SWAT raid leaves infant with horrible burns, in coma

A family is in shock after a SWAT team threw a stun grenade into their 19-month-old son’s crib during a midnight drugs raid, leaving the baby in a medically induced coma with severe burns.

Knock. On. The. Fucking. Door.

I don't care if there's a risk that drugs get flushed down the toilet.

Fri May 30 10:39:12 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

No one wants to ban guns

Sebastian has a whole collection of people who do.

He also notes that the UCSB shooter sought out a gun free zone because he was afraid of being stopped by someone with a gun. This is in California, land of gun control.

Fri May 30 09:42:56 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun Control in the budget

Democrats may attempt to put gun control into a spending bill in the House:

No decisions have been made, but Hoyer said "it's possible" Democrats could attempt to offer amendments affecting background checks for gun purchases and to remove language affecting gun sellers' reporting requirements on sales of assault-type weapons. Such votes are unlikely to pass and become law, but they would serve a political purpose in an election year to put lawmakers on record on gun issues.

If they couldn't get universal background checks after Sandy Hook, they won't get them for a much smaller-scale murderer who used knives for half his victims.

My concern is that they might make a big stink about background checks, and then trade them for CDC funding to study gun control.

I suspect Obama has ordered the CDC to spend the money on his own authority and would like to backfill the budget to account for it.

We'll see how this plays out.

Fri May 30 09:39:12 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Not just the Tea Party

There is a lawsuit alleging the IRS worked to oppress pro-Israel groups as well as Tea Party groups. There's a smoking-gun quote:

According to the lawsuit, an IRS official told Z Street’s lawyer in 2009 that the group’s application for tax-exempt status would be “sent to a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the administration’s public policies.”

That's an outright admission of viewpoint discrimination, at least as far as that particular group.

Fri May 30 09:11:57 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How cute

Megan thinks Obama is "really smart and committed to good government.":

This is not something that could have been averted by caring harder or being really smart and committed to good government -- which is what Obama seems to have assumed. That’s not his fault. A better understanding of how hard crucial parts were likely to be might have resulted in a more modest reform with better results.

Sorry, no. Obama is an arrogant, incompetent politician who was swept into office on the strength of his media halo, fraudulent votes, and incompetent adversaries. He's can't solve the problems at the VA because his only life skill is faking it and giving a good speech (with a teleprompter).

If he was smart, we wouldn't be in the position where are in today.

If he was committed to good government, he would have cracked down on the IRS and Fast and Furious scandals. He would have fired Sebelius immediately when her website failed

If he cared harder, he wouldn't have lied to the American people about keeping their health care plan if they liked their health care plan.

Thu May 29 11:39:12 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Justice Dept continues to stonewall on IRS

The House committee demanded testimony from Jack Smith after their interview with Richard Pilger resulted in the DoJ lawyer instructing Pilger multiple times not to answer perfectly reasonable questions from the committee.

The Department of Justice has refused.

They are claiming to have a policy of not allowing Congressional interviews with prosecutors, and that Pilger's interview was done under special restrictions. Their claim is that this prevents political pressure from Congress and preserves independence. Under other circumstances this might be a reasonable argument, but when the question is whether the DoJ itself has been politicized, it does not stand. Congress must have oversight power.

Thu May 29 09:11:57 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Alan Gura has a blog

Wed May 28 15:42:56 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A First-Amendment right to record the police

A federal appeals court is ruling that the public has the right to film cops in public and reinstated a lawsuit against a local New Hampshire police department brought by a woman arrested for filming a traffic stop.

The plaintiff in the case, Carla Gericke, was arrested on wiretapping allegations in 2010 for filming her friend being pulled over by the Weare Police Department during a late-night traffic stop. Although she was never brought to trial, she sued, alleging the arrest constituted retaliatory prosecution in breach of her constitutional rights.

As Glenn would say, there is also a due process right. But this is a good start.

Wed May 28 15:39:12 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

CNN Poll on gun control

Bottom right corner. You know what to do.

60% no at the time of this writing.

Hat tip to Tam.

Wed May 28 15:37:22 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Should those who are skeptical of global warming be thrown in jail?

