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Why are peaceful protesters so violent?

They caught the man who shot two Ferguson police officers (reports are that he confessed to the shootings). It turns out he was a "peaceful protester" and is likely to claim that he stood his ground after being robbed. Without going into details, I don't think that's likely to be a helpful defense. He is already alleging police brutality during his arrest.

2015-03-24 10:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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.

"That's a nice content transfer agreement you've got there, sure would be a shame if something were to... happen to it."

Nor we will get an end to throttling data transfer rates on unlimited data cellular plans.

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.

2015-03-24 09:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Don't blame Cruz for the Nigerian Prince snafu

Ars TechnicaIt turns out that Cruz' campaign had registered to use CloudFlare as the content delivery network for its WordPress-based tedcruz.org site, anticipating a flood of traffic from would be supporters. But because the Cruz campaign hadn't yet uploaded a certificate to identify the site for secure visits, CloudFlare's systems automatically assigned the site one of its own certificates, CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince told Ars. "The Cruz campaign didn't do anything wrong," he said. "It was an automated process on CloudFlare's part." The certificate that the Cruz campaign's site got assigned to was also assigned to nigerian-prince.com.

It looks like the denial-of-service-blocking-service CloudFlare is taking the blame for this mistake.

It's a slightly rocky start, but at least Cruz didn't take 3 years and $5 billion dollars to build his site.

Mon Mar 23 16:44:20 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary turns over 300 Benghazi emails, but there are gaps...

New York TimesThey provided no evidence that Mrs. Clinton, as the most incendiary Republican attacks have suggested, issued a “stand down” order to halt American forces responding to the violence in Benghazi, or took part in a broad cover-up of the administration’s response, according to senior American officials.

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.

New York TimesBut they did show that Mrs. Clinton’s top aides at times corresponded with her about State Department matters from their personal email accounts, raising questions about her recent assertions that she made it her practice to email aides at their government addresses so the messages would be preserved, in compliance with federal record-keeping regulations.

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...

New York TimesThe emails have not been made public, and The New York Times was not permitted to review them. But four senior government officials offered descriptions of some of the key messages, on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to jeopardize their access to secret information.

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.

New York TimesStrikingly, given that she has set off an uproar over her emails, Mrs. Clinton is not a verbose correspondent.

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.

Mon Mar 23 14:50:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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.

The left has tried to spin up a birther issue with him, but I don't find it convincing.

Now, on to the good things.

(Read More...)

2015-03-23 12:20:05.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

John Lott has a few new things worth noticing

One about Bloomberg, one about the "gun ownership is down" talking point, and a couple interviews about Ferguson.

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.

But I do sometimes wonder why.

2015-03-23 12:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Colorado state Republican representative Thurlow is voting anti-gun

Publicola has the details.

2015-03-23 11:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Second Amendment challenge to 1986 Hughes Amendment gun ban filed

David CodreaA complaint for declarative and injunctive relief was filed Friday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Plaintiff Ryan S. Watson, acting individually and as trustee of the Watson Family Gun Trust, is suing Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director B. Todd Jones in their official capacities for administering, executing and enforcing “statutory and regulatory provisions [that] generally act as an unlawful de facto ban on the transfer or possession of a machine gun manufactured after May 19, 1986.”

Attorney David R. Scott is joined in the lawsuit by Stephen D. Stamboulieh, the Mississippi attorney who filed a similar action in Texas on October 30 in the case of Hollis v. Holder. This latest action differs from the first in that Watson is subject to an actual taking resulting from actions performed under authorization of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for which approval was later revoked.

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.

2015-03-23 10:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

State Department infested by Russian hackers

The HillThe State Department will shut down parts of its unclassified email network in an effort to oust hackers that have been inside the system for several months.

“As a part of the Department of State's ongoing effort to ensure the integrity of our unclassified networks against cyber attacks, the Department is implementing improvements to the security of its main unclassified network during a short, planned outage of some internet-linked systems,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement released Friday.

I know computer security is difficult, but this is just embarrassing.

2015-03-23 09:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The criminal arrogance of Hillary Clinton

2015-03-23 06:20:57.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Citizen's United wins access to Clinton passenger lists

New York TimesA federal judge on Friday ruled on behalf of Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group, in its lawsuit against the State Department for documents related to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure there.

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.

2015-03-22 12:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

When even the Washington Post is fisking Obama on guns...

... there's been a serious sea-change in public opinion.

2015-03-22 11:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

West Virginia, Texas advance shall-sign NFA legislation

See details for Texas, where the bill passed out of committee, and West Virginia, where the bill is on the governor's desk.

