to what organizations should it apply in the 501(c) context and how much of it should be allowed? All of that is going to be very important."

The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The IRS does not get to define what political activity is and whether or not it should be allowed. Period. End. Congress shall make no law, including laws that take away tax exemptions if organizations engage in politics. The IRS rules do not trump the Constitution.

And he has the gall to ask for more money while stonewalling Congress and continuing years of political harassment of taxpayers:

He warns the IRS could be headed toward disaster when new responsibilities, including the Obamacare mandates, kick in a year from now. "If we keep going at this level, with the increased responsibilities, at some point we risk crippling the agency," he cautioned, "and that won't be good for the government and it won't be good for taxpayers."

How about you divert resources away from harassing political opponents of the White House and devote those resources to responding to Congressional Oversight requests?

2014-04-16 12:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fast and Furious firearms now being found north of Mexico

An investigation later determined that the three Fabrique Nationale de Herstal pistols had been purchased Jan. 9, 2010 in Arizona by Jaime Avila, one of the arms-trafficking conspiracy ringleaders who was being monitored by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as part of Operation Fast and Furious. Avila was one of the main suspects in the ATF's centerpiece case for Fast and Furious.

The court document stated that the three Romarm Cugir pistols found on Gutierrez and Carrillo that day were bought (on) an unlisted date by another straw purchaser identified as Uriel Patino, also of Phoenix. Patino was another ATF target in Operation Fast and Furious. Patino was a co-defendant with Jaime Avila.

The whole point of Fast and Furious was to justify the Obama administration's attempt to impose a new semiauto ban. Incidents like the above are coming too late to fit with the first such attempt, but they demonstrate the lasting damage done by an administration willing to smuggle arms to criminals in order to advance their legislative agenda supposedly aimed at preventing criminals from obtaining arms.

2014-04-16 12:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Faking Success

The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.
An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument….

In a shocking coincidence, the Census Bureau has chosen to change their survey questions about health insurance in the same year as Obamacare launched. The new method is not comparable to the old method, which will neatly deflect questions about whether Obamacare actually reduced the number of insured. And as a bonus, the new method will report fewer uninsured compared to the previous method, so the numbers will look like success.

This type of data manipulation has been going on during Obama's entire presidency. The unemployment rate, the national debt, the number of illegal aliens being deported, and those are just the examples I remember off the top of my head.

Republics don't work when the government lies to the people. That's the point.

2014-04-15 13:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Medical records searched in attempt to locate drug thief

Utah law enforcement officials searched, without a warrant, the prescription drug records of 480 public paramedics, firefighters and other personnel to try to figure out who was stealing morphine from emergency vehicles.

Warrantless searches are contagious.

2014-04-15 13:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Snowden reporting lands Pulitzer prizes

The 2014 Pulitzer Public Service Award for "meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site" was awarded Monday to the UK-based publication The Guardian and the US-based publication The Washington Post for their reporting on documents provided to them by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Well-deserved, even though Snowden did the hard work and made the real sacrifice. The governments in the US and UK were not exactly taking the whole thing lying down.

I'm not entirely sanguine with how Snowden ended up in Russia by way of China, either. But the public release of his information on the surveillance programs was, frankly, worth a lot.

2014-04-15 12:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

It seems the EPA can't find its data

Seven months after being subpoenaed by Congress, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy conceded that her agency does not have and cannot produce all of the scientific data used for decades to justify numerous rules and regulations under the Clean Air Act.

When that missing data was used to justify decades of tightening regulations, that's a problem. Because if you can't produce the data, no one else can check it... and if no one else can check it, you're not doing science.

2014-04-15 12:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lott tears apart the Bloomberg anti-gun PR offensive

The connections to Bloomberg are not always obvious, as he has funded several organizations, making it look like there is more widespread support. There are Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health and two organizations of which he is the primary financial supporter though they are not directly connected to his name: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action.

Over the last couple of years, studies from these organizations have received massive, uncritical news coverage, without even the slightest questioning of the numbers presented.

In large part, the gun-rights blogosphere exists to counteract the media bias that seems particularly strong on gun issues.

2014-04-15 11:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bob Woodward thinks there's something to the IRS scandal

The Washington Post's Bob Woodward knows a thing or two about investigating Washington scandals, and he believes the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups merits a deeper look.

"We should dig in to it -- there should be answers," he said on Fox News Sunday. "For the president to take that position is very, very unusual and say there's not a 'smidgen of evidence here.'"

He doesn't think much of the Republican investigation so far, which I can hardly disagree with. It hasn't exactly been effective, whether you blame the investigators or the stonewalling for that.