I can see this guy dancing on the grave of free speech:

Our politicians should be thrown in the slammer for willful blindness. If we are in a position of being able to act, and we see something going on and we refuse to acknowledge the threat or act on it, we can be taken to court for willful blindness. I think that we are being willfully blind to the consequences for our children and grandchildren. It's an intergenerational crime.

We are living in a police state, only a few years away from a totalitarian dictatorship where wishes like this one may actually come true. People are already being fired or having their property confiscated for holding or expressing politically-incorrect opinions.

I've made similar arguments in the past about the level of our national debt and money-printing damaging the future of our nation (and, in more concrete form, our children and grandchildren) -- but I don't advocate people who disagree being thrown in jail because of it.

Wed May 28 15:11:57 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama administration supports separate but equal

Actually, I'm not at all sure about the equal part:

President Barack Obama’s administration has quietly suggested it is willing to create a two-tier race-based legal system in Hawaii, where one set of taxes, spending and law enforcement will govern one race, and the second set of laws will govern every other race.

The diversity proposal is portrayed as an effort to create a separate in-state government for people who are “native Hawaiians.”

I have no words for how wrong this is.

Wed May 28 14:55:44 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kopel on the Brady smartgun lawsuit

He has an interesting analysis of the case, making the points that the Brady Center may not have standing to sue (the reports are not produced for them) and that there may be wiggle room in how reliable a particular firearm is judged to be.

He also reminds us that the lawsuit, if success, would ban all guns that are not smart guns from sale in New Jersey, and as such would represent a major step back towards the Brady Center's historical gun-banning roots:

The lawsuit represents the Brady Center’s return to its founding policies from the mid-1970s. At the time, the group called itself the National Council to Control Handguns. In 1976, the group supported and donated to the backers of a Massachusetts ballot initiative to confiscate all handguns. (The initiative was defeated 69%-31%, in part because of staunch opposition from police.) That same year, the group’s leader, Nelson “Pete” Shields explained his national strategy: “The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition–except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors–totally illegal.” (Richard Harris, “A Reporter at Large: Handguns,” New Yorker, July 26, 1976, p. 58.)

Never let anyone get away with saying they don't want to take your guns.

Wed May 28 13:49:24 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rahm wants to videotape all gun sales

The Emanuel administration has outlined a plan to impose strict regulations on gun shops that open within city limits, including a requirement to record every sale on video.

The irony is that I suspect most gun stores already run video over their sales area, simply as a security measure. The difference is that police would have the power to approve -- or more likely, disapprove -- of the security plans before the store could open. Which means, in practical terms, that only approved stores will open... quite possibly only the one approved store, similar to the situation in Washington, DC, where there was only one FFL available for the whole city.

Other aspects of the proposal include one handgun a month rules and a ban on gun stores within 500 feet of a school or park (which limits them to less than half a percent of Chicago).

How do the legislators in Chicago view these rules?

Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said the regulations are a good start. “This is just letting everyone know that we here in the city of Chicago are very serious about gun trafficking going on in the city of Chicago,” he said. “So we want to make sure if a person is proposing to do some gun trafficking here, we want to limit them as much as possible.” Another alderman who had not seen the report said it sounds good to her so far.

A good start. They'll be back for more later.

In the meantime, criminals will continue stealing firearms and selling them to each other without background checks as many times in a month as they feel like it.

Wed May 28 10:11:57 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Pelosi: Of course I wanted single payer, and I wanted public option

Of course she did:

Pelosi said that Democrats should continue to talk about improving [Obamacare], noting that when the bill passed, she already wanted to expand it. “Of course I wanted single payer, and I wanted public option,” Pelosi chuckled, looking back at when the bill first passed.

The problem is, the rest of the country doesn't. Or rather, only the 30% of the country who reliably vote socialist do. Why should those people should have the right to dictate how everyone else pays for health care?

Wed May 28 09:55:44 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Vote fraud uncovered in Florida

Dozens of cases of illegal aliens and other non-citizens voting.

When someone registers to vote, we need to verify that they are actually eligible to vote. When they show up at the polls, we need to verify their ID so we know that the right person is voting. I don't necessarily care about prosecuting those who thought it was allowed and voted once per election; just take them off the rolls.

And for those who say it never happens: 94 cases uncovered in a single county or a single state using only one method to identify illegal voters.