2015-03-22 10:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FAA says you can't post drone videos on youtube

Jason KoeblerThe FAA said that, because there are ads on YouTube, Hanes's flights constituted a commercial use of the technology subject to stricter regulations and enforcement action from the agency. It said that if he did not stop flying “commercially,” he could be subject to fines or sanctions.

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.

2015-03-22 09:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hmm

FOX 4KCWithin an hour of a KDVR reporter discovering a hidden camera, which was positioned to capture and record the license plates and facial features of customers leaving a Denver post office, the device was ripped from the ground and disappeared.

“Part of being a responsible, constitutional government is explaining why it is doing surveillance on its citizens,” Lee told Halsne. “The government should not be collecting this kind of sensitive information. And it is sensitive! It`s about your relationships, your associations with other people, which can be friendship or political or religious. The idea that we give up that privacy simply because we use the U.S. mail is, I think, a silly idea.”

I can't think of any good explanation for this. There's no warrant, and the camera has been there for months.

2015-03-21 12:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Government, jobs, and the economy

GallupAmericans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans' mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place.

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.

Sat Mar 21 11:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

No threat from terrorists at all

Gateway PunditCanada said on Wednesday it had foiled a plot by a self-proclaimed Islamic State supporter to bomb the US consulate and other buildings in Toronto’s financial district.

I'm sure it's just workplace violence.

2015-03-21 10:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Two more disorganized lone wolves with no terror ties

Gateway PunditSheheryar Alam Qazi and brother Raees Alam Qazi, of Oakland Park, are accused of planning a terrorist attack in New York City and assaulting two deputy U.S. Marshals while in custody. They are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass… Two Florida brothers pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and assaulting US Marshals. The brothers plotted to avenge the deaths of people killed by drone attacks in Afghanistan.

But Obama killed bin Laden or something.

2015-03-21 09:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

WV Governor vetoes Constitutional Carry legislation

Guns Save LivesWest Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has officially vetoed a bill that would have made WV a constitutional carry state.

Dumping the news on a friday evening to avoid attention, too.

Fri Mar 20 15:06:47 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gowdy requests ClintonEmail.com server be turned over to neutral party

legal InsurrectionTrey Gowdy today sent a letter requesting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turn over the server she used for official State Department business to the State Department inspector general or a neutral third party for independent analysis of what records should be in the public domain.

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.

Fri Mar 20 13:37:13 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

ATF director resigning March 31st

Guns Save LivesThe current director of the ATF, B. Todd Jones, has informed Attorney General Eric Holder that he will be resigning his position effective March 31. Jones will be taking a job in professional sports in the private sector.

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.

Fri Mar 20 13:25:43 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton Foundation staff paid with taxpayer dollars

Hot AirSay, how is Clinton nostalgia working out for Democrats these days? Some of them may long for the days when Clintonian freeloading meant stealing furniture from the White House. That amounted to chump change compared to the millions received by the Clintons in the years since they loaded up the moving van at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency. That comes to over $16 million, according to an analysis by Politico’s Kenneth Vogel, and includes cash that has gone into salaries for staffers at the Clinton Foundation.

I don't know how she managed that one, but wow.

2015-03-20 12:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BATFE received 310,000 comments on ammo ban

ATF via Free Beacon“We’ve received more than 310,000 public comments,” said Ginger Colbrun, a spokesperson for the ATF. “We’re still receiving some letters which are postmarked prior to the end of the comment period, March 16th.”

If memory serves, that's about twice the number of people who commented in opposition to the IRS rule change that sought to formalize the Tea Party targeting rules.

2015-03-20 11:39:22.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reminder: A failed Lerner investigation at FCC has already flipped one Senate seat

Washington ExaminerAnd although the FEC's case was eventually dismissed that year on technical grounds, Salvi ended up losing to Durbin, who is now a powerful senator. Salvi continues to blame the FEC scrutiny and the negative press it brought his campaign for souring voters in the Prairie State.

"Every interview I had, the first thing people would say is: Tell us about your investigation," Salvi told the Examiner. "People thought I was going to jail!"

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.

2015-03-20 11:19:08.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama Admin seeks to undo funding limits

The BlazeHouse Republicans on Wednesday accused the Obama administration of pushing to eliminate some of the key reforms Congress has imposed on the IRS, including prohibitions on lavish conferences and a ban on applying extra scrutiny to groups based on their political beliefs.

The proposed IRS budget for 2016 put forward by the Obama administration lays out the government’s vision of how the IRS would operate in the next fiscal year, but it doesn’t include those reforms and others Congress has passed.

Basically, Obama's budget doesn't include the funding riders that prohibit the IRS spending money on targeting the Tea Party, going to conferences, and making stupid videos. It's not really surprising that he wants those provisions gone, particularly that first one, especially since the IRS has already floated proposals to get its thumb back on the political scale.

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.

2015-03-20 11:10:38.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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