Credit was claimed where it was not due, twice over
A while back, I briefly gave Eric Holder credit he claimed for putting an end to asset forfeiture, a tactic that essentially declares property to be criminal and puts the property rather than the person on trial. Since the property doesn't have due process rights, this usually works out well for the government and poorly for the person who thought they owned property. Of course, it quickly turned out that the headline said one thing and the fine print said something else. Now, it seems that Holder is making permanent a previously temporary grant of asset forfeiture authority to the ATF:
Since the authority had previously been delegated on a temporary basis, this doesn't really change much. However, it does further undermine the legacy-polishing Holder had done on asset forfeiture previously, and it adds yet another thing that will need to be rolled back under a Republican administration... if they even bother to remember to do it.
I'm posting it, however, for a different reason. I'm posting it because it fits into the idea that Obama's last 2 years are years he has personally dedicated to screwing gun owners with whatever executive powers he and his minions can muster.
So, in a bit of global-warming triumphalism, Ars Technica reports that the greenhouse effect really does exist. Clue: no one denies this. It's basic physics, and even people who consider themselves skeptics on global warming issues do not dispute the basic fact that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does retain heat.
They proceed to report on an experimental measurement that analyses the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and demonstrates that that amount has been increasing over the last 10 years, with some very snide commentary. Let's call that the bait.
The switch comes in the very last paragraph of the article, which you would have to click through to read if you are using a feed reader.
In other words... as far as the measurements tell us, the skeptics are correct and however much "greenhouse effect" this experiment is measuring, it's not resulting in any actual global warming.
If you are doing science, this is where you stop, scratch your head, and go back to the drawing board to figure out what you're missing.
If you are doing pseudo-religious political propaganda, you publish an article claiming that the greenhouse effect really exists, and report that global warming doesn't exist in the last paragraph.
The appropriate response to this is for every member of the Christian clubs that have been subjected to this requirement to immediately seek to join all the other clubs -- the black club, the hispanic club, the non-heterosexual club, the women's club -- and vote, en-mass, to elect to leadership roles someone from their own group who does not meet the relevant qualification.
The howls of outrage will likely be audible from orbit, because it's easy to put a rule in place that insists you check a box on a form in order to have the support of the campus administration when you know that rule will only be applied to your enemies.
It's nothing more than doing what Alinsky advised in Rule 4: Make them live up to their own rules.
The internet isn't broken, but the FCC wants to fix it
The problem Obama is trying to fix is that the internet allows news to get out to the people around his censors and intimidation machine. The problem they are using as a stalking horse is entirely made up:
Note that the FCC regulation, not law, he was talking about was struck down by a court challenge last year. Notice that it took 4 years. Notice that Obama only has two years left in his term. The game plan is simple. Regulate the Internet. Reward your friends. Punish your enemies. Drag things out in the courts. By the time the courts have a final ruling that says you can't do what you spent the last four years doing, you will be out of office and it will be someone else's problem. If you did it right, some other Democrat's problem.
I don't know whether to be impressed that Joe Biden, the creepy uncle of a Democratic party filled with creeps, is out in front of Elizabeth Warren, the great anti-Hillary hope... or to be impressed that Warren is only 4% behind sitting-vice-president Joe Biden.
I don't usually have much to say about education, but I think this deserves pointing out. Our educational system and culture of helicopter parenting is doing a lot of damage, and we're not going to see the results for years to come. It's been quite a while since I was in school, and things seem to have only gotten worse since then; I remember struggling with similar issues myself and I can't imagine how much harder it must be now.
Solutions? None, really; other than making it economically feasible for schools to experiment and parents to choose which schools to send their children to. The state-supported near-monopoly on education must be broken.
Criminal investigation of Lerner's missing emails underway
Looks like they found 744 backup tapes pretty much right away, and recently located another 424. And "there is potential criminal activity." On one level that's simple common sense, but when the person running the investigation says it, it usually means that potential is actually being looked into.
It's not just the case of the mysteriously missing hard drives, either. The IG was able to locate the backup tapes within two weeks of starting to look for them, despite Koskinen testifying that the tapes were destroyed. That could qualify as criminal based on perjury or based on refusing to provide them to Congress. Plus there is the canceled backup contract. That's a lot of coincidences all at once.
It's good that someone appears to be taking this seriously.
IPCC chairman resigns amid sex scandal, describes climate change as his religion
Religion and science do not mix. You would think this would be obvious to the Left, which often claims "scientific" support for their policies. The truth, however, is that for the left, their policies are not scientific at all but religious in nature. That is why no amount of evidence to the contrary will stop a liberal yelling about global warming climate change.
At this point, the White House is just running out the clock; they are hoping that they can delay any actual discoveries of damaging evidence linking the White House to the IRS scandal until Obama is out of office and a new President has arrived. Unfortunately, it's been an effective strategy so far. There is important circumstantial evidence that the White House has used its power -- perhaps unwisely granted, but legal -- to access taxpayer records for political purposes. But even those requests have legal channels that must be followed:
If, in fact, there was nothing embarrassing to find in the White House correspondence with the IRS -- as suggested by the lack of any requested records in the reports -- then why not release them and say so? The refusal to cooperate with Congress, at all, on this matter suggests that the White House has something to hide.
Congratulations are in order for Emily Miller, who has received her approved application for a license to carry a concealed firearm in DC. It took a long time and a lot of public pressure from the courts and the public to get to this point. Emily has done a stellar job reporting on the process and drawing much needed attention to how horrible it was. It's still not great; the process is may-issue and the police require documented "special dangers" and a 90-day delay, plus excessive permit costs and 18 hours of training. But we probably wouldn't have gotten even this far without Emily or someone like her directing the sunlight to scatter the cockroaches.
As we have found, the popular and common-sense policies supported by Senator Obama are often strongly opposed by President Obama. Particularly when those policies involve government transparency and accountability. Gosh, I wonder what might have happened to change his opinion?