UPDATE: An important point:

He added that reporters should “dig into it — there should be answers.” He did not explain why reporters have not done that. One reporter who did look into the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals, Sharyl Attkisson, lost her job at CBS News.

The way to get past political stonewalling is to increase the media pressure on the administration until documents are released; once the documents are released, the evidence can be followed, and key figured can be pressured to testify rather than cover up. But if journalists are fired rather than being allowed to investigate, then it's safe for the IRS to stonewall and refuse to deliver documents, and that enables the rest of the coverup.

2014-04-15 11:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

HUD may have inappropriately used funds to promote Obamacare

A government watchdog group wants an investigation into whether the Department of Housing and Urban Development improperly using funds appropriated by Congress to promote Obamacare.

Remember that the success of Obamacare depends in large part on many people signing up, and that, if successful, Democrats expected it to be a huge boost to their political prospects. It's not surprising that they would pull out all the stops to promote the program among their core constituencies. But doing so with funds not appropriated for that purpose can bring legal trouble.

2014-04-15 10:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI facial recognition program to be fully operational this summer

Ars Technica has the details. The program will include 52 million photos, on top of existing records containing 100 million fingerprints and other forms of biometric data. Much of this data was not collected through any sort of criminal process, and one of the coming changes to the process will run all searches through both the criminal and non-criminal databases.

This raises significant false-positive concerns; previously, if you had applied for a job that required a fingerprint test, for example, they would not subsequently search your fingerprints when they found prints at the scene of a break-in. Now they will, which means a partial or fuzzy match could have severe consequences.

In addition to the obvious (police officers and other government employees), concealed-carry holders in states which require fingerprints as part of the application are probably in this database.

2014-04-15 10:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Supreme Court denies cert on NSA telephone surveillance case

Ars Technica has details. As far as I can see, the appeal was filed directly to the Supreme Court from the district court, which ruled against the spying program (but stayed the decision pending appeal). So the next step is for the normal appeals process to hear the case.

2014-04-15 09:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Tribune-Review calls for an IRS special prosecutor

The sooner, the better:

But Justice can't be trusted to investigate this scandal, much less prosecute. And these latest revelations make Attorney General Eric Holder's March refusal to appoint a special prosecutor seem even more damningly self-serving.

Until a special prosecutor uncompromised by Holder's obvious conflict of interest is appointed, the notion that the IRS indeed has something to hide will only be reinforced.

It is already obvious that the Internal Revenue Service has something to hide. The question is, what does Boehner have to gain by refusing to appoint a special prosecutor? What does he have to hide?

2014-04-14 13:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sharyl Attkisson talks about leaving CBS

For those who doubt that there is political bias in the media...

2014-04-14 12:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama lets NSA use zero-day exploits

... although there are a lot of weasel words involved. The new policy Obama has announced is described as a "bias towards disclosure", but with an exception to the policy if there is "a clear national security or law enforcement need". When the people he's talking about work at the National Security Agency, everything they do is going to be considered a national security need, and then add in all the requests from the other intelligence agencies, plus the FBI, plus every federal agency that has a SWAT team (and that's all of them, these days). Even if that exception isn't in play, there is only a "bias" towards disclosure. Not a policy of disclosure in the absence of national security or law enforcement, no... a "bias".

We can also take this announcement to mean that the previous policy was even less friendly.

2014-04-14 12:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Anti-gun group is anti-free-speech, too

It seems that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has been trying to prevent pro-gun speaker Andrew Branca from speaking about self-defense law on college campuses.

We often hear it argued that diminution of 2nd Amendment rights is just the start, that what they really want is to suppress not just the right to keep and bear Arms, but also your political and other speech. CSGV has offered us proof that those concerns are real, that they will not stop with your guns but also will come after your speech.

They know that if there is a real debate, they lose. Therefore, they do everything they can to prevent a real debate.

2014-04-14 11:55:58.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ted Cruz calls for impeaching Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz said Attorney General Eric Holder ought to be impeached if he doesn’t take tough action against former IRS official Lois Lerner, who’s been tied to the agency’s targeting-of-tea-partyers scandal.

While I agree in principle, I see two major problems with this approach. First, just as with Obama himself, the Senate will almost certainly not convict Holder in any impeachment proceeding. It's just barely possible they might choose to throw him under the bus due to election pressure, but remember that the Republicans don't even control the Senate majority and they would need a super-majority. Impeaching Holder will not result in his removal -- or his taking action against Lerner.

The other problem is that Holder has already suggested leaving office in 2014. That would make even a successful impeachment somewhat hollow.

2014-04-14 11:48:33.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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