Tue May 27 10:39:12 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The connection between the prosecution of Dinesh D'Souza and the IRS

I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to draw a connection between the IRS repression of conservative groups and the prosecution of D'Souza, a prominent and effective critic of Obama. We know that the IRS and the FBI both exchanged emails and met to discuss the possibility of criminally prosecuting the groups the IRS was targeting for allegedly lying on their tax forms. The IRS told the FBI that, no, they couldn't really go after people like that; the tax law was too vague. Lerner herself expressed the sentiment that "maybe the FEC will save and day." And lo and behold, in a political environment where Obama can accept anonymous donations from anyone with a credit card, D'Souza goes to prison.

Tue May 27 10:11:57 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senators demand delay in EPA power plant rules

The only problem I have with this is the word "delay". A delay is just putting something off for the future. The EPA rules that will put power plants out of business and destroy our national power grid while forcing energy costs to skyrocket need to be stopped, not delayed.

The truth is, I don't mind burning coal for electricity. We have a lot of it, and it's cheap.

UPDATE: The same thing apples to the IRS rules. A postponement is not victory.

Tue May 27 09:42:56 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


It seems someone accidentally issued a press release identifying the CIA chief of station in Kabul, Afghanistan:

The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.

Remember when Valerie Plame was a liberal rallying cry?

I'm going to make a couple predictions:

1) This won't get anywhere near the level of attention the Plame affair did.
2) No one will be charged with a crime.
3) No special prosecutor will be appointed.
4) No one will blame the President.

Of course, no President would stoop to engineering a "mistake" that forces a CIA station leave to abandon his post for fear of assassination. But remember, Obama has been trying to downplay the threat from Al Qaeda for years, despite recent pushback from his intelligence officials.

I wonder if one of those officials was the CIA station chief in Kabul?

Nah, couldn't be.

Anyways, I can't blame the intelligence guys for being worried:

Before his overthrow and death in the fall of 2011, Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi was believed to have purchased 15,000-20,000 Soviet MANPADS. Concern over the whereabouts of the missiles – and the possibility that terrorists could buy them on the black market and even use them to shoot down American passenger jets – drove a U.S. effort to recover as many as possible. But only about 2,000 were accounted for prior to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on Benghazi, Libya, according to the source. He describes those working to locate the missiles as “beside themselves” and “frustrated.”

Shooting planes down with missiles may be less impressive than using them AS missiles, but it gets the job done.

Do I think Al Qaeda is a serious threat to the average American? Not really. But they are more of a threat with an anti-aircraft missile that can fit in a van.

Tue May 27 09:39:12 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Piketty fudged data

I've had a number of people want to discuss Thomas Piketty's work with me. Having not read it, I'm not interested in discussing it. But since everyone else seems to have read it, I'll just point out why I didn't bother.

Tue May 27 09:11:57 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

They blame the NRA before the blood is even cold

“Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say stop this madness,” Martinez said.

Mr. Martinez, your son did not die because of the National Rifle Association. He died because another man chose to embrace evil. That evil man killed people with a gun. He also killed people with a knife and a car. All are tools people use every day, mostly for peaceful purposes. Many people carry guns for peaceful purposes -- the purposes of protecting themselves, and possibly others like your son Chris, from evil men.

I am sorry that no one was there to save your son, but I will fight to ensure that other possible victims have the opportunity to fight back in the future, if they choose to exercise it.

Sun May 25 13:39:12 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Privilege of the Ruling Class

The roots of the word privilege lie in the words "private law", meaning one set of rules apply to one group, and a wholly different set apply to another group. Historically, we've seen that idea in high justice (for nobility) and low justice (for ordinary people), and in the ecclesiastical court system that was applied to priests rather than allowing them to be tried by the government. Although America was founded in part as a rejection of those separate systems of law, we still have vestiges surviving today, as in this recent ruling that John Conyers, a Democrat representative in Michigan, need not follow the law when obtaining signatures to be placed on the ballot for his party's primary.

Specifically, the law says signatures must be gathered by a registered voter within the state. Conyers didn't bother to check, and ended up with a large number of signatures collected by someone who wasn't. Without those signatures, he didn't qualify for the ballot in his party primary; but mere hours after the Secretary of State ruled that Conyers did not qualify for the ballot, a judge overruled the decision despite precedent to the contrary. The previous politician was a Republican, the more recent case a Democrat. That shouldn't matter, but apparently it does.

Need another example?

I reported earlier that Dinesh D'Souza, a prominent Obama critic, has been charged with campaign finance violations. Since then he has chosen to plead guilty. While I don't know the man and am forced to conclude that he probably committed the crime he is pleading guilty to, I remain suspicious of the motives for the prosecution in this case. Singling out a prominent Obama critic for prosecution is still suspicious, especially when the authorities overlook far higher amounts of campaign finance corruption on a regular basis.

Is one set of rules for everyone to follow too much to ask? It seems so.

Sat May 24 13:44:19 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Massachussetts planning a gun control push

Alphecca points out that it didn't work so very well for them the last time they tried that. I mean, seriously, has it ever worked?

No, but they keep trying anyway.

Sat May 24 13:42:56 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Brady Center sues gun retailer over straw purchase

In short, the gun control side is arguing that any woman buying a gun should be a suspected straw purchaser, especially if there is someone else shopping with them. That is, of course, quite bogus. Many women purchase firearms, and many of them want some advice from friends who know more about guns when they buy their first gun.

The fact is, there are laws against actual straw purchasing, and in this case, the straw purchaser was convicted:

Nguyen, now 24, was convicted in April of falsifying a firearms form when she bought the guns. She was sentenced Monday to at least 16 months in prison. She and Spengler’s estate are named as co-defendants in the suit.

Retailers can't read minds, and Nguyen passed a background check. Because she was buying the guns for someone else not allowed to possess them, she was tried and convicted. That's the way it works. The only way to stop the possibility of a straw purchase is to stop selling guns, and the Brady Center would be perfectly fine with that. Suing the store is a political pressure tactic, not a real attempt to deal with the problem.

Sat May 24 13:39:12 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Tolerance of the Liberal Police State

Chicago police respecting the rights of honest citizens:

While Klyzek sat on the floor in handcuffs, an officer then proceeded to strike her from behind, while another threatened to use an electronic taser gun on her “10 f**king times” after which officers threatened Klyzek and members of her family. All the while, a security camera quietly captured the events unfolding.

“You’re not f**king American! I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f**k you came from,” one of the officers shouted at Klyzek (an American citizen born in China).

“You’re here on our borrowed time,” he continued. “So mind your f**king business before I shut this whole f**king place down….I’ll take this building. You’ll be dead and your family will be dead,” according to a transcription of the video provided for a federal civil rights lawsuit Klyzek brought against the city of Chicago and its police department on May 14.

Thisis not the behavior of a public servant. It's the behavior of someone who thinks he is in charge.

And this sort of article is starting to show up in technical publications. Ars Technica is not some right-wing political rag.

Sat May 24 13:11:57 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial watch more effective at obtaining IRS emails than Congress

Judicial Watch today released a new batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents revealing that its handling of Tea Party applications was directed out of the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The documents also show extensive pressure on the IRS by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) to shut down conservative-leaning tax-exempt organizations. The IRS’ emails by Lois Lerner detail her misleading explanations to investigators about the targeting of Tea Party organizations.

Probably because Judicial Watch went to court and Congress for the most part seems content to whine.

Democrat Senator Carl Levin was pressuring the IRS to shut down the groups working against his reelection campaign:

Further, documents show the IRS responded to "intense" requests from Democrat Senator Carl Levin to come down on conservative tax exempt groups in an effort to get rid of them, specifically the groups working against his reelection campaign.

Remember, the IRS rule is not "no politics". 49% politics is OK, and politics is a narrow definition that excludes issue education.. particularly in the legal environment established by Citizens United, which struck down campaign finance limitations on political activity by corporations. Going after the people trying to throw you out of office -- specifically targeting them using your influence as a public official -- is wrong.

And the IRS has known all along it was wrong. We can tell because they lied about what they were doing, blaming it on "rogue low-level employees" in Cincinatti when the targeting was being directed from Washington DC:

Grodnitzky worked in the IRS headquarters' Exempt Organizations Technical Unit. In his response to Paz, he said his colleagues were "working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in D.C. and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases."

If they thought what they were doing was OK, they wouldn't have tried to hide it.

Fri May 23 17:42:56 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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